Daily Archives: January 29, 2015

January 29, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report

Our failures are never big enough to interrupt God’s plans for us. —Dave Harvey

January 26 quotes


Jan. 29, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The European Union wants to tighten sanctions on Russia again, as renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine causes heavy casualties and raises fears that Russian-backed separatists will seize control of more territory.

Air Force One will be getting a makeover. The two Boeing 747-200 aircraft that most often transport President Barack Obama (his plane is always called Air Force One) are nearing a 30-year planned service life in 2017. Boeing is getting the contract for three modified 747-8 passenger planes. Specialized equipment for the new aircraft will go out for bids. The Air Force is budgeting $1.6 billion through 2019 on research for that presidential aircraft replacement program.

In China most boarding schools serve vulnerable children: the offspring of migrant workers who left their kids behind in the countryside while they toil in cities. The rundown institutions are badly failing the estimated 33 million rural kids they serve, causing depression, malnutrition, and other problems, according to a recent survey.

The fewest Americans in almost 15 years filed applications for unemployment benefits during a holiday-shortened week that typically makes the data more volatile. Jobless claims plunged by 43,000 to 265,000 in the week ended Jan. 24.

Bill Gross, the former manager of the world’s largest bond fund, said the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates late in 2015 to end distortions that six years of near-zero borrowing costs have brought to financial markets. Any increase by the Fed will be slow to avoid startling markets that have gotten used to cheap money, and caution will prevail for a long time.

Denmark’s central bank cut its benchmark rate for the third time in 10 days in an effort to defend the nation’s currency peg. The Copenhagen-based bank cut its deposit rate to minus 0.5 percent, the lowest on record, from minus 0.35 percent, it said in a statement today. It left its lending rate unchanged at 0.05 percent.

Germany’s inflation rate turned negative in January for the first time in more than five years, aggravating a slump in consumer prices in the euro area. Prices in Europe’s largest economy fell 0.5 percent from a year earlier.

The euro-area inflation rate was probably minus 0.5 percent in January, according to Bloomberg.

AP Top Stories

An audio message purportedly from a Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants said a Jordanian air force pilot also captured by the group would be killed unless a woman jailed in Jordan was released by sunset on Thursday.

The number of new confirmed Ebola cases totaled 99 in the week to Jan. 25, the lowest tally since June 2014, signaling the tide might have turned against the epidemic.

The chairman of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA has penned a 2,023-word manifesto making the critical point that American Communists are eager to work with the Democratic Party to advance the modern communist agenda and achieve communist goals.

The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Friday accused the United States of drawing Russia into a new Cold War and said he feared hostilities could escalate into armed conflict.

San Francisco police discovered human body parts stuffed inside a suitcase that had been ditched on the sidewalk of a downtown street. Police found more remains after searching the area. The city medical examiner confirmed that the remains were human, but could not determine whether they belonged to one person or multiple victims.

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck just offshore of northern California on Wednesday, rattling a wide coastal area below the Oregon border.

The threat of a full-blown conflict between Israel and Hezbollah increased on Wednesday after the Lebanese militant group fired a missile at an Israeli army vehicle along the frontier and wounded seven soldiers, the biggest escalation since a 2006 war.

North Korea demanded $10 billion in cash and half a million tons of food in 2009 as a precondition of holding a summit with the South, former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak said, adding that he refused to pay anything for holding talks.

BBC

Malaysia officially declared the disappearance of MH370 over the Indian Ocean in March 2014 an accident, and said all 239 people on board are presumed dead.

Listening to icebergs could help to assess the extent of glacier melt, scientists report. Researchers in Poland, the UK and US have found different types of icebergs have their own acoustic signature as they calve away from the ice.

Scientists at the Institute Pasteur in France who are tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea said the virus has mutated.

A former nuclear scientist in the US was jailed for five years for trying to pass nuclear bomb-making secrets to Venezuela.

WND

A Soros-funded group arguing to replace the U.S. passport with a North American passport appears ready to take up the mantle of championing the concept of a European Union-style regional government to supersede the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico and Canada, fulfilling the dream of the late American University professor Robert Pastor.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said that when it comes to negotiating for American hostages, the Obama administration does not consider the Taliban a terrorist organization.

North Dakota lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to pack guns at schools, if officials allow it.

The State Department hosted a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood-aligned leaders this week for a meeting about their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt.


Daily Digest

January 29, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

After Undermining Cuts, Obama Plans More Spending

Despite Republican budget cuts helping the nation boost its Index of Economic Freedom score, Barack Obama worked to make sequestration as painful as possible — even though it was his idea in the first place. For example, he blamed the Republican budget for his drawdown of military strength to anemic levels. Not only that, an analysis of federal grants by Reuters and the Brookings Institution shows Obama funneling more money to states he won in 2012 than to states he didn’t. On average, blue states saw their federal dole decline 25% while red states saw the payout slashed 40%. As Congress banned the practice of earmarking funds, the executive branch picked up that power. It’s all been a strategy to further Obama’s “middle-crush economics,” as he’s about to introduce a budget to Congress that lifts sequestration entirely. It’s for the middle class, leftists like Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) argue: “Arbitrary cuts through sequestration never made sense, and House Democrats have consistently supported replacing them with a smarter, more balanced approach to long-term deficit reduction. What our country needs is a growing economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few.” But waging class warfare and then redistributing the loot on vote-buying schemes won’t accomplish economic growth.

