Monday, December 10, 2012

On Capitol Hill This Week Volume XIX, Number 34

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On Capitol Hill This Week Volume XIX, Number 34a


December 10 - 14, 2012

"This people that I formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise."
(Isaiah 43:2)

News from Israel

News from Israel



At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained Jerusalem's initial reaction to United Nations General Assembly resolution recognizing Palestine as a non-member state with a quote from the past. "The attack on Zionism and the State of Israel forces us to reinforce and speed up the implementation of the settlement plans in all the areas the government has decided to settle in. These are not my words, but the words of the government of Prime Minister Ytizhak Rabin in 1975 following the UN resolution that compared Zionism to racism."

Netanyahu clarified that Israel will "continue to build in Jerusalem and in all the places of the State of Israel's map of strategic interests. The PA's unilateral move at the UN is a blatant violation of agreements, and therefore the Israeli government rejects the General Assembly resolution."I would like to clarify once again-there will be no Palestinian state without an agreement guaranteeing the security of Israel's citizens, there will be no Palestinian state before the State of Israel is recognized as the Jewish people's state, and there will be no Palestinian state before the Palestinians declare the end of the conflict." The prime minister thanked the countries that opposed the Palestinian UN bid, saying that "Israel will not agree to have the Judea and Samaria region turn into an Iranian terror base, like what happened in the territories evacuated in Gaza and Lebanon."

The finance minister [Steinitz] said, "I have no intention of transferring the tax payments to the PA this month. I plan to use them to offset the Palestinian debt to the Israel Electric Corporation." Steinitz referred to the Palestinian UN bid as a "provocation and an attempt to further a state without recognizing Israel, demilitarization or any security arrangements.

Read article:(By Omri Efraim, Ynetnews, December 2, 2012) [Reported by BFP: Bridges for Peace]

- Pray that Israel will stand firm in light of the UN vote. Pray that God will lead the State of Israel in His ways.

- He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations. ( Psalm 105:8)


"We understand that lately there has been an increase in the level of incidents and riots in the region of Judea and Samaria, so our forces must increase their alertness and maintain their operational preparedness at all levels, starting with the individual soldier," GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon said yesterday (Monday, November 3), during a surprise exercise carried out in the Binyamin Regional Brigade.

The drill involved soldiers of the Reshef Artillery Battalion, alongside supporting forces-including the Israel Police, the Israel Border Police, riot police, and Magen David Adom-and it simulated violent riots, including gunfire at the soldiers. "There have been many incidents of rioting since Operation Pillar of Defense, and we expect that to continue," Commander of the Reshef Artillery Battalion Lt. Col. Tzachi Goldring told the IDF Website. "We must be prepared for any scenario-from a gun [attack] to an attack involving explosives."

"Cooperation is the keyword. We integrated forces with the police, the Border Police, trackers, and others. These are many forces working simultaneously in order to help the combat effort," said Commander of the Binyamin Regional Brigade Col. Yossi Pinto. "Due to the nature of things, the alertness and preparedness of the forces rises when the incidents of hostile terror activity increase, and this is our point of strength."

Read article: (By Yael Zahavi, Israel Defense Forces, December 4, 2012) [Reported by BFP: Bridges for Peace]

- Pray peace for those that live in Judea and Samaria. Pray that God will clearly warn them of danger and provide a way to safety.

- Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:4 )


The heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the PA's UN status upgrade are having effect on the ground. A Palestinian officer on Thursday assaulted an IDF soldier who was on a routine patrol in Hebron following clashes that erupted after the soldiers tried to arrest a suspect in the city. Following the clashes, dozens of Palestinians started hurling stones at the soldiers who were forced to escape the scene while hurling shock grenades. There were no injuries. The unusual incident occurred while an IDF force was on a foot patrol in Hebron's market area. The soldiers tried to arrest a man connected to the Palestinian police and soon an argument between the officers and the troops broke out, later turning physical. The army said that during the clashes one of the Palestinian officers punched a Nahal combatant, who did not require medical care.

Other forces called to the scene were also assaulted by Palestinians who gathered in the area. Meanwhile, a riot involving Palestinian officers broke out at another location in the city. The clashes come a week after the UN's General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's status to non-member observer state.

Despite the incident, relations and communication between the IDF and the Palestinian security forces are expected to continue as usual. Immediately after the event senior officers in the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division contacted their Palestinians counterparts, and made clear to them that the incident is unacceptable. Nonetheless, the mutual impression was that the event was not a planned attack by the Palestinian officers, and hence the IDF will continue enforcement in the area as well as maintaining a sovereign presence in Palestinian cities and villages. All the while, arrests of terror suspects, mostly from Hamas, continue, with some even being brought into custody by Palestinian forces, albeit only a small fraction.

Read article:

- O Heavenly Father, the West Bank continues to be a volatile area with constant terrorist threats. Lord, we ask You to be in the midst of this area where the IDF members are on patrol, and draw close those IDF staff who know Your Word - the Torah - so they will feel Your presence and guidance. May Your light shine through them and Your Glory be evident for all to see, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.

- As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 125:2) - Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)


With the vote upgrading their status at the United Nations to non-member state less than a week old, the Palestinians are already using the move to escalate their diplomatic campaign against Israel with plans to include the powerful UN Security Council. The US on Wednesday [December 5] criticized the Palestinian rhetoric, calling it "unhelpful." The US voted no last week on the Palestinian UN resolution. The WAFA Palestinian news agency reported that the Palestinian leadership is planning to go to the UN Security Council "in the name of the State of Palestine" to legally force Israel to stop settlement activities.

Just days after the UN vote and outside of a negotiated settlement with Israel, the Palestinians are already acting as a recognized state despite not controlling recognized territory or having the legal authority of the UN Security Council behind them.

One factor at stake in the Palestinian future plans is concern over whether or not the Palestinians are breaking past commitments such as the Oslo Accords. Israel says the UN vote itself already violated the commitment to resolve the conflict through peace talks. Taking a different approach than accuse the Palestinians of breaching promises, the US has already made clear that the UN vote did not make Palestine a state.

