I just want to interrupt the hand-wringing by my fellow Dems for a moment... As usual in California it was the parade of ballot initiatives that was the biggest news in this safe Kerry state. Perhaps the most significant measure to pass was Proposition 71, the $3 billion bond that would fund embryonic stem cell research. Even if John Kerry had won, he would have committed less NATIONWIDE than California voters are prepared to commit. I think the bond will be a boon not only to people who could benefit from research, but also will benefit businesses and individuals involved in stem cell research. Arnold Schwarzenegger thumbed his nose at President Bush and the California Republican Party when he decided not too long ago to throw his support behind the measure. If the federal government - under another four years of a Repub prez and Congress - will be hostile to the idea of funding stem cell research, it's up to individual states to take the initiative. FYI not all the "liberal" measures passed in California last night. A measure to water down the state's Three Strikes law was defeated; so was a controversial proposition to require medium and large employers in the state to pay 80% of their workers' health care coverage (I actually voted against that one). But ones that matter - the stem cell proposition, bonds for improving children's hospitals and a 1% tax on incomes over $1 million to pay for improvements to mental health services - all passed last night.