REPUBLICAN OFFICIALS APPROVE CONVENTION RULES, TRIGGERING UPROAR
Republican officials hastily adopted a set of much-contested convention rules Monday, setting off an unruly protest from anti-Donald Trump delegates on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Those anti-Trump forces had hoped to challenge the rules that bind delegates to vote for the presumptive GOP nominee, as part of a last-ditch bid to at least disrupt his march to the nomination. But the convention's presiding officer, Arkansas GOP Rep. Steve Womack, abruptly put the rules to a vote -- twice -- and declared them approved by voice.
This prompted loud objections from Trump opponents, who shouted “roll call vote" in a dramatic showdown that effectively ended the Never Trump movement, but also underscored the deep divisions that remain in the party even as the Trump campaign claims the GOP has united.
Those delegates were hoping for a state-by-state vote on the rules that bind delegates to back Trump.
“I have no idea what’s going on right now,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee said Monday, who helped lead the failed uprising. “This is surreal.”
Following the votes, almost all of the Colorado and half of Iowa delegations walked out. Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and members of his state's delegation were screaming "shame" amid the vote; he later told CNN the RNC "violated its rules."
The Trump camp was said to be "livid" at the revived push.
"This is a big headache," one official told Fox News.
Anti-Trump delegates tried to force a vote after collecting signatures calling for one. They claimed to have more than enough support, including a majority of the delegates in nine states, to technically allow them to file a report challenging the convention rules.
But Womack said from the podium that delegates from three states withdrew their signatures. He then declared that the effort had fallen short.
The three delegations that dropped out of the effort to challenge the rules package were the District of Columbia, Minnesota and Maine. Alaska did not file the paperwork properly, while Iowa dropped out after the fact.
Womack took the unusual step of calling for two separate voice votes. He declared the pro-Trump delegates victorious both times despite the loud chorus of boos from the crowd.
Rory Cooper, senior adviser with the Never Trump group, blasted party officials, saying in a statement: “Delegates presented party officials with more than enough states to force a roll call vote on the floor. There is no excuse for strong arming delegates and skirting the rules to silence these members of the party.”
North Dakota delegate Gary Emineth, who had a role on the Trump Victory fundraising committee, resigned in protest following the floor fight over the way the anti-Trump forces were treated.
“They want a kumbaya moment. Why can’t we have a little drama?” he said. He also had strong words for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus; asked if Priebus should resign, he said “yes.”
The anti-Trump forces wanted to change a rule that requires delegates to vote for the candidate they were committed to by the primaries and caucuses. Under current party rules, Trump’s nomination is essentially secured since he’s accumulated more than the 1,237 delegates required to win.
While Trump wasn't in danger of losing the delegates he needs to get nominated, the stamina of the anti-Trump movement is an embarrassing setback for the presumptive nominee.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, downplayed the events Monday morning during a press briefing with reporters.
“We don’t expect anything to come out of the rules committee,” Manafort said.
At a separate event he said, “It’s not a movement. It’s some rogue, recalcitrant delegates.”
Other delegates had threatened to walk out if the rules weren't changed.
"We won't sit around and coronate a king," said Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh, who like many insurgents backed vanquished presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
The convention's rules committee earlier had defeated the dissidents seeking to make the changes late last week, thanks to an alliance between the Trump campaign and RNC leaders on that panel. For a short time, it seemed to sideline the movement.
Manafort has said there is no longer a viable "stop Trump" movement, only some "malcontents" who don't represent the broader Republican Party.
Despite the tension, Manafort insists that the GOP is not showing signs of strain but instead is coming together in a show of party unity.
“Ninety-four to 95 percent have come together,” Manafort said.
Still, high profile Republicans have decided to skip the convention – as well as withhold their endorsement of the New York real estate mogul.
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush said they would not attend the Cleveland convention – which seemed fine with Manafort.
“They are part of the past,” Manafort said. “We think that the unification is happening and we hope that when the Bush family decides to participate again in the political process, that they will join us. We would welcome them handily. We’ve reached out to them but healing takes time.”
