Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Obama Report on Blagojevich

Obama Report on Blagojevich absolves the Obama team

Blago Report Absolves Obama

Blago Report Absolves Obama

Sunday, December 21, 2008

IS THE CASE AGAINST ROD BLAGOJEVICH A STRONG CASE?

IS THE CASE AGAINST ROD BLAGOJEVICH A STRONG CASE?

 

 

            On December 9th, 2008, Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald filed a criminal complaint and held a press conference and announced the arrest of the Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, in pertinent part, because Blagojevich was alleged to have offered to sell Barack Obama’s vacated senate seat in return for personal favors and/or for cash.  This was despite the fact the 78 page complaint makes no suggestion that the governor had received nothing of value and has not made the appointment of the Senate seat.  (http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/acrobat/2008-12/43789434.pdf)

 

            The reaction to this press conference has been swift and persuasive.  Morning, noon and night round the clock television and newspaper coverage are in effect.  To say that the You Tube Video of the Fitzgerald news conference has gone viral is an understatement.  Steven Thomma in the McClatchy papers that a new Ipsos/McClatchy online poll has found:

 

  • 95% of adults in Illinois that that Blagojevich should step down;
  • 92% of adults in that state think he should be impeached and removed from office;
  • The Illinois House of Representatives voted unanimously this week to create a committee to impeach him;
  • 44% feel the state should have a special election
  • 35% said the power to appoint a successor should be transferred to Lt. Governor Pat Quinn
  • He is the 4th Governor from Illinois to be charged with a felony since 1960

 

But trial attorneys are now beginning to suggest that the portion of the case involving the sale of the open Senate seat may not be the slam dunk that the media thinks it is.  As the conversation goes, that portion of the Blagojevich case maybe sexy, but also may be very defensible.  In other words, there is a possibility that at least on those allegations, he could be acquitted.  He hired a tough cookie, Edward Gensen, who represented R. Kelley, and former governor of Illinois George Ryan.  He said, “He’s not guilty, so we’re going to court.  We’re not agreeing to impeachment.  If you read the transcripts closely, you’ll find nobody did anything.  People are just talking, and that’s not against the law…Bad language doesn’t make you a criminal.” He has called the case a ‘fairy tale’ and the process (impeachment proceedings) ‘a witch hunt.’ (See Countdown Video, Blagojevich lawyer calls case a witch hunt, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QScevDxyXuY). 

 

Bulldog Gensen is not the only lawyer who has expressed reservations in the Government’s case.  The difference between criminal activity and the normal course of political deal making is apparently a very thin line.  Does just talking about selling a political office for personal favors, like a bribe, constitute in and of itself a crime?  Does the argument that contributions to one’s campaign fund (a derivative public benefit?) in return for support in an election (another so called public benefit) sound very much like the play for pay scandal (private benefit derived from a public office) that Blago is charged with? The former is a commonly accepted practice, but the latter could be construed as attempted bribery, a crime that does not have great sex appeal in the minds of Chicago juries.  (See Scott Turow Video, Rachel Maddow Video Making the Case, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnwYRnEEKHc).  Turow, an experienced prosecutor and writer said, “Juries regard it (attempted bribery) as a crime that takes place in the head, bad thoughts, not actual conduct.”  In other word, the thinking of a crime only falls within a grey area in politics and although prosecutable, these thoughts do not necessarily lead to a conviction.

 

Other attorneys have expressed reservations as well.  Robert S. Bennett, one of Washington’s best-known white-collar criminal defense lawyers said, ““This town is full of people who call themselves ambassadors, and all they did was pay $200,000 or $300,000 to the Republican or Democratic Party… “You have to wonder, How much of this guy’s problem was his language, rather than what he really did?”  The NY Time last week said, “In the case of Mr. Blagojevich, it would be legal for the governor to accept a campaign contribution from someone he appointed to the Senate seat. What would create legal problems for him is if he was tape-recorded specifically offering a seat in exchange for the contribution. What would make the case even easier to prosecute is if he was recorded offering the seat in exchange for a personal favor, like cash, a job or a job for a family member.”  In this case, the disclosed wiretaps so far seem to show a Blagojevich that was willing to discuss trading a Senate seat for personal favors to his aids, but not with anyone else.  So the question remains, is talk enough to convict him on the pay to play for the Senate seat count?

 

“It’s a very difficult case for a number of reasons; not the least is the nebulous nature of the charges and the inherently difficult issues when you’re talking about a person executing his First Amendment right to promote a particular politician,” said Michael D. Monico, a former federal prosecutor who is now a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago.

