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: 401,000. That's the number of barrels of oil the U.S. sent abroad each day in July, 54,000 shy of a March 1957 record, thanks in part to exemptions to an export ban.
Wonkbook’s Chart of the Day: This map shows all the countries — including the United States — that now have confirmed Ebola cases.
Wonkbook's Top 5 Stories: (1) Ebola is here, but you shouldn't panic; (2) Obamacare's limited first dose of drug-doctor payment info; (3) bringing back the long-term jobless; (4) climate-change mitigation doesn't always mean CO2; and (5) FCC sacks the NFL.
1. Top story: Here's how public health officials will try to stop Ebola in the U.S.
Man who came from Liberia to Dallas is the first U.S. Ebola case. "A man who flew from Liberia to Dallas this month was diagnosed with Ebola on Tuesday, becoming the first person to board a passenger jet and unknowingly bring the disease here from West Africa, where it has killed thousands of people in recent months. Experts had said that such an event was increasingly likely the longer the epidemic rages in West Africa. But health officials were quick Tuesday to tamp down any hysteria, emphasizing the ways in which the U.S. medical system is well equipped to halt the spread of the disease. 'We’re stopping it in its tracks in this country,' Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said." Mark Berman, Brady Dennis and Elahe Izadi in The Washington Post.
@HelenBranswell: Dallas #Ebola case shows that the West African outbreak isn't their problem, it's the world's problem. The focus needs to be on West Africa.
Explainer: Questions and answers about the U.S. Ebola case. Lauran Neergaard in the Associated Press.
Timeline: When did the man infected with Ebola arrive in the U.S.? The New York Times.
Here's why you shouldn't panic. "Critics have blamed American bureaucracy for slowing research into experimental therapies that may help treat the virus. Confronting the first infection diagnosed on U.S. shores, American bureaucracy is an asset rather than a liability. The country’s public health infrastructure is well equipped to detect, isolate, and track infections to keep them from spreading out of control. It’s precisely the kind of robust system missing in West African countries struggling to contain the outbreak....A team of CDC workers is en route to Dallas. They’ll work with local authorities to identify people potentially exposed, monitor them for symptoms, isolate those who get sick, and repeat the process if new cases arise." John Tozzi in Bloomberg Businessweek.
@Emma_Dumain: Also we should be responding to Ebola news feeling incredibly lucky we're in a country that can handle this better than others #DoneNow
But here's why we shouldn't get complacent either. "Ebola has hit doctors and nurses especially hard: More than 200 health care workers have already died from the current Ebola outbreak in Africa. And that’s a reminder that the Americans who initially treated the Texas patient diagnosed with Ebola might be at elevated risk....The longer the Ebola outbreak goes on, the greater the chance that the disease could mutate, too. Scott Gottlieb, who served as a top FDA official under President George W. Bush, has warned that there’s even a chance that Ebola could go airborne....The World Health Organization also warned that given the scale of the outbreak, there’s a possibility that Ebola will go from epidemic to 'endemic' in West Africa." Dan Diamond in Forbes.
@tcarmody: Yes, Ebola is a MUCH bigger deal in Africa & yes, influenza is a much bigger deal here. But fatal diseases jumping continents is a big deal.
Background reading: Fact or fiction: Will the Ebola virus go airborne? Probably not. Dina Fine Maron in Scientific American.
Yes, you can fly with Ebola. "People are screened for elevated temperatures before they're allowed to board planes departing from the countries where Ebola is raging. Fever is one of the earliest symptoms of Ebola, but people can be infected for between two and 21 days without showing signs of illness.....These temperature checks aren't always effective. In the Dallas case, the man left Liberia on September 19, had his temperature checked at the airport, and arrived in America on September 20. He only developed symptoms on the 24th, however, and he was isolated four days later. Patients are only contagious when they're symptomatic, so there's no risk the people on the flight with the man caught Ebola. There is, however, a four-day window in which he might have infected others in the U.S." Olga Khazan in The Atlantic.
My date with a thermometer gun, the simple tool that's trying to contain a complex virus. Todd C. Frankel in The Washington Post.
There's really no way to screen for Ebola in airports. Patrick Tucker in Defense One.
Why you need to know about "contact tracing." "A major part of the public health response to the case in Dallas will be a process called contact tracing. Because you can only become infected by Ebola through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has the virus and is exhibiting symptoms, health officials need to identify every single person who has come in contact with the Dallas patient since Wednesday, when he became symptomatic. It's unclear exactly how many people the patient may have encountered between then and Sunday, when he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and placed in isolation." Elahe Izadi in The Washington Post.
