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


They’ve Got A Deal? White House And GOP Come To Terms On Tax Cuts

“The White House and GOP reached an agreement in principle today to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two years, TPM has confirmed.

In exchange, the GOP has agreed to the Kyl-Lincoln estate tax compromise: raising the estate tax on estates larger than $5 million to 35 percent for two years and continuing to exempt smaller estates. The GOP has also agreed to a temporary stimulative payroll tax cut: instead of extending the making-work-pay tax credit in the stimulus bill, they’ve reportedly tentatively agreed to a one-year, two percent reduction in the payroll tax. Lastly, the Republicans have agreed to a extend unemployment benefits retroactively from December through the end of 2011 — 13 months altogether.”

Some analysis by Ezra Klein: “The White House has stopped negotiating for ideal — or even acceptable — tax policy and moved to negotiating stimulus policy. The tax cuts for income over $250,000 will pump about $100 billion into the economy over the next two years. It’s not the most stimulative way to spend $100 billion, but it’s more stimulative than not spending it, or than raising taxes.”

Elizabeth Edwards’s Illness Takes Turn For Worse

“News has emerged that the health of Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards (D-NC), has taken a turn for the worse. A statement issued by her family indicates that she is no longer receiving treatment for her metastatic breast cancer, and is resting at home with her family and friends.”

Sarah Palin: I’m Not Running For RNC Chair

“Sorry, Tea Party Nation: Sarah Palin will not be replacing Michael Steele at the helm of the Republican National Committee. This morning, Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips called on Palin to take the reins at the RNC, for fear that it may fall into “establishment” hands after the 168 voting members of the committee convene to choose a chair in January. This afternoon, Palin gave ABC News her answer to Phillips’ request: not interested.”

Sen. Sanders: War Is Being Waged On America’s Middle Class (VIDEO)

“In an impassioned Senate floor speech last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that there is a war being waged on America’s “disappearing and shrinking middle class.”

“We talk about a lot of things on the floor of the Senate, but somehow we forget to talk about the reality of who is winning in this economy, and who is losing,” he said. “And it is very clear to anyone who spends two minutes studying the issue that the people on top are doing extraordinarily well, at the same time as the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing.””

In Climate Solidarity, Palestinian Firefighters Help Israelis Fight Wildfire

“In a demonstration of solidarity in the climate crisis, Palestinian firefighters were some of the first to help Israel fight the unprecedented wildfires in the divided nation. The fires are caused by record heat and drought, a predicted consequence of the long-term climate change in the region spurred by fossil fuel pollution. A team of 21 Palestinian firefighters from the Bethlehem civil defense team left the southern West Bank in four fire engines at 4 am Sunday, and “were received respectfully” by Israeli teams, Bethlehem Civil Defense Chief Ibrahim Ayish told the Jerusalem Post: After all, we’re dealing with a humanitarian issue which knows no borders.”

Exclusive: Memos Reveal Anti-Muslim Group’s Early Efforts To Bring Islamophobia Into The Mainstream

“Last month, Salon’s Justin Elliott published new clues about a mysterious anti-Muslim front organization called the Clarion Fund. Clarion produced “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” a graphic film depicting Muslims as terrorists bent on world conquest, and during the 2008 presidential campaign, distributed 28 million copies of the DVD to households in swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida. Producers of the film have taken credit for the recent surge in Islamophobia, pointing to the anti-Muslim protests sweeping the nation earlier this summer and the protests against the planned Park51 Muslim community center in downtown Manhattan as evidence of the movie’s influence. “

Weekly Standard Editor Fred Barnes Calls On Conservatives To ‘Infiltrate The Mainstream Media’

“Fred Barnes, a frequent Fox News commentator and executive editor of the Weekly Standard, has issued a call to arms: conservatives must “infiltrate” the supposedly liberal mainstream media. “What we need to do right now is dedicate ourselves to expanding our influence and not just sitting back and complaining about the mainstream media, but infiltrating them, overtaking them and changing the American media into something that is fair and balanced, once and for all,” Barnes told a dinner held by the conservative magazine American Spectator.”

Lieberman Demands Senate Stay In Session Through The Holiday To Repeal DADT

“Despite comprehensive support to overturn the military’s DADT policy, Republican lawmakers have manufactured a catalogue of objections to its repeal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) articulated the latest excuse yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press, claiming other “controversial items” in the defense authorization bill — like expanding reproductive health services on military bases — prevent the Senate from having enough time to debate and “finish” the bill “before the end of next year.” Now, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is calling the GOP’s bluff on process objections and demanding the Senate stay in session until the bill is passed because, as his spokewoman told The Hill, “wanting to go home is not an acceptable excuse”.”

Rep. Steve King Calls For The Return Of McCarthyism In Congress: It’s A ‘Good Process’ That He Would ‘Support’

“Today, Right Side News posted an interview with Rep. Steve King (R-IA). The interview touches a number of political topics, including King’s belief that Congress shouldn’t focus on the economy, but rather “culture,” because “if you get the culture right, you’ll get the economy right. Everything will fall into place automatically.”

At one point, the interviewer referenced the October National Press Club press conference where Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid called for the revival of the House Internal Security Committee, the 60′s-era successor to the McCarthyite House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Right Side News asked the congressman if he would support the “re-creation of such committees.” King answered, “I would. I think that is a good process and I would support it”.”

Justice Department Targets Investment Crooks

“The Justice Department announces results of a four-month crackdown on investment fraud against ordinary citizens. More than 300 people face criminal charges for swindling 120,000 victims — their neighbors, fellow church members and others. It’s the first big public demonstration by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Task Force. “

U.S. Announces $12 Billion Profit On Citigroup

“The Treasury Department said that a final offering of about 2.4 billion shares of Citigroup Inc. common stock had been priced at $4.35 per share. With the proceeds of the sale, the government will have realized $57 billion on its bailout package for the big bank.”



Supreme Court will act on immigration, even if Congress doesn’t

“The Supreme Court this week takes up the national immigration debate that continues to stymie Congress.

While immigration advocates and some Democratic lawmakers conjure hopes of legalizing farm workers and students in a lame-duck session, justices on Wednesday confront a real-world immigration enforcement dilemma out of Arizona.”

Beyond Fracking: Experts Challenge Safety of Exploratory Wells, Vertical Drilling

“For more than two years, the natural gas drilling debate has focused primarily on the use of hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells. But expert testimony submitted for a government hearing next month challenges long-held assumptions about the safety of deep vertical drilling and exploratory wells, which operate in many states with limited regulatory oversight.”

Conditions Deplored for Migrants Being Held in Greece at Turkish Border

“Members of Human Rights Watch said Monday that they had found more than 800 migrants being held in “inhumane” conditions in Greece.”

Two Russian Grocers Move to Thwart Wal-Mart

“The X5 Retail Group, parent of Russia’s leading retailer, bought Kopeika, and planned to merge the two in a pre-emptive strike against Wal-Mart.”

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