• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• The Bulgaria Bombing: Take Action!
• State Dept. Ignores Persecution
• Pray for Passage of ANDA!
• Today's Legislative Focus
• Waiving Goodbye to Welfare Reform?
• Tax Cuts in the News
• The Good News Corner
• Worship with Us Today!
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The Daily Brief - Thursday, July 19, 2012
"You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne from generation to generation. Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old . . ." (Lamentations 5:19,21)
The Daily Brief
1. Assad reportedly directs troops from tribal heartland as rebels flood capital - MSNBC
As more Syrian rebels flooded into the country's capital, President Bashar Assad had reportedly left Damascus and was directing the response to the assassination of three top lieutenants on Thursday.
A day after a bombing killed his brother-in-law and two other key military figures, Assad was in the coastal city of Latakia, opposition sources and a Western diplomat told Reuters.
- Father we continue to pray for Assad to be removed from power, and that the government to follow will not be filled with jihadist extremists.
- "The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do justice." [Proverbs 21:7]
2. Bombing suspect in attack that killed 7 on bus of Israeli tourists was carrying fake Michigan driver's license, Bulgaria says - Fox news
The suspected suicide bomber in Wednesday's attack on a tour bus that killed seven and injured dozens was carrying a fake U.S. identification card, the Bulgarian prime minister said.
The suspect, whose nationality has not been determined, had a fake Michigan driver's license, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said in an interview. Six of the victims on the tour bus are Israeli citizens. Read more
- Pray for comfort and peace for the families of the Israelis killed in this attack. Ask the Lord to reveal the underlying plot and whether there were others involved in it.
- "Show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me." [Psalm 86:17]
3. a) Fort Hood report shows FBI ignored warning signs on Hasan, lawmaker says - AP
The FBI was too concerned about political correctness and did not launch an investigation into a man who was later charged with killing 13 people in a 2009 attack at the Fort Hood military installation in Texas, despite significant warning signs that he was an Islamic extremist bent on killing civilians, according to a lawmaker briefed on a new report about the terrorist attack.
b) 'Islamorealism' ad claims '19,207 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11' - Daily Caller
The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) created an ad campaign to raise awareness about Jihadist activities against Israel and the United States, highlighting the number of Islamist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, and a growing number of deaths that have resulted. (Read more.)
- Lord, more and more information is coming to light about the dangers of Islamic extremism. As this demonic spirit of murder continues to sweep across all countries, we bind it in the Name of Jesus, and apply the blood of Christ to every plan, hidden secret, and evil intent. "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in truth." [John 8:44a]
4. North Korean Leader Kim Cements Complete Control Over Army - Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was named marshal of the army, the country's top military rank, in a move that adds to his glittering array of titles and cements his power in the isolated and impoverished state.
- Father, as the world is distracted by many other news items, Kim Jong-un has quietly tightened his grip over North Korea. We pray that You break the hold of tyranny over the PRNK and flush away the wickedness of that regime.
- "A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, he establishes his way." [Proverbs 21:29]
5. New in 'gay' parade: U.S. troops in uniform - WND
Command-level decision breaks down decades of limits on use of military image In what appears to be an extraordinary reversal of military policy, members of the U.S. armed forces say they have been given permission by their commanding officers to march in a "gay pride" parade Saturday - while wearing their service-issued uniforms. The top echelons of the U.S. Air Force approved a request by a senior recruiter based in Arizona to join "a uniformed, active-duty military contingent" in a San Diego homosexual pride event, the San Diego Union Tribune reported. Read more. http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/new-in-gay-parade-u-s-troops-in-uniform/
- Lord we are grieved yet again over decisions by Air Force leadership that allows the lending of credence and color to a gay rights parade. We pray that You will touch their lives with Your Holy Spirit, and convict them of the sins that are holding them back from Your blessing.
- "There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless, the Lord's counsel, that will stand." [Proverbs 19:21]
6. US Postal Service on the Brink of Default - Wall Street Journal
The Postal Service repeated on Wednesday that without congressional action, it will default -- a first in its long history, a spokesman said -- on a legally required annual $5.5 billion payment, due Aug. 1, into a health-benefits fund for future retirees. Action in Congress isn't likely, as the House prepares to leave for its August recess.
- Father we have enjoyed inexpensive fees and excellence in our postal system for decades. We pray that Your wisdom will guide the leadership to provide the correct services, and provide logical benefits for employees.
- "I will direct their work in truth." [Isaiah 61:8c]
7. Federal judge dismisses contraception lawsuits - Washington Times
A federal judge has dismissed a challenge by seven states to the requirement in President Obama's health care law that employers must provide contraception coverage to their workers.
- Father we pray that Congress will act to repeal this healthcare law.
