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Walker Sends Early Layoff Notices — Which Can Be ‘Avoided’ If Dems Come Back

“Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has now taken the latest step in his effort to pass his budget proposal and its anti-public employee union provisions: Sending out layoff notices to the state employee unions. However, nobody is fired just yet.

Instead, Walker says the terminations could happen as early as April 4 — but can be avoided if the state Senate Democrats who fled the state in order to block the three-fifths budget quorum will just come back.”

Read More: Wisconsin GOPer In Electoral Trouble After Voting For Walker Bill
Read More: Rasmussen Poll: Almost Six In Ten Wisconsin Voters Disapprove Of Gov. Walker
Read More: Tackled Wisconsin Representative Decries ‘Armed-Palace Environment’ At Capitol
Read More: Walker’s Budget Slashes Medicaid, While Increasing Funeral Assistance For Destitute Who Die
Read More: Indiana House GOP Will Fine AWOL Dems $250 A Day
Read More: AWOL Indiana Dem Leader: Mitch Daniels ‘Doesn’t Have The Attraction Of The Demon’ Scott Walker
Read More: OHIO: GOP Senator Yanked Off Committee Speaks Out, Was Informed 30 Minutes Before Anti-Union Vote

Boehner Moves To Defend DOMA In Court

“House Speaker John Boehner announced plans Friday afternoon to defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of Congress, filling the legal void left by the White House’s decision to drop its support for portions of the law.”

Jared Lee Loughner Charged With Murder Of Giffords Event Participants In New 49-Count Indictment

“Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused in the January shooting spree in Tucson, was indicted on additional federal murder charges by a grand jury yesterday for allegedly murdering “participants at a federally provided activity,” the Justice Department announced Friday.

The news out of the 49-count superseding indictment is that Loughner is now charged with the murder of non-federal employees who were participating in the event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) back in January.”

Pro-Life Rep: Many GOPers Will Vote Against Spending Bill If It Doesn’t Defund Planned Parenthood

“A pro-life leader in the House says he and many other Republicans will vote against legislation to fund the government through September if a series of anti-abortion riders, which already passed the House, aren’t included in the final bill.

“I’m going to push so hard to make sure those are all in there,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) told The Takeaway. “You can’t back off, from a human rights perspective. If you do so you facilitate the demise of hundreds of thousands of children.””

Rep. Ellison Tells ThinkProgress Tim Pawlenty Has ‘No Connection’ To His Working Class Roots In Minnesota

“Many of America’s most profitable companies, including GE, CitiGroup, and ExxonMobil, have successfully found ways to pay nothing in corporate income taxes. Last Saturday, ThinkProgress asked former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) if Bank of America, which paid nothing in corporate taxes in 2009, was paying its fair share. Pawlenty, who has called for drastic cuts in programs for the most vulnerable in society, repeatedly responded that corporate taxes are actually too high.

On Wednesday, ThinkProgress interviewed Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus. Asked about Pawlenty’s comments on taxes, Ellison said, “in other words, he’s saying, we need to pay them, because that’s the only way we can do better for them, right?” He went on to critique Pawlenty’s stump speech, which now consists of a story about growing up in a working class family. In a scathing attack on Pawlenty’s phony populism, Ellison explained that with Pawlenty’s pro-corporate policies, he has “no connection” to the blue collar community his family grew up in. Pawlenty “doesn’t want to pay them right, he doesn’t want them to have drink clean water,” and he doesn’t really care if they can afford college, Ellison said.”

Arizona GOP Bill Would Let Gov. Brewer Create An Armed Militia For Whatever She ‘Considers Necessary’

“Arizona’s GOP-run legislature has taken to marginalizing and villainizing the immigrant population with zeal — be it through SB 1070, HB 2191, or SB 1070 “on steroids.” Now, the Pheonix New Times reports that state Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-AZ) is pushing a bill to give Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) a “blank check to establish a ‘state guard’ that would do her bidding, whatever that bidding might be.”

Allen’s SB 1495 not only establishes a “state guard” independent of the national guard and finances that guard with national guard funding, but it allows Brewer to create this “Armed force” for “any [] reason the governor considers to be necessary”.”

Lobbyist Group For American Oil Companies Opposes Obama’s Sanctions On Libya

“Earlier this week, the President announced that the U.S. would unilaterally impose sanctions on Libya because the continued violence there poses an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security. Mother Jones reports that the business coalition USA*Engage, which reportedly lobbies for oil giants ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, called that approach a “failed strategy.””

Eight GOP Senators Reignite Filibuster War With Blanket Threat To Block All Bills They Don’t Like

“Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), John McCain (R-AZ), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) circulated a letter to their colleagues yesterday threatening to place a hold on any bill which does not comply with five very broad criteria. Given some of these senators’ bizarre views about the Constitution, one of their five criteria stands out as a particularly aggressive assault on the Senate’s ability to function.”

‘Social Safety Net’ Less Safe As Congress Debates Cuts

“Thirty years ago the need to protect the social safety net was a major theme during Reagan-era budget negotiations. But today, Republicans are primarily focused on reducing the size of government, and even President Obama has proposed cutting spending for the poor to help reduce the debt.”

As Manufacturing Demand Grows, So Do Jobs

“Companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, are hiring at a pace that is likely to bring down the unemployment rate at a gradual rate. The unemployment problem is far from over, but a factory outside Boston is feeling the benefits of increased orders.”

Read More: Finally! Hiring up sharply in February
Read More: Boehner: Good Jobs Data Due To Tax Cuts (Not Obama Stimulus)

Letter From Europe: How Britain Changed Course in Libya

“The issues of democracy and renewal in the Arab world cannot quite cloak the question of how the West dealt with the Libyan leader over many years.”

World Briefing | ASIA: China: Foreign Students Hit a Record

“China’s Ministry of Education is reporting that the number of foreign students in the country reached a record high of more than 260,000 in 2010.”

Good News: I Sniff, Therefore I Am. Are Dogs Self-Conscious?

“Can you recognize yourself in a mirror? Of course you can. When you were 9 months old, you couldn’t. If your mom had plopped you in front of a mirror, you’d see the baby in front of you, but you wouldn’t know that baby was you”

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