· The Daily Brief
· The Middle East in Focus
· Al-Qaeda Threatens 'October Surprise' Attack
· The Value of Spending - Less
· We Are In This Together
· A CAUSE FOR REJOICING!!
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
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The Daily Brief Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work." (John 9:4)
The Daily Brief
1. McCain Suspends Campaign - Star News Services
Saying he wanted set politics aside, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain announced today that he is suspending his campaign to focus on the nation's financial crisis. McCain said he informed Democratic rival Barack Obama of his decision and urged him to follow in his footsteps. "If we do not act, every corner of our country will be affected. We cannot allow this to happen," McCain said in a statement. The republican presidential candidate plans to return to Washington on Thursday, also said he wanted to delay Friday's debate with Obama. [Intercessors for America]
· This declaration by Senator John McCain bespeaks leadership, responding to the needs of the country rather than to his personal and political needs. May our Lord honor him for his humility and for his desire to place the nation's welfare above his own.
· "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Gal. 6:7)
2. Bush to Address U.S. Tonight on Financial Bailout - AP
President Bush will address the nation Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET about the need to prevent an economic crisis and his administration's controversial $700 proposed bailout plan, which his spokeswoman says will prevent a "calamity" on Wall Street.Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson accepted a major revision in the bailout plan that would limit the pay packages of executives whose companies benefit from the proposal, according to Republican officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because Paulson's decision had not been formally announced.· Pray for wisdom for President Bush as he searches for ways to help our country out of our financial mess. Pray also that he turns to the Lord for wisdom and strategies.
· "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." (Proverbs 16:20)
3. Democrats to let offshore drilling ban expire - AP
House Democrats will allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week.· In probable response to public outcry, the House has yielded to the demands of the people and not stood fast with special interests like Al Gore's environmentalists nor those who think they will be staring at oil drills when they look at the ocean. Watch for the thinking of the House members as this issue moves - sometimes bills look perfect on the surface but the small print may be very restrictive.
· Pray for honesty and true concern for our nation's energy needs.
· "These are the things that you shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates." (Zechariah 8:16)
4. Deficit could top $1 trillion - Washington Times
Sen. Barack Obama said the economic crisis and $700 billion government bailout may force him to delay his campaign promises, but pledged nothing would stop him from offering a middle-class tax cut.
· The Lord blesses a nation with a strong stable economy, not the machinations of man. All the political talk confuses the situation, but God moves with clear, definite strokes. Let the church implore God's mercy to correct this financial crisis, confounding the wicked and bringing joy to the fervent intercessors.
· "Are there any among the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? Art Thou not He, O Lord our God? Therefore we will wait on Thee: for Thou hast made all things." (Jeremiah14:22)
5. Bush Exhorts U.N. to Fight Terrorism - Telegraph-UK
In his final speech to the UN, President Bush told UN members they needed to do more to fight terrorism. He noted that UN members too often decried terrorist outrages after the event instead of preventing them from happening in the first place. He pointed out that regimes "like Syria and Iran" continued to sponsor terror. "As the 21st century unfolds, some may be tempted to assume that the threat has receded. This would be comforting. It would be wrong," he said. "The terrorists believe time is on their side, so they've made waiting out civilized nations part of their strategy. We must not allow them to succeed." [Reported by: IFA]
· Offer praise to the LORD that He has given us a President who has never given up in the war on terror. May President George W. Bush be graced with the strength to finish STRONG in office, as he continues to wage the battles with the forces of evil that would attempt to undermine the freedoms of our people.
· "He who has begun a good work in you shall continue it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6)
6. Iran's Ahmadinejad Addresses United Nations - Fox News
Declares 'American Empire' Reaching 'End of Road' Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused "a few bullying powers" of trying to thwart the country's nuclear programs and vowed to defend Iran's right to peaceful nuclear power, in an address Tuesday afternoon before the United Nations.
· Of course, we know who one of those so- called "bullying" powers is - the USA! And this accusation comes from a mouth that has mastered the art of bullying! Pray that this voice is silenced through loss of political power and platform for utterance. Pray for the uprising of the Iranian people against this despot who is the puppet of the ruling mullahs.
