January 3, 2009
This story might make what Congressman Bobby Rush said during the Roland Burris & Blagojevich press conference come more into light. Rush had stated in the press conference that it would be hard for the senate to refuse to seat Burris because he is qualified and because he would be the only Black senator in the nation.
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke to Rod Blagojevich days before his arrest. Reid wanted to make clear he did not want Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Emil Jones or Rep. Danny Davis because he did not believe the three men were electable. All three happen to be Black.
I am not saying that that is the reason why Reid would not want these men, but the media will sure have something to say and it will become a larger topic of discussion.
January 2, 2009
Every governor is given such a clearance by Homeland Security to receive briefings on sensitive security information from Homeland Security and other federal agencies such as the FBI, said Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for Homeland Security.
"Being the subject of a criminal complaint, no matter who you are, is a disqualification," she said.
State Police Director Larry Trent and Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Andrew Velasquez — as well as other top state officials — have access to such federal security intelligence and could relay it to the governor, said Patti Thompson, spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
January 1, 2009
A Muslim family removed from an airliner Thursday after passengers became concerned about their conversation say AirTran officials refused to rebook them, even after FBI investigators cleared them of wrongdoing.
Atif Irfan said federal authorities removed eight members of his extended family and a friend after passengers heard them discussing the safest place to sit and misconstrued the nature of the conversation.
Irfan, a U.S. citizen and tax attorney, said he was "impressed with the professionalism" of the FBI agents who questioned him, but said he felt mistreated when the airline refused to book the family for a later flight.
AirTran Airways late Thursday said they acted properly and that the family was offered full refunds and can fly with AirTran again.
"AirTran Airways complied with all TSA, law enforcement and Homeland Security directives and had no discretion in the matter," the company said in a prepared statement.
Family members disagreed.
Throughout last night’s New Year’s eve broadcast, Fox News Channel allowed viewers to send in New Year’s greetings and wishes via text message. The messages were then scrolled across the bottom of the screen, replacing Fox’s normal crawling news headlines. While most messages were cordial, Fox allowed at least one racist message directed toward President-elect Obama to be broadcast. The message referenced Rush Limbaugh’s “Barack the Magic Negro” song:
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND LET’S HOPE THE MAGIC NEGRO DOES A GOOD JOB. LOVE JEN AND JOHN C.
Watch it (watch text at bottom):
Fox News makes a statement on the incident and also sends a jab to CNN about the Kathy Griffin thing.
"Fox News VP of programming Suzanne Scott explains, “We received tens of thousands of text message submissions during our New Years Eve special, and this particular viewer submission was inadvertently cleared for air. At FOX we recognize our error as opposed to networks who allow their hosts to utter crude vulgarities to the public.”
HONOLULU (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama will have a Commander in Chief's Ball during his inauguration with military personnel, their spouses and those wounded fighting in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as guests.
In announcing this Thursday, officials said that tickets for the Jan. 20 military-only ball will be free to guests. The formal event will be at the National Building Museum in Washington.
"It is a privilege to honor our men and women in uniform during our inaugural festivities by continuing the tradition of the Commander in Chief's Ball. Our troops represent the best America has to offer, and without their dedication and sacrifice we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms that we are coming together to celebrate on January 20," Obama said in a statement released while he vacationed here in his native Hawaii.
"They deserve our thanks and our gratitude. Michelle and I look forward to attending the Commander in Chief's Ball and sharing this special evening with representatives of our armed forces," his statement said.
Aides say most of the guests will be enlisted personnel and junior officers. Others will be active duty military members, active duty National Guard and National Guard Reserve members. The guest list also will featured those injured in military actions, families of those killed in combat and spouses of those deployed.
Obama and wife, Michelle, are scheduled to attend 10 official inaugural balls. Scores of other events are planned for the celebration and crowds variously estimated as high as in the millions are expected to descend on Washington.
President George W. Bush first had a ball to specifically honor the uniformed services.
Officials have not yet determined how tickets will be distributed.
(AP)MOSCOW — Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom cut all gas supplies to Ukraine on Thursday morning after talks broke down over payments for past shipments and a new energy price contract for 2009.