CBO Says ObamaCare to Cost Less? Yeah, Right

Two projections about ObamaCare in the Congressional Budget Office’s latest report will probably contradict each other. First came the breathless news that the government will spend 20% less than what the CBO first divined back in April. Now, the government is expected to spend $1.35 trillion from 2016 to 2025 — $2 trillion in expenses offset by income from penalty payments and other tax revenue. Here’s what CBS News has to say about it: “Consequently, the CBO reduced its 10-year cost estimate for Obamacare by $101 billion by making the following changes: It’s predicting the government will spend $68 billion less on Obamacare subsidies, spend $59 billion more on Medicaid, and bring in $97 billion more in revenues from projected changes in employer-based coverage. Additionally, the CBO is projecting the government will spend $5 billion more due to changes in estimated penalty payments and certain taxes collected.” In short, they are expecting businesses to pick up a larger portion of the nation’s health care tab. But the CBO also says 10 million Americans will lose employer-provided insurance during that same period. With the track record the federal government has on ObamaCare promises, expect to see a revision soon.

White House: Taliban ‘Insurgents,’ Not Terrorists

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl wanted to know: What was the difference between the Bowe Bergdahl exchange with the Taliban and Jordan’s attempted swap of prisoners with ISIL? When Karl brought the question up at a White House press conference, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz responded that prisoner exchange is a “traditional end of conflict transaction.” But then Schultz said, “I would also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency. ISIL is a terrorist group. So we don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.” So if the full brunt of the U.S. military is thrown against a terrorist organization, it legitimizes the organization in the eyes of the Obama administration? This is just another example of Obama playing verbal gymnastics, obfuscating his foreign policy. As political analyst Charles Krauthammer observed, the Taliban “slits throats, it attacks busses, it drives car bombs into markets, and it’s not a terrorist group? Look, you can’t parody this administration.” Sad, but true. More…

Narcissist in Chief Praises Himself 118 Times in Single Speech

Can you ever get tired of hearing yourself talk, much less making it all about you? Not if you’re Barack Obama. The president made a stop in New Delhi this week to deliver a speech that was once again replete with personal pronouns. After analyzing the yawn-inducing remarks, Grabien reported, “Somehow in the span of just 33 minutes, Obama referenced himself 118 times.” They added, “For those keeping score at home, that’s 3.5 Obama references per minute.” Whether he’s demogugeing here at home, or proselytizing abroad, it’s never about “We the People,” as the beginning words of the U.S. Constitution make clear. It’s about “I, Barack Obama.” As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, the man actually believes he’s accomplished something.

Virginia Senate Defends Right to Bear Arms

The proposal to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Virginians backfired on Governor Terry McAuliffe when he watched his bills die in committee while measures granting greater gun freedom moved forward. McAuliffe announced in December gun control would be a cornerstone of his administration, such as renewing Virginia’s expired law limiting handgun purchases to once a month. In what Philip Van Cleave, president of Virginia Citizens Defense League, called “an awesome day,” the commonwealth’s Senate Courts of Justice Committee rejected the governor’s bills and instead approved bills that would allow Virginians to get a lifetime gun permit and carry on school grounds if school is not in session. While Charles Cooke says McAuliffe signing these bills has about as much chance as a donut before Michael Moore, Virginia’s senate couldn’t have sent a stronger message. More…

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Obama’s ‘Middle-Crush Economics’, on the platform for his final years.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Lynch Will Take Up Holder’s Torch of Injustice

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Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation last September, effective when a replacement is confirmed. On Wednesday, Congress conducted the first day of hearings with that nominee, U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch. And it appears she’ll pick up right where Holder left off.

Early in the hearing, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) explained, “[T]he Attorney General is the premier law enforcement officer … in America. He or she sets the tone for law in America, the commitment to law, and must resist politicizing law and do the right thing on a daily basis.”

And Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) lamented, “Public confidence in the department’s ability to do its job without regard to politics has been shaken, with good reason.”

Indeed, what a tone Holder set. To name but a few egregious activities from the last six years in which he served as Barack Obama’s criminal co-conspirator, the AG trafficked illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels via Operation Fast and Furious, tossed an airtight voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia and sued Southern states over voter ID laws. So he’s leaving big shoes to fill.

Enter Lynch, the current U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Grilled by Senate Republicans hoping to find that she’s “not Eric Holder,” Lynch gave every reason to believe that she’d endeavor to be his heir.

That isn’t to say she didn’t strike some euphonious political notes. Regarding law enforcement, she said it would be a priority to strengthen “the vital relationships between our courageous law enforcement personnel and all the communities we serve.” In fact, she added, “In my career, I have seen this relationship flourish — I have seen law enforcement forge unbreakable bonds with community residents and have seen violence-ravaged communities come together to honor officers who risked all to protect them. As attorney general, I will draw all voices into this important discussion.”

