- SENATE DELAYS IMPORTANT HATE-CRIMES VOTE
- UPDATE: TAX-FUNDED EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
- HOUSE VOTES: NO SUBSIDIZED HOUSING FOR ILLEGALS
- SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ISSUES SUBPOENA TO KARL ROVE
- SENATE PASSES HOMELAND SECURITY BILL
- BUSH ADMININSTRATION PROPOSES REVISED FISA REGULATIONS
- U.S. AND EU AGREE ON INFORMATION SHARING PROGRAM
- TOP OFFICIAL SAYS ATTACK "COULD HAPPEN ANY DAY"
- WHITE HOUSE PLANNING $20 BILLION ARMS SALE TO SAUDI ARABIA
- SECRETARY RICE: ISRAEL MUST END OCCUPATION OF "WEST BANK"
- COALITION OF EVANGELICALS VOICES SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN STATE
- TALIBAN AGAIN EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR SOUTH KOREAN HOSTAGES
- BREAKING! JUSTICE ROBERTS HOSPITALIZED AFTER SEIZURE
1. SENATE DELAYS IMPORTANT HATE-CRIMES VOTE
Legislation to create a new category of crime for actions said to be motivated by prejudice based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" won't get a vote in the U.S. Senate before September. Senators will recess from Aug. 6 through Sept. 3. Democrats have attached an amendment to a Defense spending bill that would create federally protected "class status" for homosexuals, bisexuals, transvestites, "transgender" and "transsexual" people. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has pulled the bill off the floor.
"By protecting some victims of violent crime (such as homosexuals) more than other victims of equally violent crimes, this amendment would change our time-honored understanding of 'Equal Justice for All' to 'Special Justice for Some,' " Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote in a note to supporters. "It would set us on a slippery slope that could ultimately jeopardize free speech rights, especially those of religious leaders."
Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said hate crimes legislation likely will return to the Senate floor. "People need to continue to call their senators and ask them to oppose hate- crimes legislation like S. 1105." (Citizen Link; Family Research Council Prayer Line)
· We pray that our citizens will take advantage of the Congressional summer recess to let their Senators know they disapprove of the "hate crimes" legislation. May this amendment/bill be defeated, and by a substantial margin.
· "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." (Isaiah 5:20)
2. UPDATE: TAX-FUNDED EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
For the second time, June 20, President Bush vetoed a bill that would have forced American taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, requiring the destruction of human life. Senate Democrats, with the aid of several Republicans are expected, any day, to attempt to override the President's veto.
Good news: Scientists, who have led the race for embryonic stem cell research at home and abroad, are dropping out one by one, saying that the promise of such research is not as it first appeared. Meanwhile scientists using adult stem cells continue to rack up new cures every week. On July 18th the House passed a measure to increase funding for ethical cord blood stem cell research by $15 million. (Family Research Council Prayer Line)
· May the Senate follow suit and support ethical research funding. May the effort to override the veto utterly fail!
· " . . . if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)
3. HOUSE VOTES: NO SUBSIDIZED HOUSING FOR ILLEGALS
The Section 8 of the Voucher Reform Act (HR 1851) faced a Republican motion to amend the bill to require an individual, or all adult members of a household, to provide valid personal identification- such as a social security card, driver's license, passport, or photo identification card issued by the Department of Homeland Security-to the local public housing agency before becoming eligible to receive Section 8 voucher assistance for housing. This of course is to ensure that individuals in the country illegally are not given taxpayer subsidized housing. Caught off guard, 45 Democrats joined Republicans to carry the amendment by a vote of 233-186. This was a rebuke to those who support amnesty for all illegals in the United States. (Religious Freedom Coalition)
· Offer up a chorus of praise that this amendment was passed in the House, and remain in prayer that the Senate would next follow suit. We are a nation under law, and those who are here illegally must be held accountable - not given a "free ride."
· "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord." (Psalm 150:6a)
4. SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ISSUES SUBPOENA TO KARL ROVE
In a third blow to the Bush administration, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to compel the testimony of Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, in connection with its investigation of the firings of federal prosecutors. "It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half- truths and misleading statements," four Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Solicitor General Paul Clement calling for a special counsel to investigate. "I'm convinced that he's not telling the truth," added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The developments marked a troubling turn for Gonzales as well as the administration, which has been on the political defensive since congressional Democrats opened an investigation seven months ago into the firings of U.S. attorneys. That probe revealed information that Democrats have sought to weave into a pattern of improper political influence over prosecutions, of stonewalling and of deceit in sworn testimony before Congress.
