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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

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement Wednesday condemning the use of violence against protesters in Egypt as well as the country's return to a state of emergency.

"The United States strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters in Egypt. We extend our condolences to the families of those who have been killed, and to the injured," Earnest said in the written statement. "We have repeatedly called on the Egyptian military and security forces to show restraint, and for the government to respect the universal rights of its citizens, just as we have urged protesters to demonstrate peacefully. Violence will only make it more difficult to move Egypt forward on a path to lasting stability and democracy, and runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue reconciliation. We also strongly oppose a return to a State of Emergency law, and call on the government to respect basic human rights such as freedom of peaceful assembly, and due process under the law. The world is watching what is happening in Cairo. We urge the government of Egypt - and all parties in Egypt - to refrain from violence and resolve their differences peacefully."

Egyptian Vice President Mohammed ElBaradei resigned from the country's interim government Wednesday over the government's "handling of sit-ins," NBC News's Ayman Mohyeldin reported from Cairo. The Agence-France Presse also reported El Baradei's resignation. 

The death toll from clashes between pro-Morsi protesters and security forces on Wednesday has risen to 149, according to the Associated Press.

An emotional former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) apologized for his crimes in a sentencing hearing Wednesday, admitting he "couldn't have been more wrong" in misusing $750,000 in campaign funds.

"I am the example for the whole Congress,” Jackson said, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune. “I understand that. I didn’t separate my personal life from my political activities, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.”

A staffer for mayoral candidate and Miami Comissioner Francis Suarez had used her private Twitter account to bash constituents, going as far as to suggest they get "a lobotomy," the Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Christina Haramboure, 24, littered her @ChristinaHam Twitter feed with complaints about her job for over a year, according to the Herald. On Monday she tweeted "Dear Constituents...PLEASE GET A LIFE, A HOBBY, A LOBOTOMY ... whatever."

That same day she tweeted “It amazes me how much people like to call here & b*itch at me ALLL DAY. their lives must really suck #leavemealone #socrabby #angryoldpeople," according to the Herald.

Haramboure, a "special aide and administrative assistant" for Suarez, told the paper in an email that the tweets from her now-deleted account do not reflect her attitude toward constituents.

"Over the last two years, I have worked tirelessly to help hundreds of constituents, and I have made great personal sacrifices to continue serving the residents of District 4,” she wrote. “I regret the Twitter postings and I apologize to anyone I may have hurt.”

Suarez described Haramboure to the Herald as an "overqualified" receptionist, and said that he had been unaware of the tweets. He explained that Haramboure was likely "frustrated" on the day of the tweets in question because she was covering for a sick coworker.

Egyptian state television reported Wednesday that the presidency has declared a monthlong state of emergency in the conflicted nation, according to the Associated Press. 

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. reflected on his son's bipolar disorder diagnosis before a hearing Wednesday, in which former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) and his wife Sandi face sentencing for crimes including squandering $750,000 in campaign funds.

“I don’t know how I missed so many signs,” Rev. Jackson told reporters, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune. “We found out he was sick very late. We thought we almost lost him. He was in a different place altogether.”

"He was very sick," Rev. Jackson continued, dismissing speculation that Jackson Jr., who left Congress in June 2012 on a medical leave of absence, may have been "faking it." He recounted that for a period of time his son refused to drink water because he worried it was dirty, according to the Tribune.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison recently opened up to CBS News' Charlie Rose on the topic of government surveillance, arguing that the issue of privacy raised by data collection shouldn't be new to anyone with a credit card and that National Security Agency surveillance is "absolutely essential."

"It's great. It's essential," Ellison told Rose in the interview that aired Tuesday. "By the way, President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."

When Rose asked Ellison where his "red line" on government surveillance would be, Ellison said he'd draw the line at political targeting.

"If the Democrats used it to go after Republicans. If the Republicans used it to go after Democrats," Ellison said. "In other words, if we stop looking for terrorists and we started looking for people on the other side of the aisle."

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) told the New York Times in an interview published Tuesday that he would support a Hillary Clinton bid in 2016 as she is "the most qualified person in America to be president."

"I won’t make an endorsement, but I will say this: If she makes a decision to run I would be with her,” Lewis told the Times. “I think today she is the most qualified person in America to be president. No one has worked so hard or done a more effective job in representing this country as secretary of state in modern times.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said Tuesday that defunding Obamacare would be "highly unlikely," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"Even if we were to not pass the continuing resolution (to fund the federal government), you're not going to be able to defund Obamacare, absent of President Obama signing a law, which I think is highly unlikely," Johnson said, as quoted by the Journal Sentinel. "So I appreciate the fact that they've raised the issue. But defunding Obamacare, with President Obama in the White House and Harry Reid in the Senate, I think is next to impossible."

Other Republicans in the Senate, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), have discussed forcing a government shutdown in order to cut funding for the Affordable Care Act. The movement has little standing with GOP leadership, however: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) recently said that there aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass a continuing resolution in order to defund the health care law.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned Tuesday that if Congress fails to act on immigration reform, President Barack Obama could act unilaterally to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants by executive order.

Appearing on Tallahassee talk radio program "The Morning Show With Preston Scott," Rubio, who helped to broker a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, warned that his colleagues in the House must address the issue or face losing ground on key reforms like border security. 

"I have been saying for more than a year that I believe that this president will be tempted," Rubio said. "If nothing happens in Congress, he will be tempted to issue an executive order, like he did for the DREAM Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen." 

"We won't get any E-Verify, we won't get any border security, but he'll legalize them," he continued.

The Obama administration stopped deporting DREAMers, or immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, in 2012. The policy affected as many as 800,000 immigrants.

Listen to audio of Rubio's appearance on the radio show below: 

[h/t The Hill]

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