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Comedian plasters NYC with prank posters

Written By kom nampuldu on Minggu, 30 November 2014 | 20.49

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He's the new poster boy for Brooklyn comedy.

Comedian Jason Saenz is plastering the city and confusing his Greenpoint neighbors with 20-plus parody posters in the last month.

One advertises a stoop sale.

"Perfectly Good Stoop for sale. $600 OBO," it reads.

Another says, "Missing: self esteem. If found please call . . . ah what's the point?"

Jason SaenzPhoto: Mindy Tucker

A bill posted on the sidewalk declares, "Wanted: Telephone Pole."

"I've always heard to be successful in this country you have to have a job that rhymes with your last name," joked Saenz (pronounced "signs"), who said the side project came from a desire "to get away from my desk and have fun."

He has pasted his Saenz Signs around Williamsburg, Midtown and even in Burke, Va., the hometown he visited for Thanksgiving.

His posters weren't always so funny.

"The first Saenz Sign I ever did was for my eighth birthday. I posted a sign that said 'Jason's birthday,' but no one came to that, so it took me awhile to make another," he said.

"My friends love it; my family wonders why I don't get a job," said the 35-year-old prankster.

But Saenz plans to keep it up as long as the ideas keep coming.

"I've got a long life of littering around the neighborhood ahead of me," he said.


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Louise Blouin Media president resigns after only 4 months

The so-called Red Queen of Publishing has lost another key member of her court, Keith J. Kelly reports.

Patrick Brennan, president of Louise Blouin Media, resigned from the troubled publishing company only four months after accepting the top job as the right-hand person of Louise Blou-in.

Blouin, the founder and CEO of a mini-publishing empire that includes Art + Auction, Modern Painters and Blouin Artinfo.com, had picked up the "Red Queen" nickname from former staffers because of her fashion attire as well as her "off with their heads" management style, similar to the queen in the classic "Alice in Wonderland."

Brennan had only joined in February, taking charge of Europe and Asia.

That was right around the time that Ben Hartley, who had labored for Blouin for five years, quit to join an online art auction house, Auctionata. For a while, it seemed that David Gursky, president of internatonal development, was the senior man.

But in July, Brennan was quietly promoted to president. According to his LinkedIn profile, he said he was appointed "with a brief from the owner to turn around the business by finding and hiring new executive talent, restructuring the organization, rebuilding and restoring financial and organizational discipline, reinvigorating sales, repositioning the digital assets and spearheading the creation and launch of new and sustainable revenue streams."

But he apparently resigned Nov. 17 — only four months after getting the job.

"I am leaving because I have achieved everything I can at LBM and am moving to a bigger opportunity," he said via an e-mail response.

Quite a few past executives have gone to court over pay and expense issues, as have several of the company's former suppliers.

Brennan said that fate has not befallen him: "I am not owed any money."

He said he has a new job lined up, but declined to disclose it. "I am going back to an international role with a big media company in the New Year."

Blouin did not answer questions about Brennan's departure. That seems to once again make Gursky, president of international, the senior-ranking executive at the company. He also did not return an e-mail seeking comment.


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Young entrepreneurs find market in major causes

Young entrepreneurs have carved out a niche market with a socially conscious handbag brand that sells bags by color to support major causes, including breast cancer, AIDS/HIV, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, Julie Earle Levine reports.

Angela Lee and Roi Lee (not related), a couple who are in their 20s, launched their namesake handbag company online in February of last year after attending a fashion show where everyone was wearing red to support HIV/AIDS awareness.

They researched other colors, and found there were great and meaningful causes to support.

The duo invested $30,000 of their own money to launch the brand. The goal in 2014 is to triple last year's sales — and they are looking for angel investors.

The company has partnered with 11 charities to promote the popular bags. They are working with about 10 online retailers that focus on philanthropy, like ShopEthica.com and Modavanti.com. Other retail partners are Fab.com and Bluefly.com.

A New York pop-up store (54 Crosby St. in Soho) that opened Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 28 is attracting big interest for the bags, mostly priced under $100. The most popular cross-body style is $65.

The company donates a flat $5 of each sale, which ranges from a 3 percent to a 10 percent donation, depending on the bag's price.


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First Surf Lodge Cafe to be unveiled in Miami

The Surf Lodge in Montauk, the wildly popular summer hangout, is launching its own cafés with plans to open in 10 to 15 US cities, our Julie Earle Levine has learned.

Jayma Cardoso will unveil the first Surf Lodge Café in Miami at the NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) fair that is held simultaneously with Art Basel Miami Beach and features plenty of cool young talent. The café opens Dec. 3, and runs through Dec. 7.

Sean Olnowich, who has worked as chef at New York's Le Madri, L'Ecole (the restaurant in the French Culinary Institute), Matthew Kenney's Winebar, Todd English's Olives New York and Glass, will be executive chef at The Surf Lodge Café pop-up.

The plan is to then launch permanent Surf Lodge cafés, first in New York and then in California.

Cardoso says she's been thinking about expanding the brand, and healthy, natural "grab and go" cafés selling soups, sandwiches and fresh-pressed cold juices were a great fit. "We're not trying to do a fancy concept," she says.

The Surf Lodge will have a indoor café, food by the pool and a restaurant, hosting private dinners for celebrities, including one by Chloe Sevigny during the opening dates.


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Motorcyclist struck and killed on Henry Hudson Parkway

A motorcyclist died Saturday night in an accident on the Henry Hudson Parkway, cops said.

The unidentified man was heading south near West 79th Street at 9 p.m. when he lost control and slammed into the median.

He was thrown into the northbound lane, where he was struck and instantly killed by an oncoming car.

The car's driver remained at the scene.


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Enemy of our enemy

Written By kom nampuldu on Sabtu, 08 November 2014 | 20.49

Does America's common interest with Iran in defeating ISIS outweigh the considerable risks of signing a nuclear deal with Tehran filled with dangerous concessions? President Obama clearly believes the answer is yes. We have our doubts.

These doubts only grow stronger when we see what seems to be the real purpose of the secret letter President Obama sent to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: an even more dubious nuclear accord Secretary of State John Kerry is desperate to reach by the Nov. 24 deadline.

No doubt that's why Washington reportedly is offering significant sweeteners — like raising the number of centrifuges for enriching uranium Iran will be allowed to operate from 4,000 to 6,000. At the beginning of the year, the administration was demanding a ceiling of just 500 centrifuges.

Never mind that all this comes even as Iran continues to demonstrate its untrustworthiness by defying its international inspections obligations. Point is, looking to Iran for cooperation on ISIS is a dubious proposition. And the one thing that unites Israel with our Sunni Arab partners is this: There is perhaps no graver threat to the Middle East than a nuclear-armed Iran.

If President Obama and Secretary Kerry really want to change history with Iran, maybe they should take their lead from Ronald Reagan at the 1986 Reykjavik Summit: When Mikhail Gorbachev demanded too much, the Gipper walked away.


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Millennial madness — kids without marriage

The other day, something came across my newsfeed about Kourtney Kardashian's pregnancy style.

I'll hand it to her; she's a stylish pregnant lady. And we know this for certain now, because this is her third pregnancy with boyfriend Scott Disick.

But that's just it. Boyfriend.

It's head-scratching to me why a couple would have multiple children — all "planned" — but refuse to tie the knot. It seems to me, if you're building a family together, why not make it official? Yet keeping it unofficial is becoming the new norm.

As Brad Wilcox put it in a piece for The Wall Street Journal about the parallel mysteries of falling teen pregnancy rates but soaring single-motherhood numbers for women in the next age bracket, "If 30 is the new 20, today's unmarried 20-somethings are the new teen moms."

Naomi Riley had an excellent piece on this phenomenon last month in The Post, "Generation Screwed."

Millennials, my generation, have been given this nickname because we are getting slammed with record high tuition rates, a terrible job market, out-of-control entitlements, and so on. She writes:

"So you'd think that if research shows there is something that could be a surefire way of improving their economic lot, they would grab hold of it like a life preserver. Well, you'd be wrong.

"In fact, research has shown marriage to be responsible for the significant creation of wealth — yet millennials don't seem interested. The average age of a first marriage for men is 29 and for women it's 27.

"Many are simply not marrying at all. Almost half of children born to women under 30 are out-of-wedlock births now, according to a recent study by Child Trends, a Washington-based research group."

It is mystifying.

While it's easy enough to see how a generation thoroughly steeped in relativism might shrug off the moral arguments for marriage, it's plain bizarre the way millennials seem to be outright rejecting the evidence that marriage favors them and their progeny economically.

Riley gives a litany of data that shows the way couples who marry start to quickly pass their unmarried peers when it comes to financial stability.

This data only compliments all the data that paints a crystal with a capital "C" clear picture of how important marriage is in determining the outcomes of children.

My favorite stat? Marriage drops a child's odds of falling into poverty by 82 percent. Wind and repeat.

Eighty-two percent. Yet a recent Pew report suggests that a likely one in four millennials will never marry and that millennials are incredibly likely to say, "marriage is becoming obsolete" and rank "being a good parent" as a higher priority than "having a successful marriage."

But what millennials just don't seem to grasp is that being a good parent is having a successful marriage. It is absolutely the most important and determinant factor for children: whether or not their parents are married.

But, according to Pew, "Millennials are less likely than adults ages 30 and older to say that a child needs a home with both a father and mother to grow up happily and that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society."

Kourtney and Scott don't need to worry about money, and most likely their kids won't either.

But we ordinary millennials can't afford to follow in their tracks. We owe our generation and our children a future. As Riley put it, "Looks like the Screwed Generation is raising the really screwed one."