"The Palestinians asked the world to give them a state without providing Israel with peace and security in return. The UN resolution completely ignored Israel's security needs. It didn't require the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state. It didn't even call on it to end the conflict with Israel. And this is why it was unacceptable to Israel, and that is why, too, it has been unacceptable to all responsible members of the international community."

Read more: (By Joshua Spurlock, The Mideast Update, December 5, 2012) [Reported by BFP: Bridges for Peace]

- Pray that the Palestinians will not receive any more encouragement in their attempts to form a state until they acknowledge the existence of Israel and agree to Israel's safety.

- For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.' (Zechariah 2:8 )


Hamas official Ismail al-Ashqar said Thursday that the terrorist group is seeking a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court against Major-General Eitan Dangot, coordinator of government activities in the territories, for what it sees as his responsibility for the Gaza blockade. "The blockade is a crime against humanity," al-Ashqar said. "The crime is directed against women and children and that is why there is no other choice but to sue him as a war criminal." Dangot's office said in response that it does not respond to claims by a terrorist organization that hurts its own population and uses it as a human shield.

The success of the Palestinian's UN status upgrade bid has raised speculation that the Palestinian Authority will seek membership in the International Court of Justice. Palestinian leaders have yet to declare whether they will pursue membership instead remarking that they will act according to the Palestinian interest.

On Wednesday Fatah official Jibril Rajub said, "We have promised no one that we won't join any international body and we will use all means to counter Israel's acts of aggression, including settlements. We will decide when to approach the International Criminal Court when the time is right. It could be today and it could be tomorrow.

Read article:

- Abba Father, how is someone to respond to accusations that are based on distortions and lies? The accusers have continuously plotted assaults with rockets, bombs and suicide attacks, yet will use their own women and children as human shields to protect their launchers. They then rise up and blame the Israeli people of what they themselves are doing, instead of being honest. Direct us Lord as to how to pray in response to this illogical insanity. We ask for mercy on those among the Palestinians who will turn to You Lord, but stop the evil driven people, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.

- Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8) Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. (3 John 11)


Labor newcomer Stav Shapir, who made a name for herself in the "tent protests" of 2011, said she is not concerned by Peretz's move. "The Labor party has a clear set of beliefs," she told Arutz Sheva. The party's platform remains what it was when Israel first became a state, she said. "We'll stay on the path we're on. Whoever joins us, joins us, whoever leaves - good luck to them." Peretz's decision to leave meant Shapir was bumped up from the ninth slot on the party list to the eighth.

MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen of Likud saw things differently. The political games on the political left do not affect Likud, he said, "but the truth is, it's embarrassing to watch." "I thought there would be a unified bloc, so that there would be a clear choice - left or right," he added. However, he said, ultimately the lack of a clear, single alternative to Likud Beytenu "is the left's problem."

Read article:

- Abba Father, in this time when unity within Israel's people is so needed, there is so much discord among the people involved with the Knesset, and also within the overall population. The squabbles reported in this article are just an example. We ask You, Lord, to confront these people with an understanding of the reality of the hour in history that we find ourselves, and of Who You are, instilling an intense fear of You within each one of them who are squabbling and divisive, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.

- Come and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1)


The parties on the Center- Left failed to unite by Thursday night's deadline, leaving no single party in a position to seriously challenge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud-Beytenu. The Likud expressed satisfaction with the divide on the Left, saying that "the games of personal ego on the Left will result in an easy Likud victory." Labor, Yesh Atid, Kadima and The Tzipi Livni Party will each run separately and compete for votes on the Center- Left. Polls on Thursday continued to find that the four parties running separately would win fewer votes than Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman's joint list.

"The closest thing to unity on Thursday came when Labor MK Amir Peretz defected to Livni's party, despite repeatedly promising he would remain in Labor. Livni said Peretz had proved by switching parties that he knew how to take unpopular steps for what he believed was right, as he had when as defense minister, he had insisted on developing the Iron Dome missile defense system. Peretz vowed to bring The Tzipi Livni Party votes from Likud members in the periphery. He wished his former Labor colleagues well, but made clear that his main reason for leaving was his ongoing dispute with Yacimovich.

The honorary final slot on Livni's list went to industrialist Stef Wertheimer. Her party tried to attract several well-known figures who decided in the end to sit the race out, including former Teva Pharmaceutical Industries chairman Shlomo Yanai, former minister of social and Diaspora affairs Rabbi Michael Melchior, Netanyahu's former spokesman Yoaz Hendel, and the head of the committee that responded to the 2011 summer protests, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Independence Party decided not to run, because its members saw they did not have a chance of getting elected.

Thirty-four parties submitted their candidacies by the deadline.

Read article:

- Lord, at this hour in history we are asking You to be in the midst of this upcoming election. Stable leadership who seek and know Your voice is so vitally needed. At this time Lord, it appears that PM Netanyahu has no contenders running against him. We ask that You guide and direct the people in Israel as they vote in this election Lord, enabling them to hear Your choice for this hour when dangerous warfare is so imminent and possible, in Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.

- When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan. (Proverbs 29:2)


TEL AVIV - Israel is close to completing a missile defence shield that will destroy Iranian ballistic missiles in space or on their launch pads, a development that has sharply increased the odds of an attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Israel's Iron Dome rocket defence system successfully knocked out 421 rockets - an 84-per-cent success rate - in a stunning demonstration of its capabilities during the conflict with Gaza last month. It is one part of a multi-tiered missile shield being developed by Israeli scientists that will defend the Jewish state from a variety of threats, including the vast stockpile of rockets held by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Syria's armoury of Scuds and SS-21 ballistic missiles. A second defensive system, Magic Wand (known outside Israel as David's Sling), was successfully tested in late November and will be fully operational next year. A third tier consists of Arrow-2 and the soon-to-be- introduced Arrow-3 interceptors, which are designed to destroy Iranian long-range ballistic missiles in space before they re-enter the atmosphere.

Leaps in technology mean the new systems will be far more effective than those used against Saddam. According to Ben Goodlad, an analyst at IHS Jane's, "What we're seeing now is a far higher success rate of interception than in the first Gulf War; it's a significant step forward."