 

“Merely thinking about something is not a crime,” said Mr. Monico, a lawyer for Christopher Kelly, a former Blagojevich fund-raiser who was indicted last year on tax charges “Just talking about something is not a crime. You need another action for someone to commit a crime.”

 

In an article written by Mike Robinson for the AP, Chicago Defense attorney John Beal said, “"The weakness in the government's case seems to be that Blagojevich schemed to do things but didn't actually do them."

 

Robinson’s piece goes on to say, “Chicago defense attorney Ron Safer, a former federal prosecutor, said that the kind of overt act needed to win a conspiracy case should be something specific.

 

"Politicians often rub each other's back -- I'll vote for your bill if you vote for mine is as old as our union -- so that's unremarkable," he said. He said that if the case goes to trial prosecutors will focus hard on any specific attempts by the governor to trade the Senate seat or other favors for cash or jobs.

 

New York attorney Martin R. Pollner noted that prosecutors must show "overt acts" to prove a conspiracy and such acts had to be more than talks with advisers.

 

To me this is an important point on this count of what appears to be a public official conspiring to bribe another public official in return for personal favors. 

 

      The essential elements for a federal conspiracy are spelled out in §371 of the federal criminal code, and may be illustrative here.  They are: (1) an agreement (2) between two or more persons (3) to act together in committing an offense, and (4) an overt act in furtherance of that agreement.

 

The term "overt act" means some type of outward, objective action performed by one of the parties to or one of the members of the agreement or conspiracy which evidences that agreement.  The notes included with the form federal jury instruction state, an overt act is “any step that indicates that the execution of the conspiracy has begun. This can be an innocuous act and need not be illegal unto itself. For example, if two persons agree to rob a bank, then purchase a ski mask, the act of buying the mask may constitute the overt act required to charge the two with conspiracy.

 

The overt act must follow the agreement and must be executed with an intent to carry out the purpose of the conspiracy. For example, if one of the potential bank robbers buys a ski mask after the agreement is made, the purchase may not constitute the overt act if the ski mask will not be worn to carry out the ROBBERY. An overt act need not be committed by each and every conspirator; an overt act by one conspirator solidifies the offense for all coconspirators. Thus, a conspirator who does not participate in the overt act can be charged with conspiracy.”

 

In other words, the defense attorneys are right, just talking about doing something without taking any further steps to do an illegal thing may not constitute a crime.  Does Fitzgerald have a smoking gun on those tapes, or have we already heard and read his best shot?  His investigation is ongoing, so we shall see what develops.  It is of some importance that Blagojevich has been under federal investigation for years.  The NY Times reports that he has had ongoing battles with Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago; he irked Michael Madigan, the powerful Democratic state speaker, over the budget; and he infuriated just about every legislator by staying put in Chicago (rather than moving his family to the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield). His penchant for promoting his headline-grabbing proposals — like those for universal preschool and cheaper drugs from Canada — on television, rather than in the quieter halls of Springfield, also won him no friends.

 

“Rod reveled in fighting with members of the General Assembly,” said Representative Tom Cross, the state Republican leader. “He came out of the box fighting: He was the populist, and we were the big, bad General Assembly. He didn’t seem interested in policy, the budget was in disarray, and he was never there.”

 

His approval ratings that had sunk to 13 percent as details of the federal investigation into his administration had seeped out over the past three years.  At Christmastime in 2004, a nasty spat cropped up between Mr. Blagojevich and his political benefactor and father-in-law, Richard Mell, a ward chief on the northwest side of Chicago, whose political connections helped to put Blago in office, the fallout stretching well beyond the family, offering some of the clearest public hints of Mr. Blagojevich’s coming troubles. In response, Blagojevich shut down a landfill operated by a relative of Mr. Mell, saying it was taking types of waste it was not licensed to accept. Mr. Mell accused Mr. Blagojevich of shutting the facility as a personal vendetta against him, and then accused his top fund-raiser of trading appointments to state commissions and boards for campaign donations, just the image Mr. Blagojevich had been trying to avoid.  This lead to extensive investigations of Blago’s political activities and legal fees to the firm of Winston and Strawn in amounts alleged to have been paid in excess of $1 million dollars with an additional $750,000.00 still due and owing.  Other politicians avoided public appearances with him and Blago seemed to spend all of his time answering questions about political corruption allegations even before this criminal complaint was filed.

