Wonkbook: How the border crisis has drastically shifted the immigration debate

July 22

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(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Wonkbook’s Number of the Day: 23 percent. That's the percentage of kids living in families under the poverty line in 2012, a new analysis shows.

Wonkbook’s Chart of the Day: This chart shows how the world has just set a new June temperature record.

Wonkbook's Top 4 Stories: (1) The immigration-turned-border security debate; (2) do Americans even want to fix Congress?; (3) Obama expands My Brother's Keeper; (4) local energy battles.

1. Top story: The migrant crisis has turned our immigration debate into a border-security one

Republicans press on border security as Perry vows to send troops. "Republicans grappling with the surge of Central American migrants entering the country this year have lined up behind a common goal: ratcheting up security along the Southern border. Both on and off Capitol Hill, Republicans have called for a more muscular approach to border security in response to the recent influx of migrants, returning to a top priority during the broader debate about rewriting immigration laws. On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he would deploy as many as 1,000 state National Guard troops to try to deter criminal activity by Mexican drug cartels and human smugglers in South Texas." Kristina Peterson, Laura Meckler and Ana Campoy in The Wall Street Journal.

The National Guard troops will work with state troopers but won't arrest anyone. "The governor’s aides said the National Guard will work with state troopers at observation posts. The guardsmen will not be empowered to apprehend anyone but rather will help identify potential criminal activity and alert law enforcement officers. Perry did not outline any role for them in dealing with the unaccompanied children at the border; more than 57,000 of them have been apprehended by federal agents since October. The Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for caring for the children. Illegal immigrants arrested by state troopers will be turned over to the Border Patrol, the governor’s aides said." David Nakamura and Karen Tumulty in The Washington Post.

Promising sign? Fewer children are arriving at the border. "The number of unaccompanied minors picked up by Border Patrol agents in the first two weeks fell to about 150 per day, down from an average of 355 per day in June, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday. Earnest said White House officials believe the decline in the number of young migrants was the result of several factors, including a typical seasonal drop in border crossing during harsh summer conditions....Government officials have said they believe the vast majority of unaccompanied minors are already being picked up by Border Patrol agents, so sending more security forces to the border would accomplish little." Kathleen Hennessey in the Los Angeles Times.

Still, anti-illegal immigration protests rage on. "The Los Angeles protest was among 40 in southern California and hundreds held in the U.S., part of a national call for a crackdown on illegal immigration....Some rallies, including those in Little Rock, Ark., Dallas and Philadelphia, drew counter protesters....The flow slowed this week, but reports of migrants swarming the border and being transported to towns in the country's interior have attracted new supporters of grass-roots organizations that fight illegal immigration....Experts predict that the number of illegal entries this year will be small compared with...the heyday of illegal immigration more than a decade ago, when about 900,000 people were caught trying to sneak in." Miriam Jordan in The Wall Street Journal.

Explainer: How a flood of kids upended the immigration debate. "The sudden rise in the number of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America crossing the border has refocused attention on immigration, but hardly under the terms that President Barack Obama and immigrant advocates once envisioned. Obama had demanded action on a broad change in the law that would have given millions of immigrants illegally in the United States a way to citizenship while spending more on border security. When Republicans balked, he threatened to act on his own. But now the White House says it's focused on addressing the influx of border-crossers and returning as many as quickly as the government can." Jim Kuhnhenn in the Associated Press.

Even Republicans who worked on reform legislation are taking hard line. "But as lawmakers point the critical finger at DACA, they also invite a spotlight on their own immigration platforms. And the exposure has the potential to create some political discomfort. Several of the president's most prominent detractors have also worked on legislation that would give legal status — not just temporary reprieve — to those same undocumented immigrants. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) both considered, but never introduced, bills to allow undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to stay. And yet, while both were critical of DACA from the start, recently they have begun amplifying their complaints." Elise Foley and Marina Fang in The Huffington Post.

What can the White House do to refocus the debate? "Mr Vargas was released after several hours with a notice to appear before an immigration judge. But the episode enabled Republicans to link two issues: what to do with illegal immigrants who have been in the country just a few days; and what to do with those who have established lives and families in America over the course of many years. The White House will need to address such conflation, say analysts on both sides of the debate, as the Obama administration seeks to make other changes to immigration policy ahead of midterm elections in November." Barney Jopson in The Financial Times.