· "Fret not thyself because of evil men; neither be thou envious at the wicked." (Proverbs 24:19)
7. US ex-officials want good US relations with Islam - Jerusalem Post
The next US president should speak out for better relations with the Muslim world in his inaugural address and pursue an accord between Israel and the Palestinians within three months of taking office, a diverse coalition of 34 former US officials and civic leaders said in a report being issued Wednesday.
· This statement from Israel speaks the party line for the many Israelis who want peace, thinking that a two- state territory will achieve that desire. But the Scriptures tell us something altogether different. Plus, the land belongs to the Lord, not to man to divide. Pray for the Lord's wisdom to prevail in this matter. Can any officials have an honest discussion with a people whose goal is the destruction of both Israel and the USA?
· "Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves." (Psalm 140:8)
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: "Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of LORD [YHWH] is risen upon you. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but LORD shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1-2)
1. US report: Rise in violence against Messianic Jews and Christians - Jerusalem Post
Violence against Christian evangelical and Messianic Jewish communities in Israel increased significantly during the period between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, according to the US State Department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.
2. Syria's Assad calls for Israel-Syria talks to continue - Ha'aretz
Syrian President Basher Assad on Tuesday expressed his desire for indirect talks with Israel, saying that they called for "more time and effort", adding that the talks had the potential to lead to direct negotiations between the two countries.
3. Fatah agrees to proposal for new Palestinian government - AFP
Ruling Palestinian faction Fatah has agreed to an Egyptian proposal to create a new government that would be acceptable to the international community, a senior Fatah official said on Tuesday.
4. Syrian troop build-up concerns Lebanon - Jerusalem Post
Beirut is concerned about Syria amassing its military forces on the northern Lebanese-Syrian border, alongside increased Syrian military activity. Damascus has deployed around 10,000 troops along Lebanon's northern border. The increased deployment...
5. Netanyahu Calls for Elections in Israel, Rejects Livni Offer - Bloomberg
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition Likud Party, called for early elections, rejecting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's offer to join a unity cabinet as she seeks to cobble...
6. Iran and Israel 'are on collision course' - gulfnews.com
Iran's highest authority lashed out against Israel on Friday with some of his harshest comments in recent memory about the Jewish state. Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the black-turbaned ayatollah who is Iran's top political and military figure, said his country's hostility to Israel extended beyond the government to the Israeli people as well. In doing so, he brushed aside recent overtures by top Iranian officials to ordinary people in the Jewish state. Khamenei said Iran and Israel were on a "collision course," a statement that could increase tensions in a Middle East already fearful of a conflict between the countries.
Al-Qaeda Threatens 'October Surprise' Attack
After two major terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Yemen, U.S. intelligence is worried about a massive "October surprise" attack geared to sway the U.S. elections.
America's military and intelligence agencies have been intercepting a series of messages from al- Qaeda's leadership that seemed designed to warn local cells to prepare for imminent attacks. One such operation may have been the attack that brought down a Marriott Hotel in Islamabad where the newly inaugurated president of Pakistan was scheduled to dine.
The attacks would likely be at American bases or allies abroad, since most experts think the group's ability to penetrate the U.S. homeland has deteriorated since 9-11. Still, al-Qaeda is aggressively recruiting both North African and European operatives who may have a greater ability to enter the United States and blend in before launching an attack. (Newsmax 9/22/08) [Reported by: IFA]
· Pray fervently against any such attack. It is the Lord who protects us, not just our military technology, although the Lord expects us to be prepared. But God cannot protect us if we don't repent for our national sins.
· "For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it." (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
The Value of Spending - Less
Not surprisingly, a survey released at the end of last week by the University of Akron's National Survey of Religion and Politics found that pocketbook concerns are at the forefront of social conservative voters' concerns. As Congress and the White House scramble to put together an unprecedented $700 billion bailout for the banking industry, headlines continue to herald the nation's worst economic crisis since the crash of 1929 plunged the nation into the Great Depression.