The cutoff raised fears of a repetition of the January 2006 gas crisis, when a similar dispute between Russia and Ukraine briefly interrupted gas shipments to many European countries. But both Russia and Ukraine took great pains Thursday to prove they can be reliable energy partners for Europe.
They also appeared to be moving closer to a solution, although no new talks were scheduled.
While cutting gas to Ukraine, Gazprom said it also increased the amount of gas pumped through pipelines that mainly serve Europe.
Ukraine's president and prime minister, meanwhile, said they would guarantee the uninterrupted transit of natural gas through Ukrainian territory to Europe.
Europeans get about a quarter of their gas from Russia, and Ukraine controls the pipelines through which Russia supplies most of its customers in Europe. Natural gas is used for heating and to generate electricity, and the cutoff to Ukraine comes as Europe approaches the depths of winter.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine against diverting gas intended for other customers, saying that could have "quite serious consequences for the transit country itself" by damaging relations with Europe.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said it would be clear only Friday whether all the gas for Europe was getting through.
European countries also have built up their gas storage since the 2006 crisis and would be unlikely to see any disruption for several weeks, said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Uralsib bank.
Naftogaz director Oleh Dubina has said Ukraine has enough gas in reserve to last through early April.
The deadlock over gas supplies reflects the deep political split between Moscow and Kiev.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has angered the Kremlin through his efforts to build ties to Western Europe and his support of Georgia in its August war with Russia.
Ukraine's position in the dispute is further complicated by divisions in the country's leadership. Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, bitter political rivals, are at odds over gas policy and relations with Russia, among other issues.
Gazprom had warned it would cut gas supplies unless Ukraine paid off all of a $2.1 billion debt and signed a deal setting prices for 2009 deliveries by midnight Wednesday. Neither was done.
Naftogaz said it had covered the debt when it transferred $1.5 billion on Tuesday to Swiss-based gas trader Rosukrenergo, which is half-owned by Gazprom. Gazprom, however, claims Ukraine owes $600 million more in fines for late payment.
The other stumbling block was the failure to sign a contract for 2009 gas deliveries.
Gazprom had first insisted that Ukraine pay $418 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas in 2009, more than double the $179.50 it paid the previous year.
On Wednesday, Gazprom offered a contract with gas set at $250, which Ukrainian officials said was still too high.
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko offered early Thursday to pay Russia $201 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas if Russia agrees to raise the future price it pays to use Ukraine's pipelines to $2 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers.
Gazpom has said the $250 offer is already low and contingent on the current transit fee of $1.70 remaining unchanged.
Later Thursday, Naftogaz's Dubina said Ukraine was willing to pay $235, with a transit fee of $1.80.
While Gazprom's European customers now pay more than $400, the cost of gas is expected to fall sharply in the spring as a result of the steep drop in the price of oil.
The crime, while equaled in violence by others in the city's recent past, differs in that it also bore the unmistakable stamp of prejudice against the victim, police said Friday.
For that reason, detectives will investigate the case as a hate crime as well as a sexual assault, and the Richmond Police Department offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests and prosecution in the case.
One man and two teens have been arrested on suspicion of gang-raping a woman last month in the San Francisco Bay area while allegedly taunting her for being a lesbian, police said Thursday as they searched for a fourth suspect. Officers arrested Humberto Hernandez Salvador at his Richmond home Wednesday night, Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said. The 31-year-old is being held without bail on gang rape, kidnapping and carjacking charges.
Police on Wednesday also arrested a 15-year-old Richmond boy and a 16-year-old Hercules boy, who were being held at a juvenile detention center on similar charges. Their names were not released.
Police would not detail each person's alleged involvement in the attack but said tips from local residents led to the arrests.
Investigators are still seeking 21-year-old Josue Gonzalez, who had prior addresses in San Rafael and Richmond, on a $1 million arrest warrant for gang rape, kidnapping and carjacking, police said. Gonzalez was called by the nickname "Pato" during the attack and is considered armed and dangerous, Gagan said.
Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked on Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The alleged attackers made comments indicating they knew she was a lesbian, police said.
Authorities have characterized the case as a hate crime. Police said the victim lives openly with a female partner.
