Hzaqoyig3ksb8r9diosx

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

The U.S. Navy confirmed one person was injured in a shooting Monday morning at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC.

The Navy said in a press release that emergency personnel were on scene and Navy Yard personnel have been ordered to "shelter in place." About 3,000 people work in the Naval Sea System Command's (NAVSEA) headquarters on site.

The U.S. Navy confirmed Monday that there was an "active shooter" at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. The Navy reported that three shots were fired at about 8:20 a.m.

Update: As of 8:52 a.m., the U.S. Navy said the shooter was still "active" and police were on scene.

The United Nations is expected to release an inspectors' report Monday addressing the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Damascus, Syria.

The U.N. announced Sunday that its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had received the inspectors' report. Two diplomats told CNN that the report will likely be released to the public after Ban briefs the U.N. Security Council on the report Monday morning.

The report is expected to confirm whether or not a chemical attack occurred and identify which chemical agent was used, according to ABC News. Determining exactly who carried out the attack, however, was not one of the U.N. inspectors' goals.

Former National Security Agency and CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden declared Gmail the preferred email service of terrorists Sunday.

In a speech defending the legal basis for the NSA's PRISM surveillance program at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, Hayden said "Gmail is the preferred Internet service provider of terrorists worldwide," as quoted by the Washington Post. The retired general likely meant to say email service provider rather than Internet service provider.

"I don't think you're going to see that in a Google commercial, but it's free, it's ubiquitous, so of course it is," he added.

Hayden also implied that NSA surveillance was justified by the United States' particular history with the Internet.

"We built it here, and it was quintessentially American," he continued. For that reason, according to the Post, Hayden said a large volume of Internet traffic goes through American servers where the government "takes a picture of it for intelligence purposes."

Vice President Joe Biden warned donors and activists of a fundamental shift in the Republican party at an Iowa fundraiser Sunday, calling today's GOP a "different breed of cat" and taking a shot at the leadership of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” he told a crowd just before Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-IA) annual steak fry, according to a pool report. “We’re dealing with a different breed of cat as my uncle used to say. These guys aren’t bad. I’m not making moral judgments, but they have a fundamentally different view of America than we do – a fundamentally different view.”

Biden said it was crucial to support Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), the only Democrat who has declared his candidacy for outgoing Sen. Harkin's seat, in order to hold on to the party's Senate majority.

“Unless we can maintain this seat, unless we can begin to break down the majority in the House of Representatives, everything you have fought for for the last six years and beyond is in jeopardy,” Biden continued, according to the pool report. “This is now a party where the tail is wagging the dog, where Ted Cruz is running the show, a freshman, in terms of the ideas of the party.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) launched her campaign for governor of the state on Monday.

A campaign source told the Boston Herald on Sunday that Coakley was expected to kick off her bid with a video on her website, followed by six campaign stops on Monday. 

Coakley lost a special Senate election to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D) seat to former Sen. Scott Brown (R) in 2010. She is the most widely recognized candidate in a Democratic field that includes former Homeland Security advisor Juliette Kayyem. On the Republican side, only former gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker has announced a run for the governor's office.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) on Friday sent a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee requesting an investigation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for what he calls "attempted bribery."

The letter responded to reports that Senate Democrats were shopping around a plan to deny government contributions to lawmakers' health care plans if there is "probable cause" they solicited prostitutes. The proposal would effectively dredge up Vitter's 2007 prostitution scandal unless he stopped pressuring the Senate to vote on an amendment repealing federal contributions to legislators' health plans.

The Democrats' proposal was first reported by Politico.

From the letter:

In response to my proposal and call for a vote on my amendment to reverse the Office of Personnel Management’s Congressional exemption from the Affordable Care Act, Senator Reid and Boxer have apparently lead an effort to employ political scare tactics, personal attacks, and threats that would affect each Senator’s personal finances (i.e. bribery). News reports indicate that one of these proposals would prohibit the employer contribution to any “Member of Congress who has offered an amendment in the House of Representatives or the Senate that would prohibit such contributions on behalf of other individuals, or who has voted for the adoption of such an amendment.” Such an arrangement, whereby the Senate Majority Leader and the Chair of this Committee are threatening to take away their colleagues’ healthcare coverage subsidy if they do not vote a certain way, at worst constitutes bribery and a quid pro quo arrangement, and at best amounts to improper conduct reflecting discreditably on the Senate. 

Update: Reid's office responded in a statement late Friday:

"Senator Vitter's charges are absurd and baseless," spokeswoman Kristen Orthman told TPM. "This is nothing more than Senator Vitter's desperate attempt to change the subject from his previous ethics issues."

The Pennsylvania police chief who recorded viral YouTube videos in which he fires guns and refers to Democrats as "libtards" has declared himself a write-in candidate for the Schuylkill County sheriff's office, the Pottsville Republican-Herald reported Friday.

Mark Kessler, the police chief in Gilberton, Pa., announced the write-in campaign on his website and Facebook page this week. 

"I've been kicking it around for a long time," Kessler told the newspaper of his plans to run for the office, adding that he had switched his party affiliation from Republican to independent despite pressure from "Republican elites."

"It's going to be a tough run," he added. "I probably have a popularity vote, but since my name isn't on the ballot, it's going to be tough. It will be a miracle if I win, but I'll give it a shot. It will let me get my message out. Maybe the people of Schuylkill County will elect me as sheriff, but I'll throw my name into the ring and see what happens. I'll try my best."

Kessler was suspended from his post for 30 days for using Gilberton Borough's guns in the YouTube videos, and town officials plan to hold another disciplinary hearing on Sept. 19, according to the newspaper. The police chief recently told TPM that he's been teaching people how to shoot guns in the interim and befriended James Yeager, a fellow gun rights activist.

President Barack Obama is expected to sit down with host of ABC's "This Week" George Stephanopoulos at the White House for an interview airing Sunday at 10 a.m. ET, the network announced. It will be the president's first interview since his Tuesday address to the nation regarding the situation in Syria.

The mother of Trayvon Martin is expected to testify at a Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing on "stand your ground" laws, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced Thursday.

Sybrina Fulton is among the list of witnesses to testify at the hearing, scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows an individual to use deadly force in response to a perceived threat, was an issue in the shooting death of her son.

TPMLivewire