February 5, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report

There is no life so deeply and tragically sinful that it’s beyond the reach of God’s amazing rescuing grace. —Paul Tripp

February 2 quotes


Feb. 5, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Senate Democrats for a second time blocked a Republican effort to roll back President Obama’s orders shielding millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. from deportation. The 53-47 vote, with 60 required to advance the bill, was a repeat of a similar vote a day earlier.

Anthem Inc., the second biggest U.S. health insurer by market value, said hackers obtained data on tens of millions of current and former customers and employees in a sophisticated attack that has led to a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. The information compromised includes names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, street and e-mail addresses and employee data, including income, Anthem said in an e-mail.

Fewer Americans than forecast filed jobless claims last week, hovering around levels that are typically associated with an improving job market. Applications for unemployment benefits increased by 11,000 to 278,000 in the week ended Jan. 31

Harvard University banned professors from having “sexual or romantic relationships” with undergraduates, joining a list of campuses that have taken similar steps. Recent moves by Harvard, Yale University and the University of Connecticut suggest the tide may be turning.

Pension checks will shrink 6.7 percent for 12,000 Detroit retirees beginning in March. Making matters worse, many also must pay back thousands of dollars of excess interest they received.

Spanish banks are trying to persuade homebuyers to change their habits by taking out American-style fixed-rate mortgages for as long as 30 years.

AP Top Stories

President Obama, at the National Prayer Breakfast, condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that “no god condones terror.” Among those attending the annual gathering of politicians, dignitaries and faith leaders was the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Islamic State has killed three Chinese militants who joined its ranks in Syria and Iraq and later attempted to flee, a Chinese state-run newspaper said, the latest account of fighters from China embroiled in the Middle East conflict.

Taiwan rescuers scoured a river for 12 people still missing from a TransAsia plane crash Thursday, as the pilot, who died in the crash, was hailed a hero for apparently battling to avoid hitting built-up areas.

Fox News broadcast still images of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh being burned alive by Islamic State jihadists before posting full raw footage from the execution video on its website.

Saudi Arabia beheaded two convicted rapists and a murderer on Wednesday, the interior ministry said, bringing to 21 the number of people it has executed so far this year.

Nigerian Boko Haram fighters went on the rampage in the Cameroonian border town of Fotokol, massacring dozens of civilians and torching a mosque before being repelled by regional forces.

U.S. worker productivity went into reverse in the final three months of the year, while labor costs increased. Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, fell at 1.8 percent rate in the fourth quarter after rising at a 3.7 percent rate in the third quarter.

BBC

Diplomatic efforts are under way to end renewed fighting in Ukraine, as the US warns that it will not close its eyes to “Russian aggression”.

The man accused of operating Silk Road, a deep web marketplace where illegal drugs were sold, has been found guilty by a jury in New York.

The chairman of the US’s communications watchdog intends to defend the principles of net neutrality by treating net providers as utilities.

Al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui has claimed members of the Saudi royal family helped fund the 9/11 attacks. Moussaoui, imprisoned in Colorado for his role in the attacks, gave testimony in October to lawyers for 9/11 victims suing the country.

The US is set to destroy its largest remaining cache of chemical-laden artillery shells, bringing it closer to complying with an international treaty. The Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado will begin neutralizing mustard agent in 780,000 shells in March.

New cases of Ebola have gone up for first time this year in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the WHO said, as it released its latest weekly figures.

Boko Haram militants have reportedly killed at least 70 people in an attack on the Cameroonian town of Fotokol, on the border with Nigeria. The Islamist militants attacked civilians in their homes and in the town’s mosque, local officials said, setting many buildings on fire.

Police in the Indian capital, Delhi, detained dozens of people who were protesting against recent attacks on churches in the city.

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste returned to the Australian city of Brisbane to be reunited with his family, after his release from an Egyptian prison.

WND

Jordanian fighter pilots carried out devastating sorties against ISIS early Thursday, making good on their king’s vow of vengeance for the horrific burning of a captured airman – whose hometown the jets buzzed triumphantly after the mission.

A charge that had been filed against a pro-life advocate in North Dakota who was driving a van plastered with “overly graphic” abortion images has been dismissed by a judge after attorneys for defendant Robert Rudnick argued the count violated the First Amendment.

Norway has proposed a law which would make it illegal to help people begging in the street. The draft would not only make it a crime to ask for money, but also to help those who beg. The rules will state that those offering money, food or shelter to beggars will face up to a year in prison.

The current measles outbreaks sweeping the country are the fault, at least partly, of Barack Obama’s lax immigration practices, according to several leading experts and commentators.