We may feel powerless against mounting national woes like ballooning student debt. But we are fools to leave our most powerful weapon, a social bazooka, if you will, just lying there in the dust. Marriage is ours to reclaim. What's stopping us?

If it's fear that things won't work out, we can take courage in knowing we have an unprecedented amount of knowledge about what makes marriage work and what makes marriage fail.

We can marry smart. Divorce rates are falling. We don't have to make the mistakes our parents' generation made.

The only mistake we risk making is to write off marriage, or rather to devalue its power in bettering our lives emotionally and financially and to try in vain to untie it from the children we say we want to have.

From Acculturated.com


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Parks and Recreation — NYC-style

City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver has been on the job for six months now, but you'd hardly know it from his schedule. He seems to spend almost as much time away from New York as he does here.

Silver spends Fridays teaching a class on urban planning at Harvard. And he's flown to Singapore, Spain, England and South Africa, as well as North Carolina and Kentucky, to take part in conferences, give speeches and receive an honorary degree.

Meanwhile, capital projects in the city's parks lag years behind schedule, and community groups as well as City Council members complain they can't even get a sit-down with the commissioner, according to DNAInfo New York. What gives?

At a council hearing this week, Silver said both his travel and classroom schedules were set before he came on board and were cleared by the Conflicts of Interest Board. The teaching job ends this month, he said, and he expects less traveling "in the coming years."

That's all well and good, but here's the real problem: Our Parks Department is a laggard in delivering projects quickly and cheaply.

Instead of trying to rob those who make our parks work — e.g., the Central Park Conservancy — maybe the mayor ought to get himself a full-time parks commissioner.


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Mayor YouTube

You know how people say they're tired of bad news — that we should have more outlets dedicated solely to good news?

Turns out New York already has one. It's Mayor de Blasio's YouTube channel. It carries videos produced by NYC TV, a taxpayer-funded public-television channel.

In two exclusives, The Post has reported how Mayor Bill has injected himself into the station's content, ordering up, for example, a feature on an old friend famous for her "spider bite" dance.

The mayor's YouTube channel takes a different angle, focusing on how wonderful New York life is under Mayor Bill.

Now, all politicians promote themselves shamelessly. And they are only too happy to use public dollars when they can — just look at all those ads for Gov. Cuomo's START-UP NY program.

Even so, de Blasio's YouTube channel features more than 250 videos — which works out to nearly one new one each day. Friday, for example, the "City Scoop" video noted how Super Bill was single-handedly propping up . . . er, reforming . . . 94 failing public schools.

Another features a story about how a family hit by Sandy will be back in their home by Christmas — thanks to Mayor Bill. And so on.

Maybe there's a case for what are essentially campaign commercials. But so long as taxpayers are picking up the tab, maybe these videos should carry the proper public warning: "Any resemblance to real persons or real events is purely coincidental."


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Navy SEALs say more than one man killed bin Laden

The ex-Navy SEAL who claimed he alone fatally shot Osama bin Laden is facing heat from colleagues who are challenging his version of events — and threats of legal action from military brass for revealing classified information.

Rob O'Neill said he fired the two-shot "double-tap" to the forehead that took bin Laden down, and then finished him off with a third shot, during the raid on the al Qaeda leader's hideout in ­Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011.

In his account — which he will detail in a two-part Fox News TV special next week — the team's point man fired the first shot at bin Laden but missed.

The point man then hustled two of the terrorist's wives out of the way, allowing O'Neill to burst into bin Laden's bedroom and fire the fatal volley.

"There was bin Laden, standing there. He had his hands on a woman's shoulders pushing her ahead," O'Neill, 38, said in an anonymous interview with ­Esquire magazine in March.

"He looked confused . . . He had a cap on and didn't appear to be hit. In that second, I shot him two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! He crumbled to the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again."

But another SEAL who took part in the raid, which was code-named Operation Neptune Spear, wrote that the point man wounded bin Laden with his first shot — and that he and another SEAL, believed to be O'Neill, then fired the fatal rounds.

"He was still twitching and convulsing," Matt Bissonnette, 38, said in his book, "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden," which he wrote under the name Mark Owen. "Another assaulter and I trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds."

Military bigs — furious over the soldiers' breach of the SEAL Ethos, or code of silence — threatened legal action against both men, according to the special-ops Web site SOFREP, which outed O'Neill after other SEALs, angry at his disclosures, provided his identity.

In a letter written after news of O'Neill's TV appearance was announced, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Command wrote that those who violate the Ethos "are neither teammates in good standing, nor teammates who represent Naval Special Warfare.

"A critical tenet of our Ethos is, 'I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions,' " he added.

The SEAL leader also said revealing classified information was against the law and that the command would seek "judicial consequences" for O'Neill and Bissonnette.

O'Neill on Friday shrugged off the controversy.

"Regardless of the negativity that comes with it, I don't give a f–k. We got him," he told CNN.


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Victory was easy, now the hard part

The GOP victory Election Night was the easy part. Now comes the real work: forging an agenda that will solidify Republican gains over the next two years.

Exit polls make clear that dissatisfaction with President Obama drove this election. As the president famously said in October, "I am not on the ballot this fall. . . But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them."

The president's words came true, but not quite in the way he intended. Come 2016, however, Republicans will have to run on what they've accomplished legislatively and what a different agenda a Republican would bring to the White House.

But the electorate will be significantly broader than the one that went to the polls on Tuesday.

Only about 37 percent of eligible voters turned out this election, according to early analyses — which redounded to the GOP's advantage. Democrats weren't able to energize their base.

Black turnout was down, resulting in a 2 percent decline in their proportion of the overall vote compared to 2012, a presidential year, and 1 percent less than in 2010, another midterm election.

Hispanic turnout was down as well. Despite gains in population, Hispanics made up only 8 percent of voters in 2014 compared to 10 percent in 2012. Single women represented 2 percent fewer voters than in 2012.

As a result, whites, especially white males, who overwhelmingly vote Republican, had greater impact on the final results. Republican candidates received a whopping 64 percent of white male votes in 2014.

Republicans can't count on Democrats' apathy next time out. But the results in this year's returns point to some opportunities for the GOP to expand support among traditionally Democratic groups — provided the party doesn't blow it with a legislative agenda that rekindles disaffection.

The two groups most critical to winning the White House and retaining Congress are women and Hispanics. If the GOP alienates these groups, its path to victory will be virtually nonexistent.

Republicans did better among women overall this time than in 2012, but not quite as well as they did in 2010, when dissatisfaction with ObamaCare drove a GOP takeover of the House.

In 2010, GOP candidates overall won 51 percent of the female vote, which slipped to 47 percent in 2014. Republicans will have to keep women in the fold in 2016, which will depend on looking like leaders, not obstructionists.

Among Hispanics, too, the GOP did much better than in 2012, winning more than a third of Hispanic votes nationwide, compared to only 27 percent in 2012.

The key may well be that, for the most part, Republican candidates didn't shoot themselves in the foot with nasty rhetoric as GOP presidential hopefuls did in 2012.

Mitt Romney's invitation for illegal immigrants to self-deport turned off many Hispanic voters, who viewed the proposal as not only unrealistic, but also cruel, dividing families and devastating immigrant communities.

In Colorado, for example, Sen.-elect Cory Gardner largely stayed away from illegal-immigrant bashing, and it paid off.

Exit poll data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal showed Republicans doing much better than they did in the 2010 midterms in counties where Hispanic voters make up more than 20 percent of the vote. Gardner did better in 20 of the 21 heavily Hispanic counties than the 2010 GOP Senate candidate did.

A critical test for Republicans may come before they assume actual leadership of the Senate in January.

The president has promised executive action before the end of the year to give legal status to as many as half of the 11 million illegal immigrants present in the United States now. Doing so will infuriate many in the GOP and could prove a Pyrrhic victory even for illegal immigrants.

If the president acts unilaterally, he will invite a legal challenge to his authority and virtually guarantee that the new GOP Congress will try to cut off funds for implementation of his executive order when they return in January.

But Republicans would be smart not to overreact. They should, instead, move their own immigration bills forward, expanding the number of legal immigrants admitted and creating a temporary-worker program that could accommodate some of those undocumented workers already doing jobs Americans won't take.

How they handle this tough situation could open an easier path to the White House in 2016 — or derail the stunning victory they achieved this week.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Millennial madness — kids without marriage

The other day, something came across my newsfeed about Kourtney Kardashian's pregnancy style.

I'll hand it to her; she's a stylish pregnant lady. And we know this for certain now, because this is her third pregnancy with boyfriend Scott Disick.

But that's just it. Boyfriend.

It's head-scratching to me why a couple would have multiple children — all "planned" — but refuse to tie the knot. It seems to me, if you're building a family together, why not make it official? Yet keeping it unofficial is becoming the new norm.

As Brad Wilcox put it in a piece for The Wall Street Journal about the parallel mysteries of falling teen pregnancy rates but soaring single-motherhood numbers for women in the next age bracket, "If 30 is the new 20, today's unmarried 20-somethings are the new teen moms."

Naomi Riley had an excellent piece on this phenomenon last month in The Post, "Generation Screwed."

Millennials, my generation, have been given this nickname because we are getting slammed with record high tuition rates, a terrible job market, out-of-control entitlements, and so on. She writes:

"So you'd think that if research shows there is something that could be a surefire way of improving their economic lot, they would grab hold of it like a life preserver. Well, you'd be wrong.

"In fact, research has shown marriage to be responsible for the significant creation of wealth — yet millennials don't seem interested. The average age of a first marriage for men is 29 and for women it's 27.

"Many are simply not marrying at all. Almost half of children born to women under 30 are out-of-wedlock births now, according to a recent study by Child Trends, a Washington-based research group."

