Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Putting Baby to Sleep Permanently

"Prosecutors believe a Philadelphia man put heroin and methadone in his infant son’s bottle to quiet him but instead killed him. ‘‘He admits putting it in the bottle. His version is, it must have been accidental because he was high,’’ Assistant District Attorney Lorraine Donnelly said. ‘‘My theory is the  baby was fussy, and he was trying to put him to sleep.’’

At least he didn't shoot him:

Dad’s gun goes off, killing his son, 7

"A 7-year-old boy had been buckling himself into his safety seat in the back of his father’s truck when he was shot to death after a handgun accidentally went off as his father got in the front seat, police said Sunday."

"Father not charged in son’s death" by JOE MANDAK  |  Associated Press, January 17, 2013

PITTSBURGH — A district attorney decided to not file criminal charges against a man in the accidental fatal shooting of his 7-year-old son outside a Western Pennsylvania gun store. 

The loss of his son is probably enough of a punishment.

Mercer District Attorney Robert Kochems announced he would not charge Joseph Loughrey, 44, of Jefferson Township, with carrying a firearm without a license.

Kochems said he considered the charge, a misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison, because Loughrey’s gun was loaded when he put it in his truck moments before the gun fired on Dec. 8, killing his son, Craig. The boy had been buckling himself into his safety seat when the handgun, which was placed on the truck’s console, fired as Joseph Loughrey got into the front seat, police said.

Loughrey had removed the magazine from the pistol but didn’t realize there was still a round in the chamber when he tried to sell the 9mm pistol at Twig’s Reloading Den in East Lackawannock Township, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, police said. After the sale did not go through, Loughrey brought the gun back to the truck.



Commission urges overhaul for Pa. child abuse laws

David Heckler, the Bucks County district attorney who chaired the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, acknowledged that the Jerry Sandusky and Roman Catholic priest scandals provided the impetus for the creation of the task force.

Also see: Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal Inspired Phone Call 

Sleep tight, kids. Time for me to retire for the night as well. 


"A 19-year-old woman who falsely claimed to be pregnant was arraigned Friday on charges she kidnapped a 3-day-old infant from a hospital after pretending to be a nurse and sneaking the baby boy out inside a zippered handbag, police said."

Philadelphia Doctor Exterminated

"Exterminator charged with strangling Philly doctor" by Joann Loviglio  |  Associated Press, January 25, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — A suburban exterminator has been charged with strangling a young Philadelphia doctor found bound and burned in her downtown row home, police announced Thursday.

Jason Smith, 36, was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Levittown, about 25 miles northeast of the city, homicide unit Captain James Clark said at a news conference.

Smith was charged with murder, arson, abuse of a corpse, and risking a catastrophe in the slaying of Dr. Melissa Ketunuti, 35, on Monday afternoon. He had no prior criminal record other than ‘‘minor traffic offenses,’’ Clark said.

Smith ‘‘struck her while she was in the basement, knocked her down, strangled her to death, and ultimately set her body on fire’’ in an apparent attempt to hide evidence, Clark said. There were no signs of sexual assault and nothing was stolen from the victim, whose body was bound with rope at her wrists and ankles and wrapped around her neck, police said.


Zoo No Place For Children

2-year-old boy killed at Pa. zoo exhibit

Ransom Gone Wrong in Pennsylvania

Pa. baby abducted after grandmother was killed, police say

"Pennsylvania family friend charged with killing grandmother, baby" by Maryclaire Dale  |  Associated Press, October 27, 2012

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — A family friend charged with killing a baby girl and her grandmother told police he dropped the baby as he wielded a knife and the grandmother charged at him during a botched kidnapping, authorities said Friday.

Raghunandan Yandamuri targeted the family for a $50,000 ransom, and he left copies of a ransom note, according to a police affidavit filed in suburban Philadelphia.

‘‘It’s up to you to decide, do you want your 1-year-old or five months of your income?’’ the lengthy note said.

Ten copies of the note were left at the family’s King of Prussia apartment, but no one ever contacted the baby’s parents, both software engineers, after the grandmother was found dead Monday and the baby went missing.

Authorities found the body of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna early Friday in a basement fitness room at the apartment complex where Yandamuri and the victims lived.

Yandamuri was being held without bail on two counts of murder, kidnapping, robbery, and other charges pending a preliminary hearing next week.

He does not have a lawyer and did not enter a plea at a brief arraignment Friday afternoon. Yandamuri, a native of India, told a judge he is not a US citizen and was given time to make a private call to the Indian consulate.


Philly Cop is Prejudiced Against Puerto Ricans

"Union to aid officer who hit woman" ASSOCIATED PRESS, October 13, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Members of the city’s police union are planning a fund-raiser for a lieutenant who is being fired for punching a woman at a parade, an encounter caught on video.

Earlier this month, the police commissioner announced that Lieutenant Jonathan Josey was suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

Mayor Michael Nutter apologized to the woman, saying he was ‘‘appalled,’’ “sickened,’’ and ‘‘ashamed’’ by the video. It shows Aida Guzman, 39, being struck in the face and falling to the ground, her face bloodied, then being led away in handcuffs at a street festival associated with the annual Puerto Rican Day parade.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported that union members are supporting Josey and holding a five-hour, $30-a-person fund-raiser for him on Oct. 28.


Family Fight at Philadelphia Wedding

"Man dies amid brawl at wedding in Philadelphia" Associated Press, October 09, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — A man was charged in connection with a large brawl that broke out among people attending two different wedding receptions in downtown Philadelphia during the weekend, police said Monday.

