Category Archives: United States

California considers a new tax for sending text messages

From Fox News: California state regulators have been working on a plan to charge mobile phone users a text messaging fee intended to fund programs that make phone service accessible to the low-income residents, reports said Tuesday.

The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote on the proposal next month, but critics have already come out against the scheme, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

“It’s a dumb idea,” Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business group, told the paper. “This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it’s almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have.”

While the amount consumers would be expected to pay remained unclear, some business groups are saying the new charges could cost wireless users more than $44 million a year, FOX11 Los Angeles reported.

Charges may also be applied retroactively to messages sent in the past five years, which has raised questions concerning the proposal’s legality, Rufus Jeffress, vice president of the Bay Area Council, told the San Francisco Bay Area’s KNTV-TV. The “alarming precedent” could chalk up to a bill of more than $220 million for consumers, the Mercury News reported.

The wireless industry argues that the fees would put carriers at a disadvantage since competing messaging services like Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp would not be charged the new fees, FOX11 reported.

Those against the proposal said that wireless customers already pay into the state’s Public Purpose Programs, which they call “healthy and well-funded” with nearly $1 billion in its budget, the Mercury News reported. But state regulators disagree, saying the budget has increased more than $300 million over six years, KNTV reported.

Residents lamented the potential tax, calling it “dumb” and “unfair.”

“To have them charge us something else is just dumb,” a Bay Area resident told KNTV. “I think it’s very unfair, especially for the people that can barely pay for their cell phone plan already.”

DCG

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Betrayal: Brett Kavanaugh casts Supreme Court vote enabling Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood

Et tu, Kavanaugh?

Medicaid is a government welfare program that provides health care services for “the poor”. Jointly funded by the states and the federal government, Medicaid is largely administered by the states. About 70 million people — one out of every five Americans — are enrolled in the program, including two million women who use Planned Parenthood clinics.

Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider.

Two states, Kansas and Louisiana, seek to exclude Planned Parenthood (PP) from their Medicaid “health care” providers, after a series of undercover videos show PP abortion clinics engaged in illegal sales of fetal tissue for allegedly medical research. In the words of Jeanne Mancini, the president of March for Life: “Abortion is not healthcare, it is a human rights abuse. Until Planned Parenthood ceases to perform abortions they should not receive any money from taxpayers.”

Kansas and Louisiana brought suit to in an effort to exclude Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, but preserve their Medicaid funding. The cases are Andersen v. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (17-1340) and Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast Inc. (17-1492). But their cases were tossed by lower courts.

Similar defunding laws in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, and Indiana have also been tossed by the lower courts. Only Arkansas’ law has been allowed to go into effect, but that is being challenged in the courts.

To quote Andersen v. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri: (pp. 1-2)

Medicaid offers the States a bargain: Congress provides federal funds in exchange for the States’ agreement to spend them in accordance with congressionally imposed conditions…. When a state fails to comply with the terms of Medicaid, the statute provides one remedy: the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services may withhold funds from the state…. [T]he Tenth Circuit below held that §23(A) of the Medicaid Act…requires states to provide in their administrative plans the ability of eligible patients to obtain services from “any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person, qualified to perform the service or services required…who undertakes to provide him such services.” 42 U.S.C. §1396a(a)(23)(A). Although the Medicaid Act elsewhere grants a state substantial leeway in deciding when to exclude individual providers from the Medicaid program, see id. §1396a(p)(1), the Tenth Circuit’s decision permits patients to challenge those decisions in federal court….

Fox News reports that on Monday, December 10, 2018, in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court declined to review the appeals from Kansas and Louisiana, effectively giving a victory to Planned Parenthood.

The Court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, cast the deciding vote.

Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, crowed: “We are pleased that lower court rulings protecting patients remain in place. Every person has a fundamental right to health care, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they earn.”

The three conservative justices who dissented are Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. They maintain the Supreme Court should get involved in the legal fight on states’ rights grounds. Justice Clarence Thomas said: “These cases are not about abortion rights. They are about private rights of action under the Medicaid Act. Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty.”

The six members voting to deny the petitions did not comment. They are the four “liberals” (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan) and two other ostensibly conservative members—Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts.

