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Catherine Thompson

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 catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

National Security Adviser Susan Rice doesn't regret appearing on Sunday news programs after the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, a move believed to have scuttled her chances at being secretary of state. 

"I don’t have time to think about a false controversy," Rice said in an interview that aired Sunday on "60 Minutes." "In the midst of all of the swirl about things like talking points, the administration’s been working very, very hard across the globe to review our security of our embassies and our facilities. That’s what we ought to be focused on."

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The mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. is disputing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's claim that top transportation officials were unaware of gridlock caused by lane closures in September on the George Washington Bridge, the Bergen Record reported Friday.

Christie suggested at a press conference Thursday that local authorities never notified the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's executive director, Patrick Foye, of the supposed traffic study that closed down lanes on the bridge and paralyzed traffic in Fort Lee.

“Did the Fort Lee officials — law enforcement, political — lose his number? Could they not get it and find him somehow? How did this happen exactly?” Christie asked, as quoted by the Bergen Record.

But Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich challenged that claim Friday and said borough officials called "at least five or six" people at the Port Authority.

“Fort Lee incessantly called,” Sokolich said, as quoted by the Bergen Record. “We called the contacts that we always called whenever there was an event. We did not depart from protocol that had been established for 20 years. … We called everybody that we were supposed to call.”

State Democrats have suggested that Christie's Port Authority appointees ordered the lane closures because Sokolich didn't support the governor's re-election bid. Sokolich himself said he believed he was being sent "some sort of message" by the lane closures on the bridge.

Christie has denied any wrongdoing on his part in the bridge scandal and asserted that his appointees were truthful in explaining that the lane closures resulted from a "traffic study." Two of Christie's appointees resigned earlier this month as criticism of the lane closures grew.

Gay couples lined up Friday in the Salt Lake County Clerk's office in Salt Lake City, after a federal judge ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

Ruth Hackford-Peer, right, and Kim Hackford-Peer, standing next to her, are married by Rev. Curtis Price, left, while hugging their two children Riley Hackford-Peer, back middle, and Casey Hackford-Peer, bottom middle, in the lobby of the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office.

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Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), one of the youngest members of Congress, slammed the Affordable Care Act as a "ripoff" for slapping a high price tag on health insurance for young people.


The health care law shifts "the cost of older and sicker patients onto young people," Schock said in the weekly Republican address, to "keep premiums from skyrocketing."

"In Washington, they call this 'community rating,' but where I come from, we call it a ripoff," he added.

Schock also blasted the Obama administration's push to market the health care law to youth with the aid of celebrity endorsements.

"No matter how many actors, and rappers, and rock stars the president rolls out, the best sales pitch in the world can’t sell a bad product," he said. "And this health care law is a bad product for young people."

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was released from the hospital Friday afternoon, his office announced.

“Senator Reid has been released from the hospital and is back at home with his wife, Landra. As previously stated, he went to the hospital as a precaution," Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement. "The doctors diagnosed him as exhausted, not anything more serious, and have cleared him to go back to work. He spent today resting, talking to family, friends and colleagues, reading the news and discussing Senate business. He appreciates the kind words and thoughts sent by so many, thanks the doctors at George Washington University Hospital for the excellent care he received, and wishes everyone a Happy Holidays.”

President Barack Obama said Friday that the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Olympics "speaks for itself," pointing out that the members of the group are known for their athletic prowess and strength of character regardless of sexual orientation.

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Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's fate lies with the U.S. courts and Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama said Friday. 

The NSA official in charge of the task force investigating Snowden's leaks, Rick Ledgett, floated the option of granting the fugitive contractor amnesty in a "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday. But Obama declined to discuss the specifics of Snowden's case in a press conference, citing the contractor's indictment on charges of espionage and theft of government property. 

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