The Sacramento Bee reports this morning that more than 200 state legislative staff members received pay raises this year. These pay raises were granted while millions of public and private workers were losing their jobs, millions of others were accepting pay cuts in order to keep their jobs, and the state Legislature was failing to resolve a budget impasse that puts California on the road to bankruptcy.

As a new legislative session begins today, the state finds itself with an operating deficit of $28 billion over the next 19 months.

Just when it seemed there was no way state lawmakers could bring further embarrassment to California, they manage to demonstrate again their capacity to occupy an alternate reality.