Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief Thursday, December 27, 2012
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
The Daily Brief
1. US Navy Seal Commander, Who Killed Osama Bin Laden, Commits 'Apparent Suicide' In Afghanistan - The Guardian
SEAL Team 4 Commanding Officer Job W. Price has committed suicide. He was best known for finding and then killing Osama bin Laden. Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, died Saturday, Dec. 22, of a non-combat-related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Suicide of the Officer of this grade raises many questions among the media, as the team was best known for killing Osama Bin Laden that assaulted his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011. Military officials are looking into the death of Cmdr. Job W. Price as a possible suicide, but that his death remains under investigation. (Read more.)
- Father we do not know the truth behind this death, but we do know that the family of this military hero needs Your comfort and peace. We ask that You reveal any hidden things regarding the death of this man, and extend Your protection over the rest of the men involved in the killing of Bin Laden.
- "Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your Glory to their children." [Psalm 90:16]
2. Supreme Court declines to block provision covering contraceptives in health care law - NBC News
The U.S. Supreme Court declined Wednesday to put a temporary hold on a controversial provision in the new health care law requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives. Two businesses challenging the act -- the nationwide chain of 500 Hobby Lobby Stores and Mardel, a chain of Christian bookstores -- contended that the law violates their religious freedom. Their legal battle is continuing over the merits of their claim. In the meantime, they asked the US Supreme Court to put a temporary hold on the law, which takes effect January 1, 2013. On Wednesday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the courts where the companies are based, declined to grant an injunction. (Read more.)
- Father we pray for Your protection for the businesses and groups that will suffer from this provision in Obamacare. We are dismayed that Justice Sotomayor declined the injunction, but are not surprised. We hope that for the final appeal of the law, the full panel of justices will stand firmly on the side of the people's religious freedom.
- "He sits in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places he murders the innocent." [Psalm 10:8]
3. Egypt's contentious Islamist constitution becomes law - Reuters
President Mohamed Mursi admitted on Wednesday that Egypt's economy faces serious problems after he enacted a new, bitterly contested constitution that is supposed to help end political unrest and allow him to focus on the financial crisis.
- Lord as we watch the Islamist agenda spread throughout not only the Middle East, but the world, we ask that You rush to the aid of Your people across the globe. We pray for the people of Egypt, and especially for Your Church in that nation, that they will stand strong in the face of the deadly effects of the new Constitution.
- "I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy: for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversity." [Psalm 31:7]
4. a) Geithner: U.S. to hit debt ceiling on Monday - CNN
Government borrowing will hit the debt ceiling on Monday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in a letter to Congress Wednesday.
b) US House Speaker Boehner urges Senate to act on 'fiscal cliff' - Reuters
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday urged the Senate to pass its version of legislation to avert the "fiscal cliff," in a sign that congressional efforts to avoid a budget crisis are coming back to life days ahead of the year-end deadline.
- Lord, we continually cry out to You for a favorable solution to this fiscal nightmare.
- "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all men liberally. . ." [James 1:5a]
5. Obamacare Tax Hikes May Just Be Getting Started - CNBC
New taxes are coming Jan. 1 to help finance President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Most people may not notice.
- Lord, we ask for the revealing of underhanded taxes that are levied without the approval or knowledge of the average citizen.
- "Fret not yourself because of evil men, neither be envious of the wicked: for there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out." [Proverbs 24:19-20]
6. New York newspaper faces backlash after publishing map of gun permit holders - Fox News
A local New York newspaper is drawing the ire of its readers after publishing an interactive map that shows the names and addresses of thousands of residents who have handgun permits.
- Lord, this article is unconscionable, and threatens the safety of all who carry concealed weapons. We ask for Your hand of protection over those named and their families. We pray that You will cause conviction in the hearts of the news media for their poor judgment.
- "They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted against Your hidden ones." [Psalm 83:3]
7. Putin to OK Adoption Cold War on US - Fox News
Orphans are set to pay the price as Putin uses Russian kids and American couples desperate for a child as pawns in an adoption cold war in retaliation for US criticism of his nation's human rights record.
- Father, Your heart must be enraged at this political maneuver designed to place pressure on American couples, yet harm the tiniest of children. We ask that You find a rapid solution, and block this action on the part of Russian leadership.
