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


Franken, Progressive Groups Begin Whip Campaign For Elizabeth Warren

“The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and it’s new affiliate, the P St. Project, will launch a public campaign this week with the help of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to whip up support in the Senate for Elizabeth Warren’s nomination and confirmation to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PCCC, in partnership with the progressive group CREDO, rounded up 200,000 petition signatures in support of Warren, and will now team up with Franken to urge members to publicly commit to voting for her.”

Despite touting the 14th amendment on GOP.com, RNC says it’s open to repealing parts of it.

“On its website, the Republican National Committee proudly boasts of the GOP’s role in passing the 14th amendment in 1866. “The original purpose of the 14th Amendment was to defend African-Americans from their Democrat oppressors in the post-Civil War South,” the site states. Now, however, the RNC says it’s open to repealing the portion of the 14th amendment that allows anyone born in the U.S. to automatically become a U.S. citizen.”

Flashback: George Washington in 1790 — The U.S. government ‘gives to bigotry no sanction.’

“In 1790, President George Washington wrote a letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, affirming the values of tolerance and religious freedom that he saw as the bedrock of the country that he had had helped found, and done so much to secure. “The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy,” Washington wrote, “a policy worthy of imitation.” He continued:

All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens. […]

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Coburn And McCain Troubled By Stimulus Debt, Which Is 488 Times Smaller Than Debt Impact Of Bush Tax Cuts

“Yesterday, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report that highlights 100 supposedly “questionable stimulus projects that are wasteful, mismanaged, and overall unsuccessful in creating jobs.” “The only thing getting a boost is our national debt,” the report complains. The “American people have awakened to the incompetency of Washington,” said Coburn. “The rest of the federal government is filled with stuff just like this.”

Coburn went on Fox News today to promote the report and criticized White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ claim yesterday that the report is not credible:

COBURN: Mr. Gibbs knows I don’t mess around when it comes to stealing money from our kids and grandkids. And if he wants to defend this kind of stuff — this isn’t political. It’s too serious to be political no guys. We’re $13.4 trillion in debt and growing and this is the kind of waste that people are sick and tired of.

Watch it:

If Coburn doesn’t “mess around” with “stealing money” from the American youth, then why are he and McCain fierce advocates for extending President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy? The ten-year cost of extending those tax cuts amounts to $830 billion. But how much of this alleged “wasteful” stimulus spending are the senators now concerned about? A mere $1.7 billion:

Concern

Virginia GOP Candidates Agree To Closed-Door, No-Media-Allowed Meeting With Tea Partiers

“On Monday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) went on MSNBC and hit Democrats for going into “hiding” this summer, implying that they weren’t planning to peak with their constituents during the August recess:

CANTOR: [Y]ou look at the difference now of what we’re about as Republicans and what Democrats are about the course of this August recess. I would venture to say that Democrats have gone into hiding, whereas John Boehner and I and the rest of our conference are out there, taking our message to the people, talking about the specific things that they can expect if we’re a majority. And we’re frankly shocked — we’re listening to people, and I think the Democrats have demonstrated they’re unwilling to do that, and their agenda reflects that.

Today, however, two Virginia newspapers have editorials criticizing two GOP congressional candidates for banning the media from their closed-door events with Tea Party activists. “

California Judge: Prop. 8 Is Unconstitutional, Has No ‘Rational Basis’ For Singling Out Same-Sex Couples

“Moments ago, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8, passed by California voters in November 2008, which prohibited same-sex couples from marrying in the sate. Walker found that the Prop 8 undermined both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, arguing that “[e]ach challenge is independently meritorious, as Proposition 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation: ”

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite- sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Scientists cast doubt on claims BP spill’s no threat to Gulf

“Many scientists say they're skeptical of a widely publicized government report Wednesday that concludes much of the oil that gushed from BP's leaking well is gone and poses little threat to the Gulf of Mexico.”

Housing boom’s jobs aren’t returning as economy recovers

“The housing boom that helped fuel U.S. economic growth and employment from 2000 to 2007 was an unsustainable bubble, and when it burst it not only sent the economy into a tailspin, but also left the U.S. economy struggling to create jobs.”

Arizona Immigration Law Hurts Reputation, Business

“Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law went into effect a week ago, albeit with its most contested provisions blocked until November, at least. But the law’s economic impact on the state may be lingering. After the law was announced, boycotts of the state sprang up around the country, and officials from the tourism industry worried they’d be hard hit, issuing a statement in May that the law “could easily have a devastating effect on visitation to our state.”

According to at least one metric, the boycotts did make an impact. The Arizona Republic reported this week that fewer companies and organizations are choosing Arizona to host conventions and meetings in the state because of the law:

Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association chief executive Debbie Johnson says the state has lost about 40 conventions and $15 million so far. And she says that’s “a lowball guess.”

Johnson says if there’s one bright spot, hotel bookings are up from last year.

Convention organizers say it will take a lot of work to rebuild the state’s tattered image over immigration”

32 Senate Democrats Call for RES in Energy/Spill Bill

“With this week’s delay on the energy and oil spill bill, lawmakers are renewing their push to include a renewable energy mandate in the legislation. Politico notes this morning that 32 Democrats sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling for inclusion of an a renewable energy standard in the bill.

Lawmakers sent a version of the letter to Reid last month; this one includes five more signatures. The lawmakers call for the passage of the “strongest possible” RES and discourage Reid from allowing other “non-renewable energy sources,” like nuclear or coal coupled with technology to reduce its emissions, to count in such a standard. Republicans have long called for a so-called “diverse energy standard,” which would take into account nuclear and “clean coal.””

Letter From China: Chinese Paving the Road to Freedom With Cash

“Even as China grows richer, the number of wealthy choosing to emigrate is rising. Many want what they perceive as the greater security and ease of international travel offered by a foreign passport.”

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