It Is About To Get Ugly: Oil Is Crashing And So Is Greece

The price of oil collapsed by more than 8 percent on Wednesday, and a decision by the European Central Bank has Greece at the precipice of a complete and total financial meltdown. What a difference 24 hours can make. On Tuesday, things really seemed like they were actually starting to get better. The price of oil had rallied by more than 20 percent since last Thursday, things in Europe seemed like they were settling down, and there appeared to be a good deal of optimism about how global financial markets would perform this month. But now fear is back in a big way. Of course nobody should get too caught up in how the markets behave on any single day. The key is to take a longer term point of view. And the fact that the markets have been on such a roller coaster ride over the past few months is a really, really bad sign. When things are calm, markets tend to steadily go up. But when the waters start really getting choppy, that is usually a sign that a big move down in on the horizon. So the huge ups and the huge downs that we have witnessed in recent days are likely an indicator that rough seas are ahead. (Read More.…)


Saudi Arabia And ISIS Both Want The Same Thing: World Domination

When ISIS released a video which showed Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive, it shocked the entire planet. The evil that it takes to do such a thing is on a level that is almost unspeakable. In the western world, we have a very hard time understanding what would motivate anyone to take a life in such a manner. But in the Middle East, this brand of tyranny has been percolating for a very, very long time. The brand of Islam that ISIS seeks to impose on the areas of Iraq and Syria that it has conquered has been practiced in Saudi Arabia for centuries. Just like ISIS, Saudi Arabia also publicly flogs those that “insult Islam”. Just like ISIS, Saudi Arabia also beheads those that commit serious violations of sharia law. And it is no secret that the Saudis have been pouring billions upon billions of dollars into organizations that promote jihad all over the globe. But because they have a quarter of the world’s oil reserves and they pretend to be our friends, we don’t say anything. They may be more subtle than ISIS, but ultimately they have the same goal as ISIS. When it is all said and done, the Saudis and ISIS both agree that Islam will ultimately rule the world one day. The only disagreement is about how to get there. (Read More...)


Democrats Ready to Join Obama in Snubbing Netanyahu Speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to address Congress next month on the need for stronger sanctions against Iran is turning into a major political and diplomatic blunder for the Israeli leader just weeks before that country’s elections. Many Democrats are considering boycotting the speech, scheduled for March 3. Others took the highly unusual step Wednesday of meeting with the Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer in an effort to get Netanyahu to postpone his address.

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Markell calls out World Vision leader for anti-Israel comments

Haas compared so-called “Christian Zionists” to Spanish inquisitors, Crusaders, supporters of apartheid South Africa, and other historical atrocities.

“He says Israel is apartheid on steroids,” comments Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries. ”

“And this is so ludicrous for anybody who’s been to Israel – who’s observed how the Palestinian people are treated in Israel,” Markell adds. “Israel allows their Arab population the most freedom of any other nation in the whole Middle East.”

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The Real Leader of the Free World: Valerie Jarrett

And another Muslim in the White House . . .

According to the Examiner’s anonymous source, those were not the words of Kerry, but were the dictates of Valerie Jarrett, who had been born and raised in Iran, and has always shown sympathy for the fundamentalists in the Islamic religion. While a student at Stanford University, Jarrett admitted her loyalty to Islam and continues to object to any negative statements aimed at any part of her “religion of peace.”

“Farsi-speaking Valerie Jarrett, the senior advisor to Obama, his right-hand woman was born in Iran. She also has ties with terrorist William Ayers, and her father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett is a card-carrying communist party member.

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Graham: ‘Obama’s About to Unleash Hell on the Mideast’

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared that President Obama is “about to unleash hell on the Mideast” with his policy towards Iran on Wednesday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“Why would you negotiate with a regime [Iran] that is building an ICBM, that is sponsoring terrorism at the highest level in modern times, why not just call a time-out and say ‘we’re not going to talk to you anymore about your nuclear program until you stop your weapons build-up and destabilizing the neighbors’? Does anybody really believe that Barack Obama would use military force against Iran after he drew a red line against Assad and did nothing?” he stated.

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‘Held at gunpoint’: Scandal rocks biggest Christian network

Famous names embroiled in $100 million allegation

The former chief financial officer of Trinity Broadcasting, the nation’s largest Christian broadcasting network, has filed a lawsuit against her former company and its top bosses for allegedly threatening her with a loaded gun when she objected to “unlawful distributions” of $100 million to themselves and others.

The lawsuit was filed Jan. 29 by Brittany Koper, the granddaughter of TBN founder Paul Crouch Sr., who died last year, and her husband, Michael Koper, against Trinity Christian Center, International Christian Broadcasting, Matthew Crouch, Janice Crouch and John Casoria.

