If You Like Spinach, Turn Off Your Lights
April 1, 2007
While Nancy Pelosi was embezzling 24 billion tax payer dollars from the US
Treasury to bribe Democrats in the House into supporting her Iraq Surrender
bill, liberals in California were introducing legislation to ban inexpensive
incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact florescent lamps which require 1/4
the power and cost 10 times more.
When President Bush requested $100 billion from Congress for emergency
defense spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, Democrats in the House saw their
opportunity to once again object to the war, call for surrender in 2008, block
funding for "the Surge", and grab some bacon at the same time.
They produced a bill to authorize the spending of $120 billion, $96 billion
for the war and $24 billion in pork to buy votes. It included $74 million for
"peanut storage", $25 million for spinach growers and $283 million for dairy
farmers. $4 million for the "Office of Women's Health" at the Food and Drug
Administration. $5 million for tropical fish breeders and transporters. $60
million for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and $400 million for
"wildland fire suppression."
In addition, there is $24 million for funding for sugar beets, $3 million
in funding for sugar cane going to one Hawaiian co-op. There's $20 million for
insect infestation damage reimbursements in Nevada, Idaho and Utah; $2.1 billion
for crop production losses; one and a half billion for livestock production
losses; $100 million for dairy production losses; $13 million for ewe lamb
replacement and retention; $32 million for the livestock indemnity program; and
$40 million for the Tree Assistance Program. These are just a few of the
earmarks tacked onto the Defense Bill.
The bill was then sent to the senate where they maintained the $120 billion
cost to the taxpayers but thanks to Senate Republicans, they restored the $100
billion the president had asked for but Harry Reid still included another
$20 billion in pork just to secure enough Democrat votes to pass his Iraq
President Bush has repeatedly said he will veto any bill that includes a
pull out date from Iraq or language that would hamper the mission. This
bill contained both. Congressional Democrats are becoming more bold and
obvious in their attempts to see that the operations in Iraq do not succeed and
the President is credited only for failure.
The Senate version of the bill contained $3.5 million for guided Capitol
tours. $13 million for something called the "Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention
Program." $24 million for sugar beet growers, $3 million for sugar cane, $31
million to extend the "Milk Income Loss Contract" program and $2.1 million for
crop production losses. $40 million for the "Tree Assistance Program." $20
million for "insect infestation damage reimbursements" in Nevada, Idaho and
Utah. $166 million toward "fisheries disaster relief." $25 million for "asbestos
abatement at the Capitol Power Plant," and $23 million for "geothermal research
Before going on I'd like to say that a few of the added costs to the
Emergency War Bill are valid expenses under today's government entitlement
policies (never authorized by the Constitution.) However, they do not belong in
an emergency defense bill. Most of these expenses should be included in the
Dept. of Agriculture appropriations bill and the Transportation Department
appropriations bill. They have nothing at all to do with the Defense Dept.
Meanwhile in California, an initiative has been proposed by California
Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-CA) to have all incandescent light bulbs
replaced with compact florescent lamps by 2012 in the interest of protecting the
environment and reducing electrical consumption.
I assume he means that if we all use less electricity to light our homes,
then power plants will not be overloaded with high demand and will produce less
pollution by producing less electricity.
This is utter nonsense.
For one thing, the effects of California banning incandescent bulbs and
switching to florescent lights would be negligible on the continental power
grid. Most business in California already use florescent tubes to light their
workplaces but florescent lighting is not strong enough for outdoor
lighting. More powerful HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps must be used for
that such as HPS (High Pressure Sodium), Mercury Vapor, and Metal Halide lamps.
These lamps produce more bang for the buck and are much brighter than
incandescent, but are not as economical as florescents to operate.
Another problem with compact florescents, besides the purchase cost, is
that they contain a tiny amount of mercury which is classified as an
"environmentally hazardous substance" and therefore are not to be disposed of in
the usual trash containers - but they are and will be. Soon, environmentalists
will be screaming to ban the compact florescent lamps as a hazard to the
environment when thrown away. And how else are consumers going to get rid of
For decades now, Liberals politicians have refused to allow the power grid
to keep up with growing demands in a growing population. Instead of increasing
power generation to meet current demands, they want us all to restrict our use
of electricity. That's like telling us to "avoid unnecessary driving". Who goes
out into that traffic when they don't have to?
The answer to all this seems remarkably simple. Congress, instead of
spending $20 billion in bribes to Democrats to get their vote for a war bill
that will clearly be vetoed by the president anyway, should use that money to
build 20 nuclear power plants, each capable of producing 1 Gigawatt (1 million
Kilowatts) of power, or subsidizing energy producers 50/50 to produce 40 nuclear
power plants capable of producing 40 GW.
Just the money Congress stole from us to buy votes with pork would cover
the cost of building clean, and environmentally friendly nuclear power plants to
light all those incandescent light bulbs that then wouldn't have to be replaced
with compact florescents. The money spent on pork earmarks in all of the other
bills passed by Congress would pay for enough nuclear power plants to keep the
power grid ahead of growing demands for the rest of the century.
The choice is clear. Do we want our tax money going to small special
interest groups friendly to politicians, or going to provide electricity for us
all to use? The Constitution specifies that all federal laws passed by congress
must apply to, or benefit all citizens of all states. When will we ever hold
politicians in Congress responsible for violating the Constitution of the United
States on a regular basis? How can we when they make the laws and the Justice
Department is afraid to prosecute them unless they're Republicans?