mayor michael bloomberg

54 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About “Gossip Girl”

1. Long before they played star-crossed lovers Dan and Serena, Penn Badgley and Blake Lively were home \schooled together as children.

2. Lively and Penn also dated in real life from 2007 to 2010.

3. Penn Badgley was named after the tennis ball company Penn.

4. At age 12, before he got into acting, Badgley recorded a pop single (that was never released).

5. Taylor Momsen’s first role at age 7 was as Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

6. One year later, at 8 years old, Momsen wrote a song called “Blackout” that was recorded and released by Heidi Montag many years later.

7. Leighton Meester dyed her naturally blonde hair brunette before she even auditioned for the part of Blair.

8. The project was originally supposed to be a movie and Lindsay Lohan was slated to play Blair.

9. Serena’s full name is Serena Celia van der Woodsen. The author of the book series is named Cecily von Ziegesar.

10. There’s a Manga version of the Gossip Girl book series.

11. Ed Westwick, who plays Chuck, originally auditioned for the role of Nate.

12. Producers didn’t want Ed Westwick for either role at first because they said he “looked more like a serial killer than a romantic lead.”

13. Ed Westwick’s actual favorite movie is American Psycho.

14. You can’t actually sit on the steps of the Met.

15. Penn Badgley was about to quit acting when he got the role of Dan. He turned it down twice before he was convinced to take it.

16. Westwick, who is British, modeled Chuck Bass’ American accent on the character Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

17. Blair is a Scorpio. Serena is a Leo.

18. In Season 2, Serena is shown to have a Myspace profile, where she posts photos of her trip to Buenos Aires. ( Her user name is ServdW.)

19. The exterior shots of the Humphrey loft are shot in Dumbo, but the pilot episodes mentions that they live in Williamsburg.

20. The Humphrey’s address, which is given as 455 Water St., is actually the address of a park in lower Manhattan.

21. At the beginning of the show, Serena and Chuck both live at 455 Madison Ave. (aka The Palace Hotel).

22. After they left the palace, the van der Woodsens moved to the Milan Condominium building at 300 East 55th St., which is a real building.

23. A Three-bedroom penthouse at the Milan Condominiums is listed for $6.8 million.

24. After the New York Magazine Reality Index (a recap that rated the accuracy of NYC locations and character behavior) pointed out the Dumbo-Williamsburg confusion, the producers responded that after the pilot, the Humphreys simply say they live in Brooklyn.

25. Though the Humphrey children are considered less popular and wealthy since they are from “Brooklyn,” the average price for real estate per square foot on both the Upper East Side and Dumbo is around $1,400.

26. Many of the cast, crew, and writers read the Reality Index religiously, and things like Serena’s notorious Cleavage Rhombus kept reappearing in the show.

27. Costume designers modeled Blair’s look after Audrey Hepburn and Serena’s after Sienna Miller and Kate Moss.

28. Mischa Barton was offered the role of Georgina Sparks but she turned it down.

29. Lily’s name was originally going to be “Darla,” but the producers changed it at the last minute.

30. There was a rumor that Jenny was going to have a spin-off show when she went to boarding school, but instead Taylor Momsen left the show to pursue her music career.

31. Katie Cassidy, who played Serena’s nemesis and Nate’s girlfriend Juliet Sharp, is the daughter of David Cassidy from The Partridge Family.

32. In the show, Chuck has a pet dog named Monkey. In the books, Chuck has an actual monkey for a pet.

33. Cecily von Zeigler liked all the silver-screen adaptations of her characters except Vanessa. In the book she is bald and wears all black.

34. Producers spent anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 per day for filming locations in NYC.

35. Gossip Girl was one of the first shows whose DVR and iTunes numbers were higher than actual viewing numbers.

36. When the show was criticized by the Parent Television Council for being “mind-blowingly inappropriate” and “every parent’s nightmare,” those phrases were used in promotional posters.

37. Matthew Settle and Kelly Rutherford, who play Rufus and Lily, once dated in real life.

38. The failed pilot for a spin-off of Lily and her sister, which starred Brittany Snow as a younger Lily, would have also contained younger versions of characters from The O.C. (which was also produced by Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz), linking the two worlds.

