OBAMA TO DELIVER STATE OF UNION ADDRESS—Obama invites illegal to address

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    Obama invites illegal to address

by SPUTNIK | JANUARY 20, 2015

US President Barack Obama will be delivering his State of the Union address on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. local time (4:00 GMT), laying out his policy agenda before the Republican-controlled US Congress, discussing tax hikes for the rich, cybersecurity legislation, criminal justice and immigration reforms.

Over the past month Obama has traveled across the United States, giving a preview of what he will present when he addresses Congress, and allowing members of the Republican opposition in the House and Senate to mount a response.

White House Guest List Indicates President’s Agenda

On Monday, the White House published a list of 22 guests from the general public that will be attending the State of the Union speech, giving some sense of the president’s priorities entering 2015.

“These guests exemplify the themes and ideals that the President lays out in his address,” the White House press release stated.

Among the individuals, invited to attend the State of the Union and watch the president’s speech with First Lady Michelle Obama, are an individual enrolled in a community college, an African-American teenager from Chicago, focused on safety in his community, prisoners released from Cuba late last year, patients who received care through the Affordable Care Act, a wounded veteran from Afghanistan, individuals struggling with the current US minimum wage, and young immigrants to the United States.

Domestic Issues Top the Agenda

On Tuesday, the president is expected to raise a number of domestic issues with members of Congress, including raising the minimum wage, providing students with two years of free community college, tax hikes for the rich and extended tax breaks for lower income families, alongside cuts to mortgage insurance rates.

There has already been opposition from the Republican majority in both the US House and the Senate to a number of the president’s initiatives. The proposal leaked out of the White House last week announced $235 billion in additional taxes, collected from top earners, and has created some sore feelings on the right and left, with some US media pundits calling the initiative a “Robin Hood Tax.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s spokesperson referred to the president’s tax proposal as “redistributing wealth,” arguing that the president’s proposed reforms, explained in a Friday White House fact sheet, will overcomplicate the US tax code, rather than simplify it.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch also blasted President Obama for “slapping American small businesses, savers and investors with more tax hikes” with his new tax proposal that will be fully unveiled on Tuesday.

The president has also taken criticism from Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner over his proposal for two free years of community college for qualifying students.

“With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan,” Boehner’s spokesperson told the press when the plan was revealed last week.

One area of the Obama administration’s domestic agenda that may receive broad support is the possibility of the president putting criminal justice reform on the agenda. The issue has grabbed national headlines in the wake of numerous police killings of young, African-Americans. Currently there are multiple pieces of legislation to address racial inequality in the US criminal justice system that enjoy bipartisan congressional support.

National Security, International Issues

In the national security arena, President Obama appears positioned to gain traction on his agenda, which was outlined in the president’s Friday press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

At the top of the list of national security initiatives is Obama’s recently announced cybersecurity legislation, a proposal that is likely to garner extensive bipartisan support from the Congress, following high level cyber hacks against US companies and government agencies in recent months.

“I’m glad [Obama] is pushing to address cyber legislation,” said Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire when the president rolled out his cyber initiative last week. Ayotte, a leading member of the Senate Armed Services Committee added that the US has stalled such legislation in the past, noting, “I think we can’t afford to stall anymore.”

However, on issues of homeland security, the Congress and the president still remain divided, with a temporary spending limit looming over the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until February. Republican lawmakers imposed the spending limit on the DHS at the end of last year as a mechanism to defund President Obama’s November executive action on immigration reform.

Obama has stated on multiple occasions that he will veto any DHS appropriations bill, defunding his immigration action, creating uncertainty both on the status of the executive action and the continued funding for the third largest US federal agency, DHS.

Last year, the US Congress was united in their support for tougher measures against Russia, including new sanctions and weapons provisions to the government of Ukraine. The Obama administration has so far maintained its position of prohibiting the transfer of offensive weapons to the government of Kiev, but the president announced in his Friday speech with Cameron that he would keep up the pressure on Russia, saying the transatlantic alliance agrees “on the need to maintain strong sanctions against Russia.”

