Christian Coalition

Iran has sentenced detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges that include espionage, Iranian state TV reported Sunday.

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the spokesman for Iran's judiciary, announced the punishment in a statement on the TV station's website.

"In brief, it is a prison sentence," he said. The verdict is "not finalized," he added, referring to an expected appeal.

Rezaian's lawyer, Leila Ahsan, told The Associated Press she had not been informed of the verdict - let alone details of the sentence.

"I have no information about details of the verdict," she said. "We were expecting the verdict some three months ago."

Rezaian was detained with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photojournalists on July 22, 2014. All were later released except Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen.

Rezaian went on trial in four closed-door court hearings at Tehran's Revolutionary Court over the past months. Last month, he was convicted of spying and other charges.

The Post has vigorously denied the accusations against its correspondent.

Rezaian, who has covered Iran for the Post since 2012, grew up in Marin County, California and spent most of his life in the United States. The Post, U.S. officials and Rezaian's family have all called for his release. Iran does not recognize dual-nationality.

Iran's state media, citing the indictment, have said Rezaian collected information on Iranian and foreign individuals and companies circumventing sanctions and passed them on to the U.S. government. Iranian state TV has repeatedly called Rezaian an "American spy."

Earlier this month, the intelligence department of the powerful elite Revolutionary Guard claimed in a report to parliament that Rezaian is an agent seeking to "overthrow" Iran's Islamic ruling system.

His incarceration and trial played out as Iran and five world powers, including the U.S., negotiated a landmark agreement in which the Islamic Republic agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iranian media in August quoted officials discussing the possibility of swapping Americans detained in Iran for 19 Iranians held in the U.S. It's unclear, however, whether that's been seriously discussed between Iranian and U.S. officials.

Dear Friend,

Fourteen years after the first settlers dedicated America to God on the sands of Cape Henry, Virginia on April 29, 1607, the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts celebrated America’s first Thanksgiving in 1621. They wanted to express their thankfulness and their appreciation to their Creator.

Most Americans see Thanksgiving Day as an expression of their faith and of their gratefulness to God for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon them and upon the United States of America.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, Psalms 100:4 tells us that we need to: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”  Let us remember this passage as we gather together with family and friends surrounded by an abundance of riches and blessings which God has given to us.

The Staff and I want to thank you for your support and we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!


Roberta Combs, President and CEO
Christian Coalition of America

Where are all of the Christians who should be standing for right and against wrong? Where are all of the Christians who should be standing for Israel? G-d Himself in Genesis 12:3 said, “I will bless those who bless you (Israel) and the one who curses you (does not stand) I will curse.”

A basic premise of Christian faith and roots has everything to do with Israel.  To ignore Israel is to shun G-d’s word of an eternal covenant with His Chosen People, the Jews, and an eternal covenant cannot be broken.  Our silence in our own countries also affects Israel, its land and people.  It is imperative that Christians all over the world stand and contend for Israel.

By remaining silent or neutral, Christians are enabling evil everywhere to flourish. Being apathetic is yielding to the preponderance and brutal degree of inhumane suffering caused by those who live outside the Judeo-Christian ethic.

The tenets of good and evil based on Judeo-Christian principles have been our standard, even mainstay, for two thousand years and they have served humanity well so why change them?  It would be better to perfect the world based on G-d’s principles than to change them based on the world’s persistence on mixing up right and wrong.  Evil and wickedness are the result and terror is the means, it seems, in this postmodern world.

It was during the Holocaust that a Christian minister in Germany observed the changing mindset of the people and the Nazi slaughter of the Jews.  He is quoted as saying “silence in the face of evil is itself evil.  G-d will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”  These are sobering words that loudly ring of truth today.

In this time of resurgent violence against Israeli Jews that is by now recognizably cyclic in intensity but always simmering historically, we Christians absolutely must defend our brothers and sisters in Israel.  While some have been active for quite a long time, others who should be active are sadly remaining silent and on the sidelines.

The call to stand up for Israel is true also for Jews in order that they do not have their religion and rights undermined by legal means, media opposition or hostile opposition. As far as media opposition, the Jews of Israel have a lot to lose if a particular Israeli English speaking leftist paper were to have its way.  We already see what hostile opposition looks like.  There is currently an apparent legal opposition to Jewish history and sacred sites now by the UN with UNESCO’s declaration of Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs as being Muslim.

