Christian Coalition

In an interview with Watchman Broadcasting Television network in Augusta, Georgia, international Christian broadcaster and journalist Earl Cox said, “Israel’s Prime Minister is correct to stand up for what is right rather than cowering to those who are more concerned with what they consider political correctness.”  Cox is referring to the invitation extended by U.S. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a full session of the U.S. Congress on March 3rd without having first received the blessing of the White House.  Cox went on to say, “While the White House is busy criticizing Netanyahu and Boehner for moving outside of what they consider proper channels of protocol, Netanyahu should instead be hailed as a hero for his courageous willingness to sacrifice his own political future in order to warn the free world and save his country from facing a nuclear-armed Iran. Being willing to shoulder the burden of criticism from the White House and other dovish world leaders proves that Netanyahu’s moral compass is correctly set.  He’s putting the best interests of his country, the Israeli people and the entire free world above his personal political career as he calls for tougher, not lesser, sanctions against Iran.”

Cox went on to explain his position. 

“Under the current deal being considered by the P5+1- the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany - and Iran, Iran would retain the ability to continue producing the material necessary for a nuclear bomb which would give Iran the capability of producing a nuclear weapon within just months. In other words, the P5+1 would be paving the way for Iran to immediately become a nuclear threshold state. This is a problem not only for Israel but is also a serious threat to the entire free world.  Iran is a terrorist state with a rogue regime that supports a host of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.  All are outspoken enemies of Israel, the United States and the West in general.  While President Obama and other world leaders are seemingly asleep on their watch, Prime Minister Netanyahu is busy sounding the alarm but his message and his warnings are either intentionally or unintentionally falling on deaf ears in the White House.  The same will not be true of the Congress and perhaps this is what is most upsetting to Obama. Congress will finally hear the unfiltered truth of what awaits the world from a nuclear-armed Iran whose outspoken ambitions include the destruction of Israel and the United States.  Despite Rouhani’s charming smile, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and not to be trusted.  For diplomatic efforts to succeed in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, those at the negotiating table must come from a position of strength.  Right now the P5+1 seems to be setting the bargaining table with diplomatic puff pastries which look great on the outside but which lack any substance. Iran and the rest of the Islamic world are not playing from the same set of rules and do not embrace the same values as the West.  Agreements and diplomacy mean nothing to them.  Deception and violence are the name of their game and negotiating from a position of strength is the only way to play.  Any plan put forth needs to have teeth; not the kind for chewing the cud but fangs for ripping into the meat if necessary.  Netanyahu understands this and he desperately wants the rest of the free world to understand this as well.  He’s banking his political future, and the future of the free world as we know it, on Congress taking his warning to heart. To relieve or lift sanctions at this critical stage will only serve to embolden Iran to continue marching onward toward acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities while giving nothing of substance in return. The deal presently on the table grants Iran the right to retain an enrichment program and softens demands that Tehran dismantle large swaths of its nuclear infrastructure.  If the deal goes through as it is, Iran wins."  Cox went on to say, "It should be obvious that Iran possesses the conviction to utilize nuclear weapons because they place such little value on human life.  Faced with such a threat, it appears the leaders of the free world would stand on the sidelines sweating and bitting their nails.  The time to stop Iran is now before she possesses a nuclear weapon.  Afterward is too late.  Prime Minister Netanyahu knows this and the rest of the world must wake up before we are blown up. Netanyahu should be thanked for caring for U.S. more than some of our own leaders care especially those in the current administration. He should be thanked for his willingness to sacrifice his political legacy for the greater good of preserving and protecting Israel and the free world; something other world leaders lack the backbone to do themselves.”

Cox concluded his interview by calling on Christian leaders and the rank and file Christians to write to their Congressional representatives encouraging them to stand with Israel.  He also called for the same to write to the White House demanding heavier, not lighter, sanctions be placed on Iran and that any bargaining package be backed by strong and verifiable evidence that Iran is in full compliance at all times.”

The federal budget deficit will fall to a six-year “low” of $468 billion in 2015, before resuming an upward climb that will take the federal debt to record heights.

