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

Obama will not release bin Laden death photos

“President Barack Obama has decided not to release photos of Osama bin Laden after he was killed, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.”

Read More: TPM: bin Laden wire
Read More: Palin: Obama ‘Pussy-Footing’ By Not Releasing Photo Of Dead Bin Laden
Read More: Senator Has Seen A Photo Of Slain Bin Laden
Read More: TX Teacher Suspended After Telling Muslim Student ‘I Bet You’re Grieving’
Read More: Lindsey Graham: Obama Made “Bold And Right Decision” On Bin Laden Raid
Read More: Rumsfeld Flip-Flops: Now Says Harsh Interrogation Of Detainees Was ‘Critically Important’ In Bin Laden’s Death

John Ashcroft Is Blackwater’s New Ethics Chief

“Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has signed up as an “independent director” for Xe Services, the infamous private security company that used to be known as Blackwater.”

GOP Presidential Candidate Gov. Roemer Slams Lobbyists As ‘What’s Wrong With The America System’

“As candidates begin to campaign for the 2012 Republican primary for president, media attention has centered on establishment favorites like former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MN), as well as conspiracy-minded Obama-bashers like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Donald Trump. However, there is a candidate who has distinguished himself not by promoting vicious smears, but by actually proposing fundamental reforms. Former Gov. Buddy Roemer (R-LA) is running in the Republican primary with a promise to clean the influence of big money out of government.”

Report: States’ War On Planned Parenthood Guts Other Health And Nutrition Programs For Women And Children

“The 2010 conservative tidal wave has thrust the nation into an open era of anti-choice zealotry. Nearly 1,000 anti-choice bills are advancing through GOP-led state houses nationwide — their absurdity matched only by the House GOP’s No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion bill which will be voted on later today. At the epicenter of this anti-choice maelstrom is Planned Parenthood, a women’s health organization that provides vital services like STD tests and treatment, cancer screenings, and contraception to low-income women. Only 3 percent of their work is abortion services and, per federal law, no public funds go towards that service.

But the mere idea of abortions has been enough to spur an all out campaign to gut the organization by any means necessary. Indeed, picking up where the House GOP left off, Indiana is set to become the first state to defund Planned Parenthood with Kansas and several other states not too far behind. But, in their crusade to eviscerate Planned Parenthood, states like Indiana, Texas, and Oklahoma are willing to accept a great number of low-income women and children as collateral damage.”

GOP 2012 Candidates:
As Backlash Against Ending Medicare Spreads, Pawlenty Refuses To Back GOP Plan

GRAPH: Income Inequality In U.S. Worse Than Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Ethiopia

“As ThinkProgress has repeatedly noted, crucial services and public investments for Main Street America are being gutted as taxes on the richest Americans are the lowest they’ve been in a generation. Yet many Americans may not know exactly how unfair this is, as the country has grown increasingly unequal at the same time. Using data from the CIA Factbook based on the Gini coefficient — a measure of income inequality within a society — ThinkProgress has assembled the following graph, which demonstrates that the United States is now about as economically unequal as Uganda and more unequal than countries like Pakistan or the Ivory Coast.”

Wisconsin Democrats Win Seat That Was Held By Republicans For Sixteen Years In Special Election

“Wisconsin marks the birthplace of a burgeoning Main Street Movement defending the economic livelihood of the middle class. The movement was spawned after Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and his GOP allies passed new laws stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Last night, Wisconsin Republicans suffered what was perhaps the first electoral defeat resulting from a backlash to their radical anti-labor policies as Democrats won a special election for an assembly seat held by the GOP for the past 16 years.”

Feds Suing More Anti-Abortion Activists

“The Justice Department under President Obama has taken a harder line against anti-abortion activists accused of trying to block access to clinics, suing at least a half-dozen of them under a federal law that lay mostly dormant during the Bush administration.”

Obama administration moves forward on trade deals

“After a two-year pause on trade, the Obama administration informed congressional leaders Wednesday that it's ready to negotiate legislation to implement free-trade agreements already reached with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.”

For Obama, Big Rise in Poll Numbers After Bin Laden Raid

“A majority now approves of the president’s overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.”

Satire: Congress Gets In 12 Solid Hours Of Gridlocking Before Calling It A Day

“Exhausted but satisfied leaders from both parties came together Tuesday night to announce that Congress had successfully completed 12 solid hours of nonstop gridlocking, once again going above and beyond to needlessly prevent the nation from moving forward.

In a marathon session that lawmakers proudly called “one of [their] least productive ever,” each of the 535 members of the House and Senate gridlocked deep into the night to ensure that no bipartisan compromise could be reached, no laws intended to aid the American people could be passed, and no sense of national unity or progress could possibly be achieved.

“There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you’ve just put in a full day of bringing our nation’s legislative branch to a complete standstill,” said House Speaker John Boehner, who like the vast majority of his colleagues worked without break throughout the day and night fostering political disharmony and rejecting the passage of crucial legislation. “We got a lot of good, quality gridlocking done today. We gridlocked efficiently, we gridlocked passionately, and we gridlocked as best we could for the American people. Now we go home, rest up, and get ready for another full day of gridlocking tomorrow.””

Good News: Tools Of Discovery: Where Would Science Be Without Them?

“We humans evolved under close proximity to a star with a surface temperature of 5800 Kelvin and our environment determined our physiology and metabolism.

As a result, we are very good at sensing the fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum that allows us to maneuver in our surroundings, also known as the “visible” portion (aka the colors of the rainbow). Because of our size, roughly around 1,5 to 2 meters, we also don’t see very small things, say, smaller than half a millimeter. And because our ancestors didn’t need to see very far to survive, we can’t capture details of distant objects. Our hearing also reflects our dimensions and environment.

In short, we are extremely well-adapted to survive in the world we live in; and we’re completely blind to a host of phenomena that escape our sensorial perception”

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