Rep. Jordan confronts protesters but finds no common ground

Fremont, Ohio (CNN.com)Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan admitted protesters outside two occasions in his house district Monday — a split with several other Capitol Hill co-workers who’ve mostly prevented such pictures — but was met with cries of disapproval.

The Ohio Republican, a 10-year veteran of the House plus among its most passionate conservatives, spoke with what his employees and protesters believed were upwards of 150 demonstrators in Marion, Ohio, in the historical house of former President Warren G. Harding.
Then he headed about an hour north where he spoke briefly with a considerably smaller number of protesters in the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library in Fremont, Ohio, before heading into a presidential trivia competition for youngsters (which prompted his former Democratic adversary to assert he was using the youngsters as “human shields”).
    Jordan’s tour of his straggly Ohio district Monday revealed the predicament for law-makers eyeing up a repetition of the tea-party demonstrations which swept Democrats out of power in Congress this year — but with the fireplace and the danger coming from the left this time.
    Plus in addition, it reveals how heavy the rage has bled in to land that is staunchly conservative. Jordan defeat against his Democratic opponent 6-8%- President Donald Trump and 32% a year ago won the district with the same margin. The very first hint of difficulty for Republicans arrived two weeks past, when countless angry protesters faced Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz at his town-hall.
    Since that time, city halls have been canceled by Republican lawmakers, although some have go township completely — heading on Congressional delegation trips to places such as Europe and the Mexican boundary. Meanwhile, some Republicans have completely adopted the fury: Rep. Mark Sanford huddled 100s of protesters at his South Carolina town-hall earlier this weekend, even strolling outdoors to tackle an over-flow bunch.
    Jordan did not give it the “Full Sanford” Monday, but he did try some out-reach — with changing success.
    “They may not agree with me, we may share different perspectives,” Jordan stated, as several protesters laughed outside the Hayes Library. (“No, we don’t agree with you,” shouted one girl, interrupting Jordan.)
    “But they’re permitted under the first change to talk up, and my occupation is to hear and inform them where I am at,” Jordan said, which resulted in one man mocking him: “Hear and give the party-line, no actual reasons, no indepth evaluation.”
    For him to consider concerns from your mad bunch, the sight of numerous protesters grouped outside the Harding presidential residence earlier in the day was persuasive enough, Jordan stated. But protesters maintained they needed to drive him to tackle them.
    As Harding Home manager Sherry Hall tried to study through a background of Harding from the wrap around veranda, with Jordan by her facet, furious protesters chanted in the “Stop Reading!” and shouted “Hold a town hall!” according to movie of the function chosen by one group of protesters.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implored his Republican colleagues the other day to confront protesters and tackle them (even though he is not hosting any city halls himself — choosing instead for a threesome of closed door fund raisers).
    However, the House of Representatives’ chief safety officer encouraged police protection to be coordinated by House lawmakers for his or her public occasions while they certainly were were straight back within their home states. (A set of Fremont police vehicles pulled up to Jordan’s 2nd occasion, but the modest quantity of authorities simply saw while a few dozen protesters milled about exterior.)
    The confrontations will likely be a frequent sight this week — with city halls in Arkansas, New Jersey and Florida performing like magnets for irate Democrats and also some independents who stayed from politics until the White House was taken by Trump.
    Cheryl Laugherty, 62, a retired librarian from Fremont, Ohio, stated she did not get lively in protesting last year until Trump appeared as a power. With other girls in north-west Ohio, she is been arranging since his election, and stood having a tiny group protesting Jordan in Fremont.
    “This has been been don and doff through time, but his (Trump’s) conduct on the campaign path in 2013 only clinched it for me personally. I CAn’t stand the manner, like he created fun of the disabled columnist, only things he mentioned,” Laugherty mentioned. “And it H-AS altered, the belittling of individuals and the monikers. It is juvenile. It is juvenile bullying.”
    Jordan said Monday that it is up to other Republicans to make a decision as to the things that they would like to do, but proposed they hear the protesters out and honor the First Amendment. But the others and Laugherty assembled outside the Hayes house Monday immediately pointed out that Jordan h AS yet to schedule any city halls himself.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/20/politics/jim-jordan-town-hall-protesters-democrats/index.html

    Categories CNN

    Patriots WR Chris Hogan takes an unlikely path to Super Bowl LI

    Houston (CNN)Chris Hogan is the current in a long line of pass receivers who have actually profited of capturing passes from NFL legend Tom Brady.

