Click here for an excellent reference listing most, if not all, celebrity deaths with short bios for each.
Happy last Monday of two-"ought-oh"-seven! Here's hoping that 2008 will be much better for our world - at least it will be the end of this buffoon, shown here attempting to prove why his plans for attacking Canada should be expedited by the obstructionist congressional Democrats:
By local weather standards, it's a great Sunday morning. Bitter cold but no snow and no wind. And Alise Roderer, a young field organizer for the John Edwards campaign, is brightly encouraged by the tentative sunlight. Yesterday her volunteer canvass teams knocked on a thousand local doors. Today she hopes for the same.
"It's really, really important that you stress to the undecided that John Edwards is the most electable Democrat," she says to about 25 volunteers gathered in a steelworkers' union hall next door to the grimy Titan Tire factory.The Edwards campaign is banking on the pent-up frustration of traditional and loyal Democratic voters, especially those in organized labor to muscle him to the top this week. "He's a strong Democrat and he's strong for labor," said 35 yr. old Robert Erwin, an Alabama steel worker in cammie pants and a baseball cap who came in to work this morning's Edwards phone bank in the union hall. Other union workers working the phones and getting ready to canvass hailed from California, Illinois and Wisconsin as well as some rubber workers from the Titan plant. Two college students from Seattle were running down phone lists to invite anyone who said "yes" to attend a Wednesday night John Mellencamp concert in support of Edwards.
Netscape Navigator, the world's first commercial Web browser and the launch pad of the Internet boom, will be pulled off life support Feb. 1 after a 13-year run. In recent years, Netscape has been little more than a repackaged version of the more popular Firefox, which commands about 10 percent of the Web browser market, with almost all of the rest going to Internet Explorer:
Its current caretakers, Time Warner Inc.'s AOL, decided to kill further development and technical support to focus on growing the company as an advertising business. Netscape's usage dwindled with Microsoft Corp.'s entry into the browser business, and Netscape all but faded away following the birth of its open-source cousin, Firefox.
"While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer," Netscape Director Tom Drapeau wrote in a blog entry Friday.
People will still be able to download and use the Netscape browser indefinitely, but AOL will stop releasing security and other updates on Feb. 1. Drapeau recommended that the small pool of Netscape users download Firefox instead.
A separate Netscape Web portal, which has had several incarnations in recent years, will continue to operate.
The World Wide Web was but a few years old when in April 1993 a team at the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications released Mosaic, the first Web browser to integrate images and sound with words. Before Mosaic, access to the Internet and the Web was largely limited to text, with any graphics displayed in separate windows.
Marc Andreessen and many of his university colleagues soon left to form a company tasked with commercializing the browser. The first version of Netscape came out in late 1994.
Netscape fed the gold-rush atmosphere with a landmark initial public offering of stock in August 1995. Netscape's stock carried a then-steep IPO price of $28 per share, a price that doubled on opening day to give the startup a $2 billion market value even though it had only $20 million in sales.
But Netscape's success also drew the attention of Microsoft, which quickly won market share by giving away its Internet Explorer browser for free with its flagship Windows operating system. The bundling prompted a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit and later a settlement with Microsoft.
Netscape eventually dropped fees for the software, but it was too late. Undone by IE, Netscape sold itself to AOL in a $10 billion deal completed in early 1999.
Netscape spawned an open-source project called Mozilla, in which developers from around the world freely contribute to writing and testing the software. Mozilla released its standalone browser, Firefox, and Netscape was never able to regain its former footing.
Herbal Elements shampoo for men - enjoy!
Labels: Ad parodies
Welcome once again to Friday Nite Retro here at Left in Aboite - the New Year's edition!
As of today, 3900 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives in George Bush's neocon war for oil. How many more must die before this travesty is ended?
Benazir Bhutto knew she was putting her life at risk, but she felt a duty to return to Pakistan after 8 years in self-imposed exile. Following in the steps of her father and brother, she lost her life while fighting to better her country for it's people. Here she discusses the risks with Wolf Blitzer:
As Bhutto left the rally in a white SUV, youths chanted her name and supportive slogans, said Sardar Qamar Hayyat, an official from Bhutto's party who was about 10 yards away. Despite the danger of physical exposure, a smiling Bhutto stuck her head out of the sunroof and responded, he said. "Then I saw a thin young man jumping toward her vehicle from the back and opening fire. Moments later, I saw her speeding vehicle going away. That was the time when I heard a blast and fell down," he said.
