86% of Americans want Abortion Restrictions

The American people continue to move to the pro-life perspective on abortion according to the latest Moral Compass survey by the Knights of Columbus and Marist Poll. The poll mirrored findings of other recent surveys, showing that more Americans identify as pro-life than as pro-choice, and that the vast majority of Americans favor restricting abortion. Among the key findings: 86% of Americans would significantly restrict abortion; 60% of Americans would limit abortion to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of a mother – or would not allow it at all; 53% of Americans believe abortion does more harm than good to a woman in the long term; 79% of Americans support conscience exemptions on abortion for health care workers; 69% of Americans think that it is appropriate for religious leaders to speak out on abortion.

  • Unfortunately, our socialistic government no longer pays attention to the will of the people.

CAP-Sponsored Legislation Passed in Arizona

The Center for Arizona Policy reported that Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed three CAP supported bills recently passed by the legislature. The Students’ Religious Liberties Act codifies court rulings into state law, clarifying that students have constitutional rights to express their religious beliefs. The Charitable Tax Credit Simplification bill simplifies the state tax credit for donations to qualifying charities serving the working poor. The License Plate Commission Repeal bill includes a provision that should allow Arizonans to purchase Choose Life license plates through the ServiceArizona.com website.

Jesus Christ Banned from Prayers

The right to pray publicly “in Jesus name” is under new attack in Pennsylvania and again in California. The Democrat Speaker of the Pennsylvania House Keith R. McCall has just issued (and enforced) a policy which bans the name of Jesus Christ as illegal speech that may not be uttered during voluntary prayers spoken before the Pennsylvania state legislature. Pastor Gerry Stoltzfoos of Freedom Valley Worship Center in Adams County, PA had been invited to pray the invocation at the State-House on June 30th, but McCall’s office insisted on previewing and censoring a written copy of the prayer beforehand. McCall’s office then refused to allow Stoltzfoos to say the prayer before the legislature. On August 5th, 2009, the city council of Lodi, California will debate and possibly vote to ban the name of Jesus from public prayers offered by guest pastors invited to pray the invocation. Under threat of lawsuit by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, Lodi Mayor Larry D. Hansen said he is considering changing the Lodi city council prayer policy (which has traditionally allowed the word “Jesus” to be spoken in 39 of the last 55 prayers).

  • Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt is leading the efforts to combat the movement to remove Jesus’ name from state legislatures. Go to www.gopusa.com for more information

Gore Boasts: ‘Global Governance’ Coming

Former Vice President Al Gore, whose “An Inconvenient Truth” video epistle on the claims of global warming has not weathered recent scientific research, now has promised at a conference in the United Kingdom that the impending virtual energy tax under the U.S. “cap-and-trade” legislation will bring about “global governance.” Gore, who this year famously left his Nashville mansion’s driveway brightly illuminated during the “Earth Hour” event that promoted energy savings, was speaking at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment. He cited the “cap-and-trade” legislation in the U.S. Congress that  by President Obama’s own estimate would cause utility bills to skyrocket for American consumers. Those taxes are good, Gore said. “But it is the awareness itself that will drive the change, and one of the ways it will drive the change is through global government and global agreements,” he said.

  • Just another example of the push toward the “one-world government” of Revelation 13.

Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev illustrated his call for a supranational currency to replace the dollar by pulling from his pocket a sample coin of a “united future world currency.” “Here it is,” Medvedev told reporters in L’Aquila, Italy, after a summit of the Group of Eight nations. “You can see it and touch it.” The coin, which bears the words “unity in diversity,” was minted in Belgium and presented to the heads of G-8 delegations, Medvedev said. The question of a supranational currency “concerns everyone now, even the mints,” Medvedev said. The test coin “means they’re getting ready. I think it’s a good sign that we understand how interdependent we are.”

  • The New World (Dis)Order is becoming less inhibited and secretive about their globalist plans

Bush Program Extended Beyond Wiretapping

The Bush administration built an unprecedented surveillance operation to pull in mountains of information far beyond the warrantless wiretapping previously acknowledged, a team of federal inspectors general reported Friday, questioning the legal basis for the effort but shielding almost all details on grounds they’re still too secret to reveal. The report, compiled by five inspectors general, refers to “unprecedented collection activities” by U.S. intelligence agencies under an executive order signed by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Just what those activities involved remains classified, but the IGs pointedly say that any continued use of the secret programs must be “carefully monitored.” The report says too few relevant officials knew of the size and depth of the program, let alone signed off on it. While the Bush administration had defended its program of wiretapping without warrants as a vital tool that saved lives, the report said the program’s effectiveness in fighting terrorism was unclear.

