June 2 - 6, 2008
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17)
|On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XV, No. 14|
1. DNC REACHES COMPROMISE ON DELEGATE SEATING
Florida, Michigan get all delegates, but each gets half vote
After a day of wrangling in front of a sometimes unruly crowd, the Democratic National Committee's rules and bylaws committee reinstated all of Florida and Michigan's delegates to its party convention, with each getting a half-vote to penalize the states for moving their primaries earlier than the party had approved. The move will leave front-runner Sen. Barack Obama's lead over rival Sen. Hillary Clinton intact. The committee's ruling gave Clinton 105 pledged delegates from Florida and 69 from Michigan, with a total of 87 votes. (CNN)
· Offer a quiet sigh of relief that this debate is now concluded, and in the middle of this very unusual election year, continue to pray in the spirit over all matters related to these campaigns. May the voters be spared deception; and may each American vote for truth, righteousness, and "clean politics" in November.
· "To him belong strength and victory; both deceived and deceiver are his." (Job 12:16 NIV)
2. BROUN AMENDMENT WILL BAN SAME-SEX MARRIAGES
Georgia Congressman Paul Broun announced Tuesday that he will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex marriage in response to a recent decision by the California Supreme Court that recognizes same-sex marriages. The recent 4-3 decision by the California Supreme Court redefines marriage to include legal unions. Some conservative legal scholars view the recent decision as activist in which the policy preferences of four justices overturned the democratically expressed will of California's voters.
In 2004, President Bush announced his support for such an amendment, after judges in various parts of the country ordered marriage licenses to be available to same-sex couples, despite the Defense of Marriage Act having previously been signed by President Bill Clinton in the 1990's. The proposed amendment has an uphill battle, though, as both the U.S. House and Senate must approve by a two-thirds vote. If that were to happen, then three-fourths of state legislatures would have to approve the amendment before it becomes law.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle the amendment faces is Democrats. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was pleased with the decision of the California Supreme Court. "The Supreme Court of California today took a step forward in the long march toward protecting equal rights under the law for every American. This should not be a matter of politics or partisanship; it is a matter of protecting the rights and dignity of all American families," Dean said on May 15. Democrats hold the majority in both the House and Senate. (NBC News; Augusta, GA; May 20, 2008)
· Although Congress has been down this road before, especially in 2004, the fight is worth the effort. Please pray for the determination of Rep. Broun - that he will continue, no matter the opposition, until the amendment is passed. Continue to pray for honest politicians who will support Broun's efforts and who understand the ramifications of allowing same-sex marriages in America. Pray for the salvation of Howard Dean, a man who seems highly deceived.
· "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth. . . " (John 16:13a)
3. CONGRESS PASSES LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN AMERICAN HISTORY
The Democrats are now ready to allow the greatest tax increase in American history as President George W. Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are scheduled to expire in less than 2 years. Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had promised the American people that if they gave her party control of the Congress, the Democrats would lower energy prices. Instead, the Congress, which has the lowest approval rating in American history at 18% approval, has policies which have increased the price of a gallon of gasoline from $2.35 in January 2007 when the Democrats took control of Congress to an astounding $4.00 per gallon today.
The Democrat Congress now threatens to take the American economy into a recession with the largest tax increase in history (by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire) and by not allowing a commonsense energy security policy such as drilling in the wasteland of Alaska (called ANWR) or off-shore drilling; or the building of new refineries or nuclear facilities.
Some 116 million income taxpayers will see their taxes go up by an average of $1,800. Some 48 million married couples will pay an average of $3,007 to the federal government. Some 12 million single women with dependents will pay a tax increase averaging $1,091 per year. And, 27 million small business owners will pay $4,066 in increased taxes on the average. (Christian Coalition of America)
· Please pray that these tax increases do not pass into law, and that those who propose them will have second thoughts. Please call your Congressman at 202-225-3121 or you can go to http://www.cc.org/contactcongress.cfm and email them and urge them to tell the House leadership to schedule a vote on making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent.