The White House defiantly stuck by Gonzales on the perjury matter. Presidential spokesman Tony Snow said, "It is inappropriate and unfair to ask people to testify in public settings about highly classified programs. The president, meanwhile, maintains full confidence in the attorney general," he added. (AP)
· Our prayer is that those suffering character assassination acknowledge that You, O Lord, are their only safety and refuge! May America be relieved from the evil tyranny of those elected "who do not know what they do." We pray that the total deception of America be crushed and defeated for Your Glory!
· "But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him." (Psalm 37: 39- 40 NKJV)
5. SENATE OK'S HOMELAND SECURITY BILL
The Senate passed the first of 12 spending bills on Thursday night, smashing President Bush's budget for border control and other homeland security programs. The $40.6 billion measure passed by an overwhelming 89-4 vote, as Bush's GOP allies joined with Democrats to flout his veto threat. The already popular bill became more so with the addition of $3 billion above budget caps set by both Bush and Senate Democratic leaders to secure the U.S-Mexico border and seek out immigrants who have overstayed their visas.
The bill also greatly exceeds Bush's request for homeland security grants to state and local governments for improving disaster planning and training, interoperable radio equipment, and paying for new fire and rescue equipment. Senate action came as Republicans and the White House stepped up attacks on Democrats for their handling of the must- pass appropriations work, warning that a stack of veto threats and a slow pace of work virtually guarantees a legislative mess in the fall.
But its addition to the bill seemed to guarantee that Bush will need to either drop his veto threat on the underlying bill - which already exceeded his budget by $2.3 billion - or have his vetoes overturned. (AP/FOXNews.com)
· Pray for President Bush to comprehend the need for more significant border security, which he seems not to want. Praise the Lord for the bipartisan support of the Senate for funding of Homeland security needs. The American public sees the need, even if the president does not or cannot.
· "Both riches and honor come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thy hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength to all." (1 Chronicles 29:12)
6. BUSH ADMININSTRATION PROPOSES REVISED FISA REGULATIONS
The Administration wants Congress to modernize FISA in two crucial ways: First, by allowing NSA to track on a real-time basis these foreign calls that may be routed through the U.S., and in some cases allowing warrants to be sought after the fact. Our spooks would still be accountable, but they'd also be able to act quickly to defend the country.
Second, the White House is requesting liability protection for telecom companies that cooperate with the wiretap program. Neither of these changes should be at all controversial - and we're confident they'd have overwhelming public support if the issues were understood. Yet for six months Senate Democrats have resisted these legal changes to make Americans safer. (Wall Street Journal)
· Heavenly Father, we humbly ask You to continue to be our ultimate national defense and to grant us national leaders who have a heart for You. May the White House and Congress work in tandem with You as their headship to determine matters of national security for the United States.
· "And you would be secure, because there is hope; yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety. You would also lie down, and no one would make you afraid; yes, many would court your favor. But they eyes of the wicked will fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope--loss of life!" (Job 11: 18 - 20 NKJV)
7. U.S. AND EU AGREE ON INFORMATION SHARING PROGRAM
The United States and the European Union have agreed to expand a security program that shares personal data about millions of U.S.-bound airline passengers a year, potentially including information about a person's race, ethnicity, religion and health. Under the agreement, airlines flying from Europe to the United States are required to provide data related to these matters to U.S. authorities if it exists in their reservation systems. The deal allows Washington to retain and use it only 'where the life of a data subject or of others could be imperiled or seriously impaired,' such as in a counterterrorism investigation.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff praised the pact as an 'essential screening tool for detecting potentially dangerous transatlantic travelers.' If available at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Chertoff said, such information would have, 'within a matter of moments, helped to identify many of the 19 hijackers by linking their methods of payment, phone numbers and seat assignments. (Washington Post)
· Unfortunately, Lord, You did not permit such a program to be available on the morning of September 11th; but we know that all things work together for good. We praise You for increased security now in the airline industry -- both foreign and domestic. May such a tool be used only to thwart future attacks against the lowly, the masses; and provide counterterrorism information about those inbound to destroy America, Israel and other countries that honor You!
· "And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly." (Luke 1: 50-52 NKJV)
8. TOP OFFICIAL SAYS ATTACK "COULD HAPPEN ANY DAY"
The U.S. military commander in charge of defending the U.S. homeland said Tuesday that he believes there are al-Qaida cells in the United States or people working to create them. Air Force Gen. Victor "Gene" Renuart said that while the terrorism threat within the nation's boundaries has increased in the past year, officials have strengthened intelligence sharing, particularly in an effort to shore up weaknesses in security at U.S. ports. "I believe there are cells in the United States, or at least people who aspire to create cells in the United States," Renuart said in an interview with The Associated Press. "To assume that there are not those cells is naive and so we have to take that threat seriously." He added, "Am I concerned that this will happen this summer, I have to be concerned that it could happen any day."
