Can SNL topple 45’s administration?

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By: Dean Obeidallah/CNN

Saturday Night Live is clearly no longer content to just comically fillet 45 As we saw again in this Saturday night’s episode, they are increasingly going after key members of his staff. And if recent media reports are accurate, this seems to be rattling Trump and causing dissension within his administration.

When I worked on the production staff of SNL for eight seasons, we never knew if the politician or the celebrity the show would be mocking that weekend would be watching. But of course with Donald Trump, we do know. It appears he can’t help hate-watching the show. Trump has taken to Twitter on multiple occasions to slam the iconic comedy show, even demanding back in October that it be canceled because he was outraged by the way Alec Baldwin and the show depicted him.
Baldwin hosted the show this past Saturday, and if the sole goal of SNL was to drive Trump to Twitter to lash out, they could’ve featured many sketches with Baldwin lambasting the President. After all, Trump offers comedians an abundance of material. But instead, the show made a decision to focus more on key members of his administration like Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway.
The show opened with Melissa McCarthy reprising her hilarious role from last week as Spicer. This time Spicer tried to remain in control but as time went on he lost it. Soon Spicer was hawking goods for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, which Nordstrom pulled this week for poor sales. And Spicer even comically commented on the racist underpinnings of Trump’s “extreme vetting” plan by using a white Barbie doll who easily walks by TSA security agents before a brown skinned “Moana” doll is immediately subjected to a pat down.
Assuming the media reports are accurate that last Saturday’s SNL depiction of Spicer got under Trump’s skin since a woman was playing Spicer, then the next moment of the cold open must really have angered Trump. That’s when his newly sworn-in Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, entered the sketch, played by the amazing Kate McKinnon. And she delivered a great comic line, touching on Session’s alleged racist past, “We all know there are two kinds of crime…regular and black.”
In the span of a few short minutes, SNL had again undermined Spicer, depicted the “Muslim ban” as racist, and spotlighted Sessions’ controversial past. That’s great political comedy.
But SNL was far from done with Trump’s team. Next came an entire sketch about Trump’s senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, which began with CNN’s Jake Tapper, played by Beck Bennett, commenting on how he didn’t want Conway on his show because of her peddling of fictitious stories, including “The Bowling Green massacre” that never happened.
Moments later when Tapper arrives at his apartment, he’s confronted — in a loose parody of the classic film “Fatal Attraction” — by an angry lingerie-clad Conway played by McKinnon. She declares she’s “not going to be ignored” by Tapper or any in the media because, “I just want to be part of the news.”
It wasn’t until the Weekend Update segment where Trump really became the brunt of the jokes. One of the most cutting came from Update co-anchor Michael Che when he commented that Trump looked miserable as President and noted that Trump was eating a truly unhealthy diet of KFC fried chicken. Che wryly added that Trump should quit now as President, “I mean, Donald, is this really how you want to spend the last two years of your life?!”
And finally, one hour into the show, we saw Baldwin as Trump. This time it was in a People’s Court parody of Trump appealing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision. Sure, it was funny — especially when Trump calls as a character witness a shirtless Vladimir Putin — but clearly, SNL had made a conscious decision to not use Baldwin as Trump in sketch after sketch in this highly anticipated episode.
Giving comedic airtime to parodies of Sessions, Conway, and Spicer instead of wall-to-wall Baldwin was both funny and an important commentary on the volatile first weeks of the Trump administration. Obviously SNL alone can’t undermine the credibility of a presidential administration. But it can play a key role. (Hence Trump lashing out at SNL.) And given that SNL is at a 22-year high in ratings this season, the show is off to a good start. Its reach has not been this great in decades.
So in a time when polls show many Americans distrust the mainstream media, it may just take SNL and comedians to be the voices of reason. Here’s hoping that week after week SNL helps make America laugh again at Trump — and his administration.
Dean ObeidallahDean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @deanofcomedy. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

Word Power: Australia Senator Pauline Hanson wants to Ban Muslims

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Presidential Candidate Donald Trump called on the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on” following the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California.  After the Paris Terrorist attacks he wanted a database to track Muslims.

Attacks on Muslims and people who have been mistaken for Muslims have increased in this country.   While many Americans were outraged, Donald Trump continued his attacks.

President Trump, intends to restrict immigration from Muslim countries that ‘pose national security threat’ by Executive Order tomorrow.  Trump is also expected to restrict access to the United States for refugees and some visa holders from “terror prone” countries Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, according to aides.