· "The Lord shall open unto thee His own good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in His season, and to bless the work of thine hand, and thou shall lend unto many nations, and thou shall not borrow." (Deuteronomy 28:12)
4. H.R. 357 ENCOURAGES ALL STATES TO ADOPT PHOTO-ID REQUIREMENT LAW
Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) has introduced H. Con. Res. 357, which will encourage all states to adopt photo-ID-requirement laws, in light of the recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court which upheld Indiana's photo-ID law. On May 20th, Congressman Feeney introduced the concurrent resolution which says: "Whereas on April 28, 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Crawford et al. v. Marion County Election Board et al., ruled that the State of Indiana's law requiring voters to present photo identification when voting is constitutional; Whereas the Court, in a 6-3 ruling written by Justices Stevens, Roberts, and Kennedy, found that the burden on voters to present photo ID is offset by the benefit to voters and overall electoral integrity of reducing the risk of fraud;
Whereas the Crawford ruling also noted that, `The relevant burdens here are those imposed on eligible voters who lack photo identification cards . . . . Because Indiana's cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters' right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting.';
Whereas a Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in early 2008 found that 80 percent of voters believe that everyone should be required to show photo identification to vote, that 13 percent disagree with the photo ID requirement, and that 72 percent disagree that requiring photo ID unfairly discriminates against some segments of the population. (Christian Coalition of America)
· In light of the number of illegal immigrants now living in the USA, photo-ID's seems a sound idea for voting. We applaud Congressman Feeney for his resolution. Pray that he will remain determined, that others will join in the sponsorship, and that the bill will pass. This is a resolution whose time has come.
· "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid that shall not be known." (Luke 12:2)
5. GOP'S 'DIRTY DOZEN' SUPPORTS PRO- CHOICE POLICY
Recently, 12 Republicans who were called the "Dirty Dozen" (Republicans in the House), sent a letter to President George W. Bush urging him to keep the Title X regulations which enable pro-abortion industry groups such as the infamous Planned Parenthood, founded by racist Margaret Sanger, to use American tax dollars to continue to do abortions (Planned Parenthood abortuaries have killed millions of innocent unborn babies since the abominable Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.)
The "Dirty Dozen" Republicans who signed the letter to President Bush are as follows: Reps. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Christopher Shays (Conn.), Kay Granger (Texas), Jim Ramstad (Minn.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Ralph Regula (Ohio), David Hobson (Ohio), Judy Biggert (Ill.), Mike Castle (Del.), Wayne Gilchrest (Md.) and Deborah Pryce (Ohio).
The rules which these pro-abortion Republicans are urging President Bush to keep prevent pro-life groups from receiving Title X funds while allowing abortion industry groups such as Planned Parenthood to keep their abortion businesses viable with American tax dollars. Planned Parenthood has received billions of dollars from hard-working American taxpayers.
Bill Clinton overturned President Ronald Reagan's regulations which forced groups like Planned Parenthood to separate the supposedly clean side of their business such as breast cancer screening from their business of killing of unborn babies. Unfortunately, the current administration has kept the Clinton policy in place and the "Dirty Dozen" are trying to keep the current policy and NOT return to the Reagan policy. (Christian Coalition of America)
· Please pray for the salvation of these "dirty dozen" so that they may know the will of the Lord. Pray that President Bush will ignore this letter and follow the determination that he has shown throughout his 8 years in office. We cannot allow more deception to rule in this Congress. No more taxpayer funds for abortions.
· "It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom." (Proverbs 10:23)
6. TWO CONGRESSMEN HELP LAUNCH "THE NAU WAR ROOM"
Two members of Congress, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R- CO) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have joined forces with other citizens to launch the NAU War Room.
If you visit their website, you will read the following:
"Welcome to the North American War Room - the headquarters of THE national campaign to expose and halt America's absorption into a "North American Union (NAU)" with Canada and Mexico. We are also on the front lines of the battle to prevent the construction of a massive, continental "NAFTA Superhighway." At this newly launched site, you will find all you need to know about what is being done to rescue America's independence and prosperity from the NAU. The latest news and updates on this battle will be posted here on a regular basis. We encourage you to visit often and to encourage your friends and relatives to visit as well. Wealthy and powerful multi- national corporations, many of them foreign owned, are pouring billions of dollars into our nation in attempt to enrich themselves at the expense of our freedom and liberty. This site is dedicated to stopping them. And with the help of outraged patriots like you, we can, will -- and must -- succeed."
To learn more about the NAU War Room, go here.
