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Wednesday, Aug 20th

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Jay Carney resigns, deputy Josh Earnest named replacement

Jay Carney

White House press secretary Jay Carney is resigning his post after more than three years as President Barack Obama’s chief spokesman.

Obama personally announced the change Friday afternoon with a surprise interruption of Carney’s daily news briefing, saying that the White House aide told him back in April that he wanted to move on.

\“Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary and a great adviser,” the president said. “He has good judgment. He has good temperament and he has good heart.”
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White House blows cover of CIA chief in Afghanistan

Kabul CIA officer exposedThe White House accidentally blew the cover of the top CIA officer in Afghanistan Saturday, when his name and title were released in an e-mail sent to reporters who traveled with President Obama on his surprise visit to Bagram Air Field.

The CIA officer's identity was released as part of a list of U.S. officials who were attending a military briefing with Obama at Bagram, the Washington Post reported.

The individual was identified as "Chief of Station," a term used for the top spy in a country, according to the Post.

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Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan to visit troops

Obama in AfganistanPresident Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday to visit for a few hours with U.S. troops.

Air Force One landed at Bagram Air Field at 8:17 p.m. local time after the president quietly left the White House Saturday night. Press traveling with him had to agree to keep the trip a secret until after they landed in Afghanistan.

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The NRA’s All-Out Assault on Accurate Information About Gun Deaths

NRAAs a shooting spree leaves seven dead in California, the gun lobby is trying to thwart attempts to study gun deaths and officials who see gun violence as a public health crisis.

Yet another massacre occurred last night at an institution of learning, this time the University of California, Santa Barbara. The price we paid for the National Rifle Association’s “freedom” was seven people murdered and seven injured at nine different crime scenes.

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RNC files lawsuit to raise unlimited cash

RNC cashThe Republican National Committee on Friday sued the Federal Election Commission for the ability to raise unlimited cash from individual donors.

The central committee, chairman Reince Priebus and Louisiana Republicans filed a joint lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking for permission to set up an independent account that could raise and spend potentially enormous sums of money to help federal candidates. Under the current rules, the RNC may only accept $32,400 each year from donors, and local-level parties are capped at $10,000.

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Obama Taps San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro For HUD Secretary

Julian CastroPresident Obama has been playing musical chairs with his Cabinet.

At the White House on Friday, Obama announced that he's chosen Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to be his new budget director. Donovan would replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who's taking over the Department of Health and Human Services.

That leaves a vacancy atop the housing department, which the president plans to fill with an outsider: Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio and a rising star in the Democratic Party.

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Tea party leader arrested over nursing home break-in

Mark Mayfield Authorities say the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party and two other men conspired with Clayton Kelly to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's bedridden wife in her nursing home and create a political video against Cochran.

Mark Mayfield of Ridgeland, an attorney and state and local tea party leader, was arrested Thursday along with Richard Sager, a Laurel elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach. Police said they also charged John Beachman Mary of Hattiesburg, but he was not taken into custody because of "extensive medical conditions." All face felony conspiracy charges. Sager also was charged with felony tampering with evidence, and Mary faces two conspiracy counts.

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