- 110th CONGRESS BEGINS BY BREAKING PROMISES
- HOUSE SPEAKER RETURNS TO HER ROOTS
- KORAN USED FOR CEREMONY BY CONGRESSMAN ELLISON
- MCCAIN, LIEBERMAN SUPPORT "TROOP SURGE"
- DEMOCRATS FIRE OFF LETTER ON IRAQ TO BUSH
- BUSH NAMES NEGROPONTE AS DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE
- CONGRESSMAN INTRODUCES IDENTITY THEFT NOTIFICATION ACT
- HIRING, PAYCHECKS UP STRONGLY IN DECEMBER
- EURO NOTES CASH IN TO OVERTAKE DOLLAR
- REPORT: ISRAEL PLANNING NUKE RAID ON IRAN URANIUM ENRICHMENT SITES
- SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON IRAN, SYRIA ARMS SUPPLIERS
- IRAN SAYS 2007 COULD BRING ISLAMIC MESSIAH
- WHITE HOUSE WANTS KHALILZAD FOR U.N.
1. 110th CONGRESS BEGINS BY BREAKING PROMISES
Right after their victory in the November 7th elections, the newly-elected Democrat leadership, led by Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from San Francisco, said they would be giving Republicans full participation in legislative proceedings when they took over Congress in January 2007. Unfortunately for the American people, the House Democrat leadership has already broken its promises setting up the scenerio for yet another 2 years of fierce partisanship in the 110th Congress.
The ranking member of the the House Rules Committee, Congressman David Dreier, regarding the House Democrats breaking their promises to the American people during the 2006 campaign: "It is totally inconsistent as to what was promised during the campaign process," (as reported on Fox News on January 4, 2007.) House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R- MO, was quoted in "The Washington Times" on January 4, 2007, "We think we need to have an opportunity to offer alternatives." Congressman Blunt also said, "In their first one hundred hours of governance, House Democrats will renege on a pledge to fully debate policy alternatives, denying citizens of this country an open, honest discussion of the issues.
The House Democrat leadership has announced that they will use the rules of the House of Representatives to stop House Republicans from offering alternative legislation which will allow the Democrats to railroad through legislation quickly so they can claim some legislative victories. The "Washington Post" has castigated the House Democrat leadership in an editorial saying that they are using undemocratic procedures to ram their legislation through the House of Representatives. The "Washington Post" said, "Unfortunately, plans (by Nancy Pelosi) don't include getting those provisions passed in the democratic fashion that the Democrats promised to adhere to once in the majority." (Christian Coalition of America)
• In only two short days, this new Congress seems to be off to a rough start already. Cry out unto the God of miracles, that He would birth a miracle in the heart of every legislator in this Congress -- in both parties -- to desire to work together for the good of the nation. Much more is always accomplished in unity than in division. • "I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be . . . I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. (2 Corinthians 12:20)
• There seems to be a special urgency in the Spirit to intercede mightily over the affairs of the 110th United States Congress. Intercessors, arise! • "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ . . ." (I Peter 1:13)
2. HOUSE SPEAKER RETURNS TO HER ROOTS
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned triumphantly to this Little Italy neighborhood yesterday to see the street she grew up on renamed in her honor. "Every step that I took to the speakership began in this neighborhood," said an unusually effervescent Mrs. Pelosi, a California Democrat who this week became the first female House speaker and the United States' highest ranking woman in elected office. More than 300 people -- many of them Italian-Americans waving miniature American flags -- gathered on the neighborhood's narrow streets to see the block where Mrs. Pelosi, herself an Italian-American, spent her youth.
