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


All But 5 Senate Republicans Vote To End Medicare

“The GOP continued its bloody walk into the Medicare buzzsaw on Wednesday, when 42 out of 47 Senate Republicans voted for the House GOP budget, and its plan to phase out and privatize the popular entitlement program.

The budget failed by a vote of 57-40. But the roll call illustrates that Medicare privatization — along with deep cuts to Medicaid and other social services — remains the consensus position of the GOP despite the growing political backlash against them.

Voting with all of the Democrats were Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) — both 2012 incumbents — along with Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against it because it wasn’t radical enough.”

Read More: Ryan Rolls Out New Video: ‘Saving Medicare, Visualized’
Read More: Democrats: We’ll Use NY-26 Medicare Formula Around The Country

CHART: Bush Policies Dominant Cause Of National Debt

“House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer made this argument in broad strokes on Monday. Hard numbers back it up.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has updated and refined a widely cited chart, laying out the origins of the country’s current fiscal trajectory. And as before, the lion’s share of the problem comes from ongoing George W. Bush-era policies — particularly deficit-financed tax cuts, which eliminated Clinton-era surpluses and left the Treasury poised for a huge hit when the financial crisis and economic downturn further eroded federal revenues.”

Poll: Rick Scott Earns His Worst Approval Rating Ever

“Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) approval rating has sunk to a new low, as nearly six in ten Florida voters now say they disapprove of their chief executive’s job performance barely 5 months into his tenure, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday morning.”

GOP 2012 Presidential Candidates
Newt Gingrich Defends Paul Ryan From People Saying Same Things Newt Said
Herman Cain Says All Americans Deserve Due Process, Opposes Assassinating U.S. Citizens
Gingrich Shuts Out Media: ‘No More Questions!’
After Calling The Auto Rescue ‘Tragic,’ Mitt Romney Now Claims He ‘Had The Idea First’

The Public’s Reaction To Facebook’s Role In Modern Life Is Schizophrenic, Says Founder

“Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that the media and the public have unrealistic, schizophrenic expectations of the social network because they praise it for enabling social revolutions at the same time as they bash it for invading their privacy.

Both things are different sides of the same coin, he said.

He made the comment at the e-G8 Forum in Paris in aQ&A session with Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of the Publicis Groupe.”

Architect Of GOP’s Constitution Reading On House Floor Says Social Security And Medicare Are Unconstitutional

“This past January, the House GOP caucus insisted that the session of Congress be launched with a reading of the Constitution. The member of Congress who led this idea into fruition was Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and he was also the first reader.

But at a town hall meeting that took place last week and was captured on YouTube, Goodlatte showed his pre-20th century view of the Constitution. At one point during the town hall presentation, Goodlatte displayed a pie chart to the audience showing the various programs that consume the federal budget, with Social Security and Medicare consuming the biggest sections. One constituent, referencing the pie chart, said that everything on the chart is unconstitutional. Goodlatte responded that he agrees, but that the courts keep ruling the opposite way.”

GOP Congressman Tells Televangelists U.S. Must Give Aid To Israel Or ‘Lose God’s Hand’

“Last weekend, Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL) appeared on “Good Life 45,” a televangelist program based near his central-Florida district. At one point during the discussion, which was centered around ways to reduce government spending, Webster recalled that many of his constituents had asked about cutting foreign aid. Webster explained that the government cannot “get rid of all foreign aid” because that would endanger money for Israel.

Rather than making a policy-based argument to back up his firm belief in giving billions in foreign aid to Israel, Webster said the money is necessary to ensure “God’s hand” stays with America. “I love giving money to Israel,” Webster exclaimed. If we end the assistance to Israel, Webster continued, “we lose God’s hand and we’re in big trouble”.”

Read More: Andrews Stands By Remark That Obama ‘Tilting Towards Hamas’

Unconstitutional TSA Bill Could Shut Down Texas’ Airports

“The Texas state legislature is considering an awesomely unconstitutional bill which would empower state law enforcement to arrest TSA security screeners and jail them for up to a full year. While the bill has no chance of surviving constitutional scrutiny, the Department of Justice warned Texas’ lawmakers today that it could force the TSA to shut down flights into Texas airports.”

New Jersey Supreme Court Orders State To Restore $500 Million In Education Funding Stripped By Gov. Christie

“The New Jersey Constitution requires the state to “provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all the children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years.” Yet, because the state failed to meet this obligation in many of its poorest school districts, the state Supreme Court ordered New Jersey to stop underfunding those districts more than 20 years ago. In 2009, the court finally determined that the state had complied with its decades-old order, and ended much of its oversight of the state’s education funding. Sadly, Gov. Chris Christie (R) almost immediately took this as a license to slash education funding for the poor.

Yesterday, however, the justices reminded Christie that he is not allowed to thumb his nose at the state constitution, and it ordered the state to restore $500 million that had been stripped from the state’s most needy districts.”

Rep. Yarmuth Apologizes To Elizabeth Warren For ‘Rude And Disrespectful Behavior’ Of GOP Committee Members

“Republicans used a House subcommittee meeting Tuesday afternoon to repeatedly attack Elizabeth Warren, who is advising President Obama on the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) and is among the candidates to become the bureau’s first director. Led by subcommittee chair Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Republicans questioned Warren’s veracity and accused her of hiding the truth from Congress in previous hearings.

The baseless attacks became so intense that Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) used his time to apologize to Warren for the “rude and disrespectful” behavior of his colleagues. The attacks came, Yarmuth said, because the GOP fears Warren’s ability to stick up for consumers.”

Tucson Suspect Failed Tests Of Mental Competency

“A federal judge in Tucson, Ariz., has ruled that Jared Loughner is not mentally competent to stand trial. The man accused of killing six people and wounding 13 — including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona — will undergo further evaluation.”

Obama: The West still leads the world in the 21st century

“Setting the stage for a G-8 summit starting Thursday in France, President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday from one heart of “Old Europe” to assert that the U.S.-European alliance will lead the 21st century even as new powers such as China, India and Brazil emerge. He flatly rejected the notion that Western civilization has peaked.”

Read More: The Art (And Artlessness) Of The Presidential Gift

How To Survive A Tornado: Plan Ahead, Avoid Debris

“Tornadoes have killed about 500 people in the U.S. so far this year. But experts say that number would be much lower if everyone knew how best to protect themselves when a twister approaches”

Read More: ‘Just Glad To Be Alive,’ Tornado Survivors Say
Read More: ‘Heckuva Job’ Brownie Criticizes Obama For ‘Toasting The Queen’ During Tornadoes
Read More: Before And After: A Bird’s-Eye View Of Joplin
Read More: Many Joplin residents refuse to leave tornado-wrecked town

Civil war looms as dozens killed in Yemen capital

“SANAA (Reuters) – Dozens of Yemenis were killed in overnight gun battles in the capital, government officials said on Thursday, as fighting aimed at ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s three-decade-long rule threatened to ignite civil war.”

Read More: US diplomats told to leave Yemen


Good News: ‘Leatherman’ Remains A Mystery, Even In Death

“In the 1800s, a man wearing a head-to-toe leather suit walked a 365-mile circuit between the Connecticut and Hudson rivers, sleeping in cave shelters and completing his journey in precisely 34 days. And he kept it up for years.”

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