I still like Obama

JP, you are labeling and concluding too fast. Regarding killing Americans who are likely terrorists, Eric Holder was direct about giving rules and procedures in this event.

From Holder’s speech: "Let me be clear: An operation using lethal force in a foreign country, targeted against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces, and who is actively engaged in planning to kill Americans, would be lawful at least in the following circumstances: First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; second, capture is not feasible; and third, the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles," Holder said his speech at the Northwestern University Law School. "The evaluation of whether an individual presents an ‘imminent threat’ incorporates considerations of the relevant window of opportunity to act, the possible harm that missing the window would cause to civilians, and the likelihood of heading off future disastrous attacks against the United States."

"Some have called such operations ‘assassinations.’ They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings," Holder continued in his prepared remarks. "The U.S. government’s use of lethal force in self-defense against a leader of al Qaeda or an associated force who presents an imminent threat of violent attack would not be unlawful — and therefore would not violate the Executive Order banning assassination or criminal statutes."

Police shoot likely criminals under certain conditions, too. I am not so worried about this issue.

Regarding drilling, you also jump too quickly. Yes, there are increased regulations for drilling, including third party safety audits, rules to allow any employee to stop operations witnessing a threat. And the Interior Department defined requirements regarding who has the ultimate authority on the facility for operational safety and decision making, including during an accident. And it would add requirements for conducting a job safety analysis and guidelines for reporting unsafe work conditions. A little more drilling does not hurt.

You also simplify oil economics a little. The oil tax break is historically intended to help with domestic oil exploration. I agree with you, this tax break has outlived any of its usefulness. The consumer gas tax is basically a road user fee; the receipts go largely to road repair. It also is intended to act as a discouragement to use gas. Europe does the same, just a lot more. This, to me, is just fine.

Now, I sense you are against most every increase in gas supply, and likewise in any policy that makes using gas easier. I like that taxation is used to influence demand, especially in the case of oil and gas. That oil is there, and we may use it, though under the caution of environmental health.

I agree with you that the Republicans are pretty vacant with ideas. Were it not for the need for the 24-hour press to provide a constant stream of news, their efforts would not stimulate a paint chip. The facts seem to suggest that nearly the only voters are extremists, largely made up of old white opinionated guys. I think the press avoids the fact of low voter turnout because they need to maintain ratings, and perhaps also because they enjoy the rants of the loud few more than the expressions of any sort of body politic. I am watching the returns come in on CNN on this Super Tuesday evening, with all John King’s cool touch screen graphics. I wonder if he is reporting numbers for actual voters, or eligible voters.

It is sad that the Republicans have resorted to twisting social issues. I concede, Obama is beginning to do things that appease voters, and making it look like he is trying. The economy is going Obama’s way. The election should too. The press cannot present a pathetic, lopsided race, but it certainly seems that closer to November, as we look back, it will look like it is so.

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About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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3 Responses to I still like Obama

  1. JP says:

    I’m not against every increase in gas supply; I just acknowledge that they are usually done for political reasons. (Yes, the gas tax is for roads and that is good. My point was that the average American–including a lot of people I know and talk to–just knows that gas taxes in their community are very high and they don’t know or understand that gas costs about three times as much in Europe–and yeah, partly due to taxes. So they just blame the government for high gas prices, not understanding the realities of subsidies or of a global market.)
    And I understand that one day we will run out of oil. On the killings, we’ll just have to disagree. I’ll stand by the constitutional scholars I cited. (And I’m betting you’d be a lot more upset if Bush had done the same thing, and that is the point. Because you were a lot more upset when Bush did similar things.) On the new regulations, yes, there are some, and I think they are mostly window dressing, just as the new financial regulation in the Dodd-Frank bill were. Time will tell.
    I still like Obama too. I just won’t simply accept that everything he does is right and perfect just because he is Obama. (Not saying you do, just saying I won’t.)

    Here’s a fun thought experiment. Imagine if a Democratic candidate took a Reagan speech out of context and said that it made him want to throw up. Rush and Billo and the rest would be out for blood. Meanwhile, after Santorum said JFK made him want to throw up, there was mostly puzzlement and bemusement on the left, that a politician would be dumb enough to say that. On the other side, in the last campaign, you had Obama praising Reagan. Obama is certainly a far better politician than any of the current Republicans. Doesn’t guarantee reelection, though it’s looking good for him right now.

  2. Jim says:

    The Republican Primary is largely well compared to a bad sitcom. The media needs to fill its alloted time, but few people are actually watching, even fewer care. Theirwhow will be cancelled due to poor ratings.

    I am watching Newt lie in his speech right now: he is villifying the “elites.” Just who does he think he is? If it weren’t so much work, Newt would get a talk show to rival Rush. he knows he is better off claiming that Georgia is his home state, though he lives in Washington DC, next to a bunch of fellow influence peddlers. I know what newts really look like, I’ve looked under logs.

  3. Jim says:

    And I am also glad that Santorum and Gingrich both say the disgusting slimy things they say, and that in general, Dems reject that approach. Perhaps Mitt will light his hair on fire, if either of his rivals get too many delegates.

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