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Duane Shank: Daily News Digest

posted by God's Politics

The latest news on immigration, White House subpoenas, the Episcopal Church, Iraq-Congress, climate change, Iran, U.S. food aid, Darfur, and select Op-Eds.

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Full news summary:

Iraq-Congress. House Democrats Weigh Plan for Iraq Withdrawal- “The Iraq debate is scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon on the House floor, but the final vote was delayed by a day to give leaders more time to build support for a measure that has proved to be one of the most significant tests of the new Democratic Congress.” Senate Democrats Float War Bill Similar to That in House – “Senate Democrats unveiled an emergency spending bill that would continue funding the conflict in Iraq while requiring U.S. troop withdrawals to begin this summer, a proposal that tracks closely with one the House will vote on tomorrow.” Debate Over Iraq Pullout Aside, Bush Needs a War Spending Bill – “With the House facing a critical vote on Iraq this week, the White House finds itself embroiled in a fierce legislative battle to keep money flowing to the war effort, with the outcome dependent on its ability to show real progress in Baghdad and keep Republicans in line behind its veto strategy.” Congress’s Challenge on Iraq(NY Times editorial) – “The House should vote yes, by an overwhelming, bipartisan margin, to impose benchmarks for political progress on the Iraqi government – and link them to the continued presence of American combat forces.”

White House subpoenas. House Panel Authorizes Subpoenas Of Officials – “A House panel authorized subpoenas yesterday for top White House and Justice Department aides, including White House counselor Karl Rove, setting up a constitutional clash with the Bush administration over the U.S. attorneys investigation.” Bush’s Big-Picture Battle: Presidential Prerogatives- “The battle over the Congressional inquiry into the dismissal of federal prosecutors is not one of Mr. Bush’s choosing. But now that it has been thrust upon him, Mr. Bush is defiantly refusing to allow Karl Rove and other top aides to testify publicly and under oath, as Democrats are demanding. And he is standing by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales,”

Immigration. Kennedy-McCain partnership falters – “Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John McCain have all but abandoned plans to cosponsor a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year, as McCain faces tough questions from conservatives on the presidential campaign trail about his support for immigrants’ rights. Kennedy, frustrated by the slow progress of his negotiations with McCain, is instead considering filing a bill on his own,”

Climate change. Gore Warns Congress of ‘Planetary Emergency’ – “It was part science class, part policy wonk paradise, part politics and all theater as former Vice President Al Gore came to Congress on Wednesday to insist that global waraming constitutes a “planetary emergency” requiring an aggressive federal response.” Al Gore triumphs in Congress – “the man who could have stopped Mr Bush now transformed into an Oscar winner and one of the world’s leading campaigners on the dangers of global warming. He is bulkier, greyer and wrinkled. But he is also less buttoned-up, more emotional. He spoke fluently and knowledgeably,”

Iran. Iran’s leader vows to retaliate against any new sanctions – “Iran’s supreme leader struck a defiant tone Wednesday about any possible new United Nations Security Council sanctions over his country’s nuclear program, threatening to “use any means necessary” to strike back.” Optimism detected on nuke issue – “As the UN Security Council nears a vote this week on a new package of sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend its uranium enrichment program, other developments are creating greater optimism among many opponents of Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.” Iran role reported in schism of Iraq militia – “The Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army is breaking into splinter groups, with as many as 3,000 gunmen now financed directly by Iran and no longer loyal to the firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr, adding a potentially even more deadly element to Iraq’s violent mix.”

U.S. food aid. Inefficiencies Curb U.S. Aid to the Hungry, Report Finds – “The United States provides more than half the food aid that feeds hungry people around the world, but its programs are plagued by inefficiencies that have sharply reduced the amount of food being provided and have slowed deliveries,”

Darfur. Darfur’s less-known victims – “Arabs in the western Sudanese region of Darfur are usually depicted as the aggressors in a conflict with black African ethnic groups, but many Arabs now find themselves caught up in the violence, forced into camps by intertribal fighting and cut off from traditional migration routes they’ve relied upon for centuries to survive.”

Episcopal church. Episcopal Bishops in U.S. Defy Anglican Communion – “The nation’s Episcopal bishops have rejected a key demand from the larger Anglican Communion, saying a plan to place discontented U.S. parishes under international leadership could do permanent harm to the American church.” Episcopal Church Rejects Demand for a 2nd Leadership- “Responding to an ultimatum from leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion, bishops of the Episcopal Church have rejected a key demand to create a parallel leadership structure to serve the conservative minority of Episcopalians who oppose their church’s liberal stand on homosexuality.”

Op-Eds.

Give D.C. Residents the Right to Vote (Jack Kemp, Human Events)- “How’s this for irony: Headlines recently proclaimed that the White House was opposed to giving the vote to the more than 600,000 residents of our nation’s capital, who, incidentally, are paying federal income taxes to send members of their families to Iraq and Afghanistan so as to guarantee the right to vote for the residents of those nations’ capitals.”

Character matters – (Cal Thomas & Bob Beckel, USA Today) – “Divorce. Past drug use. Flip-flopping on moral issues. What should be relevant in a presidential race? Bob and Cal concoct a recipe with which to judge our office-seekers without gratuitous mudslinging.”



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