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

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office has received millions of dollars from the CIA over the course of more than a decade, the New York Times reported on Sunday, noting that the cash has occasionally been placed in plastic bags.

From the report:

American and Afghan officials familiar with the payments said the agency’s main goal in providing the cash has been to maintain access to Mr. Karzai and his inner circle and to guarantee the agency’s influence at the presidential palace, which wields tremendous power in Afghanistan’s highly centralized government. The officials spoke about the money only on the condition of anonymity.

According to the report, the installments range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars.

Read more here.

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President Obama on Monday is scheduled to speak at the National Academy of Sciences' 150th anniversary event in Washington, according to the White House. Obama is expected to speak at 11:20 a.m. ET. 

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) went after the Obama administration's handling of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation in a radio interview Thursday -- and along the way he claimed that Muslim Brotherhood members are in the administration and influencing its decisions. 

"It's very clear to everybody but this administration that radical Islam is at war against us," Gohmert told WND Radio. "And I’m hoping either this administration will wake up or a new one will come in at the next election before irreparable damage is done. Because radical Islam is at war with us. Thank God for the moderates who don't approve of what's being done. But this administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America.” 

Gohmert cited the Benghazi attack, Algeria hostage crisis and the recent Boston Marathon bombings as examples of the administration's pattern of incompetence. One of the Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was added to two U.S. government watch lists, according to the New York Times. He was also interviewed by the FBI, but was ultimately cleared of any suspected connections to extremist groups. 

Gohmert isn't the first Republican to claim that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government. Back in July 2012, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) led the charge, pointing a finger at top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Bachmann's accusations were widely condemned at the time.  

Listen to Gohmert's interview below (Muslim Brotherhood segment comes in at about 5:20):



h/t Political Wire.

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Jon Stewart got into a tizzy on Thursday over the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas. With Bill Clinton staying active with his Clinton Global Initiative and Jimmy Carter working to combat disease in Africa, Stewart wondered how Bush has spent his time since exiting the Oval Office.

He has been painting. Still, Stewart said he was excited to hear more about the library and museum, which houses hundreds of artifacts from the former President's time in office.

"So it's basically the Hard Rock Cafe of catastrophic policy decisions," Stewart said.

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In a statement titled "House Acts to Fix President Obama's Flight Delays," House Speaker John Boehner blamed the need for congressional action to end air traffic control furloughs on the President, who Boehner said wouldn't act to replace budget sequestration with spending cuts. 

Boehner's full statement below:

“The disruption to America’s air traffic system over the past week was a consequence of the administration’s choice to implement the president’s sequestration cuts in the most painful manner possible.  It’s unacceptable that the FAA chose not to plan for sequestration or utilize the flexibility it already has.  Americans were rightly fed up, and it’s unfortunate that the House and Senate were forced to step in and fix the problem when the President chose not to act.


“With this solution, Americans will no longer be burdened by President Obama’s flight delays and our economy will not take an unnecessary hit.  This fix will prevent furloughs of air traffic controllers and do so without any new revenue and without adding to the debt.  Just like we’ve done here in the House, the administration must learn how to do more with less.  Sequestration is bad policy.  That’s why the House voted twice to replace it with smarter cuts.  But while it is here, the president has an obligation to implement these cuts in a way that respects the American people, rather than using them for political leverage.”

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday said President Obama would sign legislation to ease air traffic control furloughs if the bill passes Congress. 

The Senate voted on Thursday to approve legislation to end the furloughs, which were triggered by the budget sequestration. The house was voting on the legislation at the time of this writing. 

President Obama on Friday at a Planned Parenthood gala in Washington said the women's health organization is "not going anywhere," despite GOP-led efforts to defund it. 

"It's not going anywhere today, it's not going anywhere tomorrow," Obama said, according to a rush transcript. "As long as we've got a fight to make sure women have access to affordable, quality health care, and as long as we've got to fight to protect a woman's right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you've also got a President who's going to be right there, fighting every step of the way."

President Obama on Friday at a Planned Parenthood gala in Washington criticized efforts -- led by Republicans -- to defund the women's health organization. 

"So when politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they're not just talking about you, but they're talking about the millions of women who they serve," Obama said, according to a rush transcript. "And when they talk about cutting off your funding, let's be clear, they're talking about telling many of those women, 'you're on your own.' They're talking about shutting those women out at a time when they may need it most. Shutting off communities that may need more health care options for women, not less."

The man whose Mercedes SUV was allegedly carjacked last week by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects described the traumatic episode in an interview with the Boston Globe published Friday. 

The man -- identified only as Danny -- relayed the conversations he had with Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a two-and-a-half hour interview with the paper. He said he got away from the suspects when the vehicle ran low on gas and needed to stop to refuel. The gas station only accepted cash, and the younger brother, Dzhokhar, went inside to withdraw money. That's when Danny made his move. From the Globe:

“I was thinking I must do two things: unfasten my seat belt and open the door and jump out as quick as I can. If I didn’t make it, he would kill me right out, he would kill me right away,” Danny said. “I just did it. I did it very fast, using my left hand and right hand simultaneously to open the door, unfasten my seat belt, jump out . . . and go.” Danny sprinted between the passenger side of the Mercedes and the pumps and darted into the street, not looking back, drawn to the Mobil station’s lights. “I didn’t know if it was open or not,” he said. “In that moment, I prayed.”

Read the full piece here.

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Former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), whose Senate campaign nosedived after he claimed the female body will reject pregnancy if a "legitimate rape" is committed, said in an interview that he has relived that infamous moment "too many times" and wishes he could take it back. 

"But that's not reality," Akin told KSDK in an interview published on Thursday. "All of us are fallible. We make mistakes, say things the wrong way. I've relived that moment many, many times."

Akin said he regrets the line, adding, "You think, well, what would it have been like if I hadn't done that?"

Despite bungling his last campaign, the former congressman said he isn't ruling out a return to politics in the future. "I don't rule anything out," he said. "I consider it kind of a bright, new future. And I'm interested to see what the possibilities are."


h/t HuffPost.

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