The fight, which was caught on video and quickly spread online, happened early Sunday at a hotel in the Society Hill neighborhood and involved dozens of people in their formal attire. A 57-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack outside the reception, police said, but authorities don’t know if he was involved in the fights. Dozens of police were called in to attempt to control the melee....

Investigators don’t know what started the brawl, but alcohol was involved....


Brewster's Bucket List

"A man nicknamed the Bucket List Bandit by the FBI because he reportedly told a Utah bank teller he had only months to live during a July heist has been returned to Pennsylvania and indicted on one of 10 bank robberies he is suspected of committing."

Also see‘Bucket List Bandit’ pleads guilty to bank heists

Pennsylvania Pastor's Patterns

Retired Pa. pastor accused of killing first wife as well as second

Pennsylvania minister guilty in wife’s murder

Arthur ‘‘A.B.’’ Schirmer, 64, was called the ‘‘sinister minister’’


Man shoots, kills ex-wife in Pennsylvania church

An elementary school music teacher shot his former wife while she played the organ during a Sunday church service, then returned minutes later to shoot her again and ensure she was dead before congregants stopped and grabbed him, police said."

Defending Mother's Honor

Pa. teen accused of killing grandparents 

Stay of Execution in Pennsylvania

"Court spares Pa. inmate from Wednesday execution" by Maryclaire Dale  |  Associated Press, October 04, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — The state’s high court on Wednesday halted Pennsylvania’s first scheduled execution in more than a decade, at least temporarily sparing the life of a man who said the two men he killed had molested him.

With hours remaining until Terrance ‘‘Terry’’ Williams’ death warrant expired, the state Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal by Philadelphia prosecutors to overturn a lower court ruling and proceed with the execution.

Williams, 46, of Philadelphia, killed two men in his teens.

A state judge found late last week that prosecutors withheld evidence from Williams’s capital murder trial in 1986, including evidence the victim in that case was molesting teen boys....


Stealing in the Name of Sex Abuse

"Church executive jailed for stealing" Associated Press, August 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — A finance executive who linked her $900,000 embezzlement from the Philadelphia archdiocese to the church’s sex-abuse scandal was sentenced Friday to two to seven years in prison.

Anita Guzzardi, 42, said she gave in to gambling and shopping addictions after feeling betrayed by the church about the priest sex-abuse scandal.

Guzzardi had worked at the Roman Catholic archdiocese since she was 20, and made $124,000 a year as chief financial officer.

No wonder the church is broke.

‘‘She felt betrayed by the institution,’’ her lawyer Louis R. Busico told a judge.

A prosecutor countered that Guzzardi partied “for seven years on somebody else’s dime,’’ despite the fact she and her husband had combined incomes of more than $300,000 and no children.

Guzzardi took relatives on trips to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and San Francisco, and spent lavishly on herself and others, Assistant District Attorney Lisa Caulfield said. She spent heavily on spas, restaurant  meals, and flowers, and made extra mortgage payments on the couple’s $425,000 home in Haddon Heights, N.J.

‘‘When you steal money and you don’t need it, that is pure greed,’’ Caulfield said. ‘‘[It] was spent on ridiculous luxuries that many parishioners may only dream about.’’

American Express caught the scam when it questioned use of church checks for monthly bills that sometimes topped $29,000.

Guzzardi repaid $260,000.


Pennsylvania's Water Park

It's not named Pi Pi's, is it?

"Pool bias settlement includes joint activities" by Joann Loviglio  |  Associated Press, August 18, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — A recently settled racial discrimination lawsuit involving dozens of Hispanic and black city children who said they were shunned by a swim club in an overwhelmingly white suburban neighborhood includes an unusual provision that aims to heal the wounds caused by the ordeal.

Listen to: Minorities in my waterpark

Parents and children from the Creative Steps day camp in Philadelphia and The Valley Club in Huntington Valley are looking forward to planning activities together, lawyers said Friday. The settlement, which still needs to be approved in US Bankruptcy Court, calls for $65,000 to be set aside to be used on joint activities.

‘‘The hopes are that both sides will come together, hold events together,’’ said Brian Mildenberg, a lawyer for Creative Steps. ‘‘Swimming, field trips, going places together, maybe day camps, just to be kids together, learn about each other and interact with one another.’’

Between 15 and 20 parents have agreed to participate and ‘‘want this outreach to work on healing what happened that day,’’ he said.

Such remedies are unusual in lawsuits, but this one came about at the urging of the parties involved, said Mildenburg’s cocounsel, Gabriel Levin....


Pennsylvania Post Goes to the Dogs

"Pa. pair guilty in dog hoarding case" Associated Press, August 11, 2012

MILLVILLE, Pa. — Two brothers accused in one of the worst cases of animal hoarding in Pennsylvania history have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty less than a month after 185 Chihuahuas were seized from their home.

Thomas and Albert Ambrosia of Benton pleaded guilty earlier this week to two counts each of cruelty and a dog law violation, according to Columbia County court records.

Thomas Ambrosia, 59, said it was difficult for them to enter a plea since they ‘‘treated the dogs like our boys and girls.’’ But he told the Press Enterprise of Bloomsburg that they wanted ‘‘to get this behind us.’’

Veterinarians who checked the Chihuahuas — plus two other dogs that were also removed from the residence — found no serious health issues, only minor eye, teeth, and skin problems, and officials say they apparently came from a loving home.