All well and good, but the relationship between communities and law enforcement has absolutely not flourished in the wake of Holder’s noxious race-baiting after police shootings in Ferguson and New York City. Notwithstanding Lynch’s conciliatory rhetoric, we find it hard to believe she’ll do much better. Obama wouldn’t choose her if she would.

So what about immigration? If the AG “sets the tone” for the nation, as Sessions accurately noted, what can we expect from the Justice Department after Obama’s lawless amnesty?

First, Lynch claims it was only a “temporary deferral” of enforcement and therefore not “a legal amnesty” — by which she means Obama didn’t grant amnesty. While she wasn’t part of crafting the policy, she doesn’t “see any reason to doubt the reasonableness” of the action.

Second, in a convoluted line of testimony, she seemed to contend that illegals have the right to work in the U.S. “I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here,” she said. “And certainly, if someone is here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace.”

Lynch did later clarify that there is currently a “legal framework” requiring proof of citizenship or eligibility for employment, but that hardly eases the concern we have over her “right to work” answer. The issue of “rights” for illegals is at the root of Obama’s lawlessness, and Lynch’s answer signifies that she’s in lockstep with the president. Shocking, we know.

And don’t think for a minute that any leftist actually believes a poverty plantation welfare recipient has an “obligation to work.”

Lynch cannot possibly restore trust between American communities and law enforcement when the law is based on nothing more than the political whim of the White House. Her answer regarding Holder’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court is illustrative: There are, she said, “rare instances” when the Justice Department may find “constitutional issues” with a law. This is Left-speak for selective law enforcement.

Unfortunately, though Sessions and a few other Republicans will oppose Lynch’s confirmation, it seems she will win enough votes to become the next attorney general. Worse, her quiet demeanor, diminutive stature (she’s all of five feet tall) and the fact she will be the first black woman to serve as AG (with the last name of Lynch, no less) add up to mean she could be both worse than Holder and harder to oppose.

Dropping Out of (Taxing) College (Savings)

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In less time than it takes to fill out a college application, Barack Obama dropped his plan to tax 529 college savings accounts in order to offer two “free” (ahem) years of community college. Just seven days after floating the idea in the State of the Union address, the White House deduced that it had become such a “distraction” as to warrant abandonment.

Given this administration’s penchant for coming up with, and then bitterly clinging to, economically disastrous ideas (ObamaCare, anyone?), political resistance was quick and universal enough that even Obama couldn’t ignore reality.

You see, 529s are education savings plans that help families set aside money for college. While contributions are not tax-deductible on federal tax returns, distributions from the funds to pay for college are tax-free, making 529 plans highly attractive for families wanting to save for their children’s education. The problem — well, one among many — is that the president seemed to assume those who take advantage of these accounts are “rich,” defined in his parallel universe as those who make $250,000 per year. So taxing these accounts would be the obvious choice in Obama’s class-warfare utopia. Shared responsibility and all.

He grossly underestimated the backlash given how many middle-class people actually have college savings. As of last year, there were more than 12 million accounts, and the average balance was $19,774 — far less than the $240,000 the Obamas put into college savings for their private-school-educated daughters in one year alone.

Furthermore, according to the College Savings Foundation, some 70% of 529 accounts are held by households earning less than $150,000 per year — hardly “rich.” Almost 10% are held by households making less than $50,000 per year, and nearly 95% of 529 plans are owned by households making less than $250,000 annually. The president can’t pass this one off as trying to tax the One Percent.

Still, demonstrating his ever-present disconnect from reality, he actually pitched his proposal as part of his “middle-class economics” plan. He defines this campaign theme as “the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

In reality, Obamanomics means government calls the shots, fair share is forcibly relinquishing what you earn fair and square to those who do squat, and the rules are whatever the latest executive order says they are. It would be better known as middle-crush economics.

Far from helping the middle class, Obama’s plan took direct aim at average Americans, as the truly “rich” often pay out of pocket for college and the poor are eligible for financial aid, something middle-class families are often deemed too well-off to receive.

The idea that anyone would propose such a middle-class-crushing tax seems ludicrous, but it’s par for the course when you’re trying to fund exponentially bigger government and running out of revenue sources.

The president must have realized things were bad when two of his top cheerleaders, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), pleaded with him to drop the idea. They realized that nothing says “don’t re-elect me” quite like “I want to scalp your college savings.”

While some may call the plan a political blunder, at the end of the day it was simply a case of Obama exposing his true economic philosophy. As Robert Tracinski notes, “The truly committed leftist looks upon our private savings as a vast reserve of capital unfairly withheld from its proper function of servicing the needs of the state.”

