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

Reuters uncovered a glimpse of Edward Snowden's life as a teenager when he worked for a Japanese anime company run by friends and went by the nicknames "The True HOOHA" and "Phish."

Snowden served as the web editor of Ryuhana Press--which is now defunct--when he was in 2002 at the age of 18, using his profile to make sarcastic jokes and talk about his interests.

"I really am a nice guy," Snowden wrote on his profile page, according to Reuters. "You see, I act arrogant and cruel because I was not hugged enough as a child, and because the public education system turned it's (sic) wretched, spiked back on me."

"I like my girlish figure that attracts girls," he added, "and I like my lamer friends. That's the best biography you'll get out of me, coppers!"

Read the full story here.

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Rev. Joe Ellison Jr. was tapped as the Republican Party of Virginia's state director of African American engagement Tuesday, but, as seems to be the recent status quo in Commonwealth politics, the pick is not without its controversy.

Ellison, the director of Pastoral Relations and Church Ministries for the Virginia Pastors Coalition, is a social conservative that has called for the shuttering of Planned Parenthood and publicly supported an idea that the devastating 2009 earthquake in Haiti was linked to a pact Hatians made with the devil 200 years ago.

"Today, this African American pastor is declaring war against Planned Parenthood," he said in 2010, according to CBN News. "We're asking pastors to pray them out and we're asking Planned Parenthood to leave our children alone."

Also in 2010, Ellison said he agreed with Rev. Pat Robertson's controversial claim that the 2009 earthquake in Haiti was caused by a "pact with the Devil" that was sealed in a voodoo ceremony on the eve of Haiti's successful slave rebellion.

"I know his comments angered a lot of the so-called, in my opinion, liberals," said Ellison, who said he was speaking as an emissary of the black community, according to the Washington Post.  "From a spiritual standpoint, we think the Dr. Robertson was on target about Haiti, in the past, with voodoo. And we believe in the Bible that the practice of voodoo is a sin, and what caused the nation to suffer. Those who read the Bible and study the history know that what Dr. Robertson said was the truth."

In his new role, Ellison will work to establish positive working relationships between African-American organizations and community leaders and members of the Republican Party.

"African Americans generally share far more values with the Republican Party than they realize - a belief in strong families, hard work, and the desire to build a better future for our children," he said in a press release. "I'm excited to be a part of this effort, and look forward to working with my fellow Republicans toward victory in November."

"The Rev. Dr. Joe Ellison, Jr. brings years of experience in political grassroots organization and community engagement and will be a great asset to our efforts to reach out and connect in communities across the state to share why Ken Cuccinelli should be our next Governor," RPV Chairman Pat Mullins said in the release.

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The Guardian reporter at the center of the NSA surveillance story responded to Rep. Pete King on Wednesday, who earlier called for legal action against him for publishing classified information provided by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“We did not want to just go and arbitrarily disclose things for the sake of harming the United States,” Glenn Greenwald told the Washington Post in an interivew. “[Edward Snowden] wanted to trigger a debate and inform people. Given that he has access to incredible amounts of top secret information, if his intent at all were to harm the U.S., he could have disclosed enormous amounts of info that would have endangered his intentions, and his actions prove that.”

Although he does not expect to face prosecution, Greenwald said he has spoken to lawyers to represent him in case he needs one and that “it would be irrational for me to dismiss the possibility."

Greenwald also brushed off King's threat.

“It’s not going to deter me or limit me or constrain me in any way from exercising my core First Amendment rights," he said.

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At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on cybersecurity threats Wednesday afternoon, committee chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) responded to Buzzfeed reporter Rosie Gray's tweet that appeared to be criticizing the way she was conducting the hearing.

Mikulski held up a phone in the middle of the hearing and countered that she was not "stifling" anyone's questions and that "any senator can ask any question at this hearing that they want to." She concluded her brief divergence with a "Hi Rosie. Look forward to keeping in touch."

Gray responded on Twitter with an "OMG WHAT IS GOING ON" followed by a friendly "call me."

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Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) high school aged son, Tanner, repeatedly published racial, homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs on his personal Twitter account, Buzzfeed reported on Wednesday.

On his Twitter account earlier this year, which has since been locked, Tanner threatened the "faggot" who stole his bike, writing I "will find you, and...will beat the crap out of you." He also called someone a "Jew" for stealing people's ideas and went by the name “n1ggerkiller” in an online game, which he posted screenshots of on his Twitter account.

In a statement to Buzzfeed, Sen. Flake said he was "disappointed" in his son's words and apologized for the "insensitivity."

"This language is unacceptable, anywhere," Flake continued. "Needless to say, I’ve already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well."

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Gabriel Gomez, the Republican candidate for Massachusetts' open Senate seat, called Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ.) a "moron" Wednesday for saying that the rate of pregnancies resulting from rape is “very low.”

“I think that he’s a moron and he proves that stupid has no specific political affiliation,” Gomez told ABC News.

Franks, who is sponsoring a bill which would mandate a national ban on abortions after 20 weeks, made the comment in a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, when he objected to a Democratic amendment to his legislation that would allow an exception to the 20-week ban in the cases of rape and incest.

“The incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” he said. “When you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours and, in this case, that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation and that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.”

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Speaking at a Wednesday campaign rally for Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who is running for the open Massachusetts Senate seat, President Barack Obama told supporters that it's not just enough for them to get out and canvass in 2008 and 2012, they need to make sure that Markey gets elected in the special election this month.
"I need Ed Markey in the United States Senate," Obama said. "He will carry on the legacy of Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry."

President Barack Obama urged Massachusetts voters Wednesday to elect Democrat Ed Markey to the state's open senate seat that was vacated when John Kerry became secretary of state.

"The history of senators from Massachusetts is that they fight for people, they fight for working people...they fight for future generations...No one is better suited to continue that legacy than Ed Markey because Ed is one of you," Obama said at a rally in Boston. "Ed's got a track record you can trust."

A personal friend of Edward Snowden penned an op-ed for the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Wednesday in support of the source behind the leaks of National Security Agency information.

Mavanee Anderson, a Vanderbilt Law School graduate who lives in Washington, shed a little more light on the man behind the story:

Ed is an incredibly smart, kind and sincere person. He talked a great deal about the fact that he didn't complete high school when he and I were in close contact, but he is an IT whiz — I've always taken it for granted that he's an IT genius, really — who came by most of his skill and knowledge on his own.

He is introspective and, perhaps, a bit prone to brood: the type of person who thinks long and hard before coming to a decision. At the time when we were in close contact — from the summer of 2007 through the first part of 2009 — he was already experiencing a crisis of conscience of sorts. I think anyone smart enough to be involved in the type of work he does, who is privy to the type of information to which he was privy, will have at least moments like these. And at some point during that time he left the CIA.

Ed is interesting and brilliant; accomplished in martial arts and an active participant in related activities. I know he used to participate every year in Chinese New Year parades with his martial arts organization. He once gave me a one-on-one martial arts lesson, and I was surprised at his abilities — and very amused that he seemed unable to go very easy on a newbie.

Read the piece in its entirety here.

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A 15-year-old died Tuesday after being shot with a pellet gun at a friend's home in central Pennsylvania.

Investigators, according to the Associated Press, say the death of the teenager, Ty Yonkin, appeared to be an accident and isn't considered suspicious. An autopsy is scheduled Wednesday as authorities still investigate the incident.