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Scott Walker marks Earth Day with layoff notices to dozens of environmental agency employees

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Thanks to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) budget cuts, at least 57 employees in Wisconsin’s environmental agency were notified just in time for Wednesday’s Earth Day that they would probably be out of a job.

The Journal Sentinel reported on Wednesday that Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employees began receiving notices this week that their jobs could be cut as part of Walker’s fiscal plan for the next two years.

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According to DNR spokesperson Bill Cosh, 27 of the layoff notices were delivered to employees in the Bureau of Science Services, where Walker has planned deep spending cuts that have been criticized by environmental groups.

Amber Meyer Smith, director of programs and government relations for Clean Wisconsin, told the Journal Sentinel that the cuts were a “terrible idea.”

“Any real natural resources protection is based on sound science. The more science you remove from the process, the more politics you add,” she explained.

In all, DNR was expected to lose 66 positions, but some of those were already vacant.

The Joint Finance Committee was expected to address DNR funding on Wednesday. One employee who received a layoff notice reportedly emailed other employees and asked that they “do what I dare not” and lobby lawmakers against the budget cuts.

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“Never mind that I, like most others targeted, are federally funded or funded from (a segregated account) and not general purpose revenue,” the employee wrote. “Thus, this measure will have no effect on the state budget.”

(h/t: Mother Jones)

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GOP’s Joni Ernst may have inadvertently boosted Joe Biden in Iowa: ex-White House official

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On CNN's "New Day," regular contributor and former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart almost rolled his eyes at a clip of Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst rushing to the cameras to gush about attacks on Joe Biden, saying she may have ended up helping the former vice president in her own state.

Speaking with hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota after watching the clip of the Iowa Republican blurting, "The Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening, and I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic goers. Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point?" Lockhart seemed in disbelief that she may have handed Biden a boost.

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‘Sit this one out’: Ivanka Trump’s complaint about ‘elites’ hilariously backfires

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Ivanka Trump complained about coastal elites to defend her father -- and was swiftly met with furious mockery.

The White House adviser and eldest daughter of President Donald Trump shared a video clip of former Republican strategist Rick Wilson ridiculing the president's "credulous boomer rube" supporters, and complained the attack was derogatory and unfair.

"You consistently make fun of half the country and then complain that it is divided," Ivanka Trump tweeted. "The arrogance, mocking accents and smug ridicule of this nation’s ‘Real Elites’ is disgusting."

You consistently make fun of half the country and then complain that it is divided.

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Republicans are being ‘torn and squeezed’ after Bolton’s book disrupts their anti-impeachment efforts: columnist

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On Tuesday, conservative columnist Matt Lewis wrote for The Daily Beast that former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book is a "game changer" that "puts the squeeze" on Senate Republicans who were hoping to dispose of the impeachment trial quickly.

"If you don’t think the bombshell revelation that John Bolton’s book will say Donald Trump wanted to withhold Ukraine aid until their government agreed to investigate Democrats has the potential to move the needle, consider the developments that ensued in its wake," wrote Lewis. "Susan Collins suggested she would vote for witnesses, and Mitt Romney said it’s 'increasingly likely' other Republicans would join them. Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham abruptly canceled a press conference (later, he left open the possibility that he would subpoena Bolton’s manuscript, even as he remained opposed to having Bolton testify), and Pat Toomey proposed a 'one-for-one' witness swap. By the end of the day Monday, Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine told NPR that he expects as many as 10 Republicans to vote for witnesses."

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