Welcome to Wonkbook, Wonkblog’s morning policy news primer by Puneet Kollipara (@pkollipara). To subscribe by e-mail, click here. Send comments, criticism or ideas to Wonkbook at Washpost dot com. To read more by the Wonkblog team, click here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Wonkbook’s Number of the Day: 838,000. That's how many private-care referrals the VA has made for its patients over the past two months, up 25 percent from the same period last year.
Wonkbook’s Chart of the Day: America's changing refugee population, in four charts.
Wonkbook's Top 4 Stories: (1) Ferguson shooting police controversies; (2) education institutions' recent headaches; (3) fossil fuels' near-term outlook; and (4) how one conservative plan plays off Obamacare.
1. Top story: Chaos in Ferguson, Mo. as police use terrifying levels of force on protesters
Video: What happened last night in Ferguson. Frightening raw footage of protesters running from tear gas. The Washington Post.
"A heavily armed, militarised police force fired teargas and rubber bullets." "Demonstrators, who for hours had sniper rifles trained on them while they protested with their hands up as an emblem of peaceful protest, complained that they were subjected to military-style tactics as they fled through gas-filled residential side-streets, on a fourth night of tension." Jon Swaine in The Guardian.
Primary source and video: In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest. Wesley Lowery in The Washington Post.
@WesleyLowery: Apparently, in America, in 2014, police can manhandle you, take you into custody, put you in cell & then open the door like it didn't happen.
HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly arrested in Ferguson as well. "They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible," Reilly said. "The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald's and then sarcastically apologized for it." The Huffington Post.
@radleybalko: Summary of scary sh!t: Heavily militarized police presence in Ferguson. Protests banned. Journalists threatened. News helicopters barred.
@gregorykorte: I covered the 2001 riots in Cincinnati after police shot an unarmed black teenager there. What's happening in #ferguson seems 10x worse.
Even before shooting, a history of racial questions have long hung over Ferguson police. "The office of Missouri’s attorney general concluded in an annual report last year that Ferguson police were twice as likely to arrest African Americans during traffic stops as they were whites. And late last year, the state chapter of the NAACP filed a federal complaint against the St. Louis County police department, whose officers are now assisting Ferguson’s force since the shooting, over racial disparities in traffic stops, arrests and other actions." Wesley Lowery, Carol D. Leonnig and Mark Berman in The Washington Post.
Paramilitary police are changing law enforcement in the suburbs. "St. Louis County is just one of the many municipalities in the U.S. that now commands access to military equipment meant for war. The paramilitarization of suburban police forces, or the a suburbanization of paramilitary police forces, adds another question to those lingering over Brown's tragic death: Did the police response only make matters worse?...While the use of SWAT teams generally came to prominence in the 1970s as an answer to urban unrest (and as a form of police brutality), increasingly, the paramilitary tactics and equipment adopted by law-enforcement agencies are spreading beyond the cities to suburban areas and rural counties." Kriston Capps in The Atlantic CityLab.
@fordm: Why does a Missouri town of 21,000 need a police force more heavily armed than the mid-1980s Royal Ulster Constabulary?
Explainer: Ferguson, Mo., under siege after police shooting. The New York Times.
Did the Pentagon help fuel Ferguson's confrontation? "There is no evidence that any such equipment has yet been used in the Brown case and its aftermath. But such 'police militarization' is just one element of an often toxic relationship between minority communities and local police. Since the creation of the 1033 program by Congress in the early 1990s, the program has distributed $4.3 billion of excess equipment, ranging from innocuous office supplies to bomb-disposing robots and other advanced technology. The flood of military supplies...has pushed the culture of police forces far from its law-enforcement roots....In Ferguson, that change is most dramatically revealed in the images of camouflage-wearing police officers with assault rifles, body armor and multiple extra magazines." David Mastio and Kelsey Rupp in USA Today.
War gear flows to police departments amid post-9/11 era. Matt Apuzzo in The New York Times.
Is it time to reconsider the militarization of America's police? Radley Balko in The Wall Street Journal.
