How the Senate raised CAFE standards against all odds

Crossposted at DailyKos

Last week, the Senate passed an energy bill, which among other things raised CAFE standards (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) to 35 mpg by 2020 for cars and SUVs.  McJoan broke the news last Thursday and immediately put pressure on the House to do the same.  Although many wanted the standard higher and sooner, make no mistake that this change, the first change in fuel efficiency standards in nearly 20 years, is little short of revolutionary legislation.  There is also the fact that no one expected this thing to pass (yes, it needed 60 votes to circumvent a Republican filibuster), with many gloomy articles appearing, lamenting the undue influence the auto industry has on Congress.  So what happened?  Well, it is my belief that an often overlooked, but very important committee in the Senate -- the Small Business and Entrepeneurship Committee -- set the stage to make the first step in combatting global climate change a reality.

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Kerry: Democrats not elected to be just like Republicans, only a little more progressive

Cross posted at DailyKos

Senator Kerry gave a scorching speech yesterday about global climate change, not just blasting the Bush administration, but Washington itself, for doing nothing on such a monumental problem we face.  I have to say I like this tell-it-like-it-is Kerry.  He knows better than most that without a swift kick in the pants, the inside the DC bubble Democrats aren't going to do anything meaningful on global climate change.  It's too easy to blame Bush to defend continued inaction, and I am heartened to see that Senator Kerry is having no part of that, and coming out swinging.

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How the Democrats break the back of "GOP toughness"

Yesterday, Glenn Greenwald wrote another insightful column, this time about how the MSM is drooling over the upcoming entrance into the presidential campaign of Fred Thompson.  He painstakingly documents the usual suspects in the MSM pushing how "tough" Fred Thompson is, despite the fact that he has nothing in his life experience that actually demonstrates any toughness.  This is a trend that I am frankly really sick of.  I am tired of Democrats who did wear the uniform being taunted and painted as weak, while a parade of chickenhawks who pretend to be tough, get all of the praise.  We can talk ad nauseum what is wrong with the media, but I am here to argue that we have an opening to obliterate these notions, if we just have the nerve to hit the GOP where they're strongest:  terrorism.

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Moral leadership needed to stop global warming: Q & A with the Kerrys

Last Friday, I participated in a blogger conference call with Senator John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry, for which the topic was the environment, their book This Moment on Earth, and the city they are visiting today -- Portland, Oregon.  Blogger Reverend Chuck Currie of the United Church of Christ in Portland recorded the entire 20 minute interview and put it up on Street Prophets, which I urge you to take a listen to.  Rick Albertson has a great summary over at the Democracy Cell Project and you can also read a moving diary by Sandnsea on her impressions.  I want to concentrate largely on the idea of leadership in stopping global warming, and the gauntlet the Kerrys throw down to challenge America to change.  

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The lady who should be in the White House

Cross posted at DailyKos

In light of the shocking news that President Bush personally wanted all U.S. Attorneys fired for not playing ball on "voter fraud" cases (otherwise known as voter suppression or How They Stole the 2004 Election and Tried to Steal the 2006 Election), I am hit once again with the stunning presidential electoral loss we endured in 2004.  Doubling the pain is the reality that Teresa Heinz Kerry is not our First Lady.  For she is a rare commodity in today's politics -- honest, down to earth, and always lending a hand to make this world a better place.  Now that she and John Kerry are coming out with a new book entitled This Moment on Earth about environmental activists across the country, I thought this was as good a time as any to celebrate this great American and honor her for all of her good works and for the person that she is.

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Diaries

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