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

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. reflected on his son's bipolar disorder diagnosis before a hearing Wednesday, in which former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) and his wife Sandi face sentencing for crimes including squandering $750,000 in campaign funds.

“I don’t know how I missed so many signs,” Rev. Jackson told reporters, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune. “We found out he was sick very late. We thought we almost lost him. He was in a different place altogether.”

"He was very sick," Rev. Jackson continued, dismissing speculation that Jackson Jr., who left Congress in June 2012 on a medical leave of absence, may have been "faking it." He recounted that for a period of time his son refused to drink water because he worried it was dirty, according to the Tribune.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison recently opened up to CBS News' Charlie Rose on the topic of government surveillance, arguing that the issue of privacy raised by data collection shouldn't be new to anyone with a credit card and that National Security Agency surveillance is "absolutely essential."

"It's great. It's essential," Ellison told Rose in the interview that aired Tuesday. "By the way, President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."

When Rose asked Ellison where his "red line" on government surveillance would be, Ellison said he'd draw the line at political targeting.

"If the Democrats used it to go after Republicans. If the Republicans used it to go after Democrats," Ellison said. "In other words, if we stop looking for terrorists and we started looking for people on the other side of the aisle."

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) told the New York Times in an interview published Tuesday that he would support a Hillary Clinton bid in 2016 as she is "the most qualified person in America to be president."

"I won’t make an endorsement, but I will say this: If she makes a decision to run I would be with her,” Lewis told the Times. “I think today she is the most qualified person in America to be president. No one has worked so hard or done a more effective job in representing this country as secretary of state in modern times.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said Tuesday that defunding Obamacare would be "highly unlikely," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"Even if we were to not pass the continuing resolution (to fund the federal government), you're not going to be able to defund Obamacare, absent of President Obama signing a law, which I think is highly unlikely," Johnson said, as quoted by the Journal Sentinel. "So I appreciate the fact that they've raised the issue. But defunding Obamacare, with President Obama in the White House and Harry Reid in the Senate, I think is next to impossible."

Other Republicans in the Senate, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), have discussed forcing a government shutdown in order to cut funding for the Affordable Care Act. The movement has little standing with GOP leadership, however: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) recently said that there aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass a continuing resolution in order to defund the health care law.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned Tuesday that if Congress fails to act on immigration reform, President Barack Obama could act unilaterally to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants by executive order.

Appearing on Tallahassee talk radio program "The Morning Show With Preston Scott," Rubio, who helped to broker a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, warned that his colleagues in the House must address the issue or face losing ground on key reforms like border security. 

"I have been saying for more than a year that I believe that this president will be tempted," Rubio said. "If nothing happens in Congress, he will be tempted to issue an executive order, like he did for the DREAM Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen." 

"We won't get any E-Verify, we won't get any border security, but he'll legalize them," he continued.

The Obama administration stopped deporting DREAMers, or immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, in 2012. The policy affected as many as 800,000 immigrants.

Listen to audio of Rubio's appearance on the radio show below: 

[h/t The Hill]

Fox News host Greta Van Susteren suggested Monday night that a photo of President Barack Obama whiffing a putt while golfing on Martha's Vineyard was "staged" and slammed him for perfecting his golf game while Americans are "out of work."

"What was he thinking? You know photographers don't have an open door to take pictures of the president any time they want," Van Susteren asked. "It's all staged and choreographed with secret service standing by. So this was not spontaneous." 

White House pool reporters saw Obama miss the shot in the flesh and reported that he actually missed the next putt, too. CBS News also posted video of the president's less than stellar golf game.

"So why would the president do this for the cameras?" Van Susteren continued. "It's one thing to take a vacation, but is this pose shoving it down the throats of the American people? Many of them are out of work. They can't afford to spend the day working on their golf game in one of the most expenses places in America to vacation."

Watch the Fox segment below, courtesy of Fox News: 

Here's video of Obama's actual missed putt:

[h/t Salon]

Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner late Monday vowed to "move forward" with the city as mayor despite a recall effort to oust him over allegations of sexual harassment.

"Now is not the time to go backwards -- back to the time when middle-class jobs and neighborhood infrastructure were sacrificed to downtown special interests," Filner wrote in his response to the movement, as quoted by U-T San Diego. "We need to continue to move forward."

Filner highlighted his accomplishments over eight months in office in the response, from labor deals to urban development. The response made no reference whatsoever to the allegations of sexual harassment brought against him by 14 local women that are the basis for the recall effort.

The city's rules provided the mayor the legal right to give the recall effort a written response, which recall organizers must publish before they can collect signatures. Spokeswoman for the recall effort Rachel Liang told U-T San Diego that the mayor didn't send a copy of the response to the campaign before the midnight deadline, but the campaign would publish it anyway in accordance with the city's rules.

It was reported over the weekend that in addition to accusations San Diego women have brought against him, Filner was being investigated for allegedly taking women to a popular downtown hotel.

A Pennsylvania police chief who was suspended for using his town's guns in a series of profanity-laced viral YouTube videos told Philadelphia's WTXF that he doesn't regret posting the videos for "shock and awe value," even though he believes he could be fired.

"I don't regret it because I believe I had an impact on a lot of people across the country," Gilberton, Pa. police Chief Mark Kessler told WTXF in an interview that aired Monday. "You wouldn't believe the tens of thousands of emails, and my phone doesn't stop. [The support], it's constant."

Kessler said he thinks he's likely to lose his job after a 16-year career over pressure from Gilberton's insurers. 

"My mayor had called me and told me that the borough is being pressured from our insurance carrier," he told WTXF. "If I'm not disciplined or terminated, they're going to drop the insurance for the entire borough."

The suspended police chief was adamant that he is not a "villain," as he said media outlets portray him, but a citizen standing up for gun rights. When pressed by WTXF, Kessler wouldn't rule out allowing mentally ill people or children to possess firearms under the Second Amendment.

Watch the full interview with WTXF below:

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

[h/t Raw Story]

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) told the Idaho Statesman Monday that he would announce at a Wednesday press conference whether he will be running for governor.

Asked by the newspaper's editorial board about the 2014 race for the state's top office, Labrador said he would hold the conference to announce his future political plans. The two-term congressman wouldn't get into specifics about what he plans to announce, however, and gave the Statesman no details as to the exact time or location of the press conference.

Labrador boasts the support of tea party voters and was a leading immigration reform negotiator in the House before withdrawing from talks. If he were to announce a gubernatorial bid, it would spark an intra-party showdown with incumbent Gov. Butch Otter (R), who has announced his intention to run for re-election.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D) told campaign volunteers last month that his Democratic opponent in the governor's race, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, was campaigning on his race rather than his record, the Washington Post reported Monday.

"I mean, right now his campaign slogan is, ‘Vote for me, I want to be the first African American governor of Maryland,’” Gansler (D) told the volunteers, as quoted by the Washington Post. “That’s a laudable goal, but you need a second sentence: ‘Because here’s what I’ve done, and here’s why I’ve done it.’"

An individual not affiliated with either candidate provided an audio recording of Gansler's private July 15 meeting to the Post. Gansler's campaign told the newspaper that it didn't dispute the authenticity of the audio, but accused Brown's team of illegally recording the meeting. Brown's aides denied that accusation. 

"If I had said these things on tape, I’d want to change the subject, too," Brown's campaign manager Justin Schall told the Post. "The Brown campaign had nothing to do with this. The only one responsible for Gansler’s comments is Doug Gansler."

Brown, who already has the endorsement of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), launched his campaign in May, while Gansler wasn't slated to formally announce his candidacy until September, according to the Post.