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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Donald Trump is the man to beat at Thursday’s GOP debate, where the Republican presidential candidates trailing him in the polls will attempt to outmaneuver the billionaire’s rhetorical body-slams.

Much of the focus has been on Trump’s hard line on immigration, with other 2016 candidates divided as to whether “The Apprentice” star has carried the party too far to the extremes. However, on a variety of other policy positions, Trump has shown himself to be at odds with the traditional Republican platform. Here’s which issues conservatives wishing to outflank Trump should attack him on:

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced he had ended the state's Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood in response to an anti-abortion "sting" video campaign against the reproductive health service.

“In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life," Jindal said in a statement. "It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state."

The move comes despite the fact that the two Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana do not provide abortion, which Planned Parenthood confirmed to the state's Department of Health and Hospitals as part of the state's ongoing investigation into claims that the organization is profiting off of aborted fetal tissue donations. A third clinic being built in New Orleans plans to offer abortion, but will not participate in the tissue donation programs, a Planned Parenthood executive told the state.

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Charles Koch told attendees of his California summit this weeked that he and his brother's conservative activism is akin to the anti-slavery and civil rights movements, the Washington Post reported.

“Look at the American revolution, the anti-slavery movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement,” Koch said Sunday. “All of these struck a moral chord with the American people. They all sought to overcome an injustice. And we, too, are seeking to right injustices that are holding our country back.”

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A conservative lawmaker wants to halt the national refugee program that helps immigrants seeking humanitarian asylum in the United States settle into their new communities.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced a bill last week that would suspend the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied "the costs of providing benefits to such individuals, and for other purposes."

“It is extremely unsettling that the Obama Administration would continue to expand the U.S. resettlement program at such an irresponsible pace in light of our economic and national security challenges,” Babin said in a statement announcing the bill's introduction. “While this program may be warranted in certain situations, it is continuing at an unchecked pace. For the past decade the U.S. has been admitting roughly 70,000 new refugees a year, with little understanding of the economic and social costs on our communities.

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Apparently an induction into pro-wrestling's preeminent hall of fame will only get you so far.

Despite Donald Trump's longstanding relationship with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon, McMahon's wife Linda appears to be backing the presidential efforts of one of Trump's rivals. Politico reports that Linda McMahon donated $250,000 to America Leads, the super PAC supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).

For a quarter-century, Trump has played a prominent role in the McMahons' professional wrestling empire. He has hosted events at his venues and appeared in the ring. In 2013, he earned membership in the WWE Hall of Fame. However, this is not the first time Trump's unconventional brand of politics has been at odds with what otherwise has been a lucrative relationship.

In 2012, when Linda McMahon was running for a U.S. Senate seat, her campaign attempted to deny she had donated to Trump's charity in a move to distance her from the Obama "birther" theory Trump was trumpeting at the time.

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The White House confirmed that President Obama would veto any budget legislation that included a Planned Parenthood defund measure, setting the stage for a government shutdown fight if Republicans decide to attach such a provision in a government spending proposal set to be debated this fall.

"What we have indicated in the past continues to be true today, that we have routinely opposed the inclusion of ideologically-driven riders in the budget process," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday. "And certainly a rider that would on a wholesale basis defund Planned Parenthood, which is the proposal of some Republicans in the House, is certainly something that would draw a presidential veto."

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A weeks-long standoff between Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) and the state legislature had its day in court Friday. The state Supreme Court heard arguments as to whether the governor missed the deadline to veto 65 bills that lawmakers say are now law due to his delay.

The discussion revolved around thorny, complex issues of procedural mechanics and constitutional balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. Over the course of about 45 minutes, LePage's counsel Cynthia Montgomery and the attorney representing Maine's House and Senate each had 15 minutes each for their opposing arguments, with Montgomery given the opportunity for rebuttal at the end. Additionally, an attorney representing a few House Republicans as well as counsel for the attorney general each had a few minutes to make their cases, with the former favoring LePage's view and the latter challenging it.

The justices were clearly seeking to streamline the arguments being presented in front of them, perhaps knowing both the short-term impact of their decision on dozens of pieces of legislation, as well as the long-term precedent they could set in navigating what has become a constitutional crisis. Their questions touched on both broad understanding of the executive branch's veto powers and LePage's specific motivations in waiting to submit his vetoes. They were mostly patient to weed through the convoluted specifics of the case, but at times were willing to call out what appeared to be suspicious reasoning.

"Why, in a extremely difficult session, would the governor chose the time to [run] a test case?" one of the justice's challenged LePage's counsel.

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With the Maine Supreme Court set to hold oral arguments Friday on whether Gov. Paul LePage (R) botched some 65 vetoes, the governor is making a new legal argument that -- if adopted by the court -- could send Maine into chaos.

Legislators are arguing that LePage missed the deadlines in early July to veto the bills in question and thus, the legislation was already law when LePage did finally returned the vetoes days later. LePage says the legislators had taken the type of formal adjournment that under the state Constitution would allow him to wait until the next time they reconvened to return the vetoes. Lawmakers say it was not an adjournment but an informal break that would have kept the clock ticking. History and custom is on the legislators' side, but the governor has asked for the court to settle the argument.

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Conservative websites Breitbart and The Federalist are claiming that a reported cyber-attack of the Planned Parenthood website is in fact a "PR stunt" staged by the organization and the communications firm it has hired.

"PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S ‘HACKED’ WEBSITE LOOKS LIKE PR STUNT" blares the Breitbart headline.

The Federalist declares: "Planned Parenthood 'Hacking' Sure Looks Like An Orchestrated PR Stunt"

The Federalist has the more skeptical of the two takes.

"Planned Parenthood says it’s been hacked by 'extremists,' but a review of the publicly available evidence suggests that the only things being hacked at Planned Parenthood right now are perfectly healthy and viable unborn babies."

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Anti-abortion activists have amped up their campaign attacking Planned Parenthood ahead of a planned Senate vote to end federal funding to the reproductive health organization. The group called Center for Medical Progress released its fourth video overall -- and second this week -- purporting to show that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting off of procuring tissues from aborted fetuses for researchers.

In Thursday's video, a doctor said to be associated with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains appears to discuss the pricing structure and legal classifications the affiliate prefers in its procurement of tissues for researchers, as well as the abortion protocols it follows to see to it certain tissues remain intact. The video released Tuesday features a woman who says she is a former worker for a tissue procurement company, in which she suggests Planned Parenthood nurses had profit motives in how they asked her to procure specimens.

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