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Something seems familiar about this scene: On Monday, California's former and now repeat Gov. Jerry Brown made his status official at a swearing-in ceremony in Sacramento, apparently comfortable enough in his position to get a bit goofy with the occasion.

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We all know the drill by now: Conservative legislator, predominantly of the male variety, gets elected on pro-family-values platform, is accused of engaging in some kind of sexual activity that goes against said platform, and then resigns after some attempt to deny or reframe the offending sexual scenario. California's Mike Duvall, however, gets some points for originality.

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Soon California can stop being the butt of jokes -- although seriously, Alabama, let's not point fingers. Party elders in Sacramento have reached an agreement that should balance the budget with $15.5 billion in cuts that will hurt students, the poor, children and the elderly. Republicans, who make up only about a third of the state Legislature, managed to thwart any new taxes.

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