U.S. hotel heiress Paris Hilton's potential inheritance dramatically diminished after her grandfather Barron Hilton announced plans on Wednesday to donate 97 percent of his $2.3 billion (1.16 billion pounds) fortune to charity.
That wealth includes $1.2 billion Barron Hilton stands to earn from both the recent sale of Hilton Hotels Corp. -- started by his father Conrad in 1919 when he bought a small hotel in Cisco, Texas -- and pending sale of the world's biggest casino company, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.
Barack Obama has officially taken the lead from Hillary Clinton in Iowa, 29% to 27.8% respectively. John Edwards is a close third at 23.1%, and. . .Al Gore, who couldn't be more clear about his non-candidacy, is in fourth place with 7%! Just imagine if Al and Barack joined forces. . .
Fred Thompson: "Mexicans are to blame for the current mortgage crisis in our country!"
This is an awesome collection of videos in tribute to celebs who died long before their time. The author is You Tube director CraigCraig1427. I found surprises as well as some fond memories in each of these episodes. I hope you enjoy them as well:
May you find peace, love and happiness this holiday season, whatever your beliefs or lack thereof. I wish for you the company of family and friends old and new, the comfort of memories for those you may have lost, the gratitude for what life has bestowed upon you, and the gifts of hope and promise for what lies ahead on your path.
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be.
Ho Ho HO! Haaaaaappy Monday! Money's tight this year for me, so here's my friggin' Christmas tree! Never mind that though, the wealth of your responses in captioning this photo is all that my heart desires:
December 20, 2007, Washington, DC - This morning, Santa Claus (in the person of noted constitutional lawyer Bill Goodman) drove his sleigh to the White House to deliver thousands of copies of the U.S. Constitution to President Bush.
Americans from all over the country - more than 37,000 of them - asked that a copy of the Constitution be delivered to the President in their name and cordially requested that he make time in his busy schedule to read it.
"While I was going over the list of who's been naughty and nice," Mr. Claus said, as he prepared for his visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, "I heard from many people who feel the President hasn't been doing a very good job of upholding his oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution."
Responding to an urgent request from the Center for Constitutional Rights, Claus stepped in to bring messages from Americans who felt the President might need a refresher course in the Constitution. Citizens want to remind President Bush that the Constitution forbids torture and spying on Americans without a warrant, requires that prisoners get a fair hearing of the charges against them before a real court and makes the government's treaty obligations, such the Geneva Conventions, the law of the land.
"These Constitutions will make great holiday reading," Claus continued. "I want to be sure that the President has plenty of time to look at them before he decides on his New Year's resolutions."
Barack Obama, last night in Portsmouth, N.H., advised a guy wearing a Santa hat to go to his Web site to learn more about his plan to combat global warming. And then he said this:
"I talk to Al Gore about every three weeks, and we're going to make sure that your home at the North Pole is still available to you," Obama said, reports NBC/NJ's Erin McPike.
"I would enact a bold energy policy because I think that we could save so much money, engineer such a resurgence in our economy and solve climate change all at one time. And it would improve our national security posture. So you get a three-fer. It helps our environment, our economy and our national security and it would free up resources over time to deal with what I think is the most important domestic issue which is health care, and I think it would help us strategically on the international stage."
Pretty girls, good music, and political commentary - the latest masterpiece from the folks over at Barely Political:
'Twas the Night before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land
No candidate was stirring, or shaking a hand.
The presents were wrapped-up under the tree,
In hopes that this Christmas could be campaign-free.
The voters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions from TV ads danced in their heads.
My sister in Dubuque and I here in Keene,
Tried hard to forget all the debates we had seen.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
If they'd found our lawn boy out by the shack,
Tancredo and Hunter would never come back.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave luster to yard signs posted below.
When what should appear to my wondering eye?
A van with the bumper strip, "Live free or die."
With a little old driver, so lively and plain
I knew in a moment it could be McCain.
But when I saw the sign saying "Peace to you all"
I imagined Kucinich, Gravel or even Saint Paul.
Like eagles, the reporters following him came.
He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Russert! Now Matthews! Olbermann, Schieffer,
On Broder, on Stephanopoulous, on Lehrer, on Blitzer."
It may be Christmas but we all have our jobs.
So, "On Stewart, Colbert, O'Reilly and Dobbs,
To the top of the world, to the top of it all.
