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The fight over the attorney general

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Sen. Sam Brownback's new position on the Senate Judiciary Committee is attracting him new attention as a battle shapes up over the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be the nation's new attorney general."Despite growing concern by several civil liberties organizations, activist groups and former military leaders, Republicans yesterday said they are confident Attorney General-designate Alberto R. Gonzales will be confirmed by the Senate," reports [The Washington Times.][1] "They probably want to scuff him up," added Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican and a new Judiciary Committee member. He said Democrats want to undermine Mr. Gonzales' "effectiveness and his chances for a Supreme Court nomination."Democrats are promising to make hay over Gonzales' memos to President Bush, apparently giving the legal green light to the use of torture on terrorism suspects. They say Republicans who are concerned about human rights should also be reluctant to approve Gonzales' nomination."The president's opponents -- Democrats, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- are lining up to oppose Gonzales," Anne Appelbaum opines at [The Washington Post.][2] "But there are Republicans who ought to understand the deeper issues at stake as well. I am thinking of Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who was the moving force behind the recent passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act."Other links today:Sam Brownback links [Sen. Brownback to visit Sri Lanka:][3] "Sen. Sam Brownback said today that he'll be heading to Sri Lanka and other tsunami-hit areas this weekend to assist in aid efforts and determine what needs to be done to aid victims of last week's killer tidal wave," writes The Wichita Eagle. "Brownback will be traveling with Sen. John Corzine, D-N.J., in a Pacific Rim trip to survey damage that has killed at least 150,000 people." [Motley Crue Rocker's Wish Triggers FCC Probe:][4] "FCC officials say they've received complaints about Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil's use of an expletive during the live New Year's Eve broadcast of 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,'" writes Reuters. "The issue is likely to become congressional fodder again this year as a spokesman for Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., planned to reintroduce legislation raising the fine for indecent broadcasts from $27,500 to $500,000." [As Congress returns from break, eyes are on key committee leaders:][5] "Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) has left the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but is expected to be named the next chairman of the Helsinki Commission," reports JTA.com. "The committee, which includes both House and Senate members, fights anti-Semitism in Russia and the Ukraine."Todd Tiahrt links ['Re-employment accounts' revived:][6] "On the first day of the 109th Congress, House Republicans reintroduced a bill that would create "re-employment accounts" to help some unemployed Americans return to work," reports The Kansas Star. "Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican, is one of the bill's proponents. 'Re-employment accounts will assist those workers who may need new skills for a career in a new economy,' Tiahrt said in a press release prepared by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce."['Monumental tasks' face Congress, Tiahrt says:][7] "Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, tempered optimism with caution as the 109th Congress convened for its ceremonial opening Tuesday," reports The Wichita Eagle. "The war on terrorism and changes to Social Security and the tax code --three Republican goals for the new Congress -- 'are monumental tasks individually, and people are expecting this Congress to address all three of them,' Tiahrt said. 'To accomplish all three of these goals in addition to the appropriations process and other member initiatives would be historic.'"How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][8] [1]: http://washingtontimes.com/national/20050104-102735-7490r.htm [2]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48618-2005Jan4.html [3]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/eagle/10564262.htm [4]: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=televisionNews&storyID=7239088 [5]: http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?intarticleid=14892&intcategoryid=3 [6]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/business/10566328.htm [7]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/eagle/news/nation/10566693.htm [8]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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