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The president told reporters at the White House on Monday that the lawmakers seemed to be “wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran.” In a recorded interview with the website Vice, an excerpt of which was released Friday, Obama said, “I’m embarrassed for them.”
Republicans Feeling Heat Over Iran Letter Express Regrets
Mar 13, 2015 12:23 PM EDT
(Bloomberg) -- At least a few of the Republican senators feeling the backlash from signing an open letter to Iran’s leaders are expressing some second thoughts.
Amid mounting criticism from allies, home-state editorial boards and colleagues who opted not to sign the missive, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson became the latest Republican to suggest he might do things differently if given another chance.
While Johnson said he stood by the content of the letter, which warned Iran that any deal with President Barack Obama might not outlast his term in office, he said it probably shouldn’t have been directed to leaders of the Islamic Republic.
‘I suppose the only regret is who it’s addressed to,’’ Johnson said at a Bloomberg breakfast in Washington. The Wisconsin Republican said it may have been a “tactical error” and that the letter could have been addressed to Obama’s administration or the American people.
Arizona Senator John McCain, a prominent Republican voice on foreign affairs and national security, has said haste and an impending snowstorm in Washington short-circuited more measured consideration of the letter.
“It was kind of a very rapid process. Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm,” McCain told Politico in an interview. “I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is.”
Posted by Hissyspit | Fri Mar 13, 2015, 06:17 PM (21 replies)
Iraqi forces enter IS-held Tikrit
MAR. 11, 2015, 7:52 AM
Tikrit (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraqi forces entered a northern neighbourhood of Tikrit Wednesday, marking a new stage in the operation launched 10 days ago to wrest the city back from jihadists, army officers said.
"We are now doing combat missions to cleanse the neighbourhood of Qadisiyah," a major general told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"We were able to control Tikrit military hospital, which is close to the centre of the city," he said.
"But we are engaging in a very delicate battle because we are not facing fighters on the ground, we are facing booby-trapped terrain and sniper fire. Our movement is slow," the senior officer said.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-iraqi-forces-enter-is-held-tikrit-2015-3
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Mar 11, 2015, 08:52 AM (9 replies)
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Mar 9, 2015, 09:53 AM (7 replies)
@AP: #Selma50 Years after publication, excerpts from the original stories #APWasThere http://t.co/hlN4qbOHMF/s/r47b http://t.co/t8YmupdL91/s/fCnB
EDITOR’S NOTE: In 1965 Martin Luther King Jr. led several attempts to march from Selma to Montgomery as part of the Selma Voting Rights Movement. The protesters encountered violent opposition from authorities and segregationists. But with federal backing, the demonstrators successfully made the four-day walk, a 50-mile stretch. That year, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which gave African-Americans the right to vote.
Using the style and language of journalists of the era, including a reference to blacks as “Negroes,” AP reporters captured the tension of the marches.
Fifty years after its original publication, the AP is making available excerpts from a series of stories about the marches’ progress.
Civil rights marchers cross the Alabama river on the Edmund Pettus Bridge at Selma, Ala., March 21, 1965.
Plans for a march
By Rex Thomas
Selma, Ala., March 4, 1965
Negro leaders mobilized their forces today for a 50-mile march to Alabama’s historic State Capitol at Montgomery to dramatize anew their demands for racial equality.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leaving Selma for another speaking trip after walking four miles in the rain for the burial of a slain Negro laborer, said the long march will start Sunday afternoon.
- snip -
On to Montgomery
By Hugh C. Schutte
Selma, Ala., March 21, 1965
It was different today, the civil rights march on this sunny afternoon. It had an air of triumph.
Two weeks ago, on another Sunday afternoon, there was another march that started from Selma. The goal was Montgomery. There the resemblance ends.
Across the (Edmund) Pettus Bridge that day came 650 marchers uncertain of what would happen on the other bank of the swirling Alabama River.
White spectators up and down U.S. Highway 80 jeered and catcalled.