Acting on tips, state dog wardens and state troopers executed a search warrant last month. They found the corpses of 30 Chihuahuas in a freezer, but the dogs apparently died of natural causes.

State law requires anyone who keeps, transfers, or boards more than 25 dogs to obtain a kennel license and be inspected annually. Dogs are required to have dog licenses and rabies vaccinations.


Philadelphia Policeman Can't Protect Himself

"Officer shot and killed after shift

PHILADELPHIA — Police said they believe an off-duty officer who was shot and killed blocks from his precinct house was the victim of a robbery. Police said 40-year-old Officer Moses Walker Jr. had just finished his shift early Saturday when he was shot several times about four blocks from his station in North Philadelphia. The 19-year veteran was pronounced dead at a hospital (AP)."

Globe Cuts Illinois Pensions

"Illinois tries to tackle huge pension problem" by Sara Burnett  |  Associated Press, December 31, 2012

CHICAGO — Illinois, a state with a reputation for political wheeling and dealing, back room handshakes, and 11th-hour bargains, desperately needs a deal to solve its biggest financial crisis in a generation....

The nation’s worst case of underfunding state employees’ pensions.... 

So who stole the money?

California and New York — states that, like Illinois, lean Democratic and have strong state employee unions — have taken unpopular, tough-love measures to pass pension reform.

Democrat, Republican, doesn't much matter when you are labor.

So have Kansas and Rhode Island — which in recent years kept Illinois company by having set aside barely half the money needed to fund their pensions — and dozens of other states. Among the changes are higher retirement ages, asking workers to contribute more, and switching to 401(k)-style plans.

Critics blame the situation in Illinois on procrastination, budgetary ‘‘gimmicks,’’ and frequent raids on state-employee retirement funds to pay for other expenses.

Now we know who stole it and broke the sacred promise.

Others blame an unwillingness to take on the unions, which help keep Democrats in power in President Obama’s home state.

But it’s a problem decades in the making, through nearly a dozen Republican and Democratic governors and through legislatures controlled by both parties....

Getting a deal done will most likely require lawmakers to do things practically unheard of; Democrats would have to anger loyal union supporters, while Republicans would have to support a plan they think will lead to a tax increase. But without a fix, the payment the state has to make to its pension fund each year will continue to grow, leaving less money for things like education and health care that have seen big cuts.

What are their debt interest payments?


Print verbatim:

By 2016, Illinois would be spending more on pension payments than on schools, the governor's office estimates.

Pat Quinn, Illinois' current governor, says the upcoming session offers the best opportunity in his lifetime to solve the problem....

To many political veterans, the challenge is less a financial problem than a cultural one. They say the main reason behind the inertia is the same as what got the state into the mess in the first place: Illinois' particular adherence to the maxim that it's always easier to give than to take away, hence promising money to state employees while also spending it elsewhere.

Many states have pension shortfalls, caused largely because lawmakers promised teachers, police officers and other state employees healthy pensions, along with favorable retirement conditions, without putting aside enough money to cover the obligations. The shortfalls were exacerbated during the economic downturns of the last decade, which cut pension fund earnings. Retirees also live longer now and earn more in benefits.

I'm so siick of the corporate paper and its excuses.

But the state's fiscal situation worsened through the 2000s, as Gov. Rod Blagojevich took the helm. He is now imprisoned on corruption charges, including trying to sell Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.

What does that have to do with this?

In October, a task force led by former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Paul Volcker and the former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch reported Illinois had relied on "budget gimmicks," borrowing and shifting money across funds and years. As the state saw its credit rating downgraded to the lowest level in the nation, Volcker and Ravitch warned the state must "change how it does business."

Feds do it!

Web adders

While some states shorted their pension contributions mainly to get through bad economic years, Illinois was remarkably consistent in shirking its full obligations, even in the best of financial times....

Illinois lawmakers are quick to point out that several structural issues make the state's situation especially difficult to solve, from the way teacher pensions are funded to especially strong language in the state constitution that protects public employee benefits.

In 2010 they did make some gains, agreeing to changes for new public employees. But a major fix – dealing with benefits to the 700,000 existing workers and retirees – has remained elusive. A 66 percent state income tax hike passed in early 2011 didn't generate enough money to make a dent in the pension shortfall.

When are you going to learn that giving the beast more money doesn't work?

Union officials have offered lawmakers a deal, agreeing to contribute more to their own pensions if the state makes its full contribution each year and closes some tax loopholes for corporations.... 

Yeah, right!



"SEC, Illinois settle pension charge" by John O’Connor  |  Associated Press, March 12, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Federal authorities announced Monday that Illinois has agreed to settle a securities-fraud charge that accused the state of misleading investors about the financial health of its public-employee pension systems, which are now $96.7 billion short of what’s needed to cover promised retirement benefits.

In a cease-and-desist order issued by the Securities and Exchange Commissions, Governor Pat Quinn’s administration admitted no wrongdoing in the way state officials borrowed money to pay pension obligations through $2.2 billion in municipal bond sales from 2005 to early 2009....


Closing Chicago's Schools

Time to close out these posts:

"Chicago to close 54 schools to address $1b deficit" by Sara Burnett and Jason Keyser  |  Associated Press, March 22, 2013

CHICAGO — City officials said Thursday that they plan to close 54 schools in an effort to address a $1 billion budget shortfall and improve a struggling educational system — a plan that drew the ire of parents and teachers.

The Chicago school district’s chief executive, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel say the closures are necessary because too many school buildings are half-empty....