 

Lisa Madigan, the daughter of his enemy Mike Madigan, and Attorney General of the State of Illinois, filed a case with the Supreme Court of Illinois requesting that Blago be dismissed on the basis of incapacity.  She also happens to be considered by many to be his chief rival for the Governor’s seat.  That case was dismissed this week by the Illinois Supreme Court.

 

Governor Blagojevich campaigned on the basis of political ethics and reform.  He is sinking on a leaky boat of corruption and allegations of pay to play politics.  The real question is this:  Is he just a talker and a politically disliked man, who in this instance has taken no steps toward the completion of an illegal plan or is has he been caught on tape, red handed?

 


Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Political Blog From James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, New Shoes For Geroge Bush

New Shoes for George Bush

A Political Blog

By James Myers

The Entertainment Critic

 

 

 

            With only 37 days left in his Presidency, must of us just wish George W., would just go away.  Apparently, this includes not only Americans who have tolerated his incompetence for the last 8 years, but also some Iraqis as well.  President Bush is currently on a secret world wind tour that includes Iraq. An unusual incident happened today at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan today. As Americans we have treated his attempts at revisionist history as laughable.  His approval rating hitting an all time low of 30%, ‘W” has dedicated the final portion of his administration as an attempt to avoid being labeled as the worst President in American history.  While Bush was hailing his presidency and the progress in Iraq, one of the journalists at the new conference let him know that his occupation in Iraq was less than welcome.

 

            A protester identified as Muntader al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, owned by Iraq and based in Cairo, shouted at Bush in Arabic, “"This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."  At the same time, he was throwing his size 10 shoes at Bush, whistling one past his left ear and the second just over his head.  Iraq has not welcomed the continuing occupation of 150,000 U.S. troops, where over 4200 Americans have died, coupled with an economic loss of $576 billion dollars in the 5 years and 9 months of the war.  These figures do not include the numbers of the wounded, injured and mentally compromised Americans.  The true figure of the intangibly injured may not be known for years to come.

 

            What this incident does call attention to is the loss suffered by the Iraqi people as well.  Approximately 99,000 Iraqi civilians have died in the war according to http://www.iraqbodycount.org/.  Most recently on Saturday, December 13, 2008, 13 more Iraqi civilians died.  Small wonder that the reporter was insulted by Mr. Bush’s attempts to sanitize his utter failure and criminal negligence while making statements like, "The war is not over, but it is decisively on it's way to being won."  NBC news reports that al-Zeidi has lost family in the war and has himself been kidnapped.

            Polls have shown that most Americans believe the U.S. was wrong to invade Iraq in 2003.  Most Americans believe that Bush misled the American people to believe Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, when in fact his administration knew no such weapons exists prior to the invasion, the weapons were never found after the invasion, and Bush’s credibility was forever lost as far as America was concerned.  Apparently, he hasn’t faired any better with Iraqis.  Making a statement, “There is still more work to be done,” triggered the incident as the shoes came flying, one after the other at Bush from a distance of 20 feet.   (See Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRyQpMpcujk).  He said in a recent interview with ABC News that the biggest regret of his presidency was the false intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

            Jennifer Loven of the AP explained it this way, “In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam with their shoes after U.S. marines toppled it to the ground following the 2003 invasion.” Recently, A detailed official history of the U.S. effort to reconstruct Iraq after Saddam Hussein's overthrow in 2003 blamed its failings on "blinkered and disjointed" prewar planning, a deadly insurgency and wasteful and ill-managed contracting.  (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28224454/, “Iraq rebuilding woes due to poor planning”)

           

The study, "Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience,” was produced by a special U.S. auditing group that has dug deeply into the multibillion-dollar reconstruction effort since 2004. It is a detailed summation of the findings from many previous audits and reviews by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, led by Stuart Bowen.

Among its central conclusions is that Washington was unprepared and ill-equipped to reconstruct Iraq in the aftermath of an invasion that led to an insurgency, a collapse of government and an economy that "switched off." The document also suggests that this arose from an ill-fitting U.S. national security structure, which it said could produce an equally ineffective reconstruction effort in future conflicts.”

Bush responded with his typical aplomb.  “So what if a guy throw his shoe at me?”  After an election where the Republicans suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Barack Obama, the candidate who promised to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq in a little over a year, this type of arrogance and ignorance is what we have come to expect from ‘W.’  No wonder your disapproval rating is over 65% Mr. President.  January 20th can not come soon enough.


