In it, but not of it. TPM DC

After a spree of favorable court rulings that softened or blocked Republican-passed voting restrictions, voting rights advocates are engaged in a new phase of trench warfare with a mere month left before November’s election and early voting in some places already underway. There was no time for civil rights groups to rest on their laurels after winning the high-profile legal challenges. In many states, such rulings were met with attempts to undermine or circumvent court orders meant to make it easier to vote.

“You take a step back and it’s really appalling,” said Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project who has been involved in many of the legal challenges to state voting restrictions.

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It's been the question on everyone's mind ever since we set eyes on Trump's 1995 tax return: How in the world did Trump suffer business losses of $916 million and live to tell the tale?

A new theory floating around among tax experts is complicated, but it offers a plausible scenario for how Trump may have been able to convert those huge operating losses into big, years-long breaks on his personal income taxes.

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FARMVILLE, VA – Donald Trump has called women pigs, branded Mexican immigrants rapists and attacked the "Mexican" heritage of a federal judge. Less than a week ago, he was up in the wee hours of the morning tweeting about a former Miss Universe's non-existent sex tape, but Trump's team has maintained that the Republican presidential candidate has good judgement.

You want proof?

After Tuesday's debate, they'll tell you to look no further than his VP pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

"It is about proving once again the strong judgment that Donald Trump has. He picked the perfect running mate in Governor Pence. Somebody who is determined, somebody who is measured, somebody who is experienced," said Trump surrogate and supporter Boris Epshteyn to reporters after the debate.

Pence managed to have a measured debate performance Tuesday night a far cry from the more reactionary show Trump gave just a week ago. While Pence failed to defend the top of the ticket throughout the debate and at some points he even seemed to depart from Trump's positions, he remained calm and collected, giving the Trump campaign an opportunity to use Pence as evidence that Trump actually is a good decision-maker.

When asked if there was anything that Trump could learn from Trump's debate performance, former Sen. Scott Brown put it succinctly "everything."

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Former President Bill Clinton critiqued on Monday an aspect of the Affordable Care Act that he called "the craziest thing in the world," while slamming Republicans for their vows to repeal President Obama's signature legislative accplishment.

Speaking at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Flint, Michigan, the former president criticized Donald Trump's stance, which Clinton described as, "Oh, just repeal it all. The market will take care of it," according to a video posted by CNN.

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As the revelations about the Donald Trump Foundation have piled up, an overarching theme has emerged: Trump’s foundation wasn’t operating the way well-meaning wealthy people usually run their philanthropic non-profits.

“He's a guy who is supposedly a billionaire but has run that foundation like a thousand-aire,” Jim Fishman, a professor at The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in New York, told TPM last week. “The scope of it is surprising. Normally you would have one or two things, but this is rotten all over the core.”

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At the Republican convention in Cleveland in July, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) spent one afternoon kayaking in the Cuyahoga River with wounded veterans instead of spinning out interviews in the media row at Quicken Loans Center.

There was good reason to keep his distance. At the time, Trump was down in the polls in Ohio, and Portman was just a few points ahead. That week, Trump gave an interview to the New York Times where he openly questioned the U.S. commitment to NATO. There was an unsuccessful floor fight to wrestle the nomination from Trump, and Trump's wife Melania had just plagiarized Michelle Obama's primetime speech convention speech as her own.

The chances were real for Portman – as they were for Republican senators up for re-election across the country– that their fate would be inextricably tied to a wild man billionaire who seemed to be spouting off against decades-old foreign policy agreements without much regard for the damage he could do to those outside of his own race. Even Republican pundits warned, there was no way senators were going to be able to survive if Trump was losing at the top of the ticket by more than five or six points.

Democrats appeared to be certain to take back the Senate. They began to look to expand their map into places like Arizona and Iowa, where Republican Sens. John McCain and Chuck Grassley had deep ties to their constituents that had made them nearly untouchable.

With just a little more than a month to go until the general election, however, Republican incumbents appear to be a better place than many predicted.

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Legislation that would allow 9/11 families to sue the Saudi government became the first veto override President Obama has faced in his presidency.

The House voted Wednesday afternoon 348 to 77 to override the president's veto. The Senate voted 97 to 1 to override earlier in the day.

The legislation was unanimous in Congress when it initially passed, but strong objections from the White House and Pentagon eventually revealed deep schisms within the Democratic Party and GOP as many members grappled with the choice between potentially changing the future of national sovereignty and defending victims of a horrific terrorist attack.

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