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Top News Stories 2008-07-01 07:05:03

Front Page: Worst Afghanistan Toll, Cell Phone Law, Obama to Expand Faith-Based Programs

  • Worst Afghanistan Toll:
    June was the deadliest for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 fall of the Taliban, and it was the second month in a row where the toll exceeded that in Iraq. At least 45 foreign troops were killed compared with 31 soldier deaths in Iraq. The casualty rate is thought to be tied to the Taliban's aim for headline-grabbing attacks that will promote their growing strength. Almost half of the 122 foreign soldiers who have died in Afghanistan during 2008 were killed in June, most by roadside bombs.

  • Cell Phone Law:
    California's hands-free cell phone law goes into effect today. Offenders not using a hands-free headset while driving will be subject to a $20 fine for a first offense, and $50 for subsequent offenses. The law does not outlaw texting while driving, leading some to think the claims of safety are relative. Meanwhile, Sioux Falls, SD, has been named the safest driving city in the US.
  • Obama to Expand Faith-Based Programs:
    Barack Obama is announcing plans to expand funding for President Bush's faith-based programs, pointing more Federal social service dollars to religious groups — and he'll announce that he will support some ability to hire and fire based on faith. The plan will be unveiled during remarks at the Eastside Community Ministry in Ohio. Obama is expected to say, ''the challenges we face today. . . are simply too big for government to solve alone. We need all hands on deck.''


Join The Conversation
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
That is so true about the pedestrians! I think a lot of people in the city are just so self-involved. (Of course, that's a sweeping generalization, but if the shoe fits...) I walk through Washington Circle on the way to work and people always just walk in front of oncoming traffic. Wherever you're going can't be that important!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
lol lilkimbo, I agree. There are a lot of aggressive drivers around here, esp DC cab drivers! The poor tourists usually just don't have the first clue how to navigate the traffic circles, but to be fair lots of DC residents suck at it also. Honestly though, the pedestrians here are totally clueless and most of the time it's their fault for walking through red lights while on their Blackberry. So happy I live where I can walk everywhere and avoid the road rage!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
GS, the weird thing is that a lot of people here act like they're Southerners! It's bizarre. I recognize that we're south of the Mason-Dixon line, but DC is not the first place that comes to mind when I think of Southern cities. Pop, not to be argumentative, but I beg to differ. I see people with DC, Maryland, and Virginia plates get in fender benders, almost hit pedestrians, and get in arguments with cyclists on a daily basis.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
The shitty DC drivers are usually the tourists.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, yup, you know us Texans!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Thank goodness guns weren't allowed in DC at that time GS, because if you had one, you probably would've shot the stupid bastard...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lilkimbo, my husband and I drove through DC a couple years ago. I have never seen such aggressive driving in my entire life. Even in the gas station the attendant made fun of my southern accent when I said, "Excuse me, y'all are out of toilet paper." Which is what everyone down here would say. And my accent is one of the least thick of anyone I know because of my years in speech/debate. I just told him I was going to buy some snacks and drinks but his behavior made me lose my appetite.
stephley stephley 8 years
See, Pop gets it.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
This is just his way of funneling money to the muslim terrorist organizations throughout the US.
stephley stephley 8 years
Knowing what I do of "non-taxypayer funded portions" of religious charities, and the way things can be manipulated, I think this is just an invitation to trouble. I don't care how well-intentioned these programs are, the potential for abuse - especially in light of abuses already reported - is too great to further breach the separation.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I agree with Obama on this one. Like Jill said, a lot of religious charities are already set up and know how to best serve their unique communities. Also, religious charities tend to already have a large base of volunteers. I know for me personally, most of the volunteer work I did growing up was set up through my family's church with religious based organizations. This work was very rarely religious in nature, with the most religious it ever got being a short prayer said among volunteers before serving at a soup kitchen. And not all of the volunteers even participated.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Obama does not support requiring religious tests for recipients of aid nor using federal money to proselytize, according to a campaign fact sheet. He also only supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxypayer funded portions of their activities, said a senior adviser to the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity to more freely describe the new policy. Obama proposes to elevate the program to a ''moral center'' of his administration, by renaming it the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and changing training from occasional huge conferences to empowering larger religious charities to mentor smaller ones in their communities. Like Bush, Obama was arguing that religious organizations can and should play a bigger role in serving the poor and meeting other social needs. But while Bush argued that the strength of religious charities lies primarily in shared religious identity between workers and recipients, Obama was to tout the benefits of their ''bottom-up'' approach. ''Because they're so close to the people, they're well-placed to offer help,'' he said.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I think that when you look at the US as a whole, many faith based groups are already have programs set up to help people, and they are already instilled in the community. In a town that has 3,000 people in it, you might have a lot living in poverty but not enough people to get the spotlight of Federal attention. Obama's stance on faith based help makes sense considering his work as a community organizer in Chicago, and how many Churches of different faiths that he worked with. I think he recognizes that if the churches efforts are organized and work together...they can REALLY help people. I am not against faith based long as it doesn't cross over into abstinence only sex education. I don't think you can disagree that we really need "all hands on deck". The amount of poverty caused by the housing crisis and gas price situation hasn't fully been realized yet.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I like the idea of the government giving money to faith based charities. These charities are able to use those funds more efficiently than the government, and can therefore do more good. As an example Lutheran Social Services is able to send 90% of every dollar donated to a specific emergency, where the national average is 65%. Why not give the money directly to an organization that is 35% more efficient with the money?
stiletta stiletta 8 years
I hope they're in their desperate last throws. Maybe that would account for the recent offensives.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 8 years
"June was the deadliest for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 fall of the Taliban, and it was the second month in a row where the toll exceeded that in Iraq. At least 45 foreign troops were killed compared with 31 soldier deaths in Iraq. The casualty rate is thought to be tied to the Taliban's aim for headline-grabbing attacks that will promote their growing strength. Almost half of the 122 foreign soldiers who have died in Afghanistan during 2008 were killed in June, most by roadside bombs." Great that you put this on Citizen!
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
i agree with you raciccarone... if the church sets up a foundation or a nonprofit that has a separate budget, that's one thing. but if they are just giving money directly to the churches, that should be illegal. no one can deny that many of our inner cities really do need these types of local, community based organizations helping out with problems on the ground - but they need to do it in an inclusive way. also, torgleson, faith based orgs, including schools, can state that they prefer to hire within their same faith, but i don't think the law allows them to discriminate. if so, i could start a faith-based bank that only hires white women with brown eyes and brown hair (like me!) and would not be charged with hiring discrimination.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
The idea behind faith-based federal spending is that the government gives money to churches. What the churches do with that money is irrelevant, I don't want the Catholic Church, a synagogue or any other religious institution to get my tax money. That's why they don't pay taxes.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
That article about Obama seemed to say he supported allowing religious institutions to hire and fire based on faith, and only in positions not related to anything tax-payer funded. So, isn't he basically saying the Baptist church can say you have to be a Baptist to work there? This seems...not newsworthy.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
i personally believe this hands free law is just a power grab by the very ruthless cell phone headset lobby.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 8 years
Thanks ktacce, the "F" has been put back in Federal ;)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
California has a law saying you have to use a hands free device to talk, but you can still text?!?! That makes total sense. (sarcasm)
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
It is definately pandering, but if pandering gets him the win in November, he can pander all the way to the White House as far as I'm concerned. ;)
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
We should just call this candidate "Obacain" since you can't tell the difference any longer between the republican and the democrat candidate. Yeah, giving federal money to specific religions has worked really well in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. I say go for it.
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