God's Politics

the latest news on Jena 6, SCHIP, Israel air strikes on Syria, Iraq-Congress, Moveon, Blackwater, Darfur, Iran, Israel-Palestine, immigration, prison books, Episcopal Church, Myanmar, and Australia
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Jena 6. Demonstrators descend on JenaDrawn by the disturbing symbol of three lynching nooses dangling from a tree and greeted by Confederate flags displayed along their route, tens of thousands of African Americans poured into this racially tense Deep South town to stage the largest civil rights demonstration in years against what they regard as glaring racial injustices here.” Thousands Protest Blacks’ Treatment “Thousands of people from around the nation converged early Thursday on this rural town to protest what they consider the overzealous prosecution of six black high school students charged with beating a white schoolmate.” Protesters rally in Jena, La. “Protesters accuse local prosecutors of racial bias, setting their aggressiveness in the beating case against their decision not to seek charges against white students accused of hanging nooses in a tree months earlier.”

SCHIP. Bush Threatens Veto of Child Health Bill “President Bush, bracing for a series of battles with Congress over spending, threatened to veto a bill expanding a popular children’s health insurance program, calling it “a step toward federalization of health care.” Veto Threat Angers Republicans  “Republicans reacted angrily to President Bush’s ‘s promise to veto a bill that would renew and expand the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program, raising the likelihood of significant GOP defections when the package comes to a vote next week.

Israel air strike on Syria. Bush Declines to Lift Veil of Secrecy Over Israeli Airstrike on Syria  “President Bush pointedly declined to discuss an Israeli airstrike in northern Syria on Sept. 6 that Israeli officials say hit a nuclear-related facility that North Korea was helping to equip.”  Israel, U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site “Israel’s decision to attack Syria on Sept. 6, bombing a suspected nuclear site set up in apparent collaboration with North Korea, came after Israel shared intelligence with President Bush this summer indicating that North Korean nuclear personnel were in Syria,” Israel ‘consulted US on Syria raid’Israel’s decision to launch an air strike against a suspected nuclear site in Syria allegedly set up with the help of North Korea came after Israel shared intelligence with the US,”  Netanyahu seems to confirm Israeli incursion into Syria  “Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have provided the first official confirmation of an Israeli incursion into Syria two weeks ago, reportedly angering aides to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.”

Iraq-Congress. Democrats’ toughest out-of-Iraq plan defeated in SenateA Democratic antiwar proposal that would have cut off funding for combat in Iraq by next June was blocked 70-28 in the Senate.” Democrats to Keep Up Drive for Bipartisan Action on Iraq War  “Democrats vowed yesterday to continue their uphill struggle to force President Bush to change course in Iraq, allowing legislative action on the war to spill into next week as negotiations continue on measures they hope could attract bipartisan support.” Democrats charge ahead with antiwar agenda but say Republicans now own the war  “Senate Democrats defiantly charged ahead with legislation ordering troops home from Iraq, still lacking the votes to win but armed with the mantra that Republicans, along with President Bush, now own the war.

Moveon. Senate Approves Resolution Denouncing Ad “The Senate approved a resolution denouncing the liberal antiwar group over an advertisement that questioned the credibility of Gen. David H. Petraeus, the American commander in Iraq.”  MoveOn Unmoved By Furor Over Ad Targeting Petraeus “In an e-mail to its members, the group acknowledged that the content of the ad might have angered its allies but argued that a larger issue is at stake.”

Blackwater. Guards’ Shots Not Provoked, Iraq Concludes  “Iraq’s Ministry of Interior has concluded that employees of a private American security firm fired an unprovoked barrage in the shooting last Sunday in which at least eight Iraqis were killed and is proposing a radical reshaping of the way American diplomats and contractors here are protected.”  A  legal danger zone for BlackwaterThe recent killing of Iraqi civilians by private American security contractors reveals one of the biggest changes in modern US war-fighting – its increased reliance on private companies. It also illustrates difficult questions about the legal standing of those workers that are just starting to be understood.” Making a killing: how private armies became a $120bn global industry  “the burgeoning world of private military companies, arguably the fastest-growing industry in the global economy.”

