David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) was dealt another political blow on Monday after the Louisiana House of Representatives deferred on bills that would repeal the state's income tax, a major component of the governor's agenda, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Jindal pulled his tax plan, which would have eliminated the state's income and corporate taxes, last week after receiving withering criticism over the proposal. As the Times-Picayune reported, after Jindal dropped his own plan he tasked the legislature with coming up with alternative measures. But the state's House of Representatives answered the call with: not now.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released a statement on Monday indicating that he will vote no on the background checks deal reached by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA):

“The Toomey-Manchin proposal, while well-intentioned, is not a solution to illegal gun violence. We already have major holes in the current National Instant Criminal Background (NICS) system. There are thousands of people who have been adjucated as a danger to themselves and others who are not currently in the NICS system. Additionally, in 2010 over 13,000 fugitives failed a background check yet less than 15 people were successfully prosecuted. Instead of expanding a broken background check system, let’s fix it.


“I have bipartisan legislation which would accomplish that goal. I hope the Senate will soon debate and approve my legislation.”


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"Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough on Monday -- Tax Day in the U.S. -- launched into a rant against President Obama after it was revealed that the President paid an 18 percent tax rate

"So a guy who I hear is worth $14 million is paying a tax rate far lower than what a teacher pays," Scarborough said, adding the President's "hypocrisy is mind-boggling."

"This President plays class warfare for a year and a half on the campaign trail," Scarborough added. "Let's keep this graphic up. He attacks Mitt Romney for paying a lower tax rate than school teachers, repeatedly. Democrats repeatedly attacked Mitt Romney for paying a lower tax rate than teachers, than Warren Buffet's (secretary) -- poor Warren Buffet's secretary, God help her, God bless her. And yet this President, after demagoguing this issue for a year and a half, pays an 18 percent tax rate, which, by the way, is half of the tax rate that I pay."

Watch Scarborough's rant: 

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A Florida police officer who was fired for bringing targets resembling Trayvon Martin to a training session has claimed that the targets were used as a no-shoot training tool, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Port Canaveral, Fla. Police Sgt. Ron King on Saturday posted a video on YouTube explaining his side of the story.

"I am being accused of using a Trayvon Martin silhouette target for firearms training in a manner that is less than professional," King said near the beginning of the video. "I take these allegations seriously, and I find that others are accusing me of something that I just plain did not do."

King explained the nature of the targets in question.

"As a result of last year's Trayvon Martin shooting, a company offered for sale a target of a faceless silhouette wearing a hoodie, with its hands in its pockets, one of which was holding two objects," he said. "These objects in the hand were non-threatening, and the target was something that I viewed as an example of a no-shoot situation. While others have used it as a novelty, I view it as a tool for scenario-based firearms training. Although to date the targets have never been used, I did possess those targets for those training reasons."

Watch King's full video: 

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James O'Keefe has come out in support of David Corn's reporting on a secretly recorded meeting of Mitch McConnell campaign aides. In a column for The Daily Beast, he also argued that laws concerning secret recordings could discourage whistleblowers from surfacing information in the public interest. 

From O'Keefe's column, titled "James O’Keefe in Defense of Taping Mitch McConnell, and Everyone Else":

While the two young people who allegedly recorded McConnell, Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, may have overstepped the line this time, conservatives need to understand that the potential punishment they face is incommensurate with the crime under the present law. Raw and unfiltered recordings are the best tools we have to expose things as they really are. Last year John Fund referred to our video showing Eric Holder’s ballot to vote offered to a stranger as “cinema verité.” Now David Corn said of his McConnell tape, “No one needs to listen to me or any commentator to know what it means ... It’s all there ... It’s journalism verité.” As someone who shares David Corn’s vision of bringing veritas to the vulgate, or truth to the people, I wholeheartedly agree.

O'Keefe has faced scrutiny and made plenty of headlines for his secret recordings and antics, and he recounted his experience as an activist journalist in the piece. Read the whole thing here.  

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Matt Drudge took to Twitter on Monday, April 15 -- Tax Day in the U.S. -- to stress how much is at stake in the 2014 midterm elections:


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Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, has published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he describes being force-fed after participating in a hunger strike along with other detainees. From the piece, titled "Gitmo Is Killing Me," published in Monday's newspaper:

I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.


I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleeping.

According to the Times, Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel "told this story, through an Arabic interpreter, to his lawyers at the legal charity Reprieve in an unclassified telephone call."

Over the weekend, guards and prisoners clashed at the prison over the hunger strike, the Associated Press reported. According to the Huffington Post, 43 detainees are on hunger strike, and 13 of those prisoners are being force-fed. 

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Former President George W. Bush has opened up about his recent foray into painting, telling the Dallas Morning News in an interview published over the weekend that he likes to shake up stereotypes. 

“People are surprised,” Bush told the paper. “Of course, some people are surprised I can even read.”

Here's more from the interview:

Asked why a semi-retired 66-year-old is spending his free time on frustrating and potentially humiliating activities like mountain biking, painting and golf, Bush laughed.


“I don’t know,” he said. “You’ll have to call all the people who’ve written these books about me, who claim they know me, the psycho-babblers.”

The Dallas Morning News has photos of several Bush paintings. 

h/t Politico.

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has canceled a Monday trip to Iowa after being hospitalized, his Patriot Voices PAC said in a statement Sunday evening.

"While traveling in South Carolina on Saturday, Rick Santorum became ill and was admitted to the hospital for a gastro-intestinal illness and dehydration," the group said in a written release. "He is feeling better today but remains in the hospital and is unable to travel to Iowa on Monday, April 15 for previously scheduled events. He is expected to resume a full schedule later this week and looks forward to returning to Iowa soon," said Virginia Davis, spokesperson for Patriot Voices."

Santorum, who is leaving the door open on a potential 2016 bid, was scheduled to speak at an Iowa Faith & Freedom event, The Hill reported

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