Immigration reform proponent still eye executive actions. "Regardless of how Congress handles his request for more border resources, President Obama is moving toward a historic—and explosive—executive order that will provide legal status to a significant number of the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. One senior White House official says that while "what's happening at the border will provide atmospherics for the [president's] decision," it won't stop him from acting on the undocumented—probably before the midterm elections. The resulting collision over Obama's expected action could lastingly define both the Democratic and Republican parties for the burgeoning Hispanic population." Ronald Brownstein in National Journal.

Long read: Could earlier action have reduced the crisis' severity? "In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse. The researchers’ observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years as a surge of Central American minors has crossed into south Texas illegally....The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates." David Nakamura, Jerry Markon and Manuel Roig-Franzia in The Washington Post.

The crisis is straining immigration courts. "As of the end of June, the 59 immigration courts across the USA, run by 243 judges, had a record backlog of 375,503 pending cases, according to...a data research group at Syracuse University. Wait times for hearings are averaging about a year-and-a-half, some much longer. The crush of immigrant youths could further strain that workload....The Justice Department has announced plans to dispatch judges to the border to speed up proceedings....But immigration advocates warn that the overtaxed immigration court system already leaves thousands of children unrepresented at deportation hearings and the push to speed up deportations could leave more without legal counsel." Rick Jervis in USA Today.

House GOP on collision course with Senate on Obama's border funding request. "A special House 'working group' led by Rep. Kay Granger has finalized a draft of its 'set of principles' for GOP legislation dealing with the border crisis — including a call for putting an end to the 'catch-and-release' system for unaccompanied minors. Several of the proposals clash dramatically with what House and Senate Democrats say they will go along with. And the two chambers also appear to be on a collision course for how much funding an emergency bill will contain. Senate Democrats say they will go along with President Obama's request for $3.7 billion, but House Republicans are looking at less than half of that amount." Billy House and Rachel Roubein in National Journal.

Mark your calendars, wonks: Obama to hold high-level talks. "Central American leaders will ask U.S. President Barack Obama to support a regional development and security plan to stem the tide of illegal child migrants to the United States at a meeting next week....Presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras will meet with Obama on Friday to look for ways to curb a record-breaking exodus of Central American children." Gustavo Palencia in Reuters.

Wanted: Empty big-box stores to house children. "In a coordinated effort between FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services, the government is scrambling to find adequate facilities wherever it can....In recent weeks, FEMA representatives have sent mass emails to advocacy networks throughout the country soliciting potential detention facilities and offering guidelines for acceptable spaces....Since the failures of Hurricane Katrina, faith in FEMA to adequately respond to large-scale crisis situations has remained shaky at best. These pleas for empty big box stores do not restore much confidence." Lauren Markham in The New Republic.

CALDWELL: Trouble at the borders adds to Obama’s woes. "Mr Obama has thus laid out a request for $3.7bn to pay for personnel and facilities, from judges to jail cells to surveillance drones. The proposal does not include an amendment to the 2008 law. It may have to. The administration has warned that the country could face 150,000 refugees from Central America if Republicans do not agree to 'comprehensive immigration reform'. In its present mood, though, the public does not want comprehensive immigration reform. It wants less immigration. The fortunes of Mr Obama’s party depend on his offering it." Christopher Caldwell in The Financial Times.

BAZELON: Blue-state disgrace. "Where should the 57,000 children who are already here go? The answer is: Every state should be raising its hand and offering to take some of them. This is not a border-state problem. It is not up to Texas and Arizona to carry this load just because they’re the first places the children land. States in the Northeast and the Midwest can take some of these kids too. Yet some states are looking only for excuses to say no. Their leaders—including in my own state of Connecticut — are behaving shamefully. This NIMBY response is the worst kind of hypocrisy, especially coming from supposedly liberal blue states. Got a star on the flag? That means you have to pitch in right now." Emily Bazelon in Slate.