Come push me on up; or at least break my fall."
As some candidates do when caught in a lie,
Climb up on their pedestal, high in the sky.
So up to the house-top the entourage flew,
With a sack full of earmarks and promises too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pandering of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney the next President came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
Soot on his clothes and soot in his hair
That ruled out both Edwards and Romney right there.
His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
Alan Keyes he was not; he just wasn't scary!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
First I thought Biden and then I thought Dodd.
But it was all make-up, so white hair wasn't odd.
That's it! Actor's make-up removed all the doubt
Except he was lively and quick, so Thompson was out.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
That ruled out Obama, unless he was joking
When he promised us all that he had stopped smoking.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
Bill Richardson maybe - or Huckabee's old self.
But a wink of his eye and a shake of his head
Let me know I was wrong without a word said.
As he filled each stocking with an American flag.
I thought, "Isn't this sort of like Rudy in drag?"
That's it. That's it. Think girls not boys.
Is Hillary the President handing out toys?
Santa sprang to the van, got the press on their bus,
And as they drove out of sight, called back to us:
"Happy Christmas to all, and don't ever forget:
Maybe the next President's not in the race yet."
Friday Nite Retro - the tired and burned out Christmas edition, enjoy!
From Crooks and Liars:
During his end-of-year press conference this morning, President Bush joined with “secular progressives” in the right wing’s contrived War on Christmas, wishing reporters a “Happy Holidays.” Watch it:
Bill O’Reilly and Focus on the Family have been waging an aggressive campaign to pressure people to use “Merry Christmas.” In the past, O’Reilly has argued that saying “Happy Holidays” to people “absolutely does” offend Christians.
Things aren't always what they seem:
"I appreciate the sides trying to work on a common ground for a president, but if they can't come for agreement, then the world ought to say this: that the March 14th coalition can run their candidate in their parliament, majority- plus one ought to determine who the president is, and when that happens, the world ought to embrace the president."
Mike Huckabee is reaching out to solidify the base. Base being code for the "family values" "religious right" "diminished power" 20% of Americans who can actually still be influenced by such drivel. . .
Labels: Mike Huckabee
Kvatch has been away for TOO long now, and. . .I'm beginning to fear the worst:
The latest and greatest from Brave New Films:
Jeannette Dillon and Don Clemmer of WBOI-FM recently interviewed local bloggers for their take on the local blogosphere and it's impact on the political scene here in Fort Wayne. I was one of the individuals selected for this interview, but was unable to attend due to some last minute events. Robert Rouse graciously filled in for me, and did a bang-up job.
Whaddaya know, Dennis was right all along:
Guaranteed health insurance for all combined with several federal policy options to achieve health care system savings could result in $1.5 trillion in reduced spending over 10 years in the United States, a new study shows.
Commonwealth Fund report Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending, analyzes 15 federal health policy options for their potential to lower spending over the next 10 years and yield higher value for the nation’s investment in health care.
The authors reviewed policies related to health information technology and improving knowledge for clinical decision making; public health measures such as reducing smoking and positive incentives for health; financial incentives aligned with quality and efficiency such as hospital pay-for-performance and strengthening primary care; and policies that use the health care market to increase efficiency, add value, and reduce costs.
The report also examines combining policy options targeted towards slowing health care cost growth with affordable health insurance for all.
Combining universal coverage with policies aimed at achieving health care savings could have a significant impact because improvements in delivery and financing would apply to a larger number of people, could lower insurance administrative costs, and lead to a more integrated health care system, according to the authors, Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen and colleagues.
The report also shows that savings from improved efficiency would substantially offset the federal cost of expanding coverage.
“This report is unique in that we focused on total national health spending, not just one aspect of spending,” said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. “The report illustrates there are policy solutions out there that will save money, and ensure that Americans get improved value for their health care dollars—but we need to start now.”
Currently, health spending in the U.S. is predicted to increase from $2 trillion to more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and to consume one out of every five dollars of national income as increases outpace income growth by a wide margin.
According to the report’s findings, it is possible to curb health care spending, and simultaneously enhance the overall performance of the health care system, and the sooner policy changes addressed at reducing spending are enacted, the greater the cumulative savings for families, businesses and public health insurance programs.
