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Cynthia

Monrovia, California, United States
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  • James Comey Is Democrats’ Best Hope for Stopping Trump

  • By: Jeet Heer
  • Narrated by: Derek Shetterly
  • Length: 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Trump’s willingness to alienate the intelligence community and its allies in the military might seem strange, but it points to something important about his worldview. For all his bluster about making other nations respect America again and fighting terrorism, Trump cares more about domestic security. Here, as elsewhere, he has an “American First” approach—and that’s why he’s been solicitous to police and the FBI, and hostile to the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

  • By Cynthia on 06-01-18

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I listened to James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty: Lies and Leadership” (2018), and then former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence” (2018).

I wanted more historical context for what was in the book, so I looked for news articles.

This article talks about the FBI in the weeks before the election and the fact that Mr. Comey probably swung the election. The New Republic thought he would stand up to President Trump.

Here’s the timeline:

July 24, 2015 - the FBI opened an investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

July 5, 2016 - FBI Director James Comey announced the investigation was being closed without charges against Secretary Clinton

October 28, 2016, Mr. Comey reopens the FBI investigation.

November 6, 2016, Mr. Comey announces that Secretary Clinton will still not face charges and closes the investigation.

November 8, 2016, Donald Trump is elected president.

January 9, 2017 - The New Republic publishes this article

May 9. 2017 - Mr. Comey is fired.

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  • James Comey Just Stepped in It Big Time

  • By: Aaron Blake
  • Narrated by: Sam Scholl
  • Length: 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

New revelations about his apparently botched testimony are liable to make Democrats — and Comey — a little more than mildly nauseous. And they are going to damage Comey's best defense of his actions.

"James Comey Just Stepped in It Big Time" is from the May 09, 2017 Politics section of The Washington Post. It was written by Aaron Blake and narrated by Sam Scholl.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mildly Nausea and the Truth

  • By Cynthia on 06-01-18

Mildly Nausea and the Truth

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I just finished former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence” (2018). He concludes Russian interference in the election cost former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the 2016 presidential election, especially after the FBI investigation into her emails hacked by Russian operatives was made public.

Before that I listened to James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty: Lies and Leadership” (2018).

I wanted more historical context for the events, so I looked for news articles.

This article talks about Mr. Comey’s testimony to Congress a week before he was fired, and multiple “errors” in that testimony

Here’s the timeline:

July 24, 2015 - the FBI opened an investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

July 5, 2016 - FBI Director James Comey announced the investigation was being closed without charges against Secretary Clinton

October 28, 2016, Mr. Comey reopens the FBI investigation.

November 6, 2016, Mr. Comey announces that Secretary Clinton will still not face charges and closes the investigation.

November 8, 2016, Donald Trump is elected president.

May 9, 2017 - this article is published

And later that day:

May 9. 2017 - Mr. Comey is fired.

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  • James Comey’s Behavior Looks Worse and Worse

  • By: James Downie
  • Narrated by: Sam Scholl
  • Length: 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

If Republicans had any remaining excuses for not investigating the relationship between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian officials, Tuesday night’s news obliterated them. “Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials,” reported the New York Times. “Among several senior Trump advisers regularly communicating with Russian nationals were then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and then-adviser Michael Flynn,” said CNN.

"James Comey’s Behavior Looks Worse and Worse" is from the February 15, 2017 Opinion section of The Washington Post. It was written by James Downie and narrated by Sam Scholl.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • And it never got better

  • By Cynthia on 06-01-18

And it never got better

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I just finished former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence” (2018). He concludes Russian interference in the election cost former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the 2016 presidential election, especially after the FBI investigation into her emails hacked by Russian operatives was made public. Before that I listened to James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty: Lies and Leadership” (2018), who claimed moral rectitude meant he had to discuss Secretary Clinton - but not an ongoing concurrent investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign’s cooperation with Russia.

I wanted more temporal context, so I went looking for news at the time.

WaPo is right. It looked bad when this was written, and it got worse.

Here’s the timeline:

July 24, 2015 - the FBI opened an investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

July 5, 2016 - FBI Director James Comey announced the investigation was being closed without charges against Secretary Clinton

October 28, 2016, Mr. Comey reopens the FBI investigation.

November 6, 2016, Mr. Comey announces that Secretary Clinton will still not face charges and closes the investigation.

November 8, 2016, Donald Trump is elected president.

February 15, 2017 - WaPo publishes this article

May 9. 2018 - Mr. Comey is fired.

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  • The Attorney General Could Have Ordered FBI Director James Comey Not to Send His Bombshell Letter on Clinton Emails. Here's Why She Didn't.

  • By: Sari Horwitz
  • Narrated by: Jenny Hoops
  • Length: 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Twelve days before the presidential election, FBI Director James B. Comey dispatched a senior aide to deliver a startling message to the Justice Department. Comey wanted to send a letter to Congress alerting them that his agents had discovered more emails potentially relevant to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What WaPo Thought at the Time

  • By Cynthia on 06-01-18

What WaPo Thought at the Time

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I just finished former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence” (2018. He concludes Russian interference in the election cost former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the 2016 presidential election. Before that I listened to James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty: Lies and Leadership” (2018).

