Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Not surprisingly, the GOP'ers have seized on the end of the incandescent light bulb, which will be phased out completely at the start of 2014, with the last factories already closed for the holidays.  An NBC writer tries to evoke nostalgia for the old Edison bulb in this article, failing to point out that most halogen, LED and CFL packages offer the equivalent of lumens in watts so that persons won't get confused with their replacement bulbs.  But, the general view seems to be that incandescent bulbs were the only bulbs still made in America, although this industry had been farmed out to China long ago.

It is too easy to draw allusions here.  We already had Michelle Bachmann make her last stand against the moratorium in 2011, when she introduced her Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act to repeal a law signed by George Bush in 2007 which would phase out the wasteful lights by 2012.  As it is, the 60 and 40 watt bulbs were allowed to be continued through this year.  But, of course, all this was President Obama's fault.

Some of you might recall the brouhaha generated over fluorescent lights because they contain trace amounts of radiation, as though we would be exposing children to harmful radiation poisoning.  Of course, these persons didn't stop to think that schools and factories and most office buildings had long ago switched to fluorescent lighting to save energy.  Apparently, the only persons adversely affected by fluorescent lighting are those with some exceedingly rare forms of Lupus.  This was enough to mobilize the Edison Bulb vanguard.

Yep, the GOP still seems to be fighting lost causes, while the Democrats still try to keep the nation moving forward, if ever so slowly.  Phil Robertson tried to take us back to the days before the Civil Rights Movement in his fond childhood memories of growing up in Louisiana.  Rev. Jackson declared the Duck Commander's comments more offensive than the order the bus driver gave Rosa Parks to move to the back of the bus.  Jackson probably should have alluded to the Lousianans who tried to keep Ruby Bridges from attending a public elementary school.  It is sad to see we are still fighting the same old battles, but it seems the GOP, or at least the Tea Party, thinks it can capitalize on these hot button issues in next year's midterm elections.

Funny thing is, Obama is the most admired person in the world for the sixth straight year, according to a Gallup survey, but apparently his numbers fell off sharply from last year.  Kind of surprising he hung on to the top spot given all the headlines Pope Francis generated since his inauguration in March, challenging not only the religious orthodoxy but the economic orthodoxy as well.

Meanwhile, the Do-Nothing Congress is at rock bottom, scoring its lowest approval and job ratings ever, but according to Ted Cruz that's not their fault, at least not the Republicans' fault, blaming it on Obama.  However, Congressional Republicans seem to be drawing back from their harsh rhetoric of Obamacare with December proving to be a particularly fruitful month for the Affordable Care Act, pushing the total number of new enrollees to over one million since its roll out on October 1. 

Making matters worse for the Republicans is that economic indicators appear to all be pointing toward a very prosperous New Year, but of course this is not stopping the GOP from ending the year on its usual doom and gloom note, with its motley bunch of pundits offering much more dire predictions.

This has befuddled me.  Normally, the GOP would be claiming that the market is righting itself and that this has nothing to do with the current Democratic administration.  This had been the mantra during past economic recoveries, but it seems the Teabaggers established this narrative of a failed Obama administration and can't allow persons to accept anything short of failure over the past five years, even as the Dow pushes toward the 17,000 mark.

Maybe the GOP is trying to follow Edison's maxim "discontent is the first step of progress," without realizing it was the need for innovation that inspired America's most famous inventor.  I would imagine Edison would be rather appalled to find us still using incandescent light bulbs when there are so many better light bulbs on the market, including ones made in America.  

As Eric Idle would sing, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Happy New Year!


  1. A Happy New Year to you & yours.

    Now that Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship let's hope the Republicans will give us a ticket in 2016 of Cruz & Coulter. That will guarantee yet another win for the USA!

    1. Maybe he should run for Mayor of Toronto ; )

  2. Find myself in one of my usual tug of wars on facebook over CFL v. Incandescent lights. One brilliant person chimed in on the mercury in CFL lights, never pausing to think that Incandescent lights emit five times more mercury emissions than CFLs It never ceases to amaze me how persons don't bother to research something before chiming in on the topic, especially when a side by side comparison is only a click away.

  3. The bulb wars in cartoons,