News November 29

Senator Sanders

Citizens United Sen. Sanders backs a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court decision that allowed unlimited, secret corporate cash to influence political campaigns, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's told Vermont Public Radio. LINK

Afghanistan A Senate amendment calls for an expedited turnover of military control to the Afghan government. The amendment has the bipartisan support of Sens. Sanders and Rand Paul, the Daily Kos blogged. LINK

‘Must Follow' Sen. Sanders is a finalist for the "Must-Follow Politician" award sponsored by the social media news aggregator Mashable. So is President Obama and Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, the Hindustan Times reported. LINK

Social Media Google+ used Sen. Sanders' constituent polls in a how-to guide for social media, Mashable reported. LINK

Sewer Plants After a public hearing sought by Vermont's congressional delegation, the U.S. EPA is pressing ahead with an effort to reduce wastewater nitrogen levels to protect Long Island Sound shellfish. The Caledonian-Record said it could cost $200 million to upgrade 32 plants in Vermont which discharge into the Connecticut River. LINK


European Nations Pressure Banks for Loans Italy, Portugal and some other European nations, struggling to find buyers for their bonds, are pressuring their own already-stressed banks to fill the gap by acting as lenders of last resort, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK


Senate Democrats Propose Extending Payroll Tax Cut Senate Democrats introduced legislation Monday to extend and expand an expiring payroll tax cut. The average working family would have close to $1,500 a year more to spend, according to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader. LINK

Judge Rebukes SEC on Citigroup Deal A federal judge accused the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday of failing to do its job in one of the biggest cases to emerge from the mortgage meltdown, rejecting the agency's plan to settle a lawsuit against Citigroup, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Barney Frank Won't Seek Re-election The Massachusetts congressman told The New York Times he was tired of the scorching partisan battles that did not exist when he first won office three decades ago, tired of campaigning, which he detests, and, at 71, just plain tired. LINK

National Guard Backed for Spot on Joint Chiefs In a voice vote, the Senate on Monday backed a measure by Sen. Patrick Leahy expanding the Joint Chiefs of Staff to include the National Guard despite the opposition of the current chairman and service chiefs, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Cameras in the Court Sen. Leahy said the time has come for the U.S. Supreme Court to televise its proceedings.  The Judiciary Committee chairman is sponsoring legislation that would allow the chief justice to permit cameras in the court, VPR reported. LINK


Vaccine Foes More parents are opting out of school shots for their kids. An Associated Press analysis found that Alaska had the highest exemption rate for vaccinations in 2010-11, at nearly 9 percent. Vermont was at 6 percent. LINK

Solar Setback The Charlotte selectboard shot down a proposal to install solar panels on a half-acre of town land to power the town hall, library, wastewater treatment facility and more, WCAX-TV reported. The planning commission is reviewing another solar proposal. LINK