Explainer: Ethical considerations now that Ebola has reached the U.S. Arthur Caplan in Forbes.
@Sci_Phile: The science doesn't change just because something is scary. We know how #Ebola reproduces and spreads. We can care for this patient and act.
Good news on the international front: Ebola has been stamped out in Senegal, Nigeria. "he Ebola outbreak may be over in two countries — Nigeria and Senegal — even as it continues to spread rapidly elsewhere in West Africa, U.S. health officials said Tuesday. No new Ebola cases have been diagnosed in Nigeria since Aug. 31, suggesting that the outbreak has been contained, according to a report Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....Health experts described the spread of Ebola to Lagos, a city of 21 million, as a potential catastrophe. It was also a wake-up call, because it was the first time that an Ebola patient had boarded an airplane and crossed from one country to another." Liz Szabo in USA Today.
U.S. military trying not to waste time in its response. "The United States plans to quickly increase its presence in Liberia, where military personnel are deploying to help the West African nation halt the advance of the worst Ebola epidemic on record, the general in charge of the mission said on Monday. Washington is sending some 3,000 soldiers to the region to build treatment centers and train local medics. Around half will be based in Liberia, with the rest providing logistical support outside the country." James Giahyue in Reuters.
Where things stand with treatments. "An experimental antibody cocktail being developed by the U.S. government, the Public Health Agency of Canada and two drug companies, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. of San Diego and Toronto-based Defyrus Inc. has shown promise in animal tests. Called ZMapp, the drug, produced using tobacco plants, hasn’t been tested in humans, but was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use for two of the infected American health workers who recovered. Safety trials in healthy humans may begin in the first half of next year, according to Defyrus. Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. also is testing its Ebola therapy, which was given to the third U.S. aid worker who recovered." Makiko Kitamura in Bloomberg.
Ebola researchers discuss a radical idea: Rushing a vaccine into the field. "Dr. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford, says the urgency of the Ebola situation has led to throwing traditional timelines 'out the window.' He's part of a team of doctors at Oxford University, the National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline who are rushing to create one of several new Ebola vaccines. Hill says their vaccine could be ready to give to health care workers as early as late November. That would be an extremely fast pace compared with the typical timeline for developing a new vaccine." Caitlin Dickerson in NPR.
Rushing drugs and vaccines won't be a panacea, though. "Health officials are gearing up to test drugs and vaccines against Ebola in West Africa, and they hope to start within two months. That's an ambitious timeline for a process that often takes years. The challenge is to move forward as quickly as possible while minimizing the risks that come with unproven drugs and vaccines....Horby is heading a project funded by Britain's Wellcome Trust. He hopes to enroll the first patients by the end of November....Dr. Horby at Oxford says he still believes that public health measures — like finding and isolating people sick with Ebola — will have the biggest impact on stopping the epidemic." Richard Harris in NPR.
KROLL: Why we should be optimistic about the first US Ebola diagnosis. "The only place where we run is risk is to lose our vigilance and become complacent. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was nearly contained in May. But Dr. Monroe said today that the global community failed to recognize that the outbreak was starting up again....I’m not worried today. Of course, I’m worried about the health of the Ebola victims and the family he came to visit in Dallas. We’ll see this through, even if the disease has spread beyond this patient. But I’m not worried about a U.S. Ebola outbreak in 2014. Where I’ll worry is down the road when Ebola comes here again. That’s when success today might lead to complacency, and even hubris, later." David Kroll in Forbes.
OSTERHOLM: The only guaranteed solution to the Ebola crisis. "In the end, the only guaranteed solution to ending this Ebola crisis is to develop, manufacture and deliver an effective Ebola vaccine, potentially to most of the people in West Africa, and maybe even to most of the population of the African continent. This is Plan C, and it is still a long way off. While the U.S government has done more than other international players to support the possibility of developing an effective vaccine, current efforts still fall short of what is needed to implement an effective vaccination strategy." Michael T. Osterholm in Politico Magazine.
THOMA: Why have policymakers abandoned the working class? "Which mistake is more costly — raising rates too soon versus too late — is not just a technical question....If the Fed raises rates too soon, it is working class households who will be hurt the most by the slower recovery of employment. If it raises rates too late allowing a period of elevated inflation, it is largely those who lend money, i.e. the wealthy, who will feel the impact....Why do we hear so much about the need to raise interest rates now rather than later, or get the deficit under control immediately despite the risks to households who are most vulnerable to an economic downturn? Those who are most in need...have the least power in our political system." Mark Thoma in The Fiscal Times.
