Today’s news:

The state Senate standoff ended last week as shamefully as it began. The two senators who handed the state to the Republican minority have now returned to the fold, giving the Democrats the majority again. The Senate is back to work after 31 days, but at a great price.

Late Thursday, Sen. Pedro Espada announced he was returning to the Democratic Party. In return, he was given the majority leader position. Queens Democratic Sen. Malcolm Smith was the majority leader, but will become Senate president.

At a press conference announcing the deal, some Democratic senators acted as though they had accomplished something great, but they did not. They are buffoons and have cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

In an indication of how disconnected he is from reality, Sen. Hiram Monserrate, the Queens senator who had returned to the fold, said, “Judge us not on what has occurred over the last 31 days ... but judge us on what we do with this extraordinary opportunity.”

You must be kidding. In a power grab you and Espada shut the state government down for more than a month. You and your colleagues will be judged for the damage you have done to the state from Montauk to Buffalo. You will be judged for cheating Smith out of the position he deserved. And you will be tried for allegedly slashing your girlfriend in the face with a broken glass.

There was nothing noble about this compromise. It came a day after the governor announced the senators were not getting paid and hours after Richard Ravitch was sworn in as lieutenant governor. The move, challenged in court, threatened to break the deadlock.

Monserrate, Espada and Sen. Ruben Diaz claimed the standoff was a victory for state Latinos but it was not. This was and is a stunt by two bums who happen to be Latino. They decided Smith had to go because he did not give them the committee assignments and member items they wanted.

We applaud the governor for taking a stand against the Senate and asking Ravitch to serve as lieutenant governor. The former MTA chairman has integrity and has demonstrated leadership skills. Without Ravitch in place, Espada would become governor if Paterson could not continue to serve.

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