Monday, January 29, 2007

PART ONE: DOMESTIC ISSUES - Jan 28-Feb 2, 2007

On Capitol Hill This Week, Vol. XIV, No. 3a



A meeting next week on the Israeli-Palestinian issue will see peace brokers urging for a clear end to the conflict. But expectations are low that any breakthrough is possible, given the internal weaknesses of the Israeli and Palestinian governments. It would be hard to imagine a less- promising moment for the United States to restart serious Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. Six years after the last such talks, the Palestinian government is controlled by Hamas, which preaches Israel’s destruction. Approval ratings for the Israeli prime minister are barely in double digits. There is turmoil in Gaza and neighbouring Lebanon. President George W. Bush is weakened.

Yet, the administration is holding a meeting next week of the European Union, Russia and the United Nations to be followed by "informal talks" between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with the help of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, regarding the shape of a final peace treaty and the nature of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The Americans are responding to pleas for re-engagement from the European Union, the Palestinian president and moderate Arab nations. But expectations are purposely low. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, has no doubt what he wants to see. "It’s time to enter final-status talks; it’s time to enter a discussion of the end of the conflict," he said in an interview. "The crisis management approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is over. We need to enter the conflict resolution stage and try to end the occupation of 1967."

But the EU does not run the so-called quartet — the US, Russia, the European Union and the UN — which has been trying to promote Middle East peace. The Americans do. The main aim, senior American officials suggest, is to boost Palestinian confidence in a two- state solution and thereby boost those Palestinians who advocate such a solution — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement — and hope to undermine the appeal of Hamas. Rice also hopes that new American involvement and leadership will help its Arab allies like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, let alone the fragile government in Lebanon, which fear the growing influence of Iran and Syria.

Richard Haass, a Middle East expert who runs the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said that "there’s a difference between negotiating final status and raising final status". There is a strong case to do the latter, he said, which he described as "pre-negotiations", starting a longer process that could conclude only when stronger governments can take serious risks. "It’s important to shape the Palestinian debate and signal to them that there are strong reasons to forgo violence. If there’s a place to go, it puts Hamas on the defensive; it can either strengthen the moderates or help the process of transforming the radicals."

Among Palestinians, too, there is scepticism. Moderates welcomed the Rice initiative "because what’s important to them is change, even if it is only a facade, that promises a ‘positive possibility’ for the future", wrote Ali Jarbawi of Birzeit University in, a web dialogue. If the result is "an end to the Israeli occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders (with minor and agreed-upon adjustments) and solving the issue of refugees according to international resolutions", Jarbawi wrote, fine. "But this is not in the framework of thinking of this administration," he said, calling it "hostage to the Israeli perspective", which prefers "a long-term transitional stage". (New York Times)

• Whether these talks, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 2 in Washington, D.C., are termed "pre-negotiations," or "establishing a political horizon" in the words of Secretary Rice, America is heaing down the wrong path in pursuing this course. Please see below to understand the serious consequences for any nation that tries to divide the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- land given to the Jews by G-d Himself. Pray for President Bush this week -- he desperately needs to understand the danger we face as a nation should we continue to pursue this course. Pray for a miracle.

• ""Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?' declares the LORD of hosts. "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.' (Zech. 8:6-8 NASB)


Several authors, including Bill Koenig and John McTernan, have carefully documented a true "cause and effect" relationship that has been observable over the years, so that, whenever American leaders have taken action to divide the land of Israel, a disaster of some magnitude will follow. Sometimes this disaster will befall a leader himself (as a drop in his polls, or a scandal unfolding); other times the disaster will be in the form of a natural catastrophe (Hurricane Andrew following the peace talks in Madrid in 1992, for example.) Now, has studied these reports and found them to be TRUE.

In an article titled, "Ten Major U.S. Disasters on Dates Significant to Treatment of Israel," the website states the following: A list of ten dates on which there important events related to Israel along with natural disasters affecting the United States. The implication is that the U.S. had better pay attention to decisions about Israel or else. The historical accounts in this eRumor are, for the most part, accurate. What is left is the question of what do they mean? Believers in the email's message say it means that if the U.S. wants to avoid natural disasters be nice to Israel. Skeptics say that going through all the events in a particular span of years and finding apparent correlations doesn't mean they were connected.

