N.Y. nears no-fault divorce. Welcome to the last century.

Try breaking that lockstep, folks!

New York took a major step towards becoming the last state in the country to adopt no-fault divorce as the State Senate approved legislation that would permit couples to separate by mutual consent, a major shift with sweeping implications for families and lawyers.

For decades, New Yorkers have has been bedeviled by longstanding divorce laws that critics said spurred endless litigation and bitter custody fights that were both unnecessary and cruel.

Under current divorce law, one spouse must take the blame, even if both sides agree that a marriage cannot be saved. Instead a spouse must allege cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, or abandonment for one year before a court can grant a divorce.

Efforts to change those laws have been turned back repeatedly over the years, even as other states moved over time to liberalize their matrimonial laws to include some version of no-fault divorce. Opponents included the Catholic Church, which objects to making divorce easier, as well as some women’s advocates, who have feared that no-fault divorce would inflict unfair economic burdens on women…

Mostly the Church; but, perish the thought the NYT offends the pope.

The newest legislation must still pass the State Assembly, which is considering two different bills that would include some version of no-fault divorce, as well as some related legislation.

But advocates said on Tuesday that they believed that victory in the Senate, which was controlled by Republicans until last year, gave the measure momentum and a high likelihood of gaining approval in the Assembly, which is also controlled by Democrats.

“I think that the main hurdle is here,” said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat from Westchester and the Bronx who was the chief Senate sponsor of the bill, before the vote. The vote passed 32-27, according to an unofficial tally, with all but two Democrats joined by two Republicans in support.

Which proves that New York Republicans play the game of opportunist politics to please reactionary religions better than do the Democrats. Too bad the citizens of that state have been the losers in that corrupt contest for all these years.

Rand Paul is certified by – Rand Paul. Not the AMA.

Rand Paul – or Protagoras – take your pick!

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul says he is a “board-certified” ophthalmologist — even though the national clearinghouse for such certifications says he hasn’t been for the past five years.

Rand Paul, who practices in Bowling Green, says he is certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, a group that he incorporated in 1999 and that he heads.

But that entity is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which works with the American Medical Association to approve such specialty boards.

Lori Boukas, a spokeswoman for the American Board of Medical Specialties, said her organization considers certifications to be valid only if they are done by the 24 groups that have its approval and that of the AMA…

The American Board of Medical Specialties said board certification is important because it enables “patients to determine whether their physicians were appropriately trained and knowledgeable in their specialties.”

Regular readers know I often credit the Republican Party with the capacity to have invented hypocrisy if only Christians hadn’t beaten them to it. I think there’s a corollary that Libertarians would have invented sophistry if Protagoras hadn’t beaten them to it.

Jesus gets all hot and bothered in Ohio

Zozobra is the New Mexico version – and more fun

Monroe, Ohio – A large statue of Jesus that has been seen by millions across the country was destroyed by a fire late Monday night.

The King of Kings statue that stood outside the Solid Rock Church located on Union Road just off Interstate 75 is now in ruins. Only a few wire frames are still standing.

Officials are still investigating, but lightning likely sparked the blaze…

“This is not right,” said church member Gifty. “We just all have to go on our faith and ask God. This cannot be a coincidence.”

“I was pretty upset,” Andy Caudill said. “Seeing a big thing of our Lord and Savior gone. It’s pretty sad.”

The statue was built in 2004. The 42-foot span between its outstretched arms grabbed the attention of motorists driving by.


Will a jot of reason will ever sink into the brains of True Believers?

Their Jeebus is struck down by an old-fashioned lightning storm. Or was the anti-Christ paying them a visit?

Forced to listen to John McCain, General Petraeus passes out

US General David Petraeus appeared to pass out briefly at a televised Senate hearing on Afghanistan.

The four-star general who leads Central Command quickly recovered and walked out under his own power.

Gen. Petraeus, 57, had finished telling Sen. John McCain that he believes the planned 2011 pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan remains on track, and McCain was responding when the room fell silent and aides began crowding around the four-star general.

Gen Petraeus, who oversees the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as head of U.S. Central Command, briefly put his head on the table, then rose, appearing dazed. He stood under his own power and was escorted from the room.

Gen Petraeus himself returned to the room briefly and told the senators he “was feeling a little bit light-headed there.”

