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


Contractor On Trial For Buying Porn, Prostitutes And $100K Flag Belt Buckle

“The former head of a military contractor is on trial in Long Island for fraud, having allegedly used company funds to buy porn for his son, a burial plot for his mother, prostitutes for his employees and a ruby-encrusted American flag belt buckle worth $100,000.

David H. Brooks, the founder and former chief of body armor manufacturer DHB, is facing charges of fraud, insider trading and using millions of dollars in corporate cash to fund, as the New York Times puts it, “personal extravagance.” “

Boehner Gets Specific On His Plans To Halt Federal Regulation

“House Minority Leader John Boehner has finally gotten specific about his recent call for a moratorium on new federal regulations, and TPM’s gotten a look at just what kinds of regulations — other than the obvious ones implementing health care and Wall Street reforms — that Boehner’s plan would block.

Boehner last week endorsed the REINS Act, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), which states that “any rulemaking where the estimated cost to Americans would exceed $100 million,” could not go into effect “without Congress voting on it first.” “

Target Donates $150K To Group Supporting Candidate Who Wants To Cut Waiters’ Minimum Wage

“Earlier this year, Republicans were overjoyed when the Supreme Court overturned “a 63-year-old law designed to restrain the influence of big business and unions on elections.” As Common Cause noted, January’s Citizens United decision enhanced “the ability of the deepest-pocketed special interests to influence elections and the U.S. Congress.”

Thanks to Citizens United, Target is now a major Republican donor, giving $150,000 to MN Forward, a “Republican-friendly political fund staffed by insiders from departing GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s administration.””

Rubio’s Spending Cuts Plan: End Tax Benefits For The Middle Class While Extending Them For The Rich

“Earlier this month, Florida GOP U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio unveiled his economic plan, which is basically just a double-down on the Bush tax cuts with, as the Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo noted, “an unspecified corporate tax cut thrown on top for good measure.” How does Rubio plan to pay for all these tax cuts? His campaign “couldn’t give an answer.”

Today, Rubio laid out a new plan to cut spending — “12 Simple Ways To Cut Spending,” his campaign calls it. The plan contains many ideas that would do very little in terms of paying down the debt and reducing the deficit — including eliminating earmarks, reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy, and cutting Congressional and White House budgets. Others are outright gimmicks, such as allowing taxpayers to allocate taxes to the debt and calling for a balanced budget amendment. “

Department of Defense can’t account for 96 percent of money administered in Iraq reconstruction fund.

“Yesterday, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) released its findings on how the money was spent from a special Iraq reconstruction fund set up by the Department of Defense (DOD) between 2003-2007. The account used Iraqi oil money to fund the reconstruction of Iraq. SIGIR concluded that 96 percent of the $9.1 billion the reconstruction program cannot be accounted for by the DOD.”

Sen. McCaskill wants answers to issues at Arlington National Cemetery

“Thousands of deceased military veterans may rest in improperly marked graves at Arlington National Cemetery, Sen. Claire McCaskill warned Monday. An inspector general’s report released in June detailed numerous problems at the cemetery, one of two national cemeteries run by the Department of the Army. In three sections of the cemetery, the report found, more than 200 graves appear to have been improperly marked.”

Poll: Supporters Of Tough Immigration Laws Don’t Dislike Hispanics

“Supporters of tougher immigration enforcement are motivated by concerns about the economy and law enforcement, not by negative feelings towards Hispanics, according to 77 percent of Americans polled in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released yesterday. Twenty percent of the 1,018 people surveyed said those who favor tough laws do so mostly because they dislike Hispanics. Among Hispanics, the number was higher: 34 percent said supporters of harsh policies dislike Hispanics.”

Senate DISCLOSE Act Cloture Vote Update

“It’s all but official now that Democrats won’t reach 60 votes on today’s cloture vote on the DISCLOSE Act. Fox News reported that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) will be absent attending a friend’s funeral and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) reiterated her opposition to the bill late yesterday. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has yet to signal her position, though she has maintained that the Senate should be focusing on the economy at this time.”

Pelosi Unveils House Oil Spill Response Bill

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled an oil spill response package last night.

The bill includes legislation proposed by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) that would reform the Interior Department’s drilling oversight infrastructure and put new regulations on the oil drilling. It also includes the Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2010, which, according to a summary of the bill, “provides whistleblower and anti-retaliation protections to workers on the Outer Continental Shelf” and “protects worker safety by improving federal agency coordination.””

Counting Warren Votes

“Over at The New Republic, Noam Scheiber counts the votes for Elizabeth Warren, the current head of the Congressional Oversight Panel over the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a Harvard Law professor and progressives’ choice to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Any nominee will need 60 votes to overcome a presumed filibuster in the Senate.

[T]he GOP has been willing to filibuster even seemingly popular proposals. But, after surveying a dozen insiders over the last few days — congressional aides, industry officials, progressive activists, and a few administration officials — I’ve concluded that the odds are good that Warren would be confirmed if nominated by the White House. (The White House itself agrees — it is ”confident she is confirmable,” according to a spokeperson.)”

Paris Journal: Defying Digital Craze, Newspaper for Youngsters Is Thriving

“In an age when many children are addicted to computers, iPods and iPads — and when newspapers are feeling the pressure — Mon Quotidien appears to be an anomaly.”

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