Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

MTA considers installing sliding doors to prevent deaths, injuries

The MTA will reconsider installing sliding doors on some subway platforms to prevent riders from getting killed or injured by trains, a top official told the Daily News. Fifty-four people this year have met their bloody ends on the tracks — a five-year high at more than one per week — according to preliminary figures released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Read more: Daily News

Whale that washed ashore and died in Queens could pose health threat

The whale that washed up on a beach in the Rockaways and died could potentially pose a threat to humans. Members of the New York State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said there is a possibility that the whale could carry diseases that could be potentially harmful to people. Read more: Queens Courier

Young boy killed by truck in apparent hit-and-run in Jackson Heights

Tragically, little Miguel Torres never got to eat his last snack. The 11-year-old Queens boy was fatally struck by a truck Friday morning moments after he bought a Sprite and Pop Tarts at a corner store, police and witnesses said. Read more: Daily News

Teen killed at Queens house party

A 17-year-old boy died after being shot in the head outside of a Queens house party. The NYPD says the party was just breaking up and the boy was apparently drunk and milling about the property. Read more: My Fox NY

Congressional leaders hopeful as fiscal cliff deadline nears

Even though the top four Congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hour-long encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol. Read more: NPR

 

Obama taps Biden to head task force on gun violence


| brennison@queenscourier.com

In an effort to prevent another tragedy like last week’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to head a task force to develop a concrete plan no later than January to curb gun violence in the country.

“The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence, doesn’t mean that we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence,” Obama said at the White House five days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The administration-wide effort led by Biden will include outside organizations and address an issue of gun control and violence that has not often been broached in Obama’s first term.

Biden’s hand in writing the now-expired 1994 bill banning assault weapons made him the right man for the job, said Obama.

The president said he wants a plan no later than January that he will “push without delay.”

“I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed the at preventing more tragedies like this,” the president said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long been critical of Washington’s lack of progress on gun control, said he is encouraged by the president’s statements and that it was a “step in the right direction.”

“The country needs his leadership if we are going to reduce the daily bloodshed from gun violence that we have seen for too long,” Bloomberg said. “The task force must move quickly with its work, as 34 Americans will be murdered with guns every day that passes without common sense reforms to our laws.”

Bloomberg demands a plan to end gun violence


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo by Edward Reed

Dozens of Americans affected by gun violence joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall for the release of 34 videos renewing the call for the federal government to reduce gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The 34 videos each tell the personal story of survivors and family members of victims of gun violence, one video for each of the 34 Americans killed daily by guns.

“Gun violence is a national epidemic — and a national tragedy — that demands more than words. It demands immediate national action, from the president and from Congress. It needs to be at the top of their agenda,” Bloomberg said.

The videos can be viewed at demandaplan.org.

Survivors and family members of deceased relatives from shootings in Aurora, Tuscon, Virginia Tech and Columbine told their stories on the series of two-minute videos of the trauma they continue to face following the tragedies.

“While I was laying in my hospital bed and watching the news, I heard a lot of public officials offering their condolences, but I guess I’m still waiting for all of that to turn into some sort of policy that will prevent these mass tragedies from happening to anyone ever again,” said Stephen Barton, a survivor of the movie theater shooting in Aurora.

Among the legislation Bloomberg demanded passed when the 113th Congress convenes next year was closing the gun show loopholes and requiring all gun purchases to be subject to background checks, reinstating the ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and making gun trafficking a felony.

Obama asks for $60 billion in federal aid for Sandy relief


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The Obama administration has requested $60.4 billion in federal resources for “response, recovery and mitigation related to Sandy damages in all affected states,” according to a letter from Jeffrey Zients, the deputy director for management, to House Speaker John Boehner.

However, that is less than the $80 billion initially sought for the destruction in the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said Councilmember James Sanders, who has been working with his constituents throughout Far Rockaway. “And I encourage [the president] to take the next step.”

The next step, said Sanders, is to get the rest of the aid that the devastated areas need. New York is reported to need $42 billion, New Jersey $37 billion and Connecticut $3 billion.

The New York Times also reported that “the president’s plan would not cover several big-ticket items sought by state governments. It would not pay for damage already covered by private insurance, and would extend aid only to primary residences.”