While the nation is focused on the bailout, Congress is working on a several hundred billion dollar Pentagon budget (the details of which are still unknown); on top of this, there are emergency appropriations for disaster relief, loans for automakers, and other subsidies which are getting very little attention. Even the San Francisco Chronicle, a traditionally liberal paper, ran an Associated Press story that said, "The legislation is coming together in a remarkably secretive process in which decisions are concentrated in the hands of just a few lawmakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [and] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." I would caution the pollsters and politicians to pause before they declare values issues of minor concern in this election. Our financial deficit is a reflection of our moral values deficit. Voters are going to be looking for candidates who don't just promise bigger bailouts that burden families with higher taxes, but statesmen who will given an honest assessment of how we got into this financial mess and what we must do individually and corporately to forestall yet another episode.
I am not suggesting we sit back and let the economy implode. But we must be willing to ask the tough questions and expect answers, just as any loan officer would do when a customer wanders into a bank seeking an unsecured loan. Whatever emerges from Capitol Hill as the "solution" should not forget American families who have seen their buying power erode and, in some cases, have lost jobs. Any moves by Congress should provide long-term economic stability by providing permanent tax cuts for families and greater transparency in government spending.
(Source: Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, 9/23/08)
We Are In This Together
American financial markets remain in turmoil, and the anxiety level is going up. In spite of what Big Media says, the turmoil is not an argument against free markets. It is a reminder that free markets are not God and that even they have to be tempered by virtue and reliable standards of right and wrong. It is clear that greed and recklessness are the causes of the painful adjustments we are now experiencing. Americans are divided about the $700 billion bailout package. A Rasmussen Reports poll released today found that 25% of those surveyed favor the bailout, 44% oppose it and 31% are not sure. Reasonable people can disagree.
But Big Media and the political Left in this country are engaged in pure demagoguery when they suggest that the $700 billion will bailout wealthy Wall Street executives while doing virtually nothing for the average guy. You would think that checks were being written directly to corporate officers at these major firms and that the recipients were laughing all the way to the bank. But today's New York Times reports that current or soon-to-be retirees with financial investments are among those hardest hit by the current crisis. In fact, what the Bush Administration is trying to do is to protect the savings accounts, money market accounts, insurance policies and retirement accounts of "Main Street" Americans, not to mention the ability of middle class households and small businesses to access loans and capital at reasonable interest rates. Without banks, investment firms and insurance companies, American prosperity would be impossible.
It is sad to see in the middle of a crisis so many people who ought to know better appearing more interested in accenting class warfare than in helping Americans understand that we are all in this together. We will either sink or swim together.
(Source: Gary Bauer; End-of-Day, 9/23/08)
A CAUSE FOR REJOICING!!
BROWNBACK, KENNEDY CELEBRATE PASSAGE OF PRE-NATALLY AND POST-NATALLY DIAGNOSED CONDITIONS AWARENESS ACT
U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) celebrated Senate passage of the Pre-natally and Post-natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, legislation which would require that families who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition, pre-natally or up until a year after birth, be given up-to-date information about the nature of the condition and connection with support services and networks that could offer assistance. "I am very pleased that the legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Kennedy and me passed the Senate," said Brownback. "This bill will greatly benefit expecting parents who receive the sometimes overwhelming news that their unborn child may be born with a disability. This legislation will provide parents with current and reliable information about the many options available for caring for children with disabilities."
The Pre-natally and Post-natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act would provide for the expansion and further development of a national clearinghouse on information for parents of children with disabilities, so that the clearinghouse would be better equipped to assist parents whose children have recently been pre- or post-natally diagnosed. The bill also provides for the expansion and further development of national and local peer-support programs. The bill also calls for the creation of a national registry of families willing to adopt children with pre- or post-natally diagnosed conditions.
"One of the hardest moments in the life of an expectant mother is when she receives news that she is going to have a child with special needs," said Melissa Wagoner, spokeswoman for Senator Kennedy. "Access to the best support and information about the condition, and the quality of life for a child born with that condition, can make all the difference to a woman trying to make an informed and difficult decision. Senator Kennedy believes this kind of support is a vital element to strengthening a true culture of life in America." Currently, 90 percent of children pre-natally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. That percentage is similar for children pre-natally diagnosed with other conditions such as spina bifida, cystic fibrosis and dwarfism. (Source: Office of Senator Sam Brownback)
· We join with Senators Brownback and Kennedy in celebrating the passage of this very badly-needed bill. Praise God for legislators who value LIFE!