We have a biased international body with certain legal abilities to change history and likely alter visitation rights to holy sites sacred to both Christians and Jews.  The modern rewriting of the history of the Temple Mount by Muslims is well known.  Injustice to Jewish history must be opposed on all fronts.

It is essential for Christians and Jews to work together.  We must take our Judeo-Christian principles to the courts in each of our countries, to the world courts and to university campuses.  We must teach and uphold our G-d given Judeo-Christian principles and make certain the facts on the ground are accurately taught (and reported) to be sure students are receiving accurate information in their quest for a balanced education.

It will take every ounce of our strength here in America to keep our government aligned in allegiance to the G-d given land of Israel and to the Jewish nation of Israel. What G-d provides, no man has a right to discard or destroy.  The commandments and covenants of G-d are forever and when He says they are eternal that is exactly what He means … forever.  Standing for Israel is the same as standing for G-d and vice-versa.

It is only in democratic, freedom loving societies mostly in the U.S., Europe and Israel that Christians really are able to take a stand for the faith without punitive retribution.  For the moment this is true but the future is uncertain if we remain silent and allow evil to triumph.

Let us remember the haunting words of Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), a prominent Protestant pastor who said, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

On the day thousands of Iranians celebrated the 36th anniversary of the destruction of the US embassy by burning the American flag, chanting ‘Death to America’ and ‘Down with Israel,’ I decided to review the Iran deal as it’s been reported thus far.

Most people around the world believe the Iranian nuclear deal is a done deal because that’s the impression given by media reports however it is not a ‘deal’ at all. In fact it’s not even an agreement. A contract, deal, or agreement would have legal ramifications. The ‘arrangement’ with Iran is really nothing more than a set of ‘understandings’ without backing of any jurisprudence which is a clear way out for Iran should the Ayatollahs decide not to follow through on Iran’s commitments. But Iran also has a second exit strategy and it’s found in Islamic law.  Your see, under Islamic law it is permissible for Muslims to lie, cheat and deceive the infidels and anyone who does not embrace Islam is an infidel. Could it be any clearer?

Point number two is that most people may be surprised to hear that the nuclear deal has not yet been accepted by all parties! The P5+1 countries have approved it though not without political chicanery in Washington D.C. but that’s another story. No one is really sure this ‘deal’ was analyzed and soberly discussed by the EU nations but that, too, is another story. Unbelievably it is Iran who has not yet given approval to the deal!  Could they possibly be hoping for a sweeter package?

Nevertheless, come December 15th sanction measures will be lifted and the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) will report whether or not Iran has implemented its obligations under the ‘deal.’ The Iranian parliament is leisurely awaiting the approval by Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei. Nothing is going to happen without the Supreme Leader’s approval and his rhetoric has been quite negative if not bellicose so far.

At this point no one knows if the deal will go through but many are deeply concerned and with good reason.  After all, Iran’s leaders are not known for being people who exemplify honesty and integrity. The world-wide media is reporting the politically correct party line that Iran has, or will, go through with the deal. Problem is Islamic law allows them to make promises and then renege without any moral or legal consequences.

Power and authority in Iran are vested solely in the Iran’s supreme religious leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei. The Iranian parliament is unable to pass anything that is not first approved by the Supreme Leader Khamenei and, according to a recent report, the Supreme Leader is demanding nine new conditions. These new stipulations represent obstacles that require more time to execute thus giving Iran more time before the IAEA inspections begin to continue the business of concealing the nuclear infrastructure they have been secretly building for years. As it presently stands, it will take months for Iran to execute the conditions already stated in the nuclear understanding. Both the Iranian parliament speaker and Iran’s President Rouhani plan to (must) comply with the Supreme Leader’s demands. Regardless of the Iranian parliament’s decision on the deal, Khamenei can bypass their decision and stop any deal from being implemented. Even if Iran’s parliament approves the nuclear deal by December 15 and initiates the minimal compliance expectations, implementation has no timeline. It would be foolhardy for the U.S. to lift sanctions under these partial conditions.  A better and safer deal would be for Iran’s compliance to come first before any sanctions whatsoever are lifted. 

