Friday, November 13, 2009

CHPP Daily Brief - November 13, 2009

In This Issue
• Today's Daily Brief

• The Middle East in Focus
• Obama Attends SE Asia Summits
• The 14th Victim
• The Good News Corner

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The Daily Brief - Friday, November 13, 2009

"And they will fight, for the LORD will be with them." (Zechariah 10: 5)

Publishing News:

Next Monday, we will release a Special Edition of The Daily Brief instead of our normal "On Capitol Hill This Week" (the "OCAP"). The OCAP will return the following Monday, November 23.

Today's Daily Brief

1. Politicians rip decision on terrorism trials - CNN

Several members of Congress ripped Attorney General Eric Holder's decision Friday to try five suspected 9/11 terrorists in civilian court. Holder was accused of risking Americans' security by treating the suspects like "common criminals" with a right to greater constitutional protections than they would receive in a military trial. Five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the September 11, 2001, attacks -- including confessed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- will be tried in civilian court in New York, Holder announced Friday. "These terrorists planned and executed the mass murder of thousands of innocent Americans. Treating them like common criminals is unconscionable," Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn said in a written statement. "The attacks of September 11th were an act of war. Reverting to a pre-9/11 approach to fighting terrorism and bringing these dangerous individuals onto U.S. soil needlessly compromises the safety of all Americans." Cornyn asserted that Holder had irresponsibly put "political ideology ahead of the safety of the American people just to fulfill an ill-conceived campaign promise." Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the decision meant Mohammed and the other defendants would be able to claim new protections, including Miranda and Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. "Bringing terrorists to U.S. soil expands their constitutional rights and could result in shorter sentences," Smith claimed in a statement. "America already gives terrorists more constitutional rights than any other country. The administration should not prioritize the rights of terrorists over the rights of Americans to be safe and secure," he said.

- May the Justice Department be led by men and women who are clear about the threat from terrorists and may the people cry out if actions are taken which endanger the public. May we give proper justice to all who attacked the US but not be hamstrung in order to bow to international pressure.

- "A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment, A strength to those who repel the onslaught at the gate." (Isaiah 28:6)

2. RNC to opt out of abortion coverage - Politico

The Republican National Committee will no longer offer employees an insurance plan that covers abortion after POLITICO reported Thursday that the anti-abortion RNC's policy has covered the procedure since 1991. "Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled." Steele has told the committee's director of administration to opt out of coverage for elective abortion in the policy it uses from Cigna. Federal Election Commission Records show the RNC purchases its insurance from Cigna, and two sales agents for the company said that the RNC's policy covers elective abortion. As of Thursday, the RNC's plan covers elective abortion - a procedure the party's own platform calls "a fundamental assault on innocent human life." Informed of the coverage, RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho told POLITICO earlier Thursday that the policy pre-dates the tenure of current RNC Chairman Michael Steele. "The current policy has been in effect since 1991, and we are taking steps to address the issue," Gitcho said. The RNC moved quickly Thursday to assuage any concerns its members might have.

- Thank You that the RNC has chosen to stand strong for life. We praise You that congressmen from both parties voted to ban abortion in the health bill and pray there will be an uprising that will speak for the unborn.

- "Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death." (Romans 6:21)

3. Feds move to seize 4 mosques, NYC skyscraper - AP

Federal prosecutors Thursday took steps to seize four U.S. mosques and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government. In what could prove to be one of the biggest counterterrorism seizures in U.S. history, prosecutors filed a civil complaint in federal court seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets of the Alavi Foundation and an alleged front company. The assets include Islamic centers in New York City, Maryland, California and Houston, more than 100 acres (40 hectares) of land in Virginia, and a 36-story office tower in New York. Seizing the properties would be a sharp blow against Iran, which has been accused by the U.S. government of bankrolling terrorism and seeking a nuclear bomb.

- Thank You that the federal prosecutors have sought to take away the source of funding for Iran. We pray that all such endeavors in the US will be found and stopped.

- "Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!" (Psalm 43:1)

4. CAIR speaker to Muslims: OK to attack Fort Bragg - WorldNetDaily

A Council on American-Islamic Relations adviser and regular speaker at its events has suggested Islamic law permits Muslims to attack C-130 military transport planes carrying the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, N.C., according to a stunning new book exposing Washington-based CAIR's inner workings. Radical Islamic cleric Zaid Shakir, a frequent guest speaker at CAIR events, tells his Muslim audiences: "Jihad is physically fighting the enemies of Islam to protect and advance the religion of Islam. This is jihad." Acceptable targets of jihad, he says, include U.S. military aircraft. "Islam doesn't permit us to hijack airplanes filled with civilian people," Shakir once told a Muslim audience. However, "If you hijack an airplane filled with the 82nd Airborne, that's something else."

