ChrisWeigant.com

Lightbulbs And Dishwashers And Toilets, Oh My!

[ Posted Thursday, January 16th, 2020 – 17:43 UTC ]

I have to begin with an apology to The Wizard Of Oz for that title. But somehow it seemed appropriate in the latest of the so-called "culture wars." Because I think most everyone is missing the point about Donald Trump's newfound focus on household appliances.

I've seen articles ridiculing Trump for talking about lightbulbs and dishwashers and toilets (and showers, but somehow they don't get the headlines as much as the other three) and heard plenty of late-night jokes from the comedians. And on one level it is admittedly not just funny but downright pathetic to hear the leader of our nation obsessing over bathroom fixtures. It's an easy punchline, especially because Trump himself has shown he just doesn't understand the basics of pretty much anything he's talking about. Flushing a toilet ten times? Opening a dishwasher while it is running? He obviously has never operated a dishwasher in his life, and it shows. To say nothing of what he's doing to his toilets, but let's ignore that one for decency's sake. So hearing him opine about the troubles of housewives and househusbands is certainly grist for the comedy mill. But all of this focus on the silliness of Trump's delivery misses the point.

I have seen the occasional article which makes the attempt to look a little deeper, but the one I recently read also utterly missed the point for an entirely different reason. Here's the key passage:

Right now there is a growing movement among young people, not just in the U.S. but internationally, who are deservedly angry and correctly accusing older generations of ignoring the global environmental crisis. The effects of decades of neglect are being seen as Australia burns and so many animals are dead that scientists fear major species may go extinct.

It's not a reach to say that the aging, conservative demographic that supports Trump is feeling a wee bit defensive in light of being told -- again, accurately -- that they screwed up big time, due solely to their own laziness and selfishness.

That's where Trump's dumb appliance rants come in. Trump reframes the environmental issue not as a matter of planetary survival and the quality of life we are leaving to those who come after us, but as a bunch of nanny-state scolds trying to take away your water pressure. This, in turn, allows his supporters to reimagine themselves not as the bad guys who turned their backs on climate change for decades, but as the noble victims of "elites" who supposedly have ulterior motives in wanting to reduce resource usage. He is giving them a way to escape responsibility and continue lying to themselves about how serious this problem is.

In other words, Trump's light bulb obsession is ultimately about the environment and climate change -- which are not small issues at all, but the most pressing issues facing our world. That means his tactics are much worse than dumb. They are plain evil.

This not just misses the point, it gets it completely and utterly wrong. According to this, conservatives are objects for sneering contempt and they are no more than puppets who "reimagine themselves" (after Trump tells them to do so) as being the victims of elites.

There's a word for this attitude, and it is indeed "elitist." And that is the point, really. Because this entire phenomenon is about being told what you can and cannot do by an elite group, which is backed up by the government.

There's a cycle these things go through. At first, a problem is identified by liberals (it's almost always liberals who begin the process). It could be identified from professors at universities or nationwide groups dedicated to improving some facet of life for us all. The answer proposed is to immediately ban something that Americans have used for a long time and is indeed part of everyday life. Sometimes a replacement is offered, but not always. If a replacement is offered, it is usually done so with great fanfare and sweeping promises that the new product will be hundreds, if not thousands, of times better than the old. These promises are rarely achieved. What usually happens is the new product is demonstrably inferior to the old, and what's more, it is almost always much higher priced. Eventually (sometimes, but not always) the new product is improved to where it is at least as good, or maybe marginally better, than what it replaced, although sometimes this takes a few tries (and a few years). Also eventually, the price does come down because everyone is forced to buy the new product so it gets cheaper and cheaper to mass-produce. But usually the price never quite comes down to what it was for the old product.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should. Right now, lightbulbs are the (pun intended) shining example. Incandescent bulbs were plentiful and cheap. Then new fluorescent bulbs came out. They were touted to last for thousands upon thousands of hours. So even though they were several times the price of the old bulbs, you'd only have to replace them once in a blue moon, so in the end you'd come out ahead financially. However, they didn't live up to these claims -- they lasted longer, but not the thousands of hours promised. Also, they were inferior for a number of reasons. The gas inside them is toxic, which gave rise to a whole new problem with proper disposal that didn't exist for incandescent bulbs. Many of the new bulbs didn't fit into the bulb-shaped infrastructure already in place, meaning you'd have to buy some new lamps, too. Somewhere along the way, the government just outright banned the old bulbs. Eventually, LED bulbs were improved enough to replace the replacements, and things have now settled down somewhat. But the LED bulbs are still more expensive than the old ones, and the jury's still out (in my house, at any rate) on how long they'll last.

What the technocrats never acknowledge -- and the very large point that everyone now making fun of Trump is missing -- is that this breeds resentment.

Normally, this wouldn't be a political issue, but because the impetus for such recent changes almost always comes from the left, it is. This is what's largely new, because in the dim and distant past, even Republicans listened to scientists and acted accordingly. When unleaded gasoline came into being in the 1970s, it also bred some backlash from owners of old cars (who were left high and dry when lead was finally completely phased out), but it wasn't seen as a left-right issue at the time, so it wasn't really all that partisan. Also, the phase-out of leaded gas took a very long time, unlike more recent bans.

Sometimes, thankfully, the process of achieving a truly superior product moves more quickly. Pop-tops on cans (or, more accurately, off of cans) used to be a big problem, both as litter and as a hazard to bare feet on beaches (if you don't know what I'm talking about, feel free to insert an "OK, Boomer" here...). The first replacement for them was even worse, though, because it was two little buttons you had to press on the top of a can, which often left you with a bloody thumb from the sharp edges revealed. However, the self-contained pull tab we all now enjoy -- thankfully -- quickly replaced the two buttons, and everyone lived happily ever after. Not every transition turns out bad, I should point out, in all fairness.

