December 7, 2008

Obama on "Meet the Press."

I'll link to the transcript when it becomes available. And here are a few idle observations:

1. He keeps talking about changing light bulbs! This reminds me of the old tire-gauge solution to high gas prices. What will he do about the economy? First, replace a lot of government light bulbs.

2. His biggest rhetorical tic: breaking up answers into "the short term" and "the long term." Anything he wants to do now is "the short term," and it doesn't much need to make economic sense other than to "jump start" the economy. To the extent that there are other things that we should be doing, he puts them in the "long term" category. Having the 2 headings helps make disparate things look coherent.

3. Obama's idea of the auto bailout is a little opaque, but it's clear that he wants to get the companies to make small cars. But how will he do that? How can they become economically viable on small cars, especially with the low gas prices of today? Brokaw suggests imposing a tax on gas to make the price $4 again. Obama won't go there, of course, but I don't understand where he will go.

AND: One more thing about the light bulbs. (First, watch the movie clip in the next post.) In yesterday's address -- the weekly radio address of the President elect -- he said:
Today, I am announcing a few key parts of my plan. First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won't just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.
See? Light bulbs first. They're supremely important! They will save us all! Light bulbs!

MORE: Here's the transcript. Striking my ear the wrong way:
You know, tomorrow, you had mentioned earlier, is when we commemorate Pearl Harbor, and so I'm going to be making announcement tomorrow about the head of our Veterans Administration, General Eric Shinseki, who was a commander and has fought in Vietnam, Bosnia, is, is somebody who has achieved the highest level of military service.
Tomorrow? That sent me checking the calendar. (Brokaw, earlier, had said "today.") [CLARIFICATION: At the beginning of the transcript -- watching live, I'd missed the first few minutes -- Brokaw said the interview was recorded "yesterday." Later, he said: "Sixty-seven years ago this day, one of your predecessors, Franklin Roosevelt, faced Pearl Harbor." I guess he meant that 67 years ago to the day, FDR "faced" the events that would occur the following day.]

Also, this bugged me:
MR. BROKAW: ... Let me ask you as we conclude this program this morning about whether you and Michelle have had any discussions about the impact that you're going to have on this country in other ways besides international and domestic policies. You're going to have a huge impact, culturally, in terms of the tone of the country.

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Right.

MR. BROKAW: Who are the kinds of artists that you would like to bring to the White House?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Oh, well, you know, we have thought about this because part of what we want to do is to open up the White House and, and remind people this is, this is the people's house. There is an incredible bully pulpit to be used when it comes to, for example, education. Yes, we're going to have an education policy. Yes, we're going to be putting more money into school construction. But, ultimately, we want to talk about parents reading to their kids. We want to invite kids from local schools into the White House. When it comes to science, elevating science once again, and having lectures in the White House where people are talking about traveling to the stars or breaking down atoms, inspiring our youth to get a sense of what discovery is all about.
The question was arts.

Finally, he gets to the arts, which by now, I'm convinced he cares little about:
Thinking about the diversity of our culture and, and inviting jazz musicians and classical musicians and poetry readings in the White House so that, once again, we appreciate this incredible tapestry that's America.
So that, once again, we appreciate this incredible tapestry that's America? Once again? Is there any reason to think that the arts events in that George Bush had at the White House were lacking in cultural or ethnic diversity? And Obama doesn't name even one artist, perhaps for fear of leaving someone out. Speaking of diversity: he merely ticks off the high-class categories: jazz, classical, poetry. Some incredible tapestry! Then he comes out with this:
I--you know, that, I think, is, is going to be incredibly important, particularly because we're going through hard times. And, historically, what has always brought us through hard times is that national character, that sense of optimism, that willingness to look forward, that, that sense that better days are ahead. I think that our art and our culture, our science, you know, that's the essence of what makes America special, and, and we want to project that as much as possible in the White House.
Nothing like specificity.

136 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

He keeps talking about changing light bulbs!

Is he talking about those CFCs?! Hate, hate, hate them. Have them all over the house. A couple weeks ago, my husband accidentally broke one. Have you ever seen the clean-up instructions for them? Total nightmare. All of that over a stupid broken bulb. I will never install one in the house again, and if regular bulbs are banned, I will buy a storage shed and fill it with enough regular bulbs to last years.

dbp said...

Better even, fill two storage sheds: One for future light bulb needs, the other to sell for huge profit on the black market.

Dave said...

How can they become economically viable on small cars?

It's a strategy that has worked for Toyota and Honda, along high standards for quality and reliability.

chickenlittle said...

Ironic that the mercury dispersion is an argument against burning coal, but these things are (CFCs) are spreading it faster in a controlled way.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or is it CFL? I've seen them called both CFCs and CFLs. Or are those the same?

Oh well, in any case, NEVER AGAIN!

Now, what to do with all the leftovers in the cabinet. Perhaps some green friend will want to buy them from me to fill his own house with mercury powder.

bearbee said...

Have you ever seen the clean-up instructions for them?
clean-up ?

Original George said...

Tom Brokaw owns a 4,000 acre "trophy ranch" near McLeod, Montana.

I wonder what type of sub-compact car he uses to drive around his spread during the winter.

Having him suggest $4/gallon gasoline is like Marie Antoinette suggest that the tax on bread be raised.

By accident, I just discovered that he's a co-owner of another 640-acre "private hunting and fishing preserve" with Michael Keaton and....Robert Rubin.

If you don't know who Robert Rubin is, well, that's the $115 million question. (He's the former Clinton Treasury secretary who earned that sum from CitiBank for doing much of nothing since 1999.)

I'd love to be able to scan all transcripts of Brokaw's comments on the financial crisis to see what he says--or doesn't say--about Citi and its competitors.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I will never install one in the house again, and if regular bulbs are banned, I will buy a storage shed and fill it with enough regular bulbs to last years.

You mean like they have been in California? Yes. I have been stockpiling incandescent bulbs, along with other things that the nanny state government has banned or is in the process of banning.

As to making "small" cars. The reason that we in the US auto industry are in trouble is precisely because of government interference in the free market place. Beginning in the 70's (hmmm...didn't our banking problems start in the 70's also???) the government mandated all kinds of draconian restrictions and rules upon car manufacturers. EPA 1970 Clean Air Act. 1970 Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. None of these so called improvements were not being demanded by the bulk of the consumers.

Did anyone notice that as a result in the 80's we produced the ugliest batch of cars to ever roll down the highway, the K Car most of which have thankfully been relegated to the crusher. The 70's were also when Honda and Toyota began to make their inroads. If the Government hadn't been constantly f*cking with the auto industry, they would be competitive today.

People don't want small ugly crappy cars, CFC bulbs, remote controlled thermostats, GPS units in our cars monitoring how many miles we drive.....and stay out of my kitchen and leave my trans-fat laden Crisco alone. The government should quit meddling in the people's business and let the free market take its course.

