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

Jerry Sandusky's stoic reaction to the slew of guilty verdicts served as "confirmation" of his wrongdoing, a juror in the child sex abuse trial of the former Penn State assistant football coach told NBC.

In an appearance on "TODAY" Saturday, Joshua Harper said Sandusky displayed "no real emotion, just kind of accepting because he knew it was true."  Sandusky was found guilty late Friday evening on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse.

Only 34 percent of Americans correctly identify President Barack Obama as a Christian, according to a new poll from Gallup released Friday. 

Most respondents — 44 percent — were unsure of the president's religious denomination, but the poll also reflects the staying power of a conspiracy theory that has followed Obama since he emerged on the national stage.  According to Gallup, 11 percent of Americans believe he is a Muslim.

The openly gay daughter of Dick Cheney has married her longtime partner, The Daily Caller reports.

Mary Cheney and Heather Poe reportedly married Friday in Washington, D.C.  In a statement provided to The Daily Caller, the former vice president and his wife, Lynn, celebrated their daughter's nuptials.

“Mary and Heather have been in a committed relationship for many years, and we are delighted that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have that relationship recognized,” the Cheneys said. “Mary and Heather and their children are very important and much loved members of our family and we wish them every happiness.”

President Barack Obama's public support of same-sex marriage had a negligible effect on public opinion, a new poll released Friday shows.

The latest installment from AP/Gfk shows a sharp split among Americans on the issue: 40 percent support laws allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 42 percent are opposed.  That is little different than many other polls, which have also shown that the country remains divided on the matter — even as trends have suggested that support for same-sex marriage is steaidly growing.  For example, a poll by AP/Gfk showed that 42 percent of Americans were in favor a law permitting gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 45 percent were opposed.

But even if Obama's endorsement did not trigger a sweeping shift in public opinion, it is clear that his support for same-sex marriage will likely not jeopardize his prospects for re-election.  Friday's poll shows 52 percent trust Obama to handle social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, compared with 36 percent who prefer Romney — virtually the same level of support the president enjoyed on that front in AP/Gfk's survey conducted in early May, a week before his historic announcement.


Reuters reports:

A nephew of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein who is wanted by Iraq for membership of a terrorist organization has claimed asylum in Austria saying he feared persecution, Austria's interior ministry said on Friday.

A spokesman for the ministry said the 42-year-old man, whom they named only as Bashar N., had been detained without identity documents on Thursday in the Austrian town of Traiskirchen, a well-known center for asylum-seekers since the Cold War, along with two other people.

Bashar N. has been on an Iraqi wanted list since 2006, the spokesman said, but added that he was not under arrest. His identity was established by fingerprints.

President Barack Obama holds commanding leads among Latino voters in five states expected to be competitive in the 2012 election, according to a new poll released Friday.

The latest poll by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice surveyed Latino registered voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia.  In all five states, Obama has at least a 16-point lead over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.  

The president has generated considerable enthusiasm among the Latino community since last week, when he announced a directive to halt the deportation of some young undocumented immigrants.  Two days after the announcementr, Latino Decisions released a separate poll showing that 49 percent of Latino voters are more enthusiastic about Obama in the wake of his announcement.  

In a continuation of that survey, conducted through Thursday among 2,000 respondents, the percentage of Latino voters now more enthusiastic about the president has jumped to 54 percent, compared with only 11 percent who are less enthusiastic.  

The AP reports:

The judge overseeing Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse trial has thrown out three of the 51 charges in the case, leaving the former Penn State assistant football coach facing 48 counts.

Judge John Cleland has dismissed two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse related to the alleged sexual abuse of an accuser known as Victim 4. Cleland says the charges did not bear out what testimony revealed.

In his ruling, released Thursday morning, Cleland says he would have been required to set aside any convictions on those counts, because "the verdict was not supported by the evidence."

He also dismissed a count that he says was the same as another charge.

Cleland also ruled against a defense motion to dismiss five counts related to a boy who was allegedly seen with Sandusky by a janitor.

Count House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) among those who want Mitt Romney to tap Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

"I think he'd be a pick for independents, Democrats, and Republicans," McCarthy told MSNBC's Luke Russert on Thursday.  "I'm for Paul Ryan all the way, no matter what he does."