It is mystifying.

While it's easy enough to see how a generation thoroughly steeped in relativism might shrug off the moral arguments for marriage, it's plain bizarre the way millennials seem to be outright rejecting the evidence that marriage favors them and their progeny economically.

Riley gives a litany of data that shows the way couples who marry start to quickly pass their unmarried peers when it comes to financial stability.

This data only compliments all the data that paints a crystal with a capital "C" clear picture of how important marriage is in determining the outcomes of children.

My favorite stat? Marriage drops a child's odds of falling into poverty by 82 percent. Wind and repeat.

Eighty-two percent. Yet a recent Pew report suggests that a likely one in four millennials will never marry and that millennials are incredibly likely to say, "marriage is becoming obsolete" and rank "being a good parent" as a higher priority than "having a successful marriage."

But what millennials just don't seem to grasp is that being a good parent is having a successful marriage. It is absolutely the most important and determinant factor for children: whether or not their parents are married.

But, according to Pew, "Millennials are less likely than adults ages 30 and older to say that a child needs a home with both a father and mother to grow up happily and that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society."

Kourtney and Scott don't need to worry about money, and most likely their kids won't either.

But we ordinary millennials can't afford to follow in their tracks. We owe our generation and our children a future. As Riley put it, "Looks like the Screwed Generation is raising the really screwed one."

We may feel powerless against mounting national woes like ballooning student debt. But we are fools to leave our most powerful weapon, a social bazooka, if you will, just lying there in the dust. Marriage is ours to reclaim. What's stopping us?

If it's fear that things won't work out, we can take courage in knowing we have an unprecedented amount of knowledge about what makes marriage work and what makes marriage fail.

We can marry smart. Divorce rates are falling. We don't have to make the mistakes our parents' generation made.

The only mistake we risk making is to write off marriage, or rather to devalue its power in bettering our lives emotionally and financially and to try in vain to untie it from the children we say we want to have.

From Acculturated.com


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Parks and Recreation — NYC-style

City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver has been on the job for six months now, but you'd hardly know it from his schedule. He seems to spend almost as much time away from New York as he does here.

Silver spends Fridays teaching a class on urban planning at Harvard. And he's flown to Singapore, Spain, England and South Africa, as well as North Carolina and Kentucky, to take part in conferences, give speeches and receive an honorary degree.

Meanwhile, capital projects in the city's parks lag years behind schedule, and community groups as well as City Council members complain they can't even get a sit-down with the commissioner, according to DNAInfo New York. What gives?

At a council hearing this week, Silver said both his travel and classroom schedules were set before he came on board and were cleared by the Conflicts of Interest Board. The teaching job ends this month, he said, and he expects less traveling "in the coming years."

That's all well and good, but here's the real problem: Our Parks Department is a laggard in delivering projects quickly and cheaply.

Instead of trying to rob those who make our parks work — e.g., the Central Park Conservancy — maybe the mayor ought to get himself a full-time parks commissioner.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Mayor YouTube

You know how people say they're tired of bad news — that we should have more outlets dedicated solely to good news?

Turns out New York already has one. It's Mayor de Blasio's YouTube channel. It carries videos produced by NYC TV, a taxpayer-funded public-television channel.

In two exclusives, The Post has reported how Mayor Bill has injected himself into the station's content, ordering up, for example, a feature on an old friend famous for her "spider bite" dance.

The mayor's YouTube channel takes a different angle, focusing on how wonderful New York life is under Mayor Bill.

Now, all politicians promote themselves shamelessly. And they are only too happy to use public dollars when they can — just look at all those ads for Gov. Cuomo's START-UP NY program.

Even so, de Blasio's YouTube channel features more than 250 videos — which works out to nearly one new one each day. Friday, for example, the "City Scoop" video noted how Super Bill was single-handedly propping up . . . er, reforming . . . 94 failing public schools.

Another features a story about how a family hit by Sandy will be back in their home by Christmas — thanks to Mayor Bill. And so on.

Maybe there's a case for what are essentially campaign commercials. But so long as taxpayers are picking up the tab, maybe these videos should carry the proper public warning: "Any resemblance to real persons or real events is purely coincidental."


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Enemy of our enemy

Does America's common interest with Iran in defeating ISIS outweigh the considerable risks of signing a nuclear deal with Tehran filled with dangerous concessions? President Obama clearly believes the answer is yes. We have our doubts.

These doubts only grow stronger when we see what seems to be the real purpose of the secret letter President Obama sent to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: an even more dubious nuclear accord Secretary of State John Kerry is desperate to reach by the Nov. 24 deadline.

No doubt that's why Washington reportedly is offering significant sweeteners — like raising the number of centrifuges for enriching uranium Iran will be allowed to operate from 4,000 to 6,000. At the beginning of the year, the administration was demanding a ceiling of just 500 centrifuges.

Never mind that all this comes even as Iran continues to demonstrate its untrustworthiness by defying its international inspections obligations. Point is, looking to Iran for cooperation on ISIS is a dubious proposition. And the one thing that unites Israel with our Sunni Arab partners is this: There is perhaps no graver threat to the Middle East than a nuclear-armed Iran.

If President Obama and Secretary Kerry really want to change history with Iran, maybe they should take their lead from Ronald Reagan at the 1986 Reykjavik Summit: When Mikhail Gorbachev demanded too much, the Gipper walked away.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Stevie Wonder turns back the clock at MSG

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 07 November 2014 | 20.49

"I want you all to Twitter this," said Stevie Wonder, midway through Thursday night's show at Madison Square Garden. "I'm not having triplets, it's just one baby!"

The 64-year-old has recently made news because he is due to be a daddy again but in the next few weeks, he'll be making musical headlines as his latest tour marches across the country. 38 years on from its release, Wonder is finally revisiting the epic "Songs In The Key Of Life" double album and the first show beautifully recaptured the heart and soul of almost every note.

Backed with a small army of string and horn players, six backing vocalists (including India Arie), and a water-tight band, Wonder didn't just recreate his distant past, he made it sound vivid and rich.

The brilliance of "Songs In The Key Of Life" lies in its musical ambition and almost four decades later, Wonder can still meet those intense demands. Whether it was the thick funk of "Black Man," the big-hearted soul of "As" or the joyous R&B of "I Wish," he manged the stylistic turns and shifts with almost every bit of the skill he had in 1976. Vocally, he barely sounded like he had aged a day, handling even the highest notes on the album with relative ease. It was less of a throwback to Wonder at his peak than it was simply a continuation of it.

To that end, Wonder made sure to point out the social relevance of "Songs In The Key Of Life" in modern life. During a sobering "Village Ghetto Land," he broke away to remind the packed crowd that the horrors of "families buying dog food" he documented on the original song still remain in 2014. Wonder also spelled out his desire for America to be completely accessible to those with disabilities and at one juncture, stopped the show to pay tribute to attending families of the Sandy Hook victims before taking aim at gun control, gravely stating "the only things that gun do is make the manufacturers and mortuaries rich."

Aside from a 20 minute intermission, Wonder spent almost three hours on stage channeling "Songs In The Key Of Life" back into the ether, but there was still enough wind left in him to run through the untouchable groove that is "Superstition." One of the best albums of all time topped with one of the best singles of all time; it's just a shame that every Thursday night isn't filled with such Wonder.


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14 TV shows that came back from the dead

Comebacks have never come quite as meta as "The Comeback." The one-and-done season of the 2005 comedy series starred Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish, a former sitcom star attempting a comeback by way of a reality series. Now it's "The Comeback" that's returning. Nine years after it left the air, the show returns to HBO Sunday at 10 p.m.

But "The Comeback" isn't the first show to be resurrected from the depths of cancellations past. Here are 13 other shows that were brought back from the dead.

'Arrested Development'

The cult hit thrived online after it was canceled by Fox upon its third season's conclusion. Netflix rewarded the fan base's enthusiasm with a fourth season in 2013.

'Damages'

Even Glenn Close's Emmy recognition couldn't convince FX to keep the legal thriller alive. After three seasons, the cable network let it go. It then landed at DirecTV, where it completed two more seasons.

'Cougar Town'

The Courteney Cox-led laugher had a tumultuous three seasons on ABC, where it always seemed breaths away from being canceled. Once it finally was, TBS picked up the show. Its sixth and final season will air next year.

'Scrubs'

The hospital comedy starring Zach Braff was a big hit on NBC, but after seven seasons, the network cut it loose. The show found a new home on ABC, where it continued for two more years.

'The Killing'

"The Killing" was slaughtered by its network, FX, not once, but twice. After burning out with viewers and critics, it was canceled after two seasons. The network later decided to revive it, then canceled it again after the third season. Now, the show calls Netflix its home — the fourth season dropped there in August.

'24'

Kiefer Sutherland's action-packed hit lasted a healthy eight seasons on Fox, wrapping things up in 2010. The network brought the show back earlier this year for another go, albeit as a limited series with a subtitle, "Live Another Day."

'JAG'

The military legal drama "JAG" was given just season at NBC before getting the boot. CBS swooped in and picked it up after it was canceled in 1996. The new network kept the show in its roster for nine seasons in total.

'Community'

Despite consistently chilling beside the chopping block, "Community" kept kicking for five seasons at NBC. The network pulled the plug earlier this year, but Yahoo! picked it up and will air new episodes next year.

'Taxi'

The classic sitcom was birthed in 1978 on ABC, where it lasted for four seasons. When ABC called to break up with the critically acclaimed show in 1982, NBC provided the rebound. It aired a fifth and final season before saying goodbye for good in '83.

'Southland'

NBC only aired the cop drama for one season, but it found a lifeline in TNT, which picked it up and ran it for four more seasons, concluding last year.

