TPM News

There is no doubt about what happened in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963; President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. When it comes to the who or the how, though, the majority of Americans remain skeptical about the official narrative. The broad belief in some conspiracy theory regarding his death tells us that it’s quite mainstream to have at least some “fringe” convictions.

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"Washington Journal," C-SPAN's morning call-in program that features a rotating cast of placid anchors interviewing various lawmakers and journalists, is mostly for the true political obsessives.

But the show's callers, emboldened by anonymity, often steer the program well beyond typical Beltway chatter. The format not only surfaces viewpoints well outside the mainstream. It also generates many, many prank calls and moments like the one earlier this month, when "Anthony," a self-identified Republican from California, phoned in to diagnose his party's problem with President Obama.

"This is about race," he told host Steve Scully. "The Republicans hate that nigger Obama."

It certainly wasn't the first time the usually tranquil program veered into racist territory - an event always cut short as rapidly as possible by the mild-mannered host. And it won't be the last. Herewith is our catalog of these iconic moments of awfulness when the civic-minded environs of Washington Journal collide with the raw underbelly of American politics.

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President Barack Obama delivered a message to Republicans who fiercely oppose his long-anticipated executive actions to overhaul immigration enforcement and deportations: pass a bill and I'll undo my changes.

"To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: pass a bill," he said during a prime time address on Thursday night announcing his actions. "I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary."

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It turns out Republicans weren't the only ones using Twitter to get around federal campaign laws.

Less than a week after CNN's Chris Moody broke the news that Republicans were using secret but in-plain-sight public Twitter accounts to pass along internal polling data on House campaigns between outside groups and GOP committees, The Huffington Post reported that in 2012 the Democratic Party passed along information on advertising buys through a Twitter account with the handle @AdBuysDetails.

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