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

The BBC reports:

The head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) says there appears to be a "lack of willingness" on the two sides to seek a peaceful transition.

Maj-Gen Robert Mood said violence had risen over the past 10 days, causing losses on both sides and putting his unarmed observers at significant risk.

The Norwegian said there was a "push towards advancing military positions".

Activists have said troops are shelling opposition-held areas and fighting rebels in several parts of the country.

President Barack Obama raked in about $2 million for his re-election campaign at a fundraiser held at the Manhattan home of actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.  A number of high-profile figures attended the much-hyped fundraiser, including three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.  Parker and Wintour both starred in web videos earlier this month to promote the event.  

Judges on the Richmond Circuit Court on Thursday appointed an openly gay judge to the General District Court bench a month after the Virginia House of Delegates rejected his nomination.  Tracy Thorne-Begland told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he is "humbled" by the court's appointment.  

"I look forward to serving the citizens of the city of Richmond as a jurist and, over the coming months, I hope that my service provides comfort to all Virginians that I remain committed to the faithful application of the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States of America," Thorne-Begland said.

The rejection by the Republican-controlled House of Delegates was viewed by some as a discriminatory decision.  However, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's office said he supports the appointment of Thorne-Begland.


President Barack Obama made a surprise trip on Wednesday to Kenny's BBQ on Capitol Hill, treating two servicemen and two local barbers to an early Father's Day lunch.  But after the meal, the bill of $55.58 was unpaid.  The White House paid the tab by day's end.  


(h/t ABC News)

CNN reports:

Nokia said Thursday it will cut up to 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of next year, part of an accelerated cost reduction program at the Finnish cellphone maker.

The company also warned that increased competition in the smartphone sector would hit its financial results in the second and third quarters, causing its operating loss margin to be bigger than previously forecast.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told The Hill that President Barack Obama or his cohorts never made a genuine effort to reach out to him in the wake of the 2008 presidential election.  

“Let’s get real here,” McCain said. “There was never any outreach from President Obama or anyone in his administration to me.”

The frosty relationship between the two that typified the 2008 campaign never really thawed after Obama took office, with McCain emerging as one of the most vocal critics of the administration in the U.S. Senate.   

An asteroid the size of a city block will travel by Earth Thursday.  Experts say there is no risk of a collision and people of Earth may be able to play the role of spectators.  The team running the Slooh Space Camera will train a telescope on the Canary Islands and stream the footage live online beginning at 8:00 PM EDT.  


(h/t MSNBC)

As Republicans assail President Barack Obama for blaming the country's woes on his predecessor, Americans continue to attribute the ongoing economic problems to George W. Bush, a poll released Thursday shows.

A new survey from Gallup shows that 68 percent of Americans blame Bush either a "great deal" or a "moderate amount" for the economic problems that threaten to make Obama a one-term president. Conversely, 52 percent blame Obama. 

Gallup began asking the "blame assessment" question in July 2009, a mere seven months into Obama's opening term. At that time, 80 percent pinned a "great deal" or a "moderate amount" of blame on Bush. That percentage has remained virtually static since August of 2010, when 70 percent assigned the lion's share of blame on Bush.  

The Gallup poll was conducted June 7-10, with a sample of 1,004 adults and a margin of error of four percentage points.


President Barack Obama's lead over Mitt Romney in Nevada is dwindling, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama winning the support of 48 percent of Silver State voters, compared with 42 percent who prefer Romney. Obama's lead is slightly down from the 8-point advantage he held in PPP's previous survey of Nevada in late March and much smaller than his 12-point margin of victory in the state in 2008.

"Barack Obama's still a clear favorite to win Nevada this fall," writes Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. "But he's not nearly as strong there as he was in 2008."

Read More →

A slight majority of New York City voters oppose Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call to ban the sale of over-sized sugary beverages, according to a new poll released Wednesday. 

The survey from Quinnipiac University shows that 51 percent of New Yorkers oppose Bloomberg's much-ballyhooed plan, while 46 percent support the proposal.  Men and women are sharply divided on the issue.  Male voters overwhelmingly oppose the ban, 55 percent to 41 percent.  Women, on the other hand, support it by a narrow margin, 50 percent to 47 percent.