Global Warming Sen. Bernie Sanders says the warmest year on record in the United States and in Vermont has persuaded him it's time to get serious about climate change. The independent lawmaker says he plans to introduce legislation that would include a tax on greenhouse gas emissions from the biggest polluters, more money for energy efficiency and clean energy research and development, The Associated Press reported on Saturday. LINK
Wall Street Federal appointments at the U.S. Treasury Department and other finance regulators require strong consumer advocates, liberals are saying. Sen. Sanders weighed in on the issue of whether or not Wall Street should be regulated by consumer advocates or former executives at financial firms, who would presumably favor Wall Street's interests over Main Street's, United Press International reported. LINK
The Great Debate Sen. Sanders observed this week that “the great debate” over the nation’s financial state “is all about ideology” and has “little to do” with financial issues,” according to a column online in The Washington Post. LINK
Mubarak Conviction Overturned An Egyptian appeals court on Sunday overturned the life sentence of former President Hosni Mubarak for directing the killing of protesters, a ruling that could prolong a politically fraught legal battle over the fate of Egypt’s deposed autocrat two years after he was ousted, The New York Times reported.
Immigration President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. The New York Times said Obama and Senate Democrats will propose the changes in one comprehensive bill, resisting efforts by some Republicans to break the overhaul into smaller pieces which might be easier for reluctant members of their party to accept. LINK
Misguided Social Security ‘Reform’ “As the next round of deficit reduction talks gets under way, the administration seems determined to include the COLA cut in any new package of spending reductions. Rather than using the issue as a bargaining ploy, the administration appears to have embraced it as a worthy end in itself. Is it? In a word, no,” The New York Times said in an editorial. LINK
Good News Bad News for Vermont Poor Immediately after promising “the single largest investment in early childhood education in Vermont’s history,” Shumlin said he’ll fund it by eliminating the bulk of an “earned-income tax credit” used to help poor people stay afloat financially, the Vermont Press Bureau reported. LINK
Gun Grants The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says grant money is available to improve shooting ranges in the state. Shooting clubs, sportsmen's groups and operators of shooting ranges, including archery ranges, have until Jan. 31, 2013 to apply for the funding, AP reported. LINK
Norwich Band to March in Inaugural Parade The Norwich University Regimental Band will represent Vermont at President Obama’s inaugural parade Jan. 21. The oldest collegiate band in the country— founded in 1823 — has traveled to the inaugurations of presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the Rutland Herald reported.