John McCaslin

Yes, says Rep. Michele Bachmann, the first Republican woman to be elected to Congress from Minnesota. The recently enacted energy bill, she explains, contains a provision to phase out incandescent light bulbs, mandating that only the energy-efficient bulbs can be sold in the United Stats in fewer than four years' time.

Mrs. Bachmann notes, however, that the new "high-mercury light bulbs chosen for them by the government received little scrutiny" and cites studies linking the green bulbs to higher incidences of breast cancer.

Just before the Easter recess, she introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which would repeal the mandate until the health questions are answered.

Trace your roots

Curious about when and how your ancestors arrived in America?

For the first time, the National Archives is making available online more than 5.2 million records of some of the passengers who arrived during the last half of the 19th century at the ports of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans.

The records, which can be found at, were transcribed from original ship manifests.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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