 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama Introduces Biden

Chuck Todd Discusses The Biden Pick

Barack Obama Picks Joe Biden

NYTIMES: IT'S BIDEN




August 24, 2008
Obama Chooses Biden as Running Mate
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and JEFF ZELENY

WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware to be his running-mate, turning to a leading authority on foreign policy and a longtime Washington hand to fill out the Democratic ticket, people told of the decision said.

Mr. Obama’s selection ended a two-month search that was conducted almost entirely in secret. It reflected a critical strategic choice by Mr. Obama: To go with a running-mate who could reassure voters about gaps in his resume, rather than to pick someone who could deliver a state or reinforce Mr. Obama’s message of change.

Mr. Biden is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is familiar with foreign leaders and diplomats around the world. Although he initially voted to authorize the war in Iraq — Mr. Obama opposed it from the start — Mr. Biden became a persistent critic of President Bush’s policies in Iraq.

The selection was disclosed as Mr. Obama moves into a critical part of his campaign, preparing for the party’s four-day convention in Denver starting on Monday. Mr. Obama’s aides viewed the introduction of his vice presidential choice– including an afternoon rally Saturday at the old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., the same place where Mr. Obama announced his candidacy on a freezing winter morning almost two years ago, and a tour of swing states – as the beginning of a week-long stretch in which Mr. Obama hopes to dominate the stage and position himself for the fall campaign.

Word of Mr. Obama’s decision leaked out hours before his campaign was scheduled to inform supporters via text and e-mail messages, and hours after informing two other top contenders for the vice presidential nomination – Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia – that they had not been chosen.

As the selection process moved to an end, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who Mr. Obama had defeated in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, had slipped out of contention -- to the degree that Mr. Obama had ever seriously considered her.

Mr. Biden is Roman Catholic, giving him appeal to that important voting bloc, though he favors abortion rights. He was born in a working class family in Scranton, Pa., a swing state where he remains well-known. Mr. Biden is up for re-election to the Senate this year and he would presumably run simultaneously for both seats.

Mr. Biden is known for being both talkative and prone to making the kind of statements that get him in trouble. In 2007, when he was competing for Mr. Obama for the presidential nomination, he declared that Mr. Obama was “not yet ready” for the presidency, a line certain to show up in Republican attack ads.

Although Mr. Biden is not exactly a household name, he is probably the best known of all the Democrats who were in contention for the spot, given his political and personal history (not to mention his regular appearances on the Sunday morning television news shows.) He first ran for the Senate from Delaware when he was just 29 years old.

Mr. Biden has run twice for the presidency himself, once in 1988 and again in 2008, dropping out early in both cases. He was also the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during two of the most contentious Supreme Court nomination battles of the past 50 years: the confirmation proceedings for Robert H. Bork, who was defeated, and Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed after an explosive hearing in which Anita Hill accused Mr. Thomas of sexual harassment. Mr. Biden led the opposition to both nominations, though he came under criticism from some feminists for not immediately disclosing what were at first Ms. Hill’s closed-door accusations against Mr. Thomas.

Mr. Obama’s choice of Mr. Biden suggested some of the weaknesses the Obama campaign is trying to address at a time when at a time when national polls suggest that his race with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is tightening. Chief among Mr. Biden’s strengths is his familiarity with foreign policy and national security issues, highlighted just this past weekend with the invitation he received from the embattled president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, to visit Georgia in the midst of its tense faceoff with Russia. From the moment he dropped out of the presidential race, he had been mentioned as a potential Secretary of State should either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton win the election.

He is also something of a fixture in Washington, and would bring to the campaign – and the White House – a familiarity with the way the city and Congress works that Mr. Obama can not match after his relatively short stint in Washington.

At 65 years old, he adds a few years and gray hair to a ticket that otherwise might seem a bit young (Mr. Obama is 47). He is, as Mr. Obama’s advisers were quick to argue, someone who appears by every measure prepared to take over as president, setting a standard that appears intended to at least somewhat hamstring Mr. McCain should he be tempted to go for a more adventurous choice for No. 2. He has a long history of making statements that get him in trouble. He was forced to apologize to Mr. Obama almost the moment he entered the race for president after he was quoted as describing Mr. Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” a remark that drew criticism for being racially insensitive. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Mr. Biden said that ”you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Mr. Biden quit the presidential race this year after a barely making a mark; he came in fifth place in Iowa. He was forced to quit the 1988 presidential race in the face of accusations that he had plagiarized part of a speech from a Neil Kinnock, the British Labor Party leader. Shortly afterward, he was found to have suffered two aneurysms.

