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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

A Colorado civil rights board on Sunday ruled in favor of a 6-year-old transgender girl who was told she couldn't use the girl's bathroom at her elementary school, the Denver Post reported.

Coy Mathis' family filed a civil rights complaint in February after the Fountain-Fort Carson School District told Mathis' parents that she couldn't continue to use the girls' restroom after the holiday break. 

"Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her," mother Kathryn Mathis said in a statement, as quoted by the Denver Post. "All we ever wanted was for Coy's school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally."

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund will hold a news conference at the Colorado State Capitol Monday to explain the case's decision.

A Kremlin spokesperson said Monday that the Russian government had no advance knowledge that Edward Snowden, the source of the National Security Agency leaks, was traveling to Moscow, according to the Wall Street Journal.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told the Journal that Russia wouldn't intervene in the Snowden matter by holding him or returning him to the U.S. to face charges.

"It is not a question for us," Peskov told The Wall Street Journal. "We don't know what his plans are and we were unaware he was coming here."

Snowden arrived in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport late Sunday, and is expected to leave Monday afternoon on a flight bound for Cuba.

A New Orleans woman was charged with second-degree murder Sunday after her daughter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Laderika Smith, 28, had locked her 5-year-old in a bedroom alone while she ran errands. Police spokesperson Hilal Williams said the child found a .38 revolver inside the home and accidentally shot herself in the head.

Smith confessed to having a gun in the home, according to Williams. A police statement said the death of her daughter was a direct result of Smith's negligence.

Eight protesters were reportedly arrested outside the Wisconsin state Senate chambers on Thursday after attempting to deliver coat hangers to Republican politicians who supported a bill requiring women to undergo an ultrasound prior to getting an abortion, according to the Capital Times.

A representative from the group of about two dozen protesters, Kelley Albrecht, told the Capital Times that representatives from the offices of two state senators, the state assembly speaker and Gov. Scott Walker (R) refused the coat hangers. Afterward, she said, the group tried to gain access to the Senate chambers where lawmakers were debating the state budget but were locked out by staffers. Police arrested eight individuals outside the chambers and charged them with disorderly conduct, according to protester Peter Adamczak.

Protesters used the coat hanger, a symbol of illegal abortions, to draw attention to the bill, which would require women seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound and be told what the ultrasound shows. The bill's critics argued that for a woman less than eight to 12 weeks pregnant, that procedure would likely require a transvaginal ultrasound even though the bill doesn't mandate one.

“This bill has nothing to do with abortion,” Albrecht, who once had to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound because of pregnancy complications, said. “It has to do with controlling women.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday that if the yet-to-be-filed Corker-Hoeven border security deal was to succeed, it "would constitute a breakthrough." 

When a reporter asked during Carney's daily press briefing why more agents at the borders would be necessary if, as the administration had previously boasted, border security and deportations were at their highest level ever, Carney replied that more work could be done.

"The president included as one of his essential priorities that had to be part of comprehensive immigration reform for him to sign it would be measures that further enhance our border security," he added. "More work needs to be done."

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said on the House floor Thursday that a conversation should be initiated about cutting food stamp programs because taxpayers are funding beneficiaries' purchases of gourmet foods -- like king crab legs.

The farm bill that was later voted down in the House of Representatives Thursday would have cut $2 billion in assistance to low-income Americans who benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Gohmert said his "brokenhearted" constituents frequently tell him stories lamenting their inability to pay for fancy groceries while they see food stamp beneficiaries purchase gourmet food at the supermarket.

“Because he does pay income tax, he doesn’t get more back than he pays in, he is actually helping pay for king crab legs when he can’t pay for them for himself,” Gohmert said.

"We don’t want anyone to go hungry," Gohmert added, "and from the amount of obesity in this country by people who we’re told do not have enough to eat, it does seem like we could have a debate about this issue without allegations about wanting to slap down or starve children.”

[h/t Raw Story]

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) office declined Friday to say whether the governor was aware he was allegedly targeted by a self-identified Klansman's "death ray machine" plot.

"We don't comment on matters related to the governor's security," Cuomo's press secretary, Matt Wing, told TPM.

The self-described Klu Klux Klan member who allegedly designed a truck-mounted radiation death ray to sell to Jewish groups had New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) among his targets, the New York Daily News reported Friday. 

A federal complaint filed in Albany against Glen Crawford, an industrial mechanic at General Electric Co., alleged that he was planning to use the mobile radiation device on a Muslim group, a political party and an unnamed "political figure." Anonymous sources told the Daily News that the political figure was Cuomo, although the governor's name did not appear in the complaint.

The Illinois GOP official who sent an email describing a black female congressional candidate as a "street walker" resigned Thursday after his remarks drew national attention and a rebuke from the Republican National Committee chairman, the St. Louis-Dispatch reported.

Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Jim Allen, a supporter of Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), drew the ire of the likes of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus for a disparaging email he sent Republican News Watch about former Miss America Erika Harold, who will challenge Davis in the 2014 primary race. Allen wrote that Harold is a "love child of the D.N.C.” who is being "used like a street walker" to take the congressional seat from Davis.

Allen told the Springfield State Journal-Register on Wednesday, after his e-mail was published on Republican News Watch, that his comments were “very inappropriate and wrong, and I apologize to Miss Harold and her campaign and her supporters.”

A Hew Hampshire state representative resigned Thursday after alleging that the Boston Marathon bombing was a government conspiracy, WMUR reported.

State Rep. Stella Tremblay (R) sent in her letter of resignation to the New Hampshire House of Representatives a day after she sent an e-mail blast to colleagues with links to Boston Marathon bombing conspiracy blogs and videos.

"Have you seen ANY main stream media doing a follow-up on these stories? I have not. I just connect the dots," wrote Tremblay in the e-mail, according to WMUR. "Apparently, it is very dangerous to seek truth, or ask questions."

Tremblay first floated her theory that the marathon bombings were planted by the government to sideline civil liberties in April. Her colleagues in the House responded by voting to fully rebuke her remarks.

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