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Fronnie Lewis - Editor

Archive | September, 2008

The Wall Street meltdown fuels hot book deals

 The stock market rallied several hundred points today, after yesterday’s historic plunge on Wall Street.  Monday, stocks dropped 778 points or 7 percent. The biggest point loss ever. Also, the biggest percentage loss since September 17, 2001, the first day of trading after the deadly September 11 terrorist attacks. The meltdown started when it became clear the highly touted  $700 billion financial bailout for troubled institutions would tank in the House of Representatives. Despite dire warning from the president and congressional leaders, many of the House’s rank and file could not stomach a... Read More →

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A break in the O.J. Simpson Vegas trial

  Google file image/O.J. signs a jersey. O.J. Simpson’s armed robbery/kidnapping trial in Las Vegas is on hold today — in observance of Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish new year. Yesterday, witness Michael McClinton continued his testimony which began last Friday. McClinton is the Simpson accomplice accused of brandishing a gun in a Vegas hotel room during a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers last September. On Friday, McClinton testified that Simpson told him to bring his weapon. McClinton has come under some tough questioning from defense... Read More →

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New book “Say It Like Obama”

Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is the subject of yet another new book. This one is called “Say It Like Obama: The Power of Speaking with Purpose and Vision.” The author is Shel Leanne, a corporate leadership executive and former Harvard University instructor. In the book, Leanne uses examples from Obama’s speeches to explain the art of persuasion, the power of presentation, and effective communication techniques. The book includes Obama’s 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, which put him on the political map and his 2008 Democratic National Convention speech to... Read More →

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Who won the first presidential debate: Obama or McCain?

Presidential candidates and Senators Barack Obama and John McCain are back on the campaign trail today after verbally duking it out at the University of Mississippi last Friday. When the 90 minute debate was over, both candidates were still standing and neither had suffered any major bruising  or gaffes. Many observers were disappointed by this. I was not. Over the weekend, another debate followed. Who won?  A new national  Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll taken right after the debate and through Sunday, showed Obama beating McCain ,49 percent to 44 percent, among 448 registered voters. According to a... Read More →

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Legendary actor Paul Newman dies at 83

          1925-2008 Paul Leonard Newman has taken that final bow. Newman was an extraordinary man of many interests. A true Hollywood movie star for several decades, he still found time to be an activist, race car enthusiast, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He died last night at his home in Connecticut, after a battle with cancer which he fought as privately as he could. The Silver Screen loved his stunningly handsome face and brilliant baby blues. And Newman could act! What a package. Newman became a movie star in the 1950s, but did not win the best actor... Read More →

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Actor Robert Wagner: “Pieces of My Heart”

Actor/producer Robert J. Wagner is talking about the strange death of Natalie Wood and a secret affair with another Hollywood actress in a new book. Wagner, who is 78, has written his memoirs with Scott Eyman. “Pieces of My Heart” hit bookstores earlier this month. Wagner will be out promoting the book at the 7th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair this coming Sunday. “Pieces of My Heart” is a stroll down memory lane for Wagner; from his childhood through some real life drama, to his acting career, and romances. For the first time, Wagner discloses his first love was Barbara Stanwyck. Still,... Read More →

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More interesting testimony in O.J.’s Vegas Trial

Google Image Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, site of the Simpson trial.    The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case today in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery/kidnapping trial in Las Vegas. Yesterday, Alfred Beardsley, one of the memorabilia dealers allegedly robbed during that encounter in a Vegas hotel room last September, called a key piece of evidence in the case, a “…work of art.” Beardsley was referring to the tape of the encounter that middle man Thomas Riccio sold to... Read More →

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“We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis”

  In Washington today lawmakers are scrambling to come up with a solution to the nation’s financial mess. Last night, President Bush gave a nationwide speech and confirmed what the experts and his advisors have been saying all week –the economy is in deep, deep trouble.  Right at the beginning, the president admitted “… we’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis.” He explained the problem with our major financial markets and then pointed to his administration’s $700 billion bailout as the solution. He issued a warning that “…not passing a... Read More →

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A new law bans text messaging while driving

  Another slap down for text messaging. Yesterday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill banning texting while driving a motor vehicle. Drivers caught texting behind the wheel face fines of $20 for the first offense and $50 for violations after that. I would give the law a major high-five if the penalties were stiffer for this kind of hazardous conduct on our streets and roads. The ban covers wireless devices used to write, read, or send text messages. It takes effect on January 1, 2009. A few weeks ago on July first, a state ban... Read More →

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Three key witnesses testify in O.J.’s Vegas Trial

  The O.J. Simpson armed robbery/kidnapping trial has hit a few bumps, however, it is still rolling right along in Las Vegas. Over the past two days, Simpson has had to listen to three cohorts give damaging testimony against him. Simpson’s ex-friend, Charles Ehrlich, was on the stand for a second day on Tuesday. Ehrlich was cross-examined by the defense, but held fast to his story that Simpson knew at least one member of his group was packing a gun when they confronted two sports memorabilia dealers in a Vegas hotel room a year... Read More →

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Gas prices, Wall Street, and that $700 billion bailout

