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

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked to weigh in on a hypothetical Hillary Clinton versus Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) presidential showdown in an interview with The New Republic published Tuesday.  

"It's gonna be a tough choice," McCain laughed.

"Let me just clarify that. I think that Rand Paul represents a segment of the GOP, just like his father," he added. "And I think he is trying to expand that, intelligently, to make it larger."

Asked what he thought of Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, McCain told the magazine she "did a fine job."

"She’s a rock star," he said. "She has, maybe not glamour, but certainly the aura of someone widely regarded throughout the world."

Three prominent Texas Democrats were featured on the cover of Texas Monthly's August issue, including state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) holding the pair of pink Mizuno sneakers she iconically wore during her filibuster of the state's restrictive abortion bill.

The cover also features brothers Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, and U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro (D).

This post has been updated.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement Tuesday condemning a military judge's decision to convict Army Pfc. Bradley Manning under the Espionage Act, characterizing it as an effort to "intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future."

"While we're relieved that Mr. Manning was acquitted of the most dangerous charge, the ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act," Ben Wizner, the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project director, said in a statement. "Since he already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information – which carry significant punishment – it seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future."

Manning was acquitted on charges of aiding the enemy.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday stoked the fire in his feud with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), saying the senator should cut Kentucky's "pork barrel spending."

At a news conference announcing grants for homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy, Christie told reporters that as a "donor state" New Jersey only receives 61 cents back from every dollar it sends to Washington, while Kentucky receives $1.51, according to the AP.

"Maybe he should start cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky," Christie told reporters, as quoted by PolitickerNJ. "But I doubt he will because most Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so that they can get re-elected."

Paul slammed Christie on Sunday at a Tennessee fundraiser for diverting resources from national security with his "gimme gimme" attitude towards Hurricane Sandy relief, and accused him on Tuesday of exploiting 9/11 victims.

A military judge on Tuesday acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning on charges of aiding the enemy for turning classified government documents over to WikiLeaks, the Associated Press reported. 

Manning was convicted on five counts of espionage, however.


Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott (R), a gubernatorial candidate for 2014, slammed President Barack Obama's pledge to strengthen the Voting Rights Act in a Washington Times op-ed published Tuesday.

"The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party," Abbott wrote. "Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to 'turn Texas blue.'"

"The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas," he added, citing a number of Republican state and U.S. reps who won predominantly Hispanic districts in the state in 2010 only to lose to Democrats in 2012 after redistricting.

Obama met with civil rights leaders on Monday to discuss strengthening the Voting Rights Act in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to gut a key provision of the law last month. That decision paved the way for Texas to move forward once again with its controversial voter ID law, which had been struck down in federal court last year as having an unconstitutional impact on poor, minority voters.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) office on Tuesday was quick to criticize a so-called "grand bargain" that President Barack Obama is set to propose during a visit to Tennessee later today, claiming that the president was supporting his own long-held positions rather than striking a deal in good faith with the GOP.

"The President has always supported corporate tax reform," Michael Steel said in a statement. "Republicans want to help families and small businesses, too. This proposal allows President Obama to support President Obama's position on taxes and President Obama's position on spending, while leaving small businesses and American families behind."

Obama will offer to cut corporate tax rates in exchange for additional job investments to boost the middle class.


The Chattanooga Times Free Press published a scathing message for President Barack Obama ahead of his economic speech Tuesday in Tennessee: "take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President." 

The Times Free Press editorial criticized the electric Smart Grid infrastructure that was subsidized by federal stimulus money as "Chattanooga's government-owned electric monopoly."

"You claimed that the Smart Grid would create jobs for Chattanooga," the editorial read. "But in reality, all it did was push America deeper in debt and lure a local government agency into making a terrible financial decision that will weigh on Chattanoogans like a millstone for decades to come."

"So excuse us, Mr. President, for our lack of enthusiasm for your new jobs program," the editorial continued. "Here in Chattanooga we’re still reeling from your old one."

Read the full editorial here.

The super PAC firing up a grassroots network to support a potential 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential bid is due to disclose this week that it has raised more than a million dollars, the New York Times reported Monday.

Ready for Hillary has collected more than a million dollars from donors since it ramped up its fundraising efforts this spring, according to disclosure reports due to be filed with the Federal Election Commission this week and obtained by the Times.

The super PAC, which does not coordinate with Clinton, has already drawn high-profile supporters including Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and James Carville.

An Arkansas school district will arm over 20 faculty members and staff with concealed 9 mm handguns under a state law that allows armed security guards on campus, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. 

Some teachers and school employees in Clarksville, Ark. will undergo 53 hours of training with a private facility, including going through drills that simulate campus shooting scenarios, in order to become licensed guards, according to the AP. Those teachers and employees are also provided with a stipend to purchase their weapons.

The Clarksville district will have signs posted at schools signaling the presence of armed guards, but the identities of which faculty and staff members are carrying handguns will be protected, Superintendent David Hopkins told the AP.

According to Arkansas' Department of Education, no school district in the state had previously made use of the law to arm teachers on campus.