Federal prosecutors seeking rare death penalty for New York City terror attack suspect

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) —  Federal prosecutors in New York are seeking the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in the New York City terror attack that killed eight people — a rare punishment that hasn’t been carried out in the state for a federal crime since 1953.Saipov, 30, allegedly used a Home Depot rental truck to carry out an attack on a bike path along the West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan, mowing down pedestrians and cyclist in his path on Oct. 31.In order to justify a death sentence, prosecutors will have to prove that Saipov “intentionally” killed the eight victims and “intentionally” inflicted serious bodily injury, according to the notice of intent to seek the death penalty, filed in the Southern District of New York.Both of those counts carry a possibly death sentence, according to the court document.Weeks after the attack, a federal grand jury slapped Saipov with a 22-count indictment that included eight charges of murder in aid of racketeering, typically used by federal prosecutors in organized crime cases, and a charge of violence and destruction of motor vehicles.The attack required “substantial planning and premeditation,” prosecutors said, describing the manner in which Saipov carried it out as “heinous, cruel and depraved.”“Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov caused injury, harm, and loss to the families and friends of Diego Enrique Angelini, Nicholas Cleves, Ann-Laure Decadt, Darren Drake, Ariel Erlij, Hernan Ferruchi, Hernan Diego Mendoza, and Alejandro Damian Pagnucco,” the notice of intent states. Five of the victims were tourists from Argentina.It has been a decade since the Southern District of New York last prosecuted a death penalty case. The defendant, Khalid Barnes, was convicted of murdering two drug suppliers but was ultimately sentenced to life in prison in September 2009.The last time the death penalty was carried out in a New York federal case was in 1953 for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a married couple executed after they were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union during the Cold War two years before.Both Rosenbergs were both put to death by the electric chair on June 19, 1953.Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan, demonstrated a lack of remorse in the days and months following the attack, according to court documents. He stated to investigators that he felt good about what he had done, police said.Saipov told authorities he was inspired to carry out the attack after watching ISIS videos on his phone, according to the indictment. He also requested to display the ISIS flag in his hospital room, police said.He has pleaded not guilty to the 22-count indictment. David Patton, one of the federal public defenders representing Saipov, said they are “obviously disappointed” with the prosecution’s decision.“We think the decision to seek the death penalty rather than accepting a guilty plea to life in prison with no possibility of release will only prolong the trauma of these events for everyone involved,” Patton said.Saipov’s defense team had previously asked prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Coronavirus updates: New York City to freeze bodies of COVID-19 victims

