So still thinking about some things, like that terrorist guy (Faisal?). Apparently part of the Pakistani Taliban. Would that even exist if we had negotiated with the Afghan Taliban for them to hand over Osama in October 2001? Meanwhile, apparently some Senators are violently opposed (so to speak) to restricting the ability of someone on the *no fly because you might be a terrorist* list to buy a gun. A handgun or a carbine (like Faisal had) if you like. Apparently even if the proposed law says the possible terrorist has the option to appeal this status and thus the prohibition on owning a gun, that is insufficient for some Senators. Why should someone who is spending money on a gun have to spend money on an appeal? Why should they have to wait for their Constitutionally permissible gun, especially since the government went to all that trouble to set up a computerized instant check system, that lets the gun dealer know if the buyer is a terr ... er, a felon who maybe ran someone over while driving drunk. No gun for you! But if you are really pissed at your wife (who never pressed charges for all the beatings because you bullied her into internalizing that it was all her fault for being inadequate), if you are really pissed at your wife, you can buy a gun and bullets this afternoon and shoot her in time for the six o'clock news, because the instant check system made the Brady Bill three day cooling off ... er, waiting period redundant and therefore unnecessary, according to the NRA ... I mean Congress.
Drifted a bit there, tangent wise.
So if we don't let the terrorists buy guns, then maybe none of us will be able to buy guns next, and we will be defenseless against the unarmed terrorists ... uh, I mean defenseless against the government (who has automatic weapons and cannons and tanks and helicopters ... but as long as I have my AK-47 semiautomatic rifle, I can pull a Poplawski). I am still waiting for a Senator to argue that they want to give the American people a chance to put them out of a job (violently). Well, if it meant getting rid of Inhofe, maybe ...
Another thought bouncing around like a happy puppy in my brain (don't need pets when I am crazy like that) is the oil spill. We all know what the country has to do, right? Make oil rigs safer? Actually, that doesn't go far enough, lets talk about banning new rigs in the Gulf, and certainly restoring the bans off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Unless you read Lisa Margonelli's essay in the NYTimes. Is this really a good time to increase our dependence on foreign oil, where the environmental restrictions might be a lot looser?
Hmm, drill here or import, if only there were a third option...like maybe consume less oil. NO NO NO NO then the terrorists have won. Because right now having us bogged down in two occupations for nine and seven years, in countries where we have little hope of creating a stable, let alone democratic government, steadily draining our troops and making us look like contenders in the top five asshole countries of the world ... yeah, we're kickin' some terrorist ass.
Walk (with accompanying health benefits). Bus. Bike (with accompanying health benefits). Electric bike (for longer commutes). Even just not buying a god damn SUV, or maybe driving it at 60 miles per hour instead of 80 mph.
Today you can ease up on the gas pedal, drive like a stereotypical LOM or LOL (pre-internet meanings). Tomorrow you can get the bike out from behind the toilet in the basement, take it to the bike shop and have the rotted tires replaced, and ride it next week. Next year when you look to buy a car, you can look at a Versa or Insight or Prius (South Park calls 'em Pious) or TDI, and step up to a different plate ('kay, that analogy is now a bit strained).
Tom Friedman wants to tell us that now is the time for legislation (Kerry-Lieberman-Graham), and Obama is the man to take the reins and kick from the stirrups. I don't exactly disagree, except I do. If this were a normal year, say during the second Bush ... well maybe one of Clinton's terms ... well, in a better (forget perfect) world, Congress could probably tackle multiple issues. But cable news has proclaimed we can only concentrate (sort of) on one issue at a time, any random terrorist incident will derail our attention, and then it will be the Stanley cup series.
But in any event, I really must write a "magic negro" post. To just gloss over things, I think Obama is also calculating what will do the most harm to or benefit the Congressional Democrats running for office the most. Of the people who voted for him, some of those (white)people who did so because they genuinely thought he could/would solve problems have been getting steadily disenchanted since last June. Those (white people) who voted for him because he was not weird old man McCain (in the debates) are also becoming disenchanted with him. Believe or not (if you can't see it, I can't convince you) the health care bill was not aggressive, and Obama's role in it was fairly small. But a bill to cut oil consumption would be aggressive, it would give Obama's many, many enemies exactly the opening they have been waiting and praying for. Republicans would ride the supposedly proven "Socialist" accusation all the way the the fall.
Don't get me wrong. I am waiting and praying (it is national prayer day today, pray to the teapot of your choice) for European levels of gas taxation. Yes, protect the poor, bump up the EIC or something. Exempt bio diesel or even regular diesel, or at least tax it less. But I think Obama needs to wait for his second term, then go to town or school or whatever on our behinds.
Meanwhile, please drive a bit more conservatively. Be a real American, tell yourself you are sacrificing to support the troops. Because we wouldn't be there if we didn't want Middle East oil.