Monday, May 12, 2008

On Capitol Hill . . . May 12-16, 2008

On Capitol Hill This Week

Volume XV, Number 12

May 12 - 16, 2008

"The Light of Israel will become a fire; their Holy One a flame . . . " (Isaiah 10:17)

On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XV, No. 12



About one week before US President George W. Bush's planned visit to Israel, some 30 Secret Service agents arrived in Israel in recent days to tour the Knesset and inspect the Israeli parliament's security arrangements. Bush is expected to land in Israel on May 15 for a festive visit in celebration of the Jewish state's 60th anniversary. In a meeting held recently with Avi Balashnikov, the Knesset's director-general, the Americans demanded that a special fence be built around the Knesset in order to prevent eye contact between Bush and external elements.

The American agents "studied" the Knesset perfectly, examined all the building's entrances and exits, and passed through the route which President Bush is expected to take during his visit several times. They even participated in a role-playing session in order to simulate the road the president will take in real time. One of the issues discussed in the Knesset in recent days was where to store the US president's high- classified material during the visit at the Israeli parliament, where he is expected to arrive immediately after landing at Ben-Gurion Airport. A special room will likely be provided to the Secret Service agents where they will guard the material during the visit.

Bush, who will arrive in Israel with his wife Laura, is expected to be greeted by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and a guard of honor in a festive ceremony. The US president will also meet with school children from Jerusalem and lay a wreath at a monument in memory of Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed in action. Later Bush is expected to meet with the Knesset speaker, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres, and Opposition Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu. Following the meetings, the Knesset plenum will hold a special session in which Bush will deliver a speech. (Ynet News; Reported by Bridges for Peace)

· Pray that all activities held during the Israel anniversary celebrations will be enjoyed without terrorist interference.

· "For thus has the Lord said to me: 'Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees.'" (Isaiah 21:6)


US President George W. Bush's second trip to the Mideast this year, designed in part to make progress toward a peace deal before the end of his presidency, will not see him hosting a joint session with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the White House said. "This did not seem the time for a big, high-level, three-way event," Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, told reporters on Wednesday. "It just doesn't feel right as the best way to advance the negotiation."

Bush has set a goal of shepherding an Israeli- Palestinian accord before he leaves office in January and has stepped into Mideast peacemaking at a level not previously seen in his presidency. But after launching in November the first substantive peace talks between the two sides in more than seven years, hopes that started out moderately high have dimmed considerably.

The primary purpose of the president's five-day trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, a follow-up to his trip to the same three countries and others in the region in January, is ceremonial. He is marking the 60th anniversary of Israel's creation and 75 years of US relations with Saudi Arabia. Bush also has plenty of official business on his plate. He delivers speeches before the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and at the World Economic Forum in the Middle East, a gathering of hundreds of global policymakers and business leaders being held in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. Also while in the Red Sea resort for two days, Bush is meeting with a string of leaders key to US goals in the region. (Ynet News) Read more.

· The Word of God is true and does not lie. These plans for peace have been outside of His will, as they call for the dividing of Israel's land. Meanwhile, there are other plans in the works to bring peace to the region that do NOT include this clause. Pray that those plans will find favor inside the Knesset and among Israel's neighbors . . . God CAN make a way!

· "Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us." (Isaiah 8:10)


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice continues to press US President George W. Bush's insistence that a deal between Israel and the Palestinians is possible before he leaves office at the end of the year, despite no apparent sign of movement in talks between the two sides. Rice has used her talks with Israeli leaders to push demands for an end to building residential units in post-1967 areas and to remove hundreds of roadway obstacles scattered throughout Palestinian territory.

Rice has stopped short of a public tongue-lashing of Israel, but frequently paints a picture of the detrimental effects of Israeli building and of the inability of Palestinians to move about freely. But Palestinian officials are widely expressing their assessments that nothing is going to come out of the current Rice visit and their hope that movement will come when Bush himself visits Israel to participate in its 60th anniversary celebrations. (The Media Line; Reported by Bridges for Peace)

· Pray that the Lord will guide and direct the future negotiations and plans for a Palestinian state. Pray that He will bring His divine roadmap to fruition.