    In the AFC Championship Game, the 28-year-old from Wyckoff, New Jersey, set a Patriots playoff record with 180 getting backyards and he captured 2 goal passes.
    “It’ll be something that absolutely I’ll keep in mind for the rest of my profession, and most likely for the rest of my life,” Hogan stated. “Someone informed me that this was going to be a video game that you’ll review 30 years from now and you’ll keep in mind precisely what took place.”

        “He’s been extraordinary,” Brady stated. “I indicate, to lead the league in typical lawns per catch is amazing. He’s made huge plays for all of us season, he made huge plays in the greatest video game of the year for us.”
        After the AFC Championship Game, CNN’s Hines Ward asked Hogan if he had actually ever reflected in his lacrosse days that a person day he would reach a Super Bowl.
        “No, it certainly didn’t ever cross my mind,” Hogan stated. “But you understand, when I began this journey, this was clearly a long shot, an objective that I wanted. When I got here, I simply kept striving and benefiting from whatever.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/02/sport/patriots-wr-chris-hogan-unlikely-path-to-super-bowl-li/index.html

      Categories CNN

      More protests against Trump’s immigration policies planned

      (CNN)More furious demonstrations against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies are set for Sunday across the nation after numerous demonstrators converged on airports the day before..

      Demonstrations are scheduled today at airports, mainly in Washington, Orlando, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, and Chicago.
        This can be the 2nd weekend of protests, with more than ONE million individuals coming out last weekend for the Women’s March.
          Olivia Katbi Smith told CNN affiliate KATU she showed up Saturday at Portland International Airport because she considers Trump’s immigration policies are unkind.
          “I think it’s horrific and terrible and we are basically condemning people to death by not allowing them to come here,” she said.
          She said the occasion seemed to be impromptu. She believes most folks did the same and learned about it on Twitter.
          In New York City, a sizable bunch massed at John F. Kennedy International Airport to protest the detention of two Iraqis who were after released.
          “Mr. President, look at us,” said US Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a New York Democrat. “This is America. That which you’ve got done is black. It is un American.”
          The protesters assembled in Terminal 4 at JFK and carried signs reading, “We are all immigrants!” and “No prohibition! No wall!”
          Several New York officials revealed support for the demonstrations.
          Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to rescind an earlier decision to limit passing aboard the JFK Airport AirTrain to ticketed passengers and airport workers only.
          He also instructed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as well as state police to help with transport and security for protesters.
          “The people of New York will have their voices heard,” Cuomo said.
          New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: “What Is occurring at JFK is black. @ NYCImmigrants Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal is to the earth now working to help.”

          Airport arrests

          Hameed Khalid Darweesh, among the detained Iraqis, was released early Saturday afternoon. He worked following the United States invaded Iraq together with the US government for 10 years.

          Protestors

          Haider Sameer Abdulkaleq Alshawi, the other detained Iraqi, was given a visa to join his wife, who worked in Iraq to get a US contractor, and son, both of whom already reside as refugees in the United States. Saturday, Alshawi was released after.
          The American Civil Liberties Union claimed Saturday evening in a federal court in New York to get a national stay that could block the deportation of individuals stranded in US airports under exactly what the group called “President Trump’s new Muslim ban.”
          A federal judge in New York given a crisis stay Saturday night for citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations that have already arrived in america and those who find themselves who hold valid visas, ruling they can’t be taken out of the United States, and in transit.
          That move limited element of President Trump’s executive order barring citizens from getting into the US for the next 90 days, from those nations.
          Rep. Jerrold Nadler, another Democrat from New York, said 10 other voyagers were detained, but their status was uncertain Saturday night.
          Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joined protesters at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.
          “This executive order is antithetical to the values that make America great, and it will make our country less safe,” he said in a statement.
          At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport turned out individuals an estimated 2,000 to protest the President the on Saturday of ‘s immigration.
          Authorities dispersed parts of the crowd with pepper spray — at least 15 arrests were made, the Seattle Police Department said.
          The crowds began to dwindle near midnight, the airport posted a tweet early Sunday morning.
          “Voyagers: ticketing running easily. Only at that time you ought to anticipate bunches & groups of protestors at luggage pick up & checkpoints.”
          In Portland, one demonstrator carried a sign that said, “Portland coffee comes from Yemen,” among the seven Muslim-majority countries on the no-traveling list.
          Lucia Martinez told KATU she was once a “hashtag activist” but felt compelled to protest in the airport.
          “This was the last straw,” she said of Trump’s policies. “We’re all immigrants.”
          An organization of lawyers, community activists and others assembled at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
          Demonstrations also occurred at airports in Boston; Dallas, San Francisco, Denver and Newark, New Jersey.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/us-immigration-protests/index.html

          Categories CNN

          Chris Christie won’t be charged in ‘Bridgegate’ scandal

          New York (CNN)New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not be charged with misconduct in the so called “Bridgegate” scandal, Bergen County prosecutors said Friday.

