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How many congressmen does it take to screw up our light bulbs?

July 22, 2011

Anybody hoping the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives will somehow solve the debt problem, reduce the ridiculous growth of federal spending, land some Right Stuff astronauts on Mars, get Barack's nose out of our medical care, and get Michelle’s nose out of our kids’ lunch boxes... well, stop dreaming.

After half a year in office, the new Republican majority has accomplished nothing. These guys haven’t even delivered on the easiest of their campaign promises: giving us back our 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.

Seriously, is that too much to ask?

The Republican campaign last year boiled down to three main issues that resonated with voters: one, they promised to repeal Obamacare; two, they promised to cut spending; and three, they promised to give us back our damn light bulbs.

They haven’t done anything about any of those issues. They haven’t dented Obamacare, that's for sure, and cry-baby Boehner let Obama win the first round of the spending debate, in April, by giving him a 2011 budget at existing levels of spending. Now they’re letting their next chance to cut spending – the debt limit battle – be commandeered by the “Gang of Six” in the senate.

So much for handling issues one and two.

Issue three should have been a no-brainer, and easy as pie with such a solid majority in the House. Americans simply want the politicians to mind their own business and let everybody make their own decision in Wal-Mart's light bulb aisle. As things stand, people are stockpiling and hoarding 100-watt bulbs across the country because they know it's illegal to sell them after December 31. It's already illegal in California, and bulb-hungry carpetbaggers swarm across the border daily to strip Reno store shelves of light bulbs and leave Nevadans trapped in the gloom cast by inferior, more-expensive, fire-hazardous, mercury-laden CFLs. Or even-more-expensive LED bulbs – currently $29.95 each at Amazon.

The whole business is utterly ridiculous. Only with the involvement of Ivy-League-educated government busybodies could the cost of something as simple as a light bulb go from 37˘ to $29.95.

Unfortunately, the only attempt so far to repeal the energy regulations that are taking away our favorite light bulbs happened last week, when Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) tried to attach a repeal of those regulations to a larger spending bill in a procedure that requires two-thirds approval. He didn’t have to use that procedure. He could have used a procedure that only needs majority approval. But he didn’t. He went for the two-thirds thingamajig.

Sometimes it seems like Republicans don’t really want to win. Maybe they really don’t.

Barton's lame effort didn’t get two-thirds approval. Republicans are 240 of the 435 members of the House. Two-thirds of the House equals 290 votes. The vote to repeal the light bulb regulations was 233-193.

Can’t these guys count?

From Reno, Nevada, USA       

July 23, 2011 - This light bulb issue really grinds me. The unbelieveable arrogance of politicians, most of them dumb as rocks, to think they should tell me what kind of light bulb to use. And the Republicans' failure to fix this? We need another revolution in this country... Clean house and get rid of all of them. - P.K., Missouri

July 22, 2011 - WOW The talks BREAK down!!!! What a Baby Boehner is!!!!!! - Lady Jay, Reno
J.P. replies: You know I don't like Boehner-the-baby, but in this case walking out is a good thing. (Certainly better than bursting into tears again.) He isn't going to accomplish anything trying to negotiate with Obama and Reid. Those two are addicted to spending and won't admit it. The House needs to pass responsible legislation and call the Democrats' bluff, and if the debt limit stays where it is and the government has to shut down for a while, that's better than sticking our heads in the sand and pretending the overspending problem doesn't exist.

July 22, 2011 - Love your stuff, keep writing. There is so much here. - Flo J., Kansas

July 22, 2011 - I'm conservative/libertarian just like you, and I'm so disgusted by the Republicans I'm ready to spit in their faces. Is there really any difference between the two parties? - Kimberley M., Michigan

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