Dirk Adams Unloads on Democrats

Dirk Adams, who lost in the primary to John Walsh and then to Amanda Curtis in the special nominating convention this summer, recently mailed a five page screed to Montana Democrats, explaining why the election was lost, how it could have been won, and where Democrats have gone astray.  I’ve obtained a copy.

In sum, Adams implies in this document that had he been the US Senate candidate, Democrats would have won.

Specifically, he says that Democrats’ failure to motivate voters was due to the fact that the party does not stand for anything; and, that there are important issues in Montana which the Democratic nominee should have spoken up about.  Adams lists these issues:  The need for more food scientists (“there is not a single one in Montana), cleaner water in the Berkeley Pit,  (“No Democrat spoke to the Pit this cycle.  Why not?”), and the need for fiber optic cable (“You want your children to stay in Montana? Give them fiber optic cable, not a coal shovel”).

Democrats, Adams says, should have campaigned on these matters because they are “real ideas” and not the “vacuous political jabberwocky and pablum” that we heard from candidates in 2014.  Adams also blames the loss on what he calls the “Big Sky Buy-off,” a term actually coined by the GOP to refer to the choice of John Walsh by Bullock.  Adams calls Walsh’s appointment “a shabby and selfish gimmick” paid for by “the DC guys.”

Adams’ letter, overall, has something of a sore loser’s tone.  He’s not wrong to say that Democrats needed a better game in 2014 and that the two federal candidates might have honed a more penetrating message.   But the blaming of Bullock for choosing Walsh is absurd.  Walsh was an obvious choice and a strong one, for nobody could have foreseen the revelation about his plagiarism.   Harry Reid had nothing to do with it.

And the idea that Adams, who got around 10% in the primary, could have been the answer to our problems because he would have campaigned on the importance of the Berkeley Pit, fiber optic cable and food scientists is equally bizarre.   Ultimately, Adams is making the mistake of discounting the negative effect of the weight of Obama, whose dismal job approval in Montana dragged Democrats down irreparably.  It’s why we got clobbered, and there’s not much we could have done about it.  That’s reality.

You can read the letter here: dirkadamsletter

 

 

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75 Comments on "Dirk Adams Unloads on Democrats"

  1. “But the blaming of Bullock for choosing Walsh is absurd.”

    No, John Walsh failed vetting. Walsh should’ve never been on the 2012 ticket after he failed vetting, that was political malpractice by the Bullock team. Putting Walsh in the senate only repeated their risky gamble.

    There was no excuse for Bullock choosing Walsh, it was an epic blunder. Bullock’s lack of judgement cost Democrats dearly, the blame lies 100% with Bullock.

  2. Ten points for using the words ‘vacuous’ and ‘jabberwocky’ in the same sentence, though.

  3. How about paying your taxes, and not being a banker from Delaware?

  4. Thank you for your thoughts on my letter. I was trying just to have a conversation with Democrats in leadership positions at the local level, but obviously with the publication in your widely read blog, that narrow audience has been broadened. For my second letter, I will add you to the mailing list. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Dirk

    • Dude. You are completely off base. The reason why the Democrats failed is because no one has the cahonas enough to tell the voter that Obama is doing a great job given the state of the world, and you are idiots for watching FOX News.

      83 billion gallons of toxic sludge from the Berkeley pit will ruin our state forever if it leaks??? Seriously???? Dude. It is a PIT! It is easily manageable through collecting the acidic water (not sludge) and treating it in a conventional water treatment plant. Montana Resources has been collecting copper from the pit waters for years. Asinine statements like yours makes democrats look like Know Nothing Tea Partiers. Plus, I believe Montana State University mike take umbrage at your statement that there is not a single food scientist in the state. It’s an agricultural college. Hello?

  5. Good job, Mr. Adams! I hope you also put your money where your mouth is. What are you going to do with all that money? Please don’t try to be like my grandpa in Havre and take it with you – it didn’t work for him. You’ve got enough to give these clowns a run for their money, and they desperately need one.

    I think it’ll be quite easy, actually, as you just have to say what you think. Bullock will be quite easy for you to pick off in the primary because he’s allied with those Washington clowns and abandoned Montana with his DGA run. Sure, he compromised because we pushed him and now will do but one year, but that’s one year too many.

    Montana used to lead this nation, Mr. Adams, and anyone who studies history knows that. Be like our old Senator Murray and use that wealth for good causes, and use it to get elected.

