Fuel efficiency


The Obama administration will finalize strict new fuel-efficiency vehicle standards Tuesday, requiring the U.S. auto fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, according to individuals briefed on the matter.

The new rules, which expand on existing standards requiring American-made cars and light trucks to average 34.5 mpg by 2016, will significantly cut U.S. oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by the time they are fully implemented, the Environmental Protection Agency says. Unlike many energy policies enacted under President Obama, the vehicle standards are a relatively uncontroversial move embraced by industry and environmentalists alike.

I wonder why

Anyone watches the completely staged and controlled version of what passes for a political convention. Why do they even spend the money to have these things?

Here they come again

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Pete Peterson’s pet dog, the smarmy David Walker, just appeared on MSNBC (or whatever they’re calling it these days) to try to conflate the nation’s economic problems with the debt so he can push “bipartisan” solutions like cutting Medicare and Social Security. To whip up the hysteria, he tries to compare our financial situation to that of Greece – even though any comparison is just plain old wingnut craziness. But hey, when you’re trying to steal the financial safety net of millions, whatever works!

Steve Kornacki pushes back a little, even though he makes it sound like a matter of opinion and not basic facts:

David, I think I want to challenge the premise of what you are doing here a little bit. I think some people can make a case, pretty strong case, that it is not really a deficit crisis that we have right now. It is a jobs crisis, and it is a demand crisis in the economy. People who don’t have money because they don’t have jobs or afraid of losing their jobs and they are not spending money.

If you can get the economy moving by getting people spending their money again then it is a windfall of revenue and the picture wouldn’t look nearly as bleak. I’m looking at, you know, interest rates on government bonds are kind of ridiculously low right now, which to me says if you have a demand crisis and you have the nonexistent interest rates, isn’t this the time for government to spend more money and not to be worrying in the immediate short term about deficit but to be stimulating the economy through spending so you get demand up and you get spending going again and get revenue coming in.

WALKER: We have a short term problem and structural problem and we need to deal with both. The short term we need to get economic growth up. We have to deal with our unemployment and underemployment challenges. Yes, that can justify additional target investment that are effectively implemented, even if they exacerbate the deficit in the short term as long as they are coupled with a clear credible concrete and enforceable plan to deal with the large and growing structural deficit that lie ahead driven by demographics and healthcare costs. By the way, in comparable full and fair accounting, there is only one country in Europe that has higher total government debt to GDP than we do, that’s Greece, and we don’t want it follow their example.

This is a really easy way to know someone is trying to sell you rotten fish: They compare us to Greece.
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The Voter Vigilante Project

These assholes will be everywhere, so if you can, volunteer to be a poll watcher:

True the Vote is a voting vigilante group that never should have grown past its Texas cowboy-meets-Tea Party justice roots. Its top leaders have a jaunty, string ‘em up, guilty-until-proven-innocent mindset. They represent the most extreme views on the Right when it comes to voting—that the process is filled with corruption that is bound to be exploited by local political bosses and machines, which, of course, are Democratic. Where liberals see that a third of all eligible voters in America do not vote and want to make the process more accessible, the Right believes to do so would mean the end of America as they know it. They think it’s patriotic to be self-appointed judges, juries and if necessary, citizen police, to stop what they believe is rampant illegal voting. This purview goes far beyond today’s fights over voter ID.

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