Presidential Veto Threat

“There is so much we can get accomplished for the American people, if the president’s willing to work with us,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a press release last week.

President Obama has made similar overtures for collaboration to the new, Republican-controlled Congress, but has so far stood his ground on key policy positions. In the first week the US Congress was in session, Obama threatened to veto nearly half a dozen pieces of legislation, including new sanctions on Iran, and legislation for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

During his six years in office, Obama has vetoed only two pieces of legislation, but has also enjoyed majority support in both houses of Congress in his first term, and a Democratic majority in the Senate for the first two years of his second term.

The upcoming congressional work session, following Tuesday’s State of the Union address, will last until the late-February district working session. The legislative agenda will be set by House and Senate Republicans, but also informed by initiatives introduced by President Obama in his Tuesday address.

THOSE GENTLE GIANTS ARE AT IT AGAIN IN CHICAGO: 1 dead, 6 injured in separate shootings

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    Three people were shot while traveling in a van in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, after which they drove themselves to West Suburban Medical Center. (WGN-TV)

By Chicago Tribune staff

Teen killed, 6 injured, in separate Chicago shootings
A 17-year-old male was fatally shot and six others, including three teenagers, were injured in separate shootings since Friday evening, police said.

The 17-year-old, identified as Walter L. Wright, was standing on a sidewalk in the 5800 block of South Western Avenue in the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side when an unknown offender approached him and fired shots, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

The shooting happened around 7:20 p.m. Friday. Wright, a documented gang member, was shot numerous times in the chest, right arm, right leg and buttocks, police said.

Wright, of the 5300 block of South May Street, was pronounced dead at 8:09 p.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

As of Saturday morning, no one was in custody as a result of the shooting.

About 3:40 a.m. Saturday, two teenagers and a 20-year-old man walked into West Suburban Medical Center after they told police they were wounded in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

The three were traveling eastbound on Lake Street in a van when a dark-colored sedan pulled up alongside them in the 4500 block of West Lake Street, Alfaro said. Someone inside the sedan fired shots at them.

A 16-year-old boy was hit in the left buttocks, and a 17-year-old girl was struck in the right leg. The 20-year-old was shot in the lower back, Alfaro said.

The conditions of all three stabilized at West Suburban, Alfaro said.

No one is in custody as a result of the shooting.

Around 2:50 a.m. Saturday, a 22-year-old man was wounded in the Fuller Park neighborhood on the South Side, Alfaro said.

The man was walking through an alley in the 4800 block of South Princeton Avenue when he heard gunshots and realized he was injured, Alfaro said. He managed to get to Provident Hospital of Cook County, where he was listed in good condition, Alfaro said.

No one is in custody as a result of the shooting.

An 18-year-old man was seriously injured at 9:34 p.m. Friday in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, Alfaro said. The man was discovered on a sidewalk in the 6400 block of South Peoria Street with a gunshot wound to his chest, Alfaro said.

He was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where he was listed in serious condition, Alfaro said.

No one is in custody as a result of the shooting.

At about 7:25 p.m. Friday in the 500 block of North Drake Avenue in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, a 20-year-old man was shot, said News Affairs Officer Thomas Sweeney.

The man, who police said is a documented gang member, suffered a gunshot wound to his buttocks and managed to get to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was in good condition.

Police said the incident appeared to be a drive-by shooting. A gray SUV drove up to the man and someone from inside began firing, Sweeney said.

Libs Keep Trying To Justify French Newspaper Attack

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By Robert Gehl, January 8, 2015.

    Liberal justification for the Paris newspaper massacre continues.

    Adam Kotsko is retracting, explaining and apologizing profusely after posting a tweet that equates “beating up” Westboro [Baptist Church] protesters with the Islamic terrorists.

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“It’s no more surprising that someone would attack a newspaper devoted to hate speech than someone would beat up Westboro pastors,” Kotsko said in a tweet which has since been deleted.

Campus Reform first ran the story about the professor at Shimer College, a private liberal-arts school in Chicago.

