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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dim and dimmer

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. House Republicans tried to ban the light bulb.

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP "brain trust" were playing politics Barack Obama on a debt ceiling resolution, Speaker John Boehner's bunch were declaring war on compact fluorescent bulbs.
“The 2010 elections demonstrated that Americans are fed up with government intrusion,” Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who proposed the repeal, said in a debate on Monday. “The federal government has crept so deep into our lives that federal agencies now determine what kind of light bulbs the American people are allowed to purchase.”
Way to set your priorities gang.

What exactly is this heinous intrusion on private lives? It's part of a 2007 law, sponsored by a Michigan Republican, that seeks to reduce soaring energy costs -- you know the stuff that has us dependent on Middle East oil.
The first stage of the standards, which will be phased in from Jan. 1 through 2014, requires bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient. The second stage could require bulbs to be 60 percent more efficient by 2020. The law includes exceptions for specialty lights, like candelabra lamps, three-way bulbs and black lights.
Michele Bachmann, when she's not avoiding questions about her husband's Medicare-supported clinic that also tries to cure" gays and lesbians through prayer, thinks the move toward energy independence is part of a broad Obama plot.
"Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that now tells us which light bulbs to buy and which may put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama's health care bill."
Fortunately it took a two-thirds vote to pass the repeal.

Meanwhile, the GOP "grownups," acknowledging they don't have the votes to do the right thing about paying the nation's debts, concocted a plan to allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling while making unilateral cuts of equal size.

A real bipartisan solution: make Obama the sole fall guy for cuts while trumpeting to their base that they won't even close tax loopholes on the oil and gas companies that profit on their preference for incandescent light bulbs.

Today's Republican Party: Thomas Alva Edison solutions for the Space Shuttle era. What a bunch of dim bulbs.

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