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The Daily Brief Tuesday, December 18, 2012
"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3)
The Daily Brief
1. Hawaii Sen. Inouye dead at 88 - The Hill
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the most senior member of the upper chamber, died Monday at the age of 88. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced his death on the Senate floor Monday evening. "I rise today with a heavy heart. My friend Dan Inouye just died," he said. "We'll all miss him and I wish I were capable of saying more, but that's all I can say."
- Tonight we honor the senator who has served the longest term on Capitol Hill: Senator Daniel Inouye. Though we may have disagreed with some of his policies, nevertheless we honor one who has dedicated most of his entire life to serving our country. Please pray for his family and friends, that they might find comfort from the Lord in their time of grieving.
- "Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority." (Romans 13:7 NLT)
2. Congressman Tim Scott Is Chosen to Succeed DeMint as South Carolina Senator - NYT
Representative Tim Scott of South Carolina, who arrived in Congress two years ago on the wave of the Tea Party movement, was appointed on Monday to succeed Jim DeMint in the United States Senate, an elevation that makes him the first black senator from the South since the late 19th century. - We offer praise tonight for this excellent choice of the new U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina, bringing new strength to the conservatives serving in that chamber. How exciting, too, to have an African-American senator on the Hill, after so many years . . .
LIft up Senator Scott as he prepares for his new role in the Senate. May he be graced with every gift available to him from heaven above as he receives his new mantle of authority for the good people of South Carolina. Praise Gode!
- "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6)
3. White House: No 'single solution' to gun violence epidemic - The Hill
There is no simple solution or legislative fix to Friday's massacre of 26 small children and educators at a Connecticut elementary school, the White House said Monday. Press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that gun violence in America was "a complex problem that will require a complex solution" and declined to outline specific measures President Obama could take to prevent gun violence. "No single piece of legislation, so single solution, will fully address the problem," Carney said. "I don't have a specific agenda to announce to you today."
- Continue to stand in the gap for the security of the United States Constitution, as written. Intercede that "all in authority" would have the mind of Christ in making decisions regarding gun control . . . even calling those things that were not as though they were. Pray!
- "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:22)
4. SpyPhone: Pentagon Spooks Want New Tools for Mobile 'Exploitation' - Wired
The Pentagon wants to upgrade its spy corps. And one of its first jobs will be finding out what's on your iPhone.
- Lord, we pray that spying would not be allowed that would be used for evil. We pray that our liberty would be protected, especially our liberty in You to be witnesses and spread the gospel. We pray for the leaders at the Pentagon that they would make right decisions regarding protecting us. In the name of Jesus we pray.
- "And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage). to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you." (Galatians 2:4-5)
5. Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans - Wired
In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report.
- Lord, Your word says You have not given us as prey. We stand in the gap for the United States that You would not allow the nation to be prey to injustice and evil. Our hope, our help, and our trust is in You, Lord. May the snare of the enemy be broken and may we escape. We also pray for the U.S. Attorney General for revelation of what is right. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
- "Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowler; The snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 124: 6-8)
6. Drought expands in many farm states - Reuters
Drought continued to expand through many key farming states within the central United States in the past week, as scattered rainfall failed to replenish parched soils, according to a report issued Thursday by state and federal climatology experts.
- Lord of the Harvest, again we come to You needing rain, especially in our Heartland. We ask for rain and snow, which will prepare the ground for next Spring's planting season. We pray that we, as a people, will repent of our indifference to You, and break up that fallow ground, and welcome the refreshing rains of Your righteousness. Amen.
- "Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you." (Hosea 10:12)
7. Introducing: The Queen James Bible - San Francisco Chronicle
New Gay Bible Prevents Homophobic Misinterpretation of Key Verses
The assault on gay rights almost always comes from a belief that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Gay marriage is at the forefront of religious and political debate, and it all stems from people's opinions on Biblical translation. The Queen James Bible is a new Bible that hopes to put an end to the debate, and arm Gay Christians and their supporters with a Bible of their own. (Read more)
- Lord, what is our world coming to? If we do not like Your Word, we just "rewrite it", and delete that which we do not want to obey? The arrogance and lawlessness is so hard to understand. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge . . . so, we know they do not fear the Lord and have exchanged the knowledge of God for a lie. We ask, Lord, for Your mercy . . . may they seek You while You may be found, we pray.
