Friday, March 14, 2008

The Daily Brief - Friday, March 14, 2008

"With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
(Mark 10:27)


Both the House and the Senate will begin their two - week Spring District Work recess on Monday, March 17, continuing through Monday, March 31.

Accordingly, we will suspend publication of "On Capitol Hill This Week" until the weekend of March 30th.

"The Daily Brief" will continue publication on its normal schedule throughout this recess period, Tuesdays through Fridays.

Thank You!

Today's Daily Brief
1. Senate Budget Vote Rejects Bush Tax Cut Extension - AP

The Senate on Thursday gave a sweeping endorsement to some of President Bush's tax cuts but rejected renewing others as all three major presidential candidates interrupted their campaigns to cast key votes on the budget. The chamber voted 52- 47 to reject a move by Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., to extend Bush's tax cuts for middle- and higher- income taxpayers, investors and people inheriting businesses and big estates.

That vote came immediately after the Senate gave a sweeping 99-1 tally to an amendment by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., endorsing cuts aimed at low-income workers, married couples and people with children. The votes are mostly symbolic, but they put senators in both parties on the record for when the tax cuts actually expire in three years.

· ·"Pray . . . for all in authority . . ." (I Tim. 2:1,2)

2. New York to have first Blind & Black Governor - Reuters

New York Lieutenant Governor David Paterson was set to become the state's first black governor and the first legally blind governor in U.S. history, after the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer Wednesday. Paterson, 53, became New York's first African-American lieutenant governor in November 2006. He has been legally blind since childhood, with only partial sight in his right eye.

· Continue in prayer for the new governor of the State of New York, that he be graced with the wisdom, insight and understanding he will need as he accepts this new mantle of responsibility. Pray, too, for all who are now involved in the transition of power in New York, so that the functions of the government can continue on without interruption, serving the needs of its citizens.

· "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye." (Psalm 32:8)

3. Ferraro Steps Down From Clinton Campaign - ABC News

The Clinton campaign confirms Geraldine Ferraro has stepped down from her role on the finance committee of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign after making racially charged remarks about Sen. Barack Obama. . . .Ferraro could not be immediately reached by ABC News for comment. Just this morning, Ferraro stood by her controversial comments suggesting Obama wouldn't be succeeding in the Democratic nomination battle if he weren't black. "I am sorry that people think this was a racist comment," Ferraro said in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" Wednesday.

· Continue in prayer over all the political campaigns being waged this year -- at all levels of government. May issues of "race" yield to the greater issues of the voting records of the candidates, as well as their ability to serve effectively in office.

· "For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe." (Dt. 10:17)

4. Recession fears revived as store sales tumble - CNN

Monthly retail sales suffered a surprising drop last month as American households continued to curtail their spending amid higher energy and food prices and a weakening jobs market. "The basic story from these numbers is that consumer spending growth has slowed, which is consistent with our assessment that the economy is in a mild recession," said Scott Hoyt, director of consumer economics at Moody's (Read more)

· As the American economy continues to make course corrections, pray against the spirit of FEAR that would surround this news. The media tends to use words like "fear, panic, anxiety", etc. but in Scripture, time and again, only the wicked (those without Christ) are fearful. Pray that each one in our nation not succumb to fearful reports, but instead will put their faith and trust in the One who, after all, sustains us.

· "The Lord has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7)

5. Military near El Paso will be 'on call' to protect border - El Paso Times

Military power being concentrated in El Paso and Southern New Mexico will be "on call" for use against terrorist threats on the nation's Southwest border and local disasters, said Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of United States Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Everything from 1st Armored Division soldiers, to a new missile defense unit being created at Fort Bliss, to the F-22 Raptors that are coming to Holloman Air Force Base will be available to defend homeland security, Renuart said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with the El Paso Times.

· As the military joins forces with state and local enforcement agencies to protect our borders, intercede that the chain of command would be clearly understood, and that citizen's rights, even so, be protected too.

· "Call unto Me and I will show you great and mighty things that thou knowest not." (Jer. 33:3)

6. Fewer Dirty Words Equals Bigger Box Office for PG Films - AP

A new study by The Nielsen Co. found that PG-rated movies with the least profanity made the most money at the U.S. box office, the Associated Press reported.

· Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

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:

"It is of LORD'S [YHWH's] mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness. LORD is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him." (Lamentations 3:22- 24)

(Source for all articles today is ICEJ News.)

1.'Calm' shattered as rockets pound western Negev

Islamic Jihad calls Kassam barrages 'slap in Egypt's face'

Over 30 rockets and mortars were fired into southern Israel on Thursday, as the Islamic Jihad terror militia refused to abide by a pending ceasefire on the Gaza border.

2. Livni insists Israel not expanding settlements

Cautions against interfering in world's 'sexist conflict'

On the eve of a US report which is expected to be particularly critical of Israeli implementation of its road map obligations, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni downplayed a recent decision by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to unfreeze a 750-unit housing project in Givat Ze'ev, saying that it was not government policy to expand settlements.

3. Abbas accuses Israel of 'ethnic cleansing' in Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday accused Israel of the "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs in east Jerusalem by banning the building of Palestinian homes and cutting the city off from the West Bank.

4. Israel to offer Iron Dome system to US

Israeli defense officials will travel to the US next week to try to interest the Pentagon in the Israeli-developed Iron Dome anti-missile defense system and to explore procuring the SkyGuard laser system to protect Sderot from Kassam rockets, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

5. Dollar hits record low against shekel

The U.S. dollar's recent downward spiral hit a new low against the Israeli shekel on Thursday, falling by 1.9 percent and trading at an exchange rate of NIS 3.41 to the dollar. This marks the lowest dollar rate versus the shekel in over ten years.

6. Radical Muslim cleric fears yeshiva revenge attack

After last week's deadly terror attack on a landmark Jerusalem yeshiva, the controversial head of the radical Islamic Movement in Israel claims he is receiving death threats and is refusing to show up for a scheduled hearing with police related to pending charges that he incited a riot last year.

FDA Ruling To Be Contested


In April 2007, FRC, Concerned Women for America, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, and Safe Drugs for Women sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving the over- the counter sale of the "Plan B" morning-after-pill to adults while retaining its prescription-only status for minors.

On Tuesday, a federal district judge dismissed our suit saying we lacked "standing" and failed to exhaust administrative options at the FDA before going to court. "Standing" involves a complex set of doctrines to satisfy the Constitution's requirement that federal courts hear only actual "cases and controversies." In assessing standing, the court must adopt the plaintiffs' legal views, which our judge did not. Moreover, if we can establish standing, that would re- open our challenge to FDA's regulations that require exhausting administrative options. We argue that those regulations are unlawful because they do not suspend FDA's approval during the intra-FDA appeal.

FRC is considering all of our options now. During oral arguments, the judge asked the government's attorney whether anyone would have standing to contest an FDA drug approval. The government responded that NO party (taxpayers included) other than the drug company seeking the approval could challenge an FDA approval. Now that is the arrogance of power and something that Congress should consider when it next revisits the laws under which FDA defends itself in court. (Family Research Council)

· Pray that the Lord will give the pro-family organizations strategies to combat the use of this dangerous drug that chemically prevents pregnancy. Legal strategies are needed for the courts, and those behind the use of this drug know that they can deplete the financies of pro-family groups. Ask the Lord to expose the arrogance of the FDA.

· "Hear the right, O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear to my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips." (Psalm 17:1)

Update: Child Custody Protection Act

Update: Child Custody Protection Act

Senator John Ensign (R-NV) has filed an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res.70) that would provide $50 million in budget authority to the Department of Justice to coordinate state enforcement efforts of the Child Custody Protection Act's (CCPA) prohibition against taking minor girls across state lines to obtain abortions in order to circumvent state parental involvement laws. The amendment assumes passage of CCPA (which was passed by the Senate in the 109th Congress by a vote of 65-34 (14 Democrats favored the bill), but was slowed procedurally by Senate Democrat Leadership and ultimately did not go to the President). The timing of the vote is unclear at this point. (Senate Sources)

· Offer a prayer that this amendment will go through the Senate this time, and end up on the president's desk for his signature. Continue to pray for strength for all on Capitol Hill who are bringing forth acts of righteousness for our nation.