@ggreenwald: Police tactics in Ferguson are good reminder of the importance of @radleybalko's book on militarization of US police http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Warrior-Cop-Militarization-Americas/dp/1610392116
@JonathanLanday: @ggreenwald Story I wrote on the growing militarization of the US police ... in 1997. http://www.csmonitor.com/1997/0402/040297.us.us.2.html
The fire down in Ferguson is also hitting media. "Police in Ferguson, Missouri, have taken an aggressive stance toward journalists attempting to cover the protests surrounding the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old who was shot several times by an officer....Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, which has resulted in various injuries to media. Whitney Curtis, a New York Times freelancer, claimed to have been hit by a rubber bullet. David Carson, a photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wrote that he was 'ordered to leave [the] scene [and] threatened with arrest.'" Dylan Byers in Politico.
@petersuderman: Reason has been covering police resistance to being recorded for years. Here's @radleybalko in 2011: http://reason.com/archives/2010/12/07/the-war-on-cameras
Yes, you have a right to record the police. "The police don't have a right to stop you as long as you're not interfering with their work. They also don't have a right to confiscate your phone or camera, or delete its contents, just because you were recording them. Despite some state laws that make it illegal to record others without their consent, federal courts have held consistently that citizens have a First Amendment right to record the police as they perform their official duties in public....And the US Department of Justice under Obama has affirmed the court's stances by reminding police departments that they're not allowed to harass citizens for recording them. Sadly these rights are not always respected by the police." T.C. Sottek in The Verge.
@taylordobbs: Police in Ferguson telling media to turn off their cameras on a public street. Reminder: They can't do that. https://www.aclu.org/filming-and-photographing-police
Another debate concerning race and police use of force. "Brown's death has sparked tense protests in Ferguson and an uproar on social media over law enforcement and racial bias. Some studies have found that police officers are more likely to use excessive force toward black men, and critics are using Brown's killing as yet another example of the need to revisit law enforcement training and protocol....Many are asking: Under what circumstances does the law justify the use of deadly force by a police officer? And should police be subject to more oversight on this issue? The Justice Department is looking for answers as well." Sabrina Siddiqui in The Huffington Post.
Long read: For Michael Brown, wheels of justice may turn slowly. "As federal and local investigations into Brown’s shooting death unfold, Reed said more and more people want details and quick action....Reed’s hope to 'expedite' the investigation may not come to pass. Law enforcement officials say the inquiry into Brown’s shooting is complex — and won’t be resolved quickly....Once the investigation is done, it will be up to state and federal prosecutors to decide whether to indict the officer — whose identity has not been revealed. And at least one law expert said convicting the officer on federal charges could be very difficult." Jason Rosenbaum in St. Louis Public Radio.
Why the officer's name is still being withheld. "In Missouri, legal groups citing the state’s sunshine law, which requires government agencies to release most documents to the public, have joined with community leaders to press for information about the officer who shot Mr. Brown. By law, police departments have three days to comply, but if they choose to withhold an officer’s name, they could argue that circumstances warrant an exception. Then the petitioning groups would have to file lawsuits. There is no federal constitutional right, under the First Amendment, to information about government activities, including internal police reports....Rather, individual states have disclosure laws with varying degrees of bite, and the country’s thousands of law enforcement agencies have their own rules and subcultures regarding disclosures." Julie Bosman and Erik Eckholm in The New York Times.
Gov. Nixon will visit North St. Louis County. "The comments from Nixon marked a shift following four days of more restrained input. On Monday, the governor issued a statement calling for a federal investigation into the death of Michael Brown....On Tuesday, at a meeting of civic and faith leaders, Nixon asked for patience and peace as facts are being gathered in the case. But up until late Wednesday, he still apparently planed to appear at the state fair on Thursday as previously planned." Sean Sullivan in The Washington Post.
@PhilipRucker: Gov. Jay Nixon had been itching to expand his national profile, even eyeing 2016 run. His being AWOL tonight prob won't help. #Ferguson
@jeneps: With reporter arrests, seems like we're edging closer to the point where Obama has to do more than the written statement he released Tuesday
@fxmatt4: #Ferguson would be a tall order for the Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ Civil Rights Division... if the Senate would confirm one.
Other legal reads:
Shorter sentences for parole violators? Tim Devaney in The Hill.