During the Senate confirmation hearings on Kavanaugh, Planned Parenthood had threatened senators if they voted to confirm him to the Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood needn’t have bothered as Kavanaugh poses no threat to their funding and slaughter.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Never let a crisis go to waste: Rahm Emanuel calls for gas tax increase

He apparently hasn’t seen what is happening in France.

From ABC 7: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus are calling on lawmakers to raise the gas tax as part of a capital bill to pay for much-needed transportation infrastructure repairs and improvements.

The proposal would raise the gas tax by 20 to 30 cents per gallon.

It may seem like a big ask, but Mayor Emanuel and others believe there is a bigger problem with the state’s transportation infrastructure, particularly in the Chicago area, that cannot be ignored any longer.

“This has to be about achieving a permanent fix to our chronic transportation funding shortages,” said Joe Szabo, Executive Director Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “We’re at a crisis point and the worst thing we could do now is to settle for a short term funding solution that will put us back in the same situation five or ten years from now.”

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP, represents 285 communities in seven counties.

In the mayors’ proposed 20-to-30-cents per gallon increase, every five cents would provide an estimated $250 million in revenue statewide, including $20 million for Chicago. The money could be used to pay for road, bridge or rail improvements.

“If you take the lower range, the 20 cents, and since we haven’t raised it since 1990, that would be just about equal to what inflation was since 1990, that’s just catching up to where we were,” Emanuel said.

Chicago drivers are already paying one of the highest motor fuel taxes in the country, 49 cents a gallon, plus another 10.5 percent sales tax on top of that. The thought of raising it even further seemed jarring to some.

“Yikes. That’s pretty steep,” said Linda Sandoval, driver.

“There’s got to be a better way to find that money. They do need repair, but there’s got to be other means to get that money besides from a gas tax,” said driver John Heider. “It seems like we’re being penalized to get to and from work.”

The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association said the proposed tax hike would be disastrous to retailers, especially those near state lines.

Wednesday Mayor Emanuel will roll out another plan to deal with the city’s pension problems. A source confirmed he will call for the legalization of marijuana, and a Chicago casino with all the revenue going to pay for the city’s pensions.

He will also push for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the pension protection clause.

DCG

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Landlord Tells Harvard Grad Student to Move Out Over Gun Ownership

 

 

Leyla Pirnie–victim of discrimination over gun ownership

 

Leyla Pirnie, a 24-year-old Harvard graduate student, has been asked to move out of her Massachusetts student apartment after her roommates ransacked her room while she was away for a weekend.

Pirnie told the Washington Free Beacon that her roommates confessed they went looking for guns because she is from Alabama and owns a Make America Great Again hat—two items that led them to believe that she also would own firearms.

She said she was confronted about her guns by her six roommates on her return from her weekend break.

“When I asked them why they were in my room to begin with, they each came up with completely contradicting stories (none of which made any sense), but one comment struck me in particular: ‘We saw that you had a MAGA hat and come on, you’re from Alabama… so we just kind of assumed that you had something,'” she said. “I asked why they didn’t just call me and ask me before intruding. One of the girls responded that fear took over her body and she felt compelled to search my room until she found proof… I cannot make this up.”

Pirnie also said that despite explaining she was trained in the use of guns, her roommates were more concerned with someone breaking in and turning the guns on them or that a gun “might go off on [its] own.” Although, Pirnie said her biggest issue was her roommates, who she barely knew, going through her personal belongings. Pirnie went on to say that she believes her landlord “showed tremendous prejudice against my right to legally have firearms.”

The discovery of Pirnie’s firearms prompted one of the roommates to e-mail the landlord, David Lewis, to verify that Pirnie was in compliance with applicable firearms laws.

“We discussed with Leyla that all of us are uncomfortable with having firearms in the house, and that their presence causes anxiety and deprives us of the quiet enjoyment of the premise to which we are entitled,” the roommate wrote to Lewis.

Lewis, president of Avid Management, the company that owns the apartment house, said in an e-mail to the household, “Since it’s clear that Leyla wants to keep her firearms, it would be best for all parties if she finds another place to live.” That e-mail came after Lewis had consulted with his attorney and after an inspection of the firearms by Somerville, Massachusetts Police Captain James Donovan. Donovan told Lewis and the tenants that Pirnie was in full compliance with Massachusetts state law, and that the firearms were kept, stored and maintained in full compliance with Massachusetts state law.

