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Records tie Walker's office to bill gutting open records law

Source: WTMJ4 (AP)

By Associated Press. CREATED 10:20 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Newly released documents show Gov. Scott Walker's office was involved in drafting a state budget amendment that would have overhauled Wisconsin's open records law and kept some government materials secret.

Walker, who is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has acknowledged his office played a role in developing the proposal but, in the wake of fierce bipartisan backlash, called it a "huge mistake." Documents released to a number of media outlets, including the Wisconsin State Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, show Walker's assistant legal counsel, David Rabe, was involved in drafting the amendment weeks before the Legislature's budget committee approved it.

A June 15 email from the Legislative Reference Bureau's Michael Gallagher to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos aide Andrew Hanus began with the subject line "Governor's request." Gallagher wrote in the email that he was in communication with Rabe about Walker's request to draft the amendment.

The next day, the reference bureau emailed draft amendment language that would have exempted legislative drafting documents and notes, personal property and other materials from the open records law, including so-called "deliberative process" materials, communications that include opinions, analyses, briefings, recommendations, suggestions and drafts related to bills.

Read more: http://www.scrippsmedia.com/tmj4/news/Records-tie-Walkers-office-to-bill-gutting-open-records-law-320025581.html

No need for EPA eyes on pollution, Scott Walker tells newspaper

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wants to all but eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and place each state in sole charge of controlling air and water pollution within its borders if he is elected president, he told a conservative newspaper.

"I'm all for a sustainable environment, but you have to balance it with a sustainable economy, and I think in our state we've shown you can do that hand-in-hand," Walker told the Washington Examiner in an article published Monday. "I think states can do it all across America much better than the federal government."

Reaction was swift from critics of Walker's environmental record who said without the EPA there would be a "race to the bottom" among politicians in states competing for business investment and no safeguards in one state against pollution flowing through the air or water to another state.

"You don’t need a college degree to know that air and water pollution do not respect state boundaries," said Daniel J. Weiss, a League of Conservation Voters spokesman in Washington. "Wisconsin would be virtually helpless to protect its citizens from pollution from other states."

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/environment/scott-walker-would-virtually-eliminate-epa-as-president-report/article_1b837577-6ffe-5fa4-8b6c-2561990ef91f.html

Back To The Future with Scott Walker

Published on Jul 16, 2015

If you want to catch a glimpse of what America would look like under President Scott Walker, you need to turn back the clock to one of the darkest periods in 20th century American history – the Lochner Era. Here’s a little history lesson just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about. Tune in...

Vilsack: Federal law bars Wisconsin food stamp drug testing

Source: 18WQOW.com

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says federal law bars the drug testing of food stamp recipients that Wisconsin plans.

Vilsack responded Wednesday to a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asking a federal judge to declare that state budget provisions requiring food stamp recipients to undergo drug testing are legal.

In a statement, Vilsack says Congress has "repeatedly rejected the expensive, intrusive practice of suspicion-less drug testing," which Vilsack says has been shown to uncover "very little drug use."

The USDA has not yet seen Schimel's lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.wqow.com/story/29558731/vilsack-federal-law-bars-wisconsin-food-stamp-drug-testing

Obama Permanently Protects More Than One Million Acres Of Public Lands


Early Friday, President Obama announced that he will designate three new national monuments, permanently protecting more than one million acres of public lands. He designated pristine wilderness landscapes in Nevada as Basin and Range National Monument, scenic mountains in California as Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, and a fossil-rich site in Texas as Waco Mammoth National Monument.

With these designations, President Obama is adding to the 16 national monuments he has already created with his authority under the Antiquities Act, setting aside “more public lands and waters than any administration in history.” Both Democratic and Republican presidents have used their authority under the law to designate national monuments, many of which have later become some of the country’s most iconic national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Arches National Park.

A diverse array of groups praised the announcement, emphasizing that the new monuments were a response to years of local support and advocacy to permanently protect these sites.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/10/3678957/three-new-national-monuments/?utm_source=fb&awesm=ofa.bo_q8qq&utm_medium=socnet&source=socnet_fb_CC_20150710_bo_national-monuments_protect_2&utm_content=20150710_bo_national-monuments_protect_2&utm_campaign=socnet_fb_CC_20150710_bo_national-monuments_protect_2

10 Commandments statue must be removed from state Capitol, Oklahoma Supreme Court rules

Source: KOCO.com Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY —The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the 10 Commandments statue must be removed from the state Capitol grounds.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed and remanded a previous district court decision.

Stay with KOCO.com for breaking news updates.