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Rick Warren: Protestants, Catholics Must Unite to Defend Life, Sex, Marriage – ‘We’re on the Same Team’

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who leads the eighth largest church in America, Saddleback Church, and is the author of the hugely popular book The Purpose Driven Life, said that Protestants and Catholics must form a “unity of missions” to defend the sanctity of life, sex, and the family, stressing that, “If you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”

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Four Blood Moons Docu-Drama Coming To A Movie Theatre Near You

Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee’s best-selling book, Four Blood Moons, is getting the “big-screen, live-action” treatment. A docu-drama based on the prophecy book, which suggests that certain lunar eclipses are tied to world events, is expected to be in theaters in March …………. Click here for full story


How Iran Is Encircling The Gulf And Israel

As U.S. President Barack Obama continues to seek a negotiated deal on Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranians have been working hard in recent weeks to infiltrate the Palestinian arena and re-establish ties with their erstwhile ally, Hamas ………. Click here for full story


‘Israel Is Behind Paris Terror Attacks And Other Lies Palestinians Believe

The overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs believe that Israel carried out the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, according to a new poll. Although at first blush one might be tempted to chuckle and turn the page, in fact the poll is not merely a curiosity. It has significant implications for the chances for Middle East peace……….. Click here for full story


2 Million-Strong CUFI Seeks To Double Down On Christian Support For Israel

“Usually after the first event, it’s like a firestorm,” said Pastor Scott Thomas, the Florida state director for Christians United for Israel (CUFI). “The excitement hits, the understanding settles in.” That, in short, illustrates the process through which CUFI has become America’s largest pro-Israel organization in less than a decade of existence……….. Click here for full story


Military Chaplains The New ‘Dont Ask, Don’t Tell?’

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was once a term used to refer to homosexuals in the military. Now, however, the term is more often being applied to Christians in uniform. Military chaplains are feeling the pressure to conform to the new reality, as some label biblical values “hate speech.” ……… Click here for full story


Daily Digest

February 5, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“In a despotic government, the only principle by which the tyrant who is to move the whole machine means to regulate and manage the people is fear, by the servile dread of his power. But a free government, which of all others is far the most preferable, cannot be supported without virtue.” –Samuel Williams, A Discourse on the Love of our Country, 1774

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Jordan Leads While Obama Obfuscates

Jordan’s King Abdullah, a key regional U.S. ally and former general, met with American lawmakers following the gruesome murder of Jordanian Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, and Abdullah promised to fight ISIL until his nation runs “out of fuel and bullets.” Jordan already executed two Islamic State jihadis in retaliation. All 26 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican and Democrat, sent a letter to Barack Obama requesting he immediately back Jordan, but Obama continues to balk. For example, the U.S. flew 1,100 sorties daily against Iraq during OIF but is now flying a total of seven strike sorties against ISIL targets on an average day. Clearly, Arab coalition partners do not see U.S. leadership or commitment to eradicating ISIL, and some of them are quitting. Indeed, the United Arab Emirates pulled out of coalition airstrike support a month ago, though Obama failed to mention this. In fact, a DoD report dated Feb. 1, 2015, says, “U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq” — and it lists the UAE as one of the participants. Jordan, on the other hand, is leading the charge against ISIL. Obama stated this past weekend in regard to what we can do to defeat ISIL, “Anything we can do, we are doing.” But according to Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he’s not even admitting who the enemy is or where the enemy is even located.” Former DIA director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn likewise explained, “[O]ur failure … to understand this really menacing ideology has led us to a mismatch in how we are executing a strategy and how we are executing even some of our campaign plans on the military side.” In other words, Obama has failed to call our enemy what it is — Islamist — and in doing so we now have virtually no strategy for containing this very dangerous threat to U.S. national security.

Did an Islamist Convert Murder Chris Kyle?

Former Marine Eddie Routh will stand trial for the 2013 murder of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Kyle’s colleague, Chad Littlefield. The assumption has been that Routh suffered from PTSD, and his attorney says he’ll plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Kyle, who worked with PTSD vets, was working with Routh. But the Warfighter Foundation obtained Routh’s wartime record though a Freedom of Information Act request and found something astonishing: “Eddie Routh served one tour in Iraq in 2007, at Balad Air Base (the 2nd largest U.S. installation in Iraq), with no significant events. No combat experience. Let [us] say that again, he NEVER SAW COMBAT or any aspect of traumatic events associated with a combat deployment (i.e. incoming mortar or rocket fire). He never left the base, EVER.” What Routh did do, however, was guard captured Muslim terrorists at the Bilad Airbase prison. And some are speculating Routh had either converted to Islam or was in the process of doing so. There are no known ties between Routh and Islamist radicals, but, as Mark Alexander noted in Jihad — Target USA, “Describing Islamists as ‘lone wolf’ actors or ‘radicalized’ constitutes a lethal misunderstanding of the Jihadi threat. [They are] tied to worldwide Jihad by way of the Qur’an, the foundational fabric linking all Islamist violence.” If the speculation about Routh is correct, it puts Kyle’s death in a completely different light. More…