The important message here is that the deal is not yet finalized. There is still a window of opportunity to re-think whatever thinking when in to hammering out this nuclear understanding which is very shortsighted regarding its long-range ramifications for the United States, Israel and the whole of the Middle East.

What does this mean in the short term?  Iran’s lollygagging seems to be a bid for extra time to hide their fiendish activities, namely acquiring nuclear weapons and/or continuing to build their nuclear infrastructure beyond what would be considered for peaceful purposes, which may be affected by the implementation of the deal because with it comes inspections … sort of. Iran continues to be forceful in the new demands being set forth by the Ayatollah. As master negotiators totally practiced in the art of deception, Tehran knows that, given time, Washington will cave in and fold. President Obama desperately wants a legacy to mark his presidency and he seems to want to hang his hat on achieving a nuclear ‘deal’ with Iran even though it won’t be worth the paper on which it’s written.

On Wednesday, November 11, we honor our nation's veterans who have served in all of America's wars.  November 11 is the day that an armistice was declared between Germany and America and its allies during World War I, the so-called "Great War."  The exact official ending of the war was the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 
One year later, President Woodrow Wilson encouraged Americans to honor America's veterans by commemorating Armistice Day with parades, other public events and commemorations and urged businesses to close at 11 a.m.  Seven years later, Congress declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayers and thanksgiving. 
Armistice Day, honoring veterans of World War I, became a legal holiday every November 11th when Congress passed a law on May 13, 1938.  However, after World War II, there was a movement by the nation's veterans organizations to also have the name Armistice Day changed to Veterans Day to honor all American veterans no matter what war in which they fought.  On June 1, 1954, Congress officially changed the name to Veterans Day.
I would like to personally remember and honor my late husband, Andy Combs, who was a World War II and Korean War veteran and to thank and honor all veterans for their sacrifice in defense of our country, our freedom, and our values.  May God bless you and may God continue to bless this great country.


Roberta Combs, President & CEO
Christian Coalition of America

President Obama sat down Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time in over a year, as the leaders look to ease tensions over the Iran nuclear deal while addressing the fresh burst of Israeli-Palestinian violence. 

The meeting at the White House came weeks after the administration and other partner nations began moving forward with the Iran deal, despite unsuccessful appeals by Netanyahu to the U.S. Congress to stop it. Adding to that tension is a separate controversy over Netanyahu's appointment of a new spokesman who has spoken derisively about Obama. 

Ran Baratz, a conservative commentator, has suggested in Facebook posts that Obama is anti-Semitic and Secretary of State John Kerry cannot be taken seriously. 

Over the weekend, Vice President Biden condemned the remarks during an address to a Jewish group in Florida. "There is no excuse, there should be no tolerance for any member or employee of the Israeli administration referring to the president of United States in derogatory terms," Biden said, while adding that nobody can undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship. 

At the top of their meeting on Monday, both Obama and Netanyahu stressed the strength of their alliance. "We're with each other in more ways than one," Netanyahu said, as Obama highlighted the "extraordinary bond" between the two countries. 

Both also insisted they had not given up on the pursuit of Middle East peace, even as the prospect of an elusive agreement between Israelis and Palestinians appears further out of reach. 

Speaking to reporters ahead of their private meeting, Obama said he would seek Netanyahu's thoughts on ways to "lower the temperature" between Israelis and Palestinians and get the parties "back on a path towards peace." 

Netanyahu declared, "We have not given up our hope for peace." He emphasized that his preference was for a two-state solution, but gave no ground on the Israelis' long-standing conditions for achieving that outcome. 

Monday's meeting comes amid an outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel has accused Palestinian political and religious leaders of inciting the violence, while Palestinians say the violence is due to a lack of hope for gaining independence after years of failed peace efforts. 

Even with the low expectations, the fact that Obama and Netanyahu were meeting at all is seen as an important step. While the two leaders have long had a chilly relationship, tensions boiled over earlier this year amid Obama's pursuit of the Iranian nuclear deal. 

