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Conservative "investigative reporter" Matthew Vadum caused a real stir last week. As one of the many individuals who proselytizes about the threat of voter fraud and the need for restrictive measures to protect the ballot box, he's generally expected to stick to a predictable script.

The argument usually goes like this: everyone should be able to vote and that voter ID isn't supposed to make it harder for anyone to vote. Also, voter ID efforts aren't partisan, but rather about good government, and that if you have to show your ID to buy liquor or rent a movie from Blockbuster you should have to show it to vote.

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President Obama previewed his proposals for job creation and reviving the economy to thousands of supportive union members in Detroit on Labor Day.

The speech at a rally sponsored by the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO came just days before Obama's Thursday evening address before a joint session of Congress where he plans to oultine specific proposals to spur job creation and resuscitate the economy.

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Well, this has the potential to become awkward.

Sarah Palin made her much-anticipated Iowa speech in Indianola Saturday, and the news is there's not much news. Palin didn't announce her candidacy for president during her address, though she told a reporter afterwards is she is still considering jumping in.

But what another speaker at the event said before Palin spoke is making headlines, and threatening to add another layer of embarrassment to the strange, petty drama that surrounded the event -- and Palin -- last week.

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Updated 6:42 a.m. ET, Sept. 3

The mysterious case of the second lost iPhone prototype has taken another disturbing twist.

San Francisco police have admitted that "three or four" of their officers stood outside a man's house as up to two Apple investigators searched the home for the phone, finding nothing, but embroiling Apple in a potentially messy legal snafu, SF Weekly originally reported.

The admission comes after a police spokesperson previously told SF Weekly that "that no records of any such activity by SFPD officers existed, as they should if police had been involved in a home visit and search," which would seem to mean that officers failed to report the search to their own department.

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Amazon.com Founder Jeff Bezos suffered a setback to his ambition to develop a robust private spaceflight business when an unmanned spacecraft developed by his company Blue Origin was destroyed on Aug. 24 shortly after takeoff in West Texas, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Locals described an immense and terrible explosion reminiscent of the 1986 Challenger disaster, according to a source on the ground in Van Horn, Texas, near the craft's top secret launch site, Forbes reports.

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The members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's liberal minority have been firing back at conservative Justice Michael Gableman, regarding his allegation that liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley -- who recently accused conservative Justice David Prosser of grabbing her neck in an altercation -- had hit him in the head either two or three years ago.

On Thursday, news emerged that the original date Gableman had given, September 18, 2008, came at the early part of a two-week period when the court did not meet at all. Gableman then released a statement saying that he had remembered the date of September 18, -- his birthday -- but the year had been 2009, not 2008: "In any event, the incident happened exactly as I related it to the officers and as it was set forth in the report. While Justice Bradley might not be able to recall it, I certainly do."

On Friday, the two other liberal justices chimed in to further deny Gableman's newer story. Justice Patrick Crooks, along with Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, released this statement:

I am emailing the following statement on behalf of myself and the Chief Justice.

As stated previously, no incident as described by Justice Gableman, and no similar incident, ever occurred in our presence.

Thank you.

Justice Patrick Crooks
Wisconsin Supreme Court

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Influential investors are scratching their heads over a little-noticed development: After downgrading the country's credit rating, Standard & Poors is continuing to award AAA status to the same class of assets that nearly blew up the world economy three years ago.

From Bloomberg: "S&P is poised to provide AAA grades to 59 percent of Springleaf Mortgage Loan Trust 2011-1, a set of bonds tied to $497 million lent to homeowners with below-average credit scores and almost no equity in their properties."

In other words: U.S. Treasuries -- widely believed to be the safest investment in the world -- don't make the cut, but subprime mortgage investments do? What gives?

Subprime mortgage-backed securities are the same class of assets that fueled the housing bubble and triggered the 2008 financial crisis. According to a 2010 report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the main ratings agencies fell over themselves to give these bonds AAA ratings, then abruptly downgraded them to junk status after mass mortgage delinquencies made maintaining the false ratings untenable.

According to the subcommittee's report, "In the end, over 90% of the AAA ratings given to mortgage-backed securities in 2006 and 2007 were downgraded to junk status, including 75 out of 75 AAA-rated Long Beach securities issued in 2006. When sound credit ratings conflicted with collecting profitable fees, credit rating agencies chose the fees." This triggered a collapse in mortgage-related securities leading to trillions of dollars in investor losses and a credit freeze that contributed to -- some contend caused -- the financial crisis.

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