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

GOP Candidate Shoots At Target With Wasserman Schultz’s Initials

“Here’s a sign that some conservative activism really has gotten out of hand: A Republican candidate for Congress went campaigning by shooting a gun at a target with the incumbent Dem Congresswoman’s initials written next to it.

Robert Lowry, a businessman running against Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), stopped by a local Republican event that was held at a shooting range. Lowry stepped up to show his marksmanship, and fired at a human silhouette target — with the letters “DWS” written next to the head.”

Feds Arrest Person Who Made Threat Against Sen. Bennet’s Office

“The office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) has released a statement confirming that a person made a threat against the Senator’s office, and that the person has been arrested.

Bennet Communications Director Adam Bozzi wrote the following:

We can confirm that there was a threat against Senator Bennet’s office and that the FBI working with the Capitol Police have arrested the individual responsible for the threat. “

Tom DeLay Sentenced To Prison

“Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has been sentenced to three years in prison, the AP and the Austin-American Statesman are reporting.

Texas Judge Pat Priest handed down the sentence this afternoon in an Austin courtroom.

DeLay was convicted in November on money laundering and conspiracy charges. His lawyers asked for the minimum sentence, probation. Prosecutors asked for at least 10 years in prison. “

‘Unabomber’ Lawyer Will Represent Alleged Giffords Shooter Jared Lee Loughner

“Judy Clarke, who represented “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and assisted in the case of confessed al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui, has been appointed to represent Jared Lee Loughner, the man charged by federal authorities with two murders as well as the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and two others.”

Rep. Kanjorski Unrepentant In Defeat: I Took JP Morgan CEO’s ‘Ass On And I Defeated Him’ On Financial Reform

“As a part of the Republican victory in Congress following November’s election, a number of long-time Democratic party lawmakers lost their seats, the victims of a national wave of discontent fed by a poor economy. From Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), who served four terms, to the defeat of 36-year congressional veteran Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN), the election saw the departure of a number of Congress’s most senior members.

One member who lost was Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), who had served in the House of Representatives since 1985. In an interview with the Scranton Times, Kanjorski explained that while he could have “easily walked away” from Congress ealier and “taken a job on Wall Street for millions” instead of serving for as long as he did, he wanted to stay to continue to pass progressive legislation. He was unrepentant about his efforts to strongly advocate for tougher financial reforms — the congressman authored and passed an amendment that would give federal regulators the power to dismantle “too big to fail” financial institutions — and said he considered himself the “greatest scourge” of the “too-big-to-fail banks.””

Scarborough On Giffords Shooting: ‘Is This Not A Time For People, Like Sarah Palin…To Apologize?’

“Conservatives and tea party activists have reacted with rage to what they view as accusations from the left that they are somehow responsible for this weekend’s massacre in Arizona that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). In reality, progressives are not trying to assign blame or argue that shooter Jared Lee Loughner — who seems to possess no coherent political ideology at all — is a member of any popular political movment, but rather to point out that words have consequences. Political and pundit leaders need to be aware that their words will reach the “serious and delirious alike” and that their rhetoric should not serve to inflame ignorance. “

After Lecturing D.C. On His ‘Prudent Fiscal Decisions,’ Perry’s Deficit More Than Twice What He Thought

“Back in September, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) guessed that his state was facing a $10-11 billion budget shortfall for its fiscal 2012-2013 budget, and refused to entertain reports that his budget gap might be larger until he received the state Comptroller’s official report. He even poo-pooed pronouncements from his 2010 election opponent, Houston Mayor Bill White, that Texas’ deficit may be twice what he was estimating. “If [White] wants to be the budget forecaster for the state of Texas, that’s a different job,” Perry said. “It’s called the comptroller.”

Well, the Comptroller released its report today, and Perry had it wrong.”

Sen. Ron Johnson Already Playing Calvinball With Judicial Confirmations

“Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been in office for less than a week, but he’s already contributing to the right’s unprecedented campaign of obstruction against President Obama’s judicial nominees:

Newly elected GOP Sen. Ron Johnson said Friday he should have been consulted before the White House resubmitted the nominations of Louis Butler and Victoria Nourse for federal judgeships and is at this time opposed to their confirmation.”

Wikipedia Turns 10, Eyes Developing World

“With an annual budget of just over $20 million, Wikipedia oversees a nonprofit online encyclopedia that gets about 400 million visitors every month. The organization has just 50 employees but plans to expand and open its first office outside of the U.S. in India.”

Law Professor On Arizona Gun Laws

“The alleged gunman in Saturday’s shooting rampage in Arizona that killed six people and wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords bought the gun legally last November from a local store. Gabriel Chin, a law professor at the University of Arizona, discusses gun laws in the state. “

Ford Filling 7,000 Jobs In U.S.

“The automaker will add 4,000 blue-collar jobs this year and another 2,500 in 2012. An additional 750 salaried jobs will be filled this year.”

Leaks shut down key Alaska oil pipeline, halt production

“The shutdown of the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline continued for a second day Sunday as engineers and regulators worked on how to safely get oil flowing again in the dead of winter. Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. cut the flow of oil to the main pipeline Saturday morning after workers discovered a leak on a secondary line.”

Which Senator Secretly Sabotaged the Popular Whistleblower Protection Bill?

“After the lame duck session of Congress ended a few days before Christmas, watchdog groups were disappointed to learn that a bill expanding protections for government whistleblowers died in the Senate.

The bill was a product of a 12-year lobbying effort and had bipartisan support. An earlier form of it had passed the Senate unanimously, and it passed in the House after undergoing some changes. When the bill went back to the Senate for a final vote, a lone senator put an anonymous hold on the bill, effectively killing it. Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project explains how the manuever worked:

A hold is like a passive filibuster of one. It can be removed only through the same process to defeat a filibuster: 60 votes along with days of procedural hurdles that paralyze all Senate business. While theoretically the secret senator must come out after six days, that rule is no help at session’s end.”

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