Archive for Friday, December 8, 2006

Brownback says partition might end Iraq war

December 8, 2006

Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation.

Sen. Sam Brownback got his presidential campaign under way Thursday, with a with AP reporters and editors.

AP sent out two versions of the story. The early version emphasized that Brownback favors a possible partition of Iraq to end the fighting among the disparate groups there:

Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback said Thursday that Iraq must achieve a ``political equilibrium'' even if means partitioning the country along ethnic and religious lines.

``I'm saying, and I hope the Iraqi leadership is hearing it: We will not face the American public in 2008 with a situation that looks anything similar to where we are today ... American deployment of troops on the front line conducting the military operations,'' the Kansas senator said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Brownback called for the United States to push more aggressively for a political solution, and said the message already is being clearly sent - ``You, the Iraqis, will have to take this over.''

In an hourlong interview with AP reporters and editors, Brownback discussed his positions on issues such as the war, families, energy and immigration. The Kansas lawmaker launched an exploratory committee on Monday to gauge support for a potential White House run.

``We are not willing to impose a military solution in Iraq. The Iraqis, I don't believe, are going to be capable of imposing a military solution. Therefore, you must get to some form of political equilibrium in Iraq. And by that I think you may end up having to have a Kurdish, a Sunni, a Shiite area, and Baghdad being a federal capital. Hopefully you can maintain it in one country,'' he said.

Brownback, you'll remember, has expressed this position before. But that was before the nascent presidential campaign drew greater scrutiny of his positions.

The second version of the AP story focused on Browback's "family values" agenda:

Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback on Thursday called for a return to an American culture that promotes family values _ a theme meant to set the conservatives' favorite son apart in a growing GOP field.

But even here, new ground was broken.

Under questioning, Brownback said it's mostly up to states to decide whether single parents or gay couples could adopt children, and he declined to comment on Mary Cheney, the vice president's lesbian daughter whose recently disclosed pregnancy has prompted dismay among conservatives.

Lots more stuff in the interview. Take a look at the full stories in the links.

Other headlines today:

Sen. Sam Brownback (R)

( commentary) Presidential Hopeful: Jesus Is the 'Reason for the Season': Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback joined with other lawmakers and religious leaders Thursday in urging Christians to display nativity scenes on public property to remind America that "the birth of Jesus ... is the reason for the season." "Christmas is making a comeback," the Kansas senator declared at a news conference at the steps of the U.S. Capitol, where Christian leaders had erected a temporary nativity scene to kick off a national "Nativity Project." "It's okay to talk about the birth of Jesus at Christmas," Brownback said. "We need to have these expressions of religion ... It's important for America." Brownback urged his fellow lawmakers to pass the Public Expressions of Religion Act before Congress adjourns Friday afternoon. The bill, which Brownback authored, would eliminate legal fees associated with Establishment Clause challenges to public expressions of religion.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) Brownback says he'll win presidential primary: Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., dismissed naysayers Thursday while predicting a successful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. "I don't see it as a long shot," he said. "I think once the candidates' positions are known on the various topics, I'm going to win this."

(LJW) Change of heart? If U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., is known for anything in his long-shot bid for the presidency, it is that he is anti-abortion. During a Thursday teleconference, Brownback said that always had been his position. Not true, say some in Kansas who have a different recollection of Brownback's rise through the state Republican Party ranks. Kansas Republican Party Chairman Tim Shallenburger said he remembered having a conversation with Brownback in 1994 when Brownback was running in the GOP primary for the U.S. House. After the conversation, Shallenburger said he left with the impression that Brownback "was not pro-life."

Sen. Pat Roberts (R)

(AP) Roberts wants to leave Intelligence panel: Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is open to leaving the Senate Intelligence Committee for another assignment after serving four years as chairman of the high-profile panel, spokeswoman Sarah Little said Thursday. "Sen. Roberts is willing to consider other committee assignments instead of his post on Intelligence," Little said. "He has had discussions with the (GOP) leader and has not been told what his assignment will be." Little said Roberts would not discuss the reasons for the possible change until Senate GOP leadership makes final decisions on committee assignments next week.

Rep. Jerry Moran (R)

(Hutch News) Physician visa program gets approval from House: The U.S. House this week agreed to re-authorize a special visa program that allows foreign physicians to work in 82 Kansas counties and other underserved parts of the country. A Kansas health official said the program, which still needs Senate and presidential approval, has proven especially important to regions lacking general practitioners and specialists and to places short on medical services for the poor and uninsured. "The physician shortage in America is real," said Rep. Jerry Moran who introduced the House bill. "Both rural areas and inner city neighborhoods continually face challenges in recruiting doctors and specialists." As a result, Kansas recruits U.S.-trained doctors from as far away as the Philippines and as close as Mexico.

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