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

Sen. Kay Hagan’s Office, Government Buildings Vandalized In North Carolina

“Early Thursday morning, in the midst of a busy week in Congress where the DREAM Act, a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the Obama-McConnell tax cut package were all considered, a vandal struck the offices of Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) in Greenville, North Carolina. Police say a “white male with a thin build,” wearing a long coat and a backpack, approached her office and several other government buildings around 2 a.m. and spray-painted phrases like “Criminal Government,” “blind follow blind” and “what good is justice if the scales are bent.” (Some of these slogans appear to be lyrics to a song by the artist Mason Jennings). Swastikas, lightning bolts, and other symbols were also painted on several of the buildings. Unfortunately for the vandal, however, surveillance cameras in Hagan’s office were running and caught him in the act. Police are soliciting leads based on the video.”

Kyl Denies Health Care For 9/11 Rescue Workers Because He Doesn’t Want To ‘Hurry’

“Committed to the obstruction of any Democratic priority, Senate Republicans successfully blocked the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that gives desperately-needed compensation to first responders who contracted serious illnesses while working at Ground Zero. While happy to exploit 9/11 heroes in support of their own agenda, not one Republican came to the Senate floor to explain their opposition to this bill. Their indifference towards the first responders, however, surfaced elsewhere. When confronted on Fox News, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) insisted that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were a higher priority. In the Senate rotunda, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stepped around a first responder asking for his support, telling him “I can’t help you.” And when some first responders planned to meet Senators in their offices, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) actually called the Capitol police.

Last week, an incensed Jon Stewart invited 9/11 first responders to the Daily Show to offer their thoughts on this callous behavior. “Disgusted” and “hurt” by their actions, the rescue workers admonished Republicans for using the holiday schedule and Senate process as an excuse to block desperately needed help. Recounting their criticism today, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) why he couldn’t “find a way to give these heroes peace of mind when it comes to health care.” Ignoring their emotional pleas, Kyl insisted that, while he didn’t want to deny care to those who desperately need it, he just refuses to do so “in a hurry”. […]
both the Senate and House version of the Zadroga bill have been available to Kyl since 2009.”

Sunday Show Guests Assail Republicans For Blocking The DREAM Act

“Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked the DREAM Act from securing 60 votes to pass cloture, denying hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) even said yesterday on the Senate floor that young people lobbying his office had wasted their time.

Today on the Sunday political talk shows, guests from a wide array of the ideological spectrum assailed the GOP for blocking the measure:
NBC’s ANDREA MITCHELL: The dumbest thing that the Republicans did was the DREAM Act
NEWARK, NJ MAYOR CORY BOOKER: This is crazy. It’s hurting America.
GOP STRATEGIST MARK MCKINNON: We gotta send the right signal to Hispanics in this country in addition to the fact that it’s the right policy.
FOX NEWS’ JUAN WILLIAMS:Republicans play politics with real lives, real people, real aspirations”

Would Ron Paul Really Try To End The Fed?

“The Texas congressman is well known for his opposition to the Federal Reserve. Now, he’s been appointed head of the House subcommittee that oversees the central bank. Does he see this as his chance to try to abolish the Fed and put us back on the gold standard?”

UConn Women’s Winning Streak Gets Little Notice

“The University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team will try for its 88th consecutive win Sunday afternoon. A victory would tie the all-time college basketball win streak set by the UCLA men’s team in the 1970s, but why isn’t the media jumping on the story? Host Liane Hansen talks to sports columnist Christine Brennan of USA Today about UConn’s chances in Sunday game against Ohio State and the relative dearth of media coverage about UConn’s winning streak.
Note: The UConn team won 81 to 50 Sunday afternoon

Tale of Three Cities: Foreclosures Don’t Always Follow the Script

“As a symbol of the national foreclosure crisis, Jaymie Jones isn’t what you might expect.

The 52-year-old Seattle-area woman worked her way up in the financial-services industry over three decades from bank teller to mortgage executive.

In spring 2007, she bought her dream home in Kirkland, signing a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage.

Then, as Jones celebrated New Year’s Eve on a beach in Mexico, the call came: Her division was shutting down. Jones tapped her savings over the next year and tried for a loan modification, but in the end, the bank filed to foreclose. The dream was over.

In the conventional narrative of the foreclosure crisis, rapacious lenders hooked up with irresponsible buyers in a tale of “Lending Gone Wild.”

There was certainly much of that. But a Seattle Times-ProPublica analysis of foreclosures from three areas hit hard by the housing crash tempers that image — and punctures some other popular notions about the mortgage meltdown.

Most of those in foreclosure were young people, right? Not true. Like Jones, half of them were over age 40.”

Politics in Iraq Casts Doubt on a U.S. Presence After 2011

“As contingency planning for any lasting American military mission has continued, the political landscape in both countries has made it more possible that the 2011 withdrawal could truly be total.”

China Pressed to Account for Uighurs’ Fate

“An organization called on China to explain the fate of 20 Uighurs who were deported from Cambodia.”

Senate Rejects Republican Effort to Amend Treaty

“The Senate rejected another Republican attempt to rewrite the new arms control treaty with Russia on Sunday as the signature foreign policy agreement of President Obama’s tenure moved closer to a decisive vote expected later this week.[…]
The amendment was the second proposed by Republicans to be defeated this weekend. Any change in the text of the treaty itself would require both sides to go back to the negotiating table, killing Mr. Obama’s hopes of approving the pact by the end of the year.[…]
[Senator Jim] Risch R-ID denied that he was trying to undercut the treaty. “There’s no intent to kill this,” he said on the floor. “The intent is to make it better.” […]
“And if they pass this amendment, this treaty,” [John Kerry] added, “it’s dead.” “

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