So don’t think the president’s money grab is over. Instead, be on the lookout for what he’ll try to commandeer next.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

British novelist C. S. Lewis (1898-1963): “Again, the new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim to knowledge. If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists’ puppets. Technocracy is the form to which a planned society must tend.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “The big news from [last] week’s State of the Union address is that the economic ‘crisis is over.’ Apparently, we’ve been rescued from a second Great Depression and everything this president has done to fix the economy has worked. All that was missing from Mr. Obama’s celebration was the old ‘Icky Shuffle’ end zone dance. This no doubt came as a bit of a shock to voters since the economy has been sickly for a long, long time. As recently as this fall, half of Americans were saying that the country is still in recession. Conditions have improved in the last six months for sure, with growth accelerating, inflation low and stable, hiring picking up and gas prices tumbling. Still, if things are as good as the White House says they are, why do we feel so bad? … Americans aren’t breaking out the champagne because they instinctively realize that an economic recovery built on trillions of dollars of debt, overspending, and trillions more in easy money is a house of sand. Mr. Obama’s only economic idea is to redistribute wealth via ever-rising taxes from the productive class and the job creators to everyone else. If Republicans let him, things will get worse for everyone before they get better.”

Columnist Ann Coulter: “The Republican leadership in Congress still hasn’t held hearings on why college is so expensive, although I proposed the idea two weeks ago. Of course, it’s been a month since the GOP took control of Congress, and they also haven’t voided Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, passed e-Verify, a fence bill or the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act. Democrats are on offense all the time, even when they’ve just had their legs cut off. They announce absurd agenda items and then indignantly demand to know why Republicans are refusing to deal with the free unicorn-rides proposal. Obama is a lame-duck president and, three months ago, his party was slaughtered in midterm elections. And yet, I gather that his State of the Union address consisted of a litany of insanely expensive, utterly pointless ideas. And Republicans fall for it every time. They consider it a major victory to come back with a free-market approach to surrender. In response to Obama’s ‘free’ community college idea, Republicans should say: We’re not giving you anything, and, in fact, we’re demanding answers from the entire ‘higher ed’ establishment. You’ll be surprised how liberating and fun it is to go on offense, Republicans.”

PJTV’s Scott Ott: “Meteorologists: If anyone gives you a hard time about your blizzard prediction, hold your head high. At least you’re not an economist.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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Scientists Warn that Ebola Virus has now Mutated

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 07:53 AM PST

_80574612_tulippics1Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated. Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious. More than 22,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 8,795 have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Scientists are starting to analyse hundreds of blood samples from Ebola patients in Guinea. They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish whether it’s able to jump more easily from person to person “We know the virus is changing quite a lot,” said human geneticist Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai. Continue reading the main story “That’s important for diagnosing (new cases) and for treatment. We need to know how the virus (is changing) to keep up with our enemy.” It’s not unusual for viruses to change over a period time. Ebola is an RNA virus – like HIV and influenza – which have a high rate of mutation. That makes the virus more able to adapt and raises the potential for it to become more contagious. “We’ve now seen several cases that don’t have any symptoms at all, asymptomatic cases,” said Anavaj Sakuntabhai. “These people may be the people who can spread the virus better, but we still don’t know that yet. A virus can change itself to less deadly, but more contagious and that’s something we are afraid of.” More

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Russia warns West support for Kiev could lead to ‘Catastrophe’

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 07:49 AM PST

imageRussia’s envoy to the European security watchdog OSCE urged the United States and Europe on Thursday to stop supporting the “party of war” in Ukraine and warned “catastrophe” could result, Interfax news agency reported. “I would like to appeal to the states that have influence on Kiev’s leadership, most of all to Washington. It’s time to stop indulging Ukraine’s party of war,” said Russia’s OSCE envoy, Andrei Kelin. “Only a big catastrophe can result from such developments.” Russia has increasingly blamed the United States and NATO for the flare-up in violence in eastern Ukraine. The West accuses Moscow of feeding a pro-Russian insurgency with guns and soldiers. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week the Ukrainian army itself was a legion of NATO sent to geopolitically contain Russia. “It’s time to stop covering (Kiev’s) inhuman actions, it is unacceptable to push (them) toward the continuation of war in eastern Ukraine,” said Kelin. Russia denies accusations it is sending money, arms or weapons to eastern Ukraine, where a pro-Russian uprising began months after Ukraine’s Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted by street protests. More

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Attorney General Nominee Advocates Partial-Birth Abortion

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 07:46 AM PST

United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch speaks during an announcement of the arrest of Abraxas J. ("A.J.") Discala, CEO of OmniView Capital, and six co-conspirators for fraudulent market manipulation at the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New YorkRepublican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch at a confirmation hearing today that the fact that, in support of Planned Parenthood, she had advocated for partial-birth abortion did not “disqualify” her from serving as attorney general of the United States. “In 2006, you signed an amicus brief supporting Planned Parenthood’s opposition of partial-birth abortion ban; is that correct?” said Graham at Lynch’s confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Yes,” said Lynch, “I was one of a number of former Department of Justice officials [who signed it].” “Although, the amicus brief that we signed was focused on the issue of the facial issues of the law, and how it might impact the perception of law enforcement’s discretion and independence,” she said. More

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U.S. passports on verge of elimination?