Bissage said...

His biggest rhetorical tic: breaking up answers into "the short term" and "the long term."

Our local community theater group stands ready, willing and able to do a production of “Fiddler” anytime President-Elect Obama feels like playing Tevye.

1jpb said...

He is aware of some light bulb limits.

The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, "I don't consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me ... answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."

Link

PatCA said...

Hey, maybe old light bulbs will be the new bubble. Buy low, sell high!

Obama's light bulb talk, translated, means "no drill, baby, no drill." I'm sure sending all our petro dollars to overseas tyrants will work out just fine.

Freeman Hunt said...

More on the total nightmare that was this bulb breaking:

It broke in a storage closet. You have to throw away any bedding that comes in contact with the broken pieces. Bye bye, down comforter. Bye bye, two upholstered baby seats. You have to wipe down EVERYTHING with damp paper towels because the powder with the mercury fills the air and settles on everything. Hello, wiping down every single holiday decoration we own and other miscellaneous objects. Every tried to wipe down an artificial tree? Me neither--bought a new one. Oh, but really you aren't supposed to just wipe up the powder; no, you have to pick up every bit of it with TAPE! Have you ever had to go over your entire carpet with tape before? It is not fun. Venting out the house and turning off the central heat was fun that day too. I like hanging out in a forty degree house.

And since the EPA wants you to use these bulbs, their directions are actually less strict than the study they're derived from recommends. That study recommends replacing the carpet! Over a lightbulb!!!

I don't even know why these made it to the marketplace.

dbp said...

Japanese car companies always made small cars due to expensive fuel and narrow roads in Japan. So, they have a built-in advantage from years of developing that core competantcy.

CAFE regulations forced US automakers to produce some small cars, but they were lucky to break-even on them.

The most efficient way of getting us into small cars would be to increase the cost of fuel. Regulators should go into this knowing that it will provide a relative advantage to foreign automakers since domestic makers specialize in larger vehicles.

Big Mike said...

Actually, the former junior senator from Illinois -- back when he was just another junior senator -- went on the record as believing in high gas prices as a mechanism for reducing demand. Presumably if the base price of gasoline is low, he will want to artificially increase it through extremely high gas taxes, though I can't seem to find him saying exactly that on the record.

AJ Lynch said...

We need small cars because the left believes in global warming. right?

What will Obama and Brokaw say in a few years when it is agreed global warming religion was wrong?

Host with the Most said...

Again, this conservative McCain voter was impressed with Obama's words this morning.

I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, particularly since his cabinet choices have been, for the most part, excellent so far.

Though I may be blown out of the water for saying this, I get the feeling that more people on the left will end up disappointed by Obama's early direction than those of us on the center-right.

Which will be fine, because it will be very easy to run against the Democratic Congress in 2010. Same leaders as the last 2 years, and that's worked out well (NOT). It's like Brian Regan says, I don't know why I'm hoping for a different result when I didn't do anything different.

So, advice to the Republicans - unless Obama makes a major faux pas, ignore criticizing and attacking him and concentrate on the certain-to-be overreaching and ridiculously ineffective Pelosi/Reid Congress.

Worst.Congress.Ever.



Add me to the list of Californians stocking up on regular incandescent bulbs. Target and Stater Bros still have the most and the best prices.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me ... answer it.'

'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house


If Obama truly said these things, I might begin to actually like and have some respect for the man after all.

Mitch said...

People don't want small ugly crappy cars, CFC bulbs, remote controlled thermostats, GPS units in our cars monitoring how many miles we drive.....and stay out of my kitchen and leave my trans-fat laden Crisco alone. The government should quit meddling in the people's business and let the free market take its course

Well, by electing The ONE™ (PBUH) over half your fellow countrymen disagree with your assertion. And as to the so-called "free market", we haven't had one in this country for many decades. Neither Democrats or Republicans want that. As politicians, they are genetically predisposed to fiddle with our society, some more so than others, but fiddle they must. Of course, Rome is burning while they do.

Darcy said...

I almost choked on my coffee when Brokaw suggested that tax on gas!
I couldn't hear anything after that. This is our media.

What I want to know is...is the Obama part of the voting public nodding thier heads to this?

Scary.

bearbee said...

You have to throw away any bedding that comes in contact with the broken pieces. Bye bye, down comforter. Bye bye, two upholstered baby seats.

I don't even know why these made it to the marketplace.


Well, duh, obviously to stimulate the economy.......

Michael_H said...

Freeman - I had the same problem; a broken 'green' light bulb, shortly after I diligently replaced nearly every incandescent bulb in my home.

After completing the quasi-HazMat cleanup, I removed every newly-installed eco-bulb, took all of them to the bulb recycling place (a 45 minute round trip) then stopped at Home Depot and bought several cartons of new incandescent bulbs.

All the while during this process I kept repeating my new mantra: Wha' th' f**k were they thinkin'??

If scientists one day figure out how to make the color emitted by LEDs a nice soft pink/white. I'll buy LED bulbs. But until then - call me Mr. Incandescent.

Oh yeah, and about small cars - remember, the gov mandated specific kinds of baby seats, so if you have three kids who need baby seats, you can't go anywhere in a small car! Two adults, three baby seats and all the baby paraphernalia cannot fit into a small car.

EDH said...

Oh God, why do I get the feeling the Obama administration may turn into a re-run from Hell of Nanny and the Professor?

With the two main charaters all rolled into The One.

Be sure to listen closely to the lyrics of the psychedelic Beatles knock-off music at the link.

Darcy said...

Two adults, three baby seats and all the baby paraphernalia cannot fit into a small car.

You're not supposed to have three kids, Michael_H. That would be creeping into Sarah Palin-scary territory!

Freeman Hunt said...

Two adults, three baby seats and all the baby paraphernalia cannot fit into a small car.

-----

You're not supposed to have three kids, Michael_H. That would be creeping into Sarah Palin-scary territory!


The government will help you take care of this. Put all that stuff, except the people, into a room and then break a government-recommended CFL bulb. Problem solved.

bearbee said...

Of course you know that he dumped promised windfall profit taxes on the hated oil producers?

Reality sets in.

Reid and Pelosi must be having fits.

Ha, ha.

TitusPlayItCoolBoy said...

I can't watch that morning talk show crap.

Self important politicans and even more gross talking heads.

I was flipping the channels and saw Cokie Roberts. She is awful. They are awful.

That is why I like Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd. I love their writing but I also like the fact that their faces are not on television all the time.

Also, Dowd is totally hot.

Michael_H said...

Three kids? We're Catholic. That's why minivans are called "Catholic Sportscars".

It's just a joy to know that the same fed gov that mandated that no paint may contain lead out of fear of childhood lead poisoning also insists that I install toxin-filled light bulbs in every room.

If the gov hadn't mandated the use of CFL's, they'd be encouraging lawsuits against the manufacturers of the damn things.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

LOL Darcy. You are right. We are not allowed to have more than two children at a time, restricted by the size of the cars and the age and size of the children.

