And In Other News: GOP Finds New Ways To Say “Its Your Money and We’ll Burn It If We Feel Like It.”

I ran across news of a minor skirmish in the war to save/destroy America, but I guess it’s worth transmitting, since this time the good guys won.

Believe it or not, a united House Republican caucus failed in their bid to save ordinary Americans from the tyranny of efficient light bulbs.  With this vote, the GOP stalwarts hoped to roll back new standards for light bulb energy use:

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.

Republicans seem to object mostly to the idea that energy efficiency is a proper object for government policy, which they mask by declaring that this new standard means the death of the older incandescent technology.  Reality’s well known liberal bias strikes again:

When Congress acted in 2007, many people assumed the incandescent bulb was on its way out. But electric companies have since invested in new technologies that increase bulb efficiency.

So:  the GOP is now on record favoring an increase in energy costs for American households — call it a hidden tax — to the tune of $6 billion — an estimated $50 per household —  by 2015. Not to mention a reduction in energy usage equal to the output of approximately 30 power plants.

The good news, though, is that today’s vote allows me to use a phrase I just learned in connection with the Murdoch scandal:  17 Republicans who voted to repeal these standards have pulled the classic reverse ferret manouver made famous in British tabloid newsrooms.

Most egregiously, Fred Upton, R-Shameless, current chairman of the  House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement after his original vote in favor of the standards:

“This common-sense, bipartisan approach partners with American industry to save energy as well as help foster the creation of new domestic manufacturing jobs,”

Now, not so much:

Mr. Upton has removed the old statement from his Web site and posted a new one that says, “The public response on this issue is a clear signal that markets — not governments — should be driving technological advancements.”

Uh, Mr. Upton?  Please see that quote above.  You know, the one about electric companies investing in efficient technologies in the context of these new standards.

__

This would ordinarily be the point at which I shout “Moron!” — except there’s a peculiar elegance to Upton’s utterly unapologetic  volte face. It takes a particular skill, or quality of self loathing, to shed one’s cloak so swiftly and so utterly.  Even the East German judge would have to give the man a 9.3.

But I do think moronic describes this next speaker:

“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.”

I know, I know.

It’s Joe Barton, he of whom Molly Ivins would have extended her historic snark that went along the lines of “if he were any dumber they’d have to water him twice a day.”  But still, stumping on the great federal light bulb conspiracy is pretty good, even for him.  Next,  you know, they’ll be telling folks to keep e. coli out of tomatoes!

Tyranny!

These are the people running a big chunk of our government.  Or rather, given today’s re-confirmation of the obvious, running away from actually governing.  That’s why you get nonsense like this, wholly symbolic legislation brought up under rules that ensured it wouldn’t even live to die in the Senate.

Oh — and one more thing:  once again we learn what laser-like focus on job creation looks like — when clowns, con-men and cretins lead the fight.

Image:  El Greco, An Allegory with a Boy Lighting a Candle in the Company of an Ape and a Fool (Fábula), c. 1600.






55 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    You have to wonder what El Greco was on when he painted that. But it is indeed luminous.

    Do liberals like it? That explains the immediate resistance and rejection Tom. Look at how they’re bending over backwards to prevent a debt ceiling raise JUST to get the nigra out of the White House. There isn’t much further analysis necessary.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Since I’m sure Caz will show up any minute to whine about how he’s been banned from buying incandescent light bulbs, I thought I’d give him a few links:

    Amazon.com

    Target.com

    HomeDepot.com

    That’s right, ladies and gents — apparently Caz was unable to figure out which aisle the light bulbs were in and instead of, say, asking a clerk at the store where to find them, he decided that they must not exist anymore.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    “The public response on this issue is a clear signal that markets — not governments — should be driving technological advancements.”

    Surely this dumb fucker knows that the Internet, the driver of the probably greatest wealth creation ever, was a DARPA project. Right?

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    And Democrats should be asking, “Why do Republicans hate job creation?”

  5. 5
    Martin says:

    apparently Caz was unable to figure out which aisle the light bulbs were in and instead of, say, asking a clerk at the store where to find them, he decided that they must not exist anymore.

