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

Those Internal Polls

“Josh Marshall: Mark Blumenthal’s got a very interesting piece up at Huffpo talking specifically about how off the polls were in Nevada but also making a broader point about the quality of public polling. Remember, the Nevada race was heavily polled. And the results showed the two tied and then with Angle opening a consistent lead of 2 or 3 percentage points. Reid didn’t just win. He won by 5 points. Not even close, really.

Most people have assumed that Reid just had such an amazing field operation and shoe-leathered it out, managing to dramatically outperform the polls. In other words, somehow Reid’s folks just managed to grab a bunch of non-likely voters, got them out of bed and hauled them to the polls. And to be clear, I’d include myself among the folks thinking this way.

But apparently that’s not what happened. “

Olbermann Will Return On Tuesday Night

“MSNBC’s President Phil Griffin released the following statement this evening:

After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee touts at least 280,000 people who signed a petition to “put Keith back on TV now!“”

Pawlenty And Perry Tout Opposition To Health Law, While Accepting Some Of Its Funding

“Outgoing Minnesota Governor and potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty (R) reiterated his opposition to the Affordable Care Act this morning on CNN’s State of the Union, touting his principled rejection of the law’s grants and programs:

PAWLENTY: I think ObamaCare is one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in the modern history of the country. I’m doing everything I can in Minnesota to stop delay or avoid its implementation in my state, including signing an executive order saying we’re not going to participate unless required by law or approved by me.
But Pawlenty’s opposition to federal funds isn’t nearly as absolute or widespread as he would have his party faithful believe. Pawlenty’s executive order includes a caveat that allows the Governor to “evaluate federal funding opportunities on a case by case basis,” and he has recently allowed the state’s Management and Budget Office to apply for a grant from the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, “a $5 billion program that helps pay for the insurance costs of retirees between the ages of 55 and 64.” So far, Minnesota has received some $11.1 million in ACA grants, and Pawlenty has separately accepted $263 million in federal dollars to bolster the state’s Medicaid program.”

Former Reagan Budget Director Says Wall St. Doesn’t Need Another Tax Cut: ‘They Don’t Deserve It’

“This morning on ABC’s This Week, host Christiane Amanpour asked Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) whether he considers it “fair” that the richest Americans should get an extra tax cut. “What’s not fair,” Pence responded in defense of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, “is that you would actually allow a tax increase on job creators.” Former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman, who ushered in one of the most sweeping tax cuts in history, rejected Pence’s argument:

Two years after the crisis on Wall Street, it has been announced that bonuses this year will be $144 billion — the highest in history. That’s who’s gonna get this tax cut on the top, you know, 2 percent of the population. They don’t need a tax cut. They don’t deserve it. And therefore, what we have to do is focus on Main Street.”

Cantor Refuses To Take Government Shutdown Or Default On U.S. Debt Off The Table

“In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the #2 Republican in the House, threatened to take the nation’s economy hostage if President Obama does not comply with House GOPers’ as yet undefined demands. When asked if he would take a government shutdown on forcing the United States to default on its debt off the table, Cantor responded that it would somehow be President Obama’s fault if House Republicans press this agenda.”

Gates Says He Supports Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell In The Lame Duck Session Of Congress

“At a press availability en route to Melbourne, Australia, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told reporters that he would like Congress to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the lame duck session but was “not sure what the prospects for that are“.”

Graham Calls For War To ‘Neuter’ The Iranian Regime

“Speaking at a security conference in Canada yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took it upon himself to make U.S.-Iran policy, declaring that “Containment is off the table“:

The South Carolina Republican saw the United States going to war with the Islamic republic “not to just neutralize their nuclear program, but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard, in other words neuter that regime.””

For-profit schools work to head off new tough regulations

“Fast-growing for-profit colleges, under fire for saddling students with unmanageable debt, are rolling out new policies aimed at raising graduation rates while also hoping a Republican-controlled House will block unfavorable legislation. Soaring growth at for-profit schools _ from 673,000 students in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2008 _ has put the sector in the spotlight.”

Jerry Brown’s victory cheers Democrats but won’t fix budget

“Californians elected Jerry Brown to be the governor at the same they approved a proposition to allow the state legislature to pass a budget by a simple majority, instead of the super majority that had been required. But by lowering the threshold for passing the budget, voters placed the entire political burden for difficult program cuts on the shoulders of Democrats.”

For Afghan Wives, a Desperate, Fiery Way Out

“Many Afghan women set themselves on fire to escape lives of servitude and abuse.”

Irish Debt Woes Revive Concern About Europe

“Even as global stock markets rallied last week, bond market jitters were a forceful reminder that investors remained wary of European sovereign debt.”

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