SZOLDRA: The terrifying result of militarizing police. "Their uniform would be mistaken for a soldier's if it weren't for their "Police" patches. They wear green tops, and pants fashioned after the U.S. Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage pattern. And they stand in front of a massive uparmored truck called a Bearcat, similar in look to a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or as the troops who rode in them call it, the MRAP. When did this become OK? When did 'protect and serve' turn into 'us versus them'? 'Why do these cops need MARPAT camo pants again,' I asked on Twitter this morning. One of the most interesting responses came from a follower who says he served in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division: 'We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone.'" Paul Szoldra in Business Insider.
KING: A militarized night in Ferguson. "Nationwide, fifty-four per cent of the people who find themselves at the other end of these weapons are black or Latino. For many in this country, the scene from Baldwin’s essay has become so familiar that it now reads as unremarkable. But have we also become anesthetized to images of police in armored vehicles and full military gear? And has the proliferation of images on news and social-media sites made them seem any more normal? Anyone who stayed up late watching the police action in Missouri unfold saw things that did not seem, at least in theory, American. It’s long past time to ask what happens when we raise the threshold of what seems reasonable in a police deployment. If the next Ferguson looks no more militarized than the scene last night, will we excuse it?" Jay Caspian King in The New Yorker.
PITTS JR.: What the protests are really about. "Details are still too sketchy for us to draw hard conclusions about what happened that afternoon. But it is all too easy to understand what happened afterward and why good people should be paying attention. Because, again, this is not just about Brown. It’s about Eric Garner, choked to death in a confrontation with New York City Police. It’s about Jordan Davis, shot to death in Jacksonville, Fla., because he played his music too loud. It’s about Trayvon Martin....It’s about Oscar Grant....It’s about Amadou Diallo....It’s about Rodney King. And it is about the bitter sense of siege that lives in African-American men, a sense that it is perpetually open season on us. And that too few people outside of African America really notice, much less care." Leonard Pitts Jr. in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
ROY: Don't repeal Obamacare. Transcend it. "It’s actually possible to take advantage of one of the law’s core provisions — its tax credits for the purchase of private coverage — to reform America’s entire health-entitlement behemoth, and to finally put the country on a fiscally stable trajectory. Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to reform Medicare — giving future retirees 'premium support' subsidies to shop for private health insurance — is, in fact, quite similar to Obamacare’s usage of 'premium assistance' tax credits to offer coverage to the uninsured. So what if we used Obamacare to reform Medicaid and Medicare, by gradually migrating future retirees and Medicaid recipients onto a reformed version of Obamacare’s exchanges?" Avik Roy in Politico Magazine.
MIRHAYDARI: Job surge suggests higher wages, higher rates coming. "The stock market has been under pressure since late July. And while Ukraine, Iraq, Israel, and the Ebola outbreak are all certainly bothering investors, the main point of concern has been this: The approach of the first interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in eight years....Clearly, the Fed — which has become such a lynchpin for both the economy and financial markets given the severity of the downturn we suffered and the lack of any meaningful pro-growth policies out of Washington for years — faces a monumental balancing act: Gently normalize policy, not waiting too long for inflation to become a problem but not going too fast as to damage a fragile situation." Anthony Mirhaydari in The Fiscal Times.
LANE: Another tax reform solution — taxing consumption. "Graetz’s plan is undoubtedly susceptible to unintended consequences. The United States, and the world, rely on the American consumer to fuel growth, so higher consumption taxes here might be even more radical than Graetz realizes, and not necessarily in a good way. Still, the sterile debate over tax inversions illustrates the limits of traditional tax-reform thinking. Graetz would go beyond the 'lower rates, broader base' swap to a truly grand compromise — which, if it worked, might make this country more stable not only financially but also politically." Charles Lane in The Washington Post.
SPRECHER: Giving every patient that rare serum makes no sense. "Ebola is already expensive, and we can barely take care of our patients now. When one of our healthcare workers in Liberia dons their protective gear, just for one hour with their patients, they have spent the equivalent of what the government spends on healthcare per citizen for the entire year. It would be miserly of us not to go further to bring treatments that truly work to the people that need them. It is certainly encouraging to see the steps the WHO is taking to adopt exceptional regulatory procedures in the face of an exceptionally grave Ebola epidemic. It may not happen in time to help the victims of this outbreak, but it will happen, and it will change Ebola forever." Armand Sprecher in The New Republic.