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 07:41 AM PST

passportA Soros-funded group arguing to replace the U.S. passport with a North American passport appears ready to take up the mantle of championing the concept of a European Union-style regional government to supersede the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico and Canada, fulfilling the dream of the late American University professor Robert Pastor. The future of the U.S. lies in North America, not in the United States as a sovereign nation, contends the New America Foundation, a Washington-based leftist think-tank with ties to Jonathan Soros, son of famed leftist billionaire George Soros. Appropriately named “New America,” the foundation believes the U.S. passport should soon become obsolete and replaced with a European Union-style passport issued for all citizens of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Citizens would be redefined by their regional identity as “North Americans,” echoing President Obama’s claim in Spanish in his Dec. 17, 2014, announcement of his executive actions to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, “Todos Somos Americanos,” or, “We are all Americans. “The United States, Canada and Mexico are bound by a shared economic, environmental, demographic and cultural destiny. How we move forward together is key to our success,” wrote André Martinez, an editor with New America and a professor at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University; and Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, a fellow at New America and a former adviser on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policy planning staff, in an article titled “Why we need a North American Passport,” published by CNN.com. More

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White House Furious with Israel! Tensions at Boiling Point!

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 07:32 AM PST

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu attends cabinet meeting in JerusalemThe Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House. The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States. The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named, and the White House declined to comment. The remarks were the latest fallout after Mr. Dermer, without the White House’s knowledge, worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to arrange the speech, which is scheduled for March. The remarks are likely to escalate a feud between the White House, Republicans on Capitol Hill and Mr. Netanyahu over the invitation, which has led to a new low in American-Israeli relations and threatened to mar the long tradition of bipartisan support for Israel in Congress. Such officially authorized criticisms of diplomats from major allies are unusual. In a telephone interview late Wednesday, Mr. Dermer said, “I have no regrets whatsoever that I have acted in a way to advance my country’s interests.” He said he never meant to slight the White House by keeping the confidence of the House speaker, who had suggested the invitation. He said he left it to Mr. Boehner to notify Mr. Obama’s team. More

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Nearly 100,000,000 Americans no longer work as real unemployment reaches new recordsPosted: 29 Jan 2015 07:20 AM PST

Business-Coworkers-Serious-Woman-ManRecent unemployment data appears encouraging on the surface, but when you look at underlying labor data, there is much more than meets the eye, and the news is not good. According to Bloomberg News and other media, the unemployment rate dipped to 5.6 percent in December, which “capped the best year for the labor market since 1999 and reinforced the U.S. role as the global economy’s standout performer.” In December, said the U.S. Labor Department, the economy generated 252,000 jobs, which followed the creation of 353,000 jobs in November, bringing the jobless rate to its lowest level since 2008. “We have continued, solid job growth,” Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, who projected a 240,000 gain, told the business newswire. “It shows really solid momentum in U.S. growth. There are not a lot of places in the world where we see that these days.” In all of 2014, about 3 million more Americans found work, the largest gain in 15 years and one sign that companies believe U.S. demand is going to continue, even as markets overseas are struggling. More

 

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Bill Gates Calls for ‘Global Government’

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 07:15 AM PST

gates1Billionaire Bill Gates called for “a kind of global government” this week, arguing that the creation of such a system would be needed to combat major issues such as “climate change.” Speaking with Germany’s “Süddeutsche Zeitung” newspaper Tuesday, Gates decried the fact that a proper United Nations system has failed to materialize as planned. “You can make fun of it, but in truth it was sad how the conference in Copenhagen is run, how individual who behave like the UN system failed,” Gates said according to an English translation in the Huffington Post. Gates went on to stress his position further, stating that a global government was “badly needed” in order to combat an array of issues ailing the planet.  “Take the UN, it has been created especially for the security in the world. We are ready for war, because we have taken every precaution. We have NATO, we have divisions, jeeps, trained people,” Gates said. “But what is with epidemics? How many doctors do we have as much planes, tents, what scientists? If there were such a thing as a world government, we would be better prepared.” The billionaire made headlines last week after introducing a plan to implement a cashless system in multiple third-world countries, a program that would undoubtedly give financial elites total control over monetary systems. More

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3 to 6 million Americans will have to pay an Obamacare tax penaltyPosted: 29 Jan 2015 07:11 AM PST

obamacareNLSome 3 million to 6 million Americans will have to pay an Obamacare tax penalty for not having health insurance last year, Treasury officials said Wednesday. It’s the first time they have given estimates for how many people will be subject to a fine. The penalty is $95, or 1% of income above a certain threshold (roughly $20,000 for a couple). So you could end up owing the IRS a lot of money. Take a married couple with $100,000 in income – their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator. The penalty for remaining uninsured rises to the larger of $325 or 2% of income in 2015. Some three-quarters of the nation’s 150 million taxpayers have health insurance through their jobs or government programs and will simply have to check a box on the Form 1040. Another 15 million to 30 million people will request and be granted an exemption to the mandate by filing Form 8965. Those who aren’t subject to the insurance requirement include undocumented immigrants, low-income Americans and those for whom insurance premiums were more than 8% of their household income. More

