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

Santorum On Obama & Abortion: ‘Almost Remarkable For A Black Man’ To Say We Can Decide Who’s A Person (VIDEO)

“Potential 2012 presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) doesn’t understand how President Obama could not answer whether a “human life” is protected by the Constitution from the moment of conception: “The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘we’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.'””

Democrats Welcome Health Care Spending Fight With Republicans

“As much as conservatives would like Wednesday’s House vote on repealing health care to be binding, it’s really just symbolic. The Republicans’ real legislative leverage over the bill will come during spending fights later this year, when the GOP appropriators in the House can demand funding cuts to stymie the implementation of the law.”

Harry Reid: Chinese Pres Hu is A ‘Dictator’ … Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Said That

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has an interesting perspective on the differences between the political systems of America and China — and what he should and shouldn’t be saying about the matter.

As Jon Ralston reports, from an interview with Reid:

Only Harry Reid, when asked about whether he still thought the lame-duck tax cut deal was a good one, would begin his serpentine answer thusly:

“I am going to go back to Washington and meet with the president of China. He is a dictator. He can do a lot of things through the form of government they have. “

Rep. Gonzalez Warns Of The ‘Human Consequences’ Of Health Repeal: Without Reform, People Will ‘Die’

“Today, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a repeal of the health care reforms that were signed into law last year. Prior to the vote, ThinkProgress attended a blogger meeting with Democratic House members and asked them how they plan to respond to the Republican Party’s push to dismantle the new health law.

Many of the members rightly noted that, contrary to the wild claims of conservatives, repealing the health law would both increase the deficit by $230 billion over ten years and slow down annual job growth by “250,000 to 400,000” jobs annually.

Reps. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) also told ThinkProgress that there are enormous human costs to repealing the bill, and noted a study that estimates 32,000 Americans would perish every year if the reforms are repealed.”

The ADL Slams Bentley: It’s ‘Quite Clear’ Christians Are His Family ‘And The Rest Of Us Are Not’

“Hours after his swearing-in on Monday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) spoke at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King once served as “a pastor at the church during the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.” But rather than channel the inclusive message of Dr. King, this dermatologist-turned-governor drove a religious wedge between his constituents. According to Bentley, if Alabamans and he “don’t have the same daddy” in Jesus Christ, then “we’re not brothers and sisters.””

Chamber President Tells Congress To ‘Starve To Death Financially’ New Consumer Protection Bureau

“Last week, during his “State of American Business” address, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue decried the Dodd-Frank financial reform law as a “regulatory tsunami.” Donohue said that the Chamber is “particularly concerned” with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — which the Chamber dishonestly fought against during the Dodd-Frank debate — and added that the Chamber would be “deeply involved in the regulatory rulemaking” moving forward.

The Chamber, of course, was at the forefront of the fight against Dodd-Frank, coordinating a campaign with the nation’s biggest banks to blunt the much-needed regulatory overhaul. And it seems that Donohue is preparing the Chamber to do much more than simply weigh in on the Dodd-Frank rule-writing process. In an address before 200 business executives in Minneapolis yesterday, Donohue pledged to “starve to death financially” new regulatory agencies.”

China Says Pandas Will Remain In D.C. 5 More Years

“Zang Chunlin, secretary general of the China Wildlife Conservation Association, said at a news conference Wednesday that Mei Xiang and Tian Tian will remain until December 2015. He says an agreement was reached on the extension last month.”

Accountable care organizations: The next big thing in health care

“Accountable care organizations take up only seven pages of the massive new health care law, yet they've become one of the most talked about provisions. This latest model for delivering services offers doctors and hospitals financial incentives to provide good quality care to Medicare beneficiaries while keeping down costs.”

As Citizens United Turns 1, U.S. Supreme Court Considers Corporate Personhood Again

“The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on a case between AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission, revisiting the legal concept of “corporate personhood” last strengthened under the court’s Citizen United ruling on corporate campaign spending. (That controversial ruling has its first anniversary this week.)

The case before the court focuses on whether AT&T, a corporation, can stop government agencies from releasing information obtained for law enforcement purposes by claiming such disclosures would violate the company’s “personal privacy.”

The phrase is included as an exemption in the text of the Freedom of Information Act, a federal law that instructs government agencies on what information to make public. As the SCOTUS blog notes, however, there’s no specific definition of the words “personal privacy,” so it’s not clear whether a corporation can qualify as a person in this case.”

Letter from India: Indian Scavengers Doing What Officials Can’t

“As India’s output of waste grows along with its economy, recycling is lagging behind, but scavengers may be part of the solution.”

U.A.E. Strives to Promote Local Farm Goods at Home

“Part of the challenge in supporting organic farmers derives from the need to first identify which authority is responsible for what in a confusing agricultural structure that reflects the country’s federal nature.”

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