Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Daily Brief - Friday, December 14, 2007

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17)

Today's Daily Brief

1. Democrats Blaming Each Other For Failures - The Washington Post

When Democrats took control of Congress in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to jointly push an ambitious agenda to counter 12 years of Republican control. Now, as Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.

Democrats in each chamber are now blaming their colleagues in the other for the mess in which they find themselves. The predicament caused the majority party yesterday surrender to President Bush on domestic spending levels, drop a cherished renewable-energy mandate and move toward leaving a raft of high-profile legislation, from addressing the mortgage crisis to providing middle-class tax relief, undone or incomplete.

· Lord, we ask for the strife to cease. We pray for Congress to see their need of Your counsel, knowledge and wisdom. Use this situation as an opportunity for Congress to move into unity with Your plans.

· Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. That thy trust may be in the Lord, . . . . Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the word of truth to them that send unto thee? ( Prov. 22:10,17-21)

2. OMB Offers An Easy Way To Follow The Money - The Washington Post

On Wednesday, the White House budget office officially launched, a Web site that shows taxpayers where their dollars go and which legislators, contractors and regions get the most. USASpending allows users to search by contracts and grants, contractor names, congressional districts and lawmakers. The site goes further than the law demands, posting information every two weeks rather than every month and providing information on whether the contracts were subject to competitive bidding. Ultimately, the OMB plans for agencies to send information directly to the site, so it will appear in real time.

· We give thanks, Lord, for this Web site that gives record. We ask for this tool to be used as a source of accountability and integrity with all the checks and balances required.

· The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. (Prov. 11:3)

3. Exports May Provide Economy A Safety Net - The Wall Street Journal

Export growth in the late summer helped offset the housing sector's drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter. Exports contributed 1.4 percentage points to GDP's annualized growth rate of 4.9%. Some economists say exports will keep the economy from contracting in the current quarter.

· Lord, thank you for all the blessings we have enjoyed. We continue to ask You to bless us economically. We humble ourselves, seeking Your face daily for provisions and blessings. We pray for our nation to fear the Lord and bring glory to Your name.

· By humility and fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of wicked is trouble. (Prov. 22:4, Prov. 15:6)

4. Bush Demands Iran Explain Nuke Program - AP

President Bush on Tuesday called on Iran to explain why it had a secretive nuclear weapons program, and warned that any such efforts must not be allowed to flourish "for the sake of world peace." "Iran is dangerous," Bush said . . . "We believe Iran had a secret military weapons program, and Iran must explain to the world why they had a program."

· Thank you, Lord for continually exposing the dangers. We pray for Iran's nuke program to become accountable to all nations. Give wisdom to President Bush as we lead the world against terrorist.

· If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Is.1:19-20)

5. 12 Inches of Snow May Blanket Northeast - AP

A deadly winter storm that left the nation's midsection coated in ice blew east Thursday as crews worked to restore power to hundreds of thousands. Some parts of the Northeast could receive up to a foot of snow, forecasters said. Schools in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced closures, in some cases before flakes even began to fall.

· Lord we ask Your mercy over the northeast. We praise You for protection and grace during this winter blast and all to come this season. We ask that You use this time to reveal Yourself and draw people close to You.

· "Now I know that the Lord saveth his anointed; He will hear from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand." (Psalm 20:6)

The Middle East in Focus

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

Therefore thus says the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it. . . and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem." (Zechariah 1:14-16)

1. Russia, Iran Agree on Timetable To Complete Nuclear Plant - NY Sun

A Russian contractor said yesterday that Moscow and Tehran have reached agreement on a schedule for completing construction of a nuclear power plant in southern Iran -- a facility that plays a central role in international tensions over Tehran's nuclear program.

2. IDF arrests top Islamic Jihad commander in Jenin - Ynet News

A large army force raided a Jenin café Thursday evening, arresting the commander of Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades in town, Abed al-Ruhmani Bargish, Palestinian sources reported.

3. Revealed: Israel agreed to forfeit Temple Mount - WND

In spite of longstanding denials by top officials here, the Israeli government in 2000 agreed to relinquish the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - to the Palestinians during U.S.-backed negotiations, according to declassified documents made public today.

4. Palestinian UN envoy slams General Assembly adoption of Israeli resolution - Ha'aretz

Israel, often pilloried in the United Nations, claimed an unprecedented diplomatic triumph on Tuesday when a resolution it had drafted, on farm technology rather than Arab-Iraeli issues, was approved by a UN committee. However the decision was blasted by the UN's Palestinian envoy, Riyad Mansour.



During the week of December 17 - 21 (next week), our publishing schedule will be as follows:

-- Monday: On Capitol Hill This Week -- the last regular bulletin for this year
-- Tuesday through Friday: The Daily Brief
-- Midweek: An end-of-session Legislative Update from Tim McGhee

During the week of December 24 - 28, we will stand down, allowing all of us precious time to spend with family and friends during this holy season.

The Daily Brief will resume publication on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008; and the next edition of On Capitol Hill This Week will be issued on Monday, January 7, 2008.


Congress will go into recess sometime next week (date still to be determined) and will begin its Second Session on Tuesday, January 15, 2008.