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God's Politics

The latest news on immigration, AIDS, Russia, Republican debates, Libby’s sentence, Rep. William Jefferson ethics investigation,abortion, faith, forum transcript, and select Op-Eds.

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Republican debate. McCain Sets Self Apart in Debate “Sen. John McCain of Arizona found himself isolated as he staunchly defended controversial immigration legislation against a barrage of criticism from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, who argued that the bill is deeply flawed and should not be approved by Congress.” Immigration, Bush in crossfire – “Ten Republican presidential hopefuls, sharing a stage once more, clashed over immigration. But some of their harshest rhetoric was aimed at a surprising off-stage target: President Bush.” G.O.P. Candidates Spar Over Immigration “The Republican presidential candidates waged verbal combat in the Congressional battle over a proposed immigration overhaul, with Senator John McCain, an author of a pending compromise plan, defending the controversial proposals in a Repubican debate in Goffstown, N.H.”

Immigration. Reid Says He Will Seek to End Debate on Immigration BillThe Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, that he would try to force an end to debate on a comprehensive immigration bill, leaving the fate of the legislation in question.” Pressure on immigration bill persists “The Senate defeated a measure that would have made it all but impossible for illegal immigrants to become permanent legal residents, a step toward citizenship, under the bipartisan immigration bill.” Illegals bill hits Senate roadblock “The immigration deal foundered yesterday, on the verge of collapse under its own weight just days after it appeared to have a clear path to pass the Senate.”

Libby sentenced. Libby Given 30 Months for Lying in C.I.A. Leak Case “I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and one of the principal architects of President Bush’s foreign policy, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for lying during a C.I.A. leak investigation that became part of a fierce debate over the war in Iraq.” Libby Given 21/2-Year Prison Term “I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison for lying to federal investigators about his role in the leak of a CIA officer’s identity by a judge who declared the evidence against him “overwhelming” and concluded that Libby “got off course” as a White House employee.” Libby gets 30 months, $250,000 fine “Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr. was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison on his conviction last month on four counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI in an investigation into the disclosure of the identity of a CIA agent.”

Rep. William Jefferson ethics investigation. Ethics Panel to Investigate Congressman on Conduct “Under pressure from Republicans, the House ethics committee announced it would open an inquiry into the conduct of Representative William J. Jefferson who relinquished his sole committee assignment in the wake of his indictment on corruption charges.” House Moves Against Embattled Jefferson “Monday’s indictment of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) touched off an ethics battle in the House yesterday, with leaders from both parties moving quickly against Jefferson even as they accused each other of having no real interest in tighter ethics rules.”


Russia. Why the hot war of words in U.S.-Russia affairs? “President Bush’s attempts to soothe rising tensions with Russian President Vladimir Putin will be tested Wednesday when the two leaders come together for the first time since a U.S. proposal to place a missile defense system in Eastern Europe brought a new low to post-Cold War relations between their two countries.” Chastising Putin, Bush Says Russia Derails Reform President Bush delivered a two-pronged message to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, two days before their scheduled meeting in Germany, chiding Mr. Putin for derailing democratic reforms while assuring the Russian leader that he had nothing to fear from a missile defense system in Europe.” Blair tries to defuse tension with Russia over US missiles “Today Mr Blair will take part in his 11th G8 and, amid the preparations, he reflected on the changes since his first, and his expectations of the last.”

AIDS. New AIDS Cases in Africa Outpace Gains “For each sub-Saharan African who was placed on anti-AIDS drugs last year, experts say, five more were newly infected. The region’s rate of new infections has not budged since the late 1990s, experts say.”

Abortion. For some, antiabortion is all or nothing “As they gathered Tuesday for a national strategy session, antiabortion activists faced an unexpected revolt in their own ranks. Some of the biggest groups in the movement, including Focus on the Family and National Right to Life, are under attack from fellow activists who accuse them of turning a godly cause into a money-grubbing industry.”

Faith. ‘Rejoice always’: a lesson in dying “For much of his career studying scripture, professor David Scholer of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena puzzled over a line from 1 Thessalonians: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. He resisted a part of the verse: How did one “give thanks in all circumstances”? In tragedy? Sickness? Then came cancer and Scholer, a teacher all his life, embarked on what may be his greatest lesson, for his students and for himself.”

Forum transcript. The complete transcript of Monday evening’s Faith, Values and Poverty Forum sponsored by Sojourners as broadcast live on CNN.

Op-Ed.

The Democrats’ Leap of Faith (Ruth Marcus, Washington Post) “This is not Michael Dukakis’s Democratic Party. Instead, as was shown by Monday night’s forum on faith, sponsored by CNN and the liberal evangelical group Sojourners, it is a party on a mission: to make inroads into Republicans’ ability to attract and, more important, turn out religious voters.”

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