NBC’s Brian Williams Apologizes for Embellished Story

It took a recent story published in Stars and Stripes for NBC Nightly News managing editor and anchor Brian Williams to correct the record about an Iraq War account involving a helicopter hit by RPG fire — after veterans complained for years about fabrication. When the story was first told in March 2003, then-NBC anchor Tom Brokaw introduced Williams’ dispatch as a “close call in the skies over Iraq.” In reality, Williams and the NBC crew was in a helicopter nearly an hour behind the attacked chopper. Williams’ story crossed into full-on embellishment when he appeared on David Letterman’s show in 2013. By then, his story included bullets grazing his pilot’s ear and a heroic rescue on the front lines of war. In an apology to the soldiers, Williams wrote, “I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy. I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in ’08.” Brian blames this fabrication to a faulty memory. Never mind that no one would misremember whether he had been shot down in a helicopter. It shows Williams’ pride that it took a report in a respected publication before he would apologize. Williams is more of a talking hairdo who wants the legacy of Ernie Pyle, rather than a journalist committed to accuracy. But such are the kinds of people populating the Leftmedia elite. More…

Holder Says He Reformed Bush’s Politicized DOJ

Not only is Attorney General Eric Holder not political, but he cleaned up George W. Bush’s politicized Justice Department — says Eric Holder. “It’s a little irresponsible for people on the hill to say that policy differences that we have with them … can be characterized as political,” he said. “There’s been no politicization of this Justice Department.” He went further, insisting, “This notion … that somehow this Justice Department has been politicized is totally inconsistent with the facts. You want to look at a Justice Department that’s been politicized, you look at the one I inherited.” Not only that, he insisted, “I will leave this department in the way I found it when I came here back in 1976 — with high moral, with people who are dedicated to doing things only on the basis of the facts and the law. I’m proud of the historic things we have done. I hope the American people would not fall prey to interesting sound bites that are simply not consistent with facts.” If you want to know the actual facts, as opposed to Holder’s spin, make sure and read more about Holder: Obama’s Criminal Co-Conspirator.

Planned Parenthood Marks Black History Month

Tragically, the right to life has been denied to 57 million unborn children sacrificed on the altar of “choice” since 1973. And it’s no secret a disproportionate number of those children are black. So it’s ironic and, frankly, downright despicable that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s premier abortion provider, is marking Black History Month by “honoring 99 African American leaders — one for each year since Planned Parenthood was founded.” Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, who was a proponent of eugenics — the forced sterilization and abortions of black and minority children. In the 42 years since abortion was legalized, an astounding 13 million unborn blacks have never seen the light of day thanks in no small measure to Sanger’s organization. If Planned Parenthood truly wants to honor blacks, it might start by rejecting the effort to deny minorities’ very existence. More…

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read BO’s $4 TRILLION Budget Debacle, on the crushing debt brought on by Barack Obama.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Is Obama Neutering the Net?

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I need you to free the Internet

On the way to fundamentally transforming America, an unregulated Internet poses quite a problem. So this week, former Obama fundraiser and Obama-appointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his proposal to fundamentally transform the Internet into a heavily regulated public utility similar to wired phone lines.

It’s all part of Barack Obama’s push for net neutrality, which he claims is the idea that there should be an open flow of information over the Internet. What better way to protect freedom than to regulate it?

That said, it’s fair to admit that Internet providers created the opening for this new regulatory regime by running shoddy monopolies that irritate customers and don’t compare favorably with much of the developed world. Thus, Obama and Wheeler have an excuse to do what they do best: regulate.

In an op-ed in Wired, Wheeler wrote, “I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.” Ah, yes, freedom via red tape. “My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”

As we noted before, some Internet users pay for a premium plan to increase bandwidth and gain access to high-end volume and quality, while others may opt for a lower-priced service that meets their needs.

Oh, the injustice. How dare consumers not all want the same thing. Well, regardless of whether they want it, the Obama administration wants to make sure they get it good and hard. So, Wheeler wants to guarantee the Internet is “fast, fair and open,” and to do so, he wants the FCC to “implement and enforce open internet protections.”

In truth, this administration can’t abide recognizing a freedom that exists apart from itself; instead, it believes it must bestow every “freedom.” Never mind that what government gives government can also take away. So the power to tell Internet companies what they can and must do is inseparable from the power to tell them what they can’t. Red flags, anyone?

