News April 17

Senator Sanders

Goldman Accused Federal regulators charged the investment bank of profiting from bets against products it sold. "While its action was slow in coming, I applaud the S.E.C. for finally beginning to deal with the illegal behavior of major Wall Street firms," Sanders said, according to the Reuters and Dow Jones newswires and The Boston Globe. LINK and LINK


U.S. Alleges Fraud The charges marked a dramatic expansion of efforts to hold people accountable for the crisis that tipped the economy into a deep recession in 2007 and 2008. "Better late than never," Sanders told radio host Thom Hartmann. "Most Americans understand that the reason millions of our people lost their jobs and lost their homes and lost their savings is we are in the economic disaster we are in because of the greed and recklessness of Wall Street," Sanders told Fox News. VIDEO

Financial Reform The charges added momentum to the push for financial regulation reform. "This is a real wake-up call," Sanders told the CBS Evening News and WCAX. He told CNBC the case is a "spur to make sure that Congress goes forward." On MSNBC he said "it takes it to a new level."When Goldman Sachs and their friends come into Congress and say, 'Leave us alone. You don't need to regulate us,' I think that argument becomes weaker," he told the Los Angeles Times. LINK, VIDEO (4:01), VIDEO, VIDEO and VIDEO  

Sanders Solution Sanders is fighting to strengthen legislation that is too weak, too compromised and too influenced by lobbyists, John Nichols wrote for The Nation online. LINK

U.S.-Israel Tensions Seventy-six senators this week signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to ensure that recent tensions not harm the relationship between the two countries. Among those who didn't sign were 20 Democrats, including Sen. Patrick Leahy, and one independent, Sanders, The Jeresulem Post reported. LINK


Iceland Volcano
The global bottleneck in air travel from a spectacular volcanic cloud emanating from Iceland deepened Saturday as nations as far south as Italy were forced to shut down airports and others, including Britain, extended closures into Sunday, The Washington Post reported. LINK


GE Pays No U.S. Taxes GE had plenty of earnings last year -- just not in the United States. For tax purposes, the company's U.S. operations lost $408 million, while its international businesses netted a $10.8 billion profit, according to CNN Moneyline. LINK

Ex-Blackwater Chief Indicted The former president of Blackwater Worldwide was charged Friday with using straw purchases to stockpile automatic weapons at the security firm and filing false documents to cover up gifts given to the King of Jordan. The charges open a new front of the government's oversight of the sullied security company, AP reported. LINK


Unemployment Vermont's unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 6.5 percent in March. One expanding sector was the government, which hired about 300 U.S. Census workers. Unemployment rates for Vermont's 17 labor market areas ranged from 5.2 percent in Hartford to 11.3 percent in Newport, The Associated Press reported. LINK

Dairy Rep. Peter Welch is introducing legislation designed by industry experts that he says will manage growth. Under Welch's bill, the nation's farmers would hold a referendum after one year and three years to decide whether growth management is working, WCAX reported. LINK