Mrs. Pelosi told the crowd that her parents' devout Catholicism was a stronger influence than their politicking. "My parents did not raise me to be speaker of the House," she said. "They raised me to be holy. They raised me to do the right thing. . . They were on the side of the angels." Mr. O'Malley, who currently is serving his second term as mayor of Baltimore and organized the street-naming event, also evoked Mrs. Pelosi's famous parents and her humble beginning "right here in the basement of this row house. It's right here in this neighborhood that she first heard the call to public service and it was her parents calling her to public service," he said. (Washington Times)
• Mrs. Pelosi IS a devout Catholic, attending mass daily at St. Peter's Church on Capitol Hill. Many wonder, though, how she can then deviate so far from the teachings of her church, supporting pro- choice and pro-gay initiatives, for starters. Only our Lord knows what is truly in the heart of this woman. • Pray that the "good seed" being sown into her life take root in good soil and any "bad seed" and ungodly ties into her life be broken and of no effect. Nothing is too difficult for God! Cry out to Him for her soul! • "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path." (Matthew 13:19) "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
3. KORAN USED FOR CEREMONY BY CONGRESSMAN ELLISON
Newly elected Congressman Keith Ellison, a Black Muslim from Minnesota, was sworn into office using a Koran that was once purported to belong to President Thomas Jefferson. During the ceremony Ellison said. ". . . the use of Jefferson's Koran shows that the founders not only knew about the Koran but also used it." We are in the process of rewriting history. President Jefferson referred to himself as a Christian, but modern historians have declared him a Deist. Now the Muslims have claimed him." (Religious Freedom Coalition)
• We share the grave concerns of many of you who have written to us, sharing your own alarm over this development. Come against the spirit of ISLAM that is trying to make inroads in our legislative branch, and cry out for the soul of Mr. Ellison. • "This far you may come, but no further, and here shall your proud waves be stopped." (Job 38:10)
4. MCCAIN, LIEBERMAN SUPPORT "TROOP SURGE"
Warning that failure would be "catastrophic" and spread instability throughout the Middle East, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (I- Conn.), on Friday expressed their support for a troop "surge" in Iraq - the plan reportedly being developed by the Bush administration to address growing insurgent violence. Putting additional troops on the ground in Iraq would help quell the violence and boost efforts to train Iraqi security forces, the two said in a joint press conference at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C.
"I believe that the war is still winnable, but to prevail we'll have to do everything right and the Iraqis will have to do their part," McCain said. He said withdrawing troops would leave Iraq without security, making it impossible for the nation to make political progress and economic development. "The surge must be substantial, and it must be sustained," McCain said, recommending an increase of four to six brigades, mostly concentrated in Baghdad, which has seen the greatest amount of violence. It could mean an increase of around 20,000 troops. "Even if we send additional troops to Iraq in large numbers for a sustained period," McCain said, "there is no guarantee for success in Iraq." He added, however, that he believed success was "still possible" even though it would be difficult.
Lieberman said a withdrawal would signal concession. If the United States hoped to win the broader war on terrorism, it must finish the job in Iraq. "Only if one decides that everything in Iraq has been lost, that there is no hope ... will you decide that the goal should be to get out instead of trying to make it work," he said. Lieberman said a withdrawal would "lead to Iranian expansionism, the creation of an al Qaeda base in Iraq and even more significantly the intimidation of the moderate forces throughout the region and a drop of confidence in the credibility and the strength of the United States of America." (CNSNews.com)
•Father, Your Word says that if anyone lacks wisdom, all they need to do is ask and you will give generously (James 1:5). Lord, that's what we do at this moment; we ask wisdom for our leaders to know exactly what is the right thing to do, and wisdom for ourselves (the intercessors) to know how to pray. Lord, what we desire is an end to this violence. Please show us the way. • "O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure." (Psalm 7:9)
5. DEMOCRATS FIRE OFF LETTER ON IRAQ TO BUSH
On their first full day on the job, newly-elected Democratic leaders Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi fired a shot to the White House warning President Bush that it would be a mistake to consider a surge of troops as part of his revised Iraq policy. The letter by Senate Majority Leader Reid of Nevada and House Speaker Pelosi of California cautioned that any plan of "surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed." "We're willing to work with the president on a new way forward but the surge is not a new way forward," Reid said after meeting with Senate Democrats at a closed retreat. "Based on the advice of current and former military leaders, we believe this tactic would be a serious mistake."
The letter, however, does not appear to represent the entire Democratic leadership. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who sponsored a resolution last year that called for troops to begin to redeploy from Iraq by the year's end, said he could support a temporary surge with conditions. "There are a lot of ways you could have a surge, it's not just 'surge versus non-surge,'" said Levin, D-Mich. "If a temporary surge is part of a reduction of U.S. forces in four to six months with political milestones to achieving a political solution agreed upon by Iraqis" then he would be on board.