One nuance that people are also missing in all of this is that Trump was a real estate developer. He knows the building trade, where putting up a block of apartments means buying hundreds of toilets and dishwashers, all at once. So he may be nursing a resentment that is hundreds of times bigger than the average citizen's. Low-flow showers and toilets also went through the same process described above. The first ones were pretty pathetic. It did indeed take a couple of flushes to clear a toilet bowl ("a couple" -- not ten or fifteen, as Trump now claims). People wanted robust showers, not some gentle sprinkle that didn't rinse your hair. But they were told they could no longer have the old appliances, because it had been deemed vital for everyone to work together to achieve a better world.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I am a pretty liberal guy, and I do agree with most of the goals of the do-gooders. Lead in the atmosphere was indeed a big problem (see: Los Angeles smog, circa 1970s). It needed to be removed. Incandescent lightbulbs are incredibly inefficient in terms of their energy use (most of the energy is burned up generating heat, not light). Conserving water is a big deal, too. But sometimes the bans go too far or too fast (often both at once), and that is what breeds such resentment.

In plain language, people do not like being told what they can and cannot do. Especially when the people telling them are from the government or from some elite university. This resentment is not some recent realization, either. Nobody's "reimagining" themselves here -- this resentment is a core part of the conservative "small government" movement and always has been. This is precisely what conservatives are talking about when they complain about "their freedoms being taken away." Preserving the "freedom" to buy an inefficient lightbulb or a shower or toilet that wastes water may sound bizarre to some elitists, but that's how tens of millions of people see such things. And that is exactly what Trump is tapping into.

So far, the liberal reaction has been either making such feelings the butt of jokes, or sneering contempt for anyone who would feel such a thing. This is elitism squared, because not only are the nanny-state scolds taking something away from you, they are then calling you an idiot or the punchline of a joke for even raising your objection. Or even calling you names like "lazy" and "selfish" and "evil" at times. And that breeds even more resentment. Which Trump is not only fanning, but also benefiting from politically.

The basic problem is that the technocratic elite doesn't have the courage to let the marketplace decide. Instead of banning things like plastic straws, allow people to choose. If the new product truly is superior or even exactly the same as the old, then people won't mind buying it. If it isn't, then it needs another round of improvement. Eventually they get it right and everyone shifts over to buying the new product and it will be all the stores stock anymore. The factories which made the old product will also have converted to making the new. But that's not good enough. Instead, the first step is often to institute a ban -- on plastic straws, on plastic grocery bags, on Big Gulps, on showerheads, on wasteful toilets, on dishwashers, or on whatever else is currently in the crosshairs of the technocrats. Forcing everyone to change their habits is seen as a perhaps-distasteful means to a wonderful end for all. But not everyone sees it that way.

Personally, I think bans should be saved for extreme circumstances. California recently banned foie gras, which is fine with me because it ends unnecessary animal cruelty (also, to be fair, because I never eat it on a regular basis or anything). We also mandate the size of cages for hens who lay our eggs. Again, such changes in the law are fine with me and the egg industry hasn't noticeably collapsed out here as a result. But other bans seem to be unnecessarily harsh. And politicians who champion such bans sometimes have to pay a political price -- just ask Michael Bloomberg how many times that Big Gulp ban comes up when he talks to people from New York City.

At the very least, such bans should be instituted over time, with plenty of years built in for the new product to advance past the early problems. The newer low-flow toilets are one heck of a lot better than the first ones were, for instance -- but that didn't happen overnight. It took time. The new LED bulbs are better than the compact fluorescents, but they still have problems (some of which, like the damage too much blue light does to people's eyes, still haven't adequately even been identified yet). Eventually they'll get it right, but why force people to use the inferior "1.0" versions in the meantime?

Some may be surprised that I am addressing this issue in the way that I have. I am pretty liberal, but I hew more to the libertarian side of liberalism rather than the nanny-state side. Let the people choose, rather than forcing them to change overnight. This is why I think Pete Buttigieg has a good point when he criticizes Medicare For All and offers his own "Medicare For All Who Want It" idea. If you believe your choice is inherently superior, then eventually the marketplace will figure it out and leave all the other competition in the dust anyway -- even if you don't force people to change.

But liberals are making a huge mistake when they just ridicule (or worse) the people who cheer Trump when he rips into low-flow appliances. This is not some idea Trump had to put into their heads. That resentment was already there, and it is in fact a pretty potent political feeling to tap into. "Let me decide, don't force me" is a bedrock belief of not only conservatives but a whole lot of people in the middle, as well. To mock it or belittle it is politically dangerous, because it entirely misses the point that there are indeed a whole lot of people who resent such governmental interference in their own lives. Spending hundreds of dollars on a dishwasher which doesn't get the coffee mugs clean -- nowhere near as clean as the old one you had bought back in 1982 -- means feeling ripped off, essentially. You have been forced to pay more money for a product that is worse than what you had before. Anyone who doesn't understand that -- or whose only answer is: "Shut up, it's for your own good" -- doesn't understand why Trump connects so well with average people.

 

Full Disclosure: OK, I admit that I have a rather personal bias in writing this. Our dishwasher just died. When we moved into our house, the original dishwasher was still going strong (it had probably been bought in 1973). Eventually, it gave up the ghost. So we replaced it. The new one is computerized. It either gets all the stains off the dishes -- and also removes all the paint from the mugs -- or it doesn't get everything clean. There's nothing really in-between, even though it's got forty-eleven different settings. A cycle of dishwashing took over two hours with the new machine, versus about 45 minutes with the old. The new one only lasted about 10 years before the computer chip died. So now we've got to go dishwasher shopping once again. This may be why I'm seeing a different side to Trump's recent rants and the reaction from the elite a little differently than many on my side of the aisle. Even a staunch liberal can get pissed off at having to pay twice the price for an inferior product. Hmmph.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

61 Comments on “Lightbulbs And Dishwashers And Toilets, Oh My!”

  1. [1] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yup, these scenarios are a form of political correctness applied to the appliance world. It just rubs a lot of folks the wrong way.

