Newslinks 10/24/10

October 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees


National Debt Increases for 53rd Straight Fiscal Year; Jumped $1.65 Trillion in FY 2010
– The national debt increased for the 53rd straight fiscal year in fiscal 2010, when it jumped $1.65 trillion, according to data posted online by the Bureau of the Public Debt and confirmed by a spokesperson for the agency. The bureau says its reporting of the federal debt at the end of each fiscal year (as posted here) states exactly to the penny the full and actual amount the U.S. government has borrowed as of that date.

Value-Added Tax Would Hurt Economy, Kill Jobs, Business Group Study Finds
– An economic analysis sponsored by the National Retail Federation shows that a Value-Added Tax would damage economic growth and kill hundreds of thousands of jobs. The study showed that a large reduction in federal spending would be better for the economy. President Obama’s Fiscal Commission reportedly is considering a VAT as one option for reigning in out-of-control federal deficits.

Iran Elected to Chair OPEC Next Year; Dismisses Western Energy Sanctions as Ineffective
– For the first time since the Islamic revolution, Iran has been handed the rotating presidency of the OPEC cartel of oil-producing nations. The move comes at a time when Western governments are seeking to target Iran’s energy sector over its nuclear programs. Iran is pushing for oil to be priced against a currency, or basket of currencies, other than the U.S. dollar.

Warm Reception for Ahmadinejad Came From Lebanese Leaders As Well As Hezbollah
– Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s provocative visit to Lebanon made headlines for a second day Thursday, but less attention has been given to the warm reception he received from Lebanese leaders and groups other than Hezbollah. Ahmadinejad also received expressions of support from top leaders including President Michel Suleiman and parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, both of whom hosted events in the Iranian’s honor. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Ahmadinejad visit, calling the situation in Lebanon “volatile.”

George Clooney: ‘We Could Be Facing a Real Disaster Again’ in Sudan
– Actor and activist George Clooney, who met with President Barack Obama and lawmakers about Sudan this week, told that “both sides of the [political] aisle have been very strong on defending the defenseless.”

Evangelicals Optimistic as Major Int’l Conference Gets Underway
Mission-minded evangelicals from around the world were in high spirits Sunday as the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization got underway in Cape Town, South Africa.

Thousands Learn to Defend Christian Faith, Understand Obama


Chinese ‘Underground’ Church Leaders Lament Gov’t Travel Ban


Indonesia Islamists Decry ‘Christianization’ Project in West Java


Despite Appeal, Some Christians Fear Future Protection of DADT


Calif. Principal Disciplined for Endorsing Prayer Breakfast

DHS Alerted Arizona Sheriffs That Mexican Drug Cartel Was Sending Assassins Into U.S., But Did Little To Warn Travelers Away
– The Department of Homeland Security warned Arizona law enforcement officials in May that Mexican drug cartels were deploying assassins to kill bandits hijacking their drug loads in the Vekol Valley, 70 miles inside Arizona. That local law enforcement would be left to confront agents of a foreign cartel coming across the U.S. border to carry out a deadly drug war on U.S. soil is further evidence that the federal government is not doing its duty to secure the border, said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

DOJ Awarded $324M to Subsidize Costs of Incarcerating Illegal Immigrants in FY2010
– The Justice Department awarded $324 million in fiscal year 2010 to states and localities to help pay the salaries of corrections officers responsible for incarcerating criminal illegal immigrants. Those subsidies marked a decline of 18 percent from fiscal year 2009, when $394 million was distributed by the department.

Former DNC Chairman: ‘Elections Are Not the Time to Educate People’
– Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said that Democrats campaigning for the Nov. 2 mid-term elections should wait until they win before “educating” constituents about the benefits they will derive from the new health care law. “You win the election, then you educate people afterwards,” Dean told National Public Radio on Saturday.

Obama Administration Uses Taxpayer Funding to Encourage ‘Sustainable Communities’
– The U.S. government is stepping in with millions of taxpayer dollars to create affordable places for Americans to work and live. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last week announced nearly $100 million in new grants for 45 regions “to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country.”

U.S. Government Funding Translation of Marquis de Sade
– The U.S. government is funding a translation of a novel by the Marquis de Sade that, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, “is replete with Sade’s black humor, unique philosophy, and original thought.”