Western analysts and most Israelis are convinced that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. According to one of the architects of the anti-missile shield, "Many commentators in the West say the Iranians are rational and will not launch an atomic bomb on Israel as they will also kill Muslims. But if our enemies are so rational, how come that two weeks ago they fired rockets at Jerusalem, a holy place for Muslims where thousands of their fellow Muslims live?"
[Rapture Ready 07 Dec 12 - THE SUNDAY TIMES of LONDON ]

Read more:

- Lord, we raise up praise and worship to You for the wonderful news of these tools, which have been developed by Israel and have already helped to protect Israel, to counter destructive missile and rocket attacks. We ask You Lord, that these tools will continue to guard in a special way the land and people of Israel, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.

- Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies. (Psalm 108:12-13) Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. (Psalm 114:7)

More International News

More International News



Much of the Syrian capital remains firmly behind President Bashar al-Assad's regime - if only for fear of what might replace it.

The war has not yet reached the heart of Syria's capital city, but it has encroached enough to govern the rhythm of daily life. By late afternoon the streets in the city centre are now choked with the traffic of residents trying to get home before nightfall. Then, after sunset, the rat-tat-tat sounds of gun battles begin. "Even in areas that used to be quiet we can hear the shooting. It was loud and close all of last night," said Susan, who lives in the centre of Damascus - the world's oldest continuously-inhabited city.

The civil war in Syria is slowly shredding the Damascus suburbs, turning the outlying towns and villages into terrifying battlegrounds. In the past week government troops launched ferocious shelling attacks to the northeast and southwest of the capital, in a bid to flush out rebel groups that have seized control of territory there. It has taken the Syrian rebels more than 20 months, and a war that has already killed at least 40,000 people to come this close to the capital. And they are coming up against fierce resistance from the army, which is determined to reclaim the rebel-held districts and protect the loyalist areas.

One of the reasons that President Bashar al-Assad has not been toppled like the Arab Spring dictators of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen is that he has a strong base of support. Rebels have found to their cost that some of the suburbs are doggedly loyal to Mr Assad, and refuse to allow the anti-government forces to pass through.

Last week Damascus airport, the main international transport hub, was closed twice as fighting edged closer. The road was blocked, and commercial flights were suspended - although they had resumed by Friday.

Rebels said they were trying to cut military supplies to the government, as Iran and Russia are widely believed to be supplying it with weapons through the airport. "This would send a very strong political message to the regime, it will be a moral victory, to say the least," said a fighter named Nour. "The battle to cut off the regime supplies from the airport has started." And yet back in the centre of the capital, there was still faith in the embattled leader. (The Telegraph)

- Please pray safety for the people of Damascus. Pray also that the city's citizens will prepare themselves for possible attack on their city, especially chemical weapons. Pray that the flow of weapons from Iran and Russia are blocked. Ask the Lord to remove fear from the hearts and minds of the people of Damascus. Ask the Lord to teach the Christians how to pray for their situation.

- "So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing; fear not but let your hands be strong." (Zechariah 8:13b) ..


Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has offered a concession to opponents by annulling a decree that hugely expanded his powers and sparked angry protests.But a controversial referendum on a draft constitution planned for 15 December will still go ahead. Halting the referendum is a key demand of the opposition and some have already dismissed Mr Morsi's latest move.

The president's critics accuse him of acting like a dictator, but he says he is safeguarding the revolution. Ahmed Said, head of the Free Egyptians Party, a leading member of the main opposition National Salvation Front coalition, said Mr Morsi's latest announcement was "shocking" as it did not halt the referendum. The National Salvation Front will meet on Sunday before issuing a formal response.

Mr Morsi's decree of 22 November stripped the judiciary of any right to challenge his decisions and triggered violent protests on the streets of Cair. "The constitutional decree is annulled from this moment," said Selim al-Awa, an Islamist politician acting as a spokesman for a meeting Mr Morsi held with political and public figure This is a major sign of compromise on the president's part and also an unexpected move. In his speech last Thursday President Morsi showed no willingness to give up the absolute powers he granted himself and which gained him titles like "dictator" and "Pharaoh".

But in a dramatic U-turn he has decided to give those powers up. This is good news for Egypt's judiciary, which felt particularly insulted by the president's decree because it basically deemed them powerless. As for the opposition, it seems they've only won half the battle. The president did not budge on the other sticking point: the referendum on the controversial draft constitution.

Vice-President Mahmoud Mekki said that a vote on the charter would go ahead as planned in a week's time. He said if the draft constitution was rejected by a popular vote then elections would be held for a new constituent assembly.

The reaction of the main opposition National Salvation Front will now be key to how events shape politically. Since the announcement of the decree Egypt has been deeply polarized and has plunged into a new wave of violence. It remains to be seen whether this annulment will defuse tension on Egypt's volatile streets. But he said the referendum on a new constitution would go ahead because it was not legally possible for the president to postpone it. The meeting had been boycotted by the main opposition leaders who had earlier called for their supporters to step up their protests. (BBC News)

- We don't need the Moslem Brotherhood as a neighbor to Israel, and we don't need another seat of action for the MB, for their goal is the imposition of Islam through the world. Praise the Lord for this annulment of Morsi's decree. Although a member of one of the world's most vicious organization, Morsi is also a skilled politician and a well-positioned liar. Ask the Lord to bless the Christians and other opposition supporters to the Moslem Brotherhood. Also, request that the Lord removes the power and influence of Morsi from Egypt and replace him with an honest leader.

- "The fool has said in his heart' There is no God.' They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none that has done good."(Psalm 14: 1).


The American doctor rescued from the Taliban in Afghanistan Saturday by U.S. Special Operations Forces is the medical adviser for a Colorado Springs NGO, his employer confirmed today. Dr. Dilip Joseph and two colleagues were kidnapped by a group of armed men while returning from a visit to a rural medical clinic in eastern Kabul Province, according to a statement from their employer, Colorado Springs-based Morning Star Development. The statement said the three were eventually taken to a mountainous area about 50 miles from the border with Pakistan. Morning Star's crisis management team in Colorado Springs was in contact with the hostages and their captors almost immediately, the statement said.

On Saturday evening in Afghanistan, two of the three hostages were released. Morning Star did not release their names in order to protect their identities. Dr. Joseph remained in captivity. Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, ordered the mission to rescue Joseph when "intelligence showed that Joseph was in imminent danger of injury or death", according to a military press release. Morning Star said Joseph was in good condition and will probably return home to Colorado Springs in the next few days.