    As staunch a Liberal that I am I prefer the "Medicare for all that want it" to killing the for profit health care industry in one fell swoop.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have an idea to unite all the people, including the elites.

    And that is to recognize that all the little things we do like changing light bulbs and appliances to more efficient models, recycling our plastic bottles and paper waste, composting in our backyards, using cloth bags and everything else we do as individuals to our own small in saving the environment has a less than negligible impact, if any impact at all, on solving the problem of planetary climate change.

    In fact, the things we do as individuals, cities, states make us feel so good that we don't bother doing anything further to make the bigger impact - like only voting for people who take climate change seriously at the national and international levels.

    If climate change can be mitigated - and I'm not convinced that it can be - then revolutionary action needs to be taken by national governments the world over with serious coordination internationally.

    Otherwise, we're doomed.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sigh.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have an idea to unite all the people, including the elites.

    And that is to recognize that all the little things we do like changing light bulbs and appliances to more efficient models, recycling our plastic bottles and paper waste, composting in our backyards, using cloth bags and everything else we do as individuals to our own small in saving the environment has a less than negligible impact, if any impact at all, on solving the problem of planetary climate change.

    In fact, the things we do as individuals, cities, states make us feel so good that we don't bother doing anything further to make the bigger impact - like only voting for people who take climate change seriously at the national and international levels.

    If climate change can be mitigated - and I'm not convinced that it can be - then revolutionary action needs to be taken by national governments the world over with serious coordination internationally. People and elites must join together and demand this kind of effort.

    Otherwise, we're doomed.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I give up.

    If we ever do get a time-sensitive edit function around here, it could be called the Miller Fix 'cause that damned preview button isn't working for me!

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    You are absolutely correct.

    The best way to achieve a bigger impact in the War on Habitat is to only vote for people that take the War on Habitat seriously.

    As the major obstacle to achieving any impact at all in the War on Habitat that stops us from implementing available and affordable solutions is big money controlling our political process it stands to reason that only small donor candidates could be considered serious about the War on Habitat.

    So the solution to the War on Habitat is only voting for small donor candidates.

    The real question is are you serious enough about the War on Habitat to join me in calling for CW to inform citizens about the solution?

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And we don't need the elites- just the people to as you said make a demand. Just one demand. :D

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nice.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Wow.

    The elites don't have the courage to let the marketplace decide?

    People don't like being told what they can and cannot do?

    That also applies to people that want to improve things and not just to those that don't want to change for the better or not.

    People do like having choices.

    Sometimes they even like having more than a choice between bad and worse.

    In a way you are telling people what they can and cannot do by only offering the choice of bad or worse to many people whether you see it that way or not.

    You certainly are NOT letting the marketplace decide if you withhold information on other options because citizens can't choose something they don't know about.

    Do you believe enough in the Democratic Party to put it up against all other options or only enough to go against the Republicans with the look how bad Republicans are mantra?

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    We found the early low flow toilets worked better if we ate a LOT of fiber. :D

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Sorry Liz. But how could I let an article like this go by without SOME toilet humor?

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So the solution to the War on Habitat is only voting for small donor candidates.

    I don't think it matters if the candidates take only small donations. It matters if they take climate change seriously enough to act and demand action that will actually mitigate climate change.

    Think about it, Don. It could give large-contribution, climate-fighting candidates whole new meaning, no?

  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [5]

    Elizabeth Miller wrote

    I give up.

    If we ever do get a time-sensitive edit function around here, it could be called the Miller Fix 'cause that damned preview button isn't working for me!

    If you're on a smartphone as am I, try tilting from "portrait" (verticle) to "landscape" (horizontal) view. That will uncover your Preview and Submit buttons.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    I prefer the "Medicare for all that want it" to killing the for profit health care industry in one fell swoop.

    Help me understand why the for profit health care industry, including the insurance companies, has to go away in one fell swoop.

    I mean, in Canada we have a universal healthcare system that is single-payer and government-funded (we pay a share as tax-payers as part of our yearly income tax based on our actual income) and we still have private health insurance for those who want more coverage and private hospitals and the like.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    'cause that damned preview button isn't working for me!

    That was a little joke.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'd go completely blind if I was doing all of this on a smartphone. I'm a big screen gal, you know.

  17. [17] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    People won’t change their bad habits until they feel a real connection to the reason for changing that habit. People know they shouldn’t drive drunk, but it often takes losing a loved one to a drunk driver or being arrested on a DUI charge before they are willing to stop driving while intoxicated. Make a person see how the change will benefit them and they are far more likely to do so freely.

    Instead of banning things like plastic straws, allow people to choose. If the new product truly is superior or even exactly the same as the old, then people won't mind buying it.

    Never gonna happen! Straws are NOT a necessity. They are cheap, plentiful, and virtually perfect at the task they are being used for. You are not going to find a superior product; it doesn’t exist.

    While straws are great at what they do and are usually free to take, they are extremely damaging to the environment — something most people have a hard time understanding or accepting as true. Straws have been poisoning our waterways for decades, but we are just realizing how much damage they have caused. Even people who support the ban rarely can explain how straws are harmful in ways that others can understand. Banning them is the only way to slow the damage that they cause.

    Think about it: If our government had not banned lead in house paints, how long do you think it would have taken for the market to have pushed lead paints off the market?
    People may not like being told what they can and cannot do, but sometimes the greater good requires it.

    But the LED bulbs are still more expensive than the old ones, and the jury's still out (in my house, at any rate) on how long they'll last.