The Golden Hookah Award: National Endowment for the Arts Funds Translation of Marquis de Sade
– presents its weekly “Golden Hookah” to the National Endowment for the Arts for spending $12,500 to fund the translation of a novel by the Marquis de Sade.

Average U.S. Hourly Wage Dropped in September, Has Been Virtually Flat for a Year, Says Labor Department
– The inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings for all U.S. employees dropped in September by 0.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistic reported today. In fiscal year 2010, the average hourly wage in the United States remained virtually flat, increasing by only one half of one percent from September 2009 to September 2010.

Obama Administration Hails the OIC’s Growing Role in Afghanistan and Pakistan
– Islamic nations – members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) — are playing an increasingly important role in the international effort to support “democracy” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to the Obama administration. Of the eight Islamic countries whose contributions it cites favorably, however, only three are viewed as electoral democracies – Turkey, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

Turkey-U.S. Relations in the Spotlight As Conference Begins in Washington
– An important conference on U.S.-Turkey ties is underway in Washington, D.C., on Monday, at a time when an apparent shift in Ankara’s foreign policy priorities has raised questions about the relationship between the longstanding NATO allies. The Islamist-leaning government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has drawn closer to Iran and Syria and away from Israel, voted against a U.N. Security Council Iran sanctions resolution last June, and recently held what is believed to be Turkey’s first ever joint military exercise with China.

Atheism Becoming the New Religion, Evangelicals Warned
Evangelicals heard the call on Monday to be guardians of the truth in the face of widespread indifference to religion and the “denial” of Scripture within parts of the church.

Students Celebrate Pro-Life Day, Mindful of Rights


Colo. County Files Petition to U.S. High Court Over Church Land Dispute


Appeals Court Upholds Ill. ‘Period of Silence’ in Schools


Kansas High Court Allows Planned Parenthood Criminal Case to Proceed


Coptic Rights Group Sounds Off Against ‘Dangerous Tide’ in Egypt

It’s Official: Obama Has Now Borrowed $3 Trillion
– It took almost 200 years — from 1776 until 1990 — for the federal government to accumulate a total of $3 trillion in debt, according to the Treasury Department. But it took far less time — from Jan. 20, 2009, the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated, until Oct. 15, 2010 for the Obama administration to add $3 trillion to the federal debt.

Shots Fired at Pentagon on Tuesday and at National Marine Corps Museum Over the Weekend
– Several bullets struck the Pentagon early Tuesday morning but did not penetrate the building. And in a similar incident that may or may not be connected, police also are investigating several shots fired at the National Marine Corps Museum in Triangle, Virginia — about 36 miles south of Washington — over the weekend. The bullets left holes in upper-level windows.

Obama’s Border Patrol Chief: Give Illegals ‘Road to Citizenship,’ Let Mexicans Work Here Legally
– U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin, who oversees both the Customs Service and the Border Patrol, says the United States must create what he called “a legitimate labor market between the United States and Mexico.”

Maryland’s Democratic Governor Calls Illegal Immigrants ‘New Americans’
– Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, in his first televised debate with Republican challenger Bob Ehrlich, repeatedly referred to people who come to this country illegally as “new Americans” on Monday night. “We should not blame new Americans for the problems that our country is going through right now. It’s wrong,” O’Malley said.

Moms Who Chose Life Over Abortion Become Activists on Capitol Hill
– “I really didn’t realize how much people do not know about pregnancy centers,” one pro-life activist told And now that those centers are under attack by pro-abortion groups, “I really do want the senators and members of Congress to know the truth and to continue to support them.”

Vatican’s Chief Justice: Catholic Politicians Who Support Abortion or Gay Marriage Must Publicly Repent
– Catholic politicians who publicly support abortion or homosexual marriage and then seek to turn away from such “gravely sinful acts” must perform “public” acts of “repentance,” said Raymond Burke, the archbishop emeritus of St. Louis and the current head of the highest court at the Vatican.

Howard Dean: ‘Racist Fringe’ Exists in Tea Party That ‘Media Hypes Up’
– Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Republicans “think they’re on a mission. And I think their mission is well outside the mainstream.” But he said he views the tea party “differently.”

