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


So Be It: Social Security Administration Braces For Spending-Cut Furloughs

“The SSA has put its employees on notice that GOP spending cuts could well lead to furloughs.

“It is important to note that the Commissioner has not decided to effectuate a furlough,” reads a letter from the office of labor-management relations. “However, given the potential of reduced Congressional appropriations for the remainder of the fiscal year, the Agency is issuing this notice at this time in the event that a furlough may become necessary.””

FLASHBACK: Walker Proposed ‘Decertifying’ State Unions (VIDEO)

“After he was elected in November, but before he took office, then Gov.-elect Scott Walker managed to squash contract negotiations between the lame duck government and public employee unions. He argued, reasonably, that he ought to get a real bite at the apple when he took office — a typical argument against any major action during lame duck legislating.

But as he waged this fight, he asserted that he might decertify the unions completely. That, it turns out, is outside his gubernatorial authority. But it was a huge tell that he planned to go after unions in a dramatic way.”

Read More: Dems Closed Much Larger Budget Shortfall In Wisconsin Without Destroying Worker Rights
Read More: Look at the Map of Collective Bargaining Rights by State
Read More: Glenn Beck: Wisconsin Unions, Muslim Brotherhood All Just Want New World Order (VIDEO)
Read More: FLASHBACK: Texas Dems Fled State In 2003 To Block GOP Re-Redistricting Plan
Read More: Local Business Community May Be Starting To Turn Against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Read More: Koch Industries Slashed WI Jobs, Helped Elect Scott Walker, Now Orchestrating Pro-Walker Protest

Rep. Chris Murphy Announces Bill To End Supreme Court Immunity To Judicial Ethics Law

“The Code of Conduct for United States Judges provides that in almost all circumstances, “a judge should not personally participate in fund-raising activities.” Yet, because the Justices of the Supreme Court have exempted themselves from this Code, conservative Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito have all participated in high-dollar fundraisers for right-wing political causes. In response to this unethical — but technically legal — conduct by these three justices, Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is pushing a bill that would end the Supreme Court’s immunity to federal ethics law.”

As Subprime College Industry Ramps Up Lobbying, Phony Letters Attack Reform Proponents

“The for-profit school industry is currently engaged in a pitched lobbying battle to stop the Department of Education from implementing new regulations to increase accountability for career colleges and other for-profit higher education companies. Investigations by the Government Accountability Office, the Los Angeles Times, PBS Frontline, and others have found that the for-profit “subprime” school industry routinely fools students into taking loans they are not prepared to pay back by scamming students with false promises of high paying jobs, falsely claiming that their credits transfer to major universities, and promising certifications that the schools are not prepared to provide. Although just 11 percent of higher education students in the country attend for-profit schools, they account for 26 percent of federal student loans and 44 percent of student loan defaults — and 90 percent of their money comes from taxpayer-funded programs. “

Read More: House Passes Amendment to Block Funding of Oversight Measure for For-Profit Schools
Read More: BPI Campus Question discussion on this topic

Obama Advisers Report Income: They’re Rich

“President Obama’s new chief of staff Bill Daley and incoming senior adviser David Plouffe have filed financial disclosure forms. Daley reported getting more than $20 million in salary, bonuses and other income last year. Plouffe’s salary and speaking fees topped $1.5 million in 2010.”

New Contraception Rules Spark ‘Conscience Clause’ Debate

“Religious exemptions that allow health care workers to decline certain services to patients if they have a religious exemption should not include contraception. That’s the bottom line of the administration’s new regulations on the “conscience clause.””

Read More: BPI Campus discussion on conscience clauses

Ex-Leader of Charity for Disabled Gets 10 Years in Prison, Must Pay $65 Million

“Yesterday, a judge sentenced the former CEO of an El Paso charity to 10 years in prison and $65 million in restitution for corruption and embezzlement involving the federal government’s biggest jobs program for the disabled.”

U.S. Offered Rosy View Before Bahrain Crackdown

“The U.S. government has overlooked recent complaints about human-rights abuses in Bahrain.”

Read More: Security Forces in Bahrain Open Fire on Protesters


Good News: A (Shockingly) Short History Of ‘Hello’

“Hello has to have been the standard English language greeting since English people began greeting, no?

Well, here’s a surprise from Ammon Shea, author of The First Telephone Book: Hello is a new word.”

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