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The late Democratic Rep. John Murtha's Pennsylvania congressional office made most of the decisions about how a defense contractor that "acted solely as a pass-through entity" dished out money to law enforcement agencies in his district, according to a new DOJ Inspector General report.

DOJ investigators are questioning $3,335,583 in grants received by MountainTop Technologies Inc. between Sept. 2004 and Sept. 2006. They also note that MountainTop, which had close ties to Murtha, received $1,964,730 from a congressionally-mandated grant in Sept. 2008 after their audit was completed.

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Rick Perry got a bump from former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes on Monday, who announced his support after several days of gushing praise.

"Steve Forbes is a well known fiscal conservative, and provided strong support and advice throughout the process of drafting my economic and jobs plans," Perry said. "I am honored to have Steve's endorsement of my candidacy for president."

The endorsement came shortly after Perry announced he would support a flat tax, the details of which are expected to come later this week. Forbes made a similar proposal the centerpiece of his presidential campaigns in both 1996 and 2000.

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An Arab-American leader who met with law enforcement officials earlier this month is optimistic that the FBI is taking the problem of anti-Muslim training materials seriously.

Abed Ayoub of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee attended a meeting that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division hosted with other law enforcement officials on Oct. 14. The meeting was mentioned in a letter the Justice Department sent to Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, who were concerned about federal funds flowing to local and state anti-Muslim terrorism training. Ayoub said that anti-Muslim training materials used by law enforcement were a major topic of discussion.

"I can't speak officially for the FBI, but what I can say is that I think they do understand the significance of what happend, they do understand the importance of getting this resolved and the impact on many members of the community," Ayoub told TPM. "They do understand that this needs to be resolved. I do have a sense that they understand the importance of this matter."

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For weeks, Mitt Romney has been parrying attacks on his Massachusetts healthcare record while taking swipes at Rick Perry over his handling of immigration. But Romney could soon face a double-barreled dose of irony in the combination of both issues.

The Los Angeles Times reports that under Romney's Massachusetts healthcare law, illegal immigrants can access medical care under a government program called the Health Safety Net. This program allows undocumented foreigners and other uninsured to get subsidized care simply by visiting a clinic.

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Reuters reports:

The U.S. Department of Energy has been hit by recent successful cyber attacks and needs to do more to protect its computer systems, the department’s internal watchdog said in a report on Monday.

Here at TPM we spend a lot of time following the twists and the turns of the GOP presidential primary race so that you don't have to.

Gluttons for punishment? Maybe. But we like to think having watched this motley crew slug it out for the better part of the last year that we know a thing or two about where they sit going into the two month stretch before, you know, the first votes are actually cast.

So for the purposes of the exercise, let's consider this the end of the regular season -- where only the teams, or in this case the candidates, who've actually shown they have something approximating a sensible game plan eventually get to move on.

And before you accuse us of not treating this quadrennial exercise in democracy with the requisite seriousness it deserves, we would ask -- have you actually watched these debates?

We'll take a look at Round 2 tomorrow, and Round 3 on Wednesday, but kicking things off - the bottom rung.

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