God's Politics

The latest news on Iran, Libby trial, climate change, Iraq-Congress, Romney announces candidacy, North Korea, immigration, church-state, and select op-eds.
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Full news summary:

Iraq-Congress. House Begins Debate On War – “The House plunged into a heated, partisan debate on President Bush’s war policy, with Democrats challenging lawmakers to take a stand against the deployment of more troops to Iraq while Republicans accused their political foes of emboldening the enemy with their symbolic resolution.” Iraq war debated in House – “The House began a heated debate on President Bush’s plan to send 21,500 additional combat troops to Iraq as Democrats pushed a resolution that would mark the strongest and most formal rebuke of the administration’s conduct of the war.” Parties put their vets out front for Iraq debate – “Democrats offered a display of military force as the House began three days of debate on a resolution expressing disapproval of President Bush’s decision to commit 21,500 more troops to the war in Iraq. Eleven military veterans, whose service stretched from World War II to the current conflict in Iraq, were among Democrats speaking in favor of the resolution.” House debate: Prelude to a faceoff? – “Deep into the night, a parade of lawmakers from both parties drew on philosophers, generals and former presidents to make their points. They talked of wars long over and those that haven’t begun.”

Iran. Pace questions claim on Iran – “Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the discovery that roadside bombs in Iraq contained material made in Iran does not necessarily mean the Iranian government is involved in supplying insurgents.” Doubts raised on linking of Iran to US deaths in Iraq – “Security analysts and critics of the Bush administration are questioning the quality of intelligence presented by three unidentified US officials in Baghdad on Sunday to demonstrate the Iranian government’s ties to sophisticated explosives that have killed 170 US soldiers in Iraq.” Disputes Emerge on Iran and Roadside Bombs – “The disagreements have laid bare a fundamental tension in intelligence analysis: how and when to draw firm conclusions from battlefield intelligence about the motivations of foreign leaders.” Pentagon denies politics behind claims Iran supplying weapons – “The U.S. military said that its decision to go public with allegations that Iran is providing militants in Iraq with weapons was not politically motivated or orchestrated by the White House.

Romney announces candidacy. Promising a ‘new American dream,’ Romney formally launches White House bid – “Promising to build “a new American dream,” Mitt Romney launched his bid to become the nation’s 44th president by casting himself as an optimistic and forward-thinking Washington outsider with the experience and vision to lead the country into a new age of innovation.” Romney joins ’08 race for GOP nomination – “Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney formally joined the race for the Republican presidential nomination, saying he had the innovative skills of an outsider whose conservatism would lead the nation past the “talk and dithering” that preoccupies Washington.” Romney Joins the 2008 Race – “With a call for “innovation and transformation in Washington,” Mitt Romney formally stepped into the Republican presidential field, portraying himself as both a political outsider and an experienced executive who would bring efficiency to the White House.”

North Korea. Outside Pressures Snapped Korean Deadlock– “It is hard to imagine that either George W. Bush or Ki, Jong-il would have agreed even a year ago to the kind of deal they have now approved. … But in the past few months, the world has changed for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Kim, two men who have made clear how deeply they detest each other. Both are beset by huge problems, and both needed some kind of breakthrough.” U.S. Flexibility Credited in Nuclear Deal With N. Korea – “The six-nation deal to shut down North Korea’s nuclear facility, four months after Pyongyang conducted its first nuclear test, was reached largely because President Bush was willing to give U.S. negotiators new flexibility to reach an agreement,” Pact With North Korea Draws Fire From a Wide Range of Critics in U.S. – The deal that could lead North Korea to shut its main nuclear reactor came under criticism from both ends of the political spectrum immediately after it was announced.” N. Korea nuclear pact marks major shift for Bush – “The tentative international nuclear agreement with North Korea marks a fundamental shift in direction for the Bush administration, which for years had sternly demanded that the country’s leadership abandon its nuclear program before receiving any rewards.”

Libby trial. Libby Defense to Rest Without Testimony by Him or Cheney – “Attorneys for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby said that he and Vice President Che
ney, his former boss, will not testify in Libby’s perjury trial, leaving the defense preparing to rest its case today after barely more than two days of testimony.” Libby and Cheney Will Not Testify, Says the Defense– “The decision could be viewed as a sign that Mr. Libby’s lawyers are confident that the prosecution failed to make its case.”

Immigration. Banking on illegal immigrants – “Bank of America said that it was issuing credit cards to Spanish-speaking immigrants who may not have Social Security numbers, triggering complaints that the nation’s largest retail bank is tacitly endorsing illegal immigration.”

Climate change. Energy CEOs encourage emissions caps – “Corporate CEOs do not usually come to Capitol Hill to lobby for more government regulation. But that’s what a group of executives did, urging Congress to cap emissions blamed for global warming.”

Church-state. Appeals court considers prison ministry program – “An evangelical Christian prison ministry program in Iowa should be allowed to continue because it succeeds at modifying inmate behavior and reducing recidivism, an attorney for the state said.”


Finally, Obama’s ideas getting some air time (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) – “I hope Sen. Barack Obama remembered to send Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard a Valentine’s Day card. The prime minister has done the Democratic presidential hopeful from Illinois a tremendous favor: He has treated Obama’s Iraq ideas seriously.”

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