39. Off screen, the worlds are linked: Leighton Meester is married to Adam Brody, who played Seth Cohen, in real life.

40. Zuzanna Szadkowski, who plays Blair’s housekeeper Dorota, graduated from Barnard College; Blair went to Columbia (after transferring from NYU).

41. There was a mini-series of webisodes starring Szadkowski, called Chasing Dorota, about Dorota and her friendship with Nate’s British housekeeper Jane and Chuck’s Russian housekeeper Larussa.

42. The Empire Hotel that Chuck owned is a real hotel.

43. After fans swarmed the hotel, the bar at The Empire started serving Gossip Girl-themed cocktails, including an “XOXO” cocktail with secret ingredients that they’ll never tell.

44. Costume designer Eric Daman previously won an Emmy for his costume design on Sex and the City.

45. Since most fans couldn’t afford to buy the high-end designer brands that the characters wore, Daman teamed up with Charlotte Russe to create a Gossip Girl-inspired line.

46. Blake Lively was fitted for Serena’s wedding dress the day after her actual wedding to Ryan Reynolds.

47. Jan. 26 is officially “Gossip Girl Day” in New York, declared by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg who visited the set and praised how it showcased the city.

48. William Baldwin, who played Serena’s dad William, avoided meeting Lively until filming so they could easily portray a strained relationship.

49. A fan once snuck onto the set at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and was mistaken for an extra.

50. The location that was used for Constance Billard is actually the Museum of the City of New York.

51. In the final episode, it’s revealed that Jenny and Blair finally mended their friendship: Jenny carries a “J by Waldorf” bag, which Stephanie Savage revealed meant that she had her own line with Blair’s company.

52. Dan was almost revealed to be Gossip Girl in the pilot episode; in a test screening, audiences assumed that Dan was GG because of a shot where he’s typing as the voiceover happens, so they edited the scene.

53. Penn Badgley didn’t know that Dan was Gossip Girl until right before they shot that scene.

54. The writers and producers always knew that Chuck and Blair would end up together.

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“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”
—President Obama in a 2011 radio address

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”
—Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, in Shanksville, Pa., in 2002

“One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.”
—President George W. Bush at the Pentagon in 2008 

“So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.”
—New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the World Trade Center site in 2003

Michael Bloomberg says that Jon Ossoff's loss shows that 'all the money in the world' can't buy an election

(Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on Democrat Jon Ossoff’s loss in the special election for Georgia’s 6th district during an appearance on The View on Wednesday.

“You’ve got to be careful about reading too much into this election,” Bloomberg said. “Although I will say one thing: Maybe it shows that all the money in the world can’t buy an election.”

“The public is a lot smarter than people give them credit for,” Bloomberg added.

The race for Georgia’s 6th district was the most expensive House race in US history. Ossoff and his opponent, Republican Karen Handel — who won the seat on Tuesday evening with 52% of the vote — spent a combined $50 million raised from national Democratic and Republican organizations. 

Ossoff railed against the “role of money in politics” in an interview with NPR on Tuesday, calling it a “problem.”

“There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads in air for months now,” Ossoff said. “When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back.”

Ossoff’s campaign raised $23.6 million alone from individual donors, compared to $5.6 million for Handel, The New York Times reports. Though many of Ossoff’s donors came from outside of Georgia — in liberal states like California and New York — Handel had the edge in support from national political action committees, or PACs.

The Congressional Leadership fund raised $6.2 million alone for Handel — about a third of the $18 million Handel’s campaign raised from outside political groups. 

(Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.Thomson Reuters)

Observers in the media and political circles viewed the race as a referendum on Trump’s legislative agenda, though Bloomberg cautioned against reading too much into local elections.,

He said that most House elections are about “local issues,” — things like whether or not you can ride your bicycle on the sidewalk — and may not reflect the national conversation

Bloomberg further said that Trump’s long-shot candidacy shows that “You can get elected President of the United States without spending a lot of money.”

“Other than with a little help from the Russians, he was elected,” Bloomberg added. He continued, saying that “free advertising” was partially responsible for Trump’s victory.

Bloomberg, however, spent over a $100 million of his own money to win a third term as New York City mayor in 2009. 