The 45-minute attack started when one of the men approached the woman in the street, struck her with a blunt object, ordered her to disrobe and sexually assaulted her with the help of the others, according to detectives.
When the group saw another person approaching, they forced the victim back into her car and took her to a burned-out apartment building. She was raped again inside and outside the vehicle and left naked outside the building while the alleged assailants took her wallet and drove off in her car, police said.
December 31, 2008
(AP) BANGKOK - At least 54 New Year's revelers died when a fire swept through a packed nightclub in the Thai capital, police at the scene said. Workers counting the bodies told Associated Press photographer Sakchai Lalitkanjankul that about 100 others were injured when the blaze broke out in a building with two stories and a basement.
Police Maj. Gen. Chokchai Deeprasertwit said the fire may have been caused by firecrackers brought into the Santika Club by guests or sparks flying from a New Year's countdown display on the nightclub stage.
The police officer said 53 bodies had been counted at the scene while another person died at a hospital.
The rescue workers said most of the bodies were found in the basement of the club, which attracts a well-heeled crowd of Thais and foreigners. The corpses, placed in white body bags, were laid out in rows in the parking lot in front of the club.
One Indian man working in Thailand, who gave his name as Lucky, estimated that the club was jammed with 700 to 800 people.
Many Norwegians are willing to throw out the principles of social justice in the fight against terror, shows an international survey conducted by Norsk samfunssvitenskapelig database (NSD), referred by Bergens Tidene. Citizens in 33 countries was asked whether the government should be given extended powers when imminent terror attacks are suspected, and a big majority of Norwegians says yes to both phone tapping and random searches on the streets.
53 percent says Norwegian government can hold people in internment for as long as they want without putting them on trial, 86 percent says the government should tap people's phones at will and 58 percent says the police can stop and search people on the street. (translated source: Dagbladet.no)
With his acceptance of the appointment by embattled Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to Barack Obama's former senate seat, Roland Burris shows his ego goes before his better judgment.
I will admit he has on the surface (and by that I mean no wrongdoing apparent) has served the state of Illinois well over his long career. I even had the pleasure of being he and his wife's guide for my school when I was 10 years old. If it were not for the scandal around Blago, I would not have a big problem with the appointment, although there are several candidates out there that would be better.
Roland Burris is a person who defines himself by his achievements, and at the age of 71 a United States senate seat would be a perfect topping to a long career. He will also be able to add the title "United States Senator" to the monument he made for himself.
With his age, the scandal and the monument to himself, it is pretty obvious at this point in his life Burris is concerned about his legacy and less about what is right for the my home state of Illinois.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel rejected international pressure for a two-day cease-fire with Hamas and sent warplanes Wednesday to demolish smuggling tunnels that are the lifeline of Gaza's Islamic rulers.
The diplomatic efforts to forge a truce were set in motion by the scale of destruction in Gaza since Israel unleashed an offensive Saturday against Hamas militants firing barrages of rockets that are striking closer to the Israeli heartland than previous attacks.
Gaza officials say the five days of airstrikes have killed 390, including 200 uniformed members of Hamas security forces, and have wounded about 1,600. The U.N. says at least 60 Palestinian civilians are among the dead. Four Israelis have been killed by militant rocket fire, including three civilians.
The offensive has touched off protests across the Islamic world. In Iran on Wednesday, fundamentalist students asked their government to authorize volunteer suicide bombers to attack Israel. The Tehran government had no immediate response.
On Tuesday, France urged Israel to halt its operation for 48 hours. Calls for an immediate cease-fire have also come from the U.S., the European Union, the U.N. and Russia.
Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed the idea of a two-day truce with his defense and foreign ministers overnight, but the trio decided to pursue the punishing aerial campaign.
Olmert told ministers Israel launched the operation to fundamentally change the situation in the south, and would not leave the job half done with a unilateral cease-fire.
"If conditions ripen to the point that we assess they promise a safer existence in southern Israel, we will consider it. We're not they're yet," Olmert said, according to a participant in the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed.
TEHRAN, Iran — Hard-line Iranian student groups have asked the government to authorize volunteers to go carry out suicide bombings in Israel in response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.
