TPM News

Last night, Daily Show correspondents Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver continued their ongoing series of debates, this time addressing the controversy over Dr. Laura's use of the "N-word" on-air, and Sarah Palin's subsequent defense of her.

Oliver, on "Team R-Word," wouldn't say Cenac's word out loud, but noted "I don't think Dr. Laura was saying...his one...to be hurtful."

Cenac replied: "You're right, it was all the other racist shit she was saying."

Wyatt continued that "Dr. Laura dropped the 'N-word' 11 times," while Rahm Emanuel only used the word "retard" once before Sarah Palin called for him to be fired.

Oliver then consulted the "Palin Index" ticker, which is "like the Nasdaq of insults," and it showed that "the 'R-word' is trading at 13 1/2 'N-words' these days."

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Stephen Colbert if following up on Jon Stewart's piece connecting Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal to Fox News, which Stewart concluded means that Fox News is also a terrorist organization.

Last night, Colbert followed the money even farther, and saw that bin Talal's son bought a painting at an art auction -- and that painting was Colbert's portrait. "Oh my god! I'm a terrorist!" Colbert said. But he asked: "Why did they let me build my studio so close to Ground Zero?"

"I have to be stopped," he continued. "Nation, I need you to come here and protest until my studio is shut down and I am taken off the air. No, wait. That's just what I want! I want to have no one see what I'm doing. Why else would I be on basic cable?"

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Ben Quayle, the son of of former Vice President Dan Quayle, has emerged from a crowded field to win the Republican primary for the House seat currently held by retiring GOP Rep. John Shadegg.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Quayle has 23% of the vote, leading his closest challenger by about 5%.

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It's possible that Kendrick Meek's win in the Florida Democratic Senate primary could be good news for Republican Marco Rubio. And this is not because of any deficiencies on Meek's part. Instead, it's the fact that he's a much better Dem candidate than his primary rival, businessman Jeff Greene, and could end up winning too many Democratic votes and splitting the anti-Rubio vote with the other big player in the race, the ex-Republican and now independent Gov. Charlie Crist.

Keep in mind that it is widely believed that Crist would potentially caucus with the Democrats if he won the Senate race. As a result, he has soaked up a lot of Democratic support in many polls throughout the state -- not to mention the cash of Dem fundraisers -- effectively overshadowing both Meek and Greene as the true opponent to Rubio. But of course, in order to caucus with the Senate Dems, Crist would have to get elected to the Senate first, and would have to hold onto his independent and Republican voters while simultaneously grabbing a lot of the Dems. And it seems intuitive that Meek, a Congressman who has supported Obama's agenda in Congress, would be more appealing to Dem voters than Greene, the hard-partying businessman who previously ran for Congress as a Republican in the 1980s.

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In the days after Hurricane Katrina, an order reportedly came down through the New Orleans Police Department for officers to shoot looters.

According to a joint investigation by ProPublica, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and PBS Frontline*, some officers report being told they could shoot looters in order to "take back the city."

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New Louisiana polling data to be released later today shows David Vitter maintaining a double digit lead over his likely rival, Rep. Charlie Melancon, and benefiting from the fact that the electorate there remains largely in the dark about his scandals.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 403 likely voters from August 21-22 and found that, in a two way race, 41 percent now say they'd vote for Melancon, 51 would choose Vitter, and 8 percent remain undecided. The latest TPM PollTracker average gives Vitter a nearly 13 point margin over Melancon. In June, PPP found Vitter ahead 46-37. As of now there are multiple third party candidates in the race. The winner must receive a plurality of the votes.

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In the last weeks before the 2008 elections, an organization called the Clarion Fund spent some $16 million to reprint and distribute 28 million copies of their 2005 film about radical Islam and terrorist groups. "Obsession" was inserted into newspapers -- and packaged with scary photos of scarf-clad men -- in swing states.

That move, funded by a single anonymous donor, may still be echoing in 2010's protests about the Cordoba House and other mosques around the country.

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A lawyer representing controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio met with lawyers at the Justice Department on Tuesday to discuss the government's request for documents as part of their inquiry into whether Arpaio's immigration enforcement is discriminatory.

In early August, DOJ sent a letter to Arpaio's attorneys which established a deadline for his office to voluntarily turn over documents. The letter said the Justice Department would sue if Arpaio did not cooperate.

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