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


Alaska Race Totally Bizarre (What’s New?)

Josh Marshall at TPM: “PPP just came in with results of a new poll of the Alaska Senate race and results are just deeply weird. One thing I’ll say is that this may really be the race whose outcome is more difficult to predict than any other in the country.

The big eye-popper from the poll is that McAdams, the Dem, and the guy no one has really expected to win, is dramatically more popular than either Miller or Murkowski. Not to say he has more support, he doesn’t. But his favorable numbers are much, much better than either Miller or Murkowski. Miller’s favorability rating is 36% to 59%. Basically people totally hate the guy.

Next, bizarrely, the complete implosion of Miler’s campaign seems — if this poll bears out — to be ensuring that he’ll win. He being Joe Miller. I’ll let you look at their write up to figure out how that can possibly be so. But that’s the gist. Another way to look at it is that Miller has collapsed so badly that Murkowski, rather than splitting the vote and making a McAdams win possible, now looks to him denying McAdams the victory he could win in a two person race.”

Cornyn Refuses To Denounce Vitter’s Race-Baiting Anti-Immigrant Campaign Ad

“This month, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) began airing a race-baiting anti-immigrant campaign ad that the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce found to be “totally abhorrent and shocking.” The ad targets the immigration stance of Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Vitter’s opponent: the narrator says “Thanks to him, we may as well put out a welcome sign for illegal aliens,” as footage of dirty, goofy-looking Latino men slipping through a hole in a fence displaying a neon welcome sign runs across the screen. The men step into a limo with a giant government check they defiantly hang out the window as they zoom away. “I’m going to use the ‘R’ word and say racist,” said the spokeswoman for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We are saying you owe us an apology, we are offended, we expect an immediate apology and we expect this ad to be yanked from the airwaves immediately,” she continued.

Not only did Vitter continue to run the ad, but he defended it during a debate last week, asking “Is it a stereotype that folks coming across the border — that is a problem and they look like that? Dennis that is a fact, that is not a stereotype! Let’s get our heads out of the sand!” This morning on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, joined Vitter in defending the ad. Amanpour repeatedly invited Cornyn to denounce the ad’s racial overtones, which he refused to do.”

Broder: ‘As We Accelerate Preparations For War [With Iran], The Economy Will Improve’

“Observing the continuing economic crisis, Washington Post columnist David Broder asks “Can Obama harness the forces that might spur new growth?”

The answer is obvious, but its implications are frightening. War and peace influence the economy.

Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.”

Despite 40-year sentence, Khadr likely to go home in a year

“A military jury at Guantanamo on Sunday sentenced teen terrorist Omar Khadr to 40 years in prison for killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, but the judge revealed after the sentence was announced that Canada had agreed a week ago in a diplomatic note that “it is inclined to favourably consider” Khadr’s application to be transferred to Canada next year.”

Texas Gov. Perry stands tall in anti-incumbent year

“Any candidate who has been in office for a decade and wants four more years in the same job might be expected to encounter stiff resistance. But Rick Perry, Texas’ longest-serving governor, appears to be defying anti-incumbent hostility by railing against an officeholder who isn’t on the ballot: President Barack Obama.”

Inventor of Cap-and-Trade Thinks It’s the Wrong Approach to Climate Change

“Imagine this: A farmer spends months tending to his wheat field only to wake up one morning to find, in peak harvesting season, all of his precious wheat has burned to the ground. The culprit, as it turns out, is a stream of sparks from nearby train tracks.

The farmer demands that the owner of the train tracks install spark-catchers to ensure that this never happens again. But the train owner sees no advantage in installing the spark-catchers. They’re expensive and he doesn’t give a hoot about the farmer’s wheat crop.

It’s a classic dilemma: The farmer faces an economic loss if the train owner maintains the status quo, and the train operator faces an economic loss if he installs the necessary technology to protect the farmer’s crops.

The example of the farmer and the train owner, outlined in a 1960 economics paper by R.H. Coarse, laid the intellectual groundwork for Thomas Crocker, an economics Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, to develop one of the most innovative and controversial public policy proposals of our time: cap-and-trade.

[…]
Today, Crocker, who is retired but continues to do economics research, says cap-and-trade is not the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It would make more sense to impose a flat tax on carbon dioxide, he argues. In a phone interview with TWI from his home in Wyoming, Crocker said, “Apart from the question of whether or not it’s appropriate to control greenhouse gases in the first place, and given that you’re going to take some form of control, I believe that emissions taxes for greenhouse gases are more economically efficient than is cap-and-trade.””

Russia Angers Japan With Visit to Disputed Islands

“President Dmitri A. Medvedev flew into the Kuril Islands, seized from Japan at the end of World War II, making it clear that Russia has no plans to return the territory.”

Europe’s Plagues Came From China, Study Finds

“The waves of plague that twice devastated Europe and changed the course of history had their origins in China, a team of medical geneticists reported.”

Reader Comments Welcome. Share news stories you have seen here…please be sure to attribute them. Comments with violations of Fair Use guidelines may be edited.