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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

From the Office of Senator Sanders, United States Senator for Vermont: Newswatch October 21, 2015

Reprinted from the Office of Senator Sanders/
Exxon Mobil’s Fraud Sen. Sanders asked the Department of Justice Tuesday to investigate ExxonMobil for sowing doubt about climate change after the company's own scientists had confirmed and accepted the role of fossil fuels in global warming, InsideClimate NewsSlateThe Huffington Post, Think Progress and The Washington Examinerreported. The letter cites an ongoing investigative series by InsideClimate News, which has revealed that Exxon scientists conducted rigorous climate research from the late-1970s to mid-1980s and warned top company executives about how global warming posed a threat to Exxon's core business. ICN’s reporting also revealed that the company later curtailed its research program and instead led a long campaign to create doubt about climate science. Link, Link, Link, Link
Turn Post Offices Into Banks In an interview with Fusion’s Felix Salmon, Sen. Sanders raised the idea of turning post offices into banks, saying, “I think that the postal service, in fact, can play an important role in providing modest types of banking service to folks who need it.” Sanders’s idea is quite sensible, according to The AtlanticLink, 
Online Privacy In an email to Vice this week, a Sanders campaign spokesperson expanded on the his online privacy comments during the debate, saying, "In addition to government surveillance, the Senator is concerned about the lack of privacy consumers have, and how their information is often unwittingly collected, shared, and sold." Sanders has also come out in opposition to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported. Link, Link 
Drug Price Hikes A new CQ Roll Call interactive database shows how much drug prices have changed since 2013. The analysis shows that other drug companies have increased the prices of both brand name and generic drugs at rates similar to Turing. More than a year has passed since Sen. Sanders and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings announced they would launch an investigation into “soaring” generic drug prices. The Justice Department and state attorneys general have been looking into potential anti-competitive practices by drug companies. That effort, a congressional aide said, is “like playing whack-a-mole. It’s not solving the underlying problem.” 
Jimmy Kimmel Sanders will be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show, airing this week from Brooklyn, New York, The Associated Press reported. Kimmel's show said another guest that night will be Michael J. Fox, whose first "Back to the Future" film is marking its 30th anniversary. Link
Column: Deficit Spending “Take Bernie Sanders' own favored example of Denmark: The Danes run a very generous welfare state, and have taxes high enough to pay for it. But Denmark is also facing a sluggish economy and rock-bottom inflation. So it's actually being much too fiscally responsible. Denmark should expand its deficit — in this case, given the size of its deficit, by cutting its tax rates — and loosen up its monetary policy to buy up all that new debt. Taxes, under this logic, aren't really about bringing in revenue — rather, they're just another dial for managing this flow. And it's conceivable that they would never need to balance with spending,” Jeff Spross wrote in The Week. Link
Column: Justin Trudeau “It’s a powerful one, with the potential to push politics beyond the limp austerity versus austerity-lite debate that has turned so many Americans (especially young Americans) against the idea that voting matters. This is, at least to some extent, what Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is talking about when he proposes a “political revolution,” and it is what Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders such as Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Raul Grijalva of Arizona have been hinting at with big proposals to address student debt, alter trade policies, and invest in infrastructure in the United States,” John Nichols wrote inThe NationLink
Assad to Moscow President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called his counterpart, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, to Moscow for an unannounced visit to discuss their joint military campaign and a future political transition in Syria, the Kremlin announced on Wednesday, The New York Times reported. According to a transcript posted on the Kremlin website, Mr. Putin told the Syrian leader during the meeting late Tuesday that Russia was ready to contribute to the fight against terrorism and to a political settlement of the conflict that has raged for more than four years. Mr. Assad, in turn, briefed the Russian leader about the situation on the ground and on next steps. Link
Paul Ryan Representative Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday that he would be willing to serve as speaker if all the factions of his party could unite behind him, giving hope to House Republicans who have been divided by conflict and confusion, The New York Times reported. n what were at times pointed remarks in a private session with his colleagues, Mr. Ryan called for changes both to the way the speaker’s job is structured — focused more on communicating the party’s message and less on fund-raising — and for an end to the antics of “bomb throwers and hand wringers,” according to members in the room. Link
Gun Safety All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say they support the outline of a new proposed gun control bill, Vermont Public Radio reported. Two weeks ago, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Independent Sen. Sanders stood with roughly two dozen Senate Democrats on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington to show their support for what they called a "common sense" approach to gun legislation. They said the bill was needed in response to the mass shootings that have taken place in this country over the past few years Link

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