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LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Gitmo, embryos, immigration and judges

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Congressional Briefing is back from vacation...Pat Roberts links [Transcript from Sen. Pat Roberts' appearance on "Fox News Sunday":][1] (Roberts said), "I just got back from Gitmo as of yesterday, right after the hurricane. And I was tremendously impressed by the terrorist interrogation that is continuing down there on the very positive basis by a very professional group of men and women in uniform. That kind of interrogation is providing 50, 60 percent of the intelligence that we need to stop an attack like this."[(Topeka Capital-Journal editorial) Recruiting -- A tough sell:][2] Pentagon officials have asked congressmen to stress the importance of military service. But these days, with the ongoing dangers in Iraq and Afghanistan and with the casualty count growing, it's a tough sell. "With the deluge of negative news that we get daily, it's just amazing to me that anybody would want to sign up," says Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts.[(Washington Times) Bitterness over CAFTA:][3] Sugar crops account for about 1 percent of the cash receipts received by U.S. farmers for their commodities, but sugar farmers and producers carry significantly more political weight in Washington. They are using every ounce of it to defeat CAFTA-DR. "It is difficult to understand how the interests of one commodity -- one commodity and I am talking about sugar -- has largely outweighed the potential for regional stability in CAFTA countries," Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican. Sam Brownback links [(Chicago Tribune via KRT) Battle over embryos opens new front: in vitro fertilization:][4] That's how IVF is done in Germany and Italy, where the law forbids freezing embryos, says a maximum of three embryos may be created at one time, and requires that every embryo be transferred simultaneously back into the woman who produced the eggs. Recently, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said those countries might have the right idea. In an interview with ABC's "This Week," he suggested restricting the number of eggs that can be fertilized and requiring doctors to implant all the embryos that result.[(LA Times) Enforce Immigration Law, or Change It? Answer May Be Both:][5] The principal immigration reform proposal so far introduced in Congress, a bipartisan collaboration between Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and some surprising cosponsors like conservative Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), leans toward this analysis. It includes some measures to stiffen border security. But mostly it attempts to divert the illegal flow of Mexican labor into a legal and orderly process through a guest worker program for future migrants and a path toward "earned legalization" for the millions already in the U.S. without documentation.[(Washington Post via MSNBC) Polarized panel awaits high court nominee:][6] Some analysts view the committee's makeup and personalities as a potential recipe for discord, not only between the two parties but also perhaps within the GOP ranks. Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) strenuously differ with Specter on abortion -- certain to be a prime issue during the hearings. And the president's allies make no secret they would prefer the gavel to be back in the hands of Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the panel's most senior Republican and a steadfast Bush loyalist. Party term-limit rules forced him to step aside just before the high court vacancy occurred.Todd Tiahrt links [(Ark City Traveler) Tiahrt takes on 'activist judges':][7] U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard criticized what he called "activist judges" in Kansas who are dictating how much money goes to state public schools. In the meeting held in City Hall, Tiahrt said, "We have to have good schools, but for the courts to do that, I think is improper," said Tiahrt, who spent an hour discussing various issues with 30 Arkansas City residents attending the meeting.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][8] [1]: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,162058,00.html [2]: http://cjonline.com/stories/071105/opi_recruited.shtml [3]: http://washingtontimes.com/business/20050710-100559-7327r.htm [4]: http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/nation/12104911.htm [5]: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-outlook11jul11,1,7340235.column?coll=la-utilities-politics [6]: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8526183/ [7]: http://www.arkcity.net/stories/070705/com_0001.shtml [8]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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