- "And the King shall answer and say to them, "I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it to Me." [Matthew 25:40]
8. Former President Bush's fever rising after spending Christmas in hospital - AP
Former President George H.W. Bush has been admitted to the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital "following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever," but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said Wednesday.
Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman in Houston, said in a brief email that Bush was admitted to the ICU at Methodist Hospital on Sunday. He said doctors are cautiously optimistic about his treatment and that the former president "remains in guarded condition." (Read more)
- Father we ask Your comfort and healing for our former President and his family. We speak life to him and to them.
- "He sent His Word, and healed them." [Psalm 107:20a]
9. Obama's 2nd inauguration to draw smaller crowds - AP
City officials are expecting 600,000 to 800,000 visitors for the Jan. 21 inauguration, far less than the 1.8 million people who flooded the National Mall four years ago to witness the inauguration of America's first black president. Back then, some hotels sold out months in advance and city residents rented out their homes for hundreds of dollars a night. This time, hotels say they're filling up more slowly, with rooms still available and prices at or slightly below where they were four years ago. (Read more)
- Begin to pray now for good weather for next month's inauguration day, and for journeying mercies for all who will be coming to Washington for this event. Ask our Lord to grant His wisdom and His discernment for those in the Body of Christ who seek to do His will. May each one be led by the Spirit of the Most High God as he or she chooses from the many events that will be happening here on January 20th; and may His Glory be seen upon each visitor who knows Jesus Christ as his Savior and His Lord.
- ". . . if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)
10. House to Hold Rare Sunday Session in Last-Ditch Bid to Avoid Fiscal Cliff - Newsmax
The House of Representatives will return to Washington on Sunday night, just over a day before income tax rates are set to spike higher, in a last-ditch chance to avert the year-end "fiscal cliff." Senior Republican aides confirmed that House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday told members to be back in Washington in time for a 6:30 p.m. legislative session on Sunday. The House may then stay in session until Jan. 2, the final day of the current Congress, according to a Twitter message from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. That is the day that another component of the "fiscal cliff" - $109 billion in automatic spending cuts to military and domestic programs - is set to start.
The House went on recess a week ago amid a deadlock over how to resolve ways to avoid the $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that could throw the U.S. economy back into recession. (Read more.)
- The Congressional calendar for this year has truly been something to behold! It's not over 'til it's over . . . continue to lift up all members and the president in prayer. Cast down personal and hidden agendas; raise up the plan that our Lord has in store for our nation. In Christ, there is never a "cliff" -- instead, if we fall, we fall into the arms of our Savior. Pray!
- "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven . . ." (Matthew 6:10)
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:
" . . . the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will." (Daniel 4:25)
1. IDF contingency plans may have to be activated soon - Jerusalem Post
The Assad regime appears to be edging ever closer to disintegration, and the US and its allies may soon have to activate military contingency plans to secure or destroy Syria's arsenal of deadly chemical weapons.
2. After UN status upgrade, Palestinians seek to join other international organizations - Times of Israel
In the wake of its successful November UN status upgrade bid, the Palestinian Authority is now seeking to join other international organizations, Maariv reported on Wednesday. The list of organizations the Palestinians have applied to join include: the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
3. Hamas official calls for suicide bombings in response to East Jerusalem construction plans - Times of Israel
Hamas's Jerusalem bureau chief called on Wednesday for suicide bombings and armed attacks inside Israel in response to the recently announced plans to build thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
4. TOUGHER EU SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN COME INTO FORCE: - Jerusalem Post
New sanctions against Iran's banking, shipping and industrial sectors took effect on Saturday, as part of the European Union's effort to force Tehran to scale back its nuclear program. The toughest EU measures yet, includes bans on financial transactions, sales to Iran of shipping equipment and steel, and imports of Iranian natural gas, adding to earlier bans, including on the OPEC producer's oil. They reflect heightened concern over Iran's nuclear goals and Israeli threats to attack Iranian atomic installations if diplomacy and other measures fail to deliver a solution.