The numbers are the latest from the Congressional Budget Office, which had predicted a somewhat larger 2015 deficit of $483 billion. The 2008 financial crisis led to the highest deficit as a percentage of the economy on record since World War II — in 2009 it was $1.4 trillion.

It is now closer to 2 percent of GDP, and is expected to remain relatively low through 2018. But rising health care costs, the implementation of Obamacare and an aging population are expected to drive a massive surge in spending over the next 25 years that will cause the deficit and debt to rise.

The growing annual deficits, which are the differences between spending and revenue, will stack up over time, adding $9.5 trillion to the total federal debt by the end of the decade.

“Such large and growing federal debt would have serious negative consequences,” the report states.

Currently, the federal debt is about 74 percent of GDP — two and a half times the average since World War II, when the debt briefly surged. By 2039 the CBO projects it will reach 106 percent of GDP and keep climbing.

Federal spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP and on interest payments to the debt is projected to consume 100 percent of tax revenue by 2030. And in 2039 it will reach 18 percent of GDP, while spending on everything else declines to 7 percent of GDP.

House Budget Chairman Tom Price said the report is a “sober reminder” of the country’s economic difficulties. “This ‘new normal’ is unacceptable,” he said in a statement.

The Senate Budget Committee’s ranking member, Bernie Sanders, said the numbers don’t tell the whole story. “While we must continue to focus on the federal deficit, we must also be aware that there are other deficits in our society that have been causing horrendous pain for the vast majority of the American people,” he said, mentioning “deficits” in income, equality and education.

Neither President Barack Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visits the United States in March.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says Obama wants to avoid the appearance of endorsing Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli elections.

But some see it as retaliation because Earnest also said Israel violated protocol by not planning the trip directly with the White House.

It all started after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress next month.

Boehner says he did that because he's concerned about the nuclear threat from Iran. He says the president expects Congress to do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran.    

Both Republicans and Democrats are skeptical of the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran.

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, said, "The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran." 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address Congress on March 3, House Speaker John Boehner announced Thursday -- though President Obama does not plan to meet with him. 

The House speaker had invited Netanyahu to speak to lawmakers about the threat from Iran. The announcement caught the president off-guard, as the invitation was not cleared first with the Obama administration; such invitations typically are coordinated with the White House and State Department. 

Asked Thursday about the visit, the White House said Obama would not meet with him, citing the country's upcoming elections. Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said that in keeping with "long-standing practice and principle," the president does not meet with heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said it was inappropriate for Boehner to invite Netanyahu to address Congress in the shadow of that election and give the appearance of endorsing the prime minister. "If that's the purpose of Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit two weeks before his own election, right in the midst of our negotiations, I just don't think it's appropriate and helpful," Pelosi said. 

But Boehner cast the invitation as part of Congress' effort to stay tough on Iran, as the Obama administration forges a possible nuclear deal with the country. Boehner on Wednesday denied any suggestion he was "poking [the White House] in the eye," though White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted the invitation was a breach in protocol. 

Boehner originally asked Netanyahu to speak in February. His office now says the prime minister will address a joint session of Congress on March 3. A source told Fox News the Israeli leader requested the date be changed so he only would have to make one trip to the U.S. before Israeli elections; he also plans to attend an AIPAC conference in Washington at the time. 

Boehner had announced the invitation a day after Obama delivered his State of the Union address, in which he threatened to veto a bill -- backed by Republicans and some Democrats -- to tee up more sanctions against Iran in case negotiations fail to curtail the country's nuclear enrichment program. 

Obama warned the legislation would "all but guarantee that diplomacy fails." 

But Boehner told members of the GOP House Conference on Wednesday morning they would not sit on the legislation. "Let's send a clear message to the White House -- and the world -- about our commitment to Israel and our allies," he said. 

Boehner signaled he wants Netanyahu to explain the stakes of the debate to Congress. 

The address would mark his third appearance before a joint session of Congress and his second during Boehner's speakership. His previous addresses were in July 1996 and May 2011.

House Republicans decided Wednesday to drop planned debate of a bill that criminalizes virtually all late-term abortions.     
     
The move came after objections from GOP women and other lawmakers left them short of votes.