    • As someone who actually *has* studied Montana history, I am curious, Greg. Exactly how did Montana lead the nation, in your opinion?

      • Since the M.L. Wilson comment went over your head, maybe you should just buy my 428-page history of Montana from 1900 to 1930.

        • I’ve seen no comment here from an “M.L. Wilson” so there likely can’t be anything that went over my head, can there? I remain curious. Are you discussing Montana leading the nation when in 1899 William Andrews Clark blatantly and brazenly purchased his Senate seat? Or are you discussing the 60s and 70s when Montana was wholly owned and operated by the Anaconda Copper Mining company (soon to be Arco) , William R. Grace mining, Burlington Northern rail and Champion International lumber?

          Sorry, kitten, I’ve already paid money to very real Montana history professors to learn the history of our state. You and Amazon will not get one red cent from me regarding this matter.

  6. I admired the gutsy, articulated campaign Adams put forth in the primary. He put the issues and his positions out there for all to see. Others, not so much.

    Sums up the Daines – Curtis debate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6CKJ_Kj7sA IMHO we would not have experienced ‘vacuous political jabberwocky and pablum’ if Adams had been the Dem candidate after Walsh’s demise.

    • For the most part, Adams’ message was that he was pissed off, and Walsh/Bullock etc. were bad people. Those were the messages he tended to put out there, and it’s hard to see how that contributed to his electability.

      • I would say you are greatly misinformed but his campaign website is down to prove otherwise.

        • ‘Watched him speak 3 times in person. If I’m ‘greatly misinformed’ you might want to check the source of that misinformation …

          • Perhaps you are demonstrating your selective hearing.

            • And perhaps what he said is exactly as I have characterized. Now, one of us saw him speak several times, wrote what I saw online and still voted for him in the primary. And you didn’t. Feel free to question my judgment, Craig, because for obvious reasons I will continue to question yours.

              • Although his website is gone that captured his positions, ideas, and issues, there is Kos. http://www.dailykos.com/news/Dirk%20Adams Check YouTube as well.

                How you selectively ignore the heart of his campaign messages is revealing of your focus and judgment. I stand by what I said, ” He put the issues and his positions out there for all to see. Others, not so much. “

                • So you voted for him, right? I have found not one indication at all that you did, or desired to. I did. I urged others to as well. So you think you can lord your pompous opinion over me? Not fricking likely, Craig. Your “focus and judgment” are weak in this discussion, and you have no authority to take me to task when I have done what you were obviously too weak to do. BuhBye …

  7. Or Democrats lost because it was a midterm election with an unpopular president in a state where the president was unpopular. Neither Dirk nor Walsh nor Curtis nor Bohlinger could have prevented it. Look at the fundamentals and this was never going to be good for the Dems. Maybe Brian could’ve done it…and perhaps Daines would’ve stayed put. Ideas can win elections if candidates have resources and if conditions are amenable. That was not the case in 2014 in Montana.

  8. I am so glad I read that letter. It was pretty good. I don’t know what you read, but it was obviously not the one I did, that talked about the need for NREPA, Indian health care, ground-up infrastructure for building local business, and yes, the Berkeley Pit. You might have a potential party leader here if you could just get out of your old boy network mindset for a day.

    Your line, that Adams “lost” to Amanda Curtis at the nominating convention infers that that was anything but a coronation by party insiders with a bit of lipstick added to make it look like a democratic process. That you Democrats bypassed the primary results and picked your own loser (to succeed an even bigger loser) speaks of the bankruptcy of your party.

    Time for Montana Democrat leaders to look in the mirror. Do they have the courage to look at themselves honestly? If this post by CG is any indication, the answer is way way no.

    • I thank Adams for staying involved in public affairs and Democratic politics, and wish him a joyous holiday season and peaceful and prosperous New Year.

    • Your logic is tracking backwards, again Mark, reserving only to yourself the ability to decide when something is theater and when it’s ‘democracy’. Look at your own statement, that the Democrats might have a party leader if only they weren’t the party that they are. Put vastly more simply and accurately than you cared to do so, does that still make any sense to you? Of course it doesn’t, (or to you, maybe it does.)

