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God's Politics

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Attorney General. Bush Selects Ex-Judge as Attorney General Nominee “President Bush today announced his nomination of retired federal judge Michael B. Mukasey to become the nation’s 81st attorney general, moving to install a law-and-order conservative at the Justice Department to help wage the war on terrorism while hoping to avoid a confirmation fight with Senate.” Bush’s pick for attorney general garners widespread support “President Bush’s nomination Monday of former federal judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general won praise from unlikely quarters and possibly averted a contentious Senate confirmation battle.” A Washington Outsider With Many SidesIn Mr. Mukasey’s 18 years on the federal bench in Manhattan, his reputation among prosecutors and defense lawyers alike was that of a fair-minded judge who did nothing to suggest that his personal political views played any role in his rulings.”


SCHIP. $35 Billion Boost In Works for Kids’ Health Care “Key lawmakers in the House and Senate negotiated into the night yesterday on a deal that would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over the next five years. That would set up a clash with President Bush, who has promised to veto such a plan.”


Budget. Bush Enlists Cabinet Officials In Fight Against New Spending “The White House in recent days told nearly a dozen Cabinet secretaries to send letters to Capitol Hill rejecting Democrats’ proposed new funds for their agencies, escalating a confrontation between lawmakers and President Bush over domestic spending priorities.”

Immigration. Illegal immigrants own homes with help of bank loans “Their very existence, now coming amid increasing attention on illegal immigrants from Washington policymakers, has sparked new calls for crackdowns on home lending, even as so many illegal immigrants are rising into the middle class and embedding themselves into their communities.”


Candidates’ faith. Candidates invite questions about their faith “As personal as religion is, it is also a staple of political campaigns – and this year more than ever, with Democrats seeking the “values voters” that helped Republicans in 2004, a Mormon candidate running on the Republican side and Republican Fred Thompson telling reporters last week he’s not a regular churchgoer.”


Iraq-private security firms. U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings“Blackwater USA, an American contractor that provides security to some of the top American officials in Iraq, has been banned from working in the country by the Iraqi government after a shooting that left eight Iraqis dead and involved an American diplomatic convoy.” Iraqi Government Revokes Blackwater License “The Iraqi government’s announcement was its most public assertion to date of its right to take action against foreign security companies when a suspected crime has been committed.” U.S. rushes to smooth Iraq’s anger over Blackwater “American officials scrambled to head off a potential crisis Monday after irate Iraqi authorities canceled the license of the controversial American security firm,” Shooting shines light on murky world of Iraq security “Iraq has vowed to review all local and foreign security contractors, described by critics as mercenaries who act with impunity,”


Iran . Russia warns against war in Iran “Russiatoday joined the chorus of concern at the possibility of war in Iran while conflicts continued in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Tehran’s misguided defiance “What Tehran, fatefully, appears not to understand is that the longer these western splits persist and the further Iran’s nuclear activities advance unchecked, the more likely that, exasperated, out of time and egged on by vice-president Dick Cheney and Israel, George Bush will opt for force.”


Israel-Palestine. U.S. Faces a Middle East Hungry for Peace Specifics “The Bush administration has so far failed to generate serious traction behind its latest Middle East peace effort, with the opening session of its Washington conference of Arab and Israeli leaders tentatively scheduled for Nov. 15,” Fatah, Hamas fight upends aid to Palestinian poor “In the three months since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, Abbas has worked methodically to make sure that Hamas can’t amass enough power to challenge his control in the West Bank.” Israeli Nuclear Suspicions Linked to Raid in SyriaThe Sept. 6 attack by Israeli warplanes inside Syria struck what Israeli intelligence believes was a nuclear-related facility that North Korea was helping to equip, according to current and former American and Israeli officials.”


Darfur . ‘Elders’ in landmark Darfur visit “Archbishop Desmond Tutu will lead a delegation of influential elder statesmen to Sudan in the latest initiative to bring peace to Darfur. The ‘Elders’ will travel to Khartoum at the end of the month to meet representatives from all sides.”


Free access to NYT & WSJ. Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web SiteThe New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night, reflecting a growing view in the industry that subscription fees cannot outweigh the potential ad revenue from increased traffic on a free site.” Murdoch may ax Wall Street Journal website fee “Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said today that he was leaning toward dropping the online subscription fee for the Wall Street Journal in a gamble to increase visitor traffic and website advertising revenue.”


Op-Eds


‘Jena Six’ case awakens civil rights movement (DeWayne Wickham, USA Today) “Back in 1903, W.E.B. DuBois said the black race would be saved by “its exceptional men.” His gender slight notwithstanding, I agree. The Jena Six case has produced the kind of awakening among young blacks that gave birth to the 1960s freedom rides and sit-in demonstrations. If it can move this generation of young blacks to undertake similar acts of courage, America will be a better place for them and their children.”


Misreading the Poverty Data (Robert Greenstein, Washington Post) “The poverty rate in 2006 was 12.3 percent. If immigration had not increased, and immigrants and their family members comprised the same share of the population in 2006 as in 1993 (the first year for which these Census Bureau data are available), the poverty rate would be nearly the same, about 12 percent.”


Editorial. God and the Constitution “an astonishing 55% of respondents to a poll released last week said they believe the Constitution “establishes a Christian nation.” More disturbing than the mistaken assumption of special status for one religion is a broader pattern evident in this poll, taken by a respected survey research firm for the First Amendment Center. The poll shows widespread ignorance of basic freedoms and a belief that many of the Constitution’s rights apply only to some Americans,”

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