The WonkLine: June 10, 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.

National Security

“The Nato commander in Afghanistan says a military operation to drive militants out of Kandahar will move at a slower pace than planned. General Stanley McChrystal said the operation would happen ‘more slowly’ in order to ensure local support.”

“One day after the Security Council approved new sanctions against them, the authorities in Tehran threatened on Thursday to revise their relationship with the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, using familiar language that has in the past presaged moves to limit global oversight of Iran’s nuclear program.” “A huge explosion tore through the wedding celebration of a local man who had joined an anti-Taliban militia in rural Kandahar Province late Wednesday, killing at least 39, according to provincial government officials.”


As the financial regulatory reform conference committee begins to meet today, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said that “the prospects to me look pretty good” for the bill passing in a “reasonable form.”


According to a new report from the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP, the government “didn’t exhaust all its options before it committed tens of billions of taxpayers’ dollars to bail out the American International Group during the height of the 2008 financial collapse.”

Attorneys for hundreds of injured workers say that AIG “is dragging out insurance payments that their clients need to cover home mortgages, failing to pay full compensation benefits and refusing to pay medical bills.”

Climate Change

BP spokesman Toby Odone: “One philosophy we’re trying to follow here is not to make things even worse.” As its stock plummets, BP is “not aware of any reason which justifies this share price movement.”

Today, the Senate will vote on Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution to overturn EPA’s scientific finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public, spurred by the oil industry, other polluters, and right-wing front groups.

Record-breaking heat is baking the Desert Southwest and Southern Plains, with Las Vegas reaching 110 and Dallas 100.


Kris Kobach, the architect of Arizona’s immigration law, has been terminated from his job of providing legal advice to controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s home of Maricopa County.


The cost of obtaining a green card, business visa and other immigration benefits will increase an average 10% under a proposal announced yesterday by federal immigration officials to help close a budget deficit.

The Georgia State Board of Regents is taking a number of steps to prevent or catch undocumented students from getting in-state tuition.

Health Care

“Fast-food aficionados can enjoy at least another year of blissful ignorance about the food they eat, including the fact that a large order of fries and ketchup may contain more than 500 calories.”

“The general-election contest between California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina has just begun, but even in a year when voters’ main concern is the economy, it’s already shaping up to be a potentially vicious battle over abortion rights.”

“Democratic governors on Wednesday ramped up the pressure on Congress to pass a $24 billion extension of aid to states for spending on health-care assistance for the poor and elderly, with one saying that the country will slip back into recession if the money is not handed out.”