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On the Calendar:  Saturday, 10/17/2015
CIVIL WAR BOOK AUTHOR: One of the most surprising and humiliating defeats in the United States' military history, the Red River Campaign narrowly missed turning the tide of the entire Civil War. This pictorial volume, written in an engaging tone, relays the full story of the conflict. Led by the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Union Army invaded the Southern Red River Valley with 32,000 men. They anticipated little trouble from the Confederates-whom they outnumbered nearly four to one-and even painted names of the towns they planned to conquer on their wagons, such as San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston. The men in blue did not expect a battle until they reached Shreveport, the Confederate capital of Louisiana. On April 8, 1864, the Confederate Patton, Gen. Richard Taylor, launched a devastating attack near Mansfield with 8,800 men. By nightfall, the Yankee soldiers were no longer discussing victories in Houston, Dallas, or even Shreveport-they were running for their lives. Complete with maps, period photographs, and firsthand accounts from soldiers, Richard Taylor and the Red River Campaign of 1864 serves as a definitive resource for historians or anyone seeking knowledge on this daring operation. Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., is the author of more than forty history books, which have received praise from Publishers Weekly and British Army Review. In addition to writing articles for the Journal of Soviet Military Studies, he has appeared on the History Channel, CBS, National Public Radio, and the British Broadcasting Network. Mitcham has lectured at West Point, Air War College, and the General Staff College of the Marine Corps. He also taught geography and military history at Henderson State University, Georgia Southern University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where the freshman honor society named him professor of the year. Mitcham received his BA in journalism from Northeast Louisiana University and later earned his MS and PhD. He lives in Monroe, Louisiana. Calendar

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U.S. pulls plug on Syria rebel training effort; will focus on weapons supply

Rebel fighters demonstrate their skills during a military display as part of a graduation ceremony at a camp in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, SyriaBy Phil Stewart and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - The United States will largely abandon its failed efforts to train moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State, and instead provide arms and equipment directly to rebel leaders and their units on the battlefield, the Obama administration said on Friday. The U.S. announcement marked the effective end to a short-lived $580 million program to train and equip units of fighters at sites outside of Syria, after its disastrous launch this year fanned criticism of President Barack Obama's war strategy. The Pentagon said it would shift its focus away from training to providing weapons and other equipment to rebel groups whose leaders have passed a U.S. vetting process to ensure they are not linked to militant Islamist groups.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:21:45 -0400
Leading Republican Ryan reconsiders House speaker run: lawmakers

WASHINGTON/JANESVILLE, Wis. (Reuters) - A leading Republican congressman with allies on the right wing of the party, Paul Ryan, is weighing a bid to replace retiring U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, fellow lawmakers said on Friday as they sought to defuse a leadership battle. Numerous House Republicans and even 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney have asked Ryan to run for speaker after the front-runner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, abruptly dropped out on Thursday.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 19:16:42 -0400
Exclusive: U.S. warns governments, bankers Iran sanctions still in place

Money changer displays U.S. and Iranian banknotes at the Grand Bazaar in central TehranBy Ron Bousso and Timothy Gardner LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration has privately reminded foreign governments and U.S. bankers that sanctions against Iran remain in effect, cautioning against a rush by Western companies to investin Iran'soil industry and other businesses until the countryfully complies withtheJuly nuclear agreement. The U.S. State Department recently cabled a message, known as a demarche, to embassies around the world to reiterate that sanctions on Iran are still in place, diplomatic and government sources told Reuters on Friday. The demarche stressed that sanctions on Iran would not be lifted until the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that Tehran has complied with the terms of the deal.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:30:11 -0400
Clinton's support slides ahead of first Democratic debate

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 38th annual Awards Gala in WashingtonJust days before she will take the stage in the first Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton's lead over rival Bernie Sanders has narrowed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Clinton's support among Democratic voters fell 10 points within less than a week. From October 4 to October 9, Clinton saw her support tumble from 51 percent of Democratic support to just 41 percent.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:17:29 -0400
Guns, Congress and Murphys Law

Chances are youd never heard of Tim Murphy before last week, even if you follow politics pretty closely. Or maybe you just couldnt keep him straight among the other Murphys in Congress. (There are three at the moment, including a senator from Connecticut.)

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:08:16 -0400
Benghazi committee, under fire, releases more Clinton emails

Hillary Clinton used her private email account to pass along the identity of one of the CIAs top Libyan intelligence sources, raising new questions about her handling of classified information, according to excerpts from previously undisclosed emails released Thursday by Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:50:43 -0400
Gun control advocates call for ousting Oregon sheriff over Sandy Hook conspiracy video

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin pauses as he speaks at at a media conference in RoseburgA gun control group is calling for Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin's resignation, calling him unfit for leading the investigation into the Umpqua Community College shooting.

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:47:09 -0400
Hillary Clinton calls McCarthy's Benghazi committee comments 'deeply distressing'

Hillary Clinton says House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthys suggestion that the select committee investigating Benghazi was summoned to derail her 2016 presidential bid is deeply distressing because it dishonors the four Americans who died in the terror attacks.

Sun, 04 Oct 2015 14:10:12 -0400
So, what does Silicon Valley think about Carly Fiorina?

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been home to legends of failure and redemption, a place where business leaders are often encouraged to flounder before they can truly lead a company to IPO Valhalla. No surprise, then, that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has taken to comparing herself to greats like Mike Bloomberg and Steve Jobs, both of whom stumbled in their fields before coming back as business-world icons.

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:10:28 -0400
Joe Biden's Team Met With DNC Officials This Week

Joe Biden's Team Met With DNC Officials This WeekAides to Vice President Joe Biden met with DNC officials this week to discuss the critical rules and details involved in a presidential campaign, a Democratic official with knowledge of the meeting confirmed to ABC News today. The vice president publicly remains undecided about a 2016 campaign, but the meeting with DNC officials, which was first reported by The New Yorker, is the latest example of Biden's team readying information the vice president would need to know should he decide to pursue a presidential bid. While its the latest clue into Bidens ongoing 2016 deliberations, it is common for the DNC to provide these kinds of briefings to potential candidates.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 19:17:00 -0400
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