Top opinion

WADHWA: A jobless future, no matter what the government does. "On all this, Summers is right. Within two decades, we will have almost unlimited energy, food, and clean water; advances in medicine will allow us to live longer and healthier lives; robots will drive our cars, manufacture our goods, and do our chores....Summers is wrong, however, in his belief that governments can do as they did in the industrial age: create 'enough work for all who need work for income, purchasing power and dignity.' They can barely keep up with the advances that are happening in technology, let alone develop economic policies for employment. Even the courts are struggling to understand the legal and ethical issues of advancing technologies." Vivek Wadhwa in The Washington Post.

KLEINBARD: Stop the inversions. "Fundamental corporate tax reform is urgently needed, but the path forward has two prongs. First, Congress should enact a temporary law to preserve the status quo, and thereby the corporate tax base, by treating inversions according to their economic substance, and by foreclosing the 'hopscotch' strategies described above. Without this, there will be no corporate tax base left to reform. Then both parties need to get serious about substantive reform, lowering the rate to say, 25%, and imposing a stable international regime that works well with territorial systems in other countries. The work Congress's tax-writing committees did last year shows that reform is possible. Now congressional leadership needs to make it a priority." Edward D. Kleinbard in The Wall Street Journal.

GABLE: Ending narrow-network plans may not be a good thing. "Nearly half of all plans offered on the exchanges are narrow network options, so this could mean higher premiums in the future...for millions of Americans. So it’s quite possible, in many cases, wider networks might not actually increase access to care. While access is important, better (or just more convenient) access could come at the cost of potentially unaffordable premiums, it seems unlikely that access will be meaningfully improved. It’s a shame that higher premiums forced consumers into narrow-network plans they may not have wanted, but complaints about those plans could backfire if it just leads to more costly regulations." Callie Gable in National Review.

BUCHANAN: The downside of efficiency. "Consider, for example, the constant improvement of crop yields. On the surface, it's a classic illustration of Adam Smith's assertion that society benefits from individuals' desire to enrich themselves....This relentless pursuit of efficiency, though, has repercussions that humans are only beginning to understand....Better environmental stewardship won’t always improve a farmer's bottom line. Sometimes the benefit will go to society as a whole. Which is why, despite Adam Smith's insights, we can't always count on self-interest to realize socially desirable ends." Mark Buchanan in Bloomberg View.

McGEE: Don't devalue what Yellen says on stocks. "Clearly, Yellen’s Fed wants to do what it can to keep bubbles from forming while waiting on monetary policy changes...that could undercut some of the economic momentum that may be building. But just because we don’t need to fear that Yellen will quickly follow up her words with interest rate changes just yet doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to what she is saying. More than any other single individual in the U.S. financial system, Janet Yellen is in a position to see what is taking place in the economy and its financial markets, and to spot pockets of risk or overvaluation as soon as they appear. Sure, she may be early, and she’s unlikely to be an expert on specific stocks...but that doesn’t devalue her perspective." Suzanne McGee in The Fiscal Times.

FLAVELLE: A carbon tax even Republicans could support? "So the challenge remains convincing voters why a carbon tax is worthwhile even though energy costs increase. Optimists will say that's just a marketing problem; maybe they're right. But this latest survey suggests that, at a minimum, the policy most likely to gain support, even in the face of opposition to higher energy costs, isn't necessarily the one that puts money back in people's pockets. And maybe Republicans aren't as averse to government spending as everyone thought. Amdur died before the results of this survey were published. His research suggests, however, that the path to a carbon tax with bipartisan appeal isn't hopeless after all." Christopher Flavelle in Bloomberg View.

'Star Wars' interlude: Abrams teases "Star Wars Episode VII" X-Wing fighter.

2. What will voters do about Congress? Not much

Issues pile up in Congress. "Tens of thousands of migrants are streaming across the Texas border, and President Barack Obama is asking Congress for nearly $4 billion in aid. A commercial airliner was shot down over Ukraine, escalating long-simmering tensions between Russia and the United States. Another war is breaking out in the Middle East....On Capitol Hill, federally backed terrorism insurance expires at the end of the year, and everyone from construction companies to insurance agencies are scrambling. And the government-backed Export-Import Bank also is set to end, leaving U.S. corporations that do business overseas potentially facing a jolt if some conservative Republicans succeed in their bid to prevent reauthorization." Jake Sherman in Politico.

