Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R) on Monday managed to invoke topics as disparate as abortion, Islamic extremism and same-sex marriage in a full-throated defense of the Confederate battle flag.

Bright has been one of the most stalwart defenders of the Confederate flag that flies on state Capitol grounds since the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston sparked widespread calls for its removal. In an interview last month, Bright branded the movement to do away with the flag and other symbols of the Confederacy across the deep South a "Stalinist purge."

The lawmaker often digressed as he talked up his proposal for a non-binding referendum to allow voters to counsel their representatives on the flag issue. His proposed amendment was tabled after he wondered aloud why Budweiser wasn't being blamed for the shooting at Emanuel AME church (the shooter had been photographed with the beer) and insisting that the nation as a whole was to be condemned for the sins of slavery.

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), who's been referred to as "America's craziest governor," is known for his brash leadership style and off-color, at times vulgar remarks.

But LePage has now potentially moved beyond personal insults and into the territory of real injury. He was accused last week of blackmailing a charter school that hired the state's House speaker, Democrat Mark Eves, as president by threatening to withhold $500,000 in state funding unless Eves was fired.

Maine lawmakers are now broaching the subject of impeachment and the state's attorney general has said she's "very troubled" by the accusations against LePage.

Here are five of the most outlandish things LePage has said and done during his tenure as "America's craziest governor."

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