Tuesday, January 4, 2011

CHPP Daily Brief - January 4, 2011

In This Issue
• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• The Daily Jot
• January 12th
• Time For Real Transparency
• Revenge of the Taxpayer
• Update: Prop. 8 Case
• Update: The Mount Soledad Cross
• The Good News Corner
• Worship with Us Today!

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NOTE: DUE TO A TECHNICAL ERROR, THIS ALERT IS BEING MAILED OUT ONE DAY LATE. Today's Daily Brief will be out later tonight. Thank you!

"And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice." (Psalm 50:6)

The Daily Brief

1. National Debt Tops $14 Trillion - CBS News

It took just 7 months for the National Debt to increase from $13 trillion on June 1, 2010 to $14 trillion on Dec. 31. It also means the debt is fast approaching the statutory ceiling $14.294 trillion set by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last February. Some Republicans in the new Congress have said they'll seek to block an increase in the Debt Ceiling unless a plan is in place to significantly reduce federal spending and unfunded government liabilities on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

• Heavenly Father, we give you praise for giving us solid conservatives in our government to stop the over-spending. We pray now that these new leaders will have a laser beam focus on the wasteful spending, and have mighty success without obstruction in all that you would have us to do. Give them backs of steel and your wisdom to do the work quickly.

Evil pursues sinners, but to the righteous, good shall be repaid. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:21-22)

2. Republicans May Starve US Financial Reform of Cash - Reuters

Republicans in the new U.S. Congress could put the budget squeeze on two powerful regulatory agencies to slow President Barack Obama's crackdown on Wall Street. A Democratic-controlled Congress pushed through the Dodd-Frank bank reform laws last year and regulators were counting on a big budget boost to police the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market -- blamed for much of the excess behind the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

But the last Congress failed to deliver on the funding, and that will be even harder to obtain with Republicans vowing to cut spending as they take control of the House of Representatives and boost their rolls in the Senate.

• Lord, we pray that the funding for the healthcare bill will never happen, and that in the next two years significant progress will take place to dismantle this bill. We pray in the next election, more conservatives will win the senate, so the bill will be repealed and defeated. Let this all happen amazingly quick.

Then we cried out to the Lord God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression. So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm. (Deuteronomy 26:7, 8)

3. 14 States May Target Birthright Citizenship - AP

Arizona state politicians will introduce model legislation this week to encourage states to prevent children of illegal immigrants from being granted citizenship under the 14th Amendment. Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce argues that the "original intent" of the 14th Amendment was to grant citizenship to freed U.S. slaves, and that it was never meant to apply to the children of foreigners.

A Phoenix New Times writer, however, argues that lawmakers who originally passed the amendment took into account the cases of children of Chinese immigrants in California as well as children of gypsies when drafting the measure. A 19th-century Supreme Court precedent also backs that interpretation, though no Supreme Court case has yet dealt with the issue of offspring of illegal immigrant parents. Ali Noorani of the immigrant-rights group the National Immigration Forum told The Lookout that he believes leaders in more states will try to counter the thrust of the birthright initiative by adopting resolutions that eschew state laws cracking down on illegal immigration.

• Lord, we pray there will be no successful blocks to this effort to stop automatic citizenship for anyone born of illegal immigrants. Allowing this to stay as is, has opened up a floodgate of issues we do not want. Help us to close that door permanently without interference.

Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, 'Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. (Deuteronomy 1:16)

4. New Laws Govern Guns, Web, Banks - Wall Street News Journal

A raft of new federal and local laws ring in the new year, governing a span of topics from health care and finance to texting, guns and smoking. State legislators passed about 31,000 news laws in 2010, down slightly from the previous year. Many of those laws took effect at the start of this year, and many reflect the potential misuse of computers.

Meagan Dorsch, director of public affairs for the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan group that offers data and research to legislators nationwide said,. "There are a lot of examples of states expanding their current laws to try to protect the public while they engage in new technologies."

• Lord, we pray for the legislators to have your wisdom when making these regulations. We pray that unnecessary regulations will be removed, and that our government will streamline the agencies and laws so they are not cumbersome.

As with a breaking of my bones, my enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" . . . Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (Psalms 42:10,11)

5. Falling Birds Likely Died from Massive Trauma - CNN

The thousands of birds that fell from the sky just before midnight New Year's Eve in Arkansas likely died from massive trauma, according to a preliminary report released Monday. There was no sign of any chronic or infectious disease," the report said, according to the game and fish commission. Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the commission, said the birds showed evidence of trauma in the breast tissue, with blood clots in the body cavity and a lot of internal bleeding. All major organs were normal. Some ducks were also found dead in the area. As of Saturday, between 4,000 and 5,000 birds had been found dead, said Stephens.

In a seemingly separate incident, some 500 red-winged blackbirds, starlings and grackles were found dead in southern Louisiana in Labarre. The birds showed no evident trauma, according to Jim LaCour, a veterinarian with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Samples have been sent to Wisconsin and Georgia for testing, he said.

• Father, we pray that the source of this strange phenomenon be revealed quickly. If it is poisoning, disease, or governmental experiments that are causing the deaths, let it be known, so we can stop this dangerous occurrence to our wildlife and possibly humans.

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves . . . and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." (Genesis 1:21, 22)

6. Drilling Is Stalled Even After Ban Is Lifted - Wall Street Journal

More than two months after the Obama administration lifted its ban on drilling in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well there. Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012. Rig operators say drilling permits once approved in a matter of weeks have taken up to five months to process as the government introduced new rules. The lengthy delays in reviewing new permits have caught the industry off guard. Some companies are shifting investments out of the Gulf.

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle pushed for a return to drilling last month. "It's time to get the men and women of this industry back to work, as well as the other industries that are dependent upon drilling activity for survival-the welders, the boat captains, the pipefitters and caterers," he said. "There is a multitude of individuals on the coast who want to get back to work finding the fuel to energize America."

• Lord, we pray that even though there are more regulations to drilling in the Gulf coast, the permits will be processed quicker than expected. Let unnecessary rules be omitted, and let the economy grow. Help us to keep oil and gasoline costs down.

"For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, Now I will arise," says the Lord; "I will set him in the safety for which he yearns." (Psalms 12:5)

7. US Approves New Trial of Embryonic Stem Cells - AFP

US biotech company Advanced Cell Technology said Monday it was cleared by the government to start its second trial using human embryonic stem cells to treat blindness, this time in older people. "ACT is now the first company to receive FDA clearance for two Hesc (human embryonic stem cell) trials, and is now a true translational leader in the field of regenerative medicine," said Gary Rabin, Interim chairman and chief executive.

"It marks a major step forward, not just within the stem cell sector, but, potentially for modern healthcare techniques." The company hopes to begin the US clinical trials in the coming months, and intends to seek approval for similar trials in Europe. The US and European market for such a treatment amounts to 25 to 30 billion dollars, it said.

• Father God, we come against this abomination of the desecration of human embryos. We bind this love of money which is causing these businesses to use these stem cells. Let other sources of stem cells be used to find natural cures, and let our government stop funding these tests from embryonic cells.

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails . . . Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice. (Isaiah 59:14-15)

The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one. (Psalms 14:2, 3)

The Middle East in Focus

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

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget it's skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth--if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy. (Psalm 137:5-6)

1. U.S. Middle East peace efforts to resume - Politico

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that U.S. officials led by White House Middle East peace advisor Dennis Ross will come to Israel this week to try to revive the Middle East peace process.

2. Report: U.S. Jewish leader met Assad with message from Netanyahu - Ha'aretz

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, met recently in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Channel 10 reported on Monday.

3. Netanyahu slams Palestinians' new 'three no's' - Jerusalem Post

Israel has an "arsenal of possible responses" it can deploy in response to a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

4. Israeli companies to help build first modern Palestinian city - Ha'aretz

About 20 Israeli suppliers will help build the first modern Palestinian city in the West Bank but only after promising they will not use products or services from Israeli settlements, the project's developer said Tuesday.

5. Sheshinski: Increase gov't take from oil, gas to 50-62% - Jerusalem Post

The Sheshinski committee's on Monday presented its final recommendations and suggested increasing the government's take from oil and gas revenue from the current one-third to 50-62%. It also recommended levying a progressive tax rate on profits of 20-50% and canceling the depletion allowance. The royalties rate will remain unchanged at 12.5%.

The Daily Jot

The prophetic destiny of "an holy nation"

"The time has come for a new American emancipation-a great national drive to tear down economic barriers and liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country. My friends, together we can do this, and do it we must, so help me God...If not us, who? And if not now, when? It must be done by all of us going forward..." These were the words of President Ronald Reagan in his Second Inaugural Address, on Monday, January 21, 1985. The election of 1984 was affirmation that Reagan's economic policies and his bully pro-American, pro-moral agenda was working. He was reversing the policies of the failed socialist agenda of Jimmy Carter, which left the nation in an economic and foreign policy abyss.

