God's Politics

The latest news on the President-Congress, Special report-civil right murder, congress, Iraq-war, Iraq-President & Congress, Iran, Immigration, Darfur, Presidential politics, middle east, US Russia, Assisted suicide, special report-civil rights murders, and select Op-Eds.

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Iraq-war. Troops Backed by Helicopters Battle Insurgents in Baghdad– “With attack helicopters firing into the streets below, U.S. and Iraqi forces fought Sunni gunmen in a densely packed downtown enclave, the heaviest fighting seen in the capital since the launch of a security offensive eight weeks ago.” A Mosque Raid Sets Off Sunnis in Iraq’s Capital– “The battle left seven people dead, three insurgents and four Iraqi soldiers, and wounded 16 United States soldiers, according to a statement from the American military. Two Iraqi Army soldiers and one child were also wounded,” Iraqis face ‘immense’ suffering– “The International Committee of the Red Cross says the situation for ordinary Iraqis is getting steadily worse. Four years after the US-led invasion, the ICRC says the conflict is inflicting immense suffering, and calls for greater protection of civilians.”

Iraq-President & Congress. Bush rips ‘political’ war-funding bill– “President Bush accused Democrats of playing politics with an emergency war funding bill and called congressional leaders to the White House next week to discuss the impasse, but Democrats immediately snubbed the invitation.” Bush Invites Democrats to Discuss Iraq– “President Bush invited lawmakers to the White House next week to try to break the stalemate on Iraq war funding, but he made it clear yesterday that he is not budging on his key demand — a “clean” bill without “artificial deadlines” for withdrawal or restrictions on his commanders on the ground.” Bush Criticizes Democrats for Delay in Iraq Spending Bill– “President Bush, at loggerheads with Congress over an emergency Iraq spending bill, accused Democrats of behaving irresponsibly, as the two sides moved closer to confrontation over whether – or how far – lawmakers could push Mr. Bush toward withdrawing troops.” Bush extends invitation, but no olive branch, to Democrats – “Two weeks after congressional Democrats invited President Bush to negotiate over timetables for withdrawing troops from Iraq, the president issued his own invitation “to meet with me at the White House.” But he made it clear that he wouldn’t compromise.”

Iran. Iran may be spinning itself into a corner – “Iran’s efforts to trumpet its nuclear program are cementing the country’s confrontation with the West regardless of whether its claims this week of technological progress are true, several analysts said Tuesday.”

Congress. Democrats turning to domestic issues“March was a lawyers, guns and money kind of month for the new Democratic Congress. All but one of the 70 votes cast in the Senate concerned federal prosecutors or judges, national security, the budget or, above all, Iraq.” Senate renews debate on stem-cell research – “A bipartisan Senate bill that would make more stem-cell lines available to scientists, with certain limits, is expected to pass with broad support and face a veto from Bush, who rejected a similar bill last year.” Senate Revisits Debate On Stem Cell Research – “Launching an emotional political and ethical drama that is widely expected to climax with the second veto of George W. Bush’s presidency, the Senate began a two-day debate over the use of taxpayer dollars for embryonic stem cell research.”

Immigration. Is Bush’s plan for illegal immigrants ‘practical,’ or amnesty? “President Bush’s proposal calls for immigrants to return to their home countries and pay $10,000 to obtain a three-year work visa to reenter the US legally.”

Darfur. U.S. Sends (Another) Warning on Darfur “While the Bush administration is dispatching another top envoy – this time Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte – to deliver another strong message to the Sudanese government about the killing in the Darfur region, critics say the diplomacy is allowing Sudan to play for time as the death toll mounts.” Hundreds Killed in Attacks in Eastern Chad – “Sudanese Janjaweed militiamen killed as many as 400 people in the volatile eastern border region near Sudan, leaving an “apocalyptic” scene of mass graves and destruction, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.” Chad attack may have left more than 200 dead – “A team of humanitarian aid workers that reached the villages of Tiero and Marena on Sunday found mass graves, decomposing bodies, scores of dead livestock and hundreds of torched huts, some still smoldering more than a week after the March 31 attack.” Zooming in – How satellite images bring the reality of Darfur’s conflict to life – “Using hi-tech satellite imagery, photos and eyewitness accounts, the ongoing crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region is being brought into the homes of millions of internet users. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC has teamed up with Google’s internet mapping service, Google Earth, to try to halt what they see as genocide.”

Presidential politics. Some in G.O.P. Express Worry Over ’08 Hopes Republican leaders across the country say they are growing increasingly anxious about their party’s chances of holding the White House, citing public dissatisfaction with President Bush, the political fallout from the war in Iraq and the problems their leading presidential candidates are having generating enthusiasm among conservative voters.” McCain not running from his war stance – “John McCain has gotten himself stuck in an almost inescapable political dilemma. Formerly a keen critic of the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq, McCain finds himself lambasted for – and his presidential ambitions hostage to – his outspoken defense of the administration’s latest Iraq policy shift: the “surge.” Thompson stirs up conservative buzz – “Former Sen. Fred Thompson’s interest in the 2008 presidential race is generating enthusiasm among many Republicans, despite some conservative criticism of the “Law & Order” star’s record.” Democratic Hopefuls Court Activists in ‘Virtual Town Hall’– “thousands of members of an activist group who gathered at restaurants and houses around the country to watch seven Democratic presidential candidates discuss Iraq over the Web., which claims 3.2 million members, billed the prerecorded event as the first “virtual town hall.”

Middle East. Israel Says Hamas Was Plotting Terrorist Attacks – “Recent interrogations of arrested members of Hamas in the West Bank town of Qalqilya produced information that the Islamic organization there was planning imminent terrorist attacks against Israel, including one using a large truck bomb,” Hizbullah accuses US of secret war – “Washington is waging a covert war against Hizbullah, according to the militant group, which accuses the US administration of arming anti-Hizbullah militias and seeking to undermine the Lebanese army in moves which could plunge the country back into civil war.”

US-Russia. Russia threatening new cold war – “Russia is preparing its own military response to the US’s controversial plans to build a new missile defence system in eastern Europe, according to Kremlin officials, in a move likely to increase fears of a cold war-style arms race.”

Assisted suicide. Debate rages in Calif. over physician-assisted suicide– “After 10 years as the only state where physician-assisted suicide is legal, Oregon could be getting some big company. California’s Legislature is advancing a proposal modeled after Oregon’s law permitting patients diagnosed with six months or less to live to take lethal pills prescribed by their doctor.”

Special report-civil rights murders. Still burning(Guardian special report) – “Scores of civil-rights activists were murdered in the American south in the 1950s and 60s. Their killers mostly went unpunished. But now cases are being reopened, as a new generation resolves to see justice done at last.”


A troop readiness crisis (Lawrence Korb, Boston Globe) – “It’s rather ironic that Bush, who said in the 2000 campaign that the military was facing a grave readiness crisis, should complain about the congressional attempt to ensure that our troops are ready before sending them into battle.”

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