But according to the Obama administration, the amount requested “includes efforts to repair storm damage to homes and public infrastructure and to help affected communities prepare for future storms.”

“Eighty billion is what would make us whole,” countered Sanders. “When we spoke of other national disasters, we met their needs, and that was correct. Let’s make sure that this area receives the same treatment.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also sees this federal aid as a start, but knows that more is necessary.

“While the total funding request released by the White House is not everything requested, we have always been realistic about the fiscal constraints facing the federal government. Now it’s up to Congress to come together and . . . work extremely hard to deliver the maximum possible aid.”

Forbes names Bloomberg the world’s 16th most powerful person


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Flickr/nycmayorsoffice Photo credit: Spencer T Tucker

New Yorkers who believe Mayor Michael Bloomberg wields too much authority will not be surprised by his high ranking on Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people.

Bloomberg placed 16th on the annual list that includes heads of state, CEOs and magnates, one spot behind Warren Buffet and one ahead of Walmart CEO Michael Duke.

President Barack Obama unanimously topped the rankings for the second consecutive year, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bill Gates. Pope Benedict XVI, who recently joined Twitter, rounded out the top five.

Seventy-one people from 24 countries made their way onto the Power list.

The list was compiled based on four standards: whether the candidate has power over lots of people, how much money is controlled by the person, if the person is powerful in more than one area and whether they actively used their power.

Forbes said Bloomberg, who was 17th on the list last year, projects his influence in myriad ways.

“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has power because he’s a politician, because he’s a billionaire, because he’s a media magnate and because he’s a major philanthropist,” Forbes wrote.

The magazine also pointed to his push to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces as a highlight of the past year.

Bloomberg, who is about to enter his final year in office, will continue to wield power even after his days at City Hall are over. Independence USA PAC, a Super PAC created by Bloomberg to back candidates around the country who share his views, spent nearly $10 million on elections this fall and will continue to support office-seekers who share Bloomberg’s ideals, including gun control, the environment and education.

Other well-known names on the list include Mark Zuckerberg (#25), Rupert Murdoch (#26) and Bill Clinton (#50), though his wife and Secretary of State Hillary, who Bloomberg reportedly called to gauge her interest in the mayorship, was left off.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Increasing clouds, with a high near 47. Light and variable wind becoming east 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Friday night: A slight chance of rain or drizzle after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Shirley Valentine at Queens Theatre

The Tony and Olivier Award-winning play, written by Willy Russell, is about a middle-aged housewife who finds herself unhappy and wondering what happened to all the joy in her life. But when she’s offered the chance to go on the vacation-of-a-lifetime, Shirley is introduced to the adventure, hope and, ultimately, love she had been missing. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Citizens group demands ‘overdue’ stormproof measures to prevent future devastation of Rockaways beaches

Just hours after Superstorm Sandy devastated Rockaway Beach, someone angrily spray-painted a message on the wall of a battered handball court: “John Cori warned you.” Cori, who grew up down the street on Beach 92nd St., has spent the past few years advocating for beach replenishment, new jetties and other reforms to protect the dangerously eroded shoreline. Read more: Daily News

NY1 Exclusive: Red Cross Worker Charged With Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Woman Who Lost Her Home To Sandy

A Red Cross worker is charged with sexually assaulting a woman who turned to him for help after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her Queens home. NY1′s Dean Meminger filed the following report. Evergreen Washington says a Red Cross worker should be stripped of his red and white uniform and put in a prison jumpsuit. Read more: NY1

Romney lunches with Obama at White House

Bitter campaign foes just weeks ago, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for lunch at the White House on Thursday, sitting down with an eye on overlapping interests rather than the sharp differences that defined their presidential contest. Read more: NY Post

Rockaway Residents Frustrated With Crowded Buses, Longer Travel Times

Rockaway residents say they’re fed up having to wait an extra 30 minutes or more each morning for a bus to work. “I don’t get paid if I’m not there,” said one commuter. “It’s crazy.” In some cases, buses are so packed, they have to bypass stops. Read more: NY1

St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang expressed “suicidal ideations” a month before she killed herself

Ex-St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang talked of committing suicide little more than a month before she hanged herself during her criminal trial, according to court papers. A female friend of Chang’s asked to have her name removed from the bail bond because of the defendant’s increasingly bizarre behavior, defense lawyer Joel Cohen told a judge at an emergency hearing held on Oct. 1. Read more: Daily News