A Defense Department official told ABC's Luis Martinez that Joseph can walk, but was beaten up by his captors. Joseph has worked for Morning Star Development for three years, the organization said, and travels frequently to Afghanistan. "Morning Star Development does state categorically that we paid no ransom, money or other consideration to the captors or anyone else to secure the release of these hostages," the organization said.

"Due to security concerns, some cannot be named but their help will never be forgotten. Among these who cannot be named we include all of the courageous members of the U.S. military who successfully rescued Mr. Joseph as they risked their own lives doing so," the statement said. (ABC News)

- Praise the Lord for the rescue of the Colorado Springs doctor. Pray that the injuries from his beating by his kidnappers are miraculously healed. Give thanks for Dr. Joseph's willingness to do humanitarian work in Afghanistan. Give praise for the contributions of the US Special Operations Forces. May the Lord bless all.

- "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you." (Proverbs 25: 21,22)


The eyes of the world are on North Korea, as the rogue republic counts down to a provocative launch U.S. officials believe is aimed at showing the world its missiles can strike anywhere. U.S. warships were on the move in the Western Pacific, as Pyongyang readied the satellite launch, expected to take place between Monday and Dec. 22. Pacific forces commander Adm. Samuel Locklear said it is unclear whether the secretive dictatorship has corrected the problems of a failed launch of a similar long-range rocket in April. "This would be very destabilizing not only to the region, but to the international security environment," Locklear told The Associated Press. Locklear said the U.S. is moving ships with missile defense capabilities to the region to have the best "situational awareness" - and to reassure allies.

New satellite images indicate that snow may have slowed launch preparations, but that Pyongyang could still be ready for liftoff starting Monday. South Korean media reports said North Korea has mounted all three stages of the Unha rocket on the launch pad. But snow may have prevented Pyongyang from finishing its work by then, according to satellite images that were scrutinized by analysts. The commander of American troops in Japan, Lt. Gen. Salvatore Angelella, said this week that his troops are closely monitoring activity in North Korea as it prepares for the launch. Speaking in Tokyo, he described the situation ahead of the planned launch as "very dangerous." He said American troops are working closely with the Japanese to protect the country's citizens and territory, but declined to give details. (Associated Press)

Read more:

- To add to the world's troubles, there is now N. Korea with its satellite launch. And the satellite can quickly become a rocket missile. Is N. Korea trying to say to the world' hey! Look at me. I also am a threat to be dealt with.' The son has learned well from his father, impoverishing the nation's people in return for world recognition. Pray against the success of this launching- that it will not work and its parts will disintegrate. Pray for the people of N. Korea that they will survive the building of the satellite. Winter has come to the nation which must provide heat in their homes and nutritious food for healthy bodies.

- "Have mercy, O Lord! Consider my troubles from those who hate me. You will lift me up from the gates of death." (Psalm 9: 13)


Venezuela President Hugo Chavez says he will return to Cuba on Sunday for more cancer surgery, and has spoken openly for the first time of a successor. In a televised address to the nation, he named his Vice-President Nicolas Maduro as the man to replace him if anything should happen to him. He only returned from cancer-related treatment in Cuba on Friday. He said thorough tests undertaken during his stay had detected more cancerous cells. "Unfortunately, during these exhaustive exams they found some malignant cells in the same area. It is absolutely necessary, absolutely essential, that I have to undergo a new surgical intervention," he said. "With God's will, like on the previous occasions, we will come out of this victorious."

[Nicolas Maduro] is a complete revolutionary, a man of great experience despite his youth, with great dedication and capacity for work" stated Hugo Chavez, but, he acknowledged the seriousness of the situation. "There are risks, Who can deny it?" he said. Mr Chavez said his doctors had recommend he stay in Cuba and undergo surgery this weekend, but he told them he wanted to return to Venezuela first - even though the pain he is experiencing is "not insignificant".

Speaking from the Miraflores presidential palace, Mr Chavez said that if his health failed and a new election had to be held, his supporters should vote for Nicolas Maduro. Mr Maduro, a former bus driver, is one of the president's closest advisers. (BBCNews)

- Although we do not agree with Mr. Chavez's politics, we do pray for his healing from cancer. Perhaps this bout of cancer will bring him to Jesus Christ and salvation. And although he has mocked the USA when visiting our nation, his health and salvation are more important. His position of power still is strong as he appoints a man much like himself to run the country Mr. Chavez still has much learn outside of himself. Keep him in your prayers.

- " Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4: 7) 
On Capitol Hill This Week Volume XIX, Number 34b


On The Hill

On The Hill


Just after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Senate did it again. By a vote of 98-0 (two senators abstained) lawmakers in the upper chamber approved the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Not a single senator objected to the passage once again of a law that purports to permit the president, supported by nothing more substantial than his own belief that the suspect poses a threat to national security, to deploy the U.S. military to arrest an American living in America.

As The New American reported, an amendment to the 2013 version of the defense spending bill passed by the Senate clarified the right to trial of "citizens and permanent legal residents" detained under the relevant sections of the revamped measure.

The amendment, known as the Feinstein-Lee Amendment, was cosponsored by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). In an interview Tuesday with The New American, spokesmen for Lee and Paul admitted that the amendment did not go far enough in the defense of due process, but said it was a step in the right direction. (The New American) Read more.
- Lord God, we are looking into the face of the Axis of Evil when American Senators pass once again a law that purports to permit the president, supported by nothing more substantial than his own belief that the suspect poses a threat to national security, to deploy the U.S. military to arrest an American citizen living in America. God, we cry out for repentance from sin by the citizens in America so they can come under the protective shield of the Lord. God save America.

We plead the blood of Jesus over our government and all those in the shadow government that they cannot take one step to do evil that is not God-ordained for Your divine purpose. For sure, You are exposing gross sin that is resonant in our government. God, we ask that You dispatch the mighty angels in heaven to wage war against this evil that all may reckon with the powerful force of the hand of God. In Jesus' Name.

