Archive for September 16th, 2009


Leave it to Stephen Colbert to sum up the plight of corporations and their fight for the right to be considered fellow humans perfectly: “They do everything people do except, breath, die and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the Hudson River.”

For those of you who have followed along in this blog about the Citizens United v FEC case before the Supreme Court, you already know how scary it is to think what might happen if the justices decide to overturn 100 years of campaign finance protections and allow corporations to pump unlimited cash into our elections. On last night’s show, Colbert broke  down the absurdities of the case: “Corporations have free speech but they can’t speak like you and me. They don’t have mouths or hands. Instead, they must speak with the only way they can — through billions and billions of dollars.”

Later, he and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin discussed how a casual “off the record” comment by the chief justice in 1886 was mistakenly recorded by the court reporter and turned into the legal precedent that corporations have the rights of people.

Learn more about this case and what you can do to make your voice heard at

The Obama administration proposed a historic step forward yesterday that would reduce our nation’s oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed standards it announced for fuel economy and emissions would save 1.3 million barrels of oil per day in 2020 and save drivers about $26 billion per year in 2020, based on the current price of gas. Under the proposal, automakers would have to raise the average gas mileage across their fleets to 35.5 miles per gallon and reduce carbon dioxide to 250 grams per mile by 2016.

At the same time, the proposal must be improved before it is finalized because it offers auto manufacturers too many opportunities to evade proposed fuel economy gains. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) must ensure that the rule’s fuel savings are realized by limiting auto manufacturers’ ability to undercut fuel economy gains. In the past, the auto industry has done everything in its power to weaken critical safety and environmental regulations. The EPA and NHTSA should guard against history repeating itself.

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