News June 29

Senator Sanders


Energy House Democrats cheered when they won a vote to impose the nation’s first limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Senate Democrats didn’t join the party. “They don’t have my vote yet,” said Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who along with his industrial-state colleagues is concerned that a cap-and-trade system would raise energy costs. Any effort to weaken environmental mandates risks losing support of senators such as Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, according to Bloomberg. LINK  


Health Care Sen. Sanders supports a public insurance option if that is all that can be achieved politically, but what he really believes the country needs is something more sweeping: an expansion of Medicare into something like the Canadian single-payer system. Americans already spend more per capita on health care than most other countries for worse outcomes overall, Sanders told the Vermont Press Bureau. LINK


‘Corporate Thieves’ “The health insurance industry exists to generate profits…for greed-driven merciless corporate thieves…There are bills in the state Legislature that would allow the state of Vermont to act as a single payer, eliminating the need for wasteful insurance middlemen. Sen. Sanders has introduced the bill nationally…Please support these proposals,” Matt McGrath wrote in The Burlington Free Press. LINK




Honduran President Ousted In a throwback to Latin America's unstable past, the Honduran army ousted President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday, sending the leftist leader into exile as a hastily convened Congress replaced him with its speaker, one of Zelaya's fiercest enemies. It was the first such military action in Central America in 16 years, the Los Angeles Times reported from Tegucigalpa. LINK


Iraq Withdrawal Gen. Ray Odierno, the American commander in Iraq, said Sunday that Iraq’s military and police units were ready to operate on their own, ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for the withdrawal of American combat troops from the country’s cities and towns. “I do believe they’re ready,” General Odierno said from Baghdad on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “They’ve been working towards this for a long time. And security remains good.” LINK




Health Care Speaking on ABC's "This Week," David Axelrod, the president’s top political advisor, declined to repeat Obama's "firm pledge" during the campaign that families making under $250,000 would not see "any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."  Instead, Axelrod said the president has no interest in "drawing lines in the sand" on the issue of how to pay for the costly health reform plan making its way through Congress, The Washington Post reported.  LINK


Energy President Obama on Sunday praised the energy bill passed by the House late last week as an “extraordinary first step,” but spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution. “We have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals out there,” The New York Times reported. LINK


Supreme Court A closely watched discrimination lawsuit by white firefighters who say they have unfairly been denied promotions is one of three remaining Supreme Court cases awaiting resolution Monday, when the court intends to finish its work for the summer and say goodbye to Justice David Souter, The Associated Press reported. LINK




Northfield Defense Contract A Vermont company has landed a Pentagon grant to study materials that may be used in developing the next generation of protective suits for America's fighting men and women. The $770,000 grant to Norwich University Applied Research Institute won't go to make the suits themselves, only to study which materials offer the most promise in protecting service members from biological and chemical agents they could face, AP reported. LINK