CIA Director Ends Secret Program

CIA Director Leon Panetta has terminated a “very serious” covert program the spy agency kept secret from Congress for eight years, a House Intelligence subcommittee chairwoman said Friday. Rep. Jan Schakowsky is pressing for an immediate committee investigation of the classified program, which has not been described publicly. “The program is a very, very serious program and certainly deserved a serious debate at the time and through the years,” Schakowsky told The Associated Press in an interview. “But now it’s over.” The program was kept a secret from Congress on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday. The program, which sources told FOX News was a plan to capture or kill Al Qaeda operatives, also never came close to being operational.

  • The CIA requires secrecy because Congress leaks like a sieve. However, the CIA has also shown a tendency to twist facts to suit their own agenda, regardless of who the President is and which party is in control.

House Leaders to Tax Rich to Finance Health Care

House Democrats will ask the wealthiest Americans to help pay for overhauling the health care system with a $550 billion income tax increase, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee said Friday. The proposal calls for a surtax on individuals earning at least $280,000 in adjusted gross income and couples earning more than $350,000. It would generate about $550 billion over 10 years to pay about half the cost of the legislation. As the proposal envisions it, the rest of the cost would be covered by lower spending on Medicare, the government health plan for the elderly, and other health care savings. An aide to the House speaker, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, said she and other leaders were supportive of the idea.

Mortgage Aid Limping Along

Struggling homeowners were given hope when a federal housing initiative to help millions avoid foreclosure was announced by President Barack Obama four months ago. The key part of the $75 million Making Home Affordable plan was a loan-modification program that compensated lenders for lowering the mortgage payments of borrowers who were making less money because of the recession. The government offered banks and borrowers bonuses for making loan modifications work. Most of the big lenders agreed to participate. So far the plan isn’t working as anticipated. Many eligible Valley homeowners can’t reach anyone at their lender who will work with them. More people are losing their jobs, which makes them ineligible for the government-backed program. For many of those who did get a modified payment, there was a harsh discovery. Modifications often were made on a three-month trial basis, and now lenders are revoking the terms – sometimes even when payments are met – and leaving some homeowners with the old payments they can’t afford.

  • Such is life in a socialistic country

Tight Mortgage Rules Exclude Even Good Credit Risks

The readiness of banks to sell foreclosed properties has led to rising home sales in some areas. But the traditional housing market, the one that involves willing buyers and sellers, is still dead, with transactions lower than they have been for decades, reports the New York Times. The recession is the major reason sales are dragging, of course, but it is not the only one. Buyers once viewed as perfectly qualified are being denied mortgages. Brokers and bankers say that in past decades, the credit markets would almost certainly have accommodated many of these people.

The denials are occurring for a wide array of reasons: the buyers’ incomes are adequate but irregular; they are self-employed and take many deductions, reducing the taxable income on which lenders focus; their credit scores are below the cut-off point, which has been raised drastically; their down payments are less than 20 percent. Housing usually leads the country into a recession, which certainly happened this time, and also leads it out — which will not happen in 2010, the real estate industry contends, without stronger efforts to thaw the market.

California Small Businesses Hurting

As if struggling to stay afloat during a faltering economy isn’t difficult enough, hundreds of small business vendors that rely on contracts with California are facing another hurdle: There’s a good chance the state won’t be paying any of their invoices this month. After the state legislature failed to agree on budget solutions earlier this month to close a $26 billion gap, California started issuing IOUs for a variety of payments it owes — including most of its vendor bills, personal income tax refunds, and funding for local governments. So far, California has mailed $354 million worth of IOUs and plans to issue a total of $3 billion by the end of July. The state’s department of general services says it holds $2.7 billion worth of annual contracts with at least 14,000 small companies, most of them California firms.

Second Stimulus Needed?

President Obama on Saturday dismissed the idea the nation might need a second stimulus to jolt the economy out of recession and urged Americans to be patient with his economic recovery plan. Faced with rising unemployment numbers and criticism from Republicans who have already labeled the $787 billion stimulus a failure, Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to remind voters that reversing job losses takes time. The plan “was not designed to work in four months,” Obama said. “It was designed to work over two years.”

  • Obama is changing his tune, and like most politicians, seems to have no problem that it conflicts with previous assertions

Church Camps Closing Amid Declining Use, Economy

The Associated Press reports that hundreds of church camps across the U.S. face bleak futures as the economy continues to flounder, hurting already slumping reservations. “I think this fall through Christmas we will see as many as 10 to 15 percent of camps decide they no longer can continue operating,” said Bob Kobielush, president of the Christian Camp and Conference Association, which includes about 950 camps. Sites like Camp Sumatanga in northern Alabama find fewer and fewer adults renting their conference center. “What we offer here is quiet, a place to be quiet,” said the Rev. Bob Murray, a former banker who has worked as director at Sumatanga for 18 months. “Not everyone values that as much as they once did.”

