Morning Reads

As we continue our effort to keep you up-to-date on how money corrupts American government and politics, as well as other news of the day, we’re pleased to publish this daily digest compiled by’s Michael Winship.

The Speaker yields –> The fallout continues from Friday’s surprise announcement by John Boehner that he would resign as Speaker of the House and retire from Congress at the end of October. The Washington Post’s Kelsey Snell wrote an optimistic scenario for what may be happening over the next few weeks — assuming that a continuing resolution (CR) prevents that threatened government shutdown. “Some Republicans are speculating that Boehner’s lame-duck status could free his hand to act on other measures that have bipartisan support but are despised by hard-line conservatives,” Snell reports. “Those measures could include a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, an extension of the federal debt ceiling, or a long-term highway bill.” On CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday, Boehner confirmed that scenario, but, as Snell adds, “All of them have been opposed by the same conservatives who have pushed for Boehner’s ouster.”

The New York Times’ Frank Bruni observed, “On Thursday, when John Boehner grew weepy in the presence of the pope, I assumed that we were seeing the tears of a proud Catholic. On Friday, when he announced that he’d be resigning as the speaker of the House of Representatives and leaving Congress at the end of next month, I revised that view. I think he was crying, at least in part, for the ill fortunes and uncertain future of his pathologically self-destructive party. It’s something that should have all of us sobbing.”

At Salon, Heather Cox Richardson adds, “Movement Conservatives are gunning for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell next. We should be very afraid. Boehner and McConnell are not wild-eyed lefties. They are on the very far right of the American political spectrum: fervently pro-business, antiabortion, opposed to social welfare legislation. But they are old-school politicians who still have faith in the idea of American democracy. Movement Conservatives do not. They want to blow up the government and remake America according to their own radical ideology.”

On the other hand, as The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz posted on Facebook yesterday, “Just a reminder for the news media: Boehner was actually trying to sue the President recently, so please stop acting like Nelson Mandela is retiring.”

Francis farewell –> The Pope ended his trip to the United States and Cuba and flew home last night after an outdoor mass in Philadelphia on Sunday that attracted a million or more spectators. Earlier in the day, he met with inmates from the city’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and, as Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress reports, at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary with the survivors of clerical sexual abuse: “The seminary’s local archdiocese has been the subject of scrutiny after two grand jury reports in 2005 and 2011 that showed the church had not taken proper action to prevent the rape and molestation of children by church leaders. Advocates bringing awareness to abuse in the Catholic Church have previously criticized Pope Francis’ remarks on the issue of child abuse within the church.”

“Greatest political show on Earth ” –> Julian Borger at The Guardian reports on the 70th United Nations General Assembly. He writes, “Within the space of two hours on Monday morning, Presidents Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and François Hollande will take their turn to speak. Each will try to anticipate and respond to the other, seeking rhetorical advantage and one-upmanship in their claims to global leadership.” Obama and Putin will meet privately on Syria.

Warren speaks out on racial inequality –> On Sunday, Senator Elizabeth Warren addressed Boston’s Edward M. Kennedy Institute. Wesley Lowery at The Washington Post described it as “perhaps the most full-throated endorsement to date by a federal lawmaker for the ongoing [Black Lives Matter] protest movement, and it drew immediate praise from some of the most visible activists.”

Warren: “Economic justice is not — and has never been — sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside. The tools of oppression were woven together, and the civil rights struggle was fought against that oppression wherever it was found — against violence, against the denial of voting rights and against economic injustice.”

“Judgment Day 2016” –> That’s the title of a new report from People for the American Way reminding us that whoever becomes the next president will have a huge impact on the ideology of the Supreme Court. Their analysis focuses on “more than 80 5-4 decisions the Court has issued since President George W. Bush pushed the nation’s highest court far rightward by putting John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court in 2005-6.”



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