“The report illustrates that it is possible to insure everyone and achieve savings,” said James J. Mongan, M.D., Commission Chair and President and CEO of Partners HealthCare System. “The Commission hopes the report will stimulate constructive discussion, on the pros and cons of these options as well as others that could move the nation on a path to higher value, toward a health system that provides access to all, higher quality and better outcomes, in addition to savings.”
The holiday spirit is alive and well in North Dakota:
A bank is giving its full-time employees $1,000 each and part-time employees $500 each. There's one condition — use it for people in need.
State Bank & Trust Chief Operating Officer Michael Solberg said each full-time employee will receive $1,000 and each part-time employee will receive $500, as part of a $502,000 "Pay it Forward" initiative.
"We're going to really see some huge impact on our community," Solberg said.
Employees were told not to use the money for themselves, their families or families of other bank employees. The bank asked each employee to document the good deed with a video camera. The deadline is June 30.
The employees were told they may choose an individual cause, pool their money for a larger project or collaborate with donors outside the bank. The privately owned bank has more than 500 employees, he said.
The bank made the announcement over the weekend.
In previous years, the Fargo-based bank has taken 5 percent of the company earnings and divided it up at holiday time among employees.
From Crooks & Liars:
Chris Dodd thanks the netroots for their support and congratulates his colleagues for their help in the fight against retroactive immunity.
“Today we have scored a victory for American civil liberties and sent a message to President Bush that we will not tolerate his abuse of power and veil of secrecy. The President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecom companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens. I want to thank the thousands of Americans throughout the country that stood with me to get this done for our country.”
The progressive blogs, who played a huge role in lobbying the Senate to support Dodd’s leadership against retroactive immunity, are joining in the celebration now that the FISA bill has been pulled until next year.
In an email, Athenae of First Draft writes, “Seriously, that was some awesome with awesome sauce and a side of pure, crispy win.”
Crooks & Liars has video of Dodd’s closing remarks this evening.
Jason Rosenbaum at The Seminal writes, “This victory means Dodd’s filibuster has weight. It also makes it much more likely that he will win round two as he continues to stand up for the Constitution and against telecom immunity.”
Sam Stein at the Huffington Post sets the early narrative - one which I think accurately describes how events evolved over the course of the last few days - in an article titled “Dodd’s Filibuster Threat Persuades Reid.”[..]
Also, thanks to everyone at FireDogLake for all the help driving activism today.
You can keep giving Chris Dodd the props he’s due at ChrisDodd.com
Let me preface this by stating that I very seldom watch TV - nearly all of my input comes from sitting behind this keyboard or listening to talk radio. However, every so often a show comes along that changes that. . .
Originally scheduled to debut in the fall of 2003, its premiere was delayed until early 2004. When it finally debuted in March 2004, Wonderfalls received positive reviews from critics, but had trouble attracting viewers. The pilot episode, “Wax Lion”, received a higher Nielsen rating when it was repeated the Thursday after its premiere, and the show was moved from a Friday night time slot to Thursday. However, there was little notice or promotion of the time change, and the show was subsequently canceled after airing the fourth episode. (A fifth episode was advertised but never aired.)
Immediately after the show's cancellation, its producers attempted to interest other networks, including The WB, in picking up the series. If they had been successful, Wonderfalls would have been the first American series in history to change networks in the midst of its first season. In addition, some episodes were shown in theatres in Los Angeles during the summer of 2004 in order to drum up support for the series.
The series holds the dubious honour of being the second show produced by Tim Minear that was cancelled in the midst of its first season, the first being Firefly. Another similarity between "Wonderfalls" and Firefly is that they were both aired out of the order in which they were originally intended to be shown. The show now lives in syndication on the Logo cable network.
According to sources, Karen Goldner has fended off Don Schmidt's recount challenge, and has one the 2nd District council seat by 12 votes!
Welcome to a very snowy Monday morning; much unlike today's make your own caption photo! Tell me "whassup!" and caption this:
The "Leader of the Band" has passed away after a three year battle with advanced prostate cancer.
Fogelberg was a key component of the golden age of the confessional singer/songwriter, joining the likes of James Taylor, Carole King, Jackson Browne and more in turning pop music's focus inward after the '60s' explosion of social commentary. He had started as a rocker in bands around his hometown of Peoria, Ill., but began performing solo while attending the University of Illinois.