With this information in hand, and in light of the peace talks scheduled to take place here in Washington on Friday, our call to intercede for our president this week is an urgent call to prayer. Pray for the PEACE of Jerusalem -- the undivided capital of the undivided nation of Israel!

• (For President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:) "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) (For President Bush -- that he be surrounded only by those who would speak godly and biblical counsel into his ear in all matters related to Zion.) "Take away the wicked from before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness." (Prov. 25:5)

[Recommended reading on this topic: Eye to Eye, by Bill Koenig;; and As America Has Done to Israel, by John P. McTernan. Call 1-866-909-2665 to order a copy.]


President Bush prepared once more to sell his troop increase in Iraq and domestic programs during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, while congressional Republicans continued voicing opposition to the Iraq plan, with some calling for a way to make the administration and Iraqi government more accountable. While more Republicans oppose Iraq troop increase, Stratfor reports, "Even if we discount the CBS poll, Bush is now edging from the area where we can call him a crippled president -- if not a failed one -- to an area where he could genuinely lose the ability to govern. If his numbers plunge into the 20s, a substantial number of Republican senators and congress members might well decide that it is time to cut their own political losses and break with the president openly. That is what happened to Nixon.

We are now very near to the point where Bush's ability to govern, even in his role as commander-in-chief, is in jeopardy. We would judge that he is not quite there yet; but if other polls were to fall and stay in the 20s, the Republicans in Congress would split wide open. Bush's poll ratings have now become a geopolitical issue.

As we have discussed in the past, Bush's political position collapsed when he went below the high 30s. At that point, he started losing his Republican base. What we are now seeing is not an erosion of the base, but a Nixon-style split. When you push or break below the 30s, your base has divided. This, in turn, is reflected in the decision by some Republican senators to oppose Bush's troop surge in Iraq. At this point, Bush is one piece of bad news away from paralysis." (USA Today)

• Dearest Lord, we ask that President Bush be convicted and forgiven for his many errors in Israeli-Middle East negotiations. We pray for resolute confidence and wisdom for our president and your son, George W. We pray that You will silence and rebuke his critics for "overlooking" his presidential war powers, and that as our Commander-In-Chief, You will convict them that he has the legal authority to use force to protect our country. May his foes not be able to use the media, the legislature or the judiciary to champion its pacifist and socialist agendas. May the Iraqi's one day also have a country that is "One Nation Under God," too!

• "The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened. The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity." (Proverbs 10: 27-29 NKJV)


Most of the themes in the State of the Union Address by the President this week were familiar, including those associated with the "war on terror." The only truly new theme involved what the President referred to as "affordable health care. Under the President's plan a family would pay no income tax on up to the first $15,000 of income so that the money saved could be used to buy health insurance if they had none from their employer. The President has prescribed yet one more bandage for a hopelessly broken system. Congress and the Democrats offer nothing better. Our health care system is so broken that a full 16% of the Gross Domestic Product is spent on health, yet more than 50,000,000 people are uninsured. By contrast Germany at 10% of GDP is the next highest spender on medical care. In Germany all citizens have universal medical coverage. (Religious Freedom Coalition)

Japan which has one of the finest systems in the world spends only 8% of GDP on health care. Both the President and the Congress, Republicans and Democrats, need to think out of the box and come up with a real cure before the bills of a disabled medical system cripple the nation financially.

• Father, Your Word in Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call unto Me and I will answer and show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not." We are in agreement with Your Word, asking You to show President Bush Your revelation and strategy to overcome the health care problem in our nation. In the Name of Jesus, we thank You!

• "Behold "I AM" the Lord, The God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)


While liberal interest groups were quick to criticize President Bush's State of the Union comments on issues ranging from the war in Iraq to the environment, conservatives were also upset as he continued to push for immigration reforms that they claim go easy on illegal aliens. While Bush reported that he is doubling the size of the Border Patrol to monitor the U.S. border with Mexico and pledged to enforce immigration laws at the workplace, his temporary worker proposals are still a touchy subject for his conservative base. "We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis," Bush said in his seventh State of the Union address Tuesday evening. "As a result, they won't have to sneak in, and that will leave Border Agents free to chase down drug smugglers and criminals and terrorists." Bush added: "We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty."