    LOVE THEM! I swear our town’s electric grid is horrible about having surges that fry electronics and blows bulbs. Seriously, we have to use surge protectors on every outlet. We used to go through lightbulbs like crazy... we had fresh produce that lasted longer than some bulbs did. Incandescent bulbs lasted about 1/10th as long as they advertised we should expect, so we were very nervous about LED’s life expectancies! We started out with getting the 1 generation Philips Hue 5 pack, which was expensive. The bulbs changed to any color you could want, can be dimmed, use very little power, and can be control with a phone app. That was three years ago... and we have haven’t had to replace a bulb yet. We’ve seen our power usage drop — automation makes cutting all the lights in the house off at bedtime so simple. Thankfully, the prices on LED’s continues to drop and the newer bulbs offer colors that are brighter and more natural. As a result, we have tossed all of the incandescent bulbs in favor of LED’s.

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    All of that is great, Russ, but what people do individually won't solve the problem and, in fact, may inhibit the kind of action that needs to be taken by national governments for the reason I noted above.

    What individuals need to do is to vote for candidates at the national level who will make that kind of change happen.

  19. [19] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    I'm with you on crappy products that don't perform well, but like LWYH [17] I'm not convinced that the "marketplace" is the mechanism for overcoming the 'Tragedy of the Commons'. That is, if a given product works well for Joe Consumer, but tends to destroy the environment over time, why the heck will Joe ever substitute the product he's used to for another one of similar function that is better for the environment? Much less if either price or performance of the substitute is even marginally less good than his current choice.

    The nanny state is annoying, and that is probably a function of nanny-state bureaucrats abusing their power. But the nanny state is the same state that says it's *not* allowed for you to walk into the Seven-Eleven, wave a pistol around, and walk out with the contents of the cash register and some snacks off the shelves in your pockets. "Market place? Sure! It felt good. I went in the store, and walked out with what I wanted!"

    Environment? What, are you kidding? This [light bulb / toilet / gas guzzling car] is just fine by me. Damn if I'll even look twice at some substitute that I've never heard of and probably isn't as good.

    For all that markets have a place in economics, they are not the be-all and end-all, and never have been. Governments are, by definition, institutions that distort markets by instituting regulations to control, modify, or redirect them. Truly free markets are a den of thieves and robbers and devil take the hindmost.

  20. [20] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Liz,

    If people do not care enough about the environment to take personal responsibility for their own carbon footprint, why would you think they are going to care enough to support someone running on a green platform looking to cause massive changes? How much or how little difference my individual efforts makes is unknown, but it is better than doing nothing. I care, which is why I do it.

    I am also curious as to what you believe are the major pieces of legislation that will make a difference.

  21. [21] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    There are people, often among the various environmental campaigns, who come across as advocating suffering for suffering's sake: if it's convenient or pleasurable, you must stop doing it at once, repent and confess your sins.

    Then there are the 'it won't make any difference, so why bother' brigade.

    If everyone in the affluent world made relatively small adjustments to what they do and consume, it would add up to quite a lot. Not enough, though, and that's where governments and big business come in. There will always be someone, a lot of someones, who will put immediate profit above everything else and will not change harmful procedures unless compelled to do so, which means imposing significant financial penalties as a minimum.

    Some of us here are old enough to remember when cars didn't have seatbelts and when the first laws requiring them to be installed in new cars were proposed. The manufacturers insisted that this would wipe out the car industry, that an over-stated cost would make a family car too expensive for anyone to buy--sound familiar? Then there were all the claims about being 'thrown clear' in an accident, conveniently ignoring all the people who weren't around anymore to say what happened to them when they went through the windscreen or were impaled on the steering wheel.

    The same pattern happens over and over again with almost anything that puts public good over private profit.

  22. [22] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    The basic problem is that the technocratic elite doesn't have the courage to let the marketplace decide. Instead of banning things like plastic straws, allow people to choose. If the new product truly is superior or even exactly the same as the old, then people won't mind buying it.

    “Let the marketplace decide.” This line has bothered me since I first read this article hours ago, and it just keeps bothering me! I understand what you are trying to say, but then I think about how what you are suggesting requires me to believe that given the chance, corporations are going to put the public’s well being above profits! I would have to ignore that corporations have been set up to run with higher profits for their stockholders as their central and all-encompassing goal.

    Anything that could hinder that goal in any way must be avoided. If they discover that their product is killing people, the company runs a cost /benefit analysis to see how it should respond to this information. They don’t immediately begin a public recall, warning people of the potential consequences their product could result in, they want to make sure that it wouldn’t just be cheaper to pay off the families of those who die because of their product than to risk their profit margins!

    We have known of the damages that climate change would bring since the late 80’s. Republicans were on board with getting the warning out back then. Then the Koch brothers realized that would hurt their profits and they would face the lawsuits seeking damages like the tobacco industry faced once people knew that their businesses knew that their product caused cancer and they did nothing to warn their customers.

    CW:

    Just rewatched Trump going on about dishwashers... and his message was that they suck, but that he’s going to make them work great again, somehow?!?! There was no elitist message to his ramblings...he literally acts as if he is getting into the appliance business and this is how he starts people associating the Trump brand with appliances!

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    {from previous commentary}

    Good to know that your definition of **EXACTLY** is “completely different from”. Trump has refused to cooperate completely with investigations. Obama cooperated with investigators — he released countless documents and allowed witnesses to testify.

    And President Trump has released countless documents and allowed witnesses to testify...

    You just can't handle the FACT that YOUR guy Odumbo did the EXACT same thing that President Trump is doing, but you gave Odumbo a pass because he has a -D after his name..

    Side note: Trump is impeached. Obama was never impeached.

    So?? Odumbo is an incompetent asshole.. President Trump is a Reagan-esque leader..

    'Sides.. Being impeached by Trump/America haters?? It's a badge of honor.. A badge of honor that President Trump will carry all the way through his re-election..

    Gods, I can't wait to see you on 4 Nov 2020.. :D It's gonna be a hoot..

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    Comments like this simply prove that you have no idea what you are talking about! Trump does not have the authority to obstruct Congress — plain and simple!