Recession’s Sliver Lining

Shrinking paychecks and rising environmental concerns are prompting Americans to pare back their lifestyles. “Perhaps the silver lining (of the recession) is that people are coming to realize they can live with less and their lives are richer for it,” says Michael Maniates, professor of political and environmental science at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. A third, 32%, say they have been spending less and intend to make that their “new, normal” pattern; 27% say they are saving more and plan to continue, according to a Gallup Poll. Nearly half of consumers, 47%, say they already have what they need, up from 34% in November 2006, according to the 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dream.

Obama Marks Africa’s Promise, Problems

America’s president and Africa’s son, President Barack Obama spoke to the continent of his ancestors Saturday, challenging its people to shed corruption and conflict in favor of peace. Campaigning to all of Africa, he said “Yes you can.” In the faces of those who lined the streets and in many of Obama’s own words, this trip was personal. Beyond his message, the story was his presence — the first black U.S. president coming to poor, proud, predominantly black sub-Sahara Africa for his first time in office. Obama billboards dotted the roads. Women wore dresses made of cloth bearing his image. Tribal chiefs, lawmakers, church leaders, street vendors — to them, it felt like history.

To their disappointment, most people did not see him personally. The lack of open events and the heavy security kept many in this West African nation away from Obama. They had to watch him on TV. At the heart of Obama’s message here: African nations crippled by coups and chaos, like Ghana has been in the past, can reshape themselves into lawful democracies. He said it takes good governance, sustained development, improved health care. And that the moment is now.

Iraqi Bombings Persist, Drought Worsens

A car bomb exploded in an alley Saturday in a village in northern Iraq, killing at least four people, wounding others and destroying eight homes, police said. Another six people died in bombings in Baghdad. Thirty-eight people were wounded and several shops and cars were also damaged. Violence remains at low levels in Iraq compared with previous years, but bombings continue to kill scores of people. The attacks have raised concerns as the U.S. military draws down troop numbers. U.S. combat troops in Iraq completed a withdrawal from urban areas to outlying bases at the end of last month, ahead of a planned pullout by all American forces by the end of 2011.

A car bomb exploded near a church as worshippers left Sunday Mass, killing at least four civilians and injuring 18 in one of several attacks on Iraq’s beleaguered Christian minority. Three Christians and one Muslim died in the bombing. It was the seventh Christian house of worship in the country to be bombed in three days.

Below-average rainfall and insufficient water in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers have left Iraq bone dry for a second straight year, wrecking swaths of farm land, threatening drinking water supplies and intensifying fierce sandstorms that have coated the country in brown dust. The drought has dealt a harsh blow to hopes that reductions in sectarian violence over the last year would fuel an economic recovery. Instead, the government’s budget suffered a double-hit: Lower than expected oil prices have crimped revenues and the scarcity of water will force Iraq to spend money to import most of the crops, especially wheat and rice, to meet domestic demand.

More Deaths in Afghanistan

Improvised explosive devices killed four U.S. soldiers in southern Afghanistan Sunday. That brings the total to 106 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year — a record pace. Last year 151 U.S. troops died in the country.

The deaths of eight British soldiers in Afghanistan within 24 hours triggered a debate in Britain on Saturday that could undercut public support for the war just as the U.S. is ramping up its own participation in the conflict.

After Violence, China Looks for Answers

Nearly a week after western Xinjiang province was rocked by China’s worst ethnic violence in decades, residents of Zhongwan Road, both Han and Uighur, were still putting together the snippets of what they saw and heard. Many others are searching for answers about what really happened — especially how many died and who they were. China’s government released a breakdown Saturday of the riots’ death toll, saying most of the 184 killed were from the Han Chinese majority. But many Uighurs disputed the new figures, citing persistent rumors that security forces fired on Uighurs during the July 5 protest and in following days during a police crackdown and retaliation by Han mobs. On Sunday, a week after the unrest began, the center of Urumqi was tense but calm. The official Xinhua News Agency said the city’s Public Security Bureau had published a notice banning illegal assembly, marches and demonstrations, adding the situation was “basically under control” but that some “sporadic illegal assemblies and demonstrations” had continued.

  • What the mainstream media fails to bring out is that the Uighurs are Muslim.

Somalia Insurgency Escalates

Islamic insurgents fought their way toward Somalia‘s presidential palace Sunday in fighting that killed dozens and wounded about 150, officials said. African Union peacekeepers directly intervened for the first time to support government forces. “The fighting in Mogadishu has entered a new phase,” said Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the al-Shabab rebel group, which is believed to have ties to al-Qaeda. Al-Shabab denies any ties. “Now it’s between us and the AMISOM,” he said, referring to the AU peacekeeping force’s acronym. “AMISOM was backing up the government directly, but we will keep fighting.”

Wildfires

Wildfire activity has increased with the onset of high summer temperatures. There are currently 21 wildfires of 100 acres or more in size burning in the U.S. California, Alaska and Texas each have four, Arizona has three, with the rest scattered amongst Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. All are in the dry West with none in the saturated East.

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