- "He who diligently seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil." [Proverbs 11:27]
8. House panel approves ban on D.C. abortions after 20 weeks - Washington Post
A bill to ban abortions in the District after 20 weeks of pregnancy took a key step forward Wednesday as a House committee approved the controversial measure along party lines.
- Thank You, Father for this ban. We ask that Your Holy Spirit convict members of both houses of Congress of the sin of abortion so that children born in the United States will be safe.
- "Do not kill the innocent." [Exodus 23:7b]
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Your name give glory, for Your mercy, and for Your truth's sake. Why should the nations say, Where is their God? But our God is in the heavens. He has done whatever He has pleased." (Psalm 115:1-3)
1. Barak: Hezbollah behind Burgas terror attack - Jerusalem Post
Hezbollah is responsible for the terror attack in Burgas under the auspices of Iran, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday.
2. Report: Arms from Eritrea smuggled into Sinai, Gaza - Ynet News
A UN report leaked to British newspaper The Guardian claims that the Eritrean regime has been the biggest beneficiary of the country's arms and human trafficking industry.
3. Knesset Members Furious over New Testament Gift - CBN News
Israeli Knesset members were shocked when they opened up a package in their mailboxes Monday morning.
4. At least seven killed in attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria - Times of Israel
Over 30 wounded in explosion on bus carrying Israelis inside Bourgas airport; Netanyahu says, "All the signs point to Iran"
The Bulgaria Bombing: Take Action!
Bulletin from Earl Cox, Israel Always
International Christian journalist and broadcaster Earl Cox says the bombing earlier today of a tourist bus carrying mostly Israeli youth in Bulgaria is just another cowardly act carried out by uncivilized radial Islamic terrorists who have no value for life. The bombing which claimed at least 6 lives and wounded 32 others happened earlier today near an airport in the Black Sea beach town of Burgas. Cox in his statement to a radio network in Oklahoma and also to a television network in Georgia called on the United States and others in the international community to immediately join forces with Israel by helping to identify the criminals who carried out the bombing and make an example of the perpetrators and those who sanctioned this act of terror.
Apparently based on intelligence reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for the deadly attack and vowed a swift and strong response for the blast. "This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world," said Netanyahu, citing a spate of recent attempts on Israeli lives, included a bombing in New Delhi, India, in February that wounded an Israeli diplomat and his wife. "Israel will react strongly to Iran's terror," Netanyahu promised.
Cox said, "I am confident that I speak for the vast majority of Evangelical Christians when I say we stand firmly with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his response to the blast to swiftly identify the criminals responsible for this act of terror. To emphasis this support I am calling on all Christians across America to write to their Congressmen and Senators in Washington D.C. and also send emails and faxes to the White House urging a public condemnation of those responsible and demanding they be brought to justice. If there was ever a time for the American people to speak out on behalf of Israel, that time is now."
>> To contact your U.S. Senators, go here.
>>To contact your U.S. Congressmen, go here.
>> To contact the White House, go here.
State Dept. Ignores Persecution
STATE DEPARTMENT SWEEPS PERSECUTION UNDER RUG
The State Department recently released its annual reports on human rights violations around the world. In an unprecedented move, it conspicuously omitted any mention of religious persecution, oppression of religious minorities or violations of religious freedom.
Instead, the State Department referred readers to the most recent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reports, which cover 2010 but not 2011, and the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report, which is obviously two years outdated. This is significant. Approximately 50 percent of the world's population lives under religiously oppressive regimes. Virtually all of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest Islamic organization in the world, are among them. (Washington Times) Read more. (Reported by Intercessors for America)
- Pray for truth to be revealed regarding religiously oppressive regimes. Intercede that the public would have free access to reports of persecution, and that those who are responsible for producing and presenting these reports would be held accountable and would strive for transparency regardless of their personal persuasions or affiliations. Pray for justice on behalf of those who are sacrificing life, freedom and dignity, and ask God to bless them (and their loved ones) with an extra measure of faith and grace to withstand their trials. Pray that the Holy Spirit would bring conviction and repentance to those restricting the expression of faith.
- "So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." (Matt. 10:26-28)
Pray for Passage of ANDA!
A Time to Spend ANDA Time to Cut
It may be the last appropriations bill released this year, but it's by no means the least! Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) made sure of that. As Chairman of the House subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Rep. Rehberg gave Planned Parenthood and NARAL plenty to complain about when he unveiled his Committee's spending plan for the next fiscal year. Apart from shaving off billions from the Labor, HHS, and Education Department budgets, the measure also takes direct aim at ObamaCare, its mandates, and abortion. Even the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, home to the Left's pet media outlets NPR and PBS, would lose the crutch of millions of taxpayer dollars.