Lewis acknowledged that Pirnie was well within her rights and that she was not violating any laws. But his e-mail continued, “That being said, it is clear that the rest of the housemates are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of Firearms (sic) being kept in the household and this difference in philosophy and life style has led to an uncomfortable level of tension and stress for the entire household.”

Pirnie has refused to vacate her apartment. She said that when the roommates confronted her about her firearms she explained to them she was a legal gun owner who is trained in the safe handling of firearms. She said the roommates weren’t concerned with Pirnie’s handling of the guns but rather that somebody might break in and turn the guns on them or the guns “might go off on their own.”

She told the Beacon that her landlord’s concern over some of her roommates being uncomfortable with legally owned firearms is misplaced and his request that she move out is inappropriate.

“What I find uncomfortable is coming home to find out that six people I barely know went into my bedroom without permission and went through every single one of my drawers, without any regard to my privacy whatsoever,” Pirnie said. “My landlord’s e-mail, though carefully crafted, showed tremendous prejudice against my right to legally have firearms.”

Pirnie said her motivations for owning firearms have been ignored even though she shared them with her roommates. While an undergrad, she said she was in a physically abusive relationship. She said the experience is part of what drives her to be armed.

“Nobody has bothered to question, ‘Well, why do you want to have protection? Could it be because you’ve experienced something where you need to protect yourself as you see fit?'” she said. “I have a real and legitimate reason as to why I want to protect myself.”

When Pirnie and her father rejected Lewis’s request that she move out in the middle of studying for finals, Lewis responded by saying his request “was based strictly on practical and not ideological terms.” He then warned that if the other roommates moved out Pirnie would have to pay their rent.

“If the other roommates were to move out, Leyla would need to find roommates to share the place or foot the entire $6000+ monthly rent herself,” Lewis wrote in an email to Pirnie and her father. “Obviously it would be much easier for the others to stay and just fill one room (and I’m confident—were this to happen—that the remaining housemates will release Leyla from any further responsibility under the lease) and that’s why I proposed what I did.”

Pirnie feels she’s being punished for being a gun owner.

“I’m still very much so being threatened out of my apartment,” she said. “Either I leave and incur moving expenses or my roommates move and I incur their rent expenses… Doesn’t seem right. Not only is this a blatant violation of my privacy, but it’s also a violation of my rights.”

A search of Pirnie’s social media accounts reveals much about her political and religious philosophy. According to her Facebook page, Pirnie is from Izmir, Turkey. Pirnie says on her page that she began studying at Harvard on September 4. In a Facebook conversation about Ronald Reagan and the belief that the United States is a Christian nation, Pirnie identifies as a Christian. In response to a Reagan quote that saw the 40th president quoted as saying, “The constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying: its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray,” Pirnie said, “It’s important to keep in mind that this country was founded on Christian principles and values, with the belief that we should be tolerant of other religions. That doesn’t mean that we should be changing things like “in God we trust” or “merry Christmas” to “happy holidays” just because it might offend someone. Christians can’t be the only ones who are tolerant of other religions.”

Pirnie said in a University of Alabama questionnaire in 2015, “My name is Leyla Pirnie. I was born and raised in Izmir, Turkey for 12 years; however, my parents are both American. My mother is from German descent, while my father is from Scottish descent.”

A search for Pirnie’s Twitter account shows that her account has been suspended. It is not clear why this occurred; the last mention for her username came in May 2015.

Since Pirnie’s eviction story spread across the internet, she has deleted her LinkedIn account. A view of a cached version of that page shows that Pirnie is a graduate of Fairhope High School, class of 2009, and a 2017 graduate of the University of Alabama. At Alabama, Pirnie studied International Relation and Affairs, French and Political Science.

While at the University of Alabama, Pirnie was the social chair of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and the Director of Public Relations for the International Students Association. Pirnie also said on her LinkedIn page that she is a senior director of Ropir International S.A., a package delivery company based in Doral, Florida. A separate online profile shows that Pirnie lived in Paris, France, for a time.

