Friday, June 24, 2011

Run For Your Life! Mom Dropped A Bulb.

At Commentarama, we bring good things to light. And we aren't even beholden to General Electric. If this report pans out, you may find yourself not having to buy incandescent bulbs from hinky-looking characters in back alleys. You might even be able to drop a bulb and not have to call a hazmat team to come to your rescue. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

On the other hand, this may be bad news for all those GE workers in China who are busily manufacturing mercury-filled compact fluorescent bulbs. We have moved from Khrushchev threatening to bury us to China threatening to poison us.

Republican House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan is telling insiders that he is close to an agreement with other House members which would repeal the 2007 ban on incandescent bulbs. They were set to be banned and placed on the black market in 2012. All but 40 watt or lower bulbs would be prohibited (and how long would they be allowed afterwards?) unless Rep. Upton is successful.

The ban may not be a hot-button issue like unemployment or the debt ceiling, but it could end up becoming one if the Senate rejects the House move and/or Obama vetoes the bill. Unlike unemployment and the debt ceiling, having dangerous, ugly and ill-fitting light bulbs shoved down our throats directly affects every American's ability to choose for himself. It's nanny-statism and phony environmentalism gone mad. It would also demonstrate Obama's commitment to the special interests of his megacorporation buddies like Jeffrey Immelt, CEO and Chairman of General Electric.

The original ban was entitled "The Energy Independence and Security Act," which proves just how devious power-grabbing Democrat eco-weenies and global warming hoax-supporters can be. How secure does it make us when General Electric is becoming one of China's largest employers? How independent does it make us to rely on foreign workers to produce a product nobody wants? "Energy independence" to the Obamists means eliminating the major sources of power (fossil fuels and coal) that will light up those hideous bulbs.

Who says intelligent people can't make mistakes, then do the right thing and try to correct them? Rep. Upton originally supported the 2007 legislation, but at least on grounds of economy and efficiency rather than global warming nonsense. But support it he did, and now he is actively attempting to fix that mistake. The mercury-poisoning danger posed by the bulbs alone should be enough to cause a change of heart and mind. But Upton also sees the damage it is doing to the American worker and American industry, and the cozy relationship between the environuts, the administration, and humongous corporate wheeler-dealers.

The bill, if it does actually make it through the House will only be the opening salvo in a prolonged eco-war. The energy produced just by Al Gore exploding could power traditional bulbs for every American for six months. But every journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, and this would be a big step. As for me, you can pry my 75 watt incandescent bulb from my cold, dead hands. Best of all, if you accidentally break it, you won't drop dead or produce two-headed children.

23 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk, I so agree with you. I hate the shitty little nanny state mercury bulbs, so it is one more reason to hope for a sweep of all three branches in 2012.

I am worried that, as always, the regime and their water carriers in the lame stream seem to be making headway in their framing the debate about the deby ceiling into Republicans want to cut taxes for the wealthy and balance the budget on the stooped shoulders of the elderly who will have their s.s. and medicare benefits slashed. Why can't the Republicans hire a p.r. firm?

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

This is great news. Too bad we can't have a judge put a hold on the ban while we wait for the law to come into place.

I am also extremely happy that someone who actually helped get the ban in place is doing his level best to get it removed. That is far more significant than some people realize.

Maybe we can get a few more bans removed, like DDT.

AndrewPrice said...

This is good news. I remember back in December when Upton got appointed, no one was sure why he was chosen because he's generally been a moderate and conservatives were pretty upset about Upton. We actually made the point that Boehner should be trusted because we don't know the committee dynamics. A quiet deal to eliminate these hated lightbulbs would tend to confirm Boehner's choice and he deserves credit for making the right call. So I guess credit is almost due on this point. (Here's the ARTICLE).