    Shit, even in hippy dippy free-CFL Cali there’s no trouble finding incandescent light bulbs. $2.48 for an 8 pack of 100W soft white bulbs at Lowe’s. I know that for whatever reason, even though I’ve got about 40 extra CFLs in a box in the garage.

    I wonder what the wingnut reaction is to our lightbulb deal here in CA is. I think every bulb (other than the one in the oven, junk like that) in my house is either a CFL or a standard fluorescent. Further, I think almost every CFL is now a fast warm-up one. Plus I’ve got all of those extra ones in the garage. I don’t think I’ve ever paid for a CFL. I get them free from my utility all the time – so many that I regularly turn them down. The state or city didn’t pay for them or subsidize them. The free market gives me free light bulbs. I’m sure that strikes teabaggers as immoral or something and must be stopped by legislation. (And I’m Cal Edison, not a public utility, since that was bound to come up.)

  6. 6
    Mike in NC says:

    House Republican caucus failed in their bid to save ordinary Americans from the tyranny of efficient light bulbs.

    What else to expect from such a pack of dim bulbs?

  7. 7
    Dennis SGMM says:

    The shorter Republicans; “Help! We’re being oppressed!”

    Obama might consider holding a presser where he announces proposed legislation forbidding anyone to jump off a cliff.

  8. 8
    janeform says:

    That East German judge line is priceless.

  9. 9
    General Stuck says:

    I’ve been following this story on XM cspan and POTUS channel, and it is a work of art relative to the relentless and mind numbing retro mind set that seems to be over taking the dim bulbs on the right.

    And none so eloquently stated the case for real American incandescent light bulbs than the Tennessee dingbat Marsha Blackburn, who was opining on this being another case of liberal nannyism, and Obama exotica, thrust upon middle America that loves buying lightbulbs every few months at Wallyworld or wherever. Bulbs that waste 90 percent of the electricity they consume as heat, not light.

    Never mind that this has been a bipartisan issue for decades, going back to Reagan and energy saving initiatives, but now, suddenly, it is just one more piece of the tyrannical puzzle that is Barack Obama, draining America’s precious bodily fluids, one light bulb at a time, and making baby jeevus upchuck his apple pie formula.

    I was listening the other day, when this was being debated for a repeal vote, and the cost of your average CFL went from 3 dollars up to 6 or 7 dollars, as the cost of filament bulbs ended up about free, or a few cents.

    It looks like to me that our right wingers are trying to cleanse time, back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet, or the Cleaver household. One half ass poorly performing trinket at a time. Today it’s the light bulb, tomorrow could be the return of the Edsel/

  10. 10
    MacKenna says:

    The Dim Bulb Caucus.

  11. 11

    @Martin:

    The free heavily regulated market gives me free light bulbs.

    FTFY. The electrical market in California is very heavily regulated. It’s regulated at a high enough level that the utilities are able to come up with their own schemes for how to maximize profits, but any system where companies are more profitable when they sell less of their product does not resemble a free market as that term is normally understood.

  12. 12
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @General Stuck

    It looks like to me that our right wingers are trying to cleanse time, back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet, or the Cleaver household.

    Yep, the Good Old Days when White was Right and darkies knew their place.

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    Clever, if quite despicable.

    The CIA organised a fake vaccination programme in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader’s family, a Guardian investigation has found.

    Unfortunate that the Dr has been arrested, though I doubt we’d look any more favorably upon a fake vaccination program launched in the US to collect Americans’ DNA. The very least we could have done was to actually vaccinate these folks.

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    I want that painting.

    The monkey looks smarter than any pic I’ve seen of Mitch McConnell lately.

  15. 15
    PanurgeATL says:

    General Stuck:

    Today it’s the light bulb, tomorrow could be the return of the Edsel

    I believe they call it the PT Cruiser. Hey, you asked. And they’ve been building that for a decade now.