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George Soros Linked to Elite’s Panic Over Social UprisingPosted: 29 Jan 2015 07:06 AM PST

soros-fergThe organization behind warnings this week that the wealthy are buying secret hideaways in preparation for riots and civil unrest was founded by billionaire elitist George Soros. In two separate interviews, economist Robert Johnson revealed that the mega-rich were buying land and airstrips in remote places in order to prepare for a coming social uprising which will be caused by growing income inequality. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” said Johnson. In a subsequent interview, Johnson expanded on his comments, telling RT, “A lot of wealthy and powerful people are quite afraid right now – they see us on an unstable trajectory….As the system doesn’t have proper resources, as it doesn’t represent people, things are getting more and more dangerous as say Ferguson, Missouri brings to bear.” Johnson is president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, an organization founded and bankrolled by none other than George Soros, the 26th richest person on the planet with a net worth of around $24 billion dollars. “Liberal billionaire George Soros had given $50 million to The Institute for New Economic Thinking, and used that group in 2011 to host a conference that focused on “new multilateral system” of economics,” writes Mike Ciandella. “According to an INET press release from 2012, Soros “agreed to augment his foundation support of INET” with an additional $50 million.” More

The post George Soros Linked to Elite’s Panic Over Social Uprising appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Gerald Celente Sounds the “Economic Alarm” for 2015!

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

 


Research on the Islamic State :: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi

by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi
various publications
January 1-15, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/4997/research-on-the-islamic-state


Mideast Despots among Recipients of U.S. Cultural Preservation Funds :: Schwartz in Weekly Standard

by Stephen Schwartz
The Weekly Standard
February 2, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/4994/mideast-despots-among-recipients-of-us-cultural


Boko Haram Emerges As Brutal Islamic State Of Africa

Boko Haram first gained international notoriety for its savagery in April 2014, when it abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok and threatened to sell them as wives and sex slaves. The “bring back our girls” movement began with Nigerian village women demanding government action and grew into a worldwide rallying cry, with participants that included first lady Michelle Obama. Some of the girls later escaped but the fate of remaining captives is unknown.

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Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

by Marsha West

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called the move to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination while at the same time protecting other people’s religious beliefs, “well-intentioned, but naive.”

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We’re No. 12! Report: U.S. Not Among Top Nations for Economic Freedom

See, this is the way to do things. Just ration everything. It’s more “fair.”
See, this is the way to do things. Just ration everything. It’s more “fair.”
Hooray! We continue to waltz our way down the Road to Serfdom. Such good news.

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The Next War In The Middle East Has Begun And Israel Vows ‘To Act Powerfully On All Fronts’

Israel and Hezbollah are at war. On top of everything else that is going on in the world, now we have a new war in the Middle East, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next. Israel has been preparing for this moment for more than 8 years. So has Hezbollah. According to some reports, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 50,000 rockets since the end of the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006. If all-out warfare does erupt, we could potentially see tens of thousands of missiles rain down into an area not too much larger than the state of New Jersey. And of course the Israeli military is also much more sophisticated and much more powerful than it was back in 2006. If cooler heads do not prevail, we could be on the verge of witnessing a very bloody war. But right now nobody seems to be in the mood to back down. Hezbollah is absolutely fuming over an airstrike earlier this month that killed six fighters and a prominent Iranian general. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel is “prepared to act powerfully on all fronts” in response to a Hezbollah ambush that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven. Just such an incident is what sparked the war between the two sides back in 2006. But this time, a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah could spark a full-blown regional war. (Read More....)


Who is killing the great bankers of Europe?

This is either the most interesting case of coincidental deaths or one of the most evil plots in modern history. Western bankers are dropping dead all over the place – most of them youngish and in good health. There appear to be an unusual number of suicides and “unexplained” deaths.

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History of Muslim Brotherhood (in just 3 minutes)

They are in the White House.


Why The Damage To The Economy Caused By The Oil Crash Is Going To Get Progressively Worse

That is why I have repeatedly stated that anyone who believes that collapsing oil prices are good for the U.S. economy is crazy. The key to how much damage this oil collapse is going to do to our economy is not how low prices ultimately go. Rather, the key is how long they stay at these low levels. If the price of oil went back to $80 a barrel next week, the damage would be fairly minimal. But if the price of oil stays at this current level for the remainder of 2015, the damage will be absolutely catastrophic. Just think of the price of oil like a hot iron. If you touch it for just a fraction of a second, it won’t do too much damage. But if you press it against your skin for an hour, you will be severely damaged for the rest of your life at the very least.

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Pope Francis’s Meeting with Transsexual Gives ‘Powerful’ Hope to LGBT Catholics

Even without details of that private discussion, Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for LGBT Catholics, tells PEOPLE that the fact that it took place is potent symbolism.

“Pope Francis’s papacy has been all about encouraging the church to have personal encounters with those on the margins, and that’s what this meeting was,” says DeBernardo.

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Banner of Adamant Love

Mathew’s gospel records that, “Immediately after the tribulation… the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven.” Guesses as to what that sign will be look like abound. Educated guesses? Not so much. For that, you see, you have to do some digging.