The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had not responded to the call by Wednesday. Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched a registration drive on Monday, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.
In an open letter to Ahmadinjead, the students said "volunteer student suicide groups ... are determined to go to Gaza. You are expected to issue orders to the relevant authorities in order to pave the way for such action." A copy of the letter was made available to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Volunteer suicide groups have made similar requests in the past and the government never responded to their calls. Some hard-liners have claimed previously they succeeded in secretly sending bombers to Israel, but their claims have never been verified, and there has not been any sign of Iranians carrying out suicide attacks in Israel _ raising the likelihood the groups' activities are mainly for propaganda purposes.
The hard-liners started signing up volunteers after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious decree Sunday saying anyone killed while defending Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks would be considered a martyr.The groups claim that more than than 10,000 people throughout Iran have registered as volunteer suicide bombers in the past three days. At a gathering Tuesday in Tehran, hard-liners were distributing registration forms to volunteers.
"How can I remain indifferent while defenseless Palestinians are being butchered," said one volunteer, Ali Reza Takrim Namini, as he filled out the registration form.
Another, Mostafa Babaei, vowed, "I'm willing to sacrifice my blood in support of Islam and in defense of Palestinian Muslims."
The volunteers wore white shrouds symbolizing their willingness to die and headbands with the slogan "Defenders of Gaza" and "Ready for Martyrdom." Most of those registering were members of the Basij militia, a hard-line paramilitary group that has tens of thousands of members and is often involved in drumming up popular fervor against Israel and the West.
Israel's bombardment of Gaza, whick has killed hundreds of Palestinians, has sparked outrage in Iran and throughout the rest of the Muslim world. Israel says it launched its campaign in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns by Hamas. Iran is Hamas' main backer, providing it considerable financial aid, though Tehran denies sending it weapons.
Protesters have held daily rallies outside the Egyptian interests section in Tehran, as well as the Jordanian and Saudi embassies, protesting what they call inaction by Arab nations. On Thursday, hard-line students threatened to storm the Egyptian mission unless Egypt open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, a step Cairo has refused.
Late Tuesday, a branch of the Italian clothing retailer Benetton in northern Tehran was set fire, apparently as part of a protest. The state-owned newspaper Iran reported the attack, repeating a claim often made by hard-liners that the chain is "affiliated to the Zionist network." The branch showed minor damage, with some burned clothes and scorch marks.
December 30, 2008
If you visit my blog from time to time, you may have noticed I lean to the left a little. However I do not lend my loyalty to any party and will call out wrong where I see it. I have seen it all in this year's election from both sides, but with a vengeance from the right.
With that being said, here are the top ten stories from the Village Voice on rightbloggers:
If anybody has a best of the left-wing stories let me know.
DULUTH - Shirley Graham was astonished to learn that a lawyer from Norm Coleman's campaign on Tuesday blocked her absentee ballot from being added to the U.S. Senate recount.
"I'm an election judge," said Graham, of Duluth. "I expected to be the last person whose ballot wouldn't be counted."
Her sealed ballot was among 60 from St. Louis County that were blocked by representatives of Coleman and Al Franken during the first day of a statewide review of absentee ballots that may have been wrongly rejected in last month's election. Under a state Supreme Court ruling, local election officials and the two campaigns must all agree that a ballot was wrongly rejected for it to be sent along to St. Paul for inclusion in the recount.
Coleman's camp, which rejected 59 of the 60 ballots set aside Tuesday in St. Louis County, objected to Graham's ballot on the grounds that the date next to her signature did not match the date next to the signature of her witness, Jack Armstrong.
Thought you'd sneak this one passed me didn't you? George Bush loves the Gays!! George Bush and the Gays sitting in a tree........!
Call it a Christmas present for gay and lesbian couples. President Bush signed the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA) two days before Christmas. The new law makes it mandatory for businesses to roll over retirement benefits to a same-sex partner in the event of the employee’s death.
Previously, employers could decline and.....
The transition team released the following statement from President-Elect Barack Obama:
"Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it. I believe the best resolution would be for the Governor to resign his office and allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession to take place. While Governor Blagojevich is entitled to his day in court, the people of Illinois are entitled to a functioning government and major decisions free of taint and controversy."