Since November 30, when the Washington Free Beacon broke the story of her threatened eviction, support from conservatives has skyrocketed. She was interviewed by FOX News. In addition, her story has struck a chord with conservatives on Twitter, with many rushing to offer their support to the Harvard grad student. Here are just a couple of their illustrative responses:

“A Christian in Turkey is almost as bad as being a Conservative in a Starbucks or at Harvard…….Dave Lewis has no legal grounds to remove her and if he attempted to do so, it would be in violation of her 2nd Amendment rights. As for her two roommates, I’m assuming all three of them signed the lease agreement. If they did and the two roommates moved out, the bigoted Dave Lewis’s only legal recourse would be to pursue them for non payment of their portion of the rent……”

“This is why people should talk about gun ownership before becoming roommates. Her roommates should never have searched her room or her belongings. A lot of younger people claim to her values, but their values seem to be do “whatever I feel like even if it’s wrong.”

Alex Roberts, writing for Halsey News December 1, concluded his article with a sentiment that many who support Pirnie echoed on their social media accounts.

“What this situation comes down to is another white educated woman who has found herself attacked when she has done nothing wrong. The landlord clearly displays no respect for the rights of Layla Pirnie who was legally within her rights and met the state requirements according to the very police officers who David Lewis had inspect the situation.”

 

 

 

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Faithful dog guarded home for weeks after surviving California inferno

On November 8, 2018, a terrible wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of Paradise — a town of 26,218 people in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California.

The AP reports that an Anatolian shepherd dog named Madison who had survived the fire, guarded his home for nearly a month until his owner returned.

On November 8, Madison’s owner, Andrea Gaylord, had fled her home, leaving Madison behind. She asked animal rescue to check on the dog. Animal rescuer Shayla Sullivan responded to Gaylord’s request and spotted Madison some days later. The outdoor guard dog was apprehensive and kept his distance, but Sullivan regularly left food and water for him.

Last Wednesday, December 5, Gaylord was allowed back on her burned property, to find Madison waiting.

He had been faithfully guarding the home all those weeks.

Gaylord told news station ABC10 she couldn’t ask for a better dog: “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting.”

H/t CSM

~Eowyn

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Oregon following Washington State, planning to introduce safe gun storage law

This past November, Washington voters approved numerous gun control laws that include a mandate on how you store your firearms in your home. Now the demorats in Oregon are following their lead to infringe upon their citizens’ rights.

The Oregonian reports that demorats plan to introduce legislation next year that says you must store firearms in your home with a lock. From their report:

“Gun owners who fail to follow through could be fined as much as $500, or $2,000 if a child gets unauthorized access to the firearm, according to a summary of the proposal released by supporters on Tuesday. They did not include a copy of the actual legislation, which will be introduced by Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland, and Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene, after the session begins in January.

The proposal also would make it easier for shooting victims to sue for damages if the gun owner failed to secure the weapon, report the loss or theft of the gun in a timely manner or supervise a child using the gun. That provision would not apply if the gun was used in self-defense or defense of another person, according to a news release from the new gun advocacy nonprofit State of Safety Action.

Smith Warner and Manning say they will name the bill after Cindy Yuille and Steve Forsyth, the two people killed in the mass shooting at Clackamas Town Center. Tuesday was the six-year anniversary of the murders.

“The weapon that took my mom’s life was unsecured and taken from its owner’s home,” said Jenna Yuille, Cindy Yuille’s daughter, in a press release. “If it had been properly locked and stored, my mom might still be here today.” Jenna Yuille is now working with State of Safety Action.

Forsyth’s brother-in-law Paul Kemp is also working with the group. “Responsible gun owners always safely secure their weapons when not being carried,” Kemp said in a news release, noting that he is a gun owner. “It is time that all gun owners do that. There have to be consequences for those reckless and careless gun owners who don’t secure their firearms.

Supporters of the proposal repeatedly compared it to traffic safety laws. “It’s like a seatbelt law, you’re working to change behavior,” said Henry Wessinger, president of State of Safety Action, in an interview Tuesday. He said the group learned through polling that 75 percent of Oregon gun owners already lock up their weapons.

Read the whole story here.


Wonder if any of these demorats have ever thought of changing the behavior of criminals? Oh wait, you really can’t make enough laws to guarantee good behavior from those willing to break the law.

DCG

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CVS employee fired for tackling pharmacy robber

The employee’s mom didn’t raise a wussy.

From NY Post: A CVS employee from Indiana says both he and a pharmacist were fired after fighting off a man threatening to steal oxycodone.