Opponents say the closures will disproportionately affect minority children and endanger students who may have to cross gang boundaries to attend school....

Officials said money being spent to keep underutilized schools open could be better used to educate students elsewhere....

Critics say the closings are unnecessary and will devastate communities, particularly poor, minority neighborhoods....

Chicago is among several major cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, and Detroit, to use mass school closures to reduce costs and offset declining enrollment....

The issue has again pitted Emanuel against the Chicago Teachers Union, whose 26,000 members went on strike early in the school year, idling students for seven days. It has also put Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett at odds with parents, civic leaders, and lawmakers, who have blasted the pair during highly charged community meetings throughout the city and at a legislative hearing earlier this week.

Danielle Horton, who learned her son’s school is among those slated to close, called Byrd-Bennett the mayor’s ‘‘hatchet man’’ and accused her and Emanuel of trying to ‘‘rob the community to further a political agenda’’ that includes expanding the use of charter schools.

Many of the schools identified for closure are in high-crime areas of Chicago where gang violence contributed to a marked increase in the city’s homicide rate last year.

The district plans to have community groups help students get to their new locations safely....


"STUDENT BACKLASH -- Chicago students, including Alan Mares, demonstrated Monday outside the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel against a plan to close more than 50 schools. The city says it is necessary to ease a looming $1 billion budget deficit. The closings would shift 30,000 students to new schools and threaten teachers' jobs (Boston Globe March 26 2013)."

Related: Sunday Globe Special: Chicago Teachers Call For War

Also see:

Chicago teachers to again consider ending strike
Chicago teachers union votes to end its strike 

I think you need to go back out. 

Smith's Escapade

"Police kill suspect after 5 slain in Ill." by Regina Garcia Cano  |  Associated Press, April 25, 2013

MANCHESTER, Ill. — A man shot and killed five people, including two boys, before leading police on a chase that ended in an exchange of gunfire that left him dead, authorities said Wednesday....

A bystander called police and told them that Rick O. Smith fled the home. A car chase ensued, leading authorities to the nearby town of Winchester, where Smith and officers exchanged gunfire. Officers shot Smith and he later died at a hospital.

Smith had previous convictions for reckless homicide, drugs, and bad checks....

Illinois State Police said they believe....


"Dispute preceded 5 killings in Illinois, police say" April 26, 2013

MANCHESTER, Ill. — The man suspected of storming a south-central Illinois home and killing five members of a family with a shotgun had been in a dispute with at least one victim, but authorities said Thursday they were still trying to determine if it had something to do with the custody of a child.

State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said investigators are looking into a possible custody battle involving Rick O. Smith, and were going to places he frequented.

“Investigators are ... talking to family and friends, just kind of backtracking to see what can be pieced together.”

Smith allegedly shot and killed a 1-year-old boy, his 5-year-old brother, their pregnant mother, their father, and their great grandmother. The boys’ 6-year-old sister was also shot, but survived. Smith, the nephew of the town’s mayor, was killed while exchanging gunfire with police.


Illinois Cold Case: Jesse's Boy

Didn't quite measure up:

"Amid federal inquiries, Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves House" by Henry C. Jackson and Sophia Tareen  |  Associated Press, November 22, 2012

CHICAGO — US Representatiave Jesse Jackson Jr. quietly resigned Wednesday, effectively ending a once-promising political career months after the civil rights icon’s son went on a mysterious medical leave while facing separate federal inquiries.

Just two weeks after voters reelected him to a ninth full term, Jackson sent his letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner, citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder and admitting ‘‘my share of mistakes.’’

The House Ethics Committee is investigating his dealings with imprisoned former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, and for the first time Jackson publicly acknowledged reports of a new federal inquiry thought to be reviewing his possible misuse of campaign money....

Jackson first took office in 1995 after winning a special election in a largely urban and Democratic district and began his career in Washington with a star power and pedigree that set him apart from his hundreds of other House colleagues.

But despite high expectations, he largely went un­noticed as a policy maker. Instead, he gained a reputation for quixotic pursuits such as trying to impeach President George W. Bush and push through constitutional amendments that had no chance.


He attended an elite private school in Washington and earned a law degree and a master’s in theology.

Over the years he boasted about spending his 21st birthday in jail after being arrested in an antiapartheid protest, co-wrote books with his father, and developed his own charismatic speaking style. Shortly after taking office, he was deemed People magazine’s Sexiest Politician in 1997 and became one of the most outspoken and most quoted liberals in the House.

There was a near-Hollywood buzz over his svelte new figure in 2005 when he quietly dropped 50 pounds, disclosing months later that he had had weight-loss surgery.

Perhaps his shining moment as a Democratic leader was in 2008, when Jackson served as the national co-chair of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. He had his sights set on US senator or Chicago’s mayor.

Then came Blagojevich.

Related: Saying Goodbye to Blago

You say goodbye, I say hello.

Though never charged, Jackson had to repeatedly dodge allegations that he was involved in talks about raising campaign funds for the now-jailed former governor in trade for appointment to Obama’s vacated US Senate seat.

Jackson — who testified at Blagojevich’s second corruption trial — has always maintained that he was innocent and that his name would be cleared.


"Jesse Jackson Jr., wife will plead guilty" by Pete Yost  |  Associated Press, February 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — In a spectacular fall from political prominence, former US Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife agreed Friday to plead guilty to federal charges growing out of what prosecutors said was a scheme to use $750,000 in campaign funds for lavish personal expenses, including a $43,000 gold watch and furs....

