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


Minnesota Supremes Rule Against Tom Emmer — In Record Time

“The Minnesota Supreme Court has now ruled against Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer’s effort to force counties to sort through precinct rolls and potentially eliminate votes deemed to be excessively cast — a move that could have delayed the upcoming recount of the election in which Democrat Mark Dayton is ahead. And in a truly remarkable move, the court issued its ruling only about two hours after today’s oral arguments.”

Incumbency Matters

“From Josh Marshall: I was just reading this article about Mike Huckabee saying that President Obama’s going to be harder to beat than a lot of Republicans think. I think he’s right, for a number of reasons. But one he mentions is incumbency. And he’s right. People simply don’t appreciate how seldom elected presidents get denied reelection. By my count, it’s only happened three times in the last century. Carter, the first President Bush and Herbert Hoover.”

Following Outrage Over TSA Screenings, GOP Reps. Chaffetz And Hoekstra Lead Revived Calls For Profiling

“In recent days, the right has worked themselves into hysteria over the TSA’s new, more invasive screening protocols, with right-wing media magnate Matt Drudge breathlessly hyping the latest video of an intrusive pat down, and Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips demanding the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. While the TSA has promised to revise the methods to make them less intrusive, many conservatives have turned to one of their favorite solutions to the national security threat de jour: ethnic profiling. “

GOP Freshman: ‘Most Of Us Agreed’ That Raising The Debt Ceiling ‘Would Be A Betrayal’

“A handful of incoming Republican lawmakers — including Sen.-elect Mike Lee (R-UT) and Reps.-elect Jeff Denhem (R-CA) and Tim Scott (R-SC) — have said that they will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, even though the U.S. government will reach its borrowing limit early next year. “I’m going to vote against raising the national debt ceiling. We simply can’t continue to mortgage the future or our unborn children and grandchildren,” Lee said.

Plenty of Republican freshman besides these three also ran on opposition to a debt ceiling increase, and according to Rep.-elect Bill Johnson (R-OH), many of them have agreed to stick to their guns when the vote comes:

Rep.-elect Bill Johnson of Ohio said those who ran on such messages didn’t intend to reverse themselves now. “Most of us agreed that to increase the limit would be a betrayal of what we told voters we would do,” he said. GOP leaders hope to package a debt-limit vote with significant spending cuts, making it easier for Republicans to vote for it. But it isn’t clear that will be enough for many of the GOP freshmen.”

DOJ Official: Defending DADT, DOMA ‘Difficult’ For Administration

“Assistant Attorney General Tony West of the Justice Department told reporters Monday that defending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act were “difficult” for the Obama administration.

“Those are difficult cases because as you know the administration has a long standing policy view on this — supports the repeal of DOMA and supports the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’,” West said in response to a question from TPM.

“Those are both congressional statutes which require Congress to repeal them, they can’t be undone by executive order,” West said. “The Department of Justice, notwithstanding the administration policy view which is strongly held by us, has an institutional responsibility to defend the constitutionality of congressional statutes, whether we agree with them or not,” West added.”

Health care rule could mean rebates for some consumers

“The Obama administration issued new regulations Monday on how to enforce the health care law’s 2012 requirement that insurers spend at least 80 percent of their revenues on direct medical care. If the rule were in effect now, 45 percent of people who buy their own insurance would be eligible for a rebate.”

Some Republicans Want To Strip Fed Of Its Mandate

“On Capitol Hill, some GOP lawmakers want to strip the Federal Reserve of its full employment mandates and have it focus solely on price stability and inflation. David Wessel, economics editor for The Wall Street Journal, talks to Renee Montagne about the latest attack on the Federal Reserve.”

DOJ’s Whistle-Blower Recruitment Pays Off

“The Justice Department says it has recovered a record $2.5 billion in health care fraud over the past year — mostly with the help of drug company employees who blow the whistle to the federal government. Now, the government is trying to enlist whistle-blowers in all sorts of ways.”

Nissan Leaf Runs Equivalent Of 99 Miles Per Gallon

“Nissan Motor Corp. said Monday the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel efficiency window sticker, which provides information about the car’s energy use, would estimate the electric car will achieve the equivalent of 106 mpg in city driving and 92 mpg on the highway.”

Read the Latest Reports on Gulf Spill, Slamming Industry and Regulators

“Earlier today, a presidential commission on the BP oil spill released two reports showing yet more evidence about how ill-equipped both the government and industry were to handle a massive spill. The technology needed to contain it lagged years behind advancements in drilling technology.

“The containment story thus contains two parallel threads,” the panel wrote. “First, on April 20, the oil and gas industry was unprepared to respond to a deepwater blowout, and the federal government was similarly unprepared to provide meaningful supervision.”

You can read the reports (one and two), which together tally 66 pages, in our handy doc viewer. The seven-member commission, which will give President Barack Obama a final report in January, has been active in criticizing the government, and it recently gave BP its biggest break when it said earlier this month that the company did not appear to put cost ahead of safety.”

North and South Korea Exchange Fire, Killing Two

“South Korea said it returned fire after North Korea shot dozens of rounds of artillery onto an island near the countries’ border, killing two South Korean soldiers.”

Campus That Apartheid Ruled Faces a Policy Rift

“The University of Cape Town is engaged in a searching debate about just how far affirmative action should go to heal the wounds of apartheid.”

Canadian Conservative Senators Use their Clout to Kill Climate Bill Passed by House of Commons

“A snap vote in Canada’s unelected, and primarily Tory Senate on Tuesday night saw the demise of the NDP’s Climate Change Accountability Act by a narrow margin of 43-32. The vote caught Liberals in the Upper House off guard, and the climate change legislation was no match for Stephen Harper’s conservative-stacked Senate. Without any debate in the Red Chamber, Conservative Senators called a vote on Bill C-311 introduced by Thunder Bay-Superior NDP Bruce Hyer. Canada’s hope for meaningful environmental legislation ahead of the UN Cancun climate talks later this month was killed by eleven votes.”

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