TPM News

A high-ranking Justice Department official was "stunned" when he learned in 2010 that agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed weapons to "walk" across the Mexican border during the Bush administration, according to recently disclosed documents.

Documents show that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, a career federal prosecutor in a leadership position within the Obama DOJ's Criminal Division, and other officials worked to keep the attention of the press away from the Bush-era "gun walking" tactics long before the problems with Operation Fast and Furious went public.

"Been thinking more about 'Wide Receiver I'," Weinstein wrote in an email on April 12, 2010. "ATF HQ [headquarters] should/will be embarrassed that they let this many guys walk -- I'm stunned, based on what we've had to do to make sure not even a single operable weapon walked in [undercover] operations I've been involved in planning -- and there will be press about that."

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Herman Cain told FOX News' Greta Van Susteren on Monday night that any and all sexual harassment claims, past and future, were "baseless" and "not credible."

Cain told the FOX host that he believed the claims were coming out now "because I'm doing so well in this Republican presidential campaign."

"I'm in the top tier," he said, adding that "a lot of people have a problem with the fact that I'm doing so well and I'm so likable."

The awkward half-hour interview capped a long day of public appearances and shifting explanations over a report in Politico that the National Restaurant Association reached financial settlements with two women who claimed Cain had sexually harassed them.

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From at least April to September, hackers embarked on a widespread international industrial espionage campaign against some 48 companies in over 20 countries, though most of the attacks concerned chemical companies and affected computers in the U.S., according to a report detailing the offensive released by security firm Symantec on Monday. (H/T: The Register.)

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Someone in the Huntsman campaign is a big fan of the split-screen attack video.

On Friday, a video released by the campaign played clips of Gov. Mitt Romney alternately confirming and denying the reality of climate change. The images were split with the comical image of a flipping toy monkey.

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Updated 11:18 am ET, Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One of the advantages of being a Mac user (full disclosure, this was post was written on a Mac) is that the platform is supposedly safer than Windows from the malware that abounds around the Web.

But now, just in time for Halloween, cybersecurity blogs are reporting that a strange and sophisticated new Mac OS X malware has sprung up masquerading as a pirated image editing program called GraphicConverter version 7.4, available for download on torrent websites.

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A top Justice Department official said Monday that he regretted not informing others in DOJ's leadership about a Bush-era operation that used the flawed "gun walking" tactic like the technique used in Operation Fast and Furious.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who heads DOJ's Criminal Division, said in a statement released by DOJ that he first learned of "unacceptable tactics used in Operation Wide Receiver" in April 2010. He instructed one of his deputies to schedule a meeting with ATF's Acting Director Ken Melson to bring the issue to his attention.

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Updated at 5:19 PM Herman Cain says he had no idea the National Restaurant Association ever reached a financial settlement with two women who accused him of inappropriate behavior because he delegated the investigation to the company's general counsel and top HR official. But that story is starting to show cracks.

According to Debra S. Katz, an attorney at Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP who specializes in sexual harassment cases, the notion that Cain could insulate himself from any knowledge of the investigation and its results is hard to believe.

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The Justice Department filed suit on Monday to block South Carolina's immigration law, saying that the law interfered with the federal government's supremacy on the issue of immigration.

South Carolina's statute, enacted on June 27, criminalizes the presence of an illegal immigrant in the state. DOJ's complaint says that the Constitution and federal law "do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country." South Carolina's law, DOJ officials claimed, "clearly conflicts with the policies and priorities adopted by the federal government and therefore cannot stand."

"Pushing undocumented immigrants out of one state to another is simply not a solution to our immigration problems," DOJ Assistant Attorney General Tony West said in a press call on Monday. "We believe South Carolina's law... crosses the constitutional line."

West mentioned that DOJ has had discussions with the Attorney Generals of Utah, Georgia and Indiana about their immigration laws.

"The United States will decide whether and when the bring lawsuits challenging particular state laws," West said.

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Poor Rick Santorum. As if it wasn't hard enough on him to see his name turned into a filthy internet joke, he's failed to make a splash in the GOP debates. All this from a former Senator who (as he likes to remind us) once won Pennsylvania by six points! True, he once lost it by eighteen points too, but why dwell on that?

In today's episode, Benjy Sarlin wonders why - despite being well-versed in the art of victimhood - Santorum just can't seem to make himself stick.

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Herman Cain may be dealing with the toughest news cycle of his presidential campaign, but he doesn't have to face it alone. Conservative pundits across the country are quickly rallying to his defense.

Rush Limbaugh led the charge on Monday morning, saying that media was using "the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative."

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