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The FBI had a weak factual basis for opening and extending some investigations of U.S. activist groups and put individuals affiliated with Greenpeace USA on the terrorist watch list improperly, a report by the Justice Department's Inspector General released Monday found.

In addition, FBI Director Robert Mueller was also found to have unintentionally provided inaccurate testimony to Congress because he was given bad information. FBI personnel told him that certain persons of interest in international terrorism matters were expected to be present at an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh in 2002, according to the report.

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According to the Las Vegas hotel that was supposed to play host to the second national tea party convention, the much-hyped event has been canceled. Organizers of the convention haven't returned my calls, but grassroots tea party leaders I talked to today said that they haven't heard a word about the convention in awhile -- and Nevada leaders told me that if the event is canceled, good riddance.

If the convention really is off, the loss of the event will stand as the third high-profile tea party organizing fail in a month. With the election rapidly approaching, the failure of the LibertyXPO in DC this month, the second DC 9/12 rally and now the second convention suggest those that hope to leverage the movement for big, nationally-covered productions may have tapped out the tea party grassroots.

The evidence is certainly mounting that the convention -- which was moved from its original July date to October 14 earlier this year -- is officially not happening. First, Tea Party Nation, the controversial group that many tea partiers reject as a fake, has removed all reference to the event from its website (see a cached version of the page here to get a look at the convention's former prominence on the site.) When I called the Mirage, the hotel where the convention was supposed to take place, the sales office told me the event was canceled last week.

Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation spokesperson and the organizer of the event, didn't answer his cell phone when I called. Mark Scuda, the Memphis, Tennessee tea party leader who helped organize the first convention in Nashville, told me he's not involved in organizing the Vegas convention and didn't know if it was happening or not.

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Same-sex marriage opponents have filed their first briefs in their appeal of a federal judge's ruling this year that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in August that Proposition 8, which amended the California state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, violates the U.S. Constitution.

Supporters of Prop 8 immediately appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which temporarily stayed Walker's ruling, meaning that gay Californians still can't get married.

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The new Rasmussen poll of the West Virginia special Senate election shows Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin maintaing his lead against Republican businessman John Raese, in the race to succeed the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd.

The numbers: Manchin 50%, Raese 43%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from two weeks ago, Manchin led by a slightly narrower 50%-45% margin. The TPM Poll Average gives Manchin a lead of 49.8%-41.3%.

Manchin's candidacy gives Democrats their strongest possible candidate, with him as a popular governor in a state that has been trending to the Republicans. His challenge, of course, is for his own personal brand as a West Virginia Democrat to succeed against an anti-Obama tide -- and so far, at least, it's working out for him.

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Republicans are underscoring Democratic disunity on tax cuts by challenging them to hold an up or down vote on preserving all of the Bush tax cuts.

The National Republican Congressional Committee today rolled out a new website called "Democrat Tax Tracker." It contains a spreadsheet listing the names of dozens of House Democrats in marginal districts, paired with their recent voting records on the estate tax and President Obama's 2009 budget, and a big question mark: whether the member has called for an up or down vote on extending the 2001 Bush tax cuts.

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The new survey of the California Senate race from Public Policy Polling (D) shows Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer holding on to her lead against Republican former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

The numbers Boxer 50%, Fiorina 42%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.9%. margin of error. In the previous PPP survey from late July, which used a more permissive registered-voter filter, Boxer led Fiorina by 49%-40%. The TPM Poll Average gives Boxer a lead of 47.2%-44.8%.

"The simple reality is that for a Republican to win in California they have to be appealing to Democrats and for now Carly Fiorina has not passed the test," writes PPP president Dean Debnam. "Barbara Boxer has her party's voters locked up and for a Democrat in California that's enough to win."

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On the heels of a Times Leader poll showing Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee Joe Sestak trailing Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey by four, a new survey from Municipoll shows Sestak down by nine.

The latest survey, conducted on behalf of PoliticsPA, finds Toomey ahead 45%-36%. Since this is the first time Municipoll has surveyed the contest, there are no results for direct comparison. The latest survey is more in line with other recent polls of the race, including Rasmussen's September 13 poll that had the Republican up eight, 49%-41% and a September 11 Fox poll that showed Sestak down six-points, 47%-41%.

The latest survey's margin of error is ±3.24 percentage points.

For the latest on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

Charlie Crist has a new ad in the Florida Senate race, with the independent ex-Republican trying to challenge GOP nominee Marco Rubio's fiscal bonafides.

In the ad, Crist touts his vetoing of earmarks from a state budget in 2007 -- pinning those earmarks on Rubio, who was Speaker of the state House at the time.

"Have you seen Marco Rubio's ads attacking me? Here's what he's hiding. Rubio tried to sneak almost $500 million in earmarks into the budget. I vetoed them," Crist declares. "One and a half million dollars for a rowing institute. Vetoed. $800,000 for artificial turf on a Miami field where he played flag football. I vetoed that, too.

"Just remember, the Washington special interests who are paying for Rubio's ads don't want an independent like me looking out for your money."

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