Manafort called Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s decision not to speak at the event “a difficult situation.”
“It’s a difficult situation when the home state governor doesn’t participate in the convention process … We invited him. We wanted him to participate, he chose not to. We think that's the wrong decision. There were no conditions put on him.”
Aside from dealing with the rules package, delegates also approved the party platform during Monday’s afternoon session including language that Christian conservatives cheered as the most conservative statement of party principles in recent memory.
The GOP convention approved language reaffirming the party's opposition to gay marriage and bathroom choice for transgender people.
And new language condemning same-sex parenting says: "Children raised in a traditional two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, less likely to sue drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage." (Contributor: By Fox News - Barnini Chakraborty and Fox News' Bret Baier and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Pray that the Lord will speak into the hearts of all freedom- and God-loving Americans regarding this very important 2016 election. The lives of the unborn are in the balance. The issue of Constitutional law for all Americans hangs in the balance. The next president will have the opportunity to appoint several conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices, affecting many years to come.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." (Rev. 3:20 NIV)
BATON ROUGE MURDERS: IF KILLING COPS BECOMES THE NEW NORMAL...
Waking up to the news [this past] Sunday that three more of our nation’s police officers were gunned down, and several others injured, in Baton Rouge, La. hit me like a sledgehammer to the gut. It should for all Americans.
In light of recent events in Dallas, where 5 area police officers were killed in an unprovoked mass-killing just over a week ago, the most recent violence seems almost inconceivable.
Just days ago, thousands of mourners gathered to remember the officers gunned down in Dallas. Politicians, clergy, local leaders, and others from across the political spectrum came together and called for reconciliation, mutual understanding, and peace.
And then this happened on Sunday.
Having spent over 18 years in law enforcement, the recent attacks on law enforcement officers cause me understandable grief and concern. But it also raises further questions as to just how the modern-day police officer will be able to cope — and function — in the coming days, weeks, and months.
Being a police officer is already hard work. It’s dangerous and thankless. For most officers, though, it’s a calling — a desire to serve one’s community.
But given recent events, what once could be thought of as “routine” in police work must now be considered potentially extraordinary.
What feelings must resonate within the patrolman who is responding to a call of domestic violence or simple larceny? Am I the next target? Is this really a routine call for service or is it an ambush?
No longer can the patrolman simply worry about the reported crime itself but rather he or she must approach these events as though they are potentially walking into the next Dallas or Baton Rouge.
And that is no way to function as a police officer. The stress, strain, and uncertainty would be unbearable.
Officers being ambushed by criminals is nothing new. America saw it up close and personal on December 20, 2014 when NYPD officers Wenjin Liu and Rafael Ramos were gunned down in their patrol vehicle during the height of anti-police sentiment in the wake of the death of Eric Garner.
But today feels different.
What we are experiencing right now no longer feels isolated. It no longer feels extraordinary. Sadly, this extreme violence against our men and women in blue is beginning to feel routine.
And that is particularly frightening.
Our society cannot operate — cannot function — when we normalize this type of violence against the very people dedicated and tasked with upholding the rule of law.
No matter your background, political leanings, or your broader ideology, every single American must collectively stand up and say enough is enough.
Scott G. Erickson is the Founder and President of Americans in Support of Law Enforcement. (Contributor: By Scott G. Erickson for Fox News - Scott G. Erickson is the Founder and President of Americans in Support of Law Enforcement.)
Pray that the rule of law and order will once again be lifted high in the hearts of all Americans. We reflect upon the evil of this past week’s destructive actions and call upon the Lord for His healing hand, especially for those who have lost loved ones in these senseless murders.
"Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." (Rom. 12:19 NIV)
TURKEY'S LAST HOPE DIES
Friday night’s failed coup was Turkey’s last hope to stop the Islamization of its government and the degradation of its society. Reflexively, Western leaders rushed to condemn a coup attempt they refused to understand. Their reward will be a toxic Islamist regime at the gates of Europe.
Our leaders no longer do their basic homework.The media relies on experts-by-Wikipedia. Except for PC platitudes, our schools ignore the world beyond our shores. Deluged with unreliable information, citizens succumb to the new superstitions of the digital age.