...And Congress punts. "Senate leaders are set to join the Republican House soon to replenish the ailing Highway Trust Fund for just a few months. When lawmakers return to Washington in September...they’ll very likely have to come together on a short-term funding bill to keep the government open....And when kicking the can won’t work, lawmakers may simply avoid any decision at all. A deal to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs is faltering in the final stages while Congress is nowhere near an agreement to address the surge of children crossing the southern border. And forget any talk of a grand bargain on issues like immigration reform or a tax and budget package....The stagnation in this Congress...only bolsters the perception that this is really the least productive in history. And a thaw doesn’t appear to be in the offing." Burgess Everett in Politico.

Chart: Congress does get things done — in the lame-duck session. Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post.

'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna turn out to vote anymore!' "Americans are angry at Congress....So it's time to throw the bums out, right? Well, not really. In fact, Americans appear prepared to deal with their historic unhappiness using perhaps the least-productive response: Staying home. A new study shows that Americans are on-track to set a new low for turnout in a midterm election, and a record number of states could set their own new records....The poll reinforces that, no matter how upset people are with Congress, they still aren't really feeling the need to do much of anything about it. Some might argue that they feel powerless...but failure to even vote suggests they're not really interested in trying — or maybe they're not really all that mad." Aaron Blake in The Washington Post.

Term limits, marijuana and dynamite: How Americans say they would fix Congress. "Some variation of 'fire them all' was the most popular response, which is hilarious and tragic considering the incumbency advantage appears to be just as strong as ever this year. Fourteen percent of respondents formed a 'can't we all just get along' caucus, saying that bipartisan cooperation is the key....Term limits were another popular solution, favored by 11 percent of Americans. But a full 10 percent of responses that didn't fit anywhere else were packed into a mysterious 'other' category — what could they be? Fortunately for us, Gallup recently posted a document with the full verbatim responses." Christopher Ingraham in The Washington Post.

Executive nominees start to pile up. "There are 224 executive and 29 judicial nominations awaiting Senate action, according to the White House, including many whose lives have been on hold for a year or more. The Senate last year used the 'nuclear option' to change the rules so a simple majority can confirm most nominations — and that move has shrunk the judicial backlog. But a backlog has built up in executive branch nominees, including 56 ambassadors....After the rules change, Republicans retaliated by slow-walking numerous nominees; the rules change allowed a simple majority to advance nominees but kept in place time limits that allow Republicans to force Democrats to burn days of floor time to get to a final vote." Niels Lesniewski and Humberto Sanchez in Roll Call.

9/11 panel chairs slam Hill 'dysfunction.' "Congressional ‘dysfunction’ on counterterrorism and national security makes the United States less safe, the heads of the former 9/11 Commission charge in a new report. Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a Republican, and former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, slam Congress’ bureaucracy and intransigence in a new report out Tuesday, marking 10 years since their first one. The 9/11 Commission chairmen and their former panel members found the U.S. as a whole has made progress since then — but Congress has not." Philip Ewing in Politico.

It's virtually impossible to be a successful modern president. "The arc of Clinton's presidency is the most different from the other two but that's largely because of the attempt to impeach him, a move that fundamentally re-shaped his presidency. The similarities between the Bush presidency and Obama's tenure are striking in that the trends — rank partisanship, the decline of the bully pulpit — that Clinton had only to grapple with toward the end of his time in office have accelerated exponentially over the past 14 years. And the result has been the same in both cases: A president who a majority of the country disapproves of and a country even more split along ideological lines on, well, everything." Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post.

LaRAJA AND SCHAFFNER: Want to reduce polarization? Give parties more money. "In a recently released Brookings Institution report, Tom Mann and Anthony Corrado aim to set the record straight about the impact of campaign finance reform on political parties. First, they say that reforms...have not weakened the parties. Second, they brush aside arguments that making campaign finance laws more party-friendly would reduce ideological polarization between the two sides. Our new research suggests that they could be wrong. In our forthcoming book, we show that campaign finance laws that empower parties do lead to less polarization. Party organizations do, in fact, behave differently than other partisan groups by mediating ideological sources of money and funneling it to moderate candidates." Ray LaRaja and Brian Schaffner in The Washington Post.

Kim Jong Un interlude: North Korea is not amused by this video.

