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Upset about FirstEnergy's pricey, hand-delivered light bulbs? You ain't seen nothing yet
Cleveland.com ^ | 11/08/09 | Kevin OBrien

Posted on 11/16/2009 4:08:16 PM PST by Libloather

Upset about FirstEnergy's pricey, hand-delivered light bulbs? You ain't seen nothing yet
By Kevin OBrien
October 08, 2009, 3:59AM

There was a time when you and I could be trusted to change a light bulb.

In those days, powerful people who made weighty decisions understood that if a light bulb burned out, even the dimmest of us common folk would know enough to remove it from its socket, choose a suitable replacement and install it.

Apparently all of the weighty decisions have been made, because powerful people have now worked their way down to telling us what kind of light bulb we will use -- and even bringing some to us, apparently fearing that even the brightest of us common folk might botch the job.

How is it that an act whose very simplicity spawned a genre of humor, based mostly on ethnic, sexist and sectarian slurs -- "How many (insert your favorite target for tactless, insensitive, mean-spirited, stereotypical humor here) does it take to screw in a light bulb?" -- has suddenly become a complicated, labor-intensive, expensive, public endeavor?

The old jokes have given way to a new one, with a reworked setup for the punch line:

"How many public officials and utility big-wigs does it take to -- well, you know -- every FirstEnergy Corp. customer?"

In just a few days, people dressed in green T-shirts and green caps will begin the rather enormous task of delivering two 23-watt, warm-white, compact fluorescent light bulbs to every residence FirstEnergy serves.

They won't ask whether you want them. They'll just leave them on your doorstep, in a bag that will also contain a brochure called "More Than 100 Ways to Improve Your Electric Bill."

They won't ask for payment, though. As you might expect with an electric utility, that's already wired.

These whiz-bang new light bulbs -- which cost FirstEnergy $3.50 each, and which you could buy all by yourself at any number of stores for even less if you were still trusted to do that sort of thing -- will cost you $21.60 for the pair. You'll pay it off over the next three years, at 60 cents a month added to your electric bill.

The bulbs you would buy at the store might come from China, like FirstEnergy's do, but they wouldn't come with delivery vans, or brochures, or paid bulb valets clad in green shirts emblazoned, "What's the Big Idea?" -- a slogan that just couldn't be more ironically appropriate.

Those little customer-service extras add up. But they're not the Big Idea.

"Providing energy-efficient light bulbs is just one way we can help our customers save money while also helping the environment," FirstEnergy's Web site proclaims.

Except that FirstEnergy really isn't "providing" them. You are. FirstEnergy is just inflating your cost tremendously by having them brought to you.

And, by the way, the $21.60 you'll pay for those bulbs also includes a little assessment to cover the cost of the electricity that FirstEnergy won't be selling you because you use those bulbs. Think of it as paying money to save money so FirstEnergy won't lose money.

Thus, saving customers money isn't the Big Idea, either.

So why would FirstEnergy go to all of this trouble? And why would the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio sign off on it?

Here's where the powerful people who make weighty decisions meet the Big Idea.

This is all about global warming, of course. Or to be less specific, climate change. Or to be more nebulous yet, greenhouse gases.

The General Assembly passed a law last year requiring Ohio's utilities to reduce their customers' energy use by 22 percent, and to shift 12.5 percent of their power production to "renewable" energy sources -- solar and wind, for instance -- all by 2025.

The Great Light Bulb Boondoggle is the leading edge of an energy-reduction effort to comply with commands the government of Ohio has issued to the tides of technology.

Those commands -- to foist immature and inefficient generation methods on consumers and push aside less expensive, more efficient power sources, like coal -- will be enforceable only at great expense to the public.

People are upset about FirstEnergy's light bulbs, as folks with sore ears at the PUCO will attest. But let's keep this in perspective: $21.60 is nothing, compared to the expenses we'll pay if the greenshirts drop a bag full of cap-and-trade taxes on our front porches.

So forget the PUCO. Call your senators and your congressional representative instead. Tell them you've had enough of command-economy enviro-thuggery. And invite them to put cap-and-trade in a place where a solar array would be both impractical and painful.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bulbs; cfl; energy; firstenergy; globalwarming; greenjobs; light; pricey; youpaidforthis
Eye on Cleveland: Light Bulbs to be Delivered by Utility

RUSH: Now here's a story out of Cleveland by Kevin O'Brien in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "There was a time when you and I could be trusted to change a light bulb. In those days, powerful people who made weighty decisions understood that if a light bulb burned out, even the dimmest of us common folk would know enough to remove it from its socket, choose a suitable replacement and install it." We made jokes about it, it was so simple.

