Officer shoots, kills armed security guard outside south suburban bar | WGN


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ROBBINS, Ill. — Witnesses said a Midlothian police officer responding to a shooting inside a south suburban bar shot at the wrong person early Sunday morning.

After security asked a group of drunken men to leave Manny’s Blue Room Bar around 4 a.m. Sunday, witnesses said someone came back with a gun and opened fire. Security returned fire, and according to witnesses, 26-year-old armed security guard Jemel Roberson apprehended one of the men involved outside.

“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,'” witness Adam Harris said.

Soon after, witnesses said, an officer responding to the scene fired at Roberson — killing him.

“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” Harris said. “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”

Authorities were releasing few details Sunday night. Four other people, including the suspected shooter, sustained non-life threatening injuries.

A spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Roberson had a valid FOID card, but did not have a concealed-carry license.

In a statement, Midlothian police confirmed two officers from the department responded to the scene of the shooting and that one of them opened fire.

“A Midlothian officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital,” Chief Daniel Delaney of the Midlothian Police Department said in a statement.

Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches, who had plans to become a police officer.

“Every artist he’s ever played for every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill of Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill of Purposed Church said.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is handling the criminal investigation of the original shooting, while the State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the police-involved shooting.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover funeral costs. Click here for more information.


GOP eyes post-tax-cut changes to welfare, Medicare and Social Security


During a speech in St. Charles, Mo., on Nov. 29, President Trump said he intends to “go into welfare reform” after overhauling the tax code and the health-care system. (The Washington Post)

High-ranking Republicans are hinting that, after their tax overhaul, the party intends to look at cutting spending on welfare, entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, andother parts of the social safety net.

As Republicans advocate spending cuts, they have frequently cited a need to reduce the national deficit while growing the economy.

“You also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said this week.

While whipping votes for a GOP tax bill on Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) attacked “liberal programs” for the poor and said Congress needed to stop wasting Americans’ money.

“We’re spending ourselves into bankruptcy,” Hatch said. “Now, let’s just be honest about it: We’re in trouble. This country is in deep debt. You don’t help the poor by not solving the problems of debt, and you don’t help the poor by continually pushing more and more liberal programs through.”

The GOP tax bill currently under consideration in the Senate would increase the federal deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion over a decade, according to Congress’s official tax analysts and multiple other nonpartisan analysts. When economic growth the measure could create is included in the analysis, Congress’s official tax scorekeeper predicted the bill would add $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years.

President Trump greets Vice President Pence, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) in July. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Trump has not clarified which specific programs would be affected by the proposed “welfare reform.”

During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed that there would be “no cuts” to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, although the president has reversed many of his economic campaign promises since taking office.

The remarks from leading Republicans have fueled a growing fear among liberals that the GOP will use higher deficits — in part caused by their tax bill — as a pretext to accomplish the long-held conservative policy objective of cutting government health-care and social-service spending, which the left believes would hit the poor the hardest.

“What’s coming next is all too predictable: The deficit hawks will come flying back after this bill becomes law,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking Democrat on the finance committee. “Republicans are already saying ‘entitlement reform’ and ‘welfare reform’ are next up on the docket. But nobody should be fooled — that’s just code for attacks on Medicaid, on Medicare, on Social Security, on anti-hunger programs.”

On the Senate floor Thursday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked Rubio and Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) to promise that Republicans would not advance cuts to Medicare and Social Security after their tax bill. Toomey said that there was “no secret plan” to do so, while Rubio said he opposed cuts to either program for current beneficiaries. However, neither closed the door to changing the programs for future beneficiaries.

“I am not going to support any cuts to people who are on the program and need those benefits. But I want this program to survive,” Toomey said. To which Sanders responded: “He just told you he’s going to cut Social Security.”

Many conservatives have long argued for cutting and changing social safety net programs, arguing that anti-poverty programs have failed and that Social Security spending is growing at an unsustainable rate.

Still, members of both parties have long been reticent to cut benefits, especially for seniors, due in part to the potential political cost of doing so. And in discussing changes, Republicans, including Rubio, have largely confined their ideas to plans that would affect new beneficiaries, rather than current ones.

Still, it may be particularly difficult for Republicans to push those measures ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, in which many in swing states and districts face well-funded Democratic challengers hoping to ride an anti-Trump wave into office.

What to know about immigration, sanctuary cities and border security for the 2018 midterm elections


The thing about immigration is that, as a political issue, it cuts both ways.

Many Democrats praise them, applauding steps to protect contributing, law-abiding immigrants who lack proper documentation to live and work here.

Nationally, President Trump generally has had his way on immigration, implementing policies to reduce the number of people coming into this country illegally as well as legally. Those moves tend to be supported or condemned depending on one’s voter registration.

The election will help determine whether Trump will continue to chip away at immigration, implementing restrictions wherever possible, or whether he’ll face stronger resistance from those who want a fast, meaningful turn in direction.

