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Perry Stein

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Perry

Minority Leader's Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) re-election campaign was on damage control Thursday after its campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was caught in a recorded phone conversation saying "between you and me, I'm sorta holding my nose for two years..cause what we're doing here is gonna be a big benefit to Rand in '16."

The McConnell campaign made light of the comment on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon, posting a photo of McConnell with Benton, who is holding his nose with the caption "LIKE if you agree: Nothing smells worse than ‪#‎Obamacare‬! ‪#‎NoseGate‬"

 

A city employee became the fourteenth woman to come forward Thursday alleging harassment by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D).

Stacy, who only provided her first name, told KOGO 600 about an incident where she approached the mayor at a community event. She claims that Filner forcefully grabbed both her hands around her wrists and said, "Well, I just want to make this clear, I'm not asking you out on a business lunch, I'm asking you out on a date...When I see a beautiful woman, I always have to go over and talk to her."

When Stacy told her staffers about what occurred, Filner allegedly came behind her, put one arm around her neck and tightened his hold with the other arm, putting her in a choke hold. Stacy said Filner then asked her staff if he should name her 'Employee of the Day.' Filner then looked at Stacy, told her she was turning red and walked away laughing, according to her account.

Stacy claims Filner called her office soon after, but she didn't answer. She has filed a claim with the city.

(h/t San Diego 6)

An accidental shooting in Little Rock Wednesday left an 8-year-old boy in the hospital in "guarded condition" with gunshot wounds on the top of his head, bottom of his chin and left arm.

Three boys--ages 8, 13 and 16--were alone at of one of the boys' grandmother, when the 8-year-old started playing with a Glock 9mm pistol, according to Arkansas Online. The 13-year-old then reportedly tried to take the gun away from his cousin, accidentally setting it off.

The pistol has been determined to belong to the 13-year-old's uncle and was reported stolen in Little Rock in 2010, Arkansas Online reports.

An anti-Hillary Clinton group has releaunched an online game that allows people to virtually slap the former secretary of state every time she speaks.

"Slap Hillary" has been on the internet since around 2000, but The Hillary Project--an organization that plans to "wage war on Hillary Clinton's image"--reposted the animated game this week, according to CBS.

But some on the left have criticized the game, saying it condones violence against women.

EMILY's List launched a petition demanding that every Republican 2016 candidate pledge to refuse money from The Hillary Project and other groups advocating violence against women.

"This ridiculous behavior is why no amount of "re-branding" is going to help Republicans win over women voters -- they just don't get it," EMILY's List Communications Director Jess McIntosh said in a statement Wednesday. "Violence against women isn't a 'game.' Slapping a woman for speaking isn't actually a joke. It's just gross."

 

CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta publically changed his stance on medical marijuana Wednesday, apologizing for once dismissing the medical benefits of the drug.

"Well, I am here to apologize," he wrote in an op-ed on CNN. "I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough. I didn't review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis."

Over the last year, Gupta has been working on a documentary entitled "Weed," in which he travelled the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients.

His new view reflect his findings in this research.

"I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse."

They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works. Take the case of Charlotte Figi, who I met in Colorado. She started having seizures soon after birth. By age 3, she was having 300 a week, despite being on seven different medications. Medical marijuana has calmed her brain, limiting her seizures to 2 or 3 per month.


I have seen more patients like Charlotte first hand, spent time with them and come to the realization that it is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana.


We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that."

Read the op-ed here.

 

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is still defending incendiary comments he made on immigration last month, telling a local Iowa TV station Monday that his detractors are aiding those who smuggle drugs across the border.

"If I insulted anybody, it could have only been drug smugglers, just the drug smugglers, and I probably didn't do an adequate job of insulting drug smugglers, but the people who want to disparage what I said and what they're really doing is defending drug smugglers," King told KTIV.

Last month the immigration hawk criticized legislation that would allow DREAMers--or kids who were brought to this country at a young age--a path to citizenship, arguing that "for everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Despite near universal condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats, including a delivery of cantaloupes to his Washington office, King has repeatedly stood by his remarks. He's also quietly planning meetings with GOP leaders and activists this month in South Carolina, an early 2016 presidential primary state.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is collecting signatures for an e-card and money to send flowers to former President George W. Bush as he recovers from a heart procedure to clear a blocked artery.

Donations are expected to far exceed the costs of a bouquet of Bluebonnets-- the Texas state flower--and NRCC did not return calls to CBS on what they will do with the extra cash, though they will likely use it to help elect Republicans to the House.

"We wanted to create an outlet for Americans to show that their thoughts and prayers are with President Bush as he recovers," NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement. "Everyone here is wishing him a speedy recovery."

The Dallas Morning News first reported the donations. 

 

Pete Rouse, President Barack Obama's former chief-of-staff and one of his most trusted advisers, will be leaving the administration in the fall, sources told Politico Wednesday.

Rouse served as chief-of-staff to former former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and was the first senior aide Obama hired upon his election to the Senate in 2005. He is credited with drafting the “Strategic Memo,” which Obama attributes to forging a plan for his ascendency from senator to presidential candidate in two years.

It is still unclear what Rouse will do once he leaves, and when exactly he will step down, largely because Obama has been “harassing” Rouse to stay on, according to Politico.

 

An Iowa state senator claims that former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's campaign bribed him so that he would endorse the congressman before the state's caucuses, according to the Iowa Republican. 

The conservative blog obtained a recording of a phone conversation between state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R) and a political activist in the state, in which Sorenson discusses abandoning Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) campaign in exchange for payment from someone in Paul's camp.

Sorenson alleges that Paul's deputy national campaign manager, Demitri Kesari, met with him and his wife at a restaurant and gave his wife a check while he was in the bathroom. Sorensen believes that national campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, was also aware of the transaction.

Sorenson is already under investigation for allegedly bribing Bachmann's campaign.

Benton denies any wrongdoing. 

(h/t The Hill)

In a speech to marines Wednesday at Camp Pendleton in California, President Barack Obama discussed the winding down of the war in Afghanistan and how he would keep the military strong.

"The United States is never going to retreat from the world. We don't get terrorized," Obama said.

He added that keeping the military strong also means "ensuring the safety of everyone who puts a uniform on."

"We have to make sure we are doing everything we can for our wounded warriors," the president said as he spoke about the prevalance of post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans.

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