Tag Archives: New York

Comedian Maz Jobrani plans to “drop the mic” on Trump at International Emmys

maz jobrani

Maz Jobrani: One original and brave comedian…

Wonder if he plans to discuss how sexual harassment in his industry has impacted comedy? Don’t hold your breath.

From Hollywood Reporter: On Nov. 20, Maz Jobrani will move from his Los Angeles comedy haunts like the Laugh Factory and Hollywood Improv to the Hilton Hotel in New York City as he takes center stage as host of the 45th International Emmys.

Ahead of the fete, the headliner of Netflix’s Immigrant got on the phone with THR to talk about his approach to being funny, (maybe musical) and sensitive all at once, as well as his plan for addressing the flood of sexual harassment stories that have recently hit Hollywood and have included actor Kevin Spacey, who was supposed to receive the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award at the show.

What can people expect from you as host of the International Emmys?

I tend to go to the audience, and if there’s people from different parts of the world I try to acknowledge them and maybe have some jokes about where they’re from. I’m going to try and cover some of the countries that are represented there that night. I’ll do my best to touch on as many countries as I can within my limited time that I have to open the show with. Obviously, as an Iranian-American, as an American comedian I need to talk about Trump. We’ll definitely touch on Donald Trump and then it’s about making everyone feel welcome. 

How political do you plan on getting?

I just always give my point of view. I have a liberal lean and Trump has inspired me to be more political on stage. An international audience is very well versed on what’s going on and I hope they’ll appreciate the comments I make. Trump wants to build walls, I want to build bridges. We represent polar opposites so I have to talk about that.

What would a Trump tweet look like in response to your jokes? 

He doesn’t go out of his way to find us. I strongly doubt that he would do anything. Every time I tweet and tag his Twitter, in the back of my mind I [think], “I wonder if he’ll ever see any of these.” During the election I wrote something and got a response and it said Donald Trump and I was like, “Oh my God.” I responded back because I was really excited and I thought I had a great comeback and somebody else who was on the chain responded and said, “Hey man, that’s not the real Donald Trump, that’s a fake account.” But you know what? It felt really good for a second thinking I was venting on Donald Trump.

How has Trump impacted comedy internationally?

Trump is great for comedy and horrible for the world. Personally, I’m at a tipping point of being able to handle any more from him, and he’s relentless. It just keeps coming out! And as comedians we need time to develop our jokes. He doesn’t give us time! It’s craziness. Not just in the Middle East, but around the world the one thing you have to give the guy is he has done a great job of publicizing himself to the point where I would make an argument that he is currently the most well known person in the world. He’s done a really good job of marketing himself and I wish he would recognize that and step down and go back to selling products based on his image.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Demorats propose ban on assault weapons

molon labe

Maybe demorats should start by having their precious federal government enforce current laws. Oh wait, we know how much they really care about following the law

From NY Post: Nearly two dozen Democratic senators, including Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, introduced a bill on Wednesday to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and bump stock devices like the one used in the Las Vegas massacre, saying it “will begin removing the weapons of war on our streets.”

“We’re introducing an updated assault weapons ban for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for a debate and a vote,” said a statement released by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif).

The legislation calls for a ban on the “sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name,” but allows owners to keep their existing weapons.

The measure also proposes to ban “bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.”

The madman who opened fire on an open-air concert in Las Vegas last month outfitted his weapons with a bump-fire stock that allowed him to turn his semi-automatic rifles into rapid-fire weapons and spray thousands of rounds in the span of about 10 minutes. He killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

Five weeks later, a deranged Air Force veteran opened fire on a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, using an AR-15-style assault rifle. He emptied 15 magazines and killed 26 congregants.

Democrats called on their Republican counterparts to begin a discussion on gun violence after the killings, but GOP lawmakers and President Trump responded it was “too soon” after the tragedy and would be “disrespectful to the dead.”

Trump initially said the church shooting “isn’t a gun situation” it is “a mental health problem” then rejected calls for stepped up background checks.

Asked about “extreme vetting” for gun buyers while on an overseas trip this week in South Korea, he said: “If you did what you’re suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago and you might not have had that very brave person who happens to have a gun or a rifle in his trunk.”

The Democrats’ legislation also calls for a ban of assault weapons that take a “detachable ammunition magazine and has a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock.”

It says 2,200 types of guns used for “hunting, household defense or recreational purposes” will be exempted.

This bill won’t stop every mass shooting, but it will begin removing these weapons of war from our streets,” the statement reads. “Yes, it will be a long process to reduce the massive supply of these assault weapons in our country, but we’ve got to start somewhere.”

Feinstein and the Democrats introduced a bill in 2013 with similar provisions after the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 but it was defeated in the Senate by a 60-40 vote.

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De Blasio “doesn’t recall” $100,000 donation in alleged pay-to-play scheme

deblasio

How convenient…

From NY Post: Mayor de Blasio claimed Sunday that he can’t remember calling donor-turned-felon Jona Rechnitz to beg him for a $100,000 donation — contradicting sworn testimony the deep-pocketed pal gave in court last week.

