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 catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) released a statement Wednesday faulting the Obama administration for the closure of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Cruz's full statement:

President Obama is so fixated on forcing Obamacare on the American people that he's even willing to deny World War II veterans the right to access the memorial they have earned through their heroic service.

This scenario encapsulates the bigger problem in Washington. President Obama is so set on imposing his destructive, far-left ideology that his government is literally barricading World War II veterans out of their memorial and blocking funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The House is on track today to pass individual CRs to fund Veterans Affairs and National Monuments, but Senator Reid and President Obama say they refuse to consider them, even though they agreed to pass a similar CR covering military pay on Monday night.

This is untenable and our veterans deserve much better, especially our disabled vets. During this debate we should focus on those areas of agreement and pass those CRs. That’s the practical way to proceed and the House deserves great credit for its leadership.

Honor Flight groups that planned to bring veterans to Washington were being granted access to conduct first amendment activities Wednesday at the World War II Memorial, according to National Mall and Memorial Parks communications officer Carol Johnson.

The National Rifle Association announced Tuesday that it intends to file suit against the state of California if Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs a bill banning the sale of some semi-automatic weapons.

The California state legislature passed the bill in early September, after the state Senate advanced it as part of a suite of gun control proposals earlier this summer. The bill bans new sales of semi-automatic rifles with removable magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and requires those who already own such a firearm to register it as an assault weapon, according to Reuters.

The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action wrote on its website that the bill, SB 374, is unconstitutional and "would make unprecedented changes to California’s already unjust and byzantine 'assault weapon' law."

"Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms has never been as seriously threatened in California as it is today," it wrote. "After years of incrementally adopting gun control measures, this year the Legislature decided to propose new laws adopting everything on the gun ban lobby’s wish list."

The Rhode Island GOP plans to raffle off guns at a fundraiser on Sunday and will require winners to pass a background check, the Providence Journal reported.

State Republican Chairman Mark Smiley told the newspaper that those attendees who win the guns being raffled off, one of which is a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style rifle, must pass a background check before collecting their prizes.

“The weapon will be held, and the winner given a certificate,” Smiley said. “That certificate will be redeemable at the gun shop that donated the weapon. After the winner passes both state and federal background checks and has waited the required week, they will take possession of the weapon.”

The Journal noted that news of the raffle was met with criticism from some Rhode Island Republicans, including potential GOP candidates for the governor's office.

Conservative group Citizens United planned to move forward with a documentary to be released ahead of the 2016 election about Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, the Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday.

The film was still untitled and slated to be distributed in theaters, aired on television and released on DVD, according to the publication.

The group's 2008 production "Hillary: The Movie" was the basis for a landmark Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court determined that blocking the film from being aired on the grounds it was political advertising violated the group's constitutional right to free speech. 

"This is why I went to the Supreme Court," Citizens United's president and chairman, David Bossie, told the Hollywood Reporter. "Now that I won that case, I can do whatever I want with this new movie. I can advertise it on radio and TV, show it on TV whenever I want to -- all the things they stopped us from doing with Hillary: The Movie."

Both CNN and NBC announced Monday that they were canceling their respective planned film productions on Clinton.

Bossie told the publication that with NBC's casting of Diane Lane as the former secretary of state, the network was "doing everything in their power to make Hillary look good, which is their right."

"But ours will not be a puff piece designed to promote a Hillary Clinton presidency," he said.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday accused the government of playing a "charade" by sending "goons" to block people from visiting the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A group of veterans entered the memorial, which was closed off due to the government shutdown, on Tuesday morning. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) reportedly helped the group gain access to the memorial.

"If Harry Reid and the president want to keep the parks closed -- I mean, did you read the story today?" Paul said on Fox News' "Hannity." "Some idiot in the government sent goons out there to set up barricades so they couldn't see the monument. People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades, to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument, because they're trying to play a charade."

"They're doing it because they just aren't serious about this," he added. "They like the shutdown." 

Paul said that despite passing a bill to fund the military, Democrats see the shutdown as a "parlor game" and are trying to stop a Republican-led effort to fund portions of the government, such as Veterans Affairs, in smaller bills.

"We're trying to fund government and they're trying to stop any funding because they think it's a parlor game and they'll win politically," he said. "But they are not willing to negotiate and I think that's an untenable position."

An Arizona woman died after she was accidentally shot Tuesday while being hugged by her boyfriend, according to a release from Phoenix police.

The release stated the victim's boyfriend, 18, had a handgun tucked in his waistband that caused his girlfriend, 24, discomfort as he hugged her. The gun then discharged and struck the victim as the boyfriend removed it.

The woman died after being transported to a local hospital, the release stated.

President Barack Obama called the leaders of Malaysia and the Philippines on Tuesday night to inform them he would not go forward with scheduled visits to those countries due to the government shutdown.

Obama told the leaders that he was committed to traveling to both countries later in his term, according to White House readouts of the calls. 

The president is scheduled to travel to Indonesia and Brunei for a trip beginning Sunday, according to the White House.

This post has been updated.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday seemed to suggest that his wife Anita misspoke when she said abortion "could be a woman's right," according to Bloomberg News.

Speaking to reporters at a campaign event for Steve Lonegan, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, Perry said "from time to time we’ll stick the wrong word in the wrong place, and you pounce upon it," as quoted by Bloomberg News.

Texas' first lady said Saturday at the 2013 Texas Tribune Fest that abortion could be a woman's right "just like it's a man's right if he wants to have some kind of procedure."

"But I don't agree with it, and that's not my view," she clarified.

FoxNews.com addressed the effects of a government "slimdown" Tuesday in several articles appearing on its homepage.

The first article listed explains the news website's terminology preference:

What the Obama administration is portraying as a "shutdown" of the federal government -- complete with signs posted at the entrances to government buildings, parks and monuments -- is turning out to be more of a "slimdown," as all but non-essential workers reported to their jobs Tuesday. 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that a congressional attempt to fund parts of the federal government in a piecemeal fashion is "not a serious approach."

Asked during the daily press briefing whether the president would sign smaller funding bills allowing select federal agencies to reopen, Carney said the strategy shows an "utter lack of seriousness" on the part of Republicans.

"If they want to open the government, they should open the government," he said. "Then we can negotiate about how we fund our budget priorities in the future. A piecemeal approach to funding the government is not a serious approach."

Republicans in the House intend to pass legislation that would reopen parts of the federal government, including national parks and processing of Veterans Affairs claims, according to the Associated Press.