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The Patriot Act

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Sen. Pat Roberts chaired a rare open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday - to discuss expanding and renewing the USA Patriot Act.[The Wichita Eagle reports:][1] "A new FBI power backed by Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas would allow the agency's anti-terrorism investigators to seize business and personal records without prior approval from a judge."The proposal came under fire Tuesday in a congressional hearing on Roberts' bill to revamp the USA Patriot Act."But skeptics at the hearing wondered whether the new powers would do much to prevent terrorist attacks or whether the security they could provide would be worth its potential infringement on individual rights."Roberts' proposal for an 'administrative subpoena' to let the FBI get records without a judge's ruling could allow investigators 'to go out on any kind of fishing expedition with no necessary stricture that determines exactly how it can be used,' said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif."Roberts said his expansion of FBI authority would simply give it the same investigative ability it already has in child abuse or narcotics investigations."I have yet to hear one compelling reason to deprive national security investigators of well-established and long-used investigative tools," he said.Much more to come on this story.Other links:Sam Brownback links [][2] U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today condemned a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. "The vote in the House to allow taxpayer-funded destruction of young human lives is deeply troubling," Brownback said. "We all have a duty to protect the innocent, and this vote represents a failure to recognize the scientific fact that stem cell research that destroys embryos kills young human children. [(UPI) Senate Republicans may bar stem cell bill:][3] Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a longtime opponent of embryonic stem-cell research, has said he would filibuster to prevent the legislation from passing the Senate. ... Brownback has introduced legislation -- the Human Cloning Prohibition Act -- that would ban all forms of cloning, including therapeutic cloning, a technique closely aligned with stem cell research that allows for a patient's own cells to be cloned to generate tissues that are a genetic match to the individual.Dennis Moore links [(The Hill) For DCCC, $26,700 is not enough:][4] The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) "Frontline" program is entering its second phase, with the committee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging big-money national donors - many of whom have maxed out to the congressional committees - to fill the campaign coffers of the Democrats' 10 most vulnerable incumbents. ... The Frontliners are Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Melissa Bean (Ill.), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Chet Edwards (Texas), Stephanie Herseth (S.D.), Brian Higgins (N.Y.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Charlie Melancon (La.), Dennis Moore (Kan.) and John Salazar (Colo.).Todd Tiahrt links [(Wichita Eagle) Flap over signs puts Mrs.Tiahrt in spotlight:][5] Vicki Tiahrt, wife of Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, gained unexpected attention Monday as Capitol Hill's newest graffiti artist. A short note to "please remove" left on a sign placed in front of a Capitol Hill office landed Vicki Tiahrt on the front page of the congressional newspaper Roll Call. She wrote that message in small letters on a sign showing the current national debt posted in front of the office of Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D. The sign, paid for by House of Representative funds, was sponsored by the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist Democrats that prides itself on fiscal conservatism.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][6] [1]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/state/11731032.htm [2]: http://www.earnedmedia.org/sbrownback0525.htm" (Christian Wire Service) Brownback Condemns House Vote on Embryonic Stem Cell Research: [3]: http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20050524-17343300-bc-us-stemcells.xml [4]: http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/052505/dccc.html [5]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/11725419.htm [6]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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