To the delight of most taxpayers, Planned Parenthood would be the bill's biggest casualty. With the blessing of Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), conservatives took an axe to the organization's federal gravy train--zeroing out every last penny to America's largest abortion business. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) tried to reinstate the funds in today's mark-up, but failed 9-5. In fact, under the leadership of Rep. Rehberg, the Committee went the other direction adding a bundle of other pro-life policies. The Chairman also took the opportunity to attach the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) to the broader bill, which would help end discrimination against pro-lifers in the health care industry. If it survives, ANDA would give medical workers legal recourse if they're sidelined for their pro-life views.
And speaking of conscience rights, employers might have a fighting chance at protecting theirs after today's debate. Despite enormous pressure to pull the language, Rep. Rehberg stuck to his guns and included a section that exempts employers who have moral objections to contraception or abortion pills from covering them. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) did her best to strike the policy, but Republicans doubled up the opposition and voted her amendment down 9-5. And they didn't stop there! The good news spilled over into two other provisions: one blocking the funds for ObamaCare's implementation and another restoring $20 million for abstinence education grants, which had been all but destroyed when President Obama took office.
Of course, the media is counting out the bill before it even reaches the floor. Help prove them wrong! Contact Republican leaders Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and encourage them to schedule the legislation--and its pro-life, pro-freedom gains--for a vote. (Family Research Council)
Today's Legislative Focus
Today's Legislative Focus
From The Madison Project
The Madisonian Report
July 16 - 20, 2012
Fellow conservative patriots,
Ironically, we are safe from most bad pieces of legislation this week, and probably even through the August recess. House and Senate Republicans have already capitulated on most major bills this year, leaving the rest of the session for show votes and messaging. Nonetheless, there are a number of things off the floor that must be monitored by those in our community of limited-government patriots.
The Honorable Jim Ryun
Chairman of the Madison Project
1. Farm Bill
Last week, the House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the 5-year farm bill (H.R. 6083). As noted in our previous edition, the House bill only cuts the growth of food stamps by 2% relative to the Senate bill and actually spends more on farm subsidies. The total 10-year cost of the bill is still a whopping $957 billion, with $756 billion going towards food stamps. The committee turned back efforts back conservative members to cut more spending from food stamps and to eliminate sugar price supports.
The good news is that, at present, House Speaker John Boehner does not wish for a fight over this bill. He even called one provision of the bill - the regulations on dairy production - "Stalinist." We are winning the battle on the farm/food stamp bill, but we need everyone to contact their representatives and tell them to voice their opposition to the bill so that leadership will block it from consideration this year.
Two years ago, in the face of the threat from the START nuclear disarmament treaty, we were complacent in mobilizing opposition. Most conservatives believed that there would never be enough Republicans willing to support such a dangerous and preposterous capitulation to Vladimir Putin. Well, as it turned out, the treaty was ratified during the 2010 lame duck session, with the support of 13 Republicans.
Thankfully, conservatives mobilized quickly to oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). LOST is a treaty that will attenuate our sovereignty over our deep-water resources and redistribute our wealth to third world countries. It is nothing more than a back-door cap-and-trade scheme. Now, 34 Republican senators signed a letter pledging to oppose this treaty, denying our opponents the 67 votes needed to ratify it. Even though we've reached the magical number of 34, it doesn't hurt to build more support. Call those who are undecided and ask them to join us in upholding American sovereignty.
3. Campaign Finance
Despite the impending tax cliff at the end of the year and despite having no budget for over 3 years, Senate Democrats have nothing on their plate this week. Well, they have one thing: they will attempt yet again to circumvent the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling by requiring Super PACs to disclose the identity of their donors.
This assault on the First Amendment is being sold as the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3369). The most egregious part of this bill is that it leaves Democrat-aligned unions at a political advantage while tying the hands of super PACs that support conservatives. The bill requires PACs to disclose only those donors who give an excess of $10,000.
As we all know, even though unions bundle together hundreds of millions of dollars, they get most of their money from union dues, which are conveniently below that threshold. Also, the bill requires PACs to disclose their expenditures in excess of $50,000, but exempts "national or international labor organizations" from disclosing bundling from its local affiliates. This bill is clearly designed to grant a political advantage to the most prolific spenders of all - the big Labor unions.
Harry Reid is expected to push a cloture vote on the motion to proceed this week. In 2010, all Republicans united to filibuster a similar bill. It appears that they will do so again this time.
Waiving Goodbye to Welfare Reform?
Waiving Goodbye to Welfare Reform?
President Obama likes his welfare system the way he likes his Constitution: no strings attached. Late last week, in a move that went virtually undetected by the mainstream media, the administration made another leap toward lawlessness by reaching back into history and rewriting the 1996 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Act (enacted by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act). Under a new directive from Health and Human Services (HHS), states can now ask for waivers from the work requirement that's been a cornerstone of the welfare reform law signed by President Clinton for the past 16 years.