3. The economic struggles of young minorities

Obama to expand 'My Brother's Keeper.' "President Obama on Monday announced an additional $100 million in funding for his racial justice initiative 'My Brother’s Keeper,' a public-private program that focuses on the unique challenges faced by young men of color. In all, the program has attracted $300 million in funding for an effort that the president has said will continue long after he has left the White House and will make up much of his post-presidential work....But MBK is not without its critics, who on the one hand applaud the President and his administration for recognizing the need to develop targeted approaches for young men of color, but also argue that young women and girls of color are in similarly dire straights." Nia-Malika Henderson in The Washington Post.

The numbers on black males' struggles. "By the ninth grade, 42% of black male students have been suspended or expelled, according to White House data. That compares with 14% of white males of the same age. And though blacks make up 16% of the youth population, they represent 28% of juvenile arrests. Nearly twice as many young black men are not working or enrolled in school compared with their white counterparts, the data say. Because of that disparity, those men are not building the skills they need to succeed later in life, Obama said." Rebecca Bratek in the Los Angeles Times.

Silicon Valley's diversity problem. "Technology companies have a problem when it comes to employee diversity. The workforce at places like Google and Facebook is overwhelmingly white and male. To counter that, a growing number of nonprofits are popping up in Oakland to help young blacks and Latinos break into the industry." Aarti Shahani in NPR.

Youth unemployment crisis hits African Americans hardest. "Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent. Of course, discrimination could be a factor. But according to William Spriggs, an economist at Howard University, the trend is also being driven by a sluggish economy." NPR.

Recent college grads are seeing sluggish wage growth. "Recent college graduates are paying a price for entering the workforce in the shadow of a deep recession: Their wages are growing far more slowly than the U.S. average....College graduates typically earn more and enjoy more job security than workers without a degree. The unemployment rate in June for workers over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 3.3%, compared with 5% for all workers 25 years and older and 6.1% for all workers 16 and older, according to the Labor Department. But economists know that having the bad luck to graduate during a recession can have long-lasting consequences, including lower earnings for years to come." Ben Leubsdorf in The Wall Street Journal.

Child poverty rates are on the rise. "The 25th edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book found that about 23% of children in 2012 are living in families below the poverty line. The KIDS COUNT Data Book takes into account four factors to judge children's well-being — economic status, education, health and family and community....Poverty rates, which dropped from 1990 to 2000, saw an increase in the early 2000s – reaching 22% in 2010, and remaining at roughly the same level since....These low-income families are still struggling to recover from the recession. With fewer resources being available from government programs like Medicaid or Medicare, and higher costs for housing and transportation, poorer families are staying poor." Hoai-Tran Bui in USA Today.

Related: Improved parenting may shield low-income kids from effect of poverty. Melissa Healy in the Los Angeles Times.

Chart: Has the food stamp wave crested? Philip Bump in The Washington Post.

Science interlude: We only use 10 percent of our brains? Sorry, that's a myth.

4. Local energy battles rage on

Colorado Democrats have a fracking problem. "The ferocious battle over fracking — the method used to extract natural gas — is being fought across the country, bolstered by the movie 'Gasland,' which portrays the industry in an unflattering light, and the sight of drilling rigs across the fence from school grounds. But the skirmish in Colorado is unique on several fronts and brings with it the potential for enormous political consequences. For example, Gov. John Hickenlooper — though a Democrat, the party most seen as being friendly to environmental causes — cannot count on fracktivists' support." Lynn Bartels in The Denver Post.

North Dakota has a natural gas-flaring problem. "The rapid escalation of energy production in shale formations across the U.S. has produced a bonanza of oil, but it has left many states scrambling to handle the natural gas that often flows in large volumes along with the crude. Gas pipeline construction often lags behind the development of new wells, and the result is that billions of dollars' worth of gas that might be warming homes or fueling power plants is going up in smoke. The issue is at its most severe in North Dakota, where the amount of gas flared in the Bakken oil field has nearly tripled since 2011, sending gas worth more than $1 billion a year into the sky." Paresh Dave in the Los Angeles Times.

And the Obama administration may have just created a new area of conflict with environmentalist allies. "The department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management finalized a plan that lays out a series of environmental restrictions — aimed at protecting marine life, such as whales, dolphins, and sea turtles — for companies seeking to look for oil in mid- and South Atlantic waters. A number of companies have applied for permits for testing that would update old estimates of oil and gas underlying the waters that have long been off-limits to drilling. The plan is a blow to environmentalists who say that the underwater blasts will wreak havoc." Ben Geman in National Journal.