CVS axed Zac Phillips, from Greenfield, days after he and the pharmacist, who is not being publicly identified, tackled suspect Jagger Maupin, 22, to the floor on Nov. 8.

Phillips worked at CVS for five years, WISH-TV reported.

“You really don’t have time to think in these situations, it happened in a flash,” Phillips said. “(They) showed my pharmacist a note saying ‘This is a pharmacy robbery.”

Phillips said CVS told him and the pharmacist that they violated store policy by “initiating a physical confrontation.” But Phillips claims he was merely acting in defense after seeing the suspect push the pharmacist.

“I was defending myself, defending my pharmacist,” Phillips told Fox 59“If we get attacked, we are not even allowed to defend ourselves.”

Surveillance footage from the incident shows Phillips and the pharmacist wrestling the suspect to the floor as the suspect is trying to run out the door.

Following the incident, police arrested Maupin a block away from the store and charged him with robbery, resisting law enforcement, obstruction of justice, theft and battery. He was not armed.

Phillips believes if he hadn’t prevented Maupin from getting drugs, something worse could have happened.

When you have a half-second to think about it, you don’t think about policy, you think about friend’s life, and who this guy might endanger if he had gotten drugs?” Phillips told WISH-TV.

CVS released the following statement: “The safety and well-being of our customers and employees is always our highest priority. We have stringent security policies and procedures in place to prohibit actions by employees that would jeopardize their safety and the safety of others. The actions of two employees at our Greenfield store during a recent attempted robbery violated those policies and procedures by initiating a physical confrontation, which led to our decision to separate them from the company.”

DCG

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Lawsuit: San Francisco DA carried firearm on commercial flights, fired whistleblowers

SF DA George Gascon: Hypocrite and Bully

This is so typical of the political elite: Do As I Say, Not As I Do.

George Gascon is the demorat district attorney for San Francisco. He was appointed by fellow gun grabber Gavin Newsom in January 2011 to succeed gun-grabber Kamala Harris and was elected DA of San Francisco in November 2011.

He is also a rabid gun grabber.

In 2013, Gascon wrote a piece for Politico entitled, “Time to ban large gun clips.”

An excerpt from his piece proves he has mastered the fear-mongering, gun-grabber terminology: “These “assault magazines” are devices that hold more than 10 bullets. They were designed and manufactured for military use to allow soldiers to kill the maximum number of enemy combatants without reloading.”

He supports San Francisco’s latest stab at the Second Amendment which includes banning the possession of firearms at gatherings like parades or protests, even when they are relatively small.

Now SF Gate reports that the Gascon flew commercial while carrying a firearm and fired whistleblowers who reported his unlawful actions to TSA. From their report:

A former senior investigator says he was fired for blowing the whistle on his boss, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, who he alleged carried a gun while flying — in violation of federal law.

Gascón reacted with a “pattern of retaliation and harassment” that culminated in the termination of senior investigator Henry G. McKenzie on Oct. 30, 2017, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

In the Nov. 24 filing, McKenzie says that Gascón — who is also the city’s former police chief — took a gun on board commercial flights repeatedly after becoming D.A. in January 2012.

According to the suit, members of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Investigators Association, which included McKenzie, discussed the “need to blow the whistle” on Gascón’s potential criminal violations in early 2017.

Sometime that spring, an investigator in the district attorney’s office contacted the Transportation Security Administration to report Gascón’s alleged unlawful travel with a firearm.

“The issue is flying armed while not being a peace officer, and flying armed when there was no need to” for law enforcement purposes, McKenzie’s attorney, Fulvio Cajina, told us.

Under federal law, peace officers who are armed while traveling are required to state that they are doing so for good reason — a reason related to their work — under penalty of perjury. The investigators believed that, as district attorney, Gascón was no longer an active peace officer and had no need to travel with a gun.

In the months after the TSA was notified, five of the Investigators Association’s seven-member governing body were either terminated or reprimanded. In all, according to the suit, “nearly half of the district attorney’s investigative department — or about 14 staff members — “were either terminated or forced to resign under intense pressure within a five-month span,” the suit said.

At a Sept. 5, 2017, training day at the Lake Merced shooting range, Gascón allegedly told the entire investigations staff that “there was a ‘cancer’ growing in the Bureau of Investigations and he was going to cut it out,” according to the suit.