“I don’t recall if I talked to him directly about that,” de Blasio said during an unrelated press event Sunday.

Asked how he could forget making a personal appeal for such a large sum of money, de Blasio said he has his hands out so often that he can’t remember each time he asks for cash.

“I for years was raising money for different causes — the mayor’s fund, when we were trying to get the DNC to come to New York City — the convention, the effort to win back the state senate, all sorts of different things,” he said. “I don’t remember when i asked someone specifically, what I asked them — just way too much has happened.”

Rechnitz is a witness in the bribery trial of former New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook, who Rechnitz allegedly convinced to invest $20 million in union pension money in an associate’s failing hedge fund.

Hizzoner’s denial comes after Rechnitz testified that de Blasio pursued him relentlessly for cash to help flip upstate Senate seats for Democrats in 2013.

De Blasio underlings first hit him up for cash, but Rechnitz balked at dishing out the dough because he felt the city wasn’t responding fast enough to his requests for personal favors — that is, until de Blasio called him personally, he said.

“Once the mayor called me, I felt it was a personal favor to him,” Rechnitz said Friday of the donation.

The mayor’s “I know nothing” comments also come the day after he copped to not remembering an e-mail from Rechnitz about de Blasio’s troubles with Seabrook.

Seabrook was feuding with de Blasio’s jail commish, Jospeh Ponte, at the time, and Rechnitz has said he offered to broker peace between the men to help his buddy the mayor. Rechnitz said he intervened and then wrote an e-mail to Hizzoner that said, “Norman under control.’’

De Blasio said Saturday that he had no recollection of the e-mail.

The e-mail was also left out of the trove that City Hall released earlier this year between the mayor and Rechnitz.

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Trump Halloween gravestone not “meant to represent” Trump

trump halloween matt spillane the journal news photo

Photo by Matt Spillane/The Journal News

Then just what in the heck does it represent?

From USA Today: A Halloween display involving a Donald Trump tombstone and a fake corpse has created a grave situation in a Cortlandt (New York) neighborhood.

A Cross Lane home has drawn attention for decorations on the front lawn that denigrate the president, whose name is on a tombstone with “Burn in Hell” written underneath his name.

The tombstone, one of five in the yard, is set up in front of a fake crime scene, with yellow caution tape and a fake corpse that is made up of a rolled garbage bag. The debate over the display’s tastefulness has turned personal for two residents in the neighborhood.

“I’m doing it for fun. It was a joke,” Fabian Vergara, who lives in the home, said today. “I like Halloween, so I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s a free country.”

A couple of neighbors on Cross Lane said today that they had not even noticed the Trump tombstone. “I haven’t seen it, but I wouldn’t care either way,” said Ruud  Haring, a native of the Netherlands who lives across the street from Vergara. “It’s definitely freedom of speech, right?”

Theresa Gucciardo-Perry, who lives around the corner on Edgewood Road, said she was so disgusted by the setup, though, that she called Cortlandt officials to see if the town could force Vergara to remove it. “I want to know how far freedom of speech goes,” she said.

Gucciardo-Perry said she wants the decorations, and Vergara, out of the neighborhood. “Fabian needs to be removed from the neighborhood,” she said.

Vergara said Gucciardo-Perry approached him on Tuesday and asked him to remove the display. Vergara, a native of Ecuador who lives in the house with his wife and two of their children, said he planned to take it down but changed his mind when she told him to go back to his country. “It’s not fair,” he said. “That’s not the right way to treat me, like that.”

“The man had no intentions of removing it,” Gucciardo-Perry said.

She said she knew that Vergara was an immigrant and that she “welcomed him to the neighborhood” when his family moved in about 10 months ago. “Is this about Halloween or about you making a political statement?” she said about the decorations. “You don’t like it here? Get the hell out.”

Vergara said that the fake corpse was on his lawn since the beginning of October, and that he did not put up the Trump tombstone until about a week ago. He said the corpse is not meant to represent Trump.

Gucciardo-Perry said she noticed the crime scene and corpse on Vergara’s lawn at least a week before the Trump tombstone, which she said was not an appropriate decoration for children to see. “What a strange Halloween thing,” she said. “I thought it was bizarre.”

“We know that Trump does not say nice things,” she said. Still, she said, it is part of a larger issue of being respectful of authority and political discourse.

Gucciardo-Perry referenced her husband, White Plains police Detective Michael Perry, who died of a heart attack after making an arrest in 2010, and her efforts to teach their twin sons values that she feels are tarnished on Vergara’s lawn. “I fight for what I believe,” she said.

h/t Drudge

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Schumer slams NRA for backing federal concealed carry bill

chuck schumer hypocrite

Hypocrite Schumer: Protection for me but not for thee…

In case you haven’t noticed Chuckie, the “Wild West” is happening in strict gun-controlled Chiraq.