So a great country is destroyed by Islamist hardliners before our eyes—and our president praises its “democracy.”
That tragically failed coup was a forlorn hope, not an attempt to take over a country. Turkey is not a banana republic in which the military grasps the reins for its own profit. For almost a century, the Turkish armed forces have been the guardians of the country’s secular constitution. Most recently, coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980 (with “non-coup” pressure in 1997) saw the military intervene to prevent the country’s collapse.
Each time, the military returned the government to civilian rule as soon as that proved practical. My own first experience of Turkey came just before the 1980 coup. Turkey was broke and broken. The economy was in such a shambles that you could not buy a cup of Turkish coffee in Istanbul. I walked because taxis and public transportation had no fuel. Murderous political violence raged. Reluctantly, the generals stepped in and saved their country.
Friday night, mid-grade officers led a desperate effort to rescue their country again. They failed. The West cheered. Soon enough, we’ll mourn.
The coup leaders made disastrous mistakes, the worst of which was to imagine that the absence of President Erdogan from Ankara, the capital, presented the perfect opportunity. Wrong. In a coup, the key is to seize the leaders you mean to overthrow (as well as control of the media). Instead of fleeing into exile, Erdogan was able to return in triumph.
So who is the man our own president rushed to support because he was “democratically elected?” Recep Tayyip Erdogan is openly Islamist and affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which President Obama appears to believe represents the best hope for the Middle East. But the difference between ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t one of purpose, but merely of manners: Muslim Brothers wash the blood off their hands before they sit down to dinner with their dupes.
With barely a murmured “Tut-tut!” from Western leaders, Erdogan has dismantled Turkey’s secular constitution (which the military is duty-bound to protect). His “democracy” resembles Putin’s, not ours. Key opposition figures have been driven into exile or banned. Opposition parties have been suppressed. Recent elections have not been held so much as staged. And Erdogan has torn the fresh scab from the Kurdish wound, fostering civil war in Turkey’s southeast for his own political advantage.
Erdogan has packed Turkey’s courts with Islamists. He appointed pliant, pro-Islamist generals and admirals, while staging show trials of those of whom he wished to rid the country. He has de facto, if not yet de jure, curtailed women’s freedoms. He dissolved the wall between mosque and state (Friday night, he used mosques’ loudspeakers to call his supporters into the streets). Not least, he had long allowed foreign fighters to transit Turkey to join ISIS and has aggressively backed other extremists whom he believed he could manage.
And his diplomatic extortion racket has degraded our own military efforts against ISIS.
That’s the man President Obama supports.
And the leaders of the ill-fated coup? What did they stand for? Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s legacy and a secular constitution. One of the great men of the last century, Ataturk (an innovative general by background) pulled Turkey from the wreckage of World War One, abolished the caliphate, suppressed fanatical religious orders, gave women legal rights and social protections, banned the veil, promoted secular education for all citizens of Turkey, strongly advocated Westernization and modernization…and promoted a democratic future.
The officers who led the collapsed coup stood for all those things. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry opposed them.
By Saturday morning, it was clear that the mullahs and mobs behind Erdogan had won. Erdogan will use the coup as an excuse to accelerate the Islamization of his country and to lead Turkey deeper into the darkness engulfing the Muslim world. His vision is one of a neo-Ottoman megalomaniac.
NATO, which operates by consensus, will find itself embracing a poisonous snake. New crises will reawaken old fears in southeastern Europe, which western European states will dismiss condescendingly, further crippling the badly limping European Union. Syria will continue to bleed. And educated, secular Turks will find themselves in a situation like unto that of German liberals in the 1930s. We may see new and unexpected wars.
A desperate, ill-planned coup has failed in Turkey. Here comes the darkness.
