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God's Politics

the latest news on election politics, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, press freedom, Generation Y, arms sales, voting rights, and select op-eds

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Election. Independent Voters Favor Democrats by 2 to 1 in Poll – “Two weeks before the midterm elections, Republicans are losing the battle for independent voters, who now strongly favor Democrats on Iraq and other major issues facing the country and overwhelmingly prefer to see them take over the House in November.” Latino and black voters reassessing ties to GOP – “A major effort to draw Latinos and blacks into the Republican Party, a central element of the GOP plan to build a long-lasting majority, is in danger of collapse amid anger over the immigration debate and claims that Republican leaders have not delivered on promises to direct more money to church-based social services.”

Iran. Iran tests second batch of centrifuges – “Iran has launched a second batch of centrifuges at its pilot nuclear-fuel plant amid efforts by the US and its Western allies to finalise UN sanctions against country for its nuclear stand.” U.N. Official Says Iran Is Testing New Enrichment Device – “The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the new uranium enrichment equipment could double Iran’s capacity.” IAEA Head: Iran Close To Enriching Uranium – “Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that Iranian technicians had pieced together a second line, or cascade, of 164 centrifuges and are days away from using the cascade to enrich uranium.”

Sudan. War in Sudan? Not Where the Oil Wealth Flows – “While one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises continues some 600 miles away in Darfur, across Khartoum bridges are being built, office towers are popping up, supermarkets are opening and flatbed trucks hauling plasma TV’s fight their way through thickening traffic. Despite the image of Sudan as a land of cracked earth and starving people, the economy is booming, with little help from the West.”

Free press. Press Freedom Erodes in U.S., Report Says – “Some poor countries, such as Mauritania and Haiti, improved their record in a global press freedom index this year, while France, the United States and Japan slipped further down the scale of 168 countries rated, the group Reporters Without Borders said yesterday.”

Generation Y. Generation Y gets involved – “Shaped by 9/11, millennials are socially conscious, if not radical – Alex Wells switched shampoos over animal testing. She won’t buy clothes produced by child labor. She yells at those who don’t recycle. She spent a month in India this summer teaching English to preschoolers. Last year in high school, she helped organize a protest over genocide in the Sudan that raised $13,000 for Darfur relief.”

Arms sales. Support UN arms treaty, say Nobel laureates – “More than a dozen Nobel peace prize laureates have joined forces to call on governments around the world to support a landmark international treaty to stop irresponsible arms exports.”

Voting rights. Supreme Court Allows Arizona to Use New Voter-ID Procedure – “The Supreme Court ruled unanimously late Friday that Arizona could put its new voter-identification rules into effect for the Nov. 7 election while challenges to those rules proceed in the lower federal courts. … The Supreme Court opinion made clear that it was not ruling on the merits of the case, in which the plaintiffs contend that Proposition 200, adopted by Arizona voters in 2004, places an unconstitutional burden on members of minorities and others who do not have ready access to the forms of identification required to register and to vote.” Rush for voting machines, training before midterm elections – “In the continued fracas over electronic voting, election administrators across the country are heading toward the midterm elections still not sure whether they have enough of the newfangled machines that caused an uproar in 2004.”

Op-Eds.

Rising Radical Center (E.J. Dionne, Washington Post) – “President Bush’s six-year effort to create an enduring Republican majority based on a right-leaning coalition is on the verge of collapse. The way he tried to create it could have the unintended consequence of opening the way for an alternative majority. This incipient Democratic alliance, while tilting slightly leftward, would plant its foundations firmly in the middle of the road, because its success depends on overwhelming support from moderate voters.”

Enjoy, Senator, it’ll get worse (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) – “Memo to Sen. Barack Obama: That giant swooshing sound that you hear is the roar of a media wave, urgently pushing you to run for president. Don’t let it go to your head. What the media giveth, we can take away and usually we do, shortly after the candidate announces.”

Editorials.

Sideshow to genocide – (Boston Globe) – “WHILE IT has dominated headlines in Sudan, the expulsion of Ja
n Pronk, the United Nations’ special envoy there, is really just a sideshow. He would have been leaving his post at the end of the year in any case. The great moral and geopolitical challenge for the UN and its member states is to muster the political will to stop the genocide in Darfur.”

Trying to Contain the Iraq Disaster (New York Times) – “No matter what President Bush says, the question is not whether America can win in Iraq. The only question is whether the United States can extricate itself without leaving behind an unending civil war that will spread more chaos and suffering throughout the Middle East, while spawning terrorism across the globe. … Today we want to describe a strategy for containing the disaster in Iraq as much as humanly possible. It is hardly a recipe for triumph. … At this point, all plans to avoid disaster involve the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.”

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