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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has brought on the wrath of New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats alike by suggesting that the Granite State, along with Iowa, does not deserve its early primary state status considering its lack of diversity.

And he doesn't care if those remarks have early staters in a tizzy.

Unlike so many politicians who pander to New Hampshire and Iowa, Reid -- who is not running for reelection to his Senate seat -- dug in and did not yield on his comments.

Reid "apologized" Tuesday afternoon, telling reporters in Las Vegas, "New Hampshire is heavily populated and loaded with a lot of minorities, my apologies."

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Irony alert.

In a memo published over the weekend, the Republican National Committee whacked Dem frontrunner Hillary Clinton over her vote in favor of authorizing President George W. Bush to take military action in Iraq.

"Throughout her career, Clinton has always been wrong on Iraq," the memo says in its "TOP TAKEAWAYS."

"Clinton voted to authorize the war in Iraq, which was devastating to her 2008 presidential bid," the memo notes, with no sense of irony about the signature foreign policy failure of the Buh years.

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Facing pressure from lawmakers on the far right who blame the Senate filibuster on their inability to get to advance their agenda, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is forming a new task force to explore changing the filibuster and other Senate procedural rules, The Hill reported Monday.

The committee will be made up of Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Thom Tillis (R-NC), according to The Hill.

Up until this point, McConnell has appeared reluctant to weaken filibuster rules, even as Democrats have effectively blocked the Republican-controlled Senate from voting on key bills through procedural maneuvers.

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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is reaching out to legislators with a plan to reopen the 31 driver's license offices recently closed in the state, government sources told AL.com. The move comes after Alabama came under fire for the closures. The state requires a photo ID to vote and many of the offices being shuttered lie in Alabama's "Black Belt," where poor and minority voters are already less likely to have access to the required IDs.

Officials say that Bentley is considering a plan to use a bridge loan from the governor's emergency fund to staff the offices. Bentley asked lawmakers from the rural areas where the DMVs are being close for feedback on the idea, but hasn't fully committed to it yet, according to AL.com. The governor's office did not comment on the AL.com story.

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The epic GOP meltdown of 2015 should not come as a surprise.

The modern Republican Party had been careening toward this kind of wheels-off-the-track moment for a long time. Its knee-jerk rejectionism, high-stakes brinksmanship, strict demands for ideological purity, and willingness to take hostages had been on display in one form or another in a series of political clashes since the 1990s.

But you knew that already if you read the 2012 book "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism." While not predicting the current GOP leadership crisis, it sounded the alarm that the party was on a dangerous course and taking the country with it. The book argued that responsible governance had been severely crippled by the Republican Party's push to the right and its adoption of take-no-prisoners politicking.

TPM asked one of the co-authors if he was feeling any vindication.

“Damn straight I do,” Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said in an interview with TPM late last week. “But I would have rather been proven wrong -- honest to God -- because we're talking about the fucking country that is at stake here.”

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Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), a chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said he intended to run for speaker of the House in an interview with the Texas Tribune Monday. He said he would launch his campaign for the gavel as long as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- who has been asked to run by many Republicans -- continues to stay out of the race.

“I don’t want to share private conversations, but he was still a 'no' as of yesterday when I spoke to him,” Flores said.

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After a relatively staid speech about some of Donald Trump’s favorite subjects -- dissing President Obama, boycotting Oreos and building ice rinks -- the GOP frontrunner’s appearance at the centrist No Labels convention went predictably off the rails when the floor was opened up for questions.

At “Problem Solvers” event in New Hampshire Monday sponsored by the group No Labels -- which emphasizes compromise and bipartisan solutions -- attendees grilled Trump about the Tea Party and on whether he was a friend to women. Trump also asked a questioner wearing a Harvard shirt who asked about South Korea if he was South Korean. The young man was born in Texas.

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