(Contributor: By Ralph Peters for Fox News - Fox News Strategic Analyst Ralph Peters is a retired U.S. Army officer and former enlisted man.)
his article purports “no hope”, but there is always hope in the Lord. He can do anything that He desires to do on behalf of a people surrendered to Him. Pray for the righteous people of the Lord to be protected in Turkey. Pray that America will not foster or advance the "Moslem" doctrine in Turkey. Cry out to the Lord to expose the darkness of the Muslim Brotherhood promoted by many in this current U.S. administration.
"...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chron. 7:14 NIV)
THOUSANDS OF EVANGELICALS CROWD THE MALL
Rappers and pastors, spoken word poets and authors appealed Saturday to tens of thousands of mostly young evangelicals gathered around the Washington Monument in baking heat to recommit to prayer and hope at a time of intense racial and political polarization and growing secularism.
People streamed into prayer tents, asking volunteers for prayers to “reset” their lives, their families, their country. They got on their knees by the thousands, appealing to God to end racism. They told personal stories of division in their lives that brought them to the capital for what aimed to be one of the bigger faith outreach events in the United States in years. They cited Ferguson, Mo.; Orlando; Dallas; and Nice, France.
But as much as people said they came because of frustrations and disappointment with American institutions, there was a striking absence of talk of the 2016 presidential race, or anything even remotely political. It was a dramatic shift from big evangelical gatherings of previous generations, which were highly partisan — on the conservative side.
“A lot of millennials and Americans and others are really frustrated with the political process and division and hate and are longing for a leader we can look to, and that’s Jesus,” said Nick Hall, the 34-year-old evangelist and event planner who organized “Together.” “We aren’t trying to overthrow or impose anything, and we don’t want to be the Moral Majority.”
The event, scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., ended just after 4 p.m. because of the excessive heat. U.S. Park Police and Hall said that emergency medical technicians were assisting a large number of people who had fainted in the heat.
In the seven hours the event lasted, attendees heard the Grammy-winning musician Lecrae rap an intense critique of American power structures, Australian evangelist Christine Caine preach about the need for Christians to be positive and encouraging, and writers Ann Voskamp and Amena Brown recite a poemprayer weaving images of Native Americans, slave ships and cotton pickers.
In the audience was Heather Crowe, who came from Pennsylvania with her daughter and other female relatives seeking healing. Recently neighbors and even relatives had chided her 18-year-old daughter for dating an African American, saying, “Are you serious?” Between her sadness over the racist comments and the recent police-involved killings of black men, she said a big Christian concert suddenly seemed needed. Her family is white.
“It became more apparent we needed to be here, to feel like we were united,” Crowe said. “As a mother, you’re anxious for what the future holds for her. I’ve always told her to be a light in the darkness.”
The event featured some of the most prominent musicians and evangelists in contemporary evangelical Christianity. It was aimed at more theologically conservative young evangelicals, with organizers calling it a “reset” for Christians who feel exhausted from battling the mainstream culture and sidelined by secularism.
“I think a lot of believers that are teenagers feel that they’re the only Christian on their [sports] team, the only Christian who works at the McDonald’s where they work.” The huge concert style gathering shows these young people that “the church is alive,” Mark Hall, a youth pastor who is the lead singer of the rock band Casting Crowns, said after their set.
But this event’s attendees and its lineup were unusually diverse — including gospel musician Kirk Franklin and Dallas pastor Tony Evans, who are African American, and the mega-preacher Francis Chan, whose parents were from China, and Ravi Zacharias, who is of Indian descent. And while parts of evangelical America do not accept women as preachers, the event also gave women equal billing with huge figures such as mega-preachers Chan and Mark Batterson of Capitol Hill.
In one of the most pointed moments of the day, Lecrae rapped “Welcome to America”: “Must be a thief; she locked the doors when I was walking by. ... It’s hard to dream when your water ain’t clean. . . . Made in America. Mama told me that I belong here. Had to earn our stripes, learn our rights, fight for a home here. But I wouldn’t know anything about that; all I know is drugs and rap. ... You better come save me, America.”
Anjelica and Joseph Tynes, an African American couple who attended the event, said they arrived hoping to hear a message of racial reconciliation aimed at evangelicals.
