The World

  • Anthony Scaramucci on Brett Kavanaugh Allegations, Confirmation Process

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    By Neil A. Carousso, “Mooch and the Mrs.” Producer

    NEW YORK, NY — Anthony Scaramucci and his wife, Deidre, say the allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, dating back to high school, have gone too far.

    “Suppose you’re 17 years old and you made this absolutely regrettable mistake,” said Scaramucci, the former White House communications director who was fired after 11 days in the position when he made profanity-laced comments about former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, on the latest episode of Mooch and the Mrs., an exclusive podcast available via Radio.com.

    “I think it’s a shame because I know I did that for sure,” added Deidre. “I wouldn’t want to be talking about anything I did in high school or college, so I think it’s bad.”

    Anthony and Deidre, who sit on opposite sides of the political spectrum, just launched their podcast, Mooch and the Mrs.only on Radio.com and the Radio.com app. New episodes appear every Tuesday, where the couple discusses the struggles they face as a couple who do not see eye-to-eye politically (Scaramucci’s job in President Donald J. Trump’s White House almost cost them their marriage). Anthony has five children — including two with Deidre, his second wife.

    “My message to the older kids is, ‘Hey, you have to be super careful now because we now decided everybody’s game and everybody can get their reputation eviscerated in five minutes,” said Anthony.

    His wife agreed and sees social media as a culprit for stifling social growth and putting innocent and maturing children’s lives in the spotlight.

    “It’s just a terrible way to live,” she said.

    Judge Kavanagh has been accused by three women of sexual assault, with the allegations dating back to his high school and college years. Democrats have called for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withheld or delayed until after the November midterms. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have scheduled a hearing for Thursday for both Kavanaugh and one of his accusers to testify under oath, and a vote on his nomination on Friday morning.

    Judge Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations in several written statements and in an emotional interview beside his wife, Ashley, with Fox News Channel’s Martha MacCallum on Monday night. He asked for a “fair process” to be heard by the Committee. President Trump has stood by his Supreme Court nominee with increasing assertiveness.

    Kavanaugh is the president’s pick to fill the empty Supreme Court chair left by Justice Anthony Kennedy when he retired in June.

    Anthony Scaramucci believes Kavanaugh will be confirmed and discusses why in the second episode of the Mooch and the Mrs. on Radio.com.

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  • ‘It’s Not My Flag, It’s Ours’

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    An Unsung 9/11 Hero and the Journey of an American Flag

    from Ground Zero to Iraq and Afghanistan to The White House

    By Neil A. Carousso, Special to ConnectingVets.com and WCBS Newsradio 880

    PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — A hero-maker serves heroes.

    On Sept. 11, 2001, Donato Panico watched in horror as al-Qaeda hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center.

    He felt he had to do something right away, and as the owner of a Smithtown deli for more than three decades, Panico knew he could provide a needed service.

    “(My friend) was telling me that all kinds of commanding officers were killed down there and that they had no food system and it was in total chaos,” said Panico.

    He then prepared his catering trucks with sandwiches and drove to Ground Zero the next morning. He got through most of the tight security checkpoints in Manhattan, but he was still far away from the Trade Center when commanding officer Louis Pacheco recognized Panico from his Long Island deli and ushered him into site so he could fill a void serving starving, dehydrated, weary, angry and saddened First Responders.

    “A couple months later, (Pacheco) presented me with a flag that they hung in front of the Millennium Hotel,” Panico said. The hotel, which is adjacent to One World Trade Center, suffered significant damage in the terrorist attacks.

    Heros 4 Our Heroes, via Facebook

     

    Heros 4 Our Heroes, via Facebook

    “He presented it to me and I presented it to a friend of mine in the store whose son was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. He hung it over his camp,” said Panico, continuing, “He had the flag commissioned by President (George W.) Bush and he returned it to me 4 years later.”

    Panico continued to lend the gifted flag to local police, fire and veterans organizations on Long Island.

