God's Politics

the latest reports on Jena 6, DC voting rights, immigration, Student aid, Iraq, and Iran
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Jena 6. Civil ‘Jena 6’ town feels time warp “Now Jena (pronounced JEEN-uh), which never experienced the marches of the 1960s civil rights movement, is about to see a replay of that movement. Tens of thousands of demonstrators, rallied by bloggers, newspapers and black radio hosts, are on buses heading for Jena from across the country.” In Louisiana, a Tree, a Fight and a Question of Justice “In Jena, La., residents are girding for a demonstration over accusations of racial bias in the criminal justice system.” American Baptist Pastor Brings International Spotlight to Jena 6“An American Baptist pastor in Arlington, Texas, is credited with bringing international attention to a civil-rights case in a small Louisiana town known worldwide as the Jena 6.”

DC voting rights. Senators Block D.C. Vote Bill, Delivering Possibly Fatal Blow “Republican lawmakers yesterday blocked the Senate from taking up the D.C. vote bill, a potentially fatal setback for the District’s most promising effort in years to get a full member of Congress.” D.C. voting dies in Senate 57-42 “Senate lawmakers yesterday refused to advance a bill granting the District congressional voting rights, crippling the city’s chances of gaining a long-sought vote in the House of Representatives.”

Immigration. GOP bill targets ‘sanctuary cities’ “The bill, written by Rep Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida, would make illegal immigration a felony and would clarify that state and local law enforcement has existing authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain and transfer to federal authorities any illegal alien apprehended in the course of routine duties.” CAPITOL HILL PROTEST: Legal but in Limbo, Skilled Immigrants Rally for Change“A brainy and buttoned-down crowd of about 1,000 legal immigrants, many of them first-time protesters taking time off from research labs and computer consoles, gathered on the West Lawn of the Capitol yesterday to politely demand a swifter and surer track to permanent U.S. residency.”

Student aid. $20 billion college aid bill heads to White House “Democratic leaders formally signed a $20 billion college aid bill Tuesday that will boost federal grants for low-income students and lower interest rates for student loans.”

Iraq . Iraqi Report Says Blackwater Guards Fired FirstA preliminary Iraqi report on a shooting involving an American diplomatic motorcade said Tuesday that Blackwater security guards were not ambushed, as the company reported, but instead fired at a car when it did not heed a policeman’s call to stop, killing a couple and their infant.” U.S. Officials Seek to Ease Strain With Britain Over Iraq “The top two American military and diplomatic officials in Iraq sought to play down differences over Iraq policy as they met with senior British officials on Tuesday, at a time of mounting pressure here for the withdrawal of Britain’s remaining 5,200 soldiers from southern Iraq.” Migration Reshapes Iraq’s Sectarian LandscapeA vast internal migration is radically reshaping Iraq’s ethnic and sectarian landscape, according to new data collected by thousands of relief workers, but displacement in the most populous and mixed areas is surprisingly complex,”

Iraq-Congress. Democrats’ Iraq Push on Hold “Unable to garner enough Republican support, Senate Democratic leaders said yesterday that they are abandoning a bipartisan effort to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq by next spring.” Dems rally behind rest for GIs “As the Senate launched its debate Tuesday over whether and how to end the war in Iraq, Democrats have pinned their hopes to changing the course of the war on a plan by an unlikely critic.” GOP Moderates Weigh Loyalty To Bush vs. Political Realities “With a difficult war debate looming and presidential vetoes for a host of popular legislation threatened, moderate Republicans in Congress are facing a tough choice: Stand by President Bush or run for their political lives.”

Mideast . Israel on war footing with Gaza “Israel’s security cabinet today declared Gaza an “enemy entity”, paving the way for possible cuts in fuel and water to the Hamas-controlled territory.” Israel sends Middle East a message with Syrian airstrike “It’s the event that everyone here – and no one – is talking about. Israeli officials have neither confirmed nor denied the target of its Sept. 6 airstrike in Syria. Was it, as some media outlets reported, an attack on the run-of-the-mill munitions being transferred through Syria on their way to Hizbullah, or was it a strike on nuclear components supplied by North Korea?”

Iran .U.S. ramps up pressure on Iran“One year after the United States launched an intensified global economic campaign against Iran with the stated aim of halting Tehran’s nuclear work, the Bush administration is counting its successes – and calling for still more pressure.” Iran issues Israel attack warning “Iran has drawn up plans to bomb Israel if it launches an attack on Iranian soil first, military officials say.” Abizaid: World could abide nuclear Iran “Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran, a recently retired commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Monday. John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran gained nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.”


Division Problem (Michael Gerson, Wash Post) “One gets the impression of decent men, intimidated by the vocal anger of elements of their own party. That anger is pushing Republicans into some powerful symbols of indifference to Hispanic voters.”

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