    The truly ridiculous things, though, are that (1) this has been going on in earnest since about 1975, step by [ahem] incremental step, and (2) the so-called “creative class” has mostly been HELPING THEM all this time with their never-ending “ironic, postmodern commentary” version of the pre-hippie reversion. I keep telling people, “You know, if they’d never pushed long hair out of style for men and started pushing World-O’-Skinhead this wouldn’t be happening.” They look at me funny, but just think about it. It’s a mindspace thing, and now even the liberals are mostly in the conservative mindspace. They may be there “ironically”, but what does the Oligarchy care about that?

  16. 16
    RalfW says:

    I think the House intentionally failed so that Crazy Eyes can continue to run for Prez on how Obama wants to enslave us to CLFs. It’s one of her flavorite rants!

    (You gotta see Colbert from yesterday [12th] on how many different things ol’ Chele likens to slavery).

    [edited for a second try at humor. It’s late here in the land of the loon.]

  17. 17

    Meanwhile, in NZ, the Government sets up a website all about light bulbs:-
    http://www.rightlight.govt.nz

    RV

  18. 18

    @Yutsano:

    You have to wonder what El Greco was on when he painted that. But it is indeed luminous.

    He was on Liberty!

  19. 19
    Martin says:

    It’s regulated at a high enough level that the utilities are able to come up with their own schemes for how to maximize profits, but any system where companies are more profitable when they sell less of their product does not resemble a free market as that term is normally understood.

    Fair point, though I’d argue it’s a moot point. There are no free market utilities. They either devolve into regulated markets or captive ones. There’s no requirement by the state that the utility give me light bulbs as part of that regulation, though. They could just as easily charge me if there’s a market there.

  20. 20
    Mark S. says:

    @Elizabelle:

    The monkey looks like the brain of the operation.

    Weird painting.

  21. 21

    To me Joe Barton will always be the guy who gave the President of BP a groveling apology for any hurt feelings he may have suffered after the Gulf Coast spill. I remember being impressed with how much self control Barton possessed at the time, as I was convinced that at any moment he would be swept up by his passions, race down to the witness’s table and begin fellating the BP executive on national television.

  22. 22
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @Martin: How much would actually giving the vaccines would have cost? One billionth of the CIA budget? But what’s the payoff in goodwill? This actually kinda depresses me.

    Edited for clarity: This is @ Martin @ 13

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:

    Mark: it’s a monkey that believes in science.

    From a favorite Elvis Costello song: God’s Comic, in which Elvis envisions God:

    So there he was on a water-bed
    Drinking a cola of a mystery brand
    Reading an airport novelette, listening to
    Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s “Requiem”
    He said, before it had really begun, “I prefer
    the one about my son”
    “I’ve been wading through all this unbelievable
    junk and wondering if I should have given
    the world to the monkeys”

    A live version
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0N6TfU54o8

  24. 24
    Moses2317 says:

    Great post. I have just two quick clarifications.

    First, Rep. Upton not only voted for the light bulb efficiency standards he now opposes. He was actually a co-sponsor of the efficiency provision.

    Second, the efficiency standards are projected to save $12.5 billion, as opposed to $6 billion, per year through reduced energy bills. http://www.nrdc.org/energy/files/betterbulbs.pdf

  25. 25
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @Martin @19: Doesn’t the very use of the term “utility” at least imply that it is subject to extra-regulation? My understanding is that historically anything classified as a “utility” was treated separate from an ordinary business (for example, utilities were historically subjected to price controls or profit ceilings, etc.) So, there has never (in the US) been a “free market” utility.

  26. 26
    Martin says:

    How much would actually giving the vaccines would have cost? One billionth of the CIA budget? But what’s the payoff in goodwill? This actually kinda depresses me.

    Would have cost next to nothing. I agree, it is depressing. In an effort to catch Bin Laden, you can excuse a few despicable acts, but when there’s a free opportunity to actually help people in one of those acts, why not take it? It’s just sitting there!

  27. 27
    Elizabelle says:

    On an Elvis Costello kick.

    Beautiful melody and acidic lyrics.

    Hadn’t known this song was about Margaret Thatcher.

    Tramp the Dirt Down (song begins about 4 minutes in; 1989 interview first. He describes Thatcher as a woman with “candy floss hair” who “looks reasonable” and is capable of “the most monstrous things.”)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  28. 28
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @Martin @26: They weren’t even just refusing to help people, but may have actually been hurting people. How many decisions do you or I make on a daily basis (or don’t even hesitate when given an opportunity) because we’ve been vaccinated? This could end up actually harming people.