Burbank/August 2008 I complained a lot during the summer about the jacked-up prices of gasoline. As recently as mid-August gas prices at the pumps in Burbank were still over $4 a gallon. Then prices began to tumble.  About two weeks ago, I paid $3.70 a gallon — on Monday, I paid even less, $3.60 a gallon. I should be doing the happy dance or at least a quick cha-cha step over the money I’m saving, but I’m not feeling it. The reason: that meltdown on Wall Street and a proposed $700 billion bailout.... Read More →

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Book authors rally for Barack

                                                                 Some published authors are not sitting on the sidelines waiting for Election Day, they’re taking action on the Internet. Novelist Ayelet Waldman is a long-time supporter of Barack Obama and she has come up with a fundraising hook that is really catching on. Waldman is the author of “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits,” “Daughter’s Keeper,” and the Mommy Track mysteries. Waldman launched the website www.Books4Barack.com on September 3, 2008 and has raised $120,000 since then, according to Publishers Weekly. Waldman asked writer friends to donated signed copies of... Read More →

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Busted: Thomas Riccio, O.J., and the Vegas case

Thomas Riccio, the resourceful collectibles dealer who is at the center of O.J. Simpson’s Las Vegas trial, has written a book about the case. It is called “Busted: The Inside Story of the World of Sports Memorabilia, O.J. Simpson, and the Vegas Arrests.” Busted was published last April. It’s on the Barnes & Nobles website for $25.95, if you don’t have a membership card. The price drops about five dollars, if you are a member. There are several used copies for $12.97 as well. The real bargain is over on Amazon.com... Read More →

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A health scare and more dramatic testimony at O.J. trial

  Crime Writer Dominick Dunne O.J. Simpson’s armed robbery/kidnapping trial is kicking off day seven in Las Vegas, today. Yesterday, there were some anxious moments when celebrity crime writer Dominick Dunne was rushed to the hospital complaining of pain. Dunne, who is reportedly battling cancer, is covering the trial for Vanity Fair magazine. Dunne is well known for reporting on high profile trials. He took up the profession in the mid-1980s, after his daughter, actress Dominique Dunne, was strangled by John Sweeney, a former boyfriend, in the driveway of a West Hollywood home. She died... Read More →

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Emmy Winners!!

Google file image Writer and comedienne Tina Fey, who is getting a lot of attention for her dead-on impersonation of Republican Veepee Sarah Palin, is on a serious roll. Last night at the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Fey was one of the big winners. “30 Rock,” created by Fey, won seven Emmys including best comedy. Fey picked up two of those awards for acting and writing. Also, Fey starred in the movie “Baby Mama”, which has made more than $60 million since opening in... Read More →

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Movers & Shakers

  More kudos for Tony Kushner, the creator of “Angels in America.” The highly-acclaimed cable TV movie  version won a staggering 11 Emmy Awards in 2004. Kushner wrote the screenplay as well as the play that the movie is based on. It is about the AIDS crisis during the mid-1980s. Now, Kushner has been named as the first recipient for a new $200,000 playwright prize. Established by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, this is the largest theater award in the country and one of the largest cash awards... Read More →

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Barbra Streisand makes a case against McCain

  Google file photo Last Tuesday, superstar and activist Barbra Streisand performed at a special concert in Beverly Hills to help raise millions for the Barack Obama for President campaign. In case anyone had any doubts about where the singer stands in the 2008 presidential race, Streisand is speaking out publicly against Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain. The strongly worded piece is called, “The Country Can’t Afford to Elect John McCain.”  It appears on Streisand’s website and as a blog on The Huffington Post.  Streisand views McCain as part of the... Read More →

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Get into a political groove: register to vote!

FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove A voter makes her choice at a Burbank polling place during last winter’s presidential primary. The deadline to register to vote is fast approaching. You have until October 20 to register for the all important Presidential General Election on November 4, 2008. The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s website lavote.net has a ton of information on voting and the elections. According to data on that website, there are 4,021,954 registered voters in the county as of September 8, 2008.  At the time of the California Presidential Primary... Read More →

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First week wrap up of O.J.’s Vegas trial

O.J. Simpson’s armed robbery/kidnapping trial is gearing up for a second week in glitzy Las Vegas. The highlights of the first week’s court drama include a string of colorful witnesses, the debate over the authenticity of audio tapes, and a surprise visit to the alleged scene of the crime by the jury. The trial got underway slowly last Monday with opening statements and two witnesses, one of them, Bruce Fromong, became ill on the stand. The next day, Fromong, a memorabilia dealer, was back to continue his testimony.  Fromong and another sports memorabilia dealer, Walter Beardsley,... Read More →

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Huge anti-Sarah Palin rally in Alaska

                                                                   Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is back on the campaign trail now after taking a break to spend some time in her home state of Alaska. Palin and her husband were cheered by a large crowd of supporters when they arrived in Fairbanks on September 10. For the next few days, Palin would sit down with ABC’s Charles Gibson for her first TV interview, speak at the deployment to Iraq ceremony for her son Track’s Army unit, and then wrap up her stay with a rally of 1,500 in Anchorage.  Palin flew out of... Read More →

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A very different Sarah Palin book

Another publisher is rushing to print and ship thousands of copies of a Sarah Palin book. On August 29, Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked little-known Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate. Since then, books about Palin have been in big demand. First to hit the bookstores, “Sarah: How A Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down” by Kaylene Johnson. Coming in the next two to three weeks, “Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader,” by Joe Hilley. The third book headed to the marketplace takes a different approach. “101 Things You –and... Read More →

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