ATLAS: Where Obamacare is going. "The recent Veterans Affairs scandal, following the disastrous ObamaCare rollout, was a red flag about problems of nationalized health. Now concrete evidence is coming in from other countries that have tried it for decades. The reality is that the key goals for health-care reform—reducing spending, expanding access to affordable coverage, preserving personal choice and portability of coverage, promoting competition in insurance markets, and maintaining excellence in medicine—do not require government to directly provide insurance or health care." Scott W. Atlas in The Wall Street Journal.
LINKER: Yes, the libertarian moment has arrived — sort of. "America clearly is becoming more libertarian — it's just that the transformation is happening in morality and culture, not in economic, tax, and regulatory policy. The swift and broad-based triumph of the movement for gay marriage and the rapid rise in acceptance of marijuana legalization are the most obvious examples. But the source of these changes is deeper than the policies themselves — and may lead to other changes down the road.The prophet of the moral and cultural libertarianism that is sweeping the nation may well be Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy." Damon Linker in The Week.
REINHARDT: A deal too good to turn down — unless it's Medicaid. "Some governors and other Republicans have expressed fear that, in the end, the federal government will just renege on the deal now being offered, leaving the states to pick up the entire tab of the Medicaid expansion. There actually is no historical precedent for this in Medicaid. But...states are free to drop out of the Medicaid expansion if they choose to....Straight economic theory makes me wonder how long these states’ citizens and the powerful lobbies of doctors and hospitals will sit by idly watching this behavior. My prediction is that these politically powerful interest groups will ultimately prevail and get the deal done." Uwe E. Reinhardt in The New York Times.
2. The latest challenges that educators face
Migrant wave tests schools. "Because the children generally lack English skills, have often received limited schooling and may have suffered emotional trauma, they present schools with a host of needs that could strain resources. With the new academic year already under way or soon to start, education officials around the country mostly have struck a welcoming tone....Many public schools, which must enroll children regardless of their immigration status, already have seen enrollment spikes of these recently arrived youngsters....Such students often require a variety of services, including subsidized meals, English-language instruction, tutoring and psychological counseling." Arian Campo-Flores and Miriam Jordan in The Wall Street Journal.
Now hiring: School consultant for unaccompanied immigrant students. "Oakland Unified School District posted a job opening this month for a 'support services consultant' to help unaccompanied immigrant students find legal help, as well as counseling, health and educational services. These students need extra assistance finding services because they don't have refugee status that would give them access to a social worker, food stamps or Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, said Carmelita Reyes, principal at Oakland International High School." Jolie Lee in USA Today.
How did campus sexual assaults command new attention? "President Obama has made cracking down on sexual assault a priority....A range of policies are being revamped — from what counts as rape to how schools handle investigations. The crackdown comes three years after the government fired its first warning shot at higher ed with a so-called 'Dear Colleague' letter that put schools on notice that failing to handle sexual assault properly could cost them their federal funding....But 'we're not out of the bad old days' yet, as one federal official put it. Schools are still blaming victims and failing to punish perpetrators. Under new legislation, those kinds of schools would face new sanctions in addition to the so-called nuclear threat that Catherine Lhamon, the U.S. Education Department's assistant secretary for civil rights, recently warned schools she's not afraid to use." Tovia Smith in NPR.
How many colleges now face Title IX sexual assault investigations: 76. Tyler Kingkade in The Huffington Post.
Technology aside: How smartphone apps could battle campus sexual assaults. Juana Summers in NPR.
For-profit college chain faces subpoena amid broader federal crackdown. "The beleaguered Orange County for-profit college company said in a filing that it received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles....The for-profit college industry has faced greater scrutiny from federal and state authorities in recent years, as attorneys general and federal investigators allege that some schools are aggressively targeting low-income students who are eligible for the maximum in federal aid. The Obama administration in March proposed new rules for the industry and other vocational schools that are intended to weed out bad actors that leave students with enormous debts and few job prospects." Chris Kirkham in the Los Angeles Times.
Other education reads:
Long read: Can you fight poverty by paying kids to go to school? Glenn Thrush in Politico Magazine.