Children MUST be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds.

So the solution, if you have a small car, is to fatten those kids up to over 60 pounds and then no more car seats. Here is where the trans-fat can come in handy. Make lots of cookies and feed the kids potato chips. Ta DaH!!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

The country is collapsing all around us and you people are complaining about fucking light bulbs? Light bulbs! Good grief. Suck it up and make some sacrifices for the good of our nation. Sorry if you don't look good in certain lighting, but if you care about your country, you'll listen to Obama and change your bulbs, pronto.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Another though on the mercury laden bulbs.

Take a box full of them and lob them down on the halls of Congress. That should shut them down for a few weeks.

:-D

Big Mike said...

Things that can't be replaced with CFL's: (1) bulbs with small bases used in chandeliers or other decorative light fixtures; (2) bulbs used in appliances; (3) 3-way bulbs; and (4) bulbs used in outdoor fixtures (including unheated garages), at least during winter.

There's a lot of R&D still to be done if incandescent bulbs are to be totally eliminated.

BTW, can anyone imagine the impact of a CFL breaking in an oven or refrigerator? Wouldn't you have to replace the entire appliance? I couldn't afford it, and as for a poor person ...

Big Mike said...

HostwiththeMost, you should be right but it won't work. The newspapers will spend the next several years making sure that everybody believes that it's somehow Bush's fault.

The 109th Congress has been terrible, but everyone blamed Bush. The 110th will be even worse, but, trust me, everyone will blame Bush.

Zach said...

From http://change.gov/newsroom/entry/the_key_parts_of_the_jobs_plan/ (I assume this is the same stuff he was talking about on Meet the Press) :

Today, I am announcing a few key parts of my plan. First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.

He wants to change light bulbs in Federal buildings? Aren't they pretty much all fluorescent already?

At least from that site, I don't see the connection between cause and effect. It's a jobs plan that involves buying light bulbs? Replacing old heating systems? Except for the man physically screwing in the bulbs, who gets a job out of that?

Second point: We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.

There's a lot of tension in the two goals here. They want to invest the money intelligently, but they insist that states spend the money quickly or lose it. That sounds like spending money on projects that the states have already identified but haven't bothered to fund themselves -- a recipe for spending money less intelligently.

Dumping money into school infrastructure may or may not be a good idea, and should be debated on the merits. I still don't see how this gives jobs to anybody that isn't directly working on the schools.

The plan sounds more like an omnibus spending package than a jobs plan. I suppose you can invoke the Keynesian multiplier, but the Keynesian multiplier works just as well if you're buying ice cream cones as if you're buying light bulbs. I don't see the rationale for this plan at this time, and I don't see any essential relationship between the plan and job creation or economic recovery in general.

EDH said...

Seriously, though...

I almost choked on my coffee when Brokaw suggested that tax on gas! I couldn't hear anything after that.

The part of the Pigouvian Tax idea that Brokaw left out is to lump-sum refund the "gas tax" via the income tax system in order to gain the "substitution effect" of a higher energy tax, but to neutralize the "income effect" of the tax through an income tax refund.

I suspect though that Obama views a "gas tax" as political suicide, hence his avoidance of a straight forward "carbon tax" and his embrace of "cap and trade," which if run completely correctly has the same effect as a energy tax, but if not run perfectly risks becoming a public-private boondoggle.

Viewed this way, Obama's promised middle class tax cuts are little more than a refund of the hidden cap-and-trade "gas tax" he supports.

Notice too the "socialist" dilemma in the debates: Obama couldn't justify his proposed income tax cuts for people who "don't pay taxes" by saying it's simply a revenue-neutral refund of the energy "tax" he wants to impose without admitting he plans to increase energy taxes on consumers, albiet hidden in a cap-and-trade scheme.

It broke in a storage closet.

I believe there are some motion-activated LED lights suitable for closets where "nice soft pink/white" is not essential.

ricpic said...

Like all libs Obama is intent on saving us, the benighted...from ourselves. Compared to such a noble and necessary task what's a little thing like liberty?

jdeeripper said...

See? Light bulbs first. They're supremely important!

Yes, very symbolic. In the cartoons when someone gets an idea a light bulb appears over their head...."That's it!"

Obama is supposed to be a smart guy surrounded by guys whose IQs are much higher than most people's so this light bulbs issue is both practical and symbolic of a man and an administration with new ideas.

Seriously, is anybody else amazed that this dork is about to become President?

10ksnooker said...

Obama is a little light in the brain power department, especially when the Teleprompter is off.

Everytime I see him, I think, did they make the podium bigger?

Freeman Hunt said...

Sorry if you don't look good in certain lighting...

Except that we weren't complaining about lighting in this thread...

AJ Lynch said...

It will be funny if we find out George Bush's SAT scores were higher than Obama's.

Maguro said...

A rerun of the 70s, with fluorescent light bulbs standing in for the cardigan sweater as the outward symbol of liberal self-righteousness.

Listen to Dear Leader Obama and change your damn light bulbs if you care about your country!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Except that we weren't complaining about lighting in this thread...

Not explicitly. But we all know that's the most important thing about light bulbs; how they make us look. Admit it! I won't go out of the house unless I look good in each of the different lighting scenarios I have around the house.

Der Hahn said...

Nothing like specificity.

I think the word he was looking for was 'present'.

Synova said...

I'm seriously thinking of getting a small car instead of replacing our van with a van or SUV.

Excuse me, I misspoke.

I'm seriously thinking of getting two small cars and a pick-up truck instead of replacing our van with a van or SUV.

Sorry if you don't look good in certain lighting, but if you care about your country, you'll listen to Obama and change your bulbs, pronto.

If you care about your country you'll care about mercury poisoning. (Or were you being sarcastic?)

Nothing like specificity.

We were pointing this out prior to the election, so it can't be a surprise.

Joe said...

Surely Obama is aware that most public buildings already use fluorescent tube fixtures. Guess not.

The notion that US auto makers are failing because they weren't making enough small cars and alternate fuel cars is insane. The car companies are failing because they overproduced really shitty cars and have a tremendously inefficient manufacturing and distribution system. This isn't a new revelation; many critics have been pointing this out for decades. Letting one of the big three go into chapter 7 is probably the best thing that could happen to the other two and especially Ford.

Patm said...

I know someone is going to say it sometime down the road, it was said for the last 8 years about Bush, and before that for 8 years about Clinton, but I just want to be the first to say it here:

Obama sucks.

:-) FIRST!

Patm said...

I don't even know why these made it to the marketplace.

Hello, Mr. Gore.

They made it to the market place, with all due noble noise, while Gore was at the peak of his manbearpig Gore-ness.

Jason said...

I wonder how all the people who voted for "change" feal now that they learn all Obama meant was lightbulbs?

David said...