· "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Therefore choose life, so that you and your descendants may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)
In This Issue
· President Bush Addresses the Nation
· Please note: for prayer
· Bills in Congress
· A Prayer of Repentance for Greed
AMERICA'S FINANCIAL CRISIS "We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work." (John 9:4)
President Bush Addresses the Nation
President Bush Addresses the NationUrges Quick Passage of Bailout Plan to Avert Recession
President Bush, warning of the danger of a "long and painful recession," urged Congress to pass his administration's economic rescue package in a rare address to the nation Wednesday night. "We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action," he said.
Bush said the $700 billion rescue package is not aimed at saving any one financial institution, but rather at "preserving America's economy." He cast the need for the package in personal terms, warning American taxpayers that their home values, their retirement accounts and their personal businesses could be at risk if the economy continues to spiral.
The address came after Bush invited John McCain, Barack Obama and congressional leaders to the White House on Thursday to discuss his administration's proposed bailout of the financial industry and press them to back the plan. The invitation was extended Wednesday evening, and Bush called Obama personally to ask him to the Thursday afternoon meeting, which Obama accepted, his campaign said.
The proposed $700 billion bailout plan, in its original form, has faced strong opposition on Capitol Hill this week. By Wednesday, Congress seemed open to a less costly plan as Democrats won a key concession from the White House, which agreed to limit the pay packages of Wall Street executives.
Top House leaders issued an upbeat statement at day's end saying that they had made progress toward revised legislation. "We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively and on a bipartisan basis to safeguard the interests of the American taxpayers," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio. But they offered no timetable on a bailout that the administration said was needed more with each passing day.
· As we consider the words of President Bush, please help us to remember to rest in you. Lord, the meetings that will take place will bring together factions that are normally separate, and we praise You for that. The power contained in these meetings will be both physical and spiritual and we pray for victory of the true during negotiations. Help these men and women humble themselves so they will not overreach and take unnecessary powers which could be exploited in the future.
· "He will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the LORD. His heart is assured; he will not fear. In the end he will look in triumph on his foes." (Psalm 112:7-8)
[To read the full text of the President's speech tonight, go here.]
Please note: for prayer
Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter
[Editor's note: Ever since this bail-out bill was proposed by President Bush last Friday, concerns have been raised by several media sources over thirty-two words in Section 8 of the bill, that would grant unprecedented authority to the Secretary of the Treasury (now Henry Paulson). A related concern is that most of the mainstream media has either missed or ignored this danger. Details follow, from the sources noted.]
A critical - and radical - component of the bailout package proposed by the Bush administration has thus far failed to garner the serious attention of anyone in the press. Section 8 (which ironically reminds one of the popular name of the portion of the 1937 Housing Act that paved the way for subsidized affordable housing ) of this legislation is just a single sentence of thirty-two words, but it represents a significant consolidation of power and an abdication of oversight authority . . .. It reads, in its entirety:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
One cannot overstate this: Section 8 is a singularly transformative sentence of economic policy. It transfers a significant amount of power to the Executive Branch, while walling off any avenue for oversight, and offering no guarantees in return. And if the Democrats end up content with winning a few slight concessions, they risk not putting a stop- payment on the real "blank check" - the one in which they allow the erosion of their own powers.
Over in the Senate, Christopher Dodd has proposed a bailout legislation of his own, which critically calls for "an oversight board that not only includes the chairman of the Federal Reserve and the SEC, but congressionally appointed, non-governmental officials" and would require the President to appoint an "independent inspector general to investigate the Treasury asset program." In Dodd's legislation, Section 8 is effectively stripped from the bill.
