Sunday, July 26, 2015

Barack Obama Makes Birth Certificate Joke on Kenya Trip!

NBC News ^ | 07/25/2015 | ELIZABETH CHUCK 

If you can't beat members of the "birther" movement, join 'em.
That's the approach President Barack Obama took on Saturday night in Kenya, his father's homeland, when he made a wisecrack about his birthplace — which suspicious critics have harped on for years.
"Some of my critics back home might be suggesting I'm here to look for my birth certificate," Obama said while making a toast at a state dinner hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta. "That's not the case."
In 2011, Obama made his birth certificate public after so-called birthers questioned his eligibility to be president, claiming he was not a U.S. citizen. The certificate lists Honolulu, Hawaii, as his place of birth.
But the controversy persisted, with birthers insisting the detailed birth certificate was a fake, and that the president was in fact born in Kenya. The issue resurfaced earlier this week when outspoken Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio told CNN he still believes the birth certificate was forged.
Obama's quip during the Kenyan state dinner was met with laughs.
His visit to Kenya marks the first time a sitting U.S. president has traveled to the East African nation, and fulfilled a wish of many Kenyans, who see him as one of their own. On Friday evening, Obama reconnected with Kenyan family, some of whom were present at Saturday night's dinner.
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Clinton Lies: I did not send or get classified emails on private account!

Reuters ^ | 7/25/15 | Alana Wise 

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that she did not use a private email account to send or receive classified information while she was secretary of state, in response to a government inspector's letter this week.
"I did not send nor receive anything that was classified at the time," Clinton said at a campaign stop in Iowa.
The email controversy has dogged Clinton's bid for the presidency, fuelling worries that the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination has tried to sidestep transparency and record-keeping laws.
At least four emails from the private email account that Clinton used while secretary of state contained classified information, Inspector General Charles McCullough, who oversees U.S. intelligence agencies, told members of Congress in a letter on Thursday.
Clinton said on Saturday she had "no idea" what were the emails mentioned in the letter.
McCullough's letter said a sampling of 40 of about 30,000 emails sent or received by Clinton found at least four that contained information the government had classified as secret.
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Ted Cruz to GOP leader: You lied!

Washington Post ^ | July 24, 2015 | Mike DeBonis

Senators generally refrain from impugning their colleagues on the floor, a practice codified in Senate Rule XIX: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

The penalty for breaching that rule is to be ordered to take one’s seat — in effect, to sit down and shut up. But no senator rose to make a point of order before Cruz left the floor.

“It’s unusual, certainly,” Betty K. Koed, the Senate’s official historian, said of Cruz’s remarks. “The Senate prides itself on being an environment of polite, respectful decorum, but this happens from time to time.”

In a 1995 speech on Senate decorum, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) denounced senators who accuse their colleagues of dissembling: “The use of such maledicent language on the Senate floor is quite out of place, and to accuse other senators of being liars is to skate on very, very thin ice, indeed.”
Rule XIX was nearly invoked in 1988 after Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) accused Sen. H. John Heinz III (R-Pa.) and others of being “spokesmen” for “special interest groups.” But after Heinz rose in protest, Gramm withdrew his remarks.

Cruz’s statement would seem to be a more serious breach of floor comity than Gramm’s. But they both fall well short of other, more distant floor antics — such as the time, during debate on the Compromise of 1850, that Henry S. Foote of Mississippi pulled a pistol on fellow Democrat Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, or the 1902 fistfight between South Carolina Democrats Benjamin R. Tillman and John L. McLaurin.
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Be careful: Census Bureau database breached by hackers!

Washington Times ^ | 7/24/15 | Andrew Blake 

Hackers have breached a computer network used by the U.S. Census Bureau and have made off with “non-confidential” information from a government database that has since been published online, the agency admits.
“The U.S. Census Bureau is investigating an IT security incident relating to unauthorized access to non-confidential information on an external system that is not part of the Census Bureau internal network. Access to the external system has been restricted while our IT forensics team investigates,” Census Bureau spokesman Michael Cook said in a statement on Thursday first published by The Register.
“Security and data stewardship are integral to the Census Bureau mission. We will remain vigilant in continuing to take every necessary precaution to protect all information,” Mr. Cook said.
Earlier in the week, individuals affiliated with the hacktivist group Anonymous claimed that they had compromised the Census Bureau and had subsequently published the contents of a breached database, the likes of which included hundreds of usernames and addresses, among other sensitive details.
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