Netanyahu views Iran's nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel and argued that the international agreement struck earlier this year leaves Tehran within reach of a bomb. The Israeli leader unsuccessfully lobbied U.S. lawmakers to oppose the deal, even delivering a rare speech to Congress that infuriated the White House. 

Obama didn't meet the prime minister when he traveled to Washington to address lawmakers, citing the proximity to Israeli elections that resulted in Netanyahu staying in power. The leaders also did not meet while Netanyahu was in the U.S. in September to speak to the United Nations General Assembly. 

Officials in both governments have been discussing a new security agreement that could result in increased U.S. military assistance to Israel. 

"We do believe it's very important that in an uncertain security environment, we are signaling our long-term commitment to Israel and its security, and are designing a package that is tailored to the threats and challenges that Israel will be facing over the course of the next decade," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser. 

U.S. officials said Obama would express his commitment to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians, even as the White House acknowledges that elusive breakthrough won't occur before Obama leaves office in January 2017. 

Israeli Cabinet Minister Silvan Shalom, Netanyahu's designated negotiator with the Palestinians, said in a radio interview that the prime minister would offer a number of confidence-building gestures toward the Palestinians, including easing restrictions on communications, water usage, work permits in Israel and Palestinian development in the West Bank. 

A new wave of violence broke out about two months ago, beginning with unrest at a major Jerusalem shrine revered by both Muslims and Jews, and quickly spreading to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza border.

Newly released emails conflict with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 11-hour testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, according to a review of the transcripts and public records.

One of the conflicts involves the role played by Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

Regarding the dozens of emails from him, which in many cases were forwarded to her State Department team, Clinton testified: "He's a friend of mine. He sent me information he thought might be of interest. Some of it was, some of it wasn't, some of it I forwarded to be followed up on. He had no official position in the government. And he was not at all my adviser on Libya."

But a newly released email from February 2011 shows Blumenthal advocated for a no-fly zone over Libya, writing, "U.S. might consider advancing tomorrow. Libyan helicopters and planes are raining terror on cities." The email was forwarded by Clinton to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan with the question, "What do you think of this idea?"

A second email from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2011 also advocated for a no-fly zone, with Blair stating, "Please work on the non-fly zone, or the other options I mentioned. Oil prices are rising, markets are down. We have to be decisive."

In the end, Clinton advocated for the no-fly zone and was able to gather support within the Obama administration to implement it.

In another email from March 5, 2012, Clinton appears to use Blumenthal as what is known in intelligence circles as a "cut out," a type of intermediary to gather information, allowing the policymaker plausible deniability. In this case, the emails focused on the increasingly chaotic and fragmenting political landscape in Libya after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was removed from power.

In the one-page document, Blumenthal writes that Jonathan Powell, a former senior British government adviser to Blair, is "trying to replicate what we did in Northern Ireland by setting up secret channels between insurgents and government, and then, where appropriate, developing these negotiations." This type of backchannel discussion helped bring about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

Clinton responded two hours later. "I'd like to see Powell when he's in the building," with her staff responding, "Will follow up." In both instances, Clinton's actions further undercut sworn testimony to the Select Committee that Blumenthal was “not at all my adviser on Libya.”

Another area of conflict involves security and aid requests. In an exchange with Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., Clinton told the House committee none of the requests for diplomatic security reached her. "That's over 600 requests," Pompeo said. "You've testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk; is that correct also?"

Clinton responded, "That's correct."

However, the State Department website, under a section on embassy security, states that the secretary has overall responsibility for the well-being of personnel on assignment.   The buck does not stop with “security professionals” as Clinton has testified.

It states: “The Secretary of State, and by extension, the Chief of Mission (COM), are responsible for developing and implementing security policies and programs that provide for the protection of all U.S. Government personnel (including accompanying dependents) on official duty abroad.”

Yet, the new emails show a request for humanitarian aid sent by the late Ambassador Chris Stevens did reach her desk. The Aug. 22, 2011 email from Stevens was circulated among Clinton staff and delegated for action in under an hour.

With the overthrow of Qadaffi, Stevens wrote that the Libyan opposition, known as the TNC, would soon release a statement saying it would "insure the delivery of essential services and commodities (esp. addressing the acute shortages of fuel, children's milk, and medication for blood pressure and diabetes)."

