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Bruce McFarland: Issues and answers: It's as simple as that

Posted: June 22, 2009 3:25 p.m.
Updated: June 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.
It's been two months since my last column. I really want to thank everyone for reading the editorial pages of our illustrious Signal. I especially want to thank everyone who felt compelled to comment on my last column. Isn't this a great country?

I was amazed how many letters did such a good job defending against accusations I didn't even make, but like I said, this is a great country - everyone gets to have their opinions heard. Keep reading and writing.

There's a variety of things on my mind as summer begins.

Gitmo - It was/is one of the worst examples of American values ever exhibited to the world. If we have evidence against the prisoners, we should try them, and if they are found guilty, we should sentence them. If we don't have evidence, we shouldn't have held them. They shouldn't be there now. We have to let them go (send them back - do not release them in U.S.).

Obama and Iran - It's amazing to me that almost every major foreign policy wonk from both sides of the political aisle support President Obama's restrained public position on the uprisings in Iran. But a few idiots - who think they must oppose Obama on everything - put political gamesmanship ahead of good policy and common sense. Shame on them.

Marriage equality - Every adult in this country should have the right to marry the person of their choice. Proposition 8 was bad for California and bad for America. People who oppose marriage equality don't really believe in the "equal protection of the laws" part of the Constitution. As long as the government wishes to be in the marriage law business, it must be equal for all.

Hart school board - Note to candidates: It really isn't true that you have to be a Republican to get elected. Well, maybe it has been true, but it shouldn't be true, and it's a shame when people think they have to change their registration to get elected.

‘Popcorn and a Movie' - I'm impressed to see the city providing free "Popcorn and a Movie" nights at the Sports Complex Activities Center. I hope that purchasing the rights to screen these movies was not too dear.

Steve Lunetta - A big thank you to my fellow Signal political columnist Steve Lunetta for his uncanny ability to define the Republican Party in Santa Clarita.

Dick Cheney and torture - Is Dick Cheney the spokesperson for the Republican Party? Not even I think that most Republicans believe that torture is the American way. Saying "we don't torture" doesn't make it true. If Cheney and his cohorts subverted their constitutional offices and the office of the Attorney General to get away with torture, they should all go to jail. To paraphrase and invert the other famous Dick (Nixon), if the vice president does it, that doesn't make it legal.

Health care for all - "Here we go again, Harry and Louise" is the Republicans' ongoing attempt to derail any meaningful health care reform. Why they feel it's necessary to save the health insurance industry, I just don't understand. Oh, maybe it's because they get all that money from them.

Health insurance is the largest unnecessary expense in the health care system, estimated to be about 30 percent of the cost of health care. I'm sure there are good people who work in the health insurance field, but if we didn't have to pay for all their profits, perks, advertising and fancy buildings, we would save a lot of money.

The single-payer plan is the best option for health care in America. If we can't have that, then at the very least, we should have a viable public option that would force insurance companies to be competitive and allow for all people to be insured.

Budget crisis - Before all Californians discover the devastation caused by cutting $24 billion from the state budget, I'd like to ask everyone to call Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and senators George Runner and Tony Strickland in Sacramento and ask them to please work with the Democrats to solve the budget crisis.

The latest plan offered by the Democrats includes more cuts than revenue enhancements, but would come close to filling the state's shortfall. The governor has stated he might veto it, but who knows if any Republicans will support it? Please call them and tell them you support compromise when doing the people's business.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to let Santa Clarita know what you think about it, too.

Bruce McFarland represents the 17th Senatorial District in the California and Los Angeles County Democratic Party. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Democratic Voices" appears Tuesdays in The Signal and rotates among several local Democratic activists.


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