I don't think this lightbulb is a monumental problem like medicare or spending or taxes, but it is ultra annoying and it shows how far the government will go wrong when it tries to run out lives. So I'll be thrilled if this stupid idea finally dies. I just hope this change bring something more principled with it than just fixing the lightbulb issue -- get the government out of dictating private lives.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
Great I just purchased a 12 year supply of 60 and 75 watt incandescent bulbs. They are made in Pennsylvania by American workers. All in the effort of not having to read by these dim slow starting curly ques.
Can you envision Honest Abe try to read by these ugly things?

T-Rav said...

So maybe now I won't have to go to Wal-Mart and buy a 10-year supply of incandescent bulbs? Sweet! See, America? This is what happens when you elect Republicans to Congress--you get stupid legislation reversed.

rlaWTX said...

woohoo!

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Good question. The issue of cuts and the debt ceiling is so simple (conceptually, not practically) that I just don't get why they can't get the message out. It probably has something to do with the fact that Democrats were in power for so long that they've mastered the art of demagoguing, and the Republicans haven't. The message needs to be "We'll get rid of Obamacare, straighten out the damage it has done to Medicare, and fix Social Security so that those on Medicare and Social Security will continue to get the full benefits they paid for, with cost-of-living increases."

The Republicans also have a great opportunity to turn Mediscare back on the Democrats with some juicy "death panel" ads. The young family being told by a bureaucrat that granny could have been saved, but under Obamacare and Democrat Medicare rules, it was decided that it just wasn't cost-effective. Have a nice funeral.

BevfromNYC said...

You could move to Texas. The Legislature just passed a law that says as long as the incandescent bulbs are manufactured in Texas, they will be legal! Hah!! In a beautifully played pre-emptive strike, they are keeping jobs in Texas and thumbing their noses at the Feds. Gotta love Texas.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I wish Rachel Carson had died in her silent spring. The millions of people, particularly in the tropics, who have died from malaria is a crime against humanity. And it turned out that much of it was based on junk science akin to global warming.

It is unlikely that a judge would stay implementation of the Act. Obviously, a liberal judge wouldn't touch it. But sometimes we are hoist on our own petard. A solid conservative judge would recognize that the matter is political, not legal, and refuse to interfere with the legislative process. Impartial judges are loath to stay or overturn an act of Congress which involves something less than a fundamental constitutional right. In the long run, that's the right position, but it can be a royal pain in the interim.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I agree. And let's face it, sometimes the annoying issue is easier to explain and use for political gain than the deeper and more pressing issues. You take your issue as you find it. A great many people don't understand the complexities of killing Obamacare, saving Medicare and Social Security for current recipients while finding a better alternative for future generations, cutting thousand of wasteful and useless but expensive federal programs, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

But a huge majority of Americans hate those damned bulbs, and hate the government telling them what they can have and what they can't. I'd bet that Republicans could pick up a few million votes just on the issue of "ugly, dangerous, expensive lightbulbs in your household, put there and kept there courtesy of the Democrat nanny-state." As I mentioned to Tennessee, Republicans should not consider themselves to be "above" a little good, healthy demagoguing.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: At least Abe's candlelight was natural light. The light from those godawful compact fluorescents ain't natural.

Glad to hear you've been keeping American workers on the job. And look at the upside--if the Act isn't repealed, you're worth a fortune! LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: If what you, Tehachapi Tom and I have done about "stocking up" is an indication of what the majority of Americans have done, we're going to make it tough on the American workers manufacturing incandescent bulbs. They've probably been working double-shifts to keep up with the demand, which will bottom out if the act is repealed. But it will only be a temporary drop. Even good things have some downsides. On the other hand, I'll save a lot on gasoline avoiding loading up the Suburban with good old-fashioned lightbulbs. Hee, hee.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I second that motion!

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: But that would be defying the EPA. How could Texans do such a horrible thing? Don't they care about the sagebrush snipe, the jackelope, the Delta smelt, and other endangered species? For shame! Think of all that deadly mercury that is being removed from the environment and put into the compact fluorescent bulbs. GE, the Chinese, and the ecoweenies have been saving us from ourselves, and this is how Texas pays them back.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I should have added that each time Boehner makes a decision that I think is questionable and draws conservative criticism, he often turns out to be right. At times I find him to be hopelessly frustrating, then later discover he was right all along. As you speculated in your article back in December, waiting it out turned out to be correct, and Boehner made a wise choice. In the long run, Boehner may turn out to be one of the most underrated and unappreciated Speakers in modern history.

