God's Politics

The latest news on children’s health insureance, envangelicals for human rights, attorney general, Iraq, President in Latin America, climate change, Pope and non-negotiables, immigration, fair trade and select Op-Eds.

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Full news summary:

Attorney General. Gonzales admits `mistakes made’ – “In a widening storm over the firings of top federal prosecutors, Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales admitted that “mistakes were made” and promised accountability, but pleaded ignorance of the details of the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys.” ‘Mistakes’ Made on Prosecutors, Gonzales Says– “Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales insisted that he would not resign, but said, “I acknowledge that mistakes were made here.” White House Crises Show New Accountability – “As President Bush toured ancient Mayan ruins and exchanged toasts with the new Mexican president, his aides furiously worked the telephones back to Washington. Another administration official was out, and the attorney general was deflecting calls for his own ouster as well.”

Iraq-Congress. Congress Gears Up for Debate on Getting U.S. Out of Iraq The Senate will begin debate Wednesday on a Democratic resolution calling for the withdrawal of most American troops from Iraq in 2008, with Republicans saying they are eager to critique and ultimately defeat the Democratic approach to ending the war.” Iraq Debate Will Test GOP Senators’ Unity – “With the Senate poised for a showdown on Iraq today, Republicans along the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill appear trapped between their loyalty to President Bush and growing fears about the war’s impact on the party’s political fortunes.”

Iraq-military. U.S. deploys more troops to insurgent haven in Iraq – “More than 700 U.S. troops rolled into Diyala in armored vehicles to help quell escalating violence in the Iraqi province that has become a haven for insurgents targeted by the Baghdad security crackdown.” The changing complexion of troop ‘surge’ in Iraq – “In the military, they call it “mission creep.” It’s a way of describing how a mission expands, typically in small, barely discernible steps. And before anyone knows it, the operation looks much different. So goes President Bush’s plan to increase troops in Iraq, according to critics.”

Children’s health insurance. Senate Budget Would Expand Health Care – “Senate Democrats unveiled a spending blueprint yesterday that envisions a massive expansion of the nation’s health-insurance program for children,” Top Democrats Propose Expanding Health Insurance for Children – “Two of the most influential voices on health policy, Representative John D. Dingell and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, offered a bill to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as Democratic leaders in both houses said they would try to triple spending on the program over the next five years.”

President in Latin America. Answering Latin Left, Bush Pledges to Help Poor– “In the slums of Brazil, in the impoverished villages of Guatemala and finally here in Mexico, President Bush promised this week to deliver “social justice” to poor and struggling Latin Americans left behind by the global economy.

Evangelicals for Human Rights. Evangelical Group Rebuffs Critics on Right – “The board of the National Association of Evangelicals has rebuffed leaders of the Christian right who had called for the association to silence or dismiss its Washington policy director because of his involvement in the campaign against global warming.” Evangelicals Condemn Torture – “The National Association of Evangelicals has endorsed an anti-torture statement saying the United States has crossed “boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible” in its treatment of detainees and war prisoners in the fight against terror.” (For the complete statement, see Evangelicals for Human Rights)

Climate change. Renewing a Call to Act Against Climate Change– “Bill McKibben, who was one of the first laymen to warn of global warming, is now the philosopher-impresario of the program of climate-change rallies called Step It Up.”

Pope on non-negotiables. Pope stands ground on abortion, gay ‘marriage’ – “Pope Benedict XVI yesterday set out “nonnegotiable values” as he urged Catholic lawmakers to oppose laws favoring divorce, abortion, homosexual “marriage” and euthanasia.”

Sobrino to be silenced. Vatican to punish priest, sources say – “The Vatican is preparing to discipline Father Jon Sobrino, a well-known proponent of liberation theology who worked for decades in El Salvador even as fellow priests were murdered, church sources said Tuesday. Sobrino will be sanctioned for alleged errors in his teachings and writings about the divinity of Jesus.”

Immigration. From Mexico Also, the Message to Bush Is Immigration
– “As President Bush tried to mend frayed relations with Mexico, the Mexican president gave him a cool reception on Tuesday, calling on Mr. Bush to live up to his longtime promise to make Mexico a priority and criticizing American plans to build a 700-mile fence along the border.” Supporters still committed; immigration bill still stalled – “Seldom has legislation received such high-profile backers from across such a broad ideological spectrum. And seldom has legislation with such powerful backing faced such an uphill battle.” Hope seen in White House-GOP immigration talks – “As President Bush uses his Latin American trip to call for an overhaul of U.S. immigration law, GOP lawmakers are working with his administration to draft a proposal that could win enough Republican support to settle the thorny issue.”

Fair trade. ‘Fair trade’ food booming in Britain – “Data show that Britons are avidly buying fair-trade groceries, organic foods, and sustainably farmed produce. Experts speak of a cultural shift in which foodstuffs once considered niche and expensive are now going mainstream.”

Op-Ed commentary.

The world stands by while Darfur burns (Jonathan Freedland, Guardian) – “An unprecedented plea from 14 UN humanitarian bodies on behalf of the people of western Sudan has been roundly ignored.”

The political right matures (Cal Thomas, Washington Times) – “Conservative Evangelical Christian voters have come a long way in a short time. From their nearly unanimous condemnation of Bill Clinton for his extramarital affairs, a growing number of these “pro-family” voters appear ready to accept several Republican presidential candidates who do not share their ideal of marriage and faith.”

A Manifesto For the Next President (David Ignatius, Washington Post)– “Zbigniew Brzezinski has written a new book that might be a foreign policy manifesto for Barack Obama. Its message is that America can recover from what Brzezinski calls the “catastrophic” mistakes of the Bush administration, but only if the next president makes a clean break from those policies and aligns the country with a world in transformation.”

Dueling stories define today’s politics (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) – “These are the days of what I call the “Narrative Primary,” a get-to-know-me period in which candidates project to voters their best sides through spellbinding stories of their lives, struggles and epiphanies.”

Bush doesn’t hear subtlety so well (Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times) – “Through six tumultuous years in the White House, President Bush has demonstrated repeatedly that he responds to force, not argument. If he has the power to implement his ideas, he will, whether or not he has established a consensus for his course.”

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