first_img10:05 a.m.: 759 new deaths reported in UKThere were 759 new daily deaths reported in the United Kingdom, bringing the country’s total fatalities to at least 18,100, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. An additional 4,451 people also tested positive, according to the department. In total, at least 133,495 people have tested positive out of the 411,192 people who have been tested in the country.9:34 a.m.: New York City to freeze bodies instead of temporary burialsNew York City will freeze the bodies of COVID-19 victims rather than burying them on Hart Island, the city’s potter field that has long been used as a burial ground for unclaimed bodies.The temporary measure to freeze bodies is meant to lessen the burden on hospitals and funeral homes, which are running out of space due to the high number of deaths in the city, according to the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.Freezing the bodies means there will be no temporary burials on Hart Island and allows families more time to make funeral arrangements. However, bodies that cannot be identified or claimed by next of kin will still be buried on Hart Island.The Office of Chief Medical Examiner, with assistance from Air Force Mortuary Affairs, will transfer bodies from five temporary morgues and 200 refrigerated trailers that are now parked outside five dozen hospitals around the city to freezer trucks that will be placed in Brooklyn.9:30 a.m.: Rail industry suffers huge costRail volumes are at 10-year low because of the lack of overseas imports, with the coronavirus pandemic expected to cost the railroads $9 billion in lost freight, according to a record from FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center reviewed by ABC News.8:36 a.m.: Netherlands, France plan to reopen primary schools next monthPrimary schools are set to reopen next month in both France and the Netherlands, as several European countries announce plans to ease their coronavirus-related lockdowns. French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer presented the details of the plan with a parliamentary commission on Tuesday, explaining that children would return to school in staggered groups, with no more than 15 students allowed in each classroom.Primary school students aged from 5 to 11 would be the first to go back on May 12, one day after France’s nationwide lockdown is set to end. Older children in selected years at secondary schools and high school would return the following week, according to Blanquer. The plan is for all students to be back in school by May 25, he said. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also confirmed Tuesday that primary schools and day cares would reopen in the Netherlands on May 11, followed by high schools in early June.7:40 a.m.: Germany, UK approve human trials for COVID-19 vaccinesScientists in both Germany and the United Kingdom will soon begin clinical trials using human volunteers in the race for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Germany’s federal institute for vaccines and biomedical drugs announced Wednesday that it has approved its first human clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. The potential vaccine is being developed by German firm BioNTech and is an RNA vaccine. In the first phase of the clinical trial, 200 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 will receive one or more variants of the vaccine candidate, according to a press release from the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany. “Trials of vaccine candidates in humans are an important milestone on the road to safe and efficacious vaccines against COVID-19 for the population in Germany and internationally,” the institute said.The clinical trial is only the fourth worldwide in which a preventive vaccine candidate targeting COVID-19 is tested in humans. Meanwhile, the first human trials for a COVID-19 vaccine begin in the United Kingdom on Thursday. The potential vaccine is being developed by researchers at the University of Oxford.6:28 a.m.: Eight babies test positive for COVID-19 at Japanese children’s homeAt least eight babies at a Tokyo care home for infants have contracted the novel coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.After a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on April 16, tests were subsequently conducted on all infants at the facility in Japan’s capital, which is run by Saiseikai Central Hospital. Eight of those tests returned positive results, according to a statement from the hospital.The infected children have been hospitalized as staff continue to monitor the health of those who tested negative. The facility has been disinfected and strict infection control measures have been put in place, the hospital said.Staff members who have shown symptoms have already been sent home, though the hospital didn’t specify how many.The children’s care home is a separate building from the main hospital, which will continue inpatient and outpatient treatment as usual.Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expanded a state of emergency, which was initially limited to Tokyo and six other prefectures, to all of Japan as the virus continues to spread. The country has recorded more than 11,500 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and at least 281 deaths, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.5:50 a.m.: Singapore surpasses 10,000 casesSingapore now has more than 10,000 diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus.The island city-state’s health ministry on Wednesday confirmed another 1,016 newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 as of 12 p.m. local time, bringing the total number to 10,141.The vast majority of the new cases are work permit holders who live in dormitories for foreign workers. Just 15 of those newly diagnosed are Singaporean nations or permanent residents, according to the health ministry.5:21 a.m.: Man who claimed to have COVID-19 jailed for spitting at London policeA 21-year-old man in London was sentenced to six months behind bars for domestic assault and spitting at officers while claiming he was infected with the novel coronavirus, U.K. police said Wednesday.The man was arrested in East London on Monday on suspicion of domestic assault on a woman and criminal damage to her property. The suspect also told authorities that he had COVID-19 and, while being put into a police van, he spat at two officers. He was further charged for assault on emergency workers, according to a statement from London’s Metropolitan Police Service.While in custody, police said the man told them he did not have COVID-19 nor any related symptoms. He appeared in custody at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to prison.“I hope he spends his period in prison to reflect on his behavior, and that his prison sentence sends a message to others who are willing to commit domestic offenses and to target police officers whose job it is to protect Londoners,” police inspector Alexis Manley said in a statement Wednesday.3:30 a.m.: California officials find earliest known US deaths from virusCalifornia officials have confirmed what are now the earliest known deaths from the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States.Santa Clara County announced late Tuesday that new autopsy results show two individuals who died at home on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17 were positive for COVID-19. The individuals were not tested for the virus because they died when very limited testing was available only through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a statement from the county in Northern California.“Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms,” Santa Clara County said in a statement.The United States previously recorded its first official fatality from COVID-19 on Feb. 28 — an individual in Washington state’s King County.However, health officials later discovered that two people at a Seattle-area nursing home had also died from the disease on Feb. 26. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. narvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and ELLA TORRES, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A global pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 178,000 people worldwide.Over 2.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks. Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected nation, with more than 825,000 diagnosed cases and at least 45,075 deaths. Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:last_img read more

