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God's Politics


Duane Shank: Daily News Digest

posted by God's Politics

The latest news on Iran, immigration, Arab League Summit, Iraq- Congress vs President, budget, inequality rising, presidential politics, Tuskegee airmen, women in prison, religion and select editorials.

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Full news summary:

Iran. Seized sailor’s release in doubt – “Iran may delay its plan to release the only woman among 15 captured Royal Navy crew because of the UK’s “incorrect attitude”, an official has said.” Iran could delay sailor’s release – “Ali Larijani, the secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council, said Tehran could even begin formal legal proceedings against the UK personnel,” Iran TV shows captured Britons – “Iran dramatically raised the stakes in its tense diplomatic stand-off with Britain last night, broadcasting a propaganda video of the British sailors and marines seized last week, including a “confession” that they had entered Iranian waters.” Pressure on Iran may be increased – “Mr Blair’s announcement that the British response was entering a “different phase” and Mrs Beckett’s announcement of the diplomatic sanctions yesterday reflects a decision that the softly-softly approach has not worked, and rising concern that time is not on Britain’s side.” Iran Shows Video of Britons as Dispute Heats Up – “The dispute with Iran over Britain’s captured sailors escalated sharply on Wednesday when Britain froze all “bilateral business” with Iran, and the Iranians displayed some British prisoners on state television.”

Iraq-Congress v. President. Bush Derides Iraq War Measure – “In his most combative comments yet, President Bush mocked Democratic lawmakers for including a deadline for troop withdrawals and “pork” projects in an Iraq spending bill, declaring that “the American people will know who to hold responsible” if funding for the war stalls.” Bush, Dems vie to frame war debate – “Confronted with votes in both houses of Congress calling for timelines for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, President Bush faces a certain showdown with the Democratic-controlled Congress that threatens to stall funding for the war.” On Iraq, a showdown is all but inevitable – “With the Senate poised today to vote to restrict President Bush’s ability to conduct the war in Iraq, the White House and Congress are careening toward their biggest policy confrontation in more than a decade.” High-stakes face-off over ending Iraq war – “With both chambers of Congress now on record as backing a pullout date in Iraq, President Bush’s fight to buy more time for American combat forces to achieve US aims there falls to him alone.” Democrats Are Building on Unity Over Iraq PulloutNo one has seemed more surprised by the Democrats’ success in pushing an exit strategy for Iraq than the Democrats. Their aggressiveness and unity on a major foreign-policy challenge to the president is a striking change for a party that has, on many occasions over many years, seemed to be on the defensive on national security issues.

Arab League Summit. U.S. Iraq Role Is Called Illegal by Saudi King- “The king’s speech, at the opening of the Arab League meeting, underscored growing differences between Saudi Arabia and the Bush administration as the Saudis take on a greater leadership role in the Middle East,” Arabs unite at summit to renew peace offer to Israel – “Arab leaders closed ranks to appeal to Israel to overcome its long-standing reservations and accept a landmark offer that could lead to a breakthrough in the Middle East peace process.” Arab leaders unanimously approve Saudi peace initiative at Riyadh summit – “The plan offers Israel recognition and permanent peace with all Arab countries in return for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. It also calls for setting up a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees.”

Budget. Democrats Predict Sizable Budget Surplus – “House Democrats pressed ahead with a budget plan predicting a sizable surplus in five years, but only if President Bush’s tax cuts expire in 2010 as scheduled. The majority Democrats’ $2.9 trillion budget outline for next year would produce a $153 billion surplus in 2012 while raising spending for veterans, education, defense and national security.”

Immigration. Naturalization Up Among Immigrants – “The number of naturalized citizens in the United States grew to nearly 13 million between 1995 and 2005, a historic increase that reflects the nation’s changing ethnic makeup and could increase the power of immigrants to affect public policy at the ballot box, according to a study released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center.” The full report is at “Growing Share of Immigrants Choosing NaturalizationWhite House works behind the scenes for immigration reform – “The administration has been meeting with key Republican senators to devise a consensus plan aimed at garnering wide GOP support. With President Bush looking to counter a legacy increasingly marred by the war in Iraq, the White House
has launched a bold, behind-the-scenes drive to advance a key domestic goal: immigration reform.”

Inequality rising. Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows- “Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans – those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 – receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.”

Presidential politics. Voices in fine tune at the ‘cattle calls’ – “Figuring it out is partly what the presidential “cattle call” process is for at this stage of the campaign cycle. While the crowds at the candidates’ campaign events are generally enthusiastic no matter what, the forums held by these and other special-interest groups are more accurate focus groups.” Antiwar theme plays well to labor group – “Democratic presidential candidates pledged their support for labor rights before a builders union, but the war in Iraq cast a shadow over the session, with union members shouting down a Republican lawmaker who backed the war and cheering Democrats who promised to get the United States out of Iraq.”A ‘Law & Order’ Presidential Candidate? – “Law & Order” star and former U.S. senator Fred Dalton Thompson is considering a bid for the White House that would test whether Hollywood can once again launch a Republican to the world’s premier political stage.”

Tuskegee airmen. A Top Honor For Soaring Achievements – Tuskegee Airmen to Receive Congressional Gold Medal – “members of the famed black World War II aviation cadre now called the Tuskegee Airmen will be honored in the Capitol Rotunda for their history-making feats. … From 1942 through 1946, 994 black fighter and bomber pilots were trained at the segregated Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama,”

Women in prison. Women in Prison – “Some 200,000 children in California have a parent in prison, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and more than half of the women in state prisons never see their children during their incarceration. The Chowchilla Family Express — a free bus leaving six times a month from various California cities — hopes to change that by helping families of imprisoned women stay connected, boosting both the emotional welfare of children and the chances of success for female prisoners who are released back into their communities.” See video at “Free Bus Service Will Help Kids Visit Mothers in Prison”

Religion. When can clerks refuse to serve, citing religion? – “Can a cashier or clerk wish a customer “Merry Christmas”? Must a pharmacist dispense birth control devices if his faith forbids it? Can a Muslim clerk refuse to touch a whisky or beer bottle, or a pork chop?”

Editorials

Iran vs. the world (Chicago Tribune) – “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was scheduled for some lectern-pounding at the UN last weekend. But he canceled at the last minute, blaming the United States for a visa snafu. Too bad. After last year’s bravura tour of New York, we were hoping for a new set of flimsy denials about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, further evasions on its funding for terrorism and fresh explanations of its deplorable threats against Israel.”

Legislating Leadership on Iraq(New York Times) – “Victory is no longer an option in Iraq, if it ever was. The only rational objective left is to responsibly organize America’s inevitable exit. That is exactly what Mr. Bush is not doing and what the House and Senate bills try to do.”



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