'The Game'

This spinoff of the hit comedy "Girlfriends" held onto the CW schedule for three years before it was canceled in 2009. BET was the show's savior, reviving it in 2011. The show's ninth and final season will air next year.

'Heroes'

The superhero drama shined bright when it first hit the air, but as viewers departed, so did NBC — after four seasons, they canned it in 2010. Earlier this year, it was announced the network would revive the show as a limited "event" series, "Heroes: Reborn."

'Twin Peaks'

Fans were shocked when Showtime announced they'd be reviving "Twin Peaks" for a limited run in 2016. The show originally aired for two seasons before getting the heave ho way back in 1991.


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Netflix Streaming: Everything Brand New This Weekend

The weekend is here and you finally have some down time. If you're too lazy to head out to the theater and sit through three hours of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, we've curated a list of every single movie and show recently added to Netflix streaming.

WATCH FIRST: Nebraska (2013)

After receiving a congratulatory letter from a questionable sweepstakes, aging alcoholic Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is adamant that his youngest son (Will Forte) take him to Nebraska to claim his prize money. [Where to stream Nebraska]

WATCH NEXT: Batman (1989)

Stream Tim Burton's bonkers first installment of the comic adaptations starring Michael Keaton as the masked hero of Gotham City and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. [Where to stream Batman]

TRY: Virunga (2014)

The critically acclaimed and celebrity endorsed documentary is now a Netflix Original. A small group of environmentalists venture into Congo amidst a civil war to save the area's endangered mountain gorillas. Stream it now before you hear about it again during this year's Oscar race. [Where to stream Virunga]

Other new titles now available:

30 for 30: The Day the Series Stopped (2009)
Altman
(2014)
Archipelago (2010)
Blue Bloods: Seasons One-Four
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Decoding Annie Parker (2013)
Doug Benson: Doug Dynasty (2014)
Exhibition (2013)
Fading Gigolo (2014)
Grey's Anatomy: Season Ten
Inkaar (2013)
TED Talks: Numbers Speak Louder Than Words (2014)
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (1990)
Unrelated (2007)

Returning titles now available:

Batman Returns (1992)
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Love Actually (2003)
Seven (1995)
You've Got Mail (1998)

Like what you see? Follow Decider on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation, and sign up for our email newsletters to be the first to know about streaming movies and TV news!

Photos: Everett Collection

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Jerry Seinfeld: I think I’m on the autism spectrum

Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian behind the eponymous TV show that ran from 1989-1998, says he may be autistic.

"I think, on a very drawn out scale, I think I'm on the spectrum," the 60-year-old told Brian Williams in an interview posted Thursday.

Williams, 55, then asks what's driven Seinfeld to self diagnose.

"You know, never paying attention to the right things," the "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" star said. "Basic social engagement is really a struggle. I'm very literal. When people talk to me and they use expressions, sometimes I don't know what they're saying."

He continued, "I don't see it as dysfunctional. I just think of it as an alternate mindset."


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Whistleblower fired after reporting alleged molester: suit

A whistleblower who says she was fired from an elite Manhattan private school after reporting an intern for allegedly molesting pupils is suing over her ouster.

The International Preschools assistant teacher Mariangela Kefalas reported Dutch intern Malthe Thomsen, 22, to her supervisors on May 30, the Manhattan civil suit says.

The leaders of the East 45th Street school, which charges $25,000 a year in tuition, not only never fully investigated the accusations, they also forbade Kefalas from calling the police, according to her court papers.

Kefalas, 28, was then fired on June 5 "in retaliation for her complaints," the suit says. She went to the cops on June 10. Thomsen was arrested and released on $400,000 bail after 12 of the 13 children whom he was accused of molesting denied that he touched them. His case is still pending.

Kefalas is suing for unspecified damages.

The school's director did not return a call for comment.


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Cable companies hike broadband prices while losing subscribers

Cable companies appear to have found the perfect antidote to cord-cutters — jack up the price of broadband.

Cablevision on Thursday reported a 6 percent rise in broadband revenue — even as it lost customers.

Comcast reported a 9.6 percent increase in revenue from broadband in the third quarter — outpacing the rate of customer increases.

Subscribers are getting hit with the price increases just ahead of a sea change in how media companies deliver their programming.

Broadband bills now run between $50 and $70 a month for standalone service.

Media giants like CBS and Time Warner's HBO are getting ready to launch streaming versions of their programs — a move that could spark further cable-TV cord-cutting but will also make a high-speed broadband connection all the more valuable.

The third quarter saw the biggest percentage increase in broadband uptake in nearly two years, rising 3.8 percent, or by 798,000 subscribers.

Comcast and Time Warner Cable combined accounted for half the total increase, adding 423,000 broadband subscribers in the period.

The two cable neighbors are hoping to get their $45 billion merger green-lighted by officials early next year.

At Cablevision, executives, led by CEO James Dolan, are selling the Street on a strategy of focusing on profitability over growth — even while it lost both video and broadband subscribers.

The Bethpage, NY, cable operator added $20 million in revenue from high-speed data versus the year-ago period even while it lost 23,000 broadband subscribers. The company already has more broadband customers than video subscribers (2.756 million versus 2.715 million), though video revenue was $800 million in the three months to Sept. 30, while broadband is still small at $356 million.

But broadband revenue could very well grow faster than pay-TV revenue.

After all, in addition to HBO rolling out a new over-the-top offering, both Dish and Sony are putting together online programming packages.

Already in the market are: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, MLB, WWE and CBS, with many more to come.

When asked how Cablevision intends to grow, Dolan told analysts, "We're going to see a re-stratification of the cable business .… One thing we see is significant uses of data, increasing exponentially. We think that's where the growth is going to come from."

Dan Cryan, research director for digital at IHS, told The Post that revenue from US broadband providers in 2014 is expected to top $49 billion, up from $42.1 billion in 2012.

Cryan says broadband ARPU (average revenue per user) has grown to $45 per month this year from $41.25 in 2012. The prices reflect discounts from triple play packages.

"Broadband is strategically more important than the number of subscribers indicates because it has the potential to be higher margin," Cryan said.

Plus, he added, "You don't have to pay carriage fees."


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Bloomberg tells employees how to wear ID tags

It did not take long for ex-mayor Mike Bloomberg to return to his micromanaging ways

In one of the first corporate-wide memos issued since he chased Dan Doctoroff out as CEO, Bloomberg is telling employees the proper way to wear their ID tags.

Here's a portion of the memo that had insiders scratching their heads as Bloomberg seems to be trying to memorize the names and faces of many of his 16,000 workers:

To all Bloomberg people

Hi. It's great to be back and start to meet all 16,000 hard-working Bloomberg employees.

One thing that helps are the badges we all wear around our necks. Unfortunately, when one puts our B-unit on the same lanyard as the badge, 50% of the time we block our names and photos. It makes the memory pro
cess for someone my age more difficult (and creates an issue for hard working security guards). To help everyone, it makes sense to do what I do: badge on the lanyard, B-Unit
in your pocket.

Tks, Mike


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Three Lions Entertainment faces liquidation

Richard "Mad Dog" Beckman's company — Three Lions Entertainment — is facing liquidation, sources say, following a $2.45 million breach of contract lawsuit filed against it by CBS Broadcasting for nonpayment of TV fees connected to the Fashion Rocks show.

The Three Lions Web site now contains a button that says "Creditors Click Here" and nothing else on its home page. It had already scrapped plans to do a Hollywood Rocks show in December.

The show on Sept. 9 was hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featured Jennifer Lopez, and Justin Beiber who stripped down to his undies at the show at the Barclays Center.

Despite the quality entertainers, ratings for the show bombed, attracting only 2.28 million viewers, making it the lowest ranking of the network shows to air in that time slot that night. That poor showing impacted the price that Three Lions — a company formed with celebrity lawyer Joel Katz with backing from billionaire Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. — could collect for ads.

And it also thwarted any chance of raising a second round of financing after Burkle turned skittish on giving up more money.

The suit, first reported by Deadline.com, was filed in the state court on Nov. 5.

"Despite a signed written contract obligating Three Lions to pay CBS $2.45 million as a fee for air time on the CBS Television Network for the broadcast of Three Lions program, "Fashion Rocks" in September 2014, Three Lions has not paid CBS a dime," the suit claims. "These lions have shown themselves to be cowardly in the extreme when it comes to honoring contractural obligations," the suit claims.


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Hearst raids People for new Seventeen editor

Hearst has raided People for its new Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen.

Michelle Pan, a 12-year veteran of the celebrity weekly owned by Time Inc. was most recently People's special projects editor.

She will be reporting to Joanne Coles, Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief who also added overseeing the Seventeen staff as its editorial director. Pan replaces Ann Shoket, who left at the time of Coles' consolidation in late September

"We had a very strong short list of seven candidates," Coles told Media Ink. "Michelle was clearly a turn key candidate. She could just come in and do it." Among her recent endeavors was putting together People's coverage of the George Clooney wedding and the Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt nuptials.

David Carey, Hearst president said "There's a 1-2 punch of Cosmo and Seventeen working together. I should have done it two years ago."


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Time CEO looking for new executive for People

Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp is on the hunt for the best person for People.

Ripp has hired a head -hunting firm Edon Zehnder to find an executive to head up the company's number one moneymaker, People, as well as its sister title Entertainment Weekly.

Egon Zehnder's Calvin Yee did not return a call or e-mail by press time but a Time spokeswoman on Thursday confirmed that he search is indeed under way.

In his latest quarterly report to Wall Street Wednesday, Ripp had signaled that the weeklies were "disappointing."

"Late in the quarter, our print advertising revenues weakened principally across our entertainment news and sports titles, and these booking trends have continued into the fourth quarter," he said.

