Opinion: In today’s pages: Bud, fat, oil

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says that offshore drilling is a distraction from our long-term energy problems. UCLA School of Law senior research fellow Gary J. Gates says the Census Bureau has to stop ignoring same-sex couples in its accounting. And columnist Joel Stein offers tips for making fun of Barack Obama:

His name is weird. The unfunny people beat us to the Osama/Obama bit, which really could have been mined. But Obama also dropped the ‘Barry’ nickname in college. Do you remember those classmates who suddenly found their culture and had to share it with you like they were on the ninth step of AA? You just wanted to trudge through ‘Portrait of a Lady,’ but they felt compelled to sit you down in the dorm hallway and explain how they’re no longer Susie, they’re Mei Mei now.


The editorial board looks at the good and bad of the Anheuser-Busch sale to Belgium’s InBev, and says California should work to disclose trans fats on menus rather than ban them all together. Finally the board wonders what Russians are thinking in their vote for the greatest of their countrymen:

If Americans were asked to decide who was the greatest Russian, they might toss out names such as Tolstoy or Tchaikovsky or Peter the Great. Russians are being asked precisely that question, and they can’t decide between a czar whose rule was so disastrous that it prompted the Russian Revolution and a psychopathic dictator who killed, exiled or starved millions of his own people.

On the letters page, readers discuss a jury’s decision to spare the life of a man who killed 11 when he parked his car on a railroad track. Stephen Rohde of Los Angeles writes that the jury ‘saved taxpayers millions of dollars that would have been spent on automatic appeals if the death penalty had been imposed.’

*Cartoon by Ed Hall,