The Light Bulb

This is the light bulb that Thomas Edison invented. The first successful trial of the bulb happened on October 22, 1879 and Edison was granted U.S. Patent #233,898 for the device on January 27, 1880. The rest, as they say, is history. The light bulb spelled the end of gas lights and throughout the 20th century remained largely unchanged from what Edison had invented.

On March 13, 2008, the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act  was introduced, which would phase out all  incandescent light bulbs by 2025. Edison probably sobbed. But by some estimates, replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs – Compact Florescent Bulbs – will save $12.5 billion a year just in the U.S.

Sounds like a reasonable way to save money as a country – and in your household, budget, right?

But along comes the Tea Party, ranting and raving about the government’s intrusion into our lives. Just look at what the government is doing, their rant says – forcing us to buy certain types of light bulbs.  You know, like this one, the CFL – Compact Florescent Bulb:

So Michelle Bachman, a Congresswoman from Minnesota and a Republican candidate for president, decided to take up the light bulb mantra. In the midst of the debacle to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, she spearheaded a campaign to repeal the section of the 2007  Energy Act – signed by Bush – that mandates energy efficiency standard for light bulbs starting next year.

I have to admit, I hadn’t heard about this until we were watching recaps of the Republican debate that took place in Iowa last night. And wild-eyed Michelle Bachman actually bragged about spearheading this campaign about light bulbs.Here she is, on the cover of Newsweek:

The synchronicity? That a woman whose lights are off actually believes she’s a viable candidate for the presidency. The trickster joke?  The fact that she’s taken seriously.







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