In California's dark budget truce, a forecast of a one-term presidency

The Great California Budget Saga has ended. Two months past deadline, California's legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reached a tense accord to close the state's yawning $26.3 billion budget gap. The agreement came after months of fighting between Democrats seeking tax increases and Republicans seeking budget cuts.

The Republicans and the Governator won, ramming through deep spending cuts, and slicing $7.3 billion from education and $1.2 billion from the already overcrowded prisons. California would also claw back $2.7 billion from its counties and municipalities, which are already reeling from the recession. Finally, the accord cuts $124 million in funds for health-insurance programs for poor children.