      Anyone who has paid attention to Montana politics has seen such missives before, either verbal or written, from Steve Kelly and Melinda Gopher. (They are not the only ones, but certainly the most high profile of the group.) The objective message is clear and usually has merit, that Montana Democrats have lost important standing regarding certain issues. The subjective message, at least as far as Kelly and Gopher were concerned, is that because they were not crowned with importance, those of us who voted for Montana Democrats were idiots. Unlike MT. Cowgirl, I don’t see as much sore loser in Dirk’s missive. Hopefully he will remain a voice in the Montana Democratic party, or be bold enough to form a new coalition. Either way, his efforts are hindered by you playing games, telling those of us who voted for him in the primary that we are corrupt and stupid for not subverting the process and crowning him ‘Senator-king’ for six years.

      • There’s a thin veil of pretense that Democrats are doing anything more than putting up sock puppets for financial backers, telling them that while they campaign they are allowed to sound somewhat progressive, out on a leash. Some can act better than others. Tester in ’06 was best actor material. Baucus was bankrupt for decades and needed support from Republicans, who oddly failed to put up a candidate after Williams. One,loser after another allowe a loser like Baucus to hold office for decades.

        John Walsh was a lousy actor. I could tell as his people put him in favorable settings on reservations and such that he was just acting. I could tell he was Shallow Hal. I knew he was going to veer hard right once elected. What is so fricking difficult? Are you guys Charlie Brown while Lucy pulls the football on you year in and out? Do you ever wise up? Why do you all act like just because a guy stands up and reads lines that people have to believe in him? He was a loser, a liar. If I saw it, so did a whole lot of other people.

        Of course, we had no real choice, the essence of our system, but that’s another story.

        Your party, Rob, is bankrupt, reduced to putting up shills like Walsh. They needed to take a flyer on Adams, as Curtis was obviously in over her head. Back against the wall what did they do? Put up another loser.

        First and foremost your party leaders hate and fear real liberals and progressives. They would rather lose than win if real genuine people get to run. That is your problem. You are stuck in a bogus enterprise.

        • And that is why instead of fearing ‘real liberals’ and progressives, most of us find you completely goofy. The punchline to the joke you will never get, Mark, is that you are stuck in the same bogus enterprise as the rest of us. You simply demand that we all take ownership of your portion of the fail.

          You present the evidence of your denial yourself. You still can’t see how laughable it is to suggest that The Party would rather lose than run someone genuine, in the context of a post concerning a ‘someone genuine’ who lost … really really big! Now, of course, here is where you caterwaul about both parties the same – same backers/decision makers – Democrats are only fooling us in the service of elites, blah-blah-blah. By golly, the sinister nature changes from Democrats would rather lose, to Democrats actually want the Republicant to win anyway, common control and all. Voting is useless, we have no control over candidates or poll tallies, the elites own us, blah-blah-blah. Not only does your argument above completely castrate Steve Kelly’s outragegasm, it shows how fricking ridiculous you really are. In short, you blame everyone else for you being stuck in a system you can’t do anything about, while gleefully informing us we can’t do anything about it either. You hand yourself a participation award and feel all better about knowing what’s *really* going on with the same breath you absolve us all of any culpability, attempting to blame us. Good move.

          What really rings hollow about your arguments, Mark, are the practical effects. Pop quiz: Who does more to support the candidates chosen by elite? You, and so-called progressives preaching corruption and avoidance of what simply can’t be avoided, or Democrats who attempt to pick a candidate who might actually win an election? Hmmm, one does wonder. Mark, all you are doing is congratulating yourself for being a useful idiot in service to those it is obvious do not want people to consider things and vote. Again, well done.

          • The electoral system has been captured by the monied interests. Those interests, which include bankers, PhRMA and AHIP, the timber lobby (especially strong in Montana), military contractors and the oil lobby and on and on … actually care more about policy than just winning elections. They expect their candidates to perform once elected. Ergo Tester bends over backwards to turn Montana’s remanding roadless lands over the timber, and is rewarded by $1 million in dark money to keep him in place as a minority office holder.

            That’s a real policy achievement. Democrat candidates are allowed to spout some progressive jargon while running TV ads for votes, but once elected that stuff all goes out the window, and it is back to work for the money people.

            Along comes you, who says that since I so clearly see the defects I ought to fix it. Or what? If I can’t fix it, I do like you and laugh about it shout about it? A person of integrity cannot participate in this process without turning off both intellect and conscience. I cannot do that. You can.