    Are you nucking futz!!!!

    Not only does **EVERY** POTUS have the authority to Obstruct Congress, MANY POTUS would look at it as a DUTY to Obstruct Congress.. Especially when it's a congress like THIS congress who is hell bent on destroying this country..

    You just totally displayed yer ignorance by claiming that a POTUS doesn't have the authority to obstruct Congress...

    As an aside?? Remember Barack I HAVE A PHONE AND A PEN Odumbo??

    THAT is blatant Obstruction Of Congress... And, once again, YOU didn't have a problem with THAT Obstruction because it was YOUR guy who was doing it.

    Hypocrite...

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    The FACTS do support those charges.

    Trump was not charged for any of those crimes because the DOJ refuses to indict a sitting president while they are in office.

    What part of THAT is unclear to YOU???

    BBBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

    If the facts supported those charges, then House DUmbocrats could have MADE those charges in the Articles Of Impeachment..

    The DOJ would have NO SAY in the matter..

    But Dumbocrats COULDN'T include those charges as Articles Of Impeachment because they know (just as you and I know) the *FACTS* don't support those charges..

    The fact that you think the DOJ has any say in an impeachment just shows how far off the reservation you have gone...

    Either that are you've had one Tee Meeny Martoonies...

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    @JM from CT

    At the beginning of a currently 94-post thread, almost 20 posts of interesting, informed, and respectful responses to Chris' essay. What a pleasure to read and reflect on.

    Thank you.. But I think I have more than 20 posts..

    But thanks for noticing. :D

    can not simply imitate Trump in order to beat him.

    That's what I have been saying.. Thank you for agreeing with me.. :D

    Have a happy... :D

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://media2.foxnews.com/BrightCove/694940094001/2020/01/16/694940094001_6123370338001_6123368645001-vs.jpg

    But!! But!!! But!!!!

    A President Trump would "DESTROY" this country!!!???

    How the hell can this be!!!

    hehehehehehe And to think there are still some people out there who actually believe that President Trump will lose re-election.. :D

    Crazy, eh??

    :D

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    OMG...

    I have to begin with an apology to The Wizard Of Oz for that title. But somehow it seemed appropriate in the latest of the so-called "culture wars." Because I think most everyone is missing the point about Donald Trump's newfound focus on household appliances.

    I miss the heady days of Weigantia when the big discussion was the definition of 'cofeve'.. :^/

    I mean, seriously...

    Ya'all act like President Trump is Mark Pellegrino-Incarnate and then talk about his lack of prowess with a DISHWASHER!!???

    I guess when President Trump is kicking Dumbocrats' collective ass all over DC, you have to find SOMETHING to attack him about.. No matter how inane and ridiculous it sounds..

    Truly symptoms of HHPTDS....

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, maybe I'll find a modicum.. a glimmer of intelligence in the comments section...

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    If climate change can be mitigated - and I'm not convinced that it can be - then revolutionary action needs to be taken by national governments the world over with serious coordination internationally. People and elites must join together and demand this kind of effort.

    Climate cannot be changed by humans.. The technology simply does not exist..

    But take heart.. Global cooling was a "big thing" in the 70s... Then we had the Ozone Hysteria...

    These fads usually flame out of their own volition..

    Either by the public at large realizing how moronic it all is..

    Or, more likely, another hysterical new shiny will take it's place...

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    MC,

    If you're on a smartphone as am I, try tilting from "portrait" (verticle) to "landscape" (horizontal) view. That will uncover your Preview and Submit buttons.

    You have my eternal respect, sir..

    Anyone who can navigate thru this morass with a SMARTPHONE??

    Is a wizard...

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem with Democrats and their Global Warming BS is that they have NO IDEA about marketing..

    For those of ya'all who are old enough to remember, ad campaigns focusing on littering where all the rage on TV..

    Remember the TV ad where an American Indian was standing on the side of the road and a car wooshed by and thru garbage at his feet??

    THAT's an effective campaign..

    But today's hysterical fear-mongering WE HAVE 12 YEARS OF LIFE LEFT!!!!! type bullshit??

    All THAT does is to cause normal THINKING Americans to just roll their asses and think, "Ahh well.. The MORONS are back at it again.."

    Democrat reliance on "focus groups" is utter ridiculous as this latest faux impeachment coup focus group proves.

    But *IF* Democrats are going to rely on focus groups instead of REAL science ("Global Warming isn't working any more because it's cold outside.. What can we use?? CLIMATE CHANGE!!!! That will strike fear in the hearts of the sheeple!!!...") if Democrats are going to focus group their BS it would behoove them to focus group ALL Americans.. Not just DEMOCRAT Americans..

    They might actually learn some GOOD information instead of the garbage they put out...

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Time for a humorous interlude.. :D

    Bubba died in a fire and his body was burned pretty badly. The morgue needed someone to identify the body, so they sent for his two best friends, Darryl and Gary.

    The three men had always done everything together!!!!!

    Darryl arrived first and when the mortician pulled back the sheet Darryl said, “Yup, his face is burned up pretty bad. You better roll him over.”

    The mortician rolled him over, and Darryl said, “Nope, ain’t Bubba.”

    The mortician thought this was rather strange. Then he brought Gary in to identify the body.

    Gary looked at the body and said, “Yup he’s pretty well burnt up. Roll him over.” The mortician rolled him over and Gary said, “No, it ain’t Bubba.”

    The mortician asked, “How can you tell?”

    Gary said, “Well, Bubba had two assholes.”

    “What? He had two assholes?” asked the mortician.

    Yup, I’ve never seen ‘em, but everyone knew he had two assholes. Every time we went to town, folks would say, “Here comes Bubba with them two assholes!”

    Ba daa ding... :D

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pelosi's Ukrainian impeachment stew needs salt

    In the Trump impeachment, a hasty investigation and presentation of evidence to the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees was terminated before court rulings could have affirmed the legitimacy of congressional subpoena power.

