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

Big Time Dems Join GOPers In Support Of Iranian Terror Group

“Last Thursday in Washington D.C., a prominent group of former government officials gathered for a panel on Iran. Among them were a former National Security Adviser, a former CENTCOM Commander, a former Democratic Senator, a former Democratic Presidential candidate, a former Republican Attorney General, a former Republican Homeland Security Secretary, a former CIA Director and a former FBI Director. Almost to a man — and they were all men — they expressed support for a group considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.”

Critic Of Native American Prayer In Trouble With His Native American-Defending Law Firm

“A right-wing blogger who criticized the Native American opening prayer at the Tucson memorial service as “ugly” has gotten in trouble at his day job — working for a law firm that also defends Native American rights.”

Senate Republicans Place Big Bank Apologist On Banking Committee

“ThinkProgress’ Ian Milhiser noted yesterday that Senate Republicans put Sen. Mike “noun, verb, unconstitutional” Lee (R-UT) on the Judiciary Committee, despite his radical ignorance regarding constitutional matters. But that wasn’t the only committee assignment for which the GOP decided that fealty to ideology was more important that acknowledging reality.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) was one of the financial industry’s biggest apologists during November’s campaign, opposing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law while claiming that derivative deals were “non-risky,” even as they cost schools and cities all across the country (including many in Pennsylvania) millions of dollars. And Toomey has been totally unrepentant about his personal role in deregulating the financial industry.”

Veterans Slam Rep. Bachmann’s Plan To Cut Vet Benefits: ‘Heartless,’ ‘Shows Contempt’ For Troops’ Sacrifice

“In her tea party-fueled quest to cut government spending and social programs, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has unveiled a plan to cut $400 billion in federal spending that includes freezing the Veterans Affairs Department’s health care spending and cuts veterans’ disability benefits. The Air Force Times reports her plan would slice $4.5 billion from the VA, including reducing 150,000 veterans’ disability compensation and the amount they receive in Social Security Disability Income. A host of veterans groups slammed Bachmann’s plan.”

GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter: The Federal Government Can’t Legislate Bike Paths Because They’re Unconstitutional

“Now, in an interview with Streetsblog Capitol Hill, one radical conservative has declared yet another common public good to be unconstitutional: bike paths. In an interview about federal transporation issues, Streetsblog asked Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) about supporting legislation that would support things like bike trails. Hunter responded by saying that he doesn’t “think biking should fall under the federal purview of what the transportation committee is there for. If a state wants to do it, or local municipality, they can do whatever they want to. But no, because you have us mandating bike paths, you don’t want either.”

HUNTER: I don’t think biking should fall under the federal purview of what the Transportation Committee is there for. If a state wants to do it, or local municipality, they can do whatever they want to. But no, because then you have us mandating bike paths, which you don’t want either.

STREETSBLOG: But you’re OK with mandating highways?

HUNTER: Absolutely, yeah. Because that’s in the constitution.”

Gov. Kasich To Black Lawmaker: ‘I Don’t Need Your People’

“Delivering on his vision for a “new way,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) “is on pace to be the first governor since 1962 to have an entire Cabinet without any racial diversity.” Every one of his 22 full-time agency head appointments has been a white person. Only five are women. Dubbing diversity as “metrics that people tend to focus on,” Kasich said, “I can’t say I need to find somebody to fit this metric” because “it’s not the way I look at those things. I want the best possible team I can get.”

Yesterday, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus held a press conference to express their waning patience with his dismissive attitude and “implore[] Kasich to make better strides to diversify his Cabinet.” But according to State Senator Nina Turner (D-OH), this time Kasich’s response was a bit more blunt. According to Turner, when the caucus offered him help in finding qualified minority applicants, Kasich told Turner, “I don’t need your people“.”

Long Island Tax Cut Debacle A ‘Black Eye For The Tea Party’

“In 2009, Republican Edward Mangano was one of the first politicians to channel the Tea Party’s anti-tax fervor into a political victory when he knocked off Democrat Tom Suozzi for Nassau County Executive in New York State. Suozzi was a major political figure with ambitions for statewide office, and Magnano was a local legislator “given little chance of winning leading up to Election Day.”

Upon taking office, Mangano — who ran on both the Republican and Tax Revolt Party lines — made good on a key campaign promise. On his inauguration day, Mangano signed a repeal of an unpopular home energy tax, instituted by Suozzi. The tax was implemented two years before as part of a deferred-pay deal Suozzi brokered with public worker unions, which was intended to spread around the sacrifice to deal with the county’s budget problems.

In a special report, Reuters details how the repeal of that tax lead to a budgetary crisis and ultimately a takeover of the county’s finances by a state-appointed fiscal overseer.”

Economy Grew At 3.2 Percent Pace In Fourth-Quarter 2010

“The economy has grown for six straight quarters, though the expansion has not been strong enough to bring unemployment down substantially.”

U.S. urges Egypt to halt crackdown, begin reforms

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Egypt's government Friday to halt the use of violence against protesters, end "unprecedented" curbs on communication and begin implementing political and economic reforms. Clinton's remarks represented an incremental toughening of the Obama administration's stance in Egypt's unfolding political crisis, but they fell short of a complete U.S. break with President Hosni Mubarak.”

Nelson Mandela Returns Home From Hospital

“The 92-year-old former president was treated for an acute respiratory infection.”

Egyptians’ Fury Has Smoldered Beneath the Surface for Decades

“Egyptians have demonstrated over the years about low wages, poverty and the election process, but never in such a widespread fashion.”

Satire: World War II Hero Cursed Out For Driving Speed Limit

“A decorated World War II veteran who was still a teenager when he first saw combat and witnessed the bodies of friends being torn apart by heavy artillery was cursed at by a passing motorist Tuesday for driving the posted speed limit. “Move it, you old fossil!” 32-year-old Brian Forsythe yelled at the man who charged into enemy fire to take out a machine-gun nest during the Allied invasion of Italy and was driving 65 miles an hour.[…]The man, 85-year-old Carl Palmer, was on his way to the local VA hospital to receive the intensive weekly physical therapy that allows him to walk despite the chronic pain of a massive shrapnel wound he sustained 67 years ago”

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