The WonkLine: July 12, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 a.m. roundup of the latest news about health care, the economy, national security, immigration and climate policy. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.


“Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that if the an injunction on Arizona’s immigration law is not approved, the federal government might launch a second legal challenge to combat any racial profiling that occurs.” The New York Times writes that “Democratic governors voiced deep anxiety about the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona’s new immigration law, worrying that it could cost a vulnerable Democratic Party in the fall elections.” David Axelrod pointed out that “no administration has been tougher on enforcement” and that the Obama administration is securing the border “in a smart, more efficient way and we’re producing better results.”

National Security

“Military officials from North Korea and the U.S.-led United Nations Command will meet Tuesday to discuss the sinking of a South Korean warship, the U.N. Command said Monday in a statement.”


“Thousands of mourners and supporters crowded hillsides near Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sunday, to mark the 15th anniversary of the massacre of nearly 8,000 men and boys. More than 50,000 people witnessed the burial of 775 newly identified genocide victims at the Centre Potocari — the official Srebrenica Genocide Memorial where 5,000 genocide victims are buried — a few miles outside the city.”

“Israeli defense officials say Israel’s first internal report on the deadly raid against a Gaza-bound flotilla will criticize the planning and intelligence-gathering that preceded the operation.”

Health Care

“President Barack Obama’s controversial pick to the CMS will officially take the reins on Monday, almost four months after he was first nominated for the post, according to an administration aide.”

“The White House will unveil a national HIV/AIDS strategy on Tuesday against the backdrop of advocates’ increasing complaints that the administration and Congress are not doing enough to fight the epidemic.”


“Months after delivering its crucial endorsement of the health care overhaul, the American Medical Association has found itself with fewer friends on Capitol Hill and more critics questioning its lobbying savvy.”


“Tepid economic growth and demands for aid from ailing U.S. cities and towns will combine to make next year ‘just as tough’ for state budget makers,” said Yolanda Kodrzycki, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) said over the weekend that “she has not decided which way to vote on crucial financial reform legislation, with the most important thing being ‘to get it right.’”

“The arrival of late summer will be anything but lazy for congressional tax writers” who still have to “tackle a mountain of pending legislation,” The Hill reports.

Climate Change

The seven-member presidential oil spill commission “holds hearings Monday and Tuesday in New Orleans” and will “tour communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida,” having hired a former Shells scientist as the “senior staff member for science and engineering.”


“A heatwave currently sweeping large parts of Europe may have claimed hundreds of lives” in England, baking temperatures in Poland, “violent thunderstorms, flash floods and mudslides” in Switzerland and train breakdowns in Germany.

“Russia’s worst drought in a decade has damaged more than half of grain planted in eleven regions” and “more than four times the average monsoon rain has fallen in the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana over the last few days, causing floods which have killed at least fifteen people.”