It is one of the main reasons the company lowered its revenue forecast for the year, and it triggerd a selloff in Time Inc. stock that caused its share price to tumble 6.9 percent to $21.32 on Tuesday.

After the market closed, one analyst William Bird, at FBR Capital Markets switched its rating from "market perform" to "outperform" and set a target price of $27 a share.

"Results showed tight expense controls and improved digital performance," said Bird. It helped nudge the stock Wednesday but the advance stopped abruptly Thursday when it finished unchanged at $21.60.

Most Time Inc. watchers know that a robust People — on the print and digital front — is crucial to the company's long-term success. People had a one-day record of 16.1 million unique visitors for its Britney Maynard coverage, the woman with brain cancer who took her life in an assisted suicide death.

But its lackluster performance on the ad and circulation front in print is one reason for the mid-year malaise at Time. People is responsible for 20 percent of the company's revenue, and it is believed an even greater share of its profit.

The executive would report to Todd Larsen, who is in charge of all the company's weeklies but who sources say has been on the hot seat lately.


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15 Hidden Gems On Hulu Plus You Need To Add To Your Queue

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 06 November 2014 | 20.49

You love your Hulu Plus subscription because you get to catch up on all of your favorite primetime shows, but do you really know your way around the service? Sure, their sea of titles isn't nearly as vast as other platforms like Netflix or Amazon Instant Video, but for what Hulu Plus lacks in quantity, they make up for in quality. Here are some of the best movies and shows you're missing out on and should add to your queue right now.

If you're a South Park fan, you need to check out South Park: Fan Favorites.

With 18 seasons worth of episodes, it can be difficult to sift through the best of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Luckily, these crowd-sourced favorites were voted as the very best of the series from diehard fans like yourself. [Where to stream South Park Fan Favorites]

If you like Burning Love, you need to stream Hot Wives of Orlando.

Starring Kristen Schaal and Casey Wilson, Hot Wives of Orlando parodies Bravo's The Real Housewives franchise to a tee from the fake fights to the fake boobs.  [Where to stream Hot Wives of Orlando]

If you like The Real Housewives franchise, you need to check out the Guilty Pleasures section.

Speaking of The Real Housewives: if you're a loyal follower of what's happening with the Guidice drama, you probably already know all of the franchise seasons are on Hulu Plus. But what you probably didn't know is that even more reality series like Bad Girls Club and The Hills are also available under the completely unproductive (but pretty amazing) Hulu Plus genre of Guilty Pleasures. [Where to stream The Hills]

If you're a film buff, you need to check out the Criterion Collection titles available on streaming.

From Cassavetes and Fellini to Bergman: Criterion Collection is sure to make any classic film fan swoon. Watch Dark Shadows, La Strada, Fanny & Alexander and more, all in remastered hi-def. [Where to stream Fanny & Alexander]

If you like Love Actually, you need to stream Sleepless in Seattle.

Let's be honest, Love Actually is pretty damn basic so why not stream a timeless rom-com like Sleepless in Seattle or Moonstruck? They're both heartwarming, funny, and have kick ass soundtracks. [Where to stream Sleepless in Seattle]

If you like Wayne's World, you need to stream This Is Spinal Tap.

Grab a buddy and rock out to this classic metal comedy starring Rob Reiner (who also directed), Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest. [Where to stream This is Spinal Tap]

If you hate horror sequels, prequels, and remakes, then you need to stream the originals.

Ready to Stream and Scream? Right now, Hulu is the only streaming platform where you can stream both Brian De Palma's Carrie and Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead for free with your subscription. [Where to stream The Evil Dead]

If you're into experimental film, you need to stream David Lynch's early work.

Fresh out of art school, the enigmatic David Lynch was producing his own bizarre short films. Ranging from 60 seconds to 34 minutes, The Alphabet, The Amputee, The Grandmother, and more are all Lynch at his most surreal. [Where to stream The Grandmother]

If you like The Sopranos, you need to stream Lonely Hearts.

This underrated neo-noir thriller stars the late James Gandolfini in the lead role alongside John Travolta, James Caan, Jared Leto, and Salma Hayek as detectives and con artists. [Where to stream Lonely Hearts]

If you're currently obsessed with a particular actor or director, you need to stream their lesser-known stuff.

If you can't get enough of, say, Mark Duplass these days, stream his very first projects like relationship dramedy The Puffy Chair. Yup, that's Duplass' wife and The League co-star Katie Aselton before she was a Shiva Bowl champion. [Where to stream The Puffy Chair]

If you like novel adaptations, you need to stream the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

If you loved the books but didn't care for David Fincher's adaptation, give the original Danish version a try. All three are on Hulu Plus. [Where to stream The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy]

If you're a foodie and/or like documentaries, you need to stream Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

This award-winning documentary chronicles the sushi-making process from a true master of his craft, Jiro Ono, who, at 85 years old, is still making some of the best sushi in the world. [Where to stream Jiro Dreams of Sushi]

If you like Freaks and Geeks, you need to stream My So-Called Life.

Though it only lasted one season, My So-Called Life left an iconic Mark on '90s television. Starring a very young Claire Danes, Jared Leto, and more, this series has everything you love about the greatest decade ever: sweet flannel and floppy boy-band hair included. [Where to stream My So-Called Life]

If you like Parks and Recreation or The Office, you need to stream Party Down.

Another classic offbeat show that was cancelled far too soon. Party Down follows a catering crew as they travel from gig to gig. Starring Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Adam Scott, Kristen Bell, Martin Starr, and Lizzy Caplan.  [Where to stream Party Down]

If you like quirky British comedies, you need to stream Moone Boy.

Bridesmaids star Chris O'Dowd writes and stars in this adorable new series that's a mix of About a Boy and Calvin and Hobbes. [Where to stream Moone Boy]

Like what you see? Follow Decider on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation, and sign up for our email newsletters to be the first to know about streaming movies and TV news!

Photos: Hulu/Everett Collection


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Minnie Driver is ‘Darling’ for ‘Peter Pan’

Minnie Driver has joined the cast of NBC's "Peter Pan Live!"

The star of NBC's "About a Boy" star will play the adult Wendy Darling in the production and will serve as its narrator.

"She appears in the final emotional scene when Peter returns to the Darling home years later only to realize Wendy is now grown up and has a daughter of her own," NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt told the Hollywood Reporter.

"Peter Pan Live!" airs Dec. 4 at 8 p.m.

Allison Williams and Christopher Walken star as Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

Driver will also co-star in Lifetime's production of Anita Diamant's best-seller "The Red Tent," which premieres Dec. 7.


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Matt Bomer talks ‘White Collar’ finale — and what can ‘Freak’ him out

This has been an eventful week for "White Collar" star Matt Bomer.

On Tuesday, he and the USA Network series nabbed People's Choice Awards nominations for Favorite Cable TV Actor and Favorite Dramedy.

He also wrapped filming for "Magic Mike XXL," the sequel to the hit 2012 movie on which he plays a male stripper opposite Channing Tatum.

And on Wednesday he re-teamed with "Glee" and "The Normal Heart" producer Ryan Murphy to play a doomed hustler on the latest episode of the popular FX drama "American Horror Story: Freak Show."

Bomer tells The Post he was excited to work again with Murphy — although the scare factor on "Freak Show" may hit a little close to home.

"There aren't a lot of supernatural things that I'm scared or super terrified of, but clowns are definitely on that list," he says, laughing. "So this tapped into certain fears that were already in existence."

(Spoiler alert: His character met his fate in what Bomer describes — a bit too gleefully — as "a pretty gruesome bit of a blood bath.")

Bomer with Finn Wittrock on FX's "American Horror Story: Freak Show."Photo: Michele K. Short/FX

Meanwhile, Thursday night at 9, the New York-based "White Collar" kicks off its abbreviated six-episode final season. On the show, Bomer plays charming fedora- and ankle-monitor-wearing con man Neal Caffrey, who assists FBI Special Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) investigate upper-crust crime (in Caffrey's wheelhouse).

Bomer caught up with The Post by phone from the "Magic Mike" set in Myrtle Beach, SC, on Tuesday to talk about a year that also included an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Felix Turner in the HBO's "The Normal Heart."

Has "White Collar" changed how you approach your career?

"Absolutely. There were a lot of other able-bodied actors out there who could have probably done the show. When that job came along, I had done enough pilots and series that only lasted a few episodes to realize that the joy's in the work. I was able to let go and not worry so much about the outcome."

Though the "Normal Heart" Emmy nomination was a great outcome.

"It was overwhelming, really. I was incredibly grateful and excited — more for the film, even, than for myself. This story that I loved for so long was recognized by our peers as an important one that Larry Kramer dug so deep to tell. I was very thankful that it had its moment in the sun."

Are you satisfied with how "White Collar" bows out?

"Six episodes is tough to tie up loose ends, but I think they did a good job capturing elements of the show that people responded to over the years. They also created an ending that, in very typical 'White Collar' fashion, is a cliffhanger and challenges the audience and is open to interpretation."

The show's not wrapped up in a tidy Hollywood bow.

"Yeah, that was very important to me. I like endings that let your imagination do a lot of the work. I loved 'The Sopranos' [finale] actually. (laughs) Human imagination is so much more potent than anything we could put down in words."

With "White Collar" finished, you're heading back home to LA. Has it hit you yet that it's over?

"I'm sure that I'll be driving around LA next July and I'll feel a gaping hole in my heart and won't know why. And I'll be, like, 'Oh, it's because I'm supposed to be in a fedora, walking down Park Avenue with Tim DeKay right now.'"

What will you miss most about the show?