NOW WATCH: Listen to the leaked audio of Australia’s prime minister mocking Trump

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The Bronx is Changing!

 

After almost twenty long years of people demanding change, the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, one of the largest armories in the world, will finally be rebuilt into something useful. By around 2018,  the Kingsbridge Armory will be known as the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC), and it will become the largest ice skating center in the world. This new ice skating facility, however, poses as a double-edged sword that will possibly change our neighborhood for the worse. Who will this center be useful for, and will we stay long enough to find out?

 

A History Lesson – The Kingsbridge Armory was built in 1917 for the National Guard and was used until 1974, when it became a city landmark. In 1996, New York City took control of it, but the National Guard continued training poor Black and Latino youth into the military as the armory became a training ground for the future of U.S. imperialism. I frequently witnessed these youth of color marching in formation and reciting military chants. I feared it when my mother threatened to enlist me in the National Guard whenever I misbehaved. No te apure, que te mando a la armería/Don’t worry, I’ll send you to the armory,” she would say. Why are we allowing our children to be brainwashed by a government that wastes billions of dollars on wars and kills thousands of poor people of color overseas while there are people here starving in the streets? Who is the REAL terrorist? It just doesn’t make sense.

 

Later, in the mid-1990s, community groups began demanding that the Armory be used to serve the neighborhood. For example, a non-profit organization called the Northwest Bronx Community Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) led the charge and united these groups into the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA). They organized for almost two decades to approve a new ice skating center through a community benefits agreement (CBA) between them and developers that make promises, including a community space, millions of dollars contributed to the community, and jobs paying up to $11.50/hr for all future workers at the new facility. This was a blow against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his capitalist, money hungry goons who wanted to build a retail mall that paid low wages. But will people be able to afford rising rents in order to benefit from these promises. More importantly, will $11.50/hr be good enough by the time the new ice center is completed in 2018 as the value of the dollar decreases and our rent, MTA fares, and food prices keep going up?

 

Believe it or not, most people in the Bronx live in the poorest district in the entire country. Most Bronx residents suffer from high unemployment, insufficient public schools, racist police harassment and brutality, deteriorating housing and school conditions, homelessness, and poor health. And the answer to all of these problems is a brand new ice skating center? What we need are more local jobs, job training programs, elderly resident homes, community and recreational centers, and quality public hospitals, schools, and housing, NOT ice rinks. Even though the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory promises recreational activities for a predominantly immigrant, poor and working class community of color, history has proven that urban redevelopments like these have done more harm than good for our communities in the long run, eventually making us victims of our own success.

 

A Sign of Gentrification – In April of 2013, it was announced that the Kingsbridge Armory was being converted into the world’s largest ice skating center. Most of us might think, "Finally that huge empty fortress will be doing something for us.” However, Kevin Parker, a co-founder for the KNIC and a former Wall Street executive, said he wanted this ice center because it will provide his children an opportunity to play hockey in a city with almost no space for ice sports. Now tell me, what do his kids have to do with us? Do they even live here? Do OUR kids play hockey? Obviously, Parker’s personal interests do not represent a community of mostly Black and Latino people who don’t usually play ice sports.

 

In fact, hockey is traditionally a white man’s sport imported from Canada that is mostly played and watched by white people. The NWBCCC knew this, at least intuitively. When they first submitted a proposal to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory, they demanded, “three 800-seat schools to address school overcrowding, a sports complex, a green market, a bookstore, a community center, and a park. Not skating.” We ask again: why are we getting an ice skating center with not one but NINEice rinks, in an area mostly populated by urban poor and working class people of color who are more likely to play other sports not played on ice? And why did the NWBCCC compromise on their original plan?

 

More importantly, and perhaps the most dangerous threat posed by the new ice skating center is the fact that most urban developments, especially those achieved through community based agreements, have broken their promises and have exploited and displaced the very same people they promised to benefit. For example, the redevelopment of Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Gateway Center Mall, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Barclays Center have all broken their promises to provide local jobs and public housing and have forced many working-class people to move out and local businesses to close down. This is especially probable for what is promised to be the WORLD’s LARGESTice skating center, right in the middle of the Bronx. The world’s largest ANYTHING has the devastating potential to displace an entire community that has been historically poor, exploited, and forgotten, especially if the Kingsbridge Armory is poised to be “the Madison Square Garden of the Bronx.”

