Though the president moved to the center on Bush tax cuts today, news reports over the last month are suggesting that an Obama second term would be full of more moves to left on the issues of climate controls, ozone regulations, tax increases, defense spending cuts, and relaxing missile defense against Russia. Experts also are saying that the president will step down the drug war in favor of treatment and possibly dramatically increase federal control over education policy.
"This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility," Obama told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a Seoul, South Korea summit in March, unaware of the live nearby microphone that captured his words.
In the case of Russia, experts say Obama was asking the Russian president, and his comrade and current president Vladimir Putin, to lay low on their objections to a U.S. missile defense system in Europe until after the election, at which time he would be more willing to negotiate a compromise. The U.S. currently argues the defense system is necessary to protect Eastern Europe from Iranian missiles. But Russia worries that the system can also be used as an offensive weapon aimed at Russia. more >>
Sen. John McCain is among the Republicans who are supporting Mitt Romney's planned visit to Israel amid Democrats' call for the presidential candidate to stay closer to home in the face of a high unemployment rate in the United States.
"I really think it is important that Romney go to Israel, particularly, since these are the most very dangerous times," McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.
"The talks with Iran predictably have failed, and we are facing what could be a serious crisis between Israel and Iran, so I strongly support that," the Arizona senator explained. more >>
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) held a debate during its General Assembly in Pittsburgh, Pa., where a proposed divestment from companies doing business with the Israeli government was narrowly rejected on Thursday.
The Assembly, which will also be debating a number of key issues such as same-sex marriage, initially voted to bring the issue up for discussion and ask members whether they wanted the church to continue doing business with companies like Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard, which have been supplying the Israeli military with security products. These business ties are seen by some as harmful to the Palestinian people who live under Israeli occupation in disputed territories in the West Bank. The PC(USA) had reportedly been in talks with these companies for the past eight years, which was unsuccessful in implementing changes.
"It's too early to know what is going to happen, but I have been moved to tears on multiple occasions as I saw authentic recognition of Palestinian experience and deep commitment to justice for all people by the Presbyterian Church," commented Rabbi Alissa Wise, the director of campaigns for Jewish Voice for Peace, after the vote. "This is a historic moment in the struggle for dignity and justice, and I commend the PC(USA) for getting us this close to holding corporations accountable for profiting from the occupation." more >>
The son of a founding leader of Hamas has announced that he will be making a movie about Islam with the intention of showing Muslims the "real nature" of Prophet Muhammad.
Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, announced his project in Jerusalem at a press conference on Tuesday.
"I think this is the time to expose the real nature of Islam," said Yousef to reporters gathered. "Islam is a religion of war and most Muslims don't understand the true nature of Islam. This is the time and I would like to announce it today here from Jerusalem, next to the Temple Mount." more >>
The founder of a group promoting Christian support for Israel wants to take seminary students from U.S. colleges who desire to enter fulltime ministry to the next level by offering a two-week accredited, study tour held in the Holy Land.
Pastor Kevin Dieckilman, who is the founder and CEO of "One Heart for Israel," is inaugurating his program by taking 45 students on a trip to Israel later this month where they will study Scripture in an environment that most upcoming pastors and ministry leaders never experience.
"We offer the opportunity to take Scripture and show how Jesus was a leader in the places where he was and the meaning and the value of how he led in certain places," explained Dieckilman, who said that only five percent of the pastors in America have been to Israel to study the Word of God. more >>
Delegates of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church have voted down two proposals that would divest the denomination's funds from companies that did business in Israel.
The measures, which were defeated on Wednesday at the Tampa-based conference, were preceded by emotional lobbying by both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy and an attendee of the conference, told The Christian Post that the divestment "would encourage further conflict rather than peace." more >>