Because the newspaper ran satirical images of Muhammad, apparently the attacks were justified, Kotsko alleges.

Quickly after, he “explained his mistake,”

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But couldn’t help but hit back at “right-wing nutjobs” who flooded his Twitter account with their outrage.

Realizing he can’t keep his big, fat foot out of his mouth, he later returned to Twitter and “unambiguously” denounced the terrorist attacks.

“I want to be completely clear: I unambiguously denounce the attacks, not only for the needless death and destruction they immediately caused, but because of the inevitable backlash they will bring down on the Muslim community in France and elsewhere.”

The professor, who holds a Ph.D. in theology, ethics, and culture from Chicago Theological Seminary, wrote that his rant was based on “misinformation” about the attacks.

He continues to be active on Twitter, trying desperately to both justify his comments, renounce them and attack people who would criticize him. With the frequency of his paranoid tweets, one wonders if he has time to teach a class.

“Black Brunch NYC” Protesters Hassle Lunch Goers About The Deaths Of Black Criminals

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By V. Saxena

A ragtag team of flunkies known as the “Black Brunch NYC” protesters spent this Sunday morning interrupting the brunches of numerous hard-working NYC citizens, reports Yahoo News:

About three dozen people participated in demonstrations in New York, where they momentarily “disrupted” meals at popular midtown eateries, including Lallisse, Maialino and Pershing Square — places protesters identified as predominantly “white spaces.”

At every restaurant they stopped, the protesters “read the names of African-Americans killed by police.” They of course spent zero time talking about the details pertaining to the deaths, i.e., like the fact that the majority of those killed were criminals. Nor did they discuss the massive number of blacks killed by other blacks. Speaking of which, a minimum of nine people have been shot in Chicago since New Year’s.

The protesters, who reportedly pulled the same stunt in Oakland, also issued absurd tweets like the following:

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Actually, as a paying customer, he has EVERY RIGHT to be there.

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Uh oh! He must be one of those Uncle Tom’s, right?

The best tweet came from someone named Chris Ar:

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Exactly right. Liberals find it meaningful and cute, up until it lands right on their own doorsteps. Then they start waking up a little.

GENTLE GIANTS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN: In Chicago, 1 killed, 14 wounded in weekend shootings

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By Quinn Ford

One man was killed and at least 14 others were wounded in shootings across the city over the weekend.

A 39-year-old man became the city’s first homcide victim of the year after he was shot and killed Saturday on the West Side, police said.

Randy James, of the 4600 block of West Adams Street, was standing on a sidewalk in the Austin neighborhood when he was shot. James was standing in the 5000 block of West Superior Street about 1:30 a.m. when he heard gunfire and felt pain, police said.

James realized he had been shot in the left side of his torso. The 39-year-old took himself to West Suburban Medical Center, police said. He was later transferred ot John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:50 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Most recently, a 20-year-old man was in critical conditon after he was shot in the head on the West Side.

The man was inside a residence in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue about 10:50 p.m. when he got into verbal argument with someone, police said. During the argument, the 20-year-old was shot in his head about, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious condition, police said.

Earlier Sunday, two men were wounded in an apparent drive-by shooting in the Back of the Yards. The two men, both 19, were taken to Mount Sinai where their conditions stabilized.

Six people were wounded in shootings across the city from Saturady afternoon through early Sunday morning, police said.

And from Friday evening through Saturday morning, another six people were wounded in shootings. A 14-year-old boy was also shot to death in Rosemont Friday night. The boy, later identified as Patrick Boswell, was the first homicide victim in Rosemont in a decade, officials said.

The boy, who lives in Des Plaines, was foud lying in a gangway between two residential buildings a short distance from the Allstate Arena about 9 p.m. Friday, authorities said.

As of Sunday, Rosemont police could not say why the boy was shot or if the shooting was a random act. Rosemont police Cmdr. Gregory Nazuka did say that his department had never had contact with the boy and said police had not been called to the area for similar disturbances in the past.