· Praise God that these two brave members of Congress have found the courage to speak the TRUTH about the North American Union, and are joining others to FIGHT BACK! Pray that their efforts WILL bear fruit, and that news of this opportunity will spread across the nation, so that all who are concerned about the encroachment of the NAU against our national sovereignty will, themselves, hear and take action.
· "Thy people shall volunteer freely in the day of Thy power." (Ps. 110:3 NAS)
7. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT, CONGRESS TO PROBE "PROPAGANDA" PROGRAM
The inspector general's office at the Defense Department announced Friday that it will investigate a Pentagon public affairs program that sought to transform retired military officers who work as television and radio analysts into "message force multipliers" who could be counted on to echo Bush administration talking points about Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and terrorism in general.
The announcement came a day after the House passed an amendment to the annual military authorization bill that would mandate investigations of the program by both the inspector general's office and Congress' investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office. The GAO said it had already begun looking into the program and would give a legal opinion on whether it violated long-standing prohibitions against spending government money to spread propaganda to U.S. audiences. The House amendment, adopted by voice vote on May 22, would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill; the Senate is still working on its version of the bill.
The Defense Department suspended the program last month, just days after it was the focus of an article in the New York Times. The article described an ambitious Pentagon campaign to cultivate dozens of military analysts as "surrogates" to generate favorable coverage of the administration's wartime performance. The analysts, many with undisclosed ties to military contractors, were wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior government officials. The inspector general's office said its inquiry would specifically look at whether special access to Pentagon leaders "may have given the contractors a competitive advantage." (New York Times; May 24, 2008)
· Lift up a prayer that this "hot potato" issue be examined fairly and without prejudice. While it is key that members of the administration convey the same message to the public in military matters, First Amendment rights of freedom of speech play a role here, too. Pray that those who are launching these investigations be granted wisdom from above to judge all sides of this issue fairly; and to generate recommendations for any policy changes that are consistent with the functioning of our own democratic form of government.
· "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)
8. REPORT: ARMY PLANS TO TEAR DOWN CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS
Soldiers stationed at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo may be stunned to find three wooden crosses stripped from the exterior grounds of their chapel in coming weeks - and many never saw it coming. Several high- ranking officers have met behind closed doors to discuss plans for the crosses. They have decided to remove, and perhaps destroy, the Christian symbols located outside Peacekeeper's Chapel in the name of free exercise of religion.
Lt. Col. William Jenkins, 35th Infantry Division's Kosovo Force 9 command chaplain, told WND, "The removal of the crosses . . . is bringing the chapel into line with long-standing regulations and policies that apply to every U.S. Army chapel around the world and that are supported by all faith groups in the U.S. Army." Jenkins cited the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as validation for the cross removal, saying it guarantees every American the right to the free exercise of religion. He also referenced an Army directive that bans religious symbols from chapels:
Distinctive religious symbols, such as crosses, crucifixes, the Star of David, menorah, and other religious symbols, will not be affixed or displayed permanently on the chapel exterior or grounds. (Army Reg. 165-1, 13-3.d) "This is not a new regulation and exists to protect the free exercise of religion of all soldiers," Jenkins said. "Army chapels are for all soldiers of all faith groups."
Following a secret vote, several officers decided to take down the crosses as part of a "relandscaping" project. Only one person present at the meeting voted against the measure. Soldiers say high-ranking officers have been secretive about plans for the crosses and have not made an official announcement to troops - leaving most in the dark about plans until the crosses have been removed. The crosses will be replaced with a stone monument engraved with the name of the chapel and the crest of U.S. Army Chaplain Corps, Jenkins said.
One soldier expressed agitation at a perceived double standard after an American sniper accused of shooting a Quran for target practice faced disciplinary action and removal from Iraq for desecrating the religious property. "It is very discouraging as a Christian soldier to see our Army punish him for destroying a Quran, but then it pays a private company to destroy some crosses," the soldier said. "I feel it is a slap in the face to me, my Lord and my freedom." (WorldNetDaily.com)
· How fascinating that suddenly crosses, the symbol of Christianity, the faith of most Americans, are now not welcome on military bases! Who is behind this movement? Please pray that this decision is nullified so that the world can see the driving faith behind America. No other religion cares whether it offends others or not. Pray for the Christian soldiers standing for their Christian faith, wherever they are in the world.
