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A new Democratic memo rips apart a GOP Super Committee proposal -- offered by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) -- that would have reduced, and made permanent, Bush-era tax rates. Many of the key details of the plan remain undisclosed, even to Democrats, but they've included a table laying out all of the lower rates the GOP has proposed, and deduced from what's known that the changes would significantly reduce the progressiveness of the tax code.

Here's how. The GOP claims the plan would raise $300 billion in revenue, and also make the newer, lower Bush tax rates permanent. To accomplish this, simple arithmetic implies he'd have to raise a ton of tax revenue elsewhere. But since he objects to raising taxes on capital income, that would require him to slash deeply into credits and preferences that benefit lower and middle income taxpayers.

Democrats drew a comparison to a similar plan -- one with smaller tax cuts that has been scored by the Joint Committee on Taxation, and concluded:

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Seven international hackers have been charged by the Justice Department with infecting more than four million computers, including 500,000 in the United States, with malware that redirected users through rogue domain name service (DNS) servers controlled by the hackers, netting the suspects at least $14 million in illegal profits, according to an announcement from the FBI late Wednesday. NASA computers were among those infected with the malware, the FBI noted.

The malware preyed on users' implicit trust of such well known websites as Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, ESPN, The Wall Street Journal and the IRS, either taking them away from these websites when they tried to visit and redirecting them to other websites or replacing advertisements on those websites, both of which paid the hackers for click-throughs and views.

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Almost as entertaining as watching Rick Perry endure the longest minute of his life was watching the pundits that came afterwards. The schadenfreude level was simply off the charts.

Even the other candidates got into the act, with Herman Cain offering up the consolation that the American people can be "very forgiving," and Michele Bachmann noting "that is something none of us want to go through."

Whether being killed through sympathy or mockery, it was a rough post-debate session for Perry. And it was perhaps even tougher for Perry's communications director, Ray Sullivan, who was thrust before the cameras in order to come up with some - any! - defense of his candidate.

Watch the full grisly glory below:

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The Central Intelligence Agency's video squad made short documentary-style films to educate President Ronald Reagan about the Soviet Union. Now you can watch them for yourself.

Seven videos the CIA made for Reagan -- "The Soviet Space Program," "Afghanistan: the Gallant Struggle," "Andropov Succession," "Soviet Internal Propaganda," "The Soviet Media's Portrayal of America," "The Chernobyl Accident," and "The Moscow Summit" -- were posted on YouTube by the CIA last week in conjunction with a report on Reagan's use of intelligence during his presidency.

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Herman Cain has made clear his position on the accusers who say he sexually harassed them -- or worse -- while CEO of the National Restaurant Associations: they're liars.

Now the campaign has an entire website dedicated to driving that message home, CainTruth.Com. The hastily-put-together blog appears to be primarily dedicated to spreading damaging stories about the women who have come forward, especially Sharon Bialek, who has publicly accused Cain of demanding sex in exchange for help finding her work.

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In an afternoon email Herman Cain’s spokesman, J.D. Gordon, claimed his candidate’s campaign had raised $9 million since October 1.

From the email:

Presidential candidate Herman Cain is “in it to win it,” according to newly released financial numbers. The Herman Cain Campaign reports receiving over $9 million of financial support from Cain backers since October 1st. Twenty-five percent of these newly received contributions have come in the last ten days.
The generosity of Mr. Cain’s followers has more than doubled in the past five weeks, compared to the financial gifts received in the previous two quarters combined. According to the campaign’s third quarter FEC filing, Mr. Cain’s campaign received $4.7 million from May through September 30th. The campaign has received a total of $14.1 million in financial support since the start of the campaign.

As reported here, Republicans have rejected a Democratic Super Committee offer that would have reduced deficits by $2.3 trillion over 10 years. The reductions would be split evenly -- a trillion a piece -- between higher tax revenues and federal programs, plus $300 billion saved in interest on the national debt.

The plan also notably would not reduce Social Security benefits by using a less generous measure of inflation to calculate cost of living adjustments -- a proposal some Democrats have supported in the past.

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica

As we reported earlier this week, the Federal Election Commission, which regulates the flow of political cash, has been plagued by persistent gridlock on some key areas of campaign finance.

Why's that important? Because as we explain, more money is coming in and much of it is flowing in through new and barely regulated groups.

Take a look at these graphs -- found in a report [PDF] recently posted by the commission -- that shine a spotlight on independent spending, or spending that's technically not coordinated with candidates and their campaigns:

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