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a longtime critic of Bush's position on immigration . . . slammed the president's State of the Union remarks in a statement released Tuesday. Suggesting that Bush tried to "guarantee a Congress sympathetic to his 'amnesty for all' plan" during the 2006 elections, Tancredo said the new Democrat-controlled Congress "seem[s] hell-bent on cramming this mass amnesty down the throats of the American people whether they want it or not."

Tancredo also questioned Bush's pledge for increased enforcement of immigration laws, saying that "one or two high-profile raids are not proof of a commitment." He was referring to the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids on six meat-packing plants that resulted in more than 1,200 arrests and 148 charges related to identity theft. "What we are looking for from the administration is the same degree of energy expended in the enforcement of our immigration laws as they used to seek out a drug dealer in Mexico, so he could be brought back to testify against border patrol agents who were trying to do their job," Tancredo added, referring to two border patrol agents now in prison for shooting a Mexican drug smuggler. (NewsMax)

• Loving Merciful Father, we know you are a God of Law and Order. We are asking for law and order to be re-instated concerning illegal immigrants living in and coming into our country. Only You God know the way out of the chaos being caused by people breaking the law. Give unto our President and leaders direction and guidance to bring Justice for all in this overwhelming situation, that is causing great division. Thank You, Thank You, In Jesus Name. Amen.

• "Our help is in the Name of The Lord who made heaven and earth." (Ps. 124:8)


Are the American people ready for an elected president who was educated in a Madrassa as a young boy and has not been forthcoming about his Muslim heritage? This is the question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s camp is asking about Sen. Barack Obama.

An investigation of Mr. Obama by political opponents within the Democratic Party has discovered that Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia. Sources close to the background check, which has not yet been released, said Mr. Obama, 45, spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia. "He was a Muslim, but he concealed it," the source said. "His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign." When contacted by Insight, Mr. Obama’s press secretary said he would consult with “his boss” and call back. He did not.

Sources said the background check, conducted by researchers connected to Senator Clinton, disclosed details of Mr. Obama's Muslim past. The sources said the Clinton camp concluded the Illinois Democrat concealed his prior Muslim faith and education. "The background investigation will provide major ammunition to his opponents," the source said. "The idea is to show Obama as deceptive." The sources said the young Obama was given the name Hussein by his Muslim father, which the Illinois Democrat rarely uses in public. His father was black and came from Kenya. Mr. Obama’s mother, the daughter of a farmer, came from Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Obama's parents divorced when he was two years old. His father returned to Kenya.

The sources said Ms. Clinton regards Mr. Obama as her most formidable opponent and the biggest obstacle to the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination. They said Ms. Clinton has been angered by Mr. Obama's efforts to tap her supporters for donations. In late 2006, when the Illinois senator demonstrated his intention to run for president, the Clinton campaign ordered a background check on Mr. Obama, the sources said. Earlier this week, Mr. Obama established an exploratory committee, the first step toward a formal race. (Insight Magazine)

• Lift up prayer that every hidden thing about Senator Obama's past will be revealed. Amen. • "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light." (Mark 4:22)

Some estimate 5 million students have been involved.

The mainstream media have heavily covered sex- abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, but some say the national news media have ignored an estimated 5 million students who have been sexually abused by their public-school teachers. Terri Miller, president of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation, suggested a cover up by school officials. "Reports aren't being made by administrators when these allegations come to light," she said. "They are allowing too many teachers to quietly resign and move on to go molest somebody else's children." Miller says the percentage of teachers who molest students is small, but when they're allowed to quietly resign, it casts a cloud of suspicion over all educators. She called it 'passing the trash' and said school administrators should be held to account.

Bob Knight, director with the Culture and Media Institute, said the media have been no-shows on covering the larger scandal. "If the media treated the school scandals they way they treated the Catholic Church," he said, "they'd be calling for reforms, top to bottom, they'd be questioning the validity of the institutions themselves." (Citizen Link)

[For a detailed report on this story, go to WorldNetDaily.]

• Lord God Almighty, our Maker, our Creator, we cry out to You for restoration of the entire school system in the U.S.A.. Continue to stir the system that the many, many problems will all surface, and that Your Light will shine into the darkness exposing all wickedness. Then send forth spirits ofrRepentance, renewal, and reconciliation, for a new beginning with Your wisdom and truth leading our schools in this nation. God, forgive us too, for greiving You, In heartfelt sorrow we ask, in Jesus' Name. AMEN.