Irony Alert! Leftist Women Now Overjoyed That Government IS in Their Bodies

How ironic it is that all those women who bought bumper-stickers from the leftwing National Organization of Women wanting laws “off” their bodies are now salivating at the thought of free oral contraceptives, compliments of the Obama administration’s… laws.  I guess it depends whose laws they prefer.  How convenient to have such a bone-headedly flexible philosophy.

In one of his most devastating — and hilarious — columns ever, author, blogger and deep-thinker- with-a-puckish-wit Ira Stoll devastates the poster child of free birth control pills, Georgetown University law student and Obama tool, Sandra Fluke.  Writing in The New York Sun, Mr. Stoll parries her argument that $1,000 per year during three years of law school is too much for poor students to pay for their birth control “needs” (emphasis added:)

Here are a few ways Ms. Fluke and her friends might get their contraceptive costs down below that $3,000 level:

  • They could have men pay half. Modern men do half the parenting work or pay at least half the child support. Why shouldn’t men pay for half of the contraceptive costs?
  •  Ms. Fluke and her friends could use condoms instead of prescription birth control pills. One Georgetown student group reportedly handed out 4,500 “free” condoms during one recent semester. Or the law students could buy condoms online at $40.25 for a package of 100. At about 40 cents a condom, the Georgetown students could have sex twice a day, 365 days a year, for all three years of law school, for just $881 dollars.
  • Ms. Fluke and her friends could go to Walmart or Target, whose lists of inexpensive drugs include the oral contraceptive Tri-Sprintec priced at $4 for a 28-day supply. Total cost, assuming continuous use for three full years (including the summer after graduating law school or before starting): about $150.

As I argue elsewhere today, the idea that all insured Americans should pay $10-20 co-payments for their own medications but should be forced to subsidize the recreational sex of anyone else is truly repugnant.  When you were young, did you ever expect anyone else to pay for your condoms or spermicidal jelly to place in the diaphragm you bought with your own money?  I didn’t think so. No, to think otherwise, you’d have to hold, as does Ms. Fluke, a B.S. (golly, I wonder what that stands for?) in Policy Analysis & Management and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

And you thought that no one could do anything useful with a major like that.  Au contraire, she’s already well over her Warholian fifteen minutes of fame. Why do I foresee a godawful Sandra Fluke tell-all book coming to your nearest Barnes & Noble’s “Current Events” table all too soon?  Can a permanent slot on “Anderson Cooper 360” be beyond her reach?  Gloria Borger, call your agent.  Now.

Returning to Mr. Stoll, he concludes his trenchant analysis with these questions that he says “go right to the heart of ObamaCare”:

Why is the president getting involved in setting prices for prescription drugs in the first place? Where in the Constitution does he get that power? Why should people past reproductive age who are paying copayments for their heart or arthritis medication be paying taxes to subsidize free prescription contraceptives for law students?

Why, indeed?  And to think these same leftist women have all those posters in their attics and basements with messages such as this one:

Guess they’re probably saving them for the Romney administration.

Why Obama’s Promotion of Oral Contraceptives Guarantees the Spread of Lethal STDs

Dear Belladonna Rogers,

My health insurance premiums are going to pay for free birth control pills for others insured by my company — pills which I never took, and my daughters refuse to take. Is it right that I should have to pay for women to get something for nothing that I would not use myself, or ever recommend?

Troubled in Tulsa

Dear Troubled,

No, it isn’t  right that you – or any American – should underwrite oral contraception — the world’s single most dangerous form of birth control — for anyone else.  Just because contraception is legal doesn’t mean that by paying for private health insurance we should subsidize it in any form, not to mention in its most hazardous form.

THE COERCIVE POWER OF OBAMACARE 

The Affordable Care Act, the anodyne-sounding name for what the rest of us call ObamaCare, seeks to coerce a divided nation to provide oral contraceptives to women who’d rather not spend their own earnings or savings to buy them.

