News March 27

Senator Sanders

Oil Speculation Hedge funds cut bullish gasoline bets for a second week, spurring calls for regulation of energy speculation. Bloomberg said a bill by Sen. Bernie Sanders would force regulators to invoke emergency powers to rein in speculators responsible for rapidly rising gasoline prices. LINK

Tops on Twitter A national firm studied members of Congress use of Twitter. "Sanders came out on top," WCAX-TV reported. Seven Days called him "the grand master of the 140-character word form."  The Hill said Sanders "posted a thank you to all his social media followers." VIDEO, LINK, LINK, LINK

Food Sen. Sanders is among 55 House and Senate members asking the Food and Drug Administration to label foods made from genetically engineered plants and animals. The FDA is unlikely to approve the request, according to Congressional Quarterly. LINK

‘Jobs Act' A Senate-passed bill allows what a New York Times blog calls equity crowd-funding to let start-ups raise seed capital from any number of investors in small amounts. Sen. Sanders' voted for the provision before opposing the final bill, according to the Times.  LINK

Health Care Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus denounced the health care law as a "socialistic-style" health care. This, of course, is wrong. Obama's health care plan funnels money to private insurance companies. An alternative ... was offered by an actual socialist ... but Sanders ultimately withdrew his single-payer amendment, Steve Sebelius wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. LINK

World

Missile Defense President Obama declared that the United States and Russia could not realistically work out their dispute over an American missile defense system this year because politics during the presidential campaign would make it impossible to win support for any compromise, The New York Times reported. LINK

National

Oil Tax Breaks The Senate on Tuesday is set to debate a bill to repeal tax cuts for the oil industry - surprising Democrats, who expected Republicans to block the move. The bill also would authorize tax credits for alternative energy resources, according to The Washington Post. LINK

Health Care The Supreme Court on Tuesday considers the main constitutional question in its review of the nation's health-care overhaul, whether Congress has the power to require almost all Americans to secure health insurance or pay a penalty, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Vermont

Body of Teacher Found The discovery of a body believed to be that of a beloved teacher at a prestigious boarding school sent shudders of grief through St. Johnsbury a day after her SUV was found running with her unharmed 2-year-old boy inside. Melissa Jenkins, a 33-year-old single mother, taught science at St. Johnsbury Academy, AP reported. LINK

Green Mountain Forest Two properties covering 680 acres have been added to the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. The stretch of the Deerfield River in Readsboro will link three previously unconnected parcels in the forest, conserve wetlands and wildlife habitat and offer new public access for recreation, AP reported. LINK