The 2010 election was also a referendum on a socialist agenda--a referendum that rejected outright and with force the failing policies of the counter-American. Yet, these soldiers of socialism, who were kicked out of office for their dastardly deeds that left our nation economically bankrupt, came back and worked more of their evil in a lame duck session. Some of those who were re-elected surely did not get the message. We as a nation still have leadership that wishes to remake America into a socialist, perhaps even communist, so-called democracy. More czars, more power grabs, more spending, more laws that are made but never read, more freedoms taken away, more immorality through laws and regulations.

In the past, Americans have always rebounded by standing against such tyranny, such evil. One of the problems now is that whoever we elect cannot be trusted, even those who call themselves Christians. It is time, as Reagan so eloquently said, that the move away from this godless society must be done by all of us going forward. You see, the battle really isn't about socialism or communism or tyranny. Those are just results of the battle. The battle is over the souls of citizens. I maintain that if Christians in this nation were actually moving in the spiritual gifts as prescribed specifically by the Holy Scriptures, this nation would be righted, even as end times prophecy moves rapidly forward.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson
Word of Life Ministry

January 12th

Mark your calendars, friends. On Wednesday, January 12th, the House of Representatives will hold a vote to repeal ObamaCare. (Coincidentally, the 12th is also Rush Limbaugh's birthday. Repeal of ObamaCare would be a great gift to him and the American people!) Some House Republicans are optimistic that the vote could even attract enough bi-partisan support to override a presidential veto. It would be remarkable indeed if several dozen House Democrats crossed the aisle and opposed the crown jewel of Obama's agenda.

That said, no one expects a repeal bill to pass the Senate or get past Obama's veto pen. So what is Plan B? What will congressional Republicans do on January 13th? If we can't repeal ObamaCare, the next best thing is to defund it.

Conservative champion Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is leading the charge to do just that. He recently sat down with Terry Jeffrey of CNSNews.com and outlined the strategy for preventing funding of ObamaCare in every appropriations bill. You can watch the interview here.

As Rep. King notes, this is going to be a big fight. House Republicans will be under immense pressure to back down from the media, the White House, the Democrats and left-wing special interest groups. Obama may shut down the government over this fight. But conservatives must not give in.

We will do everything we can to encourage our friends on Capitol Hill to hold their ground, and from time to time we will be calling on you for reinforcements. I hope you are ready to rumble! (Gary Bauer)

Time For Real Transparency

House Committees to Launch a Series of Investigations of Administration Activities

. . . today's Washington Post reports that a number of House GOP committee chairmen are planning investigations that will finally force some transparency on this White House.

For example, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is planning six hearings in the first three months of the year. The subjects include WikiLeaks, the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the mortgage meltdown, corruption in Afghanistan and the excessive regulation of American businesses.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will reportedly investigate the Justice Department's civil rights division for failing to enforce voter rights laws. I hope that means Rep. Smith will ask Attorney General Eric Holder why he dropped the voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party.

The most consequential investigations may come from the House Homeland Security Committee. The new chairman, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), is pledging to investigate Islamic radicalization, not overseas but right here in America.

The shootings at Fort Hood and multiple military recruiting stations and the numerous plots attempted by homegrown jihadis strongly suggest that such hearings are long overdue. Yet King is coming under fire from American Muslim apologists and the politically correct media for daring to ask the obvious: What is the common thread in all these events?

In its first editorial of the new year, the New York Times accused Rep. King of a "sweeping slur on Muslim citizens." As usual, the Times has it backwards. If Islam is truly a religion of peace, the "sweeping slur" is being committed by those seeking to "kill the infidel" in the name of Allah.

Given the disturbing rise in the number of American citizens who have embraced radical Islam's jihad against the West, why would anyone oppose these hearings? Could it be that the progressives at the New York Times editorial board are concerned that Rep. King might actually uncover Islamic radicalization in some American mosques? The Times seems more concerned with avoiding inconvenient truths than with protecting America's homeland security. Sadly, that is typical of the Times and many of America's media elites. . . (Gary Bauer)

Revenge of the Taxpayer

Health Care Reform II: Revenge of the Taxpayer

January 12 may be National Marzipan Day, but if House Republicans have a say, it'll be remembered for a whole lot more. Yesterday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) made the announcement that most Americans have been waiting for: a vote to repeal the oppressive, expensive, abortion-funding health care law will take place sooner rather than later. Next Wednesday, to be exact. Our sources tell us that floor debate on repealing ObamaCare will begin on Friday, with a final vote scheduled for January 12.