In a related development, a senior U.S. Defense Department official renewed the intelligence community's assessment last week that al-Qaeda will continue to seek chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials for use in attacks. Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence James Clapper repeated the warning contained in the unclassified summary of the recent National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism but did not indicate how close al-Qaeda might be to acquiring such material. Al-Qaeda is pursuing unconventional weapons and would certainly use any it acquires, he said. "We must be prepared for the unthinkable even if such an event would be unacceptable. Al-Qaeda has and will continue to attempt visually dramatic mass casualty attacks here at home," Clapper told a joint session of the House armed services and intelligence committees. (Newsmax; Global Security Newswire)
· Father God, who are we to think that our only warning system available comes from the hand of man? Oh Lord God, we pray that our government would realize that we are in the palm of Your hand, and YOU will warn us - if we will only listen! We continue to pray to be protected from danger - today we pray for ears that hear, and eyes that see WARNINGS FROM YOU, ALMIGHTY GOD!
· "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me." (Ezekiel 3:17)
9. WHITE HOUSE PLANNING $20 BILLION ARMS SALE TO SAUDI ARABIA
The Bush administration will be asking Congress to approve a $20 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia and neighboring Gulf states despite the concerns of some U.S. officials that the Saudis have been hampering U.S. efforts in Iraq, the New York Times reported Saturday.The size of the proposed package, which would include advanced weaponry, has made Israel and its supporters in Congress "nervous," the Times reported. The administration is expecting Israeli supporters and Saudi critics in Congress to oppose the deal when it is formally presented to Congress this fall.
To resolve these concerns, the administration has promised Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, and is asking the Saudis to accept restrictions on the "range, size and location of the satellite-guided bombs" and to agree not to store the weapons near Israeli territory, a U.S. official told the Times.
The administration has not asked Saudi Arabia to pledge greater support to the U.S. effort in Iraq as a condition of the deal, the official told the Times. The deal is part of a strategy to bolster the militaries of Persian Gulf countries to contain Iran's growing power in the region, the Times reported. "It's a very difficult balancing act. Historically Israel has been very nervous about arms sales to Saudi Arabia. We need to assure Israel that it doesn't need to be threatened by this sale," a senior administration official told FoxNews.
· Father God, we stand in repentance for this decision on the part of the Bush administration. We ask You to forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. Forgive us, Father, for thinking that we can use financial clout to achieve a balance of power in the Middle East, thereby achieving "peace."Only Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, knows the needs of the nations in this part of the world. Teach us Your ways, O Lord, that we might walk in wisdom before You and before man. In Your Name, we offer this prayer, amen.
· "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God." (Psalm 20:7) "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." (Zech. 4:6)
10. SECRETARY RICE: ISRAEL MUST END OCCUPATION OF "WEST BANK"
Speaking with Arabic-language Radio Sawa, based in Washington and Dubai, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice went further in her demands on Israel than President Bush did in his recent speech on Israel.
Rice, about to depart for the Middle East to prepare an upcoming international meeting of regional leaders, said that President Bush recently stated "very clearly that Israel's future will rest in Israel, in places like Galilee and in the Negev - and that the occupation of the West Bank will have to end, and a Palestinian state will need to be established." By stating so clearly that the "the occupation of the West Bank will have to end," Rice has set a new standard for United States officials of her stature in opposition to Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Rice also did not deal with the question of what to do with the 240,000 Jews living in the non-annexed areas of Judea and Samaria (nor the roughly equal amount living in the outlying neighborhoods of Jerusalem beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders).
In fact, however, in his recent speech, President Bush did not phrase this as a demand upon Israel, but rather cited Prime Minister Olmert as having "made clear that Israel's future lies in developing areas like the Negev and Galilee - not in continuing occupation of the West Bank. This is a reality that Prime Minister Sharon recognized, as well. So unauthorized outposts should be removed and settlement expansion ended." President Bush also stopped short of saying Israel must withdraw from all of Judea and Samaria. Bush said rather that future Israel-PA negotiations must "lead to a territorial settlement, with mutually agreed borders reflecting previous lines and current realities, and mutually agreed adjustments." (Arutz 7)
· Ask the Lord to confront Secretary Rice with the truth of His view of Israel and to lead her into His words in the Bible about Israel. Declare that her use of the words "occupation" of the "West Bank" have no power nor any influence. The area of Israel that the media named "West Bank" is Judea and Samaria, two regions of much Biblical activity and certainly sacred to God. Let her put not misrepresent the president in any statement she makes regarding Israel.