          The prosecutor’s office said it didn’t believe it could show the charge in court.
            A statement from a governor’s spokesman thanked Gurbir S. Grewal’s staff for termination “this baseless fiasco.”
              “It is right and appropriate that this injustice against the governor is finally over,” spokesman Brian Murray said.
              A probable cause hearing on a criminal summons was scheduled for next Thursday in municipal court. The New Jersey resident who filed the charge and summons considers the hearing will be held.

              Christie:

              Two individuals are convicted on the lane closures in the scandal.
              Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York were convicted in November of fraud, conspiracy and civil rights violations.
              Brennan’s charge was filed in the their trial on the heels of testimony.
              Christie has denied knowing regarding the closures.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/chris-christie-bridgegate/index.html

              Categories CNN

              Gays Against Guns: can LGBTQ community curb the gun lobby?

              After the Orlando nightclub shootings, Americas queer community has the gun lobby firmly in its sights. Can they succeed where so many have failed, asks Rupert Neate

              Patty Sheehans biggest worries on 11 June 2016 were parking tickets, potholes and whether her latest artwork was a good enough likeness of her cat, Loui. The Orlando city commissioner had stayed up late painting Loui that muggy Saturday night.

              Seven months later the portrait remains unfinished. Sheehan was woken by a phone call early the next morning telling her that a gunman armed with a military-style assault rifle had opened fire on clubbers at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub three miles from her door.

              Within minutes, she was on the scene. Sheehan stood watch outside Pulse until 11pm, getting home to realise the blood-splattered pavement shed been standing on had been so hot that the soles of her feet had burned through her shoes. She had helped the 53 wounded and the families of the 49 people who lost their lives in less time than it took to read their names at the memorial service. She went back the next day at 4am, and the next, for two weeks. Emails about parking permits, recycling and other day-to-day concerns of a city commissioner were left to pile up in her inbox.

              Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/22/gays-against-guns-can-the-lgbt-community-curb-the-power-of-the-nra

              Cory Booker: ‘I am not open to being president’

              (CNN)New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker stated Saturday he is not preparing to run for president in 2020, informing CNN’s Brooke Baldwin he wishes to rather concentrate on running a reliable opposition to the Trump administration.

              “Too lots of things can take place that can harm individuals in our country and around the world if this President isn’t really inspected,” Booker informed Baldwin, speaking at the Women’s March in Washington. “Right now, I do not care about 2020. I do not care about 2018.”
                  “I am not open to being president,”he included.”I do not even wish to have the conversation today.”
                  Earlier in the interview, Booker explained the Trump presidency as a “bad thing” that should be withstood.
                  “The truth is Donald Trump is President and bad things occur,” the junior senator from New Jersey informed Baldwin. “I believe this is a bad thing. They do not specify you. What specifies you is how you decide to react to that.”

                  Booker went on to compare Trump with his predecessors, previous Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whom Booker stated brought “a self-respect to the workplace and magnanimity.”
                  The previous mayor of Newark, New Jersey, likewise blamed Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 election on low citizen turnout amongst his fellow Democrats.
                  “We did disappoint up in the election,” he stated, speaking on “Newsroom.” “The low citizen turnout is amazing and now, sadly, this is a response to something bad. That’s OKAY. That’s behind us now.”

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/21/politics/cory-booker-president-2020/index.html

                Categories CNN

                The new first family: what you need to know about the Trumps

                Here are the essential things to know about the Trumps, with notes on the roles each family member may play in the administration

                As soon as Donald Trump takes the oath of office, the Obama family is scheduled to board a helicopter for the airport and a California holiday. A new first family will have taken their place. Heres a bit about the Trumps, with notes on the roles each family member may play in the administration.

