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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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Even though Donald Trump wasn't onstage for the lower-tier GOP debate Wednesday, that didn't stop CNN -- to the objections of those participating in debate -- from making him the subject of the first several questions.

Former Gov. George Pataki snapped at the moderator Hugh Hewitt for pressing him about his willingness to support Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee.

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A member of the House Freedom Caucus -- the hard-right conservative group of representatives known for engineering government crises from the basement of Tortilla Coast -- announced his resignation from the group Wednesday over its threats to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) released a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the caucus' chairman, explaining his reasons for resigning. He said that while he supports the conservative principals espoused by the group, he objects to its tactics, pointing to the House Freedom Caucus-driven antics this year over homeland security funding, a trade bill, the Iran deal and now, Planned Parenthood.

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With threats of a government shutdown and a possible plot to oust House Speaker John Boehner, a Boehner ally lobbed the ultimate insult at the hardliners in his party: he compared them to Saul Alinsky, a lefty community organizer who became known in the 1950s and 1960s for embracing radicalism.

"This is a continuation of the strange virus that’s running through the Republican Party, which I define as a weird form of right-wing Marxism where people are using Saul Alinsky-type tactics,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) told the Washington Post.

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A motion by Kim Davis -- the anti-gay marriage clerk in Kentucky -- to halt a requirement that she issue marriage licenses to gay couples was denied by a federal appeals court Tuesday.

Davis is suing Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear (D) and state librarian Wayne Onkst for enforcing a requirement that Kentucky clerks grant same-sex marriage licenses, which she objects to on religious grounds. She had ask the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to temporarily halt the requirement while the lawsuit proceeds.

"Davis has not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on her federal constitutional claims," the panel of judges said in their order denying the request.

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As the Sept. 30 deadline to fund the federal government approaches and conservatives dig in on a fight to defund Planned Parenthood, the White House and Senate Democratic leadership signaled they would be open to a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

From the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that any short-term bill must be "clean."

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A leading conservative lawmaker eager to dethrone House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is ratcheting up the pressure for a shutdown battle over Planned Parenthood that neither Boehner nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) want and are trying desperately to avoid.

“I cannot and will not fund a vile, racist organization who specializes in convincing mothers to kill their children and then selling their baby parts to the highest bidder," Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said in a written statement to TPM Tuesday. "During the funding debate two years ago, Mitch McConnell finagled a $2.8 billion dam for his home state. And now when it comes to keeping his pro-life campaign promises, I’m pretty certain he still knows how the process works.”

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and his predecessor, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley, are squabbling over furniture O'Malley allegedly took with him upon his 2015 departure from the governor's mansion.

Hogan accused O'Malley of being "misleading" in his account of when O'Malley showed the Hogans the mansion before the Hogans moved in.

"He has been misleading, no question about it," Hogan said at a news conference Tuesday, according to The Baltimore Sun. "At no time did Governor O'Malley or the first lady mention any plan to take 54 pieces of furniture."

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The University of Florida vs. Florida State rivalry that long has dominated college football in the Sunshine state has spilled over into the presidential race.

The trash talking started when University of Florida alum Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told Monday Iowa's KXNO 1460 AM, "Look, I don't have anything against Florida State. I think there has to be a school where people who can't get into [University of] Florida can go to college."

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A North Carolina lawmaker is defending his sharing of a Facebook meme that imagines Benjamin Netanyahu calling President Obama a "coward" and "Islamic son of a bitch."

The meme, which state Rep. Michael Speciale (R) publicly shared on his Facebook Sept. 5, shows a picture of the Israeli prime minister speaking to Obama and envisions a conversation in which Netanyahu tells Obama "Look you Islamic son of a bitch, unless you give all your land back to the native indians, don't pretend to lecture Israeli's [sic] about our borders when you can't control your own."

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