08 September, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

How many Cons does it take to keep us from changing a lightbulb (h/t)?

Unemployment remains at record highs. The economy is stuck in a rut. The US is still fighting wars on two fronts and constant threats to security here at home. But the real menace facing America? The looming phase-out of incandescent light bulbs.

That's the second-biggest threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (after healthcare reform)—at least if you're Erick Erickson. The Red State blogger has launched a campaign to save the old-school bulbs, which, under the 2007 energy bill, are set to begin phasing out in 2012 in favor of more energy-efficient compact florescent bulbs. Erickson wants to "get every Republican out there to pledge their support to saving the incandescent light bulb when they take back Congress."
What a putz.  Focusing the energies of Congress on saving the incandescent light bulb is Erick Erickson's #1 priority.  I wonder if he also ran a campaign to save chalk from dry erase markers and the daguerreotype from the camera. 

Now, this would be ridiculous enough, except that there are no sane Republicans left in Congress.  Michele Bachmann and Ted Poe have already begun the crusade to save the world from the horror of energy-saving bulbs.  I can only imagine there will soon be a stampede.  Tea Partiers everywhere will be calling for the restoration of our right to use outdated bulb technology.  Cons will speechify on the stump, promising to overturn this hideous threat to our precious liberty.

Ah, well.  If it distracts them from the rabid Islamophobia and trying to repeal health care reform, I suppose we can count it good.


Woozle said...

Time to bring this out again (with a little dusting-off)...

Q: How many Republicans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: None; they create their own reality in which the lightbulb has been changed.

Any records or evidence relating to exactly how this is done have largely been confiscated or destroyed without explanation, so the exact details are highly conjectural. High-ranking officials have specifically stated that due to security concerns and executive confidentiality they can neither confirm nor deny the following scenario, indicating a high probability that it is accurate:

- 1. Republicans accuse liberals of draining the lightbulb by excessive use of its light in "elitist" activities such as reading and looking at evidence.

- 2. Wishing to show good faith and defend their honor, liberals then offer to change the lightbulb themselves.

- 3. Republicans loudly rebuke this offer as "flip-flopping", "appeasement", and "hypocrisy", but ultimately allow the lightbulb to be changed (while charging for use of the ladder, an "environmental impact fee" for turning off the lighswitch so the bulb can be changed safely, and a "disposal fee" so that instead of carelessly tossing the dead bulb in a landfill, a company owned by a Republican golf buddy will have the bulb carefully tossed into an unregulated offshore dumping site).

- 4. Once the light has been replaced, Republicans now point out that liberal interference with business affairs has led directly to heinous abuses and wastage:
-- * interference with the operation of a business
-- * unnecessary wastage of electricity, because everyone was perfectly happy working in the dark
-- * abuse of company funds to purchase a redundant lightbulb

The whole affair is dubbed "lightbulbgate" and repeated endlessly on all fair and balanced news outlets.

- 5. Republicans then campaign successfully to reduce lightbulb inventory, arguing that their ready availability encourages hand-outs and wastage such as that demonstrated by liberals in the recent "lightbulbgate" scandal.

- 6. Conservative scavenger-pundits gleefully spin the whole affair yet further, citing this as further proof of:
-- the liberal tendency to demand perfect solutions (i.e. a well-lit work area) when the existing solution is good enough
-- liberals playing God -- only Our Lord has the right to say "let there be light!", and if He'd wanted us to see what we're doing, he'd have given us luminous eyeballs!
-- liberals freely handing out largesse (lightbulbs) to lazy incompetents -- studies show that the office in question was one of the least productive in the entire building! (Because they didn't have enough light? No! The system works and there are no victims; it was because they were lazy or stupid, of course!)

- 7. Riding a wave of anti-liberal sentiment, Republicans gain in next election. Woozle stabs self in face with a fork.

magpiemom said...

I think you'll enjoy this (from www.senate.gov). [apologies if comment comes through twice; I'm pretty sure I failed in my first attempt]

June 25, 1930
Senate Considers Banning Dial Phones

Senator Carter Glass of Virginia
Carter Glass (D-VA)

In the spring of 1930, the Senate considered the following resolution:

Whereas dial telephones are more difficult to operate than are manual telephones; and Whereas Senators are required, since the installation of dial phones in the Capitol, to perform the duties of telephone operators in order to enjoy the benefits of telephone service; and Whereas dial telephones have failed to expedite telephone service; Therefore be it resolved that the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate is authorized and directed to order the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. to replace with manual phones within 30 days after the adoption of this resolution, all dial telephones in the Senate wing of the United States Capitol and in the Senate office building.

Sponsored by Virginia's Carter Glass, the resolution passed without objection when first considered on May 22, 1930. Arizona's Henry Ashurst praised its sponsor for his restrained language. The Congressional Record would not be mailable, he said, "if it contained in print what Senators think of the dial telephone system." When Washington Senator Clarence Dill asked why the resolution did not also ban the dial system from the District of Columbia, Glass said he hoped the phone company would take the hint.

One day before the scheduled removal of all dial phones, Maryland Senator Millard Tydings offered a resolution to give senators a choice. It appeared that some of the younger senators actually preferred the dial phones. This angered the anti-dial senators, who immediately blocked the measure's consideration.

Finally, technology offered a solution. Although the telephone company had pressed for the installation of an all-dial system, it acknowledged that it could provide the Senate with phones that worked both ways. But Senator Dill was not ready to give up. In his experience, the dial phone "could not be more awkward than it is. One has to use both hands to dial; he must be in a position where there is good light, day or night, in order to see the number; and if he happens to turn the dial not quite far enough, then he gets a wrong connection."

Senator Glass, the original sponsor, had the last word before the Senate agreed to the compromise plan. "Mr. President, so long as I am not pestered with the dial and may have the manual telephone, while those who want to be pestered with [the dial] may have it, all right."

magpiemom said...

I think you'll enjoy this: http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Senate_Considers_Banning_Dial_Phones.htm

I tried pasting the whole piece in, but it was rejected as too long.

I've been ferreting around your blog after my husband (a geologist) passed on the Accretionary Wedge post for me (definitely not a geologist) to read. Even I was hooked by the account of an epiphany I've never had.