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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,783

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TOM TOMORROW: Does The Supreme Leader Truly Love Our Land Mass?

BREAKING: US district judge strikes down Nebraska's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage

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

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

Iraqi State TV Says Large-Scale Operation to Recapture Tikrit Begins

Source: Associated Press

Iraq state TV: Large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown begins

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

Murdered Russian Opposition Leader Was Planning to Release Information on Ukraine Conflict

Source: Slate

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

Leonard Nimoy, Liberal: "Get Involved"

“My folks came to the United States as immigrants, aliens, and they became citizens. I was born in Boston a citizen; I went to Hollywood, and I became an alien. Spock called for exactly the kind of work I was prepared to do. He was a character with a rich and dynamic inner life – half human, half Vulcan. He was the embodiment of the outsider, like the immigrants who surrounded me in my early years. How do you find your way as the alien in a foreign culture? Where does your identity and dignity come from? And how do you make a contribution?”



"Spock learned he could save himself from letting prejudice get him down. he could do this by really understanding himself and knowing his own value as a person."



"I supported McCarthy for President and have worked with Operation Head Start and Vista. I do what I can for Bootstrap, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Job Corps, the Peace Corps and so forth. I do as much as I can handIe."

I was really moved by the man’s concern and more so by the fact that he was doing something about it.
So, l just grinned and gave him the peace sign.

In 2007, Nimoy donated to Barack Obama’s campaign, and to Al Franken’s campaign for Senate. He donated to Barbara Boxer in 2004. He gave $2,000 each to Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2004.

[font size="6"]"The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have."[/font]

"May The Best Spock Win"

Chicago's Black Site Detainees Speak Out



On Tuesday, The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman reported on the “equivalent of a CIA black site” operated by police in Chicago. When computer program analyst Kory Wright opened the story, he told me, “I immediately recognized the building” — because, the Chicago resident says, he was zip-tied to a bench there for hours in an intentionally overheated room without access to water or a bathroom, eventually giving false statements to try and end his ordeal.

A friend of Wright’s swept up in the same police raid described his own brutal treatment at the facility, known as Homan Square, including attacks to his face and genitals. The experiences of the two men line up with the way defense attorneys described the “black site” warehouse to Ackerman: as a place where detainees were held off the books, without access to lawyers, while being beaten or shackled for long periods of time.

Wright claims that nine years ago, he spent “at least six [brutal] hours” at the Homan facility on his 21st birthday. He says that he was never read his Miranda rights, and that his arrest was not put into the police system until after his ordeal was over. Wright was reminded of the facility again this week when he noticed a tweet from a writer he admires, The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, linking to Ackerman’s story. Ackerman compared Homan Square to the network of shadowy torture centers built by the CIA across the Middle East — but focused “on Americans, most often poor, black and brown,” rather than on purported overseas terrorists.

Also unlike CIA black sites, Homan Square wasn’t a completely furtive enterprise. Several lawyers and anti-police brutality advocates with whom I spoke knew that suspects were routinely detained at Homan. The facility houses many of the police department’s special units, including the anti-gang and anti-drug task forces, along with the evidence-retrieval unit. Once suspects arrived at Homan, they did not have to be booked immediately, at least not as far as the police department was concerned, according to the people with whom I spoke. In fact, it was possible that a suspect’s arrest report wouldn’t show that he or she had ever been to Homan. Further, police could detain individuals at Homan for hours, or disappear them, before shipping them off to a district station for processing.


The Government Refuses to Prove Snowden Damaged National Security (Gizmodo/Vice)


Official Reports on the Damage Caused by Edward Snowden's Leaks Are Totally Redacted

But explicit details about the alleged damage Snowden caused, identified in the 39-page report as "grave," were omitted from that document as well. In fact, the existence of the DIA's report had been unknown until the White House secretly authorized the declassification of select portions of it so two Republican lawmakers could undercut the media narrative painting Snowden as a heroic whistleblower.


The Government Refuses to Prove Snowden Damaged National Security

Kate Knibbs
Today 3:54pm

Did Edward Snowden actually damage national security? There's no way in hell to tell from official documents released to the press—they've been thoroughly redacted to the point of uselessness.

