• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• The Daily Jot
• Burlingame vs.Obama
• Planned Parenthood and the States
• Meanwhile, Back at the Gas Pump --
• The Good News Corner
• Worship with Us Today!
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
The Daily Brief - Tuesday, May 10, 2011
"I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me." (Isaiah 45:5)
The Daily Brief
1. Epic Flooding will Test Levee System as Never Before, Experts Say - CNN
Roy Dakka, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Geoinformatics at Louisiana State University, predicted that it will take weeks to months for the farmland to dry. "Any existing crops are going to be toast," he said, citing the fields of corn, sugar cane and soybeans that will be covered with sediment. "Plus, God knows what's in the water and what gets deposited." If the floodwaters remain on the ground for 30 days or so, "then we probably would not be able to get a crop in this year," said Roger Carter, president of Agricultural Management Services, an agricultural consultant firm in Clayton, Louisiana.
"Most of our crops are already planted in the floodplains. They would be destroyed." Any farmers who wind up losing a year's worth of crops will probably be forced out of the business, since insurance would not cover their losses adequately, he said. If wide-scale flooding occurs, the resulting economic damage will be felt for years, he predicted. "Any city that ever floods never really returns economically to where it once was because people don't have confidence, people don't want to put businesses there. New Orleans is the big example."
• Lord, we pray for an end to the rains in this area of our nation that is being hit with hard rains and flooding. We pray that the levees will hold and not be destroyed. We pray for the waters to recede quickly and without damage to persons , property, and livestock. We pray that peaceful rain will move to areas in the nation where there is draught instead. Let there be peace in the land.
• Then Jesus arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39)
2. Boehner: No Debt Deal Without Cuts, "Trillions, Not Billions" - ABC News
"Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase," Boehner said in a speech to the New York Economic Club. "And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given . . . "We will not succeed in balancing the federal budget and overcoming the challenges of our debt until we commit ourselves to government policies that will let our economy achieve long-term growth. Our economy won't grow as long as we continue to trip it up with short-term gimmicks from Washington".
"There's also a clear connection between high gas prices and the weak dollar that some in Washington have quietly welcomed over the past couple of years. It's well known that when you print tons of money, the dollar sinks, and the price of food and energy rises -- significantly.
• We thank you Lord for this godly man of wisdom who is now in charge of the House. We pray that he and other conservatives will be able to implement solid plans to rebuild our nation and get our economy back into balance. Let them have favor with everyone. Let the dollar not be further devalued.
• Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple. (Psalms 65:4)
3. Navy Chaplains Cleared to Perform Gay Marriages - Reuters
The Navy has authorized its chaplains to perform same-sex marriages on military bases once the ban on gays in the military is lifted, but some members of Congress argue the authorization violates another federal law. Representative Todd Akin, chairman of a U.S. House subcommittee that oversees Navy and Marine Corps programs, said the new Navy guidance violates a federal law that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The Missouri Republican and 62 other members of Congress have sent a letter to the Secretary of the Navy calling for the service to obey the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. "While a state may legalize same-sex marriage, federal property and federal employees, like Navy chaplains, should not be used to perform marriages that are not recognized by federal law," Akin, a Missouri Republican, said in a statement.
• Lord, we ask You to bind these groups from getting a foothold in our government and our society, and in the Name of Jesus, we bind the spirit that is operating through them to advance the work of the enemy in our culture. We pray for them to fall on their knees and cry out for the Lord.
• Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7, 8)
4. Ariz. Taking Immigration Law to US Supreme Court - ABC News
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Monday she will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that put the most controversial parts of the state's immigration enforcement law on hold. The U.S. Justice Department urged the appeals court to uphold the order that blocked enforcement of parts of the law. The federal government argued the law intrudes on its exclusive authority to regulate immigration, disrupts relations between the United States and Mexico, hinders cooperation between state and federal officials, and burdens legal immigrants.
The Arizona law isn't the only one that has challenged federal primacy in immigration.
The U.S. Supreme Court is mulling arguments in an appeal by groups that are trying to overturn a 2007 Arizona law that prohibits employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit aimed at halting a new immigration law in Utah, saying it violates constitutional rights to due process and is too much like portions of Arizona's immigration law.
• Lord, we pray that you will block these groups that are seeking to stop the enforcement of border security. We pray the courts will rule in favor of the states that are seeking to secure their borders. We also pray that groups that seek to destroy our values will be permanently blocked from their plans.
• Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' - yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' (Luke 18:3, 5)
5. Lawmakers Ready Emergency Funds in Case FEMA Runs Dry - Fox News
The House Appropriations Committee is laying the groundwork for an emergency supplemental in case FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund runs dry and government entities ask for more money. Most recently, a number of extremely destructive tornados wreaked havoc across the southeast, killing more than 350 people and leaving countless without basic necessities. There's no official projection on the amount of damage done, but initial reports say at least $5 billion worth. That's five-times more than Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., says the fund has on hand.
One other thing to keep in mind, it's not even June yet. There could be more disasters to come that would have lawmakers begging for cash.
• Lord, we pray for peace in our land. We pray that even in all the calamities that have come upon our people, you will give us resources to rebuild and restore. You are our source, not government. Let everyone know this in their minds and hearts.
• And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:19, 20)
6. Pakistanis Disclose Name of CIA Operative - Washington Post
The public outing of the CIA station chief here threatened on Monday to deepen the rift between the United States and Pakistan, with U.S. officials saying they believed the disclosure had been made deliberately by Pakistan's main spy agency. The new station chief, who runs one of the largest U.S. intelligence-gathering operations in the world, played an instrumental role in overseeing efforts to confirm bin Laden's location before last week's raid. The discovery of bin Laden's presence in a Pakistani city was considered a huge embarrassment for Pakistan's military.
"They are trying to protect their name, which is in tatters," said a former senior security official who is familiar with Pakistani military leaders' thinking. "The feeling among these people is that we have been wronged."
• Lord, we pray that the Middle East will begin to see America in a good light, and come to know that we help in their freedoms. Let their hearts and minds be changed so they will work with us and not against us.
• When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)
7. Housing Crash is Getting Worse: Report - Wall Street Journal
Average home prices are down 8% from a year ago, 3% over the quarter, and are falling at about 1% every month, according to Zillow, the real-estate information company. And the percentage of homeowners in negative-equity positions - with a home worth less than its mortgage - has rocketed to 28%, a new crisis high.
Zillow now predicts prices will fall about 8% this year and says it no longer expects the market to bottom before 2012. Falling real-estate prices mean spiraling hidden losses throughout the economy, from banks to homeowners.
• Lord, we pray for the housing market to rise up. Homes are a blessing that you have provided for us, but with so many jobs lost, we are suffering in all areas of our economy. Restore to us what has been stolen as we seek your face and provision.
• But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
8. Iran Doing Final Pre-start Tests at Nuclear Plant - Reuters
Iran is conducting final tests at its first nuclear power plant and it is expected to start generating electricity in the next two months, Iranian media said on Monday. Meant to be the first of a network of nuclear power stations Iran says it is planning, the Russian-built Bushehr complex has missed deadline after deadline to come on stream, most recently fuel had to be removed and checked for technical problems. Fars news agency said Bushehr would start injecting power into the national electricity grid in the next two months.
But the start-up of the plant has been hit by several delays since then, with some analysts blaming the mysterious Stuxnet computer virus that had afflicted staff computers at Bushehr but not affected major systems there. Earlier this month, an Iranian official said his country had been hit by a new malware called "Stars." But foreign experts have voiced doubt that this represented a second cyber attack. Diplomats and security sources say Western governments and Israel view sabotage as one way of slowing Iran's nuclear work.
• We pray that you will once again block Iran from completing its plans to have nuclear weapons. We pray that the evil rulers will be removed and that the country will not be able to work with other countries to build the nuclear weapons. Thank you for the computer viruses that have stopped their developments.
• When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, it is that they may be destroyed forever. For behold, Your enemies . . .shall perish. (Psalms 92:7, 9)
The Middle East in Focus
A note from Intercessors for Israel:
Israel is celebrating the 63rd birthday of her modern restoration as a nation this week. This modern day fulfillment of God's prophetic Word gives us much to be thankful for.
- We bless You for allowing us to be alive at this time and to see all that You are doing in fulfilling Your Word so openly and obviously.
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"The LORD builds up Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel." (Psalm 147:2)
1. Report: Bin Laden warned U.S. over security of Palestine in final tape - AFP
An Islamist website said that Osama bin Laden warned the United States they would not be secure until Palestine is secure, AFP news agency reported on Sunday.
