Vowing to resign his speakership and House seat in October — citing frustrations with hard-line conservatives — on Friday, today the Ohio congressman called his right-wing foes “false prophets” who unrealistically promise to bend Congress to their will. High on their agenda is defunding Planned Parenthood, accused by an anti-abortion group of illicit fetal tissue sales. Boehner says that a threatened government shutdown over the issue won’t happen, and that he’ll get a new budget passed before he steps down, when many expect California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to take the reins.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It was massive. Pope Francis celebrated a final U.S. mass before upwards of 1 million faithful and secular fans alike in the City of Brotherly Love. Like a biblical whirlwind, he’s been cutting a swath through America’s soul, urging action on issues including climate change and human trafficking. The pontiff met with bishops, inmates and members of the Hispanic community in Philadelphia this weekend and told victims of priests’ abuse that “God weeps” over the crimes and that “all responsible will be held accountable.” Joe Biden showed up for a final goodbye before His Holiness departed for the Vatican.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now saying Western nations should initiate peace talks with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the major source of migrants flooding into Europe each day. That puts her at odds with French and American allies, who say that Assad must go. Wednesday’s EU summit sought solutions, such as a pledge to send $1.1 billion in aid for refugees. But they’re also going to boost aid to the Balkans, where two decades of peace between Serbia and Croatia are being strained by the week’s 60,000 arrivals.
Smoke got in their eyes. It wasn’t just U.S. regulators; Europeans were also reportedly misled by diesel data manipulation. The revelation that Volkswagen software fooled pollution tests led the world’s biggest carmaker to change CEOs and set aside $7 billion to cover repairs. The scandal — now involving 11 million VWs — could shift Europe’s focus from “clean” diesel, which researchers say isn’t so clean, to sustainable alternatives. As the fallout spreads, Mercedes-Benz will be convincing skeptical environmentalists that its claims are kosher, while the EPA scrambles to devise road tests to prevent future smog fraud.
France launches airstrikes against ISIS positions in Syria. (CNN)
Pilgrim stampede death toll rises to 769 as Hajj ends in Mecca. (WSJ) sub
Thousands march in memory of 43 missing Mexican students. (BBC)
Stargazers await tonight’s rare ‘supermoon’ eclipse. (NYDN)
Australia warns Chris Brown of visa denial over Rihanna assault. (USA Today)
He wanted to play football. But Rob Hayes cheered his school team from the bench, which might explain his journey to conquer Silicon Valley — in a support role. His venture capital firm, First Round Capital, helped bankroll successful companies like Square and Mint.com, but that seems inconsequential after a little ride-sharing app caught his eye in 2010, when FRC joined a $1.3 million investment round. Uber is now worth $50 billion, and Hayes is a VC star who has decided to invest more time in bringing his family along for the ride.
They think, therefore … what-ever. The French are famous for their philosophy — but their time in the soleil may be over. Some worry that French thought, once a global powerhouse of rational analysis, is suffering from ennui and self-absorption. That may be a defense mechanism against facing the legacy of French colonialism and today’s racial divide. But some of La République’s intellectuals are arguing that multiculturalism and pluralism are among those classic ideals — recognizing, like Descartes, that our greatest power is over our thoughts.
Sustainable farming’s future might have its roots in the Ice Age. The hills of the Driftless, in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, escaped the glaciers and drift (glacial debris) that flattened the surrounding plains. The result is a unique set of conditions that makes its slices of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois just about perfect for local organic farmers — and the heartland’s most progressive politics. Native Jamie Richard hopes to export those meat and dairy treasures, so coveted by blue-state aficionados, to big-city consumers in nearby Chicago and Milwaukee.
He couldn’t stay off the streets. Becoming a typist at his dad’s office after quitting the Velvet Underground 45 years ago, the gritty artist was coaxed back into the studio by a young glam star named David Bowie. What followed was Reed’s then-overlooked 1972 self-titled masterpiece, and a reunion concert with the Velvets and collaborator Nico — Reed’s ex-squeeze — adding disembodied despair to a moment in indie music history. It’s all detailed in the late singer’s new bio, Dirty Blvd., coming out Oct. 15 — promising a vicarious Walk on the Wild Side.
Everyone’s debating whether he’s had enough. The 39-year-old quarterback’s fingertips are numb and his mobility’s severely limited. But writer Charles Pierce argues that the worst is yet to come if the Denver Broncos captain doesn’t call it quits. As more reports surface on the pervasiveness of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, aka debilitating brain injuries, it’s likely Manning will take a hit that could seriously impair his life after football. Step away from his 70,000-yard NFL career now and he’ll enjoy his Hall of Fame induction with his wits about him.