He is also, at least arguably, a Washington insider, having worked there for so long, though he still commutes home to Wilmington every night by train.

The choice by Mr. Obama in some ways mirrors the choice by Mr. Bush of Dick Cheney as his running mate in 2000; at 65, it appears unlikely that Mr. Biden would be in a position to run for president, should Mr. Obama win and serve two terms. Shorn of any remaining ambition to run for president on his own, he could find himself in a less complex political relationship with Mr. Obama than most vice president have with their presidents.

Mr. Biden was born in Scranton, , grew up in the suburbs of Wilmington, Del., and went to Syracuse Law School. He also was, as a young man, in the center of a gripping family drama: barely a month after he was elected to the Senate, his wife and their three children were in a car accident with a drunken driver resulted in the death of his wife and daughter. His two sons survived and Mr. Biden remarried five years later.

Carl Hulse and Jim Rutenberg contributed reporting.

Poland to get U.S. missile shields

V.P. stakeout

Hannity's barely restrained racism

A noun, a verb and P.O.W.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What Bill Clinton problem

President Clinton will speak at the DNC

This day in history George Bush slept

McCain switches lanes on tire pressure

VP candidates square off

That's First Lady Buffalo Chip to you

Paris too hot for 'wrinkly dude' McCain

Don't ask, don't translate

O'Reilly double talks Obama energy plan

Election Day 2008 draws near

'Worse than Watergate'

'Worse than Watergate'

Countdown: Ron Suskind Interview

Countdown: Intro To The Suskind Interview

Barack Jokes Back

Obama's energy offensive

Obama calls for tapping into strategic oil reserves

Make McCain Disavow His Dishonest Obama Ad

John McCain and The Fake Talk Express

But is Obama fat enough

Bush on Ailes 'Our man'

Walmart drops a heavy hint on employees

Smell testing the anthrax story

What role do Clintons have now

McCain's 'The one' video mocks Obama

Robinson McCain is in the mud

Who benefits from all this race talk

This is a discussion of who benefits from all of the race talk. The panel seems to think that McCain caused and benefits from a distraction from the issues.

Who benefits from all this race talk

This is a discussion of who benefits from all of the race talk. The panel seems to think that McCain caused and benefits from a distraction from the issues.

Justice Department's database disgrace

Obama's Berlin speech, 'bad' like Reagan's

Obama's Berlin speech, 'bad' like Reagan's

McClellan explains apology to Bill-O

Series of indictments for 'series of tubes

Indictment of Sen. Stevens from Ala

McCain's new Iraq timeline

McCain flip flops on taxes and McCain's campaign does not speak for John McCain?

Obama's private meetings

Barack Obama meets with economic leaders

McCain 'I Said We Would Have An Easy Victory

FEMA deserves immunity?

Congressman gets creative to justify big game hunt

Obama urges unity in terror fight

Obama disappointed by McCain attacks

Obama Berlin Speech

Obama Berlin Speech

Obama Berlin Speech

Ape escape! Chimp disarms guard, leaves cage

Ape escape! Chimp disarms guard, leaves cage

Harry Shearer on Bush's YouTube moment

Fox News invents stat on attacks in U.S.

McCain camp accuses Obama of risking genocide

For McCain, media bias or media charity

McCain denies misstating surge timeline

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Interview By The Entertainment Critic: Brad Thor on The Last Patriot




NEW INTERVIEW FROM JAMES MYERS, THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: NEW YORK TIMES #1 BEST SELLING AUTHOR, BRAD THOR, AUTHOR OF THE LAST PATRIOT

Please check out the new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author Brad Thor and his NY Times #1 Best Selling Thriller, The Last Patriot.

From the Publisher: Brad Thor, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author of The First Commandment, returns with his highest-voltage thriller to date. In a pulse-pounding, adrenaline-charged tour de force, Navy SEAL turned covert Homeland Security operative Scot Harvath must race to locate an ancient secret that has the power to stop militant Islam dead in its tracks.

June 632 A.D.: Deep within the Uranah Valley of Mount Arafat in Mecca, the Prophet Mohammed shares with his closest companions a final and startling revelation. Within days, he is assassinated.

September 1789: U.S. Minister to France Thomas Jefferson, who is charged with forging a truce with the violent Muslim pirates of the Barbary Coast, makes a shocking discovery - one that could forever impact the world's relationship with Islam.