This abomination of a law is objectionable on at least two grounds. First, it forces those who are morally or religiously opposed to contraception to pay for what they regard as a sacrilege.  Similarly, it forces those who believe that sex outside the marriage is wrong to subsidize it and by doing so, to support the federal government’s favoring — even enabling — such behavior by making it free.

Even if you have no argument with birth control, abortion, or sex outside marriage, you could still consider ObamaCare reprehensible for requiring all citizens to underwrite the cost of the recreational sex of others, and to do so using the single method most deleterious to women’s health, as well as the most expensive one.

PAYING FOR RECREATIONAL SEX IS THE OBLIGATION OF THE INDIVIDUALS ENGAGING IN IT

Recreational sex is an optional way to pass one’s time or express one’s affection. It is not related to the medical healing of disease (the presumptive reason to favor health insurance for all).

Everyone who’s physically able and unbound by moral or religious beliefs is free to indulge in recreational sex, but no one else should have to underwrite it. Why not have insurance bankroll the hotel room and room service while we’re at it?  Car service? Flowers?  Champagne? Chocolate-dipped strawberries?

We do have legal requirements that all citizens underwrite activities from which they, personally, derive no direct benefit, but which are deemed public benefits.

 UNDERWRITING  THE RECREATIONAL SEX OF OTHERS versus CHILDLESS COUPLES UNDERWRITING PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

Compare the  requirement that we all pay for oral contraception for tens of millions of women through our health insurance premiums to the obligation of single individuals and childless couples to pay local taxes that fund public education. All citizens have a stake in assuring that the next generation is as well-educated as possible. The nation gains when our children can read, write, and are mathematically and scientifically educated.

But exactly who benefits from the recreational sex of unmarried or even married people? At the very most, only the individuals engaging in it.

THE GROTESQUE ARGUMENT INTENDED TO SCARE YOU INTO PAYING FOR ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES FOR SANDRA FLUKE AND EVERYONE WHO AGREES WITH HER

The  unspoken public policy argument that we should underwrite birth control through our insurance payments is that if we don’t, we’ll end up paying for baby food and maternal care, which on balance would cost more than the $1,000 per year of which Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke has so publicly complained — and which won her a call from a very concerned Barack Obama, a concern he has not shown for any woman suffering from genital herpes.

Even if you accept – which I don’t – the argument that it’s better  to pay for a woman’s birth control now than for her otherwise resulting infant(s) later, then Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her pandering boss should encourage the use of the single cheapest birth control method that also — alone among the many varieties of contraception — prevents sexually transmitted diseases (STDs.)

Why promote a form of birth control that is a surefire guarantor of the spread of 20+ — many fatal — STDs when an alternative is readily available in drugstores and even gas stations nationwide?  I refer, of course, to condoms.

THE MASSIVE KNOWN HEALTH DANGERS OF ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES

The manufacturers of oral contraceptives — The Pill’s greatest proponents — warn that, especially when combined with smoking — not a rare pairing — birth control pills increase a woman’s risk of deep-vein thrombosis, stroke, and heart attack.

If any readers imagine that it’s “only” older women in their 40s or 50s who are at risk for deep-vein thrombosis from oral contraceptives, I can assure them that this is not so, based on the experience of a 22-year-old friend of mine who had one — lodged perilously in her lungs — as a direct result of the combination of smoking and birth control pills. My friend survived.  Not all victims do.

Nor do birth control pills protect against STDs including, but not limited to, HIV. As gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Mary L. Carpenter  has written,

[B]irth control pills [are] a risk factor for breast cancer. … There are other organizations that have for years told the whole truth about breast cancer risk from hormonal contraception … in addition to enumerating non-controversial risk factors such as family history, obesity, late menopause etc. … The powerful “reproductive health” establishment and its political, medical and media allies were threatened by a relatively trivial act of the Susan G. Komen Foundation to more effectively help women at risk for breast cancer and extract itself from its relationship with Planned Parenthood.