  29. 29
    Gian says:

    in cali, this (along with low flush toilets) has been a complaint on right wing LA radio. for years.

    I see getting 80-90 per-cent of desired policy results via the tax route. slap a surcharge on an incandecent light bulb. Say $2 – is it so bad if people buy them for reading lights or bathroom makeup lights, and put CFLs or LEDs in the main fixtures?

    Is it really better policy – not for the enviorment and energy use, but you can get a lot of the way there without an outright BAN, and as technology gets better people will notice the switch to higher effiency bulbs isn’t that bad and will switch over. I know it’s set as a gradual phase in and all, but I recall my late grandparents had lights that you could do surgery under in the kitchens.
    I’d like someone to do the math, and tax the incandecent bulbs to match the savings on CFLs or LEDs (when they mature more)

    I’ve got a mix of stuff in my house, some CFLs, some halogen, some old fashioned incandescents, and as the “fill lights” fail, they get CFL replacements, the lights that we want to mimic daylight better get halogen (which are only about 5% better than incandecent but 5% is better than nothing) when the LEDs drop to $7 for the equiv of a 60 watt incandecent – one way or the other, we’ll bite

  30. 30
    PurpleGirl says:

    Mnemosyne @ #2: Caz must be dumber than a sack of hair or blind because at one Home Depot I shop at the light bulbs are right on a large open space. It’s kind of like a junction of several aisles and walls from interior offices. You can not miss the light bulbs.

    That’s where I found CFLs that fit several of my lamps. So now my apartment is a mix of incandescent and CFL bulbs. I also have a couple of closed ceiling fixtures in which I can’t use CFLs.

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    He was on Liberty!

    El Greco was a libertarian?

    OT: it’s still illegal to kill cats, right?

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    FYWP moderation!

    @Gian:

    I’ve never understood the low-flow complaint either. Have these people never shit in a Toto toilet? I’ve got a Toto upstairs and you could flush Tunch down that fucking thing.

  33. 33

    To me Joe Barton will always be the guy who gave the President of BP a groveling apology for any hurt feelings he may have suffered after the Gulf Coast spill

    To me, he will always be the idiot who thought he had a government scientist cornered when he asked how the oil got to Alaska.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @Martin: You took the name of His Tunchness in vain. Even a heathen like you knows that’s a no-no.

  35. 35
    Martin says:

    You took the name of His Tunchness in vain.

    I most certainly did not. It was a respectful gesture that a creature of such prominence and regal splendor would not be taken so easily from those that worship and adore him.

  36. 36
    Warren Terra says:

    Martin – July 13, 2011 | 1:30 am · Link

    How much would actually giving the vaccines would have cost? One billionth of the CIA budget? But what’s the payoff in goodwill? This actually kinda depresses me.

    Would have cost next to nothing. I agree, it is depressing. In an effort to catch Bin Laden, you can excuse a few despicable acts, but when there’s a free opportunity to actually help people in one of those acts, why not take it? It’s just sitting there!

    It’s much, much worse than that. They did give them the vaccinations, for Hepatitis B. Thing is, Hep B vaccination takes 7 months: one shot the first day, a second shot a month later, and a check-up six months after that. If you’re vaccinated even partially, you’ve got antibodies against Hep B, so you test positive by the cheapest and fastest diagnostic for the disease; but if you’re vaccinated only partially, you’re not protected from it. The people they mis-“treated” are in essence worse off than before this started – they’re not safe from Hep B, they probably think they are, and they’re a lot harder to diagnose for whether or not they’ve got it. All because the damn CIA couldn’t be arsed to do the vaccination part of their “infiltrate the area by doing vaccinations” scheme properly.

    Thing is, this must have been their plan from the beginning. No way they were ever planning to come back with follow-up care six months later. They just fncked with the medical care of FSM knows how many people, as if they were complete nonentities. To save money, or to save the trouble of doing their scheme properly. They should be prosecuted, and any medical personnel involved need to face losing their license to practice. Although given that neither of those penalties ever happened to the torture Docs, I’m not holding my breath.

