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

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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An anti-Margaret Thatcher crowd gathered Saturday for a death party in London's Trafalgar square. Attendees chanted "Ding Dong! The With is Dead" and drank champagne, the Associated Press reported

There were conflicting reports on the size of the crowd. 

Reuters reported earlier Saturday that only about 200 people showed up, a smaller crowd than had been predicted, but later revised its figure to several hundred. The Guardian, meanwhile, reported that around 1,700 people were in attendance. The BBC reported that around 500 protested. Thatcher, former British prime minister, died Monday at 87.

This post has been updated.

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Kentucky Democratic official Jacob Conway appears to be changing his story. After initially claiming that two members of the liberal group Progress Kentucky bragged to him about recording a private meeting of Mitch McConnell campaign aides, he has now said it's possible he spoke to only one of the activists about the tape. 

The Courier-Journal reported Saturday:

In an interview with The Courier-Journal, Jacob Conway, a member of the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, said he is certain he talked with Curtis Morrison about the recording — but he may not have spoken with Shawn Reilly as he told members of the media Thursday.


“I had a lot of conversations with both of them during that time period, and maybe I was just confused, and maybe Shawn never said anything,” he said.

Reilly's attorney had already refuted Conway's version of events. In a press conference posted by the Courier-Journal, Reilly's lawyer, Ted Shouse, said his client is innocent of criminal behavior and is "at most a witness to potential criminal activity."

Conway told the paper that he reached out to Shouse to say his recollection of the events may be incorrect. 

In an interview with TPM earlier this week, Conway said the two Progress Kentucky operatives told him of the secret tape independently. He also said he wasn't the only person who knew the group was behind the recording, which was first reported on by Mother Jones magazine earlier in the week. 

Read more here

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Tactical Response CEO James Yeager -- whose handgun carry permit was suspended after he threatened to "start killing people" if President Obama took executive action on guns -- has his gun license back, WBBJ-TV reported Friday. 

The state of Tennessee suspended Yeager's permit in January after a video of Yeager railing against new gun control measures went viral. "I am not letting my country be ruled by a dictator. I'm not letting anybody take my guns. If it goes one inch further, I'm gonna start killing people," Yeager said in the video.

Yeager told WBBJ-TV that he believes his video "sparked a national discussion of, 'Okay, what is going to happen, you know, if things continue down this path?'" But he added that he's "not optimistic" things will go his way on gun control.

"Folks in middle America, we'll pay our taxes, just leave our guns alone," Yeager said in the interview. "And it seems like they're not willing to do that. I'm not overly optimistic things are gonna go well."

Late update: Yeager posted a video on April 10 announcing that his permit had been reinstated. "I am pleased with the result, and I learned some valuable lessons along the way,” Yeager said in a statement in the video.

Watch the WBBJ-TV report:


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A new propaganda video out of North Korea threatens an attack on Colorado Springs, Colo. -- but, as the Washington Post reported Friday, it misses the mark by about 1,000 miles. 

The highlighted red dot in the image above is where the propaganda video places the Colorado town. According to the Post's Max Fisher, that would place the attack somewhere around Shreveport, La. The video also threatens attacks on Washington, D.C., Honolulu and Los Angeles. 

Watch the video: 

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The mother of a young boy killed in the Newtown, Conn. massacre delivered the White House's weekly address this weekend, sharing her son's story and calling on Congress to take action on guns. 

"I’ve heard people say that the tidal wave of anguish our country felt on 12/14 has receded," Francine Wheeler said, sitting next to her husband, David. "But not for us. To us, it feels as if it happened just yesterday. And in the four months since we lost our loved ones, thousands of other Americans have died at the end of a gun. Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief."

She added, "Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."

Wheeler's personal message comes days after a Senate to send gun control legislation to the floor. "But that's only the start," she said. "They haven’t yet passed any bills that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. And a lot of people are fighting to make sure they never do. Now is the time to act. Please join us."

Watch the video: 

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A party that featured heavy drinking and skinny dipping has led to the resignation of two Georgia Department of Agriculture officials, the Associated Press reported Friday

A report from the department said that around 30 to 40 Agriculture Department employees partied on Sept. 17 at a cabin during a government-funded training session, according to the AP. Here's how the report described the scene:

"There was heavy consumption of alcohol, music and dancing, and the environment became similar to that of a college fraternity party."

At some point, seven men and one woman went skinny dipping, according to the AP. Billy Skaggs, the department's chief operating officer, and Oscar Garrison, head of food safety, resigned, according to the report. 

Read more here

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Jon Stewart on Thursday tore into a recent speech by Sen. Rand Paul at Howard University, where the Kentucky Republican stumbled a bit trying to explain black history to a crowd at the historically black college.

Paul explained that Republicans founded the NAACP and reminded the audience that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. But that has very little to do with the modern Republican Party, Stewart said.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday praised the Senate's gun control bill as a good step forward, but conceded it's "not perfect."

“I think this is not perfect but it takes you 90 percent of the way -- maybe 95 percent of the way -- towards more rational gun laws,” Bloomberg said on his radio show, according to the New York Observer. “And the public is overwhelmingly in favor of background checks. A couple of the editorial boards thinks it’s not enough, but the public does and I do.”

In a statement Wednesday, Bloomberg praised the comprise to expand backround checks for gun purchases, reached by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), and said his pro-gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will work to make sure it passes. 

The Senate on Thursday voted to send the legislation to the floor for debate.

Read more from Bloomberg's appearance here.

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