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

Articles by Catherine

President Barack Obama on Tuesday remembered the late Nelson Mandela as the "last great liberator of the 20th century."

"To the people of South Africa - people of every race and walk of life - the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us," Obama said at Mandela's memorial service in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to his prepared remarks.  "His struggle was your struggle.  His triumph was your triumph.  Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy." 

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MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry kicked off her weekend program with a monologue on what she called the "derogatory" implications of the term "Obamacare," the colloquialism for the Affordable Care Act.

"It’s a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history," she said. "A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man. To render him inferior and unequal and to diminish his accomplishments."

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After four hours of being put on hold and "dozens of errors," Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) complained Saturday on Twitter that he wasn't sure if he successfully enrolled in a health care plan.

In a series of tweets, the Texas Republican detailed his frustration while trying to sign up for health coverage through the Washington, D.C.-based online exchange, where most members of Congress enroll in insurance policies.

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Top Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD) on Monday blasted Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) argument against extending unemployment benefits as "absurd" and "demeaning."

Paul said on "Fox News Sunday" that Congress would be doing a "disservice" to workers by extending unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of the year. Employers tend to hire people who haven't been out of work for extended periods of time, he argued.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and a delegation of more than 20 U.S. House members are slated to attend a Tuesday service in South Africa for the late Nelson Mandela, CNN reported.

House Speaker John Boehner tapped Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) to lead the House delegation, and Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Furdge (D-OH) is also expected to join the official delegation. Below is a list of other lawmakers expected to make the trip, as provided to CNN by a Democratic aide and subject to change:

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Police were negotiating with a suspected gunman early Monday morning inside a Phoenix, Arizona hospital, according to Phoenix TV station KNXV.

The suspect was contained to a portion of Phoenix Baptist Hospital's emergency room, Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump told KNXV.

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Former Mitt Romney advisor and Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is floating a challenge to Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in 2014.

“It’s safe to say that there’s people talking about it here, and I’m listening to them,” Gillespie told Politico in a Saturday interview. “I’ve been flattered to have it raised. There’s plenty of time to give it some thought.”

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday lamented the loss of Nelson Mandela, whom she called "a giant among us," while accepting a human rights award.

"He will be certainly remembered for the way he led, his dignity, his extraordinary understanding — not just of how how to bring democracy and freedom to his beloved South Africa, but how important it was that he first brought freedom to himself," Clinton said as she accepted an award at the Lantos Foundation. 

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