FELDSTEIN: Why the Fed will move faster. "Similar studies by Robert Gordon of Northwestern University and by Glenn Rudebusch and John Williams of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank point to the same conclusion about the role of short-term unemployment and the irrelevance of long-term unemployment in the inflation process. While not all researchers agree with this analysis, I think the evidence is strong enough to represent a warning to the Fed and to market participants. Indeed, I would not be surprised by a continued rise in the inflation rate in 2015. In that case, the Fed is likely to raise the federal funds rate more rapidly and to a higher year-end level than its recent statements imply." Martin Feldstein in Project Syndicate.
ORSZAG: Patient health doesn't explain cost differences. "How ill people are explains, at most, half of the variation in Medicare costs across the U.S. That's only slightly more than the share the Dartmouth team itself attributes to health differences. To my reading, score one for the Dartmouth team. Then, there's the fact that if you happen to be taken in an ambulance to one hospital rather than another, your total medical costs in the episode are substantially different, even though the overall quality of care isn't. There are the differences in the way doctors describe how they would treat hypothetical patients. And there are the noticeable improvements in value of care that places...have been able to achieve by reducing clinical variation within their practices." Peter R. Orszag in Bloomberg View.
GALSTON: The middle-class litmus test for the economy. "When people like me write about the middle class, it has nothing to do with envy or class warfare—two shopworn epithets that should be retired from the political lexicon. The condition of the middle class—its size, income and self-confidence—reveals the extent to which economic growth increases opportunity. When the middle class is shrinking, when incomes of middle-class families are stagnating and when the heart of American society is losing hope in a better future, then the U.S. economy is in trouble. And so is the political system. Recent reports underline the dimensions of the challenge." William A. Galston in The Wall Street Journal.
KWAK: How not to regulate. "All of this is to say that the New York Fed is effectively captured. It consistently takes the side of the major banks it regulates, whatever the motives happen to be. Many have observed this before. For some people, like Tim Geithner, that’s justified, because what’s good for Wall Street (whether it be non-regulation of derivatives, emergency bailouts, or minimal capital requirements) is good for America. For others, like my colleague Simon Johnson (who has written about this repeatedly) and me, that’s a problem, because megabanks that can blow up the global financial system need closer and tougher supervision." James Kwak in The Atlantic.
COBB: Holder and the next protest movement. "Self-contradiction is commonly the price of achieving progress — Holder is not unique in this regard — yet the ultimate implications are troubling. If history is any indicator, the line between national security and suppression of dissent grows hazy in times of conflict. The final irony here is that Holder’s unimpeachable accomplishment has been to safeguard the legacy of one protest movement while upholding policies that will make it that much more difficult for a movement like it to take root in the future." Jelani Cobb in The New Yorker.
Inspiring musical performance interlude: Taylor Swift sings an Adele song with a cancer patient.
2. Obamacare's first dose of drug-payment information isn't very useful
‘Data dump’ reveals billions in pharma payments to docs, hospitals. "The government on Tuesday revealed in vast detail the financial ties between American medicine and the drug and medical device industries, publishing millions of records listing $3.5 billion in payments to doctors and hospitals over a five-month period. About 4.4 million records were available for search and download in the new Open Payments database, reflecting payments and other financial relationships that drug and device manufacturers had with 546,000 doctors and 1,360 teaching hospitals during the last five months of 2013. In its first hours, the website was tortuously slow. And it was incomplete....Data for a full 12-month period will be available in June, and missing recipients will be identified sometime next year, CMS said." Sarah Wheaton in Politico.
The data isn't very useful, at least for now. "As predicted, the data is messy and not easy to analyze. Many drug and device companies attributed payments to multiple subsidiaries, rather than reporting them under the name of a single parent company....Similarly, companies reported payments associated with particular drugs in different ways....Even more data was redacted than the government had said there would be....CMS had said it would not release about one-third of the payment data for the last five months of 2013 because of inconsistencies and other problems. But the issues affected a larger proportion of records than that." Charles Ornstein in ProPublica.
Additionally, much of the data lacks key context into otherwise normal drug-company payments. "Industry representatives have suggested the database could distort relationships that are either innocuous or promote valuable research. But those supporting the Sunshine Act say that when making medical decisions, patients have a right to know their doctor’s connections. Research from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that doctors who receive money from the industry will sometimes change their prescription practices based on those interests. In response to industry concerns, CMS is working to appropriately contextualize the information included in the database, Agrawal said." Shefali Luthra in Kaiser Health News.