"Apparently all of the weighty decisions have been made, because powerful people have now worked their way down to telling us what kind of light bulb we will use -- and even bringing some to us, apparently fearing that even the brightest of us common [people] might botch the job. How is it that an act whose very simplicity spawned a genre of humor, based mostly on ethnic, sexist and sectarian slurs ... has suddenly become a complicated, labor-intensive, expensive, public endeavor? ... In just a few days, people dressed in green T-shirts and green caps will begin the rather enormous task of delivering two 23-watt, warm-white, compact fluorescent light bulbs to every residence FirstEnergy," which is the power company, "serves.

"They won't ask whether you want them." Stick with me, here. This is Cleveland. "They'll just leave them on your doorstep, in a bag that will also contain a brochure called 'More Than 100 Ways to Improve Your Electric Bill.'" Now, don't... Folks, stick with me on this because we haven't even gotten to what's outrageous about this. "They won't ask for payment, though. As you might expect with an electric utility, that's already wired. These whiz-bang new light bulbs -- which cost FirstEnergy $3.50 each, and which you could buy all by yourself at any number of stores for even less if you were still trusted to do that sort of thing -- will cost you $21.60 for the pair." So $3.50 each is what the power companies has to pay for them. They're going to charge their customers 21.60 for the pair of 23-watt bulbs.

"You'll pay it off over the next three years, at 60 cents a month added to your electric bill." Hang on. "The bulbs you would buy at the store might come from China, like FirstEnergy's do, but they wouldn't come with delivery vans, or brochures, or paid bulb valets clad in green shirts emblazoned ... 'Providing energy-efficient light bulbs is just one way we can help our customers save money while also helping the environment,' FirstEnergy's Web site proclaims. Except that FirstEnergy really isn't 'providing' them. You are. FirstEnergy is just inflating your cost tremendously by having them brought to you. And, by the way, the $21.60 you'll pay for those bulbs [in Cleveland] also includes a little assessment to cover the cost of the electricity that FirstEnergy won't be selling you because you use those bulbs.

"Think of it as paying money to save money so FirstEnergy won't lose money." So can I set this up for you? The utility in Cleveland is going to deliver two 23-watt compact fluorescents to every customer. You're going to be charged $21.60 for the two of them when the utility is buying them for $3.50. You will pay for them over the course of three years at 60¢ cents a month added to your bill. But because they ostensibly save power, and you won't be using as much, you are going to be assessed an additional charge to make sure that First Energy does not lose money by having you install the new bulbs; the purpose of which everybody believes is to reduce power consumption, to save the energy or save the climate because we're not going to be emitting as much carbon.

Do you follow that, folks? What? No, it's not insanity, it's liberalism! Pure and simple. It's liberalism. After they rope everybody in on all of this "Save the planet stuff! Save the planet stuff! We gotta reduce our carbon emissions," they're going to charge you for "saving" the planet. They're going to charge you for not using the electricity they tell you that you should not use! They're going to bring the lightbulbs to you. "The General Assembly passed a law last year requiring Ohio's utilities to reduce their customers' energy use by 22 percent, and to shift 12.5 percent of their power production to 'renewable' energy sources -- solar and wind, for instance -- all by 2025." So this utility is just following the law, as passed by the Ohio legislature, folks. Liberalism is behind this.

Now, Snerdley, it's not a question of them getting away with it, it's that they're obligated to do it by the legislature, or what is it called in Ohio? The General Assembly. "The General Assembly passed a law last year requiring Ohio's utilities to reduce their customers' energy use by 22 percent, and to shift 12.5 percent of their power production to 'renewable' energy sources -- solar and wind, for instance -- all by 2025. The Great Light Bulb Boondoggle is the leading edge of an energy-reduction effort to comply with commands the government of Ohio has issued to the tides of technology. Those commands -- to foist immature and inefficient generation methods on consumers and push aside less expensive, more efficient power sources, like coal -- will be enforceable only at great expense to the public.

"People are upset about FirstEnergy's light bulbs, as folks with sore ears at the PUCO will attest. But let's keep this in perspective: $21.60 is nothing, compared to the expenses we'll pay if the greenshirts drop a bag full of cap-and-trade taxes on our front porches. ... Call your senators and your congressional representative instead. Tell them you've had enough of command-economy enviro-thuggery. And invite them to put cap-and-trade in a place where a solar array would be both impractical and painful." The author of this story is Kevin O'Brien at Cleveland.com. I don't know if the legislature or the General Assembly in Ohio mandated the price structure. Could be that the power company did that. I mean, folks, two lightbulbs, $3.50 is what it costs the power company in Cleveland to buy them, and they're going to sell them to you for $21.60. You have no choice. You're going to pay for them whether you put them in or not. And you're going to get billed 60 cents a month for three years, but since you're going to be using less electricity because those two lightbulbs, they're going to assess you a fee so that you will be paying what you would have paying had you not put the lightbulbs in. Huh? Well, but, Snerdley, health care costs aren't going to go down. He's asked me if health care costs go down like the government promises when they run everything, they're going to raise fees to keep the price up.

Health care costs are not going to go down, just like utility costs are not going to. Nothing is going to go down! For crying out loud, no price is going to go down. You have dips in prices and so forth with sales and a number of other factors, but as a general rule, prices of everything go up and they will continue to go up. When is the ban on incandescent lightbulbs go into play? It's not that far down the road, a couple years, right, couple, three years? I don't think anybody knows about this. I mean this is not the same as requiring you to go to digital on your TV. This is not the same as that. This is bringing a lightbulb into your house that requires a hazmat team to throw away because there's mercury in it. And when people find this out this could be one of many tipping points that wake up all these precious moderates and independents out there, say, "What do I have to do? You're telling me I gotta use these little spaghetti lightbulbs here, and you're going to charge me more for it even though I'm supposed to save the planet by using less electricity?" What then?

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_111609/content/01125104.guest.html

1 posted on 11/16/2009 4:08:16 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather

This is unbelievably stupid and, as I understand it, we can’t opt out.

I’m tempted to send them back to First Energy, pulverized, in a bag, but I’m afraid they’ll get the EPA on me and probably the postal inspector too, since these bulbs are effectively hazardous materials.

Open to (legal) ideas on how I could make my displeasure known to the powers that be...


2 posted on 11/16/2009 4:22:11 PM PST by chrisser (Tweet not, lest ye a twit be.)
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To: Libloather

There is an orginization doing the same thing type of thing here in New Jersey. If I could find the bulb they left on my door I will post their name.

The first time I just found a bulb on my door but about a week ago they came a second time and this time I confronted the guy.

He had no good answers for anything I threw at him. The conversation went something like this:

Me: No thank-you. You know them bulbs have mercury in them.

Greeenie: So does your watch. (I wasn’t wearing one but..)

Me: Yea but with this push to have everyone use these bulbs there will be billions upon billions of them in the trash. The government now is even mandating we use these bulbs.

Greenie: No there not. Besides you are supposed to bring them to the Home Depot, they do the proper recycling.

Me: People are not going to collect them and drive them to Home Depot. Besides wouldn’t they be killing the earth by driving anyway? What if they break in your car? They are extremely dangerous that way. And yes the government is outlawing the edison lightbulb in 2012.

Greenie: Soon they are going to have a special pickup for these bulbs. (Also admits that he is being paid by tax dollars to hand these out)

Me: So more taxes to pay for pickup? Besides these bulbs do not give off a full spectrum of light. They are no good. Plus you are still going to have billions of these bulbs polluting the earth. Why are you working to kill the earth?

Greenie gets frustrated and leaves.

The entire green movement is a massive scam.


3 posted on 11/16/2009 4:28:28 PM PST by TheBigIf
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To: Libloather

Geeez, these lamps (which are good for *some* uses) are routinely on sale for 50 cents each. I bought a 4-pack for $2 2 weeks ago.

I find the estimates on their lifespan to be grossly overstated. And they can really suck in horizontal or upside down use. To be fair, those positions are counter-recommended. But the SOBs are still under a buck on sale.


4 posted on 11/16/2009 4:39:44 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (It's better to give a Ford to the Kidney Foundation than a kidney to the Ford Foundation.)
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To: Libloather
This is already on the way out. O'Brien is the only writer worth reading in the Pain Dealer.
5 posted on 11/16/2009 4:52:54 PM PST by Ukiapah Heep (Shoes for Industry!)
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To: Libloather
Years ago, the Utility had a promotion where they produced whistles that said "Lights Out.....Blow Me"

TRUE story.