            Your talent then is to put together some densely worded paragraphs describing your ability to turn off intellect and conscience and to jump into corrupt party politics as … a virtue. I see what goes on with Democrats. They only care about winning elections. That is bankrupt and corrupt. That is where your feet rest. Make the most of it then.

  9. I got this email from Adams. I wasn’t Amused. Adams from the very beginning ran a negative Campaign. and he lost the Primary to a gentlemen who I think even in his small tenure did a far better Job than was expected of him. As for Amanda Curtis she was picked over Adams, who had a second chance to run and still the Democrats didn’t trust him enough to give him the okay.

    Amanda I will infer would have won the senate race if she had the time Daines did to campaign. Money and support data pretty much proves that.

    • Uhm, if you had paid any attention to David Parker up above, you would see that the “data” really doesn’t support your conclusion, much less “prove” it.

      Also, keep in mind that there is a significant difference between deducing and inducing (inferring is induction) a conclusion. Deduction require data. What you’ve done here is frankly well beyond those bounds.

      • Thats not what Parker said, but hey you can inference all you want to. As for you Rob…. I am still waiting for you to do something other than Blow hot air…. like Run. Or do you have a lot of skeletons in the closet like your sibling?

        Put your money and time where your mouth is. I have done my part and will continue to do so. Amanda by the way got 30% in three months. … and people like Dave Parker an avowed republican got lucky this year. He was totally off the mark two years ago believing Rehberg and Romney would win. His hit and Miss ratio for lots of Montana and National policy is about the same as tossing a coin in the air and calling heads or tails before it hits the ground. As a matter of fact yours is a lot less useful then his coin tosses are….. Just saying!

  10. Montanans need look no further than right here:

    Congrats @ButteCurtis -looking forward to robust US Senate campaign with Amanda Curtis. TY to Dirk Adams for continued involvement. #mtpol— Brian Schweitzer (@brianschweitzer) August 16, 2014

  11. I too thank Dirk for running, and raising issues he thinks are important for Montana’s future. Unfortunately, planning for the future out of concern for the state is all too often overshadowed by insider party needs. “Electibility” has become the dominant party consideration for most candidates, which means winning and money trump almost all other considerations. In that environment it’s likely we’re in for more of the same. Dirk presented a sincere, coherent plan that sounded different than the usual empty promises made by most statewide candidates. Maybe it’s time to invest time and effort into a little more planning around important issues and alot less wasteful spending on fundraising and tv advertising.

    • “Electibility” has become the dominant party consideration for most candidates, which means winning and money trump almost all other considerations.

      No it doesn’t “mean” that at all, but please do continue your caterwaul …

      • You disagree? Do tell us then, kind sir, what was the dominant consideration of Democratic Party insiders in 2014 if it wasn’t money and winning above all else?

        I’m trying to remember a single sound bite from all those tv ads (Curtis and/or Lewis) bought with all that campaign money. Nothing memorable on the wesites. What was that issue anyway?

        • Reasons why I voted for Amanda Curtis;
          1) her campaign was based on the simple statement that she IS ONE OF US. That makes for a beautiful bumper sticker. Like all bumper stickers, short, simple and valid.
          2) her first campaign commercial was really done brilliantly. The drive through the neighborhood began with showing the US Flag for a second or two before showing a middle class neighborhood. Maybe, even the one she lived in.
          However, she missed the “kill shot” (a racquetball term) during the televised debate with Daines. When she stated that Daines voted to cut Medicare, he had to LIE to minimize the damage that statement would cause. Amanda, either didn’t know or forgot, that Daines did vote for the Ryan budget. That budget did propose to cut Medicare. So. if she had responded that Daines either didn’t know what he was voting for, or was trying to hide his vote, she could have really put Daines on the defensive from that point on. Not that Daines didn’t have the “deer in the headlights look” during the debate.
          I do hope that the Democratic party will start looking to 2016 and the House race now. Find a few individuals and groom them to take on Zinke. He will have a record to defend, and if he consistently votes the party line, there will be plenty of facts to use against him.
          And for the record, I do hope that the Democrats realize the tremendous campaigner that they have in Amanda and provide more support to her in the 2016 campaign.

      • It’s a situation, Rob, where he has evidence and you have rhetoric. I’m inclined to be an evidence guy. Maybe there’s a math formula that says that when politicians lie, they are really telling the truth.

