Tierney_profile2019

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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The takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon by armed anti-government extremists Saturday was initially a step too far for some other hard-right patriot groups. But with the occupiers, led by Ammon Bundy, commanding national media attention for much of the week, their once-skeptical fellow travelers have started to come around.

It's a subtle shift, but in interviews this week some of the most strident extremist critics of the move on the refuge have conceded that the publicity the action has produced is helpful to their cause. And some of the critics have even gotten in on the action, claiming to act as back channels for communications among the armed occupiers, law enforcement, and the local community.

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A Tennessee judge who said the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage prevented him from divorcing a local couple has been reprimanded by a state judicial conduct board, the ABA Journal reported.

Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct issued a public reprimand of an order written by Hamilton County Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton last August that suggested that the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges meant the state judge no longer had the ability to grant a divorce to a local couple seeking it at the time.

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Update: The House passed the legislation to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood by a 240-181 vote Wednesday evening.

After half-a-decade worth of votes to repeal Obamacare, congressional Republicans will finally send a bill that guts the President's signature health care reform to the Oval Office, where President Obama is sure to veto it.

The House is set to vote Wednesday on an Obamacare repeal bill that will take apart some key aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as the individual and employer mandates. The House passed a similar bill last year. But once it reached the Senate, Republicans expanded its parameters -- including amendments that unravel the Medicaid expansion and target the marketplace subsidies -- as conservatives said the initial legislation didn't go far enough. Having passed narrowly in the Senate, it is now back in the House, where it kicks off Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-WI) 2016 agenda "about ideas and not about distractions."

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Michael Schroeder -- the owner of some small papers in New England who was involved in the controversial purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal by the Adelson family -- printed an apology to the readers of The Bristol Press amid accusations that a story printed in his papers last month was plagiarized under a pseudonym. The apology appeared in Tuesday's print addition of the Bristol Press and later was posted to New York University Journalism Professor Jay Rosen's blog.

In it, Schroeder said that the "level of reporting in this story did not meet our standards" and that the story should have clarified his relationship to the "buyer of the Las Vegas Review Journal," who had connections to the story.

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An editor brought in by the management of the Las Vegas Review-Journal told the staff to avoid looking like it's "out to get our owner" Sheldon Adelson, CNN and Huffington Post reported based on staff accounts.

In a statement to Huffington Post Monday, Providence Journal executive editor David Butler rebutted claims that he had told staff to let up on their coverage of Adelson but he said he told staff that "there is a balance for all coverage and we ought never want to look churlish."

He also told CNN that "some folks are still nearly hysterical" and that the "staff had a lot of pent-up venting to do and this was their chance."

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The manager whose name was on the shell company through which Sheldon Adelson's family purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal has been removed from any role with the Nevada paper, the Review-Journal reported. He also no longer has a role with the Adelson shell company, the paper reported.

Mark Fabiani -- who is doing public relations for the Review-Journal in light of the controversy over the Adelsons' initially secret purchase of the paper -- confirmed to the Review-Journal that Michael Schroeder "will have no role whatsoever with regard to the paper." A Review-Journal staffer also Tweeted during a Monday with an editor that staffers had been told that Schroeder wouldn't be involved.

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The 2014 showdown at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada has found its 2016 sequel, with two of his sons among the anti-government extremists taking over a federal wildlife center in Oregon to protest the government’s public land policies.

The situation presents a complicated challenge for authorities seeking to end the standoff peacefully but armed militia members itching for a confrontation. But some observers caution that once it is settled -- however it is ultimately resolved -- those involved must face consequences, unlike Bundy himself, who was never sanctioned for his armed showdown with the government and still owes some $1 million in disputed public grazing fees that triggered the initial incident.

“These folks are militant extremists and they need to be treated as such,” Jessica Goad -- advocacy director at the Center for Western Priorities, a conservation group which has monitored the rise of anti-government groups -- told TPM. “They need to be brought to justice in order for this thing not to keep occurring in the future.”

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In a brief press conference Monday, David Ward, the sheriff of Harney County, Oregon -- where anti-extremists have taken over a federal wildlife center to protest government land polices -- told the occupiers to go home to their families.

"You said you were here to help the citizens of Harney County, that help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed occupation," Ward said. "It is time for you to leave our community. Go home to your families and end this peacefully."

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Wisconsin Republicans are pushing state legislation that would block local governments from issuing voter ID cards -- which are required at the ballot box under a 2011 law -- even though the locals IDs currently being considered in a Milwaukee program aren't meant to be used for voting.

Republican state Sen. Van Wanggaard and state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo are floating a proposal that would ​bar towns and counties from issuing photo ID cards to the public,​ according to the Journal Sentinel, ​while placing restrictions on the IDs issued by cities and villages.​ It also would require that any ID issued by local governments to state clearly that it does not meet the state's voter ID requirements.

The memo being circulated claims that the legislation would prevent fraud, and that local IDs would be "potentially misleading, confusing, and unfair to the card's recipient" who would believe he or she qualified for public benefits.

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It looks like Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) will be sticking to the promises about Medicaid he made towards the end of his gubernatorial campaign, instead of those made at its beginning. The Tea Party candidate laid out Wednesday his plans to "transform" -- rather than entirely dismantle -- the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

"We are going to transform the way Medicaid is delivered in Kentucky and this transformation I think will be a model to the nation," Bevin said at a press conference Wednesday.

By continuing Medicaid's expansion under Obamacare, Bevin will join a long line of GOP governors who have railed against the program but eventually come around to supporting it. The pattern is well-established and often includes negotiating with the federal government a special carve-out for a state-specific version of the program, a way to save political face by not seeming to have caved and become an Obamacare supporter.

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