The measure would ban abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, only allowing exceptions for a rape victim who reported the crime to law enforcement.

Some female Republicans in Congress objected to that requirement, saying that many victims are too distressed to report rapes. Only 35 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police in 2013, according to Justice Department report.

"The issue becomes, we're questioning the woman's word. We have to be compassionate to women when they're in a crisis situation," Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., said.

Another objection to the bill is the exemption for minors, but not adults, that are victims of incest.
    
The House decision came on the eve of the annual March for Life that's taking place Thursday in Washington, D.C. It's been 42 years since the U.S. Supreme Court created a constitutional right to abortion.
 
Pro-lifers march every year in Washington, D.C., to mourn the tens of millions of babies aborted since that ruling and to pray for an end to abortion in America.

In light of that grim statistic, activists like Mary Margaret Gibson are leading the charge in the fight to save unborn lives.

House Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday he is inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress next month about the threat from Iran, in a sharp rebuke to President Obama. 

Such invitations typically are coordinated with the White House and State Department, but this one was not. The House speaker's office said Netanyahu will be invited to speak Feb. 11 before a joint session of Congress. The invitation comes as lawmakers weigh legislation, supported by Republicans and some Democrats, to tee up more sanctions against Iran in case negotiations fail to curtail the country's nuclear enrichment program. 

Obama vowed Tuesday during his State of the Union address to veto any such legislation. But Boehner signaled he wants Netanyahu to explain the stakes of the debate, as he pledged to press ahead with the legislation. 

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people,” Boehner said in a statement. “In this time of challenge, I am asking the prime minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.” 

Critics of Obama and his foreign policy say the president has failed to keep close ties to Israel, a long-time U.S. ally and a key country in providing Middle East stability. Among their concerns is that the Obama administration has not done enough to curb Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon. 

In his State of the Union address, Obama warned that legislation setting new potential sanctions would "all but guarantee that diplomacy fails." 

But Boehner told members of the GOP House Conference on Wednesday morning: “The president warned us not to move ahead with sanctions on Iran, a state sponsor of terror. His exact message to us was: 'Hold your fire.' He expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. Two words: 'Hell no'."

He said: "Let’s send a clear message to the White House – and the world – about our commitment to Israel and our allies.”

Aside from the sanctions bill, a Senate committee was considering a separate bill on Wednesday that would give Congress a vote on any nuclear deal. 

The United States and five other world powers have reached a tentative deal with Iran. The countries are trying to reach a final deal by June 15.

If Netanyahu accepts the invitation, it would be his third appearance before a joint session of Congress and his second during Boehner’s speakership. 

His previous addresses were in July 1996 and May 2011. Other Israeli prime ministers to address Congress include Ehud Olmert, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, according to Boehner’s office.

President Barack Obama will address Congress Tuesday in his sixth annual State of the Union speech.
    
He's expected to make the case that America’s economic comeback is real and is proposing significant tax increases to fund his many ideas.
    
"He's going to talk about how middle class economics brought us back from the brink and put us to a place where the economy is growing, jobs are growing, the deficit is shrinking,” White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer said.
 
His proposal: raise $320 billion with new tax hikes on the wealthy that will fund among other things: 

  • Middle class tax cuts
  • Free community college
  • Infrastructure spending
  • Child care tax credits 

"This could be a legacy state of the union, where he realizes that he has two more years in the White House and what is the memory that he wants to leave people with?" Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of media and politics at American University, said.
 
But key leaders in the Republican-controlled Congress are already pushing back, calling the president's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy a non-starter and bad for businesses.
 
"Slapping American small businesses, savers and investors with more tax hikes only negates the benefits of the tax policies that have been successful in helping to expand the economy, promote savings and create jobs," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said.
 
Meanwhile, with homegrown terrorists redrawing battle lines around the world and a president who refuses to describe the enemy as "radical Islamist," officials are warning threats to our nation are growing.
 
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says it's only "a matter of time" before terrorists strike the U.S. again.
 
A new Pew Research poll shows that fighting terrorism is a top issue among Americans, while 57 percent of people in a CBS poll believe a terrorist attack will happen on American soil in the next few months.

