God's Politics

The latest news on Libby sentence commuted, Iran accused, Bush-Putin, British bombing attempts, Iran accused, McCain campaign, U.S.-Latin America, Japan nuclear bombing, immigration, and select op-eds.
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Libby sentence commuted. Bush Commutes Libby’s Prison Sentence “President Bush commuted the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, sparing Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff 2 1/2 years in prison after a federal appeals court had refused to let Libby remain free while he appeals his conviction for lying to federal investigators.” Bush commutes Libby’s prison sentence “President Bush commuted the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, just hours after a federal appeals-court panel said the former White House aide could not remain free on bond pending an appeal.” Bush voids prison sentence for Libby Risking a political backlash, President Bush threw out the 2 1/2 year prison sentence for former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby but stopped short of giving him a full pardon.” A Decision Made Largely Alone “President Bush limited his deliberations over commuting the prison term of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to a few close aides, opting not to consult with the Justice Department and rebuffing efforts by friends to lobby on Libby’s behalf.” Loyalty, and nothing to lose “Lewis “Scooter” Libby seemed to have no constituency save the Republican base. That also happens to be the president’s only apparent anchor and one to which he continues to respond.”

Bush-Putin. Putin Proposes Broader Cooperation on Missile Defense “Russian President Vladimir Putin offered an expanded counterproposal to U.S. missile defense plans, challenging President Bush to build a regional European missile shield that could include a sophisticated new radar facility on Russian soil.” Bush backs wider missile shield talks “President Bush accepted a proposal from Russian President Vladimir V. Putin to involve more European nations in negotiations over missile defense and to consider basing a controversial antimissile radar system in southern Russia.” Putin expands missile defense offer, but division remains “President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin presented a united front toward Iran, but remained divided over a White House plan to build a missile defense system in Central Europe.” Putin Expands on His Missile Defense Plan “even as Mr. Putin portrayed the proposal as a compromise, it represented a continued rejection of an American plan to base a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland, which Mr. Bush says is necessary to combat potential new threats from nations seeking nuclear weapons, like Iran.”

British bombing attempts. Medical Workers Emerge as Focus in British InquiryPolice investigating the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow focused on suspects in the medical profession, including a doctor from Jordan and another from Iraq.” Terror plot hatched in British hospitals “A suspected secret cell of foreign militants, believed to be linked to al-Qa’ida and using British hospitals as cover, are being questioned over the terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow.” Attempts Seen As Model for New Attacks On U.S. Soil “The next terrorist assault on the United States is likely to come through relatively unsophisticated, near-simultaneous attacks — similar to those attempted in Britain over the weekend — designed more to provoke widespread fear and panic than to cause major losses of life,” We can’t be complacent “The good news is that if Muslim terrorists bring their campaign of jihad to Canada — as they did (again) this weekend in Britain — we all will likely miss the attacks. The bombs will go off without us as we stand in line at the airport, holding up our shoes for scanning with one hand while securing our beltless pants with the other and watching guards search our carryon for contraband shave cream and bottled water. Any attacks here will more likely be carried out by suicide bombers than hijackers.”

Iran accused. US publicly accuses Iran of involvement in Iraq “The US publicly accused Iran of intervening in the Iraq conflict, claiming that its Revolutionary Guard played a role in an attack that killed five Americans and was using Lebanese militants to train Iraqi insurgents.” U.S. Says Iran Helped Iraqis Kill Five G.I.’sThe charge was the most specific allegation of Iranian involvement in an attack that killed American troops, at a time of rising tensions with Iran over its role in Iraq and its nuclear program.”

McCain campaign. Pressed for Money, McCain Cuts Campaign StaffThe presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who once seemed poised to be his party’s nominee in 2008, acknowledged that it was in a political and financial crisis as a drop in fund-raising forced it to dismiss dozens of workers and aides and retool its strategy on where to compete.”

U.S.-Latin America. A US military leader stresses ideas over firepower “At a time when a strain of “anti-yanquism” is on the rise in parts of Latin America, Stavridis is refashioning the Pentagon’s combatant command for that region in a way he hopes will halt that trend. His aim is to influence countries using ideas instead of military might, demonstrating a US commitment to fixing problems there versus doing it by force.”

Japan nuclear bombing. Atom bombs’ fallout still felt by Japanese survivors in Southland “More than anything else, the colors remain vividly etched in Kaz Suyeishi’s mind when she recalls that fateful August day more than six decades ago as the world’s first atomic bomb exploded over her family’s hometown of Hiroshima.” Japanese minister resigns over atomic bomb remarks “Japan’s defence minister resigned after suggesting that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inevitable … In a speech on Saturday, Mr Kyuma said: “I understand that the bombings ended the war, and I think that it couldn’t be helped”.”

Immigration. Arizona Governor Signs Tough Bill on Hiring Illegal ImmigrantsExpressing frustration with the lack of a federal immigration law overhaul, Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona signed a bill yesterday providing what are thought to be the toughest state sanctions in the country against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.” Immigration issue might push Southwest to Democrats When President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, he said to an aide, “We just gave the South to the Republicans.” Now, another Texas president might well ask whether his Republican Party just gave away another section of the country, the Southwest and Mountain West.”

Op-Eds – Immigration.

Reform shutdown (Michael Barone, Washington Times) “Those of us who have favored a “comprehensive” immigration bill, with legalization and perhaps guest worker provisions as well as tougher border security and employer sanction provisions, obviously have some rethinking to do. We can rant and rave about the supposed ranting and raving on talk radio against the bill, but that won’t get us anywhere.”

A Pyrrhic victory? (Linda Chavez, Washington Times) “Immigration reform is dead. But before conservatives who killed this bill start popping champagne corks, they should consider the following. Our borders will be less secure, not more. Employers who want to do the right thing and only hire legal workers won’t have the tools to do so. The 12 million illegal aliens here now will continue to live in the shadows, making them less likely to cooperate with law enforcement to report crimes and less likely to pay their full share of taxes.”

Mistrust Puts Up A Wall (E.J. Dionne, Washington Post) “The defeat last week of the immigration bill is the most obvious manifestation of how economic anxiety and a loss of faith in the federal government’s competence have conspired to make it far easier for politicians to say no than yes, to reject compromise on difficult questions and to assume that voters will respond to big initiatives with mistrust.”

Use Social Security to Seal the Border(Peter D. Salins, New York Times) “Although the failed Senate bill included provisions for worksite enforcement, Congress actually doesn’t need to pass new legislation to achieve it. The Social Security Administration has for seven decades maintained a comprehensive employment database that can keep track of every single employee, legal or not, in the United States. The Social Security database, combined with laws already on the books, provides a way to catch unauthorized workers almost as soon as they are hired.”

The Founding Immigrants(Kenneth C. Davis, New York Times) “Scratch the surface of the current immigration debate and beneath the posturing lies a dirty secret. Anti-immigrant sentiment is older than America itself. Born before the nation, this abiding fear of the “huddled masses” emerged in the early republic and gathered steam into the 19th and 20th centuries, when nativist political parties, exclusionary laws and the Ku Klux Klan swept the land.”

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