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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

1||House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday evening lit the Capitol's Christmas tree -- a 67-foot Engelmann Spruce from Wyoming. Joined by fellow members of Congress, and even a 6th grader from Wyoming who helped her light the tree, Pelosi said, "through the gift and the lighting of this magnificent tree and its ornaments, we are showcasing the beauty of the Equality State for the entire nation to see."||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

2||The massive Engelmann Spruce arrives in Washington.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

3||Jeff Underwood and his famiy with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). Underwood drove the tree to Washington.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

4||The crew begins to unload the 67-foot Engelmann Spruce.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

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8||House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

9||Members of the Cheyenne All City Children's Choir performed a medley of carols during the tree-lighting ceremony.||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

10||Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

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Like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Stephen Colbert is a staunch proponent of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, saying it "is a testament to the American tolerance of all people we never find out are gay."

"In fact," Colbert added, "I bet I'm tolerating unknown gays in my audience right now. Let's see, if you're gay, don't tell me. It could be all of them ... yet I'm fine with not knowing that.

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Apparently nothing says patriotism like the cold, hard steel of an M1911, .45-caliber handgun -- designed with love by a local gunmaker.

Which is probably why Utah state Rep. Carl Wimmer (R) wants to make it Utah's official state firearm.

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Elizabeth Edwards -- the wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards -- died Tuesday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 61. In a heartfelt farewell message on her Facebook, Edwards wrote: "It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know." Here are more pictures of Edwards' life.

John and Elizabeth Edwards on their wedding day in 1977.


Edwards Family/Zuma Press/Newscom



The Edwards in 2003 at a campaign stop in Bedford, New Hampshire.


Picture Desk Photos/Newscom



The Edwards, left, in Pennsylvania with then-presidential nominee John Kerry.


Archie Carpenter/UPI/Newscom



Elizabeth Edwards in September, 2010.


Newscom/Zuma Press



The Edwards family during happier times at their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Splash News/Newscom



Edwards, Patrick Swazye's widow Lisa Niemi and Maria Shriver in 2009 at a Women's Conference in Long Beach, CA.


Kennell Krista/SIPA/Newscom



Edwards testifying before Congress on the cost of medical debt in 2009.


Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom



Edwards making a solo campaign stop for her husband in Bedford, New Hampshire in 2007.


Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhotos/Newscom



Edwards leaving "The Daily Show" after promoting her book, Resilience in 2009.


Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom



Edwards discussing the U.S. health care system in 2008.


CD1/Newscom



The Edwards family at a 2008 campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa.


John Sommers II/UPI/Newscom



The then-presidential candidates' spouses Jeri Thompson, Michelle Obama, Ann Romney, Elizabeth Edwards and Cindy Hensley McCain at the 2007 Women's Conference in Long Beach, California.


Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom



Edwards testifying before Congress on the challenges and opportunities of cancer in 2008. Joining her were Tour de France-winner Lance Armstrong and former America Online CEO Steve Case.


John Sommers II/UPI/Newscom



Edwards in high spirits after her husband's campaign speech at a 2007 town hall forum in Concord, New Hampshire.


Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhotos/Newscom



John and Elizabeth Edwards at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.


Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press/Newscom



Edwards at a Borders bookstore in New York City in 2007, signing her book, "Saving Graces."


Newscom/Zuma Press



Elizabeth Edwards in August, 2007.


Newscom/Marlene Karas/photolink.net

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Gov.-elect Paul LePage (R-ME) on Monday tried to walk back his claim that if 35 states join a lawsuit against the federal government, the health care law "dies automatically."

It turns out it's not quite that simple. No such provision exists in the Constitution. So LePage's spokesman Dan Demeritt explained what he really meant to say.

As the Portland Press Herald reports

"His intent was to discuss the concept of broad-based political opposition, rather than a nonexistent statutory or constitutional trigger."

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1||December 5, 2010: Celebrities and politicians gathered over the weekend to celebrate this year's Kennedy Center honorees. Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, country singer Merle Haggard, Broadway composer Jerry Herman and dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones received the cultural accolade. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama joined the recipients during the gala held at the Kennedy Center in Washington. A recording of the event is scheduled to air December 28 on CBS.

Here are more photos from the weekend's events.||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

2||Former Beatles bassist Paul McCartney at a reception in the White House's East Room.||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

3||Bill T. Jones (left), Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey during a reception in the East Room.||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

4||Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

5||Legendary television host Oprah Winfrey||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

6||Country singer/songwriter Merle Haggard||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

7||Actress Julia Roberts opened the ceremony, describing Oprah's show as a "universal conversation starter."||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

8||Actor Alec Baldwin introduced Paul McCartney's tribute.||Gary Fabiano/SIPA/Newscom&&

9||First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama at the Kennedy Center in Washington.||Gary Fabiano/CNP/Newscom&&

10||President Obama delivers remarks during a reception in the White House's East Room. From left, Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman, Bill T. Jones, Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey.||Gary Fabiano/UPI/Newscom&&

11||December 4: Politicians and family alike arrived on the red carpet for the Artists Dinner at the State Department.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith (center) with William Kennedy Smith and Victoria Reggie Kennedy.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

12||Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) with his wife, Abigail.||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom&&

13||Bob Schieffer, host of CBS' Face the Nation with his wife, Patricia.||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom&&

14||Iconic singer Smokey Robinson, a 2006 Kennedy Center honoree.||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom&&

15||Kenneth Duberstein, who served as former President Ronald Reagan's chief of staff, arrives with his wife, Jacqueline.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

16||Actor John Lithgow||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

17||CBS President and CEO Les Moonves with his wife, Julie Chen.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

18||Gwen Stefani, singer for the Grammy-award winning band No Doubt.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

19||Actor Laurence Fishburne and his wife, Gina.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

20||Actress and singer Christine Ebersole and her husband, William Moloney.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

21||Musician Norah Jones and Michael Martin.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

22||Actor John Travolta on Sunday decided to skip dinner and visit the Peking Gourmet Inn, a restaurant made famous by former President George W. Bush.||MeetTheFamous/Mark Wilkins/Newscom&&

23||Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) with his wife, Lucy Calautti, back at the Artists Dinner at the State Department.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

24||Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and an unidentified guest.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

25||Tennis legend John McEnroe arriving Sunday for the Kennedy Center Honors.||MeetTheFamous/Mark Wilkins/Newscom&&

26||Legendary singer Diana Ross, a 2007 Kennedy Center honoree, arrives at the Artists Dinner with her son.||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

27||Actor Kelsey Grammer and his fiance, Kayte Walsh.||PAPFIRST/Splash News/Newscom&&

28||Former House Speaker and potential 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, arrive at the festivities Sunday.||MIKE THEILER/UPI/Newscom&&

29||Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and his wife, Alma, on Sunday.||TRIPPLAAR KRISTOFFER/SIPA/Newscom&&

30||U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and her husband, Gary, arrive at the Artist's Dinner.||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom&&

31||Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and his wife, Marjorie Anne.||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom &&

32||Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen and his wife, Janet.||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom&&

33||Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom&&

34||Michael M. Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.||WASHINGTON POOL/SIPA/Newscom&&

35||Bill T. Jones, Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey||Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom&&

In an impassioned Senate floor speech last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that there is a war being waged on America's "disappearing and shrinking middle class."

"We talk about a lot of things on the floor of the Senate, but somehow we forget to talk about the reality of who is winning in this economy, and who is losing," he said. "And it is very clear to anyone who spends two minutes studying the issue that the people on top are doing extraordinarily well, at the same time as the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing."

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