Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Blame game for health care continues. WaPo reports Trump blames Freedom Caucus and far right. One member of the caucus, Ted Poe of Texas, resigns over health care failure.
Comment: No news here, IMO. Everybody blames everybody. But the main things to notice are (a) how little of the blame is attaching to Trump and (b) how unprepared the R’s were to govern after 7 years of making this issue their top priority.
The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements. –Washington Post
Comment: Kushner, age 36 and Trump’s son-in-law, is a rising power in the White House. Taking on an arteriosclerotic bureaucracy, where almost everyone has civil-service protections, will be an enormous challenge.
◆ After months of political difficulty, Germany’s Angela Merkel gets very good news from a state election, which her party won easily (New York Times)
Ms. Merkel is seeking a fourth term in national elections on Sept. 24, a race that has grown more challenging in recent weeks after her center-left rivals, the Social Democrats, unanimously selected a new candidate, Martin Schulz, to lead them into the fight. –New York Times
Comment: Merkel’s long tenure as German leader has lent stability to Europe and the EU.
The accident occurred when the driver of a second vehicle “failed to yield” to the Uber vehicle while making a turn, said Josie Montenegro, a spokeswoman for the Tempe Police Department.
“The vehicles collided, causing the autonomous vehicle to roll onto its side,” she said in an email. “There were no serious injuries.” –CNBC
Comment: Sounds like the Uber vehicles did not initiate the crashes, and it is unclear to me whether better tech and programming could have avoided them. That, I assume, is what Uber wants to figure out.
Comment: And they all get to pin “I’m Virtuous” Merit Badges on themselves.
◆ Scientists Turn Spinach Leaves into Beating-Heart Tissue (Science Alert)
Current bioengineering techniques, like 3-D printing, can’t build the intricate, branching network of blood vessels that makes up the heart tissue. However, a team of researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), University of Wisconsin-Madison and Arkansas Sate University-Jonesboro have successfully turned to plants. –Science Alert
Comment: Popeye smiles.