· "There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the LORD'S counsel-that will stand." (Proverbs 19:21)


Weeks ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) struck a deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to advance at least three of President Bush's outstanding circuit court appointments before the Memorial Day recess, May 23. Republican senators are anxious about 28 judicial nominees that have been awaiting confirmation, some for over a year, while 46 total vacancies remain unfilled, the seats vacated by Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts, among them. Conservatives had hoped and expected to see their champions, some who have been awaited confirmation for over a year, to be confirmed. But the McConnell-Reid deal has turned sour; as it appears Democrat-favored nominees will be the result. Democrats have been stalling until the new administration is in power. This is but a preview of things to come. (FRC Prayer Targets)

· May God superintend the judicial confirmation process and bend the Democrats' will! May judges who fear God and are "strict constructionists" win confirmation! May this logjam be broken and movement made quickly to fill vacant seats even while President Bush remains in office.

· "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us." (Isaiah 33:22)


Democrats' plans to help hundreds of thousands of homeowners struggling with rising subprime mortgage rates and plummeting house values could be sidetracked by President Bush's threatened veto and the backing of many congressional Republicans. Opponents of the plan say more prudent homebuyers and renters shouldn't be called upon to bail out borrowers who gambled on ever-rising housing prices and lost. "The American people don't want to make their neighbor's payment when they're having trouble making their own," said Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas.

The Democratic-controlled House on Thursday passed a homeowner rescue plan that would provide cheaper, government-backed mortgages to half a million debt-ridden borrowers and bolster an economy crippled by the housing crisis. The House approved the measure by a vote of 266-154, with 39 Republicans - mostly from areas suffering worst from housing woes - supporting it. Defying veto threats, the House voted to let the Federal Housing Administration take on up to $300 billion in new mortgages so that financially strapped borrowers facing foreclosure could refinance. The plan by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is the centerpiece of a broader package of bills approved Thursday that Democrats say will prevent more foreclosures and help homeowners and communities deal with the fallout from the mortgage crisis.

But Bush's veto warnings, backed by staunch GOP opposition, are clouding its prospects. "House Democrats passed bills that they know will never become law. Most Americans understand that we shouldn't create a taxpayer-funded bailout for lenders and speculators," said Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman.

The House on Thursday also passed, 239-188, a bill to send $15 billion to states to buy and fix up foreclosed property. Bush has threatened to veto that measure also, contending it rewards the very lenders who helped caused the housing chaos and could act as an incentive for them to foreclose rather than find ways to help struggling borrowers stay in their homes. The bills are H.R. 5818 and H.R. H830 . (AP)

· Pray for wisdom for this Congress and the administration as they continue to deal with the fallout of the subprime mortgage crisis. May those who are truly responsible for this crisis -- the mortgage companies -- be held accountable; and may any legal remedies be done for the good of all the people. Pray!

· "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)


The Bush administration has launched a new front in the war on terrorism, this time targeting language.

Federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen," according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Lingo like "Islamo-fascism" is out, too. The reason: Such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates.

For example, while Americans may understand "jihad" to mean "holy war," it is in fact a broader Islamic concept of the struggle to do good, says the guidance prepared for diplomats and other officials tasked with explaining the war on terror to the public. Similarly, "mujahedeen," which means those engaged in jihad, must be seen in its broader context. U.S. officials may be "unintentionally portraying terrorists, who lack moral and religious legitimacy, as brave fighters, legitimate soldiers or spokesmen for ordinary Muslims," says a Homeland Security report. It's entitled "Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims." (AP) (Read more)

Meanwhile, in Congress, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R- MI) . . . sponsored an amendment to the Intelligence Bill, rejected by committee Democrats, that would prohibit the intelligence community from adopting speech codes that encumber accurately describing the radical jihadist terrorists that attacked America and continue to threaten the homeland. "Trying to impose speech codes on how to describe our enemy smacks of McCarthyism in reverse," Hoekstra said. "Al-Qaeda knows point blank that they want to kill Americans. How sad is it that as we approach the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we are still debating how to define our enemy?" (Office of Rep. Hoekstra)

· Jesus said to let our "yes" be "yes" and our "no" be "no." Should we not then call a spade a spade and not use a euphemism? Pray for Congressman Hoekstra that he stands his ground firmly in this matter of language and that he is able to call many other congressmen to his side. Pray for those who set policy at the federal level, that they may stand on truth and not what seems wise in man's eyes.

