Republicans attempt to change a light bulb
By Michael R. Shannon
web posted January 16, 2012
I don't know precisely how many Republicans it takes to change a light bulb, but I can tell you that 289 are evidently not enough. That's how many Republicans are in the House and Senate, yet they can't accomplish a relatively simple task and repeal the ban on incandescent bulbs that went into effect January 1st.
And this repeal isn't like overturning Obamacare, which will be Stalingrad for the socialists in D.C. Democrats don't really have anything invested in the Twisty Light Bulb Act, other than their habitual environmental hysteria. The ban was passed in the waning days of "the Failed Bush Administration." Repealing this law is not a repudiation of Obama, it's a poke in the eye to George W and Democrats loathe him anyway. Yet House leadership is unable to persuade Democrats in the Senate to pass this small repeal.
Thus the first bulb to go is the 100–watt model, which means the invaluable 100–200–250 three–way bulb, so useful for reading, is going the way of the dodo. To be replaced by the single power twisty bulb, which either gives off a ghastly zombie–like white or a dingy yellow light. You'll feel like you're reading with the help of a whale oil lamp and for only three times the cost of the incandescent bulb it replaced. And this scientific breakthrough in illumination is like cars used to be: you have to warm it up a few minutes before it's ready to go.
In addition to being more expensive, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFB) contain mercury, so if you drop one on the kitchen floor you suddenly escalate from a standard household cursing situation into a hazmat incident. Federal guidelines assure us that -- like the batteries in a Chevy Volt -- the small amount of mercury in a CFB is perfectly safe while rolling around on the linoleum.
Here's an environmental hazard Rule of Thumb: Any given substance or activity is only toxic in direct proportion to the number of Republicans and capitalists that support its use.
This is why water and chemicals used in the natural gas fracking process, which occurs mile or two beneath the earth's surface, are a civilization–ending threat to the water table located up to two miles above where the fracking takes place.
While the mercury right there on the kitchen floor is only a minor, Environmental Defense Fund–approved annoyance.
And while we're in a fracking frame of mind, the Chicken Little Earth Protection Council is now blaming the process for Ohio earthquakes.
This is strange. I don't recall underground nuclear tests being blamed for causing earthquakes. Yet "environmentalists" would have us believe that what is essentially a geologic enema is more dangerous to our threatened tectonic plates than detonating an atomic bomb!
Meanwhile, back on the surface, the House did manage to remove funds for enforcement of the ban from the December spending bill. This is a meaningless gesture not fit for inclusion in a campaign commercial. It's like telling the trucking industry that drivers no longer have to obey the speed limit because Congress is not allowing the highway patrol to buy gas.
Republican's futile efforts to make a real difference in Washington loom large in light of Obama's recent 'recess' appointments. This action is a direct challenge to Constitutional government and House and Senate leadership does not appear to care.
The Constitution specifically states "Neither House…shall without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days…" The House has not consented to a Senate adjournment; therefore Congress remains in session. The fact this frustrates Obama does not make his appointments constitutional.
Obama doesn't like checks and balances, and he knows his picks for the Labor Relations Board are so anti–business they would not survive the Senate confirmation process. Without an aggressive response an administration filled with appointees like Energy Secretary Steven Chu -- who justifies the light bulb ban by saying, "We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money" -- will be able to run roughshod over Congress and the nation.
Sure Boehner and McConnell issued pro forma objections, but where is the line in the sand? Republican leadership should be making the case to the public and informing the President that no additional business will be conducted until these unconstitutional appointments are retracted.
If these appointments are allowed to stand the remainder of Obama's first term will be government by edict, while Republicans in Congress hope they can be rescued from themselves by a GOP victory in November.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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