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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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Updated: 8:30 PM ET

In a far-reaching move that could help shape his legacy, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions on Thursday evening to shield some five million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and let them temporarily work in the country.

He will expand an existing program to avoid targeting certain young people, and create a new program to relieve undocumented parents of Americans of deportation fears, senior administration officials told reporters in the White House ahead of the prime-time announcement.

"That's the real amnesty – leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character," Obama said. "What I’m describing is accountability – a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you'll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up."

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When Chris Christie was mired in political turmoil, he had a friend in "Morning Joe."

While everyone else on MSNBC gave critical, nearly round-the-clock coverage of the George Washington Bridge scandal, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and the rest of channel's sunrise crew readily provided cover to New Jersey's embattled Republican governor.

As Christie lost much of the goodwill he gained after Superstorm Sandy, "Morning Joe" remained his cable news sanctuary.

Scarborough and Brzezinski have taken thinly veiled shots at their MSNBC colleagues for giving so much attention to the story. They've repeatedly splashed cold water on reporting by the New York Times about "Bridgegate." Christie was their guy, and no traffic jam was going to change that.

But the alliance, like a forbidden romance between members of rival families, was always liable to get rocky.

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I guarantee you’ll hear the phrase “My ancestors came here legally” in the aftermath of President Obama’s immigration address. It’s almost impossible to find any conversation about immigration—between elected officials, pundits, online commenters—in which at least one participant doesn’t use the phrase. It’s an understandable position, through which the speaker can both defend his or her family history and critique current illegal immigrants who choose to do things differently. It helps deflect charges of hypocrisy (since most Americans are descended from immigrants). It’s hard to argue with. And it’s also, in nearly every case, entirely inaccurate.

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