Just wheneverything seemed to be going so well, the budget legislative analyst'soffice had to puncture our little balloon of joy. Well, not joy, unlessone's overjoyed at tax increases and spending cuts, but hey, at leastsomething was punctured.

Open primary advocates posit that an open primary could produce more moderate candidates. But why would we want that? California's value at least partially lies in its ability to innovate, experiment, and grow from its progressive, extreme heritage. Not political extremism or religious extremism, but California's tendency to be at the edge of issues, for better and worse. California's national role is tied to this edgy state-identity, which would all be mournfully lost if an open primary pushed the state to be more moderate.

Don't believe the naysayers who pooh-pooh the idea that the The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan will only help a small fraction of California homeowners: the data on that is not even readily available. However, the median home price in California a year ago was under $600,000.

Let me pose a thought experiment to you: Suppose you are atravelling salesman and you knock on someone's door expecting to sell them woolsocks. This person, upon seeing your socks, joyfully invites you into theirhome and pays you handsomely for the socks. Still, you decide to mix it up alittle bit before next year, so you show up at their door waving cotton socks.They slam the door in your face, claiming they're allergic to cotton. Now, theyear is up, and you have another opportunity to sell them socks. Are you goingto try to sell them wool or cotton?

Friday, March 6 marked the last mandatory furlough day for tens of thousands of state workers in California, according to the Sacramento Bee and MarketWatch. Now, the next time Californians walk into a state office, such as the DMV, on a Friday, it most likely will not be closed.

Recently speaking with my father, the topic of California's unemployment came up. Trying to estimate the number of unemployed (this was before the official statistics came out), he used this formula: say there are about 30 million residents of California. Approximate that about 20 million are of the working age (18-65), and of those, say that about 15 million choose to work. If the unemployment rate is at 10%, this should equate to somewhere around 1.5 million unemployed.

California has had a rollercoaster of a water cycle this year.

Nine months ago, the state officially entered a drought period. On February 27, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger officially declared a state of emergency, and instructed the government to assist citizens in the water situation at hand.

The open primary policyproposed by Sen. Abel Maldonado in the midnight hour of budget talks isnot beneficial to California's independent voters. It does not increasecandidate choice, it does not increase democracy, it will not preventthe budget crises nor will it prevent the Maldanados of the future.