- "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18,19)
8. Iran: Patriot missiles in Turkey threaten world war - Ynet News
Iran's army chief of staff warned NATO on Saturday that stationing Patriot anti-missile batteries on Turkey's border with Syria was setting the stage for world war.
- Lord, Your word says You make wars cease. We also know from Your word that in the end times there will be wars and rumors of wars. We pray that You will be exalted through this in all the nations. Come, Iran and the nations to know the works of the Lord. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
- "Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:8-20)
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. US condemns East Jerusalem building plan, Palestinians to petition UN - Times of Israel
The United States on Monday condemned Israeli plans to build homes in East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Authority threatened to appeal to the United Nations Security Council over the move.
2. Panel expected to approve more East Jerusalem construction - Times of Israel
A day after approving the construction of hundreds of East Jerusalem housing units, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee is due to begin deliberations on an additional building project beyond the Green Line Tuesday. The project is expected to be approved within a few days.
3. Vatican hopes UN Palestinian vote brings peace - AP
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has met with Pope Benedict XVI to thank him for supporting the recent U.N. resolution recognizing a Palestinian state.
4. Salafist leader: First we take Damascus, then Tel Aviv - Ynet News
The leader of the radical Salafist movement in Jordan, whose organization actively supports the Syrian rebels' efforts to topple President Bashar Assad's regime warned Sunday that once the Damascus opposition achieves its primary goal, it will set its sights on Israel.
The Daily Jot
President's remarks Biblically ignorant, insulting to parents
The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is beyond belief. May this horror bring those parents and relatives of the victims closer to the Lord; may it bring this nation closer to the one true God. There are no words to describe the pain they feel or the burden they will carry with them the rest of their lives. You just don't get over such a thing. Already, the politicians are using the deaths of these young children to advance their cause against guns. It is shameless. The occupant of the Oval Office goes on national TV, attempts to quote scripture a few times to gain the sympathy of his perspective, then tells us that we cannot parent our own children and that he will use the full weight of his office to stop violence against them.
On parenting, he said, "That this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation. And in that way, we come to realize that we bear a responsibility for every child because we're counting on everybody else to help look after ours; that we're all parents; that they're all our children." I do not need the federal government or the community helping me raise my children. The shock is that government promotes the promiscuity, anti-Christian liberal agenda that I taught our children was wrong. That's why we home schooled and used private Christian schools.
Then, the president used his code words for gun control. He said, "In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens...in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this...Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?" If you take away the power to defend yourself, that is the price of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. Connecticut has one of the nations strictest gun control laws. They didn't work because psychopaths, terrorists and criminals don't abide by laws.
The federal government has created no gun, safe zones around our schools. They are tantamount to killing zones. Psychopaths and terrorists want the focus to be on them. They want control. They do not want their "statement" to be ended by someone who will meet them with deadly force. School shootings do not happen in Israel because the teachers are armed. The more the government takes away guns from law abiding responsible people, the more vulnerable society is to criminals and government. Government cannot raise children, and it cannot protect them from the nut cases. Mr. President, you are wrong. Parents raise children and responsible citizens protect them. Allow them the tools to do it.
The president closed his remarks waxing religious. He said, "All the world's religions -- so many of them represented here today -- start with a simple question: Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? We know our time on this Earth is fleeting." If he knew anything about the Bible, he would know that it starts with the creation and purpose of life, not with a New Age question of existence. Our purpose is to glorify our Father in heaven, not to use evil to advance political agendas.
The leader of the free world should not be asking why we are here, nor should he be saying his citizens can't parent their children, nor should he be taking freedoms from the law abiding and empowering the evildoers. But he does. And he will because he is an example of 2 Corinthians 4:3,4: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of YHVH, should shine unto them."
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
The Madison Report
The Madison Report
The Legislative Bulletin for Conservatives
The Week of Dec. 17-21
Fellow conservative patriots,
With only 9 days left until Christmas, House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama are on the precipice of striking a deal that will raise taxes and lock in the current spending levels in perpetuity. It is clear that we conservatives must reassert our control over the GOP and demand a no vote on any such deal that is negotiated in secret. Additionally, we must be prepared for any other last minute special interest deals that are inserted into the final "fiscal cliff" bill before the end of the session.
