In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Weeks into Obamacare's disastrous rollout last fall, Democrats' worst nightmares were coming true. The politics were so dreadful that even liberal stalwarts like Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley were endorsing "fixes" to gut key elements of the law. One Democratic Senate aide expressed concern that that the law's failures could cause a Republican sweep in every open seat and every contested red state in the 2014 elections.

Nine months later, Obamacare has rebounded, and the politics have changed dramatically. Democrats' Senate majority remains in jeopardy, but Obamacare is no longer the silver bullet that Republicans once thought it was. It is gradually losing its power as a political weapon.

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If President Barack Obama takes unilateral steps to grant "amnesty" to people living in the U.S. illegally, the House of Representatives must impeach him, former Rep. Tom Tancredo told TPM in an interview.

"It's unconstitutional. He should be impeached if he tries it," Tancredo, a Colorado Republican and outspoken immigration hawk in the House from 1999 to 2009, said Wednesday evening by phone from his home in Denver.

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New research data provided exclusively to TPM offer the most striking evidence to date of how rare it is for police officers to be charged for homicides committed in the line of duty.

Philip Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, told TPM on Wednesday that his research showed there were 31 arrests of non-federal sworn law enforcement officers for a murder or non-negligent homicide committed with a firearm while on duty from 2005 to 2011. That would equal a little more than four per year. Another 10 arrests were made for negligent homicide with a firearm on duty in that seven-year time frame.

Over the same period, according to the FBI, the number of justifiable homicides committed by law enforcement officers with a firearm was 2,706 or about 385 per year.

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When Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) said the only person responsible for a potential impeachment of President Barack Obama would be the president himself, he lumped himself in with a group House Republicans that have all suggested support for the president's impeachment.

Top Republicans have tried to point the finger at Democrats saying accusations that Republicans want to impeach the president are just overblown and a tactic by Democrats to get their base in the lather. But such claims ignores that Republicans have voiced support for impeaching the president.

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The headlines were all too predictable when Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield announced in June that it would request an average 12.5 percent premium increase for its Connecticut market. "Now EVEN MORE States Report Double-Digit Premium Hikes," the conservative Daily Caller trumpeted.

But that wasn't the whole story. It never is with Obamacare premium news, though that hasn't stopped news outlets from blaring headlines like that one from the Daily Caller whenever an insurance company announces its proposed rates for next year. Skyrocketing premiums are one of the last anti-Obamacare talking points that conservatives have to hold onto.

But then on Monday, the conclusion of the Connecticut story came. State insurance regulators had rejected Anthem's proposed 12.5 percent premium hike. So after some revisions, the company would instead lower its premiums ever so slightly on average -- 0.1 percent -- in 2015, the Connecticut Mirror reported.

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If history is any guide, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9 is not likely to be charged -- much less convicted -- for the shooting.

Officer Darren Wilson left town in the days since he shot Michael Brown while multiple federal and local investigations are ongoing. The Brown family's attorneys have argued that the findings of their independent autopsy showed that Wilson should have already been arrested.

But he hasn't been -- and those familiar with the history of police-involved deaths say that a convergence of both U.S. law and cultural norms put the odds against it.

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Editor's note: In 2007, the private intelligence gathering firm Aegis, founded by a former British officer whose military service included quelling a rebellion in Papua New Guinea, found its $293 million security contract awarded in 2004 was up for renewal. The new contract would be worth $475 million and would include 1,000 security officers to protect the Army Corps of Engineers conducting infrastructure projects — the largest for private security in Iraq. The following excerpt is about that congressional debate.

The following is an excerpt from INVISIBLE SOLDIERS by Ann Hagedorn. Copyright © 2014 by Ann Hagedorn. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

In the spring of 2007, as the deadline for the contract renewal was drawing near, seven U.S. senators, all Democrats, had signed on as Aegis critics: Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Charles Schumer, Chris Dodd, Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, and Barack Obama. ..(..).. [T]he watchdogs of Congress and the Pentagon were beginning to claim that the probes, audits, studies, and reports were accomplishing little toward addressing the impact of the growing numbers of “mercenaries” working for America. No one was taking a stand, stressed Jeremy Scahill, a journalist who at the time was writing a book about Blackwater. Both Republicans and Democrats, with a few exceptions, were “selling out,” he wrote. Even shutting down the wars would not stop the PMSCs, he observed. “Until Congress reins in these massive corporate forces and the whopping federal funding that goes into their coffers, partially withdrawing U.S. troops may only set the stage for the increased use of private military companies (and their rent-a-guns) which stand to profit from any kind of privatized future ‘surge’ in Iraq. . . . It’s making them unstoppable, if they are not already.”

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Rick Perry's special prosecutor is going to have a hard time taking him down.

The Texas governor was indicted by a grand jury Friday on one count of abuse of power by intentionally misusing government property to harm someone, and one count of coercion of a public servant. He insists he's innocent and calls the indictment a politically-motivated "farce" that's likelier to occur in the "old Soviet Union" than the United States.

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