  37. 37
    Warren Terra says:

    Martin – July 13, 2011 | 2:15 am · Link

    I’ve never understood the low-flow complaint either. Have these people never shit in a Toto toilet?

    I think they’re a bunch of ignorant drama queens too, but I do have to admit that when dropping a load I don’t think I’ve ever paused to measure flush volume, and I’ve rarely if ever happened to notice the brand name of my porcelain throne. I’m all for capitalism, and maybe the manufacturers are passing up a big brand-awareness possibility here, but most of the thunderboxes I’ve seen were at least superficially rather blandly anonymous.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ Elizabelle

    His Hall of Fame performance is available online (along with his speech where he basically apologizes to the late Joe Strummer’s wife for being an asshole).

    Interestingly, the Hall of Fame only includes one of the songs Costello performed during the show — the other was “Deep Dark Truthful Mirror.”

    Hmm … 2003 … combination of “Deep Dark Truthful Mirror” and “(What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding” … I wonder what subtle message that DFH was trying to send to America?

  39. 39

    This painting is awesome, Tom. I love that you post paintings with your posts. As to the content, I have no comment. Republicans are what they are.

  40. 40

    @Gian

    or we could continue with a policy that is working really well. So well in fact, that bulb makers are improving incandescent bulbs to the point that they meet the new standards. This isn’t a ban. A surcharge would not spur the same sort of development.

    Bulbs.com to Offer New Energy-Efficient Philips EcoVantage A19 Lamps That Replace Standard Incandescent Bulbs.

    Bulbs.com, one of the largest online distributors of replacement lighting, will now sell a full line of A-Style halogen incandescent light bulbs from Philips. These bulbs are designed to meet the new efficiency standards mandated by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) that takes effect in January 2012, which will effectively end the production of most traditional 100, 75, 60 and 40 watt incandescent bulbs by 2014

    “The often-called ‘incandescent ban’ is creating a great deal of confusion, and in some cases panic, among residential and commercial consumers. We want to assure our customers that while they can still use any incandescent bulbs they already have, when it is time to replace them there are other affordable, energy-efficient options that will also have the same aesthetic and quality of light that they’re accustomed to,” says Bulbs.com CEO Mike Connors.

    http://www.green-energy-news.c.....11028.html

    When Congress passed a new energy law two years ago, obituaries were written for the incandescent light bulb. The law set tough efficiency standards, due to take effect in 2012, that no traditional incandescent bulb on the market could meet, and a century-old technology that helped create the modern world seemed to be doomed.
    But as it turns out, the obituaries were premature.

    Researchers across the country have been racing to breathe new life into Thomas Edison’s light bulb, a pursuit that accelerated with the new legislation. Amid that footrace, one company is already marketing limited quantities of incandescent bulbs that meet the 2012 standard, and researchers are promising a wave of innovative products in the next few years.

    Indeed, the incandescent bulb is turning into a case study of the way government mandates can spur innovation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07.....bulbs.html

    Or we could just keep parroting teabagger-lite talking points about the “ban.” Whatever works for you.

  41. 41
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: You’re not allowed to get resigned. U haz big fight coming in your state.

    Hi hon. I’m gonna kill Lexie. That’s all.

  42. 42
    Martin says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever paused to measure flush volume, and I’ve rarely if ever happened to notice the brand name of my porcelain throne.

    Well, measuring flush volume isn’t so important, but if it can’t accomplish its sole task, that’s worth complaining about. But low-flow clearly isn’t the enemy. Rather, I think a broader, more important lesson needs to be learned: buy quality. People whine incessantly about this group or that group taking their money, and then they go and give their money to some retailer and get some cheap-ass crap in return. If you’re going to replace a toilet, spend 15 minutes on the internet before you part with your hard-earned money, and make sure you’re getting a good product. Don’t be an apathetic consumer.

    Finally, a more specific lesson needs to be learned here: if you’re going to buy a toilet, buy Japanese. They’re fucking serious about toilets. Like New Yorkers with swearing and Texans with executions, the Japanese invest significantly in the quality of their toilets.