Administration unveils new $250 million preschool grant program. Alyson Klein in Education Week.
Help is on the way for repaying student loans. Ann Carrns in The New York Times.
College graduates live with parents; why not? Chris Farrell in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Summer jobs are slowly disappearing. Ben Casselman in FiveThirtyEight.
Dancing interlude: Police have dance-off with kids.
3. What's the near-term outlook on fossil fuels?
World awash in oil shields markets from 2008-like shock. "Fighting across Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Gaza, and an accelerating economy, should mean higher oil prices. Yet crude is falling. Six years ago, oil soared to a record $147 a barrel as tension mounted over Iran’s nuclear program and the world economy had just seen the strongest period of sustained growth since the 1970s. Now, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark price, has traded below $100 for 10 days....What’s changed is the shale fracking boom. The U.S. is pumping the most oil in 27 years, adding more than 3 million barrels of daily supply since 2008. The International Energy Agency said yesterday that a supply glut is shielding the market from disruptions." Lynn Doan, Grant Smith and Moming Zhou in Bloomberg.
Explainer: U.S. oil production keeps surging. So why haven't oil and gasoline prices kept falling? Mark Perry in AEIdeas.
Oil-demand growth weakest since 2012. "Global oil demand growth eased to its weakest since 2012 last quarter, calming world markets amid threats to supplies in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA cut estimates for oil demand growth this year and next after the annual expansion in fuel consumption slowed to 700,000 barrels a day in the second quarter, the lowest level since early 2012. The resulting supply surplus has meant that Libya, seeking to restore crude exports choked off by political feuding, is struggling to find buyers, the agency said in its monthly market report. Logistical constraints in southern Iraq may prove a bigger hurdle to bolstering output than violence in the north, it said." Grant Smith in Bloomberg.
Keystone XL decision likely delayed until 2015. "The Nebraska Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a dispute over the planned route for the Keystone XL pipeline but a court ruling on the controversial project is likely to be delayed until the new year, lawyers and activists say. The court has scheduled oral arguments for Sept. 5 in Lincoln over the proposed path of the 1,200-mile (1,900-km) pipeline from Canada to Texas. Although it will be a talking point in several Congressional races, Keystone's fate is likely to remain in limbo during the Nov. 5 U.S. mid-term elections." Patrick Rucker in Reuters.
Natural gas could keep building on its record output in 2013. "The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday raised its estimate for U.S. natural gas production in 2014 to 5.3 percent over 2013's record high levels. In its August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the EIA said it expects marketed natural gas production in 2014 to rise 3.71 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) from 2013 to 73.89 bcfd, up a bit from last month's forecast increase. That would be the fourth straight annual record as strong increases in Texas and the Marcellus states offset declines in the Gulf of Mexico, EIA said, noting production in 2015 is expected to grow by 2.1 percent over 2014." Scott DiSavino in Reuters.
Coal makes a comeback — for now. "'Coal's share of U.S. electricity generation in the second half of 2014 will average almost 41% compared with about 39% last year,' said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski in comments alongside EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. But the comeback may be brief. The agency predicts that consumption will fall 2.7% in 2015. That's because more coal-fired power plants are going offline in response to EPA air-toxics rules, slowing electricity sales growth, and natural-gas prices coming back down relative to coal prices. Sieminski also noted that U.S. coal exports are lower this year due to weaker demand growth, lower foreign prices, and higher production from other exporters." Ben Geman, Jason Plautz, Clare Foran in National Journal.
As coal struggles, the blame game begins. "As the coal industry suffers through year after disappointing year in the U.S, there’s a growing divide in coal country over the reasons behind its current economic predicament. Some blame the federal government and its regulations. Others blame coal companies that have destroyed the environment, and then moved on to the next town. One thing is clear: For the people who relied on coal as a job provider, the situation is dire, and getting worse every day." Peter Moskowitz in Al Jazeera America.
U.S. anti-coal dominoes hit BRICS wall, other skeptics. "A year ago, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to mobilize the nation behind a grand plan: fight climate change by slashing carbon pollution at home, while prodding other countries to follow. A key part of that strategy was for the United States to stop using public money to finance the construction of most coal-fired power plants abroad....But a year later, momentum has stalled on the Obama administration's plan for a global 'domino effect' that would choke off financing for coal projects from public lending institutions around the world. Some key lenders continue to finance coal projects, and the Export-Import Bank of the United Stastes has put its ban on hold." Anna Yukhananov and Valerie Volcovici in Reuters.
