News January 23

Senator Sanders

Vermont Yankee Sen. Bernie Sanders called a court ruling last week against Vermont's effort to close Vermont Yankee "ripe for appeal." According to a New York Times blog, Sanders also said "the law is very clear that states have the right to reject nuclear power for economic and other non-safety reasons.'' LINK

Citizens United "It is a little bit insane in our so-called democracy that a handful of billionaires and corporations can pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process and heavily influence elections. That is not the democracy I think that most Americans believe we should have," Sanders said Friday on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."  (Transcript below)

Citizens United "The growing movement to overturn Citizens United ... is not being taken seriously ... The guardians of American capitalism ... do not even feel a need to attack it [and] ... top liberal constitutional scholars have been silent," Steven Rosenfeld asserted in Salon. LINK

Citizens United Sen. Sanders proposed a constitutional amendment "would prohibit any group of citizens organized ‘to promote business interests' from speaking about elections," Bradley A. Smith argued in a Wall Street Journal column. He opposed the proposal. LINK

Single Payer Jeanne Keller, a onetime aide to Bernie Sanders and one of the state's most experienced and knowledgeable health insurance experts, is a believer in single payer health care but only at a national level, John McClaughry wrote in a Times Argus column. LINK

National

State of the Union Tuesday's State of the Union speech will push his jobs policies and some modest ways to revive housing, call for higher taxes on the wealthy, take a tougher stance on China and craft a vision of America that relies on manufacturing, domestic energy production, and education and training, according to The Wall Street Journal. LINK

Senate Returns President Obama's appointments to two key agencies during the Senate's year-end break ensures that GOP senators will return to work Monday in a fighting mood, The Washington Post reported.  LINK

Giffords to Resign Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot wound to the head a year ago, said Sunday she would step down from Congress this week, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

Companies Battle Unions America's unionized workers, buffeted by layoffs and stagnating wages, face another phenomenon that is increasingly throwing them on the defensive: lockouts, The New York Times reported. LINK

Vermont

Farm Show Vermont's annual Farm Show will open at its new location at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. The Farm Show this year moved from Barre to Essex Junction to accommodate the growing number of vendors and visitors, The Associated Press reported. LINK

GE Healthcare Layoffs GE Healthcare in South Burlington is laying off some workers. The company said Friday the number is fewer than 50. The company said layoffs are the result of challenging business environments," AP reported.  LINK