The son of a famed civil rights leader, Jackson, a Democrat, entered Congress in 1995 and resigned last November. Sandi, as his wife is known, was a Chicago alderman, but resigned last month amid the federal investigation.

Several messages left with Jackson’s father, the voluble civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, were not returned Friday.

Jackson used campaign money to buy such things as a $43,350 gold-plated men’s Rolex watch and $9,587.64 worth of children’s furniture, according to court papers filed in the case.

His wife spent $5,150 on fur capes and parkas, the document said.

‘‘I offer no excuses for my conduct, and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made,’’ the former congressman said in a written statement released by his lawyers.

The prosecutors’ court filing said that upon conviction, Jackson must forfeit $750,000, plus tens of thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia items and furs.

Published reports said Jackson could face 46 to 57 months in prison under sentencing guidelines, but there was no immediate confirmation of what, if any, sentence he and prosecutors had agreed to recommend.


Something must happen to people when they go to that place.

"Jesse Jackson Jr. pleads guilty in campaign case" by Frederic J. Frommer and Pete Yost  |  Associated Press, February 21, 2013

WASHINGTON — Former US representative Jesse Jackson Jr., holding back tears, entered a guilty plea Wednesday in federal court to criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. He faces 46 to 57 months in prison, and a fine of $10,000 to $100,000, under a plea deal with prosecutors.


A few hours later, his wife, Sandra Jackson, pleaded guilty to filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received. She faces one to two years in prison and a fine of $3,000 to $40,000.

In a 17-page prosecution document, Jackson’s wife admitted that from mid-2006 through mid-October of last year, she failed to report $600,000 in income that she and her husband earned from 2005 to 2011.

Before entering the plea to a conspiracy charge, Jesse Jackson told US District Judge Robert L. Wilkins, ‘‘I’ve never been more clear in my life’’ in his decision to plead guilty.

When Wilkins asked if Jackson committed the acts outlined in court papers, Jackson replied, ‘‘I did these things.’’ He added later, ‘‘Sir, for years I lived in my campaign,’’ and used money from the campaign for personal use.

Jackson, 47, dabbed his face with tissues, and at one point a court employee brought some tissues to Jackson’s lawyer, who gave them to the former congressman. Jackson told the judge he was waiving his right to trial.

Come on!

‘‘In perfect candor, your honor, I have no interest in wasting the taxpayers’ time or money,’’ he said.

Or suffer further public embarrassment.

US Attorney Ronald Machen called the guilty plea ‘‘nothing short of tragic.’’

‘‘Jesse Jackson Jr. entered public life with unlimited potential, but squandered his bright future by engaging in a self-destructive course of conduct that was staggering in both degree and scope,’’ Machen said. ‘‘For seven years, Mr. Jackson betrayed the very people he inspired by stealing their campaign donations to finance his extravagant lifestyle.’’

Jackson had been a Democratic congressman from Illinois from 1995 until he resigned last November. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 28, and his wife on July 1. Wilkins, who presided over both guilty pleas, is not bound by the terms of the plea agreements. Both Jacksons are free until sentencing.

Since last June, Jesse Jackson has been hospitalized twice at the Mayo Clinic for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues, and he stayed out of the public eye for months, even during the November elections. His lawyer said after the court appearance that Jackson’s health is ‘‘not an excuse’’ for his actions, ‘‘just a fact.’’

Why, then, do I feel he was hiding out and trying to gain sympathy?

Jackson entered the courtroom holding hands with his wife and looking a bit dazzled as he surveyed the packed room. He kissed his wife and headed to the defense table.

Jackson’s father, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, sat in the front row. Before the hearing started, he wrote notes on a small piece of paper. When the proceedings started, he sat expressionless and virtually motionless, hands folded. As he made his way back to the courtroom for Sandra Jackson’s hearing, he took in a deep breath and let out a sigh. Several other family members also attended.

Sandra Jackson, 49, sobbed during her hearing, as her husband watched from the row behind the defense table. Sandi, as she’s known, was a Chicago alderman before she resigned last month during the federal investigation.


Whose next to fill the shoes?

"Hutchinson exits race for Jackson’s US House seat" Associated Press, February 18, 2013

CHICAGO — State Senator Toi Hutchinson dropped out of the race Sunday for the US House seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr., saying that her continued candidacy risked sowing divisions among her fellow Democrats.

Hutchinson’s exit follows several weeks of attacks from opponents, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, over her past opposition to tougher gun restrictions, one of the campaign’s most pressing issues leading up to the Feb. 26 Democratic primary.

Then he's a f***ing bully!

While campaigning in a district that includes parts of Chicago’s South Side that have been deeply affected by gun violence, Hutchinson moderated her views, saying the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., was what brought about her change of heart.

In a written statement on Sunday, Hutchinson said she would throw her support behind Robin Kelly, a former state representative who was among those criticizing Hutchinson’s previous position on guns and questioning her genuineness in tempering her stance....


Also see: Emptying the Chamber: Gunning For the Senate 

You see who is in the House now?

Illinois Cold Case: CIA-Duh in Chicago

"Chicago man sentenced for terror plot" by Michael Tarm  |  Associated Press, December 12, 2012

CHICAGO — A Chicago man was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 10 years in prison for plotting to attend a Somalia training camp with dreams of becoming a suicide bomber for Al Qaeda and another terrorist group, al-Shabab.

