The WonkLine: July 2, 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.


Yesterday, President Obama delivered his first presidential speech dedicated to immigration, stating that he and the Democrats are “ready to move forward” on immigration reform and implying the GOP is what’s standing in the way. Republicans responded to President Obama’s call for immigration reform by demanding that Obama visit the U.S.-Mexico border and “see for himself why it must be secured.” Arizona plans to spend $250,000 on a public relations campaign to portray the state as “a safe and welcoming destination” despite it’s new immigration law, with the state’s hotel trade group adding another $30,000 to the effort.

Health Care

TPMDC looks at how the Club for Growth pressured the Republican leadership in the House to support the various health care discharge petitions.


“Days before a threatened walkout of more than 12,000 hospital nurses on July 6, the Minnesota Nurses Association and management at 14 hospitals have announced a proposed contract settlement. The announcement would avert what was being billed as the largest nurse strike ever in the U.S.”

“The Obama administration has not ruled out turning sick people away from an insurance program created by the new healthcare law to provide coverage for the uninsured.”


Sen. Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.) said yesterday that “she would vote for the financial-overhaul bill when lawmakers return from the July 4th recess.” Cantwell voted against the Senate’s first bill.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission “escalated the government’s assault on Goldman Sachs on Thursday, criticizing the Wall Street firm for failing to turn over basic documents” and for claiming it doesn’t keep records about its derivatives business.


The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said yesterday “that they moved to seek elections at Delta Air Lines Inc in a bid to represent thousands of workers at the world’s largest airline.”

National Security

“A half-dozen suicide bombers stormed the compound of a American contractor working for the United States Agency for International Development in the northern city of Kunduz , [Afghanistan]on Friday, killing at least four people.”

“The death toll rose to 42 on Friday after suicide bombers struck Pakistan’s most important Sufi shrine, a devastating attack by hard-line militants on the moderate, more flexible blend of Islam that is practiced by most Pakistanis.”

“China didn’t take part in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq or the bloody military battles that followed. It hasn’t invested in reconstruction projects or efforts by the West to fortify the struggling democracy in the heart of the Middle East.”

Climate Change

The Coast Guard has put “new restrictions in place across the Gulf Coast that prevent the public — including news photographers and reporters covering the BP oil spill — from coming within 65 feet of any response vessels or booms on the water or on beaches.”


It was the hottest June on record in Hagerston, MD, Richmond, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Louisville, KY, Washington, DC, Raleigh and Greensboro, NC, Columbia, SC, and Naples, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, FL, and the second hottest in Memphis, TN, Tampa and Tallahassee, FL, Annapolis, MD, and Wilmington, DE.

Scientists: killing mammoths may have changed the climate, the “emission of the greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide has been structurally underestimated,” scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air “would require a long-term commitment spanning decades or even centuries,” and “the already destructive cane toad is set to flourish with increasing temperature.”