Illinois governor Rob Blagojevich will be holding a press conference today at 2pm central time, to announce that he is appointing former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.
Burris actually is not a bad pick. he has been pretty much clean throughout his career. He also would not have a problem getting re-elected. But who would want to take this appointment coming from Blago?
It is shocking (well not that shocking) that Blagojevich has the audacity to go ahead and appoint someone.
Read entire story here...
December 29, 2008
Bristol Palin, the 18-year-old daughter of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, gave birth on Sunday to a healthy 7 lb., 4 oz., baby boy in Palmer, Alaska.
"We think it's wonderful," said Colleen Jones, the sister of Bristol's grandmother Sally Heath, who confirmed the news. "The baby is fine and Bristol is doing well. Everyone is excited."
The baby's name is Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, according to Jones.
Baby Tripp takes his surname from his dad, Levi Johnston, an apprentice electrician and former Wasilla High School hockey player who has been dating Bristol for three years.
Bristol Palin is currently residing in Wasilla and completing her high-school diploma through correspondence courses.
Johnston is studying to become an electrician. He told the Associated Press in October that he and fiancée Bristol plan to wed in 2009 and raise the child together.
"I want to help out with the wedding, so I picked a couple of places (below) I think I can hold for the wedding date if they like. If anyone is close to Bristol or Levi, please tell them to get in touch with me."
Tell them to hurry, I can't hold these places much longer:
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Attackers hacked to death scores of people who sought refuge at a Catholic church in remote eastern Congo the day after Christmas, officials and witnesses said Monday, and the Ugandan army and a rebel group accused each other of carrying out the massacre.
Survivors and witnesses said the killings occurred close to Congo's border with Sudan, near to where the armies of those two countries and Uganda began an offensive this month to root out the rebel Lord's Resistance Army, according to Ugandan army spokesman Capt. Chris Magezi.
A U.N. spokesman, Ivo Brandau, said 120 homes were set ablaze in the area and that thousands of people have fled for fear of further attacks.
The Lord's Resistance Army rebel group has waged one of Africa's longest and most brutal wars for the last two decades. In the past, aid and rights groups have accused the rebels of cutting off the lips of civilians and forcing thousands of children to serve as soldiers or sex slaves. The conflict has spilled out of northern Uganda and into Sudan and Congo.
"The scene at the church was unbelievable. It was horrendous. On the floor were dead bodies of mostly women and children cut in pieces," Magezi told The Associated Press. He blamed the Lord's Resistance Army for the massacre and quoted witnesses as saying the rebels used machetes, clubs and swords in Friday's attack.
The rebels denied responsibility, with their spokesman David Matsanga saying the Lord's Resistance Army had no fighters in the area and accusing Uganda's army of the killings.
But witness Abel Longi said he recognized the rebels by their dreadlocked hair, their Acholi language and the number of young boys among them. "I hid in bush near the church and heard people wailing as they were being cut with machetes," Longi told the AP in a telephone call from the village of Doruma, where the church is located. He owns a shop there.
Death toll estimates varied, in part because the area is so remote.
A European aid worker said more than 100 people are reported to have been killed in the attack, and the Congolese military put the number dead at 120 to 150. Magezi said 45 civilians were killed. The aid worker spoke on condition of anonymity because his organization fears reprisals.
U.N.-run Radio Okapi quoted the governor of Congo's Oriental Province, Medard Autsai Senga, as saying the death toll had surpassed 75 and that bodies still were being discovered around the church. He appealed for aid for survivors.
The United Nations said the rebels killed 189 people in three villages over two days, 89 of them at Doruma, said U.N. spokesman Brandau.
The rebels may have been retaliating against civilians for military attacks, including a Dec. 14 air bombing on their main camp in Garamba National Park.
Rebel spokesman Matsanga claimed in a telephone interview from Nairobi, Kenya, that Uganda's 105th Battalion was responsible for the massacre. "They were airlifted to Congo to kill civilians and then say we are responsible," he charged. "They want to justify their stay in DRC (Congo) and loot minerals from there like they did before."
