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Resolutions to Ring in the New Year

'WITH the rich and mighty," decrees an old Spanish proverb, "a little patience."

Ever mindful of the wisdom of Spanish proverbs, I have been waiting patiently for the richest and mightiest to make New Year's resolutions.

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I haven't heard any.

The rich probably don't need to make resolutions except, perhaps, to share the wealth. The mighty are doubtless so busy doing whatever you do to achieve mightiness that they haven't had the time.

Ergo, as a service to these awesome folk, a few resolutions:

*President Clinton - Ralph Waldo Emerson claimed that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds; try to remember that Emerson didn't know everything.

*The Republican leadership in Congress - In considering the allocation of the nation's resources, keep in mind that the rich are few and the needy numerous.

*Sen. Bob Dole - Nobody's ever heard you chortle. Study chortling. People want a bit of jollity in their presidential candidates.

*Speaker Newt Gingrich - Time magazine made you Man of The Year for 1995. That was then. This is now. Study importance. You're slipping.

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*Senate minority leader Tom Daschle - You aren't taking the Democrats much of anywhere. Maybe they can't figure out how to pronounce your last name. Tell them.

*Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, etc. - Adopt a batch of new children and start over.

*Oliver Stone - You get into trouble because you make fanciful movies about contemporary presidents whose surviving families protest. Try Franklin Pierce. You could claim that, in his secret alter ego, he was Batman.

*French President Jacques Chirac - Stop messing up the Pacific with nuclear tests. Instead, dedicate France's power and prestige to helping Brigitte Bardot save baby seals.

*Boris Yeltsin - You have no political party. Form one. A Temperance Party. Do you and Russia a world of good.

*Bill Watterson - Reconsider. Do not retire "Calvin and Hobbes." It is one of the few real - that is, funny - comic strips around.

*Everybody Else - Enjoy 1996. Don't just endure it. It is reasonable to expect that people in Bosnia will stop fighting, that Michael Jackson will get a haircut and go away, that the federal government will reopen in time for all of us to see the Winslow Homer exhibit as well as Vermeer, that the movies will continue to adapt Jane Austen novels until they run out, and that Bill Gates will invent computer software to help all of us who don't understand computer software.

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