In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party panned a call from his counterpart in Missouri to appoint a committee to investigate "racially divisive ads" targeting Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) in the primary runoff election against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.

Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef (pictured) called the idea a "publicity stunt."

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The millions of dollars being spent in televisions ads that criticize Obamacare might have actually backfired and led to increased enrollment under the health care reform law, according to a study published Wednesday by the Brookings Institution.

Brookings fellow Niam Yaraghi observed "a positive association between the anti-ACA spending and ACA enrollment." Spending on negative Obamacare ads has outpaced spending on positive ads 15 to 1, according to media research. In Senate races where Democrats are running for re-election, which have been the major targets for anti-Obamacare ads, Yaraghi detected a spike in enrollment.

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When Supreme Court justices suggested in March that certain forms of birth control were abortion-inducing, nobody stood up to point out that the claim by Hobby Lobby lacked support within the medical community.

So it came as little surprise that the 5-4 ruling against the Obamacare contraception mandate ignored the scientific research about whether those contraceptives actually cause abortion. The religious owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood believed it, and that was enough.

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Suddenly it's a possibility that experts are contemplating: marriage equality could be the law of the land all across the United States within one year.

On Wednesday, Utah asked the Supreme Court to resolve its dispute with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals which two weeks ago became the first U.S. circuit court to declare that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

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Niger Innis, the son of a civil rights activist with a long and contentious career, has been tapped as executive director of an organization that purports to be the largest tea party group in the United States.

TheTeaParty.net, which boasts of having 2.5 million members, announced on Tuesday Innis's selection as executive director. He failed last month in his bid to secure the GOP nomination in a congressional race in Nevada. Innis, who also serves as the Congress of Racial Equality's national spokesman, previously worked as a chief strategist for the tea party group.

"Liberals and GOP political elites alike have simultaneously assailed the tea party movement as racist, radical, and now irrelevant," Innis said in a statement. "We owe it to every American who identifies as a tea party supporter ... to bring the voice of the grassroots to Washington and stand up against crony capitalism and self-serving insiders of all stripes."

Innis, 46, like his father, Roy, 80, chairman of CORE, has a flair for provocative rhetoric. He once accused the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People of "racial terror." He also defended Nevada rancher and one-time conservative hero Cliven Bundy this spring after the rancher's racially charged remarks were publicized.

"They will try to distract, with the firestorm that Cliven started by using the r-word, the racism word," Innis said in May. "I can only tell you my experience with the Bundys. Having eaten with them and broken bread with them and I don’t consider Cliven or his wonderful family racist at all. Period, end of story."

With comments like that, Niger Innis has been following in the footsteps of his father, the long-time chairman of CORE, whose tenure there attracted significant controversy.

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Senior Republican senators are throwing their support behind House Speaker John Boehner's decision to sue President Barack Obama for allegedly failing to faithfully execute the law.

TPM put the question to numerous senators in the Capitol on Tuesday, and several of them suggested the House sue over the president's unilateral changes to Obamacare deadlines before and after the law's botched rollout.

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Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), one of the more vulnerable Democrats in this fall's midterm elections, was unusually harsh last week when he criticized his fellow Democrat, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), for scrutinizing the federal contracts of Alaska Native Corporations despite his "repeated attempts to reason with her."

It was an uncharacteristically abrasive tone for Begich to strike with another Democrat. But in the context of his re-election race, it makes more sense. His campaign's message has focused on Alaskan issues -- like energy and fishing policy -- and battling another Democrat is never a bad look for a Democrat in a otherwise red state.

Now a follow-up letter sent by Begich on Tuesday and the accompanying statement from McCaskill suggests that McCaskill, while legitimately pursuing an issue that she's studied for six years, is also content to let Begich score a few political points at home.

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Updated: July 8, 2014, 3:00 PM

Tea Party groups who seemed to grudgingly concede State Sen. Chris McDaniel's (R) loss in a a close runoff election to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate are now sending out fundraising emails to rally their members to contribute to McDaniel's legal challenge to the results.

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