Present day: When a car bomb explodes outside a Parisian café, Scot Harvath is thrust back into the life he has tried so desperately to leave behind.

Saving the intended victim of the attack, Harvath becomes party to an amazing and perilous race to uncover a secret so powerful that militant Islam could be defeated once and for all without firing another shot, dropping another bomb, or launching another covert action.

But as desperate as the American government is to have the information brought to light, there are powerful forces aligned against it - men who are just as determined that Mohammed's mysterious final revelation continue to remain hidden forever.

What Jason Bourne was to the Cold War, Scot Harvath is to the War on Terror. Brad Thor has created "the perfect all-American hero for the post September 11 world" (Nelson DeMille)and will keep readers glued to the pages as he once again takes them across the globe on a heart-pounding chase where the stakes are higher than they have ever been before.”

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Magazine found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com. The review of the book is also available on the site under the ‘Reviews’ Section. You can also purchase the book in our store.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section. Click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Brad Thor’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcritic.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

Brad’s Website: http://www.bradthor.com/

You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66FYBX3esVo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCM0zMYa3U4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3pubbqtL0Q



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Interview From James Myers, The Entertainment Critic: Lisa Black on Takeover


NEW INTERVIEW FROM JAMES MYERS, THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: LISA BLACK, AUTHOR OF TAKEOVER

Please check out the new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author Lisa Black about Her New Top Selling Book, Takeover.

From Library Journal: Make room for another gutsy forensic pathologist unwilling to stay put in her lab. Theresa MacLean is horrified when the banker found murdered in his driveway connects, just a few hours later, to a bank hostage situation at the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Cleveland. Why does her fiancé, detective Paul Cleary, have to be one of the hostages being held by two men who are either incredibly stupid (who robs the Federal Reserve?) or very much clued in to the bank's unique delivery patterns? After a few tense hours observing from the command post across the street, Theresa impulsively defies the hostage negotiator's protocol and swaps places with her wounded fiancé. Now on the inside, she uses her keen observational skills and gains a clearer idea of the robbers' motives. Human behavior, unpredictable as always, forces the hand of the robbers and the situation escalates messily. Theresa is caught in a harrowing conclusion-car chase and all. Fans of Tess Gerritsen's Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles novels will enjoy this debut thriller by a forensic specialist for its steady suspense, female intuition, and distinctive venue. A terrific vacation read; recommended for all popular collections.

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic website found at http://www.theentertainmentcritic.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section. Click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Lisa Black’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcritic.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

Lisa’s Website: http://www.lisa-black.com/

You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFT-GvnA8iA



New Interview From The Entertainment Critic: Jennifer Rardin on Bitten to Death

NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: JENNIFER RARDIN, AUTHOR OF BITTEN TO DEATH

Please check out the new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author Jennifer Rardin about Her New Top Selling Book, Bitten to Death.

From The Publisher: Jaz Parks and her vampire boss, Vayl, have already fought demons, vampires, and reavers. Now, juggling work and family takes on a new dimension as she tackles her latest challenge: nail the Raptor before he can reduce her to Jaz-bits, survive a head-on crash with Vayl’s violent past, and lever her twin’s military career back on track before a dishonorable discharge ruins his life. To top it off, she must also contend with her father’s issues. Is he losing his mind? Or is someone really trying to kill him - from beyond the grave?

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic website found at http://www.theentertainmentcritic.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section. Click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Jennifer Rardin’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticcom and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

Jennifer’s Website: http://www.jenniferrardin.com/index.php


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Interview From James Myers, The Entertainment Critic: Tana French on her book, The Likeness



NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: EDGAR AWARD WINNING AUTHOR TANA FRENCH ON HER NEW BOOK, THE LIKENESS

Please check out a brand new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of an Edgar Award Winning (Best New Book)Author, Tana French on her brand new best seller, The Likeness.

Tana French has lived in Ireland, Italy, the United States, and Malawi. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

About The Likeness: The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestselling psychological thriller In the Woods.

“Six months after the events of In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She's transferred out of the murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O'Neill, but she's too badly shaken to make a commitment to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin. The dead girl's ID says her name is Lexie Madison—the identity Cassie used years ago as an undercover detective—and she looks exactly like Cassie.

With no leads, no suspects, and no clue to Lexie's real identity, Cassie's old undercover boss, Frank Mackey, spots the opportunity of a lifetime. They can say that the stab wound wasn't fatal and send Cassie undercover in her place to find out information that the police never would and to tempt the killer out of hiding. At first Cassie thinks the idea is crazy, but she is seduced by the prospect of working on a murder investigation again and by the idea of assuming the victim's identity as a graduate student with a cozy group of friends.

