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Ron Cruger
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Grandpa in the year 2061
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           So, Jerry Brown is the new governor of California. It’s déjà vu all over again (thanks, Yogi). My hope is that the seventy two year old Brown will throw caution to the winds and do the things that are necessary to bring the state back into the black. He can tell the unions “No more favors, no more deals.” He can cut back on waste and corruption. He can make the hard choices and think, “I’m seventy two frigging years old, what do I have to fear?” My hope is that he’ll do the tough things that should have been done decades ago.
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          I wonder what Meg Whitman is thinking about now. She took $140 million of her own money to run for governor of California and got soundly defeated. But, $140 million doesn’t make too much of a dent in a billion bucks. I won’t cry for her.
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          The proposition to make the use of marijuana legal went up in smoke. I’ll bet that most of the people who voted against the proposition still call them “reefers.” And I’ll bet that most of the people who voted for the proposition don’t even know what a “reefer” is.
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           In San Diego there was a proposition to raise the sales tax a half-a-percent. The city has been so mismanaged over the years that it is millions in the hole, mainly due to extravagant pension programs to current and former city employees. How “responsible” city managers permitted these ludicrous and avaricious pension programs to become law should make us all take closer looks at what our local, state and federal governments enact for the benefit of themselves. What amazes me is that the city “fathers” would think that the citizenry would listen to the tales of over-spending, greed and gluttonous squandering of tax-payer funds and still expect taxpayers to foot the bill for another round of governmental excess. Doomed from the start to fail.
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            President George W. Bush has been on television lately, mainly to promote his new book. I was never a George W. fan when he was our President. I thought he didn’t have the intellect or charisma needed to lead the country. A few times his action actually embarrassed me. Now, that he is at home in Texas, away from the White House and its awesome responsibilities I see him in a kinder light. Looking back, during his years as President I view him as a man in a job with requirements slightly over his abilities. Above all, I see him as being, then and now, a good American - loving his country and wanting to do his best. Hail to our former President. May he live a long and peaceful life.
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            Although I give credit to President Obama for wanting to forge a health care bill that would offer medical care to almost all Americans, from what I have read it is a collection of effluvium: Two thousand plus pages of governmental sense and nonsense.
Rumors abound about how the new law will or not work. There is fear among the poor, the elderly, the middle class about how the new law will affect them. Dramatic and effective videos and blogs report on the “death squads” and the potential failure of the new law to offer quality health care to millions of Americans. President Obama sincerely wanted to improve health care for millions of us, but he obviously went about getting it in the wrong manner. Now it sits as the law of the land. My hope is that if the Republicans accomplish nothing more during their dominant tenure in the House of Representatives that they take the “Obama Care” bill, erase it and start all over – creating something that will provide the needed medical care to Americans who do not currently enjoy that benefit. Something that will make Americans kick up their heels with joy and appreciation instead of the current malaise when the subject is approached. Go to it, Republicans!
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             And while we’re on the subject of some needed changes. How about our Senators and Representatives (and the President and the Supreme Court) getting off their self-satisfying duffs and changing the rules about campaign funding. Industry is giving millions to hundreds and thousands of politicians. Those “donations” aren’t “gifts” to nice guys and gals as rewards for running and/or being elected to public office. They are messages from corporations that they want something. “Here is $900, 000 we expect you to support our company and its goals. We expect you to vote for things that will help us. Are we clear?”
If one politician receives a donation of $5.00 from one firm and another donation from another for $250,000 you can bet the farm that the politician’s vote will go to the larger donor. I know it sounds impossible, but here’s hoping an honest assemblage of Senators and Representatives will re-write the laws of political donations and reduce the terrible temptations that face the men and women who represent us. Pass a law that will make politician’s actions reflect their subservience to the will of their constituents, not to the amount of a corporation’s “donation.”
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             And let us all hope that the shame of indifference reflects on the one third of eligible Americans who do not exercise their vote. We are talking about a serious condition that finds too many Americans letting other Americans determine their fate. Shame on Americans who don’t vote.