The Buzz

January 6, 2014

BuzzChatter Monday: GOP backs away from the “light-bulb” issue

New regs regarding light bulbs roll in without a whimper of protest

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling


A few spicy quotes might get your blood pressure up this morning and help you stave off that bitter cold:

• “I think in general that Rs have decided that, with the record clear as to their opposition, they will let this Administration roll out these and other regulations directly affecting consumers, like Obamacare, and see how consumers feel about them.” — Linda Stuntz, a former deputy energy secretary from the George H.W. Bush administration, on new federal rules barring the manufacture and import of traditional 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs.

Once upon a time, this was a hot issue for Republicans, but it seems to have faded. Could it be that times have changed and dropping prices for the new curly-Q bulbs — as well as their superior longevity — has rendered this issue moot?

• “We are at a potential turning point: Either access to abortion will be dramatically restricted in the coming year or perhaps the pushback will begin.” — Suzanne Goldberg, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University.

A New York Times piece concludes that a push to restrict abortion in more than half the states “has altered the landscape for abortion access,” meaning that it’s become far more difficult to obtain access to the procedure in many regions of the nation.

• “The most entrepreneurial city in America reelects @MayorSlyJames to keep moving forward.” — a tweeted 2014 prediction from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

Only one problem, governor: James isn’t up for re-election until 2015.

• “It’s the smart substantive position, the smart economic position, the smart humanitarian position. And it is also the smart political position.” —Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, to Politico about his party pursuing a bump in the minimum wage as a key issue in 2014.

The issue polls very well for Democrats, and it’s fast emerging as at least one way for the party to try to move the spotlight off Obamacare as the mid-term elections near. Good luck with that.

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