The Honorable Jim Ryun
Chairman of The Madison Project
With just two weeks to go until the expiration of the Bush tax rates, it is very likely that a deal will be struck this week. As much as the media likes to give the impression that there is a wide gulf between the two sides, they actually agree on all the fundamentals. Obama has not budged from his position, while Republicans continue to agree to more and more tax increases without a parallel demand for immediate, non-baseline spending cuts and real free market entitlement reform (not just austerity cuts to the current system).
Obama is sticking to his demands to raise the marginal tax rates in the top two tax brackets from 33% to 36% and from 35% to 39.6%. He also wants to raise the Death Tax to the 2009 levels of a 45 percent top rate and a $3.5 million exempt amount, raise the capital gains top rate to 20% and let the tax rate on dividends revert to 39.6 percent for people in the top two brackets. He has lowered his target revenue for 10 years from $1.6 trillion to $1.4 trillion, but has remained committed to blocking all non-baseline cuts.
Republicans have agreed to the premise of raising taxes without a transformational reduction in the size of government. They have also failed to make any parallel demands from Obama to avert the Obamacare fiscal cliff, which will result in middle class tax increases beginning January 1. That is the bottom line. Everything else is just minutia.
John Boehner has publically floated two offers to Obama. One plan is to raise $800 billion in taxes by eliminating and/or capping deductions for upper-income earners. His plan calls for $1.4 trillion in vague cuts to entitlements, but lacks the specificity and vision that is needed for any serious proposal. Moreover, Boehner's plan (and presumably, Obama's plan as well) would replace the $1.2 trillion sequester, thereby neutralizing any baseline cuts to begin with.
His second offer would include a direct increase in the top marginal rate for those earning more than $1 million in return for steeper entitlement cuts. Aside for the obvious conservative concern about raising taxes, this plan would not even result in free market entitlement reform, such as devolving Medicaid back to the states, offering private choices for Social Security, and premium support of private plans for Medicare. It would merely preserve the current unsustainable, single-payer Medicare system, albeit with some austerity measures, such as cuts to health care providers and raising the eligibility age.
However, in private, many Republicans are beginning to prepare for a wholesale capitulation on all of Obama's tax increases. Obama knows that Republicans are willing to give away the farm, as witnessed by Boehner's steady movement towards his position. Senator McConnell and several of his confidantes in the Senate want House Republicans to vote on a proposal that will ultimately let the top marginal rates on income and dividends expire, while employing a stratagem to shield them from a direct vote. They would vote on a bill that extends all the Bush tax rates, while having the Rules Committee attach a provision that splits up the bill upon passage, and ships off to the Senate only the components of the tax rates that Obama will sign into law. This is Washington at its worst. If Republicans are determined to raise taxes, they should have the moxie to do so in public. Instead, this will place conservatives in an awkward position of having to vote against the Bush taxes for fear that their votes would be used to divide up the bill and actually raise taxes.
What is even more disturbing is that Boehner is now willing to forego his one leverage point - the debt ceiling. He is offering to raise the debt ceiling for another year.
The proper course of action for conservatives is to vote on a full extension for all Americans. In order to outflank Obama on his class warfare, Republicans should add in two more provisions A) an extension of the payroll tax cut B) a repeal of the pernicious Obamacare tax hikes. Then they should leave town for Christmas. This will change the narrative and momentum of the entire debate.
Condolences from Israel
Condolences from Israel
[We praise the Lord for the strong bond of friendship that exists between our nation and Israel -- truly an unshakeable alliance. May you be blessed as you read the messages below from P.M. Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Ambassador Michael Oren. Amen.]
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expresses Israel's shock over massacre in Connecticut
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday opened the weekly cabinet meeting by expressing shock on behalf of the sate of Israel over the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. "I send condolences to [US] President [Barack] Obama, to the bereaved families and to the American people.I pray that the families and the American people find the strength to overcome this terrible tragedy," Netanyahu said. (Jerusalem Post)
President Shimon Peres
Dear President Obama,
On behalf of the people of Israel, as friends and as parents, we stand with you today in contemplation and grief over the atrocious, incomprehensible massacre of 20 children and six adults - educators - at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
No experience with death can be likened to that of a parents' loss of their child. No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child.
Our hearts are with the bereaved families of the victims, the mourning community in Newtown, Connecticut and the people of the United States of America. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Ambassador Michael Oren
Embassy of Israel
We are horrified and profoundly saddened to learn of the senseless shooting of students and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims' families, and to the injured we wish a full and speedy recovery.