"Getting to play Neal, who just had a joie de vivre even when he was basically imprisoned by a tracking anklet. That was fun to live vicariously through him."

Of his character Neal Caffrey (left), Bomer says he will miss Caffrey's "joie de vivre" and being able "to live vicariously through him."Photo: David Giesbrecht/USA Network; Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Where do you see Neal in 10 years?

"Well, I can't tell you or that would give away the end of the show. (laughs) But wherever he is in 10 years, I guarantee he'll be sucking the marrow out of life. He'll be getting the most out of every day."


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Epic news as ‘A.D.’ casts a wide net

Greta Scaachi, Joanne Whalley and "Crossbones" star Richard Coyle will headline "A.D.," the Mark Burnett/Roma Downey sequel to their epic miniseries "The Bible," which grabbed huge ratings on History in 2013.

The 12-episode "A.D." will air on NBC starting April 5 — Easter Sunday, according to deadline.com, which reported the casting news.

"A.D." will take place in the aftermath of Jesus Christ's crucifixion as his followers "fight for survival while they try to spread the Word the world," according to the report.

Scacchi ("Agatha Christie") will play Mother Mary, while Whalley ("The Borgias") will play Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilate.

Coyle, who co-starred opposite John Malkovich on NBC's short-lived Bluebeard pirate series "Crossbones," will play Caiaphas, "High Priest of the Temple and all Jews everywhere."

The cast also includes Vincent Regan ("The Musketeers"), Emmet Scanlan ("Constantine") Chipo Chung ("Sherlock") and Juan Pablo di pace as Jesus, who appears in the crucifixion scene and "or in resurrected form," according to deadline.com.


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Kevin Klein’s surprising return buries The Undertaker

With the somewhat surprisingly quick return of Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein, the reign of The Undertaker on Broadway has ended.

Klein was in the lineup for Wednesday night's 4-3 overtime victory against the Red Wings at the Garden after missing one contest with a left-foot contusion, sending Dylan McIlrath — who carries that morbid moniker thanks to his effective form of pugilism — down to AHL Hartford.

McIlrath had been called up on Sunday and made his season debut in Monday's 4-3 home shootout loss to the Blues. Yet once Klein took Wednesday's morning skate with a protective pad on his hurt foot and felt good, that meant McIlrath was no longer needed.

"Every day was getting better, and that's what you like to see," said Klein, who was solid in playing 18:21. "The swelling went down after the first two days for the most part, walking without a boot and all that. Skating, it felt great."

McIlrath had come up at the same time with Conor Allen, who stuck around and struggled his second straight game. Coach Alain Vigneault still was trying to find ways to make up for the losses of defensemen Ryan McDonagh (shoulder, three-to-four weeks), Dan Boyle (hand, at least another week), and John Moore (two more games on his five-game suspension).


Forward Mats Zuccarello came back into the lineup after missing Monday's game with a lower-body injury, replacing Ryan Malone.

Zuccarello had two shots on goal while mostly playing on a line with Chris Kreider, while the center spot rotated between Kevin Hayes and Chris Mueller.


Vigneault said he believed veteran defenseman Tomas Kaberle was supposed to start his tryout with the Rangers on Wednesday morning, but Kaberle was stuck in Toronto with immigration issues. With a scheduled day off on Thursday, he likely will have his first practice on Friday before the team goes to Toronto — of all places — for Saturday night's game against the Maple Leafs.


Top center Derek Stepan (broken left leg) got his first contact of the season Wednesday morning. Stepan will skate by himself on Thursday while the team has off, and is looking to make his season debut Saturday … Boyle skated with a non-contact jersey on, and continued to make progress in handling the puck and taking harder shots … Wednesday was Vigneault's 900th career regular-season game as a NHL coach.

"It's just an honor and a privilege to be able to coach in this league," he said. "Nine hundred is, if you think about it, a lot of hockey games. I hope to keep coaching a few more."


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Daily Blotter

Bronx

He stole brews, they got bruised.

A man who boosted three beers from a Parkchester bodega joined his pals in beating up and robbing two men who tried to stop him, cops said.

The suds swiper grabbed a bottled beer from a case in the Hathash Deli on White Plains Road near Guerlain Street at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, and walked out without paying, authorities said.

The 26-year-old clerk and his 21-year-old friend gave chase. But the suspect and three of his buddies jumped the victims in front of the store, police said.

During the scuffle, one suspect slashed the victims' faces with a razor before the thugs fled with the victims' cellphones, according to cops. Both victims refused medical attention.


The man who allegedly gunned down a rival at a birthday party in University Heights was arrested Tuesday for a possible act of vengeance, sources say.

The alleged killer, 19-year-old Carlos Ramirez, and victim Jordany Correa, also 19, were at the birthday bash on Loring Place North near West Fordham Road late Saturday night when Ramirez abruptly left the party, sources said.

Just after midnight, Ramirez returned to the apartment, rang the doorbell and, when Correa answered, opened fired, cops said.

Correa was shot several times in the chest at close range and died at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Ramirez may have had a beef with Correa over the beating of Ramirez's cousin, who was seriously hurt in the same apartment the night before the shooting, sources said.

Ramirez was charged with murder and possession of a criminal weapon, authorities said.


A man returning to his Clermont home from a corner store was shot in both legs by an assailant, authorities said.

The 22-year-old victim was walking along East 173rd Street near Clay Avenue at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 11 when the gunman approached and opened fire, police said.

The victim was struck twice in the right leg and once in the left leg.

He was treated and released from St. Barnabus Hospital.

The suspect is about 20 years old and 5-foot-9, police said.

Brooklyn

This guy started Halloween early.

A thief in a ski mask stuck his hand into a man's pocket and fled with cash and a cellphone at about 4 a.m. Oct. 31, sources said.

The 36-year-old victim told police he was outside his apartment on Hewes Street near South Fourth Street in Williamsburg when the crook walked up to him and reached for his valuables, the sources said.

The victim tried to get away but the thief whipped out a blade and slashed his target's leather jacket, police said.

The mugger fled with the cellphone and a wallet, which contained $40 and a few credit cards.

Manhattan

A fashion-loving felon used a wine bottle to break the front display window of the Louis Vuitton in Soho and ran off with a pricy handbag, sources say.

The suspect smashed the glass storefront and grabbed the $5,150 purse from the display shelf of the Greene Street shop at around 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

A suspect description was not immediately available.

A thief ran off with a 2015 high-powered Italian motorcycle after its owner parked it in Hudson Square over the weekend, sources say.

The 29-year-old owner left the 1400 Ducati on Charlton Street near Hudson Street at around 6 p.m., Thursday.

He returned at around 7 p.m. Sunday to discover that his black motorcycle had been stolen.

No arrests had been made as of Wednesday.


A thief took more than $1,300 worth of scarves from a Burberry store in Soho.

The suspect took the scarves from a shelf and put them in her purse at around 5 p.m. Saturday at the Spring Street shop, sources said.

No arrests had been made as of Wednesday.

Staten Island

A ski-masked crook tried to rob a Clifton gas station at gunpoint, then pistol-whipped the attendant when he refused to give up his cash, authorities said.

The bandit walked over to the 60-year-old employee at the Gulf gas station on Vanderbilt Avenue near Targee Street at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 19, flashed a gun, and demanded money, according to cops.

When the gutsy worker refused, the thug beat him with his weapon before running, off police said.

The victim suffered pain and swelling but escaped major injury.

The suspect is about 6 feet tall with a thin build.

He was wearing a black-and-white striped hoodie.


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News Corp. shares rise on $65M profit jump

News Corp. shares jumped 3.9 percent in extended trading Wednesday after the media company reported quarterly results that beat analyst expectations.

Net income attributable to shareholders more than doubled for the fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 30 to $65 million, or 11 cents a share, from $27 million, or 5 cents, in the year-earlier period.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of 3 cents per share. The revenue jump of 4 percent, to $2.15 billion, also cleared the analyst forecast of $2.09 billion.

The company, which owns The Post, said its book publishing, digital real estate services and digital education segments drove the revenue gain. Romantic book publisher Harlequin, which was acquired in August, also lifted results.

In June 2013, News Corp. separated some businesses from assets that now make up 21st Century Fox.

"This past quarter demonstrates that our strategy to develop the new News [Corp.] for long-term growth is firmly on track," Chief Executive Robert Thomson said in a statement.


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CBS’s push into streaming video

CBS is making an aggressive push into the world of streaming video, the media giant said Wednesday.

The media company plans a new programming deal with Sony's upcoming online TV package as well its own news network, CBSN.

The owner of CBS broadcast network, radio stations and Showtime missed the cable boom of the past decades but appears to be diving headfirst into a mobile future.

Last month it joined with its affiliate partners to launch CBS All Access, a standalone digital platform for current and archived content.

Third-quarter profit of 74 cents a share beat estimates by a penny. Shares rose 2.4 percent in after-hours trading. Claire Atkinson


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GOP may push for increase of ‘too-big-to-fail’ threshold

The number of banks considered too big to fail could soon shrink, The Post has learned.

Republicans, who recently won control of the Senate, are expected to push to increase the $50 billion too-big-to-fail threshold to as high as $250 billion in assets, sources tell The Post.

Such a move would be welcome relief to mid-sized and smaller banks, like KeyCorp. and Fifth Third Bank.

Once deemed systemically important financial institutions, banks are being subjected to heightened regulation — like stress tests.

Also, banks considered too-big-to-fail are subject to liquidity requirements and limits to their exposure to risky assets, one banking insider told The Post.

The $50 billion threshold was established as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank bank regulation overhaul, and has come under fire from lawmakers and some regulators.

While some Democrats would be in favor of increasing the limit, they are said to be looking at a $100 billion ceiling, sources said.

