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


McCain Moves The Goal Posts Again On DADT, Now Claiming The Pentagon Study Isn’t Good Enough

“This week, Cindy McCain caused a stir when she seemingly broke with her husband, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), on the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy when she appeared in an ad calling for repealing the ban on gays serving openly. As the ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. McCain has led Republican opposition to repealing DADT, so his wife’s high-profile call for repeal was noteworthy, especially considering that the Senate may take up the policy during the lame duck session of Congress, which begins tomorrow.

Cindy McCain later walked back her stance, saying she actually supports her husband’s position on DADT, which has for years been that he will “defer to our military commanders.” McCain has always said he will reconsider his stance on DADT “the day that the leadership of the military comes to [me]” and says it should be overturned. Yet, when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates came to McCain in February announcing they were in favor of repealing DADT, McCain invented a new condition — the completion of a study the Pentagon is conducting looking into the repercussions of repealing DADT.”

Graham Won’t Vote For The New START Treaty Because Of ‘Stumbling Blocks’ That Don’t Exist

“President Obama has made ratification of the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia a top priority for the upcoming lame duck session of Congress, saying the treaty is “essential to the country’s national security.” An extension of the original treaty negotiatied by President Ronald Reagan, the START treaty responsibly reduces U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals by one-fourth. It has secured the “unanimous support of America’s military leadership,” thirty former Republican and Democratic national security officials, and almost all of the 67 votes needed for ratification in the Senate.

Despite the overwhelming support, a “tiny fringe” of right-wing “experts” are ginning up myths about the treaty. One such mouthpiece is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Claiming to be “open-minded” on the treaty, Graham told host Christine Amanpour on ABC’s This Week today that he could not support the treaty “in its current condition” because of “two obstacles” — nuclear modernization and missile defense. […]

The only problem with Graham’s “stumbling blocks” is that they don’t actually exist. While “security experts” like Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and former Bush administration Ambassador John Bolton insist that Obama is “risking our security” by supposedly not focusing on modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal, the actual rocket scientists of an independent defense advisory panel determined that not only are the weapons completely reliable, but that our current “nuclear warheads could be extended for decades, with no anticipated loss in effectiveness.” “

Neo-Nazis March In Support Of SB-1070 In Arizona

“Yesterday, members of the Neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement gathered in front of the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Court Building in Phoenix, AZ to protest a federal judge’s decision to block several provisions of the state’s controversial immigration law, SB-1070. Pollice had to interfere with tear gas and pepper spray when a group of counter-protesters clashed with the neo-Nazi march. Yesterday’s march is yet another example of the increasing participation of white supremacist groups in the SB-1070 immigration debate. “

Congress’ agenda: A little drama along with housekeeping

“The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will convene for a lame duck session with plans to consider almost every vital national issue. But the first major order of business for the Democrats will be to decide who's going to lead the party as it shifts to minority status when Republicans take control of the House next year.”

Push to opt out of Medicaid alarms Texas health providers

“A push from conservative legislators for Texas to opt out of Medicaid is stirring alarm among health care providers and nursing homes, which say the potential loss of billions of federal dollars could drastically undercut efforts to provide healthcare for the poor.”

North Korea Defections on Rise, South Says

“Defections have risen markedly in recent years, as economic conditions have worsened in the North.”

French University Rankings Draw Praise and Criticism

“A new French government survey that ranks public universities by graduate students’ employment rates after graduation earned academics’ praise and criticism.”

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