God's Politics

the latest news on Darfur, SCHIP, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Torture, Israel-Palestine, Israelis, Colombia, Canada, Giuliani & religious conservatives and the Episcopal church
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SCHIP. Bush Vetoes Health Measure “President Bush yesterday vetoed a $35 billion expansion of a popular children’s health insurance program, a move that left him as politically isolated as he has ever been and had even Republican allies questioning his hard-line strategy.” Democrats to hammer GOP over Bush’s latest veto “Democrats seized control of President Bush’s veto of expanded children’s health insurance coverage, making clear that they plan to use it as a political hammer against vulnerable Republicans, especially those who need support from moderate voters to win in next year’s elections.” Bush vetoes kids health bill “Setting the stage for a politically charged clash with Congress, President Bush vetoed a popular bill to expand federally funded children’s health insurance – and this time, he faces significant resistance from within his own party as well.” Bush Vetoes Child Health Bill PrivatelyAfter he vetoed a bill that would have expanded government health insurance for children, President Bush said he was open to compromising with Congress by spending more money on the program than his budget has proposed.”

Burma . UN bid to resolve Burma crisis ‘has failed’ “The UN’s attempt to resolve the political crisis in Burma and end the brutal treatment of protesters has not succeeded, the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, admitted last night.” Monks flee as reports of brutality emerge “Scores of Burmese monks were stranded in Rangoon’s railway station yesterday while trying to flee the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests that has left thousands languishing in prison.” Myanmar Junta Unplugs InternetIt was about as simple and uncomplicated as shooting demonstrators in the streets. Embarrassed by smuggled video and photographs that showed their people rising up against them, the generals who run Myanmar simply switched off the Internet.” Myanmar activists to seek sanctions “Myanmar’s opposition says it will push for tough economic sanctions that could include measures against U.S. and other foreign oil companies if the military regime fails to heed the latest calls for reform.”

North Korea. Nuclear accord with North Korea hailed by U.S. “North Korea has pledged to provide a “complete and correct declaration” of its nuclear program and to disable its main nuclear complex by the end of December, according to an agreement released Wednesday on behalf of six nations.” Two Koreas make peace pact “North and South Korea agreed today to press their superpower allies for a peace treaty to end the world’s oldest and bloodiest cold war conflict, as the leaders of the divided peninsula wrapped up only their second summit in more than 50 years.”

Darfur . Can world’s ‘Elders’ help solve Darfur? “In Sudan, where African Union mediators, Hollywood stars, and even the pope have failed to secure a lasting peace, South Africa’s retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his group of retired statesmen, The Elders, are stepping in.” Ethiopia pledges 5,000 peacekeepers to Darfur “Ethiopia on Thursday pledged 5,000 troops to a U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region.”

Iran . Iran Says U.S. Can’t Afford Another War “Iran’s foreign minister said Wednesday the United States is not in a position to attack his country because Washington cannot afford another costly war in the region. “

Torture. Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe InterrogationsWhen the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.”

Israel-Palestine. Major disputes delay November peace summit “The Bush administration may delay its planned international peace conference until late November, so that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will have more time to formulate a joint declaration.” Israelis, Palestinians To Draft Declaration “Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to begin work on a joint declaration setting out their positions on the core issues of their long conflict before a U.S.-proposed peace conference tentatively scheduled for next month.”

Colombia . A new anti-drug strategy in Colombia “After seven years, the “hard” features of Plan Colombia — the spraying and military aid — have done little to stem the flow of cocaine to North America and elsewhere, and members of Congress and like-minded Colombian officials want to try a new approach.”

Canada. Harper’s election ultimatum“Prime Minister Stephen Harper held a surprise press conference Wednesday to warn opposition parties that he doesn’t want an election but will give them ample opportunities to defeat him in the months ahead.” Capitulation or election: Harper’s ultimatum for Liberals a no-lose strategy “Stephen Harper went fishing for a federal election Wednesday at his first formal news conference in Ottawa as prime minister.”

Giuliani & religious conservatives. Giuliani Tries to Reassure Religious Conservatives “Facing a revolt from some Christian conservative leaders over his stance on abortion, Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to reassure religious voters that he respected their faith but in turn asked them to respect his candor, even if they disagreed with him.”

Episcopal church. Panel Says Episcopalians Have Met Anglican Directive “In a victory for the Episcopal Church in its effort to remain in the Anglican Communion, a high-ranking Anglican advisory committee said that Episcopal bishops had complied with a directive by Anglican leaders on same-sex unions and gay bishops.” Anglican leaders urge unity “Leaders of the global Anglican Communion responded largely positively to pledges from the Episcopal Church to use restraint in consecrating gay bishops and other contentious matters.”

Op-Ed columns.

How Bush Lost Sight of the Children(Jim Wallis, TIME) “When I first heard that President Bush was vowing to veto a bipartisan bill to expand child health care, my immediate thought was more personal than political. What has happened to him?, I wondered. Now that he has followed through on his threat, I can’t help but think about the first time we met and the conversation we had about children.”

The Values Test (James C. Dobson, New York Times)“Reports have surfaced in the press about a meeting that occurred last Saturday in Salt Lake City involving more than 50 pro-family leaders. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss our response if both the Democratic and Republican Parties nominate standard-bearers who are supportive of abortion.”

Democracy is more than going to the polls (Amira Hass, Haaretz) “These are people who say they support peace, with a Palestinian state beside Israel. But apparently their interpretation of participation in democracy is going to the polls once every few years, and faint protest in their living room. However, democracy also is displaying civic responsibility, by constantly supervising the political decisions and acts between elections, thus ensuring that democracy’s essence has not been eroded.”


Chaos Coming (Washington Post) “HAVING FAILED at comprehensive immigration reform, the Bush administration is on its way to failing at piecemeal immigration reform. Its new get-tough approach, unveiled in the summer, aims to deter unlawful entry to the country by forcing employers to fire illegal immigrants on their payrolls. The policy is a prescription for social, economic and bureaucratic mayhem masquerading as muscular enforcement.”

Stop the Raids(New York Times) “Armed squads bursting into homes in the dead of night with shotguns and automatic weapons, terrorizing families and taking away anyone who lacks identity papers, even if they have raided the wrong house. It may sound like Baghdad, but it is the suburbs of New York City, the latest among hundreds of communities around the country where federal agents have been invading homes and workplaces in search of immigrants to deport.”

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