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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Politics


Politics section

Sanders 'Deeply Disappointed' in FairPoint

BURLINGTON, Vt., Dec. 18 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after FairPoint Communications CEO Paul Sunu snubbed a request from the Vermont congressional delegation for the North Carolina company to negotiate an end to a two-month strike by about 1,700 New England workers:

“I am deeply disappointed, but not surprised, with the response from Mr. Sunu. His letter confirms what I have long suspected. FairPoint wants to slash wages and benefits for Vermont workers and it refuses to negotiate in good faith. In essence his letter says FairPoint’s bargaining posture is ‘take it or leave it, we want it our way, and we’re not going to make any compromises.’

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Representative Welch to Visit Brattleboro

Official Appearance Schedule for Congressman Welch
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

9:15 a.m.
WTSA Radio Food Drive: Brattleboro
Rep. Welch will join WTSA radio for the Project Feed the Thousands food drive to benefit local area food pantries.
WTSA-AM Studio, 464 Putney Road

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Sanders Announces Fifth Annual State of the Union Essay Contest

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has launched his annual State of the Union essay contest. The contest is designed to engage Vermont’s high school students on the major issues facing the country.

The U.S. Constitution calls for the president to “give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” As the president prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress next month, Sanders’ essay contest asks Vermont’s high school students to write an essay of 250 words to 500 words detailing their own view of the state of the union.

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Wall Street Runs Washington, Sanders Says in Proposing to Break Up Big Banks

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he will introduce legislation to break up Wall Street megabanks that are using a bill before the Senate today to put taxpayers on the hook for the banks’ risky investments.

Sanders outlined the proposal as the Senate, in a rare Saturday session, prepared to take up a House-passed bill that would roll back a law limiting risky investments like those that caused the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed.

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Sanders Opposes Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement on a massive $1.01 trillion spending bill that the Senate plans to take up later today:

“At a time when the middle class continues to disappear, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else grows wider, this bill comes nowhere close to reflecting the needs and priorities of America’s working families.

“Instead of helping to strengthen Social Security, Medicare and other programs that help working families, this bill would allow the Pentagon to spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on our military and seemingly never-ending wars in the Middle East.”

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Sanders Welcomes Funding for Affordable Rental Housing

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a national leader in efforts to increase affordable housing, welcomed a move today that could free up hundreds of millions of dollars to expand affordable rental housing nationwide.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency ended its temporary suspension of contributions to funds designed to allow more renters to find the homes they need at prices they can afford. The agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ordered those companies to begin to make payments to affordable housing funds next year. The money will go into a fund to provided dedicated revenue for low-income housing. States and local agencies then could apply for the money and use it to finance very-low-income rental housing construction or rehabilitation projects.

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Sanders Votes No on Defense Authorization Bill

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 – The Senate today advanced a Department of Defense bill that would authorize $560 billion for the military. The vote was 85-14. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted “no” and issued the following statement:

“I am voting no because I have very serious concerns about our nation's bloated military budget and the misplaced national priorities this bill reflects.

“At a time when our national debt is more than $18 trillion and we spend nearly as much on defense as the rest of the world combined, the time is long overdue to end the waste and financial mismanagement that have plagued the Pentagon for years.

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In Our Names - "The Torture Report"

What was released today is not the full 6000-page report but rather the redacted executive summary of the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee.  IMHO it is only a matter of time until someone releases the entire report.

I thought some here might appreciate links to coverage other than MSM.

The Intercept of course is all over this.  Glenn Greenwald is 'live-blogging' it:

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Sanders Statement on CIA Report

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today issued the following statement on a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation which found that the Central Intelligence Agency misled the White House and Congress about the brutal interrogation of terrorism suspects:

“A great nation must be prepared to acknowledge its errors. This report details an ugly chapter in American history during which our leaders and the intelligence community dishonored our nation’s proud traditions. Of course we must aggressively pursue international terrorists who would do us harm, but we must do so in a way that is consistent with the basic respect for human rights which makes us proud to be Americans.

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Sanders and UVM Host Youth Climate Summit

BURLINGTON, Vt., Dec. 5 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the University of Vermont held a Youth Climate Summit today.

More than 150 Vermont high school students and dozens of teachers from 26 high schools throughout the state worked in small teams to create climate action plans for their high schools.

“Global warming is the planetary crisis of our time,” Sanders told the students. “The scientific community is telling us that we have a narrow window of opportunity to address the crisis of climate change and to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable energy,” added the senator, a member of both the Senate energy and environment committees.

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Senate Panel Probes Exorbitant Prices for Hepatitis C Drugs

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 – The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing today on exorbitant prices charged by drugmakers for new treatments for hepatitis C, a liver disease that claims about 15,000 lives a year in the United States.

Gilead, the leading manufacturer of the drugs, refused to testify at the hearing about the $84,000 it charges for a 12-week regimen of Sovaldi and the $94,500 price tag for a newer drug, Harvoni. The price per pill is about $1,000 for Sovaldi $1,125 for Harvoni.

Even with bulk-purchase discounts, the Department of Veterans Affairs spent $370 million in the past year on new treatments. Outlays are projected to soar by an additional $1.3 billion for the next two years.

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Sanders Details Economic Agenda for America

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today outlined a progressive economic agenda to reverse a 40-year decline of the American middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else in the United States.

In a Senate floor speech, Sanders detailed measures to create millions of new jobs, raise wages, protect the environment and provide health care for all. He said the most significant question facing the American people is: “Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy?”

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Sanders Wants Probe of FairPoint Service Interruptions, Calls for Company to Resume Talks with Striking Workers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today applauded a Vermont Public Service Department request for an investigation into FairPoint Communications telephone service interruptions, including a nearly six-hour lapse in emergency 911 service on Friday.

A FairPoint equipment failure prevented 45 Vermonters from reaching emergency dispatchers at the Montpelier Police Department and the Vermont State Police in Williston, St. Albans and Middlesex. “That is simply unacceptable,” Sanders said. “FairPoint’s history of bankruptcy and poor service should be cause for real concern in terms of the company’s ability to deliver the emergency services Vermonters need, deserve and are paying for.”

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Drugmakers Mum on Huge Price Hikes - Legislation Filed to Save Taxpayers $500 Million

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 – Sharp increases in prices for many generic drugs were examined today at a Senate hearing where three pharmaceutical companies refused to testify.

Generic drugs, copies of drugs no longer protected by patents, historically have cost much less than brand-name prescription medicines. But federal records made public at the hearing show the price for 1,215 generic drugs increased 448 percent on average from July, 2013 to July, 2014. During that period, nearly 10 percent of all generic drugs more than doubled in price, according to the analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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Building Tar Sands Pipeline Would Be 'Insane,' Sanders Says

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that it would be “insane” to construct the Keystone XL pipeline to ship the dirtiest oil on the planet from Canada’s tar sands region to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.

“The scientific community is telling us that we have a narrow window of opportunity to address the crisis of climate change and to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” Sanders said in prepared remarks. “This legislation would move us in exactly the wrong direction toward not only more dependence on fossil fuels but on some of the dirtiest fossil fuel imaginable. That is insane.”

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