As she is drawn into Lexie's world, Cassie realizes that the girl's secrets run deeper than anyone imagined. Her friends are becoming suspicious, Sam has discovered a generations-old feud involving the old house the students live in, and Frank is starting to suspect that Cassie's growing emotional involvement could put the whole investigation at risk. Another gripping psychological thriller featuring the headstrong protagonist we've come to love, from an author who has proven that she can deliver.”

Kirkus Reviews

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Tana French’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

You Tube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXxbM_h2Xws

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFkov3zgRf0

Website: http://www.tanafrench.com/pagesus/books.htm


New Interview From The Entertainment Critic: Julia Reed



NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: JULIA REED, AUTHOR OF THE HOUSE ON FIRST STREET: MY NEW ORLEANS STORY

A new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author, Julia Reed and her New NY Times Selling Book about New Orleans, The House on First Street.

From The Publisher: “Julia Reed went to New Orleans in 1991 to cover the reelection of former (and currently incarcerated) governor Edwin Edwards. Seduced by the city's sauntering pace, its rich flavors and exotic atmosphere, she was never entirely able to leave again. After almost fifteen years of living like a vagabond on her reporter's schedule, she got married and bought a house in the historic Garden District. Four weeks after she moved in, Hurricane Katrina struck.

With her house as the center of her own personal storm as well as the ever-evolving stage set for her new life as an upstanding citizen, Reed traces the fates of all who enter to wine, dine (at her table for twenty-four), tear down walls, install fixtures, throw fits and generally leave their mark on the house on First Street. There's Antoine, Reed's beloved homeless handyman with an unfortunate habit of landing in jail; JoAnn Clevenger, the Auntie Mame—like restaurateur who got her start mixing drinks for Dizzy Gillespie and selling flowers from a cart; Eddie, the supremely laid-back contractor with Hollywood ambitions; and, with the arrival of Katrina, the boys from the Oklahoma National Guard, fleets of door-kicking animal rescuers and the self-appointed (and occasionally naked) neighborhood watchman. Finally, there's the literally clueless detective who investigates the robbery in which the first draft of this book was stolen. Through it all, Reed discovers there really is no place like home.

Rich with sumptuous details and with the author's trademark humor well in the fore, The House on First Street is the chronicle of a remarkable and often hilarious homecoming, as well as a thoroughly original tribute to our country's most original city.”

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Julia Reed’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9WIZRGl24c

Website: http://www.wowowow.com/users/julia


New Interview From The Entertainment Critic: Teresa Summers


NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: TERESA SUMMERS, PROSPECTIVE AUTHOR LOOKING FOR HELP TO WRITE HER BOOK

A new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of prospective Author, Teresa Summers

In Teresa’s own words: I have lupus, I’m in stage 1 remission and I take it day by day because of pain and swelling from the lupus. One day i hope to publish a book I have started on. My book will be about my life story and the foster care system and how bad it is and how it can fail you not once but twice. I am looking for someone who would be willing to take over and help me to finish my story and publish my book. I have a hard time with my lupus and it gets hard to write for very long. I am also looking for someone who would be willing to possibly produce a film based on my book. In my book I am going to detail about the abuse I went through and the abuse the other foster children went through. My book will also have a section about being adopted as an older child and what it is like and what you go through with the courts. I will also write about how abusive my adoptive father was and how my adoptive mother allowed it to happen. My book will be very hard for some to read. But I think it will encourage others to come forward. So please if there is anyone who is willing to take over with my book, please contact me and let me know. I'm not worried about a price I will be happy for my story to just be out there to help others and educate about the foster care system.

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic website, found at http://www.theentertainmentcritic.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Julia Reed’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Political Post From The Entertainment Critic: Why John McCain Has Missed the Point






Why John McCain Has Missed The Point

By James Myers

The Entertainment Critic

Over and over and over again, Mr. McCain has driven home the same ridiculous point: the surge is succeeding. McCain claims not only is the surge the succeeding, but that our troop levels are down to pre-surge amounts, there is peace in Iraq, and America’s troops are coming home victorious. Most if not all of the above statements are inaccurate. But my favorite daily dose of McBush rhetoric is the now famous statement that Barack Obama will not admit he was wrong about the surge, that Obama is wrong not to admit the surge has succeeded and further the should credit McCain with good judgment in voting for the surge when Obama did not. Mr. McCain, you miss the point sir.

