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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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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is the latest GOP presidential candidate to jump on 2016 frontrunner Ben Carson's theory that the pyramids were created by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain.

"I'’m really big into conspiracy theories, so I think they were probably built by the aliens as grain silos, don’t you think," Paul joked, when asked about Carson's idea on 1110AM WBT, as reported by Buzzfeed.

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The fallout continues for Benjamin Netanyahu's selection for his next diplomacy chief a conservative academic who has suggested that President Obama was anti-Semitic and that Secretary of State John Kerry was someone "whose mental age doesn't exceed 12."

Netanyahu has delayed his appointment of Ran Baratz, who he had selected for a role that would make him a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, the Huffington Post reported. The suspension comes after Baratz apologized for the remarks and for not telling Netanyahu about them. The prime minister has said he was unaware of the comments until they were brought to light after Baratz's appointment was announced Wednesday.

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Ben Carson is standing by his theory that the Egyptian pyramid theory -- that the pyramids were built by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain -- which has come under scrutiny since Buzzfeed surfaced a 1998 video of Carson referencing it.

"Some people believe in the Bible, like I do, and don't find that to be silly at all, and believe that God created the Earth and don't find that to be silly at all." Carson told reporters in Miami during a stop on his book tour. "The secular progressives try to ridicule it any time it comes up and they're welcome to do that."

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new pick for diplomacy chief is coming under fire for comments he made about President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in the recent past.

Ran Baratz, the conservative academic recently appointed to chief of public diplomacy, has suggested that Obama is anti-Semitic, posting on his Facebook earlier this year that Obama's reaction to Netanyahu's Iran speech "is how modern anti-Semitism looks like in the modern Western world," according to the New York Times.

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Ben Carson's campaign is launching a new ad featuring a Carson-themed rap song in a move to attract African-American votes, ABC News reported.

Carson himself doesn't rap in the 60-second radio spot, which will play for two weeks in Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Birmingham, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, and Little Rock, Arkansas. A rapper named Aspiring Mogul raps, "Vote and support Ben Carson for our next president and be awesome," over clips of Carson remarks about freedom and personal responsibility.

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Matt Bevin wouldn't be the first politician to over-promise and under-deliver.

But what the Obamacare-hating Bevin has promised to do as Kentucky's new Republican governor versus what he may actually be able to do offers new insight into how entrenched Obamacare already is in the health care economy.

Top health policy experts contacted by TPM the day after Bevin's victory weren't panicking or predicting a dramatic rollback of Obamacare in Kentucky. They were generally concerned about mischief Bevin could make at the margins, because any additional hassle faced by insurance customers can dampen participation. But experts watching closely said they were skeptical Bevin would be able to deliver a grave setback to the progress the state has made through its Obamacare programs.

“It is nearly politically impossible to take benefits from people -- even for Republicans,” Caroline Pearson, vice president of Avalere Health, an independent consulting firm and a top expert on health policy, told TPM. “I think that’s not likely to happen, even though that might sell well on the campaign trail.”

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GOP frontrunner Ben Carson, in a 1998 commencement address, floated his own personal theory that the pyramids in Egypt were built by Joseph -- the biblical patriarch known for his coat of many colors -- to store grain, Buzzfeed reported.

In the speech -- given at Andrews University, a school with ties to Carson's Seventh-day Adventist faith -- the neurosurgeon shot down claim that aliens had built the pyramids. But he also disagreed with the archaeological consensus that the pyramids were constructed as tombs for the pharaohs.

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With the viral video of a police officer violently arresting a black female student at high school in South Carolina reinvigorating the debate over school resource officers, new research bolsters critics' claims that school security can have a negative effect on students, particularly African Americans.

The new study by two academics in New York showed that the mere presence of African American students at a school makes it more likely the school will take on security measures, even when controlling for neighborhood crime and school misconduct.

The study also found, among other things, greater racial disparities in student suspensions and arrests in schools where there are cops present or other security measures are taken. Those arrest and suspensions are believed to contribute to the so-called "school-to-prison pipeline."

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who ran for president in 2008, joined the chorus of other conservatives wary of the demands some of the 2016 GOP contenders are floating for future debates.

"I think their complaints are legitimate, but come on, man up and move on," McCain said while in the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, according to Reuters. "I think it’s OK if the temperature isn’t exactly 67 degrees."

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Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) kicked off his first GOP leadership conference Tuesday by holding his firm line on advancing immigration reform while President Obama is in office.

Ryan was asked if he would consider moving forward with reform once a new president is elected.

"My positions are very well known and unchanged on this issue," Ryan said, referring to his previous openness to creating a pathway citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

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