    Instead, the House rushed its investigation and compounded the problem by stalling the transfer of the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Meanwhile, the public lost interest. The stall time could have been used to test the subpoenas in court and possibly develop a stronger obstruction case.
    It's too late for that now and Pelosi is unlikely to get any rave reviews for the thin Ukrainian stew her House managers' case will serve to the Senate in the days ahead.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/15/opinions/parnas-impeachment-trump-pelosi-callan/index.html

    No matter how ya'all want to spin it....

    This only ends ONE way..

    With President Trump still in office and, based on his complete vindication and exoneration, STRONGER than before..

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats' 'blame America first' ballad won't play well in 2020

    Donald Trump didn’t start the fire in the Middle East. It was burning long before he set foot in the Oval Office. He isn’t the one who “just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.” Qassem Soleimani and the mullahs who turned to him whenever they wanted to provoke the “Great Satan” are the ones who have been playing with dynamite — a reckless and deadly game, as they now have discovered.

    The Democrats running for president may be playing a dangerous game, too. Showing more disdain for Trump than for a terrorist such as Soleimani may play well among their hyperpartisan progressive base that despises everything about this president. But reminding voters that Democrats have a bad habit of blaming America first may not sit nearly as well with those nonpartisan swing voters in battleground states — the ones who will decide the 2020 presidential election.

    If Donald Trump – with all his faults — comes off looking like the one who will keep Americans safe, and if Democrats come off looking like appeasers who lack the backbone to take on the bad actors in this world, imagine how that will play out in November.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/478182-democrats-blame-america-first-ballad-wont-play-well-in-2020

    Another symptom of HHPTDS...

    Everything President Trump does is wrong...

    No matter HOW good it is, no matter HOW much it enriches people's lives, no matter HOW many innocent lives it saves, no matter HOW morally or ethically good it is...

    President Trump and America are ALWAYS wrong..

    That's the default position of the Democrat Party..

    And THAT is why the Democrat Party will lose the House in November...

    The Senate will remain GOP and President Trump will still be in the White House..

    In 2018, the American people wanted to see if Democrats learned any lessons in the fist 2 years of President Trump's administration. So, we gave the Democrats a little political power to see what they would do..

    The totally squandered the opportunity by an utter Russia Collusion delusion and a failed faux impeachment coup...

    In 2020, Americans will say, "We gave ya the House and ya'all fucked it up.. No more political power for you.."

    And that is Nov 2020 in a nutshell...

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Everything President Trump does is wrong...

    No matter HOW good it is, no matter HOW much it enriches people's lives, no matter HOW many innocent lives it saves, no matter HOW morally or ethically good it is...

    What??

    You need examples??

    Sure...

    President Trump ordering the assassination of Sillyman is one example..

    President Trump signs into law the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative is another example..

    Many addition examples exist...

  37. [37] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (12)-
    Yes and No. I thought about it and it does give new meaning to large contribution (donor), climate fighting candidates.

    Because big money controlling our political process is the main obstacle to taking action and demanding change in the War on Habitat any candidates taking large contributions are strengthening the obstacle and NOT taking action and demanding change in the War on Habitat.

    Yes, it's a new meaning. No, it is not accurate.

    Sort of a do as I say and not as I do kind of thing.

    A candidate simply cannot be taking action in the War on Habitat if they are taking money from the enemy.

    It would be the equivalent of a candidate receiving or officeholder demanding help from a foreign government in our electoral process.

    No real American would tolerate such behavior in that case so why is it acceptable to take money from the enemy in the War on Habitat?

    How could anyone believe that a large donor candidate is serious about taking action when the action they are taking is the opposite of what they are saying proving they are not serious?

    Are these candidates supposed to be so serious that it makes them in such a hurry to take action that they must skip over the first and most important step to the actions that cannot be effective until the first step in the right direction is taken?

    Such a candidate may believe they are serious, but they still should not be taken seriously as their approach is clearly flawed.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Read 'em & weep, people..

    It's looking more like Trump will be reelected in 2020

    With the election year now underway, President Trump is no doubt beatable — and yet, it’s starting to feel more and more like he’ll get reelected.

    The obstacles to Trump winning in 2020 should not be ignored. To start, in 2016, he only beat the highly unpopular Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College by winning three key swing states by less than 1%. In 2018, all three of them, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan turned against Republicans. Trump also has historically low approval ratings and has been consistently trailing Democratic front-runner Joe Biden in general election matchups.

    But at the same time, there are several factors that increasingly look to be playing in Trump’s favor.

    One, the economy. Predictions about the United States being on the brink of a recession have not borne out yet. Instead, unemployment has remained at a 50-year low of 3.5%. Since Trump took office, the unemployment rate has averaged 3.9% — lower than any president at a comparable point in office since data started being kept in 1948. Recent data also undermines the Democratic argument that the gains have been limited to the very top. It makes it harder to run a “change” campaign in the face of such strong economic performance.

    Two, foreign policy. Despite Democratic warnings, Trump’s decision to kill Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani did not trigger a war with Iran. Instead, when Iran retaliated without causing U.S. casualties, Trump prudently declared victory and avoided further escalation. To this point in his presidency, Trump has militarily intervened less than Barack Obama did. Under Trump’s leadership, the U.S. also managed to roll back the Islamic State and kill their leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

    Three, impeachment has proven to be largely a bust for Democrats. Regardless of how one feels about the merits of the case itself, politically speaking, months of impeachment news has not significantly moved public opinion. At about 45%, Trump’s approval rating is within a point of where it was in September when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched impeachment hearings. Support for removal from office is heavily correlated with people’s underlying feelings about Trump.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/its-looking-more-like-trump-will-be-reelected-in-2020

    When President Trump is asked why he should be re-elected, he can point to a LITANY of achievements both foreign or domestic...

