Noontime News is a snapshot of our RSS feeds from the noon (Eastern time) hour.


Republicans And Democrats Lining Up Behind Major Changes To Social Security

“Is there a new, bipartisan consensus forming on Capitol Hill about whether (and how) to scale back Social Security benefits? A surprising number of signs point to “yes” — and that has many progressives looking ahead a few months to what they believe could become a serious fight.

Several of the most powerful members of the House — Republicans and Democrats — have recently voiced real support for the idea of raising the retirement age for people middle-aged and younger as part of a larger plan to reduce long-term deficits, inching closer to what not too long ago was the third rail of American politics. “

Robert Reich: Slouching Toward A Double Dip Or A Lousy Recovery At Best

“The economy is still in the gravitational pull of the Great Recession and all the booster rockets for getting us beyond it are failing. The odds of a double dip are increasing.

In June the nation added fewer jobs than necessary merely to keep up with population growth (private hiring rose by 83,000 after adding only 33,000 jobs in May). The typical workweek declined. Average earnings dropped. Home sales are down. Retail sales are down. Factory orders in May suffered their biggest tumble since March of last year. “

Hayward flies to Arab Emirates to seek bailout.

“BP CEO Tony Hayward has flown to Abu Dhabi today, possibly to raise funds and secure new investors from the region as his company’s stocks continue to plummet as a result of their oil disaster.”

NOT SATIRE: MN GOP Gov. Candidate’s Idea For Economic Growth: Cut The Minimum Wage Of Bartenders And Waiters

“With the tough economy continuing to hit individuals, families, and businesses nationwide, progressive legislators have sought to protect vital public investment in the nation’s communities, while many conservative lawmakers have turned to slashing social support for the most vulnerable Americans.

Minnesota GOP candidate for governor Tom Emmer falls in the second camp. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Emmer proposed cutting the minimum wage for service workers who receive tips, such as bartenders and waiters. In order to justify the cut, Emmer said that some of these employees earn “over $100,000 a year,” and even make more than the people who employ them.”

Rove Admits His ‘Shadow RNC’ Attack Group Functions Largely Because Of The Citizens United Decision

“Given the weak leadership of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove launched a “shadow RNC” in April called American Crossroads, vowing to spend $50 million to influence this Fall’s election. After an embarrassing first month of fundraising, Crossroads raised $8.5 million in June, “from an even split of individuals and corporations.” On Fox News today, Rove directly credited his group’s success to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which overturned the decades-old ban on corporate money in politics.”

Experts: Too many obstacles in the way of new cancer drugs

“Scientists, doctors, drug makers and regulators who gathered Tuesday to talk about new cancer drugs spoke of the “valley of death.” It’s the long-cursed chasm between jaw-dropping breakthroughs in basic science – often unearthed at universities – and the manufacture of drugs that can battle your tumor. New drugs are approved at about the same rate they were in 1950.”

Shrinking Labor Force Masks Deepening Jobless Crisis

“Michele Walker lost her job working for a rental management company in the Pittsburgh area in the spring of 2008. She had held a job for the past 21 years, and figured that she, her husband and her adult son would be fine until she could find work again. “Back then, I even thought about getting a part-time job, and cutting back,” she says, sighing. But then her husband was laid off, followed by her son. Her and her husband’s unemployment checks did not meet their fixed expenses, and so they spent their savings over the course of the next two years, drawing down their 401k plans and even dropping their health insurance. This spring, the checks stopped coming entirely. Their situation became more dire, and they started cutting back — turning off the air conditioning and heat, keeping most lights off, switching grocery stores, even selling their laptop to use the computer at the library to cut back on the cable bill.
[…]
These discouraged workers are part of a broad, and troubling, phenomenon. During the first four months of the year, 1.7 million workers flooded the job market, heartened by good economic news. But in the past two months, as the recovery has faltered, nearly a million workers have fallen back out.”

Who Will Head the CFPA?

“The head of the consumer financial protection agency will have authority over a far-reaching and uniquely powerful new government agency — able to make and enforce rules regarding just about every consumer financial product save, sadly, for car loans made by auto dealers.”

British Panel Clears Climate Scientists

“In a sweeping exoneration, the panel said it found no evidence that they had manipulated their research to support preconceived ideas about climate change.”

Satire: Powerful ‘His And Hers’ Towel Lobby Stalls Gay Marriage Legislation

“Gay rights activists protested the defeat of bill S. 743 Monday, saying that the proposed legislation giving homosexuals the right to marry was derailed by the National Association of Semi-personalized Linens Manufacturers (NASLM), a powerful lobby representing the nation’s gender-specific bath-towel makers
[…]
NASLM released a statement in response to [criticism] that expressed the organization’s belief that “marriage is a sacred bond between a his and a hers.” “

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