- snip -

The idea that Snowden has jeopardized national security and the lives of troops is the linchpin for arguments that the ex-NSA contractor is a treasonous villain, not a whistleblower. That's why Vice sought out proof of this jeopardy in government documents:

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) recently released to VICE News more than 100 pages of internal reports prepared by a task force made up of two dozen DIA analysts that examined the alleged damage to national security resulting from Snowden's leaks.

The pages are largely blanked out (save for the Vice watermark slapped on to let everyone know that Vice knows how to file an FOIA). They reveal nothing about the impact of Edward Snowden's decision to reveal information about widespread state surveillance programs targeting wide swathes of the population or than the fact that there were internal documents about it.

- snip -

The only ways these documents could be more redacted is if they were simply not released.

If the Snowden leaks have caused grave damage to national security, it'd make sense if the government wanted proof of the damage in the public view, to back up its assessment that Snowden should be punished for his crimes, to back up the assessment that his actions were treasonous. The party line here is that the government can't reveal more because any additional information will screw up national security even further. (Yet it selectively leaked parts of a report to Congress to shore up anti-Snowden sentiment.)

Here's another option: The government isn't revealing more because doing so would run counter to the narrative that Snowden's decision hurt Americans more than it helped them. It is awfully strange that absolutely none of the specific ways that Snowden has damaged national security can even be summarized without fueling terrorists. Obviously ongoing threats need to be treated with sensitivity, but the breadth of this No Explanation edict is hard to swallow.


BREAKING: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Source: Associated Press

AP: White House has informed Senate that President Obama has vetoed Keystone XL pipeline bill

Defying GOP, Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Update at 3:37 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has vetoed a Republican bill forcing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The White House sent notice of the veto to the Senate on Tuesday, shortly after the bill was received at the White House. It's the third veto of Obama's presidency.

The move puts a freeze on a top GOP priority, at least for now. It also reasserts Obama's authority over a project that's become a flashpoint in the national debate about climate change.

Congressional Republicans may try to override Obama's veto, but have yet to show they can muster the two-thirds majority in both chambers that they would need. Sen. John Hoeven, the bill's chief GOP sponsor, says Republicans are about four votes short in the Senate and need about 11 more in the House.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/congress-sends-keystone-bill-obama-plans-veto-29181671

(Another) Former CBS News Colleague Calls O'Reilly's Combat Claim 'Absurd' (Charles Krause)

Source: Media Matters

Former CBS News Colleague Calls O'Reilly's Combat Claim "Absurd"

Blog ››› 1 hour and 9 minutes ago ››› JOE STRUPP

Another one of Bill O'Reilly's former colleagues at CBS News is casting doubt on his claims that he reported from a "combat situation" in Buenos Aires during the Falklands War.

- snip -

He also recalls O'Reilly being there for a short period of time and not having "any significant role in our coverage of the war."

"I don't recall him doing any major story that anybody remembers and he was there a very short time, then he was recalled, I don't know why," Krause said. "He wasn't a team player and people thought he was grandstanding, basically."

- snip -

CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday reported that seven of O'Reilly's former colleagues who reported from Buenos Aires refuted his claims. Media Matters has identified several additional instances in which O'Reilly suggested his reporting had been from a combat zone.

Krause, a former Washington Post reporter who had lived in Buenos Aires for three years prior to the war, said O'Reilly's claims are wrong.

"That's absurd because Buenos Aires was Buenos Aires," Krause said about the war zone claim in an interview Sunday. "It was just like it always was, there was very little evidence of the war in Buenos Aires. The war was being fought thousands of miles away."

- snip -

"The only danger that we were in was we were staying at the Sheraton Hotel, which was this massive, modern tower overlooking the city. We were in no danger whatsoever," he said. "Except for people who had never been there before and didn't speak Spanish and might have felt a little bit odd. I had lived in Buenos Aires, there wasn't any particular danger. After the U.S. supported Britain there were some anti-American demonstrations a little bit and if you went out it was better not to advertise the fact you were American."

Read more: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/02/23/former-cbs-news-colleague-calls-oreillys-combat/202624
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