    “You can’t hold onto something if you don’t give it away,” said Panico when asked why he felt so strongly about imparting such a meaningful and emotional souvenir to patriotic organizations. “It’s not my flag, it’s ours.”

    His foundation Heros 4 Our Heroes was born from tragedy. Today, Panico aims to keep a “constant awareness” for the need to take care of police officers, firefighters and our veterans who make sacrifices to keep us safe and free. He is currently undertaking a project to re-build the patio at the Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Northport, Long Island.

    Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) was the only local politician to show up at Donato’s fist Heros 4 Heroes Foundation event after 9/11; Panico said his first impression of Zeldin was he’s “special.”

    The Republican congressman was deployed to Iraq in 2006 with the 82nd Airborne Division and is currently in the Army Reserves. In a sit-down interview with him, Donato and this reporter, he praised Donato as a selfless patriot while he engaged in the same type of organic camaraderie he has with fellow soldiers. Zeldin said Panico has the “type of character, values, ethics and beliefs” that guided his selfless actions on 9/11.

    “If he was on the first floor of the Trade Center that day, he would have went straight up and started rendering first-aid to people even though he wasn’t NYPD or FDNY,” Congressman Zeldin said. “That’s his character.”

    Recently, Panico had one particular person he wanted to lend “our” Old Glory that flew in front of the Millennium Hotel on September 11 to: The President of the United States.

    Congressman Zeldin invited Panico to President Donald J. Trump’s first State of the Union Address in January. Panico brought the flag to Washington with him in hopes to give it to the President. That’s when Rep. Zeldin learned of the sentimental history of that American Flag. Donato did not get to meet Mr. Trump that day, but Mr. Zeldin held onto the flag for the right time, and on June 20, the Congressman received a phone call from The White House for a last minute policy meeting with President Trump and several representatives.

    Zeldin recalled, “All I was thinking of was ‘where’s the flag?’”

    After the meeting, Congressman Zeldin told President Trump about the flag.

    “You could tell the story was impacting him, he was deeply moved by it, he was moved by Donato’s story, the first responders, the journey of that flag from the Trade Center, overseas being flown over a base to back home,” said Mr. Zeldin, adding that the President brought him into the Oval Office where he had an aide write down Panico’s story for a museum, and posed for a picture behind his Resolute Desk to send home to Donato.

    Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

    Congressman Zeldin says when he meets with the President like he did when he rode in his motorcade with him to a GOP fundraiser in Southampton last month, President Trump asked about Donato.

    Donato feels an unspoken bond with the current Commander-In-Chief, a man he has never met, but respects as a patriot, as he does his fellow New Yorkers and Americans who still suffer pain, sorrow, and illness from 9/11.

    Panico still shakes when the calendar turns to September. He and we will Never Forget.

     

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  • 50th U.S. Open Gets Underway in Queens

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The top tennis players in the world have descended on Queens for the 50th US Open.

    There’s been a lot of stress and anxiety, but the $500 million rebuilding of the tennis center at Flushing Meadows is finally complete.

    “This is our capstone year. We have been under construction essentially for six years, taking a break each year to stage the US Open,” said tournament director David Brewer.

    There are now two roofs on two stadia at the center, but they will only close for rain, not heat.

    “At the end of the day, this is an athletic contest and we want to make sure that we are fair to our players and that they have a level playing field,” Brewer said.

    The new 14,000 set Louis Armstrong Stadium has a retractable roof, similar to the one installed at the Arthur Ashes Stadium for the 2016 event.

    But that’s the only thing that’s different at the new stadium.

    US Open Day 1

    ‪Fans from around the world come to the US Open Tennis Championships. Peter Haskell caught up with Tim from Brooklyn and Amy from Scottsdale, AZ who are soaking in day 1 in Queens. Tune in to WCBS Newsradio 880 on-air and on the Radio.com app for more live from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Read more: https://bit.ly/2Nnz4rx

    Posted by WCBS Newsradio 880 on Monday, August 27, 2018

    “What you see when you first walk in here is nothing but concession stands and restrooms — the two things that every stadium needs to have and we have those in abundance now at both levels,” Brewer said.