Seventeen minutes later, Clinton responded, "Can we arrange shipments of what's requested?”

While the request for humanitarian aid from Stevens did reach her office, during her testimony, Clinton emphasized, "Chris Stevens communicated regularly with the members of my staff. He did not raise security with the members of my staff. I communicated with him about certain issues. He did not raise security with me. He raised security with the security professionals."

The emails also further depict Clinton’s treatment of sensitive material. A February 2012 email shows Clinton sent an urgent message to an office manager that a white briefing book, used for sensitive and classified information, was left on her desk. The office manager confirmed when it was correctly stored in the State Department safe.

The 7,000 pages released Friday leave no doubt that Clinton's personal account mingled information now considered classified with the mundane such as social media requests and the taping of a television period drama. On Feb. 1, 2011, Clinton sent a "Linkedin" request from a "Susan Kennedy" to a State Department IT specialist asking, "How does this work?"

An email from Feb. 23, 2012, from the State Department's senior official on Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, called "Bingo!" is fully redacted, citing the B1 exception which is classified information.

And in January that same year, Clinton wrote to an aide, "I'm addicted to Downton Abbey which runs on Sunday night and reruns on Thursday at 8pmb. Since I missed it Sunday and will again tomorrow so wondering if we could tape a DVD for me."

President Obama, meanwhile, is now under scrutiny after having told CBS’ “60 Minutes” he was not aware of Clinton's personal account – even though the White House said Friday there are emails between the two, only they will not be available under FOIA requests until after Obama leaves office.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, when asked if he knew about Clinton’s use of a private email server, Obama twice said, “No.”

At this point, between 600 and 700 emails have been identified containing classified information. An intelligence official familiar with the review says there is no such thing as "retroactive classification," the information is born classified, and the State Department only has the right to declassify information it produced.

While Clinton testified that 90-95 percent of her emails were captured by the State Department system, and nothing she sent or received was "marked classified," the State Department said that estimate represents the campaign’s data and not their own.

House Republicans formally nominated Rep. Paul Ryan for speaker Wednesday, looking to him to help unify the party after a tumultuous period -- though defections in the ranks could preview some last-minute drama on the House floor. 

The Wisconsin congressman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee easily beat rival Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., to become the Republican nominee, with 200 lawmakers backing Ryan and 43 backing Webster. Ryan will formally stand for a vote in the full House on Thursday, likely against Democrats' pick Nancy Pelosi. 

"This begins a new day in the House of Representatives," Ryan said, in brief remarks after Wednesday's internal vote. While praising outgoing Speaker John Boehner, he vowed to begin "turning a page." 

"Our party has lost its vision, and we are going to replace it with a vision," he said. 

Ryan's tally on Wednesday, though, fell short of the roughly 218 that ultimately will be needed to lock down the top congressional job. If he can't garner that many votes from the outset on Thursday, the House would have to keep voting until a candidate wins a majority. 

GOP leadership sources nevertheless tell Fox News they don't foresee problems on the floor Thursday. 

Ryan, as speaker, would mark a stark change in leadership style from the backslapping Boehner, who plans to retire shortly after his successor is set in place. 

The fiscal policy wonk who has cultivated a strong conservative following would take the gavel after spending the better part of the year as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. 

While he initially resisted appeals to run for the job, Ryan ultimately relented to Republican pressure. Ryan sought the job on his own terms, though, laying out several conditions that caused some consternation inside the conference -- including a demand to strip a tool that can be used to oust a sitting speaker and the condition that he have support from all major GOP caucuses. 

Despite some lingering opposition, Ryan mostly secured that support in the end. 

The 45-year-old congressman is seen by some as a bridge between the embattled GOP establishment and hardline conservatives who successfully pushed out Boehner. 

Bringing his caucus together won't be easy. Conservatives support him, but are watching closely to see if he can really change the way things are done. 

Not everyone praises Ryan. 

Some members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, the group largely responsible for Boehner's decision to step down, have expressed concerns that Ryan, whom Boehner pushed to run, will be more of the same. The group has criticized Boehner for working with Democrats and negotiating legislation behind the scenes, without input from all sides of the caucus. 

Ryan secured the support of the group -- one of his conditions for running -- by pledging to open up the legislative process. 