It wasn’t Sen. McCain’s question,” the general added.

That was nice of the general; but, it’s likely that listening to McCain pat himself on the back over and over again could put a teenage gamer on his third espresso bongo into a narcoleptic coma.

Tea Party Republican offers to mine the Mexican border

The Republican nominee for a New Mexico congressional seat suggested during a radio interview that the United States could place land mines along the Mexican border to secure the international boundary…

Mullins says border security came up during a radio interview last month, when he was campaigning for the GOP nod to run against Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M.

Mullins subsequently won the Republican primary June 1.

In the May 18 interview with KNMX radio in Las Vegas, N.M., Mullins says the U.S. could mine the border, install barbed wire and post signs directing would-be border jumpers to cross legally at designated checkpoints.

He explained Monday it was a suggestion he’d heard while campaigning.

It’s not often I get to vote against a thoroughly dislikable right-wing nutball. The Republicans – half the time – don’t even try to run candidates in northern New Mexico. Down in Albuquerque with military bases and war-lover retirees they have a constituency. Up here, folks are construction workers, hotel employees, subsistence farmers – ordinary folks or part of the arts-and-crafts crowd attracted by living in a beautiful place.

I probably wouldn’t even take the time to vote for Ben Ray Lujan. He’s up for a second term as a 3rd generation liberal democrat hack. Bennie Ray was working as a blackjack dealer out of college when his family picked him to carry the family name on in Congress.

But, the wingnut right-wing that controls what’s left of the Republican Party is beyond belief. This is the kind of crap they come up with all the time.

Starbucks adding free Wi-Fi, free access to subscription sites

Starbucks’ coffee drinks have become synonymous with the high costs consumers are cutting back on these days, but at least the Wi-Fi connections in its stores will no longer require a credit card.

Starting July 1, Starbucks will let anyone connect to its WiFi network for free. This fall, the company will add a content network called Starbucks Digital Network, in partnership with Yahoo and other sites, which will include local content you won’t be able to read anywhere else. Both offerings will be free.

Free Wi-Fi is in my mind just the price of admission — we want to create … new sources of content that you can only get at Starbucks,” chairman and president and CEO Howard Schulz told the Wired Business Conference. “This is a thing that doesn’t exist in any other consumer marketplace in America.”

Starbucks hopes to make money from these initiatives indirectly, by “enhancing the experience” and making the content “so compelling that it drives incremental traffic,” said Schulz…

McDonalds has free Wi-Fi too, of course, as does just about every other coffee place in the country other than Starbucks. Schulz admitted that both of those stratas have been competing with Starbucks on coffee as well as internet service, with McDonalds stealing bargain-oriented customers and boutique independent coffee shops in urban areas grabbing some of its loyal epicures…

The network will include free online access to the Wall Street Journal, with a percentage of subscription revenue generated when coffee drinkers decide they want to access those articles elsewhere, too.

Good for a frugal geek like me. There are two Starbucks coffee shops within the broad pairing of shopping centers where we shop for most everything but groceries. I access AT&T nothing.

My style is to cop one of whatever barista treat catches my eye – and park my butt in the pickup with beverage and iPad at hand – while my wife is off shopping. She will call me on the cellphone when she needs me to roll up and pack the month’s worth of Target/Lowes/PetSmart goodies into Ruff Boy.

Meantime, I surf and suck down caffeine.

Republican grifter steals $1 million from Mayor Bloomberg

Would you buy a political party from this man?

A Republican political operative has been accused of funneling more than $1 million from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign contributions for his own private use.

John Haggerty, 41, was charged with grand larceny and money laundering by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

The case stems from Bloomberg’s contributions last year of $1.2 million to the state Independence Party, using his personal checks. Haggerty said the funds were used for election day costs, such as poll watchers, through his company Special Elections Operations, authorities said.

Instead, authorities say the company was bogus and Haggerty pocketed all but $32,000 of the money, using the funds to purchase a home that had belonged to his father.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance called the scheme “audacious” and said Haggerty…”presented Mayor Bloomberg with a phony budget that detailed more than $1 million in sham expenditures that he claimed were necessary for the support of the operation”.

Hey – quit giving ideas to the Tea Party crowd!

They’re already stuffed full of their own particular flavor of hustler.