5. EGYPT: VOTERS APPROVE CONSTITUTION - Jerusalem Post
Egypt's new constitution, which was drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly, was approved by 64% of voters in a two-round referendum, an official in the Muslim Brotherhood said on Sunday citing the group's unofficial tally. An official from Egypt's main opposition group, which campaigned against the constitution saying it would deepen divisions in Egypt, also said its unofficial count indicated the document was approved. The first round of voting was held on held on Dec.15 and a second round was staged on Saturday, with roughly half Egypt's 51 million eligible voters covered in each round. "According to our calculations, the final result of the second round is 71% voting 'yes' and the overall result (of the two rounds) is 63.8%," the Brotherhood official monitoring the vote was quoted as saying.
Too Late To Avoid The Fiscal Cliff?
Too Late To Avoid The Fiscal Cliff?
President Obama cut short his Hawaiian Christmas vacation and returned to Washington, D.C., this afternoon in order to jumpstart negotiations aimed at avoiding massive across-the-board tax increases on January 1st. While so much of the focus has been on Speaker John Boehner, Barack Obama is president and his party controls the Senate.
Yesterday the GOP House leadership issued a joint statement noting that the House of Representatives has already passed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, and is now waiting for the Senate to act on that legislation.
At this late stage, timing alone could prevent a deal from coming together before December 31st. Nevertheless, news broke this afternoon that Speaker Boehner has reportedly called for the House to reconvene Sunday evening.
In addition to haggling over tax rates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner threw a monkey wrench into the works yesterday. He sent a letter to Congress warning that the government would hit the debt limit on Monday -- not February or March as was previously reported.
Obama has repeatedly demanded that increasing the debt limit be part of any fiscal cliff deal, even going so far as to suggest that Congress completely surrender its authority over the debt ceiling. That has been a non-starter for congressional conservatives, who have insisted on addressing the debt ceiling separately.
Geithner's letter is an obvious attempt by the administration to ratchet up the pressure on House Republicans to cut a deal. The Wall Street Journal reported that "Treasury has known for months that the debt ceiling could be reached in December." It's these kinds of hardball tactics and moving goal posts that have made negotiations with the Obama White House virtually impossible. (Gary Bauer)
Hagel Nomination In Jeopardy
Hagel Nomination In Jeopardy
There is growing speculation that former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense may never happen. Lost in the headlines over the Christmas holiday was a report from National Journal that the White House is "considering other candidates" for the key cabinet post.
When Hagel emerged as a serious contender, conservative organizations and pro-Israel groups wasted no time in speaking out. Christians United for Israel, under the leadership of Pastor John Hagee, began organizing online opposition to Hagel's nomination. Bill Kristol's Emergency Committee for Israel launched a TV ad campaign in Washington, D.C.
Many Washington observers have been surprised by the White House's lack of defense for Hagel, who was widely reported to be Obama's top choice for the job. But at least with Susan Rice's failed bid for Secretary of State, Obama displayed a "show of insulted loyalty," as one Huffington Post blogger put it. There has been none of that for Hagel, lending credibility to the report that others are being considered. (Gary Bauer)
Update On Benghazi
Obama Administration Still Misleading On Benghazi
After a scathing report on the September 11th terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, we were told that four top State Department officials resigned. Then a clarification was issued -- one official had resigned and three were disciplined.
But according to the New York Post, even that story -- just like the Obama Administration's original claims about the attack itself -- is not accurate.
The three "disciplined" officials were placed on administrative leave. In other words, they got a vacation and they are expected to return to their jobs soon.
The one official who reportedly resigned still remains on the State Department payroll. Evidently he only "resigned" a presidential appointment, and will continue to serve in another position. As the Post put it, he is essentially "switching desks." The statement that he resigned was technically accurate, but grossly misleading.
Of course none of this is news to the left-wing "mainstream media," but some members of Congress are furious. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted the Obama Administration for continuing to mislead the American people. Here is an excerpt of her comments:
"If these reports are correct, they're pathetic examples of yet another ruse about the tragedy of Benghazi. State Department officials proclaimed to the world that heads would roll after the deception related to the deceitful video excuse and the non-existent spontaneous protest outside the consulate. Now we see that the discipline is a lie and all that has happened is the shuffling of the deck chairs."
Meanwhile, it's been nearly two weeks since anyone has seen Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We were told she could not testify about Benghazi because of a concussion. She has missed several high profile events, including a press conference announcing John Kerry, her former Senate colleague, to be her successor as Secretary of State. Yet as The Weekly Standard notes, statements have gone out in her name recently, so just how serious is her condition?
