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.