 

The Bronx as the Last Frontier for Gentrification

A redevelopment this massive leaves poor and working-class people of color vulnerable to the devastation of gentrification. Gentrification happens when real estate development in a poor urban community make property values go up, leading to rent increases. As a result, middle and upper-class people, who are mostly white, move into poor and working-class communities of color and force those residents to move out because of higher rents. One of the first clear signs of a gentrifying neighborhood is a decline in small local businesses and a spike in corporate chain stores and notorious cupcake shops. Starbucks, for example, is a gentrifier’s favorite. Another threatening sign is a lighter, whiter population, and more noise complaints.

In this case, the new Kingsbridge National Ice Center will encourage real estate elites to raise rent and attract wealthier people who are mostly white, and who are willing to pay more to live nearby and take advantage of a new opportunity to play ice sports. Additionally, wealthy developers and corporations who are hungry to reap the benefits of higher profit from more business made possible by the ice skating center will chase incoming middle and upper-class white people and open big corporate chain, anti-union, and low-wage paying stores in the area, a move which will push out smaller local businesses not able to afford the sudden transformation. The end result will be higher rents for all, for both tenants and small business owners.


A local pharmacist has already foreseen the inevitable future, saying, “A guy just bought an entire block the other day. We might be next. They won’t want us here, especially if they can make more money from bigger retail stores.” Other local businesses have either seen rent go up or their store closed down, and construction hasn’t even started yet. Tenant buildings may soon be next. Similar trends have already gentrified areas such as Harlem, Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, the Lower East Side in Manhattan, and Astoria in Queens, with the South Bronx feared to follow suit. The new ice center will, in theory, be available for all. However, if we allow our community to be gentrified, those who will benefit the most from the ice center will be people who haven’t even stepped foot in this neighborhood. Right now, the Kingsbridge National Ice Center looks more like eye candy than anything else, and we must NOT be caught drooling.

We must defend our communities! – We acknowledge the NWBCCC and the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance for demanding more economic advantages for the people of the Bronx struggling to get by. We are also relieved that the National Guard will no longer be indoctrinating our youth to join the military in our backyard. However, the question remains, who will benefit from the Armory redevelopment the most? Is this new ice center the best we could get? And what are our REAL needs? If we want to stay long enough to find out, we CANNOT let our guard down. If the community is caught sleeping, poor and working-class people of color can be quickly kicked out for the sake of the gentrifying dollar. To prevent this gentrification, we must organize our power as people of this community and make sure that we do not lose our homes, our businesses, and ultimately our community. We, the people of the Bronx, ARE HERE TO STAY!

 

By Jay Espy

 

CNN: Bloomberg's school gun violence figures are 80% bogus

Somebody at CNN decided to do some actual journalism before blindly regurgitating Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun nonsense.  Bloomberg’s group “Everytown for Gun Safety” has been pushing the bogus stat that there have been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook, but after digging into the numbers, CNN discovered that that number is off by 80%.

from CNN:

After Tuesday’s shooting at an Oregon high school, many media outlets, including CNN, reported that there have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months.

That’s the time period since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death.
The statistic came from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella group started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a passionate and public advocate of gun control.

Without a doubt, that number is startling.

So on Wednesday, CNN took a closer look at the list, delving into the circumstances of each incident Everytown included.
Everytown says on its web site that it gleans its information from media reports and that its list includes school shootings involving a firearm discharged inside or on school grounds, including assaults, homicides, suicides and accidental shootings.

CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Oregon – a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one shooting every five weeks.
Some of the other incidents on Everytown’s list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.

read the rest

So, Everytown’s number gets cut from 75 to 15, and it goes without saying that nobody is happy with 15 school shootings.  But the number is important, and the fact that Bloomberg’s group is trying to ignore the truth shows that the facts alone aren’t enough to make a good argument. 

If Bloomberg were really concerned about school shootings, his group would stop trying to make guns the bad guy, and start focusing on the bad guys themselves through mental health and family involvement programs. No gun ever committed a school shooting on its own.  

Focusing on the guns themselves only excuses the actual individuals who actually walk through classroom doors and commit these awful crimes.