Last year, Pauline Hanson was elected to the Australia Senate representing the State of Queenlands . Hanson, has consistently opposed immigration in this country of 24 million people. Australia’s footprint is nearly the same size of the Continental US.

Last year after the attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Senator Hanson called on a Muslim ban.  “We have laws here that we don’t bring in pitbull terriers because they are a danger to our society… we have laws to protect Australians

Hanson is one of the co-founders of  One Nation Political Party. Through the years she has called for the restriction and changed to Australia Immigration policy.  She believes  Australia has to take a strong stance against Muslims, Islam, its teaching and its beliefs.

One Nation wants a ban on building new mosques until a royal commission into whether Islam is a religion or a political ideology has been held, and installing cameras in all existing mosques

Senator Hanson said Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians. Believed Africans would bring disease into Australia. “Do you want to see your daughter or a family member end up with AIDS or anyone for that matter?”  

Her language is often harsh, and many Australians believe she is racist and is a detriment to the country.   However, members of One National believe they are  preserving Australian values.

As leaders, the power of the words used by Senator Hansen and President Trump can generate peace. 

The politics of Senator Hanson and President Trump has put many Muslims and people mistaken as Muslims at risk.  Much of what they have said isn’t based on fact, its simply irresponsible propaganda.   Peace isn’t the objective, as unprovoked attacks on American and Australian born Muslims increase daily, they are silent.

Many Muslims, Sikhs and others live in a constant state of fear. Afraid to leave their homes in the country they were born in.  They are attacked on social media. Sadly, this isn’t just happening in America and Australia.

History has eerie way of repeating itself.  I was one of millions of people who marched last Saturday, every faith, every hue, and every age group.  One Voice.  I remembered the last line of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous quote.

 Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.




Facebook Live is the new key witness to crime

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By: Danny Cevallos\CNN Legal Analyst

The torture of a special-needs teen that was streamed on Facebook Live has raised new questions about the use of social media platforms to spread videos glorifying abuse and humiliation.

This tragic incident might cause some to demand that social media companies such as Facebook do more to police and prevent this kind of content being posted by users.
That would be a mistake.
 As a society interested in retributive justice, the last thing we want to do is point the finger at social media. Quite the contrary; we should be thrilled that there are outlets like Facebook and Snapchat enticing criminals to post conclusive evidence of their own crimes.
Facebook agrees with me too, though, officially, their position is that they “prohibit content deemed to be directly harmful…” and they “work hard to remove hate speech quickly.”
What Facebook would really like to say is probably more like: “Uh, our entire business model is premised on letting any one of our nearly two billion members post anything they want, anytime. What did you expect was going to happen?”
If you think social media platforms should be liable for the postings of others, that’s an understandable sentiment. It’s just not the law in the United States.
The Communications Decency Act immunizes “interactive computer services providers” such as Facebook from liability for what others post, even if the social media sites have been notified about damaging material and fail to remove it.
It’s nice that Facebook makes some effort to police these videos, but how could they do more? Social media can never 100% screen all content before it’s uploaded. Maybe in the future that kind of intelligent software will exist, but it doesn’t right now.
You know who else doesn’t want Facebook to do more to prevent these videos? Police and district attorneys. They love social media. I’ve seen it plenty of times in delinquency court. It’s a lot easier to prosecute a guns and drugs case against a juvenile when the juvenile’s own social media postings show him playing with … guns and drugs.
Detectives will tell you Facebook is often one of the first places they look for evidence. Sometimes, these cases would be completely unwinnable for the state if not for the defendant providing all the incriminating evidence against himself on social media.
This case in Chicago is a perfect example. So far, it seems that without Facebook Live there might never have been a criminal case to begin with. Even if this disabled victim had identified his assailants to police, if he was the sole eyewitness to this event, without the video, a defense attorney might have picked the victim apart on cross-examination and raised reasonable doubt.
Instead, this video — produced and published by the defendants alone — will likely singlehandedly convict them, with the added bonus of giving a judge plenty of support for “maxing them out” at sentencing, too.
On the other hand, there’s the argument that this crime might not have been committed in the first place if not for the allure of Facebook Live viral fame — but that’s a stretch.
People have been abusing vulnerable populations for millennia, eons before Facebook and Snapchat. At least now, social media yields evidence of these crimes, often supplied by the self-sabotaging criminals themselves.
Social media shouldn’t aim to prevent disturbing videos like this from being posted. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t anyway. When people post this kind of content, they only help law enforcement update their “status” from citizen, to defendant and, ultimately, convicted criminal. And that deserves a big “like.”

