God's Politics

the latest reports on immigration, G-8 aid for Africa and global warming, U.S.-Russia, Iraq, Turkey, CIA secret prisons, Sudan, abortion, presidential forum, and select op-eds

Immigration. Immigration Overhaul Bill Stalls in Senate “A tenuous compromise to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws collapsed when senators from both parties refused to cut off debate and move to a final vote” Senate immigration bill on the ropes “The Senate bill to revamp the nation’s immigration laws stalled after Democrats and Republicans deadlocked over how many more amendments to debate,” Immigration reform bill dealt major blow -“A bipartisan reform bill supported by President Bush and touted as a “grand bargain” to help America resolve the troubling issues related to immigration fell apart and seemed left for dead after key votes in the Senate.” Filibuster spoils ‘bargain’ “The immigration “grand bargain” imploded in the Senate under a Republican-led filibuster, with the bill under attack from both sides and collapsing of its own weight.” A Failure of Leadership in a Flawed Political Culture “The defeat of the legislation can be laid at the doorstep of opponents on the right and left, on congressional leaders who couldn’t move their troops and on an increasingly weakened president and his White House team. But together it added up to another example of a polarized political system in which the center could not hold.”

G-8-aid for Africa. G8 leaders reach $60bn Aids deal “Leaders of the G8 nations meeting in Germany have pledged to spend $60bn (£30bn) fighting Aids, malaria and tuberculosis in Africa. Officials said half of that amount would come from the United States.” G8 pledges $60bn aid to Africa “The leaders of the G8 today pledged to spend $60bn (£30bn) over the next few years on HIV/Aids, malaria and TB – a promise immediately dismissed by development groups as a smokescreen for the west’s broken promises to the world’s poor.”

G-8-global warming. G-8 Leaders Back ‘Substantial’ Cuts In Gas Emissions “Leaders of the eight largest industrialized nations agreed to join forces to make “substantial” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, but at President Bush’s insistence did not impose binding targets for the reductions.” U.S. Compromise on Global Warming Plan Averts Impasse at Group of 8 MeetingThe United States agreed to “consider seriously” a European plan to combat global warming by cutting in half worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, averting a trans-Atlantic deadlock at a meeting here of the world’s richest industrial nations.” G-8 joins Bush in compromise on global warming “Participants in the Group of 8 summit, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, yielded to Bush’s insistence that although new talks were necessary to deal with climate change, the summit must not order specific steps and targets to reduce the greenhouse gases widely blamed for rising temperatures.” Climate deal struck – with no firm targets “The leaders of the world’s wealthiest economies patched together a last-minute compromise to pursue a post-Kyoto deal on climate change, but failed to bind themselves to more ambitious targets sought by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

Faith Leaders Debate Effects Of Limits on Emissions “As President Bush resisted mandatory limits on carbon emissions at a G-8 summit in Germany, several U.S. religious leaders urged Congress to speedily enact such limits to avoid a catastrophic rise in global temperatures that would particularly hurt the poor.”

US-Russia. Putin Offers to Join Missile Shield Effort “Meeting with Bush during the summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, Putin suggested that a Soviet-era radar installation that Russia operates in the Caspian Sea country of Azerbaijan could feed real-time data into the planned system.” Putin Surprises Bush With Plan on Missile ShieldThe proposed system, designed to guard against a missile attack from Iran, poses serious diplomatic and technical challenges,” Bush sends double-edged message to Putin “President Bush gave Vladimir Putin a double-edged message, saying that he had nothing to fear from a missile-defense system, then slapping him for backsliding on democratic reforms.” Putin pitches alternative plan “The heated military dispute between Russia and the United States took a surprise turn at the G8 summit as Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to relocate a controversial anti-missile radar site to the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.”

Iraq. Nominee to Coordinate War Offers Grim Forecast on Iraq “President Bush’s nominee to be war czar said that conditions in Iraq have not improved significantly despite the influx of U.S. troops in recent months and predicted that, absent major political reform, violence will continue to rage over the next year.” 2 GOP senators back troop reduction in Iraq “In another sign that congressional Republicans are losing patience with the White House war strategy, two GOP senators got behind new legislation designed to encourage the Bush administration to reduce U.S. military involvement in Iraq.” US death toll in Iraq passes 3,500 “The number of American military personnel who have died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion has passed the 3,500 mark after a soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.” British military death toll in Iraq reaches 150 “The number of British military personnel to have died in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003 reached 150 yesterday with the shooting of a soldier who was on routine patrol.”

Turkey. Turkey Rattles Its Sabers at Militant Kurds in IraqTurkey is stepping up its presence along its border with Iraq to levels not seen in years in an effort to root out Kurdish separatist guerrillas who take refuge in northern Iraq.”

CIA secret prisons. Human-rights report says CIA continues to hold 39 in secret prisons “At least 39 people from a half-dozen countries have been held in secret U.S. detention centers worldwide for three or more years, six human rights groups say.” CIA ran secret prisons for detainees in Europe “The CIA operated secret prisons in Europe where terrorism suspects could be interrogated and were allegedly tortured, an official inquiry will conclude today.”

Sudan. Tribunal seeks U.N. pressure on Sudan “The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the Security Council that Sudan had shown no signs that it would hand over a senior official and a militia leader charged with war crimes, and he asked the council to increase pressure on the regime.”

Abortion. Hillary’s ‘zero’ abortions goal hit “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told religious leaders this week she agrees with setting a goal of “zero” abortions by bringing pro-life and pro-choice groups together, but those groups say there is little consensus upon which to build.”

Presidential forum. Can the religious left sway the ’08 race? “The candidates’ easy willingness to appear at the forum also represents a watershed for the modern Democratic Party: Intimate discussion of faith, and how it informs policy views and personal behavior, is no longer an arms-length proposition at the party’s highest levels.” Democratic Presidential Candidates Discuss Faith, Values on CNN Monday’s Presidential Forum on Faith, Values and Poverty at George Washington University in Washington was aimed at countering perceptions that GOP stands for God’s Only Party, while Democrats are hostile toward people of faith.”


‘Long war’ plan short on substance (Andrew Greeley, Chicago Sun-Times) “Plan B is beginning to emerge — the followup to the strategy of the “the surge,” which is the current strategy. The president recently has been comparing the Iraq war with the Korean War. Both, he has suggested, are “long wars.” The one in Korea technically continues, and American troops still are stationed there. Iraq also will be a long war.”

What has faith got to do with it? (Cal Thomas, Washington Times) -“The forum was interesting as political theater, but the leading Democratic presidential contenders gave no indication that if their faith ever conflicted with their political viewpoint that they would choose what their faith taught them over what focus groups tell them.”

A Defining Choice for The GOP Loyalty to Libby or The Rule of Law? (E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post) The argument among Republicans over whether President Bush should grant Scooter Libby a quick pardon amounts to a battle between the past and the future.

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