· "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
9. CIA DIRECTOR: AL-QAEDA HAS SUFFERED "SIGNIFICANT SETBACKS" GLOBALLY
Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda's allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group's core leadership. "On balance, we are doing pretty well," he said, ticking down a list of accomplishments: "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally - and here I'm going to use the word 'ideologically' - as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam," he said. (Washington Post)
· Offer praise for this very encouraging report, and continue to uphold all of our military and intelligence personnel in prayer. May all hidden things continue to be revealed, according to the will of God; and may we, through His grace, continue to triumph over all of our enemies!
· "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid that shall not be known." (Luke 12:2)
10. AL QAEDA CALLS FOR WMD ATTACKS ON WEST
Al Qaeda has issued a video calling on terrorists to use biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to attack the West. The 39-minute documentary-style video, which is entitled Nuclear Jihad: The Ultimate Terror, was posted on the militant al Ekhlaas forum. The narration says: "The idea of killing lots of people, this idea is available to us. "It must be used under the idea of treating others the same, so I say that terror in their countries must involve human losses and these human losses must be with WMD."
A US intelligence official said there was no sign that the terror group has acquired the capability to use so- called WMD. The official said: "At this point there isn't evidence they've obtained it. But it's clearly their intent and it's something we need to be aware of and concerned about."
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said an alert had been sent out to US law enforcement agencies about the video. He said: "We got information the tape is coming. We sent out an alert to law enforcement to let them know the tape was coming." Mr. Kolko said the alert was a routine precaution sent to 1,800 US law enforcement agencies. (Sky News - South Africa)
· Offer thanks to our Lord that, as we trust Him and obey Him, He will deliver us from all the plans of the evil one against us.
· "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?" ( I Peter 3:13)
11. U.S. WANTS NUCLEAR SEARCH OF SYRIA
The United States wants the United Nations to carry out a more intensive search for Syrian nuclear sites. The Washington Post reports that the U.S. has already identified three sites besides the one destroyed by Israel at Al Kibar last September, and that the information has been turned over to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Although Syria denies the facility targeted by Israel was a nuclear reactor nearing completion as the U.S. claims, it has nevertheless refused to allow an inspection of the site by the IAEA. The U.S. believes Syria has support facilities that, among other tasks, supplies nuclear fuel rods for a reactor. (The Media Line, May 29, 2008)
In a related matter, DEBKA-Net-Weekly 350 has revealed that Damascus, in the process of peace talks with Israel, sent a large military delegation to Moscow, headed by air force-air defenses commander Gen. Akhmad Ratyb with an Iranian $5 billion check, to buy the latest Russian missiles, warplanes and other military hardware for the Syrian armed forces. DEBKAfile adds: The makeup of Damascus' shopping list and its financing source do not support the contention that peace talks will pull Syria away from its alliance with Iran and sponsorship of terror.
· As Syria places massive missile, warplane, sub orders in Moscow; and the U.S. demands a nuclear search of that nation, we almost see Ezekiel 38 being unfolded in front of us. Are these the end times? Many Christians believe the answer is: YES. If so, are YOU ready to meet the Savior? And have YOU shared the Good News with anyone lately?? As the nations continue to "tremble," praise God that He IS the "rock of our salvation."
· "And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Luke 10:2)
12. IRAQ'S CHRISTIANS WARN OF "NEW CATASTROPHE FOR HUMANITY"
Days before Sweden hosts an international conference aimed at pushing ahead the political and economic reform process in Iraq, hundreds of exiled Iraqi Christians demonstrated outside the country's parliament Sunday to draw attention to the minority's plight in their homeland.
"A new wave of ethnic cleansing is going on in Iraq," Iraqi Christian representative Behiye Hadodo told the gathering. "If these atrocities continue, the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian communities there will be wiped out altogether, creating a new catastrophe for humanity." Iraq's Assyrians are a non-Arab ethnic minority located mainly in northeastern Iraq, and adherents of Christian denominations including the Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox churches.
