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Roberts: Negroponte a good choice

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Sen. Pat Roberts this morning praised the appointment of Ambassador John Negroponte to be the [new director of national intelligence.][1]Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committeee, said Negroponte's national security background is "significant" and that he is "extremely pleased" by the nomination. Roberts' committee will hold hearings on Negroponte's confirmation."When the Ambassador called me this morning, he told me he looks forward to appearing before the committee for his confirmation hearing and seeking our advice as we move forward with the new intelligence reform legislation," Roberts said in a written statement to the media. "We will hold the Ambassador's confirmation hearing as soon as his duties in Iraq are completed." Negroponte, previously the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and currently the U.S. envoy to Iraq, is hardly without controversy. Liberal critics have said he did little to stop human rights abuses by the Honduran military during a [stint as ambassador in the early 1980s.][2] Those allegations, though, have done little to slow Negroponte's career.Wednesday, though, Roberts and his committee heard from Porter Goss, the CIA director, about threats to the United States."U.S. intelligence officials warned Wednesday that the threat of al Qaeda or other terrorist groups attacking the United States was still likely -- probably in the form of a car bomb or other low-tech weapon," [reported CNN.][3][Bloomberg adds:][4] "The Senate committee has been critical of intelligence agencies in the past, particularly for their failure to anticipate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and correctly gauge weapons programs in Iraq. "Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, said the committee can no longer take intelligence assessments at 'face value.''' Other links:Sam Brownback links [(Billboard Radio Monitor) House Approves Modified Indecency Bill:][5] "In an overwhelming bipartisan show of support for tougher indecency fine penalties, the House of Representatives today (Feb. 16) passed a modified Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, H.R. 310, by a vote of 389 to 38. ... There has been no announcement yet of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing for (Sen. Sam) Brownback's re-introduced bill. 'The senator is hoping for sooner rather than later,' says the spokesman."[(Bloomberg) U.S. Congress Renews Push to Enforce Iran Sanctions:][6] "U.S. lawmakers are beginning a new push to compel enforcement of a 1996 law imposing sanctions on foreign companies that do business in Iran. ... Other Republicans who have introduced such legislation are Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado."[(Washington Post) Bills Renew Fight on Stem Cells:][7] "Congressional supporters of human embryonic stem cell research launched their most intensive effort to expand federal funding for the controversial field, introducing identical bills yesterday in the Senate and House that would loosen research restrictions President Bush imposed in 2001. ... Advocates of greater restrictions -- led by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) -- have expressed optimism that they may prevail. A spokesman for Brownback said only that the senator is still studying the language."Todd Tiahrt links [(KWCH-TV) Boeing sale could happen this week:][8] "After more than a year of talk, it looks like a deal for Boeing's Wichita plant is in the works. And whatever it is, an announcement could be made by the end of the week. Tuesday night, Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt tells us that's just part of his conversation with Boeing's president and chief executive officer."[(The Hill) They don't agree on anything, especially what to watch:][9] "Fox News Channel is thought to be 'fair and balanced' only in Republican offices on Capitol Hill, while CNN is regarded as 'the most trusted name in news' where Democrats work, according to an investigation of the television news-viewing habits of Congress. ... 'Fox News tends to be more equitable in presenting both views, in my opinion,' said Chuck Knapp, press secretary for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). 'CNN has a much more obvious liberal bias.'"How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][10] [1]: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6986647/ [2]: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3640787.stm [3]: http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/02/16/intelligence.threats/ [4]: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=akabrb686IVc&refer=us [5]: http://billboardradiomonitor.com/radiomonitor/news/business/leg_reg/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000806512 [6]: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=a3b9KSRL1cHw&refer=top_world_news [7]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30588-2005Feb16.html [8]: http://www.kbsd6.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=KBSD/MGArticle/BSD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031780852593 [9]: http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/021505/tv.html [10]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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