· "Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good." (Proverbs 14:22)


S. 310, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (NHGRA) -- also known as The "Akaka Bill" -- has passed key committee votes in the United States Senate. It has already been passed by the United States House of Representatives. (H.R. 505).

What does the Akaka Bill do? It creates an Indian Tribe where none exists and gives various degrees of privilege to designated members of this newly formed group. The bill grants broad governmental powers to a racially-defined group of "Native Hawaiians," many of whom would have no geographic, political or cultural connection to Hawaii.

This race-based, unconstitutional government in Hawaii would divide the state, destroy Hawaii's economy, and pose a threat to the sovereignty and security of the United States.This bad legislation has advanced while the public was unaware or else under the mistaken impression that it was of interest only to Hawaiians.

Tell your Senators that this legislation must not pass. Click here now to make your voice heard where it counts. (Hawaiian Values US)

· What is Senator Akaka (D-HA) attempting to do with this bill and why does he think it necessary to pass in the Senate? Why would he want to destroy his state's economy? Ask the Lord to expose the reasons behind this bill. Pray against any passage, pray for exposure in the media, and for truth to be revealed. This bill sets a dangerous precedent. Pray for the salvation of Senator Akaka so that he knows truth and is not deceived by money and lobbyists.

· "The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness." (Proverbs 11:5)


Russian and U.S. officials signed a key agreement on civilian nuclear power Tuesday that could give Washington access to Russian technology and potentially hand Moscow lucrative deals on storing spent fuel. The deal, signed on the eve of Dmitry Medvedev's inauguration as president, signals a reversal in policy for the U.S. administration on cooperating with Russia on nuclear issues. Cooperation had cooled in recent years, mainly due to disagreements over how to handle Iran's perceived nuclear threat.

But the agreement ran into immediate trouble on Capitol Hill, where two senators said they would try to block it because it could hurt efforts to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Sen. Norm Coleman, (R-MN) along with Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) are circulating a letter that will urge Bush not to send the pact to Congress. The senators say Russia's exports of nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant and opposition to the United Nations sanctions against Iran make the new deal suspect.

But the Bush administration now views Russia as a partner in the effort to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions and a State Department official said Russia's assistance to the Iranian power plant was not seen as an issue. The U.S. is especially interested in developments in areas including fast- neutron reactors and recycling nuclear fuel.

The U.S. administration's willingness to reverse course and work with Russia appears to reflect the U.S. view that Moscow is now a partner in the effort to persuade Tehran to abandon nuclear weapons ambitions. To get the deal in place, Bush must still send it to Congress. It would become effective unless Congress passes legislation within 90 days to block it. A bill pending in the Senate would block such an agreement unless Russia has stopped cooperating with Iran's nuclear or advanced conventional and missile program, or Iran has stopped enriching uranium. (AP)

· Cooperating with Russia in hopes of containing Iran's nuclear plans smacks of danger, especially in light of Ezekiel 38. Quite probably the Senators are wise in desiring to block this agreement, as they weigh its merits during the 90-day waiting period. Pray in the spirit over this issue, asking the Lord exactly what He would have you request. Pray for wisdom for our senators as they deal with this agreement.

· "And say, Thus saith the Lord God, 'Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: " (Ezekiel 38:3)


Russia's new president Dmitry Medvedev wasted no time in knuckling down to work -- naming his predecessor Vladimir Putin as his new prime minister two hours after he was sworn in. Two months after winning the election, Medvedev, 42, was inaugurated as president Wednesday at the Kremlin before 2,300 invited guests in a ceremony with marching soldiers and military music. He became the third Russian president since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Within hours, Medvedev named Putin as prime minister, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.