Standard procedure with most Christians when it comes to differences in Biblical interpretation is to find their “proof text” (meaning the verse that the expositor is going to cherry pick out of context to prove the opinion they already hold) and offer it up as evidence of their own interpretation. I dug around a while for opinions about what the sign of the son of man would be and got a lot of them.

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Science vs. religion? There’s actually more of a three-way split

Meet the “Post-Seculars” — the one in five Americans who no one seems to have noticed before in endless rounds of debates pitting science vs. religion. (Grossman, Religion News Service)

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Top Catholics and evangelicals: Gay marriage worse than divorce or cohabitation

A high-profile alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants is set to issue a sweeping manifesto against gay marriage that calls same-sex unions “a graver threat” than divorce or cohabitation, one that will lead to a moral dystopia in America and the persecution of traditional believers. (Gibson, Religion News Service)

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Headlines of Interest

The invincible ignorance of Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald

by Daniel Neades

discern.org has commentary and links.

DeWaay – How Deliverance Ministries Lead People into Bondage

Gay Alabama Lawmaker Threatens to ‘Out’ Adulterous Hetero Colleagues….

After Zuckerberg said ‘Je Suise Charlie’ Facebook censors Muhammed images

Cultural Sniper – Church & Culture Blog


Do You Believe God Will Save Your Kids?


Just wait.

by A.Spreeman

Free health care sounds like such a great idea, doesn’t it? But there are huge ramifications for Christians. We can talk about coverage for unbiblical practices now – like abortion and sex change operations, but that’s just the beginning. Wait until socialized medicine is free. What happens when the government can’t fund coverage for the […]

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A Word to Famous Pastors – Todd Pruitt has some good words to say to famous pastors.


The Moral Argument – This video provides an answer to this question: Can we be good without God?


Lessons from the School of Prayer – D.A. Carson provides 8 lessons from the school of prayer.


Why Love Is More Absurd Than Cruelty – Here is a sweet reflection on ultimate love. “ It’s fairly easy to complain about the absurdity of suffering, but it’s another thing to have the wits to complain about the absurdity of God’s love for us.”


15 Worship Decisions We’ll Regret – Short and to the point.


Let Me Explain Hate To You

by Bill Muehlenberg

Words matter, and as the radicals of the secular left know full well, when you change words you can change a culture. They have understood that verbal engineering always precedes social engineering, so they are as happy to be revolutionary about words and their meaning as they are about the culture they are seeking to change.

You know the drill, you know how it works: take a perfectly acceptable word such as ‘gay,’ strip it of its original meaning and content, and hijack it by redefining it to promote your own radical agenda. This happens all the time. The revolutionaries of the left are experts at this.

They have managed to destroyed plenty of perfectly good words by redefining them out of existence. In the homosexual marriage debate for example, words like equality, love, family and even marriage itself have been radically redefined to fit in with the agenda of the coercive utopians.

And of course the mainstream media goes along with all this, doing the dirty work for the activists, and so society is easily changed, because words have been so radically changed. Consider just one more example of this verbal engineering.

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Government Persecution on the Rise in China as Trend Continues Worldwide

By ICC Staff and Corey Bailey

1/23/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The year of 2014 arguably brought about the worst persecution that China has seen in decades, in keeping with the rise of Christian persecution seen worldwide.

 


The Church Needs the New Homophiles

The New Homophiles insist that God made them gay, though the Church does not teach that. They insist that they have special gifts given to them through their same-sex attraction. That is certainly not in Church teaching. And they want Church teaching to reflect these assertions, which would amount to a change in Church teaching. The apostolate Courage and the people in it make no such assertions. The apostolate Courage rejects the “gay identity.” They accept the simple moniker “children of God,” no more, no less.

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Calvinist Evangelicals in United Methodist Church!

Think about it. The most powerful city in the world has almost no vital, orthodox United Methodist churches. Instead there are typically small, liberal congregations that celebrate their diversity but have little capacity for meaningful outreach. The same is true for most large cities. And institutional United Methodism has no ability to address this challenge.

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One Pastor’s Tedious Defense of the First Amendment

“I’m Clyde Reed, pastor of Good News Community Church in Gilbert, Ariz.,” [editor’s note: Rev. Reed is a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church] he said. “I’m 82 years old and have been a pastor for over 40 years. I never dreamed my small church sign would be a topic for the Supreme Court.” Reed’s small congregation rents temporary locations for worship services, making it all the more important to point people in the right direction.

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Seven Reasons Churches Are Too Busy

I recently met with a pastor whose church is emblematic of the hyper-busy congregation. Morning worship attendance is steady at 350, but Sunday evening worship had declined in a decade from 160 to 40. The pastor suggested the church consider eliminating the Sunday evening service, an act that required a majority vote in a business meeting. Over 300 members came to the business meeting and voted by over 80 percent to continue the activity. Of course, hardly any of those members ever came to Sunday evening service before or after the vote.

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The Regulative Principle of Worship

It is important to realize that the regulative principle as applied to public worship frees the church from acts of impropriety and idiocy — we are not free, for example, to advertise that performing clowns will mime the Bible lesson at next week’s Sunday service. Yet it does not commit the church to a “cookie-cutter,” liturgical sameness. Within an adherence to the principle there is enormous room for variation—in matters that Scripture has not specifically addressed (adiaphora).

