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

Anti-HCR ‘Gun Mandate’ Stunt Meets…George Washington

“As you may have seen, some Republican state legislators in South Dakota have proposed a sort of protest bill against health care reform — to require that nearly every adult in the state purchase a gun. But in their effort to make a statement about constitutionality, they might have just misfired.”

Reagan Solicitor General Says Health Care Is Constitutional (VIDEO)

“Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Ronald Reagan’s Solicitor General Charles Fried said that even though he believes that there are lots of problems with the Affordable Care Act, he’s “quite sure that the health care mandate is constitutional.””

Read More: Republicans Hide Health Care Law Benefits From Their Constituents
Read More: Senate Republicans Lose Vote On Health Care Law

Frank Gaffney: Muslim Brotherhood Is Waging ‘An Influence Operation Against The Conservative Movement’

“Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported on leading neoconservative Frank Gaffney and his claim that the Muslim Brotherhood has already “infiltrated” the United States government. Appearing on Fox News last night, Gaffney took his Muslim Brotherhood fearmongering even further.

During Hannity last night on Fox, Gaffney reiterated his extraordinary claim that the federal government was already being manipulated by the Muslim Brotherhood, who he alleged was giving surreptitious advice to the Obama administration. The problem went even further, according to Gaffney. The Muslim Brotherhood was currently waging “an influence operation against the conservative movement” as well.”

Yielding To Progressive Pressure, Gov. Kasich Appoints First Minority Cabinet Member

“Fleshing out his “new way,” Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) offered Ohio the first all-white cabinet since 1962. As ThinkProgress reported last week, Kasich bluntly rebuked a black lawmaker’s offer to find qualified minority candidates, telling her “I don’t need your people.” This remark embroiled Kasich in a raging controversy over his indifference towards diversity. In an “obvious attempt to quell the criticism” yesterday, Kasich touted the appointment of Lynn Stevens to Director of Minority Affairs. But as ThinkProgress noted, not only is the position not cabinet-level but Stevens had been serving in that position for a month. Today, Kasich finally yielded to the “intense criticism” and made the actual first minority appointment to his cabinet by tapping Michael B. Colbert to head the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.”

Judge: Spill Claims Czar Not Independent Of BP

“The embattled administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund for Gulf oil spill victims is not independent from BP and must stop telling potential claimants that he is, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, just hours after the fund czar released details on how final payments would be determined”. […] [Ken] Feinberg was appointed last June by BP and the White House to oversee the claims fund. His Washington law firm was paid $850,000 a month for its work through the middle of January, and now Feinberg is discussing with BP how much he should be paid going forward.

Barbier said: “The court finds that BP has created a hybrid entity, rather than one that is fully independent of BP.”

Sen. Rand Paul says tea partiers willing to cut deals

“Invoking legendary 19th century Senator Henry Clay and the abolitionist movement, freshman Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivered his first Senate floor speech Wednesday to signal that he and the tea party are willing to compromise with opponents on the federal debt and spending cuts. But their compromise would be narrowly drawn.”

Shippers Concerned Over Possible Suez Canal Disruptions

“Egypt is not a major oil exporter, but it is a crucial link for petroleum products headed from the Middle East to Europe and the United States.”

‘Catastrophic’ Cyclone Makes Landfall in Australia

“With winds howling at up to 185 miles per hour, a huge cylone made landfall in the predawn hours on Thursday.”

Satire: U.S. Negotiating Mubarak’s Severance Package

“CAIRO—In an effort to provide monetary compensation to the Egyptian president for three decades of faithful service, U.S. officials opened negotiations with Hosni Mubarak Tuesday, offering him a severance package worth $20 million upon termination of his employment.[…]Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also reportedly offered to write Mubarak a letter of recommendation in case he wishes to apply for any dictatorship jobs with U.S. allies in the future”

Good News: Doctors Throw Flags On High School Concussions

“Professional sports leagues and sports medicine doctors are teaming up in support of new laws designed to protect young athletes from concussions. The regulations are aimed at reducing the more than 60,000 concussions among high school athletes each year.[…] The coalition wants every state to have a law like the Lystedt Law, passed in Washington in 2009 and named after Zackery Lystedt, a teenager who sustained a serious brain injury during a middle school football game in 2006. Lystedt’s head struck the ground in the first half, but he was allowed to keep playing. When he took another shot to the head late in the game, the result was devastating. The Lystedt Law says an athlete suspected of having a head injury must be removed from competition. That’s because even a minor injury to the brain can make it highly vulnerable to further damage.”

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