From NY Post (from Mark Moore): The city could turn into the Wild West ​if an NRA-backed plan becomes law and allows any tourist with a concealed-weapons permit to carry a hidden gun in New York, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

“How low can you go?’’ Schumer (D-NY) said of the National Rifle Assocation, referring to its support of the proposed “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,’’ which would override New York’s strict gun laws.

He noted that the National Rifle Association, “just days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history … is engaging their allies in Congress to push through a dangerous national concealed-carry law.’’

New York has very stringent concealed-carry regulations and does not recognize out-of-state concealed-carry permits. But under the proposed legislation, New York would have to recognize carry permits issued in other states.

Schumer urged congressional lawmakers​ to tell the NRA that “enough is enough” for pushing the measure after Las Vegas, where a lone gunman opened fire on a country music concert, killing 58 and injuring hundreds more. ​

Schumer said the proposed law would allow visitors to make an end run around New York’s gun regulations, which are among the strictest in the country, and pack heat on the subway, in transportation hubs, Central Park and Times Square. “We must stop this madness, and Congress must stand up to the bosses of the NRA and say, ‘Enough is enough​,​’ ​” he said.​

Schumer said the powerful gun rights lobby signaled its intention to pursue the legislation when it released a statement on the Las Vegas shootings and asked the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review regulations on “bump stocks,” which 64-year-old Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used to enable his semi-automatic rifles to mimic automatic fire.

“On behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence​,​”​ the NRA said in its statement.

The NYPD and the city’s five district attorneys blasted the legislation last spring, shortly after it was introduced by US Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC).

Schumer said the House Judiciary Committee could take up the legislation as soon as this month.

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NYC mayor candidate Malliotakis wants to bring back suspensions for kindergartners

nicole malliotakis

Sounds good to me. Teach kids early on that bad actions have consequences.

From NY Post: GOP mayoral nominee Nicole Malliotakis on Thursday said she would enforce stricter disciplinary measures in schools — including making it easier to suspend kids as young as 5.

Mayor de Blasio last year called for eliminating suspensions for students in kindergarten to grade 2 and instead focus on more appropriate ways to discipline kids that young.

But, in the face of strong opposition by the teachers’ union and others, the city has instead tried to reduce those types of suspensions to all but the most extreme cases.

Malliotakis wants to set the bar lower. “If a kid is being nasty or disrespectful to another student, maybe that’s not what we’re going to [go after],” Malliotakis said at a press conference outside the Department of Education headquarters near City Hall.

“But if they are disruptive to the classroom and the learning environment, then I do believe there is a place for suspension.”

In the 2015-16 school year, there were 801 suspensions of students in grades K to 2 — down 45 percent from the previous year, when there were 1,454.

The administration’s latest policy barring most suspensions for kids in those grades was instituted only this school year.

Malliotakis presented the reforms as part of a wider policy to bolster school discipline and safety in the wake of a stabbing by a Bronx high school student last week that left one teen dead and another injured.

There were no metal detectors at the school, which the NYPD said would have found the knife used in the stabbings before it was brought into the school.

With just 6 percent of schools protected by permanent metal detectors, Malliotakis said she’d work with the NYPD to identify more schools that need the devices to protect students and teachers. “I think we need to have metal detectors at our schools that are troubled,” she said.

Last month, de Blasio announced that schools are safer than ever — citing a reduction in major crimes reported to the NYPD.

But state data, which records a much wider range of school incidents, show that schools have seen the number of incidents categorized as “violent” increase each year under the de Blasio administration.

The NYPD also said this week that weapon seizures in schools are up by 48 percent in the first quarter of the school year — from July 1 to Sept. 30 — compared to the same time period last year.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Man kills girlfriend hours after being released from Rikers

jerome rivers nyc police dept photo

Jerome Rivers/NYC Police Dept. Photo

Some animals are not meant to roam free.

From NY Post: A Brooklyn sex offender, ​locked up on Rikers Island for beating his estranged girlfriend, took revenge on her less than 24 hours after being let out of jail — strangling the terrified woman in her own home, authorities said.

Jerome Rivers called Gia Pender on Thursday to ask if he could stay with her​. The call sent Pender, who had an order of protection against Rivers, scrambling to a neighbor. “Jerome is coming over​,​” ​she told the neighbor.

“​I​f anything happens to me, give this to my mother​,​”​ she added presciently.

Pender, 49, ​feared the 52-year-old​ Rivers​, who had been jailed for ​two months ​because he violated the terms of his release as a sex offender by attacking her. Rivers did time in 2013 on third-degree sex abuse charges, according to official records.

Rivers arrived at the woman’s Queens home, and then called cops around 6 a.m. the next day, saying he awoke to a “thump” and found Pender on the bedroom floor​, the Queens district attorney said.​

He later told cops he didn’t “have a reason to kill her,” according to the ​DA’s office, but​ he made a point of telling them she’d stolen his checks, “disrespected his mother, and had him locked up on trumped-up domestic abuse charges.”

Officials determined Pender had been strangled.

Rivers was arraigned Sunday on charges of second-degree murder and criminal contempt, and held without bail. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called the killing “senseless,” adding​,​ “Domestic violence is a plague in our society and must end.”

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