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Moran returns from Cuba empty-handed


Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:Rep. Jerry Moran (R)![][1][(Chicago Tribune) Bipartisan pitch can't sway Cuba on rights issues:][2] The largest U.S. congressional delegation in years ended talks here Sunday without a commitment from Cuban authorities to release political prisoners or make other concessions that could bolster those seeking to ease U.S. sanctions against Cuba.... "The Cuban officials made every attempt to convince us [and] to demonstrate that there is no change of policy in Cuba," said Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), one of 10 American lawmakers visiting Cuba. "They made a very strong effort to convince us that the ball was in the United States' court. They've done all they were going to do." Moran is among four Republicans of a bipartisan delegation visiting Cuba that, as a whole, supports easing the four-decade U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. During three days of talks, delegation members met with several top Cuban officials but not with the ailing Fidel Castro or his younger brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro, who is acting as Cuba's interim leader.[(Reuters) Castro not terminally ill, said unlikely to govern:][3] The visiting U.S. legislators, who favor easing restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba, said they were told that with or without Fidel Castro, the island nation would continue to be a one-party communist state. "Cuban officials made every effort to convince us that ... the potential demise and health issues of Fidel Castro do not change the nature of the government or the policies of this country," said Rep. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican.Sen. Sam Brownback (R) ![][4][(Angus Reid Global Monitor)Republicans 2008: 34% Want Giuliani as Nominee:][5] Rudy Giuliani remains the most popular presidential hopeful for Republican Party sympathizers in the United States, according to a poll by Hart/McInturff released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. 34 per cent of respondents would vote for the former New York City mayor in a 2008 primary. Arizona senator John McCain is second with 29 per cent, followed by former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich with 10 per cent, and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with eight per cent. Support is lower for Kansas senator Sam Brownback, Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, New York governor George Pataki, and former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson.(Sam Brownback 2%)[(Gannett) Focus groups rate the top GOP contenders:][6] Late last spring and into the summer, pollster Frank Luntz conducted focus groups in Iowa and New Hampshire on potential presidential candidates in both parties. He showed clips of speeches and interviews of possible candidates and asked for impressions from carefully chosen audiences in the politically savvy states. Here's a brief glimpse of what Luntz heard. ... Brownback: He looks "honest" and has "good American values" but is "the sound-bite enemy," Luntz said. Focus group participants felt that Brownback "deeply believes in what he is saying" but often "explains and elaborates, and not always to good effect."[(New York Times commentary) Unsavory WAKEUP CALL:][7] The Lancet, the British medical journal, once estimated that 10 million children 17 and younger may work in prostitution worldwide. Not all are coerced, but in the nastier brothels of Cambodia, Nepal, India, Malaysia and Thailand, the main difference from 19th-century slavery is that the victims are mostly dead of AIDS by their 20s. ... President Bush has done a much better job than his predecessors in pressing this issue; his State Department office on trafficking is one of his few diplomatic successes. And the issue enjoys bipartisan support, with leadership coming from conservative Republicans like Sen. Sam Brownback and liberal Democrats like Rep. Carolyn Maloney. [1]: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/97/Moran_Jerry.jpg [2]: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0612180155dec18,1,1593492.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed [3]: http://in.today.reuters.com/news/NewsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2006-12-18T142659Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_India-280656-1.xml [4]: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/fr/thumb/c/c8/Sam_Brownback.jpg/150px-Sam_Brownback.jpg [5]: http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/14133 [6]: http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061218/COLUMNISTS0201/612180324/1119/COLUMNISTS/ [7]: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-kristof_18edi.ART.State.Edition1.3e0c591.html


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