God's Politics

The latest news on faith and politics, Iraq-policy, immigration, Mideast, Iraq-war, Iraq-Carter v. Bush, Europe, wealth gap, political parties online, and select Op-Eds.

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Faith & politics. Emphasis Shifts for New Breed of Evangelicals – “The evangelical Christian movement, which has been pivotal in reshaping the country’s political landscape since the 1980s, has shifted in potentially momentous ways in recent years, broadening its agenda and exposing new fissures.” The Right: Down, but Maybe Not Out – “WITH the death on Tuesday of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Baptist minister and founder of the Moral Majority, and the announcement on Thursday that Paul D. Wolfowitz would resign from the presidency of the World Bank, two major figures in the modern conservative movement exited the political stage.” GOP’s commitment on social issues tested – “For decades, Christian conservatives have turned out in Republican primaries and had great influence. Giuliani’s candidacy is testing their clout, and some analysts predict it will be a turning point. “The era of the religious right being able to call the tune to which Republican candidates will dance is over,” says GOP strategist Rich Galen,” Gingrich Assails ‘Radical Secularism’ – “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decried a “growing culture of radical secularism” Saturday morning as he hailed the life of Liberty University’s late founder, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, in an address to the school’s 2007 graduating class.”

Immmigration. Discord on the Immigration Accord – “There is little doubt about how grass-roots organizations feel about a bipartisan immigration compromise reached in the Senate: They don’t like it.” In Congress, a long road ahead for immigration bill – “After months of quiet negotiations, a historic immigration bill debuts in the Senate on Monday, where it faces a bruising floor fight – and even more uncertain prospects later this summer in the House.” Few senators support the illegals bill – “Fewer than 20 senators are publicly committed to supporting the immigration deal that hits the Senate floor today while nearly 40 are already opposed or have serious concerns.” Businesses, families have a lot riding on immigration change – “As the U.S. Senate prepares this week to debate the most sweeping proposed change to the nation’s immigration system in more than four decades, Irvine technology executive Bruce Warren and Los Angeles homemaker Monsorat Jaldon symbolize the high stakes looming for millions of families, businesses and workers.” After Aiding Bill on Immigration, Employers Balk– “Employers, who helped shape a major immigration bill over the last three months, said on Sunday that they were unhappy with the result because it would not cure the severe labor shortages they foresee in the coming decade.”

Mideast. Dozens Slain as Lebanese Army Fights Islamists– “Fierce clashes erupted between Lebanese Army soldiers and Islamic militants in the vicinity of a Palestinian refugee camp, leaving 22 Lebanese soldiers and 17 militants dead and dozens injured in one of the most significant challenges to the army since the end of Lebanon’s bloody civil war.” 8 Killed as Israel Hits a Hamas Politician’s Gaza Home – “The Israeli Air Force struck the home of a Hamas Parliament member in Gaza, killing eight people, Palestinian hospital officials said. The Parliament member, Khalil al-Hayya, was not in the house at the time.”

Iraq-war. 7 U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq, 6 in Sweep of Baghdad– “Six American soldiers and their interpreter were killed by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad on Saturday, the military said Sunday, in one of the deadliest single attacks against American troops in the capital in recent months. … A soldier assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), a supply unit, was killed Saturday when a bomb struck his armored vehicle” Edging Their Way Into Sadr City – “The U.S. military is engaged in delicate negotiations inside Sadr City to clear the way for a gradual push in coming weeks by more American and Iraqi forces into the volatile Shiite enclave of more than 2 million people, one of the most daunting challenges of the campaign to stabilize Baghdad.”

Iraq-policy. Second Life for Study Group – “After an initially tepid reception from policymakers, the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group are getting a second look from the White House and Congress, as officials continue to scour for bipartisan solutions to salvage the American engagement in Iraq.” U.S. fears pullout of British troops by Blair successor – “U.S. officials are bracing for the prospect that Gordon Brown — Tony Blair’s almost certain successor as British prime minister — will act quickly to reduce his country’s military commitment in Iraq.” Iraq decision was right – Brown – “Gordon Brown has stuck by the decision to go to war in Iraq amid protests at a Labour leadership hustings event. Mr Brown said the government was working
with the people of Iraq to enable them to run their own security, and did not place a timescale on when British involvement might end.”

Iraq-Carter v. Bush. Carter Criticizes Bush and Blair on War in Iraq– “Former President Jimmy Carter criticized George W. Bush’s presidency in interviews released Saturday as “the worst in history” in international relations and faulted Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain for his loyal relationship with Mr. Bush.” White House doesn’t turn the other cheek – “Perhaps not since Herbert Hoover took issue with the blame heaped on him for the Great Depression by Franklin D. Roosevelt have two presidents or their spokesmen feuded quite so publicly – and angrily – as former President Carter and President Bush.”

Europe. New Leadership Trio Could Put Europe Back on Political Map – “Europe is undergoing its most dramatic changing of the guard in more than a decade. New leaders in the European Union’s three preeminent countries — Britain, France and Germany — not only may transform their nations individually but also have the collective clout to blast Europe out of its lethargy and revitalize it as a global and diplomatic powerhouse.”

Wealth gap. Generation gap? About $200,000- “The growing divide between the rich and poor in America is more generation gap than class conflict, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal government data. The rich are getting richer, but what’s received little attention is who these rich people are. Overwhelmingly, they’re older folks.”

Parties online. Online, GOP Is Playing Catch-Up – “One reason for the disparity between the parties, political insiders say, is that the top Republican candidates are not exciting voters the way the Democratic front-runners are. Another is that it takes a certain level of technical skill and understanding to be an online strategist, and Republicans admit that “the pool of talent in the Democrats’ side is much bigger than ours.”


What is a ‘real’ Christian? (Dan Gilgoff, USA Today) – “Placing strong in polls of Republican voters and encouraged to run by some leading party activists, actor and former senator Fred Thompson has emerged as the biggest X factor of the 2008 presidential race. … But a wrinkle has appeared in that strategy. Focus on the Family’s founder, James Dobson, said recently that Thompson does not appear to be Christian – and that such an impression would make it difficult for him to connect with the GOP’s evangelical base.”

How Church and State Made Their Match(Lou Cannon, New York Times) – “JERRY FALWELL, who died on Tuesday, would no doubt be pleased that so many obituaries gave him credit for putting Ronald Reagan in the White House. Mr. Falwell encouraged this view of his influence, as well as the related notion that he and Mr. Reagan were cut from the same conservative cloth. The record does not support either claim.”

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