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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday praised the efforts of President Barack Obama for helping to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Netanyahu said Obama was steadfast in his support for Israel's right to defend itself, as well as in Iron Dome, the country's air defense system that the prime minister said successfully intercepted most of the rockets aimed at the country from Gaza. The U.S. has helped provide funding for Iron Dome. Netanyahu added that Obama pledged to help Israel prevent the smuggling of arms to terrorist groups — "the vast majority of which," according to Netanyahu, come from Iran.

“I have to say all this was done with the firm support on the part of the leaders of the international community," Netanyahu said during the press conference. "And I would like especially to thank President Barack Obama for his unreserved support for Israel’s actions in the operation and for Israel’s right to defend itself, as well as his support for the Iron Dome systems."

Netanyahu offered similar praise for the work of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and expressed his "appreciation" for Egypt's role in the agreement. 

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Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli government, said on Wednesday that success of the just-brokered cease-fire agreement between Israeli forces and Hamas militants will be gauged by whether or not it brings "peace and quiet" to Israelis living in the southern part of the country.

“We’ll be hoping for, and the arrangements are very specific about this, total and complete quiet," Regev said on CNN. "We’ve said from day one of this crisis, our goal is to bring peace and quiet to the people of southern Israel who have been on the receiving end of these rockets from Hamas-controlled Gaza for just too long. And this arrangement, which was obviously an Egyptian proposal with the Americans sponsoring them, and we thank both the governments of Egypt and the United States for their support in this matter, will offer a new reality in which we’ll have peace and quiet for our citizens in southern Israel who have suffered so much."


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Speaking at a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo on Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced that a cease-fire agreement has been struck between Israeli forces and Hamas militants.  It will go into effect at 2 p.m. ET.

The Associated Press provides some details of the cease-fire:

In details of the agreement obtained exclusively by The Associated Press, the official said Israel would cease all military activity against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants would cease rocket attacks into Israel. After 24 hours of quiet, Gaza's border crossings with Israel would be opened further to allow freer movement of goods and people.

Correction: The post has been corrected to indicate that the press conference involved Clinton and Amr, not Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

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The health ministry in Gaza said today that 152 Palestinians, including 40 children, have been killed since the conflict broke out last Wednesday, Jon Donnison of BBC News reports. At least 13 in Gaza have been killed today.

Jack Taylor, a 5-foot-10 sophomore at Division III Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, set a new NCAA single-game scoring mark on Tuesday night by dropping an astounding 138 points in his side's 179-104 home victory over Faith Baptist Bible. 

Taylor hoisted a staggering 108 shot attempts — amounting to a shot every 20 seconds — connecting on 52 of them. The guard from Black River Falls, Wis. shattered the previous NCAA record of 113 points by Rio Grande's Bevo Francis, which had stood since 1954. 


A raw video from the Associated Press captured the chaotic aftermath of the bus bombing in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. The explosion took place near the Israeli military headquarters. At least 22 were wounded by the blast.


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A bomb erupted on a bus near the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding at least 22 people. The blast comes amid fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militans located in Gaza. 

Photo: Gili Eliyahu/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday responded to accusations that the sharp criticisms directed at United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice by he and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have been motivated by racism or sexism. South Carolina's senior senator retorted that such criticisms are meant only to divert from the most pertinent point. 

“Well, when you can’t answer the question you attack the questioner. The only color I’m worried about when it comes to Benghazi is red, blood red. The death of four Americans," Graham told Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy. "And what motivates Sen. McCain and myself is that we were in Libya last September, we came back and wrote an op-ed piece that if we don’t form a national army to replace these militias, Libya’s going to break apart. And the sad story is not just the four dead Americans, which is heartbreaking, the Libya people want to move forward. And this leading from behind by Obama, we’ve done nothing to help them form an army to replace the militias.”

On Tuesday, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) — a fellow member of the Palmetto State's Congressional delegation — contended that critics of Rice, an African-American, were using racially tinged "code words." 

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Former Romney campaign adviser Dan Senor on Wednesday acknowledged that he and his fellow Republicans misread the American electorate in 2012, while suggesting that the election proves there is "some kind of systemic crisis today in the world of polling." Senor specifically highlighted the poor performance by right-leaning pollsters such as Rasmussen, as well as Gallup. 

"There is some kind of systemic crisis today in the world of polling, I think particularly on the right-of-center polling. The modeling was way off," Senor said during an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "How pollsters on the Republican side, although not just on the Republican side, you saw Gallup make similar mistakes, you saw Rasmussen make similar mistakes. The understanding, the assumptions made about what the electorate looked like was way off." 


(Photo: Staff Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey/DoD/Newscom)

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