Libor scandal reveals frightening connection to mass shootings of 2012
Three days after the horrific mass shooting news swept through the media and social outlets, trending on Twitter, and breaking the hearts of millions, new information concerning the Newtown, Connecticut shootings on Dec.14., and the Aurora theater shootings have revealed a haunting connection between the two tragedies according to Before Its News reports posted on Sunday.
One bizarre connection to the tragedies that took place at the Sandy Hook, Newtown, Conn., school is that the father of murderer Adam Lanza has a connection to the theater shootings that took place in Aurora, Colorado earlier this year by shooter James Holmes.
Killer's Adam Lanza and James Holmes fathers were reportedly expected to testify in the Libor bank scandal trial that took place in June. Peter Lanza, the Newtown Conn. killer's father is the Vice President and Tax Director at GE Financial, while Robert Holmes, father to Aurora, Colorado theater shooter, James Holmes, is the head scientist of FICO.
The two men were scheduled to testify before the US Senate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other.
A total of 16 world-wide banks have been implicated in this ongoing Libor scandal, and accused of rigging multiple contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has been reported to have already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested. (The Examiner) Read more.
For more information on the Libor scandal, please see Wikipedia by going here.
Lift up all of the whistle blowers that may be waiting in the wings to bring evidence regarding the illegal activities of these global bankers. Pray that all facts would come to light, while praying for their protection and that of their loved ones.
"He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light." (Job 12:22)
The Good News Corner
10 Heartwarming Stories of Heroism From the Sandy Hook Shooting
After an absolutely horrific and tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, on Friday, people across the nation are mourning for the families of the victims.
But from the terror and aftermath of the tragedy, many stories of bravery, heroism, and selflessness are beginning to emerge - young and old, staff and students, security teams and civilians. Here are (five) of them:
1. Unidentified individual who turned on the intercom:
On Friday morning, Sandy Hook teacher Theodore Varga was in a team meeting with the other fourth grade teachers, reminiscing about the previous evening's fourth-grade concert. "Everybody was joyful and cheerful. We were ending the week on a high note," he said. Suddenly, shots rang out. Someone had turned on the loudspeakers in the main office to alert the rest of the school. "You could hear the hysteria that was going on," Varga said. "Whoever did that saved a lot of people. Everyone in the school was listening to the terror that was transpiring."
2. Unidentified school custodian:
One school custodian reportedly ran around the school, classroom-to-classroom, warning staff and students to get to a safe place. "He said, 'Guys! Get down! Hide!'" Varga said. "He was actually a hero." The identity of the custodian remains unknown/unreleased.
3. Principal Dawn Hochsprung & School Psychologist Mary Scherlach:
At 9:30 a.m., Principal Dawn Hochsprung was in a meeting with school psychologist Mary Scherlach, a parent, and several staff members. They were talking about a second-grader when the gunman entered the school and fired shots. Hochsprung, 47, and Scherlach, 56, ran out into the hall to find the source, according to school therapist Diane Day. "They didn't think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on," she said. Hochsprung reportedly confronted the shooter and warned colleagues to stay behind, putting herself in the line of fire. According to Newsday, Hochsprung ran at the gunman in an attempt to subdue him, but was killed in the process. Scherlach, who followed Hochsprung into the hall, was also shot.
4. Unidentified lead teacher:
Moments later, the gunman turned his attention to the room where the other members of the meeting hid. Because the door to the room didn't have a lock, the lead teacher held the door shut with her body to prevent the gunman from getting inside. She was subsequently shot through the door on her leg and arm. "She was our hero," Day said.
5. First Grade teacher Victoria Soto:
Victoria Soto, 27, was trying to get her students to hide in closets and cabinets when the gunman entered her classroom, which was near the location where the gunfire started. Soto reportedly told him the students were in the gym, and the gunman, after seeing only Soto, fatally shot her. None of her students were harmed. "In our eyes, she's a hero," Soto's cousin and police officer Jim Wiltsie said.
[Tomorrow: The stories of five more heroes of Sandy Hook.] Read more.
Worship with Us Today!
Worship with Us Today!
All creation bows to You
The skies sing Your arriving
My precious Jesus
And You will walk this land
My precious gift from God
Showing all mankind
The only way to life