  43. 43
    geg6 says:

    The saddest thing of all is this whole brouhaha let Mike Doyle, the PA Dem who lives at the C Street house, and Jason Altmire, my Blue Dog rep, look like sane and reasonable people as they rained disdain on this idiocy during the debate. I want them both gone, so this was quite disappointing to me, that they actually have some moments of mental clarity.

  44. 44
    WereBear says:

    In my experience, a lot of people can’t get away from the “bargains” at WalMart. In our little town, you have to drive an hour away, and people complain because “they have to go to WalMart all the time.” It turns out they keep buying crap that shrinks and shreds and breaks and must be replaced at twice the cost of a quality item.

    But they can’t shake the mindset.

  45. 45
    bargal20 says:

    @ magurakurin

    Oh no, you’re telling me the NY Times actually repeated the stupid mistake of crediting that attention whore Thomas Edison with the invention of the incandescent light bulb?

    Edison was refused an American patent for the incandescent light bulb because it had already been invented.

  46. 46
    Ex Regis says:

    FTFY. The electrical market in California is very heavily regulated. It’s regulated at a high enough level that the utilities are able to come up with their own schemes for how to maximize profits, but any system where companies are more profitable when they sell less of their product does not resemble a free market as that term is normally understood

    Not necessarily. If it costs too much to sell more of their product, that is, if a utility has to spend billions to meet demand, then the utility profits by lowering demand, even at the cost of free lightbulbs.

    One might argue that in a free market the utility wouldn’t have to meet demand, just raise prices. But that wouldn’t be part of the contract the utility agreed to with the state to obtain the right to deliver the product over others’ properties. And contracts are certainly part of a free market.

  47. 47
    EIGRP says:

    @ Martin 32: We have some low-flow toilet with a 3″ outlet. Somehow my kids still manage to clog that thing.

    Eric

  48. 48
    Jeff R. says:

    To me, he [Joe Barton] will always be the idiot who thought he had a government scientist cornered when he asked how the oil got to Alaska.

    He is a scientist and he does work for the government, but the “government scientist” was Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. Chu was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.

  49. 49
    ET says:

    I m curious, if Republicans get hosed in 2012 will halfwits like Joe Baron say that American wanted more intrusion into their daily lives?

    The Joe Barton’s of the world only see what they want to see, objective reality has no place in his own little universe.

  50. 50
    vtr says:

    Have you noticed how hard it is to buy leaded gasoline? 35 mm Kodachrome? What ever happened to that nice man who used to come around every few days with ice for my icebox? I can’t cope with all this tyranny.

  51. 51
    RalfW says:

    I have a 60w Sylvania screw-in halogen bulb that I bought over a decade ago to replace a standard 60w. Gives off amazingly clean light and it’s lasted at least 5x a standard craptastic GE filament bulb.

    And I have an ancient CFL, it’s got to be from about 1992 that has been on for 4-6 hours a day for about 3 years in the 90s and then re-found and used daily for 8 years right up to now. Still going!

    One could just speculate that the push in Congress has to do with plummeting unit sales at GE and their pals.

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    Elizabelle

    The monkey looks smarter than any pic I’ve seen of Mitch McConnell lately.

    Better than even money that he is smarter. And by the age of the painting he’s been dead for longer than 10 minutes. So yea smarter.

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    Martin

    I’m convinced that conservatives only shit out their mouths. Maybe that’s what makes them conservatives.

  54. 54
    Tehanu says:

    @Martin 5:

    I get them free from my utility all the time – so many that I regularly turn them down. The state or city didn’t pay for them or subsidize them.

    Uh … probably the State did pay for/subsidize them — or rather, you and all the other ratepayers did. I work for the very program that gives CFLs away to low-income people — who are in some cases defined as “anybody who lives in certain Zip codes,” irrespective of actual income. The money comes from the Public Goods Charge on your monthly electric bill; that charge goes to the California Public Utilities Commission, which then turns around and gives it back to the utilities to fund energy efficiency programs. Occasionally the utility does use its own money to encourage energy efficiency among its customers, more or less as a loss leader, but that doesn’t happen very often.

  55. 55

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