    When Democrats are asked why THEY should be given the White House and retain the House, all Democrats can point to is a 2 year Russia Collusion delusion and a failed faux impeachment coup..

    The choice could NOT be more clear for the American people..

    President Trump for 4 more and the GOP back in da House... :D

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Four, Democratic candidates don’t seem ready to take on Trump. While Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have taken extreme policy positions that will be a liability in a general election, Biden has been showing signs of his advanced age. This was apparent in the January Democratic debate, which will be remembered for Warren and Sanders stabbing each other. Former Obama green jobs adviser Van Jones lamented on CNN after the debate: "I want to say that tonight for me was dispiriting. Democrats have to do better than what we saw tonight. There was nothing I saw tonight that would be able to take Donald Trump out."

    Though Biden, on the surface, would have a good chance of beating Trump, recent presidential elections have shown that the candidate with the ability to generate more enthusiasm among their base fares better than a candidate chosen by default. Just think of the failed candidacies of John Kerry, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton. In contrast, Trump enjoys a passionate following and the GOP is more unified around him than when he won the first time around.

    Does this mean that Trump is a lock to win? Of course not. Not even close. He’s still never had the approval of a majority of voters and has serious problems in the suburbs, especially among women. His Twitter addiction can derail any messaging. There’s more than enough time for any of the factors mentioned above to change, if not all of them. The economy can falter. There could be a foreign policy disaster. There could be more damning evidence on Ukraine or other malfeasance that the public finds more convincing than what has been presented to date. And Democrats could unite around their eventual nominee, who could rally the base as and attract the many swing voters who can’t stand Trump. But if the current trajectory continues, it’s looking a lot more like voters will give Trump a second term.

    The writing is on the wall, people..

    Read it and weep... :D

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    Besides the small donor aspect, if you want people to take the War on Habitat seriously and spur them to action then you need stop referring to it using innocuous namby-pamby terms such as climate change or even climate disruption.

    It is a War on Habitat and needs to be called the War on Habitat.

    While it may appear as if Habitat is losing this war, it may just be that Habitat has only been firing warning shots up to this point.

    If it opens up full force we don't stand a chance.

  41. [41] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    What a great idea for an article!

    "How Do We Know if a Candidate is Serious About the War on Habitat?"

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    It is a War on Habitat and needs to be called the War on Habitat.

    "War" implies intent.... There is no intent here.. People are just thoughtless. Maybe dangerously irresponsible..

    "Com'on Arthur!! 'Dangerously irresponsible'??? You make it send almost gentlemanly.. She's a fucking lunatice!"
    -General Ira Potter, THE FINAL OPTION

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    After causing the Press Corps to lose their Presidential Briefings....

    Trump scolds CNN's Jim Acosta for trying to disrupt Oval Office news conference: 'Quiet'
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/trump-cnn-jim-acosta-quiet

    Jim Acosta proves he hasn't learned a damn thing...

    A reporter should be subservient to FACTS.. Not "truth"..

    Truth is subjective and, when it comes to political animals like Acosta, based solely on his political ideology...

    On the other hand, I found it hilarious when Acosta made President Trump's case for home regarding the southern border wall..

    THAT was a hoot.. :D

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oklahoma lawmakers propose ‘MAGA’ and ‘Keep America Great’ license plates to aid veterans
    https://www.foxnews.com/auto/oklahoma-lawmakers-propose-maga-and-keep-american-great-license-plates-to-aid-veterans

    Nice..... :D

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Florida man who spat on 'MAGA' hat-wearing bar patron gets 90 days in jail
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-spit-maga-hat-bar-jail

    The bitter results of Trump/America hatred....

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Reporters getting 1st taste of impeachment restrictions
    https://apnews.com/dd945e7c4c820637272a087d6b99043b

    I don't know what reporters are bitching about??

    They don't have to see what's going on..

    They can simply do like the majority of them ALWAYS do and just make shit up.

    :smirk: :D

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, I'll be dipped in shit..

    Antifa Group To March Alongside Pro-Gun Protesters In Virginia
    https://dailycaller.com/2020/01/16/antifa-group-march-pro-gun-protesters-virginia/

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Terrorist Arm of the Democrat Party is Pro-2nd Amendment..

    But it is surprising none-the-less...

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    A Partisan Impeachment, a Profile in Courage
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/a-partisan-impeachment-a-profile-in-courage/ar-BBZ2fFY

    It's amazing to see Democrats today acting out the role of Republicans in the Andrew Johnson impeachment...

    One has to wonder if there is an Edmund G. Ross amongst Democrats today...

  49. [49] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Chris may have overlooked the obvious in critiquing Trumps obsessive dislike for low-flow toilets - perhaps the superabundance of shit the guy produces is not exclusively rhetorical!!!

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    'People will sit at home': Sanders supporters threaten to boycott vote if Democrats pick a centrist
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/people-will-sit-at-home-sanders-supporters-threaten-to-boycott-vote-if-democrats-nominate-a-centrist

    Who could have POSSIBLY predicted this would happen..

    :D

    Oh.. Wait.. :D

    Gods, I am good!!! :D

  51. [51] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    President Trump is a Reagan-esque leader..

    I agree that Trump acts like he’s suffering from dementia, too, but Trump’s ignorance makes it harder to know which is truly the bigger factor in causing his poor decision making.

    Not only does **EVERY** POTUS have the authority to Obstruct Congress, MANY POTUS would look at it as a DUTY to Obstruct Congress.. Especially when it's a congress like THIS congress who is hell bent on destroying this country..

    You just totally displayed yer ignorance by claiming that a POTUS doesn't have the authority to obstruct Congress...

    Nice attempt at muddying what constitutes “obstruction”...but ya failed! You are trying to argue that a president is “obstructing” Congress when he disagrees with legislation they pass....a VETO is NOT OBSTRUCTION! But thanks for this idiotic attempt to shift the argument....because it is:

    STRAW MAN FALLACY FRIDAY!!!