- May all proclaimations like this one be brought to light, and may the government and individual citizens all become aware of the threat that looms from organizations such as CAIR.

- "Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, 'LORD, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.'" (2 Chronicles 14:11)

5. ACORN Sues Over 'Unconstitutional' Funding Cuts By Congress - Fox News

In an attempt to regain the millions in funding it lost in the wake of a hidden-camera scandal, ACORN is suing the federal government over congressional legislation that cut off funding to the community organizing group.

- We pray that Congress will stand strong against any appeals from ACORN to again take public funds to advance their agenda that is harmful to minorities and the poor.

- "They are fat, they are sleek, They also excel in deeds of wickedness; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; And they do not defend the rights of the poor." (Jeremiah 5:28)

6. Kaine Headlines DNC Fundraiser in Arkansas as Virginia Floods - Fox News

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, appeared with Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe at a private $250-per-ticket luncheon at a home in Little Rock with Virginia flooding and under an emergency declaration.

- We pray that leaders will begin to work for their constituents, not for any party. We pray for comfort for all those affected by this storm, and may this give Christians the opportunity to express Your love to others.

- "For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes And turn aside the poor in the gate." (Amos 5:12)

7. Officials: Top White House lawyer to be pushed out - CNN

In the first major shakeup among President Obama's senior staff, White House Counsel Greg Craig announced his resignation Friday. The resignation will take effect on January 3, according to a letter Craig sent to Obama. Craig is being pushed out in favor of veteran Democratic lawyer Bob Bauer because of a dispute over plans to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, CNN learned Thursday. Bauer is the husband of Anita Dunn, the outgoing White House communications director. Dunn, who recently led a so-called "war" on Fox News, announced earlier this week that she is leaving her White House post, a long-anticipated move that was not connected to the media battle. Democratic officials said Craig was ousted because of frustration among senior White House aides over his handling of the plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. As the White House's top lawyer, Craig was pivotal in advising Obama to sign an executive order during his first week in office promising to shut the prison by the end of January 2010. Craig was one of the lawyers who defended President Clinton during his impeachment trial. He became an early and active supporter of Obama in the Democratic presidential primaries, angering backers of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. That is one of the reasons why allies of Craig are frustrated he is being replaced so early in the administration.

- We pray the White House Counsel will be a person who will be clear in thinking about the law and will not seek to pervert the law for gain.

- "Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God." (1 Corinthians 4:5)

8. Do Leaked Cables Mean Obama Is Rethinking Afghanistan? - Politics Daily

On Wednesday, after President Obama held his eighth White House strategy session on Afghanistan and rejected all four options put before him (each calling for an increase of U.S. troops there), The Washington Post disclosed the existence of two classified cables recently sent to Washington by the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry. In these memos, Eikenberry said he was skeptical about dispatching more American soldiers until the corrupt and inept government of President Hamid Karzai demonstrates it's taking steps to become less corrupt and less inept. Immediately, the Afghanistan policy debate -- in which there are no easy answers -- was reshaped. This was a reset. Everyone who follows these things in Washington assumes that the White House let loose his reports. I heard one Post reporter describe the paper's sources for this story as Obama political allies. Why would Obama aides (or allies) want Eikenberry's secret cables to be public? By leaking them, they have broadened the debate. No longer is the discussion focused on the size of the additional deployment of troops -- whether Obama should send 20,000, 30,000, or 40,000. Now there are two clear and diametrically opposed sides: send more troops, or don't send more troops. One side is represented by McChrystal; the other by Eikenberry, a retired three-star general who previously commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In other words, pick your general.

- Lord, help the leaders in the administration to be wise in their choices and be cognizant of the ramifications of whatever path they choose.

- "Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance." (Proverbs 20:18)

9. Obama, Japanese Leader Spend Little Time Talking Economics - Fox News

Despite criticism that President Obama has spent too much time focusing on domestic issues like health care and climate change while the unemployment rate has risen to double-digits, the economy was not one of the principal topics of discussion during the president's meeting Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. During a press conference with Obama, the newly- elected Japanese prime minister laid out the various topics addressed in their meetings from earlier Friday: Afghanistan, climate change, nuclear disarmament, Iran and North Korea. But missing conspicuously from the list: the economy. "The economy was not a major issue this time, but again, this might reflect the times in which we're living," Hatoyama said.

- We pray that the administration will be focused on the needs of the people, not on any plans to enrich themselves in pocket or in popularity. We pray the president will speak out against the governments in Asia who are attacking Christians and not choose blind cooperation over humans' lives.