Anjelica said she wondered beforehand whether a one-time event could really make a difference, but when she saw the crowd on the Mall, she changed her mind. In fact, she thought the day of prayer would do more for racial healing than the presidential election could.
“If Trump’s in office, we’re responsible to pray for Trump,” she said. “If Hillary’s in office, we’re responsible to pray for Hillary.”
The Tyneses, like many others on the Mall, said they would not discuss whom they will vote for, preferring instead to devote the day to prayer. There wasn’t a political sign or shirt in sight.
Yonatan Estifanos, an engineer from Prince George’s County, said he hasn’t chosen a presidential candidate yet. “God can use anybody,” he said.
Among the few to engage in political discussion during the event were Adam Gordon, 32, and Josh Brooks, 25. Brooks said he’s thinking he will vote for Trump if the polls in November show him with a chance of winning New York, where the two friends live. Gordon burst out, “Why?”
“Better than Hillary,” Brooks said.
Gordon shook his head. “Please don’t tell me you’re using Christianity to vote for Donald Trump,” he said, adding that he would vote for a third-party candidate since he thinks neither Trump nor Clinton is sufficiently opposed to abortion.
Paul Yi, 17, pointed out a lack of Asian Americans in the lineup, despite the large patches of Asian Americans in the audience. He attended the event with members of his Korean American church in Maryland.
But Yi said: “It’s no problem. We’re all here to worship God. Don’t look at the worshipers.”
Rene Aviles, 35, came with his wife and two children in hopes that they would learn about unity in an embattled country. He said he would have liked to see more Latino speakers in the lineup, considering they are part of the largest minority group in evangelicalism at 11 percent.
“Deep down as a born El Salvadorean, yeah, that would have been nice to see,” Aviles said.
Almost all of the people appearing at the event Saturday were evangelical, but Hall shared a greeting from Pope Francis.
Francis did a promotional video for the event, encouraging viewers to “Give [Jesus] a try! You don’t have anything to lose!” but some evangelical leaders discouraged too much involvement of the Catholic leader.
“We’re not saying it’s time to compromise scripture,” Hall told the crowd. “But there is something about reaching across the aisle. . . . We didn’t come for a show, we didn’t come for a concert. . . . We need to hear from heaven!”
In an interview last week, Hall said his goal was just to hold a huge, love-Jesus rally — something that has been mostly absent from American public life since the days of Billy Graham’s famed crusades.
“Everything now is protests: ‘I’m against this,’ or ‘I hate that.’ We really believe there is a longing to come together. We don’t have to agree on everything, but we can come together around the hope of Jesus,” he said. “There are moments when God’s people come together, and God does something that can heal, change, define generations.”
Mike and Tina Shannon, who drove from Fort Myers, Fla., with their twin 11-year-olds, said Together was thrilling because it was so nonpolitical and encouraging for religious Christians.
“At the end of the day, there’s only one king. When it comes to politicians, all we can do is pray for them,” said Tina Shannon. (Contributor: By Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer, and Kirkland An for The Washington Post)
Give thanks to the Lord for His Presence in the crowds on the National Mall this past week. Pray that there will be many more opportunities to present the love of Jesus in open gatherings during this election season. Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to promote prayer for America. Exercise your God-given right to freedom of expression. For those of you familiar with IFA, consider promoting the Get Out The Prayer campaign in your area of influence (visit www.GetOutThePrayer.com)
"What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." (Matt. 10:27 NIV)
A REFUGE FOR GRANDPARENTS STEPPING UP TO RAISE THEIR GRANDCHILDREN
The medicated patches that are supposed to numb the pain in Olivia Chase’s knees won’t stay affixed, so she adjusts them, once again, and pushes forward on her rolling walker.
She has to keep walking.
She walks at 7:30 a.m. to catch a bus to take her 7-year-old grandson to summer school. She walks at noon into her church to drop off his camp registration form. She walks at 5 p.m. to pick him up from school and take him to swim practice. She walks and walks, until 7 p.m., when, finally, she and her grandson step into the one-bedroom apartment they share in Northwest Washington, a place where there is no room to entertain company because the living room is his bedroom.