    That means it is double points for those playing Michale’s Bullshit BINGO!!! I’m close to BINGO, so feel free to bring up Hillary or discuss how much tougher Trump has been on Russia than Obama was, if you like...I have plans later on but don’t want to quit when I am so close.

    And by all means site where in the Constitution the president is given the authority to obstruct Congress from investigating him! You CANNOT because it DOES NOT give him that authority!

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    I agree that Trump acts like he’s suffering from dementia, too, but Trump’s ignorance makes it harder to know which is truly the bigger factor in causing his poor decision making.

    ANd yet, there has been NO poor decision making.. Only in your feeble delusional mind.. :D

    Nice attempt at muddying what constitutes “obstruction”...but ya failed! You are trying to argue that a president is “obstructing” Congress when he disagrees with legislation they pass....a VETO is NOT OBSTRUCTION!

    According to YOUR definition, it is..

    We have already had this debate and you conceded it.

    There is NO SUCH CRIME as OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS

    And by all means site where in the Constitution the president is given the authority to obstruct Congress from investigating him!

    Just like Odumbo obstructed Congress investigating HIM by invoking Executive Privilege...

    President Trump has done no more than that..

    And YOU gave Odumbo a pass, solely because of the -D after Odumbo's name..

    You can't win, Russ.. I have FACTS and REALITY on my side..

    And all you have is hate and bigotry..

    You never answered my question..

    Do you HONESTLY believe that President Trump will be removed from office??

    REALLY??? :D

  53. [53] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Though Biden, on the surface, would have a good chance of beating Trump, recent presidential elections have shown that the candidate with the ability to generate more enthusiasm among their base fares better than a candidate chosen by default.

    Only problem is that the majority of Trump voters that I’ve talked to only voted for him because they believed Hillary was going to win regardless of how they voted and Trump had been a middle finger to the GOP establishment. None of them say they will vote to re-elect him! His base must be getting smaller based on the numbers of people they hire to cheer at each of his rallies.

    And Michale, before you respond, “FACTS to support this? Proof?”, you get me where in the Constitution the President is given the authority to obstruct Congress attempting to investigate him and I will provide you with your FACTS!

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Only problem is that the majority of Trump voters that I’ve talked to only voted for him because they believed Hillary was going to win regardless of how they voted and Trump had been a middle finger to the GOP establishment.

    Oh who are you kidding, Russ. You would never stoop so low to actually TALK to Trump voters..

    None of them say they will vote to re-elect him! His base must be getting smaller based on the numbers of people they hire to cheer at each of his rallies.

    And yet you only have your hate and bigoted delusion to show this...

    you get me where in the Constitution the President is given the authority to obstruct Congress attempting to investigate him

    You show me where it doesn't??

    You can't, because Presidents have been "obstructing" Congress since the Constitution was written.

    It's only a problem for you NOW because it's President Trump who is doing the obstructing..

    You LOVED it, you CROWED about it when it was Barack I HAVE A PHONE AND A PEN Odumbo who was obstructing Congress...

    Odumbo invoked Executive Privilege countless times..

    Did you complain?? Not a once...

    Yer so full of shit yer eyes are brown..

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    NYPD union leader sides with ICE against de Blasio over ‘sanctuary’-tied murder: ‘He owns this’
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nypd-ice-sanctuary-de-blasio

    Apparently, the only thing Democrats are good for are getting innocent people killed...

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Cops all over the country HATE the Democrats and their Sanctuary bullshit...

    Democrats apparently think illegal immigrants are above the law...

    Morons..

  57. [57] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Oh who are you kidding, Russ. You would never stoop so low to actually TALK to Trump voters..

    Which would mean you did not actually vote for Trump, after all! So you are just a contrarian who doesn’t believe the crap that you spew on here? I CALLED IT!

    You heard it straight from the horse’s hindquarters...Mikey DOESN’T REALLY LIKE IT!

  58. [58] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    "The gas inside them is toxic, which gave rise to a whole new problem with proper disposal that didn't exist for incandescent bulbs."

    The toxin in question is metallic mercury, it's also a problem in the good ol' fluorescent tubes which have lighted our workplaces, garages, bathrooms and kitchen counters for decades - and the old tubes had about ten times as much mercury as the CFLs.

    The CFLs didn't introduce the mercury problem with fluorescent tubes, they just made the public more aware of it.

    Metallic mercury is a genuine health hazard, but that's not the mercury exposure that most of the public should worry most about. Methyl mercury is much more toxic...and it concentrates up the food chain. A women of child bearing age eating half a can of tuna is ingesting more the daily recommended limit of methyl mercury. You can't usefully evaluate risks in isolation. Judging risk is always a "Compared to What?" problem.

    As for LED's...I'm very happy with them for both indoor and outdoor applications. Their initial cost is relatively high, but I've experienced a low failure rate in the five years I've used them exclusively. They consume about 20% as much power as an equivalent incandescent. I figure the payback for higher purchase cost in about 3-4 years of use. It's not a large amount of money, but why not take advantage of it?

    Color is not a problem for me...just ignore whatever the marketeers call the bulb and get something under 3000K for a warm glow.

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Russ,

    If people do not care enough about the environment to take personal responsibility for their own carbon footprint, why would you think they are going to care enough to support someone running on a green platform looking to cause massive changes?

    My point is that they must do both but, if they don't do the latter, then the former won't help and may continue to hinder people from understanding what really needs to be done to mitigate climate change.

  60. [60] 
    dsws wrote:

    Externalities are, by definition, things that the market doesn't take care of optimally on its own.

    Markets mean that no one has to know anything except their own preferences and the prices of the goods they're interested in buying or selling. Dealing appropriately with effects on others necessarily requires someone to know about those effects and about people's preferences about them.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why are you commenting on an tired old thread?

Comments for this article are closed.