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In an odd role reversal, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough strongly denounced Texas Gov. Rick Perry, this morning, over a Washington Post report about a hunting camp that once (and colloquially, still does) bore the offensive name “N*ggerhead,” while liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski defended Perry and mocked the news value of the story. Scarborough called the incident “disqualifying,” while Brzezinski’s faint defense involved asking whether Perry isn’t “running around screaming (the n-word) wildly at people?”

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Last week, ThinkProgress noted that GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann are all courting Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in the hopes of securing an endorsement. As “America’s toughest sheriff,” Arpaio is also one of the country’s most radical, especially when it comes to undocumented immigrant, whom the sheriff sweeps up by the dozen and forces to wear pink underwear and live in tents.

The lawman is also a birther, it seems, and one willing to use official resources to pursue the bogus conspiracy theory.

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I’m Warren Buffett’s Secretary

Warren Buffett doesn’t think his secretary should pay a higher percentage of income in taxes than he does, and most Americans agree. Tell Congress it’s time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share!

Tea party Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) used himself as an example Monday while arguing against President Barack Obama’s plan to make sure millionaires pay about the same tax rate as the people that work for them.

“In my own case, I own LLCs,” Fleming told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “The income flows to my personal tax return and whatever is left over after taxes are paid, I feed my family on the one hand and on the other hand, I reinvest in my business.”

“With all due respect, The Wall Street Journal estimated that your businesses, which I believe are Subway sandwich shops and UPS stores — very successful — brought you last year, over $6 million,” Jansing noted.

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Robert Reich Debunks 6 Big GOP Lies About The Economy

Been There… Done That!

Republicans give Rick Perry frontrunner status in their party’s presidential primary race even as warning signs flash over his ability to win support in the general election.

The Texas governor is the preferred choice of 26 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 9-12. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney places second at 22 percent, while all of the other Republican candidates get less than 10 percent.

In a hypothetical general election matchup, Perry trails President Barack Obama among the poll’s entire sample, 49 percent to 40 percent, about twice the deficit for Romney. Perry also confronts negative reactions from Americans disinclined to vote for a candidate expressing the skepticism he has about the viability of Social Security, evolution science and whether humans contribute to climate change.

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The ever-shrinking Washington Post has a little piece of essential journalism about some inane “reporters versus a bunch of slobs” slapfight happening, where else, on Twitter, over a White House photo of President Obama drinking a beer with a young Marine who received the Medal of Honor. Here is your BREAKING NEWS timeline of this tragic story: several White House journalists tweeted the photo because that’s one of those “easy ones,” then a number of  Twitter lunatics spent actual moments of their brief, earthly lives criticizing the photo (THE MARINES ARE OWNED BY JESUS AND THE REPUBLICANS, OBAMA, NICE TRY), the reporters whined back about Twitter being full of obnoxious idiots, and then, this the only terrible part, the Washington Post declared this a newsworthy “debate” in a headline about this banal nonsense.

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The board of directors for News Corporation knew that two of its U.S. subsidiaries were involved in illegal hacking efforts against competitors but did nothing to stop it, according to a lawsuit filed this week by shareholders.

The allegations point to News America Marketing and NDS Group, two News Corp. companies, as carrying out hacking operations against competitors. News Corp. attorneys admitted in court documents from 2009 that computers at News America Marketing were used to hack into the secure website of U.S.-based Floorgraphics, Inc. some 11 times.

Floorgraphics claimed in a lawsuit that News America Marketing stole business from the company by hacking into their website from October 2003 to January 2004. The company agreed to dismiss the case after receiving a $29.5 million payment from News America Marketing.

A lawyer for News America Marketing admitted during the trial that someone hacked into Floorgraphics’ website “through a firewall at News America Marketing headquarters,” but that the company did not know who did it.

"For more than a decade, News Corp subsidiaries have engaged in highly improper practices that have subjected News Corp to great financial and reputational damage," the shareholder complaint alleges, adding that the board of directors had "not lifted a finger" to conduct oversight of these activities.

They further suggested that the board’s inaction on these matters permitted “a historic pattern of corruption” within the company, calling the behavior “pervasive.”

The suit also points to hacking during 2001 by NDS Group, News Corp.’s digital television smart card subsidiary, which was accused by French media giant Vivendi of hacking into subsidiary EchoStar’s smart cards and extracting their proprietary software. That software later wound up on the Internet, then on bootlegged smart cards being sold on the streets, giving media pirates free access to pay television channels.

Vivendi claimed NDS’s actions had cost them up to $1 billion in damages.

Shareholders said the allegation was settled in 2002, after News Corp. purchased Vivendi’s Italian television platform Telepiu for €920 million — but only after a jury described NDS’s actions as “illegal.”

The U.S. Department of Justice said it was investigating whether News Corp. employees targeted the families of 9/11 victims in its phone hacking schemes, which have embroiled the company in scandal since July.

So far, 16 employees of News International, the company’s British media arm, have been arrested in relation to an investigation by U.K. authorities.

The shareholder lawsuit, filed in a Delaware court, is a revision of a similar suit (PDF) shareholders filed in June. News Corp. officials have not commented on the pending litigation.

The audience Monday night’s CNN Tea Party Express Republican primary debate was eager to see the death of a hypothetical man who was in a coma and also did not have health care insurance.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer posed this question to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul: “A healthy young, 30-year-old man has a good job, makes a good living but decides, ‘You know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month on health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it.’ But something terrible happens, all the sudden he needs it. What’s going to happen if he goes into a coma? Who pays for that?”

“What he should do is whatever he wants to do,” Paul replied. “That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare to take care of everybody…”

“Are you saying society should just let him die?” Blitzer asked.

The audience responded with shouts of “Yes!”

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Mugshots of the Faces the Feds Say Are Part Of The ‘Hactivist’ Group

Federal authorities in July arrested 16 alleged ‘hackivists’ they said were involved with the group Anonymous. Most of the defendants were accused of launching an attack on PayPal for disabling Wikileaks’ account. Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, TPM has exclusively obtained their mugshots.

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