Still, here's why all this matters. "Ninety-four percent of physicians had a 'relationship' with a drug or device company, a landmark 2007 New England Journal of Medicine study found. And the amount of money flowing in this arena is apparently much greater than previously known....ProPublica also found some big drugmakers had been scaling back payments to doctors for making promotional talks....Again, just the fact that there are financial ties doesn't alone indicate wrongdoing. But as the release of Medicare physician payment data demonstrated earlier this year, the transparency can help root out bad actors, waste and curious outliers." Jason Millman in The Washington Post.
A second court has dealt Obamacare's federal-exchange subsidies the death knell. "Judge Ronald A. White said that the administration’s decision to allow subsidies to go through either a state-run health insurance exchange or the federal exchange is an improper and invalid reading of the Affordable Care Act and must be struck....White’s ruling marks the second judgment against the government on the subsidy question and comes as the Supreme Court could decide whether to weigh in....Split decisions in U.S. appeals courts came earlier this year....The D.C. Court of Appeals...decided to have the full court, not just a three judge panel, rehear the case. The losing party in the 4th Circuit has already asked the Supreme Court to take the case." Jennifer Haberkorn in Politico.
Explainer: Will SCOTUS care? Legal observers disagree. Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic.
House Republicans issue subpoenas for subsidy information. It could be used in the subsidy cases. "Dubbed the 'Halbig subpoena' by Michael Cannon, who helped craft the lawsuit, the Republican chairman demands documents from the IRS and Treasury Department connected to the decision to provide Obamacare subsidies on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange. Issa points to the lawsuit, which alleges that the Affordable Care Act statute confines the subsidies to 'an Exchange established by the State' and not the federal exchange, built on behalf of 36 states which didn't build their own....Cannon wrote that the subpoenaed documents 'could have a big impact' on the cases." Sahil Kapur in Talking Points Memo.
Deadline arrives for immigrants to provide documents to keep ACA-obtained coverage. But some complain they didn't get fair warning. "About 115,000 people are expected to lose new coverage purchased through the federal health insurance marketplaces because they failed to provide documentation that they're U.S. citizens or they're legally present in the United States....But multiple notices from HHS warning people that they needed to provide further documentation were only provided in English and Spanish, failing to meet the diverse language needs of people purchasing Affordable Care Act coverage, according to immigrant advocacy groups filing the complaints on Tuesday." Jason Millman in The Washington Post.
Other health care reads:
Insurers are tweaking how they pay medical providers to emphasize quality over quantity. "Dan Gorenstein in Marketplace.
Many rural hospitals excluded from government's push for better quality. Jordan Rau in Kaiser Health News and the Chicago Tribune.
Time-lapse interlude: This time-lapse video shows lightning, an aurora, and a sunrise — from space.
3. Can we help the long-term unemployed in the new blue-collar era?
Long read: The new blue collar. "By 2017, an estimated 2.5 million new, middle-skill jobs like Poole's are expected to be added to the workforce, accounting for nearly 40% of all job growth, according to a USA TODAY analysis...Not all pay as much as Poole's, but all pay at least $13 an hour; many pay much more. These jobs require some training but far less school than a bachelor's degree. Technology has given many a makeover, leaving them worlds away from their assembly-line predecessors and challenging the notion that good blue-collar jobs are dead and that the only path to a good career is a four-year degree. 'There's a new middle. It's tougher, and takes more skill,' says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce." MaryJo Webster in USA Today.
White House economist chides businesses for not hiring long-term jobless. "Zients claimed today that many long-term unemployed are victims of technology: They’ve been unable to keep up with technological advances and changes that put them at a disadvantage in competing with others for job openings. President Obama and administration officials have long urged business leaders to give the long-term unemployed a fair chance to compete for new jobs, but with only modest results. 'We not only need targeted government programs, we need corporations to step up to the plate,' Zients said. Even if big business changes its hiring practices and the economy continues to improve, many workers may still face challenges. Eric Pianin in The Fiscal Times.
Long-term jobless perfectly employable. "That doesn’t mean that long-term unemployment is not a severe problem, says Josh Bivens, author of the paper and economist at the Economic Policy Institute....Federal Reserve officials have extensively discussed the potential damage to the economy from persistent long-term unemployment, and debated how much of it is amenable to help using low interest rate policies aimed at spurring stronger economic growth. The EPI study suggests most of the long-term unemployment problem is due to a weak economic backdrop, and will reverse once growth and the job market itself find themselves on a considerably stronger footing." Pedro Nicolaci da Costa in The Wall Street Journal.
