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In the filibuster fold

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Sen. Pat Roberts is back in the filibuster fold. Was he ever out?It depends on who's telling the story.On Sunday, [The Kansas City Star][1] reported: "Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas could be one of several pivotal Republicans to oppose stripping the Senate of its traditional power to filibuster.""Roberts expressed doubt about the 'nuclear option,' which would end a long-running Democratic threat - to filibuster seven of President Bush's nominees for the federal bench - by changing long-standing Senate rules."'What goes around comes around,' Roberts said in an interview last week, worried that the rule change could someday come back to haunt his party."Something must've come around.This morning, Roberts' office sent out a [press release,][2] saying that he has "long supported" efforts to give President Bush's judicial nominees an up-or-down vote."I have long supported Majority Leader Frist's efforts to ensure every Senator is given the opportunity to vote in support of or in opposition to a given nominee," Roberts said in the press release. "This would simply be a return to more than 200 years of precedent in which a simple majority would be required for approval of judicial nominations."He added: "My hope is that Senate leaders can work something out and end the stalemate that has denied President Bush's judicial nominees an up-or-down vote. But if that's not the case, as I have stated, I would vote with Majority Leader Frist to end the judicial filibuster."Other links:Pat Roberts links [(Los Angeles Times editorial) Byond Abu Ghraib][3] The U.S. military has a generally good record in holding its people accountable for their misdeeds. But the CIA also is involved in prisoner interrogation, and the secrecy surrounding the agency raises questions about mistreatment. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), said in March that the CIA was not torturing detainees; he said there was no reason for the committee to investigate allegations that the agency abused prisoners or transferred them to countries engaging in torture. He's wrong.Sam Brownback links [(Lawrence Journal-World) Down syndrome counseling prompts bill calling for more positive support:][4] The advent of better prenatal screening for Down syndrome and other conditions means that parents like Grace now often get the news before their child is ever born. A new study suggests those parents often get the same kind of "depressing" advice that Grace received. That trend has sparked an unlikely partnership in Congress, where Sens. Sam Brownback and Edward Kennedy -- hardly ideological soulmates -- are cosponsoring a bill to require and pay for positive counseling when doctors make early diagnoses of such conditions. [(Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch) Senator to Christendom: Personal relations are key:][5] Brownback, R-Kansas, has been staunchly conservative in opposition to abortion and euthanasia and in favor of traditional definitions of marriage and family. Still, he told about 90 graduates at the college's commencement ceremony yesterday that the change that can come from their idealism doesn't happen with politics or with social activism. Change will be made possible when they interact with people, Brownback said.Jim Ryun links [(Washington Post) With Time, Ryun's Record Recedes:][6] Jim Ryun stood on a sidewalk outside the Capitol on a recent warm evening, checking his BlackBerry e-mails for nearly 10 minutes before quietly driving away. No tourists took note of him, no police officers turned their heads. No one sought an autograph, photo or word from the man who, between 1964 and 1972, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated seven times, and Newsweek once. Those were days when schoolboys taped pictures of Ryun to their bedroom walls, and thousands of Americans could recite his vital statistic, "three fifty one-one": the world record for running the mile in 3 minutes 51.1 seconds. But that was a long time ago.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][7] [1]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/politics/11649470.htm [2]: http://roberts.senate.gov/05-16-2005.htm [3]: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-abu15may15,0,4593546.story?coll=la-news-comment-editorials [4]: http://www.ljworld.com/section/citynews/story/204825 [5]: http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031782726268&path=!news&s=1045855934842 [6]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/15/AR2005051500812.html [7]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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