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


First Debt Limit Vote Today As GOP Looks To Divide Dems

“Congress will holds its first vote on the debt ceiling on Tuesday, with the GOP House majority bringing up a “clean” bill that would raise the limit on the government’s borrowing ability with no strings attached, i.e., no spending cuts. That’s exactly what most Democrats have been calling for, so why would Republicans give them a chance to vote on it? That’s where this gets tricky.

The vote is intended to expose fault lines within the Democratic caucus.”

Update: House Rejects Debt Limit Increase Without Cuts

WHO: Cell Phone Risk May Increase Risk Of Cancer

“Reversing its previous statements on the issue, the World Health Organization said Tuesday that radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer.

The WHO put cell phone use in the same risk category as exposure to lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.”

Not Satire: Ted Haggard To Make Cameo In Pro-Abstinence Christian Sex Comedy

“See if you can count the contradictions in this sentence: Rev. Ted Haggard will make a cameo as himself in a Christian sex comedy promoting abstinence, with the tagline “abstinence never felt so good.””

After Gutting Education And Health Care Spending, Perry Vetoes Legislation Ending Amazon’s Tax Dodging

“As ThinkProgress previously reported, online retailers like Amazon.com are using a loophole in state tax codes to avoid collecting sales taxes. This loophole is denying states millions of dollars of tax revenue. For example, in “2011 alone, Wisconsin will lose an estimated $127 million in uncollected sales tax on purchases made online.”

In Texas, state lawmakers — overwhelmingly conservative Republicans — decided that they couldn’t tolerate Amazon’s tax dodging at a time when the state cut $15 billion from important social services, health care, and education in the name of deficit reduction. Seizing on an earlier ruling by state comptroller Susan Combs that said Amazon owed the state “$269 million in sales taxes it failed to collect from 2005 to 2009,” the legislature passed a bill that would tighten sales tax rules and force many online retailers to begin collecting sales taxes just like any other business.

This morning, Perry quietly vetoed the bill, protecting Amazon and other large retailers’ tax-dodging.”

Read More: BPI Campus discusses this in Campus Question

Should Commerce And Labor Be Re-Merged?

“Pie in the sky reorganization of cabinet departments is a longstanding interest of mine, so I’m glad to learn from Michael Grunwald that Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has a bill that would undue the 1913 measure that established separate departments of Commerce and Labor. Both agencies do an awful lot of statistics-gathering that could easily be put under a single roof, and other Commerce functions could be reassigned elsewhere.”

Read More: 44 GOP Senators Already Have Pledged To Filibuster John Bryson’s Commerce Department Nomination

C40 Summit: Megacity Mayors Leading The Fight For Sustainable Survival

“Leaders of the world’s megacities are meeting in Sao Paulo this week for a major climate summit, the fourth meeting of the C40 Climate Leadership Group. From Michael Bloomberg of New York City to Kuma Demeksa of Addis Ababa, the mayors and top deputies attending represent 297 million people — four percent of the world’s population — ten percent of global greenhouse pollution, and 18 percent of global economic output.”

Supreme Court: Ashcroft Safe From Detainee Lawsuit

“An American Muslim arrested as a material witness in a terrorism case in 2003 would have to show then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was personally responsible for an infringement of the detainee’s constitutional rights. A court had issued a warrant for Abdullah al-Kidd’s detention.”

Obama to lower premiums for high-risk insurance plans

“Trying to spur enrollment in a key new benefit of the 2010 health law, the Obama administration said Tuesday that it’s slashing premiums for new high-risk insurance plans and no longer requiring applicants to submit a rejection letter from private insurers.”

Read More: HHS Lowers Premiums for high risk pool

Tea party criticizes Fla. Sen. Rubio on immigration

“A crack is forming in U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s tea party. Conservative activists — still raw over what they say was his role in blocking illegal immigration legislation while speaker of the Florida House — say the burgeoning Republican star needs to deliver on campaign rhetoric for tougher enforcement.”

Libya’s Gaddafi: I will not leave my country

“TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi is emphatic he will not leave Libya, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday after talks with the Libyan leader that left prospects for a negotiated end to the conflict looking dim.”

World food prices to double by 2030

“Era of permanent food crisis will hit poorest people hardest and spark social unrest, Oxfam warns.”


Good News: ‘Incognito’: What’s Hiding In The Unconscious Mind

“Your brain doesn’t like to keep secrets. Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, have shown that writing down secrets in a journal or telling a doctor your secrets actually decreases the level of stress hormones in your body. Keeping a secret, meanwhile, does the opposite.”

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