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

Does Meek’s Primary Win Hurt Crist — And Help Rubio?

“It’s possible that Kendrick Meek’s win in the Florida Democratic Senate primary could be good news for Republican Marco Rubio. And this is not because of any deficiencies on Meek’s part. Instead, it’s the fact that he’s a much better Dem candidate than his primary rival, businessman Jeff Greene, and could end up winning too many Democratic votes and splitting the anti-Rubio vote with the other big player in the race, the ex-Republican and now independent Gov. Charlie Crist.”

Poll: Vitter Leads Melancon By 10

“New Louisiana polling data to be released later today shows David Vitter maintaining a double digit lead over his likely rival, Rep. Charlie Melancon, and benefiting from the fact that the electorate there remains largely in the dark about his scandals.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 403 likely voters from August 21-22 and found that, in a two way race, 41 percent now say they’d vote for Melancon, 51 would choose Vitter, and 8 percent remain undecided.”

Right-Wing Christian Militia Vows To Protect Florida Church Burning Qurans On September 11

“Despite the city’s fire protection ordinances, the poorly-named Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL is committed to hosting “International Burn a Quran Day” on September 11. The radical church, which boasts an “Islam Is Of The Devil” message on a sign outside the church and as the title of its pastor’s book, insists “we will still burn Korans” on the church grounds despite being denied a permit. While the church may be fined for openly burning the holy texts, one “armed Christian conservative group” aptly named Right Wing Extreme vowed Sunday to protect the church from any other harassment during the burning:

The Christian conservative organization Right Wing Extreme has offered its support and protection for the International Burn a Quran day.

Right Wing Extreme was founded in April of 2009 after the Department of Homeland Security’s report titled Right Wing Extremism.[…]“We fully support Dove World Outreach Center and its efforts to put an end to the notion that Islam is a peaceful religion. Islam is a violent cult with the goal of world domination.” Says Right Wing Extreme founder Shannon Carson. “

Tea Party Leaders Criticize Beck’s 8/28 Rally: ‘All He’s Doing Is Trying To Use Us To Promote Himself’

“This Saturday in Washington, DC, Fox News host Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally will take place at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Beck has claimed that the rally — meant “to recognize our First Amendment rights and honor the service members who fight to protect those freedoms” — is “going to be one for the history books” and will be “a turning point in America.”

Beck has been a fervent supporter of the Tea Party, having previously promoted its events and rallies and even provided a forum for various Tea Party factions to work out their differences. While many local Tea Party chapters are helping to turn out attendees for the rally, some Tea Party leaders aren’t interested in helping Beck:

At least one tea party group rejected Beck’s entreaties to assist with the march, concluding he was offering little in return for its organizational know-how and credibility, while giving preferential treatment to FreedomWorks, which is paying to sponsor Beck’s radio show. The group’s leader, who requested anonymity to avoid antagonizing Beck, said, “All he’s doing is trying to use us to promote himself.”[…]

“I call it ‘Beckaplooza,’ because it seems to be all about Beck,” said Andrew Ian Dodge, the Maine state coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, a coalition of local groups that has helped stage several big rallies. … [W]hen the Patriots were deciding whether to help with Saturday’s rally, Dodge said there was internal queasiness over the M.L.K. link and Beck’s inflammatory rhetoric, including his blasting of Obama as a racist. … “Beck takes it outside of the realm of fiscal conservatism into issues that are more emotional and make you wonder if we really want to be associated with this guy,” [Dodge said].”

Task force: Military suicide prevention efforts inadequate

“A Defense Department task force devoted to preventing suicide in the military presented a grim picture of the trend Tuesday, with suicides rising at a near steady pace even as commanders apply various balms to soothe a stressed, exhausted fighting force.”

Oil Spill Commission Begins its Second Meeting

“The first panel of a day-long meeting of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling just ended. I’ll be blogging the meeting all day.

In opening remarks, former Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of the commission, called the spill an “enormous and shared failure.” And former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William Reilly, also co-chair of the commission, said the administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling “has taken a toll” on the Gulf. “

As Former MMS Head Testifies, a Review of the Agency’s Demise

“On the same day that former Minerals Management Service chief Elizabeth Birnbaum is slated to testify before the national oil spill commission, The Washington Post published a lengthy story on the history of the often cozy relationship between the agency and the oil industry.

Birnbaum resigned in May amid criticism of MMS and as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was dismantling the agency and restructuring the way the department permits and oversee offshore drilling.

According to the Post:

The story of how a little-known federal agency became an extension of the industry it oversaw spans three decades and four presidents. It began in 1982 with a major change in the way the nation managed its natural resources, picked up pace with initiatives to streamline bureaucracy in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, and ended after the April 20 BP blowout with the Obama administration’s abrupt decision to undo the partnership.”

Carter Arrives in North Korea

“The former president is in Pyongyang on a mission to win the release of an American held prisoner in North Korea.”

World Briefing | EUROPE: France: Rights Group Faults Roma Policy

“The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on Tuesday joined critics of France’s efforts to deport Roma who overstay their visas and to demolish illegal Roma camps.”

Satire: Smart, Qualified People Behind the Scenes Keeping America Safe: ‘We Don’t Exist’

“Members of the brilliant, highly trained, and dedicated team of elite professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to protect our nation and keep its citizens out of harm’s way announced Tuesday that they do not exist.

“I know most Americans like to believe there are selfless, ultra-intelligent operatives like me out there watching over everything from an underground control room,” said the Rhodes Scholar Navy SEAL national security official who for the past 10 years we have all mistakenly presumed to be an actual human being. “Unfortunately, though, I’m not employed by the U.S. government, I’m not working at all hours to foil terrorist plots, nor am I part of some secret network of sharp, capable agents, because no such network exists.”

“And again, neither do I,” the imaginary man added.


Following the announcement, reporters learned that the all-seeing satellite cameras and invisible eyes that millions of Americans assume are diligently watching every square-inch of the country like a silent sentinel are either not up there at all, or are being monitored by a tired, modestly educated man reading Road & Track magazine in a tiny office.

“Look, I understand your psychological need to invent someone like me so that you can stop worrying about imminent disasters and get some sleep at night,” said the hyper-articulate, Princeton-educated political-scientist jujitsu-master we’re all imagining. “But the reality is most of the smart, qualified people in this country are wasting away in assistant professorships at struggling public universities or making millions of dollars in some venture capital group. In fact, that’s exactly the kind of job I would have right now if I were a real person. Which I’m not.”

“But good luck with everything,” he added, or rather didn’t add, because he neither said anything nor even ever existed at all.”

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