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

Study: U.S. States ‘Poorly Prepared’ For Radiation Emergency

“As Japan struggles to bring its spiraling nuclear catastrophe under control, a new study in a journal published by the American Medical Association (AMA) finds that, from a public health standpoint, U.S. states are “poorly prepared” to respond to a major radiation emergency.”

Read More: U.S. Power Plants Should Withstand Natural Disasters

Ohioans Having Incredible Buyers Remorse Over Gov. Kasich

“Just a few months into his first term, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) appears to be immensely unpopular with his constituents, a clear majority of whom disapprove of his job performance, according to a PPP poll of registered voters. What’s more, if a do-over election were held today Kasich would lose — by a resounding 15-point margin.”

Wis. GOPers Restore Voting Rights To Senate Dems, Lift Fines

“The Wisconsin state Senate Republicans backed away Tuesday afternoon from a controversial sanction they handed down against state Senate Democrats, who had fled the state in an attempt to block passage of Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union proposals. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Senate President Mike Ellis will not enforce the contempt declaration handed down against the Dems — which, as Fitzgerald said Monday, stripped the Dems of the right to vote in committee proceedings.”

U.S. urges restraint by Gulf nations in Bahrain

“The United States urged Saudi Arabia on Monday to show restraint after it sent troops to neighboring Bahrain in a move some analysts said showed the limits of Washington’s influence in the region.”

Watchdogs: Ethics Committee In Turmoil Over Partisan Staff

“Government watchdogs are condemning a decision to allow a Republican office to become a safe haven for supposedly nonpartisan Ethics Committee staff, saying it’s one of the leading reasons why the panel is so dysfunctional.

The House Ethics Committee, led by Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL), has virtually shut down amid partisan recriminations and staff sniping over last year’s handling of the case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Last week TPM reported that at least one of the panel’s attorneys who had been suspended for allegedly mishandling the case had soft-landed on the GOP side of the House Natural Resources Committee, run by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA). “

Jim DeMint’s Theory Of Relativity: ‘The Bigger Government Gets, The Smaller God Gets’

“It is nothing new for conservatives to dress their political ideology in religious language. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) justified his opposition to controlling greenhouse gases because “you can’t regulate God.” Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) of “disrespecting” Christians by considering keeping Congress in session in order to overcome GOP obstructionism. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) even went so far as to compare Democrats to Pontius Pilate, the ancient Roman official who sentenced Jesus to be crucified.

Last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) added his voice to the chorus while being interviewed on the Family Research Council’s weekly radio show. DeMint told host Tony Perkins that the size of government and the size of God exist in an inverse relationship – “the bigger government gets, the smaller God gets”.”

Read More: Santorum: JFK Was ‘Radical’ For Believing In Separation Of Church & State

GOP Sen. Chambliss Breaks With His Party, Opposes Defunding NPR: ‘It Provides A Very Valuable Service’

“During an interview with Atlanta Public Broadcasting on Friday, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) — who has a 96 percent rating from the American Conservative Union — said that it would be unwise to defund the station because it provides a very valuable service. The senator explained that he actually knows a lot of conservatives who listen to NPR and that while it may have to have some of its funding cut as part of wider deficit reduction efforts, completely cutting off funding is the wrong move.”

Read More: House GOP Declares Emergency … Over NPR Funding

After Disaster, Japan Faces Several Crises

“In what the prime minister calls Japan’s worst crisis since World War II, the government struggles to cope with melting nuclear fuel in reactors, finding shelter for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by Friday’s tsunami, and searching for thousands more who are missing.”

Read More: Certainties of Modern Life Upended in Japan
Read More: Tsunami Cripples Several West Coast Harbors

Petraeus Says Afghan War Progress Is ‘Fragile’

“Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of American and allied forces in Afghanistan, told Congress that progress is “fragile and reversible.””

Read More: Poll Shows 64 Percent Of Americans Saying Afghan War ‘Not Worth It’

RNC Chair: Obama Puts NCAA Bracket Ahead Of Important Issues

“Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has a message for President Obama: How dare you be a sports fan!”

Miami-Dade Voters Remove Mayor Carlos Alvarez

“With 100 percent of precinct votes counted, 88 percent voted to oust the mayor, making Miami-Dade the most populous area, with more than 2.5 million people, ever to recall a local official. Just 12 percent of the 204,500 who cast ballots were in favor of allowing Alvarez to finish his second term, which ends in 2012.”

Budget Cuts Put School Sports On Chopping Block

“As many states seek to rein in their budgets, school districts across the country are facing cutbacks. One of the first things to be eliminated is often high school sports — and that may even include football, a fan favorite.”

Good News: New Census Numbers Reveal Hispanic Growth Higher Than Expected

“According to analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, new Census numbers indicate that the Hispanic population of the country is growing at a faster rate than was expected. NPR’s Pam Fessler reports Latinos accounted for 58 percent of the population growth in the 33 states for which the Census has released 2010 numbers. “

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