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. 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.

A planned Ku Klux Klan gathering in Gettysburg, Pa. was canceled due to the government shutdown, Philadelphia's WCAU reported Tuesday.

A Maryland-based KKK group was approved to hold a rally on Saturday at Gettysburg National Military Park, according to WCAU. Park officials told the news station that the rally won't happen because they revoked all permits for special events when the shutdown began Tuesday.

The effects of the shutdown are being felt at parks as far away as South Dakota, where Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) offered state resources and personnel to help keep Mount Rushmore open. At the center of the shutdown in Washington, D.C., a group of visiting veterans stormed a World War II Memorial Tuesday when they found it was closed.

[h/t Huffington Post]

The Democratic National Committee experienced its biggest fundraising haul since the 2012 election on Monday ahead of the government shutdown and the launch of Obamacare's health insurance marketplaces, the Hill reported.

A DNC official told the Hill that in the 24 hours leading up to the midnight deadline to fund the government, the committee raised slightly less than $850,000 from 30,000 donors.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) worked with top congressional Democrats behind the scenes to preserve employer contributions for congressional staff's health care plans even as he decried those subsidies in public, Politico reported Tuesday.

Emails and documents obtained by Politico show Boehner and his aides worked with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), among others, to find a way to maintain the long-standing employer contributions. Those documents also show that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was aware of the behind-the-scenes talks.

In addition to those efforts, Boehner attempted to arrange a meeting with President Barack Obama to ask for help in securing the subsidies, the documents show. Although Boehner and the president never met to discuss the contributions, a senior Boehner aide was able to meet with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on the issue, according to Politico.

A Boehner spokesman denied that the speaker's efforts went against the speaker's public position on Obamacare.

“We always made it clear that the House would not pass any legislative ‘fix,’” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told the publication. “As POLITICO has previously reported, Speaker Boehner was aware that Sen. Reid and the White House were discussing this issue. He was always clear, however, that any ‘fix’ would be a Democratic ‘fix.’ His ‘fix’ is repealing” Obamacare.

Reid's communications director Adam Jentleson told Politico that the Nevada Democrat "appreciates Speaker Boehner’s cooperation and tireless efforts to work through this difficult issue."

House Republicans attempted to pass a temporary spending bill hours before the midnight deadline to fund the government Monday that included a provision denying employer contributions to congressional staff.

Rep. John Larson (D-CT) urged his colleagues to "do what's fair" and put aside partisan bickering for the sake of the American people as the shutdown of the federal government kicked in early Tuesday morning.

"The American people in the greatest land, the greatest country in the world deserve their government open," he said in a fiery one-minute speech from the House floor. "And they deserve to know where their members stand. Do you stand with your country, do you stand for your country, or do you want to take it down this evening?"

"Stand up for your country," he yelled. "Stand up for America. Stand with us this evening and keep this government going, in the name of fairness."