God's Politics

The latest news on Iraq-Congress, Passing-Yolanda King, the budget, Iraq-military, Iran, the World Bank, immigration, U.S. minority populations, Palestine, and select op-eds.

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Full news summary:

Iraq-Congress. Symbolic Measure to End War Voted Down 67 to 29 in Senate – “The Senate soundly rejected a symbolic bid to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq within a year, underscoring the lingering divisions within the Democratic Party over how hard to push President Bush to end the war.” Senate Rejects Iraq Troop Withdrawal – “Congressional Democratic leaders signaled on that they were ready to give ground to end an impasse with President Bush over war spending after the Senate soundly rejected a Democratic plan to block money for major combat operations in Iraq beginning next spring.” Democrats move to the left on war, define stance as GOP courts the party base – “All four Democratic senators running for president voted to advance a measure that would cut off funding for the Iraq war by March 2008, a reversal of the lawmakers’ 2006 votes on the same issue.” Votes build in Senate to rein in Bush on Iraq – “Forty-four Republican senators backed a plan to tie continued economic aid to Iraq to the performance of its government, the strongest demonstration yet of GOP willingness to impose limits on President Bush’s management of the war.”

Iraq-military. Perhaps for God, England and St. George, but Not Harry – “after weeks of speculation about the risks not just to him but also to soldiers under his command, Britain announced that Prince Harry, the 22-year-old third-in-line to the throne, would not, after all, be heading out with his regiment when it deploys to the Basra region.” Veterans take antiwar call on road – “The Boston chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War, formed this month in an Allston restaurant by a handful of former soldiers and Marines, is planning to take its call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq to all major military bases along the East Coast.” Anti-war ads star retired generals – “Since last week, two retired Army generals have called on Johnson and seven other congressional Republicans in television advertisements aired in their districts to take action to wind down the war in Iraq.” To ‘War Czar,’ Solution to Iraq Conflict Won’t Be Purely Military – “In selecting Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute to manage the war in Iraq, President Bush has chosen a soldier who believes there is no purely military solution to the conflict and wants to forge a political accommodation among Iraqi factions that may fall short of full reconciliation but could lead to an exit strategy.”

Iran. Iran and US to hold Iraq talks – “Iran and the US are to hold ambassadorial level talks on Iraq, the Iranian foreign minister said today, in the first substantive contacts between the countries for years.” Iran leader takes hard line in backing talks with US – “Iran’s supreme leader gave his backing yesterday to US-Iran talks about Iraq’s security. But he took a tough line, insisting the meeting would deal only with fixing American policies in Iraq, not changing Iran’s.”

World Bank. Wolfowitz Said to Push for Deal to Quit– “After six weeks of combating efforts to oust him as president of the World Bank, Paul D. Wolfowitz began to negotiate the terms under which he would resign,” Wolfowitz negotiates resignation terms – “A crucial meeting of the World Bank’s executive board adjourned without a decision on Paul Wolfowitz’s future as president.” World Bank’s woes go beyond scandal – “Now the bank is struggling to maintain its relevance in a 21st Century global economy where many countries it helped, and still helps, can get all the capital they need from private sources and where fighting poverty, its main mission, has proved to be extraordinarily difficult, especially in Africa.”

Immigration. Lawmakers Near Agreement on New Immigration Rules – “Senators from both parties said that they were close to agreement on a new system of selecting immigrants that would give greater weight to education and to job skills deemed helpful to the economy.” Immigration Overhaul Is Closer to Senate Floor – “Senate negotiators reached a tentative agreement on a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws that would offer virtually all of the nation’s 12 million undocumented workers a route to legal status while shifting migration preferences away from the extended families of citizens toward more skilled and educated workers.” White House backs off alien safeguards – “The Bush administration, trying to win an immigration agreement with Democrats, is backing away from safeguards designed to target businesses that hire illegal aliens and to prevent a repeat of the rampant fraud that resulted from the 1986 amnesty.”

Budget. Democrats Agree on a $2.9 Trillion Budget – “House and Senate Democratic leaders reached
agreement on a $2.9 trillion budget for 2008 that envisions a return to budget surpluses by 2012 and assumes that some of President Bush’s tax cuts will be allowed to expire. The five-year blueprint … calls for more money for children’s health care, education and a wide variety of other domestic programs.”

US minority populations. USA’s minority numbers top 100M – “The nation’s minority population has topped 100 million for the first time and now makes up about a third of the USA, a symbolic milestone that signals more challenges for communities adapting to diversity.” New Demographic Racial Gap Emerges – “That development may portend a nation split between an older, whiter electorate and a younger overall population that is more Hispanic, black and Asian and that presses sometimes competing agendas and priorities.”

Palestine. Unity Fractures as Palestinians Battle in Gaza– “At least 19 Palestinians were killed on Wednesday – more than 40 have been killed over the past four days – in fighting between Fatah and Hamas as their unity government fractures and rage rises on both sides.” Hamas suicide bombings threat – “Hamas today threatened to resume suicide bombings in Israel after an Israeli air strike on one of its compounds killed at least one person and injured more than 45.”

Passing-Yolanda King. Yolanda King, 51, Actor and Dr. King’s Daughter, Dies – “Yolanda King was the eldest child of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who melded her father’s message of racial equality and nonviolence with her own calling as an actor and a motivational speaker.”

Four good features from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

YOLANDA KING: 1955 – 2007: MEMORIES OF YOLANDA KING: Friendship spanned decades, extended to public, private moments

YOLANDA KING: 1955 – 2007: To father’s dismay, being an actress was her passion

YOLANDA KING: 1955 – 2007: In roles on film, TV and stage, her art often imitated life

YOLANDA KING: 1955-2007: Firstborn King child’s death stuns loved ones


Who Exiled New Orleans’ Poor? (Judith Browne-Dianis, Washington Post) – “Mary Ann Wright has been waiting to return home to the Lafitte public housing development in New Orleans for 20 months, but the federal government stands in her way. She’s used to waiting for a federal response to Hurricane Katrina. After all, she was left in the floodwaters like thousands of other low-income African Americans.”

The legacy of Jerry Falwell (Cal Thomas, Washington Times) – “The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died in his office on Tuesday at age 73, was a seminal figure in the rise of what liberals despairingly called the “Religious Right.” Without him, it is doubtful Christian fundamentalist, Evangelical Christians and conservative Roman Catholics would ever have mobilized into the significant voting bloc that elected Ronald Reagan twice, George H.W. Bush once and the current President Bush.

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