Purplebricks agrees to clarify what ‘pay nothing upfront’ means on its website

first_imgIt has been a busy week for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which has had to deal with three property firms referred to it by members of the public, including Purplebricks.This will be the fifth time this year the hybrid agency has been dealt with by the ASA and the tenth time overall since 2015.This time the hybrid agency has agreed to add a clickable but tiny ‘information’ symbol (see below) on its ‘What’s included in our fixed fee’ page next to the words ‘A choice to pay nothing upfront’.A member of the public complained that this could be misleading because, if a vendor chooses to pay later they either have to use Purplebricks’ Advanced Conveyancing Services or, if they don’t, pay an administration fee of £360 including VAT.After being contacted by the ASA, Purplebricks inserted the pop-up information button containing the words explaining this, and the case was resolved informally.Two other agentsThe other agents featuring in this week’s ASA cases include Property Collection Worldwide and Space4Living.Cambridge-based the Property Collection Worldwide had been reported for claiming to be the “UK’s leading estate agents’ marketing specialists”, a claim that when challenged it agreed to remove from its website, while Manchester-based Space4Living was challenged over two rental property ads.The pictures of the properties involved appeared to be smaller than the descriptions within both ads, and the agency agreed that the interiors used in them were ‘show flats’ and not the real properties for rent. They subsequently gave the ASA assurances that future advertising would be more accurate.space4living Property Collection Worldwide Advertising Standards Agency ASA asa purplebricks December 20, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Purplebricks agrees to clarify what ‘pay nothing upfront’ means on its website previous nextAgencies & PeoplePurplebricks agrees to clarify what ‘pay nothing upfront’ means on its websiteHybrid agency is one of three property industry firms that feature in this week’s Advertising Standards Authority case-load.Nigel Lewis20th December 201701,244 Viewslast_img read more

‘Astonishing’ August surge doubles listings in many SE commuter towns

first_imgLatest housing market data reveals an ‘astonishing’ and continued surge in stock levels and a boom in sales despite gloomy news from the rest of the economy.Rightmove says the frenzy of activity is most intense in London’s SE commuter towns where some agents are experiencing double the number of listings compared to the same time last year.And despite this, the portal says demand for homes is outstripping supply, which it pins squarely on the stamp duty holiday.Harlow in Essex (pictured) has seen the largest surge in instructions with listings up 121% compared to the same time last year.It is followed by Hertford (+113%), Wickford (+105%), St. Albans (+ 100%) and East Grinstead (up 98%), towns that are all within a 70-minute train commute of Central London.Nationally, demand has risen by 61% compared to the same period last year, while the top performing regions are the South East (+74%), and East of England (+72%).Across all regions the percentage growth in demand is outstripping the growth in new supply.Almost 94,000 new listings were brought to market across London, the South East and East of England between 8th July and 16th August, which is over 31,000 more than the same period in 2019.Jake Latch (left), sales negotiator at Reyland Johnson Estate Agents in Harlow, says: “The stamp duty holiday has been absolutely massive for the Harlow market and we’ve been ridiculously busy over the past few weeks.“We’ve been rushed off our feet since the market reopened but I don’t think we ever expected to be this busy.”Andy Soloman, CEO of Yomdel (right), says: “When looking at the crazy levels of activity you can only say astonishing so many times before it becomes boring, but I’ll say it just once more: ‘Astonishing’.“We have the perfect storm of good intent here, with people swarming across estate agent websites, they are motivated and they want good agents to help them, but there are some real challenges.”Read more about Rightmove.jake latch Rightmove Andy Soloman Yomdel August 26, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » ‘Astonishing’ August surge doubles listings in many SE commuter towns previous nextHousing Market‘Astonishing’ August surge doubles listings in many SE commuter townsRightmove says some postcodes feature 120% more homes for sale than a year ago but that demand is still outstripping supply.Nigel Lewis26th August 20200710 Viewslast_img read more

