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Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at email@example.com.
MSNBC host Thomas Roberts stopped himself on air Wednesday after calling Sydney Leathers, the woman who traded sexts with New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, "batshit."
Roberts played a clip of Leather's interview with Howard Stern's radio show, in which she explained how Weiner "lured her in" to the sexting situation.
"This chick is so batshit you know --" Roberts said before stopping himself. "Excuse me. But Leathers is reportedly considering a porn deal now. So that's why I say that this whole thing is such a big mess."
Another San Diego woman came forward Tuesday night to say that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner once gave her a "wet, saliva-filled kiss" on the cheek in a business meeting, making her the eighth woman to do so since allegations of the mayor's unwanted advances toward women began to surface.
Lisa Curtin, the director of government and military education at San Diego City College, told San Diego's KPBS News that Filner also examined her wedding band and asked if it was real during a 2011 meeting to discuss property around the city's Naval Training Center.
"He then asked me if it could come off while I was in D.C. and if I would go out with him,” Curtin told KPBS. “I said I really didn’t think so. And at that point, he pulled my hand closer to him and he reached over to kiss me. I turned my head at that moment and on the side of my face, I got a very wet, saliva-filled kiss including feeling his tongue on my cheek.”
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) may have previously refused to speak with protesters about an abortion bill he signed, but on Tuesday he stunned a group of demonstrators by stepping out of his mansion to deliver a plate of cookies to them.
Planned Parenthood supporters were holding a vigil outside the governor's residence to protest the strict abortion bill McCrory signed into law Monday, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. At one point, McCrory emerged with his security detail and signaled to one protester to meet him in the middle of the street.
Jamie Sohn told the newspaper that McCrory pointed to her and handed her the plate of cookies, saying "These are for you. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you." Sohn said she was so surprised, she didn't say anything back.
The protesters reportedly responded by slipping the plate of cookies back under the mansion's gates, accompanied by a note that read "We want women's health care, not cookies."
In a wide-ranging interview with The New Republic published Tuesday, Sen John McCain (R-AZ) praised former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, his running mate in the 2008 presidential race, for "exciting" the GOP base in a way the senator couldn't achieve.
Asked if it "bothered" him when people said his legacy was choosing Palin as his running mate in 2008, McCain said "no."
"We were four points down when I chose her and three points up afterwards," he told the magazine. "She held her own and, some people said, won a debate with the vice president. She did everything I ever wanted. She excited our base in a way I was unable to achieve."
Three prominent Texas Democrats were featured on the cover of Texas Monthly's August issue, including state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) holding the pair of pink Mizuno sneakers she iconically wore during her filibuster of the state's restrictive abortion bill.
The cover also features brothers Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, and U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro (D).
The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement Tuesday condemning a military judge's decision to convict Army Pfc. Bradley Manning under the Espionage Act, characterizing it as an effort to "intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future."
"While we're relieved that Mr. Manning was acquitted of the most dangerous charge, the ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act," Ben Wizner, the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project director, said in a statement. "Since he already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information – which carry significant punishment – it seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future."
Manning was acquitted on charges of aiding the enemy.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday stoked the fire in his feud with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), saying the senator should cut Kentucky's "pork barrel spending."
At a news conference announcing grants for homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy, Christie told reporters that as a "donor state" New Jersey only receives 61 cents back from every dollar it sends to Washington, while Kentucky receives $1.51, according to the AP.
"Maybe he should start cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky," Christie told reporters, as quoted by PolitickerNJ. "But I doubt he will because most Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so that they can get re-elected."
Paul slammed Christie on Sunday at a Tennessee fundraiser for diverting resources from national security with his "gimme gimme" attitude towards Hurricane Sandy relief, and accused him on Tuesday of exploiting 9/11 victims.
Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott (R), a gubernatorial candidate for 2014, slammed President Barack Obama's pledge to strengthen the Voting Rights Act in a Washington Times op-ed published Tuesday.
"The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party," Abbott wrote. "Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to 'turn Texas blue.'"
"The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas," he added, citing a number of Republican state and U.S. reps who won predominantly Hispanic districts in the state in 2010 only to lose to Democrats in 2012 after redistricting.
Obama met with civil rights leaders on Monday to discuss strengthening the Voting Rights Act in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to gut a key provision of the law last month. That decision paved the way for Texas to move forward once again with its controversial voter ID law, which had been struck down in federal court last year as having an unconstitutional impact on poor, minority voters.