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk re: Boehner - You may be correct about him being really great at what he's doing. I am finding on HuffPo that with each new Healthcare bill revelation, libs keep trying to blame the Republicans for not reading the bill and letting the bad stuff in. It is quite satisfying to remind them that the Repubs didn't vote for the bill - The Party of "No", remember?

Boehner held the line and has held the line on many issues. He's forced major compromise into our favor. "Bush tax cuts", the budget cuts. Not bad.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk and Bev, I'm not a Boehner "fan" per se, but he has shown that he knows what he's doing. And that's because politics is about a lot more than bombastic statements. It's ultimately about results. And that often requires a willingness to forgo the most ideological choice for the one that will be most effective.

I had concerns about Upton from my outside perspective, but I was willing to trust that Boehner understood the needs of the committee, and that seems to have worked out. He's been right on other issues too, even when he's been blasted by talk radio. So I give the man a lot of credit for steering the Republicans right this far and I think he will continue to serve us well in the post-2012 Congress.

The guy who worries me is Cantor, who strikes me as a knee-jerk coward/apologist and never seems to be right on any issue.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Boehner is probably an excellent example of what politicians ought to be, but rarely are. Deliberative, careful, thoughtful, and principled. He has about as much charisma as cold oatmeal, which might partially explain why he doesn't excite the general populace. But I'll take diligence and caution over charisma any day in the week.

He seems to get things done, and when he was in the minority, he seemed quite capable of getting a lot of nonsense not done. I'm still reserving judgment, but I'm more impressed with him as time goes on.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I agree. I'm not immune to politicians who make things exciting, and Boehner certainly doesn't do that. But on balance, I think he will serve us well as we need "cooler heads to prevail."

As for Cantor, I'm with you. He seems at times to have all of Weiner's charm, but none of his guts or single-minded determination. LOL

T-Rav said...

I'm not a huge fan of Cantor, either. That said, he has been holding up pretty well just now in the negotiations over the debt ceiling, having walked away after the Dems refused to take tax hikes off the table. So give him credit for that, I guess (so far).

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: That's a good sign. It's about time the Republicans said that they're tired of showing up to discuss the deficit, the debt, and the debt ceiling when all the Democrats want to talk about is raising taxes on the "rich." My understanding is Cantor and crew are upping the ante by demanding that the President become personally involved in the discussions. Good for them.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, hope Niko the Wonder Pup (tm) is on the road to recovery. Having your pets get sick sucks.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Thanks for your good wishes. He really is a great dog, gentle and loving to everyone, but at the same time a good watchdog. And God help any stranger who tries to get to one of the grandkids without an "all-clear" from one of us.

He's also a fine actor. His recovery is nothing short of astounding. He's running all over the house, usually chasing the cats. But a couple of times he went to his big waterer for a drink, looked right at me, and held his "injured paw" up, just for effect. By tomorrow, he'll have forgotten about it.

The only reason I even felt it was necessary to mention it is that there is no such thing as a "nearby" anything. I had to lift an eight-month old, 95 pound puppy up onto and through the tailgate of my Suburban, then head off for the hour and a half trip into Bakersfield where his vet is located. Temperatures there and here were both over 100 degrees, and it's miles and miles of narrow, winding, mountain roads.

I shoulda known. The second day I had him (a mere thirty pounds then), he pulled over the Christmas tree. I yelled "shoot" or a word something like that, and he immediately yelped and started limping. It took me awhile that time, too, to figure out that he was only limping when he knew I was looking. What a ham! It's impossible to stay mad at him for more than about thirty seconds, so I don't regret the trip, even if the vet says he's one of the healthiest dogs he's ever seen.

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