God's Politics

The latest news on minimum wage, immigration, Iraq – Congress, military, intelligence estimate-, Iran, education, global warming, and religion.

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Minimum wage. Senate Adds Tax Breaks To Minimum Wage Bill – “The Senate voted overwhelmingly to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade, but added small-business tax breaks that are unacceptable to House leaders, preventing Democrats from claiming a quick victory on one of their top legislative priorities.” Senate Passes Wage Bill, but Obstacles Await – “despite the huge margin of the Senate vote, 94 to 3, the increase – to $7.25 from $5.15 – must clear several hurdles before it becomes law. Democratic leaders in the Senate face their first big conflict with their counterparts in the House as the two chambers try to negotiate differences between the Senate bill and the one the House passed last month.”

Iraq-Congress. Senate Democrats Split on Measure Opposing Bush – “Senate Democratic leaders who decided to back a Republican resolution against President Bush’s Iraq war plan in hopes of winning broad bipartisan support ran into stiff resistance from an unexpected quarter — fellow Democrats.” Compromise Senate Measure Rebuffing Bush’s Iraq Buildup Gathers Support – “A revised Senate resolution criticizing President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq drew new support as two authors of a sterner resolution of disapproval said they would accept the compromise, fashioned by Senator John W. Warner.” Senate talks on Iraq take a new form – “The shape of the Senate debate over President Bush’s plan to increase the number of troops in Iraq came into clearer focus as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) and two other senators introduced a resolution to support the buildup.”

Iraq-military. Casey suggested smaller Iraq `surge’ – “The top U.S. commander in Iraq said he had recommended deploying fewer than half the number of additional American troops President Bush plans to send to Baghdad and insurgent strongholds in western Iraq as part of a new war strategy.” Support needs could double ‘surge’ forces – “President Bush’s plan to send 21,500 more combat troops to Iraq might require as many as 28,000 additional troops to provide critical support during the deployment, making the “surge” in US military forces far larger than previously predicted,” Senators Challenge Gen. Casey On Iraq War – “Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Bush administration’s nominee to be the Army chief of staff, got an unusually harsh reception from some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee for his performance as the top U.S. commander in Iraq over the past 30 months,” General Parries Senate Attacks on Iraq Record– “The departing American commander in Iraq defended his record on against withering criticism from some Senate Republicans and said Baghdad could be stabilized with far fewer additional troops than President Bush planned to send.”

Veterans group assails Iraq troop increase – “six veterans of the Iraq war who appear in a nationwide television ad that argues against escalation. The ad, which began appearing Wednesday on CNN and will run until early next week, is the product of, a fledgling group of Iraq veterans who plan to be vocal and aggressive as they take aim at administration policies on Iraq.”

Iraq-Intelligence Estimate. Iraq at Risk of Further Strife, Intelligence Report Warns – “A long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, presented to President Bush by the intelligence community, outlines an increasingly perilous situation in which the United States has little control and there is a strong possibility of further deterioration,” Iraq report pessimistic over US role – “The long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq expressed uncertainty about the capacity of Iraqi leaders to transcend sectarian interests and fight extremists, establish effective national institutions and end corruption.”

Iran. Iraq plans summit with Iran and Syria – “The Iraqi government invited Iran and Syria to Baghdad for talks next month on regional security, amid growing tension and accusations by the Bush administration of foreign meddling in Iraqi affairs.” Baghdad fears fallout of U.S.-Iran tensions – “Alarmed by rising tensions between the United States and Iran, Iraqi government officials fear their country is in danger of being dragged into a new conflict between its two main allies.” U.S. Says Iran Meddles in Iraq but Is Delaying Release of Data – ” President Bush’s national security advisers have ordered a delay in publication of evidence intended to support Washington’s contention that Iran supplies lethal technology and other aid to militias in Iraq.”

Education. Bush to seek hike in Pell Grants – “President Bush’s 2008 budget will call for the largest Pell Grant increase in three decades, a boost that would exceed one passed by the House this week, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said.”

Immigration. New RNC chief backs bill with guest-worker plan – “Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, the Republican National Committee’s new general chairman, wants Congress to pass an immigration bill this year that will include a guest-worker program with “earned citizenship” requirements for illegal aliens.” Border Policy’s Success Strains Resources – “Ringed by barbed wire, a futuristic tent city rises from the Rio Grande Valley in the remote southern tip of Texas, the largest camp in a federal detention system rapidly gearing up to keep pace with Washington’s increasing demand for stronger enforcement of immigration laws.”

Global warming. U.N. says there’s no stopping global warming – “In the strongest language it has ever used, a United Nations panel says global warming is “very likely” caused by human activities and has become a runaway train that cannot be stopped.” Humans blamed for climate change – “The likelihood that the phenomenon has been created by the burning of fossil fuels and other actions is greater than 90%, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in its fourth report.”

Religion. Senate chaplain withdraws from evangelical seminar – “Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black has canceled his scheduled appearance at a Christian evangelical conference after he was pictured with columnist Ann Coulter and other prominent conservatives in a brochure promoting the event.”

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