What happens when you combine digital-native collegeseniors with a tech savvy White House and a dash of"si, se puede" determination?

You wind up with first lady Michelle Obama deliveringthe commencement address to the 450 members of the Universityof California, Merced's firstfour-year class.

With the governorship up for grabs in 2010 and a wildly unpopular incumbent in office, Democrats in California have substantial reason for rejoicing and Republicans are stuck with explaining how it wasn't actually their fault that said unpopular leader got into office.

 

Probably no one who attended or watched last Friday's funeral service for the four slain Oakland Police officers spent much time reflecting on the fact that two of these brave public servants died at the hands of a career criminal wielding a Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifle.

That's wholly understandable and appropriate. Friday's service, touching and poignant as it was, was rightly focused on the lives of these four fine men -- Officer John Hege, Sgt. Mark Dunakin, Sgt. Ervin Romans and Sgt. Daniel Sakai.

The bestidea coming out of Sacramento these days is actually coming from the Bay Area, where a group of business leaders wants tocall a constitutional convention to revamp California's government.

The governance equivalent of a quintuple bypass anddeep brain stimulation surgery performed at the same time, a constitutionalconvention is a notion that should send shivers down the spine of anyreasonable person.

It slicesopen the body politic and exposes its vital organs to all sorts of poking andprodding.

Scary stuff.

On theother hand, what do we have to lose?

Ina likely indicator of voter displeasure with all things Sacramentothese days, a recently released poll shows that a clear majority ofCalifornians support the idea of having an "open primary" which wouldallow the two top vote-getters (regardless of party) to advance to thegeneral election.

Well, so much for the idea that bureaucracy should be accountable.

The decision on California's attempt to reinstate control over its ownprison system is back, and from the looks of it, we're doomed to spendmillions more on ensuring that murderers who have the flu get their hotwater bottles.

Southern California Edison was recently given the green light by the California Public Utilities Commission to raise monthly rates. And on April 4, electricity bill rates may change noticeably for nearly five million Californians.

According to the AP, the approved rate hike will mostly add an additional $2-$4 on to the average consumer's monthly utility bill. The rate increase was cited as necessary to help update SCE utilities.

Lookslike actual bipartisanship can be a liability of epic proportions -- atleast, when you implicitly concede to the other party's agenda whilesimultaneously directly contradicting a strategy aimed at retrievingyour own party's political capital so that you can escape the albatrossof an unpopular public official.

Which is, you know, totally unprecedented.

With the passage of the bill calling for a 90 percent tax onthe AIG bonuses, the three-ring economic, political and media circuscentered around the AIG bonuses has now officially entered the realm ofabsurdity, and looks to be spending the remainder of its existencethere.