- "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all." I Chronicles 29:11


The U.S. Congress Objects to this seating fortunately. Venezuela became the newest member of the U.N. General Assembly's Human Rights Council, sparking outrage among critics of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez who believe the country has no right on the council. Other countries human rights groups have criticized as unqualified candidates are Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

The inclusion of Venezuela brought criticism from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) who called on the administration to break its ties to the council -- and to cut funding for it -- because it chose to accept countries that constantly violate basic human rights. "The Obama Administration should stop making excuses for the UN Human Rights Council, which remains as dictator-friendly as ever, despite three years of U.S. membership and funding," Ros-Lehtinen said in July. "However you want to spin short-term tactical victories, the long-term trajectory of the Council is still pro-rogue regimes and anti-human rights." (Fox News) Read more.

- God in heaven, we ask for Your intervention to be forthcoming quickly that will sustain America's right to break its ties to the council and to cut funding for it because of its lawlessness in supporting countries that constantly violate basic human rights. God, magnify Yourself to be Lord over all and bind the evil that is warring against the security and fundamental stance of America. Break by the blood of Jesus the power of ungodly laws that are being passed. We ask You to stand against this practice and free America from being destroyed by it. In Jesus' Name.

- "Because we have made the Lord, which is our refuge, even the Most High God, our habitation; there shall no evil befall us neither shall any plague come nigh our dwelling." (Psalm 91:9-10)


Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday prevented a simple majority vote on a proposal to give Democratic President Barack Obama unilateral power to raise the debt limit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the measure to the floor for consideration at the request of McConnell. But McConnell refused to permit a vote after Reid said it could pass with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate. McConnell demanded 60 votes needed for passage. (Reuters)

- Father, as this "fiscal cliff" looms larger, and the White House seems determined to not compromise, but rather, go over the cliff, we pray that all this juvenile "name-calling" and blame game would stop, and that our Congress and our President will stop playing politics and seek a real, viable solution to this problem.

We ask that You give wisdom to those who make these decisions, and a healthy dose of patriotism, that they would care more about the folks they represent, than about their own personal agendas. We pray for fiscal sanity and a long term solution to this problem, in addition to any "stop gap" temporary fix.

Thank You that Senator McConnell blocked the vote to give our President the ability to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress. We do not want a government devoid of checks and balances. We do not want a dictator, and so we pray that such power will never be given to any President of this nation. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- " But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." (James 3:14-17)


The House on Wednesday unanimously passed a Senate resolution calling on the United States to oppose the United Nations gaining control of the internet.

The resolution vote by the House, which follows a similar move by the Senate, comes as the World Conference on International Telecommunications opened Monday in Dubai with some 190-plus nations discussing the global internet's future.

The gestures by both legislative chambers are largely symbolic, however, as they mimic the U.S. government's stance at the two-week meeting. The conference is designed to update the International Telecommunications Regulations governed by the International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency responsible for global communication technologies.

"The 193 member countries of the United Nations are gathered to consider whether to apply to the internet a regulatory regime that the International Telecommunications Union created in the 1980s for old-fashioned telephone service," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon). He said that should be "strongly opposed." (Wired) Read more.

- Abba, we thank You for the unanimous vote in Congress for the U.S. to oppose the U.N.'s desire to control the internet. We ask that we not lose our sovereignty to the U.N., in any way, shape, or form. Amen.

- "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (I Peter 3:12)


Late on Tuesday, the United States Senate rejected ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The vote of 61 to 38 in favor of the treaty was short of the required two-thirds margin (66 in favor) necessary to ratify a treaty according to Article II of the U.S. Constitution.

Less than an hour before the vote, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama testified that his office has received more than 1,000 letters and emails in opposition to the treaty - and only 40 in favor. This shows an amazing outpouring from defenders of parental rights! (Parental

- Offer thanks to the LORD for this glorious answer to prayer . . . one which protects the sovereignty of our nation from the encroachment of those who are pushing for a New World Order; and one which protects our children and our families. Praise God!

- "Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." (Psalm 115:1)


A US Senate amendment that would have penalized Palestinians for seeking non-member state status at the United Nations was not attached to its intended law in a vote Tuesday.

The National Defense Authorization Act, passed late Tuesday, did not include among its amendments one that would cut funding to the Palestinians should they use their status, gained last week, to seek charges against Israel in international courts.

The amendment had been introduced by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Nov. 29, the same day as the vote in the UN General Assembly enhancing the Palestinian's statehood status. It's not clear why it was not approved. (Jerusalem Post)

- Just when the nation began to stand WITH Israel last week at the U.N., this has happened. Cry out for mercy for the members of the United States Senate who have voted against this amendment. May each one's heart be pierced to understand the truth about the Palestinian agenda: to see the nation of Israel taken off the map. How horrid! Pray!

- (Our position regarding Israel) -- "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." (Matthew 5:37)


In what one Republican calls an "unprecedented" move, an atheist group is advising all newcomers to the U.S. House of Representatives to stay away from the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), who founded the caucus in 2005, said the American Humanist Association is among the "extremist groups" that "want to make sure they've censored and shut down anything related to faith." Forbes, speaking Tuesday on "Fox and Friends," said the prayer caucus's 105 members "stand up and fight for religious freedom and religious liberty." ( Read more.

- Although we don't know the names of the members of the American Humanist Association , please pray for them to come to know Jesus Christ, for He reigns in heaven, and He knows them all. These people do not know that we want the best for them - in Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, the association is violating the right of members of Congress from the free exercise of religion. Pray that no member of Congress will be influenced by the Association and that they will instead begin praying for these atheists. Declare that satan has no voice in the lives of our representatives! Pray for Rep. Randy Forbes as he continues to reach out to the members of the House, as the Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Pray!

- "I will sing of Your power, yes. I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises, my God of mercy." (Psalm 59: 16,17)


Speaker Boehner Lights the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) this evening participated in the lighting of the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, a 65-foot Engelmann Spruce from the White River National Forest in Colorado. Following are Boehner's brief remarks prior to the lighting of the tree, as prepared for delivery:

"Thank you to everyone involved in this event. This spruce has traveled many miles to reach this Great Dome, itself a radiant beacon of God's blessings. At Christmastime, its splendor calls to mind the star of Bethlehem and the chants of the angels announcing a humble birth in a manger.

