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

The European Union's foreign policy chief announced Monday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif are expected to meet this week, the Wall Street Journal reported.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the meeting, expected to take place on Thursday, will put Kerry and Zarif face-to-face along with their counterparts from five other nations that are negotiating the containment of Iran's nuclear program.

The meeting would mark the highest-level in-person talks to take place between the U.S. and Iran since the Iranian revolution in 1979. 

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last week that he would like to pursue "constructive engagement" with the United States and the rest of the world aimed at ending "unhealthy rivalries" among the international community. He also emphasized in the opinion column that Iran's nuclear program is "peaceful" and central to the nation's identity.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney cost his team a victory Saturday at the One Shot Antelope Hunt when his gun malfunctioned, Wyoming TV station KTWO reported.

The other two members of Cheney's Wyoming competition team, including Gov. Matt Mead (R), made their shots. Mead called Cheney an "excellent shot," but said Cheney didn't hit his buck because his gun malfunctioned.

Firearms manufacturer Remington fielded the team that won the competition. The One Shot Hunt Club's president, Terry Martin, told KTWO that Cheney's team would have won with the shortest time if all three members of the Remington team hadn't made their shots.

The captain of the Wounded Warrior competition team joked that Cheney's Remington bullets were the cause of the misfire. 

"It shouldn't surprise anyone that Dick Cheney's gun had a major malfunction today, he had Remington ammunition," Jeff 'Doc' Sinchack said, as quoted by KTWO. "But the good news is, his gun didn't work and nobody got hurt."

The jab referenced Cheney's 2006 hunting accident, in which he failed to spot a quail hunting companion retrieving a bird and accidentally shot him. 

"I don't take it personally," Cheney told the crowd at the event's awards banquet. "I'm sure there was some flaw with the manufacturer. But I will be back next year and I have enjoyed it, it's been fantastic."

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright officially joined Twitter on Monday. 

Albright, who served as the head of the State Department under President Bill Clinton, pointed out that although she was the first woman to serve in that post, she lagged behind her female successors Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton in joining the social media service. Clinton joined in June.

Her Twitter bio reads "Grateful American Czech immigrant, mother & grandmother, fmr SecState, passionate democrat, author, prof, bizwoman, pin collector, & occasional drummer."

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis announced Monday that he was stepping down after leading the city's police department for seven years, including overseeing the response to the Boston Marathon bombings. 

“I feel very positive about leaving at this time, on my time,” Davis said, as quoted by Boston's WBZ. “The department is in much better shape now than when I came here.”

Davis said he has received "several offers," including a fellowship at Harvard University, but has yet to accept any particular offer. As WBZ points out, Davis was rumored to be on the short list to fill the Homeland Security secretary post.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee considered to be a presidential contender in 2016, is slated to publish a book on the state of conservatism ahead of next year's midterm elections.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that Ryan inked an agreement with Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, for a book titled "Where Do We Go From Here?" to be released next August.

"'Where Do We Go from Here?' will delve into the state of the conservative movement in America today, how it contrasts with liberal progressivism, and what needs to be done to save the American Idea," Twelve said in a release for the book, as quoted by the AP. "It will challenge conventional thinking, renew the conservative vision for 2014 and beyond, and show how it is essential for the well-being of our communities and the future of our nation." 

Authorities said they were concerned a Texas couple attempted to hide a firearm after their 3-year-old son accidentally shot himself, leading to the removal of one of the boy's lungs, the River Cities Daily Tribune reported Friday.

Officers in Horseshoe Bay, Texas responded to a call on Sept. 19 referencing a child accidentally shooting himself, according to a release from assistant police Chief Rocky Wardlow. The release states Horseshoe Bay officers recovered a loaded handgun lying on the residence's kitchen table. The boy's parents told police that the child picked up the handgun and it discharged, but refused to let officers search the residence further.

Wardlow's release stated police were concerned the boy's parents attempted to hide the weapon, as officers learned after obtaining a search warrant that the handgun found inside the home was not involved in the incident. Investigators received conflicting accounts of where that weapon was allegedly hid, the release stated.

Investigators located three handguns and a rifle in a neighbor's home, following an account suggesting the boy's mother hid the weapon there, according to the Tribune. The investigation was ongoing.

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin jumped to the defense of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Sunday on Twitter after Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said top Republicans had asked him to "hammer" Cruz on air about his strategy to defund Obamacare.

"@FoxNewsSunday Keep it TRULY fair & balanced," Palin wrote. "Release the GOP names encouraging you to trash @SenTedCruz. No more anonymous sources."

Wallace told a panel on "Fox News Sunday" that he was encouraged to go after Cruz for the senator's plan to force a government shutdown if Congress doesn't vote to defund the president's signature health care law. He didn't specify which Republicans reached out to him.

“This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington and I say that because as soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz," Wallace said.

Palin, who rejoined Fox News as a paid contributor in June, recently backed the effort to defund Obamacare. Soon after, the former Alaska governor tweeted that it's "time to bomb Obamacare" over what she calls "death panels," which she says could let bureaucrats decide whether old or disabled patients are eligible to receive medical care.

This post has been updated.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her first extended interview since leaving the State Department to New York Magazine, and she had some sharp words for the contingent of Democrats clamoring for a Clinton presidential bid in 2016. 

“I’m not in any hurry,” she told the magazine in a story published Sunday. “I think it’s a serious decision, not to be made lightly, but it’s also not one that has to be made soon."

Clinton pointed out that the general election is more than three years away, and said she doesn't think the political process driving such early speculation in the 2016 presidential race is good for the country.

“It’s like when you meet somebody at a party and they look over your shoulder to see who else is there, and you want to talk to them about something that’s really important; in fact, maybe you came to the party to talk to that particular person, and they just want to know what’s next," she said.

Asked if she wrestles with running for president, Clinton said "I do."

"But I’m both pragmatic and realistic," she told the magazine. "I think I have a pretty good idea of the political and governmental challenges that are facing our leaders, and I’ll do whatever I can from whatever position I find myself in to advocate for the values and the policies I think are right for the country. I will just continue to weigh what the factors are that would influence me making a decision one way or the other.”

As President Barack Obama consoled the families of the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting on Sunday, he gave an impassioned defense of tougher gun laws and said the fight to prevent tragedies like the Navy Yard shooting "ought to obsess us."

Speaking at a memorial for Navy Yard victims at the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC, Obama ticked off mass shootings that have taken place over the course of his presidency -- including Fort Hood, Texas, Tucson, Ariz., Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. -- to illustrate the "epidemic" of gun violence he said the nation faces. Those tragedies, he said, should shock the nation into doing something "transformative" to stop the cycle of gun violence.

"Alongside the anguish of these American families, alongside the accumulated outrage so many of us feel, sometimes I fear there’s a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal," Obama said. "We can't accept this."

The president pointed out that no other advanced countries experience the level of gun violence the U.S. has witnessed, because he said no other country makes it so easy for "dangerous people" to get their hands on a gun. 

"I do not accept that we cannot find a common-sense way to preserve our traditions, including our basic Second Amendment freedoms and the rights of law-abiding gun owners, while at the same time reducing the gun violence that unleashes so much mayhem on a regular basis," he said.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly referred to a mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. Sandy Hook was the name of the elementary school where the shooting took place.

President Barack Obama will travel to New York City today for the United Nations General Assembly, according to the White House schedule.

Obama is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in the afternoon. Later in the evening, he is scheduled to participate in several events before hosting visiting heads of state at a U.N. General Assembly reception. The president and the first lady will remain overnight in New York, the White House said.