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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced Monday that he'll be introducing an amendment to the Senate immigration reform bill permitting states to require identification from Americans registering to vote.

The amendment comes in the wake of a Monday morning Supreme Court ruling that overturned an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote.

The conservative senator has a record of defending voter fraud prevention measures, and has also been vocally opposed to the Gang of Eight's plan for comprehensive immigration reform.

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Federal officials on Monday seized 7-Eleven franchises in New York and Virginia as part of an investigation into a ring of undocumented workers who were allegedly forced to work slave hours in a "modern day plantation system," ABC News reported.

Nine individuals, including store owners and managers from ten New York franchises and four Virginia franchises, were charged with "conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and harboring undocumented immigrants," according to federal prosecutor Loretta E. Lynch.

Federal authorities told ABC news that at least 18 undocumented workers, reportedly from Pakistan, were given identities stolen from children and deceased persons and forced to work 100 hours a week while paying rent to their employers to live in boarding houses.

"7-Eleven is aware of today's activity and has been cooperating with federal authorities during their investigation," Margaret Chabris, director of Corporate Communications for 7-Eleven, told ABC News. "We will have no further comment until we learn more."

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Miss Utah gave her unique take on how to achieve pay equity for women through "creating education better" at the Miss USA competition Sunday night.

Panelist NeNe Leakes posed the million-dollar question to Marissa Powell, 21: “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?”

“I think we can relate this back to education, and how we are continuing to try to strive … to ...," Powell responded before pausing to think.  "… figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem."

“I think, especially the men are … seen as the leaders of this, and so we need to try to figure out how to … create education better. So that we can solve this problem," she added.

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Monday that the so-called Gang of Eight immigration reform bill has already been so weakened by concessions on border security that it would be a "big mistake" to push for 70 votes, according to The Hill.

Durbin responded with a firm "no" when asked on CBS News whether the bill needed more than 70 votes.

"We need 60 votes by the Senate standards," he told CBS, as quoted by The Hill. "The more the better though. I just don’t want to compromise the values in this bill."

"We worked for four months, had 30 minutes, [Sens.] John McCain [R-AZ], Chuck Schumer [D-NY], Lindsey Graham [R-SC], Marco Rubio [R-FL], myself, Bob Menendez [D-NJ], we worked all this time to come up with a basic framework, and if we’re going to abandon this now to pick up 2, 3, 4 or 5 votes, that’s a big mistake," Durbin added.

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Montreal's Interim Mayor Michael Applebaum was arrested by Quebec province's anti-corruption squad Monday morning, according to the Montreal Gazette.

Investigators said in a press conference that the mayor faces 14 charges of fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust, collusion and corruption in municipal affairs connected to two real estate deals dating back to 2006.

Applebaum was elected by the city council to replace former mayor Gerard Tremblay, who resigned amid corruption allegations in the fall. The leader of Montreal's opposition Vision Montreal party, Louise Harel, called for Applebaum's own resignation this morning.

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CIA Director John Brennan--the "deputy President," as military officials call him--pushed back against "intentional misrepresentations" of the agency's drone program in a Q&A published in GQ Monday.

"To think that we, people who are involved in counterterrorism, do not care about civilian casualties or deaths or injuries, is just totally, totally wrong," Brennan told the magazine in a February interview.

Brennan said that he was disappointed that during his Senate confirmation hearing, he was unable to fully explain to groups protesting his nomination that their impression of the drones as wanton murder machines is wrong.

"I don't think the people who are out there—the people who have come to my house with placards and posters showing mutilated women and children—understand the agony that so many people go through in the counterterrorism community to make sure they don't make a mistake," he added. "Either a mistake of omission or a mistake of commission. And they both weigh heavily on one's mind. Because inaction can have tremendous consequences, just the way an inappropriate action can."

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife used taxpayer dollars to pay for a variety of personal items and errands, the Washington Post reported Sunday. 

Spending records obtained by the Post show that among the McDonnells' personal expenses billed to the state are purchases of body wash, sunscreen, dog vitamins and a "detox cleanse" for the digestive system. State employees were also dispatched to pick up the family's dry cleaning and tailoring.

The Post's investigation of personal expenses covered by the state over the family's 3 1/2 year stay in the Governor's mansion showed that the McDonnells did pay back the state for at least some purchases, although the state only released 16 sales receipts. A spokesman declined to tell the Post why other receipts were not released.

The FBI, along with a federal grand jury, is currently investigating McDonnell's daughter Cailin's $15,000 wedding catering tab.

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Lonnie Snowden, the father of the National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden, pushed back Sunday night against claims that his son was a "high school dropout." 

"I'm here because I'm really concerned about the misinformation in the media," Snowden said in an interview with Fox News host Eric Bolling, which the network teased on Monday morning.

"First and foremost, every place you read is 'high school dropout,'" he said. His son fell behind after missing four to five months of high school due to an illness, Lonnie Snowden said, but he completed his high school equivalency before he would have even graduated high school.

Bolling said his takeaway from the interview was that Snowden is "a concerned father." When he asked Snowden to speak directly to his son, Bolling said Lonnie Snowden pleaded, "Ed, don't leak anymore. Don't talk anymore."

The full interview will be rolled out throughout the day on Fox News.

[h/t Mediaite]

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Several major Silicon Valley firms disclosed figures on U.S. government and law enforcement data requests over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Facebook announced late Friday that it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from all levels of government in the U.S., from local law enforcement to classified national security requests, in the second half of 2012 alone. Microsoft said Friday that it received between 6,000 and 7,000 requests from all levels of government in that same time period, while Apple disclosed in a statement late Sunday that it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement from December 2012 through May 2013.

Google, which asked the government for permission last week to publish all data requests the company received, challenged the tech firms' disclosures of partial data as a "step back" for its users.

"Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately," a spokesman said in a statement quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) will run a TV ad later this week to defend himself against the National Rifle Association's hefty attack ad buys, Politico reported Monday.

As of Sunday, the content of the ad and the amount Manchin's reelection campaign would spend on it were not yet finalized. Manchin aide Jonathan Kott told Politico that the ad will at least match the NRA's buy.

”The Washington NRA leadership is clearly out of step with the American people and law abiding gun owners, and is now attacking Senator Manchin for a position they once supported," Kott told Politico. "The Washington NRA leadership is trying to distort Senator Manchin’s commitment to the [Second] Amendment because they know he is one of the most credible defenders of gun rights who also believes that it just makes sense to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those found severely mentally ill.”

This post has been updated.

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