“Sometimes I go until I can’t go,” says Chase, who is 60.
The walls have not yet been erected on a plot of land in Mount Vernon Triangle for a 12-story affordable-housing development, but Chase and others are already hoping it will serve as a refuge for families such as theirs: grandfamilies.
The building will be the first of its kind in the city — and one of only a handful in the nation — offering subsidized housing and services for grandparents raising grandchildren.
It will be a place, developers and city officials say, designed for two vulnerable populations: those growing up and those growing old.
“This is as big a problem as homelessness or anything else we’re facing right now,” said Daniel Henson, a developer behind the $84 million project, which will be funded with public and private dollars. Fifty of the 223 apartments for low-income residents will be set aside for grandfamilies.
“I’m hoping we can be a model, and we can begin to address what I think is a major issue moving forward,” Henson said.
Nationally, the number of grandfamilies — about 2.7 million at last count — appears to be growing because of the opioid-addiction crisis and the priority that child-welfare agencies now place on keeping families united, experts say.
In the District, where rising real estate costs pose a heavy burden on low-income residents, about 1,000 grandfamilies need subsidized homes, officials estimate.
Chase has already contacted city officials to ask how she can apply to be among the first residents when the project known as Plaza West opens in 2018.
Finding services in one place that she and her grandson currently seek across the city would shorten their often-long days, she says. And then there is the benefit of having neighbors with similar family structures.
“When you’re in school and you see a lot of mommies and daddies, even though you know you have your grandma, I think there is still a void,” Chase says. “But being in an environment where you see people are just like you, it gives him a different window to look out of, a different sense of identity.”
This hit her as they sat in a movie theater on a recent evening, watching the animated film “Finding Dory.” The blue tang fish, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, was just about to meet her parents when she realizes they aren’t where she thought they would be. Chase looked over and saw her grandson in tears.
‘Will I be here?’
On a Monday morning, Chase is the first to arrive at a support group tailored to grandparents who are raising grandchildren.
She didn’t plan to be here at 60, sitting at a table topped with pastries and juice, discussing how season passes to Six Flags work.
Chase raised three boys alone while working as a nuclear medicine technologist. Her oldest son lives in California and her middle son in New York. She watched her youngest son, Oliver Sowell, join the military, serve in Iraq and come back “much different than he left.” In 2010, he was convicted of capital murder in Texas and given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His wife, who was also involved in the incident in which a woman was fatally shot outside an illegal gambling room, was sentenced to 48 years in prison. The two had been staying with Chase before their arrest and left her to care for their infant son, Richard.
“I was 53 years old with this 3-month-old baby and really in shock,” recalls Chase, who has received disability payments since 2002. She knew nothing about day care when someone suggested she enroll the child in a program at Martha’s Table. Richard was 11 months old when President Obama visited the center and lifted him up. Chase shows off a picture of the moment that she keeps on her phone.
The six grandmothers at the support group all brag about their grandchildren, even as they vent about them.
“I have to share this, y’all,” says Cassandra Gentry, 64, who sports a short crop of white hair and silver hoop earrings. She tells how the music instructor at her grandson’s school asked to meet with her after his performance in a 1970s-themed production. “She said, ‘Brace yourself, you have a natural-born actor.’ ”
The women swap stories and laugh about how boys don’t like to share beds and how children nowadays prefer 7-Eleven pizza or carryout drenched in mumbo sauce over home cooking.
But in other moments, the conversation turns serious. One grandmother says her 22-year-old grandson still asks for money, and she’s tired of giving it. When another woman asks whether her grandchild will receive her Social Security benefits when she dies, the woman next to her says the only reason her own grandchildren are entitled to hers is because their father killed her daughter and then lost his parental rights.
Organizations that work with grandfamilies say that often these families are forged through death, drugs or other traumatic circumstances.
Donna Butts, who heads the District-based Generations United, says her nonprofit organization advised city officials that support services had to be integrated into the Plaza West project for it to succeed.
Grandparents who step up to take care of their grandchildren are twice as likely to live in poverty as their peers, and they are also more likely to say they skipped a meal or medication to provide for the children, Butts says.