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What’s Contained In The Old Is Explained In The New

oldandnew

Commentary by Jack Kelley

I first heard the title phrase some years back, along with its companion, “what’s concealed in the old is revealed in the new.” They helped with my understanding that the Book we call the Bible is just that … one book. It’s not 66 or even 2 but one. Sure it has two parts (they’re actually called covenants) but it’s one book. The more we know about the contents of the first part, the better we will understand the second. It’s just like any other complex issue; an understanding of context or background is a big help in achieving comprehension. (Think of the Old Testament as background, putting the New Testament into proper context.)

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Will Israel Be Driven From Their Land Again?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  My friend was asking my thoughts on a topic that came up during a men’s bible study of Jeremiah. Evidently there are some who believe that Israel will once again be removed from there land. I find that difficult to believe. As I was not at that particular study, I don’t know what verse or verses were used to justify that position (but it did come from Jeremiah). Have you ever hear of this?

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Can We Lose Our Salvation Through Disobedience?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  There are people today in the Church Age who truly believe they are saved by grace and not of works, but “fear” and think they can lose their salvation by disobedience. I know all other believers from the Old Testament, Tribulation, and Millennial times will have to do works/obey in order to show they are believers. The Church Age is the exception, but can Church Age believers cancel out their salvation by being afraid they can lose it?

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Are We Watchmen?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.   Does Ezekiel 33:1-9  mean we are to speak up when we see wicked things and warn or hold accountable the person involved in such things, or we will answer for their death?  So if we remain silent, this is a sin?

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Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


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Masculinity and Family Values: The Cure to Society’s Ills?

The Reformed Reader

Culture Vultures I’m very skeptical about “Christian” patriarchy and the Family Integrated Church movement for biblical and (Reformed) theological reasons.  I’m also skeptical of these things for social (or sociological) reasons. I agree with many of the points made by the authors of Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life.  Here’s an excerpt from the introduction where the authors give some common suggestions on why American culture is crumbling.

“Perhaps the most widespread alternative explanation locates the source of our problems in a crisis of the family.  The cry that what our society most needs is ‘family values’ is not one to be dismissed lightly.  …But why is the crisis expressed as a failure of family values?  It is unlikely that we will understand what is going on here unless we once again take into account the culture of individualism.”

In other words, in our individualistic society we…

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Dr. Martin on Monastic Futility

The Reformed Reader

Product Details  Some Christians today unfortunately have a positive view of monasticism or monastic retreats; many of them view such things as very “spiritual” and pleasing to God.  Martin Luther, however, rightly rebuked such a view.  Having spent time in a monastery, Luther spoke first hand.  This excerpt that follows has a lot to do with the Reformation’s recovery of the gospel (justification by faith alone):

“The real change which Christ came to effect is an inward change of the human heart, just as I now have a different mind, courage, and perception than I did when we were still controlled by the papacy and before the Gospel was revealed anew. At that time I was convinced that God would reject me, and I did not believe that I would be serving God if I continued in my vocation, discharging the duties of my office. As a matter of fact, I…

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With Iran & ISIS threats rising, why is President Obama turning against Israel? Analysis. (Also: in new video, ISIS threatens to “reach America” & behead President Obama)

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Screen shot of new ISIS video (source: MEMRI/Daily Mail) Screen shot of new ISIS video (source: MEMRI/Daily Mail)

(Naples, Florida) — Iran’s radical Shia leaders are moving closer and closer to building nuclear weapons and the long-range missiles to hit the U.S., Europe, Israel and our Arab allies.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists just this week attacked, killed and wounded Israelis on the Lebanon border.

Meanwhile, the ISIS threat is growing. They have doubled their territory in Syria, are threatening to behead a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese man, and in a newly released video, ISIS threatens to “reach America” and behead President Obama in the White House. (Please for these hostages to be released quickly and safely. Pray, too, for Jordanian and Japanese leaders to know how best to resolve the situation.)

What’s more, a new Fox News poll finds that 84% of Americans fear ISIS will soon launch terrorist attacks inside the United States. This is an increase of 10 points from…

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Let us draw near unto God

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 8 ‘ This people honors ME with their lips, But their heart is far away from ME. 9 ‘ But in vain do they worship ME, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'” (Matthew 15:7-9 NASB)

What does it mean biblically to draw near unto God? Obviously, the Jews our Lord confronted as Matthew recorded in the passage above were not doing so. However Hebrews 10:22 says to those who are truly born again:

22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22 NASB)

Here is Hebrews 10:22 from the NA28 Greek text, “προσερχώμεθα μετὰ ἀληθινῆς καρδίας ἐν πληροφορίᾳ πίστεως ῥεραντισμένοι τὰς καρδίας ἀπὸ συνειδήσεως πονηρᾶς καὶ λελουσμένοι τὸ σῶμα ὕδατι καθαρῷ·”

The words “let us draw near” translates the verb…

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