Federal Appeals Court Finds Ill. School ‘Moment of Silence’ Is Constitutional
– A federal appeals court has overturned a 2009 lower court ruling that a mandatory moment of silence in Illinois public schools was unconstitutional. Judge Daniel Manion, writing for the majority, said that a moment of silence law does not violate the Establishment Clause “by favoring some religions.”

Fight Looms Over ‘Religious Defamation’ Measure at the United Nations
– Supporters and opponents of the annual United Nations’ “defamation of religion” resolution are gearing up for what may be the biggest battle yet, with Islamic states roused by recent controversies in the U.S. and critics energized by growing awareness about blasphemy laws.

HHS Giving States Millions of Taxpayer Dollars to ‘Help Consumers File Complaints’ Against Their Health Plans
– President Obama’s Health and Human Services Department on Tuesday announced nearly $30 million in grants to “help consumers see the benefits” of the Democrats’ new health care law. Those “benefits” include helping consumers file appeals and grievances against their existing health insurance plans.

Virginia AG Cuccinelli: Challenge to Federal Health Care Law Is About ‘Liberty’ and Containing Federal Power
– Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says his state’s challenge to the Democrats’ new health care law is about defending liberty from a federal government that has overstepped its constitutional bounds. Cuccinelli also said the reason the federal government has never before enacted such a sweeping law was that “everybody, up to now” recognized that doing so was clearly unconstitutional.

U.S. Government Does Not Have ‘Effective Control’ of 1,081 Miles of the U.S.-Mexico Border, DHS Says
– The U.S. government does not have “effective control” of 1,081 miles of the 1,954-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency responsible for securing the border. A border mile is said to be under “effective control” when the U.S. government can be reasonably expected to intercept an illegal crosser at any given point.

NASA Head’s Visit to China Makes Republican Lawmakers Uneasy
– NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is in China this week, on a five-day visit that has drawn opposition from some Republican lawmakers unhappy about the prospect of U.S.-Chinese cooperation in space. Republicans are pressing Bolden for his “personal assurance that at no time during your trip [were there] any discussions of cooperation on human space flight activities.”

Obama Strips the ‘Creator’ from Declaration of Independence — Again
– Quoting the Declaration in a speech on Monday, Obama said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It’s the second time he’s left out the word “Creator.”

Homeland Security Dept. ‘Continues to Mislead American People’ About Drug Cartel Violence in U.S., Says AZ Sheriff
– Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says officials at the Department of Homeland Security are lying to the American people by denying the accuracy of an e-mail memo sent by the department to Arizona law enforcement in May warning of drug cartel operations in the state. The May 13 memo warned of assassins being sent into Arizona by Mexican drug cartels to “take out” other criminals trying to steal drug shipments.

Venezuela’s Chavez Affirms ‘Solidarity with the Iranian People’ Against Those Who Would Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program
– Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking in Tehran on Tuesday, affirmed his country’s solidarity with the Islamic Republic in opposing efforts to prevent Iran from developing what he called a peaceful nuclear energy program. Chavez’s comments came a few days after he secured an agreement with Russia to build Venezuela’s first nuclear power plant.

Christians Urged to Wake Up to Reality of GLBT Agenda
Dr. Michael Brown believes Christians have already lost the battle when it comes to public opinion on homosexuality and gender identity issues.

Calif. Megachurch Enters Bankruptcy amid Lawsuits


Tim Tebow’s Mom Endorses Colo. Personhood Amendment


Chinese Delegates Barred from Travel Send Greetings to Lausanne Congress


New Edition of ‘Operation World’ Prayer Guide Officially Out


MLK Anti-Gay Marriage Ad Sparks Debate

Tens of Thousands of Muslims Coming to Christ, Says Iranian Ministry Leader
The Middle East, which has become almost synonymous with violence and Islam, is experiencing an unprecedented level of Muslims becoming followers of Jesus Christ, said Sam Yeghnazar, founder of Iran-focused Elam Ministries.

Judge Denies Request for Stay on DADT Injunction


Congressional Candidate Launches Graphic Abortion TV Ads


Reformed Preachers Ponder the New Calvinism


Persecution Comes with Being a Christian in North Africa, Says Pastor


ACLJ Scores Two More for On-Campus Religious Freedom

In 15 of Last 25 Months, Treasury Needed to Borrow Money to Pay Social Security Benefits
– The U.S. Treasury has needed to borrow money to pay Social Security benefits in 15 out of the last 25 months on record because the Social Security system was in deficit in those months, with the cost of monthly benefit payments exceeding the Social Security tax revenues flowing into the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance trust funds, according to data published by the Social Security Administration.

