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Obama and Pope To Meet

Moral Action on Climate Justice Rally to coincide with Pope Francis’ congressional address tomorrow: Join the Moral Action for Climate Justice Rally to demand urgent action on the climate crisis – and a strong response to the cry of the Poor. Join the rally between 3rd and 7th Streets on the National Mall, 9/24, 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM. More info at and #followfrancis on Twitter.

Pope and President meet today. Roll Call: “Francis and Obama will discuss a host of shared interests, including improving economic opportunity, alleviating poverty, the environment, religious freedom and immigration, per the White House.”

Chinese president says he won’t manipulate currency, in advance of meeting with Obama. Reuters: “Xi, delivering a keynote address to some 650 business executives and other guests in Seattle, touched on a litany of issues that have strained U.S.-China ties. China will not manipulate its currency to boost exports and will never engage in commercial theft, he said, adding it will not discriminate against foreign businesses, will speed its market opening and make efforts to improve human rights.”

Clinton Opposes Keystone

Hillary Clinton comes out against Keystone. The Hill: “Clinton announced her shift at a campaign event in Iowa, one of two early-voting states where some polls have shown Sanders in the lead. ‘I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I think it is, as a distraction to the important work we have to do on climate change,’ she said.”

Will Hillary go farther on the environment? TNR’s Rebecca Leber: “The key is whether she continues to focus on policies that discourage the production of fossil fuels, like mining and drilling on public lands. The federal government leases 67 million acres to the fossil fuel industry, and Obama has approved leases for a quarter of them.”

Nine major corporations to pledge 100% renewable energy use. NYT: “Nine major companies are expected on Wednesday to join a global coalition of firms intent on converting to renewable energy. The new members include Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks,Walmart and Goldman Sachs.”

Biden Boom?

Biden bump in Bloomberg poll: “Clinton, once the prohibitive front-runner, is now the top choice of 33 percent of registered Democrats and those who lean Democrat, the poll shows. Biden places second with 25 percent and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is at 24 percent.”

Clinton would empower Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. The Hill: “[Clinton] accused pharmaceutical companies of ‘price gouging’ and ‘profiteering’ while millions of people struggle with skyrocketing healthcare prices … Like Sanders, Clinton on Tuesday pledged to give Medicare bargaining power over drug prices — a position she also adopted in her 2008 campaign.”

The Nation’s William Greider says neither Sanders or Trump are populists: “… they are both working within the established order. By definition, populism requires plain people in rebellion … but the great disturbances already roiling party politics suggest that the political status quo is vulnerable to more upheavals, particularly if timidity and stalemate continue to suppress meaningful change.”

Senate GOP vs. House GOP

Sen. Kelly Ayotte tells fellow Republicans not to shutdown. The Hill: “‘We all know where the votes are, and it’s not going to happen,’ the New Hampshire Republican said from the Senate floor. ‘I’m tired of the people on my side of the aisle who have been pushing this strategy…'”

Other Republican senators back “clean” bill to keep government open. Roll Call: “[Sen. Susan] Collins, R-Maine, said Tuesday after the weekly conference lunch that Republicans across the Rotunda should see the writing on the wall … ‘[Let’s] see, as the leader said, where the votes are, and then go to Plan B,’ Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota said … ‘I would support a clean CR,’ said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn …”

Federal workers prepare for shutdown. W. Post: “…the White House’s Office of Management and Budget is following a playbook last used in 2013 when a similar standoff resulted in parts of the government being closed for more than two weeks.”

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