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On May 5, BP CEO Tony Hayward told Congress in a closed-door briefing that, in the worst-case scenario, the oil well in the Gulf Coast would leak 60,000 barrels of oil per day.

Back then, official government estimates said the well was leaking 5,000 barrels of oil every day. Those estimates have since been repeatedly revised, most recently to reflect an estimated leakage of 35,000-60,000 barrels of oil per day.

Here's a look at how the estimates evolved over time:

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June 8, 2010: South Carolina unknown Alvin Greene wins the Democratic Senatorial primary against party-backed Vic Rawl to face Sen. Jim DeMint in the general election. But following his win, Greene is the subject of a series of bizarre revelations, including that he is unemployed, lives at home, didn't exactly campaign for his position, and is facing an obscenity charge. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) even accuses Greene of being one of three "plants" in his state, part of a greater conspiracy to subvert the voting process.

But Greene is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the craziness that seems to consistently emerge from South Carolina. This got us thinking about our favorite recent (and classic) scandals from the Palmetto State...

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June 4, 2010: South Carolina State. Sen. Jake Knotts (R) refers to Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley (who is of Sikh descent) as a "raghead." Though he is called upon to resign by other GOPers, Knotts refuses because the loss of "us rednecks" would leave a "void" in the GOP.

CC: scsenategop

May 24, 2010: South Carolina blogger Will Folks claims he and Nikki Haley had an "inappropriate physical relationship" and releases text messages that he claims prove the allegation. The texts, purportedly exchanged between Folks and Haley campaign manager Tim Pearson have messages like "your the one who screwed her." Haley denies the affair, even after a second SC GOP consultant claims to have had an affair with her. She later says she will resign if she wins the election and the claims are proven to be true.


April 26, 2010: Haley isn't the only candidate for South Carolina governor who has made headlines. Her opponent in the Republican primary, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, gets some attention for saying that "flat-out lazy" people are the real cause of the immigration problem in the U.S., because "people would rather sit home and do nothing than do these jobs." Bauer has previously compared poor people to "stray animals," saying "if you give an animal or a person ample food supply, they will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."


September 9, 2009: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) raises eyebrows when he shouts "you lie" at President Obama during an address to Congress about health care reform. Obama had just said that the bill will not cover illegal immigrants, prompting Wilson's heckle, which then prompts a round of boos from other House members.

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June 18, 2009: Gov. Mark Sanford (R) kicks off his whirlwind disappearance tour, vanishing for a few days before claiming he had just been "hiking the Appalachian Trail." Of course, he is soon caught disembarking from a flight from Argentina, and later admits he was there visiting his mistress.


December 14, 2003: Essie Mae Washington-Williams comes forward at 78 to reveal she is the daughter of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond and a black woman who once worked as a maid in the Thurmond household. Thurmond was a well-known segregationist in his time, and even conducted a 24-hour filibuster by himself in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

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May 22, 1856: Rep. Preston Brooks (D-SC) nearly beats Sen. Charles Sumner (R-MA) to death with his wooden cane on the Senate floor. A few days earlier, Sumner had made a speech comparing Andrew Butler, a Brooks relative, to Don Quixote, and mocked Butler's handicap.

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The man who owns a bounty hunting firm tracking Minuteman founder Chris Simcox is himself a former Minuteman, one who has personal beef with Simcox.

Simcox, who co-founded the Minuteman Project in 2005 to protect the U.S.-Mexico border from illegal immigrants, has been court-ordered to stay away from his ex-wife and to surrender his firearms to the Scottsdale Police Department. His ex-wife requested the order after, she says, Simcox pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her and her children.

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Around the day of the primary election last week in which Sharron Angle won the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Nevada, Tim Fasano, a third-party Senate candidate with the right-wing Independent American Party, says he began to get phone calls from Angle supporters warning him to get out of the race, or else.

The callers were upset because they believe Fasano is going to "ensure that Harry Reid is going to be elected" by siphoning conservative votes away from Angle, Fasano tells TPM. In the third call he got last week, the person said "watch your back, we know your live, we got your address," Fasano says. That's when he decided, on the advice of police he spoke with about the incidents, to change his phone number.

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President Obama delivered a statement following today's White House meeting with BP executives, where the company agreed to establish a $20 billion escrow fund to help pay for spill claims, and he offered some details about the fund and how it will work.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is standing by his comments that President Obama has a "default mechanism" that "favors the black person" in a dispute -- and says that Americans need to talk about this.

"I have no regrets about what I said. I stand by what I said because what I said is accurate. It's factual," King told Radio Iowa on Tuesday. "I think the president should answer and Attorney General Holder should answer for the Justice Department being used in the way it is, but what I said was accurate and it was objective."

"You have the professional hyperventilators out there who have the radar screen up all the time, trying to find something that they can twist or embellish. That's what's going on," King added. "I don't want anybody to think that Steve King loses a minute's sleep over this."

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It hasn't gotten much attention nationally, but on Monday a man and a woman in their 20s showed up at an entrance to one of the most important military bases in the country with a car full of guns and fraudulent military ID.

The pair was promptly arrested at a gate of Florida's MacDill Air Force Base -- which is home to U.S. Central Command, among other important units. But what they were intending to do is still not publicly known. Here's a look at what we do know:

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Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey told reporters today that Senate candidate Rand Paul is an "amateur" who made two big mistakes -- appearing on Rachel Maddow's show and declaring himself as a leader of the tea party movement.

"Rand Paul made an amateur, freshman, rookie mistake -- he thought MSNBC was a legitimate news organization," Armey said at a lunch today hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "These are not professional people. ... Bless his heart, he walked right into a buzzsaw."

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The House Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into eight lawmakers is focusing on fundraisers held in the two days before the final vote on financial reform legislation, according to news reports.

According to The Hill, the OCE is specifically looking into a fundraiser held for Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) two days before he pulled an amendment that could have hurt certain auto dealers.

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