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Republicans Seize Momentum, Set Sights On . . . Light Bulbs?

rep. joe bartonThe Republicans just stormed through the midterm elections, so the party obviously means serious, serious business. According to Talking Points Memo, one pressing and essential issue for Rep. Joe Barton, of Texas, is to deal with those newfangled "little, squiggly, pig-tailed" energy-saving light bulbs.

Apparently, the "traditional incandescent light bulb" needs protection because of its intertwining relationship with those good ol', traditional American family values. (Barton, the former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, just happens to be the same guy who infamously apologized to BP after the Gulf spill.) Despite the incandescent bulb's obvious environmental drawbacks, defending it from dangerous government regulators is apparently just as important as fighting Obamacare, the EPA, net neutrality and radical environmentalists.

Given his position, and his reported desire to maintain it, a reasonable observer might expect Barton to maintain an extensive scientific background. Gawker, though, unearthed a classic discussion about Alaskan oil deposits. Barton, apparently attempting to demonstrate his intimate familiarity with 8th-grade Earth Science, asks Nobel Laureate Steven Chen, "so [the oil] just floated up there?" For real, Texas A&M and Purdue? You awarded this guy with degrees in "science?" Eek.

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