News November 25

Senator Sanders 

Jackson Resignation Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress over the Thanksgiving holiday citing health issues. A column in The Nation on his resignation noted that Jackson, "joined then-Congressman Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, to promote legislation to exempt libraries and bookstores from having to comply with unwarranted federal demands for the reading lists of citizens." LINK

Hemp An editorial in the Kentucky Herald-Leader made the case for allowing farmers to grow hemp writing, "Two senators who couldn't be further apart politically - Kentucky's Rand Paul and Vermont's Bernie Sanders - came together to sponsor a bill legalizing hemp cultivation. That shows how broad support is, and also that another small-farm state sees hemp as a profitable niche." LINK


Egypt Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has issued a decree that puts his decisions above legal challenge until a new parliament is elected, causing angry protests by his opponents and violent clashes in central Cairo and other cities on Friday, Reuters reported. LINK


Senate Gridlock The first fight of the next Senate is not likely to be over a fiscal crisis, immigration, taxes or any issue that animated the elections of 2012. It will instead probably be over how and whether to change a troubled Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will move on the first day of the 113th Congress to diminish the power of Republicans to obstruct legislation the New York Times reported. LINK

Drug Research Bias The influence of drug companies on drug research is increasing the opporuntity for bias. During a recent one-year period, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published 73 articles on original studies. Of those articles, 60 were funded by a pharmaceutical company, 50 were co-written by drug companies and 37 had lead authors who had previously accepted outside compensation from the sponsoring drug company, the Washington Post reported. LINK

Manufacturing Jobs Nearly six million factory jobs, almost a third of the entire manufacturing industry, have disappeared since 2000. While many of these jobs were lost to competition with low-wage countries, even more vanished because of computer-driven machinery that can do the work of 10, or in some cases, 100 workers, the New York Times reported. LINK

Renewable Energy Mandates The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country, the Washington Post repoted. LINK


Drug Abuse Lt. Matt Birmingham, head of the Vermont Drug Task Force, said Friday that the illegal use of the drug OxyContin is down in the state. Unfortunately over the past two years, heroin has come to the fore in Vermont, with use spreading into some high schools, the Associated Press reported. LINK

Pomerleau Tony Pomerleau, 95, spoke at the grand opening of Mill River Furniture in Newport. Pomerleau got his first job at the building in 1931 and now owns the factory, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK