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

Yoo: President Can Slaughter Village, But Not Force Disclosure Of Political Donations

“Torture advocate John Yoo thinks that the President of the United States has the executive power to order a village of civilians slaughtered. But force federal contractors to disclose their political donations? That’s a bridge too far.

In an editorial former Bush-era Justice Department official Yoo and David Marston wrote for the Wall Street Journal, the authors argued that the “only purpose” of an executive order being considered by President Barack Obama to require companies seeking federal contracts to disclose political contributions “is to dangle the specter of retaliation.. and harassment.””

Oklahoma GOPer: It’s A Fact That ‘Blacks’ Don’t Work As Hard

“Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R) says that she’s seen “a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.””

Josh Marshall: Josh’s New Taxonomy of Birtherism

“As I noted yesterday, there’s a vast sociological literature demonstrating that after the central prediction of apocalyptic cults goes unfulfilled many of members of the group will not give up but rather intensify their belief. And so it goes with birtherism in the aftermath of the release of President Obama’s ‘long form’ birth certificate.”

Read More: Barbara Morrill: “Birthers aren’t satisfied because no matter how many documents Barack Obama releases it will never be enough, because there isn’t a document in the world that will turn him white.”

Another GOP Congressman Touts Millions In Health Reform Money He Called ‘Socialized Medicine’ Last Year

“Like many Republicans, freshman Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) campaigned for office last year on a promise to repeal health reform. He accused his Democratic opponent, Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN), of attempting a “smoke-and-mirrors ploy to implement socialized medicine.” And once joining Congress, DesJarlais voted to repeal the entire bill.

However, only four months into office, DesJarlais’ office appears to be touting a successful health reform program. According to the Crossvile Chronicle, a representative from DesJarlais’ district office was on hand last week for a groundbreaking ceremony to hand over nearly $4.5 million in grant money — entirely funded by the Affordable Care Act — for the construction of a community health clinic in Cumberland County, Tennessee. Gregg Ridley, a staffer for DesJarlais, even posed for a photo-op with a gaint ceremonial check to local officials to take credit for making the grant possible.”

Massachussetts House Votes To Limit Public Employee Collective Bargaining For Health Care

“Last winter, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) instigated a massive movement of Main Street Americans when he advocated for and passed a new budget law that severely restricted the labor rights of most public employees in the state.

Last night, Massachusetts took a step in that direction when the state House of Representatives voted 111-42 for a bill that would essentially strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights to negotiate for health insurance plans. Under the proposed law, unions would be allowed to negotiate with local officials for 30 days, but officials could still unilaterally impose changes in health insurance coverage if negotiations fail to reach an agreement.”

Congresswoman Talks Politics And Parenting

“Host Michel Martin interviews Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the incoming chair of the Democratic National Committee. The Florida Democrat will keep her seat in the House of Representatives and will discuss how she plans to juggle those duties with her role as mother of three.”

Obama Administration: Sugary Foods Not So Grrreat!

“New advertising guidelines from the Obama administration could make Dig ‘Em the frog an endangered species — along with Toucan Sam, Chester Cheetah and other junk-food mascots used to sell products to children that are high in sugar, fat and sodium.”

Ravitch: Standardized Testing Undermines Teaching

“Former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch explains why she was once an early advocate of No Child Left Behind, school vouchers and charter schools — and what changed her mind.”

Read More: Rotherham: Don’t Discount Charter School Model

China census shows population ageing and urban

“Nearly half of all Chinese now live in cities and people over the age of 60 now account for 13.3% of the population, up nearly 3% since 2000.

But the figures reveal that China’s population is growing more slowly than in the past. “

U.S. economy slows sharply from January to March

“The U.S. economy grew at a sluggish 1.8 percent annual rate from January through March, the government said Thursday, in a report that showed a sharp slowdown and an economy that continues to struggle.”

Tornadoes devastate South, killing at least 248

“Dozens of tornadoes ripped through the South, flattening homes and businesses and killing at least 248 people in six states in the deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years.”

Good News: Do Our Friends Make Us Fatter?

“I used to hang around with this skinny guy, Jonah. Then he moved 3,000 miles away to Los Angeles where he is still skinny and where he writes a blog about science. Had he stayed here in New York and hung out with me a lot, Jonah might be a lot less skinny because I am not at all skinny and in Jonah’s latest blogpost on Frontal Cortex, he reports that when skinny people spend a lot of time with non-skinny people, they tend, for some strange reason, to get fatter.”

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