Darfur. Justice urged as topic for Darfur talks “The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court challenged world leaders to not leave criminal justice off the agenda as they convene at the U.N. to discuss Darfur.” Court urges Sudan war crimes arrest  “The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has urged world leaders to “break their silence” and press the Sudanese government to arrest one of its ministers for alleged war crimes.”

Iran. Iranian arrested by U.S. troops is accused of smuggling roadside bomb into Iraq  “U.S. troops arrested an Iranian in an early morning raid on a hotel Thursday and accused him of helping to smuggle a deadly type of roadside bomb into Iraq.” U.S. calls meeting to prepare new sanctions against Iran  “the Bush administration, wary of any Iranian moves short of an immediate halt to its nuclear enrichment program, will attempt to convince other major powers to impose tougher United Nations sanctions on Tehran.”

Israel-Palestine. US to push for Palestinian state  “The US secretary of state has said the upcoming Middle East peace summit must address substantive issues and advance the cause of a Palestinian state.” Rice seeks consensus on agenda for summitSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice worked Thursday to bridge gaps between Israel and the Palestinians over the content of a planned Middle East peace conference, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging that the meeting deal with the core issues of a final peace agreement.”

Immigration. Immigration Raids Single Out Hispanics, Lawsuit SaysA federal lawsuit filed yesterday charges that agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement unlawfully force their way into the homes of Hispanic families in the New York area without court warrants or other legal justification, sometimes pushing down doors in the middle of the night, in search of people who do not live there.”  Suit alleges immigrant bias led paramedics to deny care for baby  “A former Carpentersville woman filed a $30 million federal lawsuit alleging that anti-immigrant sentiment in the village contributed to paramedics’ failure to take her son to the hospital, causing him permanent brain damage.”

Prison books. Critics Right and Left Protest Book RemovalsThe federal Bureau of Prisons is under pressure from members of Congress and religious groups to reverse its decision to purge the shelves of prison chapel libraries of all religious books and materials that are not on the bureau’s lists of approved resources.”

Episcopal Church. Presiding bishop asks church to set aside ‘abundant disdain’ for differencesIn a morning Eucharist for U.S. Episcopal bishops gathered here, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori called for church leaders to set aside an “abundant disdain” for those who hold different opinions.” Anglican Leader Urges Church To Find Accord Amid Turmoil “The Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Anglican Communion, made a rare visit yesterday to a meeting of Episcopal bishops to urge them to compromise in the face of international pressure over their approval of same-sex unions and gay clergy.”  Episcopal bishops, archbishop seek a middle ground “Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in a last-ditch effort to avoid a schism in the global Anglican Communion, spent seven hours yesterday holed up in a posh New Orleans hotel with most of the nation’s Episcopal bishops”

Myanmar. Monks in Myanmar March in Protest for Third DayHundreds of Buddhist monks marched through rain-washed streets on Thursday, taking the lead in monthlong protests that the military junta has so far been powerless to contain.”

Australia. Kevin  Rudd: In Australia, the rise of a political nerd  “Earnest, bookish, and nerdy, Labor Party chief Kevin Rudd is poised to lead Australia.”


In Search of a Congress (New York Times) “If you were one of the Americans waiting for Congress, under Democratic control, to show leadership on the war in Iraq, the message from the Senate is clear: “Nevermind.”


Fears exploited at immigrant forum (Denver Post editorial board) “Tuesday’s immigration forum arranged by Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck was orchestrated to play on the worst fears of residents anxious about changes to their community. It’s disappointing to see such effort poured into a divisive event.”


Middle East Volcano  (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post) “On Sept.6 something important happened in northern Syria. Problem is, no one knows exactly what. Except for those few who were involved, and they’re not saying.”

Ditto Democrats  (E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post) “Here is why the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination seems so peculiar: Political campaigns are normally about highlighting differences, but never have the philosophical distinctions among Democratic candidates been so small.”


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