God's Politics

The latest news on immigration, Iraq-missing weapons, Darfur, Hiroshima, wire-tapping, republicans, congress, democrats, and the passing of Oliver W. Hill.
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Hiroshima. Japan remembers Hiroshima “Japan marked the 62nd anniversary of HHiroshima’s atomic bombing with a solemn ceremony on Monday as the city’s mayor criticized the United States for refusing to give up its nuclear weapons program.”

Iraq-missing weapons. Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing “The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.” US weapons ‘missing in Iraq’ “The highest previous estimate of missing weapons was 14,000, but a new report from the government accountability office (GAO) said US military officials did not know what had happened to 30% of the weapons the US had given to Iraqi forces since 2004.”

Iraq. Distrust between Iraqi groups is more than anticipated, defense chief Gates says “Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered a pessimistic view of Iraq’s political progress, saying the U.S. had underestimated the distrust between the Shiite-led government and other ethnic groups.” Turkey to Warn Iraq on Rebel Sanctuaries “Turkish leaders this week will give visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki what Turkish military commanders and analysts said could be a final warning to act against anti-Turkey Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq — or to stand by while Turkish forces go after the rebels themselves,”

A veteran general hears echoes from Vietnam in Iraq “Volney Warner thinks big. A retired Army four-star general who helped craft counterinsurgency doctrine during the Vietnam War, he’s made a career out of thinking about how U.S. military strategy should advance America’s global interests. Iraq and Vietnam, he said, are both products of failed civilian and military leadership. Presidents John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush began with flawed aims and assumptions, and in both cases they produced military strategies that were doomed to fail.”

Wiretapping. Bush Signs Law to Widen Legal Reach for WiretappingPresident Bush signed into law legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.” Bush signs controversial surveillance bill “When our intelligence professionals have the legal tools to gather information about the intentions of our enemies, America is safer,” the US president said.”

Congress. Congress scrambles to show voters results “As Congress’s approval ratings hover near record lows, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were under the gun to produce something before their August recess – and they did, passing bills ranging from lobbying and ethics to healthcare and homeland security.” Partisanship serves parties’ interests “Newly empowered Democrats, confident that the public backs their agenda and eager to expand their House and Senate majorities next year, have little incentive to accommodate the GOP minority. … For their part, Republicans, who still lag in public opinion polls after losing the majority last year, see more advantage in disrupting congressional business in their quest to cast the Democratic Congress as ineffective.”

Immigration. State immigration laws on the rise “The number of new state laws related to immigration has more than doubled in the first six months of 2007 compared with the same period last year, and some experts are attributing the activism in state capitals to a lack of action in Washington.” Surge in Immigration Laws Around U.S.State legislatures, grappling with the failure of the federal government to overhaul the immigration laws, considered 1,404 immigration measures this year and enacted 170 of them, an unprecedented surge in state-level lawmaking on the issue, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

Darfur. Darfur’s rebel groups reach deal “Most of Darfur’s rebel groups have agreed on a common position and want “final” talks with Sudan’s government within two or three months.” Darfur rebels agree on position for talks with Sudan “Darfur rebel factions meeting in Tanzania have reached a common negotiating position for final peace talks with the Sudanese government which they want held within three months, international mediators said on Monday.”

Republicans. Conservatives: GOP straying on social issues “Some national Republican Party officials worry that their party is moving away from its conservative stands on social and religious issues in preparation for the 2008 elections.” Neocons aiding ’08 Republicans “Most Americans disapprove of the Iraq war and of exporting democracy by force, yet neoconservative proponents of those policies advise the leading Republican presidential hopefuls.”

Democrats. Democratic Party is growing more liberal “The Democratic Party is growing more liberal for the first time in a generation. It’s more antiwar than at any time since 1972. Support is growing for such traditionally liberal values as using the federal government to help the poor. And 40 percent of Democrats now call themselves liberal, the highest in more than three decades and twice the low-water mark recorded as the conservative Reagan revolution swept the country in the early 1980s.”

Passing. Va. Lawyer Was at Fore of Attack on Segregation “Oliver W. Hill, 100, a Virginia lawyer who helped overturn legal segregation in his native state and was one of the country’s foremost civil rights defenders during a six-decade career, died yesterday at his home in Richmond. Hill was an instrumental member of an NAACP-affiliated legal team that persistently attacked segregation. He also was a lead lawyer on a Virginia case later incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated schools unlawful.”

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