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   The wordsmiths in The Buffalo News Opinion corner today view with alarm the looming cutbacks at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and the amusing-ourselves-to-death panel of people who want to be governor of New York.

Protect the library - Buffalo News Editorial
  No one is disputing that difficult decisions have to be made during rough economic times and that full county funding of every cultural organization is unreasonable. Having said that, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library stands out as a community gem, sorely needed by those who are out of work or soon to be unemployed.
   This is why it is such a shame that the library is facing a projected shortfall of $6.75 million next year, including a $4 million cut in the system's county funding by County Executive Chris Collins.
   [Libraries, trimmed again, won’t close - Buffalo News 10/17/10]
   Someone's got to make the hard decisions and that is the county executive's unpleasant job, but for a system that already shrank to 37 branches from 51 during a local budget crisis a few years ago, it's almost impossible to imagine contracting even more. This is a decision that bears re-evaluating. ...

A worthless ‘debate’ - Buffalo News Editorial
   Many New York voters may have been waiting for Monday’s gubernatorial debate to decide whether they should hop on the bandwagon of heir apparent Andrew Cuomo or give feisty Buffalonian Carl Paladino a shot at cleaning up the mess that is Albany.
   That’s not what they got.
   Instead of a debate between the Democratic attorney general and the Republican businessman, one Debate that might have brought out both the candidates’ ideas for government and temperment for governing, what the New York electorate was treated to was a mildly entertaining display of Empire State eccentricities. [Cuomo takes a group pummeling - Buffalo News] ...
   From the inexplicably gloved leader of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party to the professionally tarted-up standard-bearer of the Anti-Prohibition Party, this Monday evening version of “Saturday Night Live” provided a glimpse of some of the characters who make New York a singularly interesting place to live. But it did precious little to help the state’s voters decide if front-runner Cuomo deserves his large lead in the polls, or if persistent challenger Paladino is more than an angry man with a bat. ...
   It is too bad that it now seems that Monday’s event will be the only joint appearance of the campaign. ... [Paladino pushes for Buffalo debate, but Cuomo seems uninterested - Buffalo News]
   The big winners Monday were probably the state’s Libertarian and Green parties, each of which was represented by an articulate and on-message candidate, each with proposals that don’t have a snowball’s chance of becoming law but that still qualify as political viewpoints.
   Oh, and the one-time procurer of high-rent hookers, who won’t be moving into the governor’s mansion but may have won herself a reality TV deal.
   Those folks got something out of Monday’s display of dysfunctional democracy. If only the voters had, too.
   Also:
- At long last, Cuomo forced into the open - Donn Esmonde/The Buffalo News 

   Elseweb:
- Debatable Candidates - New York Times Editorial
   The main conclusions: Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Democrat, did a good job of looking like a governor, but he is still not telling voters enough. And the Republican, Carl Paladino, was more like the fringe candidates around him than a serious person applying for a very serious job. He just wasn’t as funny.
That was fun; now, try a debate - Albany Times-Union Editorial
- What debate? - Watertown Daily Times Editorial
- Fringe candidates make mockery of gov debate - Bill Hammond/New York Daily News
Cuomo should agree to debate Paladino - Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Editorial

   And, from people who aren't even writing about the New York governor's race:
Farce is the new political reality - Kathleen Parker/Washington Post/Buffalo News
A cast of loonies - Eugene Robinson/Washington Post/Buffalo News
- Making Ignorance Chic - Maureen Dowd/The New York Times
  In Marilyn’s America, there were aspirations. The studios tackled literary novels rather than one-liners like “He’s Just Not That Into You” and navel-gazing drivel like “Eat Pray Love.” Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” paired cartoon characters with famous composers. Even Bugs Bunny did Wagner.
   But in Sarah’s America, we’ve refudiated all that. 

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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Behind the News | Current Affairs | Editorials
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