I am about to buy me a nice used BMW X-5. It has 52,000 miles on it and will run another 100,000 easy. The warranty runs for another 2 years and it is going to cost me $26,000. At .9% financing over 5 years.

Take a suck of that, Detroit.

I am also increasing my stash of incandescent bulbs.

Patm said...

The country is collapsing all around us and you people are complaining about fucking light bulbs? Light bulbs! Good grief.

The country is "collapsing all around us" and all Obama can talk about are fucking light bulbs? Light bulbs! Good grief!

Suck it up and make some sacrifices for the good of our nation.

Okay. I say we sacrifice the nobility and all assholes.

Sorry if you don't look good in certain lighting,

What an asshole thing to say. Are you an asshole? If you are also part of the elitist nobility, then I say you must be sacrificed for the good of the country that is collapsing all around us.

...but if you care about your country, you'll listen to Obama and change your bulbs, pronto.

Ah, the fucking bulbs are about loving our country, now. You ARE one of the elite nobility. I say you sort should be sacrificed for the good of the nation. Would you like to move to France or the UK?

AJ Lynch said...

This is a great frigging blog!

Did I tell you the NY Giants won the Super Bowl but are losing to my Iggles who suck this year?

Heh.

mun said...

wow, imagine that, he is being non-specific. who could have imagined !!!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Let's see, here. The dim bulbs in the incoming administration wish to raise taxes on fuel so there will be less of it used. Logical in its own way.

So help me out a bit, if you can. They also wish to raise taxes on both business and personal success. Somehow I think there's a missing logical connection ... but I can't figure out what it might be.

Original George said...

Here's another great and absurd exchange from the transcript about smoking:

"MR. BROKAW: Finally, Mr. President-elect, the White House is a no-smoking zone, and when you were asked about this recently by Barbara Walters, I read it very carefully, you ducked. Have you stopped smoking?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: You know, I have, but what I said was that, you know, there are times where I've fallen off the wagon. Well...

MR. BROKAW: Well, wait a minute.

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: ...what can I tell...

MR. BROKAW: Then that means you haven't stopped.

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Well, the--fair enough. What I would say is, is that I have done a terrific job under the circumstances of making myself much healthier, and I think that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House."

So: He smokes like a fiend, and he's lying about not smoking in the White House. Our culture of prissiness has reduced our new President to being like an 8th grader who sneaks smokes behind the barn and lies about it!

If he had any guts, he'd say, "Yeah, I smoke a couple Marlboro-brand cigarettes a day. I used to smoke a pack a day, but I've tapered off a lot. Sen. Helms turned me on when I first came to the Senate. It's really none of your business, Tom, and if I feel like enjoying a smoke in my private quarters or in my office, that's what I'll do because I enjoy the full, rich flavor of finely cured American tobaccos. And don't hassle me about my being a role model for children, because I also enjoy beer, wine, and whiskey. And I play poker, too."

Michael_H said...

That's it. I've made up my mind. I'm going to take the remnants of my 401(k), but a new Suburban, drive to Home Depot and pack it full of incandescent light bulbs.

Then I'm going buy a freezer load of steak before the fools in DC impose a methane tax on cow farts and drive the price of good beef through the ceiling.

By the way, my last Suburban was a great vehicle. It got 20 mpg on the highway, had enough metal to protect my family in an accident, could haul and tow stuff, had room for kids, stuff and dogs on long trips, and was plenty quiet and comfortable. It went 278,000 miles before I (foolishly) traded it on a minivan.

Now Chevrolet won't make any more Suburbans because the Star-Bellied Sneetches in DC say they aren't allowed because they use a bit too much fuel. And the morons are, of course, chauffeured around DC in.....Suburbans.

Twin said...

LOL at this whole post about MTP by Ann. Does anyone ever remember her picking through a George W. Bush interview line by line like that? Picking out the stupidest and silliest shit to complain about?

No. Of course not.

What does that tell you about Ann?

Michael_H said...

"What does that tell you about Ann?"

That she's waaaay smarter than you are. Or you'd have a cool blog. And a job with tenure. And a babeilicious photo. And a large community of friends. And OpEds published in the NYT. And be mentioned by Rush Limbaugh. And so on.

Twin said...

[Ann has] a cool blog. And a job with tenure. And a babeilicious photo. And a large community of friends. And OpEds published in the NYT. And be mentioned by Rush Limbaugh. And so on.

Yeah. I agree with all that stuff about Ann.

But I just hope the people are aware that she's got a different standard for Obama than she did for Bush. I never understood her total refusal to criticize Bush, even small criticisms for minor matters.

Here, Ann is criticizing Obama for failing to answer a particular question to her satisfaction. How granular and petty can you get?

She's going to be raking Obama over the coals and attacking him for anything she can, no matter how minor. That much is clear.

Twin said...

My only point is that Ann herself, and her far-right commenters*, have invested a lot of energy into the idea that Ann is a fair and neutral arbiter, and a political moderate.

It's true she's a moderate in the sense that she's to the left of James Dobson, on, e.g., social issues. But no one should take "neutral" or "moderate" to mean that she's going to do for Obama what she did for Bush.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Hey Ann, you should do a special post for stupid and/or mean-spirited readers on how to spot sarcasm in the comments.

Synova said...

You know, Twin... making the claim that Ann never criticized Bush about anything really ought to have some substance behind it.

As far as I can tell she supported the war and that was about it as far as supporting Bush went.

I realize that anything less than hatred is the same thing as "never criticizing" in some people's eyes, but it can't be helped.

Maguro said...

Hey Ann, you should do a special post for stupid and/or mean-spirited readers on how to spot sarcasm in the comments.

Maybe if your sarcastic comments were better, you wouldn't have to whine about people not "getting it".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But I just hope the people are aware that she's got a different standard for Obama than she did for Bush.

Twin revised...Waaaah Ann is making comments about Obama. She's a meanie...Waaaah.

In addition to stocking up on light bulbs...I'm stockpiling ammo for my guns for when they make it illegal to purchse ammuntion.

Also, canned goods, toilet paper, olive oil among other things....wine and scotch.

Twin said...

Folks,
Ann has much thicker skin than those commenters who have called me stupid and mean. I'm being polite and respectful. I like Ann, and I like her blog. I shouldn't have to issue these disclaimers.

You should be a little more tolerant of discussion. That's how Ann would want it. Instead you attempt to attack and smother anyone who tries to have a conversation.

The last thing that I think Ann would want is a cheering section full of mindless follower types. Ann is a formidable intellectual and relishes debate and exploration of ideas. I don't think she would want you kicking people in the nuts when they don't show total obeisance.

Oh, and I forgot to complete my asterisk from above.

*Not meant to imply all commenters are far right. Many are not.

The Drill SGT said...

