Lunch Tip Sheet: May 31, 2012

LA Times – MA Appeals Court Strikes Down DOMA

A Massachusetts Federal Court of Appeals struck down the federal Defense of Marriage act, holding that the law unfairly denies equal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. The law prevented same-sex marriages from being recognized in all states when they are entered into in states where it is legal. The ruling sets up a likely Supreme Court decision.

USA Today – SpaceX Dragon Has Returned Home

The first private spacecraft to dock at the international space station splashed down in the Pacific Ocean this morning after its successful maiden voyage into space. There are 11 other missions planned between now and 2015.

Washington Post – Unemployment Claims on the Rise

Last week’s first time unemployment applications rose to 383,000 new people. This is a five-week high. The numbers signal a bleak outlook for tomorrow’s May jobs report from the Department of Labor.

Reuters – FTC Hires New Lead Counsel for Google Investigation

The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Google for anti-trust violations and has hired high-powered attorney Beth Wilkinson which could signal a suit against the tech firm. Wilkinson is known for sending Timothy McVeigh to the gas chamber and defending Big Tobacco against smoker lawsuits.

Politico – Congress Set for Big Defense Budget Showdown

The House has proposed an annual defense budget that is $4B over Obama’s request while the Senate has proposed a budget within the Pentagon’s overall budget. With an election year where federal spending will be highlighted, the fight will likely get messy. The House does not want to represent itself as underfunding defense and the Senate has shown reluctance to spend over the President’s numbers.

Reuters – Mayor Bloomberg Seeks Ban on Large Soda Sales

The NYC Mayor is attempting to put into place a rule that would put fines in place for restaurants and retailers that sell large sugary sodas. The measure addresses a recent report that 58% of New Yorkers and 40% of city public school children are obese.

AP – Video Shows Shelling of Houla in Syria

A home video published by the Associated Press shows multiple explosions and smoke rising from the city of Houla as the Assad regime attempts to suppress an armed insurgency against the dictatorial regime. [GRAPHIC]

Bush 43 Asks Obama “What Would George Do?”

During his White House portrait unveiling, George Bush reminds President Obama that, “when contemplating the difficult decisions that he will face, to look at this portrait and ask himself, ‘What Would George Do?’”

Fox and Friends Looks Like Anti-Obama PAC

This morning’s Fox and Friends opening segment looks a lot like an anti-Obama SuperPAC ad. Watch for yourself http://youtu.be/5MoWJnvYFDg

Reuters – Chinese Activist Asks US to Push China on Rule of Law

Chen Guangcheng pointed to the beatings of his brother and nephew as examples of the government shrugging the law and acting out against dissidents.