TPM News

Ed Schultz will take a week off MSNBC's airwaves after he called conservative radio host Laura Ingraham a "right wing slut" on his radio show Tuesday.

"Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated," MSNBC said in a statement.

Shultz will "address" the statement on his 10 p.m. MSNBC primetime show Wednesday, the network said.

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After reports that Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) is on the verge of being indicted for using campaign funds to cover-up an extramarital affair, his attorney Wednesday issued a defiant statement impugning the legal underpinnings of the government's case.

The statement suggests that Edwards, a onetime presidential contender, is either taking a firm stand in plea negotiations or outright fighting the charges and will opt for a trial instead of agreeing to plead guilty for a lesser charge.

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The GOP continued its bloody walk into the Medicare buzzsaw Wednesday, when 40 out of 47 Senate Republicans voted in support of the House GOP budget, and its plan to phase out and privatize the popular entitlement program.

The test vote failed by a vote of 57-40. But the roll call illustrates that Medicare privatization -- along with deep cuts to Medicaid and other social services -- remains the consensus position of the GOP despite the growing political backlash against them.

Voting with all of the Democrats against debating the plan were Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) -- both 2012 incumbents -- along with Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against it because it wasn't radical enough.

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) did not vote.

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Tim Pawlenty is big on sacred cows these days. Since formally declaring his White House run in Iowa Monday, Pawlenty has been criss-crossing the country jumping on third rails with both feet. But on Wednesday in Washington, he said that even his political courage has its limits.

No more ethanol subsidies, Pawlenty told the corn-producing caucus-goers in Iowa. Get ready for some undefined future plan about entitlements that includes changes to Social Security, he told a crowd in Florida. And soon he's headed to Wall Street to, as he told Wednesday's audience at the CATO Institute in Washington, tell them how he plans to "clean up the mess."

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Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) is sticking to his statement made Tuesday that President Obama is "tilting towards Hamas" -- and went further on Wednesday complaining that the President's comments last week about the starting point for peace negotiations, and the subsequent uproar, has bolstered the Palestinians' standing.

Andrews said Obama had given Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party has entered into a unity agreement with their rivals Hamas, an excuse to insist on preconditions before sitting down at the negotiating table with Israel. He was referring to comments Obama made during a major speech last week that the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state should be based on 1967 lines with agreed upon swaps.

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It looks like Nevada won't have Sharron Angle to kick around -- at least not for a while, as the former state representative and unsuccessful 2010 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate has announced that she will no longer run in the special election for NV-02.

Angle, who is reportedly disliked by the GOP establishment in the state, had previously been running for the open seat when Rep. Dean Heller was running for an open U.S. Senate seat. When Heller was appointed directly to the seat, after GOP Sen. John Ensign resigned due to his sex scandal and potential expulsion from the chamber, a special election for NV-02 was organized.

Since then, there has been ongoing litigation between Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller and the state GOP over the format the election would take: Miller favors a wide-open election in which anyone can file, and the GOP is suing for the ability to select a candidate through an internal party process. (In either case, there would be no primary, and the plurality-winner would take the seat.) A judge sided with the GOP last week, but the matter appears to be headed for the state Supreme Court on appeal.

And in the fact of that process, Angle is getting out of the race -- but leaving the door open to running for office later on.

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is not backing down from his Medicare privatization proposals, in the wake of the GOP's stunning defeat in the NY-26 special election. And as ABC News reports, he's getting some friendly advice from an unlikely source: Democratic former President Bill Clinton.

The two were seen talking backstage at Wednesday's Fiscal Summit held by the Pete Peterson Foundation, where they were both speaking. And apparently without their knowledge, a camera picked up some of the conversation.

"I'm glad we won this race in New York," Clinton can be seen saying in the video. "But I hope Democrats don't use it as an excuse to do nothing."

Ryan responded: "My guess is it's gonna sink into paralysis, is what's gonna happen. And you know the math. I mean, It's just -- we knew we were putting ourselves out there. But you gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving."

Clinton told Ryan to call him if he ever wanted to talk about the issue, Ryan said he would, and the two parted.

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