Big Mike said...
Things that can't be replaced with CFL's: (1) bulbs with small bases used in chandeliers or other decorative light fixtures; (2) bulbs used in appliances; (3) 3-way bulbs; and (4) bulbs used in outdoor fixtures (including unheated garages), at least during winter.


and add bulbs that are used for short on-off cycles. like closet lights.

turns out that wonderful CFL longevity, that makes the cost ROI work? well it goes to hell if the lights are turned off on short cycles. the longevity numbers are based on lights being on for at least 5 minutes.

Twin said...

making the claim that Ann never criticized Bush about anything really ought to have some substance behind it.

Ann's entire blog is posted online. It's available for the world to read. I've been reading it daily for years.

She simply will not criticize Bush.

I will grant that in the 4+ years she has been blogging, the probabilities are that she's criticized Bush at least once. I've probably only read 85% of all her posts, so I may well have missed it.

But she's already attacked Obama more in a month than she did Bush over a period of years.

I don't expect her to treat Obama will the kind of blind loyalty she treated Bush. In fact, it would be kind of sickening if she did.

I just don't want her followers to fail to notice the HUGE difference in how she is blogging Obama and how she blogged Bush.

It should tell you something if you're smart enough to spot it.

laura said...

Though they're now cost prohibitive, LED's will most likely replace both incandescents and CFL's. Research and time will bring an increased output per chip.

And with all due respect, FH, those CFL's didn't find themselves on your shelf, then fall off, by themselves. Be an educated consumer and a more careful storer. I'm wary of using CFL's, myself, and am waiting for the day for a safer alternative.

The Drill SGT said...

So I wonder how the press would handle Bush if he made 2 disrespectful mistakes with regard to the Veterans in a single sentence.

You know, tomorrow, you had mentioned earlier, is when we commemorate Pearl Harbor, and so I'm going to be making announcement tomorrow about the head of our Veterans Administration, General Eric Shinseki, who was a commander and has fought in Vietnam, Bosnia, is, is somebody who has achieved the highest level of military service. He has agreed that he is willing to be part of this administration because both he and I share a reverence for those who serve

1. Today is obviously Pearl Harbor day. They do something different at Pearl Harbor?

2. Obama seems to be downgrading the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), a cabinet level operation, back to the status of a second tier Adminstration, The Veterans Administration (VA)

PatHMV said...

Great choice, Ann... you picked a real winner!

Maguro said...

I just don't want her followers to fail to notice the HUGE difference in how she is blogging Obama and how she blogged Bush.

It should tell you something if you're smart enough to spot it.


I think of Althouse as a liberal contrarian. There is nothing more predictable or boring than a college professor sitting there pontificating on how awful Bush is, therefore she doesn't bother.

Seven Machos said...

Obama is going to continue to be great until he has to do something. Then, it's all going to slide.

No one -- in the right-thinking crowd -- will understand for awhile. Then, a theory will develop. The narrative will be the racial backlash of 2010.

AJ Lynch said...

Sgt:

Maybe he meant it was not Pearl Harbor Day yet in Hawaii. Are they 8 hours behind east coast? :)

Theo Boehm said...

Twin: If you have been reading this blog daily for years, you would know that Professor Ann Althouse prefers to be called "Althouse." "Professor A" will do—she basically does not like to be called "Ann" by commenters.

fboness said...

I'm looking forward to having the definitive answer to the question, How many government employees does it take to change a lightbulb?

AJ Lynch said...

As many as it takes to boast that Obama has increased jobs in the US of A.

Dennis said...

You sure know how to pick 'em, Ann. Great job!

Light bulbs.

Issob Morocco said...

Ann,

Thanks for the hilarious rendering of the One on MTP. Buyer's, er Voter's regret is quite amusing to watch in action.

I would like to profer that this administration will eclipse Carter as the most full of itself and in the end inept due to not having a clue about much of anything.

Talking about light bulbs, contrary to Squire Zachary Paul Sire's vitriol, was brought up by the One, not by folks here. We just commented on the stupidity of such things proposed as policy.

Cheers!
Bring on 2010!

BJM said...

dbp said...
Better even, fill two storage sheds: One for future light bulb needs, the other to sell for huge profit on the black market.


Yep, another all cash retirement funding opportunity. Here in CA black market full flush toilets go for big bucks.

Obama is nattering on about an infrastructure project as a panacea; again one only needs look to Japan.

The Japanese began a massive infrastructure projects ten years ago to stimulate their economy after their own stock and real estate market collapse; it has not produced the desired affect and has been derided as the stimulus to nowhere by the Japanese media.

The spending failed because it went to projects favored by politicians. The Japanese also made the mistake of raising taxes in 1997 to pay for all the spending, depressing the economy again. Pork barrel politics; sound familiar?

The only image I can summon up is 4 guys leaning on shovels watching one work.

During the "real" Depression neither of my grandfathers would take local WPA jobs, they felt it too demeaning as several men would be assigned to do the job of one. They managed to survive and prosper on their own initiative.

However two uncles worked on the Hoover Dam and as a child growing up in a small town, I am eternally grateful for the smooth concrete sidewalks stamped "WPA" on which to roller skate and play hopscotch.

Trooper York said...

Good game AJ. The Eagles did indeed beat the WORLD CHAMPION NEW YORK GIANTS.

The problem is they didn't try enough field goals so we could get back in the game.

I had always assumed we would lose more than one game during the regular season.

We won't be losing any in the playoffs.

Did I tell you lately that the Giants are going to win the Superbowl?

al said...

I'm looking forward to having the definitive answer to the question, How many government employees does it take to change a lightbulb?

Watching them at work - 2. That's after the requisite hazard analysis and safety training (a ladder is involved). There are very few non-fluorescent bulbs in any of the buildings at work. The ones that aren't are application specific incandescent or LED.

Personally I like CFLs. I have them installed in fixtures where the possibility of accidental breakage is near zero. OTOH I can't wait for affordable LED bulbs.

LoafingOaf said...

Issob Morocco said...
Thanks for the hilarious rendering of the One on MTP. Buyer's, er Voter's regret is quite amusing to watch in action.

I would like to profer that this administration will eclipse Carter as the most full of itself and in the end inept due to not having a clue about much of anything.

Sounds more like you just hate Obama and hope things go badly for him as prez. Unfortunately that alo means you're hoping things go badly for our nation.

Not sure who was more unept than George W. Bush, and I'm someone who voted for him and tried to like him for many years. I didn't blossom into a hater until fairly recently, after having given him every chance and watching him make a mess of my country and the world.

rhhardin said...

They're both morons.

It's sound bites for four years now.

Palladian said...

"I didn't blossom into a hater until fairly recently, after having given him every chance and watching him make a mess of my country and the world."

It was Sarah Palin's pussy that drove you over the edge. You blossomed, alright. Now you're a turd-blossom.

rhhardin said...

If they seriously wanted to restart the economy, just cut the cap gains tax to zero.

Eliminate the corporate tax entirely; corporations don't pay taxes anyway. Only people pay taxes; you just don't see it when it's imposed on corporations.