Putin's new role and his position as head of the ruling United Russia Party raise questions about how much power Medvedev will actually have. The inauguration featured Putin almost as much as the new president. Putin delivered the first speech and stood just behind Medvedev when he was sworn in to his four-year term. "I fully understand the burden of responsibility that I will be shouldering," Medvedev said in his inaugural speech. "I want to thank from my heart President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for his invariable personal support that I have always felt, and I am sure that this will continue." (CNN)

· Father, this seems like a "sleight of hand" intended to deceive. But, this is nothing new to you - Ahab did something similar when he insisted Jehoshaphat wear his King's robe (and be the target), but Ahab put on a disguise. LORD, we pray that You will deal with Putin and this deception as well and expose this "king" as You did Ahab.

· "The king of Israel [Ahab] said to Jehoshaphat, "I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle." (2 Chronicles 18:29)


Georgia is "very close" to a war with Russia, a Georgian minister said on Tuesday, citing Moscow's decision to send extra troops to the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia. "We literally have to avert war," Georgian State Minister for Issues of Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili told a news briefing during a trip to Brussels. Asked how close to such a war the situation was, he replied: "Very close, because we know Russians very well. We know what the signals are when you see propaganda waged against Georgia. We see Russian troops entering our territories on the basis of false information," he said.

Russia has said the troop build-up is needed to counter what it says are Georgian plans for an attack on breakaway Abkhazia and has accused Tbilisi of trying to suck the West into a war - both of which are allegations that ex-Soviet Georgia rejects. An extra Russian contingent began arriving in Abkhazia last week. Moscow has not said how many would be added but said the total would remain within the 3,000 limit allowed under a United Nations-brokered ceasefire agreement signed in 1994. Diplomats expect the reinforcement to be of the order of 1,200.

Georgia, a vital energy transit route in the Caucasus, has angered Russia by seeking membership of NATO. (The Globe and Mail)

· LORD, we see another "rumor of war" - yet another sign of Your impending return. Shall we be concerned and tremble with fear? Oh no! For, You are God and You are AGAINST "Gog of Magog". YOU, oh Sovereign GOD are in control and have already determined what is yet to come. Father, we watch and wait with anticipation - COME LORD JESUS COME!!!

· "The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army- your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops-the many nations with you. Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms." (Ezekiel 38:1-8)


Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah took control of Muslim west Beirut on Friday, tightening its grip on the city in a major blow to the U.S.-backed government. Shi'ite opposition gunmen seized control of several Beirut neighborhoods from Sunni foes loyal to the United States-backed government, in street battles that left 11 dead and 30 wounded, security officials said.

Lebanese troops began taking up positions in some Sunni neighborhoods abandoned by the pro- government groups, but remained outside of the clashes, while elsewhere well-equipped Hezbollah fighters marched through Sunni neighborhoods. With top leaders Saad Hariri of the Sunnis and Druse leader Walid Jumblatt besieged in their residences in Muslim western Beirut, officials of the pro-government majority called an emergency meeting of legislators in a mountain town in the Christian heartland northeast of Beirut, said LBC TV, a pro-government Christian station.

President Shimon Peres played down Israeli concerns at Hezbollah's move to expand its control, but said he hoped the Lebanese people would step back from the brink of civil war. Peres called the latest round of violence a "tragedy," but classified it as an "internal split" having nothing to do with Israel. "It's not a total surprise. We knew that Hezbollah is going to divide the country and lead it to the verge of a civil war," Peres told reporters. "It has nothing to do with Israel. It's an internal split," Peres said. "It's a tragedy for them. It's a tragedy for all of us. And I hope that at the last moment they will save themselves from a bloody civil war."

Lebanese political commentators have branded the violence an attempted military coup. (Ha'aretz)

· Father, no matter what Peres may say - EVERYTHING happening in the world is about Israel! Lord, we do lift the unrest in Lebanon to You, and ask for Your wisdom in prayer. We know that "in everything there is a season," and that You have plans and purposes for "everything under the sun" - even war. You WILL accomplish all You intend to, and You are not willing that "any would be lost." We pray for those in Lebanon that are believers in Jesus, and for those that will believe. Father, protect all of them. . .

· "Open your doors, O Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars! Wail, O pine tree, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down! Listen to the wail of the shepherds; their rich pastures are destroyed! Listen to the roar of the lions; the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!" (Zechariah 11:1-3)


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced the night of May 8 that if Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided to press charges against him he will resign from office. The question remains-can he be forced to resign while the investigation in pending? According to the law, if Olmert resigns, the government-de facto-will follow. Should that happen, the president will assign the task of forming a new government on an agreed-upon MK.