U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania: In Pennsylvania, the race where immigration cuts deepest is also the one where it’s unlikely to matter.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is being challenged by Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, known for his hard-line approach to immigration. It’s a reputation he built as mayor of Hazleton, where he cracked down on undocumented people. On the campaign trail, he has railed against sanctuary cities.

But polls show the more-moderate Casey is ahead by double digits.

Casey has proposed doubling the number of border-patrol agents and using technology to enhance 24-hour border security. He’s also said that it’s unrealistic to consider trying to deport 11 million undocumented people, and called for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding migrants.

Sanctuary cities like Philadelphia generally decline to help ICE enforce federal immigration laws.

Polls show incumbent Democratic Gov. Wolf ahead by about 16 points.

No immigration concern has resonated more loudly in the lead-up to the voting than the border separations of migrant children from their parents. With even some supporters questioning whether Trump had gone too far, the president rescinded his executive order to pull families apart.

Other presidential actions likewise carry national and local impacts.

In the same vein — and here immigration advocates saw a big win — a federal judge stopped the administration from kicking out thousands of immigrants who had legally come to America from ravaged homelands.

The administration sought to end what’s called Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua. TPS, as it is known, allows people from 10 countries to live and work in the U.S. because of war, floods, droughts, epidemics or armed conflict in their home nations.

Other key issues in Pennsylvania and New Jersey races

Terrifying Images Emerge From Within Once-Peaceful-Now-A-Security-Threat Nation Of Canada – The Out And Abouter


WARNING: The following article contains images of people generally enjoying life and not bothering anyone. They cannot be unseen.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s declaration that Canada represents a security threat, and then using that declassified intelligence as justification to tariff the northern nation back to a safe status, images are beginning to emerge from the peace-torn nation. They paint a horrifying picture of a depravedly-genial country in which many people live their entire lives without holding a loaded gun, or threatening to use such, and where speaking out against the nation’s overbearing rulers can get you a witheringly polite defense of your right to debate in a townhall meeting. Yes. It is stomach turning. Again, the images below are not for the dark of heart.

Warring Canadian factions, seen here performing the dreaded seat-dance shortly before sharing some form of a snack. Note that even their respective tribes (the Leafs and the Senators) are tied, in what international observers believe to have been a gruesome attempt to allow each other to both get a point.

High Park Castle
Unpaid workers (they call them VOLUNTEERS) working to rebuild a children’s park in Toronto after the original structure burnt down. One wonders why they bother, knowing it will probably only last thirty years and echo with the shouts of hundreds of thousands of children living generally comfortable lives. It’s unlikely any of these men are still standing. As it’s Friday night and the patios are open.

The Prime Minister, wearing plaid. In front of children. What sort of people allow this?

The country nearly split in two in 1995, but after people got in buses and drove for thousands of kilometers (which are a dangerous type of miles) and told the people that wanted to leave that it would be so nice if they didn’t, those people voted in an orderly fashion to stay. Like some sort of experiment in democracy gone horribly, horribly right.

They all pretend to like the same shitty coffee, because it would be rude not to.
(Though its popularity has gone down recently. No, not because it sucks, they don’t mind that. Because the company that makes the coffee isn’t paying their employees enough. Researchers are still sifting through the socialist wreckage in an attempt to understand why they care.)

Canadians also live in abject squalor.


And there you have it. Horrible, dystopian, dehumanizing, Canada. How long will the world stand aside as this country spirals further and further away from winning a Stanley Cup? When will the United Nations intercede, and draw an end to the madness of people receiving health care without losing their homes, and marrying whomever they feel like? Only time will tell. For now we can only hope that Trump can tax the Canadians back into some form of civility. But, as their own iconic musician; the late, great, Gord Downie, once sang:

“Twelve men broke loose in seventy three
From Millhaven Maximum Security
Twelve pictures lined up across the front page
Seems the Mounties had a summertime war to wage.”

Whatever that means. Canadians can be really cryptic.

For more satire from the front lines of Canada, follow  The Out And Abouter on Facebook, or  on Twitter.

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TV Networks Consider Not Airing Trump’s Border Security Address


Several major television networks are apparently unsure whether or not to air President Trump’s live address to the nation on border security Tuesday due to concern over what he will say.

According to The Hill, CNN and Fox News Channel are planning to air Trump’s address on border security, while the basic cable networks CBS, NBC, and ABC have not committed one way or the other.

MSNBC has not made a public comment one way or the other, and the network has repeatedly opted not to air Trump events before.

Trump plans to address the nation for the first time from the Oval Office Tuesday night on “the humanitarian and national security crisis on our Southern Border.”

I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019

The government shutdown over Democrats’ refusal to pass spending for border security is now in its third week.

Many media figures weighed in on social media Monday over the decision.

CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted that a “TV exec” told him he was torn on what to do about the address.