Ahead massed state troopers under orders from Gov. George C. Wallace to use whatever force was necessary to stop the march.
Maj. Jon Cloud of the state police ordered the marchers to disperse. Quickly the troopers charged them with clubs and broke up the demonstration.
When the marchers formed again, the troopers fired tear gas and nausea gas in the crowd, then went to work with their clubs.
- snip -
The last four miles
By Phil Oramous
Selma, Ala., March 25, 1965
The last four miles were the easiest – and the most triumphant.
For 200 of the civil rights supporters who had marched the full 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery, the brisk walk from the muddy campsite to the state capital today was a short trip.
But for them and the thousands of others parading to the symbolic heart of the Confederacy, it was a historic four miles. Never before had Montgomery seen such a parade.
“It’s the most wonderful thing in the world,” said Matthew Kennedy, an elderly Negro disabled veteran.
The Capitol was in sight. The front lines stopped in front, waiting until all the marchers arrived. The journey from Selma had ended.
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Posted by Hissyspit | Sat Mar 7, 2015, 03:01 PM (1 replies)
HOW MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. INFLUENCED SAM COOKE’S ‘A CHANGE IS GONNA COME’
BY PETER GURALNICK
It is impossible to calculate the full effect that watching this on television, listening on the radio must have had on Sam. These were people that he knew. This was the world from which he came. Mahalia had called the Highway QCs “her boys” when Sam was just starting out, at the age of seventeen, and the Soul Stirrers had cut a new version of “Free At Last” for SAR no more than six months ago. He and Alex had been talking with student sit-in leaders in North Carolina on the spring tour. And when he first heard “Blowin’ in the Wind” on the new Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album J.W. had just given him, he was so carried away with the message, and the fact that a white boy had written it, that, he told Alex, he was almost ashamed not to have written something like that himself. It wasn’t the way Dylan sang, he told Bobby Womack. It was what he had to say. His daughter was always telling him he should be less worried about pleasing everyone else and more concerned with pleasing himself—and maybe she was right. But like any black entertainer with a substantial white constituency, he couldn’t help but worry about bringing his audience along.
- snip -
But he didn’t hear back for almost five months, and then it was from an assistant community relations director, who suggested that he give her a ring so they could discuss just what he might have in mind. “We didn’t count,” was the matter-of-fact assessment of Lloyd Price, like Sam, an independent businessman and solid Movement supporter. “They wanted high-profile artists like Sammy, Harry Belafonte, Louis Armstrong, artists like Nat ‘King’ Cole—but what could have been more high-profile than rock ’n’ roll singers selling millions of records and playing interracial music, interracial dances?”
“I’m going to write something,” Sam told J.W. But he didn’t know what it was.
- snip -
The traveling show arrived in Shreveport at 7:30 in the morning after an all-night drive. Sam had called ahead to make reservations for Barbara and himself at the brand-new Holiday Inn North just outside of town, but when they pulled up in the Maserati, with Charles and Crain trailing in the packed Cadillac limo, the man at the desk glanced nervously at the group and said he was sorry, there were no vacancies. Charles protested vehemently, but it was Sam who refused to back down. He set his jaw in the way that Barbara knew always meant trouble, and, long after the clerk had simply gone silent, Sam kept yelling at him, asking, Did they think he was some kind of ignorant fool? He had just as much right to be there as any other damn body. He wanted to see the manager. He wasn’t going to leave until he got some kind of damn satisfaction. Barbara kept nudging him, trying to get him to calm down. They’ll kill you, she told him, when the desk clerk’s attention was distracted. “They ain’t gonna kill me,” he told her, “because I’m Sam Cooke.” Honey, she said, down here they’d just as soon lynch you as look at you, they don’t care who you are. Finally the others got him out the door, but he sat in the car fuming, staring at the desk clerk who just stared coldly back, and when he drove off, it was with the horn of the Maserati blaring and all four occupants of both cars calling out insults and imprecations.