        • No. What he has is a particular view of the evidence, manipulated to narrowly define a word contra to his own intent. Electability does imply a concern for winning and raising campaign cash. But it is as unfounded as all get out that it implies those concerns above all others. If we all follow Steve’s ‘evidence’ to his conclusion, then the only people worth electing are those who are unelectable.

          One never runs a campaign for office with the intention of losing (that is unless he or she has conspired to lose to another all along, like Mike Comstock did in Senate district 34 two years ago to the benefit of Scott Sales.) To hold anyone in leadership or voter rolls accountable for wanting to win is foolishness of the highest order. That’s what the evidence says, Mark.

  12. Like fiber optic cable was going to make Montana a paradise? Are you kidding me? Maybe for data miners wanting to live someplace pretty where nothing happens — but we have enough of that already.

  13. Rob, the inductive/deductive world view is way, way out of date.

  14. Greg–
    There is no certainty in counterfactuals. Nor is there absolute certainty in a world of probabilistic estimates. I cannot know for certain that Schweitzer would have won had he run, nor would I know for certain that Daines would have stayed put. Hence maybe. Should I be intellectually dishonest? That’s not what I do.

    Forecasting models long ago suggested that Montana was going to be a loss for Democrats once Baucus retired. Even those Senate seats many thought were not in trouble–Colorado and Iowa–were lost to Dems. In those cases, it was probably because of candidates and the campaigns. But at the end of the day, there are fundamentals which in our increasingly polarized world with voters increasingly voting party lines that are hard to overcome. Thems are the facts. Thems are the data. The president’s party gets smashed in midterm elections unless there are “weird” circumstances–a la 1998 and 2002. And, this cycle also had bad terrain for the Democrats.

    2016 is much better for Dems, and there is a very good chance that they will pick up the Senate again.

    Dave Parker

    • We do have good odds, that had Schweitzer ran for the Senate seat, Daines would have stayed in the House. Daines couldn’t beat Max and his money and I think Schweitzer, would have had a sizable amount of money as well. Schweitzer does talk about issues, where we really didn’t know where Daines stood on most issues, except he wanted more coal, and thought we should be clear cutting our national forest for the benefit of the timber companies. One of Daines first votes in the House was to raise the debt ceiling and increase government. This was while he was talking about less government. Daines and Zinke brought the election. Lewis started his election too late by not spending any money until after labor day. Max was good at buying elections, with him spending a lot of money during the primary to get and keep his name out there. Even a good Republican like Bob Kelleher couldn’t compete with Max.

  15. “2016 is much better for Dems”

    Stop it already ! No whistling through the graveyard is allowed for at least another year !

  16. Adams is unable to “win the crowd”. Garnering 19 hometown votes (59A North) speaks to his inability to gain trust and respect.

  17. Choosing Walsh was a devastating mistake. What happened to the vetting process? Wasn’t Montana important enough to investigate his background. If the repugnants could find out about his plagiarism, why couldn’t the dems? Beyond that Walsh would never answer questions about his position on energy, the pipeline, or any other progressive issue. All he did was dance and obfuscate. If he had won we would have another DINO in the senate. I think we had enough of that with Max. The party is afraid of offending right wingers as if anything would move them that has a “D” after the name. Instead of trying to win over conservatives, they should be growing and mobilizing a real left alternative, promoting clean energy jobs instead of 19th century extraction technology, promoting high tech jobs with decent wages, championing expanding medicaid and improving the ACA into something closer to single payer medical care like the rest of the developed world already has, protecting public lands from short sighted developers instead of turning WSAs into boondoggles for loggers and miners.

  18. This is a depressing conversation, especially this close to Christmas. Instead of laying blame and settling old scores, Democrats should be focusing on how to win the next elections. Steve Bullock may have a hard time in 2016, and Jon Tester looks to be in real trouble in 2018. Montana Secretary of State, Auditor, and Superintendent of Public Instruction will be open seats in 2016, and Attorney General might be if Tim Fox runs for Governor.

    Dirk Adams is not a villain. He was an imperfect candidate but smart man who’s trying to stay involved. He’s an asset to the Democratic Party. Those who are turning on him are turning inward, never a sound approach to expanding a political party’s appeal.

    I urge everyone to stand down over the holidays, to contemplate the issues, to develop ideas for more successful campaigns, to enjoy the season’s festivities, and in the New Year to return to the debate with new ideas and constructive civility.

    To everyone: may your holiday season be bright with joy and hope, and may peace and laughter be your constant companions during the coming year.