                Melania
                Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

                Melania Trump, 46

                Wife of Donald. Born Melanija Knavs in Slovenia in eastern Europe, she was sufficiently successful enough as a model that she sometimes worked under only her first name, and toiled as an undocumented immigrant in the United States before landing a work visa in 1997, according to an Associated Press investigation. She met her future husband at a Fashion Week party in New York City. The couple will celebrate their 12th anniversary on 22 January, two days after he becomes president. She has said that as first lady she would like to be very traditional like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. She also plans to combat online bullying and harassment. She is remaining in New York City through the end of the school year with her son with Trump, Barron, 10, and is expected to play a minimal role in the administration.

                Donald
                Donald Trump Jr arrives at Trump Tower in New York Wednesday. Photograph: Albin Lohr-Jones/EPA

                Donald Trump Jr, 39

                Donald Trumps eldest son, he is himself a father of five, with wife Vanessa Kay Haydon, a former model. Like his father, a reality TV star (The Apprentice), he has been tapped to head the Trump Organization the family business empire with his brother, Eric, aided by a longtime company executive. Trump Jr is not expected to have a role in his fathers administration; indeed, his new position as co-head of the Trump Organization would seem to preclude, under ethics rules and traditions, his speaking with his father about the business, or his hearing from his father about government. Trump Jr drew ire during the campaign for agreeing to an interview with a prominent white nationalist and for comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles. He is a big-game hunter and self-described boob guy.

                Eric
                Eric Trump arrives at Trump Tower Wednesday. Photograph: Albin Lohr-Jones/EPA

                Eric Trump, 33

                Trumps second eldest son, he has also appeared on The Apprentice and is married to Lara Trump, ne Yunaska, a fitness trainer and TV producer. With brother Don Jr, Eric is to lead the Trump organization, and is due to have no role in the Trump administration. He runs a charitable foundation to fight childhood cancer, but claims he has made about his father personally donating large sums to the foundation, like many Trump family claims about charitable giving, could not be verified. Like his brother he is a big-game hunter.

                Ivanka
                Ivanka Trump on the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

                Ivanka Trump, 35

                Trumps eldest daughter, and like Don Jr and Eric the daughter of her fathers first wife Ivana, a Czech-born former fashion model. Ivanka converted to Orthodox Judaism to marry businessman Jared Kushner, with whom she has three children. She is a fashion executive and like her brothers has appeared on The Apprentice. As an executive with the Trump organization, she managed projects including the recently opened Trump hotel in the Old Post Office building in downtown Washington DC, but she has said she will divest from the family company, owing to her husbands role in the Trump administration. The nature of her divestment is not clear; it has been described by Trump transition officials as converting her equity into fixed payments. Ivanka Trump has rebutted speculation that she would act as a de facto first lady. I think its an inappropriate observation, she told ABC News. There is one first lady, and shell do remarkable things.

                Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/20/trump-first-family-politics-roles

                The 2020 Democrats as ‘Game of Thrones’ characters

                (CNN)(THE NIGHT IS DARK AND FULL OF SPOILERS — proceed with caution)

                Like:
                • Is Daenerys going mad?
                • Is Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen) going to wind up on the Iron Throne?
                • Does Cersei have one last devious plot up her sleeve?
                • Is Jaime going to kill Cersei?
                • Has Tyrion lost his strategic mojo?
                • What, exactly, is the deal with Euron Greyjoy?
                • And, of course: When is the sequel featuring Tormund Giantsbane being released?
                  Even with the slew of recent deaths on the show — RIP, Jorah Mormont — there are still a massive cast of characters to wrestle with as we move toward the end game.
                  What else, you ask, has lots of characters and drama with an uncertain ending? (Amazing segue, right???) Why, the 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, of course!
                  • With 21 official candidates all seeking the Iron Thro — er, Democratic nomination — it’s sometimes hard to keep track of who’s who. (Sidebar: 60% of the time my wife and I are watching “GOT” is filled with me saying, “Wait, who is that again?”)
                    Maybe this will help jog your memory! Below, all of the candidates matched up with the “Thrones” character they remind me most of.
                    Important caveat: Many of the “GOT” characters are murderers! Some are horrible people! And then there’s Ramsay Bolton. That’s all to say that you shouldn’t take this literally. “Game of Thrones” is a TV show based on an amazing set of unfinished books. (Come on George!) It is fiction. This is real life. OK? OK!
                    One more caveat: CNN and HBO are both WarnerMedia companies, but HBO did not participate in compiling this list.
                    Here we go!