· "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a ' reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)

"Day of Silence" - A Day to Act!
Homosexual Group Sponsors "Day of Silence"

Parents Are Urged to Keep Their Children Home on April 25th

Friday, April 25, several thousand schools across the nation will be observing "Day of Silence (DOS)." DOS is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.

The American Family Association is joining other family-oriented groups in urging parents to keep their children at home that day if their local school is participating in the DOS project. By remaining silent, the intent of the pro-homosexual students is to disrupt the classes while promoting the homosexual lifestyle.

DOS is sponsored by an activist homosexual group, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). DOS leads the students to believe that every person who identifies as a homosexual, bisexual or cross-dresser is a victim of ongoing, unrelenting harassment and hate. Students are taught that homosexuality is a worthy lifestyle, homosexuality has few or no risks, and individuals are born homosexual and cannot change. Those who oppose such teaching are characterized as ignorant and hateful bigots. (American Family Association)

· Lord God, we ask You to protect our children in school from the spirit of perversion -- particularly homosexuality. Bring conviction into the hearts of superintendents, principals and teachers to ignore the agenda set for April 25th. Instead of silence for homosexuality, let Your voice through Your people speak boldly and clearly against perversion. In Jesus' Name, we pray, amen.

· "Let GOD arise and let His enemies be scattered!" (Psalm 68:1)

-- Please note: Some schools are choosing to observe a Day of Silence on a date other than April 25th. For more details on this. please visit the website for the American Family Association.

Two Senators Introduce Ten Commandments Bill


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R- KS) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) today introduced the Ten Commandments Weekend Resolution, which would designate the first weekend of May 2008 as Ten Commandments Weekend.

"It is important for Americans to remember the importance the Ten Commandments have in our nation," said Brownback. "The Ten Commandments are the cornerstone to the faith of millions of Americans of many faith traditions, and are a cornerstone to a fair and just society. We as a nation should take a weekend to reflect on the impact the Ten Commandments have had on the foundation of America's national life."

· Offer praise for this resolution being offered in the United States Senate. Pray that this bill will find favor in the Senate and be passed into law quickly. Praise God!

· "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." (Deut. 6:4-8)

Holy Week Begins This Sunday
As we prepare our hearts to enter into the holiest time of the year for all Christians, we share with you the good news below, from Focus on the Family. According to this report, men and women in our nation have NOT lost their sense of right and wrong -- nor of the reality of sin. As we prepare to celebrate the miraculous death, burial and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us continue to intercede for those who have yet to find Him as their own Savior and Lord. Amen!

Study: Americans Still Know Right from Wrong

... yeh ! ??

The majority of Americans - 87 percent - believe in the concept of sin, according to a new study by Ellison Research. Sin was defined as "something that is almost always considered wrong, particularly from a religious or moral perspective." The study, conducted in August, asked more than 1,000 adults to decide whether 30 behaviors were sinful. Adultery was most often described as sinful behavior (81 percent), followed by racism (74 percent), and drug use (65 percent). "It's encouraging to know that in this day of moral relativism, that a majority of Americans still recognize and believe that there is such a thing as sin," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

Predictably, 94 percent of Americans who regularly attend church believe in sin. Yet, 80 percent of those who do not attend church also believe in sin. Other behaviors considered sinful by a significant portion of Americans included abortion; homosexual activity; pornography; gossip; swearing; and sex before marriage.

Pastor John Barner, manager of pastoral care at Focus on the Family, said the study verifies that people are struggling with their behaviors. "It is good to see that the research is confirming that humans are created with a sense of conscience, which implies that we are made in the image of God, with a sense of right and wrong," he said.

Barner said he is disturbed that among Christians, people don't always look to the Scriptures for their standards of right and wrong. "The message of Holy Week and the Easter season," he said, "is that God was so concerned about the sin problem among humans that He sent His Son into the world to take the punishment for those behaviors and attitudes. Our belief in what He did for us at the Cross and in the Resurrection, that belief and our gratitude for His gift of eternal life, should then motivate us to live in such a way as to avoid as many of these sinful behaviors as possible."
by Devon Williams, associate editor
Focus on the Family; CitizenLink


Learn about the Gospel message. Go here.

Read the study by Ellison Research. Go here.