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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner refused calls for his resignation Friday and instead said during a news conference that he planned to enter counseling amid accusations that he sexually harassed various women.
"I must take responsibility for my conduct by taking action so that such conduct does not ever happen again," Filner said during the brief news conference. "Beginning on August 5th, I will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy."
Filner's announcement ended abruptly when the microphone at the news conference went out. He resumed the announcement after the technical issues were solved.
Filner went on to say that he would be at the clinic full-time over those two weeks, but intends to be briefed on city activities twice daily.
"My hope is that becoming a better person, I put myself in a position to some day be forgiven," Filner said. "However, before I even think of asking for forgiveness, I need to demonstrate that my behavior has changed. That will only happen over time and only if such incidents never, ever happen again. So when I return on August 19th, my focus will be on making sure that I am doing right by the city in terms of being the best mayor I can be."
Filner has faced calls to resign from prominent local and national figures in recent days as more women have come forward to accuse the mayor of sexually harassing them.
Here's video of Filner's announcment and his microphone going dead:
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's office refused to accept a subpoena from the city attorney's office Thursday, the U-T San Diego reported.
"Our investigators tried to serve him directly with a subpoena and they were told to go away by Lee Burdick,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told the U-T. Burdick is Filner's newly-minted chief of staff.
The subpoena was to be served for a deposition in the suit filed by attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of Filner's former communications director, Irene McCormack, who accused Filner of sexual harassment.
"Our lawyers have scheduled a deposition with Mr. Filner, coordinating with Gloria Allred, for August 9,” Goldsmith told the U-T. “The purpose of the deposition is to put him under oath and get his side of the story. That is what due process is.”
The FBI said in a letter made public this week that it has used drones on U.S. soil for surveillance in 10 cases since 2006.
The letter, which Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) released Thursday after receiving it from the agency, said the FBI has used unmanned aerial vehicles in eight criminal cases and two national security cases since 2006. The drones were unarmed, the July 19 letter said, and none was used "to conduct 'bulk' surveillance or to conduct general surveillance not related to an investigation or assessment."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will make his first public comments on immigration reform on Aug. 5 at the premiere of a film about undocumented immigrants in San Francisco, the S.F. Chronicle reported Friday.
Some Silicon Valley companies, including Zuckerberg's FWD.us group, have lobbied to increase the number of high-skilled H-1B worker visas included in Senate legislation.
Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) issued a statement Friday calling on embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign his post.
“The misconduct Mayor Bob Filner has been accused of is reprehensible and indefensible," Schultz said in the statement. "I am personally offended by his actions and I firmly believe no employee should face a hostile environment or harassment at their place of employment. There is no place for this type of conduct in the workplace and certainly not in our city halls and public offices."
“For the good of the City of San Diego, I call on Mayor Filner to resign," she added.
Stephen Colbert on Thursday roasted Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for his recent controversial comments on immigration, which include comparing immigrants to dogs and saying that some immigrants have "calves the size of cantaloupes" from bringing marijuana across the border.
"One of the best ways to choose who gets into this country is by what size produce their muscles are," Colbert said. "The point is it's all about choosing the good ones. Steve King knows that."
Colbert then played a clip of a May speech where King compared selecting which immigrants should be granted entry into the United States to choosing bird dogs alongside a June interview with Univisión's Jorge Ramos, in which King said he was "celebrating legal immigration" when he made the dog comparison.
"When he was comparing immigrants to dogs, which he did not do, he was complimenting them," Colbert quipped. "The same way I'm complimenting Steve King when I call him a tool."
"It's not about Mexicans being animals," he added. "Steve King is just saying they are human beings, who, if you pick the right ones, would make great pets."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Friday rebutted Gov. Chris Christie's (R-NJ) criticism of the libertarian's "esoteric" national security positions through a senior advisor, who told the Washington Times that Christie "needs to talk to more Americans."
“If Governor Christie believes the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans is ‘esoteric,’ he either needs a new dictionary, or he needs to talk to more Americans, because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent years,” Paul advisor Doug Stafford told the Washington Times.
In a Thursday speech at the Aspen Institute, Christie invoked 9/11 to say that libertarians in the GOP like Paul have a "dangerous" line of thought and engage in "esoteric, intellectual debates."
"I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation," Christie had said. "And they won't. Because that's a much tougher conversation to have."
Paul tweeted Friday that while Christie may be worried about "the dangers of freedom," the Kentucky senator worries about the "danger of losing that freedom."
Christie worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom. Spying without warrants is unconstitutional.
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) drew several big-name Democratic senators Thursday to a Capitol Hill fundraiser, the Houston Chronicle reported.
In attendance were Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), according to the Chronicle. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), who was also in attendance, told the newspaper that Davis "didn't announce anything."
Davis has not ruled out a run for the Texas governor's office. Following her filibuster of a restrictive abortion bill that gained national attention, the state senator raised almost $1 million in the second half of June.
The U.S. Department of Education plans to investigate a "Redneck Day" celebration at an Arizona high school that caused a stir among civil rights activists, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Back in May, a student at Queen Creek High School wore a Confederate flag on "Redneck Day," which was part of the school's "spirit week." The student was asked to change his clothing, according to the school's superintendent.
The DOE's Civil Rights office said that the investigation "will be limited to whether a racially hostile environment was created due to language and actions that were not protected by the First Amendment" in the case of the Confederate flag, according to the AP.
Correction: This post has been updated to show that the Associated Press, not the Arizona Republic, reported on the Department of Education's plans to investigate "Redneck Day." The headline has been changed to reflect that the the report indicated the department planned to investigate. It was unclear when the investigation would begin.
The union for employees of the Internal Revenue Service is opposing a GOP bill that would force them out of the current health care plan for federal employees and into the exchanges created by Obamacare, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.
The bill by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) would move federal employees, including the president and vice president and lawmakers and their staffs, from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program into Obamacare. The majority of nearly 100,000 IRS employees have coverage through the FEHBP, according to the Examiner.
Leaders from the National Taxpayer Employee Union provided members with a letter to send to their congressional representatives reading, "I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act," according to the Examiner.