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


Text Of President Obama’s Speech On Deficit Reduction

“The White House has released the text of President Obama’s speech on the deficit, as prepared for delivery. Here’s the full text.”

Read More: Conservative Economists Criticize ‘Off The Deep End’ Republican Budget
Read More: Comparing Republican and Obama Budget Plans
Read More: Boehner: Our Medicare Privatization Plan Doesn’t Privatize Medicare
Read More: FLASHBACK: In 2001 Address, Bush Said The National Debt Would Be Paid Off In Ten Years
Read More: Progressive Reps. ‘Disappointed’ With Budget Deal, Wish Obama Would ‘Push Back’ Against GOP ‘Blackmail’

Virginia Teacher Holds Mock Auction Of Black Students To Teach Civil War Lesson

“A fourth grade teacher in Norfolk, Virginia is in trouble for getting a bit too real in a lesson on the Civil War, in which she held a mock auction of black students while letting the white students bid on them.

On April 1st, Jessica Boyle separated students in her class and put the black and mixed race students up for sale, according to WVEC News, apparently in a well intentioned, but ill-advised attempt to demonstrate the injustices of the slave era.”

Tea Party Leader Slams Lindsey Graham For Whining About $50,000 Cut to Home State

“Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went way off-message on Tuesday, threatening to “tie the Senate in knots” and hold up administration nominees unless lawmakers reverse just $50,000 in cuts affecting his home state that he claims would cost thousands of jobs.

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler is not happy with Graham’s sudden burst of pro-spending zeal, telling TPM that the senator “sounds like a petulant child.””

Read More: Lindsey Graham Offers Stirring Defense of Government Spending: “Will Allow Us to Create Jobs”

Texas GOP Rep. Introduces Sharia Ban Because He Heard Sharia Is A Threat On The Radio, Asks ‘Isn’t That True?’

“Texas is now joining over 15 states that have introduced bills to guard against the non-existent threat of Islamic Sharia law. In proposing legislation to ban state courts from considering foreign religious or cultural laws like Sharia, Texas state Rep. Leo Berman (R) — the bill sponsor — said, “We want to prevent it from ever happening in Texas.””

CBO: Budget Deal Cuts ‘Less Than 1 Percent’ Of The $38.5 Billion Claimed

“Republicans and President Obama have been hailing last week’s shutdown-averting government funding deal as the “largest spending cut in history,” but as details about the package emerged, analysts realized that deal’s supporters were greatly overselling the purported $38.5 billion in cuts. And today, the Congressional Budget Office finds that the deal would shave just $352 million from the deficit in the next six months — “less than 1 percent of the $38 billion in claimed savings,” the AP reports”

Read More: Lawmakers Discover What’s In Spending Deal

Walker And Prosser Crushed Regulations On Koch Industry’s Phosphorus Pollution In Wisconsin

“ThinkProgress has learned that the Walker administration, along with state Supreme Court judge David Prosser, has quietly worked to allow Koch’s many Georgia Pacific paper plants to pollute Wisconsin by pouring thousands of pounds of phosphorus into the water.

Koch’s Georgia Pacific plants are well known for releasing large amounts of phosphorus into Wisconsin’s waterways. A report by the state government showed that Georgia Pacific is responsible for about 9% of total phosphorus pollution in the Lower Fox River near Green Bay.”

Public Employees Feel The Heat In The Sunshine State

“As in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states, Florida’s public employees and their unions are on the defensive. Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget cuts thousands of public jobs and requires workers to contribute part of their salaries to their pensions. Plus, the Republican-controlled legislature is close to adopting a measure that directly targets public employee unions.”

14 Lenders Ordered To Reimburse Homeowners

“Federal banking regulators have issued cease-and-desist orders to 14 of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers. As a result, these firms — including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo — will have to change the way they handle foreclosures.”

Report: Big profits drove faulty ratings at Moody’s, S&P

“Analysts who reviewed complex mortgage bonds that ultimately collapsed and ruined the U.S. housing market were threatened with firing if they lost lucrative business, prompting faulty ratings on trillions of dollars worth of junk mortgage bonds, a Senate report said Wednesday.”

First Guilty Plea In Mine Disaster Criminal Probe

“In his plea agreement, a former employee for Massey Energy admitted to forging his foreman’s certification, which proved he had the training necessary to spot dangers at mines.”

Resistance to Jaitapur Nuclear Plant Grows in India

“As a nuclear disaster unfolds in distant Japan, a growing number of Indian scientists, academics and others have expressed concern about plans for a coastal nuclear plant.”

Asia-Pacific Governments Play Catch-Up on Minimum Wages

“Malaysia could soon join a growing list of Asia-Pacific countries, including China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia, that in the last decade have introduced a form of minimum wage.”


Good News: Autistic Kids Learn To Survive, And Thrive, In College

“In many ways, Mark Heim is a typical senior at Colorado State University. He has the kind of smart humor you’d expect from someone who excels in computer science, engineering and math; his T-shirt reads, “Department of Redundancy Department.”

But as a student living with Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, the everyday social interactions of college life can be awkward.”

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