In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The top minds in the proto-Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign infrastructure are already gaming out Electoral College scenarios. What they think they have is a candidate who could compete in a handful of traditionally red states, putting Republicans on the defensive and increasing her chances of winning the White House.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress inched closer to a possible showdown with President Barack Obama over the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the Republican-controlled House approved the project. Supporters in the Democratic-run Senate predicted they will get the 60 votes needed to pass it next week.

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Taken in the aggregate, Obamacare premiums for the 34 states using Healthcre.gov are almost completely level in 2015 compared to 2014, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health.

That comes with a lot of caveats. Premium changes vary widely from state to state, and individual consumers who are re-enrolling might need to shop around to avoid substantial spikes in what they pay next year.

On average, premiums for the cheapest bronze-level plan, which covers 70 percent of medical costs, available to a 50-year-old non-smoker increased by 3 percent, according to Avalere. For the cheapest silver-level plan, which covers 70 percent of costs, premiums increased by 4 percent.

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Sen. Rand Paul hasn't announced his candidacy for president in 2016 just yet, but there are plenty of signs suggesting that he will. Politico's Playbook, for instance, pointed out that a large group of aides with all the makings of a nascent presidential campaign staff gathered at The Liaison hotel on Capitol Hill for a candidacy they believe is a "95 percent certainty."

But one thing's been hanging over Paul's and his supporters' heads: how does he get around Kentucky law that bars a candidate from running on the same ballot for two different jobs? Paul, after all, has said multiple times he plans to run for re-election in 2016.

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The 2016 presidential campaign arrived fully formed on Friday when ABC News published the contents of an email list managed by one of the top contenders to be Hillary Clinton's campaign manager.

The breathless headline is "EXCLUSIVE: Read the Secret Emails of the Men Who May Run Hillary Clinton's Campaign."

It's a strange meeting of Journolist and the notorious infighting of Clinton's 2008 campaign. The actual content of the emails themselves are almost entirely without news value; the only news here arguably is that somebody wanted to damage the candidacies (as it were) of Robby Mook, the Democratic operative who set up the list, and Marlon Marshall, another operative active on the list who is rumored for a Clinton 2016 role.

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The specter of the Supreme Court gutting Obamacare and putting health coverage for millions of people at risk is back in a very real way, with the justices taking up the lawsuit that would prohibit tax subsidies from being given to people in the 36 states that use the federal health exchange, HealthCare.gov.

But while the White House has been publicly mum about how it would address that worst-case scenario, policy experts have told TPM that there could be ways for the Obama administration to get around such a ruling.

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The tea party and establishment wings of the House Republican caucus are already splitting over how to respond to President Barack Obama's promised executive actions on immigration reform, which could be issued as soon as next week.

The big question is: Should Republicans be willing to shut down the government to block Obama's unilateral moves on immigration?

The far right believes they have the 2014 election outcomes, and therefore popular sentiment, on their side. But leadership sounds more cautious about wading into another showdown with the president after last year's shutdown left the Republican brand tarnished.

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As lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week in a flurry of lame duck activity, one last Democrat has yet to lose her reelection campaign: Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. She's not going down without a fight, but Louisiana Democrats remain skeptical she can pull it off.

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