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

Bill Could Clear Way For Jindal’s Health Care Privatization Push

“A bill that will soon be debated in the Louisiana legislature contains language that appears to clear the way for the state to use money from the potential privatization of the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), the agency that manages state employees’ health insurance, to help plug a budget hole.”

Sean Duffy Gets First Opponent Of 2012 Cycle

“Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), who picked up a seat for the Republicans in the 2010 wave, now has his first declared challenger, with former Wisconsin state Sen. Pat Kreitlow launching his campaign.

Kreitlow was elected to the state Senate in the Democratic wave of 2006, after a news broadcasting career in western Wisconsin, defeating a Republican incumbent. He then lost his race for re-election in 2010.”

Walker: Too Many Recalls ‘Makes It Very Hard’ To Get Things Done

“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is criticizing the wave of recalls in his state, which are taking place in the wake of the controversial passage of his anti-public employee union legislation.

Walker says in the past lawmakers have faced recall elections after instances of misconduct in office and not over a single vote.

In fact, as an article from the State Bar of Wisconsin indicates, the four legislative recall elections that taken have place in Wisconsin history were mostly motivated by politics. “

Read More: Recall elections: Constitutionally protected, rarely executed

Haley Barbour Not Running For President: I Don’t Have That ‘Fire In The Belly’

“Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) announced on Monday that he will not seek the presidency in 2012, saying that his supporters “deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.””

Editor’s Note: Apologies for drawing attention to Haley Barbour’s belly.

Conservative Lawyer Resigns After Law Firm Drops DOMA Defense

“In a major setback for opponents of same-sex marriage, the law firm of King and Spalding is withdrawing from its agreement the House Republican leadership to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

[Paul] Clement submitted his resignation letter to King and Spalding on Monday morning. He will continue to represent the House, according to House Speaker John Boehner’s office.”

In Gitmo Opinion, Two Versions of Reality

“Update April 25, 2011: On Sunday night, a number of news outlets and WikiLeaks published a trove of classified documents on detainees at Guantanamo Bay. ProPublica has been reporting on Gitmo and the issues surrounding indefinite detention for more than two years”

Right Wing Slams Obama For Advocating Leadership Theory That Was Espoused By Nelson Mandela

“The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza has a lengthy piece out today exploring “how the Arab Spring remade Obama’s foreign policy.” The article outlines the President’s big foreign policy decisions throughout his young presidency — from the surge in Afghanistan and keeping a low profile during the Green Movement in Iran to participating in the UN mandated intervention in Libya — and ultimately ends with an interesting quote from one of Obama’s advisers.”

Also: GOP 2012 Presidential Candidates
Forgetting America Is At War, Romney Accuses Obama Of ‘Peacetime Spending Binge’…Then Walks It Back
NBC Allows Trump To Begin Campaigning On ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’
GOP’s Presidential Race Runs Through … Minnesota?
DeMint going to New Hampshire, but not (he says) to seek presidency

Exclusive: The Astroturf Lobbyists Behind The New ‘Tea Party’ Group Pushing To Repeal Wall Street Reform

“In February, while attending the Tea Party Patriot Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, I came across the grand opening of a new front group called “Dodd Frank Exposed.” Two staffers for the new group were eagerly shaking hands of Tea Party activists while asking them to fill out a survey about their perception of the Dodd Frank Wall Street reform law passed last year.

On a television set up at the booth, a video played on loop claiming Wall Street reform is an “unconstitutional takeover of the U.S. economy.” The video, set to scary attack ad music, argued that Tea Party activists should be as angry at financial reform as they were against President Obama’s health reforms.”

Rep. Chris Gibson Says ‘Illegal’ Immigrants Not Paying Taxes, Town Hall Attendee Asks: ‘You Mean Like GE?!’

“As ThinkProgress has previously reported, while services and investments in Main Street America are being gutted, many of the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations are getting away with paying little to nothing in federal corporate income taxes, exploiting a tax code filled with loopholes, carve-outs, and giveaways.

At a town hall meeting last week, Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) faced the ire of constituents who are upset about this tax dodging by some of our nation’s biggest corporations. “

VIDEO: Michigan Town Hall Attendees Demand ‘Higher Business Tax’ Instead of Snyder’s Education Cuts

“Angry residents confronted Republican state Sen. Tom Casperson at a town hall last week over his support for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) proposed budget, which — like those of many other GOP governors — would slash funding for education while cutting corporate taxes. Snyder’s budget would cut spending on education by $471 per student and reduce teachers’ pay and benefits. Yet while students and teachers are asked to sacrifice, Snyder’s budget would give huge tax breaks to businesses in the form of a flat 6 percent corporate tax rate.”

Rising Gas Prices Expected To Increase Exxon’s Earnings By More Than 50%

“The country’s five biggest oil companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell — made a total profit of nearly $1 trillion over the last ten years. In 2008, ExxonMobil broke its own record for most profitable year for a public company in history by making more than $45 billion. And according to an analysis in the Wall Street Journal, rising oil prices in 2010 mean that Big Oil’s profits this year “could come close to rivaling the industry’s record year in 2008”.”

Supreme Court Weighs Whether To Limit Data Mining

“At issue is whether a state may bar the buying, selling and profiling of doctors’ prescription records for use by pharmaceutical sales representatives. The decision may hinge on whether the justices determine it is ultimately a case about free speech. Either way, it may have larger implications beyond the pharmaceutical industry.”

Increasingly Cautious, Unions Less Likely To Strike

“In 1952 there were 470 strikes nationally; in 2010 there were 11. A chief tool of labor unions, striking has clearly declined sharply in the past few decades amid economic shifts and growing anti-union sentiment.”

See Also: Evening Focus: Strikes and Boycotts

Judge Orders End To NFL Lockout, League To Appeal

“U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson granted a request for a preliminary injunction to lift the two-month lockout, saying she was swayed by the players’ argument that the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987 is hurting their careers.”

Ghost Town Bears Witness to Lasting Nuclear Scourge

“The town of Pripyat, Ukraine, reinforces the lesson learned anew in Japan: Humans can fashion both wonder and horror with technology.”

See Also: Demonstrators in Germany Demand End of Nuclear Power

Good News: The Golden Gate Bridge’s Accidental Color

“You’d think the color of the most photographed bridge in the world would have a more exciting name than international orange. Maybe something like vermilion or terra cotta or burnt sienna would seem more fitting.

Whatever you call it, it’s the vivid, unmistakable color of the Golden Gate Bridge, which turns 75 next year. But back in the 1930s, the now-iconic hue was a radical choice.”

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