2. Abbas likely to reappoint Fayyad to head interim gov't - Jerusalem Post
PA President Mahmoud Abbas is likely to reappoint Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to head the interim government to be set up following last week's unity deal between Hamas and Fatah, Asharq Al- Awsat newspaper reported on Sunday.
3. EU to transfer funds to PA - Ynet News
The EU announced a $124 million funds transfer to the Palestinian Authority as hundreds of Palestinians marched through the West Bank Friday in support of a truce agreement signed between Hamas and Fatah. Leaders from both factions participated in what was described as 'Truce Friday'.
The Daily Jot
It is your land, take it
I was at the gas pump yesterday, filling up my car with $3.99 a gallon gasoline (that's after the grocery store discount points were applied). The guy across the pump was doing the same. I asked him if he had taken out his loan to fill his tank. He replied that he couldn't even fill his tank because the pump shuts off at $75. I told him that we needed to change some things at the ballot box; that we needed leaders who would not just talk about the problems, but also solve them. He thought for a minute and said that I was right and we moved on to what we were doing. This is an example of how to start a revolution. We need to talk to our fellow Americans and get them thinking about what is right.
Did you know that the average American household is now spending 9% of its budget on gasoline? According to the Oil Price Information Service, American households are spending from 2% (where mass transit is readily available) to 14% of their income on gasoline. Gasoline excise taxes vary from state to state, but state governments are charging from 8 cents in Alaska to 37.5 cents a gallon in Washington, with the average appearing to be in the 22 cents per gallon range. The cost of gasoline impacts everything--food prices (which have risen some 30%), goods and services, heating and electric, even the cost of government. But are our leaders doing anything but talking about it?
The Administration refuses to allow drilling for oil opting for very long term research and development of often pie in the sky "green" energy solutions. Oil company executive are being investigated for price gouging, but this does not increase the supply of badly needed energy. Congress appears to be so worried about reelection that neither Republicans nor Democrats offer any hope for a workable solution beyond rhetoric. If words could change physical events, the hot air do nothings that have been elected by the American people would be the most successful leaders on earth. But all that is being done is deception. If you keep talking about it and rearranging the debate, people think something is being done.
That is, until it is too late. The national debt is growing by more than a million dollars every two minutes. As it stands today, every American citizen's portion of the national debt is $46,020. When does it end? It doesn't unless you do something about it. All law is based on the Bible. If it is not in harmony with the Bible, it is not a good law. When government, such as ours, through its laws and policies covets not only our belongings and earnings, but also our very futures, it is an unjust government. God blessed us with a nation where our voice counts. Psalm 119:1 says, "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord." Verse 6 says, "Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments." I challenge you this day to speak up.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Burlingame vs. Obama
Obama met with 9/11 families yesterday at Ground Zero. While there, Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles "Chic" Burlingame, who was the pilot murdered by the jihadists on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, confronted the president about the possible prosecution of CIA officers who participated in the "enhanced interrogations" of terrorist suspects. Here is excerpt of Burlingame's exchange with Obama: BURLINGAME: "As a former attorney I know you can't tell the Attorney General what to do."
OBAMA: "No, I can't."
BURLINGAME: "But that shouldn't stop you from giving your opinion. We wouldn't be here today if they [the CIA officers] hadn't done their jobs. Can't you at least give them [the Justice Department] your opinion?"
OBAMA: "No I won't."
At that point, according to Burlingame, Obama turned his back on her and walked away.
It is unconscionable that the Obama Administration is still threatening to prosecute some of the brave men and women whose interrogation of alleged jihadist prisoners helped to take out Osama bin Laden. I'm proud of Ms. Burlingame for having the courage to confront Obama.
By the way, Obama can tell his Attorney General to stop the prosecutions. As we know, Obama told Eric Holder not to defend the law defining marriage in America as the union of one man and one woman, and Holder willingly complied.
That this administration would neglect a common sense law while harassing our brave intelligence personnel who are trying to defend this country is an obvious example of its confused and misplaced priorities. (Gary Bauer)
Updates: Planned Parenthood and the States
As pro-lifers await Governor Mitch Daniels's (R-Ind.) signature on a first-of-its-kind effort to defund Planned Parenthood, it's good to remember that the important question isn't always who's spending the money but what they're spending it on. As Daniels pointed out, "Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions." That's something pro-abortion groups and their attorneys (all of whom are lining up to sue the state after the measure becomes law), should keep in mind. Indiana might be the first in the nation to cut ties with the abortion industry, but they won't be the last.
