In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction last week encouraged high school teachers to use a history curriculum drafted by a group funded by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers.

The state legislature passed a law in 2011 requiring public schools in the state to offer a history course on the "Founding Principles," which was based on model legislation from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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It has been percolating for some time, but the appetite among some on the left for a strong Democratic primary challenger to Hillary Clinton, should she decide to run in 2016, has burst into the open in recent days.

Two progressive grassroots groups, MoveOn.org and Howard Dean's Democracy for America, announced Tuesday that they would launch efforts to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) into the race, if their members approved.

“There is too much at stake to have anything other than our best candidates in the debate," Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, said in a statement. "We are prepared to show Senator Warren that she has the support she needs to enter—and win—the presidential race.”

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The federal government runs out of funding in two days and Congress still doesn't have a bill to prevent that from happening.

Congressional leaders are scrambling to extend the Dec. 11 midnight deadline while they hammer out the details of the "CRomnibus" — a combined omnibus to fund most of government through September, and a continuing resolution (or CR) to keep the immigration-enforcing Department of Homeland Security on a short leash through March.

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Haughty. Condescending. Pernicious.

Everything that the right already believes about President Barack Obama, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber embodied in his recently revealed comments on the "stupidity of the American voter" and the "lack of transparency" in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now he'll be back center-stage on Tuesday to testify at the House Oversight Committee, expected to face a classic Hill grilling.

Gruber-mania has gripped the conservative mediasphere in a way that few stories have, becoming another brand-name controversy like Benghazi and the IRS. An academic who had been little known outside of Washington or Boston has been mentioned nearly 2,800 times in English-language news since news of the most recent video broke last month. Prior to that, across a career that spanned decades and after playing an important role in Massachusetts and national health care reform, he'd been named less than 1,000 times, according to a TPM LexisNexis search.

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It hasn't been at the top of the conversation about Obamacare, but new evidence suggests that yet another piece of the law is working exactly as it's supposed to.

A key provision of the Affordable Care Act that was designed to keep insurers from overspending on administrative costs or else be forced to rebate premiums to customers looks to be succeeding in not only reducing those costs but in lowering premiums.

A new report from federal health officials, which concludes that health spending had grown at a historically slow rate in 2013, says the so-called MLR provision is helping drive the broader easing of spending growth in the industry.

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The Republican-led House passed a bill on Thursday to block President Barack Obama's sweeping executive actions on immigration.

It passed on a mostly party-line vote of 219 to 197.

Three Democrats voted yes: Reps. John Barrow (GA), Mike McIntyre (NC) and Collin Peterson (MN). Seven Republicans voted no: Reps. Mike Coffman (CO), Jeff Denham (CA), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Marlin Stutzman (IN) and David Valadao (CA). Three Republicans voted present: Reps. Paul Gosar (AZ), Steve King (IA) and Raul Labrador (ID).

The bill is a carrot for conservatives upset about Obama's unilateral move to temporarily shield more than 4 million immigrants from deportation. It comes ahead of a planned vote next week to keep the federal government funded and avert a shutdown on Dec. 11 when money is scheduled to run out.

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