God's Politics

The latest news on federal prosecutors, Sudan-Darfur, immigration, Iraq-Congress, Iraq-antiwar, Iran, climate change, abortion, and health insurance.

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Iraq-Congress. Democrats Split on Iraq Bill – “One of the Democrats’ chief designated vote counters, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), is actively working against the Iraq war spending bill. The leadership’s senior chief deputy whip, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), spoke passionately against it on the House floor. And one of the whip organization’s regional representatives, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), is implacably opposed.” Veterans boost Democrats’ Iraq war exit efforts – “When Rep. Patrick Murphy stood up at the House Democratic Caucus meeting to urge support for a bill mandating a timeline to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq, the boyish Pennsylvania lawmaker urged his colleagues to vote their conscience. But as several lawmakers wiped away tears, he concluded with a more emotional appeal “for those 19 guys I served with who died.” Murphy, a former paratrooper who went to Iraq shortly after the 2003 invasion, is in his third month on Capitol Hill. But as the only Iraq war veteran in Congress, the 33-year-old freshman has become a central player in the most intense lobbying effort since Democrats assumed the majority in January.” Senate Democrats revive timeline for Iraq – “Senate Democrats yesterday vowed to resurrect their legislative effort to pull combat troops out of Iraq by next March, as their House colleagues struggled to build support for a similar measure tied to emergency war funding.”

Iraq-antiwar. Anger over war in Iraq has thousands on march – “Alex Enriquez, an office manager from Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, said he isn’t the type who usually takes part in political rallies. But the war in Iraq has upset him so much that Enriquez, 38, said he decided he had to participate when he heard about Tuesday’s anti-war protest downtown. “You can’t just stand idle,” said Enriquez, who was among several thousand people who marched along Michigan Avenue and Clark Street on Tuesday evening to a rally at the Daley Center.”

Iraq. The Children of Baghdad – “Baghdad’s last refuge for orphaned and traumatised children is in danger of closing later this month when it finally runs out of funds. The man who runs it says he will take the children, many of them orphaned by the violence, into his own home rather than see them on the streets. His co-worker has already been murdered by a death squad. … GuardianFilms and ITN look at what has happened to the city’s most vulnerable children.”

Federal prosecutors. Bush Offers Aides For Hill Interviews – “President Bush sought yesterday to defuse the controversy over the firings of U.S. attorneys, offering strong support for embattled Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales while proposing to make Karl Rove and other top aides available for private interviews with congressional investigators. Bush, Democrats clash on prosecutors – “The controversy over the Bush administration’s firing of eight US attorneys escalated into a high-stakes political confrontation between President Bush and Congress, with Bush backing his embattled attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, and rebuffing a request from top Democratic lawmakers to have chief White House adviser Karl Rove and other aides testify under oath.” Bush Clashes With Congress on ProsecutorsPresident Bush and Congress clashed over an inquiry into the firing of federal prosecutors and appeared headed toward a constitutional showdown over demands from Capitol Hill for internal White House documents and testimony from top advisers to the president.”

Iran. US looks to sell arms in Gulf to try to contain Iran – “The State Department and the Pentagon are quietly seeking congressional approval for significant new military sales to US allies in the Persian Gulf region. The move is part of a broader American strategy to contain Iranian influence by strengthening Iran’s neighbors and signaling that the United States is still a strong military player in the Middle East,” Quick OK eyed on Iran sanctions – “Germany and China urged rapid approval of a UN draft resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program after South Africa surprised major powers by proposing a softening of the document’s wording.” Russia recalls experts from Iran reactor – “Russia is bringing home its technicians and engineers from Iran’s unfinished nuclear reactor site at a time of growing international pressure on Tehran to curb its atomic ambitions,” U.S. Cautions Foreign Companies on Iran Deals– “The Bush administration has quietly been warning energy companies, including Shell, Repsol and SKS, the Malaysian oil company, as well as the governments of China, India, Pakistan and Malaysia, that penalties are possible if they pursue energy deals with Iran.” Israel practices for missile, chemical attacks – “Air raid sirens wailed across Israel yesterday and thousands of security forces and rescue crews were mobilized in a nationwide drill to prepare for possible chemical attacks or an Iranian missile strike.”

Sudan-Darfur. Some investors want money out of Sudan – “the movement to force mutual funds, pension funds and endowments to pull their investments out of companies active in war-torn Sudan is gaining momentum. Seven states – California, Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine – have approved divestment plans that would force their state and local pension funds to liquidate Sudan-related holdings.”

Climate change. Capitol momentum seen on climate change – “The fight against global warming is getting an extra push from lobbyists and lawmakers in a series of efforts aimed at spurring Congress to act to reverse the negative trend of climate change.”

Abortion. Tailoring an antiabortion message to blacks – “Activists open crisis pregnancy centers in minority areas to draw more African Americans to their cause. Framing their cause as the new frontier in civil rights – an effort to stop “black genocide” – these activists have turned to revered names in black history. A niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. tours the nation, speaking out against “the war on the womb.” The great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott recently compared Roe vs. Wade to the 1857 Supreme Court decision declaring blacks so far inferior that they had no rights.”

Immigration. House immigration bill offers citizenship – “Two lawmakers will fire the opening salvo in this year’s immigration debate when they introduce the first House bill in many years to call for citizenship for illegal immigrants. … the bill also contains provisions designed to appeal to conservatives who want stronger border enforcement and oppose citizenship provisions that grant amnesty to people in the country illegally.”

Health insurance. Massachusetts Sets Benefits in Universal Health Care Plan – “Massachusetts took a major step toward enacting its near-universal health care overhaul, with the board that oversees the plan voting to require insurers to provide certain minimum benefits, including coverage of prescription drugs.”

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