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


Indiana Will Enforce Illegal Law To Defund Planned Parenthood, May Lose All Medicaid Funds

“In the race to be the first, the Indiana GOP plowed through common sense and internal opposition to pass a law stripping Planned Parenthood of public funding. When signing the bill, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said non-abortion services would “remain readily available” from other providers. In reality, by signing the law, Daniels jeopardized federal funding for all family planning and health care providers and, as a result, access to health care for thousands of low-income Hoosiers.

Because the law bans Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds in Indiana, it violates a federal law that prevents any state from denying payment to health care clinics that provide a “constitutionally protected service.” Finding Indiana in blatant violation of this law, the U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Don Berwick rejected the law and notified the state that it may lose “all federal funding of its Medicaid program.” But rather than reconsider the drastic move, Indiana will “defy” CMS and continue to implement the law.”

Refusing To Be Bullied By Online Retailers, California Legislators Pass Bill To Close ‘Amazon Tax Loophole’

“As ThinkProgress has been reporting, online retailers across the country currently benefit from an “Amazon Tax Loophole,” which allows big online sellers like Amazon.com to avoid paying the same sales taxes as traditional retailers. This tax loophole is costly to state budgets. For example, in “2011 alone, Wisconsin will lose an estimated $127 million in uncollected sales tax on purchases made online.”

Lawmakers in California, which has cut more than $1 billion from the University of California and California State University systems to tackle deficits, moved to close this loophole yesterday. The California Assembly passed the final bill that would require online retailers to collect sales taxes just like traditional retailers.”

Why Rick Scott’s Drug Testing Scheme Violates The Constitution

“On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a law requiring welfare recipients to undergo drug testing — potentially providing thousands of new customers to Solantic, a company Scott used to run that is now owned by a trust in his wife’s name. The ACLU responded almost immediately with a lawsuit challenging this law, and, as Professor Adam Winkler explains, this lawsuit is very likely to succeed.”

Editor’s Note: Do not click on this link if you have an adverse reaction to Rick Scott’s face and head. It is a startling photo.

‘Global Commission’ Of Former Officials Says War On Drugs Has Failed

“The Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes several former heads of state and UN officials, has released a report calling the global war on drugs a failure.

“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” the report reads.”

Analyst: U.S. Targets of Gmail Account Hack Attack Are ‘Known’ Public Figures

“The targets of the hackers who have broken into hundreds of Gmail accounts were high level government officials who are “known” public figures, says a system administrator who examined the innards of one of the compromised computers.”

Read More: Google hacking allegations ‘very serious’ says Clinton

GOP 2012 Candidates
Newt Gingrich: Help Me Rescue The Ryan Plan From ‘Mediscare 3.’ Also, My DVD Is On Sale
Bachmann To Join GOP Debate In New Hampshire On June 13
Palin Visits Boston
Study: Iowa, N.H. Have More Impact On Campaigns
Romney Announces Bid For Presidency
Romney takes 2012 plunge with hard pitch to the right

Freedom from Oil: Transitioning Auto-Dependent Communities

“A report released today by the House Democratic Livable Communities Task Force recognized that families living in auto dependent neighborhoods spend significantly more money on transportation, with fewer dollars available health care, food, and other family expenses. In response, these two dozen representatives proposed a “Freedom from Oil” agenda that would reduce oil use by providing families with more transportation choices, including cars that get 60 miles per gallon by 2025.”

Read More: GOP Appropriations Committee Slashes Clean Energy Programs By $1.3 Billion

Job Growth Could Be Weakening As Economy Sputters

“Economists are bracing for a disappointing jobs report Friday. Higher oil prices, stagnant wages and a depressed housing market are holding back the economy. Analysts expect that companies likely hired far fewer people in May than the previous three months.”

Read More: Dear Job Market, Thanks For A Lousy Grad Gift

Goldman gets subpoena over risky mortgage deals

“In the absence of federal prosecutions over Wall Street’s role in the nation’s financial crisis, the Manhattan district attorney has subpoenaed Goldman Sachs regarding allegations that the giant investment bank bet heavily against its clients in risky mortgage deals, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday.”

Oil spill was economic, not ecological disaster, Barbour says

“Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour came to the U.S. Capitol on Thursday with a message: last summer’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill was an economic — not an environmental – disaster, and he wants lawmakers to help shore up the region’s hard-hit fishing, tourism and energy sectors.”

Transportation Dept. Vows It Will Never Again Delay Shutdowns of Unsafe Bus Companies

“Yesterday we noted that just days before Tuesday’s fatal bus crash in Virginia, federal bus regulators made the decision to put off shutting down the troubled Sky Express bus company, giving it extra time to stay on the roads.

Now that four people died this week in a Sky Express bus, the Department of Transportation has had some harsh words for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency that regulates commercial buses and trucks. FMCSA is a division within the Transportation Department.”

Europe’s lethal E.coli strain may be deadliest yet

“BERLIN/LONDON (Reuters) – More than 1,600 people have been infected by a toxic strain of E.coli bacteria that has killed at least 17 and may be the deadliest yet in human history, health officials said on Friday.”

Read More: Scientists Probe Why E. Coli Strain Is So Virulent

UN pressed to lift Taliban sanctions

“Britain and US accept insurgents’ demand to end sanctions on ex-Taliban leaders including notorious Mohammed Qalamuddin.”

Satire: Guy Who Got Laid Off Just Glad Multi-National Corporation Will Make It

“DANBURY, CT—After learning that he had been laid off Friday by global conglomerate Honeywell International, senior sales associate Edward Morway expressed relief that his employer of 14 years would be able to scrape by. “When [department head] John [Condos] called me into his office and explained the tough business climate, my heart just sank for the company,” said Morway”[…]

Morway also said that the decision of the Fortune 500 corporation to fire him right before he received matching retirement funds was a “really smart move,” given the lean times Honeywell was currently facing.


Good News: The Hardest-Working Mom On The Planet

“This is egg laying season, if you’re a bird.

If you’re an octopus, particularly a giant Pacific octopus, you’ve been there, done that. In fact, you died doing it, in what is the saddest mommy story I’ve heard in a long while. It comes from biologist Jim Cosgrove who describes it all in a lecture he calls, “No Mother Could Give More.””

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