University Cricket – Surrey Fail to See the Light

first_imgAn unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 39 secured a draw for Oxford UCCE on day three of their game against Surrey. Chasing 350 to win in two sessions the side (made up of students from both Oxford and Brookes) lost four wickets for nine middle order wickets, collapsing from 106/4 to 115/8 before captain Paul McMahon, alongside fellow tailender Suman, resisted Surrey’s efforts to wrap the game up. Day One had begun with Surrey, losing the early wicket of Jonathan Batty for 10. Scott Newman, however, hit the ball to all corners in a 141-run second-wicket partnership with Mark Ramprakash, eventually succumbing on 100 when he was bowled. Ramprakash then kicked on himself and scored 113 before retiring hurt, forming another good partnership with James Benning, who scored 128. The county outfit, declared on 452-5 on day two. The Oxford reply began badly and Surrey held the upper hand at 66-4. The response from Omar Anwar and Knappett was excellent and their partnership of 108 for the fifth wicket was possibly the most significant factor in avoiding the follow- on. Newman could not repeat his first innings heroics for Surrey as he went for 15 but after a tough and niggly 16 overs, the scoreboard at the close of play on day two showed Surrey at 62/1, with Adam Hollioake and Batty both 22 not out. Surrey’s second declaration of the contest finished the innings at 164- 5, Shahid was standing on 44 at the time, with Tudor’s quickfire 18 also unbroken. An opening partnership of 40 was followed by less steady batting in the final innings and Surrey seamer James Ormond’s 3-34, left the Oxford side staring defeat full in the face. However, McMahon and Suman dug in before the match was left with five overs remaining as the umpires gave the batsmen the gift of a bad light decision soon after they had passed the 150 mark. In a one-day match in nougth week, the UCCE were comprehensively beaten by Somerset’s second string side, who made the required 198 in 22 overs without losing a wicket. Two wins were also recorded – firstly, Northamptonshire seconds were dispatched by 51 runs after a superb bowling display, particularly by Hutton and McMahon with three wickets each, saw their last nine wickets fall for just 48. Oxford had made just 175/8 in their fifty overs but their opponents struggled and were witness to a total of 124 all out. The next victims, the CCM Academy, recorded precisely the same score, taking an extra 4.3 overs to get it, chasing a formidable 276-4 posted by Oxford. Yet on Monday, the encouraging signs were tempered as the UCCE were outplayed by Warwickshire’s second eleven at The Parks. They drastically slumped to a mere 147 all out. Such a target was never going to pose a problem for a Warwickshire side containing numerous winners of both first-class and one day competitions, and so it proved. Warwickshire sealed a more than comfortable win with over ten overs still to be bowled. The highlight for the UCCE second string, their game against Cambridge UCCE, ended in frustration and heartache. A closely-fought battle throughout, the result came down to the very last over but, with just two balls – and two wickets – standing between Oxford and victory, the Tabs found the winning runs.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more

Inheriting the earth: students twice as likely to worship

first_imgOxbridge and Durham students are almost twice as likely to attend Sunday worship as the general English population, according to data collected by the Church of England.A report published by the Church found that 1,685 students regularly attend Sunday services at the three universities’ college chapels in 2016.That number is 2.6% of the combined student bodies, nearly double the 1.4% of the English population who attend Anglican Sunday services. The number of students attending is really higher, as only 43 of the universities’ combined 56 college chapels gave data.Joining students are about 1,500 other worshippers, including locals, tourists, and children.Diocesan statistics published by the Church show a 12% decrease in service attendance from 2006 to 2016 in England overall, but students don’t seem to follow that trend.Reverend Wendy Wale of Wadham told Cherwell that students’ interest in services may “boil down to resources.” As Wadham chaplain, she ministers to 600 students, while the average chaplain could handle up to 10,000 people.She says proximity also may be a factor: “There is a chapel plonked right in the middle of people’s worlds – it is very easy to go and doesn’t require a commitment of faith.”Reverend Clare Hayns of Christ Church told Cherwell: “Students are at a time in their lives when they are working all sorts of things out and so many are exploring their faith amongst other things.“I also think students appreciate the traditional style of Evensong and the fact that these services have been taking place, in much the same way, for hundreds of years.”Pip Beck, a third-year English student at Wadham College who attends chapel every week during term time, told Cherwell: “I quite like the ritual of it. I know that I’m going for one hour on a Sunday to hear the same service that’s been happening for hundreds of years – and that I saw last week, and will see next week.“I think the atmosphere of having so many students and intellectuals around – and it being in such a gorgeous place – really adds to it.“I think knowing all the people you’ll meet and talk to and all the exciting and intelligent conversations you’ll have make it feel like more of a learning experience than a duty.”JJ Warren, an international student who attends services at Wadham chapel, told Cherwell: “I think attending services at college chapel feels more authentic than worshipping at home because I’m in the company of similarly aged peers.“For me, chapel is another way to join the college community and to engage with my peers in a meaningful setting.”This is the first year that the Church has released a full report on universities, as they are not included in the parish system. This survey is a prototype for future surveys of universities and other non-parish organisations, such as prisons.last_img read more