Have we in the West lost our way?  Do we even know anymore who we are as Americans?  Do we still hold ourselves as solid allies of Israel--the only true democracy in the Middle East?  Do we not understand that Muslims do not embrace our Western values no matter how ‘moderate’ they claim to be?

Most of the world possesses only a media-fed and therefore shallow, surface understanding, of the Middle East and the true nature of Islam.  Because of this ignorance we lack clear conviction.  This makes it impossible for us to take a strong stand.  It’s time for a deep system scan and thorough cleansing.

Like a computer, the Western world is being quietly infiltrated and silently infected by viruses and malware coming at us in the form of ‘radical’ Islam.  Left unchecked, viruses and malware wreck havoc on computers and ultimately crash the system.  Is this what we are waiting for before we “Just say NO” to radical Islam?

Israel has been sounding the alarm for a very long time, but no one seems to have been listening.  In fact, the world seems more willing to surrender our Western values than to act with conviction and certainty against the Islamic invasion.  Just as cancer uses our own body systems to destroy us, so Islam is using our social, political and judicial systems against Western civilization.  If we wait much longer to stem the rising tide of Islamic extremism, we will lose our voice altogether, and possibly our lives, and our children’s futures.  We will become helpless mutes while Muslims shout their battle cry, “Allahu Akbar,” from every once quiet and peaceful city and town around the globe.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental Western value which must be preserved and protected if we are to sustain our traditional Judeo-Christian values and democratic system of governance for which so many brave men and women fought and died on domestic and foreign shores.  In the Middle East, freedom of speech is embraced only by Israel.  In France, Charlie Hebdo paid a heavy price to exercise their freedom of speech.  However, the deaths of those brave souls will not have been in vain if the tragedy serves to wake up and galvanize France and the entire world to stand strong and united with true conviction in defense of democracy which includes free speech.  Lack of true conviction creates a vacuum in which evil quickly steps.

Many well-known public figures are making noise in the media about how we must exercise sensitivity to the feelings and religious beliefs of Muslims.  In  a recent statement, even the Pope used the analogy that if you insult his mother, he will punch you in the nose.  He and Jimmy Carter must share the same lopsided scale and both are way off balance.  In truth, to suffer an insult is never a justification for violence.  The Jews have been insulted for centuries, but have rarely lashed out in violent acts of retaliation.  Christ is insulted repeatedly in Hollywood where His name is often used as a curse word.  Christians have been insulted to the point whereby some degenerate, so-called ‘artist,’ put a cross inside a jar of urine and it was displayed as ‘art.’  Were we insulted?  To our very core!  Did Christians go on a rampage of terror?  No.  Insults happen in a world that embraces freedom of speech. 

It is time to stop appeasing Muslims.  When their feelings get hurt, they need to deal with it peacefully and move on perhaps taking a lesson from Dr. Martin Luther King who encouraged peaceful demonstrations.  The world must stop being concerned with soothing hurt feelings of Muslims and appeasing their sensitivities as a means to avoid violence.  We should, as a civilized people, be courteous and sensitive to the feelings of others, but not out of fear.  While we should remain sensitive as a result of good manners, not coercion, we should also expect, no, we should demand, the same from our Muslim neighbors.    So, Muhammad was insulted.  It happens to all of us, but that is not a license to commit acts of violence or murder, although this is exactly what many Muslims believe.  Recently Hezbollah stated that any provocation of Muslim feelings justifiably contributes to terrorism. 

How has Israel managed to live among such people whose values are so convoluted?  To think that mature Muslim adults are offended by cartoon drawings is quite ironic, because they don’t seem to give a second thought to strapping an explosive device around an innocent child to commit mass murder against Israelis on busses, in shopping malls or in a French Kosher deli.

Israel has been on the front lines of a political, religious and ideological battle with her neighbors since she became a nation in 1948.  Israel has been warning the world of the dangers of radical Islam, but it took the Charlie Hebdo tragedy to get our attention.  Even the horrors of 9-11 are becoming distant memory.  History does repeat itself.  With France having the largest number of Muslims in Western Europe (European Union), is it too late for her to turn back?  I pray not.