In what was described as a rant, Gascón told the group that if anyone was going to talk to The Chronicle’s Matier & Ross, “they better make sure they had their facts straight” and that he would “be around a lot longer than anyone else” at the bureau.

The next day, on Sept. 6, 2017, McKenzie says he was placed on administrative leave and that an internal affairs investigation was pending.

McKenzie alleges he was removed from his job because he “was either a whistle-blower or had aided a whistle-blower.”

He was fired the next month, and in late February, McKenzie’s termination was upheld by the D.A.’s office after an administrative review. McKenzie has since found a new job.

In the meantime, according to the lawsuit, “federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into defendant Gascón.”

TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers declined comment, saying the agency “cannot provide any additional detail beyond what is in publicly available documents.”

Read the whole story here.


I wonder if this case has anything to do with Gascon choosing to not seek re-election. Being exposed as a flaming hypocrite and bully can certainly end one’s political career.

DCG

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Just another typical Sunday in Chiraq: 22 shot, 2 fatally

Not even the freezing weather is gonna stop the criminals…

From MyFoxChicago: At least 22 people in the city were shot, two fatally, over a 24-hour period on Sunday.

The latest homicide happened when a man died after he was found with a gunshot wound at night in the Little Village neighborhood on the West Side.

At 8:23 p.m., officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 2600 block of South Homan and discovered the 42-year-old lying on the ground, according to Chicago police. He was taken with a bullet in his chest to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead. The Cook County medical examiner’s office hasn’t confirmed the fatality.

The other deadly shooting claimed the life of a 23-year-old man was spotted lying in front of a home Sunday morning in the Galewood neighborhood, police said. The man was spotted at 3:51 a.m. on a front porch in the 2100 block of North Mulligan. He died after being taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood with a bullet in his chest, police said.

The latest shooting left a 26-year-old man wounded at night on a street in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side.

At 9:54 p.m., he was walking down the street in the 1000 block of West 76th Street when he heard a “loud noise,” police said. He felt pain in his leg and discovered he had been shot. The 26-year-old was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized.

Roughly nine shell casings were spotted around the street as officers scoured the scene of the shooting. A black jacket slumped on the grass near the casings.

See also:

DCG

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It’s come to this: Bill & Hillary Clinton resorting to Groupon to sell tour tickets

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

From Fox News: Bill and Hillary Clinton are selling discounted tickets to events on their speaking tour after reports of sparse crowds at their premiere performance.

Discounted tickets for at least nine “An Evening with The Clintons” events have appeared on the Groupon website, which offers discounted deals on activities, goods and services. On Monday, discounted tickets were being offered in a number of Democratic friendly locations, including New York, Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston.

Among the deals: Tickets to an April 11 talk at the Beacon Theatre in New York – normally priced $287 – are going for $145 on Monday. Tickets to an April 12 Detroit talk, originally listed for $220.70, are going for $95. And tickets in Philadelphia for an April 12 talk have been reduced from $208.20 to $85.

The Groupon is apparently working: Tickets to a May 4 appearance in Inglewood, Calif., that were normally priced $77 and reduced to $35 a pop were sold out by Monday.

The Texas stop’s postponement for the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush comes after the Clintons’ premiere performance in Toronto last month, which drew critical coverage over its sparse attendance as well as comparisons with the sold-out book tour of former first lady Michelle Obama. The liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote an Op-Ed after attending the Toronto tour, saying she felt “sorry” for the Clintons, who had to look out at “large swaths of empty seats.”

Hillary Clinton tweeted Dec. 3 that “Bill and I will be traveling to Washington to pay our respects to President George H.W. Bush and his family at the funeral this week. We were greatly looking forward to being in Houston for our event this week, and are excited to come back next year as soon as we find a date.”

Ticket prices for that event seemed to reflect slumping interest in the Clinton tour.

For the Houston-area event originally slated for Dec. 4, tickets on the official venue website were going for between $29.50 and $399. But a search on second-party sites, like StubHub, revealed tickets going for as low as $7.

By contrast, Michelle Obama is on her own speaking tour to promote her memoir “Becoming.” Tickets to see Obama reportedly have ranged from $300 to $2,500. Obama also canceled her event stops in Paris and Berlin last week to attend Bush’s funeral.

DCG

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