The state of Oregon recently enacted a law making voter registration automatic -- every time a good citizen of Oregon gets a state ID card or a driver's license (including renewals!), that citizen is automatically registered to vote, and if they don't want to be registered to vote, they have to go through the trouble of opting out. Seems like every state could do that, and California legislators are trying to do that as we speak. So Roots Action helps you tell your state legislators to make voter registration automatic. What will the haters say in response? They may say it violates the privacy rights of citizens (ah, more than getting a driver's license does?) or exposes the personal information of domestic violence victims (which it doesn't). Other haters will say it's already easy enough to register to vote, which certainly doesn't argue against making it easier, and certainly doesn't serve the nominally conservative aim of streamlining bureaucracy. But forget the haters, and just pray the good Lord has mercy on their souls so they don't die bitter and angry, because the Lord's mercy is all that'll prevent that.
Meanwhile, Consumer Reports has researched how American car insurance corporations really set their rates, and their findings may surprise you. Long story short: your credit means more to insurers than your good or bad driving habits, insurers will charge you more if your consumer data suggests you won't notice, discounts are pretty good in some places and not others, and loyalty to one insurer, also, has varying effects (from discounts to actual premium hikes) depending on where you are. All that has one striking result: you won't pay into the insurance pool according to how much stress you cause everyone else in accidents, DUIs and property damage, but you'll pay into the system pretty much in whatever manner makes corporations the most money, which isn't the aim of a civilized society and, at least as far as corporations charging you more if they think you won't notice, is also illegal. Hence Consumers Union helps you tell state insurance commissioners to ensure that we get charged based on our driving, and not on unrelated matters.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell our government to make new trucks at least 40 percent more fuel-efficient over the next 10 years, then the Sierra Club still helps you do that. Freight trucks may account for only seven percent of all vehicles on American roads, but they account for around 25% of all auto fuel usage in America -- probably because they haul around 70 percent of all American freight. We're not asking these trucks to suddenly get 40 miles per gallon -- I'm sure that technology is a ways off -- but currently trucks get around six miles per gallon, and if we want to reduce our use of fuel, reduce pollution, and reduce our carbon emissions, and we want to do all three of these things, then getting better fuel efficiency out of the sector of our transportation fleet that does most of the hauling around seems like a no-brainer. To politicians with less than no brain, of course, or their selfish paymasters, it's just another regulation that crushes them. But where's their entrepreneurial, can-do spirit? Surely they don't need or want our government to coddle them so they may succeed?