And who do you think pays when these unprotected women develop breast cancer or genital herpes – which, when active, can cause blindness in a baby born to an infected mother? Or develop infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), causing tubo-ovarian abscesses, which can lead to scarring of the reproductive organs, ectopic pregnancies, infertility, and death?  Yet another STD, the human papillomavirus, is a proven cause of cervical cancer.

We all pay for these women’s communicable diseases against which condoms protect them and against which oral contraceptives are useless.

BY UNDERWRITING THE MOST EXPENSIVE, DANGEROUS FORM OF CONTRACEPTION, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DISINCENTIVIZES PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES FROM DEVELOPING LESS COSTLY OPTIONS THAT WOULD OFFER WOMEN HEALTHIER CHOICES THAN CURRENT BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

With the federal government in the person of Mrs. Sebelius encouraging one and only one form of birth control, she is disincentivizing pharmaceutical companies from developing cheaper, safer alternatives.

Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Barbara Boxer, and Patty Murray claim the ObamaCare contraception policy is necessary, arguing that oral contraceptives “can cost $600 a year,” which is “a lot of money,” they say.

In a trenchant article last month in Forbes magazine, “The Economics of Obama’s Immaculate Contraception,” economist Benn Steil brilliantly argues (emphasis added):

Why, I would ask the senators, is the “high” cost of oral contraceptives not an argument for using, and developing, less costly alternatives? Condoms are routinely distributed free of charge by government agencies and private organizations. Yet the Administration’s policy clearly promotes a shift away from condom use and towards the use of “free” pills. … In fundamentally changing the economics of birth control, the Administration is also discouraging innovation in the technology used to deliver it. What business sense is there now in drug manufacturers developing cheaper pills, or male versions of them?

Also notable is that oral contraceptives are singled out, among thousands of drugs, for special treatment through the ban on co-pay requirements. Women will continue to bear co-pays for antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals whose use bears a far more imminent relationship with their health – not to mention public health, when we’re dealing with infectious diseases. This again raises important questions about the principles at play. The Shaheen-Boxer-Murray argument was that oral contraceptives were prohibitively expensive for some women, yet banning co-pays clearly goes well beyond making them affordable.

THE PERNICIOUS NEXUS AMONG THE LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (WHICH PROVIDE MAJOR ADVERTISING  REVENUES & POLITICAL DONATIONS), UNTHINKING  MEMBERS OF THE LEFTIST MEDIA,  AND LEFTIST POLITICIANS PRETENDING TO BE PRO-WOMEN BUT WHOSE POLICIES ARE DANGEROUS TO WOMEN’S HEALTH

As an advice columnist, I occasionally read moronic publications to keep up with the dreadful notions foisted on women under the guise of “advice.” In the “GYNO HEALTH” section of the abysmal magazine, Cosmopolitan (U.S. circulation: 2.6 million — presumably sexually active young women),  the January 2012 issue included this paragraph of unadulterated leftist propaganda, hidden away, and mislabeled “Health Advice” on page 110:

 ALERT! Your Sexual Health Is Being Threatened – Again

Last year was a mixed one for reproductive rights.  Law-makers expanded preventative-care coverage for women under the Affordable Care Act.  Yet some strict state and national laws were proposed that, if passed, could block your  access to birth control [Block?  Did I really read the word “block?” How?  By closing every CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens in America? How moronic do Cosmo’s  editors believe their readers are? ] and abortion. Help prevent this by visiting  womenarewatching.org, a new site from Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund that offers  daily updates on what’s going on and steps you can take to make 2012 a winning year for pro-woman politicians.

Contrary to what Cosmo would have its readers believe, encouraging women to rely on the single most dangerous contraception method in medical history – one that provides zero protection from potentially fatal STDs and doesn’t even prevent pregnancy 100% of the time — is not pro-woman.  It is the essence of anti-woman.

Sebelius, Obama, and their Democratic supporters in Congress are placing ignorant, illiterate women – as well as college graduates and law students — relatively few of whom understand the dangers of relying on birth control pills — at grave risk by offering them “free” oral contraceptives.