The chief effect is through making it clear that soaking success isn't on the agenda. At the moment, it appears to be.

All the loose capital is going into Treasury securities as a result.

Michael_H said...

"....after having given him every chance and watching him make a mess of my country and the world."

Huh? A mess of our country?

Palladian said...

"....after having given him every chance and watching him make a mess of my country and the world."

Yeah, the world was spic-and-span before George W. Bush got his hands on it!

halojones-fan said...

So, wait, we're going to save America by turning government buildings into awful places to spend time? Didn't we try that back in Carter's Presidency?

halojones-fan said...

PS Freeman Hunt: Don't be a twat. The official government-written ISO-approved instructions are ANYTHING are ridiculous. The government standard for baking chocolate-chip cookies is a stack of words as long as a novel and cites five other documents. Sweep up the broken bits and get on with your life!

John Althouse Cohen said...

Later, he said: "Sixty-seven years ago this day, one of your predecessors, Franklin Roosevelt, faced Pearl Harbor." I guess he meant that 67 years ago to the day, FDR "faced" the events that would occur the following day.

No, I think he meant "this day" to refer to "this day that you, the viewers, are watching this," which was a pretty clever way of being technically accurate at the time (Saturday) while also making sense for the viewers watching it on Sunday. Brokaw's just more TV-savvy than Obama, not surprisingly.

Ann Althouse said...

Look, I admit that I chose not to ream Bush over everything. After 9/11, I bonded with him, though I did not vote for him in 2001 and didn't like him in the slightest up until that day.

At that point, an immense task faced him and I empathized with him. I was hoping for the best, and I cringed at how so many people in the media and elsewhere dumped on him constantly, making a terrible job all that much harder. He was our President and he needed our support.

I was then forced to vote for him in 2004 because Kerry threatened to lose the Iraq war for us, and that was intolerable.

I voted for Obama in 2008, and I think he's a good man, with some solid capacities, and he can take the criticism. He's got a lot of lefties who will demand that he do things that are actively bad. I want to be here pushing back against that sort of thing.

If my treatment of the 2 men has been different, it is because my worries about the 2 men have been different.

I will continue to try to do my best as I see fit. Different times call for different blogging.

Seven Machos said...

Here's what I think, Althouse. Nobody calls you out for blogging about squirrels or your flower pictures. They carp when you say something interesting and effective that goes against whatever they are for.

So, the criticism is entirely an honor.

PatCA said...

"Suck it up and make some sacrifices for the good of our nation."

Actually, Zack, we freedom loving rightwingers are reducing our carbon emissions while the EU (the ideal of our left) has been increasing its emissions. US Reduces Emissions

Jimmy Carter really took on the energy problem 30 years ago. Look how that helped! Please, save us from another government do gooder.

Ralph said...

He's got a lot of lefties who will demand that he do things that are actively bad
What scares many of us is that these are the people he's gravitated to his whole life. McCain at least had 3/4ths of the Republican Party to counterbalance his worst instincts. Obama has much of his party pushing him to do things that will make a bad situation worse.

Joan said...

Sweep up the bits and throw them away? Are you nuts? Mercury is not something you want to mess around with:
Chronic exposure by inhalation, even at low concentrations in the range 0.7–42 μg/m3, has been shown in case control studies to cause effects such as tremors, impaired cognitive skills, and sleep disturbance in workers.

That's a very low concentration - 0.7 to 42 micrograms, or 0.0000007 to 0.0000042 grams per cubic meter of air. Those effects were observed in adults. What would the effects by on a toddler, or a baby in utero? I wouldn't want to find out.

Seven Machos said...

Suck it up and make some sacrifices for the good of our nation.

Zach -- Do you have any idea how closely environmentalism mirrors the Adam and Eve story?

The world was a paradise until humans came along and, through technology (the tree of knowledge), ruined everything. Now, we must all sacrifice constantly and trust a priestly class to thwart disaster. They had to gore oxen. We are supposed to use crappy light bulbs.

All that religion stuff is bullshit. But global warming is real, man.

Trooper York said...

I hate fact that there are not enough flower posts or squirrels or photos of dogs urinating.

When you do these stupid legal posts you are lucky to get 10 comments.

The only reason you get a lot of comments in the political threads is because it always becomes about Sarah Palin's pussy.

It is very hard to be funny in an enviornment like that. There is nothing funny about Sarah Palin's pussy.

More reality television, dead animals and artsy-fartsy photo's please.

Thank you.

dick said...

Prof Althouse,

I wonder what makes you think that Obama has the capability to fight back against the lefties who elected him and supported him and will be the ones who ask him to do things that are not good for the country. He surely followed their prescriptions during his campaign against Sen Clinton and then denied all the things he campaigned on during the primary when he campaigned against Sen McCain and now he is changing yet again to where he is following the Bush plans and having them applied by the Clinton staff rejects. I hope he does OK but I have very little faith in him based on the way he has backed and filled in the past 2 years.

Twin said...

Drill SGT.,
The reason Obama said Pearl Harbor Day was tomorrow was because he recorded the interview yesterday.

Palladian said...

"Suck it up and make some sacrifices for the good of our nation."

Sacrifices, like maybe moving in with our parents like you did? Hey, that's one less carbon-producing household right there! Moving in with your parents makes your Mother happy. Not your actual mother, but Gaia, the Primal Mother. And moving in with your parents is a lot like socialism. I'm going to ask Obama if I can move into the Vermeil Room in the White House. It's The People's House after all!

Palladian said...

"All that religion stuff is bullshit. But global warming is real, man."

Wait, I thought it was climate change now? You know, they had to switch to that so that when people realize that the whole anthropogenic global warming thing was a scam they have their asses covered. But apparently Obama is still talking about the Warmening! What gives? Didn't he get the memo?

PatCA said...

Palladian,
Maybe Charlie Rangel will let you live in one of his apartments. After all, he can't be in all four at one time, can he?

LoafingOaf said...

Palladian, Republicans didn't notice we were in a recession until the whole economy was almost in total meltdown. Maybe you guys just never know what's going on until it's too late (like how you refuse to notice what an idiot Palin would've been as Commander in Chief).

And whatever one believes about global warming theory, wouldn't it be good for Repblicans to stop sounding like they don't care about the environment at all? Is it a winning position in the long run to be the party for people who hate the environment?

Seven Machos said...

Republicans didn't notice we were in a recession

That's not true. However, Democrats have been claiming that we've had a recession for eight years. Worst. Economy. Ever. And all that. Despite immense growth.

And now, eight years later, we have a recession. Shocking. I mean, really. Can you believe it? A free economy that is having an occasional contraction. Has it ever happened in human history?

As for the environment, it's far cleaner in the United States now than it was in 1952. We've had 36 years of Republicans in the presidency. You can do the math on this one.

