See that guy on the far right? Don't mess with his LIGHT BULBS!
Today was one of those rare days I decided to listen to talk radio in the morning, and – boy – am I glad I did! I just happened to luck into a Nick Reed diatribe on KSGF and ended up reconsidering my opinions of the President of the United States of America.
Reed was all worked up over this story, where people are stocking up on incandescent light bulbs before compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, take over the shelves. Incandescent bulbs, as you may remember, are being phased out because of an energy law. Now, consumers must buy what Reed calls crappy light bulbs.
“I say crappy ones because I don’t like ’em,” said Reed. “God forbid we live in the kind of country where you can choose the kind of LIGHT BULBS we want.”
Some people concur with Reed’s disapproval of the bulbs, but only because the light isn’t is good, or they take too long to turn on, or there’s some concern with the bulbs’ small mercury content and the clean up involved if one should break. Not Reed.
“Quite frankly that doesn’t worry me nearly as much as the fact that we live in a country where we aren’t even gonna be able to buy the kind of LIGHT BULB that we want,” he said, later adding:
“Do you not understand what this says about our country? I’ve explained this before, but I feel like I need to explain it again. The reason I get upset about it is because it is something that should be so…such a small portion of our lives, yet the government feels to even dictate THAT. And, to me, when the government’s dictating things as insignificant in life as what sort of light bulb we want, that’s when you get real trouble.”
Incandescent bulbs will still be available, just with a different capsule, and that’s not good enough for Reed. Nor is it good enough for a whopping 13% of Americans who, according to an Osram Sylvania survey, will stock up on the incandescents – like it’s Russia in the 1980s. And we know who was in charge in Russia in the 80s, don’t we?
“What fantasy world are we living in? Light bulbs.”
That got me thinking: Maybe I should re-think this president. Maybe Reed is right, this incandescent prohibition is the start of a slippery slope to “real trouble.” What kind of man would do that? What kind of communist, nay, socialist would want to tell us what kind of light bulbs we can or can’t use?
President George W. Bush signs into law H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the act that had Nick Reed all fired up!
“Today we make a major step with the Energy Independence and Security Act,” President George W. Bush said at the time. “We make a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding the production of renewable fuels and giving future generations of our country a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure.”
The bill passed 264-163 in the House, with 36 Republicans for and 159 against. It passed 65-27 in the Senate. It’s worth noting that Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill both voted against it, while Kit Bond was one of only seven senators that did not vote.
Let’s not let our political memories get too short. This light bulb edict came on Bush’s watch, as did the first Troubled Asset Relief Program – and he said this past November that he’d do it again. You ever wonder why some independent voters like me say there just isn’t enough difference between Republicans and Democrats sometimes? Here’s Exhibit A. Admit it. You totally thought I was talking about Obama.
P.S. – I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the bump music for this segment – which aired shortly after 8 a.m. – was a song called “Pony” by Ginuwine. It’s notable for two things: 1) Spawning the “Dancing Alone to ‘Pony'” meme and 2) Featuring this suave line, “If you’re horny, let’s do it / Ride it, my pony…” It was a classic moment. Ginuwine sings “My saddle’s waiting / Come on, jump on it…” just as Reed gave us the winter weather advisory.