At the same time, she says, they save taxpayers more than $4 billion a year nationally by keeping their grandchildren out of the child-welfare system.
“People need to realize we all have a stake in this issue,” Butts says.
At the support group, run by Howard University’s School of Social Work, the women talk about the children in their lives, but also about themselves. They discuss fears, and hopes.
“I wonder will I be around for him,” Gentry says. “I lost a lot of friends these last two or three years. They just checked out of here, 64, 65 years old. And I’ll be 70 when this baby graduates. Will I be here?”
Chase says she has started to think about “life after Richard.” She’s going back to school, she tells the group.
“I still want my life to be useful up until whenever that is, you know, the end,” she says. “You know 60 is the new 30. In this city, really, this city is age-friendly, they are age-supportive. In many ways, I feel this city is my family.”
‘This has to go deeper’
The concept for Plaza West grew out of a family. Yvonne Williams says her father, Smallwood Williams, the founder of Bible Way Church near Union Station, had a vision for the strip of land near K Street and Interstate 395 before he died in 1991. He wanted to see the grounds used for an intergenerational center.
“He left us with that core concept,” says Williams, 77. He couldn’t have known then how the crack epidemic would leave an increasing number of grandparents raising grandchildren or how opioids would do the same decades later. “We started to say: ‘This has to be more than a community center. This has to go deeper than that.’ ”
The church, which has created 500 affordable-housing units in the city, presented the concept to developers it had partnered with previously. The result is Plaza West.
At a groundbreaking ceremony last month, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) lauded the project. “Plaza West shows us what is possible when we work together,” she said. About $20 million in public funds will be used for the project; the rest is coming from private investment.
Sarah Constant, managing director of Mission First Housing Group, says the number of units is limited to 50 because research indicates it is the ideal size. The grandfamily section will have its own entrance and amenities, including 24-hour concierge service, separate play spaces for children of different ages and a library where grandparents can gather.
Williams has high hopes for the development. “I’ve already asked the Lord in heaven, ‘We want some Harvard scholarships as well as Howard scholarships,’ ” she says. “It’s not just getting your high school diploma. It’s expanding horizons.”
‘They have to have shoes’
Addie Brinkley, 62, just wants a place where smoke from cigarettes and marijuana won’t seep into her home and trigger her granddaughter’s asthma.
In the hotel where she lives with the 12-year-old and the girl’s 10-year-old sister, there is no escape from it. But they have little choice.
For 14 months they have been homeless, living in city-provided temporary housing. Brinkley works in the mailroom at the National Institutes of Health, where she has been employed for 42 years, but she says her paycheck is not enough to support three people. She also says she doesn’t qualify for a monthly stipend from the city’s Grandparent Caregiver Program. Currently, 492 caregivers, including Chase, are enrolled in the program.
“They say, ‘God don’t put more on you than you can bear,’ ” Brinkley says one recent afternoon. The 12-year-old is in summer school, but the 10-year-old had to join Brinkley at work because she doesn’t have alternative care.
When the girls came to live with her nine years ago, Brinkley says she was working two eight-hour jobs as well as part-time security work and had to quit all but the NIH job. Opportunities to advance arose there, but she says she couldn’t take advantage of them because she couldn’t read. Now, she’s trying to earn a high school diploma.
“I can survive for me, but you got to make sure these kids are well taken care of,” she says. “If I don’t buy myself a coat, they have to have coats. If I don’t buy myself shoes, they have to have shoes.”
Chase knows sacrifice, too. But as she pulls herself slowly from a public pool one afternoon and sits on her walker, she isn’t thinking about her aching knees that should be replaced. She thinks about how the boy speeding through the water in neon green shorts keeps her moving. “I probably wouldn’t be swimming if I didn’t have him,” she says. “I wouldn’t do a lot of things if I didn’t have him.”
She wouldn’t be on the PTA, or know about Minecraft, his favorite video game. She wouldn’t know how to “whip and nae nae” or be planning to chaperone a camping trip to North Carolina.