6 posted on 11/16/2009 5:01:42 PM PST by traditional1 ("don't gots to worry 'bout no mo'gage. Don't gots to buy no gas...Obama, he gonna take care o' me")
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To: TheBigIf

Probably Met Ed or Jersey Central Power and Light; BOTH are First Energy subsidiaries.


7 posted on 11/16/2009 5:02:56 PM PST by traditional1 ("don't gots to worry 'bout no mo'gage. Don't gots to buy no gas...Obama, he gonna take care o' me")
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To: chrisser
Open to (legal) ideas on how I could make my displeasure known to the powers that be...

Send them a note demanding that they forgo littering your yard with a mercury source.

I had a similar problem with the Minneapolis "Red" Star Tribune newspaper delivering unwanted free promotional papers to me.

They were nice when I talked to them and asked them to quit delivering papers to me, but the papers kept showing up now and again.

The only way I got their attention was to suggest that I might likewise deliver a "free" ton of manure to their front door. It's been a four years now without the "Red" Star newspaper on my doorstep.

8 posted on 11/16/2009 5:06:18 PM PST by RJL
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To: RJL

You shoulda sued for illegal dumping of toxic waste in a residential zone.

:-P


9 posted on 11/16/2009 5:24:59 PM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: chrisser
Open to (legal) ideas on how I could make my displeasure known to the powers that be...

Since the mandate date is a couple years away = everyone should - I would - take the bulbs back to the doorstep of the office with name and acc't no. on them, and send a registered letter reminding them you have returned the bulbs - and THEY can be responsible for the hazardous waste or they can stick 'em - and are not to be billing for them.

How on earth do they get away with the hype that these are good for the environment when they will be thrown in the trash - you know as many people as won't, will not traipse all over creation a hazardous waste facility and pay the fee, to boot.

Every dump in the country will be forever contaminated with mercury.

That cleans up the earth how?

I'll be the little old lady, shades drawn, reading with my contraband bulbs. (Besides, those little monsters give a harsh light that bothers my eyes - not to mention, as an artist, I couldn't work at night anymore. Those things throw colors way off.)

Hey - you lib-tard dictators - stay the he*l out of my house and my decisions. I realize you all have invested big bucks on the ground floor stocks in these little bombs = ALL of which are made in China - but I'm not buying it - or them. Just more jobs out of the country, more non-American products.

WE need to get these people out of government while we still have a say in the voting booths.

10 posted on 11/16/2009 5:29:16 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" Lincoln)
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To: maine-iac7
I'm stocked for a couple of years past the 2012 date. By that time, LED lights should be at a reasonable cost.

You can go all LED now, but the price is steep.

11 posted on 11/16/2009 5:48:33 PM PST by Ken H
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To: Libloather

bump


12 posted on 11/16/2009 5:51:55 PM PST by VOA
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To: TheBigIf

The name of the company in NJ was something like “lime light” they were in my area on holloween, they gave you a tshirt if you signed some petition they had but I blew the guy off.


13 posted on 11/16/2009 5:54:25 PM PST by KingNo155
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To: Libloather

Awesome piece by Kevin O’Brien. I think I’ll write him a “thank you” note.


14 posted on 11/16/2009 6:17:25 PM PST by meyer (Government health care = national strike.)
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To: traditional1
Years ago, the Utility had a promotion where they produced whistles that said "Lights Out.....Blow Me"

I remember those. :-)

15 posted on 11/16/2009 6:19:52 PM PST by meyer (Government health care = national strike.)
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To: Ken H
I'm stocked for a couple of years past the 2012 date. By that time, LED lights should be at a reasonable cost. You can go all LED now, but the price is steep.

Yep

I suspicion this fiasco fiat from the dictator wannabes is going to go over about like another plan they are trying to get through - ammo manufactured with what amounts to serial numbers on every bullet and when you buy ammo, you have to sign for it thus those bullets are traceable straight to you...as well as it will then be easy to restrict how much you will allowed to buy ANDmost important, they will then have a record of what guns you have, based on the ammo you buy.

Also, part of that is that we would then be required to turn in all our old ammo.

Right. "But I long ago shot all that ammo off...target practice, ya know."


16 posted on 11/16/2009 6:21:05 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" Lincoln)
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To: gogogodzilla
You shoulda sued for illegal dumping of toxic waste in a residential zone.

LOL... I did tell them that I considered their paper litter in my yard.