As part of the largely bipartisan policy, Americans who applied for TANF funds were required to work (or at least try to find work) or take classes. For almost two decades, those incentives have led to a record number of low-income people moving off the dole and into the workforce, where they have the best chance of escaping poverty. To members of both parties, the job requirement was a pillar of the 1996 reforms--without which, the bill would have failed.
So why change a successful bipartisan policy? The President's strategy is simple: to make people even more reliant on big government. After all, why bother job hunting if Uncle Sam will send a check? But, as Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) pointed out, "You don't improve people's lives with handouts. You improve people's lives by showing them--as I learned growing up in the inner city in a single parent household--that you can think and work your way out of poverty." HHS insists the waivers will help parents "successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment," which is ridiculous since it is taking away the biggest impetuous for doing so. And it's making the change illegally, I might add. As the Heritage Foundation explains, this is just the latest example of the administration's constitutional negligence. "Federal law expressly prohibits the Secretary from waiving the work requirements! The statutory language here is so clear that it is difficult to imagine how HHS could justify the language of the memo or its primary object."
Unfortunately, the President has never let a little thing like federal law get in the way of his radical agenda. The abuse is so rampant that the President won't even enforce his own laws! There aren't enough pens in all of HHS to sign the thousands of ObamaCare waivers that have come across Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's desk. Now, HHS is giving the states an opportunity to join in the administration's "legal flexibility" by gutting a policy right under Congress's nose. But House and Senate members won't let the work requirement go without a fight. The same day the memo was released, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote a scathing letter to Secretary Sebelius "demanding an explanation" and questioning her authority to override the law. Rep. Camp called it "a brazen and unwarranted unraveling" of TANF that "ends welfare reform as we know it."
It's ironic. The law that tried to end welfare entitlement is only showing how entitled this President thinks he is. Let's hope Congress intervenes before it gives the administration what it really wants: one big waiver from the Constitution. (Family Research Council)
Tax Cuts in the News
Democrats Demand More Of Your Dollars
Yesterday in his congressional testimony, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged senators to deal with the so-called "fiscal cliff" sooner rather than later in order to "reduce uncertainty and boost household and business confidence." House Republicans will vote soon on legislation to extend all the Bush tax cuts for one year in order to lay the groundwork for major tax reform and to prevent a massive tax increase on January 1, 2013. Senate Democrats, however, aren't listening to Bernanke's warning.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a key member of Harry Reid's leadership team, delivered a speech Monday at the Brookings Institution demanding higher taxes on the "rich." She said: "There's absolutely no reason -- not one -- that we need to extend the tax cuts for the rich as a precondition for reforming the tax code. Republicans are going to have to accept that tax reform is going to have to raise revenue to help reign in the deficit."
Murray added that she was willing to "absolutely continue this debate into 2013." That means she and other Senate liberals are willing to let the country fall off the "fiscal cliff" and allow ALL of the Bush tax cuts to expire if they can't raise taxes on someone. Now who is holding the economy hostage?
Obama and his congressional allies just don't get it. The problem in Washington is not a lack of revenue, but too much spending. Raising taxes on the so-called "rich" won't make a dent in the deficit. I've reported this before, but it is worth repeating over and over again: According to the New York Times, economists estimate that raising taxes on those making $250,000 and more would raise about $85 billion a year.
Last year's federal deficit was $1,300 billion. So even after raising taxes on the rich, we're still $1,215 billion short of balancing the budget. Where is the rest of that shortfall going to come from? If Obama gets his way, it will come from you in 2014! Can you afford four more years of Barack Obama?
If Patty Murray can't think of one reason to renew the Bush tax cuts, how about 700,000 reasons? According to an analysis by Ernst & Young, that's how many jobs could be lost if she and Obama raise taxes! (Gary Bauer)
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner
Boy Scouts Stand Firm
For the past two years, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has quietly been reviewing its policy banning homosexuals from serving as scoutmasters. The organization has faced unrelenting pressure from the militant homosexual movement, left-wing politicians, Hollywood and corporate elites to change the policy.
Yesterday a BSA spokesman told the Associated Press that an 11-member committee unanimously reaffirmed the ban as "absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts."
The "tolerant" left is having fits, and is extremely intolerant of the Scout's decision to maintain its values. Please take a moment to encourage the Boy Scouts of America for standing firm. (Gary Bauer)
Worship with Us Today!
Worship with Us Today!
Consuming fire fan into flame,
A passion for Your Name,
Spirit of God would You fall in this place,
Lord have Your way,
Lord have Your way with us,