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

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) issued a statement Thursday in response to President Barack Obama's announcement that the U.S. would no longer participate in a joint military exercise with Egypt, calling on the president to "stop skirting the issue" by cutting off all foreign aid to the conflicted nation.

"While President Obama 'condemns the violence in Egypt', his Administration continues to send billions of taxpayer dollars to help pay for it," Paul said in a written statement. "The law is very clear when a coup d'état takes place, foreign aid must stop, regardless of the circumstances. With more than 500 dead and thousands more injured this week alone, chaos only continues to grow in Egypt."

"So Mr. President, stop skirting the issue, follow the law, and cancel all foreign aid to Egypt," he added.

The Washington Post said its website was hacked Thursday by a group known for its support of the Syrian government. 

"The Washington Post Web site was hacked today, with readers on certain stories being redirected to the site of the Syrian Electronic Army," an editor's note on the Post's website read. "The group is a hacker collective that supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."

The Post wrote that it is working to resolve the issue.

A fifteenth woman came forward Thursday to San Diego's KFMB claiming that Mayor Bob Filner (D) made an "inappropriate movement" on her body at a public event years ago. 

Attorney Kathryn Vaughn, who is one of four local women organizing a rally and march on Sunday calling on Filner to resign, told KFMB that the incident occurred a decade ago but she chose to "let it go."

"He came up to me and I had a very uncomfortable moment with him," Vaughn said. "And at the time, I froze and looked around for my husband and there were a lot of other people in the room."

When a KFMB anchor asked to clarify that Filner waited until her husband walked away, then groped her, Vaughn affirmed.

"He made an inappropriate movement on my body, yes," she said.

Watch the interview below, courtesy of KFMB:


San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

A parody video calling on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign has drawn criticism from some Southern California media outlets this week.

U-T TV, a news station launched by the U-T San Diego newspaper that has been extensively covering the Filner scandal, released a parody version of the ubiquitous music video for Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" on Monday. Tightly-clothed women and suited men, one of whom's head has been replaced by an image of Filner, dance to Thicke's song in the video.  

Some Southern California media outlets slammed the spoof. The Los Angeles Times's Robin Abcarian wrote that the U-T TV station "has chosen to demean women to get its message across," while the Voice of San Diego's Sara Libby wrote the parody "seizes on a subject ripe with potential for legitimate news, and instead produces something vapid and embarrassing."

The news station altered the "Blurred Lines" lyrics to riff on the accusations of sexual harassment against Filner. At one point, the actors sing "it's time you take a good look/ he thinks you want it/ but you don't want it/ it makes us vomit."

Watch the parody video below: 

Organizing for Action, the independent political group born out of President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign effort, released a television ad Thursday promoting the benefits of Obamacare for families, CNN reported.

In the ad titled "Every Day," a North Carolina couple discuss the insurance rebates they received under the Affordable Care Act that helped them pay for their young son's health care.

"When the Affordable Care Act was passed, we ended up getting a $350 rebate from our insurance company,” parent Rebecca said in the ad. “And then his premiums would go down by about $60 a month.”

"The law works," Rebecca concludes.

An OFA official confirmed to CNN that the 30-second ad spot will run on national cable channels Bravo and Lifetime as part of a media campaign that will total seven figures by summer's end.

Twenty Tennessee-based tea party and conservative groups published an open letter Wednesday to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) urging him to retire, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"During your tenure in the Senate we have no doubt that you voted in a way which you felt was appropriate. Unfortunately, our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous," the letter read, according to the Journal.

"America faces serious challenges and needs policymakers who will defend conservative values, not work with those who are actively undermining those values," the letter continued. "Quite honestly, your voting record shows that you do not represent the conservative values that we hold dear and the votes you have cast as Senator are intolerable to us."

The letter encouraged Alexander to retire rather than take on a primary challenger, according to the Journal, although no Republican has yet come forward to challenge Alexander's seat in 2014.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Wednesday that he believes there's no "objective evidence" that African-American voters are being disenfranchised at the polls, Louisville, Ky.'s WFPL reported.

"The interesting thing about voting patterns now is in this last election African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites in almost every one of the states that were under the special provisions of the federal government," Paul said at the Louisville Forum, as quoted by WFPL. "So really, I don't think there is objective evidence that we're precluding African-Americans from voting any longer."

The Supreme Court ruled in June to strike down a central provision of the Voting Rights Act setting a formula that identified which states with a history of racial discrimination needed to pre-clear changes to voting laws with the federal government. States like North Carolina have since moved forward with new voter ID legislation

The Kentucky senator said comparing new voter ID legislation to Civil-Rights-era Jim Crow laws was doing a disservice to icons of the Civil Rights movement, according to WFPL.

"I don't see a problem with showing your driver's license to vote," Paul said, as quoted by WFPL. "I also think that some people are a little bit stuck in the past when they want to compare this. There was a time in the South when African-Americans were absolutely prohibited from voting by selective applications of bizarre and absurd literacy tests. And that was an abomination, that's why we needed the Voting Rights Act, but that's not showing your ID."

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) announced Wednesday that he will seek re-election to his congressional seat, dispelling speculation that he would make a gubernatorial run.

"I believe that I have been able to make a difference and have a lot of influence in Washington during my short time there, and I know I can have an even bigger impact in the years to come," Labrador said in a press conference, as quoted by the Idaho Statesman. "Even though many of you had very persuasive reasons why I should consider running for governor, I genuinely believe that Congress is the best place for me to serve you at this time."

Labrador wouldn't endorse incumbent Gov. Butch Otter (R) during the press conference, according to the Statesman, saying Otter "could do a better job."

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin challenged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to act on his stated support for ending Obamacare in a web video released Wednesday.

The video places Bevin alongside Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) in calling on McConnell to take action to halt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"You hear a lot of empty rhetoric from Mitch McConnell about ending Obamacare," Bevin said in a clip of his recent speech at Kentucky's annual Fancy Farm picnic. "Stop talking about yanking it out root and branch, and start voting in the U.S. Senate to kill it by defunding it."

McConnell said Tuesday that he supports bringing an end to the health care law, but that shutting down the government will not be able to stop the law's implementation. 

Former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Wednesday, according to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Natasha Korecki. Her husband, former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), was also sentenced to 30 months in prison for crimes related to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds.