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

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) announced Thursday that he will forfeit 5 percent of his salary in response to workers furloughed or laid off as a result of budget sequestration. Murphy plans to donate the money to Florida charities. He said in a statement: 

"Sequestration's indiscriminate cuts are causing furloughs and job losses as well as cutting funding to many important programs  in our communities, yet the salaries of members of Congress have not been affected. That is why I am going to take a portion of my salary each month to support local charities who continue to go above and beyond to provide vital services to those in our community. I am looking forward to giving back to the community and for this first contribution to go to such a special cause, to assist the family of Sgt. Morales. When our community lost a hero, they also lost a husband and father and it has been moving to see the community come together to support them during this most difficult time."

President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have also announced that they will give up some of their income in a show of support to those who have been impacted by the sequester. 

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Netflix announced Thursday that it will premiere the fourth season of "Arrested Development" on May 26. The new season will be released in full with 15 episodes going live at once, a release said, similar to the way Netflix released its own original production of the political thriller "House of Cards."

James Carville has teamed up with the pro-Hillary Clinton political action committee, Ready for Hillary PAC, the Washington Post reported Thursday. 

A source told the Post that Carville will announce his support in an email Thursday:

“I’m not going to waste my time writing you about how great Hillary is or how formidable she’d be – you know it all already,” he will say in the e-mail, which was shared with Post Politics. “But it isn’t worth squat to have the fastest car at the racetrack if there ain’t any gas in the tank — and that’s why the work that Ready for Hillary PAC is doing is absolutely critical. We need to convert the hunger that’s out there for Hillary’s candidacy into a real grassroots organization.”

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GLAAD will honor former President Bill Clinton with an Advocate for Change Award at the gay and lesbian advocacy group's media awards later this month, the organization announced Wednesday. GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said in a statement

"President Clinton's support of the LGBT community and recognition that DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional and should be struck down shows that the political landscape continues to change in favor of LGBT equality. Leaders and allies like President Clinton are critical to moving our march for equality forward."

At a Democratic fundraiser Wednesday in San Francisco, President Obama showered praise on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying, "I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that it would be a whole lot easier to govern if I had Nancy Pelosi as Speaker." 

Obama discussed his desire to pass meaningful legislation on gun control and immigration reform, adding that he would "would love nothing better" than political opponents who are willing to meet him halfway on issues.  

"And my hope is, is that we’re going to see more and more Republicans who say, you know what, I didn’t come here just to fight the President or demonize Nancy Pelosi, I came here to get some stuff done," Obama said, according to a transcript from the White House. "And they will be greeted with great enthusiasm by me and, I think, by Nancy, if we could get some more stuff done right now. But, realistically, I could get a whole lot more done if Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House."

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President Obama will commend Colorado for passing new gun control measures during a speech Wednesday in Denver, according to excerpts of the President's remarks released by the White House. Colorado recently placed limits on gun magazines and expanded background checks for gun purchases. The legislation was a response to a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where 12 people died in July 2012.

Below are excerpts of Obama's speech, as prepared for delivery:

“From the beginning of this effort, we’ve wanted law enforcement front and center in shaping the discussion and the reforms that emerge from it.  After all, you’re often the first to see the terrible consequences of gun violence – lives lost; families broken; communities irrevocably changed.  You know what works and what doesn’t, and we wanted that experience and that advice.  And I’ve come here to Denver today because Colorado in particular is proving a model for what’s possible.


It’s now been just over 100 days since the murder of 20 innocent children and six brave educators in Newtown, Connecticut shocked this country into doing something to protect our kids.  But consider this: over those 100 days or so, more than 100 times as many Americans have fallen victim to gun violence.  More than 2,000 of our fellow citizens, struck down, often just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  And every day we wait to do something about it, even more are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.


Colorado has already chosen to do something about it.  This is, obviously, a state that has suffered the tragedy of two of the worst mass shootings in our history – 14 years ago this month in Columbine, and just last year in Aurora.  This is also a state that treasures its Second Amendment rights – a state of proud hunters and sportsmen, with a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s handed down from generation to generation with reverence and respect.


I’m here because I believe there’s no conflict between reconciling these realities.  There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights.  I’ve gotten stacks of letters from proud gun owners, whether they’re for sport, or protection, or collection, who tell me how deeply they cherish their rights, and don’t want them infringed upon – but they still want us to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence. 


I appreciate every one of those letters.  I’ve learned from them.  And I think that Colorado has shown that practical progress is possible by enacting tougher background checks that won’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners, but will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”


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by Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, and Sergio Hernandez, special to ProPublica

The murder case against Tony Bennett seemed pretty straightforward.

Shortly before midnight on May 7, 1994, police found a 26-year-old man in the foyer of an apartment building near Flushing, Queens. Jake Powell was near death, blood pouring from a gunshot wound, but he managed to speak the name of the man who had shot him: "Tony Bennett."

Bennett, a two-time felon, was eventually captured, convicted of murder, and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

But Bennett never served anywhere near that sentence. He has, in fact, been free since 2008 because Claude Stuart, the former Queens assistant district attorney who handled his case, violated a basic rule of law by withholding critical evidence from Bennett's attorney. A state appeals court overturned Bennett's conviction and released him after 13 years in prison.

That early release has freed Bennett to describe his role in a crime he had insisted for two decades he did not commit.

"He was wrapped up in a shower curtain in the corner of the bathroom, shivering and shaking," Bennett recalled of Powell, who Bennett said had terrorized his family for years. "He was saying all this, 'Please, please, don't hurt me, don't shoot, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.' And I said, 'Yeah, I'm sorry, too.' And I did what I had to do."

Stuart's wrongdoing in the Bennett case wasn't his only act of misconduct. He manipulated evidence in another case, and that conviction wound up being reversed by the courts, too. But his bosses took no action after that misconduct became known. A state disciplinary committee reprimanded Stuart, but that fact remained secret from the public. Indeed, Stuart's superiors did not act until another conviction was overturned, and Stuart was found to have lied to a trial judge about the whereabouts of a key defense witness.

That, at last, cost Stuart his job.

Stuart's career, across many years and with repeated abuses, helps demonstrate a broader truth: New York's system of attorney oversight is ill-equipped or unwilling to identify, punish and deter prosecutors who abuse their authority.

A ProPublica analysis of more than a decade's worth of state and federal court rulings found more than two dozen instances in which judges explicitly concluded that city prosecutors had committed harmful misconduct. In each instance, these abuses were sufficient to prompt courts to throw out convictions.

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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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