The point is sir we should not be in Iraq in the first place. The point, sir, is that over 4,100 men and women had died serving our country where the American people were misled about weapons of mass destruction. The point, Mr. McCain is that you voted to have us enter a war that was based on totally trumped up public relations and put all of these fine men and women in harms way. The point Mr. McCain is that you did not exercise good judgment entering us into that war. The point Mr. McCain is that you were wrong 5 years now after the start of this illegal and immoral war when ‘mission accomplished’ was being declared, when you said, our adventure in Iraq would be fast, produce little American “bloodletting” and “be paid for by the Iraqis.” The point Mr. McCain is that your bad judgment on that issue has not led to the capture and trial of the criminals that perpetrated 9/11, as Bin Laden roams free in Afghanistan. The real point is Mr. McCain that your surge may have never been necessary if you had been more or the maverick you’re reputed to be and voted against that war in the first place. Never mind that the war in Iraq is a $10 million a month drain on our economy. Never mind that the war has driven friend and foe alike away from us. Never mind that the price of oil has skyrocketed. Never mind that your daily gaffs and misstatements belie your frightening ignorance on what is really going on in the world. Never mind that you are essentially a candidate whose record is pro-war and anti-vets. Never mind that your voting records for the veterans who fight your illegal war is atrocious. Never mind that you are a one issue candidate, whose own party seems by the actions of our current President to be drifting closer and closer to taking actions that have been espoused by your Democratic opponent. All of this seems to just slide off of Teflon John.

Let’s face some facts Mr. McCain. You blew it. From the start of this fiasco, you blew it big time. You quibble on Obama’s stance to withdraw troops and argue about time lines and horizons. You rhapsodize about appeasement, inexperience, and Obama’s youth, but your judgment with all of your experience when we need you most was poor. Very, very poor and now all of America is paying for your poor judgment. Yet you persist everyday in requesting that Obama acknowledge that the surge is working, as if somehow that gives you a leg up in this debate. The truth is Obama was against the war in Iraq from the start. The truth is that he recognized that we should be pursuing our real enemy in Afghanistan. The truth is that Mr. Obama realizes that the days of ‘going it alone’ without the support of other nations in matters of world wide interest, like wars, are gone for good. The truth is, sir, that if anyone should acknowledge that they made a misjudgment, it is you Mr. McCain. The surge would have been completely unnecessary if we had not invaded Iraq. The complete truth Mr. McCain is that in that misjudgment alone you have shown yourself to be something other than presidential. And for that gaff Mr. McCain, you owe the entire country not just an acknowledgment, but an apology. That is why Mr. McCain your point about the surge working in meaningless. That is why you have missed the boat. The boat, the train and the plane. The point is sir, on what may have been the most important vote of the 21st Century, you were wrong. That is why Mr McCain, it is not Barack Obama who missed the point; it is you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Interview By James Myers, The Entertainment Critic of Deborah Crombie on Where Memories Lie




NEW INTERVIEW FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC: DEBORAH CROMBIE, AUTHOR OF WHERE MEMORIES LIE

Please check out the new interview by James Myers, The Entertainment Critic, of Author Deborah Crombie, About Her New Top Selling Book, Where Memories Lie.

From The Publisher: “Erika Rosenthal has always been secretive with her friend and neighbor, Detective Inspector Gemma James, about her past, except for one telling detail: She and her long-dead husband, David, came to London as refugees from Nazi Germany. But now the elderly woman needs Gemma's help. A unique piece of jewelry stolen from her years ago has mysteriously turned up at a prestigious London auction house. Erika believes the theft may be tied to her husband's death, which had always been assumed a suicide.

Gemma has a tough challenge. She must navigate the shadowy and secretive world of London's monied society to discover the jewelry's connection to David's murderer. However, the cold case needs to be put back on the books and possibly into the hands of her partner, Duncan Kincaid. When a second, present-day murder kicks the investigation into high gear, Gemma becomes more determined to exact justice for Erika—in a case that will have lasting repercussions.”

This interview is available exclusively on The Entertainment Critic Magazine, found at http://www.theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com.

To listen to the interview: To access the interview, look under the Interview section, and then click on the MP3 player in the lower left corner. You'll see the interview listed, click on Deborah’s name in the player, the interview will take a moment to download and then will begin playing Enjoy the interview, and please drop us a line at james@theentertainmentcriticmagazine.com and let us know how you liked the interview and if there is anything we can do to improve our process.