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

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that he'd rather not intervene in the case of Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the U.S. on charges of espionage for leaking National Security Agency secrets, and likened navigating the diplomacy of the situation to "shearing a pig."

"I'd prefer not to deal with this issue at all—it's like shearing a pig—too much squeaking, too little wool," Putin said during a news conference in Turku, Finland, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal

Putin announced Snowden was free to transit out of Russia, adding "the sooner he chooses his final destination, the better it will be for us and for him."

The Constitutional Accountability Center on Tuesday condemned the Supreme Court's striking of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which the think tank said prevents Congress from exercising its rightful power to stop the practice of racial discrimination in voting.

"Today is a sad day for all Americans who care about protection of one our most fundamental rights, the right to vote," said David Gans, the center's civil rights director, in a press release. "In striking down a core provision of the Voting Rights Act, the Court flouts the text and history of the Fifteenth Amendment, which expressly give to Congress broad powers to prevent and deter all forms of racial discrimination in voting.

"As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in a powerful dissent," he continued. "Congress properly used these broad constitutional powers to prevent current and ongoing racial discrimination in voting concentrated in the covered jurisdictions.

"Justice Ginsburg further explained that Congress was not required to update the coverage formula, because the Voting Rights Act's 15,000-page record in 2006 shows that pre-clearance continues to cover the jurisdictions with the worst record of voting discrimination."

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said Monday that sex-ed programs in schools aren't necessary because "mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody," according to Right Wing Watch

Gohmert digressed from a discussion with radio program WallBuilders Live on "indoctrination" of students in the American education system to comment on public schools' sex-ed programs -- then digressed even further to say those programs remind him of the Soviet Union.

Read more of Gohmert's comments.

[h/t Political Wire]

A South Dakota teenager was shot and wounded Saturday morning, The Mitchell Daily Republic reported Monday. Authorities said it was an accident.

Logan Evans, 18, of Plankinton, S.D. was driving a car with three other teens when he pointed a 9mm pistol at the victim, who was sitting in the back seat, according to the local sheriff's office.

Hanson County Deputy Sheriff Casey Tegethoff told the Daily Republic that Evans "didn't intend to shoot" the victim and thought the gun was not loaded when he allegedly pulled the trigger. The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

Tegethoff said the investigation is ongoing, and the names of the victim and witnesses, who are minors, will not be released.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Russia to "uphold rule of law" and aid the U.S. in its mission to apprehend Edward Snowden, the former defense contractor wanted on espionage charges.

"Our country is doing everything that's possible," Kerry told CBS News. "We have a coordinated effort between the State Department and Justice Department, the FBI, the White House in an effort to try to persuade our Russians colleagues that this is important. Important to the U.S., important to them, in terms of upholding rule of law. We have returned 7 prisoners to them in the last two years that they requested. I think it's very important to them to adhere to the rule of law and respect the relationship."

Watch the interview below, courtesy of CBS News:

The official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party railed against the U.S. government's accusation that the Chinese government compelled Hong Kong to let National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden flee to Russia in a front-page commentary published Tuesday, according to the Guardian.

"Not only did the US authorities not give us an explanation and apology, it instead expressed dissatisfaction at the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for handling things in accordance with law," said the overseas edition of China's People's Daily, as quoted by the Guardian. 

The commentary also expressed concern over Snowden's allegations that the U.S. had hacked computer networks in China.

"In a sense, the United States has gone from a 'model of human rights' to 'an eavesdropper on personal privacy', the 'manipulator' of the centralized power over the international Internet, and the mad 'invader' of other countries' networks," the piece read.

"The world will remember Edward Snowden," the op-ed continued. "It was his fearlessness that tore off Washington's sanctimonious mask."

President Barack Obama said Monday that all the "appropriate legal channels" are being followed to bring the source of the National Security Agency leaks, Edward Snowden, back to the United States.

Prior to a meeting with business leaders on immigration reform, a reporter asked whether Obama had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin about securing Snowden. The president responded that the White House is "working with various countries to make sure that all the rules are followed," according to a pool report.

Obama referred further questions to the Department of Justice.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) reversed course on the immigration issue over the weekend, declaring the Senate's border surge deal a "victory for Arizona."

Brewer appeared Monday afternoon on Fox News, echoing a position she first debuted on that channel a day earlier. 

"I really, really am claiming victory for Arizona in regards to the border surge," Brewer told Fox News. "I was writing to the federal government and to Sen. Schumer way back in June of 2010 in regards to the border surge that we needed to see completed before we moved forward. So today hopefully that will get out of the Senate and we can see that they are going to move forward."

Arizona Sens. John McCain (R) and Jeff Flake (R) are co-authors of the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The new border provision in particular appeals to Brewer, who signed Arizona's tough SB 1070 immigration law, which was largely struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012.

Watch Brewer's Fox appearance below: 

This post has been updated.

A 9-year-old girl was wounded in the hand Friday after an Evansville, Ind. man allowed her and two other children to hold a firearm, the Evansville Courier & Press reported Sunday.

According to the Evansville Police Department, Gilbert Ricketts, 48, allowed three children, ages 10, 9, and 8, to hold his .22-caliber rifle. Ricketts told police that since he had the permission of at least one of the children's parents, he removed the rifle's magazine and allowed them to hold it. He told police he was unaware that a round had been left in its chamber.

The 9-year-old was taken to the hospital with multiple wounds to her left hand after the rifle discharged while she held it.  The girl's fingers may need to be amputated, according to an arrest affidavit. 

Ricketts faces a charge of dangerous control of a firearm. Police say tests showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.053 at the time of the incident.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said that although she already has the framework for another gubernatorial bid, she may not seek reelection in 2014, the Florence Morning News reported Sunday.

“If we look and it’s too much on the family, I could absolutely see (not running again),” she told the Morning News in a June 17 interview.

Haley's husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan. The couple has two small children.