|Quotes of the Week: '1.43M Cables Come to My Office'|
|Jan 26, 2013, 9:32 PM|
Hillary Clinton squaring off with Congress over the Benghazi attack, President Obama's vision for his second four years, and Manti Te'o on the voice of the hoax girfriend he never met. Click through to see the quotes that made news this week.
House Republicans slammed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday for her lack of awareness of State Department cables warning of security threats in Benghazi, Libya, before to the Sept. 11 attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
But Clinton wasn't about to back down.
In the second congressional hearing of the day reviewing a report by the Accountability Review Board on the State Department's security failures, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, asked Clinton this afternoon why her office had not responded to a notification from Stevens about potential dangers in Libya.
"Congressman, that cable did not come to my attention," Clinton calmly told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "I'm not aware of anyone within my office, within the secretary's office having seen that cable.
"1.43 million cables come to my office," she said. "They're all addressed to me."
Invoking the nation's founding values, President Obama marked the start of his second term Monday with a sweeping call for "collective action" to confront the economic and social challenges of America's present and future.
"That is our generation's task, to make these words, these rights, these values -- of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- real for every American," Obama said in an inaugural address delivered from the west front of the U.S. Capitol.
"Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time," he said, giving nod to the yawning partisan divide.
"But it does require us to act in our time."
The call to action, on the eve of what's shaping up to be another contentious term with Republicans and Congress, aimed to reset the tone of debate in Washington and turn the page on the political battles of the past.
"For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," Obama said. "We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect."
President Obama's speech at his second inauguration drew praise from many liberals and progressives for his forceful language on issues such as gay rights and immigration reform, but while he also spoke at length about addressing climate change, some environmentalists aren't giving him such high marks.
Activists say they are most closely watching the president's upcoming decision on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project, which would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Obama delayed a decision on the project in January 2012, ordering a new environmental-impact study. But with that study nearing completion, he will be forced to weigh in on an issue that has pitted a need for jobs and cheaper energy with environmental and health concerns.
"The decision on the Keystone XL pipeline will be the first indicator about how seriously he's taking climate change over the next four years," said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, an environmental advocacy group opposed to the pipeline. "We'll know in the next month and a half to two months whether he does."
Bill McKibben, an author and leading environmentalist, said in a blog post that he is not holding his breath.
"With words like that, it's easy to let ourselves dream that something major might be about to happen to fix the biggest problem the world has ever faced," he wrote. "And given the record of the last four years, we know that too often rhetoric has yielded little in the way of results."
McKibben is organizing a major environmental rally in Washington on Feb. 17.
Manti Te'o listened on national television to taped phone calls from his fictitious girlfriend, including one in which "Lennay" was in a jealous fit and another telling him, "I love you so much."
As he was hearing the recordings, Te'o looked at interviewer Katie Couric and said, "Doesn't that sound like a girl?"
To this day, the star Notre Dame linebacker says he does not know who impersonated girlfriend Lennay Kekua for several years, including months of intense daily calls that sometimes lasted hours.
Couric asked the Notre Dame star linebacker in her exclusive interview whether Ronaiah Tuiasosopo -- who Te'o claims called him on Jan. 16 and confessed to engineering the hoax -- had impersonated the voice. A lawyer for Tuiasosopo is quoted in the New York Daily News saying it was Tuiasosopo who impersonated Te'o's girlfriend.
"Well, it didn't sound like a man. It sounded like a woman," Te'o said to Couric. "If he somehow made that voice, that's incredible. That's an incredible talent to do that, especially every single day."
An Ohio middle school teacher is fighting to keep her job after a photo was seen on her Facebook page showing students of hers with duct tape across their mouths. The Akron school board is considering whether to terminate her.
Melissa Cairns, a middle school math teacher at Buchtel Community Learning Center, has been on unpaid administrative leave after an Akron public schools worker noticed a photo posted on Facebook of a group of students with duct tape across their mouths. The caption on the photo: "Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!"
Jason Haas, president of the Akron Board of Education, said the case raises questions about students' privacy and social media.
"This is the start of my sixth year on the board. In that time, we haven't had a case come before us for potential disciplinary action for posting a picture to social media websites," said Haas. "Has she violated the students' privacy? That's what we're concerned about. Everyone seems to be focused on the duct tape."
Christian Bale may have a reputation for being mean and difficult on set, but he showed his sensitive side last week by calling an 8-year-old Batman fan who is battling leukemia.
The family of young Zach Guillot videotaped the phone conversation in the hospital and recently posted it on YouTube.
In the clip, Zach told the actor he has a Batman costume and made his own Batmobile out of cardboard.
"I had to give mine back. They wouldn't let me keep mine," Bale said. "You're lucky you can get to have one to run around and tell people you are Batman."
Bale told Zach that he and his wife would dress up as Batman and Catwoman for Halloween and points out that "anybody can be Batman."
"Anybody can be as strong as that, and help people and put good out into the world," Bale said.