Wheeler’s move hardly comes as a surprise. As recently as last year, he was opposed to treating the Internet like a public utility, but it’s amazing what a presidential appointment followed by extensive presidential pressure can do to one’s “firmly held” convictions. Yet, feigning a nod to Wheeler’s imaginary independence, Obama administration officials say they are “certainly encouraged” by Wheeler’s proposal, which is “consistent with the view the president articulated.” How about that.

The FCC is expected to vote on Wheeler’s proposal on Feb. 26, and with Democrats holding a 3-2 majority on the commission, the new rules will likely pass. But GOP lawmakers are scrambling to stop them by legislatively banning the reclassification of the Internet as a public utility. Unfortunately, the GOP plan may be little more than regulation by a different name.

In the end, net neutrality is a nuanced issue. Cable companies are dead last in customer satisfaction because of their monopolistic practices, and the biggest problem facing the Internet is the lack of competition among providers. But subjecting the Internet to Title II regulations isn’t likely to fix that.

Phoning in ObamaCare

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The Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in King v. Burwell, a case that will determine whether federal subsidies for health insurance are legal given that the law establishes subsidies only for state insurance exchanges. Subsidies are a cornerstone for the Orwellian-titled “Affordable” Care Act, as they are the only way to make insurance appear affordable. Because of the plain language of that statute, the Court should reject the federal subsidies.

Never ones to let silly things like laws get in their way, the clown car of fools in the White House have decided to phone it in as far as a rebuttal goes, choosing to work in the court of public opinion rather than debating the issue on its own merits.

Specifically, none of the floppy-footed blue-hairs posing as executive branch leaders have even hinted at a “Plan B” should SCOTUS strike down this illegal funding mechanism. Why? For the same reason they weren’t concerned about ObamaCare falling under a constitutional ax when the law was first challenged before the Supreme Court: They’re not worried. They know the public pressure they can bring to bear from the recipients of their public-coffer largess. As then-Speaker Nancy “We Have to Pass the Bill to Find Out What’s in It” Pelosi knew all too well, once the ObamaCare monster was unleashed, there would be no reining it back in. The lure of the public trough is too great for many to resist.

Indeed, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll of a broad cross-section of Americans indicated that even if the challenge to federal subsidies succeeds, over 60% favor a legislative “fix” to allow these subsidies to continue. As disheartening as that number may sound to those of us who dream of limited government exercising only enumerated powers, remember that those polled weren’t presented with viable alternatives to such a fix, but rather were simply asked whether Congress should step in and mend ObamaCare if the Court “breaks” it.

However, this seemingly no-win situation for Republicans presents the perfect opportunity for the House and Senate to propose a better alternative to the ruinous statute Democrats passed under the cloak of darkness. Recall that continuing anger over ObamaCare was itself in no small measure responsible for Republicans stretching their lead in the House and regaining control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. This is a good time to demonstrate that the public’s faith tied to producing these gains was not misplaced. Even so, don’t look for Barack Obama to stand in the wings while Congress revs up.

Given the Anointed One’s penchant for acting in blatant disregard of constitutional executive branch limits, some liberal pundits anticipate — even advocate for — responses similar to those he took when confronted with federal statutes requiring him to secure U.S. borders and enforce U.S. immigration laws: He simply refused to do so. The only reason this case is currently before the Supreme Court is that this American Pharaoh deployed a wrecking ball against the Constitution, waving his hands in the air and saying, “Federal subsidies are legal — I hereby declare it so: So let it be written, so let it be done!” But we hope this Congress will not roll over and say, “Scratch my belly,” like the last one did.

The Separation of Powers doctrine exists to protect individual freedoms by preventing the accrual of executive, legislative and judicial powers in any one branch. The current administration has run roughshod over this doctrine to the point those freedoms are now an endangered species. It’s time for Congress to assert its rightful power and reign in this rogue regime. A good start would be giving the American people a solid alternative to the Leviathan that is ObamaCare, and make killing this awful beast an easy decision for the Supremes.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

Nobel Laureate Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992): “Ever since the beginning of modern science, the best minds have recognized that ‘the range of acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science.’ Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.”

Columnist George Will: “Barack Obama’s plan to tax the earnings from parents’ ‘529’ college savings plans lived just long enough to indicate why some progressives perhaps prefer slow rather than rapid economic growth. Rapid growth reduces the appeal of redistributive policies and the need for the bitter, jostling, divisive politics that advance such policies. The 529s help enable families to achieve self-sufficiency. This excites progressives’ dislike of any private provision that impedes implementation of their dependency agenda. The progressive project of maximizing the number of people dependent on government is also aided by the acid of insecurity that grows rapidly when the economy does not. Anxious and disappointed people are susceptible to progressives’ blandishments about the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — ‘free’ this and that. By making slow growth normal, iatrogenic government serves the progressive program of defining economic failure down.”

