(CNN) - The Army is investigating the circumstances that led to the Rolling Stone magazine article that effectively ended the career of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the United States' former top commander in Afghanistan, an Army spokesman told CNN Wednesday.
"A four-star commander was relieved ultimately due to this article. We want to understand what happened here," Col. Tom Collins said.
McChrystal retired in June, shortly after the publication of the article that included examples of his staff mocking senior White House officials, including Vice President Joe Biden.
Washington (CNN) – On President Obama's 49th birthday, the Republican National Committee is out with a new website full of electronic greetings intended to slam the president and national Democrats. The Democratic National Committee is hitting back, referring to the RNC's move as "tired, childish, political games that do nothing to help anyone."
The new site, baracksbirthdaycards.com, hosts 11 digital birthday cards from which users can choose. All of the cards are mock greetings from various political or governmental figures to the president. The mock messages come mostly from Democrats with the exception of the card featuring Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who passed on the GOP primary earlier this year and is now mounting a non-party-affiliated bid for Florida's open Senate seat.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama may be celebrating his 49th birthday Wednesday without his wife and daughters, but CNN has learned there will be a hush-hush party at the White House on Sunday with close family and friends to make it up to him.
Two top White House aides confirmed the belated birthday bash on the condition of anonymity because the details are a state secret around the corridors of the West Wing.
"There will be some stuff Sunday," a top adviser to the president said vaguely without giving away any of the details.
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The president is celebrating his birthday without his immediate family because first lady Michelle Obama just arrived in Spain for a planned mini-vacation with the couple's youngest daughter, Sasha, while eldest daughter, Malia, is away at summer camp.
Washington (CNN) - The Rolling Stone magazine journalist whose article about Gen. Stanley McChrystal helped end the Afghanistan commander's career has been denied permission to embed with a military unit in Afghanistan, a Pentagon spokesman told CNN Wednesday.
"Embeds are a privilege, not a right. The unit decided they didn't feel the trust necessary for an embed. They declined," Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said, not specifying which unit was involved.
Michael Hastings, the reporter, said via Twitter that his embed had earlier been approved, then was "disapproved."
(CNN) - The two underdogs in Washington's August 18 Senate primary are teaming up against the two front-runners in what they call "the first ever joint campaign radio ad."
Washington is the only state in the nation that holds primaries that group candidates from all parties into one pool. Republicans Paul Akers and Clint Didier are both trailing incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi in the state's non-partisan primary, according to a survey conducted in mid-June by The Elway Poll.
"We're doing something unprecedented in political campaigns. Even though we're both running for the same US Senate seat–" Akers says in the ad. Didier picks up the thought mid-sentence and tells listeners "–we're joining together with a single message to caution you about what's going on in this race."
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 4, 2009.
Obama and Thomas both celebrated birthdays Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama celebrated his 48th birthday Tuesday by... meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus. But he also marked the occasion by accepting a happy birthday call from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. And he stopped by the briefing room to greet veteran White House scribe Helen Thomas, also celebrating a birthday today (her 89th.) Thomas began reporting from the White House in 1960 - the year before Obama was born.
(CNN) - With midterms around the corner, Republican candidates are hoping Sen. Scott Brown's appeal will bring a boost to their campaigns.
In seven months, the Massachusetts native went from a little-known state senator to a key voice in the U.S. Senate and a hot commodity on the campaign trail.
"There is definitely a big demand for him," said Jennifer Nassour, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party. "He is our hometown hero. He did what everyone said was the impossible, and he did it through a lot of hard work."
The impossible was defeating Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election in January to fill the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Ted Kennedy.
(CNN) - A federal judge in California is expected to issue his ruling Wednesday on whether the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
The closely watched case, to be decided by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, comes some two years after Californians voted to pass Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Wednesday's ruling, expected in the early afternoon, will decide whether that ban violates the U.S. Constitution by creating separate classes of people with different laws for each.