It’s not just older Americans who have difficulty reading the minuscule dots that pass for “warnings of adverse health effects” and “contraindications” packaged with medications.  I don’t believe that one girl or woman in 100,000 reads the microscopic printed warnings that accompany birth control pills.

It’s clear that the Obama administration has made a grossly negligent policy decision to attract as many women voters as possible by offering co-payment-free oral contraceptives — assuming that such inducements (bribes) must be free to win an election – rather than offering both male and female voters condoms that would, indeed, not only reduce what the Righteous Brothers called “that lovin’ feelin’” but also reduce unwanted pregnancies and their exposure to known, incurable, deadly, communicable diseases.

The so-called “pro-woman” politicians cluelessly absorb the propaganda of Planned Parenthood and the large pharmaceutical companies, and fail to perform independent due diligence on The Pill’s obvious dangers (this due diligence would take all of five minutes, with a magnifying glass, to read the adverse health effects of oral contraceptives).  Then they go on the attack against “white-haired men” who, they claim, aren’t adequately “pro-woman.”

With pro-woman friends like Obama, Sebelius, Shaheen, Boxer, Murray and their supporters at Planned Parenthood, the big pharmaceutical companies, and Cosmo, women don’t need enemies.  It’s disgraceful how these female politicians and their irresponsible, reckless president are playing fast and loose with our lives, and those of our daughters and granddaughters.

Foreseeable, preventable deaths are occurring and foreseeable, preventable, contagious, and fatal diseases are being spread among American women — just to re-elect Barack Obama. Now there’s a pro-woman candidate for you.

— Belladonna Rogers

Four Congressional Democrats to Oil and Gas Industries: Drop Dead

Ira Stoll’s brilliant blog, FutureOfCapitalism.com reports one of the most anti-capitalist, pro-stupid proposals in recent memory today, in which four House Democrats have taken it upon themselves to propose to the president a “Reasonable Profits Board” for the oil and gas industries, and they further propose a 50% to 100% tax on any profits above what the fatuous “Reasonable Profits Board” decides are…reasonable.  As Stoll writes

This legislation doesn’t look like it’s moving anywhere at the moment (two of the original six co-sponsors have withdrawn their support), but it’s newsworthy as an illumination of how certain elements — Congressmen John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Bob Filner, Lynn Woolsey — on the left think.

This is beyond “the left.”  It wanders aimlessly and cluelessly into the world of Soviet economics — an oxymoron. The Soviet Union’s economic system imploded with the Soviet Union itself. Five-year plans, fulfilling government-ordered quotas, ignoring extraneous elements of an economy such as supply and demand — all this and more sunk the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics in 1991.

How stupid can four Democrats be? This stupid.

And why confine the “Reasonable Profits Board”‘s purview  to oil and gas?  What about the manufacturing and housing industries? Steel and metals? What about media companies and children’s toy companies?  Why exempt publishing companies and telephone companies and hospitals?

As Emily Litella might ask, “What’s this I hear about communism?”  If the four Democrats have their way, we’ll be on the road to a controlled economy with Washington telling private industries across the board how high their profits may rise and taxing them mercilessly if they dare make one extra dollar.

What exactly about capitalism is so repugnant to President Obama and his minions in the House and Senate?  It’s one thing not to know much about geography and history but to seek to play so extravagantly fast and loose with the basics of a capitalist economy is really, really stupid.

Our Long National Light Bulb Nightmare Has Been Averted — For Now

In a magnificent gift to the freedom-loving American people, the Republican House majority has successfully negotiated a delay to the implementation of the ill-conceived ban on the legal sale of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, which was to have gone into effect two weeks from Sunday, January 1, 2012.  The new deadline for the ban is now September 30, 2012, just 38 days before the end of the Age of Obama, Deo volente.

This ban, part of a 2007 omnibus national energy and security bill — which, as everyone duly notes, was signed into law by former President George W. Bush — was about more than light bulbs. Far more.

