News April 5

Senator Sanders

Obama to Cut Social Security President Obama's proposed budget will call for reductions in Social Security and other benefit programs by lowering cost-of-living adjustments. “In 2008, candidate Barack Obama told the American people that he would not cut Social Security. Having him go back on his word will only add to the rampant political cynicism that our country is experiencing today,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said in The Washington Post online. “Millions of working people, seniors, disabled veterans, those who have lost a loved one in combat, and women will be extremely disappointed if President Obama caves into the long standing Republican effort to cut Social Security,” Sanders said, according to Politico and Bloomberg Businessweek.  “Bernie Sanders head is going to explode when he sees this,” ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl said on WLS-AM in Chicago. LINK, LINK, LINK, AUDIO

Carbon Tax "I think a carbon fee is growing in popularity," said Sen. Diane Feinstein after an appearance at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club. She referred to a bill by Sens. Barbara Boxer and Sanders which would tax carbon emitters, such as coal mines, at the source, The Huffington Post reported. “A carbon tax is a great solution to the controversial climate change problem,” columnist Garrett Vande Kamp wrote in the Samford CrimsonLINK, LINK

Drone Vote Sen. Sanders was one of the few who voted against CIA Chief John Brennan from the progressive end, TruthOut reported. LINK

Real Time Sen. Sanders, the political commentator Abby Huntsman and Stephen Moore, a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, are seated at the round table at 10 p.m. EDT on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. The filmmaker and journalist Sebastian Junger and the science-education advocate Zack Kopplin are the interview guests, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported. LINK


Global Warming Glacial ice in the Peruvian Andes that took at least 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years, scientists reported Thursday, the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance, The New York Times reported. LINK

Japan The Bank of Japan announced Thursday it would seek to double the amount of money in circulation over two years, initiating a bold bid to end years of falling prices, The New York Times reported. LINK, LINK


Unemployment Hiring slowed sharply in March, with the economy adding only 88,000 jobs, the lowest monthly gain since last June. The unemployment rate slipped to 7.6 percent, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. But it's not good news: It's because nearly 500,000 people dropped out of the labor market, CNN reported. Real unemployment, counting those forced into part-time jobs and those who gave up hunting for work, stood at 13.8 percent in March. LINK

Foiling Wall Street Reform The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Thursday unveiled recommendations that would alter or outright repeal provisions of the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law, The Hill reported. The Chamber's recommendations to Congress and regulators include ones that would heighten checks on new agencies created by Dodd-Frank, reduce the reach of new restrictions on derivatives and overhaul the structure of the Securities and Exchange Commission. LINK

Veterans Health Care The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have spent more than $1 billion since 2008 to create an integrated electronic health record. Four years and $1 billion later, not a single line of code has been implemented, according to U.S. News and World Report. LINK


National Guard Furloughs Furloughs affecting 500 Vermont National Guard members due to automatic federal spending cuts have been delayed. Maj. Gen. Steven Cray, the Guard's adjutant general, told guard members in an email the furloughs will happen in mid- to late June, instead of April, the Associated Press reported.LINK

Unemployment Benefits One of the most immediate impacts of federal sequestration will be the shrunken checks that Vermonters receiving extended unemployment will see next week, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

Gas Mogul Goes to Court to Stifle Competition Rodolphe “Skip” Vallee has appealed a state panel’s land-use permit for new gas pumps at the Costco store in Colchester to the Environmental Division of Vermont Superior Court. Vallee, owner of the Maplefields chain of gas stations, has one of his stores and his corporate offices just to the northwest of Costco, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

Veterans Home The Vermont Veterans Home passed a state inspection and needs to pass one more to ensure it will keep receiving federal funds, according to AP. The home is on "special focus" status following a near-loss in funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last year. That funding accounts for most of the home's $20 million budget. LINK