The police were waiting for them when they arrived at the Castle Hotel on Sprague Street, the colored guesthouse downtown where the rest of the group was staying. They were taken to the police station, where they were charged not with attempting to register at the Holiday Inn but with creating a public disturbance. They were held for several hours and finally let go, but not before the contents of Crain’s small suitcase had been carefully scrutinized and counted: it amounted to $9,989.72 in coins and wrinkled bills and represented, Crain told a skeptical police captain, “the receipts collected from recent performances.” The Maserati’s horn had stuck, Crain explained to even greater skepticism, because there was a short in the electrical system that caused it to go off whenever the automobile turned sharply to the left. Crain posted a cash bond of $102.50 apiece shortly before 1:30 P.M., and they returned to the Castle Hotel.
- snip -
He played it through once, singing the lyrics softly to his own guitar accompaniment. After a moment’s silence, Alex was about to respond—but before he could, Sam started playing the song again, going through it this time line by line, as if somehow his partner might have missed the point, as if, uncharacteristically, he needed to remind himself of it as well.
It was a song at once both more personal and more political than anything for which Alex might have been prepared, a song that vividly brought to mind a gospel melody but that didn’t come from any spiritual number in particular, one that was suggested both by the civil rights movement and by the circumstances of Sam’s own life—J.W. knew exactly where it came from, but Sam persisted in explaining it nonetheless. It was almost, he said wonderingly, as if it had come to him in a dream. The statement in its title and chorus, “A Change Is Gonna Come” (“It’s been a long time comin’ / But I know / A change gonna come”), was the faith on which it was predicated, but faith was qualified in each successive verse in ways that any black man or woman living in the twentieth century would immediately understand. When he sang, “It’s been too hard living / But I’m afraid to die / I don’t know what’s up there / Beyond the sky,” he was expressing the doubt, he told Alex, that he had begun to feel in the absence of any evidence of justice on earth. “I go to the movies / And I go downtown / Somebody keep telling me / Don’t hang around” was simply his way of describing their life—Memphis, Shreveport, Birmingham—and the lives of all Afro-Americans. “Or, you know,” said J.W., “in the verse where he says, ‘I go to my brother and I say, “Brother, help me, please,”’—you know, he was talking about the establishment—and then he says, ‘That motherfucker winds up knocking me back down on my knees.’
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Posted by Hissyspit | Sat Mar 7, 2015, 02:32 PM (7 replies)
Thousands of women are throwing a guy a dance party after he was body shamed
BY ANDREA ROMANO
6 HOURS AGO
The Internet is taking a stand: no one should ever be shamed for trying to have a good time.
In February, a user on 4chan posted about their encounter with a man at a concert, who was ridiculed for dancing and quickly stopped when he noticed people were laughing at him. The user posted before and after photos of the man, saying "spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.”
The photo was reposted onto Imgur on Wednesday by a user called FrozenBadger. They wrote, "I find this behavior fucking despicable. If you're out there big man, fuck those kids. Keep dancing."
Many other people on 4chan, Reddit and social media shared the user's opinion, who called out the original poster for bullying the man when he was simply trying to have a good time.
The Free Thought Project writer Cassandra Fairbanks decided to launch a personal campaign to find the dancing man and arrange "something special" for him. In a mere 24 hours, thousands of female Twitter users joined Fairbanks in her search, using the hashtag #FindDancingMan.
An open letter to the dancing man began to circulate, detailing a major dance party the women wanted to throw to not just boost the man's self esteem but also send a strong message against body shaming.
Hope Leigh @HOPELEIGHMUSIC
Body shaming is awful & people hide behind social media. Help me and my 2,000 girlfriends #FindDancingMan #dancefree
1:28 AM - 6 Mar 2015
278 RETWEETS 254 FAVORITES
REST AT LINK
Posted by Hissyspit | Fri Mar 6, 2015, 06:38 PM (123 replies)
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 09:52 AM (8 replies)
Source: Omaha World-Herald
@BreakingNews: US district judge strikes down Nebraska's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage - @LJSNebraskaNews http://t.co/rdKwBcSX4b/s/75zF
Judge strikes down Nebraska's gay marriage ban
POSTED: MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2015 8:00 AM
By Robynn Tysver / World-Herald staff writer
A federal district judge in Nebraska effectively struck down the state’s gay marriage ban today, but don’t expect same-sex marriages to happen any time soon.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon gave the go-ahead for gay couples to wed beginning March 9, which gives the state time to file an appeal.
It was a bittersweet ruling for the gay community, but a victory for Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who had asked Bataillon not to create a situation in Nebraska where gay marriage was legal for a few days or weeks.
Peterson argues the state likely will win on appeal before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and that, in order to avoid “chaos,” Peterson asked Bataillon to stop his own order from taking effect immediately.
The same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban had opposed the request for a stay of Bataillon’s order. They had sought immediately “relief,” asking Batailon to issue a preliminary injunction and stopping the state from enforcing its gay marriage ban.
Read more: http://www.journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/nebraska/judge-strikes-down-state-s-ban-on-same-sex-marriage/article_dc5c8dfd-e8c6-5771-8e35-004708505a7a.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 09:31 AM (15 replies)
Source: Associated Press
Iraq state TV: Large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown begins
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 02, 2015 - 12:55 AM
BAGHDAD — Iraq's state TV says government forces backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters have begun a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State extremist group.
Al-Iraqiya television said Monday that the forces were attacking the city of Tikrit, backed by artillery and airstrikes by Iraqi fighter jets. It said the militants were dislodged from some areas outside the city, but gave no details.
Hours ahead of the operation, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on Sunni tribal fighters to abandon the extremist group, promising them a pardon.
Read more: http://www.startribune.com/world/294608711.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 01:52 AM (7 replies)
FEB. 28 2015 1:02 PM
Murdered Russian Opposition Leader Was Planning to Release Information on Ukraine Conflict
By Daniel Politi
Thousands of shocked Russians gathered on Saturday to lay flowers and light candles on the bridge where opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot and killed in Moscow on Friday in what amounted to the country’s highest-profile killing of a political figure in more than a decade. And even though the investigation into the murder is just getting started, several reports claim Nemtsov was preparing to release information about the Kremlin’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko himself put forward the theory on Saturday. "He said he would reveal persuasive evidence of the involvement of Russian armed forces in Ukraine. Someone was very afraid of this ... They killed him," Poroshenko said, according to Reuters. He’s not alone. The New York Times talks to the New Times magazine editor who met with Nemtsov two weeks ago. Nemtsov reportedly told his old friend he wanted to publish a pamphlet titled “Putin and the War” about the country’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. He knew the risks. “He was afraid of being killed,” the editor, Yevgenia Albats, said. “And he was trying to convince himself, and me, they wouldn’t touch him.”
For its part, Russia’s top investigative body said it is looking at several possible motives for the killing, including “murder as a provocation to destabilize the political situation in the country.” The Investigative Committee said it was analyzing whether he had been killed as a "sacrificial victim for those who do not shun any method for achieving their political goals," reports the Associated Press. The thinking is that fellow members of the opposition could have killed Nemtsov in order to create a martyr, an assertion that many immediately dismissed as ridiculous. The Investigative Committee is also examining whether the killing had anything to do with Ukraine, or if there was any connection to Islamic extremism.
World leaders, including President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, condemned the killing and have called for a thorough investigation, notes the Guardian. “I am shocked and sickened by the callous murder of Boris Nemtsov as he walked in the heart Moscow last night,” Cameron said in a statement on Saturday morning. "This despicable act must be fully, rapidly and transparently investigated, and those responsible brought to justice." Obama also called on “the Russian government to conduct a prompt, impartial, and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his murder and ensure that those responsible for this vicious killing are brought to justice.”
Read more: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/02/28/boris_nemtsov_murdered_russian_opposition_leader_was_going_to_release_information.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Sat Feb 28, 2015, 07:20 PM (19 replies)