TPM News

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

• CNN, State Of The Union: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA).

• Fox News Sunday: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

• NBC, Meet The Press: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, former DNC chairman Howard Dean.

To help run the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the nation's largest provider of civil legal aid for the poor, Senate Republicans have picked an attorney from a far-right legal organization that has a history of ideological opposition to legal-aid work.

The White House announced yesterday that it had nominated Sharon Browne of the Pacific Legal Foundation as one of three Republican board members of the LSC. Minority party nominees for the LSC board are traditionally generated by the Senate leader of the party that doesn't control the White House, and Don Stewart, a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, confirmed to TPMmuckraker that McConnell's office had recommended all three GOP nominees.

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After the Food and Drug Administration fired off a letter that helped kill a measure fiercely opposed by the drug industry, one Democratic senator is accusing the Obama White House of using the FDA -- which is supposed to offer apolitical opinions -- as a bludgeon.

The drug importation amendment to the health reform bill, which would have saved the government and consumers billions of dollars by allowing prescription purchases from Canada and elsewhere, was killed in the Senate late Tuesday with an assist from the FDA letter. The 51-48 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed.

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MoveOn has been very involved in the health care debate with fundraising emails and pushes against conservative Democrats who would filibuster the legislation, but now the progressive group is asking its members to fight the bill as a "massive giveaway to the insurance companies."

MoveOn asked members to sign a petition asking progressive senators such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to block the bill unless it's improved.

"America needs real health care reform--not a massive giveaway to the insurance companies. Senator Bernie Sanders and other progressives should block this bill until it's fixed," the petition reads, later naming Sens. Roland Burris (D-IL) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) as other progressives who might be swayed.

"But there's enormous pressure from all sides to pass a bill quickly, no matter how weak it is," the email says. "Let's show Bernie and other progressives that we're counting on them to block this version of the bill--and we'll get their backs if they do."

The MoveOn team says there is still a chance to "win" the health care fight and said the House bill is strong and has "a real public option."

Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty is just fine with her husband Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a potential presidential candidate, referring to her as "my red-hot, smokin' wife."

Pawlenty made the comment while speaking to the Iowa Republican Party in April. "Thank you, Lord, for my red-hot, smokin' wife," he said, quoting the Will Ferrell comedy Talladega Nights, a movie about an idiotic NASCAR driver.

"Obviously I can only speak for myself," Mary Pawlenty told the Minnesota-based ECM newspapers, "but I don't know a woman alive who wouldn't love to have her husband refer to her as his 'red-hot smoking' wife."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid huddled behind closed doors this afternoon with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)--a pro-life, conservative Democrat, and one of the last remaining holdouts in the caucus on health care reform.

Emerging from the meeting, Nelson told reporters that he and leadership are closing in on an agreement that will secure his much-needed support for the legislation, but they're not there yet.

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MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan suggested on his Twitter feed he will apologize for yelling at Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on air during an interview on health care earlier today.

Ratigan tweeted, "Will apologize for losing temper. Won't apologize for challenging lies and misinformation. USA needs apology for destructive false solutions."

He also responded to one of his nearly 6,000 followers, "My temper is a distraction. Govt . is again offering false reform, protecting those who bankroll them and nailing taxpayers."

RNC Chairman Michael Steele sent an email to supporters today, urging them to dig in their heels and stop health care reform.

Steele's missive also said that the RNC would do everything in its power to help Republican Senators who are opposing the bill.

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