Pandemonium ruled in the State Senate this afternoon, when both Republicans and Democrats claimed ownership of the historic chamber -- shouting over each other as they sought to run separate and simultaneous sessions.
The details would be laughable if they weren't so sad.
"You're out of order. Don't you call me out of order," Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat, snapped at Sen. George Winner, who the Republicans tapped to lead the floor fight as presiding officer.
He did so from below the chamber's podium, which the Democrats had seized earlier in the afternoon.
"I don't understand what their point was other than trying to establish that they were in charge," Winner, still clutching his small gavel, said as he worked his way down a packed hallway after the session.
No word on whether the tit-for-tat included discussion of whose mother wears army boots.
You know how bad it is when the Assembly looks like the model of productivity and Speaker Sheldon Silver comes across as a responsible, can-do leader.
How many of you think Tom Golisano and Steve Pigeon look like white knights these days?
Tommy Boy, by the way, is dismissing rumors he is contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate in his adopted state of Florida. The Rochester -- I mean, Naples -- billionaire told News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy that his Responsible New York plans to turn its attention to the State Assembly once things quiet down in Albany.
"Responsible New York, once this thing settles down, will focus on the Assembly," he said.
Is that to say Golisano intends to do for the Assembly what he's done for the Senate?