Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

A Florida-based Denny's franchisee who said last week that he'd impose a surcharge and cut employees' hours in order to pay for the new health care law received a slap on the wrist from his corporate higher-ups on Monday.

John Miller, chief executive of Denny's, told the Huffington Post that he privately expressed "disappointment" to John Metz, who made headlines last week when he said he will implement a 5 percent surcharge and slash employees' hours to less than 30 per week in order to prepare his business for the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, widely known as 'Obamacare.'

"We recognize his right to speak on issues, but registered our disappointment that his comments have been interpreted as the company’s position," Miller told HuffPo via email. Metz, who owns more than 40 Denny's restaurants throughout the South, expressed "regret" in a statement released on Monday.

Witnesses in Gaza City on Tuesday said Palestinian militants killed six suspected Israeli collaborators, the Associated Press reports

According to the eye-witness accounts, the six men were dragged out of a van at a heavily trafficked intersection in the city and subsequently shot to death while lying face down in the street.  The military wing of Hamas has taken responsibility. 

Cope Reynolds knew he was going to stir up trouble when, shortly after the election, he took out a newspaper ad declaring anyone who voted for President Obama was banned from his small-town Arizona gun shop.

But in an interview with TPM on Monday, he said the trouble has been relatively minor compared to the praise he's gotten from gun enthusiasts around the world.

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President Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina on Tuesday took multiple swipes at public pollsters, namely Gallup, in an interview with Politico. 

Messina claimed that the campaign's internal model on early voting was within a percentage point of the ultimate results, and the campaign was within .2 percentage points of nailing the final outcome in Florida.

“That’s why I knew most of the public polls you were seeing were completely ridiculous,” Messina said. “A bunch of polling is broken in this country.”

Messina also criticized Gallup's performance in the 2012 campaign. The national firm has emerged as a punching bag for its polling in this year's cycle, but Messina said Gallup's poor showing is hardly a new development.

"Gallup has been wrong repeatedly in presidential elections for a long time," Messina said.

The Obama campaign was highly critical of Gallup during the campaign, criticism that's continued following Election Day. On Friday, Obama's chief pollster Joel Benenson told Politico that it's "long overdue" for Gallup to adjust its model to comport with the changing demographics in the country. Gallup's samples throughout the campaign were weighted to include fewer younger and minority voters than in 2008, an assumption ultimately proven incorrect by this year's exit polls.  Gallup responded to Benenson by contending that the exit polls should not be treated as "gospel."

h/t Business Insider


Eighty-nine percent of New York City voters believe New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has done either an "excellent" or "good" job in his response to Hurricane Sandy, a poll from Quinnipiac University released on Tuesday.

The poll shows voters giving high marks to the other two most prominent area leaders, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), as well as President Obama.

Seventy-five percent said Bloomberg has been "excellent" or "good" in his post-Sandy response, while 85 percent give the highest grades to Cuomo as well. Obama earns the top grades from 84 percent of NYC voters.

Hewlett-Packard announced on Tuesday that it will take an $8.8 billion charge to make up for an accounting error in its 2011 purchase of a company, the Associated Press reports.

The accounting mishap stems from HP's acquisition of the British company Autonomy Corporation PLC last year. HP is accusing Autonomy, which was purchased by the Silicon Valley giant for $10 billion, of "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations" but stopped short of labeling it fraud.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) isn't playing it coy on the topic of his presidential aspirations. 

Asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl about a potential White House bid in 2016, Kentucky's junior senator and the son of a former presidential candidate didn't hide the fact that he's considering a run.

"I'm not going to deny that I'm interested," Paul told Karl. Paul qualified the remark by asserting that he is not ready to make a decision yet and said that his party will have to make adjustments before the next presidential election cycle.

"I think we have to go a different direction because we're just not winning and we have to think about some different ideas," Paul said.


Majorities of Americans believe that President Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress will sincerely work with the other party, a Gallup poll released Tuesday shows, while decidedly fewer hold similar confidence in Republicans.

According to the poll, 65 percent believe that Obama will make a "sincere effort" to work with the opposing party's leadership to reach a solution "acceptable to both parties." Fifty-seven percent believe that Congressional Democrats will make the same bipartisan appeal.

Americans are less certain, however, about the bipartisan capacity of the Congressional GOP. Less than half of respondents, 48 percent, said that Republicans on Capitol Hill will sincerely work with Democratic leaders to strike an agreement that's palatable to both sides.