News July 5

Senator Sanders


Health Care “The United States must join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to every man, woman and child in a cost-effective way. The evidence is overwhelming that we must end the for-profit private insurance company domination of health care in our country and move toward a publicly funded, single-payer Medicare for All system,” Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote in a column published Sunday by The Burlington Free Press. LINK


The Sanders Rule “If the Democrats don't use their 60 seat majority to break filibusters, then…there are no excuses left. Everyone who voted for a Democrat in the country should absolutely insist that they follow the Sanders Rule. All bills must get up or down votes. That's the least they can do with the overwhelming mandate they have been given to get us real change,” Cenk Uygur blogged on Daily Kos. LINK


Alaska Health Care Sen. Mark Begich told a crowd at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, "You will not see single payer pass this Congress, the political will is not there." Begich said he's working with Sen. Sanders, the Senate's biggest advocate of a government-run health care system, on a bill to expand community clinics, according to the Juneau Empire. LINK


Milk Prices A plan to tame volatile dairy prices has drawn favorable notice from Vermont’s congressional delegation. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch issued a joint statement acknowledging that “dairy farmers are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.” They added, according to The Burlington Free Press, “We are encouraged to see the Holstein Association’s supply management concept paper. The intent of this proposal, to reduce the long-term volatility in dairy prices, is a goal we strongly share.” 


A Vermont Fourth Montpelier's annual Independence Day celebration drew thousands of revelers. Politicians led the parade entrants…with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders earning warm applause all along the route. In Warren, the tiny town that bills itself as "The Fourth of July Capital of the Universe,", a 20-minute delay thanks to some tardy parade participants – including Sanders –  allowed a steady rain to subside, the Times Argus reported. LINK and LINK


A Franken Fourth The incoming Minnesota senator spent the weekend at Fourth of July parades. At one, he recalled workers in Hibbing asking how he would protect their pensions, “And I said, 'Well, we've got to make sure that corporations that have pensions are fully vested ... and if they go bankrupt, that the pension is first in line.' And I realized, I don't know how great of an answer that was. So I called Bernie Sanders. I said, 'Bernie, how was that answer?' And Bernie said, 'Oh, it was OK,'" Franken told Pioneer Press. LINK


Kudlow Commentary “I like Mr. Sanders quite a bit, even though I disagree with everything he says. I love having him on the CNBC show, The Kudlow Report,” Larry Kudlow said on his WABC-AM radio program in New York, during a discussion of the Franken victory. AUDIO 




Leading Clerics Defy Ayatollah The most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.  A statement, represents a significant setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final, The New York Times reported. LINK


U.S.-Russia Summit Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev end a seven-year hiatus in U.S.-Russian summitry on Monday, with both men declaring their determination to further cut nuclear arsenals and repair a badly damaged relationship. Both sides appear to want to use progress on arms control as a pathway into possible agreement on other, far trickier issues, The Associated Press reported. LINK




The Great Recession Vice President Joe Biden said the Obama administration "misread how bad the economy was," but stood by its stimulus package and believes the plan will create more jobs as the pace of its spending picks up. Biden, in an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week," said the nation's 9.5 percent unemployment rate is too high, AP reported. LINK




‘The Leahy Effect’ While the national unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent, Vermont is in a better situation that most states because of its mixture of industries, said David Colander, an economics professor at Middlebury College. He also credits Sen. Patrick Leahy with bringing job-creating federal dollars to Vermont. Colander called it “the Leahy effect.” “I think he has helped channel money into Vermont because he has power. And that’s what senators do with power.”


Vermont Guard With about 1,500 Vermont National Guard members headed to Afghanistan, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahysaid he plans to visit the troops in Afghanistan next year, the St. Albans Messenger reported. Leahy on WCAX said he is optimistic that Vermont's Guard and US forces can succeed in Afghanistan, unlike Soviet forces that were driven from the country 20 years ago. "The Russians were there to conquer the country…We've made it very clear we are going to leave.” LINK and LINK


Leahy Patronage A long-time aide to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy has been named executive director for the federal Farm Service Agency in the state. Robert Paquin of Shelburne is Leahy's legislative assistant for agriculture, natural resources and environment. The Farm Service Agency administers farm commodity, crop insurance, credit, environmental conservation and emergency assistance programs for farmers, The Associated Press reported. LINK


Cell Phone Service Vermont officials hope the launch of a satellite this week from French Guiana will help improve the state's cell phone coverage.Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie traveled to the launch site and says the satellite will help avoid the need for additional cell towers, and expand service to remote areas. The project will enable people to use regular cell phones to communicate via satellite. Until now, satellite phones have been bigger and bulkier than cell phones and much less widely used, The Associated Press reported. LINK