GENTLE GIANTS GOT MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL’S SON IN CHICAGO: Emanuel’s son robbed near family’s North Side home

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By Rosemary Regina Sobol and Alexandra Chachkevitch
Chicago Tribune

Robbers put mayor’s son in chokehold, stole his cell phone
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 17-year-old son was robbed near the family’s home on the North Side on Friday night, according to a Chicago police report.

Zach Emanuel was talking on his cellphone on the street in the 4200 block of North Hermitage Avenue in the Ravenswood neighborhood when two males approached him from behind, according to the police report.

One of them “placed his arm around the victim’s neck in a rear chokehold,” and the second one struck the teen with a fist, knocking him to the ground. The robbers took the teen’s cellphone and patted him down, the police report said.

“The offenders then asked the victim, ‘What else you got?’ (and) forced the victim to enter his security code to unlock the phone,” the police report said.

The robbers then ran away. The teen was treated for cuts and bruises on his face by a personal physician at his home, according to the report.

Chicago police confirmed Saturday that a robbery occurred about 10:05 p.m. Friday near the mayor’s home. Officer Thomas Sweeney, a police spokesman, reported that “a juvenile male was walking on the 4200 block of North Hermitage Avenue when he was approached by two unknown male offenders who grabbed him and went through his pockets, taking his phone.”

Sweeney declined to identify the robbery victim, but the police report identifies him as Zach Emanuel.

The mayor’s office had no comment about the robbery when contacted Saturday.

According to the police report, officers examined the area where the robbery occurred but did not find any suspects. The report said video surveillance on the block and at a nearby CTA Brown Line station would be checked.

Tribune reporters Hal Dardick and Jeremy Gorner contributed.

THOSE GENTLE GIANTS IN CHICAGO: 1 dead, 10 injured in daytime Chicago shootings – Chicago Tribune

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Chicago police investigate a fatal shooting that occurred near 30th Street and Kedvale Avenue. (Eric Clark, for the Chicago Tribune)

By Deanese Williams-Harris, Carlos Sadovi and Alexandra Chachkevitch
Chicago Tribune

Masked gunman injures 2 in South Chicago alley; 14 others shot, 1 fatally, in separate shootings
A 19-year-old man was killed and 16 other people, including a 16-year-old girl, were injured in 14 separate shootings in Chicago since Friday morning, police said.

The fatal shooting happened at 4:35 p.m. on the 3000 block of South Kedvale Avenue in the Little Village neighborhood on the West Side, said Chicago police spokesman Thomas Sweeney.

The man was walking when someone approached him and began firing, Sweeney said. He was struck several times in the chest and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:10 p.m., officials said.

The man was later identified as Johnny Coria, of an unknown address, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. In an autopsy later Saturday, t was determined that Coria died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide.

In the latest shooting, a 23-year-old man and a 28-year-old man were wounded in a shooting at 1:22 a.m. Saturday in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side, said police spokesman Ron Gaines. The 23-year-old was hit in the thigh and the 28-year-old was shot in the knee in the 3100 block of West Warren Boulevard, Gaines said. Both were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where they were listed in good condition, Gaines said.

At 1:01 a.m. Saturday, a 33-year-old man was injured in a shooting in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, Gaines said. The man was walking in the 7300 block of South Damen Avenue when he heard gunshots and realized he received a graze wound to his shoulder, Gaines said. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was listed in good condition.

At 1 a.m., a 26-year-old man was shot in the knee in the Logan Square neighborhood on the Northwest Side, Gaines said. The man was in the 3600 block of West Shakespeare Avenue when he heard gunshots and realized he had been shot. He was taken to Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, where he was listed in good condition, Gaines said. No one was in custody.

Around 9:50 p.m. Friday, a 17-year-old male was in serious condition after being shot in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the West Side, Gaines said. The teen was shot in the chest in the 5100 block of South Aberdeen Street, Gaines said, citing preliminary information. He was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition, Gaines said.

At 9:48 p.m., a 16-year-old girl was in serious condition after being shot in the Ida B. Wells/Darrow Homes neighborhood on the South Side, Gaines said. She was shot in the buttock in the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue, Gaines said. She was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition, Gaines said, citing preliminary information. No other details about the shooting were immediately available.

A 25-year-old man was injured in a shooting around 8:15 p.m. Friday in the South Austin neighborhood on the West Side, Gaines said. The man was shot in his right shoulder in the 5600 block of West Augusta Boulevard, Gaines said. He was able to walk into West Suburban Medical Center, where his condition stabilized, Gaines said. No other information was available.

At 6:23 p.m. Friday, a 35-year-old man was shot in the ankle in the 5700 block of South Sangamon Street in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, police said. The man managed to take himself to St. Bernard Hospital, where his condition had stabilized.

At 5:08 p.m. Friday, a 24-year-old man was in serious condition after being shot in the 8200 block of South Saginaw Avenue in the South Chicago neighborhood, police said. The man suffered a gunshot wound to his neck and relocated to the 200 block of East 83rd Street before calling for help. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition, Gaines said.

At 5:07 p.m., on the 9500 block of South Halsted Street in the Brainerd neighborhood, a 30-year-old man was shot in the leg in a possible robbery, police said. The man, who is a security guard, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where his condition had stabilized, police said.