Berkeley vs. Big Soda

I was phoned the other night in middle of dinner by an earnest young man named Spencer, who said he was doing a survey.

Rather than hang up I agreed to answer his questions. He asked me if I knew a soda tax would be on the ballot in Berkeley in November. When I said yes, he then asked whether I trusted the Berkeley city government to spend the revenues wisely.

At that moment I recognized a classic “push poll,” which is part of a paid political campaign.

So I asked Spencer a couple of questions of my own. Who was financing his survey? “Americans for Food and Beverage Choice,” he answered. Who was financing this group? “The American Beverage Association,” he said.

Spencer was so eager to get off the phone I didn’t get to ask him my third question: Who’s financing the American Beverage Association? It didn’t matter. I knew the answer: Pepsico and Coca Cola.

Welcome to Berkeley, California: Ground Zero in the Soda Wars.

Fifty years ago this month, Berkeley was the epicenter of the Free Speech Movement. Now, Berkeley is moving against Big Soda.

The new movement isn’t nearly dramatic or idealistic as the old one, but the odds of victory were probably better fifty years ago. The Free Speech Movement didn’t challenge the profitability of a one of the nation’s most powerful industries.

Sugary drinks are blamed for increasing the rates of chronic disease and obesity in America. Yet efforts to reduce their consumption through taxes or other measures have gone nowhere. The beverage industry has spent millions defeating them.

If on November 4 a majority of Berkeley voters say yes to a one-cent-per-fluid-ounce tax on distributors of sugary drinks, Berkeley could be the first city in the nation to pass a soda tax. (San Franciscans will be voting on a 2-cent per ounce proposal requiring two-thirds of them approve; Berkeley needs a mere majority.)

But if a soda tax can’t pass in the most progressive city in America, it can’t pass anywhere. Big Soda knows that, which is why it’s determined to kill it here.

Taxing a product to reduce its consumption has been effective with cigarettes. According to the American Cancer Society, every 10 percent increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes has caused a 4 percent decline in the rate of smoking.

And for years cigarette manufacturers waged an all-ought war to prevent any tax or regulation. They eventually lost, and today it’s hard to find anyone who proudly smokes.

Maybe that’s the way the Soda Wars will end, too. Consumption of sugary soft drinks is already down somewhat from what it was ten years ago, but kids (and many adults) are still guzzling it.

Berkeley’s Soda War pits a group of community organizations, city and school district officials, and other individuals (full disclosure: I’m one of them) against Big Soda’s own “grassroots” group, describing itself as “a coalition of citizens, local businesses, and community organizations” without identifying its members.

Even though a Field Research poll released in February found 67 percent of California voters (and presumably a similar percentage of Berkeley voters) favor a soda tax if revenues are spent on healthy initiatives, it will be an uphill fight.

Since 2009, some thirty special taxes on sugary drinks have been introduced in various states and cities, but none has passed. Not even California’s legislature, with Democratic majorities in both houses, could enact a proposal putting warning labels on sodas.

Even New York City’s former and formidable mayor Michael Bloomberg – no slouch when it came to organizing – lost to Big Soda. He wanted to limit the size of sugary drinks sold in restaurants and other venues to16 ounces.

But the beverage industry waged a heavy marketing campaign against the proposal, including ads featuring the Statue of Liberty holding up a giant soda instead of a torch. It also fought it through the courts. Finally the state’s highest court ruled that the city’s Board of Health overstepped its authority by imposing the cap.

Fifty years ago, Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement captured the nation’s attention and imagination. It signaled a fundamental shift in the attitudes of young Americans toward older forms of authority.

Times have changed. Four years ago the Supreme Court decided corporations were people under the First Amendment, entitled to their own freedom of speech. Since then, Big Soda has poured a fortune into defeating ballot initiatives to tax or regulate sugared drinks.

But have times changed all that much? In its battle with Big Soda, Berkeley may once again make history.

vimeo

Why launch your start-up in NYC? Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others tell you why. 

news.yahoo.com
Texas woman who sent ricin gets 18 years in prison

A Texas actress who tried to blame her husband after sending ricin-laced letters to officials including President Barack Obama was sentenced Wednesday to 18 years in prison.