Columnist Larry Elder: “Minimum wage and paid family leave are not only moral imperatives, says Obama, but good economics to boot. Employees, he tells us, are happier and therefore more productive. Minimum wage and paid medical leave, understand, actually benefit business. It’s just that dumb businessmen and women don’t realize it. But what does it say that perhaps the two most high-profile leftwing economists once opposed the minimum wage and paid family and medical leave? When Obamacare architect/economist Jonathan Gruber and The New York Times economist Paul Krugman actually practiced economics, they both opposed the minimum wage. In Gruber’s case, he also opposed government mandates for paid family and medical leave. … The late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is attributed with the following quote: ‘You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.’ In the case of Gruber and Krugman’s current support for ‘progressive’ policies they once opposed, what changed? The facts — or the politics?”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “During an interview last weekend, President Obama was talking about the next race for president and refused to choose between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, saying, quote, ‘Love ’em both.’ Which was nice until he said he’d support the nominee, regardless of who she is.”

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Obama At National Prayer Breakfast: ‘People Committed Terrible Deeds In The Name of Christ’

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

Obama At National Prayer Breakfast: 'People Committed Terrible Deeds In The Name of Christ'At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama reminded attendees that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but has been carried out by Christians as well. Obama said that even though religion is a source for good around the world, there will always be people willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.” “Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Obama also denounced Islamic State terrorists for professing to stand up for Islam when they were actually “betraying it.” “We see ISIL, a brutal vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism,” he said criticizing them for “claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.” Breitbart

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Massive breach at health care company Anthem Inc, 80 Million Impacted

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 08:23 AM PST

Massive breach at health care company Anthem Inc, 80 million impacted

The corporate headquarters of health insurer Anthem in Indianapolis is seen on Dec. 3. (Photo: Darron Cummings, AP)

As many as 80 million customers of the nation’s second-largest health insurance company, Anthem Inc., have had their account information stolen, the company said in a statement. “Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish said in a statement posted on a website the company created for information about the incident. The hackers gained access to Anthem’s computer system and got information including names, birthdays, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information, including income data, Swedish said. The affected database had records for approximately 80 million people in it, “but we are still investigating to determine how many were impacted. At this point we believe it was tens of millions,” said Cindy Wakefield, an Anthem spokeswoman.

That would make it “the largest health care breach to date,” said Vitor De Souza, a spokesman for Mandiant, the computer security company Anthem has hired to evaluate its systems. Because no actual medical information appears to have been stolen, the breach would not come under HIPAA rules, the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which governs the confidentiality and security of medical information.No credit card information was obtained, the company said in a statement e-mailed to USA TODAY. The hackers were probably not interested in medical information about Anthem’s customers, said Tim Eades, CEO of computer security firm vArmour in Mountain View, Calif.

“The personally identifiable information they got is a lot more valuable than the fact that I stubbed my toe yesterday and broke it,” he said. Both current and former customers were hit, Swedish said. Anthem has established a website, http://www.anthemfacts.com, where members can access information about the breach. There is also a toll-free number for current and former members to call, 877-263-7995. More

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4,000-Strong Christian Militia Formed to Fight ISIS in Northern Iraq

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:33 PM PST

4,000-Strong Christian Militia Formed to Fight ISIS in Northern IraqThousands of Iraqi Christians have established their own militia and are training to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq. The Nineveh Plains Protection Units (NPU) has 3,000 Assyrian Christian men registered to be trained, while another 500 are already training for combat. The militia was founded by the Iraqi political party, the Assyrian Democratic Movement. Another 500 volunteers from the group are already situated in Assyrian villages in northern Iraq, the majority of which were captured by ISIS when they marched across the country last summer. Approximately 30,000 Christians have since fled the Nineveh Plains for fear of falling into the hands of the radical Islamists.  Last November the American Mesopotamian Organisation, whose aim is to support the NPU, said that the primary mission of the militia is to “protect the remaining Assyrian lands from further attacks by ISIS” and then “liberate the Assyrian homeland of the Nineveh Plain” from the grasp of the radical Islamists. John Michael, a British-Assyrian in Iraq, told the Catholic Herald: “This is our last stand, if this fails then Christianity will be finished in Iraq.” The religious outlet reported that the militia are receiving funds from the Assyrian diaspora in countries such as United States, Australia and Sweden and are also receiving training from an American security company. Iraq expert Sajad Jiyad, asserts that the creation of the militia sends an important message to ISIS that these minorities will not allow their territory to be taken without a fight: “It’s also important for the locals to send a message to ISIS that they are not going to allow the demographic change to become permanent.” More

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North Korea threatens to nuke U.S. with advanced atomic weapons