                    Beto O’Rourke is Jaime Lannister

                    O’Rourke, like the Kingslayer, appears at first glance to be born to do this. (He said as much!) But that sense of destiny overlooks deeper internal conflict about who they are and whether they are doing the right thing. See: Beto’s Medium posts.

                    Joe Biden as Cersei Lannister

                    Both are the de facto incumbents, relying on their inherent knowledge of the system and an air of inevitability to stay on top. But both know their enemies are coming for them — and that doubts remain as to whether they can hang onto power.

                    Kamala Harris as Daenerys Targaryen

                    From the first time people heard of them, they saw the potential. And to date, both have lived up to the hype. But there are lingering concerns — and fears — about whether they represent too much change for a staid world.

                    Pete Buttigieg as Jon Snow

                    Granted, “King of the North” has more of a ring to it than “Mayor of South Bend.” But the similarities are there for anyone to see: Initially unheralded and ignored, both men have suddenly become the axis on which the story spins.

                    Cory Booker as Beric Dondarion

                    The New Jersey senator, like Beric, is eternally optimistic in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Booker has to hope he, like Beric, can be brought back to (political) life in a race where he hasn’t done much yet.

                    Julián Castro as Renly Baratheon

                    In the very early stages of the story, you thought he might be a major player. He had a solid claim and the right profile. But, so far, not much of anything.

                    John Delaney as (Dolorous) Eddison Tollett

                    You know both of them are involved in the story — and have been since (almost) the beginning. But you’d be hard-pressed to really say much about what they do — or pick them out of a lineup.

                    Tulsi Gabbard as Gilly

                    Both are around the main story — and have been for quite a while. There’s some sense that they may have a smallish role in the end game, but for the life of you, you can’t figure out what it is. Oh, also: They hail from far-off locales — Gilly from Beyond the Wall, Gabbard from Hawaii.

                    Kirsten Gillibrand as Yara Greyjoy

                    Tough. Strong-willed. But also not as effective as you might have thought they would be.

                    Amy Klobuchar as Arya

                    Both the daughters of strong fathers who heavily influence their lives. (You know about Ned Stark but you should learn about Jim Klobuchar.) Both were underestimated early in their lives but, through their actions, have proven their mettle. And both face very uncertain futures — although it seems as though they are going to be right there when the, uh, stuff hits the fan.

                    Seth Moulton as Grey Worm

                    A military man through and through, but also someone trying desperately to write a new story for himself.

                    Bernie Sanders as Maester Aemon Targaryen

                    You remember Aemon, right? A member of the Night’s Watch but, as revealed in the early seasons of the show, also the brother of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen? Well, Aemon predicted much of what was to come in the battle between ice and fire — sort of like how the Vermont senator foresaw the direction his party was headed on issues like health care. Also: Aemon and Bernie are both very old.

                    Eric Swalwell as Littlefinger (aka Petyr Baelish)

                    Both of them carried ambitions well beyond what it seemed they were capable of. And both had a sense that they might not get the ultimate prize they sought but that there was much to be gained in the effort.

                    Elizabeth Warren as Brienne of Tarth

                    Deeply disciplined and principled. Loyal, to a fault. Their upbringings have troubled them as they sought to both honor the past and move beyond it. Also, both are sneaky tall! (Warren is, according to the Internet, 5’8″.)

                    Andrew Yang as Melisandre

                    Both Mel and Yang have attracted passionate followings. In both cases, it’s not clear how much of their pitch is smoke and mirrors.

                    Marianne Williamson as Thoros of Myr

                    Thoros’ deep spiritual connection — he was a red priest of the Lord of Light — allowed him to raise Beric from the dead. Which is a big deal! And Williamson is a bit of a spiritual guru in her own right. And she’s written a book called “A Year of Miracles!” But what truly unites them? They are heavily overshadowed by better-known characters.

                    Tim Ryan as Loras Tyrell (Knight of Flowers)

                    Handsome, talented and, also, sort of ignored by the main players in the race. (Side note: Ser Loras has WAY better hair than Ryan.)

                    John Hickenlooper as Bran Stark

                    Both the former Colorado governor and the Three-Eyed Raven just sort of say weird stuff and then disappear into the background again.