There he met a local booking agent, Irving Azoff. He and local band REO Speedwagon became Azoff's first managerial projects (prior to managing the Eagles). Azoff secured Fogelberg a contract with Columbia, but first album Home Free made little impact. 1974's Joe Walsh-produced Souvenirs, however, hit the top 20, thanks largely to hit single Part of the Plan, and Fogelberg embarked on a two-decade run that would include nine top-30 albums (including three that hit the top 10).
His best-remembered songs include his biggest hit, the affecting ballad Longer; The Power of Gold, a collaboration with flautist Tim Weisberg; Leader of the Band, a tribute to his bandleader father, Lawrence; and the evergreen seasonal standard Same Old Lang Syne, which originally hit the top 10 in 1980.
Well. . .we finally got snow. Although it doesn't look all that bad in these pics, Allen County is under a Level-II snow emergency, meaning no travel other'n emergency and to and from work.
I guess I'd better go fire up the snowblower. . .
Snow Day by Three Day's Wait
Welcome to Friday Nite Retro - The groooovy edition! It turns out that today is the 30th anniversary of the opening day for. . .Saturday Night Fever! So, in honor of Tony, Stephanie, and friends I'm dedicating tonight's FNR to the music from the film as well as any interesting trivia that I can dig up. . .
Despite the recent spats between Obama and Clinton, the two shared some tit-for-tat sparring at today's Iowa debate. Obama was cornered with the query "With relatively little foreign policy experience, how will you rely on so many former Clinton advisors and yet still offer a break from the past". Hillary was quick to make it clear that she wanted to hear his answer. And she got it:
Sorry. . .just couldn't resist!
Tina Turner declined to comment on her ex-husband's death.
"Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made," said her spokeswoman, Michele Schweitzer.
I'd love to hear some input on this action, from both sides of the aisle. Is it fair? Does it go too far? Not far enough? Please weigh in. . .
Maricopa County Prosecutor Andrew Thomas hopes shame will keep drunk drivers off the road with Billboards:
Maricopa County, Arizona Attorney Andrew Thomas has announced a campaign aimed at reducing drunk driving in the Phoenix area. He is going to put photographs of motorists arrested for Arizona DUI on billboards and a website.
The campaign will feature faces of those convicted of Arizona DUI. The billboards will be erected in time for the upcoming holidays and remain in place through New Year’s Day. A related website will outline details of the drunk driving arrest and indicate whether there were any injuries.
Thomas, lead prosecutor in Maricopa County, wants drivers to think twice about drinking and driving by seeing the consequences of their decisions. In addition to the threat of jail time and loss of license, Thomas wants shame to be a DUI deterrent.
The campaign costs approximately three-quarters of a million dollars, and it has been paid for by an Arizona DUI-fighting grant and from a state fund containing assets seized from RICO criminal offenders.
Once more demonstrating his disregard of facts, "W" has stated that 'nothing has changed,' following the National Intelligence Estimate report which stated that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program four years ago. This assessment is, of course, in direct contradiction to the propaganda that Bush has been spewing for so long now. But following his tried and true method of ignoring reality, he said the following: "I think the NIE makes it clear that Iran needs to be taken seriously as a threat to peace."
The biggest threat to peace that the world faces today seems to be Mr. Bush himself:
Thom Hartmann has a new book out about American political discourse called Cracking the Code. In an interview about the book, the state of politics today, and the future of progressive talk radio, Hartmann had the following take on the Democratic candidates for president:
"The Republican Party runs like a well-oiled machine, it really runs like a corporation. Top down, hierarchical, power driving from the top down. And when Bush talked about he was going to be the first CEO president, it made a lot of sense to Republicans. The Democratic Party on the other hand is a coalition of coalitions. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are herding cats. That's the weakness of the Democratic Party, but it's also its strength. Because it means that the institution itself is democratic, that it is reflecting the values that it seeks to uphold.
So my goal with the book is not to encourage the Democratic Party to become more like the Republican Party and become a monolithic, top down driven institution, but rather to educate and empower the many different individuals within all those different factions to be more competent with messaging.Ronald Reagan, FDR, and Jack Kennedy were three of the greatest communicators that we've had in the White House ...What made them great was, first of all, their ability to be multimodal in their communication. They talked about their vision for America, they talked about their story of America, and they gave America a sense of what they thought it could be.
John Edwards is a brilliant communicator. Barrack Obama is a brilliant communicator. I think Edwards has the potential to be the next FDR and I think Barrack has the chance to be the next John Kennedy."
Labels: funny commercials
In case you don't know what the "Huck" is going on, I submit the following for your perusal: