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Arthur Schaper: Dr. Seuss Votes for Climate Change?

Friday, March 21, 2014


Markey's reading of Dr. Seuss' Lorax will not undo Democrats' bad chances in 2014, writes Arthur Schaper.

The Democrats in the US Senate are doing their best to defend Obama, Obamacare, and the careless, reckless agenda of government expansion, balanced budgets and fiscal restraint be damned. In spite of the utter seriousness of the situation in Washington (gridlock, brinkmanship, and the occasional yelling and screaming from one side to the other), there is always room for levity in the most august of Institutions, the United States Senate.

And no better source than Dr. Seuss.

During a twenty-two hour talk-a-thon in 2013, US Senator Ted Cruz attempted to rally the Republicans, which some called dispersed, and others despairing, to vote against any budget resolutions without first defunding Obamacare. One of the hallmarks of his mini-filibuster, Ted Cruz read to his daughters “Green Eggs and Ham”, along with debating Democrats and affirming the ideas of Republicans who wanted to hold their colleagues to the same onerous standards of the Affordable Care Act (shop for plans on the same exchanges as their constituents, pay the same high prices, etc., maybe endure the same part-time hours, too)

During the 2014 CPAC convention on March 8, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin appealed to “Green Eggs and Ham”, yet with more biting criticism against the health care law plaguing Democratic chances for 2014:

I do not like this Uncle Sam. I do not like his health care scam. I do not like — oh, just you wait — I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books. I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their crony deals.

Too bad someone didn’t put it to music. I can just imagine it: a Sarah Palin Seussical, starring the 2016 GOP Presidential nominees (Rand, Chris, Ted, One Fish, Two Fish, Red State, Blue State. . .)

Then came the March 11, #Up4Climate Change all-nighter of the Desperate Democratic Majority in the US Senate, which fears that their power in the upper chamber will melt away faster than the polar ice caps of Greenland. While the levels of ice have reached unprecedented levels in recent years, the US Senate Dems are looking less likely of staying above water.

Since I brought up Dr. Seuss, let’s segue to the lawmaker who tried to imitate Ted Cruz: Massachusetts’ own Ed Markey. Instead of Green Eggs or Cats in Hats, the ice-cream truck-driver turned government worker (as if there is a difference in the Commonwealth) read a portion – just a portion – from The Lorax.

I would have preferred a plea for bipartisanship: how about a speech about the star-bellied sneeches. Not only that, but Markey didn’t even bother to read the whole thing. At least Cruz was not averse to stand and share for almost an entire day. And Markey’s excuse: “I want to give all the other US Senators who care about climate change a chance to speak.”

Really? As for those Dems who didn’t care, or rather who didn’t bother to show up: Mike Begich of Alaska, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and the other red state Democrats who are facing tough prospects of keeping their seats this term. They represent states where the uber-rich have not taxed away everyone else, where vehicles still operate on gas (and oil), and where green technology is about making money, not making excuses for not drilling.

Who else showed up for the Climate Change All-nighter? Why, my own US Senator Barbara Boxer, the same lady who played out the “war on women” card one last time during the 2013 budget shut down, and most of her constituents wanted her to shut up. Yes, despite winning election after election, her approval ratings usually don’t pass 50%.

Massachusetts’ other US Senator Elizabeth Warren offered her own thoughts on green energy and corporate raiding which stops it. Well, “Green Eggs and Ham” certainly would have been a perfect read, but since Ted Cruz beat her to it, she could have read Yertle the Turtle, which relates the story of a stodgy turtle who steps onto other turtles, making them stack themselves, high enough to satisfy Yertle, until the rest of the turtles get tired of the bottom, and toss Yertle to the bottom of the pond. Reminds me of the Dems’ fate this November.

Green from reelection, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse made his sixtieth speech on climate change, but his counterpart Jack Reed, who like Yertle the Turtle, may be coming down from his perch. Despite Public Policy Polling’s assertion that he is the least vulnerable US Senator in 2014, a conservative candidate aiming to take on the US Senator, in spite of the legal challenges from an obscure city ordinance. Reminds me of little Sam, who will go to any lengths to get the other creature to eat something. Maybe the conservative Raymond McKay will get Jack Reed to eat his words, including: “Obamacare is ‘Good News for All Americans’.”  (Read the rebuttals here)

This year, the Dems hear a “who” (will lose?) because they hatched an egg: Obamacare, neither green nor good, which even the Dems’ Climate Change all-nighter cannot undo.


Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at [email protected], and read more atSchaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.


Related Slideshow: New England Communities With the Most Political Clout 2013

The Sunlight Foundation, in conjunction with Azavea, released data maps this week showing political contribution dollars to federal elections dating back to 1990 -- by county.

GoLocal takes a look at the counties in New England that had the highest per-capita contributions in the 2012 election cycle -- and talked with experts about what that meant for those areas in New Engand, as well as the candidates.  

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25. Merrimack County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $9.86

Total contributions: $1,447,713

Merrimack County is named after the Merrimack River and is home to the states capital, Concord. Merrimack County has a total area of 956 square miles and a population of 146,761.

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24. Cheshire County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $9.88

Total contributions: $759,209

Cheshire is one of the five original counties in New Hampshire and was founded in 1771. The highest point in Cheshire County is located at the top of Mount Monadnock, which was made famous by the poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

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23. Rockingham County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $9.96

Total contributions: $2,965,530

Rockingham has 37 communities and has a population of 297,820. Rockingham County also was home to the famous poet, Robert Frost

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22. Belknap County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.02

Total contributions: $604,512

Belknap County is one of the ten counties in New Hampshire and has a population of 60,327. It is located in the center of New Hampshire and the largest city is Laconia.

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21. Hampshire County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.41

Total contributions: $1,664,077

Hampshire County has a total area of 545 square miles and is located in the middle of Massachusetts. Hampshire County is also the only county to be surrounded in all directions by other Massachusetts counties.

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20. Barnstable County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.90

Total contributions: $2,348,541

Barnstable County was founded in 1685 and has three national protected areas. Cape Cod National Seashore is the most famous protected area within Barnstable County and brings in a high amount of tourists every year.

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19. Berkshire County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $12.49

Total contributions: $1,624,400

Berkshire County is located on the western side of Massachusetts and borders three different neighboring states. Originally the Mahican Native American Tribe inhabited Berkshire County up until the English settlers arrived and bought the land in 1724. 

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18. Essex County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $13.22

Total contributions: $9,991,201

Essex is located in the northeastern part of Massachusetts and contains towns such as Salem, Lynn, and Andover. Essex was founded in 1643 and because of Essex historical background, the whole county has been designated as the Essex National Heritage Area.

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17. Chittendon County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $13.86

Total contributions: $2,196,107

Chittenden has a population of 158,504, making it Vermont’s most populated county. Chittenden’s largest city is Burlington, which has about one third of Vermont’s total population.

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16. Lamoille County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $14.82

Total contributions: $369,854

Lamoille County was founded in 1835 and has a population of 24,958. The county has 464 square miles, of which 461 of them are land.

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15. Addison County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $15.49

Total contributions: $569,299

Located on the west side of Vermont, Addison County has a total area of 808 square miles. Addison's largest town is Middlebury, where the Community College of Vermont and Middlebury College are located.

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14. Newport County, RI

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $16.02

Total contributions: $1,214,26

Newport County is one of the five Rhode Island Counties and was founded in 1703. Just like Connecticut, none of Rhode Island counties have an any governmental functions.

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13. Cumberland County, ME

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $18.33

Total contributions: $5,205,507

Cumberland County has a population of 283,921 and is Maine’s most populated county. The county was named after the William, Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II.

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12. Windsor County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $20.57

Total contributions: $1,156,149

Windsor County is the largest county in Vermont and consists of 971 square miles of land and 5 square miles of water.

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11. Bristol County, RI

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $20.91

Total contributions: $1,027,472

Bristol County has a population of 49,144 and is the third smallest county in the United States. Bristol County was originally apart of Massachusetts, but was transferred to Rhode Island in 1746.

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10. Grafton County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012 :$20.95

Total contributions: $1,868,739

With a population of 89,181, Grafton County is the second largest county in New Hampshire. Home of New Hampshire’s only national forest, White Mountain National Forest takes up about half of Grafton’s total area 

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9. Carrol County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: 2012: $22.81

Total contributions: $1,012,10

Created in 1840, Carroll County has a population of 47,567. Carroll County was also named after Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the United States Declaration of Independence.

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8. LItchfield County, CT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $22.86

Total contributions: $4,286,143

Although it is Connecticut’s largest county, Litchfield has the lowest population density in all of Connecticut. Since 1960 all Connecticut counties have no county government.

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7. Middlesex County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $32.81

Total contributions: $50,432,154

Middlesex County has a population of 1,503,085 and has been ranked as the most populous county in New England.  The county government was abolished in 1997, but the county boundaries still exists for court jurisdictions and other administrative purposes.

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6. Nantucket County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $33.41

Total contributions: $344,021

Nantucket County consists of a couple of small islands and is a major tourist destination in Massachusetts. Normally Nantucket has a population of 10,298, but during the summer months the population can reach up to 50,000.

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5. Norfolk County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $35.87

Total contributions: $24,459,854

Named after a county from England, Norfolk County is the wealthiest county in Massachusetts. As of 2011, Norfolk was ranked the 32nd highest income county in the United States. 

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4. Dukes County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $36.32

Total contributions: $618,960

Consisting of Martha’s Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands, Dukes County is one of Massachusetts’ top vacation spots. Originally Dukes County was apart New York, however it was transferred to Massachusetts on October 7, 1691.

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3. Suffolk County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $40.73

Total contributions: $30,323,537

Suffolk County has a population of 744,426 and contains Massachusetts’s largest city, Boston. Although Suffolk’s county government was abolished in the late 1900’s, it still remains as a geographic area.

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2. Knox County, ME

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $45.89

Total contributions: $1,820,410

Knox County was established on April 1st, 1860 and was named after American Revolutionary War General Henry Knox.  The county has a population of 39,668 and is the home of the Union Fair.

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1. Fairfield County, CT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $55.65.  

Total contributions: $51,970,701 

In a population of 933,835, Fairfield County is the most densely populated county in Connecticut, and contains four of the state's largest cities -- Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk and Danbury.


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