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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. Bernie Sanders is projected to win the Washington caucus Saturday as the Vermont socialist tries to catch up with rival Hillary Clinton in the delegate count. His victory was called by MSNBC and AP at about 6:30 p.m. EST.

The Sanders campaign poured a considerable effort in the state, where his platform was well-received by young liberals and he hosted a rally in Seattle Friday evening.

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Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus spoke to the Journal Sentinel Wednesday about the state of the 2016 race, where he was asked about those appalled by the some of the rhetoric whether it was "what was on Twitter last night" or at some of the debates.

"I believe that family members should be left out of the conversation," Priebus said, appearing to refer to the recent insults hurled at Donald Trump's and Ted Cruz's wives. "And I do think that overall some of these things are not helpful."

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The line Senate Republicans have drawn on refusing to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland continues to wiggle as a spokeswoman for GOPers on the Senate Judiciary Committee told Buzzfeed that Republicans "assume the administration will fill out the standard questionnaire submitted for judicial nominations."

Her statement points to what is typically the next step in the Supreme Court nomination process. However, the spokeswoman, Beth Levine, repeated GOP leadership's stance that “a majority of the Senate has made clear that the American people should have an opportunity to weigh in on this vacancy.”

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In in extensive interview with the New York Times posted Saturday, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump outlined his views on foreign policy and said he would be willing as an "absolute last step" to use a nuclear weapon first in an altercation with another country.

"[I]t’s the biggest problem the world has, nuclear capability," Trump said. "I think it’s the single biggest problem. When people talk global warming, I say the global warming that we have to be careful of is the nuclear global warming."

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A tiny bird made a surprise appearance on the podium of a Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle Friday evening, getting a standing ovation from the crowd and spawning a series of #BirdieSanders memes.

As Sen. Sanders (I-VT) touted his campaign platform for college access the crowd noticed a bird lingering near the stage. Sanders worked the bird's presence into his riff to the delight of the crowd, which erupted in cheers when the bird landed on his lectern.

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As Donald Trump lurches toward a delegate count that would win him the GOP nomination, frightened Republicans have floated yet another alternative plan in the case that he tops the GOP’s 2016 ticket: a third party or independent bid by a respectable conservative who would give voters frustrated by the choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton another option.

It’s an idea that has been touted by #NeverTrump-ers like neocon Bill Kristol and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) who want to stymie the damage they see Trump doing to their party but can’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton. A group of conservative activists and GOP operatives met in Washington last week to discuss the path forward if Republicans were to pursue that alternative. Trump, meanwhile, is warning such a scenario would “destroy the country.”

Experts in ballot access and independent presidential campaigns told TPM that, in a purely logistical sense, a third party or independent presidential bid is still feasible. But whether anti-Trump Republicans literally still have time to get a conservative alternative on the ballot almost misses the point. The effort, which will be costly and still needs big-bucks donors, comes with its own set of political risks that call into question the entire undertaking, including the very real possibility that it will make Hillary Clinton the next president.

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The male conservative justices on the Supreme Court had a brilliant idea for everyone fretting over a world where religious-minded employers could deny female employees contraceptive coverage.

Let’s just let those women buy contraceptive-only coverage through the ACA exchanges!, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Anthony Kennedy all proposed during Wednesday's Zubik v. Burwell hearing.

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The latest play by President Obama’s administration to pressure Republicans to consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland is a speech Vice President Joe Biden will give at Georgetown University Law School Thursday afternoon. Biden will use his own record as a member of Senate Judiciary Committee -- which typically leads the Senate's confirmation process -- to argue the Senate should hold hearings and a vote for Garland, according to excerpts of the speech provided to TPM.

“In my time as the ranking Democrat or as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I was responsible for eight nominees to the Supreme Court—some I supported, others I voted against,” Biden will say. “And in all that time, every nominee was greeted by committee members. Every nominee got a committee hearing. Every nominee got out of the committee to the Senate floor. And every nominee, including Justice Kennedy—in an election year— got an up or down vote by the Senate. Not much of the time. Not most of the time. Every single time.”

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Update: Health care policy experts explained to TPM why the options floated by the court's conservatives were unworkable. Read more here.

The Supreme Court hearing Wednesday on Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate presented the fourth challenge to the health care legislation since it was passed 2010, and thus the fourth opportunity for the justices to grapple with the thorny trade-offs of health care policy as they collide with abstract concepts of law.

Judging by the questions from conservatives on the court -- all men -- they’re still not fully aware of how every day people -- particularly women -- receive health care in the United States, or how health insurance actually works.

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