TPM News

President Barack Obama plans to nominate businessman John Bryson to head the Commerce Department, according to a White House official.

Bryson's name has been mentioned as a potential cabinet post since Obama won election in 2008. As a former chairman and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, and a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, he has straddled business and environmental activist circles. He also has served as a member of the United Nation's advisory group on energy and climate change.

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Wisconsin's Governmental Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees elections in the state, is today poised to certify recalls against three Republican state senators, as the battle continues over Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation.

The board today will approve recalls against state Sens. Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling and Sheila Harsdorf. Last week, the GAB approved recalls against Republicans Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke and Luther Olsen. But still pending are three recalls targeting Democrats Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the board is postponing its decisions on the recalls targeting three Democrats, which were originally scheduled for today, citing strain on the board's bureaucratic resources posed by the sheer number of signatures and challenges that have been made. But Republicans are also protesting that decision:

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Planned Parenthood sued the state of South Dakota last Friday over a new law that requires women to receive counseling at a "pregnancy help center" before they can have an abortion, and imposes a 72-hour waiting period between that counseling and when a doctor can perform the procedure.

In a press release, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota said that the new law toughens what were already the most stringent abortion laws in the nation and infringes on both patients' and doctors' First Amendment rights against "compelled speech."

"This law goes farther than any other in the country in intruding on the doctor-patient relationship, and putting women and families at risk," Sarah Stoesz, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota was quoted as saying in the press release.

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See if you can count the contradictions in this sentence: Rev. Ted Haggard will make a cameo as himself in a Christian sex comedy promoting abstinence, with the tagline "abstinence never felt so good."

Called The Waiting Game, the movie follows a schlub named Jack who's super excited about finally losing his virginity on his wedding night, but is foiled when his fiancee leaves him at the altar. He then goes on a quest to meet a replacement wife, while contemplating whether or not to remain abstinent.

In 2006 Haggard resigned in disgrace from the New Life Church after revelations that he had had a drug-fueled sexual relationship with a gay male former escort. After years of denying that he is gay, he recently admitted to GQ that "probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual."

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Romneyiacs, the months of patiently waiting are nearly at an end: The former governor of Massachusetts will this Thursday finally formally announce his second run for the White House.

In keeping with his New Hampshire focus, Mitt Romney's announcement will be all Granite State, his campaign said in an announcement Tuesday morning. The statement, like the announcement itself, is somewhat anti-climactic: Details of the announcement were widely reported last week. Similarly, Romney's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has been a mainstay of politics for over a year, despite the requisite coyness about the official nature of it from the candidate and his supporters.

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Congress will holds its first vote on the debt ceiling on Tuesday, with the GOP House majority bringing up a "clean" bill that would raise the limit on the government's borrowing ability with no strings attached, i.e., no spending cuts. That's exactly what most Democrats have been calling for, so why would Republicans give them a chance to vote on it? That's where this gets tricky.

The vote is intended to expose fault lines within the Democratic caucus, with Republicans counting on sizable number of Democrats to side with them and bolster their case that Democrats need to agree to deep spending cuts as a condition to raising the debt limit.

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Apple Inc said Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave, will open up the iPhone maker's annual developers' conference next week with a keynote speech.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appears to be inching ever closer to a run for president -- and as she has now said in her latest public statements, her prayers on the subject have now yielded a calling from God himself.

In an interview with Iowa Public Television, broadcast on Friday:

Henderson: You recently referenced your Christian faith. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, when he announced he would not run, said that he just didn't feel called to do that. Have you had that sort of calling to run for president?

Bachmann: Well, every decision that I make I pray about as does my husband and I can tell you, yes, I've had that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do and because it's such a momentous decision, not only for myself, my husband and our 28 children, it is a momentous decision what ideas will I bring to bear? What are the resources that I have to marshal in terms of people, assets, the message and also the finances, the amount of time this will take, what this will mean for the nation. Am I the right person for the job? Every decision and every endeavor my husband and I have made we think it through, we're not rash people. We make a plan because we want to succeed, we don't want to fail and so we've been very deliberative in this process and that's why we're now coming to the culmination and next month, as I announced last night, I'll make that decision right here in Waterloo and the world will know.

[Note: Bachmann has had five biological children, and a total of 23 foster children over a span of many years.]

Bachmann has previously said she was praying for an "inner assurance" about her 2012 decision. It should be pointed out that for Bachmann, this stuff about receiving a divine calling to run for office is no joke -- it has allegedly happened before.

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Those who work in the arena of political media have been scratching their collective heads trying to make sense of what Sarah Palin is up to with her One Nation bus tour. In an exclusive interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren , Palin explains that her tour is 'not about me,' adding that many in the media are looking for a story that calls this a "conventional campaign-type tour," which she reminds this is not, "except to campaign on our Constitution, our charters of liberty."

The full interview between Van Susteren and Palin is set to air this evening, but show producers, Fox News (and/or maybe the Palin team themselves) smartly released an excerpt of the interview late last night, ironically maximizing the publicity of the exclusive interview, and yes, the tour itself.

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