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

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Wednesday said she wasn't worried about Republicans caving to pressure to end the government shutdown because "this is about the happiest" she's seen her conservative colleagues in a long time.

Appearing with colleague Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Bachmann told Fox News host Sean Hannity that she believes there has been "strong unity" between conservatives on almost every budget vote.

"This is about the happiest I've seen members in a long time, because we see we are starting to win this dialogue on a national level," she said. 

As the House debated a short-term government funding bill over the weekend, Bachmann told the Washington Examiner that she and other conservatives didn't fear a government shutdown because they viewed it as a chance to block Obamacare.

"There is a very large group of us who believe that this is it, this isn't just another year, this isn't just another CR fight," she told the Examiner. "This is historic, and it's a historic shift that's about to happen, and if we're going to fight, we need to fight now."

Bachmann also displayed police tape from the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. during her "Hannity" appearance, calling it a "symbol" of the GOP's fight to pass piecemeal legislation funding portions of the government in the face of opposition from the Obama administration and Senate Democrats.

[h/t Mediaite]



President Barack Obama on Thursday is scheduled to visit M. Luis Construction Company in Rockville, Md. to discuss how the government shutdown would affect small businesses and the need for Congress to pass a budget, the White House said. 

Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks at 10:40 a.m. ET.

Police said a man accidentally shot himself in the leg Wednesday inside a Walmart in Antioch, Tenn., The Tennessean reported.

The man, 21, was a handgun carry permit holder and had an unholstered .40-caliber pistol in his waistband, police said. When he reached for the gun to prevent it from slipping as he approached the Walmart checkout line, the firearm discharged a single round into his leg.

The man suffered a minor leg injury and no charges are expected to be filed, according to the newspaper.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that he hasn't heard of any hacking attempts launched against state or federal health care exchanges since they opened Tuesday.

Carney was asked during the daily press briefing whether the White House was concerned about possible hacking attempts aimed at Obamacare's online marketplaces, after the state of New York announced it was looking into "abnormally high traffic" on its Obamacare website. He said that he hadn't heard any such reports, referring the reporter to the state of New York and to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday again criticized President Barack Obama over the closure of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Paul wrote a tweet contrasting the number of guards at the memorial with the alleged lack of security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where four people were killed in a deadly attack last year.

Appearing on Fox News Tuesday night, Paul cited the memorial closure to accuse the Obama administration of playing a "parlor game" with the government shutdown.

"Some idiot in the government sent goons out there to set up barricades so they couldn't see the monument," Paul told host Sean Hannity. "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."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also released a statement Wednesday blaming the Obama administration for the memorial's closure.

FoxNews.com altered Associated Press reports it republished Wednesday to replace references to a government shutdown with the word "slimdown."

FoxNews.com placed the headline "Americans turn to social media to air feelings on slimdown" on one AP story and altered its original lede: "The roiling debate over the U.S. government shutdown is extending to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as fed-up Americans turn to social media to register their disgust with federal lawmakers for shutting down the government." The website replaced "shutting down the government" in that sentence with "slimming down the government." 

The news website also replaced references to a government shutdown with its preferred term in the headlines and ledes of AP stories here and here.

The term "slimdown" appeared in six places on the website's front page on Tuesday, the first day of the shutdown. 

[h/t Media Matters]

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.