Sir, Please Step Away from the Choker Necklace

Do your part to prevent this from becoming a thing

By:Scott Christian\Esquire Magazine

When it comes to blurring gender lines in fashion, we’re totally for it. Like when Jaden Smith became the new face of  Louis Vuitton. Dude nailed it. And while we can get behind all sorts of sartorial experimentation in menswear, one thing we just can’t abide is men wearing chokers.

Wait, men are wearing chokers now? Well, if online retailer ASOS has anything to say about it, apparently they are. Just click on over to the men’s section of their website and you’ll find an array of chokers in velvet, burnished silver, and braided leather. There’s even a red “bandana choker.” (Pro tip: Just wear a damn bandana.)

Now let’s be clear, our stance on this is not a gender thing. Rather, it’s a “you will look ridiculous wearing this” thing. Why? Well, for one, it only ever looked marginally good on the very select few. And though the choker made something of a comeback last year, it took about three seconds for Alexa Chung—women’s style icon and all-around fashion influencer—to declare it dead.

If you want to push the boundaries of men’s fashion, fantastic. Try wearing a dress. Or score yourself a pair of Balenciaga high heels. Just please, for the love of God, step away from the choker.

Married 2 Medicine Houston: Diversity finds its way to Bravo

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Diversity in Hollywood often means A person of color, usually black. For years there there was only one box for a person of color and black person filled it.   While there is still the one box,now Latins and gays compete with blacks for that single box.  Asian females may find an occasional role but Asian males…….   Actors of other hues can be in the background if its in a urban setting.

In 2016, TV is still in black and white.

In the early nineties. TV producers Mary Ellis Burim and Jonathan Murray pitched one of the earliest reality shows for M-TV.   The ground breaking show featured a diverse cast. For the first time we saw different races, sexual orientations and individuals of different  religious and political backgrounds all living under one roof.

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The Real World Opened with:

This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house (work together ) and have their lives taped. To find out what happens… when people stop being polite and start getting real…..

The Real World is still in production however, Burim and Murray are no longer associated with the show and the show has deteriorated into more of a Frat house , drunken fights and sexual escapades.


In Bravoland

There are exclusive communities of white women in Orange County, Beverly Hills, London,Dallas and New York City. Exclusive communities of black women in Atlanta and the Potomac.  White people trying not to be Tardy, out at sea, in a lodge, getting giggy at Pump,  and a small group of thirty forty somethings Persians partying in LA.

Bravo’s “Shahs  of Sunset” is the first show featuring Persian Americans. In between the boozy fights and arguments we learn why successful families left Iran.  One of member of the cast is a married gay man.  Viewers saw his struggles with his culture. In 2016 Iran, gays can be punished or put to death for being gay.     While Shahs is often filled with reality style fights and conflicts, it also allows us to see their families, traditions and struggles rarely seen outside of a documentary . The show is very entertaining.

Diversity in Houston

On the surface one would think “Married to Medicine Houston”, is a spin off of Married to Medicine (now in it’s third season).  Married to Medicine is based in Atlanta, where most of the women are married to doctors. M2M is reality Tv 101.  Fights (some of them physical ) conflicts, jealousy.   Atlanta seems to be the home of pretentiousness.   On M2M two cast members are doctors and one is a dentist. The other cast members are married to doctors.

In Houston, nearly all of the women are professionals

Dr Erika Sato is a  Plastic Surgeon, her father is Asian her mother is Italian.  Her parents were professional wrestlers. and  she is married to a younger Doctor who’s family is very conservative.

Dr Monica Patel is an Indian cardiologist.  A quadruple board certified cardiologist. Monica doesn’t look like anyone on Grey’s Anatomy   Monica is stacked and is in full makeup and heels.  Monica  is divorced and wanting to get married and start a family. She’s been dating a man “Imad” for a few years. He has a successful business three hours away in San Antonio.  They see each other on weekends and they are of different faiths.

Elly Pourasef is an Persian Audiologist.