Shaker Masri, 29, was sentenced two years after his arrest, which relied heavily on an FBI informant.

Translation: This is another patsy-plot frame-up.

He pleaded guilty in July to trying to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization. He declined to make a statement in court Tuesday and showed little emotion as US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman announced the sentence.

The Alabama-born Masri allegedly discussed the possibility of killing a busload of US soldiers and about the ‘‘heavenly rewards one would receive for martyrdom,’’ according to a government presentencing filing.

Investigators also found copies of extremist literature on Masri’s computer, including Osama bin Laden’s 1996 manifesto, ‘‘The Declaration of War Against the Americans.’’

They are really shoveling the old shinola, 'eh?


"Illinois man charged in terrorism case

CHICAGO — A suburban ­Chicago man has been arrested on terrorism-related charges and accused of seeking to join an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in war-torn Syria, the FBI announced Saturday. Abdella ­Ahmad Tounisi, 18, was ­arrested Friday night as he attempted to board a flight from O’Hare International Airport to Turkey, the FBI said. The head of the FBI office in Chicago, Cory B. Nelson, said there are no links between ­Tounisi’s case and the Boston Marathon bombings (AP)."

Then why mention it, and not mention the fact that he is ON OF OURS if he is "Al-CIA-Duh" in Syria?

Illinois Cold Case: Snow Job

"Spring snow wallops states in East Coast" Associated Press, March 26, 2013

HAMBURG, Pa. — Five days into spring, warm weather and budding flowers were just a rumor Monday as the East Coast endured another blast of winter.

A wide-ranging storm that buried parts of the Midwest weakened as it moved east but still managed to carpet lawns and fields in a fresh layer of white....

The cold temperatures and miserable mixture of snow and rain had people longing for more agreeable weather....

Earlier, the storm walloped the Midwest, dumping a record 17 inches in Springfield, Ill., and a foot or more elsewhere in the state....


Related1st snowfall is Chicago’s latest ever

Except it had already snowed earlier, sigh. 

Also see: Slow Saturday Special: Globe Gaseous About Great Lakes 

You know, when they lie about the weather what can you believe? 

Has it STOPPED SNOWING out there yet?

Illinois Cold Case: Hot Love

Ill. gay-marriage bill stalls despite broad backing

Ill. leads Midwest in gay marriage legalization

"GOP backs off bid to oust chairman

CHICAGO — The Illinois Republican Party’s central committee backed off an attempt to fire party chairman Pat Brady on Saturday, amid concern that ousting him because of his support for gay marriage could damage GOP efforts to appeal to more moderate voters. Brady became a target of some socially conservative members of the party when he spoke in favor of a bill to end Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage (AP)."

Illinois Cold Case: Petering Out

Outbursts mark Peterson sentencing

Illinois Cold Case: The 21st-Century Capone

"Chicago names new Public Enemy No. 1" by MICHAEL TARM  |  Associated Press, February 15, 2013

CHICAGO — A drug kingpin in Mexico who has never set foot in Chicago has been named the city’s new Public Enemy No. 1 — the same notorious label assigned to Al Capone at the height of the Prohibition-era gang wars.

The Chicago Crime Commission considers Joaquin ‘‘El Chapo’’ Guzman even more menacing than Capone because he leads the Sinaloa cartel, which supplies most of the drugs sold in the city.

‘‘What Al Capone was to beer and whiskey during Prohibition, Guzman is to narcotics,’’ said Art Bilek, the commission’s executive vice president. ‘‘Of the two, Guzman is by far the greater threat. . . . And he has more power and financial capability than Capone ever dreamed of.’’

The commission, a nongovernment body that tracks city crime trends, designated Capone Public Enemy No. 1 in 1930. It has declared other outlaws public enemies, but Capone was the only one deemed No. 1.

Guzman, who is in his mid-50s, is thought to be holed up in a mountain hideaway in western Mexico. He has been on the run since escaping from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001, is one of the world’s most dangerous and most wanted fugitives. He’s also one of the richest: Forbes magazine has estimated his fortune at $1 billion.


Illinois Cold Case: Lost in the Shuffle

"Authorities in Illinois and Indiana searched Friday for a convicted murderer who was mistakenly released from custody in Chicago, with the two sides differing over whether a paperwork error could be to blame."

"Two days after a stunning series of errors allowed a convicted murderer to walk out of a Chicago jail where he did not need to be in the first place, police recaptured the man at a northern Illinois home where he was found watching TV. Steven L. Robbins, 44, put up no resistance Friday night as police burst through the door of a townhome in Kankakee, said Cook County sheriff’s office spokesman Frank Bilecki."

Illinois Cold Case: Chicago's Alcatraz

"Two inmates escape from high-rise jail in Chicago" by Don Babwin and Michael Tarm   |  Associated Press, December 19, 2012

CHICAGO — A massive manhunt is underway for two bank robbers who pulled off a daring escape from downtown Chicago’s high-rise jail Tuesday by apparently squeezing through a narrow window and scaling down about 20 stories using a makeshift rope.

The two men were first unaccounted for during a 5 a.m. head count, but it is unclear if they were still inside the 27-story Metropolitan Correctional Center at the time, US Marshal’s Service spokeswoman Belkis Cantor said.

Local shop owners say police did not swarm the area until more than three hours later....

SWAT teams stormed a Tinley Park home early Tuesday afternoon, but the fugitives were not there, FBI Special Agent Frank Bochte said....

