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

Touting His Government Shutdown In 2005, Pawlenty Says GOP Lawmakers ‘Should Not Raise The Debt Ceiling’

“As an increasing number of Republicans clamor for a “showdown” over raising the U.S. debt limit, the more sober-minded among them warn of the looming economic disaster such a move would cause. Aware that the U.S. will hit its $14.3 trillion debt limit on March 31 this year, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned his party that “if we don’t raise the debt ceiling,” there will be “financial collapse and calamity throughout the world.” Conservative commentators Bill Kristol and George Will echoed his sentiment, calling such right-wing myopia “silly” and “suicidal.”

Former Governor and likely GOP 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty (MN), however, readily prescribed this economic kamikaze mission to the GOP today on Fox News Sunday. Pawlenty, whose failure to sign a state budget in 2005 forced 9,000 state employees to stop pubic services for nine days, told host Chris Wallace that GOP lawmakers “should not raise the debt ceiling” and should “take it one step further” by somehow “sequencing the pain of the bill” to prevent default.”

After Promising To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obama’s Health Law, Republicans Have No Replacement

“As the first major legislative act with their new majority, Republicans are planning to hold a futile vote next week to repeal President Obama’s health care law. The laughably named “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” has an equally laughable chance of becoming law, as the Democratic majority in the Senate will inevitably block it. President Obama has also confirmed that he’ll veto it.

Nonetheless, House Republicans are rushing headlong into inevitable defeat, insisting that their efforts aren’t doomed, and promising to “replace” Obama’s law with their own, better one. “Repeal and replace” has been a mantra for Republicans and their conservative allies since March of last year, though the repealers have been hazy on with what they would “replace” it with.

On Fox News Sunday today, conservative Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol could offer only the vaguest of promises about the replacement. When Fox News contributor Juan Williams challenged Kristol to explain “what are you going to replace it with?”, Kristol told Williams not to worry, because there would be hearings in a few months and Republicans would probably come up with something by then. “

Ike’s Warning Of Military Expansion, 50 Years Later

“On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces.

Rep. Giffords’ Next Major Test: Speaking

“The Arizona congresswoman remains in critical condition, but continues to show good progress, doctors have said.’

NOTE: Her condition has since been upgraded to “serious” later in the day.

60 years later, Korean war vet can make good on a promise

“Sixty years after he fought in the Korean War, an East St. Louis man has a chance to finally connect with a dead buddy’s daughter. He’s always regretted that that after he returned from Korea he was never able to find a comrade’s daughter to tell her about her father.”

In New Military, Data Overload Can Be Deadly

“Raw information helps determine what targets to hit and what to avoid, but sometimes the data is overwhelming. When military investigators looked into an attack by American helicopters last February that left 23 Afghan civilians dead, they found that the operator of a Predator drone had failed to pass along crucial information about the makeup of a gathering crowd of villagers.

But Air Force and Army officials now say there was also an underlying cause for that mistake: information overload.

At an Air Force base in Nevada, the drone operator and his team struggled to work out what was happening in the village, where a convoy was forming. They had to monitor the drone’s video feeds while participating in dozens of instant-message and radio exchanges with intelligence analysts and troops on the ground.”

A Former Dictator Reappears in Haiti

“Jean-Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti after 25 years in exile, but his reason was not immediately clear.”

Too Little, Then Too Much in Australia

“Buffeted by a cycle of dispiriting dry followed by overwhelming wet, farmers are experiencing a fate highlighting the vagaries of Australia’s extreme weather.”

Satire: Political Pundits Surprisingly Good At Getting Inside Mentally Unbalanced Shooter’s Head

“According to media analysts, the nation’s TV commentators and political pundits have proved uncannily accurate when describing the deeply disturbed inner thoughts of accused Arizona gunman Jared Loughner. “It’s strange, but when it comes to getting inside the mind of this human being who seems to possess no empathy, sense of morality, or hold on reality, and who is motivated only by personal animus and self-glorification, the nation’s major political pundits have been amazingly adept”…”It’s almost as though they have some way of knowing, firsthand, exactly what this demented and highly dangerous individual with the eyes of millions upon him is going through.”

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