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

JC Penney CEO: ‘Ellen Represents The Values Of Our Company’

JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson spoke out this morning in defense of the company’s new partnership with Ellen DeGeneres. The conservative group One Million Moms has called for a boycott against the store for “jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon,” but both JC Penney and DeGeneres have defended the partnership. Johnson told CBS News that he sees no controversy because “Ellen represents the values of our company”:

Fox Pundit Tells CPAC Crowd That Rachel Maddow Is ‘The Best Argument In Favor Of Her Parents Using Contraception’

In the “closed circuit world on the right,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is often the subject of ugly denigrations. Whether it’s being mocked for her sexual orientation, her name, or even her education, right-wingers can’t get enough of slamming her

Rick Santorum Tries To Explain Why He Does Not Agree With The Catholic Church On Health Care Reform

Rick Santorum has been outspoken about his Catholic faith on the campaign trail, explaining how his faith and personal values have influenced his political positions. But at a campaign event at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma today, Santorum had trouble rationalizing how he reconciled his opposition to health care reform with the Catholic Church’s support of the plan. A questioner asked Santorum, “With you lining up with the Catholic faith on so many issues, why not the Catholic Church on health care since it is a value and a human right?”

New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bill To Eliminate Workers’ Lunch Breaks

New Hampshire’s GOP legislature has come up with all manner of absurd bills recently, including a proposal making public school curriculum optional, another to prevent police from protecting domestic abuse victims, and even a measure mandating that new laws be based on the Magna Carta. Some of the Granite State’s GOP lawmakers have even proposed doing away with the law that requires employers to give their workers time off for lunch, under the rationale that all employers will simply grant lunch breaks out of the goodness of their hearts

Scalia: The Soviet Union’s Constitution Was ‘Much Better Than Ours’

During a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said that U.S. Constitution is vastly inferior to that of one of our long defunct enemies

At CPAC, Hard Lines On Race And Immigration Could Be Awkward

A note to the Republican presidential candidates heading to Washington for the Conservative Political Action Conference: Some of the events could make you uncomfortable if you’re planning to tack to the center in your general election campaign.

Nuclear Safety, Costs Loom Over OK’d Reactors

The nuclear industry is celebrating the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to give the go-ahead for a utility company to build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, the first license to be granted for a new reactor in the U.S. since 1978. But last year’s accident at reactors in Fukushima, Japan, still clouds the future of nuclear power, as does the cost of new power plants.

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