“TV exec texts: ‘He calls us fake news all the time, but needs access to airwaves… If we give him the time, he’ll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal. And if we don’t give him the time, he’ll call every network partisan. So we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t,’” Stelter posted.

TV exec texts: “He calls us fake news all the time, but needs access to airwaves… If we give him the time, he’ll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal. And if we don’t give him the time, he’ll call every network partisan. So we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2019

Last week, Stelter used his newsletter to promote the idea of not airing presidential events live because of Trump’s “lies.”

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, among others, pointed out that when former president Obama gave an address on immigration in 2014, networks did not run it because it was thought of as too political.

Of note: All four networks refused Obama’s request to air a prime-time address on proposed executive actions related to immigration in 2014; it just ran on cable.

— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 7, 2019

Others called for outright censorship, with Vox Media’s Matt Yglesias saying, “Don’t give Trump free airtime to lie about the shutdown with no interruptions, context, or fact-checking.”

Don’t give Trump free airtime to lie about the shutdown with no interruptions, context, or fact-checking.

— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 7, 2019

CBS confirmed Monday evening that it plans to air Trump’s address, but will reportedly only run the address for eight minutes.

CBS will also take Trump’s address

Mitch McConnell says it out loud: Republicans are gunning for Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare next


All Washington seems to be buzzing this week over a single question: Is Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) deliberately trying to throw the election to the Democrats?

At the root of the debate are interviews the Senate majority leader gave to Bloombergand Reuters on Tuesday and Wednesday. McConnell identified “entitlements” — that’s Washington code for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — as “the real drivers of the debt” and called for them to be adjusted “to the demographics of the future.”

Translation: He wants to cut benefits.

McConnell’s position on the social insurance programs fits in with Republican policy on the Affordable Care Act; as it happens, the majority leader also telegraphed a plan to try again to repeal the ACA after the midterm elections. That’s despite indications that the ACA is becoming more popular with the public, not less, and voters’ concerns about preserving its protections for those with preexisting conditions may be driving them to the polls — and not to vote Republican.

McConnell told Reuters that the GOP’s failure to repeal the ACA was “the one disappointment of this Congress from a Republican point of view.” He said if the Republicans have the votes after the election, they would try again. He also defended the lawsuit brought in federal court by Texas and other red states and supported by the Trump administration that would invalidate the ACA’s protections for patients with preexisting conditions.

“Nothing wrong with going to court,” he said. After the Trump administration withdrew from defending the law against the lawsuit, a coalition of blue-state attorneys general stepped in to handle the defense. The case is pending.

The novel element about GOP declarations of hostility to social insurance programs this time around is that they persist in blaming the deficit on the programs, which are mainstays for middle- and low-income Americans despite their having just passed a budget-blasting tax cut for corporations and the wealthy that is estimated to cost some $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

That’s not pure conjecture. The U.S. Treasury calculated the federal deficit in the 2017-18 fiscal year ended Sept. 30 at $779 billion, close to the Congressional Budget Office calculation of $793 billion. That’s the largest federal deficit since 2012, when the government was still spending to assist recovery from the 2008 recession.

The CBO projects the current fiscal year deficit at $973 billion, and says it expects annual deficits to exceed $1 trillion into the next decade. The CBO attributed much of the deficit to “recently enacted legislative changes. … In particular, provisions of the 2017 tax act.”

The act “temporarily reduced individual income tax rates, nearly doubled the standard deduction, modified or eliminated certain deductions or exemptions, and temporarily allowed firms to deduct the cost of capital investments immediately,” as the CBO said. It projected government revenues through 2027 to fall nearly $1.1 trillion below its previous, pre-tax-cut estimate, and the federal deficit to be higher by $2.24 trillion over that time span.

Thanks to higher federal debt and higher interest rates, the CBO estimated that net interest costs would be about equal to outlays for Social Security by 2028. To put it another way, much of the borrowing necessitated by the tax cut would approach all the benefit payments for Social Security beneficiaries.

The CBO also projects that combined outlays for Social Security and the healthcare programs (Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Affordable Care Act subsidies) would rise to 12.8% of gross domestic product in 2028 from 10.1% today. Spending on interest would nearly double to 3.1% of GDP.

Keeping in mind that much of the spending on Social Security and Medicare is covered by payroll taxes or premiums, it’s clear that the real driver of the deficit is Republican fiscal policy and its relentless payouts to the wealthy.

What’s especially curious about the policy discussion this week is that some reporting still treats it as a they-said-they-said debate between Republicans and Democrats, as if the argument is over partisan interpretation, not party policy. The Washington Post, for instance, headlined its article on McConnell’s statements thus: “As midterms near, Democrats accuse GOP of plotting to cut Medicare, Social Security.” Is there any doubt about this “plot”?

It’s true that Democrats are using these comments against the Republicans, but one can hardly deny that the Republicans handed them the ammunition.