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Brownback and Obama, together

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The holidays are over, which means "Congressional Briefing" returns to full-time status...Once again, Sen. Sam Brownback is joining forces with a prominent Democrat. Last time, it was Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman on the topic of violence in media. Now it's Sen. Barack Obama, and the topic is violence in the Darfur region of Sudan.The two co-authored an opinion piece in Friday's [Union Leader][1] in New Hampshire, which - in a fact unlikely to have gone unnoticed by either man - is home to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary in 2008."Despite American engagement, Darfur's humanitarian, security and political conditions are deteriorating. If the United States does not change its approach to Darfur, an already grim situation is likely to spiral out of control," the two men wrote in a piece that ran Friday."It is essential that the Bush administration shift its approach to confront the new and mounting challenges. Only the United States, working in concert with key nations, has the leverage and resources to persuade Khartoum to change its ways:"First, the administration must help transform the African Union protection force into a sizable, effective multinational force...."Second, the administration must keep up the pressure on the rebels to unite their negotiating positions, and it must enlist Sudan's allies to increase the pressure on Khartoum to share power and resources."Third, the United States and other nations must place additional pressure on key nations - Chad, Eritrea and Libya - to stop playing a destructive role in the conflict."Fourth, the administration needs to place its weight behind the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, which would impose targeted sanctions on the leading perpetrators of the genocide."Other links today:Sam Brownback links[(The New Standard commentary) Watchdogs Denounce Federal Cuts to Gov't Oversight Programs:][2] In the name of boosting government "performance," Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) will introduce the Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies Act (CARFA), which would establish a presidentially-appointed commission to conduct yearly evaluations the programs of all federal agencies other than the Department of Defense. The Commission would then submit to congress a list of "agencies and programs that should be realigned or eliminated."[(Culture of Life Foundation commentary) President Bush Signs Ethical Stem Cell Bill Over Democrat Objections:][3] Following what amounted to a seven month filibuster on the part of Senate Democrats President Bush signed into law a bill establishing a national bank for stem cells derived from umbilical cords. ... Leading Senate efforts to pass the bill was Kansas Republican Sam Brownback. During debate over the bill Brownback noted that the cord blood bill was uncontroversial. He said it deserved immediate passage because patients are currently being cured using cord blood treatments.[(National Review commentary) White House Resolutions:][4] Brownback would serve himself well by courting economic conservatives in 2006; he might begin by proposing a major piece of pro-growth legislation or identifying himself with the flat tax. If he can unite the former supporters of both Ashcroft and Steve Forbes, he might stand a chance. A better-than-expected showing in the primaries could catapult him to the top of many vice-presidential short lists.Jerry Moran links[(Clay Center Dispatch) Moran tackles variety of issues:][5] Lamenting the decreasing influence of agriculture on American society and political in-fighting in Washington, U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran addressed and other key topics during a stop in Clay Center. "There are almost no sons and daughters who work side by side with mom and dad," said Moran, R-Kan., Thursday afternoon. "That's what we've got to reverse." Because of rising input costs, Moran said he fears another period of farmers leaving the industry.Todd Tiahrt links [(Wichita Eagle) Team of GOP lawmakers working to spread good news about Iraq:][6] s the Iraq war drags into 2006, Rep. Todd Tiahrt is trying to be a good soldier for the president. For the past several weeks, Tiahrt, R-Goddard, has been part of a team of Republicans from the U.S. House of Representatives that's been trying to change public opinion on the war in Iraq by highlighting good news from the country -- its growing economy, new infrastructure and progress toward democracy. The effort is meant to shore up lagging support for the war. Tiahrt said getting the full story on Iraq is crucial to America's eventual success in making it a stable nation.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][7] [1]: http://www.theunionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Commentary%3A+Only+the+United+States+can+help+the+people+of+Darfur&articleId=4c3ade1a-5be7-4596-bb52-d45e1edfd738 [2]: http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/1679 [3]: http://www.yahoo.com [4]: http://www.nationalreview.com/miller/miller200512290818.asp [5]: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15842997&BRD=1160&PAG=461&dept_id=190958&rfi=6 [6]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/local/13526187.htm [7]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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