The facility is one of the only skyscraper lockups in the world, and specialists say its triangular shape was meant to make it easier to guard, theoretically reducing blind spots for guards. The only other escape from the nearly 40-year-old facility occurred in the mid-1980s.

Banks was convicted last week of robbing two banks and attempting to rob two others. Authorities say he stole almost $600,000....

Not too big to jail.


"Hunt for escapees was delayed" Associated Press, December 20, 2012

CHICAGO — A search for two bank robbers who used a makeshift rope to pull off a ­daring escape from a high-rise federal prison in Chicago pushed into a second day Wednesday, with authorities offer­ing a $50,000 reward for information leading to capture of the men.

The former cellmates apparently broke a cell window, pulled out the bars, then descended almost 20 stories to escape the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center early Tuesday.

Joseph Banks, 37, and ­Kenneth Conley, 38, were un­accounted for during a 5 a.m. headcount, according to the US Marshals Service. An FBI affidavit says that the men were in their assigned ­areas for a head count around 10 p.m. Monday, and that jail employees noticed the makeshift rope around 7 a.m.

Nearby business owners said helicopters and police dogs did not swarm the area until almost 8:30 a.m.

The FBI reissued a plea to the public to be watchful for the men, whom they believe are traveling together, and warned that they should be considered armed and dangerous....



"The overnight escape went unnoticed for hours. Surveillance video from a nearby street showing the two hopping into a cab in downtown Chicago shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday. They had changed from their orange jail-issued jumpsuits. Authorities found evidence of a meticulously planned escape."

"The second of two bank robbers who escaped last month from a high-rise federal jail in downtown Chicago was captured Friday at an apartment complex across the street from a suburban police department, authorities said." 

Another Dorner and excuse for a drill?

Also see: Calling For Alcatraz to be Reopened

Illinois Cold Case: Chicago Cops' Code of Silence

"Judge won’t set aside ‘code of silence’ verdict" by Michael Tarm  |  Associated Press, December 21, 2012

CHICAGO — A judge refused Thursday to toss out a jury verdict that suggested Chicago police adhere to a code of silence in protecting rogue officers, citing its ‘‘social value’’ despite allegations by the city that the verdict could cost Chicago millions in other litigation.

The ruling involves the case of Karolina Obrycka, a local bartender who was attacked by a drunk off-duty police officer as she worked in 2007. Obrycka sued the city after the beating, which was caught on video and went viral online, and a jury ruled in her favor last month.

But along with awarding her $850,000, jurors strongly suggested in their verdict that they agreed the officer, Anthony Abbate, was protected by an unwritten code of silence among Chicago police.

The city asked US District Judge Amy St. Eve to throw out that element of the verdict, arguing it could be cited as a precedent — and potentially cost the city millions of dollars fighting and losing lawsuits citing the same ­alleged code.

Then get the cops to shape up and not act like a band of Israelis.

The city said it would still pay Obrycka the full jury award.

As if it had a choice?


Illinois Cold Case: Drunk Death in DeKalb

"22 face hazing charges after teen dies" Associated Press, December 19, 2012

DEKALB, Ill. — Nearly two dozen fraternity members at Northern Illinois University have been charged with hazing-related counts after a freshman was found dead at their fraternity house after a night of drinking.

DeKalb police and prosecutors issued arrest warrants Monday for 22 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in DeKalb. Five members are charged with felony hazing, while the other 17 members are facing misdemeanor hazing charges.

The warrants were filed after David Bogenberger, 19, was found unresponsive at the fraternity house early on Nov. 2. The DeKalb County Coroner’s Office said toxicology results found his blood alcohol content was about five times the legal limit for driving.

The coroner ruled Bogenberger’s cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia, with alcohol intoxication as a contributing cause.

The DeKalb Police Department said its investigation found the fraternity hosted an unsanctioned event on Nov. 1 that was not registered with the university.

‘‘The event that night involved the pledges rotating between several rooms in the fraternity house, being asked a series of questions, and then being provided cups of vodka and other liquor to drink,’’ police said in a statement. ‘‘This resulted in the pledges drinking a large quantity of alcohol in about a two-hour time period.’’


Tuesday Treat

The Globes had not arrived when I stopped at the newsstand this morning, and thus I didn't buy one. So you get a NoPP (lasted a week) in the new format I've been promising. 

What I normally would do is bring the Globe back, unfold it, and put it on the table. I'll give you the tour I would have taken with my red and blue pens: 

The first thing I would have noticed was the front-page feature about the gay basketball player, which I find offensive not because of the gay part, but because I don't like sports on my front page. 

I would have then turned to the feature story of today's Senate election. They moved the voting place to a church because of renovation at the high school, but I will likely not vote today. As I have documented here, there is no one to vote for. If I do make my way over it will be for Lynch,  and someone I know will be happy if I do not. As for the Boston mayoral race, I won't read it and you know why.

I already did a next day update on the marathon coverage of the Marathon Log Roll, so it would then be on to the BU deaths connected to the bombings and a fire in Allston.  

[UPDATE: "Actual Footage Boston Bombing Suspects Fire Fight With Police, Watertown The suspects were trying to surrender in the middle of the firefight, and were shouting, "We didn't do it?"]

Upon the turn-in I would be looking at the national lead. I assume that is the selection of Obama's new transportation chief; however, I would not be surprised if it was another reference to the Holoevent.  I'm so sick of reading about that event in my newspaper, sorry. 