But what if no indictment is filed? Should the right circumstances present themselves here, the prime minister can leave office based on the temporary suspension clause in Basic Law: The Government. The clause stipulates that if for any reason a presiding prime minister is unable to perform his duties, his deputy can temporarily take over office. The law does not stipulate how temporary suspension is decided on, nor does it give any governmental body the authority to actively implement the clause.

The last time the Knesset has had to debate a temporary suspension was in early 2007, when Former President Moshe Katsav chose to suspend himself pending the results of the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. The Knesset House Committee approves the requests, granting Katsav 100 days of temporary suspension.

Should Olmert choose to temporarily suspend himself from office, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will become acting prime minister. Should Olmert fail to resume office in 100 days time, he will be declared "permanently unable to perform his duties." (; Reported by Bridges for Peace)

To read this article in its entirety, go here.

· Pray that the investigation of alleged charges against the prime minister will not destabilize Israel at this critical time in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

· "Then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men)." (1 Kings 8:39)


On the eve of Israel's Independence Day the country's population stands at 7,282,000 people and 75.5% are Jewish. These numbers were presented May 7 by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. In the bureau's "60 years in a statistical mirror" booklet it was noted that the Israeli population has increased from 873,000 people in November 1948 to 7.2 million at the beginning of 2008. According to the forecasts for 2030, Israel will have a population of approximately 10 million people.

As of now, 5,499,000 are Jewish, of which 69% were born in Israel. 1,461,000 are Arab and 322,000 are considered "others".

As a result of the population growth, the population density has also grown from 43 people to each square kilometer in 1948 to 310 people to each square kilometer in 2006. The most crowded region is Tel Aviv with 7,000 people per square kilometer as opposed to the least crowded region, the south with 72 people per square kilometer.

The Israeli population's educational level is on a constant incline. In 1948, 208 people who studied at the Hebrew University and at the Technion received a university degree. In 2006 close to 53,000 people who studied at 62 different institutions for higher education received degrees. (Ynet News; reported by Bridges for Peace)

· Praise God for His faithfulness. Praise Him for the miracle of the returning the Jewish people, and for the amazing development in this Land achieved in such a short time.

· "I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing." (Genesis 12:2)


Four US Navy ships steamed toward cyclone-stricken Burma today as the Bush administration stepped up pressure on the country's military junta to open the door to outside humanitarian assistance. Navy helicopters and air force cargo planes loaded with supplies and personnel also began arriving in nearby Thailand, where US officials established a staging point for possible humanitarian operations. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice phoned her Chinese counterpart to ask Beijing to persuade Burma to accept international aid for an estimated 1.5 million people believed to be severely affected by the Cyclone Nargis disaster. The storm is feared to have killed 100,000 people in the country.

In New York, US envoy to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad said Washington was "outraged" by the Burmese Government's delays in allowing relief workers and aid shipments. Defence Secretary Robert Gates also spoke out forcefully, saying the Pentagon was preparing the same kind of assistance it provided after other disasters in the region, including the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. "There is an opportunity here to save a lot of lives and we are fully prepared to help and to help right away, and it would be a tragedy if these assets - if people didn't take advantage of them," Mr Gates said. (

· Oh God! We cry out for the suffering people of Burma! We thank You for what has been allowed, but it is not nearly enough to fill the need. We ask that You would intervene so that ENOUGH help can be given; so that ENOUGH food can be distributed; so that ENOUGH aide workers will be admitted to provide for the needs of these people and for the clean-up to begin BEFORE disease takes hold. Father, this country needs YOU and YOUR warring angels to deal with their evil government right away. . .

· "Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day." (1 Kings 8:28)

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

LORD OF LORDS (Adon Ha-A-do-neem)

"On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. 19:16)

You are the Lord. You are my Master. You know me personally. There is no other need that must be fulfilled; You satisfy my every need, Lord of Lords. Thank You for being Lord to me. I love you.

"I am the Lord; that is My Name! I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols." (Isaiah 42:8)

(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)