Dr. Ashandra Bastiste who is a Dental Surgeon her husband “Ricky’ is a medical equipment salesman. They share a son and a daughter from a previous marriage. Their relationship seems solid and the banter between the two is infectious.  A fun happy family on a reality tv show?

Rachel Suliburk who is white of Spanish descent married to Dr James Suliburk, a trama surgeon.  Rachel is currently a nursing student.  Living in their home is her mother Maribel. Maribel is charming and out of control and Rachel is the den mother.

Yes there are cat fights (this is reality tv) there are some resentments in the group.  If your  looking for a fist fight, turn the channel, at least for this season. So far this season a lot of the drama comes from outside the group.  Not sure if there is a mandatory Bravo hatecation planned.

These women are intelligent, driven and trying to balance career and home life. Some of the women  relatively new to medicine are making contacts in the community.  Unlike the housewives these ladies are relatable .

Like Shahs, we get a brief glimpse of some of the cultural traditions and values.


Race Relations on Married to Medicine Houston

Misunderstandings or Racism?

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With all the talk of the lack of diversity of TV, one would think Bravo would promote Married to Medicine Houston and its cast.  However, the show is on Friday evenings, the graveyard of time periods and Bravo is not promoting the show.  Bravo IS promoting “Married to Medicine (Atlanta) M2M  timeslot was behind Bravo’s most popular show ” Real Housewives of Atlanta” .  M2M is now on Fridays before  M2MH “

This show is in need of audience. Diversity is more than black and white.

Episodes are available on You Tube and Bravo


Married To Medicine Houston


Fridays 9/8c

Kanye West Stiffs Fans In LA

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Photo: Google

Kanye!  Kanye! Kanye!  Twitter and social media  was on fire after Kanye had a meltdown in Sacramento  abandoning thousands angry  fans Saturday Night.

Kanye Krazy!

With his fans trashing him on Social Media  (Especially after declaring if he would have voted he would have voted for Trump)  The notorious Tweeter posted odd looking fashion images on Instagram.kanye west instagram fashion

Mad in Sac

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(Click Link for Full Story)


Last Minute Cancellation in LA

Last Night, West’s concert was cancelled three hours before the show was to begin at the LA Forum.  Thousands of  Disappointing Fans didn’t learn of the cancelled show until they arrived at the Forum.

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Money on the Table

The status of the rest of the tour is in Limbo with many news outlets reporting the final 23 dates of the lucrative tour has been cancelled.

The next scheduled concert is tomorrow at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.

Ticket holders will get a full refund.





Changing World:A hijab-wearing Muslim is now one of the beautiful faces of CoverGirl

A Muslim, hijab-wearing woman is now one of the easy, breezy and beautiful faces of CoverGirl.

The cosmetics company announced beauty blogger Nura Afia as one of the latest brand ambassadors for its “So Lashy” mascara, meaning she, along with a diverse lineup of other models, will appear in CoverGirl commercials and on a billboard in Times Square.
For Afia, a Muslim woman in hijab representing a mainstream US cosmetics brand, is a milestone for the Muslim community.
“It’s a big accomplishment for all of us,”  “It means that little girls that grew up like me have something to look up to. I grew up feeling like hijab would hold me back.”
If that was ever the case, it seems like the hijab certainly isn’t holding Afia back now. She has more than 200,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she posts video tutorials on how to recreate various makeup looks, and more than 300,000 followers on Instagram.
Hijabistas: Young Muslim women meld fashion and faith

Afia said CoverGirl reached out to her in early October about potentially being in a commercial for the company, but she didn’t realize the extent to which she would be representing the brand.
“It’s huge,” Afia said. “It means we’re being represented in a good light for once.”
CoverGirl’s announcement is the latest to promote diversity and inclusiveness. In October, the company announced James Charles as its first male ambassador.
 Other faces of the “So Lashy” campaign include two black women, an Asian-American woman and Latina actress Sofia Vergara.  “We’ve always stood for inclusive beauty that supports any and all types,” CoverGirl wrote in a recent Instagram post.
The hijab has been making its way into Western advertisements, albeit slowly. Last year, Swedish retailer H&M ran its first ad showing a Muslim model in hijab  In the US, Afia is still one of few Muslim women in hijab to appear in such ads.
Afia said her role as CoverGirl ambassador is a positive step toward mainstream representation for Muslim girls. “It shows that we’re average Americans,” Afia said. “We’re just girls that love to play with makeup and do every day stuff.”