Sandwich guru

first_imgOver the past months, we have been working flat out at the Soho Sandwich company, making thousands and thousands of sandwiches for many of the very special events that have taken, and are taking, place up and down the country during the summer, writes Adam Gilbert.The particular favourite event that we cater for is the test match that has just been played at Lord’s Cricket Ground and for which we create what could be considered the ultimate in traditional English afternoon tea finger sandwiches. I am referring, of course, to the cucumber sandwich, which, believe it or not, is one of the most complicated sandwiches we make, due to the fact that the cucumbers have such a high water content, which can end up making soggy sarnies.Our process is that we first remove the skin from the cucumbers, using a potato peeler, and then leave the cucumbers in a fridge overnight to allow sufficient time for them to dry out somewhat and to avoid the bread from becoming damp.Once dry, the cucumbers are cut laterally and all seeds are removed; we then mix low-fat cream cheese with finely chopped chives, spring onions and cracked black pepper, all of which is spread on the bottom slice of sunflower and pumpkin seed bread, and the laterally sliced and de-seeded cucumbers placed on top.Finally, we use wild English rocket, which is in plentiful supply at the moment and provides an excellent finish to this wonderful cucumber sandwich. The sandwich is a superb accompaniment to a glass of pink Champagne.== Ingredients Quantity ==Peeled English cucumbers 70gLow-fat cream cheese 50gChopped chives 10gSpring onions 10gWild English rocket 5gCracked black pepperSunflower/Pumpkin loaf 2 sliceslast_img read more

Senator Braun works to block a fracking ban

first_img (Photo supplied/Indiana Senate Republcians) The Biden administration’s EPA may not be able to ban fracking for now, thanks to an amendment from Sen. Mike Braun. Indiana’s junior Republican senator attached his amendment to the relief bill that may provide more stimulus checks, and many other COVID relief programs.The budget resolution for the bill, along with 48 other amendments, passed late Thursday.“This is an issue of energy independence,” said Braun, speaking to the Senate. “It gives us time to find the cleanest, least expensive options down the road.”Braun said that the U.S. has passed Russia and Saudi Arabia as a leading energy supplier, and he believes banning fracking might force us to give up that position.“According to the Global Energy Institute, if fracking were banned in 2021, the U.S. economy would lose 19 million jobs in four years, local and state tax revenues would plummet and gas prices would double,” said Braun. “This is why Pres. Biden promised, we will not ban fracking. We will protect and grow jobs. Yet, many in this body have called to ban fracking.”Sen. Todd Young’s amendment to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving stimulus checks also passed the Senate, as did a ban on the minimum wage increase to $15 per hour. Google+ WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebook IndianaLocalNews Senator Braun works to block a fracking ban Pinterest Pinterest By Network Indiana – February 6, 2021 1 323 Twitter Google+ Facebook Twitter Previous articleHUD approves grants to benefit homeless programsNext articleHoosiers 60+ next in line for COVID-19 vaccine Network Indianalast_img read more

