God's Politics

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Election. Former Republicans campaign as Democrats Call it the year of the former Republican. At a time of widely expected Republican losses in both chambers of Congress, a new breed of politician has emerged: former Republicans challenging Republican incumbents. A G.O.P. Leader and Star Struggles for Traction There is no better snapshot of the brutal political climate facing many Republicans in these final days than this: Senator Rick Santorum, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, stubbornly behind in the polls, warning with anger and growing frustration that voters should not must not, for their own good reject him for his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey, the state treasurer. In Ohio, Democrats Show a Religious Side to Voters Ohio, where a groundswell of conservative Christian support helped push President Bush to re-election two years ago, has become the leading edge of national Democratic efforts to win over religious voters, including evangelicals. Virginia’s race: a bellwether gets down and dirty Senator George Allen of Virginia released a compilation of sex scenes from novels by his Democratic opponent, James Webb. And thus a Senate race that was already something of a carnival moved closer to becoming a travesty. The move followed blog rumors last week of something explosive in Allen’s divorce files — which the senator has declined to open — and questions about whether either candidate, or both, used slurs to describe blacks.

As election nears, a flood of nastiness Nasty, misleading ads have been around for decades, and it’s impossible to prove empirically that the 2006 campaign tops them all, but the wave of over-the-top claims has caught the attention of both casual observers and professionals. Republicans’ Double Negatives (By E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post) Whatever else it will be remembered for, this year’s campaign will mark the moment when Republican leaders who govern in the name of conservatism turned definitively away from hope and waged one of the most trivial and ugly campaigns in our country’s history.

Bush Says ‘America Loses’ Under Democrats President Bush said terrorists will win if Democrats win and impose their policies on Iraq, as he and Vice President Cheney escalated their rhetoric Monday in an effort to turn out Republican voters in next week’s midterm elections. Bush: Just say no to Democrats Using the backdrop of the Iraq war to launch some of his toughest campaign attacks this political season, President Bush on Monday accused Democrats of being more concerned with pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq than with winning the war.

Global warming. British try to nudge U.S. on climate policy Left unchecked, global warming could drive the world economy into a depression similar to the devastating downturn of the 1930s, the British government said Monday in a report that appeared designed to influence politics in the United States. UK wants climate deal by 2008 The government is urgently pushing ahead on the issue because the existing Kyoto protocol runs out in 2012, and there is no binding agreement to extend it. Downing Street is seeking the outline of a package with the G8 industrial nations and five leading developing countries by next year, or 2008 at the latest. Brown seizes day to become minister for global warming Gordon Brown seized the initiative yesterday over the Stern report on climate change by presenting himself in the role of a future leader with the mission of saving the world from a global catastrophe.

Iraq. U.S. Envoy Arrives in Iraq as Tough Options Loom President Bushs national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, arrived in Baghdad on Monday on an unannounced trip to discuss how to pull the country back from the brink. Resistance to deadlines for Iraq is weakening Growing numbers of American military officers have begun to privately question a key tenet of U.S. strategy in Iraq that setting a hard deadline for troop reductions would strengthen the insurgency and undermine efforts to create a stable state. Time to cut and run Lt. Gen. William E. Odom (Ret.), senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and professor at Yale University, Los Angeles Times) The United States upset the regional balance in the Middle East when it invaded Iraq. Restoring it requires bold initiatives, but “cutting and running” must precede them all. Only a complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops within six months and with no preconditions can break the paralysis that now enfeebles our diplomacy.

Pakistan. Attack on School That Killed 80 Aimed at Al-Qaeda A missile strike that killed close to 80 people at an Islamic school in Pakistan early Monday was launched because of U.S. intelligence reports that senior al-Qaeda figures were hiding there, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The strike generated angry protests by religious and tribal leaders, who accused the government of doing Washington’s bidding at the cost of Pakistani lives. Tribal fury at madrasa deaths Helicopters fired missiles into a madrasa, or religious school, in Bajaur tribal region just before dawn, flattening the building and widely scattering debris and body parts. angry local villagers said the casualties were not terrorists but innocent children and religious seminarians.hildren and seminaries among 80 dead in Pakistan, say villagers.

Darfur.Khartoum seen as losing control of war in Darfur Three years after it tried to quell a rebellion in its western Darfur region, Sudan’s government is losing control of the war, its army increasingly demoralized and reluctant to fight on.
Millennium Development Goals. U.N. envoys draw up ‘can do’ list – Five years after the world’s leaders pledged to meet a well-defined and ambitious set of “Millennium Development Goals,” the effort is making so little progress that in some areas conditions are getting worse. To achieve maximum benefits from limited resources, two dozen U.N. ambassadors this weekend prioritized their goals to focus on those that are within reach and will have the largest social impact.

Faith and Politics.The Disillusionment of a Young White House Evangelical But though Tempting Faith (Free Press) is a story about the Bush presidency, it is even more a story about Mr. Kuo. As much as it is a story about politics, it is also a story about faith.

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