It concerned the inside of every home in the United States of America, from the frailest shack to the most opulent compound.  It became as much of a lightning rod as abortion. It touched the hearts and minds of a free people who, unlike Cubans in 2005 and the cowed population of the European Union in 2009, did not want their basic liberty to light their homes to be by a bulb of the government’s choosing.

The fact that the most popular substitute for the traditional light bulb was (is! — it’s still for sale all over the land) filled with toxic mercury, the grotesque “compact fluorescent” bulb of environmentalists’ dreams, hardly helped the cause of its proponents, the all-too-familiar very green lobby.

The one thing the environmental lobby underestimated, and underestimated big time, was this basic fact: human life is part of the environment.

Deeply-loved and endlessly-hugged trees, the spotted owls, and the baby seals of yesteryear all have their lobbies. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have long thought nothing of destroying personal property (spraying the mink coats of wearers with permanent red spray paint as they walked along cities from Fairbanks to Atlanta) and demanding that the National Institutes of Health and other research centers end the scientific tradition of testing medications on mice and rats who, in the process, invariably die, so that human beings might live.

There was only one species the environmentalists failed to take into account in their thrust for mastery of the seas, the skies, and the Earth.  And that was their fellow man, people who — like the environmentalists claim they do — care about their children, their grandchildren, and all who come after them as stewards of the planet, a responsibility the environmentalists claimed they alone took seriously.

This human species banded together in the United States of America and did something that the Cuban people cannot do and the human beings in the European Union are too dulled to do: we made clear our grievances to our elected members of Congress. We used our powers of speech, of logical argument, and, yes, of deep outrage that one Steven Chu, Ph. D., an unelected member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet, dared to tell the American people what we should do inside our homes and with our hard-earned money.

Last July, as the House of Representatives sought to accomplish what it finally, and victoriously, did accomplish yesterday, the president sent his Nobel Prize-winning physicist secretary of Energy (like his Nobel Prize earned him the right to boss us around) to lecture the American people on what we should and should not do. That was a huge error in judgment. Huge.

Here is what the condescending cabinet member said to us — us, the pathetic, scientifically uneducated, financially ignorant, unwashed, energy-profligate, unable-to-balance-our-own-checkbooks fools he takes us to be — on light bulbs:

“Right now many families around the country are struggling to pay their energy bills, and leaders in the House want to roll back these standards that will save families money.…

“You’ll still be able to buy halogen incandescent bulbs. They’ll look and feel the same, but the only difference is that they’ll save consumers money.”

Of tea partiers’s philosophical argument that the law would deprive consumers of the choice of lighting products, Chu said, these standards are not taking choices away, they are “putting money back in the pockets of American families.”

Well, the Republican Congress fought back.

It showed Secretary Chu, President Obama, and every environmentalist who seeks to control what kind of light bulb you and I can use exactly what a Congress responsive to a free people can do. We are not Cuba and we are not the European Union.

As Dylan Thomas wrote exactly 60 years ago: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”  We did, and a Republican Congress listened and acted.  Thank you, Congress.  Thank you, Founding Fathers, for a system that, even in the Age of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, still works.

Three Weeks and 1 Day Till The End of The Lightbulb As We Know It

In just three weeks and one day, our beloved 100-watt incandescent bulbs will join cocaine, shoulder-fired missiles, and heroin as illegal to sell in the USA. Aside from the lighting, what’s wrong with this picture?  Why must our choice of light bulbs be constricted by the federal government?  What’s next?  Our choice of clothes, furniture or — here’s an idea for the Department of Education — the books adults may legally read?  Will it come down to a two-way choice, between Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope? Where will government intervention in our personal decisions end?  Mandated “green” coffins and “environmentally friendly” tombstones?

Each of us has our own way of coping with the wretchedness of the oncoming days of mercury-lit, or halogen-glaring horror.  For example, I described mine here and PJM’s Claudia Rosett described hers here.

