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Roberts: Bush reversal on warrantless wiretaps 'good news'


Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:Sen. Pat Roberts (R)![][1][(Bloomberg) Lawmakers to Press Gonzales for Details on Surveillance Program:][2] Members of Congress say they'll keep pressing for details about President George W. Bush's domestic eavesdropping program after the government reversed itself and sought court approval of the secret spying on U.S. citizens. ... The announcement is ``good news, it will help keep the country safe,'' said Senator Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican and former Intelligence Committee chairman. Roberts said the change should eliminate any need for Congress to pass legislation concerning the program.[(WIBW) Roberts to Korean Ambassador: Open Beef Trade:][3] Kansas Senator Pat Roberts says Korea must open its markets to American beef, or jeopardize future trade chances with the U.S. Roberts made his remarks Wednesday in Senate Finance Committee meetings with Ambassador Lee Tae-sik of the Republic of Korea. The action is just the latest in a series of efforts by Roberts as a new member of the Finance Committee. He's also a senior member of the Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry.Sen. Sam Brownback (R) ![][4][(AP) Brownback calls for diplomacy in Iraq:][5] Back from a weeklong trip to the Middle East and Africa, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback said Wednesday he is disappointed at the lack of security in Baghdad and urged the Bush administration to launch a serious diplomatic effort to resolve the conflict in Iraq. Brownback, one of a small group of Republicans to publicly oppose sending more U.S. troops to Iraq, called on Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to begin "shuttle diplomacy" with leaders of the three major Iraqi groups. Brownback painted a bleak picture of his meetings with Iraqi leaders, saying Sunni leaders "blame everything" on Shiites and vice versa. Although Sunnis are a distinct minority in Iraq, they had dominated the government until the U.S.-led ouster of Saddam Hussein left Shias in control. "All of this suggests that at the present time, the United States cares more about a peaceful Iraq than the Iraqis do," Brownback said in a speech on the Senate floor. "If that is the case, it is difficult to understand why more U.S. troops would make a difference."[(Broadcasting & Cable) CNN, AstraZeneca Partner To Fight Obesity:][6] CNN has re-upped with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to sponsor its year-long Fit Nation initiative to combat obesity. ... CNN is in the midst of a year-long news series examining that epidemic, but will go beyond that to encourage viewers to exercise in a "Challenge America" initiative that will launch in March. The FCC has encouraged the media to join with government and the health community to tackle the problem. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate last year joined with Sen. Sam Brownback to create an obesity task force to spearhead that effort.Rep. Nancy Boyda (D)![][7][(AP) Boyda sponsors measure to deny pensions to convicted lawmakers:][8] It has been just two weeks since Rep. Nancy Boyda was sworn in as Kansas' newest member of Congress, but she already is sponsoring one of the Democrats' most high-profile bills. Boyda introduced a measure in the House late Tuesday that would strip federal pensions from lawmakers convicted of crimes such as bribery, perjury and fraud. The Senate approved similar legislation last week. While freshmen lawmakers usually don't get to take the lead in sponsoring major legislation, the Democratic leadership has made every effort to help Boyda raise her profile and impress her constituents back home. [1]: http://roberts.senate.gov/Roberts-020405-18060-080-CFFflipped.jpg [2]: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=afGl13Q_wlVo&refer=us [3]: http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/5244146.html [4]: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/fr/thumb/c/c8/Sam_Brownback.jpg/150px-Sam_Brownback.jpg [5]: http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/iraq011807.shtml [6]: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6408117.html?display=Breaking+News [7]: http://www.actblue.com/images/entities/9536.gif [8]: http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/boyda011807.shtml


Jamesaust 11 years, 5 months ago

"after the government reversed itself and sought court approval of the secret spying on U.S. citizens."

Actually, that's not clear - no surprise given this Administration's penchant for double-speak.

Either: (a) some minor variation of the ongoing and illegal wiretapping program has been put in place (a "new strategy" - much like Iraq - where "new" and "old" are quite similar), and therefore the Administration remains in flagrant violation of the law, or (b) this report is correct and the Administration is now complying with the law that they have insisted for years that they could not both comply with and protect the nation's safety, meaning either (i) they were lying or (ii) they are not protecting our safety any longer. Hmmm......so many choices.

kmat 11 years, 5 months ago

What happened is that it is going through the appeals process in fed court and many in the Bush admin would have had to testify, thus proving they have been in violation of the law (which would lead to impeachment) or they would have to lie under oath (which again would lead to impeachment). This is called Bush and Co. covering their butts at the last moment.

All you have to remember when dealing with these neo-cons is that they will violate every law they can that will help them make a buck, and if they get busted they will promptly turn about face.

The true flip-floppers.

Jamesaust 11 years, 5 months ago

Well, perhaps the answer was (a). Apparently the Attorney General testifying before Congress today felt that it was inappropriate to give to the Congress the detail of what the "new" program to get these wiretaps are.

Also: if the nation's security was diminished by journalists reporting that wiretaps were being done without lawful approval, does the Administration's public announcement that a "new" lawful approval process for them also diminish the nation's security?

Scott Drummond 11 years, 5 months ago

Where (oh where?!!) are all the apologists who argued that dear President bush & company were acting in compliance with the Constitution lo these many years. Will even a single one of them step forward and be honorable enough to admit the cynical malfeasance of this our worst President? Impeachment, when it comes, will be too good for these clowns. Hopefully there is a special place in Hell being reserved, but for the time being, for all who argued warrantless wiretapping was constitutional, even your beloved lapdog bush has given up that argument. You were wrong, nanny, nanny, neaner......

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