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:25 PM PST

North Korea threatens to nuke U.S. with advanced atomic weapons North Korea threatened Wednesday a nuclear strike against the United States using advanced atomic weapons in an official message to Washington issued by the country’s highest decision-making body headed by its leader Kim Jong-un. The National Defense Commission released a statement through the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency to declare that it is no longer interested in having talks with the Barack Obama administration. The statement, issued at the “authorization” of the regime’s young ruler Kim, was the latest in a series of threats issued by Pyongyang against Washington. Complaining that the Obama administration is trying to induce the North’s collapse, the North threatened “retaliatory action of justice” including a strike on the U.S. mainland. Americans “should be mindful that the time of nightmares is coming nearer when they will meet the most disastrous, final doom on the U.S. mainland,” the commission warned.

It promised an eye-for-an-eye retaliation campaign against the United States using all possible means, including “smaller, precision and diversified” nuclear weapons. The North said it will operate all its ground, maritime, underground, air and cyberwarfare capabilities strategically to defeat the United States. The statement appeared to signal an end of recent efforts by the North and the United States to resume talks on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear arms development. It was reported earlier this week that the two countries tried to arrange a meeting but failed. The North’s threat of a nuclear strike against the United States also came amidst growing concerns in Washington that the young ruler may order another nuclear arms test.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, chairman of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Mark Chandler, acting director for intelligence for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon; and Lt. Gen. William Mayville, director for operations at the Joint Staff, submitted joint testimony to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday expressing their concerns, the Voice of America reported.

In the statement, the three top security officials said the North “continues to develop its nuclear and missile programs which pose a serious threat to the U.S. and regional allies.” They also expressed concerns that the North is developing longer-range missiles capable of hitting the U.S. mainland and trying to develop technology to place miniaturized nuclear warheads on them. They said the North may conduct another nuclear test, which will be its fourth. In November, the Kim regime already warned that it will conduct a nuclear test in protest of the international community’s pressure over its rights abuses. Military tensions on the Korean Peninsula are expected to worsen as the South and the United States start a joint military exercise next month. The North has protested the annual drill. More

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A Strong Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake has struck Panama

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:06 PM PST

‘Four Blood Moons’ Book by Pastor John Hagee Goes to the Big Screen!

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:01 PM PST

'Four Blood Moons' Book by Pastor John Hagee Goes to the Big Screen!Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee’s best-selling book, Four Blood Moons, is getting the “big-screen, live-action” treatment. A docu-drama based on the prophecy book, which suggests that certain lunar eclipses are tied to world events, is expected to be in theaters in March. “Something is about to change,” reads the ominous subtitle of Hagee’s book, released in Oct. 8, 2013, a full year before a total lunar eclipse. Now, the popular prophecy title, purported to perfectly tie together Scripture, science, and history, is scheduled for a one-night theatrical event beginning March 23, three days after a total solar eclipse is expected to occur and days before a total lunar eclipse.  Why the focus on eclipses? According to Hagee, founder of the organization Christians United for Israel, God has been using eclipses to communicate His intent to carry out Earth-shattering events affecting human history. “The heavens are ‘God’s billboard.’ He’s been sending signals to Earth, and we haven’t been picking them up,” Hagee is quoted as saying in a press release on the new movie. “Two blood moons, in 2014 and 2015, point to dramatic events in the Middle East and, as a result, changes in the whole world.” Hagee, who believes Christians are obligated to support modern-day Israel, is counted among Evangelicals who believe that God gave Israel to the Jewish people. The Cornerstone Church pastor notes in Four Blood Moons that tetrads (four consecutive lunar eclipses) have previously fallen on Passover and Sukkot only three times in the last 500 years. Hagee believes that because these cosmological events fall on Jewish holy days, they were harbingers of significant historical events. As promoters of the “Four Blood Moons” movie explain, their project explores “a rare lunar phenomenon that over the centuries has accompanied both tragedy and triumph for the Jewish people.” More

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Woman finds strange creature inside of tuna can

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:40 PM PST

Woman finds strange creature inside of tuna canShe may never eat tuna again. A British mom got a shock last week when she opened a can of Princes tuna and claims she saw a little creature staring back at her.  According to the Nottingham Post Newspaper Zoe Butler said the object had black eyes and a spiny tail. “It’s a little red and has eyes, bright black, looking at you. We did manage to ascertain that it was dead,” said Butler’s grandmother, Susan Goddard. The tuna company apologized and said it is investigating. Butler says she’s had no word from the company yet about what it was, although she does want an answer so another one doesn’t find its way into anyone else’s food. An expert told the newspaper said it could be a form of juvenile crab. Fox News

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Death toll soars to thousands as cold snap hits UK