Read more: http://www.koco.com/news/10-commandments-statue-must-be-removed-from-state-capitol-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules/33849476?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=FBPAGE&utm_campaign=KOCO%205%20News&Content%20Type=Story

ANA Lauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Affordable Care Act Tax Credit Subsidies (6/25/15)

Source: American Nurses Association

SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) lauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by preserving tax credit subsidies that have allowed more than 10 million Americans to obtain health insurance coverage.

“We are gratified that the Supreme Court ruling will avoid the loss of subsidies that have allowed millions of people to get healthy and stay healthy,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “The Supreme Court has spoken. Now it’s time to finish the work of ensuring Americans get the health care they need by expanding Medicaid.”

Read more: http://www.nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/MediaResources/PressReleases/ANA-Lauds-Supreme-Court-Upholding-ACA-Tax-Credit-Subsidies.html

2016 GOP Presidential Hopefuls: Now It's Up To Us To Repeal Obamacare


WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential hopefuls on Thursday denounced a Supreme Court decision that upheld subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act. The decision neutralizes what was likely the last serious effort to cripple the law through the courts and represents a major victory for President Barack Obama.

A decision against the health care law would have put the Republicans eyeing the presidency in a bind by forcing them to spell out what they proposed to do for millions of Americans without crucial subsidies. Now, however, they can continue to rail against the law rhetorically, promising to deal with the matter once they are in the White House. The fate of the law now depends on whether one of the following Republicans makes it there:

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)

I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing Obamacare on the American people."

“Despite the Court’s decision, ObamaCare is still a bad law that is having a negative impact on our country and on millions of Americans. I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions. We need Consumer Care, not ObamaCare.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/gop-obamacare-reaction_n_7662928.html

OK Repukes, you get right on it...

Wife of Israel's interior minister tweets, and deletes, racist joke about President Obama


Judy Mozes, an Israeli talk-show host and the wife of the country’s Interior Minister, tweeted a racist joke about President Barack Obama on Sunday morning.

She then quickly deleted it and apologized.

Mozes, who is married Silvan Shalom, a Likud party member and currently vice prime minister and head of the Ministry of the Interior, tweeted a joke she said she heard that compared Obama's skin color to a weak cup of coffee.

She has nearly 75,000 followers.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/wife-of-israeli-minister-tweets-racist-joke-about-president-obama-2015-6

The Stakes: Koch & Co. Aim for a Revolution in 2016


The 2016 election ambitions of the Koch brothers and what they represent on the Republican right wing, free-market absolutism, are nothing short of breathtaking. They feel within their grasp a historical opportunity they have been dreaming about for decades to turn back liberal institutions and customs. Things have lined up their way. Congress is in Republican hands. Big money, insurmountable money, can swing the party's presidential nomination their way as never before. And they have battle tested at the state level their legislative game plan to roll back settled elements of environmental protections, workers' rights, progressive taxation, voting rights, criminal justice policy and a host of social issues including abortion rights and gay rights, as well as to play fast and loose with separation of church and state.

What the Kochs represent is a continuous line of corporate reaction to the welfare state and the legitimation of unions that goes back to the New Deal. Their forerunners are the people who called FDR a Nazi and a Communist (as the Tea Partiers are fond of calling Obama--though with the Muslim kicker these days) and in private would call the president Franklin Delano Rosenberg. The continuity is actually amazing over time, with a history of notable triumphs (Taft-Hartley) and defeats (Medicare), but with the single-minded goal of taking over the Republican Party.

The Tea Party was a particular triumph in that these free-market absolutists were able to paper over their tensions with the Republican Party's largest voting bloc, right-wing populists (social conservatives and evangelicals) in the face of the twinned whammies of 2008, the financial crisis and the election of Obama. On the first signature issue of the Tea Party, opposition to Obamacare, the free-market absolutists and the populists each developed ferocious anger, but for different reasons. For the free-market absolutists, who have never renounced their goal of reversing Social Security and Medicare, this was viewed as a potentially irreversible victory of the welfare state. For the populists, it was a threat to their security which depended on the likes of Social Security and Medicare--Obamacare was going to take these things away from them, as they saw it, and give it to the 'undeserving.' The confusion in this on rational grounds was never better formulated than in the famous and oft-carried banner, 'Government hands off my Medicare.'...

...Commentators have recognized the 'Republican civil war' for years: the Tea Party versus the ever rightward-moving Republican 'establishment'. But now, that tension has a parallel within the Tea Party: the interests of the people's party and the oligarchs' party don't quite line up once again. This recognition, by the way, is the unique virtue of the Huckabee campaign--he's making his case for the presidency on behalf of the populist wing--and it bears watching how he fares when the primary voting begins.

The 2016 elections cannot be underestimated!
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