Will deBlasio’s big raise for low-wage workers encourage other cities to follow suit? "The prospect of workers at the bottom of the labor heap—non unionized, often transient, and otherwise seemingly powerless—galvanizing a national movement to raise wages amid one of the worst job markets in decades seemed far-fetched. That was certainly the reaction less than two years ago when a couple hundred fast food workers walked off their jobs in New York demanding a raise to $15 an hour. Thee one-day strike, helped along by unions and other grassroots groups, eventually spread to 150 cities. Now, the idea of the nation’s least powerful workers demanding to be paid $15 an hour is not so surprising." Michael A. Fletcher in The Washington Post.
School spending by affluent is a widening wealth gap. "Education is supposed to help bridge the gap between the wealthiest people and everyone else. Ask the experts, and they'll count the ways....Plenty of data back them up. But the data also show something else. Wealthier parents have been stepping up education spending so aggressively that they're widening the nation's wealth gap....Their average education spending per child jumped 35 percent to $5,210 a year during the recession compared with the two preceding years — and they sustained that faster pace through the recovery. For the remaining 90 percent of households, such spending averaged around a flat $1,000, according to research by Emory University sociologist Sabino Kornrich." Josh Boak in the Associated Press.
Other economic/financial reads:
U.S. consumer confidence, home prices show weakness. Sam Forgione in Reuters.
Why the home-price slowdown is cause for alarm and celebration. Dina ElBoghdady in The Washington Post.
Lawyer tries to paint a Fed in discord in AIG bailout. Aaron M. Kessler in The New York Times.
Argentina defies U.S. court order by depositing debt payment. Jorge Otaola in Reuters.
Animals interlude: Remember that cat-laser yearbook photo? Look at it now.
4. Another US step against a greenhouse gas not called CO2
US and India announce efforts to fight global warming. "The Obama administration reached an agreement with India on Tuesday on measures intended to accelerate that country’s shift to renewable fuels, steps that officials say will reduce carbon emissions while helping India’s new government extend electricity to all of its 1.2 billion citizens. The package, announced after talks between President Obama and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also contained a modest step toward reducing global emissions of hydrofluorocarbons....Indian officials formally agreed to engage in international discussions that the White House hopes will lead to a phaseout of the chemicals." Joby Warrick in The Washington Post.
ICYMI: Obama’s biggest climate change victory might have nothing to do with carbon dioxide. Max Ehrenfreund in The Washington Post.
EPA: Emissions from power plants up... "Greenhouse gas emissions from power plants rose last year partly because of an increase in coal used for generating electricity, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. In all, emissions from large facilities across all industrial and economic sectors rose 0.6 percent in 2013, the EPA said....Power plants are the largest source of emissions....The news comes just days after the Energy Department said carbon dioxide emissions rose 2.7 percent the first six months of this year compared with the first half of 2013. The EPA has floated a proposal to reduce power plant emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030." Zack Colman in the Washington Examiner.
...and emissions from oil and gas operations down — with a caveat. "Greenhouse gas emissions from oil and natural gas production and distribution declined 1 percent between 2012 and 2013, the EPA’s data show. A major part of that decline included a major drop in methane emissions from oil and gas development. Methane is about 35 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 100-year timeframe....The data include only emissions that the industry reported to the EPA. Studies published recently have shown, however, that large quantities of methane may be leaking from oil and natural gas drilling, production and distribution sites." Bobby Magill in Climate Central.
We’ve killed off half the world’s animals since 1970, and our carbon consumption is a big reason why. "The declines are almost exclusively caused by humans' ever-increasing footprint on planet earth....The only reason we're able to run above max capacity — for now — is that we're stripping away resources faster than we can replenish them. Carbon consumption — the burning of fossil fuels — represents a huge and growing chunk of the demand we put on the earth....At the country level, China is now the leading drain on the earth's resources. China accounts for nearly 20 percent of the overall demand, with the U.S. a distant second at 13.7 percent." Christopher Ingraham in The Washington Post.
Other environmental/energy reads:
U.S. may push for international Arctic drilling standards. Jennifer A. Dlouhy in the Houston Chronicle.
Oil industry wants 7 to 10 years to phase out tank cars. Jennifer A. Dlouhy in the Houston Chronicle.