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:15 PM PST

Death toll soars to thousands as cold snap hits UKOfficial figures reveal that the death rate related to cold snaps in England and Wales is over 30% higher than normal for this time of year. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) some 28,800 people died in the fortnight ending January 23. ONS said the flu virus and the cold snap are the main reasons behind the recent spike in winter deaths. More than 25,000 people aged over 65 lost their lives due to the cold snap. 11,102 men and 14,129 women lost their lives in the fortnight to 23 January. The death toll among the elderly was 18,154 in the same period last year.  Medical experts blame the flu- the H3N2 sub-type in particular – for most of the winter deaths. “The main type of flu that has been circulating this winter so far (influenza A/H3N2) is well recognized to particularly impact groups, such as the elderly and those with underlying chronic health problems, resulting in increases in hospitalizations and deaths. That is why we recommend these groups receive flu vaccine each year, ideally before the flu season starts,” the Guardian quoted Dr Richard Pebody, PHE’s head of seasonal flu surveillance, as saying. More

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‘Worst of UK austerity still to come’

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:08 PM PST

‘Worst of UK austerity still to come’ The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says the worst of the UK’s austerity drive is yet to come. In its annual Green Budget, the think tank said the UK’s finances still have “a long way to go” in order to recover from the financial crisis. Speaking in December’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne said government departments faced cuts in real terms of £51.4 billion (14.1 percent) from 2015 to 2019. Cuts in the current parliament are expected to reach £38.3 billion, or 9.5 percent. In its annual Green Budget report the IFS said the planned “fiscal consolidation” in the UK was the largest out of 32 advanced worldwide economies. IFS director Paul Johnson said UK public finances had a “long way to go” and accused Osborne of failing to deliver on deficit reduction plans. “He deliberately allowed the forecast deficit to rise as growth undershot in the early years of the Parliament,” said Johnson. “He has not cut spending in real terms as much as planned, as inflation has undershot. And he has cut departmental investment spending by only half as much as he originally planned.  “One result is that he or his successor will still have a lot of fiscal work to do over the course of the next Parliament. “The public finances have a long way to go before they finally recover from the effects of the financial crisis.” “The financial crisis and associated recession led to a significant deterioration in the outlook for the UK’s public finances,” the IFS said in its Green Budget. “We estimate, based on official forecasts, that this worsening amounts to 8.6 percent of national income.” The IFS said 98 percent of the remaining consolidation will come from spending cuts rather than tax rises. The report added that protecting health, schools and overseas aid would double cuts in other departments. The governing Conservative Party would need to reduce departmental spending after 2015/16 by 6.7 percent (£24.9 billion). More

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Florida spring closes when 300 manatees suddenly swim up

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 07:58 PM PST

Florida spring closes when 300 manatees suddenly swim upFlorida’s Three Sisters Springs got a little crowded this week when more than 300 manatees swam quickly into the springs, prompting park officials to close the springs to human swimmers and kayakers. Up to 600 manatees winter in Florida Kings Bay and Crystal River from November to March, but the population drops to 30 manatees the rest of the year. The warm waters of Three Sisters Springs, part of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, allow manatees to live safely during the winter months, when the open waters can get dangerously cold for the gentle mammals. About 80 miles north of Tampa, it’s also a popular place for visitors to see and swim with the manatees.  Three Sisters Springs is the only “confined-water body in the United States” open for the public to see wintering manatees, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages Three Sisters Springs for the city of Crystal River and the state. Though the springs closed Monday and reopened Tuesday, the refuge’s policy is to close them again as needed. Noting increasing manatee harassment at the springs since 1979, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been considering a policy to restrict access to the manatees during the winter months. “Swimming with manatees is a tremendous experience, and I know that when done properly, everybody benefits,” said Andrew Gude, who manages Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, as well as Lower Suwannee, Cedar Keys and Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuges, in a December statement. “It is the experience of a lifetime.” More

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On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Aggressive abortionist reactions to new abortion ban proposals exposes shocking worldview

The Next Anti-Abortion Strategy Lurking Around The Corner, ThinkProgress (Tara Culp-Ressler)

2) 8-year-old French boy’s support of terrorists displays formative influence of worldview of the home

French Police Question 8-Year-Old Over Remarks on Terror Attacks, Wall Street Journal (Sam Schechner and Inti Landauro)

French Police Question Boy, 8, After Remarks on Paris Attacks, New York Times (Maïa de la Baume and Dan Bilefsky)

3) Vague details of new top spy example of dangers and necessities of fallen world

CIA Taps Undercover ‘Spider’ as Its Top Spy, Wall Street Journal (Damian Paletta)

In other news…

A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral, New York Times (Julie Scelfo)


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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