    • To that end, James, perhaps Mahalia could brighten the mood and and calm the choppy seas of troubled souls. http://flatheadmemo.com/archives_2014/december_2014/2014-12-23_morning_video_malahia_jackson.html

      Merry Christmas everyone!

    • I always appreciate comments from gentlemen (and gentlewomen). Happy Holidays to you, too, James Conner. Dirk was also pretty gracious in his brief comment.

      I think that there are nuggets of truth in many of the above comments — from Adams’ letter to Dave Parker’s mid-term analysis to Cowgirl, Rob, John, Jeff … even Drunks for Denny.

      It’s one of the things I like about the Democratic Party, it actually does some soul searching and debating. The Republicans aren’t as introspective, which serves them well; just some buzz words like: “more jobs, less government.” Unfortunately, cheap slogans seem to play well with the voting public.

      So, where do we go from here seems to be the question. Form a progressive wing a la Tea Party? Moderate Republicans certainly cater to this far-right wing and it doesn’t seem to have hurt the party. On the flip side, Schweitzer’s name has been mentioned as someone who could have beat Daines. Schweitzer is no progressive, a populist (maybe). How do reconcile his popularity with a strong progressive message?

      Well, I don’t have the answers but I’m willing to engage in the process. I’ll close with this article at Salon that made for interesting reading:

      http://www.salon.com/2014/12/23/lets_abandon_loser_democrats_stop_blaming_fox_news_and_hoping_elizabeth_warren_saves_us/

      May you all have a joyful 2015.

      • Same to you Pete. As to buzz words and phrases, you guys win. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uAuuQnh90s

      • Never met an introspective Democrat. All those I know want to win elections and know nothing of policy, making them the easiest of beasts to fool.

        Like Bigfoot, perhaps film exists, but most likely the creature known as introspective Dem is a hoax.

        • You need to get out more, Mark. Believe it or not, there are introspective Democrats out there, especially at the local and regional levels. By the way, did you read my link? I believe the author is saying many of the things you’ve written about in comments here and at other sites.

          • As I recall as a candidate in 1996, there was Tom Towe, Jonathon Motl, but damned few others who were strategically oriented. They was all about winning elections, even running Mike Lange, as creepy a right winger as ever, as a Democrat.,

            Here’s something for you: Prior to the new congress, the old one ran a vote on Keystone, a symbolic one, but still, it had 59 favorable votes. So it appears to me that Republicans, many cloaked as Democrats, already had a commanding majority. I noticed this as well when Roberts and Alito ascended. Nominal party affiliation is essentially meaningless. You’ve got to follow the money.

            And now the party is set to run Hillary. She’s a Neocon. she’ll have liberals tripping all over her because she’ll mouth some platitudes while she gets ready to carry forward as Bush IV in 2017. In the meantime, Warren is set to run pwoggies down an alley, the usual gate keeping gambit.

            Until you figure a way to remove the money grip on the party, Pete, there is no point in being a Democrat.

          • Did read link prior to writing above comment.

  19. Coming from somebody who isn’t up on the minutiae of politics here, all I can say is that Dems now just look like the light version of Republicans. Beholden to big money and not caring about the middle class.

    Why would a Dem get out and vote if it doesn’t seem to matter? All of the candidates mentioned here seem completely interchangeable, save for Curtis who just hasn’t been around long enough to be bought off yet.

    • And yet Lewis and Curtis got just shy of the same percentage of vote …

      Hmmmmmmmm …

    • Jeff, I don’t think my wife could ever be “bought off” or influenced by money. We are just not that kind of people.

      • And that is the biggest reason people should vote for Candidates…. As I have said before Daines is already screwing Montanans of just about everything!!!!

          • Here’s the link to the CPSA’s proposed rule and rationale for it: http://www.cpsc.gov/Global/Newsroom/FOIA/CommissionBriefingPackages/2015/ProposedRuletoAmendSubstantialProductHazardListtoIncludeSeasonalandDecorativeLightingProducts.pdf

            It’s possible the Washington Times hyped this a bit, or misunderstood it. The CPSA is concerned with minimum wire size, over-current protection (fuses), and strain on the wiring, connectors, and sockets. That seems reasonable. I think the rule’s aimed at the cheapest of the really cheap imports. If adopted, it will not make Christmas go dark.