A federal judge gave Shannon Guess Richardson, 36, the maximum sentence under her plea deal on a federal charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin. Richardson was also ordered to pay restitution of about $367,000. She had pleaded guilty to the charge in December.

“I never intended for anybody to be hurt,” she told the court, adding later, “I’m not a bad person; I don’t have it in me to hurt anyone.”

Judge Michael H. Schneider noted that she had put many lives in danger and threatened public officials.

Richardson, who had minor acting roles in film and television including in the series “The Walking Dead” and the movie “The Blind Side,” said she thought security measures would prevent anyone from opening the letters addressed to Obama, then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mark Glaze, who at the time was director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Bloomberg’s group advocating for tougher gun control.

Prosecutors say Richardson mailed the three letters from New Boston, outside Texarkana, then went to police and claimed that her husband had done it. She was arrested last June. The day before her arrest, Nathan Richardson filed for divorce; it was finalized in January.

youtube

Mayor Bloomberg’s Introduction for the “Silicon Alley: Startup Ecosystem That Never Sleeps” SXSW Panel on Monday, March 12, 2012 in Austin, Texas.

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Muslim delegates are calling out the DNC for inviting Michael Bloomberg

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be featured as a headline speaker on Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia — a huge blow to Muslim Democrat delegates and the greater American Muslim community, some activists say.

Several Muslim delegates at the DNC expressed strong disapproval of Bloomberg’s scheduled appearance in the third night of the convention, The Intercept reported.

The former mayor was involved in implementing one of the most controversial programs in New York City: The New York Police Department’s sweeping surveillance program of Muslim Americans. Read more

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Bloomberg Limits Seder Portions

NEW YORK Following his recent ban on soda containers over 16 ounces, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he now intends to place similar limits on wine and matzo consumption at Passover seders.

Everyone knows that Jews struggle with obesity,the mayor declared at a news conference yesterday at Gracie Mansion, so why aggravate the problem by drinking four whole cups of wine and eating three large sheets of matzo at a single meal.
Noting that the Passover foods are a Jewish tradition dating back thousands of years, the mayor said, That may be so, but look at the health problems they create. You eat all that unleavened bread, and your system is bound to get backed up. It is no wonder Moses was pleading, Let my people go.

Bloomberg added, No one needs that much wine at a meal, either. And, shamefully, the biggest offender is a Jewish icon the prophet Elijah. On seder night, he goes from house to house drinking. Who does he think he is, some frat boy?

In a surprising display of erudition in Jewish law, the mayor said he was familiar with, and opposed to, the adherence to the strictest requirements encouraged by some Torah sages. If you intend to adhere to the shiurim of the Chazzon Ish, or even Rabbi Moses Feinstein, take your Seder out of the City, said a defiant Bloomberg.

He outlined his restrictions as follows:

For the drinking of the four cups 3.3. oz. will be the maximum permitted under New York City law. You may think 5.3 ounces is a saintly amount to drink for each of your 4 cups, but it is overly burdensome on the NYPD when they have to haul your machmir tuchus off to detox.

For the Eating of Matzoh No more than the size of 1/3 of an egg, measured by weight and not volume. You will be subject to citation or arrest if you feel the need to stuff half of a Talmudic egg in your mouth and choking on your high halachic standards.

The Mayor then left the press conference angrily, turning only to add, Next year in Jerusalem. IF you can fit on the plane!

Several Jewish organizations have already filed lawsuits in Brooklyn courts, claiming that the mayor’s new proposal infringes upon their religious rights. Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwieback, legal counsel for Agooda Israel and author of the book When Abbada Things Happen to Agooda People, said, Instead of downsizing seder foods, the mayor should be increasing them, like donating his nuts to make more charoses

Texas women sentenced to 18 years for sending ricin to Obama

AP: A Texas woman was sentenced Wednesday to 18 years in prison for sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Shannon Guess Richardson, 36, held minor acting roles in film and television before mailing the three letters and claiming to police that her estranged husband had done it.

Photo: In this June, 7, 2013, file photo, Shannon Richardson is escorted to a Titus County Sheriff’s car after a court appearance in Texarkana, Texas. (Curt Youngblood, AP)