Prominent Progressive To Fight U.S. Mail Cut

One of the Senate’s most outspoken progressives is vowing to fight the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) decision to end Saturday delivery of mail. “The postmaster general cannot save the Postal Service by ending one of its major competitive advantages.  Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future.  It will lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “Providing fewer services and less quality will cause more customers to seek other options.  Rural Americans, businesses, senior citizens and veterans will be hurt by ending Saturday mail.” The House last year refused to consider a Senate-passed postal reform bill … Continue reading

At Anniversary, Social Security Faces Its ‘Fiercest and Best-financed Attack’

Out on the campaign trail, the presidential candidates may have been slinging mud. But Vermont’s left-leaning independent senator, instead, chose Tuesday to observe the 77th anniversary of the Social Security retirement program. Although President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on Aug. 14, 1935, today the program faces those who would do away with it, warns Sen. Bernie Sanders. “We are now in the midst of the fiercest and best-financed attack against Social Security in our lifetimes,” he says. “Hundreds of millions of dollars are now being spent to destroy Social Security and endanger the well-being of millions of Americans. We must not allow that effort to succeed.” In the years since Roosevelt signed Social Security … Continue reading

Citizens United Called Opportunity For Billionaires ‘To Own the United States Government’

As polls begin to show that the current and unprecedented torrent of negative TV attack ads are taking their toll on both presidential candidates, a leading opponent of the Supreme Court decision which makes such unlimited campaign spending spoke out Tuesday to overturn the ruling. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the left-leaning Vermont independent, appeared before a Senate committee to reiterate his long-held and fierce opposition to the high court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, a ruling which swept aside decades of bipartisan regulation of campaign finance. Sanders revealed for the first time that at least 23 billionaire families have contributed a minimum of $250,000 each so far in this year’s campaigns. “My guess is that number is really much greater because many … Continue reading

J.P. Morgan Loss Continues To Reverberate In Washington

The massive $2 billion loss reported last week by the nation’s largest bank continues to roil Capitol Hill. The loss, by JPMorgan Chase, not only has renewed calls for stricter financial regulation — but now the calls of conflict-of-interest on the part of JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon are growing louder. At issue is Dimon’s dual role at the Federal Reserve. Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a candidate for Senate from Massachusetts and a former Obama administration financial consumer advocate, first called on Dimon to resign his post at the Fed. Now the issue has jumped from the campaign trail to the Senate floor, where Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says he is readying new legislation. “It is an obvious conflict of interest for Jamie … Continue reading

Left Pushes Back On GOP Gas Price Arguments

Eager to halt President Obama’s recent boost in the polls, Republicans have quick to blame the president and his policies for the steady rise in gas prices seen nationwide. But now those on the left have begun to sharpen their counter-attack, which is that it personal and corporate profit motive, pure and simple, which is to blame for the bigger bite consumers have been feeling at the pump. Those in the GOP have long worked to tie Obama to higher fuel prices, as far back as Sarah Palin’s “Drill, baby, drill!” slogan. More recently, the Republican National Committee transformed a fun clip of the president singing a blues classic during a White House concert into a gas-price online attack ad. … Continue reading

Oil Industry Leans Hard For Keystone Pipeline OK

The petroleum industry is pushing hard on President Obama to give the green light to a controversial transnational pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The head of the oil and gas industry’s influential Washington lobby group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), is warning of political consequences should Obama deny approval for the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline. Congressional Republicans forced Obama to make a quick decision about the project as part of last month’s short-term compromise over extensions of a middle-class tax cut and unemployment benefits. The legislation requires the administration to make a determination within 60 days. Obama came under fire after he announced he would put off a decision until 2013 following news that the State Department’s independent … Continue reading

The Left Split: GOP Hopes To Exploit Labor Support To Push Pipeline Deal

Congressional Republicans, starting with House Speaker John Boehner, clearly want to exploit disagreement on the left over the controversial Keystone XL project to help force President Obama to reverse course and give the proposed transnational pipeline a quick go-ahead. Obama last month announced that his administration would put off, until 2013, a decision to approve the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The president delayed action on the pipeline after the independent State Department inspector general launched an investigation of possible conflicts of interest in the project’s environmental review process. (You can read a complete explainer of the Keystone XL pipeline, and its controversies, online here.) Republicans began howling over the delay almost immediately, with … Continue reading