Non-Budgetary Bill Amazingly Saves Jobs

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced that because of the GOP end around that stripped budgetary provisions from the “budget repair” bill, all of the 1500 layoff notices that went out to state employees were being rescinded. The stripping out of these provisions allowed the passing of the bill  taking away the collective bargaining rights of state workers without needing the votes from the Democrat’s boycotting the debate.

Gov. Scott Walker announced on Friday that he was rescinding layoff notices for 1,500 state workers after Wisconsin lawmakers approved his plan to cut collective bargaining rights and benefits for public employees. The approval, after nearly a month of angry demonstrations and procedural maneuvering, will create enough budget savings, Mr. Walker said, that layoffs will not be needed now

So how exactly did a bill that had no budgetary provisions save enough money to stave off layoffs? Oh that right, despite all the Koch fueled BS to the contrary, it never was about the budget but was instead about union busting…silly me.

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GOP Budget Cuts Take Aim At Tsunami Warning Center

While our neighbors in Hawaii and the US West coast braced themselves for a potential Tsunami this morning in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, we are reminded that the hours that these residents had to prepare might not be there the next time if the GOP has their way. It seems the Tsunami warning system is in jeopardy due to a proposed 28% cut to the National Weather Service and one reason for the cuts apparently is that the data collected by the monitoring stations is “inconvenient” for the global warming deniers on the right.

In February, the union representing the National Weather Service warned that the Republican cuts could place the residents of Hawaii in mortal danger. “People could die… It could be serious,” Barry Hirshorn, Pacific region chairman of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, told Hawaii’s Star Advertiser. The House budget includes a 28 percent cut to the National Weather Service that would result in staffing cutbacks to Hawaii’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which monitors potential tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

The Obama administration is threatening to veto the cut, and Congressional Democrats have called the reduction a “reckless” means of forwarding a political agenda. “Those who claim that global warming is a myth find the hard data produced by such monitoring inconvenient,” Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told the Star Advertiser. The cutback to the tsunami warning center also recalls Gov. Bobby Jindal’s mockery of federal money for volcano monitoring back in 2009—just months before a volcano eruption in Iceland wreaked havoc on Europe.

So what do you say Kristi?

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I'm Guessing His NRA Rating Will Drop

In case you missed it, Iowa has a proposal floating around their legislature that would allow residents to carry guns without any permit, training or background checks. You would likely suspect a law along those lines makes folks like me cringe and apparently some in the Iowa GOP feel the same way except it took an unexpected open mic for it to come out.

Republican Iowa State Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, speaker pro tem of the Iowa State House, was caught joking on a hot mic that a proposal which would allow state residents to carry weapons in public without permission from a sheriff and without any training or a background check might better be called the “give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic-bill.”

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More Birther Goodness

Tennessee State Senator and birther Mae Beavers recently introduced legislation in her state that would require that all Presidential candidates present their long-form birth certificate before qualifying to be on the ballot. The problem?

She doesn’t even know what a long-form birth certificate is.

It’s a far-fetched goal, and it turns out that Beavers, who recently discussed her bill on Reality Check, a radio show devoted to debunking birther legislation, still has some research to do. From the transcript:

RC: What are the specific requirements in the bill?

MB: That they have to have the long form birth certificate.

RC: What is the long form birth certificate?

MB: Now, you’re asking me to get into a lot of things that I haven’t really looked into yet.

The host then asked the obvious follow-up: why put a term into the bill, if you don’t know what it means? Beavers responded, “Well, we are following some of the bills that have been filed in lots of other states, and you know how it is, you file your bill and, you know, you prepare before you go to committee.”

It appears that the Koch brothers need to provide some training to go along with their talking point memos…

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There Is Certainly Nothing Fishy Here…

Most people have heard of Clear Channel Communications, the media giant that owns untold number of radio stations across the country. What you may not know is that one of their subsidiaries is a company called Premiere Radio Networks which just happens to be the largest syndication company in the US which brings us tons of radio gold from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity (What no Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow?).

It seems that Premiere Radio Networks also provides other services which includes providing actors to call in to various talk shows with pre-scripted topics in order to provide “interesting radio” all without mentioning who they really were.

Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the  largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear  Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.

“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.”

The actors hired by Premiere to provide the aforementioned voice talents sign confidentiality agreements and so would not go on the record. But their accounts leave little room for doubt. All of the actors I questioned reported receiving scripts, calling in to real shows, pretending to be real people. Frequently, one actor said, the calls were live, sometimes recorded in advance, but never presented on-air as anything but real.

Hmmm, nothing fishy with this is there? I am certain they just want to make sure that their on air talent is able to stay on topic right?

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