Ryan opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage, and has a top rating from gun-rights groups. But in conflict with some Republicans, he supported the auto industry and bank bailouts that many in the GOP's right flank criticized. 

But his focus has always been budget and tax policy. He is a disciple of, and past aide to, the late Rep. Jack Kemp, once a GOP vice presidential nominee himself who effusively promoted tax cuts as a central tenet for economic growth. 

Ryan has said he wants to overhaul the tax code and rework the nation's welfare system. He considered being the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee his dream job -- one of the reasons he was reluctant when Republicans worked to recruit him as speaker. 

Another was his family. 

Unlike previous, older speakers, Ryan has three school-age children and he says firmly that they are his priority. The Ryans live in Janesville, Wisconsin, on the western edge of his district that runs from the shores of Lake Michigan through farm country south of Madison. 

"I cannot and will not give up my family time," he said when he announced his candidacy for speaker. 

Democrats have criticized Ryan's policy goals, including his attempts to overhaul domestic programs like Medicare and food stamps. But many say he is easy to work with -- a quality that could serve him well in the unruly House.

- The Washington Times

The House Freedom Caucus and conservative outsiders were ecstatic when House Speaker John Boehner decided to throw in the towel out of frustration and a very real fear that he had become, fairly or not, a symbol to millions of Republican voters of just how bad things are in Washington. Not only is Congress in continuing disrepute among all voters, but more than three-quarters of Republicans are, as most polls show, dissatisfied with leaders who they don’t think are doing much to make things better.

Mr. Boehner and his Senate counterpart are partially to blame for this frustration, of course, but both are just as frustrated as those who put them in office by their inability to move legislation in the face of the opposition of an ideologically committed foe in the White House and a determined minority in each house that is both united and willing to march off a cliff for their president. One gets the impression that Messrs. Boehner and McConnell believed that after the 2014 elections, President Obama would do as former President Bill Clinton did when faced with so massive a defeat; negotiate with the clear winners. He hasn’t done that and his party in the Senate has used the rules peculiar to that body to thwart every Republican attempt to make the changes the GOP promised voters during the 2014 campaign.

Those voters, wondering why they worked so hard to help the GOP win majorities in both Houses of Congress, blame Congressional Republican leaders for their failure to accomplish all they’d promised and assume that failure is traceable to a willingness to go along with the president and his party. There may be some truth in this, but to make Speaker Boehner the scapegoat is to misread what he and his colleagues have managed to do in spite of the position in which they find themselves.

John Boehner ran for Congress as an opponent of the earmark process and when he became speaker, abolished the practice. That alone is something that conservatives wanted for a long time, but only got from the man whose departure they now cheer. He also deserves credit from social conservatives for his steadfast commitment to life and for the way he has fought for school choice. In fact, even as he prepares to leave, he is today asking his colleagues to vote to save the voucher system that has allowed so many Washington, D.C. youngsters to escape this city’s failed school system over the last decade and which the president and his party are Hell-bent to destroy.

Mr. Boehner has weathered run-ins with many conservatives who tend too often to allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good; to oppose the achievable because it doesn’t represent the ideal. This has been especially true in the battle to cut government spending. Under Mr. Boehner’s leadership, Congress has managed to pass the Budget Control Act in 2011. It wasn’t perfect, but its spending caps have garnered hundreds of billions in cuts so far and are on pace to rack up trillions over the next decade. Sure we still spend far more than we should, but the situation would have been markedly worse without the controls incorporated into law by Mr. Boehner’s Congress.

The problem with the BCA has been that conservatives aren’t overly fond of it’s across-the-board cuts because they want to spend more on defense, and liberals hate it because they want to spend more on everything else. Its impact on spending, however, has been dramatic and for that Mr. Boehner deserves credit.

