TPM News

Here we go again. For the third time since 2011, Ohio’s legislature is debating a heartbeat ban – a blatantly unconstitutional ban on abortion starting as soon as an embryonic heartbeat can be detected, often at four weeks past fertilization or sooner. In 2011, the bill passed the house but never made it up in the senate for a vote, not even when lawmakers used their post-election lame duck session to try to force it back onto the floor, figuring with no one’s reelection campaigns jeopardized in the process the ban was sure to pass. It popped up in 2013 with a new sponsor and a room full of Duggars (of “19 Kids and Counting” fame) promoting it, but it failed, too.

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A battle is heating up between two top Republicans over the coveted chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee, carrying implications for the ability of the new GOP Congress to govern as well as the emerging clash over immigration.

The turf war pits Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the committee's ranking member, against Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), a longtime committee member who asserts seniority over his Alabama colleague and is now seeking to reclaim it.

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One of the most important elements of a Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential candidacy might be completely out of her hands.

Two of the favored rhetorical questions around her presumed bid are: How much will she distance herself from President Barack Obama? And, relatedly, will she be able to capture the Obama coalition that propelled the President to victory twice, but hasn't shown up in the midterm elections?

They are of course linked: If Obama is unpopular, a Clinton campaign will be tempted to present a sharp contrast. At the same time, the President will likely remain popular with the core Democratic base that she needs to harness. But the record tells us that, however the Obama presidency is faring like in its final months, it's going to influence his aspiring successor's White House ambitions.

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) got into a heated argument about race and crime with Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson during a discussion on Ferguson, Mo.

"But the fact is, I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We're talking about the exception here," Giuliani said on NBC's "Meet the Press" while discussing whether police forces reflect the demographics of the communities they serve.

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The incoming elected Speaker of the Nevada Assembly Ira Hansen (R) said on Sunday that he would resign from his leadership position following a controversy surrounding columns he wrote about race, gender and other topics.

"For the greater good of the State of Nevada and the cause I support it is necessary for me to withdraw as Speaker Designee," Hansen said in a statement obtained by Nevada reporter Jon Ralston. "The tens of thousands of people who both read my columns and listened to my radio shows through two decades in the media know this has been a carefully orchestrated attack to remove a conservative Republican from a major leadership role in State government. The deliberate character assassination and the politics of personal destruction have totally distorted my views and record."

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's been called the letter that launched a literary genre — 16,000 amphetamine-fueled, stream-of-consciousness words written by Neal Cassady to his friend Jack Kerouac in 1950.

Upon reading them, Kerouac scrapped an early draft of "On The Road" and, during a three-week writing binge, revised his novel into a style similar to Cassady's, one that would become known as Beat literature.

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — In the still-unfolding Louisiana Senate race, when Republican Bill Cassidy wants to hurt Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's standing, he suggests that a vote for her is a vote for unpopular President Barack Obama.

Democrats have their supposed bad guy too: When they want to hurt Cassidy, they link him to Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.

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President Obama expressed his condolences to the family of Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C., who passed away Sunday.

The president said he was sad to hear that Barry had died and honored the former mayor for his commitment to civil rights and the poor.

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