    There are also new flowers and more trees to provide extra shade at the grounds.

    We are live from the US Open Tennis Championships⁠! Peter Haskell is talking to fans at the USTA Billie Jean King…

    Posted by WCBS Newsradio 880 on Monday, August 27, 2018

    On day one of the U.S. Open, there has already been an upset. Simona Halep, who won the French Open in June, was beaten by 44th-ranked Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, becoming the first No. 1-seeded woman to lose in the first round of the tournament.

    “It was amazing,” said Rebecca Franson of Idaho, who watched as a top seed was knocked out in the opening round for the first time.

    Tim Mercado of Brooklyn Heights likes to root for the underdogs.

    “These people out there are just really busting it to get it done, and they’re doing it – they’re not making it billions and millions; they don’t have a million sponsors like wanting them to do this, and you know, being able to come and go out on the courts and just go from court to court to support them, I think that’s important,” Mercado said.

    Mercado thinks this is the best day of the tournament, when you can see top players on every court.

    It was the first match to be held at the newly rebuilt Louis Armstrong Stadium.

     

    Neil A. Carousso is producing multi-media content from the U.S. Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament for WCBS Newsradio 880.

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  • Two-Time Giants Super Bowl Champ Sean Landeta Spends A Night with Our Heroes

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    By Neil A. Carousso, Special to ConnectingVets.com and WCBS Newsradio 880

    NORTHPORT, N.Y. — A humble 6-foot Giant walked into the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island Thursday evening wearing his 1986 Super Bowl ring and a debt of gratitude on his sleeve.

    “It really gives me chills to think of what they did and why we’re able to live how we do here to come and see the veterans and talk to them and hear their stories,” retired NFL punter Sean Landeta said.

    He won two Super Bowls with the New York Football Giants at the conclusion of the 1986 and 1990 NFL seasons. Landeta is an All-Pro and All-Decade Team punter who played 22 seasons – the longest tenure in league history for his position – in the National Football League, mostly with the Giants. He also played for the Rams, Buccaneers, Packers and Eagles.

     

    Retired NFL All-Pro Punter Sean Landeta talks football with veterans at the Northport VA. (Neil A. Carousso/ConnectingVets.com/WCBS Newsradio 880)

    Landeta is known for pinning the opposing team inside the 20 yard line; he retired with the league record for doing so, and he is currently number two on the all-time record list for most punts inside the 20, second to retired Giants punter Jeff Feagles, Landeta’s successor.

    He recalled an amusing story he told a group of veterans, who surrounded him to talk football, of the moment he thanked legendary G-Men quarterback Phil Simms on the sideline of Super Bowl XXI for throwing a couple incompletions that gave Landeta an opportunity to appear in the big game against the Denver Broncos. He told the vets he wanted his family to get to see him play in the big game in person at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Simms, the Super Bowl MVP, actually set a record for completing 22 of 25 passes, leading Big Blue to victory over the Broncos 39-20.

    From the moment Landeta walked in to the building where the veterans live on the Northport VA Medical Center campus, they were fascinated by his playing career, but Landeta was awestruck by the true heroes around him.

    “As a player, people are always asking you about you, and you know, I’ve had such good times just asking these guys: ‘tell me about you and where you’ve been and what you’ve done,’” Landeta said, adding, “It really humbles you to see what they’ve done and makes you realize how lucky we are to have heroes like this.”

     

    Sean Landeta lends his 1986 Giants Super Bowl ring to a veteran at the Northport VA. (Neil A. Carousso/ConnectingVets.com/WCBS Newsradio 880)

    It was a casual night that will stay with those men forever. They took pictures with Landeta wearing his Super Bowl ring on their fingers, watched preseason football on the television, and sat and talked about their services and their current day-to-day struggles.

