God's Politics

the latest reports on the Rove resignation, the Newark shootings, immigration, spying, torture, education, Jose Padilla, Obama, Gaza, Iraq, death penalty, Guatemala, Afghanistan/Iran, and Darfur
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Rove reignation. Rove’s GOP Plans Fall Short “His advocates credit him with devising a winning strategy twice in a row for a presidential candidate who seemed to start out with myriad weaknesses. His detractors blame Rove for a style of politics that deepened divisions in the country, even after the unifying attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Both sides attributed outsize qualities to him, and he enjoyed mythic status for much of the Bush presidency.” Despite Bruises of ’06, Rove’s Influence Lasts “Karl Rove’s legacy as a political strategist can be measured in a presidential campaign that has already begun without him.” Rove’s imprint is deep; but is it lasting? “The top Bush advisor wrote the book to GOP campaign success, but it’s unclear whether his tactics will survive him.”

Newark shootings. After Killings, Sense of Unity Surprises Newark “An unexpected thing has happened to this crime-weary city since three young friends were shot to death in a school playground nine days ago. Political rivals have promised to work together, young men in gang attire have signed pledges to put down their weapons, and a mayor who was facing criticism from even his most devoted allies has been buoyed by a wave of sympathy and support.”

Immigration. US crackdown on hiring illegals irks business community “As the US steps up border security and work-site enforcement, businesses that rely heavily on illegal immigrants worry that they won’t be able to keep their doors open.”

Spying. Lawsuits Shed Light on Spying “Evidence in the case suggests a massive effort by the NSA to tap into the backbone of the Internet to retrieve millions of e-mails and other communications, which the government could sift and analyze for suspicious patterns or other signs of terrorist activity.”

Torture. ABA targets CIA methods, secrets law “The American Bar Assn. voted Monday to urge Congress to override a Bush administration order authorizing the CIA to use interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, and sensory and sleep deprivation.”

Education. Neighborhoods’ Effect On Grades Challenged “Many social reformers have long said that low academic achievement among inner-city children cannot be improved significantly without moving their families to better neighborhoods, but new reports released today that draw on a unique set of data throw cold water on that theory.”

Jose Padilla. Defense Says Case Against Padilla Is ‘Politically Motivated’ “The murder conspiracy case against “dirty bomb” suspect Jose Padilla and two co-defendants is based not on facts but on fear and post-Sept. 11 politics, defense attorneys told jurors Monday.” Beyond Padilla terror case, huge legal issues “Padilla was given due process to file a lawsuit challenging his treatment by the government. But as an enemy combatant, he was stripped of every other constitutional protection and right, including the right to know that a constitutional challenge had been filed on his behalf.”

Election – Democrats. The Obamas Are Tired Of the Blackness Question “In case it wasn’t clear enough the first time, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and his wife, Michelle, have each said repeatedly — and increasingly forcefully — in recent days that they’re fed up with the “black enough” debate.”

Gaza. Hamas Security Forces Beat Protesters in Gaza “Security men for the Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip clubbed and slammed rifle butts into opponents staging a rare protest Monday, seizing the cameras of journalists covering the event and raiding news media offices to prevent footage from getting out.” As Dissent Grows in Gaza, Hamas Tightens Its Grip “Executive Force members tried to stop news coverage of the protest, confiscating cameras and later entering the offices of Al Arabiya, a satellite television channel, to seize a video camera and a tape. Accounts by local reporters said Executive Force members fired in the air and used batons to disperse the crowd.”

Four killed in Israeli Gaza raid “The Israeli military said three gunmen had been killed by Israeli fire – a fourth was killed on the ground near the town of Khan Younis. But Palestinians said two of the dead were civilians, including a 60-year-old woman, and that 14 people were injured.” Six Palestinians killed in IDF raid in southern Gaza “Two of those killed in the raid were Hamas militants and two were civilians. It was not immediately clear whether the remaining two fatalities were armed militants or civilians, although initial reports suggested they were militants.”

Iraq. Faith gives Iraqis solace, not just a reason to fight “While religious devotion is partly driving a devastating sectarian war in Iraq, it’s also keeping many average Iraqis going in the face of death, kidnapping, destruction, displacement, and lawlessness. For many, faith remains the one constant and the only way to cope with the daily agony and perils.” Defense Chief Keeps Own Counsel on Iraq “In the debate about next steps on Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates does more listening than talking, rarely revealing his own views, except in clipped comments or the questions he asks at meetings.” For Top General in Iraq, Role Is a Mixed Blessing “In interviews, Gen. David H. Petraeus stresses the downside, and the upside, of the military effort in Iraq.”

Death penalty. Rule could ‘fast-track’ executions “The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to federal courts.”

Guatemala. Campaign deaths mount in Guatemala “Gunmen in Guatemala have shot dead a politician in another attack apparently linked to next month’s presidential, parliamentary and local elections.”

Iran/Afghanistan. Ahmadinejad in first Afghan visit “Iran’s presiden
t, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, audaciously signalled his determination to counter US global power today by meeting his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, in open defiance of Washington’s wishes.”

Darfur. Darfur: The rebel soldiers’ story “The civil war that has engulfed Darfur in western Sudan has drawn in many young men who say they are fighting for the rights of the region’s predominantly black African population against the Khartoum government.”

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