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


Dems Square Off With White House Over Tax Cut Compromise

“House Democrats will not silently accept the White House’s edict that Congress pass the Obama-GOP tax cut compromise unchanged, touching off a brinksmanship that could kill the plan.

At a private meeting of the Democratic caucus this morning, members overwhelmingly rejected the idea that the plan is inviolable by passing a resolution agreeing not to bring up the tax package without changing it first. However, the White House and Republicans insist that the plan is in stone — and any changes would likely prompt a GOP backlash. “

Tea Party Patriots Reject Tax Cut Deal, Call For It To Be Destroyed

“It seems President Obama’s deal with Republicans on tax cuts has done something few may have thought possible: united the most progressive wing of the Democratic party with the most conservative of the Republicans.

In an email dispatched just minutes ago, the national office of Tea Party Patriots — the largest umbrella for grassroots tea party groups in the country — is calling on its millions of members to bombard Republicans on Capitol Hill with pleas to shut down the tax cut deal which House Democrats rejected earlier today.”

The Long Shot, Last Ditch Effort To Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

“A long shot, last ditch effort to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell could still succeed.

At a press conference today, after the Defense Authorization bill — and with it the DADT repeal — went down to defeat in a cloture vote, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) explained. “Senator Collins and I, Senator Udall and others will be, perhaps by the end of this day, introducing a free-standing bill — a separate piece of legislation — to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy,” he said.”

Leaked Fox News Emails Show Deliberate Slant On Health Care Coverage

“It’s no secret that Fox News’ political coverage isn’t always quite “fair and balanced.” But emails obtained by Media Matters show that Fox News’ Washington managing editor Bill Sammon urged his staff to actually echo Republican talking points on the health care debate.

According to the emails, Sammon directed his staff to use specific wording when describing the health care debate, preferring the term “government option” over “public option.””

Steve King Outlines GOP Legislative Strategy: Defund Health Care Reform In ‘Every Appropriations Bill’

“Yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) took to FoxNews.com to outline the House Republicans’ legislative strategy in the upcoming 112th Congress. King repeated his demand for “100% repeal” of health care reform and to rip it out “by the roots.” He also took direct aim at those less fervent in their repeal-zeal, writing that “we certainly don’t need to hamper our efforts at the beginning by drafting a clumsy ‘repeal and replace’ bill.”

King described in further detail precisely how he and the GOP plan to kill health care reform. He demanded that “every appropriations bill we pass” explicitly bar “any money allocated therein from being spent on implementing” health care reform.”

Three Federal Judges Serve On The Board Of Industry-Funded ‘Junkets For Judges’ Organization
Today

“An organization called the Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment (FREE) routinely hosts free junkets for federal judges where they can ride horses, bunk with industry attorneys, and learn how to decide environmental cases in ways that benefit FREE’s corporate funders. Those funders include corporations such as Texaco, Exxon, General Electric, Koch, Monsanto, and Shell. FREE’s board of trustees includes three sitting U.S. Court of Appeals Judges: Edith Clement of the Fifth Circuit and Alice Batchelder and Danny Boggs, both of the Sixth Circuit. Yet, despite the obvious ethical problems raised by Clement, Batchelder and Boggs’ service on the board of an organization that both provides free trips to judges and is funded by frequent litigants before those judges’ courts, these three judges continue to serve”

Impeachment Of Porteous Establishes Precedent For Impeaching Torture Advocate Jay Bybee

“Yesterday, the United States Senate voted to impeach New Orleans-based Judge Thomas Porteous, “removing him from his lifetime seat on the federal bench and denying him his $174,000 annual pension.” The Senate approved four articles of impeachment against Porteous; Article Two accused him of “corruptly accepting meals, trips and other gifts from a bail bondsman while serving as a state judge.” Porteous’ legal counsel Jonathan Turley argued that Article Two was an unfair basis for impeaching Porteous because it pertained to conduct that occurred before he attained the federal judgeship. “In the history of this republic, no one has ever been removed from office on the basis of pre-federal conduct,” Turley said.”

Westboro Baptist Church Says It Will Picket Elizabeth Edwards’ Funeral

“Members of the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church announced today that they will picket outside Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral this weekend. The Westboro Church is well known for holding publicity-seeking anti-gay stunts at funerals, particularly at those of U.S. soldiers. The church’s website doesn’t state why its members chose Edwards’ funeral, but claims she allegedly “spent her life in defiance and disobedience to God” and spews other invectives towards her. “

Seafloor Samples Show Troubling Effects Of Oil Spill

“A trip down to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico in a submarine reveals a bleak portrait of the sea life near the ruptured BP well. Scientists are finding a thick layer of oil on the seafloor, and they say it could be years before the ecosystem recovers”

10 Years Later: Was The Supreme Court Right On ‘Bush V. Gore’?

“Justice Antonin Scalia has become known for telling those who object to what the court did to “get over it.” Critics say the decision will forever haunt the high court.”

Cheat Sheet: Where the Fed’s Trillions Went

“A provision in the financial reform law forced the Federal Reserve to disclose the details of the trillions it lent out at the height of the recent financial crisis.

You can see the data from some of the Fed’s emergency lending programs in our interactive. In all, there were 11 programs—a mess of confusing acronyms like AMLF, TALF, PDCF, CPFF and so on—but generally speaking, they were designed to stabilize the economy by enabling financial firms to keep many forms of lending going at a time when credit was hard to come by. “

Europeans Criticize Fierce U.S. Response to Leaks

“For many Europeans, Washington’s reaction to the leaks of diplomatic cables displays imperial arrogance.”

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