Sens. Joseph Biden, D-Del., and Richard Lugar, R- Ind., leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a schedule for hearings on Iraq to begin next week. "The purpose of these hearings will be to seek an answer to the question currently dominating the national debate: What options remain to secure America's interests in Iraq? Where do we go from here?" incoming committee chairman Biden said. One option being considered by Bush includes sending 8,000 to 9,000 more troops to Iraq, primarily to reinforce Baghdad. There are roughly 140,000 troops in Iraq. The option involves sending two additional Army brigades, or roughly 7,000 soldiers, to Baghdad, and two Marine battalions, totaling about 1,500 troops, to western Anbar Province, the center of the Sunni Arab insurgency. Besides military, Bush's new plan is expected to contain economic, political and diplomatic components.
Given the need to reduce high unemployment and draw Iraqis away from Shiite militias and the Sunni insurgency, the president is considering loans to businesses. He is looking at getting Iraqis into short- term jobs by proposing a significant increase in the discretionary funds that military commanders can use for reconstruction projects. (Fox News; AP)
• Lord, we continue to lift this to You and ask for Your will to be done. Oh Lord, we pray for a solution that will UNITE our nation; we pray for an end to political thinking, and a beginning to practical thinking. We pray for our leaders to have the MIND OF CHRIST! We don't have the answer, because our thoughts are not Your thoughts, but You give us the promise that if we ask anything according to Your will, it will be done. May politics be put aside, and may our government work together concerning Iraq; may You instruct these men and women in the way YOU would have them go; may there be peace as they work together, because we know that "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand." (Matthew 12:25)
6. BUSH NAMES NEGROPONTE AS DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE
President Bush Friday nominated Intelligence Director John Negroponte to be the new deputy secretary of state under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a White House ceremony. "I have asked John Negroponte to serve in this vital position at this crucial moment. John Negroponte knows the State Department well," the president said. "I have asked John Negroponte to serve in this vital position at this crucial moment. John Negroponte knows the State Department well," he said. Bush also tapped retired Adm. Mike McConnell to take over for Negroponte as national intelligence director. "Each of them will do good work in their new positions. And it is vital they take up their new responsibilities promptly," Bush said. (CNSNews.com)
• Pray for great wisdom to be granted to these two men as they take up their new positions in our government; and pray for favor as they each go before congressional committees who must approve these nominations. • "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8)
7. CONGRESSMAN INTRODUCES IDENTITY THEFT NOTIFICATION ACT
A Republican congressman has introduced a bill designed to cut down on identity theft by illegal immigrants. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) introduced six bills on Thursday to fight illegal immigration. One of those bills, the Identity Theft Notification Act of 2007 would require the Social Security Administration to investigate if it receives W-2 forms with the same Social Security number but different addresses. If fraudulent activity is found, the Social Security Administration would be required to notify the Homeland Security Department and the legal owner of that Social Security number. Also, another bill, the Employment Eligibility Verification and Anti-Identity Theft Act, would put the onus on workers to resolve discrepancies if their names and Social Security number don't match. Employers would be required to fire workers who don't resolve discrepancies. And in that case, the Social Security Administration would be required to notify the Homeland Security Department to investigate whether a crime has been committed. (CNSNews.com)
• Heavenly Father, we give You thanks for the introduction of the Identity Theft Notification Act by Rep. Gallegly. God if this bill is just, we ask for it to be signed into law to give ABSOLUTE protection to innocent people. We ask this prayer in our Protector's Name, Jesus. • "He that walketh uprightly walketh surely; but he that perverth his ways shall be known." (Proverbs 10:9)
8. HIRING, PAYCHECKS UP STRONGLY IN DECEMBER
Ending 2006 on a positive note, employers boosted hiring and fattened workers' paychecks in December, capping a year in which the country's unemployment rate averaged a six-year low of 4.6 percent. Employers added 167,000 new jobs to their payrolls in December, and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent. Workers, many of whom had seen their pay eaten by inflation, also saw their average hourly earnings jump to $17.04 in December, a 0.5 percent rise from the prior month. Over the past 12 months, wages grew by a strong 4.2 percent, a gain last exceeded in November 2000. Wages are now growing faster than consumer prices, which should leave people with more money to spend. That's good for workers and for the economy because consumer spending is a big force driving overall economic activity. (AP)
• Lord God our Provider, we thank you that hiring and paychecks have increased in our nation. We ask that this trend continue, and for people to recognize this and be grateful and thankful. In Jesus' Name, Amen. • "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises unto Thy Name, Oh Most High."(Psalm 92:1)
9. EURO NOTES CASH IN TO OVERTAKE DOLLAR
Since October, the US dollar bill’s standing as the world’s favourite form of cash has been eroding due to the popularity of the five-year-old Euro. The value of Euro notes in circulation this month is likely to exceed the value of circulating dollar notes, according to calculations by the Financial Times. This development highlights the remarkable growth in Euro notes since their launch on January 1, 2002, three years after the start of Europe’s monetary union, which in January welcomes its 13th member – Slovenia, the former Yugoslav republic. But the eurozone’s geographical expansion is modest in comparison with the rapid growth in Euro notes in circulation within the region and beyond.