After Boehner

first_imgThe surprise announcement by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that he will step down at the end of October was met with cheers from some conservatives in his own party. Friday’s news set off a scramble to fill the third-most-powerful job in Washington and to control the House Republican caucus just as Congress heads toward another budget battle.Despite presiding over the largest party majority in the House since 1930, Boehner spent much of his nearly five-year tenure weathering relentless criticism and fending off periodic revolts by the GOP’s conservative wing. During a news conference, Boehner said he intended to leave to avoid “prolonged leadership turmoil” in the face of what analysts predicted would be a hotly contested challenge to his speakership.Boehner’s detractors assailed his participation in legislative deal making and his failure to advance the conservative agenda, one often marked by political scorched-earth tactics. In part, House conservatives rebelled against Boehner because he did not push their efforts at a government shutdown in 2013 and tried to cobble a “grand bargain” with President Barack Obama to extract entitlement reforms in exchange for a modest tax hike. They saw his willingness to avoid sending the country over a “fiscal cliff” as proof of ideological weakness and party disloyalty.Douglas Heye has held top communications posts in both the House and the Senate and for the Republican National Committee. Most recently, he served as deputy chief of staff for communications for Eric Cantor when he was House majority leader. Now a fall 2015 fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, Heye spoke with the Gazette about Boehner’s tenure, his departure, who is likely to replace him, and what his departure means for the Republican Party in the months ahead. GAZETTE: Why did Boehner step down? Was he pushed out?HEYE: It was clear that there was going to be a move against him, in addition to all these other things that were going on. And this comes after he had said he was planning to leave at the end of last year. He’d already stuck around longer than he planned to. And I think he’s definitely right that if there had been a vote for him, whether he survived it or not, it’s the kind of turmoil that the [Republican] conference just does not need. And so, I think it was a smart move by him. It was also a pretty selfless move. He could have won this. I don’t think anybody really questions that. But at what price for him, at what price for the conference, and obviously, the House as a whole? The speaker’s responsibility is to the entire House, so it’s a different set of responsibilities than majority leader, majority whip, minority leader, whatever it may be.GAZETTE: Is the current party rancor a leadership failure, or is the House GOP unmanageable right now?HEYE: Leadership was surprised at the difficulty of getting some things done that shouldn’t have been difficult to get done — pulling votes that shouldn’t have been pulled. For me, it all goes back to late December of 2012, when we put forth what we called “Plan B” when the Bush tax cuts were expiring. We put out a plan that would basically freeze rates for anybody making a million dollars or less — so 99-point-something of all Americans, with the full knowledge, because it was codified into law, that taxes were going to go up at 12:01 a.m. on January 1 [2013]. That plan lasted less than a day before it was rejected. In some cases, there were members who said, “Well, I can vote for this January 1, because that’s a vote to cut taxes.” And so, taxes are higher today because some people defined the vote as voting to increase taxes.It’s kind of paradoxical. I know from Democrats whom I talked to at the time that if we had been able to pass that, it would have sent a pretty big shockwave through Senate Democrats, through the White House, and had the kind of political effect of throwing sand in their eyes. Instead, the White House and Senate and House Democrats, for that matter, sat back and looked at us having difficulty doing things that should have been pretty easy. I don’t think much of this is personal, but certainly different members are going to have different priorities, and what they want to do, and how they want to do it.GAZETTE: Who is behind this intraparty conflict? Is it Sen. Ted Cruz, as Boehner suggested on “Face the Nation” earlier this week?HEYE: It’s tough to say. I think we live in a world where everything is nationalized. Congressional elections are more national. All politics are not local anymore, we’ve learned. I don’t think that any Senate Republicans are really pulling strings on every machination of everything that’s going on.GAZETTE: How has this small group of hard-liners, the “Freedom Caucus,” been so effective?HEYE: If Republicans aren’t going to get any Democratic votes on whatever your bill may be, then they can only afford to lose a certain number of Republicans. So if you lose 30 Republicans on a vote, you’ve got a real serious issue. And that could be an appropriations bill; that could be the Farm Bill; it could be a whole host of things that make it very, very tough to get to 218 votes.GAZETTE: Who are the likely candidates to replace Boehner? Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to be the favorite, but talk is that others like Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) may make a move.HEYE: It’s McCarthy. Scalise will run for majority leader. Webster is going to run. He did last time; he got 12 votes. Kevin’s going to be the next speaker.GAZETTE: McCarthy has only been in Congress since 2006, never chaired a committee, and doesn’t have much of a legislative track record. What policy priorities is he likely to advance?HEYE: I’ve known Kevin since 1996. I can’t tell you legislative priorities, because I haven’t talked to his office about that. But he’s somebody who works with members extremely well. One of the benefits that he has is in 2009 he was in charge of recruiting candidates to run. And more than half of the Republican conference has been elected from 2010 to now.GAZETTE: Is that the source of his power?HEYE: You’ve got a lot of members whom he has good relationships with, that he’s worked with before they even got to Congress. Another thing that he does pretty smartly is … members raise money or leadership will raise money for people in swing districts, seats that we have to save, and so forth. But he’ll do that with any member who asks for help. Take somebody like Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. When he emerged from his primary, Kevin did an event for him. Everybody knew whoever wins that primary is going to be the member of Congress. That’s just one example. Obviously, everyone in the conference knows him. But for a whole lot of them, he’s someone who’s been there not only from day one, but before day one. I think that will really help him.GAZETTE: Can McCarthy unify the party, or might he eventually end up in the crosshairs if he’s not able to deliver on things that Boehner said are “never going to happen?”HEYE: You used the word “unify.” That’s what he’s running as, as somebody who can bring the party together. He’s conservative; he’s well-liked by conservative members. A lot of them, he’s campaigned for either in recruiting them to run and then campaigning for them or their re-elections — doing fundraisers. So I’m hopeful he’ll be able to do a really good job.GAZETTE: What will be his first test as speaker?HEYE: I don’t know yet. It’s all too new. There are a lot of people who are going on TV right now who are trying to tell everyone: “Here’s exactly what’s going to happen.” Most of those people I never saw in the Capitol. So I would take specific predictions with a grain of salt.GAZETTE: How will a leadership change affect the party in the coming months?HEYE: It’s tough to say. I saw an article about how this is devastating for Jeb Bush’s [presidential] campaign. I don’t think there’s a single caucus-goer or primary voter who, four months from now, is going to say, “You know, I can’t vote for Bush because of Boehner.” I don’t even know what the real link is on that. I think it’s hard to extrapolate specifics from it, especially given that we’re more than four months away from the first votes being cast. Like any other thing, ultimately whatever candidate does the best job of putting together the campaign they need to convince voters to vote for them will win. It’s easy to talk about “establishment versus this or that.” The reality is our primaries and caucuses are decided by people throughout the country, one state at a time, in every city. It’s not that a precinct boss wins a precinct, like used to happen in, say, New Jersey in the old days. So I think it’s really too soon to tell.GAZETTE: Does a McCarthy speakership mean the Freedom Caucus now has control of the House because their guy is in charge?HEYE: Kevin’s election doesn’t give any particular group particular power. What he’s calling members on is that he wants to bring all sides to the table, get everybody working together. So one day he’s meeting with a conservative group, the next day he’s meeting with what’s called the Tuesday Group, which is more-moderate members of the conference. I don’t think he’s looking at it from that perspective at all.GAZETTE: Will Boehner’s departure — and the victory it represents for the hard-liners who long wanted him out — embolden some to move the party even further right?HEYE: I don’t concede that point. We’ve been told for eight years now that Ronald Reagan couldn’t win a Republican primary [now]. We just nominated Mitt Romney, and before that we nominated John McCain. So I keep hearing that we’re getting more and more right. I don’t know that that’s necessarily true. And certainly how he would run the House is trying to be as inclusive to as many people as possible. That’s what he’s telling members as he’s calling them — and he’s calling all of them.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Tickets Now On Sale to See Shut Up Sit Down & Eat Off-Broadway

first_imgTickets are now available to see Shut Up Sit Down & Eat off-Broadway. Conceived by and starring four New York comedians, performances will begin on October 12 and run on Sundays through December 28. Opening night is set for October 26 at the Snapple Theater Center. Shut Up Sit Down & Eat When a therapist fails to arrive on time for a group therapy session, four impatient Italian Americans decide to take their issues into their own hands. The play is considered a “plomedy”—that is, a cross between a play and stand-up comedy. Related Shows The cast/writing team is comprised of Tina Giorgi, Joe Moffa, Chris Monty and Eric Tartaglione. Eve Brandstein will direct. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 28, 2014last_img read more