Poetry +Politics = California

“In the iconography of American politics, California more than amyplace is where candidates, in Mario Cuomo’s words, ‘campaign in poetry.’ Odes to the state’s embrace of youth, change and possibility still linger in Democratic presidential politics.” according to New York Times reporter John Harwood, who went on to report that candidate Barack Obama recently said, “California has always represented the future in this country. I’ve got a little piece of California in me.”

Maria Shriver, California’s first lady, seconded the notion, and expanded on it at the boisterous Obama rally in Pauley Pavilion At UCLA Sunday when she said that if Obama were a state, he’d be California: “Diverse. Open, Smart. Independent. Bucks tradition. Innovative. Inspirational. Dreamer. Leader.”

The crowd agreed. We do, too.

Former New York governor Mario Cuomo, the most eloquent, idiosyncratic and elusive politician of the 1980s, almost ran for President several times.

If you missed the rally, at which Michelle Obama, the candidate’s wife, Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late Presiddet John F, Kennedy and Oprah Winfrey also appeared , go to www.cspan.com and click on Obama rally at UCLA to see the video.

OBAMA – YES!

If, as has been said, the American presidency is the toughest job in the world, then succeeding the worst president in American history will be immeasurably tougher.

Imagine that New Orleans is America and George Bush is Katrina and you’ll have some idea of the havoc he has wreaked in seven years.

The next American President will have to undo virtually everything Bush has done here and around the world, repair everything he has broken – including the Constitution, sweep up all the ugly debris he leaves behind, and do it all quickly, so he or she can revive America’s ideals and its promise and lead us out of the miasma that has enveloped the nation since Bush was anointed president by the Supreme Court in 2000.

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VOTE FOR OUR CHILDREN

Three decades ago, California’s public schools, colleges and universities were, in the words of the New York Times’ Max Frankel, “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Models for the rest of the world, they offered a peerless education for very little money, so any student could go as far as he wanted to go – K through PhD., There and then, California students, at all levels, were the best and the brightest in the nation.

But the passage of Prop 13 in the late 1970s triggered deep and continuing cuts in school funding, and, today, our secondary schools are among the worst in the country and ever- rising tuition at our colleges and universities has excluded many qualified students from higher education.

Howard Jarvis led the so-called taxpayers’ revolt that led to Prop 13. He’s dead now, but the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is still crowing about its “victory,” which only confirms what we have always known –- that these people are dumber than lumber and meaner than woodpeckers.

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