The higher, $250 billion level would face opposition from Democrats, the person said.

"Maybe the number has to be $100 billion, because the cost of doing business just skyrockets once you go over," Joseph Lynyak III, partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Washington, told The Post.

"Fifty billion is probably not too big to fail," he added.

The change would have at least one fan in the central bank.

Earlier this year, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo reportedly said that the $50 billion limit was too low.

"Requirements such as resolution planning and the quite elaborate requirements of our supervisory stress testing process do not seem to me to be necessary for banks between $50 billion and $100 billion in assets," he said at a Chicago conference in May.

Companies are designated as systemically important by a group of regulators headed by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has supported loosening restrictions for non-banking companies that could face the TBTF designation.


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Singer considers suing AbbVie for killing drug merger

Hell hath no fury like a hedge fund mogul losing money.

Billionaire hedgie Paul Singer, stung by the busted $50 billion AbbVie-Shire drug merger in October, is not taking the loss quietly.

The 70-year-old investor is considering suing AbbVie for killing the deal, he told investors in his Elliott Management hedge funds in its quarterly update.

Singer, who is still mired in a decades-long legal battle with Argentina, has a reputation for his litigious ways.

In the past, he has sued corporations and former partners — as well as countries.

"The threat of litigation is not unusual for Paul Singer," said one investor.

But even for an investor like Singer, with a reputation for suing, such a lawsuit, if filed, may seem a little over the top.

Other hedge funds that invested in Shire and were burned worse than Singer are not suing.

Singer was one of the first to cut his losses when AbbVie pulled out of the deal on Oct. 15, and the stock plunged 22 percent on the London Stock Exchange.

Elliott, which is believed to have had a $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion stake, reported selling 1.6 million shares that day.

The Shire dump may have helped his $25 billion hedge fund avoid the meltdown that hit other big Shire investors, like Frank Brosens' Taconic Capital, which fell 2.5 percent in October, and John Paulson, whose Advantage fund fell 3 percent last month.

Elliott International, in contrast, fell a half a percent and is still up more than 6 percent for the year.

But it's Singer — not Brosens or Paulson — who is considering suing.

"We are exploring our options with respect to this matter, including whether to assert claims against AbbVie for making false and misleading statements about the transaction," Singer wrote in his third-quarter investor letter, released this week.

Shire, an Irish biotech company, agreed to be bought by AbbVie in July in a tax inversion deal.

On Sept. 22, the Obama administration announced changes to make such tax deals less attractive.

"But a week later AbbVie publicly filed two letters from its senior executives, including its Chairman and CEO, stating they were 'more energized than ever' about the transaction and aiming for a 'fourth-quarter close,' " Singer wrote.

On Oct. 15, AbbVie's board withdrew its support of the deal, "citing the impact of the tax-related administrative actions taken to date as well as concerns of possible future actions by the IRS and Congress," Singer wrote in his third-quarter investor letter.

"We were surprised and disappointed by the AbbVie board's decision to change its recommendation. While the Treasury regulations reduced the attractiveness of the transaction to AbbVie, it would have been significantly accretive to AbbVie while preserving the aforementioned strategic benefits," he added.

Elliott still owns 7.9 million shares of Shire, which was one of the fund's biggest equity positions at the end of the third quarter.


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Coach’s financial woes put Hudson Yards move at risk

Written By kom nampuldu on Rabu, 05 November 2014 | 20.49

The not-quite-haute-and-mighty Coach is in such a sales freefall, we hear it is reevaluating its long-touted move to the upcoming new Related Cos. and Oxford Properties skyscraper at 10 Hudson Yards. The tower won't be ready for several more years.

At the end of October, the company reported sales slumped 19 percent in North America and 10 percent overall. It also now plans to close 70 North American stores, which is a fifth of its retail locations.

Coach has already agreed to sell its current nearby office building at 516 W. 34th St. to Related, which would redevelop it into another tower. It also rents space at 450 W. 33rd St., which it is giving up.

Coach also agreed to purchase the new, 737,774 square feet of offices, with options to buy two more floors. As its first anchor, as an incentive, the costs were to equate to Related's costs: a rental value of $70 per foot and total price of more than $740 million.

As an early Hudson Yards anchor tenant, Coach will also receive a 40 percent property tax break.

But now, sources said the thinking is that Coach could resell its new condominium and likely lease it back to free up the cash for other corporate needs.

Neither Coach nor its broker, Mary Ann Tighe of CBRE, returned requests for comment. Stay tuned.


The International Olive Building has been crowned.

Crown Acquisitions has not only signed a 49-year lease to operate the landmarked 453 Broome St. on the southwest corner of Mercer St., but has also resurrected a 15-year lease on the retail space with Zadig & Voltaire that was in litigation.

By the middle of next year, the edgy French fashion house will be able to move into 4,800 square feet of ground-floor space that is now vacant and previously occupied by the Gourmet Garage.

The longtime owners of the 25,000-square-foot building had signed the fashion retailer, but ended up in litigation as the owners lacked the expertise to renovate and remove numerous violations on the 1900 building.

Crown's Chera family was happy to step in, settle the litigation with the retailer and provide the ownership with cash flow while spending $5 million to restore the exterior and gut renovate the ground floor retail.

This effort will return to them via the $20 million the retailer is expected to spend over the life of its lease.

According to public documents, Crown also has an option to buy the land if the owner later decides to sell.

Zadig & Voltaire's men's and women's clothes and bags are prized by celebrities from Vanessa Hudgens to Emma Watson. It already has four other stores in the city, at 992 Madison Ave.; at 831 Washington St. in the Meatpacking District; at 409 Bleecker St.; and nearby in Soho at 153 Mercer St.


Boston-based real estate tech tenant, Neoscape, is relocating its city digs from 18 E. 17th St. and tripling its size in a new lease for the entire 14th floor of 6,151 square feet at 256 W. 38th St.

Jamie Jacobs and David Falk of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented Neoscape, while the NGKF team of Michael Frantz and Paul Davidson represented the building.


One of my first road trips as a real estate writer was led by Glenn Markman of Cushman & Wakefield, who convinced me to cross the East River and take a walk with him on the then wild side of Brooklyn through Metro Tech and Brooklyn Heights, where he and his brother, Greg, owned the Heights Café and now own Dellarocco's Authentic Neapolitan Pizzeria.

Over the years, I kvelled over photos of his baby son, Clio, and later daughter, Edie Ray, as well as his accomplishments and pro bono work as a philanthropist. Glenn passed away at home Tuesday morning of esophageal cancer, but on Sunday, was outside his building watching now-teenage Clio run in the New York Marathon. Condolences to Clio, Glenn's wife, Jan Testori-Markman, daughter Edie Ray, and the rest of the family.

Contributions can be made to The New York Community Trust-Glenn Markman Memorial Fund, 909 Third Ave., 22nd Fl., New York, NY 10022.


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Fox leaps on third-quarter film, cable revenue

21st Century Fox reported third-quarter profits on Tuesday that beat Wall Street expectations — powered by film and cable units that produced a 12 percent jump in revenue.

Fox's biggest revenue generator, its cable unit, reported a 15 percent revenue increase to $3.2 billion — thanks to bigger fees from domestic TV distributors and more advertising dollars.

Revenue from affiliate fees rose 18 percent thanks to growth at its regional sports networks, entertainment network FX and Fox News Channel.

US ad revenue rose 10 percent — sparked by the success of "The Simpsons" marathon on cable channel FXX and the consolidation of the Yankees cable network, YES.

Growth in film, which reported a 40 percent increase in operating income before depreciation and amortization, was lead by "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and "Maze Runner."

Adjusted earnings per share slipped to 39 cents, but beat Street expectations of 36 cents, according to Bloomberg.

Income from continuing operations was $1.04 billion, or 48 cents, vs. $768 million, or 33 cents, last year.


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Weak ad market worrying media investors

Media stocks had a rocky Tuesday after Discovery Communications lowered guidance and Dish threatened to drop Time Warner's CNN over a possible carriage dispute.

Few big programmers were spared, as Discovery shares slipped 6.6 percent, Time Warner fell 4.8 percent, Viacom and CBS each lost more than 4 percent and Scripps Networks fell 3.7 percent.

Investors are concerned that softening ratings and a weak ad market do not augur well for future quarters.

Many big cable outlets are suffering from poor ratings, the result, in part, of Nielsen's inclusion of broadband only homes.

Late last month, NBCUniversal noted a 4.6 percent drop in ad revenue in the third quarter with its CEO Steve Burke, saying lower ratings might be the new reality for cable channels.

Discovery, the second major programmer to report earnings, put in a stellar international performance thanks in part to Eurosport but reported a 1 percent uptick in domestic ad revenue in the third quarter with not much visibility on November and December.

"One perspective is [advertisers] are changing the way they come to market," Judy Kenny, network sales boss at Estrella TV, told The Post.

Advertisers are doing more digital and more programmatic (automated) buying, Kenny said.

The expectation is that the industry will ring up overall ad revenue gains of a paltry 1 percent, according to analyst Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson.

While 21st Century Fox bucked the trend, reporting after the market closed a 10 percent uptick in cable ad revenue, President and COO Chase Carey noted that the automotive category had been "keeping more of the money in their pockets," and advertising less.

While the shift to digital is a long-term trend, the economy was also a concern for big marketers, Carey said.

While Fox shares were down 3 percent during normal trading hours — joining its peers in the downdraft — they rallied 1.6 percent after hours on the upbeat third-quarter ad revenue news.


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Real estate tycoon forecloses on more than 1,000 homes

US foreclosure rates are falling — unless you're billionaire Bill Erbey.

