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

TPM’s Guide To Mobster Country

“More than 120 suspected mobsters were arrested in yesterday’s massive mafia bust. And along with the arrests came hundreds of pages of court documents detailing alleged illegal activity taking place across three states: New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. From allegations of extortion in Midtown Manhattan and murder in Queens, to strip clubs in Providence and gambling on Long Island, allow TPM to take you on a little tour of the underworld.”

Utah Mayor Hopes To Use Unmanned Blimp To Fight Crime

“Matthew Godfrey, the mayor of Ogden, Utah, has a lofty goal. Godfrey has proposed that the town employ an unmanned blimp for surveillance and crime prevention.

“We believe it will be a deterrent to crime when it is out and about and will help us solve crimes more quickly when they do occur,” Godfrey told Reuters.”

Mitt Romney Not Buddying Up To The Tea Party (And Vice-Versa)

“While other potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates fall all over themselves to appeal to the tea party base that represents one of the most enthusiastic groups in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney’s taking a different approach.

Though the former Massachusetts governor is considered a leading contender in the race to take on President Obama next year, the Boston Globe reports that he’s done little to court what most observers expect will be a key component of the primary electorate: the tea party activists who so altered the GOP landscape in 2010.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann Falsely Claims Americans ‘Overwhelmingly’ Want Health Care Reform Repealed

“In an interview with Newsmax TV’s Ashley Martella yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that President Obama’s health reform law — which she called the “crown jewel of socialism” — is unpopular with voters, and that they want it repealed. “The American people have said overwhelmingly that they want this bill repealed,” she said. “As a matter of fact, Ashley, the more people learn about what’s in Obamacare, and when they see the devastating impact of it, the more they dislike this bill and want it gone,” she added.”

GOP’s State Of The Union Responder Would Set Higher Tax Rates On Middle-Class Than Millionaires

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was announced today as the Republican who will be responding to President Obama’s State of the Union address next week. Ryan has gained a (largely unearned) reputation as a fiscal hawk due to his radical Roadmap for America’s Future, under which the U.S. budget will eventually be balanced (after federal debt surpasses 100 percent of GDP), mostly via privatizing Social Security and Medicare.

According to an analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, the Roadmap would raise taxes on 90 percent of Americans, while dramatically lowering them for millionaires. In fact, a new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute found that Ryan’s plan would ultimately translate into middle-class tax rates being higher than those for millionaires.”

Idaho Lawmakers Cite Founder Of Neo-Confederate Hate Group To Justify Plan To Nullify Health Reform

“One of the worst examples of the right wing’s contempt for the Constitution is the bevy of unconstitutional proposals state lawmakers have introduced attempting to nullify the Affordable Care Act. The Constitution expressly states that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land…anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding,” so our founding document specifically denies the states a veto power over federal laws.

Nonetheless, a group of Idaho lawmakers are drawing inspiration for an unconstitutional nullification bill from an unusual source — a co-founder of a neo-Confederate hate group.”

Obama Names GE CEO Immelt As Economic Adviser

“When the president travels to Schenectady, N.Y., the birthplace of General Electric, to showcase a new GE deal with India, he’ll be accompanied by chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, who has been tapped to head Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.”

Read More: Has Jeff Immelt Changed His Mind Since Calling Obama Anti-Business?

Republican Mayor: The Stimulus Package ‘Worked,’ It’s ‘Unfair’ For House GOP To Attack It

“Yesterday, the House GOP lawmakers quickly manufactured a unwieldy proposal to axe $2.5 trillion from the federal budget. In a tribute to zeal, Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) new Spending Reduction Act not only scraps 15 percent of federal jobs but also eliminates “all remaining stimulus funding.” Because, as they say, this is what the American people want.

Unfortunately for Republicans, the American people don’t live in their delusion. They live in states and cities — both of which depend on the Recovery Act and will get hosed by this repeal. Bristling under the GOP’s out-of-touch demonization of the Recovery Act, even Republican mayors like Tulsa, OK Mayor Dewey Bartlett are pointing out just how “unfair” a repeal of the Act would be. Speaking at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in DC yesterday, Bartlett ”it worked“.”

In this year’s State of Union, seating could blur party lines

“Oh, for the good old days on Capitol Hill, like nearly 200 years ago when Congress was one big happy family. James Monroe was president and the country was on a high after claiming victory over the British in the War of 1812. True, there was only one major political party at the time, which kept squabbling to a minimum. But political cooperation was in. Partisan acrimony: out. Historians call it the Era of Good Feelings.”

History Repeats Itself: Wall St. Wants a Part of Fannie and Freddie’s Gov’t-Guaranteed Deal

“As the White House considers how to reform troubled mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie, some of the nation’s largest banks have piped up with their own suggestion. The New York Times reports that banks are suggesting that they be allowed to take over some of Fannie and Freddie’s work of issuing securities backed by a government guarantee. That guarantee can be quite convenient for businesses, which get to keep the profits in good times and—as we saw during the housing market collapse—get to socialize the losses by passing them onto the government.”

Turkey’s Rules

“Ahmet Davutoglu, the tireless, talkative foreign minister, is the architect of a foreign policy designed to (peacefully) restore his country to greatness. But whose side is he really on?”

Satire: New Congressional Intern Disillusioned With Politics and Democracy In Record 6 Minutes, 41 Seconds

“Once-idealistic Penn State senior Marc Leitman set a congressional internship record Tuesday when, within seven minutes of his arrival on Capitol Hill, he became hopelessly disillusioned with American politics, having overheard his sponsoring senator offer a government contract to a construction company in exchange for free home renovations.[…]The previous record for political disenchantment by a congressional intern was set in 2004 by University of Texas student Kerri Donovan, whose breasts were groped by her representative at the 09:54.00 mark.”

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