"The birth of Christ fulfilled a prophecy of salvation, giving a weary world cause to rejoice. In that spirit, we will bring light to the tree that flourishes as a symbol of everlasting life. And in turn, this tree will bring light to us, opening our hearts a little more to the needs of our neighbors and the covenants we have made with one another. For the celebration of Christmas is not merely the recitation of a story that occurred once upon a time. The real mystery is having that story reborn in our souls, just as the shepherds were stirred by the angels singing, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men.'

"So with gratitude, I offer you this simple phrase, 'God bless us, everyone,' and from my family to yours, Merry Christmas."

> > > To view the entire tree lighting ceremony, go here.

- We thank the Lord for the bold witness of the true story of Christmas that was presented by the Speaker of the House last night on Capitol Hill. May he and his household be blessed as a result of his faithfulness to the call of Christ in his life.

- "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

At the White House

At the White House



The White House Correspondents Association is strongly urging the Obama administration to allow press access to the president's official swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, following indications from inauguration committee officials that the event could potentially be closed to the press.

"Mindful of the historic nature of this occasion, we expect the White House will continue the long tradition of opening the President's official swearing-in to full press access, and we as an organization are looking forward to working with the administration to make that happen," Ed Henry, the Fox News correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents Association, said in a statement.

Because inauguration day falls on a Sunday in 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts will officially administer the official oath of office in a private ceremony that day. The public inauguration on the Capitol Building's West Front - at which Roberts will administer a second, symbolic oath of office - will take place the next day. (Politico) Read more.

- Father, we thank You that the press corps is alert to the fact that the official swearing in ceremony is to be closed to the press and the public. Since this administration has done so much away from public view, we bind up all secret actions at this time and declare that nothing harmful to our country will occur during the inauguration. Lord, we look to you to hinder all actions that are unconstitutional, and as we stand in repentance before You . . . to also protect our people. In Your Name, amen.

- "Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it." (Psalm 94:7)


Obama is demanding that Congress permanently give up its authority over raising the debt ceiling. He is demanding as a part of "negotiating" with the Congress, that a law be passed to allow him to increase the debt ceiling of the government at any time he deems it necessary. Giving this power to Obama will be "crossing the Rubicon" and there will be no return to congressional control of the Presidency. When Obama robs Peter to pay Paul, he can always count on the vote of Paul - This statement was obviously proven in the election of Barack Obama, who spent four years expanding the ranks of dependency by using every avenue of government possible, from food stamps to mortgage reductions. (Religious Freedom Coalition, World Net Daily) Read more here and here.

- Father God, we are witnessing an anti-Christ spirit attempting to raise the bar of control over America in order that America will be destroyed and this anti-Christ spirit rule over our country. God, we plead for mercy for the innocent Americans to be protected from the incongruous actions of our government leaders. God, stand in their way that they not bring in the tribulation period before Your timing, which is set out in the Word of God that cannot be altered by man. In the Name of Jesus.

- "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (I Thessalonians 5:2-3)


The federal government has now borrowed more money during Obama's time as president than it did in the period lasting from the time President George Washington took the oath office until July 2, 2001, more than five months into the first term of President George W. Bush.

At the close of business on Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, the national debt stood at $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to the Treasury. At the close of business this Thursday, it stood at $16,323,083,449,604.98. (CNS NEWS) Read more.

- Heavenly Father we pray that the financial planners and administrators of this nation will cry out to You for Your wisdom and power. Your wisdom is mighty even to the pulling down of strongholds that have bound us. You, Lord will hear our cry if we repent and turn from our wicked ways. We pray that we as a nation will wake up from our slumber, and will no longer seek our own paths and refuse to choose You as Our Lord and Redeemer.

- "But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last." (Job 19:25)


Residents of states that refuse to set up health insurance exchanges under Obamacare are set to be hit with higher premiums under new rules announced by the Health and Human Services Department. Insurance companies will be charged 3.5 percent of any premiums they sell through the federal exchanges, the department announced Friday. And insurers are likely to pass that surcharge on to clients, leading to higher premiums. The only states to be affected are those that refuse to set up their own exchanges because of opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They are almost certain to be those under Republican control. In those states, HHS will set up the exchanges. (News Max) Read more.

- Heavenly Father, we pray that You will deliver us from the arm of the oppressor. We ask that You will restore the freedoms that have been taken from this nation through insensitive decisions and unrighteous leaders. We pray that there will be an increase in the desire to protect innocent life, preventing abortion funding through Obamacare edicts.

- "You shall not commit murder." (Exodus 20:13)


In what a pro-life legal group describes as a "landmark ruling against the HHS Mandate," a federal judge late yesterday ruled against the Obama administration's assertion that the government's supposed "safe harbor" was inadequate to protect religious organizations from suffering imminent harm.

"We are pleased the court recognized the significant harm that the mandate is causing right now," said Eric Baxter, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

He told LifeNews today, "Religious organizations that object to the mandate are subject to private lawsuits, as well as being faced with critical budgeting, and health insurance decisions in the face of millions of dollars in fines. Truly the 'safe harbor' is neither a harbor nor safe."

The U.S. District Court ruling allows the Archdiocese of New York to proceed with its lawsuit against the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League also commented on the decision, in a statement to LifeNews. "Not only did the Obama administration lose, it got a well deserved lecture from the bench: it was taken to task for misrepresenting the current burdens that the HHS mandate has placed on the New York Archdiocese," he said. "The Obama team tried to have it both ways, and it failed. On the one hand, it ordered Catholic entities to get ready to implement the mandate, and on the other hand it said that because some modifications may yet be made, complaints that the mandate has already burdened the archdiocese are baseless. But U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan wasn't buying it."

Cogan said the Obama administration's arguments "ring hollow" and quoted the HHS Interim Final Rules back to the Obama lawyers.

Donohue said the Rules made clear that "these interim final regulations require significant lead time to implement," emphasizing that "in order to allow plans and health insurance coverage to be designed and implemented on a timely basis, regulations must be published and available to the public well in advance of the effective date of the requirements."

"It is impossible to improve on Judge Cogan's ruling," he concluded. "The battle over the HHS mandate is not over, but what happened yesterday bodes well for those who believe in religious liberty." (LifeNews) Read more.

> > > [Editor's note: our prayer refers to a vision that was given to this intercessor, about the ultimate fate of Obamacare when it was FIRST introduced several years ago. Our God never forgets!]