The real estate tycoon foreclosed on 1,022 houses last quarter through his company Altisource Residential — a record, according to a quarterly presentation released Tuesday.

The skyrocketing foreclosure rate seemingly contradicts statements Erbey made last week that one of his companies' goals is "to keep people in their homes whenever possible."

Erbey — chair of at least five companies, including Altisource Residential and mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial — stands to gain handsomely when one of his companies forecloses on more homes, as all his companies primarily do business with one another, industry experts say.

"There's a very high correlation in growth in servicing and growth in revenues at Altisource, because Ocwen is Altisource's biggest client," Henry Coffey, an analyst at Sterne Agee, told The Post last week after Ocwen's earnings came out.

"Our preferred resolution methodology for non-performing loans is modification," Ashish Pandey, chief executive officer of Altisource Residential, told The Post. "We believe modification followed by refinancing generates four to five times greater return for us than foreclosure and is a socially responsible business strategy."

Regulators ramped up scrutiny of Erbey's companies, including Altisource Residential and Ocwen Financial, for conflicts of interest and allegedly backdating letters to distressed homeowners.


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Why I hate ‘I Voted’ stickers

As I walked out of my polling place in the basement of St. Anthony's church in Soho this morning, I encountered one of the most horrific things I've seen during my decade in the neighborhood.

I thought about calling the authorities, but I couldn't really figure out which government agency would be obligated to respond. In the end I shook my head, walked away, and said a quiet prayer.

There on Sullivan Street stood a grown man in a mafioso tracksuit (possibly of the Sergio Tacchini variety) trying to balance his tiny white lap dog and his iPhone to get the perfect shot — a selfie of him and Fluffy with their "I Voted" stickers prominently displayed.

I can only imagine what happened next. The dutiful citizen would upload the image to Instagram with a caption challenging all of his followers to go out and make a difference. "Hey if Fluffy can vote, so can you. Lol." The "patriotic" snap most likely followed a picture from his last sweaty session taken in front of his gym mirror or Sunday's organic farm-to-table supper.

The sad visual was a reminder of how narcissism and the need for validation have hijacked Election Day, turning an important civic duty into an opportunity to collect "likes" on Instagram or Facebook.

Or as Chris Rock famously railed during a stand-up routine (in rather unsavory language), people are always taking credit for things you're simply supposed to do.

"I take care of my kids. You're supposed to … What are you bragging about?" he ranted.

In short, you're supposed to vote.

The red, white and blue adhesives date back to the mid-'80s when most households had rotary phones, and an iPhone was barely a twinkle in George Jetson's eye. Though I don't remember ever noticing them until the last few elections, when it became cool and quite simple to splash it across every social media outlet.

I guess I'm not mad at the stickers, per se, but it's what they've come to represent — a smug self-congratulatory ethos.

Today, plug the term "I voted stickers" into Twitter, and you get a endless scroll of selfies, complaints that polling places ran through their supply by 9 a.m., well-placed stickers to show off ample cleavage, or, even worse, galleries of celebrities wearing their lever-pulling badge on their sleeves.

The last time I wore a sticker to show I had done something important, it was a red round number bragging that I had been to the dentist, gotten a fluoride treatment, and had no cavities.
And I was 8.

Perhaps my parents were overly private, but I was brought up to think of voting as a duty — one that didn't warrant a standing ovation. I remember being a little kid and on numerous occasions asking my father about his trip to the polls. His response to that and basically every other question I asked him was, "Yes, I voted, but the rest is none of your business."

(However, the Reagan paraphernalia in our house gave it away.)

And while people should be excited to vote and share in this great American process, remember the reward is supposed to be a better functioning government — not getting a virtual thumbs up from the dude you used to bum cigarettes off of during high school study hall.


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Church’s closure could be the end of its treasured murals

Written By kom nampuldu on Selasa, 04 November 2014 | 20.49

A Midtown church slated to close as part of a massive shakeup by the Archdiocese of New York is a veritable art museum filled with dozens of stunning murals painted by a world-renowned artist — and parishioners fear the treasured works could be lost forever.

Our Lady of the Scapular and St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in Kips Bay is adorned with 45 works by Constantino Brumidi, who spent years working to capture the essence of Christ in the more-than-150-year-old church.

"They are absolutely wonderful," said the church's pastor, the Rev. Robert Robbins. "It's really sad."

The Italian-born painter is most famed for his murals painted in the dome of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

St. Stephen's collection includes the largest Brumidi painting in the world, said Robbins — a towering mural above the altar that depicts Christ's crucifixion.

And Christ's final hours are depicted in in the Stations of the Cross a series of detailed Brumidi paintings that surround worshippers along the church's walls.

The Archdiocese of New York — which spans three boroughs and several upstate counties — announced this week that it will restructure 112 of its 368 parishes by merging many together and closing down 31 churches completely.

Robbins said he will be taking over three parishes that will merge into a nearby church next year after St. Stephen's closes along with 30 others throughout the archdiocese, which spans three boroughs and several upstate counties.

"The history of that church goes back to 1848," he said, adding the church had the largest parish in the United States just before the turn of the 20th century.

But like so many other Catholic churches in New York, attendance has been dwindling, and the Church has been financing seven years' worth of structural repairs to St. Stephen's to the tune of $2 million.

"On a Sunday, there would be 20,000 people at the church," he said, referring to the church's glory days. "To go from 20,000 down to a couple of hundred breaks your heart."

Robbins said archdiocese leader Timothy Cardinal Dolan has promised that all religious artworks at the 31 churches set to close next year will be saved.

"They have to decide what to do with the building before you can take anything out of it," Robbins said.

"They will not be put out in the garbage."

But parishioners are worried the massive collection of frescos will be split up or sold off when the church closes down next year.

"They're just so angelic and so colorful and so beautiful," said Joseph Sullivan, a parishioner of almost 25 years. "They reek of history and spirituality."

"I'm afraid of what will happen to all that treasured art."

The Archdiocese of New York announced this week it intends to restructure 112 out of its 368 parishes by merging many together and closing others down completely.


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Get to know the most important characters of MLB’s hot stove

It's baseball's graduation day, and you remember what happens then: You choose the best in class.

So with Major League Baseball's free agents available to sign with all teams since midnight Tuesday morning, let's run down all the superlatives in this overall underwhelming group.

Most Likely To Succeed: Max Scherzer. Going by Baseball-Reference.com's Wins Above Replacement measure, only two pitchers have been more valuable than Scherzer over the prior two seasons — the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the White Sox's Chris Sale. Neither left-hander is a free agent. Scherzer, a right-hander, is. He will make the most money of this group.

Best Looking: Jon Lester. He's going to look particularly good to suitors because, as per the rules of the Basic Agreement, he won't cost a draft pick to sign in addition to his lucrative financial package. That's because Boston traded Lester to Oakland on July 31, and players traded midseason cannot receive a qualifying offer (which triggers the compensation).

Most Team Spirit: Victor Martinez. Detroit's designated hitter holds an impeccable clubhouse reputation that should get him a few extra bucks.

Most Congenial: Pablo Sandoval. Giants fans love him so much they buy silly-looking "Panda" hats in his honor. Surely Sandoval's marketability and popularity will factor into the Giants' efforts to retain him.

Class Flirt: Hanley Ramirez. He lures you in with his explosive bat … but he sure gets injured a lot, and he probably shouldn't be playing shortstop anymore.

Most Athletic: Russell Martin. Yup, a catcher. It's a notably unathletic class, and Martin can run the bases a little — better than most catchers, at least — and play infield in a jam.

Most Radical: Melky Cabrera. What to make of him? Is he the valuable outfielder for the 2014 Blue Jays rather than the disappointment for the 2013 Blue Jays, and can he stay out of trouble? His market would be higher if not for his 2012 suspension for illegal performance-enhancing drug usage.

Best Physique: Nelson Cruz looks like he … oh, right, he has an illegal PED suspension on his record, too. In any case, he plays the slugger role well.

Class Politician: James Shields. Not in a bad way. He made promises of hope and change when he arrived in Kansas City nearly two years ago, and he followed through on nearly all of them. His character is a value-add.

Class Newcomer: You know the guy who emerged from nowhere in the second half of your senior year? That's Yasmany Tomas, the Cuban refugee who should benefit from the success of his power-hitting brethren Jose Abreu and Yoenis Cespedes as well as Boston's recently arrived Rusney Castillo.

Best Dressed: David Robertson. His "High Socks for Hope" have made him an even more recognizable Yankee. He will get at least the highest annual average value, and probably the most money total, of any relief pitcher this winter.

Class Clown: Torii Hunter. Like Shields, not in a bad way. He's just hilarious. His lively personality increases his appeal.

Most Considerate: Stephen Drew moved from shortstop to second base upon joining the Yankees in order to accommodate retiring icon Derek Jeter. Will he be considerate enough to accept a "pillow contract," which his agent Scott Boras calls a one-year deal designed to rehabilitate one's value, early in the process?

Most Artistic: Ichiro Suzuki. The eccentric, 14-year veteran wants to keep playing after a couple of underwhelming years with the Yankees. In order to continue his career — he needs 156 hits to get to 3,000 in Major League Baseball — the 41-year-old almost certainly will have to come to grips with being a part-time player.

Class Musician: Jake Peavy sings and plays guitar. Unfortunately for him, his melodious tones won't cause potential employers to forget how shaky he looked with the Giants during the postseason.

Smartest: Chris Young the former Mets pitcher (as opposed to Chris Young the former Mets outfielder) pitched for Princeton and enjoyed a 2014 resurgence with Seattle. He'll find work somewhere.

Class Thespian: A.J. Pierzynski. It's just a question of whether the show is over for this notable ham.


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