Maine town aims to stop flow of Canadian oil-sands crude. "On Monday night, South Portland’s city council is expected to approve a ban on the export of crude oil from the local waterfront. The ordinance would effectively close off the possibility of using an existing Maine-to-Montreal pipeline to ship Canadian crude through the U.S. Northeast for export. The vote follows a year-and-a-half-long campaign by residents, city officials and local environmental groups who say they are worried that piping tar sands crude — a particularly heavy and carbon-intensive form of oil — into South Portland would dirty the local air and water and increase global emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases." Maria Gallucci in International Business Times.

Ban on most crude-oil exports seen dying one ruling at a time. "As much as 1.2 million barrels a day may be freed for export on the recent rulings alone. The ban was passed by Congress in 1975 in response to the Arab oil embargo that cut global supplies, quadrupled crude prices and created gasoline shortages in the U.S. at a time when the country’s own crude production was shrinking. Now that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are unleashing record volumes of light oil from U.S. shale formations and a glut of crude is pooling along the Gulf Coast, federal policy makers are facing increasing pressure to ease the restriction." Lynn Doan in Bloomberg.

A battle is brewing, meanwhile, on LNG exports. "While some lawmakers have embraced export policy changes for liquefied natural gas that the Energy Department announced in May, industry groups voiced clear opposition Monday, the last day to file comments on the proposal....The Energy Department is responsible for evaluating the potential national effects of LNG exports, which it previously authorized on a case-by-case basis with a conditional approval based on the order applications were received. Following industry pressure to expedite the process, the department proposed doing away with the conditional approval and instead issue only a final approval once a project had completed required environmental reviews." Randy Leonard in Roll Call.

Strange birdfellows: Plight of sage grouse brings together odd coalition. "The greater sage grouse...has seen its numbers plunge far and fast. Now, federal officials are weighing putting it on the endangered species list — setting off a mad scramble among the unlikeliest of allies to save the bird and avoid disrupting the nation’s enormous growth in energy production....The grouse is at the center of one of the country’s most important struggles: to balance the demand for energy against the needs of nature. And in the process, it has put two environmental priorities — preserving species and fostering renewable energy — on a collision course." Diane Cardwell and Clifford Krauss in The New York Times.

Other energy/environmental reads:

What does the Foxx say? Oil train rules will be comprehensive. Jennifer A. Dlouhy in the Houston Chronicle.

How should we teach climate change in schools? Clare Foran in National Journal.

Biotech interlude: The milk of the future?

Wonkblog roundup

Chart: Americans can’t stop eating Chipotle’s burritos. Roberto A. Ferdman.

Uber is tapping into the too-drunk-to-drive market, user data suggest. Emily Badger.

Why more companies want pensions off their books. Michael A. Fletcher.

Term limits, marijuana and dynamite: How Americans say they would fix Congress. Christopher Ingraham.

There’s little evidence that fewer prisoners means more crime. Emily Badger.

A quarter of McDonald’s restaurants in China may have been serving expired meat. Roberto A. Ferdman and Jiaxi Lu.

Obama’s LGBT order is both narrower and more sweeping than the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. Christopher Ingraham.

We asked you to Name That Data, and you did. Christopher Ingraham.

Inequality in life expectancy has widened in America. But at least we’re narrowing inequality at birth. Zachary A. Goldfarb.

Et Cetera

Obamacare premiums aren't living up to doomsday predictions. Sam Baker in National Journal.

Online sales tax is back — and this time, it might actually have a shot at passing. J.D. Harrison in The Washington Post.

Detroit workers vote for benefit-cutting bankruptcy plan. Steven Church in Bloomberg.

Air insurers worry after Malaysia Airlines' latest crash. Keith Bradsher in The New York Times.

9/11 Commission report authors warn nation of cyberattack threats. Adam Goldman in The Washington Post.

Senate report: Barclays and Deutsche Bank helped hedge funds skirt $6 billion in taxes. Danielle Douglas in The Washington Post.

Study finds elementary children like new healthier lunches. Caroline Porter and Stephanie Armour in The Wall Street Journal.

Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail us.

Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams and Ryan McCarthy.

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UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

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