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

Two young boys were kidnapped early Wednesday in Tampa, Fla. by their "anti-government" parents, the Orlando Sentinel reported

The boys' father, Joshua Hakken, allegedly entered the home of the children's grandmother, tied her up and took the kids, according to the report. The kids, Cole and Chase Hakken, are 4 and 2 years old, respectively. 

A statement from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office called the parents "anti-government" and said they had attempted a previous kidnapping at gunpoint:

On April 3, 2013 at 6:30 a.m., Joshua Hakken entered the residence at 14040 Shady Shores Drive belonging to Patricia Hauser, maternal grandmother of the children. Joshua tied up Patricia, removed the children and fled in Patricia's 2009 Silver Toyota Camry. The children could possibly be in a Black 2006 GMC Pickup registered to Joshua Hakken. Both suspects are anti-government and have attempted a previous abduction at gun point in Louisiana. 


Anyone with any information regarding the location of these children are asked to immediately dial 9-1-1 or call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200. Both subjects are considered armed and dangerous. 

WTSP reported that neither parent has legal custody of the kids.

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White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Wednesday claimed that media outlets still have a "Pavlovian response" to news stories posted on The Drudge Report. 

"It's not that it drives our conversation in our world, I'm fairly ambivalent to what Drudge puts up on a daily basis," Pfeiffer said at Politico's Playbook Breakfast. "This is less true now than it was before, but there's a Pavlovian response from, you know, some media outlets. It's like, why are you asking me about this? Well, it's on Drudge."

Politico's Mike Allen asked Pfeiffer how he responds to such requests for comment. "I sort of ask them to repeat themselves, say that to themselves out loud again and think about it," Pfeiffer said, adding that usually reporters claim an editor is on them about a particular story. 

Pfeiffer also said The Drudge Report negatively impacts the White House's message. "The example being that, you know, that anyone saying anything can, um, can get caught up in, in the spin cycle in a way that is very damaging -- you know, it hurts what we're trying to do on a daily basis but is also very damaging to that individual person," Pfeiffer said. 

One example of Drudge's influence came during the 2012 presidential campaign. Drudge reported that Mitt Romney had placed former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice near the top of his vice presidential shortlist. Of course, the story was proven wrong when Romney tapped Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate, but it still inspired headlines on an array of political news websites.   


h/t Business Insider.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) lamented the difficult landscape for compromise in the Senate, in an interview with Mother Jones published Wednesday: "Today a minority of the minority plays hostage politics. It's all-or-nothing politics at its worst," she said. 

Given that Warren's recent tirade against big banks went viral, Mother Jones' David Corn asked what she thought of Sen. Ted Cruz's claim that he will shake up the Senate. "I'm not here to shake," she said. "I'm here to get something done. For me, it's an extension of the work I've done for 30 years to strengthen middle-class families. If I could find a way to do that here and never say another word publicly, I'm all for it."

Read Corn's piece here.

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President Obama is expected to attend the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas later this month, TIME magazine reported Tuesday. 

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are also expected to attend. 

Josh Earnest, White House deputy press secretary, told TIME that Obama has "developed a good relationship with both President George W. Bush and President George H.W. Bush. He has routinely expressed his deep appreciation for the 43rd President’s commitment to this country we love, and is looking forward to returning to Texas later this month.”

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Bob Woodward had lunch with White House officials after a spat erupted between the legendary journalist and an Obama administration official. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said he, White House economic adviser Gene Sperling and White House press secretary Jay Carney had lunch with the veteran journalist in the White House's mess hall. 

"It was a good conversation," Pfeiffer said Wednesday at Politico's Playbook Breakfast. "We had a good laugh about this, and we had a serious discussion about the issues." 

The drama between Woodward and the White House started after Woodward published an article claiming that the sequester deal stipulated it could only be replaced with spending cuts. The White House panned the article, and Sperling told Woodward he would regret his reporting. While Woodward never specifically called Sperling's remark a threat, he did concede that it seemed like a "coded 'you better watch out.'"

Pfeiffer on Wednesday said White House staffers want to continue to be on good terms with Woodward and would not limit his access. 

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Asked which blogs President Obama likes to read, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the President is a big fan of the Washington Post's Ezra Klein. 

Pfeiffer also said Obama likes to read Grantland's Bill Simmons. Obama appeared on Simmons' podcast last year, which Pfeiffer described as the easiest media pitch to the President he has had to make. 

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Wednesday at Politico's Playbook Breakfast that President Obama will continue to reach out to congressional Republicans. There will be more dinners and meetings with Republicans and Democrats, Pfeiffer said. Asked by Mike Allen whether the charm offensive will continue for months, not weeks, Pfeiffer said "absolutely." 

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Wednesday at Politico's Playbook Breakfast that President Obama wants to sign the "strongest gun bill he can."

Obama is scheduled to push gun control measures during a speech Wednesday in Denver. But reports this week have indicated that background checks for gun purchases face an uphill battle in the Senate, despite a push by Obama and Democratic lawmakers. 

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), fresh off a GOP primary runoff victory in the campaign for an open House seat in the state, said on Wednesday that the only thing voters know about his opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, is that she is the sister of late-night comedian Stephen Colbert. 

"Well, you know, at the end of the day, Stephen Colbert's a very popular, you know, well-regarded comedian, but at the end of the day he's not on the ticket," the former South Carolina governor said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And we're going to have a debate about ideas, and I think that when people really begin to digest those ideas, some real strong contrasts in terms of where she would be vs. where I would be, I think that will substantially change a poll that I think now simply defines name and ID as people know it, not issue ID. And I think ultimately debates in campaigns are decided on issues."

The poll Sanford referred to was commissioned by Colbert Busch's campaign and showed the Democratic House candidate in a tight race with the former governor. Stephen Colbert will also reportedly host two fundraisers for his sister this month. 

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Senate debate on gun control legislation will likely be pushed back to the week of April 15, the New York Times reported Tuesday, adding that background checks for gun purchases remains a sticking point. As the Times reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate would act on gun control measures first thing after its break. 

TPM reported earlier this week that background checks face an uphill battle in the Senate.