I got curious about what the papers were saying as things happened. Sure, I was reading papers obsessively at the time, but it was overwhelming. This article is a more in depth discussion than either book about the decision about why former Attorney General Loretta Lynch did not stop Mr. Comey from releasing statements about Secretary Clinton.

Here’s the timeline:

July 24, 2015 - the FBI opened an investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

July 5, 2016 - FBI Director James Comey announced the investigation was being closed without charges against Secretary Clinton

October 28, 2016, Mr. Comey reopens the FBI investigation.

November 6, 2016, Mr. Comey announces that Secretary Clinton will still not face charges and closes the investigation.

November 8, 2016, Donald Trump is elected president.

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  • Carrie Fisher's Gross but Supremely Satisfying Warning to a Hollywood Sexual Harasser

  • By: Kyle Swenson
  • Narrated by: Sam Scholl
  • Length: 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

In the wake of Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein scandal, countless women across the world have stepped forward to share their stories of sexual abuse and harassment.

"Carrie Fisher's Gross but Supremely Satisfying Warning to a Hollywood Sexual Harasser" is from the October 17, 2017 Entertainment section of The Washington Post. It was written by Kyle Swenson and narrated by Sam Scholl.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Carrie Fisher Story EVER

  • By Cynthia on 05-31-18

The Best Carrie Fisher Story EVER

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-31-18

The hashtag metoo movement lost one of the best advocates when Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) died. Ms. Fisher was was a good actress (“Star Wars” (1977) etc.); an amusing biographical novelist (“Postcards from the Edge” (1987); and a great memoirist and humorist (“Wishful Drinking” (2007) and “The Princess Diarist” (2016)). As this piece describes, Ms. Fisher was matchless at sending a message to would-be rapists. I’d really like to know who Ms. Fisher presented the Tiffany Box to.

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  • Carrie Fisher, Actress Who Played Princess Leia in 'Star Wars,' Dies

  • By: Erin Schwartzel, Tamara Audi
  • Narrated by: Fleet Cooper
  • Length: 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

"Carrie Fisher, Actress Who Played Princess Leia in 'Star Wars,' Dies" is from the December 27, 2016 World section of The Wall Street Journal. It was written by Erin Schwartzel and Tamara Audi and narrated by Fleet Cooper.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Beautiful Remembrance

  • By Cynthia on 05-31-18

A Beautiful Remembrance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-31-18

I was looking for an Audible version of “Postcards from the Edge” (1987) by Carrie Fisher (1956-2016). I did a search on her name, and this lovely obituary showed up. It’s well worth the listen.

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  • James Comey's Dereliction

  • By: Andrew C. McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Mark Ashby
  • Length: 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Of course the Obama administration was not going to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Listen for context and content, but . . .

  • By Cynthia on 05-30-18

Listen for context and content, but . . .

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-30-18

Andrew C. McCarthy’s piece is a good reflection of how conservative America was feeling in the two weeks before the 2016 presidential election. I can’t decide who Mr. McCarthy hated more: FBI Director James Comey, who he had worked with in the past; or former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Here’s a timeline of where this National Review article fits:

The FBI opened an investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server on July 24, 2015.

FBI Director James Comey announced the investigation was being closed without charges against Secretary Clinton on July 5, 2016.

***On October 24, 2016, the National Review published this piece by conservative commentator Mr. McCarthy, excoriating Mr. Comey for his handling of the investigation, arguing that Secretary Clinton had committed multiple felonies in mishandling classified information.***

On October 28, 2016, 4 Days later, Mr. Comey reopened the FBI investigation.

On November 6, 2016, Mr. Comey announced that Secretary Clinton would not face charges.

On November 8, 2016, two days after that, Donald Trump was elected president. As former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper concludes in “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence” (2018), Comey’s actions exacerbated the confusion and misinformation peddled by Russian intelligence, and Russian interference cost Mrs. Clinton the presidency.

As enlightening as the piece is, I was completely distracted by Mr. McCarthy’s “analysis” of negligence. Mr. McCarthy mixed up and misapplied elements of simple negligence, gross negligence, statutory negligence, negligence per se, criminal negligence, federal and state laws, and randomly tossed in mens rea. I expected more.

The narration was also a problem - the Latin phrase “Mens rea” (guilty intent) is not usually pronounced so it rhymes with “diarrhea”. “Rea” is pronounced Ray-a.

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  • Did Carrie Fisher's Bipolar Disorder Contribute to Her Death?