I now have a lawyer living across the street from me, and he's a great guy, so I'll be ready next time with a toxic waste lawsuit.

17 posted on 11/16/2009 6:23:57 PM PST by RJL
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To: Libloather

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that as a child we used to play with the mercury in science class, letting it pool in our palms, and watching it shatter into tiny drops as we poured it onto the table, then pushing all the small drops back into a pool ... but all my lights are compact fluorescent and I feel fine.


18 posted on 11/16/2009 6:31:19 PM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
Geeez, these lamps (which are good for *some* uses) are routinely on sale for 50 cents each. I bought a 4-pack for $2 2 weeks ago. I find the estimates on their lifespan to be grossly overstated. And they can really suck in horizontal or upside down use. To be fair, those positions are counter-recommended. But the SOBs are still under a buck on sale.

We have had them horizontal for three years. No failures. Also regular cfl's in ceiling fans. No failures.

19 posted on 11/16/2009 6:36:11 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: TheBigIf
The entire green movement is a massive scam.

Of course it is.

But by now it has so much momentum that it's going to be difficult to stop. These politicians know global climate change is a scam, but they hesitate to reverse themselves so that they won't look like the assholes they really are.

20 posted on 11/16/2009 6:51:44 PM PST by Ole Okie (Ancient but sprightly American)
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To: traditional1
Years ago, the Utility had a promotion where they produced whistles that said "Lights Out.....Blow Me"

Looked it up. Nothing on Google or Ebay. If you own one, you may have a treasured keepsake.

21 posted on 11/16/2009 7:12:10 PM PST by Libloather (Tea totaler, PROUD birther, mobster, pro-lifer, anti-warmer, enemy of the state, extremist....)
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To: Libloather
this is what I fear....that one can not even choose the way one lives...

I've added something else to my survival closet.....old fashioned light bulbs....

suppose the day will come when it will be illegal to use them...

22 posted on 11/16/2009 7:22:57 PM PST by cherry
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To: chrisser
Open to (legal) ideas on how I could make my displeasure known to the powers that be...

My electric provider, Aiken Electric Cooperative has mailed each customer a CFL at no charge. I took mine back and when they asked why, I said, "Why would I knowingly bring hazardous material into my home." When they acted incredulous, I gave them a copy of this. Go read that. The EPA treats cleaning up a CFL bulb like it was anthrax or something. No CFLs for me. The light they give off is horrible.

I'm stocking up on incandescent bulbs.

IMHO, the next "big" thing in indoor lighting will be LEDs. Gonna blow CFLs outta the water. Nice light, almost no heat, super cheap to run and last for decades.

23 posted on 11/16/2009 7:36:15 PM PST by upchuck (New sign on my pickup: Are you a "Hope and Change" regretter?)
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To: chrisser

Write the CEO and claim you’re a shareholder. There’s no way they can verify that you are or aren’t a shareholder. Trust me on this - I work with proxies and shareholder issues on a regular basis.

Tell him/her that you’re pi$$ed at the waste of money. Tell ‘em that you consider their lightbulb project to be a useless feel-good stunt an that you have no time or patience for that kind of money-wasting BS.


24 posted on 11/16/2009 8:37:50 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: upchuck

LOL


25 posted on 11/16/2009 9:54:42 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: Libloather

Now, the question is whether or not there will be someone monitoring to see whether or not you “properly disposed” of your new mercuric tarbabies...Or whether you are in violation of some clause of EPA regulations.


26 posted on 11/16/2009 10:54:18 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Libloather

It’s a collectors item NOW, for sure. It was probably back in the 1970’s when it was produced.


27 posted on 11/17/2009 5:24:09 AM PST by traditional1 ("don't gots to worry 'bout no mo'gage. Don't gots to buy no gas...Obama, he gonna take care o' me")
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To: traditional1

Growing up, at bedtime my grandma would always tell me to “blow out the light;” with the shame of youth, I kept this as our little secret; but imagine my surprise many years later while passing a neighbor’s bedroom window, I heard the unfathomable phrase uttered by the husband, “...blow out the light and I’ll eat ?,” as I ran down the street.


28 posted on 11/17/2009 10:50:33 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: Old Professer
We gotta be in the same age group !

LOL

29 posted on 11/17/2009 11:05:03 AM PST by traditional1 ("don't gots to worry 'bout no mo'gage. Don't gots to buy no gas...Obama, he gonna take care o' me")
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