Monday, January 26, 2009


I've been quite critical of the new administration so far, not that President Rainbow Brite knows, or would care if he did know -- and rightly so; not only am I nobody, I may very well be the internationally-unrecognized standard of Nobodiness. Still, having seen this morning's news, I think he has half a cheer coming, so here 'tis.
US President Barack Obama is expected to allow states to set their own stricter standards for vehicle exhaust emissions, his aides have said.

It would overturn a Bush administration decision which favoured a national standard for vehicle pollution.

California, a leader in environmental protection, and other states had sought exemptions to set their own standards.
Here's half a cheer for a small-but-unprincipled nod in the direction of decentralization ... and I suppose we'd all better enjoy it, because it might be a long time before there's another one. Why "unprincipled?" Because it should go without saying that the "several states" (hear that hollow laugh!) were free to set stricter air-quality standards, or looser ones, or none at all. There shouldn't be any federal standards with which to compare state ones -- if any -- since our famous Dead Constitution makes no explicit grant of power or authority to the feds for setting or enforcing any such standards. "Unprincipled" because King Rainbow Brite is no less a tyrant than was Former King Chimpy for issuing such decrees, even though the current king sees fit to be slightly more permissive than the last one. Free people wouldn't find themselves being grateful for minor favors that can be granted today and denied tomorrow.

Ah, but His Diverse Highness isn't done yet:
President Obama is also expected to order the transportation department to come up with new short-term rules on how carmakers can improve fuel efficiency.

A 2007 law required that new cars and trucks produced by 2020 obtain 35 miles per gallon of fuel (about 13km/litre), a 40% increase over the current standard, Associated Press news agency said.

However, Mr Bush did not put in place the regulations to enable the law to be carried out.

The new rules Mr Obama wants put in place would mean the new standard is reached by 2011, the New York Times said.
Never mind the poor Dead Constitution, and niggling questions about how it is that the current tenant in the White House has the power to say how many miles a motor vehicle must travel per gallon of fuel expended ... why's Obama limiting himself to pathetic half-measures? Why not require 50 mi/gal? Why not 75? Why not make it illegal for anyone to travel more than 30 miles in a single day by motorized transport? Why not ...

Uh, maybe it's a good thing Pres. Sunshine isn't reading this. I'm sure he has plenty of hideous ideas already, without any help from this nobody.


akaGaGa said...

Maybe Obama himself isn't reading this, but I'm sure it's being read by one of his minions.

I went on a rant a while ago about Paulsen & company, and I had crawling all over my blog.

BTW, I see that we share a birth year. When's your birthday? I want to know if I need to respect my elders ... or if you do. :)

The Intellectual Redneck said...

The "Big Three" are under bankruptcy watch and begging for more bailout money. President Barack Obama thinks this is a good time to appease his environmental base by weighing Detroit down with a new round of environmental regulations. This is a horrible timing and it will severely damage the ability of the "Big Three" to return to profitability. The first increase in CAFE will take place by the 2011 model year. Detroit is now preparing to launch the 2010 model year in July. Read more here. The "Big Three" are sinking and Barack Obama fires a salvo of torpedoes

Jim Wetzel said...

IR, you make some good points in that linked post. Thanks for leaving the comment!

Jean, my birthday is 22 August of 1954 (which reminds me -- my wife's is 31 January, which means it's time I got a little shopping done!). On February 22, I'll quit giving my age as 54 and start with 55, since that'll be my age to the nearest year. In any case, I think age is as much a matter of attitude as the calendar, so I'll definitely claim seniority on you, regardless of your birthday. I was born an old man, you see.

I do have a question for you, which I hesitate to ask out here in public because it reveals my ignorance of online how-to to an embarrassing extent. If you'd be willing to drop me an email at jcwetzel [at] mchsi [dot] com, I'd be grateful.

akaGaGa said...

Email is on the way, with akagaga in the subject line! I'll be out and about most of the day, so don't look for an immediate response.