The European Central Bank (ECB) reports that although the Euro has become popular in official foreign exchange reserves – it is far from challenging the U. S. dollar’s lead as the most popular reserve currency. While news that Euro notes are challenging the dollar may cheer eurozone politicians, this may have a dark side. too. Fast growth in the highest Euro denomination notes, especially the 500 pound note, has raised suspicions that they are popular among criminals, a point that the ECB plays down.
• May we pray for the decrease of the world's financial arrogance and their lack of need for God in their hearts and lives. May God keep the balance of world currency in His Control for His Glory! Throughout the world, may all in financial positions seek God's wisdom in all that they do! • "By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice, By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth. I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver." (Proverbs 8: 15-19 NKJV)
10. REPORT: ISRAEL PLANNING NUKE RAID ON IRAN URANIUM ENRICHMENT SITES
Over the weekend Israel revealed that she has been planning to nuke Iran's sites. The purpose for publicly announcing these plans is to hopefully constrain Iran with the fear of retaliation if Iran were to launch its Shehab-3 ballistic missiles at Israel. Basically the plans consist of two Israeli air force squadrons blowing up an Iranian nuclear facility using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters." The Israeli weapons would have the force of one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb. Conventional laser-guided bombs would open "tunnels" into the target, and then mini-nukes would immediately fired into a plant, exploding deep underground to prevent radioactive fallout. Some of Iran's facilities are protected under 70 feet of concrete.
Israel's Mossad,. its intelligence agency, has determined that Iran is on the verge of producing enough uranium to make nuclear weapons within the next two years. Three prime facilites for the air strikes in Iran are Natanz, where thousands of centrifuges are being installed for uranium enrichment; Isafan, where 250 tons of gas for the enrichment process are stored; and Arak, where a heavy water reactor is installed to produce plutonium.
American and Israeli officials have met several times to consider military action against Iran's nuclear ambitions. Robert Gates, the new Secretary of Defense, has described any US actions as a "last resort," leaving Israel to decide that she must act alone. Israelis have been in training for this stike under the command of Major General Eliezer Shkedi of the Israeli air force. (FOXNews.com)
• Cover this possiblity of air strikes on the part of Israel against Iran's nuclear facilities with much prayer. Pray also for wisdom on the part of the USA about how we should be involved. Pray against retaliation and repercussions should such a strike occur. Iran's president Ahmadinejad is determined to wipe Israel off the map. Only God's intervention in this matter can bring solutions. • "Bless, Lord, his [Jacob] substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again." ( Deut. 33: 11)
11. SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON IRAN, SYRIA ARMS SUPPLIERS
The Bush administration is imposing economic sanctions on Chinese, Russian and North Korean companies for selling missiles and weapons goods to Iran and Syria, administration officials said. The sanctions were imposed earlier this week on three Chinese state-run companies, three Russian firms and a North Korean mining company under a 2000 arms proliferation law that was renamed Iran and Syria Nonproliferation Act in 2005.
The sanctions, which ban U.S. government business and support to the companies for two years and block U.S. firms from selling them items that require export licenses, are largely symbolic, but U.S. officials have been effective in publicly singling out companies that are engaged in selling arms to rogue states. The law requires the imposition of sanctions on companies, governments and people caught transferring missiles, weapons of mass destruction materials or advanced conventional arms to Iran or Syria.
The Bush administration has imposed sanctions more than 40 times since 2001 to stop arms transfers to rogue states or unstable regions of the world. Sanctions were imposed after an interagency review of intelligence on transfers that happened within the past two years. Although specific details of the transfers were not released, officials said they included missile sales to Syria and arms sales and transfers of weapons-related goods to both Iran and Syria. The sanctions, which ban the companies from conducting business with U.S. companies for two years, are likely to affect the Russians more than the Chinese and North Korean companies because of the potential to block sales of aircraft-related materials to U.S. manufacturers.