Queens homeowner can’t get in touch with insurance company

Dark and damp, the smell of seawater left from Sandy is a reminder for homeowner Marcy Miller Bolden of the water which flooded her basement during the hurricane. “My basement is completely destroyed,” Miller Bolden said. “The seawater corroded my boiler.” Now Miller Bolden is living without heat and expenses she can’t afford. Read more: NY1

MLS seeks to build 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Queens

Major League Soccer is taking its plan to build a 25,000-seat home for a new team in New York City to the politicians in Queens who will decide the project’s fate. The league will present its plan for a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to Borough President Helen Marshall, Queens city council members and community leaders on Dec. 3, Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Marshall, said today in an e-mail. Read more: NJ.com

Obama lands at JFK, tours areas hardest hit by Sandy


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

By Alexa Altman and Terence Cullen

“I’m very proud of you, New York,” said President Barack Obama. “You guys are tough. You bounce back, just as America always bounces back. The same is going to be true this time out.”

Alongside New York’s most prominent officials, Obama surveyed damage in the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

“We are going to be here until the rebuilding is complete,” he said while touring Staten Island. “I’m going to be coming back in the future to make sure that we have followed through on that commitment.”

The president, accompanied by Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, landed at JFK International Airport just after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 15, where he was greeted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Obama immediately boarded helicopter Marine One, where he aerially toured some of the damage to the Rockaway peninsula, including Breezy Point, where 111 homes burned down during the storm.

During their trip toward Staten Island, the president was briefed on the city’s current situation by Cuomo, Bloomberg, Napolitano and Donovan.

While New York is currently in recovery mode, the president said there is still plenty to be accomplished on the way to getting the city back up and running.

“Now, more specifically, we are now still in the process of recovery,” Obama said. “As you can see, as you travel around parts of Staten Island, as we flew over parts of … other parts of the city and the region that had been impacted, there is still a lot of cleanup to do.”

Over the past few weeks, aid organizations such as FEMA and the American Red Cross have been criticized for their alleged slow response time and lack of presence in badly damaged regions like Broad Channel and Howard Beach. Obama said he and his team will be working closely with these organizations and local governments to ensure victims receive the assistance they need.

“People still need emergency help. They still need heat. They still need power. They still need food. They still need shelter,” said the president. “Kids are still trying to figure out where they’re going to school. So there’s a lot of short-term, immediate stuff that has to be dealt with. And we are going to make sure that we stay here as long as people need that immediate help. That’s FEMA’s primary task.”

While on the ground in Staten Island, Obama privately met with homeowners and those filing insurance claims with the Small Business Association (SBA).

“What is your situation?” he asked one woman in the SBA tent.

“These folks are here to help, OK,” he said to another.

“During difficult times like this,” said the president near the end of his trip to New York, “we’re reminded that we’re all bound together and that we have to look out for each other. And a lot of the things that seem important, the petty differences melt away, and we focus on what binds us together, and that we as Americans are going to stand with each other in our hour of need.”

— With pool reports

 

Bloomberg endorses Obama for president


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the mayor's office

On the heels of the worst storm in the city’s history, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his endorsement of Barack Obama for president citing his leadership in climate change and potential to bridge both parties.

Bloomberg said Hurricane Sandy “brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,”  in an op-ed for Bloomberg View and re-published on his website.

“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action,” he wrote.

“One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”

Bloomberg cited New York’s PlaNYC, which has cut the city’s carbon footprint by 16 percent in the last five years, and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group as examples of local governments making progress where the federal government has not.

The mayor said that as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had “a history of tackling climate change,” but has since reversed course.

“I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” said Bloomberg, a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent.

He said he has found the past four years disappointing and that if the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney ran, he would have received his vote.

Despite his disappointment, Bloomberg said Obama achieved several victories including, Race to the Top, his health care law and women’s rights.

“When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor said that the Obama that ran in 2008  as a “pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder” devoted little time to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists as president.

“Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress — and President Obama can, too,” said Bloomberg. “If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours.”

 

 

Cuomo requests maximum reimbursement for Hurricane Sandy damage from FEMA


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a maximum reimbursement from the federal government for damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy.