Senate Republicans are keeping up the pressure on Clinton. Several GOP senators have said they would block a vote on Kerry's nomination until Clinton testifies about the Benghazi attack. Stay tuned. (Gary Bauer)
Civil War Imminent in Gaza?
HAMAS PREPARING FOR WAR AGAINST ABBAS
Hamas is preparing to duplicate its 2007 civil war in Gaza and has instructed terror cells in Judea and Samaria to get ready for a military coup to oust Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, according to Israeli intelligence sources. The orders reportedly came from Hamas' supreme leader Khaled Mashaal, who recently visited Gaza to celebrate what the terrorist organization claimed was a victory over Israel in last month's missile war. Citing unnamed officials in the Israel Security Agency, a London newspaper reported Iran wants to have an allied militia in Judea and Samaria, parallel to Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon. Tawfik Tirawi, a senior member of Abbas' Fatah party, disclosed, "Hamas wants intifada and will take over the West Bank. We're on the verge of catastrophe," he said. "Netanyahu understands the geopolitical changes in the Middle East. No way would he give up an inch of the West Bank - he is convinced the intelligence assessment about a Muslim Brotherhood [Hamas] takeover is solid." (Sunday Times)
- "He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." (Gen 16:12)
(Reported by JNN NEWS)
Israel Prepares for Changes in Syria
NETANYAHU: ISRAEL IS PREPARING FOR DRAMATIC CHANGES IN SYRIA
PM Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is getting ready for the downfall of President Bashar Assad's regime in Syria, and the implications this will have for the regime's chemical weapons cache. Speaking at cabinet meeting, the prime minister said Israel "is following dramatic developments in Syria, cooperating with the US and the international community, and taking the necessary steps to prepare for the possibility of radical changes to the regime with all the consequences these may hold for networks of sensitive weapons."
The most reliable evidence of Assad's deteriorating position has been the firing of Scud missiles at rebel strongholds in Syria's north. NATO's Secretary-General Rasmusen said Friday the Syrian military has continued to fire Scud-type missiles against anti-government forces, describing the move as an act of desperation of a regime nearing its end. The Scud is the regime's second to the last resource, superseded only by the use of chemical and biological weapons against the opposition forces - which have not been tried because of the stern warnings issued by the international community. US intelligence says the regime may be readying chemical weapons and could be desperate enough to use them. Both Israel and the US have also expressed concerns they could fall into terrorist hands if the regime crumbles. (Reuters)
(Reported by: JNN News)
Turkey Resumes NATO Cooperation with Israel
TURKEY TO RESUME NATO COOPERATION WITH ISRAEL
Turkey has agreed to drop its ban on cooperating with Israel as a third-country NATO partner, a diplomat said Sunday. Ankara cut off such cooperation after the Israeli army raided a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010, leaving nine Turks dead. The decision to renew NATO links occurred at a December 4 meeting in Brussels of the 28-member alliance on a proposal by its Secretary General. The ban had "created a lack of confidence among the partners," a diplomat said. The agreement comes after NATO agreed early this month to deploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles along the Turkish border with Syria. Turkey's relations with its former ally deteriorated sharply after the raid on the Turkish ship in international waters in the Mediterranean. (Ynet)
- Pray for renewed co-operation and favorable diplomatic relations between Israel and its former ally Turkey.
(Reported by: JNN News)
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner
Santa Barbara Beach
The first picture and the last picture are taken at the beach in Santa Barbara right next to the Pier. There is a veterans group that started putting a cross and candle for every death in Iraq and Afghanistan. The amazing thing is that they only do it on the weekends.
They put up this graveyard and take it down every weekend. Guys sleep in the sand next to it and keep watch over it at night so nobody messes with it. Every cross has the name, rank and D.O.B. and D.O.D. on it. Very moving, very powerful. So many young volunteers. So many 30 to 40 year olds as well.
(Source: Wikipedia) Read more.
[Note: Wikipedia refers to this project as "Arlington West." This report indicates that another memorial is set up every weekend at Santa Monica, too.]
Worship with Us Today!
Worship with Us Today!
You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You
I trust in You