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Roberts on offense

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Sen. Pat Roberts has gone on the offensive.On Tuesday Senate Democrats forced that chamber into closed session, claiming Roberts wasn't making sufficient progress on an inquiry into whether the Bush Administration twisted intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq.Wednesday, Roberts hit the media to defend himself publicly - holding a [teleconference with the Kansas press][1] and going on the [Christian Broadcasting Network][2] with his "cousin," televangelist Pat Robertson.In both cases, he blamed Democrats for slow progress on the inquiry.The Journal-World reports: "In fact, Roberts said Wednesday, Senate Democrats on the committee had obstructed the so-called 'Phase II' investigation by refusing at a May 17 meeting to compare prewar statements on Iraq made by a variety of public officials, including Democrats, with the intelligence available before the war."After all, Roberts said, even Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton, N.Y., believed that Saddam Hussein was developing illegal weapons. So did the Russian, French and Israeli intelligence agencies."He made a similar case with Robertson, and took shots at Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who orchestrated Tuesday's shutdown."If you look at the whole speech done by Harry Reid -- it is a diatribe," Roberts told the preacher. "It is like Howard Dean without a rabies shot. I mean, this thing is really highly political, and that is most unfortunate in the intelligence committee. Usually we are bipartisan, and I hope we can get back to that again."Here is the [Kansas City Star's][3] take on the situation. Here's [The Associated Press][4] report. And [this link][5] will get you a host of other stories and commentary on the topic.Other links:Sam Brownback links[(The Christian Post) 'Ending The New Slavery' Panel Focuses On Human Trafficking:][6] Though often divided by ideological struggles on Capitol Hill, Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) came together on Tuesday at Georgetown University in Washington to discuss and denounce human trafficking in a panel moderated by Gary Haugen, President of International Justice Mission, an organization that works to fight human trafficking.Both senators agreed that the issue of human trafficking deserved the attention of the country. [More at Christian Today][7]Jerry Moran links[(Associated Press) U.S. steps up effort to unload barges:][8] Farmers have suffered more than $1.7 billion in crop losses this year from the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and a lingering Midwestern drought, according to Agriculture Department estimates."In the Midwest, grain is piled high on the ground, and prices are down due to transportation difficulties in New Orleans," said Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. "Because winter is approaching and the Mississippi will begin to freeze, unloading barges and moving grain must happen now."Todd Tiahrt links[(Forward) Air Force Rules Rile Republicans:][9] Dozens of Republican lawmakers are pressing the Bush administration to relax a set of new restrictions aimed at curbing religious coercion within the U.S. Air Force. ... In recent weeks, other lawmakers who are upset over the new guidelines have joined Jones's protest, including Rep. Mike McIntyre, a Democrat from North Carolina. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican, collected 35 signatures for a letter protesting the new regulations to then-acting Air Force secretary Pete Geren. Tiahrt met last month with the Air Force's chief of staff to express his objections.How to contactAs always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][10] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/nov/03/roberts_blasts_senate_shutdown/?politics [2]: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/news/051102d.asp [3]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/13066506.htm [4]: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/politics/13071171.htm [5]: http://news.google.com/news?q=%22pat%20roberts%22&hl=en&lr=&client=safari&rls=en&sa=N&tab=wn [6]: http://www.christianpost.com/article/society/1954/section/ending.new.slavery.panel.focuses.on.human.trafficking/1.htm [7]: http://www.christiantoday.com/news/america/bipartisan.panelists.urge.americans.to.act.against.human.rights.abuses/463.htm [8]: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1110AP_Katrina_Shipping.html [9]: http://www.forward.com/articles/5233 [10]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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