God's Politics

God's Politics

Daily News Digest /by Duane Shank/

the latest news on the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, Darfur, the U.S. military, Iraq, presidential politics, Iran, poverty, and select opinion pieces

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Breaking News. Embattled Attorney General Resigns “Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.” U.S. Attorney General Gonzales Resigns “The official said Gonzales submitted a letter on Friday saying he had decided to step down, but the announcement was withheld until he met with President Bush at the president’s Crawford ranch.”

US military. Many Take Army’s ‘Quick Ship’ Bonus “More than 90 percent of the Army’s new recruits since late July have accepted a $20,000 “quick ship” bonus to leave for basic combat training by the end of September, putting thousands of Americans into uniform almost immediately.” GIs’ morale dips as Iraq war drags on “As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a progress report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war.”

Iraq-politics. US pressure forces move to reconciliation “Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, and fellow leaders in the country have reached consensus on key areas of national reconciliation, under mounting US pressure to demonstrate political progress on the eve of a key report to Congress on the Baghdad security “surge”. Iraq Sunnis say deal won’t end boycott “A new political accord between Iraq’s main Sunni Arab, Shi’ite and Kurdish leaders will not be enough to lure boycotting Sunni Arabs back into the government, a spokesman for the biggest Sunni Arab bloc said on Monday.” Iraqi insurgents taking cut of U.S. rebuilding money “Iraq’s deadly insurgent groups have financed their war against U.S. troops in part with hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. rebuilding funds that they’ve extorted from Iraqi contractors in Anbar province.”

Iraq-US policy. No Big Shifts Planned After Report on Iraq “Despite political pressure for a change of course in Iraq, the White House hopes to keep in place its existing military strategy and troop levels there after the mid-September report from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker,” Generals Differ on the Timing of Troop CutsFault lines are beginning to emerge in a debate between commanders in the field and senior generals at the Pentagon over options for withdrawing forces in Iraq.”

Presidential politics. DNC Strips Florida Of 2008 Delegates “The Democratic National Committee sought to seize control of its unraveling nominating process yesterday, rejecting pleas from state party leaders and cracking down on Florida for scheduling a Jan. 29 presidential primary.”

Darfur . Death rate declines in Darfur “At the peak of the Darfur crisis three years ago, health experts estimated that 6,000 to 10,000 people were losing their lives each month to disease, hunger and violence. Today, thanks to a drop in violence and improved healthcare, that figure is estimated at 100 to 600 a month,” Darfur Peacekeeping Force Has ‘Unprecedented’ Mission “A hybrid U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force for the Darfur region of Sudan has received sufficient pledges for participation, though critical needs remain for technical support and an engineer corps, a top U.N. official said.”

Sudan kicks out aid agency chief “The director of international aid agency Care in Sudan, Paul Barker, says he has been expelled from the country.” Sudan orders U.S. charity director to leave “Country director Paul Barker told Reuters the Sudanese government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission had given him 72 hours to leave the country without giving reasons for the decision. Barker is the third prominent foreigner expelled from Sudan in less than a week.”

Iran. Has Iran paused its uranium enrichment program? “Iran appears not to have significantly expanded its uranium enrichment program this summer, a development that has many experts wondering whether the threat of sanctions finally has had an impact on the Iranian government.”

Poverty. Inside a Jumble of Poverty, Texans Build a FutureThe counties of South Texas are among the poorest in the U.S., and their subdivisions, or colonias, can look the part.”


Stiff-Arming Children’s Health(Editorial, New York Times) “The political debate over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program sometimes leaves the impression that it is a free handout to middle-income Americans.”

Bush takes on the Iraq war with a Vietnam flip-flop (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) “President Bush sternly and persistently rejected comparisons between Iraq and the Vietnam War — until he decided to embrace them.”

Will we stop to help New Orleans? (Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, USA Today) “Despite the wrath of Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago, small blessings continue to visit the Big Easy. Faithful servants volunteering. A black congregation and white congregation forming one church. Yet this city still needs the country – all its citizens – to be that Good Samaritan.”

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