            Incidentally, it’s apparently still legal to sell incandescent mini-lights. Not only are these energy hogs compared to LEDs, they can be used in pipe bombs. I would ban them.

            • The standard goes from voluntary, which is working very well, to mandatory. This is a heavy handed regulatory solution in search of a problem. Remember Jimmy Carter turning off the White House festive lights?

              • Making the standards mandatory levels the playing field. Voluntary standards are like voluntary taxes; not everyone volunteers.

                I think the decrease in fires and injuries probably is largely due to LED’s displacing incandescent lamps. The LEDs run cooler, and the wattage is so low that circuits are not overloaded.

                In my own situation, I’m running outdoors nine 100-LED strings, plus a set of candy canes using incandescent lamps. Using my Kill-A-Watt meter, I measured the draw at 52 watts. Twenty years ago, the lights would have gobbled half a kilowatt.

                All of my lights meet the CPSA standards.

                • I don’t believe equalizing the playing field was the goal.

                  The Hill ran this story back in October. http://thehill.com/regulation/220822-christmas-lights-the-target-of-new-regulations
                  One of the commenters had this to say:

                  Let see, 250 killed since 1980 ? Texting while walking in 2011 alone 4,432 people died doing it according to the National Highway traffic and safety administration. I’m sure there are plenty of other stupid things people do that have a far higher death rate. I wonder what it cost to compile the study to reach this conclusion at the CPSC that people do stupid things. Wonder why we can’t fight things like Ebola properly ? Sorry I believe there are more important things for government to focus on.

                  IMHO, I agree with the comment. How is it worth the time, energy, attention, cost, and govt. restriction to go after this when they are far more urgent problems? Recently there was a poll regarding personal freedom. The US slipped for 9th to 21st since 2009. http://prosperity.com/#!/ranking Frivolous heavy handed regulations don’t help in addition to the downer of domestic spying and compulsory purchase of commercial insurance.

  20. I was going to leave this comment at Mark’s site, but no one who might actually consider it would read it.

    In 2006, Markos Moulitsis of Daily Kos fame, spent a week at Jon Tester’s ranch/farm finishing his book. Before that, he had spent nearly ten years backing losing candidates based on progressive principles. He decided that Jon Tester was a progressive hero and backed his candidacy for the Senate. That year was a remarkably successful year for progressives. Slightly less than two years later, the Dream Act came before the Senate, and Jon Tester was one who helped defeat it as tghe Montana people exactly desired that he do so. That was a pet cause of Markos, and he famously wrote to the Senator from Montana: “Good luck getting reelected, asshole.” There are some idjits who believe that Tester betrayed ‘democracy’ and revile him to this day. Tester was reelected in 2012. Sorry Kos.

    The point is this. In less than two years, a man who was a progressive leader suddenly decided that he could control and choose who the citizens of Montana elected to democratically represent them. He failed. That certainly speaks to the power of the progressive cause, now doesn’t it? Dirk Adams had some really good ideas, but the people who vote rejected him. Think on this, if the people who rejected the ‘progressive’ cause were actually joined by the progressive leaders (as they all seem to think they are), perhaps we wouldn’t have Steve Daines as Montana’s US Senator. ‘My way or the highway’ was the Kos message (and frankly still remains such.) The people built the highway, Markos. What have you actually built? And you, Mark, or you Greg? What has been built by those who keep the shrill ‘progressive’ message alive? Is Bullock no longer Governor because Brigham tells you it should be so? Was Curtis the weak ‘go to’ because obviously Montana Democrats wanted to lose? Is wanting something better predicated on serving the will of failed ‘progressive’ ideals and candidates?

    Merry Christmas, folk.

    • FWIW: According to a 8/29/05 NewWest.net article Markos Moulitsas spent some time at Tester’s farm earlier in that ’05 summer. The Dream Act vote in the Senate referenced above took place on December 18, 2010. The day prior Markos Moulitsas tweeted “Jon Tester to vote against DREAM. Good luck getting re-elected a-hole.”

      Therefore, nearly 5 1/2 years – not “less than two years” – passed between Markos’ visit to Tester’s farm and the Dream Act vote. Perhaps Markos Moulitsas, and other progressive-minded people, formed (or re-formed) their opinions about Jon Tester based on what transpired over those 5 1/2 years, including nearly 4 full years in the U.S. Senate.

  21. Anyone Noticing Rob thinks he is Cowgirl again.

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