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

Dem Pollster: Huckabee Is The GOP’s Best Bet In 2012 — So Far

“If Republicans had to choose their presidential candidate today, they’d probably do best to pick former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, according to Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen. However, Jensen notes that Huckabee isn’t necessarily a good choice, but merely the most viable contender the GOP has right now.”

Prop 8 Case: Appeals Court Asks CA Supreme Court For Help

“A federal appeals court has asked the California Supreme Court to help answer a question about who has standing to fight same sex marriage in the courts.

At issue is whether the anti-gay groups who put Proposition 8 on the ballot in California have the legal standing to appeal a decision that Prop 8 — which outlaws same sex marriage in the state — is unconstitutional. Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing that appeal, asked the California high court to decide whether the proponents have standing under state law.”

Schumer: GOPers Against Health Care Reform Should Forgo Gov’t Health Care

“Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who was recently tasked by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) with leading the Senate Democrats’ newly combined policy-and-messaging operations, told Politico today that the Republicans who oppose health care reform should give up their own government health benefits.

He said: “It seems unfair that House Republicans want to deprive middle-class Americans of the same health care as members of Congress but to keep it for themselves.””

GOP Plans To Implement The ‘Demon Pass’ They Once Decried

“This week, House Republicans will resurrect an arcane tool that will give its Budget Chairman temporary, but unilateral authority to set federal spending levels for part of this year.

Welcome back to the so-called “Demon Pass”, which is scheduled to make its return to the Capitol Hill on January 5.”

Old DeLay Hands Still Part Of GOP Leadership Under Boehner

“Republicans have swept back into power in the House amid promises of a new kind of party. But how different is it, really?

If a handful of new hires made by the new House leadership — staffers who worked for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in the heady days of his hammer-fisted reign — is any indication, not much. “

REPORT: Rick Scott’s Inauguration Funded By Special Interests With Substantial Business Before State

“This afternoon, Rick Scott was sworn in as the 45th governor of Florida. Scott, the former head of scandal-plagued Columbia/HCA hospital operation, is worth around $219 million and frequently said during the campaign that the $73 million in personal funds he spent to be elected meant he was simply a “businessman with no ties to special interests.”

The two-day inaugural bash this week tells quite a different story, however. The ceremonies cost about $3 million, and are largely funded by business interests in Florida that, as the St. Petersburg Times writes, have “the most at stake in his administration.” From tobacco companies trying to avoid taxes, to drug companies and HMOs hoping to benefit from Medicaid changes, Scott’s lavish ceremony is being paid for by those who want to be a part of the real party: Florida is the world’s twentieth-largest economy and Scott will enjoy almost unchecked control of the state’s business, as his party holds super-majorities in both legislative chambers.”

Fox’s Own On-Screen Graphic Debunks Cavuto’s Theory That Low Corporate Tax Rates Are Good For Markets

“Yesterday on his Fox Business show, host Neil Cavuto was overjoyed at the news that the stock market had gained on 2011′s first day of trading. Of course, Cavuto linked the bull market to the tax cut extension Congress passed last month. “As we start off a new year, it’s time to recognize a familiar historic fact,” Cavuto boasted with glee. “When you cut taxes, good things happen.”

GOP Rep. Proposes Forcing House To Ignore Two Provisions Of The Constitution

“The House GOP leadership recently announced an at-best unnecessary plan to require every bill to be accompanied by “constitutional authority” statement explaining why Congress has the power to enact the bill. Yet this plan may not be enough for some of their caucus’ most conservative members. As Herb Jackson reports, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) is leading an effort to use this new constitutional authority rule to eliminate Congress’ power to do pretty much anything.”

Obama Will Try Again On More Than A Dozen Judicial Nominees

“The White House will tomorrow renominate more than a dozen candidates for judicial positions on federal courts, a person familiar with the administration’s plans tells NPR. The Senate failed to vote on the nominees last year.”

Budget Battles Loom As FDA Gets Tougher On Food Risks

“Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) the likely incoming chairman of a committee that oversees FDA’s budget is threatening to scale back spending of the new food safety law before it’s even signed by President Obama.”

GOP’s New Oversight Chair Asks Businesses Which Regulations Burden Them

“We’ve noted that many of the incoming Republican chairs of powerful House committees have criticized the Obama administration’s “job-killing” regulation of the financial and energy sectors, among others.

One of these, Rep. Darrell Issa, has sent letters to more than 150 businesses, trade groups and think tanks calling for their input on which regulations are burdening them and hurting jobs, Politico reports. From the text of the letter, which NBC has posted.”

Killing of Governor Deepens Crisis in Pakistan

“The assassination of an outspoken secular politician by one of his guards highlighted the threat of militant infiltration within the nation’s security forces.”

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