  • By: Tori Rodriguez
  • Narrated by: Jef Holbrook
  • Length: 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

The late Star Wars actor was outspoken about her diagnosis and served as an example to others suffering from the disorder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bipolar disorder is a mood system

  • By Cynthia on 05-29-18

Bipolar disorder is a mood system

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-29-18

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) was a good actress (“Star Wars” (1977) etc.); an amusing biographical novelist (“Postcards from the Edge” (1987); and a great memoirist and humorist (“Wishful Drinking” (2007) and “The Princess Diarist” (2016)). Ms Fisher wasn’t as well known for her mental health advocacy. This Scientific American article, “Did Carrie Fisher’s Bipolar Disorder Contribute to her Death?” (2017) is a short, kind tribute to Ms. Fisher and discussion of the research into the biological and physiological abnormalities that studies have shown exist in people with the disorder. More studies are needed, but those seem to mean an earlier death, even aside from self-harm substance abuse.

It’s a nice companion piece to Ms. Fisher’s autobiographical books.

The title of the review is a quote of Ms. Fisher.

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  • Ultramarathon Man

  • Confession of an All-Night Runner
  • By: Dean Karnazes
  • Narrated by: James Yaegashi
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,018
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 733
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 735

Karnazes reveals the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not as self-congratulating as others have said

  • By Andrea on 07-10-09

Strength, Stamina and a Lack of Better Judgment

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-29-18

When "Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner" (2006) came out, my children were in grade school. I was a single mom working full time. Evenings and weekends were a blur of soccer practices and games, hastily made dinners, and a glass of wine to relax. My only exercise was running out of time to do everything.

The kids grew, and I took up running a about 18 months ago. I've run 5k's, 10k's, 15k's, several half marathons, and a full marathon - and I'm signed up for more. I'm still not willing to be introspective and figure out why, when most people might run a road race or two a year, I'm running that many in a month.

I'm not a fast runner. Sometimes in trail runs I come in near the bottom of my age group, gasping and covered in dust, long after the top women have had their celebratory beer and packed up and driven away. I wasn't sure how or of I could relate to the trials and tribulations of an elite endurance athlete, but it's Audible. If I didn't like the book, I could return it.

Dean Karanazes turned out to be slightly to very nuts. He had a midlife crisis at 30 and ran 30 miles in gardening shoes, with no preparation. That's really crazy. He ordered pizza delivered to a corner while running an ultra-marathon. That's fun crazy. He quit running after his freshman year in high school because he got mad at a track coach after a beloved cross country coach retired, and didn't run for 15 years. That's sad crazy.

Mr. Karanazes turned out to be surprisingly, incredibly relatable and inspirational. He rarely mentions finish times, although he has to have some great finishes - and the math is kind of easy when someone runs 100 miles in less than 24 hours. Mr. Karanazes has incredible endurance and has to have an astonishing immune system, but he doesn't claim to be unique.

I don’t have anymore insight into myself or Mr. Karanazes, except that he’s able to make a living at it - and he’s got a very supportive family.

The title of the review is a quote from the book.

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  • Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes

  • By: Frank Burt, James E. Moser, John Robinson
  • Narrated by: Jack Webb, Barton Yarborough, Ben Alexander, and others
  • Length: 137 hrs and 54 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 232

Dragnet was perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history. The series gave millions of audience members a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of real-life police work.

Actor and producer Jack Webb's aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting. He achieved both goals, and Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Grandfather of Law and Order

  • By lizski on 09-21-13

“Just the facts, Ma’m” - Sgt. Joe Friday

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-29-18

Jack Webb created “Dragnet” (1949-1957, radio, 8 seasons; 1951-2004, intermittently, television, 12 seasons). The radio show is one of the first of the true crime and police procedurals, a half an hour slice of sometimes gritty mid-century Los Angeles. Each show starts with, “Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent." The shows were made with the cooperation of the LAPD, the stories taken from its files.

This Audible is a compilation of all 379 radio episodes. Each story is about half an hour. Each episode starts with the crime and ends with the sentence. Each stands alone - there’s some back story for Sgt. Friday and his various partners, but it’s possible to drop into the middle of a season without missing anything.

Mr. Webb is the mainstay of the show, playing Sgt. Friday. His delivery is clipped and almost flat, but the stories are not graphic. They rarely allude to children being hurt; domestic violence; or sexual abuse. “Dragnet” is more like a Raymond Chandler (“The Big Sleep” (1939, Book; 1946 Film, etc.) than a Robert Galbraith/JK Rowlings (The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013) etc.) mystery. One of Sgt. Friday’s first partners is Mexican American, but other than that, Los Angeles is largely white, uneducated and working class. There’s some casual racism and stereotyping, but there wasn’t any use of the offensive n, c or d words.

It includes commercials for cigarettes - mostly Fatima, a Ligett & Myers brand that isn’t manufactured anymore. Those were astounding by themselves. Doctors - using their own names - were actually endorsing smokes. Radio and television tobacco advertising stopped in 1971, and it was shocking to hear - and keep hearing.

At more than 137 hours, this radio show compilation one of the best Audible values for your credit. It downloads in 12 separate groups of programs, so you can finish one set, delete it from the phone, and then download the next in order.

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