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

How Mitch McConnell Convinced Republicans To Derail Dems’ Spending Plan

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell approached the microphones for his weekly press conference on Tuesday with more sense of purpose than he’s had since he tried — but failed — to derail the health care law in March. His goal this time was to kill the Omnibus spending bill, which his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid had just unveiled. Just as earlier this year, though, he didn’t sound like a party leader who was certain he had the votes to kill it.”

A Palin Presidency? Early Polls Show Possible Candidacy Tanking

“Sarah Palin may have her own TV show, a gig on Fox News, and two books to her name, but there’s one thing she is unlikely to add to her resume, according to a number of recent polls: the presidency.

Of course, it’s still very, very early. And with nearly two years until Election Day 2012, anything could happen. But in hypothetical matchups with President Obama, Palin consistently polls very poorly. In the last week or so, three national polls found Obama leading her by double digits, including an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll out this week that had Obama crushing her by 22 points, 55% to 33%.”

Murkowski Still Onboard For DADT Repeal After Last Night’s Senate Meltdown

“Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office (R-AK) confirms to TPM that she will vote to break a filibuster on a standalone Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal bill, even though it will come up before legislation to fund the government. The entire Republican caucus had promised not to vote for anything before tax cuts and spending bills but, after the omnibus spending bill was pulled last night, it appears enough Republicans will break that promise.

Murkowski’s commitment means the Senate still has 60 votes to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — even though the bill will come up before the Senate votes on spending measures. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has also confirmed that he will vote for the standalone bill.”

Sen. Corker Threatens Reid: If You Bring DADT Repeal For A Vote, We’ll Walk Away From START

“This afternoon, as momentum began to build for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) threatened that if Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brings up a vote to repeal the ban, Republicans would not support ratification of the New START treaty. Referring to DADT a “partisan” and “political” issue, Corker accused Reid of poisoning the well with Democratic “campaign promises” to “accommodate activist groups”.”

With Omnibus Dead, How Will The Government Fund Health Reform Implementation?

“Last night, citing overwhelming opposition from Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) dropped the omnibus spending package that included some $1 billion in funding for health reform and instead opted for a much smaller continuing resolution (CR) to extend federal spending authority into the new year.

With the defeat of the omnibus, Republicans are pushing Reid to issue a CR at the 2008 levels, which may not include additional health care dollars since the Affordable Care Act passed after 2008. As Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) put it today in his briefing, “we ought to have a funding bill through September 30th at 2008 levels before the stimulus and before the bailouts and all the other nonsense that’s gone on here.” But all this now raises a key question: how will the government fund implementation?

During an appearance on MSNBC this afternoon, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that Affordable Care Act included some initial resources for funding implementation but conceded that the department was “waiting to see what our budget overall is going to be”.”

9/11 First Responders Challenge Teary-Eyed McConnell: ‘Where Is His Human Feeling For Us?’

“In this lame duck session, Senate Republicans are grasping at every possible reason to “run out the clock” on any Democratic priority. Their brazen obstruction, however, took some victims last week when they used another filibuster to block the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. Named after a New York City policeman who died from health complications, this legislation that provides health care to 9/11 first responders and emergency workers who suffered illnesses from working at Ground Zero.

Ripping the GOP earlier this week for “co-opting 9/11 imagery” while simultaneously killing legislation to help 9/11 victims, host Jon Stewart dedicated his entire show last night to censure their obstruction. Disgusted by Thune’s “deadline for taxes” excuse, Stewart scoffed, “yes there are only two sure things in life. Death and taxes. Apparently, the only thing this cat cares about is taxes.”

Jon Stewart: Worst Responders

Jon Stewart: 9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster

The first 9/11 Jon Stewart video from this week is in HEMMED In from this morning.

Winemakers Introduce Cheaper, Artificial Ice Wines

“Some winemakers now aim to make the beverage less expensive by limiting the uncertainty that can drive up the price.”

‘Government takeover’ of health care named lie of the year

“PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen “government takeover of health care” as the 2010 Lie of the Year. Uttered by dozens of politicians and pundits, it played an important role in shaping public opinion about the health care plan and was a significant factor in the Democrats’ shellacking in the November elections.”

More middle income families going without health insurance

“As more Americans lose health coverage because of unemployment, the latest snapshot of the uninsured reveals a grim picture: It’s not just the poor and unemployed who now go without health insurance. The percentage of uninsured among families earning between $50,000 and $75,000 annually has nearly doubled over the past decade.”

Chinese Premier Visits Pakistan to Reinforce Ties

“Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao arrived on Friday for a three-day visit aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership and economic cooperation with Pakistan.”

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