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Gov. Jerry Brown, who in the past year has likened Republican resistance to tax increases to a pope's resistance to abortion or to a broader audience's fear of "some kind of a sexually transmitted disease," tried a new line this morning.

The one involved conditioned dogs.

"It's difficult for Republicans because they have a theological imperative that says every time that somebody says, 'Tax,' they say, 'No,' " the Democratic governor told a crime victims group in Sacramento.

" 'Tax?' 'No.' That's built-in stimulus response," Brown said. "I don't know how many of you remember, studied about Pavlov."

For those who didn't remember or know about the Russian scientist, Brown briefly explained to the chuckling crowd that Pavlov studied dogs' tendency to salivate in anticipation of food.



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