She wouldn’t be smiling proudly, even as the rain starts falling at 6:30 p.m., as she shows off a shirt Richard gave her after completing a 5K run. It reads, “We are D.C.” (Contributor: By Theresa Vargas for The Washington Post)
Ask the Lord to bless those families who will be helped by this unique approach. Pray for godly oversight of the administrative decisions needed to allow this program to thrive. Pray for the protection of elderly citizens who will depend upon righteous actions by those placed in leadership of this facility.
"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Tim. 5:8 ESV)
IRAN GETS FIRST MISSILE SHIPMENT FOR S-300 SYSTEM
Iran has received the first batch of missiles for the S-300 missile defense system, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.
The news agency said the missiles indicate that Moscow is supplying Tehran with the advanced S-300 PMU2 system rather than the PMU1, information it said has been kept under wraps.
Russia began delivery of the S-300 missile defense system to Iran in April, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.
The sale of the S-300 system has been reported by both Russia and Iran as imminent since the signing of the nuclear deal last year.
In April, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jaberi Ansari told local media that the delivery of the system had already begun.
“We had already announced that despite several changes in time of delivery, the deal is on its path of implementation. Today I should announce that the first part of these equipment has arrived in Iran and delivery of other parts will continue,” Ansari said, according to the Mehr news agency.
The Russian-made missile defense system is one of the most advanced of its kind in the world, offering long-range protection against both airplanes and missiles.
In 2010 Russia froze a deal to supply the system to Iran, linking the decision to UN sanctions instituted because of Tehran’s nuclear program. Putin lifted the suspension in July 2015, following Iran’s deal with six world powers that curbed its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions.
Israel has long sought to block the sale to Iran of the S-300 system, which analysts say could impede a potential Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities. Other officials have expressed concern that the systems could reach Syria and Hezbollah, diluting Israel’s regional air supremacy.
The Israeli Air Force has trained for a scenario in which it would have to carry out strikes in Syria or Iran on facilities defended by the Russian-made S-300 air defense system.
In an interview late last year, IAF commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said the S-300 was a “significant but not insurmountable challenge” for the IAF. (Contributor: By Times of Israel Staff for Times of Israel - Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.)
SECRET ADD-ON TO IRAN DEAL ALLOWS STEPPED-UP NUKES PRODUCTION BY 2027
The document was given to the AP by an unnamed diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade.
In what reportedly is the only part of last year’s Iran nuclear deal not made public, the Islamic Republic will be able to resume key nuclear production in just over a decade.
An Associated Press article published Monday said the news agency had obtained a document saying that when the restrictions are lifted, Iran will need only six months to build a bomb — lower than the current estimates of a year.
The document was given to the AP by an unnamed diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade. Its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat.
The diplomat who shared the document said it was an add-on agreement to the main deal that is formally separate but actually is an integral part of the deal. Iran and the six countries that negotiated the deal, including the United States, approved the add-on.
While some of the constraints extend for 15 years, documents in the public domain are vague about what happens after the first 10 years of the agreement, according to the AP.
The document obtained by the AP says that as of January 2027, Iran can start replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines. The new machines will enable Iran to enrich at more than twice the rate as it is now, according to the AP.
“We have ensured that Iran’s breakout time comes down gradually after year 10 in large part because of restrictions on its uranium stockpile until year 15,” an unidentified diplomat told the AP. “As for breakout times after the initial 10 years of the deal, the breakout time does not go off a cliff nor do we believe that it would be immediately cut in half, to six months.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, reached on July 14, 2015, lifts economic sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and many in the American Jewish community opposed the deal. (Contributor: By JTA for The Jerusalem Post)
It boggles the mind why any responsible state (Russia in this case) would encourage or contribute weapons to any state that threatens the existence of peace. Iran has expressed repeatedly that it wants to wipe off the map any state that does not agree with their Islamic agenda. This illicit regime occupying their government projects this mantra of destruction. Pray that this evil empire will be brought to its knees by the one true God while there is yet time to repent. The Lord does encourage us by His Word: “every knee shall bow!”
"'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'" (Rom. 14:11 NIV)