“Our counties are responding to the continued impacts of multi-building fires, tunnel closures, power losses to hospitals and other critical infrastructure, destroyed homes and sheltered populations — all in the midst of historic flooding that has complicated emergency response operations exponentially,” Cuomo wrote.

Cuomo said that the damage from Hurricane Sandy warrants the the maximum assistance allowed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Cuomo said the support is needed in the continuing efforts to restore the state following Sandy’s devastation.

Businesses are estimated to have lost $6 billion in revenue due to the storm, the letter stated.

Obama declared New York a major disaster on Monday.

 

What Obama and Romney said at the final presidential debate


| brennison@queenscourier.com

romney obama


More than 17,000 words were spoken during the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at Lynn University in Boca Raton. The words uttered tonight will be dissected in the next two weeks ahead of the election on November 6. The most common words were what you would expect to hear in a debate on foreign policy — except maybe bayonets.

World (said 67 times), military (49), Iran (47), leadership (46), nuclear (39), budget (35) all were among the most stated terms during the 90-minute clash moderated by Bob Schieffer.

But instead of telling you, take a look yourself at the top 250 words you heard over and
over tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloran, Meng polls at odds over 6th District race


| brennison@queenscourier.com

meng halloran

A new poll released by Councilmember Dan Halloran found him and Assemblymember Grace Meng in a virtual tie for the 6th Congressional District seat, though his opponent says a 30 point gap still separates them.

Halloran’s poll, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates found the Republican to be trailing Meng by three points, which is within the poll’s margin of error (5.7 percent).

“The poll confirms that Dan Halloran is on his way to winning this race. Dan won over Democrats in his Council race and he is doing it again in the heart of Queens,” said spokesperson Kevin Ryan. “Voters know that he will fight to create jobs, help small businesses and reduce gas prices.”

Meng’s spokesperson released a statement saying internal polling by the campaign has the assemblymember holding a 51-22 advantage in the district.

“Leave it to Dan Halloran to release a tailor-made poll. This “poll” is nothing more than a desperate attempt on behalf of the Halloran campaign to raise money from its far right, radical Tea Party base of support. Once again, Dan Halloran just makes things up and expects no one to question him,” said Meng spokesperson Austin Finan.

One thing the disparate polls agreed upon was the amount of undecided voters. Halloran’s poll measured the number at 30 percent while Meng’s survey found 27 percent still unsure.

Halloran leads Meng among voters who have heard of both candidates (40-35) and who have an opinion of both (61-33), according to the McLaughlin & Associates poll.

The pollsters concluded that in a district that has voted for Republican in the past including Senator Frank Padavan, Senator Serf Maltese, Rudy Giuliani and Halloran, the councilmember can be victorious.

Further proof given was Mitt Romney’s three point lead over President Barack Obama in the district, according to the poll.

A Siena College survey of the 15th Senate District that includes more conservative portions of the 6th Congressional District found Obama to be leading Romney by three points in early October.

McLaughlin & Associates, a national survey research and strategic services company, currently represents 20 sitting members of Congress all of whom are Republican.

Three hundred voters were surveyed on October 10 and 11 for the poll.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 73. Southeast wind 10 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible. Friday night: Scattered showers, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60. South wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

EVENT of the DAY: Job Fair

There will be a Halloween themed family sleepover this weekend at the Long Island Aquarium. At the Creatures of the Night Spooktacular, kids will get rare glimpse into the nighttime habits of three new animals in the Creatures of the Night exhibit. You can also dress up in Halloween customes, and enjoy craft time and a screening of “Monster House.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Neighbor of Federal Reserve bomb suspect speaks

The day after a Queens man was arrested for allegedly attempting to detonate what he believed to be a real bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan, a neighbor spoke out, saying he had no idea what was being plotted, just downstairs. Read more: Queens Courier

Tigers sweep Yankees in ALCS to reach World Series

Prince Fielder waved his arms frantically, gleefully calling off his teammates while the crowd at Comerica Park roared. From the moment the big first baseman signed his massive contract in January, an entire city had been waiting for a chance to celebrate like this. After another dazzling effort by Detroit’s starting pitchers and another soaring home run by Miguel Cabrera, Fielder caught the final out to send the Tigers to the World Series — with a sweep of the New York Yankees, no less. Read more: ESPN