Congo suffered back-to-back civil wars from 1996 to 2002 that drew in neighboring countries in what became a rush to plunder Congo's massive mineral wealth.
Currently, long-running peace talks between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan government have stalled. Rebel leaders have sought guarantees they will not be arrested under international warrants. The rebels' elusive leader, Joseph Kony, and other top members are wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
CHICAGO (AP) -- U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wants lawmakers to hear what Gov. Rod Blagojevich says on wiretapped phone calls.
Fitzgerald filed paperwork Monday to release conversations caught on wiretaps to the Illinois House committee moving ahead to impeach Blagojevich.
Federal prosecutors have asked a judge for permission to disclose a limited number of the intercepted conversations in a redacted form.
Fitzgerald says disclosing four calls wouldn't interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation.
Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal corruption charges. The governor is accused of trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, but he's denied any wrongdoing.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Israel continued to pound targets in Gaza from the air on Monday even as it made final preparations for a ground assault. The Israeli military offensive began on Dec. 27, after a six-month-long de facto ceasefire between Israel and the government of the Palestinian militant group Hamas lapsed. Israel says its operation will continue until Hamas stops firing rockets at Israeli towns along the border with Gaza. Hamas wants an end to the economic chokehold Israel has applied to the crowded Mediterranean territory.
Hamas fired some 60 mortars and rockets into Israel on Monday, including one that killed an Israeli Arab in Ashkelon. He was the second Israeli casualty since the beginning of the air assault. The death toll in Gaza rose to at least 315 people, according to Palestinian officials. The United Nations says that at least 51 of those were civilians. (See pictures of Israel's deadly assault on Gaza.)
Though the rocket count was.....
It's funny when you haven't even taken office and your already taking criticism from both sides, and the media. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet grades Obama on his promise of transparency. What she does not mention is how far more transparent the Obama administration has been vs. the Bush or Clinton teams during the same time period.
December 28, 2008
Stanley Carter surrendered Friday after police took a dog to search the home in Plains Township, a suburb of Wilkes-Barre about 100 miles north of Philadelphia. He was charged with several counts of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass.
"When he came down from the attic, he was wearing my daughter's pants and my sweat shirt and sneakers," homeowner Stacy Ferrance said. "From what I gather, he was helping himself to my home, eating my food and stealing my clothes."
Police said the 21-year-old Carter had been staying with his friends, who are Ferrance's neighbors in a duplex. He apparently accessed the shared attic through a trap door in a bedroom ceiling.
Carter went missing on Dec. 19 and the friends filed a missing person report a few days before Christmas.
Ferrance said she had heard noises but thought they were caused by her three children. She notified police on Christmas Day when cash, a laptop computer and an iPod disappeared, then called police again the next day when she found footprints in her bedroom closet, where the attic trap door is located.
Carter kept a list of everything he took, said Plains Township police Officer Michael Smith.
"When we were going through the inventory of what he did take, we found a note labeled 'Stanley's Christmas List' of all the items he had removed from the residence and donated to himself," Smith said.
Carter was in jail Sunday at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 5. He did not yet have an attorney to speak for him.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
"Nice short piece in the NY Times about a college degree as a requirement for a job or applying for a job. I always thought that made no sense. You want the best person for the job, and that doesn't always mean you have a college degree. "
Barack Obama has two attractive ideas for improving post-secondary education — expanding the use of community colleges and tuition tax credits — but he needs to hitch them to a broader platform. As president, Mr. Obama should use his bully pulpit to undermine the bachelor’s degree as a job qualification. Here’s a suggested battle cry, to be repeated in every speech on the subject: “It’s what you can do that should count when you apply for a job, not where you learned to do it.” The residential college leading to a bachelor’s degree at the end of four years works fine for the children of parents who have plenty of money. It works fine for top students from all backgrounds who are drawn toward academics. But most 18-year-olds are not from families with plenty of money, not top students, and not drawn toward academics. They want to learn how to get a satisfying job that also pays well. That almost always means education beyond high school, but it need not mean four years on a campus, nor cost a small fortune. It need not mean getting a bachelor’s degree.
I am not discounting the...