I suppose that is why the conventional myth of a narrative is reinforced again today, partly because that whole thing is starting to slip in the wake of Boston. Of course, it is hard to believe what I am seeing in the wake of Sunday, but that's propaganda. Yeah, "some areas along the shore are still devastated." Then there are the obligatory school shooting and girl kidnapped from school agenda-pushers, and we know why. The only question is, are they real events or staged and scripted fictions?

Opposite the national page is the world section. What would see there is the Al-CIA-Duh in Syria making an assassination attempt on a Syrian minister, with the chemical weapons charge carried underneath. You know, I spent a week documenting all the lies and catching up on Syria about two months ago, and the crapola has gotten even worse. They really don't expect us to buy this latest bulls*** after Iraq, do they? Even if they were used, we all know it would or has been an USraeli false flag to frame carried out by their Al-CIA-Duh agents. 

As for the rest the Czech gas explosion has been logged, and so is the Somalia article I would have definitely read. I would have read both articles (the corruption John Kerry says is worth dying for is driven by CIA payments in the form of BAGS of CASH?) about Afghanistan (U.S. killed more civilians, 'eh?), the ones considering Pakistan (who would want to bomb peace?) and Iraq (Al-CIA-Duh again),  although I may have passed on the piece from Ireland.  As for Bangladesh, I made my feelings known yesterday, and the story from Japan reminds me of what I should be working on. I was surprised to see this; however, I did notice it was Iran trying to dial it back as Israel was just sold some subs by Germany. You know, the kind they used to sink a South Korean ship, which their mouthpiece then media blamed on the North.

By this time I'm generally exhausted and sighing because of the agenda-pushing, war-promoting lies, and the elitist, supremacist insults that come with the viewpoint. I generally skip by the editorial and opinion page, even though I probably shouldn't sometimes.  

Then it is on to the second section beginning with Metro. I would likely not all the articles in my notebook; however, the only ones I would be interested are these:

Thefts cost Middleborough PTA $30,000
Licenses for immigrants has support in Conn.
Sides in R.I. ready to face off over gun control issue
Vermont Health Department issues chick warning
Search for moose leads Vermont police to pot plants 

That would have been a 4/20. 

And now I see there is a South African tie to the Boston bombings? 

Then it would be on to the business section, something I have been reading more of for one rea$on or another. I see the Bitcoin makes an appearance, but nothing about taxing it and it isn't reliable next to the Federal Reserve(!). Chrysler's profit report would interest me, and I might give a look at the article regarding Greece (firing more civil servants and lowering wages to serve bankers is nothing new), but as for the rest it looks like the same old bullshit. France offering tax cuts surprises me given the socialist(?) government that wants to IMPORT CHEAP FOREIGN LABOR, but he's just trying to get back into the good graces of business. As for the whining of certain interests, I no longer want to hear it when they are taking opportunity abroad. Not my fault the dollar is dropping. 

That would bring me to the obituaries and the names sections, and without a printed paper I'm not wasting the time even though I see some names that would catch my eye

Oddly, it took about half the time to delivery this commentary to you than actually read the paper.

Farley's Folly

"Mother pleads not guilty to hit-man charge

A mother of 13 from Brownville has pleaded not guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband. WLBZ-TV reported that Wendy Farley, 46, entered her plea Tuesday in Piscataquis County District Court in Dover-Foxcroft. Farley was initially charged in September with criminal solicitation for murder in allegedly offering a friend between $3,000 and $10,000 to have her husband of 30 years killed. A grand jury indicted her Monday. Police said Farley wanted her husband’s death to look like a hunting accident. An affidavit said she told the friend she wanted to escape her husband’s strictness and needed her freedom."

Illinois Cold Case: Ryan's Release

To house arrest.

"Former governor George Ryan of Illinois will still be subject to strict rules, including prohibitions against speaking to the media or leaving the house. His lawyer, Jim Thompson, added that Ryan was granted retirement status by authorities, so he will not be required to find a job." 

Brewing Up Some ID Thefts

"Registry employee charged in driver’s license fraud

Federal prosecutors charged a Registry of Motor Vehicles employee Wednesday with conspiracy to defraud the government, alleging that he produced false driver’s licenses while working at the Revere office. In its case against Alexander Brewer, 24, of Boston, the Justice Department alleges that from December 2011 to December 2012, he knowingly issued Massachusetts driver’s licenses to people who presented Puerto Rican identifications that did not belong to them. Brewer accepted legal Puerto Rican identification documents from people whom he knew to be falsely using someone else’s identity, a Justice Department statement said. Brewer faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years’ probation, and a $250,000 fine."

Illinois Cold Case: Wrongful Conviction Costs Chicago $10 Million

And a preventable case cost even more:

"Family of raped student gets $22m" by DON BABWIN  |  Associated Press, January 18, 2013

CHICAGO — The parents of a California woman who was raped and injured after Chicago police released her from custody in a troubled neighborhood despite her obvious mental problems said Thursday that a $22.5 million settlement with the city is a ‘‘bittersweet victory’’ that will help pay for her extensive continuing therapy.

The payout is the largest settlement for police misconduct in the city’s history. It was approved Thursday by the City Council at the same time as the settlement of another police abuse case, this one $10.25 million to a man who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit....

Umm, that never happens in AmeriKa.

Christina Eilman was arrested at Midway International Airport in May 2006 because she was acting strangely and violently. Her parents phoned police from California asking them not to release the 21-year-old college student because she was bipolar.

Still, Eilman was released to fend for herself in a high-crime area. She ended up being raped at knifepoint before she fell or was thrown from a seventh-story window.