It pains me acutely — like an attack of appendicitis — to write this paragraph, but an excellent article on the choices of light bulbs legally available both before and after December 31 appeared in one of the least reliable and my own least favorite newspaper in the United States.  Yes, The New York Times, here. One reason the article was so good was that it steered clear of politics, not even mentioning that it was none other than President George W. Bush who signed this egregious legislation into law.  The existence of this welcome lacuna was doubtless because the article appeared in the Thursday “Home” section.  Had it been an editorial or what they call at the Times  a “news story” (known elsewhere as an editorial)  in the main news section, the entire focus would have been on Bush.

And now, as the days dwindle down to a precious few, we incandescent light bulb-lovers have been accorded our own song.  Yes, a melody with soulful lyrics, and a candle-lit video to express our roiling, complex mix of feelings, ranging from outrage to horror to sorrow.  It’s a heady fusion of emotions, with all who’re concerned about this impending disaster living in a state of incandescent fury and palpitating dread, as we descend on Home Depots and Lowes stores, as well as neighborhood hardware stores, swooping up cartfuls of these precious, soon-to-be-forever-banned 100-watt incandescent bulbs, along with dimmable incandescent floodlights.

When friends come for dinner, we turn down the dimmers, and magically, everyone appears gently younger than they actually are.  “You look marvelous,” they say, and, of course, everyone does look marvelous when illuminated by 20 watts when the 65-watt incandescent flood lights are dimmed.  For that matter, everyone also looks great in the dark.  But we do have to see our food, and so some illumination is helpful.

Soon, we’ll all be gathering under New Bulbs, illuminating every imaginable detail of our lives, not to mention our food and ourselves. We’ll look back with nostalgic tristesse at the many books we read by 100-watt incandescents, and remember our friends’ beloved faces kindly lit with a little help from our dimmers.  It may come as quite a shock to see what they really look like.

As we collectively prepare for the grim realities ahead, we can hum along to this lilting song, brought to us by the folks at the Club For Growth.  I know — who knew or even imagined they purveyed heart-rending ballads, as well as hard economic data?  But they do.

To watch this farewell song to man’s greatest invention for reading — indeed for living in all its many splendors — between sunset and sunrise, click here. Hear it and weep.  Or read a good book by one of your remaining 100-watt incandescents and dream of the glory days soon to be snuffed out by legislative fiat in one of the dumbest acts of Congress since Congress first convened.

May there be a moment of silence at the Thomas A. Edison Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike on December 31 at midnight, in honor of the great inventor of the incandescent light bulb.

The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It

As the pale, weak sun rose beyond a charcoal gray cloud bank on Sunday, November 6th, the first day of the country’s dismal return to Standard Time, it was clear that the moment had come to lighten up.

Soon I was at Home Depot making a beeline for the light bulb aisle.  Why? Because the end of days is drawing nigh.  Not in the Biblical sense, but in the Environmental Protection Agency sense: there were only a scant eight weeks (now only seven) before the end of the light bulb as we know it.  As of January 1, 2012, Americans will have their freedom of light bulb choice snuffed out by an omnibus 2007 law requiring that general-purpose bulbs be 25% more energy-efficient than the current, justly-beloved, incandescent bulb.

There are a few exceptions, but the next 49 days are the last for the sale of 100-watt incandescent bulbs.

An excellent summary of this disaster-in-the-making and the grim options that will follow in its wake is here.

In July, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  As the House debated the ultimately failed repeal, Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who had introduced the doomed measure, argued:

The 2010 elections demonstrated that Americans are fed up with government intrusion. The federal government has crept so deep into our lives that federal agencies now determine what kind of light bulbs the American people are allowed to purchase.

This vivid report from England in 2009 on the last days of the sale of incandescent bulbs there — ordained by a similar European Union ban on traditional bulbs — is a cautionary tale of what we can expect at lighting retailers in the United States on New Year’s Eve 2011. There could be more people at Manhattan’s two Home Depot stores than in Times Square.

As I’ve written here before, part of the meaning of freedom is freedom of choice.  Every green American who wants to read by mercury-ignited compact fluorescent bulbs is free to do so. Every environmentally-motivated citizen who desires energy-efficient halogen bulbs should enjoy that choice, too.  But many of us desire incandescent bulbs, just the way Thomas A. Edison invented them.

