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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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Americans view the GOP less favorably now than they did at the beginning of the year, when Republicans took control of both houses of Congress.

A new Pew poll finds that favorability among Americans for Republicans is at 32 percent - which is 9 percentage points less than in January - while 60 percent of the survey-takers said they viewed the GOP unfavorably now. Perceptions of Democrats, meanwhile, have remained split.

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) can at least count on Republicans in the state House of Representatives, where they are the minority party, to back him in a pending court battle over an apparently botched veto attempt. But GOP state representatives will have to dig into their pockets to cover the legal costs.

House Republicans are using private funding to file briefs in LePage's favor as the state Supreme Court decides whether the governor correctly vetoed dozens of bills, The Bangor Daily News reported. Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves and Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau denied House Minority Leader Ken Fredette's request to use public money to underwrite the associated legal costs.

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The phase-out brigade is back! But now instead of George W. Bush wanting to phase out Social Security, it's Jeb Bush wanting to phase out Medicare.

The former Florida governor opined Wednesday on the future of Medicare, a program he said "we need to figure out a way to phase out."

As MSNBC reported, the GOP 2016er was speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in New Hampshire, where he brought up a TV ad in which a Paul Ryan-look-a-like "was pushing an elderly person off the cliff in a wheelchair." The ad was knocking Ryan's Medicare-related budget proposals.

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A newly-formed politically group seeks to turn top GOP 2016 candidate Donald Trump's famous phrase against him.

A Cleveland-based political action committee branding itself the Let's Fire TRUMP PAC registered with the Federal Election Commission this week, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.

Since outside PACs aren't allowed to use candidates' names in their titles, "TRUMP" actually stands for Terrible Radicals Undermining Middle Class People, The Hill noted.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will no longer be able to charge state taxpayers for travels related to his 2016 campaign if Democratic state legislators have their way.

NJ.com reports that a state senate committee is weighing Thursday legislation that would force Christie to pay back the travel expenses he charged the state for political activities that were "not directly related to the Governor's regular and official duties as Governor."

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It’s been nearly a month since the Supreme Court issued a string of decisions that roiled conservatives’ faith in Chief Justice John Roberts' court. But Republicans are not backing down from their push to drastically alter the judicial branch.

Conservatives had already been looking into ways to undermine the Supreme Court’s authority ahead of its decision to legalize same-sex marriage. But when that decision, along with one upholding a provision in Obamacare, came down in late June, their frustrations reached a fever pitch.

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Pope Francis' popularity among American conservatives has plummeted since early 2014, a new Gallup poll finds. The dramatic drop among conservatives mirrors a broader, but-far-less-steep drop in the pope's popularity among all Americans.

The pope's favorability rating among conservatives shrunk from 72 percent in February 2014 to 45 percent now, Gallup found in its poll released Wednesday. Moderates and liberals also cooled somewhat with Francis, but a majority in both groups still view him positively. His favorability among moderates decreased from from 79 to 71 percent, and among liberals from 82 to 68 percent.

Overall, Francis has an favorability rating of 59 percent, down from 76 percent the February 2014 survey. "The pontiff's rating is similar to the 58% he received from Americans in April 2013, soon after he was elected pope," Gallup reported.

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Backpage.com is suing the sheriff in Chicago over his successful campaign to urge credit card companies to cut ties with the classified ads company over accusations that its sex ads facilitate human trafficking.

Backpage filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Cook County's Thomas Dart, sheriff of the second largest county in the country, was censoring the company and its customers’ right to free speech by pushing for Visa and Mastercard to end their relationships with Backpage. The two credit card companies announced earlier this summer they would stop processing payments to the company due to the concerns raised by letters Dart sent their CEOs.

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According to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the court's recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage laid the legal groundwork for a libertarian justice to eliminate minimum wage laws, or a socialist justice to say that there is a right to an annual income.

In a taped conversation with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Alito decried the way he believed the marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, defined the definition of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution's 14th Amendment to be "the freedom to define your understanding of the meaning of life."

"There’s no limit," Alito said, arguing that the Rehnquist court had tried limit such legal definitions of liberty to be "deeply rooted in the traditions of the country."

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The Center for Medical Progress, a group with ties to the anti-abortion movement, released a second video that it says shows that Planned Parenthood affiliates are profiting off providing researchers with fetal tissue from abortions.

The edited video, posted Tuesday morning, appears to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing compensation for providing specimens with two actors posing as tissue buyers. At one point, one of the actors appears to ask the official, whom the group identified as Dr. Mary Gatter, a member of Planned Parenthood's national board who has also overseen affiliates in California, what she expects to be paid for intact tissue specimens.

"Well, why don't you start by telling me what you are used to paying," Gatter appears to say, later adding, "Well, you know in negotiations the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?"

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