But, Oaf, you are far superior because you care so much. Of course, all that caring and a couple dollars will get you a ride on the CTA. But you just go on being better than others. If that's what helps you muddle through.

PatCA said...

I'll say it again, Loafing. The US has decreased carbon emissions while the EU (under Kyoto) has increased them.

Who cares about the environment more? The talkers or the doers?

Freeman Hunt said...

PS Freeman Hunt: Don't be a twat.

Excuse me, do you hug your mother with the same hands you used to type that? Learn how to interact with other people.

Joan already addressed the rest of your useless comment.

Charlie said...

CFLs (CFCs are chloro-fluoro carbons, like Freon, vinyl chloride etc) aren't that bad. I replaced my home bulbs with them last year and dropped my electric bill 50% (during winter months when I'm not running the AC). I'm holding the old incandescent bulbs in reserve in case they're needed.

Small cars: Look at it this way, if money matters you'll drive a fuel efficient car. If it doesn't you'll drive any damn thing you please. A person in the higher income brackets can't realistically be expected to care if the gas he's pumping costs $1.00 or $5.00 a gallon because the cost is insignificant to him. The only thing that will get Mr. Deep Pockets into a fuel efficient car is ridicule or fashion.

Regardless of whether or not you believe in Global Warming (I don't, there's no valid science to support it) it makes sense to move away from using oil to fuel heat engines. They're terribly inefficient! And oil is much more valuable as a precursor for pharmaceuticals and synthetic materials.

The reason the Detroit 3 aren't competitive is the UAW. That and the fact that their management and design departments have produced some of the most bone headed designs known to man! I can think of exactly three vehicles they make that I would consider owning. Their failings would fill a book the size of an encyclopedia if detailed properly.

Charlie

Jerry said...

The government ALREADY uses mostly flourescent bulbs. So what's he gonna do - mandate replacing them all?

Re the quasi-hazmat instructions - folks, the stuff ain't lethal in small amounts. And we're looking at 4 milligrams in a bulb - so it's a SMALL amount. 4 thousandths of a gram, and there's 28 grams to the ounce - so you're looking at an amount about the size of a grain of table salt.

So why the fevered precautions on busted bulbs? Because if they DIDN'T go overboard on the recommendations, people would be griping that they weren't taking the problem seriously enough!

Freeman Hunt said...

(CFCs are chloro-fluoro carbons, like Freon, vinyl chloride etc)

That's what I thought, but I see "CFC bulbs" for sale online. Odd. I don't know.

Freeman Hunt said...

And we're looking at 4 milligrams in a bulb - so it's a SMALL amount.

The problem is that it's in the powder which becomes an aerosol when the bulb breaks, so the danger is in inhaling it, a much more direct route into the body than touch.

Freeman Hunt said...

Here:

For the Maine study, researchers shattered 65 compact fluorescents to test air quality and cleanup methods. They found that, in many cases, immediately after the bulb was broken - and sometimes even after a cleanup was attempted - levels of mercury vapor exceeded federal guidelines for chronic exposure by as much as 100 times.

There is no federal guideline for acute exposure. Some states, including Maine, use the chronic exposure level as their overall standard, while others, such as California, have chosen higher levels for acute exposure. Still, the mercury vapor released by the bulbs in the Maine study exceeded even those higher levels.

chickenlittle said...

Freeman Hunt:

I found a cool mercury appreciation page here. Check out the cool photo of the guy floating on a pool of it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Check out the cool photo of the guy floating on a pool of it.

Too cool. Also answers a question I've had about what would happen if someone sat in a pool of mercury. There's the answer.

PrestoPundit said...

You just learned the secret of John Maynard Keynes and every macroeconomist in the country.

Keynes swiped the conceit from Marshall. Friedrich Hayek's work consists in part of showing the fallacy of doing such bifurcated economics.

Not "in the long run we all all dead".

But rather "you 'sort run vs. long run' economists are self-deceived idiots".

>>"His biggest rhetorical tic: breaking up answers into "the short term" and "the long term." Anything he wants to do now is "the short term," and it doesn't much need to make economic sense other than to "jump start" the economy. To the extent that there are other things that we should be doing, he puts them in the "long term" category. Having the 2 headings helps make disparate things look coherent."<<

chickenlittle said...

I liked the part about the kid sticking his arm in it and feeling the bouyant force.

In grad school (chemistry) I had access to many exotic elements. One night, I filled a regular balloon with some xenon gas and took it to a party. Xe is mostly inert (and non-toxic), but it's about five times heavier than air. That meant that when I tossed the ballon to a person it had heft-it acted and felt heavy yet looked normal. It kind of quivered on the ground. It freaked some people out. I didn't have the nerve to inhale any and talk--like one does with helium--but I'm sure if I had it would have lowered my voice to Thurl Ravenscroft baritone.

veni vidi vici said...

"Mercury is not something you want to mess around with:
Chronic exposure by inhalation, even at low concentrations in the range 0.7–42 μg/m3, has been shown in case control studies to cause effects such as tremors, impaired cognitive skills, and sleep disturbance in workers."

I think the key phrase that demonstrates the weaselly-ness of that quote is "has been shown". That's the equivalent of "many have said" in news stories where no named sources are ever quoted. Yeah, so once in a million people exposed at that level may have shown some of those effects? So what.

My dad was an electrical engineering prof before he retired, and when I was small I'd often go with him to the labs at the university. On many occasions, one of which I remember like it was yesterday, I was allowed to play with mercury; it was incredibly cool - both in and of itself and to the touch. First, it looks like liquid chrome, melted solder, whatever. Second, because it doesn't stick to anything it's just a bizarre fluid to have in the palm of your hand, and when you drop it on the floor, as I did, the effect is the melted T-1000 in that forge scene of Terminator 2; it slithers around, groups itself together into a "puddle", but must be "captured" rather than "soaked up", the latter being pretty much impossible as I recall.

Anyway, that was then, the 1970s/early 80s and it was just something interesting to blow a 10 year old's mind with not some plot to reduce household expenses!

From those mercury-laden experiences of my early life, I have gone on to do pretty well, including playing varsity sports, graduating cum laude with a bachelors in music, mastering several instruments, and getting masters and doctorate degrees in two different fields.

Note the cleanup instructions are more likely present in such hyper-form as a dodge against negligent lawsuits -- this is the US of A, after all! -- and the overstatement inherent in such warnings cannot be overstated.

Still, seems like an awful lot of hassle for a damned broken light bulb. I'll keep my incandescents, thanks. And since colored bulbs are exempt according to another comment above somewhere, I'll just get yellow or blue bulbs for closets and such if plain incandescents become unavailable down the line (one toke over or not).

Duscany said...

It doesn't much matter what Obama actually does, be it inflating tires or changing light bulbs, the media will report it as a stroke of insight and genius, unprecedented in our lifetime.

mishu said...

Shorter Twin:

Ann, dance you monkey! And while you're at it, criticize Bush.

jaed said...