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."(Habakkuk 2:3 )

- God in heaven, You declared that Obama's HHS Mandate would be turned to sawdust as You held it in Your hands. The sawdust fell between Your feet as You totally destroyed this bill in its entirety. Your hands were empty and this mandate was a pile of sawdust at Your feet. This was a work of God and there is no man nor human being that would be able to put it back together. We now ask that You will open every door across America for major lawsuits to be filed against Obamacare and each one honored by our judges and settled giving the plaintiffs their victory. Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer, amen.

- "Say unto God, How terrible are You, in Your works! Through the greatness of Your power shall Your enemies submit themselves unto You. Come and see the works of God: He is terrible in His doing toward the children of men. He rules by His power forever; His eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves." (Psalm 66:3,5,7)


The federal government borrowed 46 cents of every dollar it has spent so far in fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1, according to the latest data the Congressional Budget Office released Friday.

The government notched a $172 billion deficit in November, and is already nearly $300 billion in the hole through the first two months of fiscal year 2013, underscoring just how deep the government's budget problems are as lawmakers try to negotiate a year-end deal to avoid a budgetary "fiscal cliff."

Higher spending on mandatory items such as Social Security, Medicare and interest on the debt led the way in boosting spending compared with the previous year, which also highlights the trouble spots Congress and President Obama are struggling to grapple with. (Washington Times) Read more

- Lord God, we call on Your all-powerful wisdom to rule and reign over all the evil forces that are propelling our government to make destructive financial decisions by their goal to destroy America from within. We stand on the Word of God that nothing can come upon America that is not in Your divine plan and purpose to fulfill only Your will for our country and its people. Move mightily to save our souls by the millions through the blood of Jesus who died on the Cross for our redemption and forgiveness of sin. In the Name of Jesus, we pray, amen.

"Both riches and honor come of God, and You reign over all; and in Your hand is power and might; and in Your hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all." (I Chronicles 29:12)


Sen John Barrasso: "Increasingly Clear Obama Is Comfortable Going Off the Cliff"

Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming believes President Barack Obama is "comfortable going off the [fiscal] cliff." "I think the president is increasingly showing his hand that he is comfortable going off the cliff," Barrasso tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD, in response to a question about President Obama's negotiation strategy. "He's not involving Republicans in the process. He was playing golf this weekend with Bill Clinton, Ron Kirk, and ex-DNC chair Terry McAuliffe. He's not seeming to be one to work together. He seems to be lecturing more than listening. And I just think that it's increasingly clear he's comfortable going off the cliff." (Weekly Standard) Read more.

- First, let's examine our own hearts before the Lord, to see if we might have sinned by foolishly wasting the resources He has so lovingly placed in our own hands. Stand in repentance for acts of greed and/or selfishness, thanking our Lord that, as we confess our sin before Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us.

- "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"(I Peter 4:17)

- Next, cry out to the LORD GOD Almighty, who is the King of all kings, and ask that He turn the heart of this "king" towards righteousness. The stubborn will of a tyrant will only place our people into further bondage and deeper debt. Cry out!

- "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Proverbs 21:1)


As states across the country implement broad changes in curriculum from kindergarten through high school, English teachers worry that they will have to replace the dog-eared novels they love with historical documents and nonfiction texts. The Common Core State Standards in English, which have been adopted in 46 states and the District, call for public schools to ramp up nonfiction so that by 12th grade students will be reading mostly "informational text" instead of fictional literature. But as teachers excise poetry and classic works of fiction from their classrooms, those who designed the guidelines say it appears that educators have misunderstood them. (WND) Read more.

- Father, we know that our children's education is very important, and so we pray for wisdom for those who make curriculum choices for the students. We ask that the choices would reflect godly character traits and patriotic ones, as well. We do ask that literature would also be included, and that they would retain the students' attention and interest, and would still be informative. We ask for truth to pervade the texts, and there be no tampering with or revision of the facts and truth of our history. Amen.

- "Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity." (Proverbs 2:5-7)


Oblivious to important differences between men and women, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Department of Defense to lift all combat exemptions for women. Not putting women into combat deprives them of their constitutional rights, the ACLU is arguing on behalf of four servicewomen in a complaint filed Tuesday in a federal court in San Francisco. (Washington Times) Read more.

- Heavenly Father, we pray that our nation will never succumb to any philosophy that would denigrate our women, place unnatural demands upon them, or neglect to show honor. We pray that our military institutions will uphold policies and standards that will best enable our servicemen and women to defend and protect the nation with wisdom, competence, and professionalism.

- "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:7)


As the 2012 election approached, conservative enthusiasm grew. Mitt Romney was drawing huge crowds while Barack Obama spoke in half-filled stadiums. All the passion lay on the right while the left was discouraged with a promised messiah who proved merely a politician. And the prediction was that, in contrast to 2008, Republican turnout would dwarf the tuned-out and carry the day. Hence the shock November 6 eve. How could Romney lose, especially by such a wide electoral margin?

Maybe he didn't.

At least not legitimately.

When I predicted Obama's re-election, I stated that, despite our country's inexorable leftist slide, Romney would still win on Election Day were it not for vote fraud. I explained that the Democrats could steal more than enough votes in crucial swing states to turn the election. And I still believe what I did then: electoral criminality put Obama over the top.



Yes, but so is vote fraud on the scale perpetrated by Obama's minions. And people needn't fear creating a national crisis - we are already in a national crisis. The only question is whether good Americans will stand and be counted or allow 2012 to mark our official descent into banana-republic status. (By Selwyn Duke; American Standard) Read more.

- This article provides rich food for thought and deserves to be studied carefully in its entirety. Today, America has strayed far off course from its founding principles, and we seem to be a nation adrift. Only through sincere acts of repentance will we be able to rest once again upon the Rock of our salvation. As we do so, ask our Lord to forgive those who may have, indeed, stolen this election, for they know not what they do. Judgment will be swift and sure; cry out . . . cry out for our people!

- "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap". (Gal. 6:7)

The Benghazi Investigation

The Benghazi Investigation



Almost three months after the September 11 attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, there are still many unanswered questions about what led to the deaths of four Americans. Despite Congress's efforts to investigate the events surrounding the attack, little has been learned about how the United States can respond to similar attacks in the future.