Nebraskans raise voices in fight against Keystone XL pipeline. Mitch Smith in The New York Times.
Science interlude: Do you really only use 10 percent of your brain?
5. The FCC is tackling the NFL
FCC sacks sports blackout rule. "The rule was initially put in place in 1975 amid concerns of flagging attendance at live sports games. At the time, almost 60 percent of NFL games were blacked out on broadcast TV because not enough fans were showing up at stadiums. Today, that figure stands at less than one percent, and professional football is so popular on TV that programming contracts contribute 'a substantial majority of the NFL’s revenues,' said FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. The NFL has warned that ending the blackout rule would hurt consumers by encouraging leagues to move their programming exclusively to pay TV. But Pai pushed back against those claims Tuesday, saying teams can’t afford not to air their games on broadcast TV." Brian Fung in The Washington Post.
But the move may not change much for now. "The rule change may not trigger significant changes for football fans since almost all NFL games are sold out. The league may still establish its own blackout rules through private contracts they set with broadcasters and cable companies....But the FCC's rule change, approved unanimously by all five commissioners, means the agency no longer prohibits cable and satellite operators from airing any sports event that had been blacked out on a local broadcast station. And now they theoretically would be free to air a local game — one that has been blacked out on the local broadcast station — by carrying the broadcast of another station outside the market that's airing the game." Roger Yu in USA Today.
FCC will at least consider issue of saying Redskins name on air. "Could the Washington Redskins’ flagship local radio station lose its broadcast license for using the team’s name? Possibly, but probably not. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said Tuesday the agency will consider a petition from John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University law professor, not to renew the broadcast license of WWXX-FM....While Mr. Wheeler has been critical of the team’s name, it would be a significant step for the agency to strip WWXX-FM of its broadcast license for using the name. Hearings over the renewal of a station’s broadcast license have become rare in recent years, and many other stations also discuss the Redskins frequently, and could be subject to similar treatment." Gautham Nagesh in The Wall Street Journal.
Other tech reads:
European Commission warns Ireland over tax treatment of Apple. Patricia Cohen and James Kanter in The New York Times.
NSA eavesdropping is still roiling relations with Germany. Matthew Schofield in McClatchy Newspapers.
Feds say hackers targeted Microsoft, game makers. Randall Chase in the Associated Press.
Close call interlude: Driver makes it over drawbridge to other side unharmed as it's being lifted.
You can now track the billions that drug companies pay doctors and hospitals. Jason Millman.
Why early voting is about so much more than convenience. Emily Badger.
White people are more likely to deal drugs, but black people are more likely to get arrested for it. Christopher Ingraham.
Growth in home prices keeps slowing, and that’s still good news. Dina ElBoghdady.
The definitive guide to how people around the world snack. Roberto A. Ferdman.
How Wall Street took over the Forbes 400. Matt O'Brien.
Will deBlasio’s big raise for low-wage workers encourage other cities to follow suit? Michael A. Fletcher.
HHS is kicking immigrants off Obamacare coverage without fair warning, complaints allege. Jason Millman.
We’ve killed off half the world’s animals since 1970. Christopher Ingraham.
EU thinks Apple’s tax deals are rotten. Here’s why. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel.
Why one investor bought land — instead of homes — during the housing bust. Dina ElBoghdady.
Low-income drivers face higher auto insurance, even when they have clean driving records. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel.
The 1 percent is way more politically active than you are. Christopher Ingraham.
The Fed and Treasury should work more closely together. Say what? Ylan Q. Mui.
Pretty much every economist you’ve ever heard of thinks Uber and Lyft could boost consumer welfare. Emily Badger.
Secret Service lapsed in Atlanta trip. Susan Crabtree in the Washington Examiner.
Obama approves plan to let children in Central America apply for refugee status. Michael D. Shear in The New York Times.
First projects receive funding in Obama administration's BRAIN Initiative. Amy Ellis Nutt in The Washington Post.
Judge throws out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors’ lawsuit against government. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel in The Washington Post.
Air traffic meltdown puts FAA vulnerability in spotlight. Jon Hilkevitch in the Chicago Tribune.
IMF urges infrastructure spending to boost tepid global recovery. Andrew Mayeda in Bloomberg.
States take the lead on sexual assault reform. Kaveh Waddell in National Journal.
California law on campus sex assaults leaves some doubters. Richard Pérez-Peña and Ian Lovett in The New York Times.
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Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams and Ryan McCarthy.