Related: Will a new edict from the EPA kill coal in Wyoming? Jillian Kay Melchior in National Review.
Other energy/environmental reads:
With natural-gas byproduct, Iran sidesteps oil sanctions. Clifford Krauss in The New York Times.
Companies may be fracking into drinking water sources, research says. Neela Banerjee in the Los Angeles Times.
Decision could boost use of popular weed killer. Mary Clare Jalonick in the Associated Press.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge interlude: Check out this compilation of the best challenges from politicians.
4. A conservative plan to co-opt Obamacare
How one conservative wants to co-opt Obamacare. "His plan reforms and deregulates the insurance exchanges at the heart of Obamacare, and then, over time, relies on the exchanges to cover Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries — creating what he refers to as 'universal exchanges.' Roy argues that his vision for a reformed insurance exchange will help bring down premiums relative to Obamacare. To that end, his plan would return more power to the states, reduce the number of benefits that insurers are forced to provide, and allow insurers to charge older Americans more for insurance — meaning a lighter burden would be placed on younger Americans. In addition, he would scrap a health insurance tax, subsidize health savings accounts and encourage higher-deductible plans." Philip Klein in the Washington Examiner.
Explainer: Avikcare explained. Callie Gable in National Review.
Solving 2014 Obamacare problem pushes premium hikes in 2015. "Major carriers there in part blame such increases on the administration’s response to the furor that erupted when millions of Americans received notice last fall that their health policies would be canceled because they fell short of Obamacare requirements. Facing a barrage of criticism from Republicans and some Democrats, who accused him of breaking his promise that people could keep plans they liked, President Barack Obama relented. He told insurers they could continue offering those plans if states agreed. About two-thirds of the states took him up on the offer. But the president’s decision is now having an impact on upcoming rates." Brett Norman in Politico.
About 300,000 to lose Obamacare unless they prove their residency. "More than 300,000 people who haven’t documented their citizenship or legal residency in the U.S. face a Sept. 5 deadline to prove their eligibility or lose their Obamacare health coverage, the government said. In May, the U.S. said about 1 million people who signed up for private health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act lacked proof that they are citizens or legal residents. Since then, about 660,000 have documented their eligibility for the program or are doing so, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said today in a statement....Those who fail to prove their eligibility will lose coverage on Sept. 30, the government said." Alex Wayne in Bloomberg.
Other health care reads:
VA referrals to private doctors are on the rise. Adrian Sainz in the Associated Press.
They survived Ebola, and now they're shunned. Abby Phillip in The Washington Post.
This experimental Ebola drug might never reach Africa. John Tozzi in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Drug makers race to make Ebola medicines. Andrew Pollack in The New York Times.
Slow-motion interlude: Leaping slow-motion dog.
America’s changing refugee population, in 4 charts. Ryan McCarthy.
Why the drug industry hasn’t come up with an Ebola cure. Jason Millman.
The downsides of cheap corn. Roberto A. Ferdman.
Abenomics has only worked because foreigners think it will. Matt O'Brien.
The share of arrests for marijuana possession has more than tripled since 1991. Christopher Ingraham.
A top mortgage industry executive explains why banks don’t want to take a chance on some borrowers. Dina ElBoghdady.
This Fed hawk could signal a shift in the opposition. Ylan Q. Mui.
The "amnesty" card: GOP launches 2014 border war. Alexander Burns in Politico.
Fed officials say broker regulations need overhaul. Jeff Kearns and Matthew Boesler in Bloomberg.
Long read: Edward Snowden, the most wanted man in the world. James Bamford in Wired.
Rule change makes more companies vulnerable to U.S. sanctions. Anna Yukhananov in Reuters.
E-cigarettes under scrutiny for listing as flight hazard. Matthew L. Wald in The New York Times.
U.S. retail sales pause, seen rebounding in months ahead. Lucia Mutikani in Reuters.
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Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams and Ryan McCarthy.