It is therefore necessary for Congress to establish a select committee, preferably bicameral, to examine the attack and determine what should be done to improve U.S. diplomatic security.

Following the attack, Congress undertook to investigate the events through committee hearings, briefings, and letters to Administration officials, but these efforts have proven to be disjointed and have resulted in contrasting accounts, muddling the investigative process. Additionally, because the issues surrounding the attack involve the jurisdictions of multiple congressional committees (e.g., the Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform), the risk of stove-piping has emerged. (Heritage Foundation) Read more.
- O Lord, we pray that the truth concerning the Benghazi terrorist attack will be exposed and that justice will be rendered to all those responsible for the deaths of our government and military personnel.

- "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." (Ephesians 5:11)


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify on a report expected to be released this week on the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, a top Republican lawmaker said on Friday. "I have just received confirmation from Secretary Clinton's office that the secretary of state will appear before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to discuss, in an open hearing, the findings and the recommendations in the report," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. Ros-Lehtinen is chair of the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, which has already held several hearings and classified briefings on the attack.

Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for its flawed early public explanations of the attack, and then for shifting explanations of why talking points given to U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice were changed to delete a reference to al-Qaida.

Ros-Lehtinen said she expected an accountability review board convened by the State Department to release a report on the attack sometime this week. The review board, led by veteran diplomatic heavyweight Thomas Pickering, is expected to consider whether enough attention was given to potential threats and how Washington responded to security requests from U.S. diplomats in Libya. Ros-Lehtinen said she wanted to hear from Clinton about steps the State Department has taken to deal with problems in the "security of our posts, threat assessments, host government responsibilities and coordination with other U.S. security agencies."

The committee's press release did not give a date for the hearing with Clinton, but said it expected it to happen "soon after" the review board's report is released. (Reuters) Read more.

- In the powerful name of Jesus, we loose the Spirit of Truth into this committee room and into Hillary Clinton. Dear Lord, we ask that Your Spirit be so strong in that room that no one would dare speak anything but the full truth, including all committee members. We bind up all lying and deceiving spirits and say that all will be aware that You see and know all that is spoken. Praise You, Lord, for Your powerful witness in that room. Amen!

- "For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth." (Zechariah 4:10)


3a. Congressman Frank Wolf Introduces H.Res. 824

H.RES.824 Calls for the establishing of a select committee to investigate and report on the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The bill was introduced on Dec. 4, and currently has 14 cosponsors. This bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee.

You can read the remarks made by Congressman Wolf on the House floor, as he introduced H.Res. 824, by going here -- recorded in the Congressional Record.

3b. Senator John McCain Introduces S.RES.594 -- Companion Bill Calling for a Joint Investigation of the Attack on Benghazi

Latest Title: A resolution establishing a select committee of the Senate to make a thorough and complete investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding, and the response of the United States Government to, the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks against the United States consulate and personnel in Benghazi, Libya, and to make recommendations to prevent similar attacks in the future. Read more here.

- Offer praise that this Congress, which is NOT a "lame duck!", is indeed pursuing an investigation surrounding the details of the attack at Benghazi to its fullest measure. Lift up both initiatives for passage . . . even if the momentum towards passage must build into next year. Let the truth be made known to our people, and to those "gatekeepers" who have the final authority to make policy decisions for the safety and the security of ALL of our men and women who are serving our nation on foreign lands.Pray!
- "Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations." (Isaiah 51:4,5)
Obama Lights the National Christmas Tree

Obama Lights the National Christmas Tree

On Thursday, December 6, President Obama participated in the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. This ceremony took place on the Ellipse of the South Lawn of the White House . . . not far from the location of David's Tent earlier this fall.

The following are the remarks of Barack Hussein Obama at this event.

As has been mentioned, we've been lighting the National Christmas Tree for 90 years now. In times of war and peace, triumph and tragedy, we've always come together to rejoice in the Christmas miracle.

But our tree has been having a hard time recently -- this is our third one in as many years. Our longstanding tree was lost in a storm, and then its replacement didn't take hold. It just goes to show, nobody's job is safe here in Washington. (Laughter.)

But I feel good about this one. It was planted just days before Hurricane Sandy, and it made it through the storm in one piece.

Now, we know that some of our neighbors to the north saw a more ruthless and destructive Sandy. And this holiday season is especially difficult for families who lost everything in the storm. But it's also a time for us to be grateful for the heroism and perseverance of ordinary men and women in the storm's path who've showed us that Americans will always be stronger than the challenges that we face.

And as I did before Thanksgiving, I can't help but tell a story of their enduring holiday spirit.

This evening, in Midland Beach, New York, on a street lined with houses and businesses devastated by the storm, a great big Christmas tree shines out of the darkness. Just a couple of weeks ago, as impacted families were still seeking some sense of getting back to normal, one local nursery donated the tree, another chipped in for the lights and a star, and 70-year-old Tom Killeen and his longtime buddies from the area planted it at the end of the street, overlooking the town beach.
As Tom says, the tree has one message: "It's Christmas time, not disaster

time." And Tom is right. For centuries, the message of Christmas -- of peace and goodwill to all -- has guided millions of people around the world through good times but also through bad times. This year is no different.
It's a chance for all of us to open our hearts to the least fortunate among us. It's a chance to remember what Christ taught us -- that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive, and that the simplest gifts bring the greatest joy. And it's a chance to count our blessings and give thanks to those outstanding service members who bravely defend them.
For Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs, may this holiday season remind us of the spirit of brotherhood and generosity that unites us as citizens. And may every tree from Midland Beach to this Ellipse and all across the country shine as a beacon of hope for all Americans.

So on behalf of Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Grandma and Bo, I'd like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and joyful holiday season.

God bless you, and God bless America.  

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
(Eh-ven Yis-rah-el)

"But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed[a] limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father's God, who helps you . . . " (Genesis 49:24, 25a)

Dear God,

You are the only One who makes my hands strong. I shall not trust in my energy, brains, resources, contacts, or anything else. I shall trust in You -- Rock of Israel. What a mighty defense You are! You have done it before for me and You will do it again. Amen!

"Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." (Psalm 115:1)

(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)