At 4:44 p.m., two men were shot as they sat in a vehicle in the 11800 block of South Lowe Avenue in the West Pullman neighborhood, Sweeney said. A 22-year-old man was shot in the buttocks and a 25-year-old man was shot in the lower back, Sweeney said. Both were taken to Christ Medical Center, where their conditions had stabilized, Sweeney said.

At 2:20 p.m., in the 4700 block of West Monroe Street in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, a 23-year-old man was shot in the leg, according to police spokeswoman Janel Sedevic. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was listed in good condition, Sedevic said.

About 12:45 p.m., two men were shot in an alley in the 8900 block of South Exchange Avenue in South Chicago, according to police. The men were walking in the alley when a dark-colored SUV pulled up, according to preliminary information. A masked gunman jumped out of the SUV and fired shots at the men, police said. The gunman then fled the scene in the SUV.

A 20-year-old man suffered a wound to his lower back and was in serious condition, police said. A 36-year-old man was shot in his right thigh. Both were taken to Christ Medical Center, police said.

Around 10 a.m. Friday, a 37-year-old man was seriously injured in a shooting in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side. The shooting happened in the 1300 block of West 80th Street, police said. The victim was taken in serious condition to Christ Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his back and arm, police said. No other details were available.

Military Analysts: Bergdahl Report to Show He Deserted

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By Greg Richter

The U.S. Army’s report on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will show he deserted, but not that he is a traitor, two military analysts familiar with the case told Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

The report was completed in October, but has yet to be released to the public. Bergdahl walked away from his base in Afghanistan and was captured and held by the Taliban for five years.
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He was released earlier this year in a controversial trade for five Taliban leaders being held at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who said he played a role in one of three methods the United States considered in bringing Bergdahl back, told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly on Thursday he has heard the final report mirrors the initial Naval Criminal Investigative Service report from 2009, just after Bergdahl was taken captive.

Col. David Hunt says he has heard the same thing, adding that the report likely will be released on Jan. 16. That would be about a week and a half after the new Republican Congress is sworn in, and would be on a Friday, when stories are less likely to get wide media coverage.
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Conservatives have charged that the report’s release was delayed to avoid hurting Democrats in the November primaries. President Barack Obama initially held a Rose Garden ceremony with Bergdahl’s parents, but the good points quickly soured when some platoon mates said Bergdahl had deserted his post.

Hunt said the real issue will be whether Bergdahl will be found to be a traitor. He told O’Reilly that he has been told Bergdahl will not be charged as a traitor and will be given a less-than-honorable discharge.

He also will not be required to refund the $300,000 in back pay he received during his captivity.

Shaffer and Hunt both said they oppose that decision. Shaffer said Bergdahl did as much damage as Pvt. Bradley Manning, who leaked military secrets online.
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And Bergdahl’s damage was more direct, Shaffer said.

“People died looking for him,” he said. “I feel he gave aid and comfort to the enemy, the Taliban, and then forced us to do some really stupid things to get [him] back.”

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.Newsmax.com/Newsfront/Bowe-Bergdahl-report-Bill-OReilly-deserted/2014/12/18/id/613936/#ixzz3MTuGACdX
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After Realizing That Someone Had To Pay For It, Vermont Abandons Its Plans For ‘Free’ Healthcare

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BY KEVIN BOYD (20 HOURS AGO) | HEALTH, NATION, POLITICS

After the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Vermont requested a waiver from the Federal government because it was planning to create a single-payer healthcare system.

According to its proponents, a single-payer health care system would have the government act as the sole agency to collect healthcare fees and pay out healthcare costs. It would be mostly free at the point of delivery. Supporters claim that it would result in a more efficient system and would cut healthcare costs.

On Wednesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin abandoned his quest to bring single-payer to Vermont. According to Vtdigger.org, the plan would’ve required massive payroll tax increases on Vermont businesses and their workers.

Shumlin said that the latest economic modeling showed the cost of providing high quality health coverage to all Vermonters would be prohibitive.

The price tag for a publicly financed universal health care system turned out to be $2.6 billion, not the $1.6 billion to $2.2 billion that Shumlin and his team originally believed. The objective was to replace what Vermonters now pay in premiums with taxes.

[…]The Shumlin administration revealed Wednesday that his health care reform team was considering an 11.5 percent payroll tax on employers and an income tax with a sliding scale from 0 percent to 9.5 percent, depending on income and family size. The maximum income tax a family would pay was capped at $27,500 per household. In previous news reports about the single payer financing plan, the payroll percentage was pegged at 5 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Twitter’s reaction was mixed, with single payer supporters showing a combination of disappointment and insistence that Shumlin wasn’t doing *real* single payer:

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Here’s a good quote from William F. Buckley, the founder of National Review:

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.
It was at the point when single-payer moved from theory to reality, implementation, that it fell apart. Eventually, the bill comes due for even the best sounding ideas. More often than not, the costs are not worth the benefits.

Single-payer healthcare almost always winds up costing more than planned and that’s why it often gets abandoned, just as Vermont did. The way to decrease costs in healthcare is the way to decrease costs in the rest of the economy, through cutting waste and supporting free market competition.