    At the end of the night, everyone was smiling.

    “A lot of them seem like they’re in a pretty good place. I really enjoyed my time with them. I hope I can come back again.”

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  • Two Veterans Open Up About The Realities of Service

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    By Neil A. Carousso, Special to ConnectingVets.com and WCBS Newsradio 880

    NORTHPORT, N.Y. — As the sun set on a beautiful Thursday evening at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs campus on the North Fork of Long Island, a group of veterans finished their first yoga session and enjoyed dinner together before sitting down in their recreational room to watch the New York Yankees host the Kansas City Royals on television.

    It was a light-hearted evening discussing the latest sports news as a distraction for the veterans’ personal struggles since returning home.

    “Boot camp was great. I went in at 17. [It] toughened me up to be a man,” said Andrew Brand, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served from 1981-83.

    Just moments before he offered to speak on camera about his service in the Marines, Brand was passionately discussing New York sports, including his love for the Yankees, Rangers hockey, Knicks and Giants football, and lighting up the room with his larger-than-life personality and friendly jocularity. Then, he turned serious.

    “[I] came home on leave prior to going to Beirut and I got in a car accident and I was in a coma for 32 days and I was read my last rights by a priest,” Brand said, continuing, “And, October 23, 1983, they car bombed two barracks, 220 Marines were dead and I would have been there.”

    A group called the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the Beirut barracks bombings – a terrorist attack on United States and French service members on a peacekeeping mission during the Lebanese Civil War. It was the deadliest attack against the U.S. Marines since the battle over Iwo Jima in February 1945.

    “They’re brothers,” Brand said as he acknowledged he thinks of them often.

    Brand is recovering at the Northport VA Hospital from alcoholism. One day, his 14 year old daughter confronted him after returning from a bar and asked him to seek help. He checked himself in at the VA about 8 months ago and he will be returning home to his family in Sayville on Long Island where his daughter and 8 year old son, Andrew, Jr., live.

    Brand has kept himself in good shape physically and mentally, exercising daily and eating a healthy and consistent diet as if he was still standing a post – six eggs every morning for breakfast and tuna for lunch and dinner. He is adamant about successfully finishing his recovery and avoiding relapse. As Brand says, “Family first.” Brand has been sober since he checked himself in.

    As a Marine, Brand is trained to look out for his cohorts. He shared experiences with Army veteran Donail Sykes who is recovering from a substance abuse issue compounded with PTSD.

     

    Army Veteran Donail Sykes (left) and Marine Corps Vet Andrew Brand play a game of chess at the Northport VA Medical Center. (Neil A. Carousso/Entercom)

    “I’m working on it and I’m fighting back and I’m doing well and I’m about to complete this program, but as far as completing the problem I had, it’s a never-ending problem, it’s forever, so I’m working on staying clean every day,” Sykes said.

    He is returning home to New Jersey in a few days where he has two supportive brothers and two loving sisters waiting for him, hoping he takes the lessons on stress and coping with PTSD that resonated with him to daily practice when he leaves the VA hospital.

    “You know, it’s an every day struggle, but I get through it. I’m getting better now. They give me a lot of training,” said Sykes.

    Both veterans said positivity and sharing their experiences with their fellow vets who can relate and understand their tribulations are therapeutic.

    “Prayer has helped me a lot,” said Brand who makes it a weekly practice to attend Sunday mass with The Greatest Generation on the other side of the VA campus. He then walks the World War II veterans, many with missing limbs, back to their rooms and spends time talking to them. “It gives me a great feeling inside and they’re very happy that they have someone to talk to and it’s a great experience.”

    Each veteran has a story that begins with tremendous sacrifice, and often times, all they need is a welcoming ear to listen.

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Neil A. Carousso is the producer in charge of content for the "Mooch and the Mrs. with Anthony and Deidre Scaramucci" podcast, exclusively via the Radio.com platform.
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