Sweep up the bits and throw them away? Are you nuts? Mercury is not something you want to mess around with:
Chronic exposure by inhalation, even at low concentrations in the range 0.7–42 μg/m3, has been shown [yadda yadda]


The key word here being chronic. Chronic exposure to even small amounts of heavy metals is very, very bad for your nervous system. Acute exposures, not so much. I do think that throwing out a comforter or other item because it was touched by a piece of broken glass is extreme overkill. (Although I recall Freeman is pregnant and I think also has a small child, so extreme overkill may be reasonable for her situation. Children from gestation through age 5 or so are much more vulnerable to heavy-metal poisoning than adults.) But otherwise, just wipe up the broken glass, open a window for an hour if feasible, and get on with life.

(Has anyone figured out yet what we're supposed to do about the bizillion or so fixtures where you're not supposed to use CFLs? Enclosed fixtures, outdoor fixtures, fixtures where the bulb is upside down, 3-way fixtures, not to mention lamps and fixtures that take a nonstandard base size - which you can't get in anything but incandescent - and fixtures that are too small for the oversize "ice cream cone" shape of a CFL? Will we be required to get those replaced come 2012? Perhaps federal grants to refit homes? Gah.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Just a note in case anyone has never broken one of these: They're full of powder. When one breaks, it's not like a regular bulb where you can sweep up the glass, there is powder everywhere. It puffs up into the air when the bulb breaks. The powder contains the mercury.

M. Simon said...

Any one who cares about the environment would replace their light bulbs with tofu. Preferably with a powered up socket.

And by all means get some one at least over 60 to do the job to reduce the drain on social security.

==========

Thank the Maker we have elected the smartest President ever.

Joan said...

I suspect we're dealing with people of low reading comprehension.

Liquid mercury is not nearly as dangerous as the powdered form in CFLs, because even if you stick your hand in it, or let little puddles of it roll up and down in your hand (as I did, when my older sister brought some home from her high school chem lab), essentially none of it will be absorbed through your skin.

Airborne mercury, mercury vapors that you inhale, are much more deadly and dangerous. If you're pregnant or have a toddler, you don't want to screw around with this stuff. You can't just vacuum up the pieces and be done with it, if the powder remains in the carpet, it will continue to produce vapors that can be inhaled for God knows how long.

Also, "has been shown" does not fall into the weasel category when you can easily look up the studies.

Hucbald said...

Mark my words: I less than a generation lawyers will have a brand new lawsuit industry based around injury claims from compact florescent bulbs. Why do you think lawyer-politicians are mandating their use? LOL!

These bulbs have drawbacks other than that they are toxic - as if that isn't enough - their high-rate flickering also freaks out some epilepsy sufferers and autistics.

Personally, I'm going with oil lamps. Nice natural light, and they emit tons of CO2 to stave off the coming ice age. The right kind even emit heat!

Soot is hell on ceilings though. Haven't figured that part out yet.

Seriously, LED's are the future. They have revolutionized lighting on semi-tractor/trailer rigs... now if only they could make one I can't tell from a Soft White.

Daniel said...

Actually they already sell LED downlights...they're a bit pricy, but they're supposed to last more than 20 years and the use less energy than even CFLs so they pay for themselves in the long run.

http://energysmartcompany.com/lighting-22/led-downlights-75/

blake said...

it would have lowered my voice to Thurl Ravenscroft baritone.

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch.

As for Ann not criticizing Bush? C'mon: Everyone was doing it, and Althouse is a trend-setter not a trend-follower.

EnigmatiCore said...

I am starting to like Obama. Despite winning the office, he's getting less specific, and even better, less ambitious in his stated goals. This means he is a lot more realistic than I had given him credit.

AllenS said...

What you're witnessing is the verbal form of voting present.

dbp said...

"I didn't have the nerve to inhale any and talk--like one does with helium--but I'm sure if I had it would have lowered my voice to Thurl Ravenscroft baritone."

It is a good thing you didn't do this. Xenon while inert is, as you said, very heavy. It will pool in the bottom of your lungs and not float out like Helium. You could have pretty easily suffocated, had you breathed it in deeply.

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
X said...

I'm liking Obama too. He's more of a third term of Bush than McCain would have been.

jdeeripper said...

EnigmatiCore said...I am starting to like Obama. Despite winning the office, he's getting less specific, and even better, less ambitious in his stated goals. This means he is a lot more realistic than I had given him credit.

Stockholm Syndrome. Good cop/Bad cop. Battered wife syndrome. You're a weakling.

Romney/Palin 2012

Ann Althouse said...

Joan said..."Liquid mercury is not nearly as dangerous as the powdered form in CFLs, because even if you stick your hand in it, or let little puddles of it roll up and down in your hand (as I did, when my older sister brought some home from her high school chem lab), essentially none of it will be absorbed through your skin."

Thanks! I've been feeling bad for 50 years about the liquid mercury my dentist gave me to play with.

Autolycus said...

I have nowhere near enough time to read all the comments to this post, but I'd like to mention that I'm a federal employee working at the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center in Atlanta. It's quite a big federal building. I imagine it's exactly the type of building that Obama says can be upgraded to be more energy efficient. However, Almost every light fixture in the building is already flourescent (tube rather than CFL). The building even shuts off the refrigeration function on our water fountains during the fall and winter to reduce our energy use. I really don't know how much savings can possibly come from this building without ridiculous expenditures that will never be recouped.

AlphaLiberal said...

Earth to Ann: There is no silver bullet. The light bulb thing is emblematic of more efficient approaches that can slash energy waste.

Real question: why does Ann Althouse love energy waste so much? And why do conservatives hate conservation?

Maybe we should call them "Wasters," instead of conservatives..

randian said...

One of the things that hurt the US automakers big-time (that almost nobody talks about) was Congress' implementation of dual-track CAFE. Since the domestic manufacturers had advantage in big cars, and foreign in small, domestic manufacturers would import small cars and rebadge them in order to meet CAFE. Congress, ever solicitious of union demands to forbid auto manufacturing overseas, nixed this by splitting CAFE into two branches: foreign CAFE and domestic CAFE. This meant that domestic manufacturers couldn't average their small foreign imports with large domestic cars in order to meet CAFE, forcing domestic manufacturers to build small cars themselves, a product in which they suffered relative disadvantage. Foreign manufacturers suffered no consequence whatsoever from this rule.

SFC B said...

I've worked in the federal government for almost 14 years now. None of the government buildings I've been to; city, county, state, federal, have had anything but florescent bulbs installed.

CFLs will be the new asbestos.

SFC B said...

Also, Charlie, you're wrong about petroleum being an inefficient way to power vehicles. The reason we have such a difficult time transitioning away from gas/diesel for powering vehicles is that gasoline is actually a very efficient way to store energy. Batteries will need exponential increases in their ability to store energy and be recharged to be the equal of gasoline powered vehicles.

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