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

Ben Stein: The Unemployed Are People With ‘Unpleasant Personalities…Who Do Not Know How To Do A Day’s Work’

“Today, the Senate extended unemployment benefits for millions of jobless Americans. Despite the terrible shape of the economy, conservatives resisted extending unemployment insurance for weeks for Americans who can’t find work, launching a filibuster to prevent a vote on the benefits.

Writing at the American Spectator yesterday, former Nixon speechwriter and TV personality Ben Stein downplayed the suffering unemployed Americans are experiencing by writing that the people who are unemployed right now are “generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities.” He claims the unemployed are Americans with “unpleasant personalities…who do not know how to do a day’s work“.”

NAACP backtracks on criticism of Sherrod: ‘We were snookered.’

“Yesterday, following the forced firing of former Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, the NAACP rushed out a statement saying that it was “appalled” by her “shameless” actions. While the Obama administration is standing by its decision to force Sherrod’s resignation, the NAACP has courageously reversed course, saying it had been “snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart.” The civil rights organization says the incident highlights “the lengths to which extremist elements will go to discredit legitimate opposition.” “This is a teachable moment, for activists and for journalists,” the statement reads. Read it below.”

Rubio’s campaign ‘couldn’t give an answer’ on how he would pay for his proposed tax cuts.

“This week, GOP U.S. Senate candidate in Florida, Marco Rubio, said he would not support extending unemployment benefits to nearly 3 million Americans unless spending cuts were identified to offset the $33 billion cost. “At some point, someone has to draw a line in the sand and say we are serious about not growing debt,” Rubio said. At the same time, Rubio wants to make the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent — at a cost of nearly $700 billion over the next ten years — with no offset. While Rubio recently claimed they would pay for themselves (they won’t), a local Florida CBS reporter followed up with his campaign:

However, historically speaking, no party has ever opposed extending the benefits when the unemployment rate was higher than 7 percent until the current election cycle. […] However, when it comes to offsetting the costs of an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts that Rubio wants made permanent, his campaign couldn’t give an answer to’s Tim Kephart. “

Jobless-benefits bill clears key test; passage assured

“The Senate cleared the way Tuesday for final passage of a bill to extend long-stalled jobless benefits to an estimated 2.5 million people, as it voted 60-40 to halt the often-bitter partisan stalemate that’s stymied the popular program”

Graham only GOP senator on panel to vote for Kagan

“Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday was the only Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote to confirm Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court, breaking ranks for the second time in a year on a high court pick by President Barack Obama.”

Nuclear Licensing Process Raises Proliferation Concerns

“This Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the government agency responsible for overseeing the country’s nuclear energy activities, are slated to present a report laying out the environmental impacts of a proposed uranium enrichment facility, a key step in approving the facility’s license. While NRC staff will spend nearly five hours in Ballroom 5 of the Warwick Center at the University of North Carolina going over the details of their report, it is what they won’t discuss that has arms control advocates worried.”

Judge Ruling on SB 1070 Ruled in Previous Cases That Federal Law Trumps State Law

“As the Justice Department prepares to argue Thursday against Arizona’s immigration law, The Associated Press takes a look into the background of the judge who will hear the case. Susan Bolton, who heard the first arguments against SB 1070 last week, is described as a “down-the-middle” judge who has been ruling on immigration cases in Arizona for a decade.

Her ruling on the DOJ suit will determine whether Arizona’s law violates the Constitution by preempting federal immigration law. The AP reports she has experience in federal-state disagreements: Bolton has ruled in two cases unrelated to immigration that federal law trumps state law.”

Immigration Is the Top Issue for Latino Voters in Key States

“Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the U.S., and their votes could hinge on how the government addresses immigration: A poll released today by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund finds that immigration has overtaken economic issues, education and health care as the top policy issue for Latino voters in four states. In 2006, a poll released by NALEO found education, the economy and jobs, and the war in Iraq were the top concerns for Latino voters.

A majority of the 1,600 Latino voters surveyed in California, Colorado, Florida and Texas said they identify as Democrats, with only 16.5 percent identifying as Republicans. Most said they would be likely to vote against a candidate if they disagreed with the candidate’s stance on immigration.”

Clinton and Gates Visit Koreas’ Dividing Line

“The visit was meant to signal the Obama administration’s seriousness about aggression from North Korea.”

Water Dispute Increases India-Pakistan Tension

“A battle over a dam threatens to upset delicate negotiations to renew peace talks on Kashmir.”

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