The free world must stand united.  The free world must stand against those who desire to change Western culture with the strategy of taking away our freedoms, trampling on our Judeo-Christian values and terrorizing us into converting to Islam.  We cannot “love them” out of this strategy.  If democracy, including freedom of speech, is something you desire to preserve, protect and defend, then say this with absolute conviction, “Oui! Je suis Charlie!”

The Supreme Court says it will decide whether same-sex couples nationwide have a right to marry under the Constitution.

The justices said Friday they will review an appellate ruling that upheld bans on same-sex unions in four states.

The case will be argued in April and a decision is expected by late June.

Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee are among the 14 states where gay and lesbian couples are not allowed to marry.

The number of states that permit same-sex marriage has nearly doubled in three months as a result of federal and state court rulings. The justices' decision to turn away same-sex marriage appeals in October allowed some of those rulings to take effect. Florida last week became the 36th state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa to Deliver Republican Address to the Nation

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today announced that U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) will deliver the Republican Address to the Nation following the State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

“Sen. Ernst brings a unique perspective to the Senate. She is a mother, a soldier, and an independent leader who serves in Washington because Americans voted for change in the last election, and Joni understands that middle-class Americans want Congress to get back to work and that they want Washington to get refocused on their concerns, instead of those of the political class,” Majority Leader McConnell said... (READ MORE)

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Senator Lindsey Graham to Introduce Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. House of Representatives introduces same bill.

Senator Lindsey Graham is currently circulating the legislative text of S. 1670, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, from the 113th Congress in preparation for reintroduction this Congress.  The bill would prevent abortions after the mid-way point of pregnancy, with exceptions.  Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, R-TN and Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ are the Co-Authors for the bill in the U.S. House.  This is a high priority bill for the Christian Coalition of America and we will be scoring this bill on the next Congressional Scorecards.

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The new Republican-controlled Congress is wasting no time to advance the GOP's pro-life stand.

House Republicans passed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the last session of Congress. But then Senate Democrats blocked it.

Now with Republicans in charge, two lawmakers have re-introduced the bill. It would ban abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy... (READ MORE)

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House will vote on banning abortions after 20 weeks during the March for Life next Tuesday, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision

Republicans in the House of Representatives will hold a vote on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade late this month on a marquee bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because unborn children feel intense pain in abortions.

Top Republicans and leading pro-life groups have been promoting the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.

Politico has more about the upcoming vote on the bill on January 22, the anniversary of the infamous abortion decision Roe v. Wade that ushered in an era of legalized abortions with little or no limits... (READ MORE)

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Justices hear small church fight over Arizona town sign law

A small church in a Phoenix suburb says its local government puts far stricter limits on its roadside signs advertising Sunday services than it places on politicians, real estate agents and other groups, and is asking the Supreme Court for relief.

The justices are hearing arguments Monday in a case from Gilbert, Arizona, that raises First Amendment questions about how governments may regulate their citizens' speech. The Good News Community Church and Pastor Clyde Reed sued Gilbert, claiming that religious groups are treated more severely than others.

Gilbert allows so-called directional signs, like the ones put up by the church inviting people to Sunday worship, to be no larger than 6 square feet. They must be placed in public areas no more than 12 hours before an event and removed within an hour of its end. Signs for political candidates, by contrast, can be up to 32 square feet and can remain in place for several months... (READ MORE)

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House approves ObamaCare bill despite veto threat

The House voted Thursday to curb a provision in ObamaCare that some lawmakers say is hurting the job market, as the new Republican-controlled Congress moved quickly to challenge the administration on several fronts.

The House voted 252-172 for the ObamaCare bill, which tweaks the law's definition of full-time workers who must be offered employer-provided health care. Twelve Democrats sided with Republicans in approving the first Affordable Care Act-related legislation of the new Congress.

The bill changes the full-time worker threshold from 30 hours weekly to a 40-hour minimum. Critics claim defining full-time employees as those working at least 30 hours is pressuring firms to save money by cutting workers' hours below that and, in turn, the number of full-time jobs... (READ MORE)

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