- "Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!" (Isaiah 5:23)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"The blessing of the LORD be upon you: we bless you in the name of the LORD." (Psalm 129:8)

1. Secret Obama deal for Palestinian state? - WND

The U.S. is considering adopting a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence in the West Bank and Jerusalem regardless of negotiations with the Jewish state, according to Israeli sources speaking to Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

2. Palestinian January elections cancelled - London Telegraph

The Palestinian territories were cast into renewed political turmoil yesterday after elections scheduled for January were indefinitely postponed.

3. Accused Ortiz Bomber in Court: God is Proud - CBN News

Yaacov Teitel, the American immigrant to Israel accused of a number of terrorist attacks, including the attempted murder of Messianic teenager Ami Ortiz, said in a Jerusalem court today that God is proud of his actions, and he remained defiant in the face of all of the criminal charges against him: among them, first degree murder on two counts, two counts of attempted murder in addition to the Ortiz bombing, holding and manufacturing weapons and inciting violence.

4. Sarkozy to urge Assad today to open direct talks with Israel - Jerusalem Post

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to urge his Syrian counterpart to open direct talks with Israel, when the two men meet in Paris on Friday.

5. PA: Israel to focus on Syria - Ynet News

Despite Israel's denial that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a secret message of reconciliation to Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Palestinian Authority is convinced that something has changed in the Israeli approach, and that Jerusalem is now planning to focus its efforts on renewing talks with Damascus.

Obama Attends SE Asia Summits

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is already in the regions, and President Barack Obama is leaving for his first-ever summit with the leaders of Southeast Asia next week. The U.S. is trying to regain influence in a region that plays a crucial role in global trade and has rapidly expanded ties with China.

The summit will take place Sunday on the sidelines of an annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' gathering in Singapore, and is expected to include one of the highest-level meetings between a U.S. president and a top Myanmar (formerly Burma) leader in decades. The U.S. imposes strict economic sanctions on Myanmar, whose military regime is accused of widespread human-rights abuses. Disagreements over how to treat the country have clouded U.S. relations with Southeast Asia for years/

- Pray for wisdom and the protection of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and all in the U.S. delegation. (Intercessors for America)

The 14th Victim

Unborn Child Was Fort Hood Shooting's 14th Victim, Obama Should Prosecute - LifeNews

It was beyond heartbreaking, seeing a young widow pausing before a picture of her beloved soldier, killed not on the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan, but on the presumably safe spot of Fort Hood, Texas. I had to turn away from the television screen, the pain on her face was so great. In the massive media coverage following Major Nidal Hasan's killing spree at the military post, I have heard over and over again about the death toll from the tragedy. But seldom mentioned is the most hidden victim -- soldier Francheska Velez's unborn baby. Velez was on maternity leave when she stopped at Ft. Hood, where she and the child she carried in her womb fell victim to Hasan's bullet.

In the interest of true justice, Hasan should be prosecuted under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as Laci and Conner's law, named for the pregnant woman and unborn baby who were murdered in California by Scott Peterson, the baby's father. It would seem that the law applies in this case for three reasons: the act of violence was committed on federal propertythe shooting was allegedly done by a member of the military..and the violence could be classified as an act of terrorism. Then there's the question of Texas law. According to National Right to Life, under a law signed in June of 2003 and taking effect in September of that year, the protections of the entire criminal code extend to "an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth."

This law does not apply to "conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child" or to "a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent." Velez had a right to give birth to her baby. Her child had a right to be protected from violence. Velez's cousin, Jennifer Arzuaga, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, "She (Velez) was supposed to be coming very, very soon. Everyone's devastated. Everyone's at a loss for words. She was very young. She wasn't supposed to die the way she died." Velez became part of the Army three years ago, signing up because she desired travel and the opportunity to make a difference. As Arzuaga told the Post, "She always made everybody happy. That's what it was about for her-her family and her friends. She didn't really like it, but she was okay. She was just keeping strong. She was ready for anything." Including being ready to give birth. One man, violently following his own agenda, took that away from her. He should be brought to justice, not only for what he did to adults, but what he did to an innocent child. The Obama Administration has a moral obligation to press for prosecution of Hasan under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. If such a legal path is ignored, it will demonstrate to the world that the President is caving into a pro-abortion lobby who will not recognize the legal rights of any child in the womb-even a child whose mother desperately longs to give birth. My father had a favorite saying which he applied to criminal and terroristic acts: "Who weeps for the victim?" Let's hope that, in this case, the President weeps for the victim who never had a chance to see a mother's loving face.

The Good News Corner

With all the issues we are facing . . . all the time . . . it is GOOD to know that THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD.

Praise Him today, for He is worthy to be praised!