A 1987 census recorded 1.4 million Christians in Iraq, but the numbers began to drop after the 1990 Gulf War, reaching around 800,000 before the U.S. invaded in March 2003. Persecution at the hands of Islamic radicals -- killings, church bombings, kidnappings, forced conversions and harassment -- has prompted hundreds of thousands of Christians to flee the country since 2003. Although accurate statistics are unavailable, researchers believe the community may have been halved in the past five years. Many have moved to Syria and Jordan, and others to northern Europe, Australia and the United States. (CNS News) Read mo re.
· Please pray that the Christians of the world hear about the plight of the Iraqi Christians and begin to implore the Lord to help these people who want to remain in their homeland and to practice their faith. We need a prayer bombardment for the Iraqi Christians. Pray also for their protection from Islamic radicals. Surely the Lord is in control.
· "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Isaiah 61:1)
13. OLMERT SAYS ADAMANT NOT TO RESIGN
"I'll continue to function as prime minister; there are those who believe that the launching of any investigation demands a resignation, but I don't adhere to this notion and I will not step down," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the evening of May 28, during a meeting with the heads of communities and towns located near Gaza.
Earlier, Olmert discussed Morris Talansky's deposition with a senior Kadima Party member. "It is inconceivable that a prime minister will be condemned based on a single testimony," Olmert said, adding that he will issue a statement in the next few days. "I have plenty to say and I've kept quiet because of the investigation. I will not do anything to harm the party," he added.
A senior Kadima official said Wednesday that should Olmert choose to step down from the party's leadership, he will have to enable it to hold primaries and elect a new leader first. The move, said the source, will assure the succession of leadership, which in turn would allow Kadima to remain government leader. (Ynetnews.com) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
· Pray that the investigation into alleged charges involving Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will not destabilize Israel at this serious time of negotiations for peace within the region.
· "The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness." (Proverbs 11:5)
14. CHINA AND TAIWAN DECLARE A YEAR OF RECONCILIATION
China and its arch-rival Taiwan sealed a year of reconciliation with the highest-level official meeting between the two sides since they were split by civil war more than half a century ago. China's President Hu Jintao welcomed Wu Poh-hsiung, the chairman of the Kuomintang, Taiwan's ruling party, in the Great Hall of the People in a ceremony filmed live on television. The Kuomintang are the modern-day successors of the Chinese Nationalist Party which once ruled the whole country before being driven out by the Communists in 1949.
The reconciliation has been made possible by the victory of the KMT in presidential elections this year. Its nominee, Ma Ying-jeou, was elected president on a manifesto of improving ties with Beijing. His stance is so deeply welcomed by Beijing, which loathed his predecessor Chen Shui-bian, that it has overlooked Mr Ma's cautious position on the island's future sovereignty. While he will not declare the island's legal independence, he has ruled out the reunification that Beijing seeks, at least until there are democratic elections in China. Mr Chen advocated independence for the island, though he promised when first elected in 2000 not to make a legal declaration, something China has always said would trigger the use of force. Since the United States is Taiwan's prime military backer, this threat is the major likely cause of conflict in the coming years between the two superpowers.
The meeting is likely to foreshadow the start of formal talks between the two sides next month on a range of issues including improved tourism, trade and transport links. At the moment, no direct flights are allowed, meaning a cumbersome stopover in Hong Kong or Macau for the hundreds of thousands of businessmen from Taiwan who work in China. "We have good reason to believe that the two sides can reopen dialogue soon, because Mr Hu made it clear that it should be done within the shortest period of time," Mr Wu said after his meeting with Mr Hu.
Mr Wu was under orders not to discuss matters of sovereignty with Beijing, but he did press the case for Taiwan to be allowed more diplomatic space by Beijing, which vetoes attempts to allow it to join international organisations like the World Health Organisation. "The Taiwanese people need a sense of security, respect and a place in the international community," he said. (Telegraph News)
· We pray that this report is as good as it looks at face value. After all of the years of tension between China and Taiwan, this IS a MAJOR breakthrough! Pray that as the dialogue continues to open between these two nations and peoples, that the Gospel would also go forth between them. Praise God!
· "And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Luke 10:2)
|This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .|
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL (Roeh Yisrahel)
"Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth." (Psalm 80:1, NIV)
To think that the One whose Presence dwelt between the cherubim comes to dwell with me, astounds me! Lord, how blessed am I to be led by the Shepherd of Israel. Praises always to Your name!
(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)