Nassau officer killed on LIE while responding to collision

A Nassau County cop who responded to an accident on the Long Island Expressway was killed early today when he was struck by another vehicle passing the scene of the crash, sources said. Officer Joseph P. Olivieri, 43, was struck at 4:43 a.m. on the eastbound roadway near exit 35 in North Hills. Read more: NY Post

Comedic relief: Obama, Romney bring on the jokes at annual dinner

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were within arm’s length for the second time this week, as they shared the stage at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner Thursday and delivered feisty quips at each other’s expense. Read more: CNN

Queens man put on “No-Fly List” stranded in Austria

A 26-year-old Queens man was returning home from a trip to Austria when he was stopped at the airport and told by airline agents that the Department of Homeland Security had prohibited his travel. For over two weeks Samir Suljovic, of Oakland Gardens, has remained stranded in Austria, where he was on vacation visiting friends and family. Read more: NBC New York

Queens judge denies perv’s request to lower jail sentence to spend Christmas with family

A Queens judge slammed a pervert’s request to lower his jail sentence to be with his four children for Christmas. Oross, 45 of East Islip, LI, plead guilty in September to having repeated sexual encounters with a 14-year-old student in a Susan B. Anthony IS 238 classroom and in his car, more than a dozen times in 2009. Read more: NY Post

 

Hofstra University hosts presidential debate


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER?Photo by Billy Rennison

Four years after “Joe the Plumber” rose to prominence during a Hofstra debate, the presidential candidates again descended on the Long Island university for their second matchup ahead of the November election.

A carnival-like atmosphere enveloped the campus prior to the town hall-style debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney with giveaways, chants and marching bands.

Students were generally excited to be part of the process in deciding the country’s next president, though some seemed annoyed by the mayhem.

“It’s great that [Obama and Romney] are here, but the campus feels shut down,” said junior Nathan Glenn regarding the closing of roads and heavy police presence.

Others remained unfazed.

“I’m just grabbing dinner, then heading back to study. Typical Tuesday for me,” said Cory Shelton, a sophomore.

See photos from the Hofstra debate

As the debate neared, those who were not among the lucky few that won a lottery allowing them to attend the event made their way to the numerous viewing parties scattered around the campus.

Hundreds packed one such gathering in Netherlands Café, donning red, white and blue hats and brandishing signs and ready to watch the debate on a large projection screen, as this is first presidential election most of the students are able to vote in.

“I feel a responsibility to make an informed choice and not just rely on Fox or MSNBC to make my decision,” said Cole Barker.

With a Yankees playoff game being played simultaneously some students had a different decision to make.

“I guess politics is bigger than baseball,” said Ryan Butler, who was wearing a Yankees sweatshirt at the debate viewing party.

Most students said they wanted to hear the candidates discuss job creation and how they will aid students in debt.

Cheers were interspersed with laughs as the candidates clashed on taxes, immigration, the deficit, energy independence and health care.

The confrontation on Libya drew the loudest reaction of the night, with many saying that exchange gave the decision to Obama.

“Romney wasn’t as commanding as [in the] last debate. Obama made him look foolish on the Libya answer,” said senior Nick Kearney.

Post debate, students poured back out onto the campus, ready to discuss the night.

“Obama was much more animated this time, he was ready to respond to whatever Romney had to say,” said freshman Tracy Reynolds.

“It seems disrespectful for them to interrupt each other, but it definitely makes the debate more interesting,” said junior Brendan Mortell.

The excitement of the past couple of days will fade away as the TV cameras depart and campus life returns to normal.

“It was fun while it lasted, but now I’ve got a paper to write,” said James Cowan.

 

Presidential Debate 2012: What Obama and Romney said


| brennison@queenscourier.com

romney obama

Nearly 20,000 words were uttered during the first 2012 presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  Some, even those uttered once (Big Bird), will be dissected and argued about ad infinitum until the next presidential debate on October 16. But the most commonly heard words were talking points many expected to be the focus of the night — save maybe 47 percent.

Tax (said 112 times), Medicare (61), businesses (57), health (51), insurance (49), jobs (38) all were among the most stated terms during the 90 minute debate moderated by Jim Lehrer. But instead of telling you, take a look yourself at the top 200 words you heard over and over tonight.