Obama May Cancel Visit to Sikh Shrine Because of Head-Covering Requirement
– Reports that President Obama has decided not to visit a historic Sikh temple during his visit to India next month because of the head covering he would have to wear are sure to upset adherents of one of the world’s largest religions.

AZ Governor: Obama, Calderon Both Want Illegal Immigration to Continue to Increase Liberal Vote in U.S.
– Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told she believes that neither President Barack Obama nor President Felipe Calderon of Mexico wants to secure the U.S.-Mexico border because they hope illegal aliens will swell the ranks of liberal voters in the United States.

White House: Obama Will Push Lame-Duck Congress to Legalize Homosexuality in U.S. Armed Forces
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– In the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress, President Obama will push the Senate to pass a bill that includes an amendment to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, thus allowing homosexuality in the U.S. armed forces, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Sodomy Still Illegal Under Military Law
– Regardless of the recent legal wrangling over homosexuals serving in the military, sodomy remains outlawed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And each branch of the military also prohibits fraternization between individual service members as well as any behavior that undermines the “good order and discipline in the armed forces.”

No Evidence Gulf Oil Spill Killed Fish, Says NOAA
– There is no evidence the Deep Water Horizon oil spill killed any fish, according to federal and state officials overseeing the oil cleanup. But even with plenty of fish in the sea, the Gulf fishing industry is still suffering from a perception problem.

Satan at Work When Critics of Scandal are Ridiculed, Says Vatican’s American Chief Justice
– In today’s culture, when people criticize immoral behavior or public scandal and are ridiculed by others for doing so, it is “the Father of Lies at work” — the devil, said Archbishop Raymond Burke, the head of the highest court at the Vatican who was named a cardinal of the Catholic Church on Wednesday.

UAE Official Tries to Explain Court Ruling Upholding Muslim Men’s Right to Beat Their Wives
– A top judicial official in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday tried to allay concerns raised by a controversial ruling from the country’s highest court upholding the right of a Muslim to beat his wife and children. Islamic scholars cite the

Labor Department Grant Will Help 1,868 Jobless Virginians Pay Their Health Insurance Premiums
– The U.S. Department of Labor is using taxpayer (stimulus) money to help 1,868 jobless Virginians – those affected by increased imports — pay part of their health insurance premiums. Funding for the $3-million National Emergency Grant was authorized under the stimulus law.

Hilfiger on Bush Tax Cuts: ‘Any Tax Cuts Are Beneficial to Business Owners’
– Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, founder of the Tommy Hilfiger clothing brand, told that “any tax cuts” are beneficial to business owners.

Tea Party Protest in Manhattan Calls Upon ‘Liberal Media’ to ‘Tell the Truth’
– Tea Party activists gathered outside the offices of the New York Times and NBC in Manhattan to protest what they see as a liberal bias at those news outlets. The activists said they were inspired to hold the event because of the Media Research Center’s nationwide “Tell The Truth!” campaign, and some MRC members, including President Brent Bozell, attended the rally and spoke about bias in the media.

Federal Appeals Court Grants Stay on DADT Injunction
A day after a federal judge refused to issue a temporary stay on her order to lift DADT, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the request.

Few Americans Give Churches Good Grades for Handling of Homosexuality


Protestant Pastors Disapprove of Obama, Pulpit Endorsements


Christian Teens Urged to Take Lead Against Anti-Gay Bullying


Tim Keller: Churches Worldwide Need to Move into Cities


Anglican Head: U.S. Gay Ordination Set Us Back

Ecumenical Delegation to U.S. Wraps Up Sudan Awareness Visit
An ecumenical delegation from Sudan concluded its tour through the United States on Friday after 12 days of raising awareness on the situation in Africa’s largest nation, which may soon be divided into two.

Expelled Christians Remain Separated from Moroccan Foster Kids


Missionaries: Church Failing to Reach One-Fourth of the World


CMDA Cautions Stanford Against Use of Embryonic Stem Cells


Ohio Teacher Fired for Burning ‘Crosses’ Drops Lawsuit


Trin-i-tee Goes from Trio to Duo


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