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Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
-- Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), 2 March 1904 - 24 Sept 1991.

For all the little children who learned to read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish."

And all the mothers and fathers who read "Hop on pop!" hundreds of times, and knew every word by heart.

And all the babysitters who knew that The Cat in the Hat, whether book or video, could always bring a laugh from a child whose parents left home without them.

And for Calvin Trillin, whose lines about Phil Gramm may have contributed to sinking his presidential ambitions even though he acquired more campaign money than Croesus:
"They do not like you, Gramm-I-am!"

Remembering Dr. Seuss on his birthday: you really were You-er than YOU!


I love Gooserock's proposed bumper sticker (in this comment)! So I made a very amateurish version. At least it's bright and cheerful. Maybe someone with much more time and talent can make a better version? I can guarantee to get it to Chuy's campaign manager, Andrew Sharp (a close family friend.)

Edit to add: for Chuy Garcia's campaign to win the runoff election for Chicago mayor, against Rahm Emanuel, the corporate candidate.


My great-uncle Nat fought in World War I and was gassed. He survived, and made it home, but was never the same.

He had a little pension, just enough for a frugal existence. He lived in a tiny cabin on the shore of a lake in northern New Jersey. In summers he lived in an even tinier shack on an island just offshore from his cabin. He did oil paintings of the scenes he remembered from Europe, minus the battles and deaths, and of scenes he imagined from other places he wanted to travel (but never could).

We visited him when I was about 14; he let me paddle around the lake in his little rowboat. I think I did a little watercolor on his island (long since lost, if so.) I have one of his oil paintings, of Mt. Fuji, a place he dreamed of visiting.

He was a sweet, gentle, and kind man. He never married; something in him died in the trenches. There are no grandchildren to honor his memory today. So I'm left to speak in the place of the grandchildren he would have loved, alas as imaginary as his travels to Japan.

For Uncle Nat, let's work to create peace, not more lonely old men on little islands in far-off lakes.


That’s the title of the lead editorial (publicly available) in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), arguably the most prestigious general-circulation medical journal in the US. The position of Surgeon General has been vacant since July, 2013, when Regina Benjamin stepped down, and the responsibilities have been covered by her deputy, Boris Lushniak, as acting Surgeon General.

Very few people in the general public, and few in Congress, noticed or cared about this vacancy until a case of Ebola was diagnosed in Dallas. Suddenly, it’s on the national radar, with Republicans, as usual, blaming the President.

The NEJM gives a good description of the role of the Surgeon General and the qualifications and fate of President Obama’s nominee for the job. They suggest a few highly qualified people who might be viable alternative nominees. More after the General’s orange epaulet.

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Have you donated once, to some Democratic candidate or group? You’re on the national email list.

Donated more than once? The email goes up exponentially, 20 or so since daybreak just for the DCC, for example. Gaah.

I’d like your advice and feedback on this question: what national Democratic or other groups, if any, should we support for the specific goals of a) GOTV, and b) fighting back against vote suppression?

Voting booth is open, below the Orange Margin of Error.


Which group would you support for their effectiveness in registering new voters, increasing turnout, and fighting back against vote suppression?

6%3 votes
9%4 votes
0%0 votes
18%8 votes
13%6 votes
6%3 votes
16%7 votes
27%12 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Our Davis, CA, police department recently unveiled its special acquisition from the military surplus online cop-shopping mall: a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle, or MRAP.

The community was not best pleased. We have not forgotten the pepper-spray incident with the campus police. And the timing of their announcement was astonishingly insensitive, coming as it did shortly after the Ferguson police and their cast of extras had staged their full-costume re-enactment of the Battle for Baghdad.

The city council, who had not been informed in advance of this little bonanza from the MIC Christmas gift list, hastily put a discussion on Tuesday night's agenda. The result? Yay! Come see how one city backed off from militarization!

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Indiana’s congressional delegation is, by and large, the bright scarlet of a bloodstain on the national map. Five of its seven House delegates are Republican, and one of its two Senators. But Indiana is capable of surprising us; in 2008, Barack Obama carried the state by 1%, and in the 2012 Senate race, the Democratic candidate, Joe Donnelly, upset Richard “God intended that to happen” Mourdock.

This year, Democrats may have a chance to capture the 2nd district House seat. Better yet, the Democratic candidate, Joe Bock, seems to be a genuine progressive, while the Republican incumbent, Jackie Walorski, is Tea Party and Koch-brothers backed. She squeaked into office by just 1% in 2012.

I think Bock has a chance, and I’m not the only one to think so. Read on to find out why, and what Kossacks can do.

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The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) responded to President Obama’s push for equal pay for women with an editorial by two employees of a right-wing think tank, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). They claimed that gender disparity in salaries is a myth, easily accounted for by differences in hours worked, education, marital status, and occupational choice.

I’d like to share in some detail the results of a careful study that examined physicians’ salaries and found a persistent gender disparity that could not be explained by hours worked, education, occupational choice, part of the country, or race/ethnicity. A full PDF without paywall can be found here. This diary expands on my very brief summary of the paper in a comment to a DK diary on the WSJ editorial. More details follow below the Orange Stethoscope.

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One day when I stopped by to visit, I noticed Dad was limping a little, and using a cane. A sore foot, he said, nothing to worry about. I didn’t know he had a cane, and asked him about it. “I’ve had this cane for 80 years!” he chuckled. “There’s a story that goes with this cane.”

My dad is 98 now, and the other people in this story – the cane’s original owner and my dad’s classmate, Harry – are long gone. The statute of limitations has expired. My dad has given me permission to share this bit of history with you. Just follow me for the rest of the story.  

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Dear Senator Roberts,

I have followed with interest the controversy over your residence in Kansas. The media have reported that you have established a pied-a-terre – or perhaps one should say a derriere-a-chaise – by renting a recliner for $300/month in Dodge City. Reports also suggest that Kansas voters are unhappy with this tenuous connection to the state you claim to represent.

I have a modest proposal, therefore, involving a brand-new La-Z-Boy situated in our  home in California. Please read on for the details, and the advantages to all parties.

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My dad turned 98 years old today. Just to look at him – smaller now than I am, frail and a little bent, trundling slowly with his walker down the hall – you might not guess that he is a super-hero. But he is. He has super-powers, and he has used them all his life for truth and justice and protection of those in need. Beyond the Orange Birthday Candle, you can celebrate with us.
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:27 AM PST

One year of special care

by Laurel in CA

Her 67th anniversary, Nov 2013
One year ago today, we moved my mother from the assisted living apartment she shared with my father to a locked special care unit for dementia patients, in a different wing of their retirement community. She was 96 years old, and had Lewy body dementia. The hospice team evaluated her and said she was eligible for care; she might well not last six months.

Here we are, though, one year later. Hospice care ran out in July. She’s outlived most of those who were there a year ago, and several who came later. The sad lady who cried and kept saying she wanted to go home. The man who thought he was home, back 80 years ago, in a small town on the other coast. The beautiful, frail, devout woman who prayed the rosary again and again.  They’ve gone on, home or somewhere beyond, or nowhere at all. But my mother lingers, in special care. Maybe you know that place? It’s over the little orange fence.

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