The Chinese companies are the Zibo Chemical Equipment Plant, the China National Aerotechnology Import Export Corp., and the China National Electrical Import and Export Co. The Korean Mining and Industrial Development Corp.,linked in the past to air shipments of missiles from North Korea to Iran, is a "serial proliferator."
The new sanctions could affect the six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program. Until last month, North Korea rejected further talks with five other nations because of what Pyongyang called economic sanctions against a Macao bank that U.S. officials said North Korea was using for money laundering and counterfeiting. (Washington Times)
• Pray for the effectiveness of these sanctions against these rogue nations and their companies; obviously they operate without conscience. Praise the Lord for the surveillance of the US government in tracking these companies and for imposing sanctions. Ask the Lord to bring confusion into the arms productions of these and unnamed others and confusion into their shipping. Pray for salvation for those involved in these companies. • "The wicked desireth the net of evil men; but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit." (Proverbs 12:12)
12. IRAN SAYS 2007 COULD BRING ISLAMIC MESSIAH, POSSIBLY THIS SPRING
The New Year may not be so happy if Iranian leaders have their way. The Islamic Messiah known as the “Twelfth Imam” or the “Mahdi” may come to earth in 2007 and could be revealed to the world as early as the Spring Equinox, reports an official Iranian government news Web site. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Web site says the world is now in its “last days.” It claims that the Mahdi will first appear in Mecca, and then Medina. He will conquer all of Arabia, Syria, Iraq, destroy Israel, and then set up a “global government” based in Iraq, interestingly enough, not Iran. Such Islamic eschatology (end-time theology) is driving the Iranian regime and helps explains why Iran has no interest in helping the United States and European Union create peace in Iraq or the region, much less in ending its bid for nuclear weapons, the “Iraq Study Group Report” notwithstanding.
A television series on IRIB called “The World toward Illumination” has been running since last November to help answer the many questions Iranians have about the end of the world as we know it. The series explains the signs of the last days and what to expect when the Islamic Messiah arrives. The program also says that Jesus is coming back to earth soon as a Shiite Muslim leader and it enounces “born- again Christians” for supporting “the illegal Zionist state of Israel.” An Israeli news site was the first to pick up the story and its significance to Israeli national security, noting that the Mahdi will soon “form an army to defeat Islam’s enemies in a series of apocalyptic battles” and “will overcome his arch villain in Jerusalem.”
Iran’s calendar year ends on March 20, the usual date of the Spring Equinox. Is Ahmadinejad signaling that Iran will have nuclear weapons by then? Is he suggesting that an apocalyptic war to annihilate Jews and Christians in Israel and the US could come in 2007, perhaps as early as this spring or summer? It is not yet clear, though Ahmadinejad today vowed to “humiliate” the US and continues to vow that Israel will “vanish” soon. The IRIB series is important in that it offers some intriguing clues as to how Iranian Shiites believe their prophecies will play out.
Too many Western analysts are missing the central importance of Shiite eschatology in Iranian foreign policy. They mistakenly believe that Iran’s current leadership can be somehow cajoled into making peace with the West. Nothing could be further from the truth.
(Excerpts from an article by Joel Rosenberg, January 2, 2007) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
• Pray that God will strengthen Iranian believers and use them to bring many Muslims to faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Praise God that it is a Jewish Messiah and not an Iranian Mahdi who will reign over the earth one day. • "Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.” (Psalm 47:1–3)
13. WHITE HOUSE WANTS KHALILZAD FOR U.N.
The White House made it official Monday: President Bush will nominate Zalmay Khalilzad to be the U.S. envoy to the United Nations and Ryan Crocker to replace him as U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Both changes were revealed in news reports last week. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will make the announcements on Monday, White House spokesman Tony Snow said. Khalilzad, who is Afghan born, has also served as ambassador to Afghanistan. He will replace John Bolton, who could not win Senate confirmation and resigned last month as his temporary appointment as U.N. ambassador was about to expire. (AP)
• Offer a prayer in the spirit over this nomination, and pray that God's perfect will be done in and through Mr. Khalilzad. • "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)