The beast known as “entitlement spending” is a tougher nut to crack and is the engine that continues to drive deficits into the stratosphere. Reform of New Deal legacy programs has proven difficult to impossible even when everyone knows that without reform they will eventually collapse or bankrupt the nation. It takes compromise and sleight of hand to get much done in this all important arena, but with the deal reached on what is known in Washington as the “doc fix” Mr. Boehner has managed to bring some sanity to a program that was out of control. Mr. Boehner essentially traded 141 billion in additional spending on Medicare over the next decade for longer-term savings that will amount to as much as $2.9 trillion. Some condemned him for the short-term spending, but almost everyone failed to credit him for what he bought with that increase: namely, tangible long-term savings and entitlement reform minus the typical liberal demand of attendant tax increases. Keep in mind, two-thirds of federal spending is on autopilot, without yearly review. If long-term debt is to be solved, then the recent Medicare restructuring plan should not be overlooked.

Mr. Boehner’s problems stem from the inability of he and his compatriots to effectively explain to an increasingly skeptical public what is and isn’t possible in today’s Washington, or to take credit for getting all they could. As he leaves, there remains much more to be done, but it would be a mistake to forget that under his leadership Republicans managed to preserve 99 percent of the tax cuts enacted during the Bush years, eliminated earmarks, saved trillions of dollars and have thrown everything possible at the president’s signature plan to take over the health care system. Indeed, even as he was packing his bags to leave, the courts have ruled that the legal case Mr. Boehner filed on behalf of his colleagues could go forward, and as it works its way through the courts it could prove to be the bullet that proves fatal to Obamacare.

Not a bad legacy when you think about it.

David A. Keene is Opinion editor at The Washington Times.

So now the three Biblically required attended feasts for the calendar year are ended. The Shemitah year is finished for this cycle and the four blood moons have appeared. The US did not stop the Iran Deal. The Pope met with Obama during the days of awe. And the world has not ended, at least not yet.

Though these events are thought to portend a particularly doomsday scenario, they have not, just as Y2K did not. Life goes on - even in the Middle East and in Israel. Same complaints, same problems, same joy in life events. Nothing has changed. It’s the status quo.

I wouldn’t take this with tongue in cheek however. We still have until the end of the religious year, 5776 to be precise, to find out what God may have in store. God is patient and has His own clock. Even His yardstick by which He measures things is different from ours. It would be best to be silent and listen to Him every day. The same letters in listen are found in the word “silent” just in a different order.

If it’s not the status quo then it’s the calm before the storm.

The Middle East remains in turmoil with no effective solution in sight. Migrant and war refugees are fleeing by the millions. Sectarian wars and battles continue unabated. Brother against brother, cousin against cousin and so on. What else is new?

There is turmoil on the Temple Mount. But isn’t it true the Muslims are always complaining? This has escalated to contrived provocation by Muslim hate mongers who look for trouble. For such a Holy Mount there sure is a lot of fist sized rocks to be thrown around, Molotov cocktails, firecrackers, anger, in-your-face hostility and soccer playing. Is this how Muslims treat holy places? I guess the Arabs are receiving great blessing.

It is thought that only in capitalist countries do the rich get richer. But you find it in the Middle East, Asia, North Africa…the Palestinian Authority. Even the Hamas elite is not so poor. It rakes millions off the backs of innocent Palestinian civilians but the civilians can’t do anything about it.

Well they could, but not everyone is ready to meet and greet the 72 virgins awaiting them.  Maybe in their hearts they know this is simply a fantasy; a myth perpetrated by those who want total control over the lives of the people.

Anti-Semitism is relatively static as well given that it has not gone away. We hear about it more because it seems to be in vogue to stand in opposition to Israel and the Jewish people. To offend anyone else, except Christians, would be bigotry. But this is no longer news. It’s a fact.

If the European racists, I mean anti-Semites, would leave poor little Israel alone and concern themselves with their own set of problems it would be better for them and the whole world. I still remember the parental admonition to “Mind Your Own Business!” BDS campaigns will not put Israel out of business and are, in fact, hurtful to the Palestinians who work for the factories and industries being targeted by these campaigns.

I confess that the Russian invasion of Syria is not status quo but since nothing has happened yet, then in spite of it all, it is status quo at present. The US remains status quo, without a spine, words without teeth, same socialist push, same Muslim-leaning president and a comedian "trumping the polls.

If there is a blip on the screen I will surely let you know. Right now we are on stand down.

This might be the best time to listen to G-d, repent of our sins and dead works and do good. The Judeo-Christian values instilled in us by the Almighty G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, expects nothing less.