· "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about." (Psalm 17:8,9)
11. COALITION OF EVANGELICALS VOICES SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN STATE
In recent years, conservative evangelicals who claim a Biblical mandate to protect Israel have built a bulwark of support for the Jewish nation - sending donations, denouncing its critics and urging it not to evacuate settlements or forfeit territory. Now more than 30 evangelical leaders are stepping forward to say these efforts have given the wrong impression about the stance of many, if not most, American evangelicals.
On Friday, these leaders sent a letter to President Bush saying that both Israelis and Palestinians have "legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine," and that they support the creation of a Palestinian state "that includes the vast majority of the West Bank." They say that being a friend to Jews and to Israel "does not mean withholding criticism when it is warranted." The letter adds, "Both Israelis and Palestinians have committed violence and injustice against each other." The letter is signed by 34 evangelical leaders, many of whom lead denominations, Christian charities, ministry organizations, seminaries and universities.
"This group is in no way anti-Israel, and we make it very clear we're committed to the security of Israel," said Ronald J. Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action, which often takes liberal positions on issues. "But we want a solution that is viable. Obviously there would have to be compromises." They are clearly aiming their message not just at President Bush, but at the Muslim world and policy makers in the State Department. "We think it's crucial that the Muslim world realize that there are evangelical Christians in the U.S. in large numbers that want a fair solution," Mr. Sider said. (Jerusalem Post; New York Times)
This article (from the Jerusalem Post) can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite? cid=1185379029387&pagename=JPost% 2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
· Father God, we lift before You the names of those who have signed this letter -- the names You know. We pray that each person who has signed this letter would have a true confrontation with the Lord Jesus Christ to know His gospel and Your heart towards Israel. We pray for each one under their care; that You would lead them out of the bramblebushes of decieit and into the freeing knowledge of Your truth. We call those things that were not as though they were, and we cancel the effect of the words of this document through the authority of the Blood of Jesus, shed on the Cross. We ask a double measure of protection for the mind of our president as he ponders all policy decisions that would affect Israel. May his mind be the Mind of Christ in all matters. We ask this in Your Name, amen.
· "For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." (Psalm 33:9)
12. TALIBAN AGAIN EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR SOUTH KOREAN HOSTAGES
Taliban militants holding 22 South Korean hostages extended the deadline for the captives' lives an additional two days after setting and letting pass two deadlines Monday for militant prisoners to be released from Afghan jails, a provincial governor said. Gov. Marajudin Pathan said the militants agreed to extend their deadline until Wednesday to allow time for additional negotiations over the Taliban prisoners' release.
A purported Taliban spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Earlier, Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the Taliban had extended a midday Monday deadline three hours into the afternoon, which also passed without word from the militants on the hostages' fate.
The Taliban have now let several deadlines pass with no killings, though last Wednesday the militants shot to death one captive several hours after a deadline passed. Pathan, the governor of Ghazni province, where the South Koreans were abducted on July 19, said that authorities talked to the Taliban on Sunday after they set the latest deadline and asked for two more days of talks. "Fortunately, they did not reject our demand outright, but said that they need to talk to their leaders," Pathan said early Monday.
· Heavenly Father, Defender of the innocents and the defenseless, we in faith ask that You would please release Your glory over those who are unjustly held by the Taliban murderers in Afghanistan. We ask You to please protect them and any others targeted for destruction by these terrorists. Please grant wisdom to Afghan President Karzai on how to deal with these criminals for the release of the innocents. May he and Afghanistan come to Salvation in Jesus Christ!
· "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted." (Psalm 46: 1-2 and 6 NKJV)
13. BREAKING! JUSTICE ROBERTS HOSPITALIZED AFTER SEIZURE
Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his summer home in Maine on Monday, causing a fall that resulted in minor scrapes, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. He will remain in a hospital in Maine overnight. Roberts, 52, was taken by ambulance to the Penobscot Bay Medical Center, where he underwent a "thorough neurological evaluation, which revealed no cause for concern," Arberg said in a statement. Doctors called Monday's incident "a benign idiopathic seizure," Arberg said. (CBSNews)
· Join us in prayer for the complete recovery of Justice John Roberts from this episode, and agree that there will be no lingering effects from this seizure. Praise God that his doctors have already pronounced this seizure as "benign."
· "By His stripes, we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5d)