You know something nefarious is afoot when the Obama administration trundles out its own personal Nobel laureate (other than the incumbent himself), Energy Secretary Steven Chu, to lecture us — us, the pathetic, scientifically uneducated, financially ignorant, unwashed, energy-profligate, unable-to-balance-our-own-checkbooks fools he takes us to be — on light bulbs:

“Right now many families around the country are struggling to pay their energy bills, and leaders in the House want to roll back these standards that will save families money.…

“You’ll still be able to buy halogen incandescent bulbs. They’ll look and feel the same, but the only difference is that they’ll save consumers money.”

Of tea partiers’s philosophical argument that the law would deprive consumers of the choice of lighting products, Chu said, these standards are not taking choices away, they are “putting money back in the pockets of American families.”

Contrary to Secretary Chu’s disingenuous statement in July, viz., “They’ll look and feel the same,” they neither look nor feel the “same.”  He may be able to fool some of the people some of the time, but I regret to inform Secretary Chu that he can’t fool me — or tens of millions like me– any of the time.

These ghastly light bulbs casting their ghoulish, glary light — all gussied up to appear to resemble the older, familiar bulbs — are the light bulb equivalent of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I, for one, did not elect President Obama, nor did I insist that he select Steven Chu to tell me how to “put money back in” my pockets. My pockets are my business, not his.  You look out for your pockets, Secretary Chu, and I’ll look out for mine.

Where do you get off telling me and my fellow Americans, “these standards are not taking choices away”?  It’s obvious you think we’re idiots, but idiots of that magnitude? These standards are unquestionably taking choices away: that’s why 100-watt incandescent bulbs are flying off the shelves at Home Depots nationwide.  Here’s a photo of my purchases from last Sunday alone — not my last foray by a long shot:

All the bulbs I bought were incandescent.  Secretary Chu’s vaunted halogen bulbs hurt my eyes.  And  the highest wattage compact fluorescents available at Home Depot last Sunday were the equivalent of 40 watts of incandescent bulbs.  Maybe Secretary Chu can read by 40-watt bulbs but I can’t.  If you’d like to read the Department of Energy’s guide to compact fluorescent bulbs, try reading it by daylight, here.

Contrary to this president’s view of his compatriots, many of us are adults.  We were children once, but not recently.  We can take care of our pocketbooks all by ourselves. My checkbook is balanced. Is the federal government’s?

The most tragic part of this tale is that it didn’t have to come to this.  No sooner had the Republican Congress announced it would vote to repeal the 2007 law this past July, than the light bulb lobby swooped in to protect the manufacturers’interests — not, of course, those of the incandescent bulb-loving public:

[The] manufacturers … had begun producing the new bulbs, and feared the rollback of the standards would undermine their investments in developing energy-efficient bulbs. Bulb-maker Philips began an aggressive lobbying campaign, meeting with lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill, urging them not to roll back the light bulb law. They brought along samples of the new bulbs, similar in appearance to the old bulb.

No member of Congress should have been fooled.

The Senate voted against the repeal, and Obama would have vetoed a repeal, but the manufacturers’ heated lobbying was not in the public interest — of course.

Soon, if the Obama administration has its way, we’ll move seamlessly from the diminished light bulb to the energy-efficient vacuum that will take 90 minutes to clean a carpet that now takes five, and an energy-efficient hair-dryer that will require an hour to dry a head of hair now dried in three — in order to “put more dollars in your pocket” as Secretary Chu likes to say.  Of course, vacuuming carpets and drying hair may not be high on his to-do list on any given day.

Which leads us back to Home Depot.  After checking prices on Amazon.com, eBay and a wide variety of online lighting specialty firms, the lowest prices I found were at Home Depot.  They charge $3.97 for an eight-pack of 100-watt incandescent bulbs, with each bulb enjoying a double-life of 1,500 hours.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

—Belladonna Rogers