                    Jay Inslee as Sander Clegane

                    Clegane (aka The Hound) has one mission: Kill his psychopath older brother Gregor (aka The Mountain). (Come on Clegane Bowl!!) Inslee has one mission: Raise awareness of the issue of climate change in the country. Both missions feel somewhat doomed.

                      Wayne Messam as Hot Pie

                      Both are in the story, sure. You’re just never sure exactly why.

                    Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

                    Categories CNN

                    Ramy review sharp comedy series examines Muslim American life

                    Ramy review  sharp comedy series examines Muslim American life

                    Comedian Ramy Youssef navigates a life between two different cultures in a sensitive, funny and occasionally ingenious show

                    I dont know what Im doing, man, says Ramy, the alter-ego of 28-year-old comedian Ramy Youssef, to a stony kebab shop owner, also an elder at his north New Jersey mosque. Ramy is confused, recently jobless, stinging from a date with a Muslim woman that he botched by locking her into a chaste, wife-and-mother focused stereotype. He admires his parents immigrants from Egypt and Palestine and their unshakable faith in God; he has sex before marriage and will likely try mushrooms someday. And I believe in God. I really do, man theres too many signs, he reaches for words as the elder smokes. I mean, one time this girl texted me two minutes after I jerked off to her Facebook photo.

                    Ramys rambling search for clarity Im just, like, trying to be good. You really think God cares if I was between my toes? closes the first episode of his eponymous Hulu show with a sort of proto-thesis statement for the series, a monologue bridging the big spiritual questions with the mundane thought process of a twentysomething. (The shop owners answer? Ramy jerks off too much. No good). Hulus Ramy, inspired by Youssefs life as a Muslim American figuring out all the big things identity, job, romance in New Jersey, is, as Ramys justification for God suggests, less a redemptive quest for enlightenment than a sincere yet unflinching portrait of daily life as a religious and ethnic minority in America. Its in a similar vein to another recent Hulu offering, Shrill, which adapted writer Lindy Wests memoir as a plus-sized millennial navigating ambition and self-acceptance in world that implicitly judges her appearance as a lack of discipline.

                    The first few episodes of Ramy are a slow burn, establishing characters through low-key scenes (a family dinner, a diner catch-up) seemingly filtered through the foundations of a standup routine. Ramy gets lovingly, if somewhat ill-advisedly, grilled by his two best friends from the mosque, Mo and Ahmed (Mohammed Amer and Dave Meherje), for not settling down with a Muslim woman. He floats the idea of a romantic set-up at the dining room table, to the delight of his parents (Amr Waked and the lovely Hiam Abass), and chagrin of his independent and fire-tongued sister Dena (May Calamawy). He ponders Muslim Tinder options with coworker Steve (Steve Way, who has muscular dystrophy and has been Youssefs real-life best friend since fourth grade).

                    The early episodes, set firmly in Ramys POV, take a bit of time to settle into his idiosyncrasies, especially when his driving force is quarter-life indecision. The show flits through numerous contradictions Ramy is reasonably wary of a bombastic, antisemitic and misogynist uncle, yet goes to work for him in the diamond business, declines ecstasy at a party then impulsively tries weed but it takes time for them to compile into a portrait with momentum.

                    But the show finally kicks into gear in the excellent fourth episode, Strawberries, set entirely through the perspective of middle school Ramy on and after the 9/11 attacks, which turn his peers everyday middle school cruelty into American loyalty tests. Ramys foundations solidify as it moves beyond the center of its universe an episode on how Denas dating choices are hemmed by her parents expectations of chastity (no one asks where Ramy goes at night) on one end and festishization on the other threads a tight needle; another masterfully reveals his mothers stifled loneliness and steely charm through her stint as a Lyft driver. By the time the series travels to Egypt for two stellar concluding episodes, youre on the hook for each tiny, quietly honest reveal.

                    Its initially a slow burn, but through it all, Ramy consistently subverts and redirects expectations, and doesnt hide from tough contradictions, such as Muslim relatives who admire Trump or Ramys unsuccessful attempts to abstain for Ramadan.

                    Can you be a good Muslim, Ramy asks the kebab shop owner, if I dont follow all the rules and the fucking judgments that are always just being put on us? Ramy works through those assumptions put on him by exploring the flawed, contradictory, ordinary American at the center, the one who put[s] the same fucking judgments on everyone around me. Hes describing himself, but he could be describing any of us.

                    • Ramy starts on Hulu on 19 April with a UK date yet to be announced

                    Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us