Friday, March 9, 2007

Today's Daily Brief - March 8, 2007

1. Daunting Challenges for Bush in Latin America -
.. A woman walks by a posters of U.S. President George W. Bush that reads "wanted for war crimes" in Medellin, Wednesday, March 7, 2007. Bush will visit Colombia March 11. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides) -- This is making everything very difficult in Latin America.

President Bush's five-nation, eight-day tour of Latin America, which begins on Thursday, comes at a time when left-of-center governments are threatening U.S. influence in the region, according to policy analysis and some members of Congress. The President will visit Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico.

• Lord we ask Your protection for President Bush as he tours the Latin American nations. Grant him favor and peace on this trip, and may the fruits of Your Presence in the President overshadow the loud voice of the enemy in the region. • "Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt; let them be clothed with shame and dishounour that magnify themselves against me." (Psalm 35:26)

2. Democrats Schedule Troop Withdrawal by Fall 2008 - AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with Representatives Jack Murtha, left, and David R. Obey at a press conference on Capitol Hill today

Challenging President Bush's strategy for Iraq, House Democrats unveiled plans Thursday for a specific timetable to remove U.S. combat troops from Iraq and bring them home before fall 2008. The plan would have troops redeploying as early as July of this year but no later than March 2008, and full combat withdrawal by August 2008. At the same time Senate Democrats are preparing their own bill with binding legislation that would require a withdrawal from Iraq to begin "not later than 90 days" after the legislation is enacted with the goal of redeployment by March 31, 2008.

• As Congress struggles -- in both the House and the Senate -- with this difficult and complex issue, pray that every member be granted an "eagle's eye view" of the realities on the ground in Iraq. Publishing timetables for withdrawal will only serve to tell our enemies our plans, and thereby strengthen their own hands. Pray for wisdom for all who must make decisions regarding U.S. policy in Iraq. • "There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof is death." (Proverbs 14:12)

3. As Iraq Exit Plan Arrives, Democrats' Rift Remains - Washington Post

This morning House Democrats, fractured as a group and, with many members torn over how to proceed on Iraq, met to learn the details of a new proposal cobbled together by party leaders last night, which calls for bringing troops home early next year while removing remaining troops from combat by October 2008. But it is far from certain they will succeed in bridging the rifts that have opened inside a passionately antiwar and yet determinedly cautious new congressional majority.

• Lord You alone can bring truth and wisdom to our legislators. We declare that Your will and your will alone will prevail over Congress in the debate over Iraq. We ask that You create a willingness in the hearts of Congress to hear Your voice. • "For it is God which worketh in you to will and to do His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)

4. Immigration Reform on the Way, Senate Dems Pledge -

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday promised to push comprehensive immigration reform through the U.S. Senate before the August recess, saying he hopes to pass legislation much sooner. • Father we ask Your wisdom to prevail in these immigration recommendations. No matter what anyone plans, let those plans be of Your construction and not of a political nature. Remind our legislators of their responsibility to protect our nation. • "Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets. . . Turn you at My reproof: behold I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you." (Proverbs 1:20,23)

5. Obama Struggles to Explain Questionable Stock Purchases - Chicago Sun- Times

White House hopeful Barack Obama was on the defensive Wednesday over stock purchases from companies whose investors included his political donors, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

• Father we thank You for revealing hidden secrets, and ask that You move upon Mr. Obama to bring forth righteousness and truth. • "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place." (Jeremiah 7:3)

6. Russia Bristles Over US Human Rights Report -
.. Russia News latest RSS headlines
The Kremlin and top lawmakers Wednesday dismissed criticism of Russia in the State Department's annual human rights report, calling the assessment biased and irrelevant, while throwing out accusations of their own at the United States. In the Russia section of its annual report on global human rights released on Tuesday, the State Department cited continuing centralization of power in the executive branch, a compliant parliament, corruption and selectivity in enforcement of the law, continuing media restrictions, and harassment of some non- governmental organizations (NGOs), which it said eroded government leaders' accountability to Russian citizens. The strong response came as a surprise, as the report - when compared to those of early years - relied largely on well-known facts and generally did not include any extraordinary criticism.

• Lord You know the hidden secrets of the heart, and the fruits of secret lies. If there are people suffering at the hands of the Russian government, OR any plans of the government to crack down on the people, we ask that You set them free and reveal those plans to the world. Protect the people of Russia from tyranny, Lord. • "I will cause them to know Mine hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the Lord." (Jeremiah 16:21)