In the 296 days since the bill was signed, the country's outrage over the policy hasn't dampened. If anything, Americans are opposed to the law now more than ever. Although Democrats are criticizing the move as "symbolic," Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) told Fox News her job is to listen to voters. "They want it repealed, so whether or not the vote will be symbolic will depend on what the Senate and our President does. It's entirely meaningful within the context of what the House is doing. That's what we were elected to do."

Unlike the 2,074-page tree-killer that was ObamaCare, the repeal text is a breezy 250 words. While the new leadership is expected to pick up some Democrats along the way, the bill isn't expected to advance beyond the House. But that doesn't mean Republicans will stop swinging at it. "You'll continue to see us make that fight because that's what the American people want us to do," said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). If Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) Senate won't budge on the repeal, new Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has plenty of other weapons at his disposal. Among other things, his party will try starving the bill of federal funds. And since the 111th Congress added more to the deficit than the first 100 combined--that's a diet we can all get behind! (Family Research Council)

Update: Prop. 8 Case

Prop. 8 Case Sent to California High Court

9th Circuit Undermines Marriage, Religious Freedom

In a pair of decisions handed down today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped the issue of marriage and undercut religious freedom.

A three-judge panel sent the Proposition 8 case -- which focuses on California's marriage protection amendment -- to the California Supreme Court to weigh in on. At issue is whether marriage advocates have the right to defend Proposition 8 in court.

Marriage advocates stepped into the case after outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and outgoing state Attorney General (and Governor-elect) Jerry Brown failed to defend Prop. 8. Incoming Attorney General Kamala Harris has already said she will not defend the marriage amendment either.

In its order, the court wrote: "It is critical that we be advised of the rights under California law of the official proponents of an initiative measure to defend the constitutionality of that measure upon its adoption by the People when the state officers charged with the laws' enforcement, including the Attorney General, refuse to provide such a defense or appeal a judgment declaring the measure unconstitutional. As we are aware of no controlling state precedent on this precise question, we respectfully ask the Supreme Court of California to exercise its discretion to accept and decide the certified question below."

The case reached the 9th Circuit after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8 in August, claiming it violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

An answer from the state Supreme Court is expected in a few weeks or months. (CitizenLink)

Update: The Mount Soledad Cross

9th Circuit Rules it Unconstitutional

In a separate case, the 9th Circuit ruled today that a veterans memorial cross in San Diego is unconstitutional.

The Mount Soledad cross was built in 1913. The current cross, which stands 29 feet tall atop a 14-foot base, was erected in honor of veterans of both World Wars and Korea.

In 1989, the lawsuits began. In 1992, San Diego tried to protect the cross by giving the land to the nonprofit Mount Soledad Memorial Association. Fourteen years later, still mired in legal red tape, the site was named an official federal war memorial.

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the Texas-based Liberty Institute -- which is associated with Focus on the Family -- said he is ready to defend the cross all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"It's not real surprising to me," he said of the ruling. "They're hostile to religious expression and want to engage in religious cleansing. The big question now is, will the Supreme Court take the case?

"We're certainly going to be doing everything we can to make sure the court takes the case." (CitizenLink)

Read the full decision on Prop. 8 by going here.

The Good News Corner

More Good News From The GOP House

In addition to a renewed focus on the Constitution, House Republicans are instituting additional rules to rein in spending. The Wall Street Journal reports that House Republicans are replacing the Democrats' "Pay As You Go" rule, which became a convenient excuse to raise taxes, with a "Cut As You Go" rule. Under this new rule, increases in mandatory spending will require spending cuts in other areas of the budget.

Another rules change creates so-called "spending reduction accounts." One of the problems with the debate over earmarks is that if Congress votes to end an earmark, the money isn't returned to the Treasury. If members of Congress don't earmark funds for specific projects, then Obama Administration bureaucrats are free to spend federal dollars however they want.

With "spending reduction accounts," money from an earmark or any other program that is voted down would be put into a "spending reduction account" so the bureaucrats can't spend it. The idea is similar to a savings account. Let's say you save $100 on groceries this month. Rather than spending that $100 on clothes or eating out, you put it into your savings account. Believe it or not, that's a really novel concept in Washington!

For too long members of Congress have been accustomed to using Uncle Sam's credit card for every desire. These small, but important steps will hopefully recondition their thinking about how they spend your money, laying the foundation for more fundamental reforms to come. (Gary Bauer)

Worship with Us Today!

"Our God" by Chris Tomlin

Join us in ushering in this New Year by worshiping our Lord with this magnificent video!