Nevertheless, the fact that Section 8 of the Paulson plan seems to strike few as a de facto dealbreaker can and should astound. The failure of Congress to hold the line on this point would be truly embarrassing. But if we make it through this week with nobody in the press specifically informing the public about the implications of this single sentence - in the middle of a complicated bill, in the middle of a complicated time - then right there, you have the single largest media failure of this year. (Sources: NBC News, McClatchy Newspapers, The Huffington Post)
· We have seen in history that sections of law as small as one sentence can be used to consolidate power in the hands of a single person or a small group of people. God, the basis of our country is a balance of powers, the triangulated power that keeps despotism at bay. We cannot know the intentions of the drafters of this bill or the ways that this can be used in the future for ill or for good, but we pray Congress will carefully consider the ramifications of steps they are taking. We pray we will work within Your will, and not be moving at cross-purposes -- encouraging your rebuke. Help us, Lord, we pray. Amen.
· Many plans are in a man's heart, but the LORD's decree will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21)
Bills in Congress
CONGRESS HURRIES TO FINISH BUSINESS THIS WEEK
[We want to thank our good friends at Intercessors forAmerica for allowing us permission to retransmit the research, below, for your prayerful consideration. The prayer point at the end has been added by one of our own CHPP editors.]Capitol Hill is abuzz this week as Congress races to finish its work by Friday so lawmakers can jet home to campaign.
Mortgage Recovery Package - Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) are working to develop a bill to provide the Treasury Department with the authority to buy $700 billion worth of bad debt from the nation's banks. The bill will be based on a proposal from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and is an effort to turn around the troubled financial institutions.
Commodity Market Reform - In general the bill would force stronger positions by speculators on energy commodity investments and takes on potential loopholes allowed by foreign trade boards.(HR 6604)
Spending Bills - CR is short for "continuing resolution." It is a stopgap spending bill Congress always approves when it hasn't finished its appropriations work by Sept. 30, the end of the government's fiscal year. If the spending bills aren't in place, the government can't operate. A CR temporarily keeps the government running and if the sides don't agree to the spending bills, or a CR, the government shuts down.
Renewable Energy Tax Credits - One thing that the Senate is expected to accomplish quickly this week, before Congress recesses for some election campaigning, is pass an extension of tax credits for renewable energy, including residential and commercial solar projects. The Baucus-Grassley Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049) would extend clean energy tax incentives and be fully offset by incoming revenues. Solar energy investment tax credits would be extended for eight years, for both commercial and residential, and the $2,000 cap would be completely eliminated for residential installations. (NREL)
Tax Bill - Among provisions providing tax incentives for renewable energy production and carbon sequestration the House bill aimed to pay for itself by closing various offshore tax loopholes. (HR 6049)(Frontpage, PRwatch, Center for American Progress, Environment News, Fox News)
· Lord, as Congress gets ready to consider important bills we pray they will put differences aside and consult with each other eschewing anger. You are the source of wisdom, and we pray that they will consult you before making decisions. We pray the congressmen and congresswomen will be sensitive to your will and your timing and that they will act in your time.
· Speak up and present your case-yes, let them take counsel together. Who predicted this long ago? Who announced it from ancient times? Was it not I, the LORD? There is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is no one except me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:21-22)
A Prayer of Repentance for Greed
[Editor's note: On last Sunday's Call to Repentance, we offered a prayer of repentance for the spirit of greed that has held many bound on Wall Street and in the nation, for centuries. Please find below a prayer of intercession and repentance for this sin, offered by Intercessors for America. Thank you.]
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." - 1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV)
OFFER PRAYERS OF REPENTANCE for the greed and moral failure which is at the root of the financial crisis and potential economic collapse we are facing. Pray for deliverance from the power of Mammon, for God's cleansing from corruption, for a breaking of "the near-incestuous relationship between politicians and big-time government-supported financial institutions."
INTERCEDE that God's correctives, not a man-made fix, come to our financial institutions. PLEAD for mercy, wisdom, guidance and provision for the multitudes of hard-working, ethical Americans already impacted by this crisis. Pray that "wisdom from above" be granted to the Executive Branch, Congress and all the leaders God has strategically placed to lead us out of this crisis.
Many on Wall Street and in NYC Turning to Prayer -- As noted in Christianity Today. Go here for text.OFFER THANKSGIVING for the many Christians crying out to the Lord. Pray for lasting revival to come to Wall Street.