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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Senate split: The new reality, as Assembly disperses

The state Assembly wrapped up at around 2 a.m. after approving a bill to outlaw texting-while-driving (might as well outlaw stupidity as well).

But in a victory for the Roman Catholic Church the lower house left untouched a measure that could have reopened decades-old sex abuse cases to lawsuits. Dozens of other bills are cited in the above-linked AP account.

Now the Senate showdown intensifies, with the Skelos-Espada team squaring off against attempts by the Paterson administration to have a purportedly neutral party convene the evenly divided house.

Executives' insistence -- with Democratic leader Sampton's backing -- on a session presided over by Judge Jonathan Lippman, for whom there are separation-of-powers issues, may hint a stall.

Early odds against a meaningful session Tuesday are 6-1, according to one amateur bookmaker. But we'll be monitoring.

Retro spoof song of the day:

"One vote under the line. . .

Sweet Hiram,

One vote under the line. . .

Sitting in Rensselaer's railway station,

One vote under the line. . ."

(Brewer and Shipley in photo, recorders of the original; Photo from )

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