Noontime News is a snapshot of our RSS feeds from the noon (Eastern time) hour.
“If the health care reform law were to disappear tomorrow, Dallas Wiens would be in trouble. “
“Bill Cronon — or William Cronon, as I think of him — is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin. A few days ago he wrote an oped in the Times critical of Gov. Walker and his push to abolish collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin. About a week before that, he wrote a blog post — the first in a new blog called Scholar as Citizen — examining just who’s behind this big anti-union push. He focused on a group called ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council).[…]
Less than two days after Cronon published the blog post, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a state open records request to gain access to Cronon’s personal emails to get a look at what communications or discussions or sources or anything else went into writing it.”
“A deputy prosector in Johnson County, Indiana, has resigned his job after it was revealed that in February, during the large protests in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union bill, he e-mailed Walker’s office and recommended that they conduct a “false flag operation” — to fake an assault or assassination attempt on Walker in order to discredit the unions and protesters.”
Read More: Can we add “racist” to “resigned” for official who advised Walker to stage phony attack?
Read More: Flashback: Indiana Official On Wisconsin Protestors: ‘Use Live Ammunition’
Read More: Emails Show Scott Walker Misrepresented Voters’ Support For His Union Busting
“The Republican presidential field could be on the verge of having two Minnesotans — and one of them a national Tea Party movement star, with Rep. Michele Bachmann reportedly set to establish a presidential exploratory committee in June.”
“Bryan Fischer, the “Director of Issues Analysis” for the social conservative group the American Family Association, says that when it comes to Islam, the First Amendment is a privilege, not a right. “Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam,” Fischer wrote today.
“The First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity.”
“Quick, which group has the U.S. government helped out the most? Wall Street, maybe? Or the unemployed? Oh, how about all those defense contractors? Wrong, says Fox News contributor John Stossel. As far as Stossel is concerned, it’s Native Americans.[…]
“Why is there a Bureau of Indian Affairs?” he said. “There is no Bureau of Puerto Rican Affairs or Black Affairs or Irish Affairs. And no group in America has been more helped by the government than the American Indians…””
“Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is a “self-professed fiscal conservative” who often rails against government spending and the supposed fiscally imprudent policies of his progressive opponents. He recently put out a statement that said, “Washington must put its fiscal house in order. American taxpayers are rightly infuriated by the federal government’s disregard for the same economic principles that govern every household and business budget.”
Yet when it comes to pork barrel spending for his home state, he is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to waste taxpayers’ money. The Chicago Tribune reports today that a provision Shelby inserted into the 2010 budget that has survived both recent continuing resolutions is costing taxpayers more than a million dollars every single day. The “Shelby provision,” as it is called, forces NASA to spend $1.4 million daily on the Constellation moon program, which it already canceled and doesn’t even want.”
“In 22 states across the country, Republican lawmakers are ginning up the specter of voter fraud to pass highly restrictive photo identification laws that would severely restrict the voting rights of millions. But yesterday, the Republicans in the Ohio House secured passage of “what could become the nation’s most restrictive voter identification law.”
In just eight days, House Republicans hustled through HB 159, a bill that would require voters to show one of five forms of ID to vote in person: an Ohio driver’s license, state ID, military ID, U.S. passport, or “a new, free photo ID that State Bureau of Motor Vehicles would dispense to indigent citizens who qualify.” Currently, voters must show a photo ID or present a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document with a current name and address. Unlike other states’ photo ID laws, HB 159 would not even allow students to use IDs issued by state colleges.”
“Earlier this month, Richard Clarke, who served for both Democratic and Republican Presidents, including a stint as the cyber security czar for the Bush administration, denounced the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for plotting with a group of military contractors to hack into progressive groups”
“The U.S. Hispanic population is growing. Census figures show more than half of the population growth in the U.S. in the past decade was among Hispanics. In 10 states and Washington, D.C., the majority of people under 18 are now minorities.”
“The United States and Saudi Arabia — whose conflicted relationship has survived oil shocks, the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq — are drifting apart faster than at any time in recent history, according to diplomats, analysts and former U.S. officials.”
“According to a study released this week by Brown University’s Department of Modern Culture and Media, it now takes only four minutes for a new cultural touchstone to transform from an amusing novelty into an intensely annoying thing people never want to see or hear again.[…]
“The average web user receives a dozen links and reads 60 mentions of a new meme or sensation within the first 45 seconds of being online,” said Salvador Calder, a media studies professor. “During this period of peak popularity, individuals seem to derive a great level of satisfaction from endlessly repeating an entity’s signature component, be it a contrived Kazakh accent or the words ‘epic fail.'”
“However,” Calder continued, “at roughly the 91-second mark, when the phenomenon has been remixed, set to a dance beat, and Auto-Tuned, that original sense of pleasure begins its inevitable, precipitous decline.” […]
“We project that by 2018, the gap between liking something new and wishing yourself dead rather than hearing it again will be down to 60 seconds,” Levinson said. “And by 2023, enjoyment and abhorrence will occur simultaneously, the two emotions effectively canceling each other out and leaving one feeling nothing whatsoever.””
(Editor’s Note: Article includes useful graph)
Good News: American Mathematician Wins Abel Prize
“American mathematician John Milnor was awarded the Abel Prize in mathematics Wednesday. Among his many achievements, Milnor proved the existence of exotic seven-dimensional spheres.”
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