News May 12

Senator Sanders

Big Banks JPMorgan Chase faced intense criticism Friday after a surprise $2 billion loss. Sen. Bernie Sanders said the country's six largest banks, including JPMorgan, should be broken up to prevent the need for future taxpayer bailouts, Bloomberg, Dow Jones Newswires and CNN reported. "You got to break them up. They have too much influence. They have too much power. It leads to two things. This kind of concentration of ownership is bad for the economy. And it leads us down the path, once again, of having to bail them out," Sanders said on MSNBCLINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, VIDEO, VIDEO

Save Social Security Sen. Sanders will speak at a rally Tuesday outside a "fiscal summit" being staged by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. NOW's Terry O'Neill and Social Security advocate Max Richtman will join him in calling on Democrats not to 'slash public spending' but to focus on investing in jobs, The Associated Press daybook, NBC Politics and The Huffington Post blogged. LINK, LINK

Gay Marriage A day after President Obama made a historic announcement in support of gay marriage, Sen. Sanders and 16 colleagues urged the White House to delay enforcement of restrictions on immigrants who risk deportation because of their same-sex marriages, the Boston Globe reported. LINK

Oil Subsidies Rep. Keith Ellison teamed up with Sen. Sanders at the U.S. Capitol Thursday to roll out largely symbolic legislation ending billions of dollars in oil, coal and gas subsidies. The measure, would do away with all tax breaks, financial assistance, royalty relief, direct federal research and development, and many loopholes that benefit the fossil fuel industry, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Law 360 blogged. LINK

School Gardens Sen. Sanders visited Hunt Middle School where a class of young gardeners was hard at work. The senator stressed the importance of knowing where your food comes from. The kids showed off their skills in the school's healthy city youth farm. The school's garden is one of 40 in the state funded by grants secured by Sanders, WPTZ reported.  VIDEO

National

JPMorgan Lobbied for Loophole on Risky Trading Soon after lawmakers finished work on the nation's new financial regulatory law, a team of JPMorgan Chase lobbyists descended on Washington. Their goal was to obtain special breaks that would allow banks to make big bets in their portfolios, including some of the types of trading that led to the $2 billion loss now rocking the bank, The New York Times reported. LINK

Vermont

Smart Meters Worries about health effects, privacy and cost are fueling growing opposition to wireless, digital "smart meters" that utilities around the country are installing on homes and businesses and touting as key energy conservation and grid reliability tools, AP reported. LINK

Dairy Farms After more than 70 years in the dairy business, the MacLaren family in Plainfield will sell its cows and equipment next week. Eeight other farms stopped milking this spring, There are now 977 cow dairy farms in the state, down from 985 at the beginning of January, the Times Argus reported.  LINK