In North Carolina, legislators passed H 200, the state budget bill for FY 2012, which rolls back about $500,000 in state grants to America's biggest abortion provider. Hopefully it holds up.
Not to be outdone, Texas lawmakers held a hearing on Wednesday for SB 1854, which also puts the brakes on the gravy train for "choice." Under this bill, the Lone Star State would define how the Women's Health Program can spend Medicaid money (or, more accurately, how it's can't--since abortion funds are banned). The bill also has a severability provision that puts Planned Parenthood in a no-win situation if they try to sue.
Over in the Sooner state, Oklahomans are focused on SB 709, which cuts Planned Parenthood out from the list of organizations eligible to administer a program intended to help needy women and children. The money will still be distributed, just at county health department locations. (Family Research Council)
Meanwhile, Back at the Gas Pump --
Liberal Policies Don't Work
With the national average for a gallon of gas nearing $4.00, House Republicans are bringing legislation to the floor today to force the Obama Administration to end its restrictions on offshore drilling. The GOP bill would direct the administration to start auctions for drilling leases in various locations in the Gulf and off the Atlantic coast "as soon as practicable." To prevent the administration from dragging its feet, the bill also specifies firm deadlines for the auctions depending on their location.
By continuing its anti-drilling policies, the administration is not only preventing job growth and restricting the supply of oil on the world market, it is also giving up billions of dollars in tax revenues, as this article explains.
Democrats have their solution too. They want to raise taxes. In recent days, Obama has tried to deflect criticism for high gas prices stemming in part from his anti-drilling policies by blaming the oil companies for making money. (Isn't that what companies are supposed to do?) During his weekly radio address, Obama said, "When oil companies are making huge profits and you're struggling at the pump . . . these tax giveaways aren't right. . . . And we need to end them."
House Democrats plan to force a vote to eliminate $4 billion in tax credits for the energy industry. Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid has promised a similar vote in the Senate. Just to be clear, these "tax giveaways" are the same depreciation and investment credits that other businesses routinely take advantage of. Obama is singling out for punitive tax punishment an industry that is critical to our economic success.
Liberal logic boggles the mind. How does raising taxes do anything to help lower the cost of gasoline? In fact, it is more likely to increase your pain at the pump.
According to Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution, "If you take [the credits] away it's very likely that you'll probably see a fall off in drilling activity." And from Economics 101, we know that when supply decreases, prices increase. Ebinger notes that reduced domestic production "would have to be offset . . . with a greater level of imports. Which would be totally against what we say we're taking them [the tax credits] away for."
Taxing Your Odometer Too
Proving just how creative Democrats can be in finding new ways to raise taxes, The Hill reports today that the Obama Administration is seeking support for legislation that would "require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive." This new tax is called a VMT -- vehicle miles traveled tax.
The idea appears to have some support in Congress. The Hill notes that Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, "has proposed taxing cars by the mile as a way to increase federal highway revenues."
I'm not surprised that liberal Democrats like this new tax. But I suspect most Americans will object to having the government mandate the installation of electronic monitoring devices in all vehicles that would track and tax their every move!
The Good News Corner:
CBN Celebrates 400 Years of the King James Bible
Last week marked the 400th year since the King James Bible was first published, In addition to events commemorating this event on Capitol Hill and a Congressional Resolution for the same (reported on yesterday's OCAP), CBN has posted an website that offers an in depth look at this historic occasion.
We invite our readers and prayer partners to take a moment today and visit CBN's site by going here to learn more about this historic occasion. And let us bow our heads in gratitude to the LORD Most High that we all live in a nation that still allows us the freedom to openly read the Word of God, and to carry our Bibles with us wherever we go. Praise God.
Worship with Us Today!
"You Hold Me Now" by Hillsong
"In this life I will stand, through my joy, through my pain, knowing there's a greater day. There's a hope that never fails, where Your name is lifted high, and where praises always rise for the glory of Your name. I'm believing for the day where the wars and violence cease. All creation lives in peace. Let the songs of Heaven rise to You alone. No weeping, no hurt or pain, no suffering, You hold me now. No darkness, no sick or lame, no hiding, You hold me now. For eternity all my heart will give all the glory to Your name."