The WonkLine: June 1, 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.


Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Phoenix on Saturday in opposition to Arizona’s immigration law while SB-1070 backers held their own rally at a suburban stadium that evening. Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) suspended the state’s attorney general and her opponent in this fall’s election, Terry Goddard (D-AZ), from defending the new immigration law in upcoming legal challenges. Cardinals’ kicker Jay Feely defended Arizona’s controversial immigration law, stating, “we have a problem, we have an undue burden because we have illegals that come over.”

National Security

“A day after Israeli commandos raided an aid flotilla seeking to breach the blockade of Gaza, Israel held more than 600 activists seized aboard the convoy on Tuesday as news reports said activists may be planning a fresh attempt to ferry supplies to the Hamas-run enclave.” “The operational leader for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was killed in an American missile strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas in the last two weeks, according to a statement the group issued late Monday that American officials believe is correct.” “The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference which has been underway in New York for the past month just adopted a consensus final document, the first one achieved among the group of 189 signatory nations in ten years.”

Climate Change

“Flooding and landslides from Agatha, the season’s first tropical storm” — coming before the official beginning of hurricane season — have “killed at least 150 people and made thousands homeless in Central America,” officials said.


“Dozens of wildfires” from an unusually hot and dry Quebec “sent plumes of smoke and haze southward,” contaminating the air over Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, as record heat fuels wildfires throughout Alaska.

BP managing director Bob Dudley told CBS this morning “these containment domes will work,” even though “there will be a little bit more oil” because this effort involves cutting open the pipe spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico.


According to the Wall Street Journal, “the U.S. intends to urge Europe to disclose publicly the results of bank stress tests as a way to calm jitters over the health of the Continent’s financial system.”

“State governments have become an unlikely ally of the banking industry in a fight against putting limits on the fees that credit and debit card issuers can charge to retailers,” led by Nebraska’s state treasurer, Shane Osborn (R).


“This year is shaping up to be even worse than last for the millions of high school and college students looking for summer jobs,” as state and local governments, “are knee-deep in budget woes and the stimulus money that helped cushion some government job programs last summer is running out.”

Health Care

“State politics could play a surprisingly big role in determining how many lower-income people will get healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act. A new study suggests that state governors and lawmakers could determine whether more than 6 million people end up covered by an expanded Medicaid program.”

“For the third time this year, Congress is going to miss a deadline to avert a 21 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.”

“As health reform regulations begin to take shape, Planned Parenthood has begun a quiet campaign to ensure that birth control is counted among the free preventive services that health insurers must cover under the Affordable Care Act.”