From the L.A. Times:
Davis died Thursday at his home in Hudson, N.Y., his wife, Mimi Raleigh, told the Associated Press. He had throat and neck cancer.
Classmates while growing up in Minneapolis, Davis and Franken developed stand-up routines in Minnesota and Los Angeles before landing the gig on “Saturday Night Live.” They wrote and performed on the show, creating the Coneheads characters and skits featuring Bill Murray‘s Nick the Lounge Singer.
As performers, Davis was the quiet one, overshadowed by the flashier Franken, who is now a Democratic senator from Minnesota. Davis told the AP in 2009: “If we were Sonny and Cher, he would be Cher.” The two had a falling out in 1990 but later reconciled.
Davis stayed with “SNL” from its first season until 1980, then returned for another run from 1985 to 1994 and again in 2002-03. He was among the “SNL” writers who shared Emmy Awards in 1976, ’77 and ’89. He won another writing Emmy in 1978 for a Paul Simon variety show.
- Al Franken’s ‘SNL’ partner, Tom Davis, dies in NY (news.yahoo.com)
- Tom Davis, Al Franken’s ‘SNL’ Partner, Dies… – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- Tom Davis Dies at 59; ‘S.N.L.’ Writer and Comedy Partner to a Future Senator (nytimes.com)
- Al Franken’s ‘SNL’ partner, Tom Davis, dies in US (thejakartapost.com)
- R.I.P. Tom Davis (deadline.com)
- Tom Davis dies: SNL writer, Al Franken partner dead at 59 (examiner.com)
- Celebrated ‘SNL’ Writer Dies At 59 (huffingtonpost.com)
Raw Story ran this from Helen Wheels:
Everyone should copy & paste this for safekeeping and for sticking in lying sack of shit baggerfascists’ faces whenever necessary. I, with the help of other commenters up here, have kept a running tab of the GOP War on Women:
– Every GOP member vote FOR Anti-Safe Abortion Legislation
– Every GOP member vote FOR Blunt/Rubio Anti-Women’s Equal Health
Coverage Amendment. While Blunt/Rubio Amendment does not allow employer
to deny men employee health coverage for Vasectomy, the Blunt/Rubio
Amendment allows Employer to deny female employees & female
dependents: contraception, tubes tied, and hysterectomies.
– GOP Redefine Rape
– GOP write legislation to probe metal prongs up a woman’s vagina
– GOP change legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence
– GOP write legislation that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides
abortion care. (South Dakota GOP)
– GOP write legislation to cut nearly a billion dollars of aid to low-income
pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.
– GOP write legislation that would let hospitals allow a woman to die
rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
– GOP write law cutting ALL funding for low-income kids saying “Women
should really be home with the kids, not out working (Maryland)
– GOP Cut Funding for Head Start, by $1 Billion.
– Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women: GOP write Bill to CUT
funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
– GOP Candidates for President vow and pledge to Cut Funding for Planned
– GOP voted for a Amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood
– GOP write Bill to eliminate all funds for Federal Family Planning Program.
– GOP Jan Brewer (R- AZ) Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday
signed one of the most controversial and restrictive abortion bans in the
country, which experts say effectively bans abortions after 18 weeks and
declares that a woman could be pregnant 2 weeks before she even had sex.
States passed 83 laws restricting access to abortion, nearly four times the
23 laws passed in 2010. A lot of that had to do with the 2010 elections, which
ushered in a wave of Republican legislators and governors. This year, the
number of states with fully anti-abortion governments — in which both the
governor and the legislature oppose abortion rights — increased from
10 to 15.
Got it? Pass it around… post it on your blogs…print it out and pin it to bulletin boards everywhere.
Your iPhone may be tracking your every move and Senator Al Franken, with Congressman Ed Markey, has set out to do something about it.
Researchers found that iPhones and iPads track and record users’ locations by latitude and longitude, sometimes hundreds of times a day, for up to a year, storing the file in an unencrypted format on the device.
Franken highlights some of the potential dangers of this system, noting someone in possession of a stolen iPhone or iPad could “easily download and map out a customer’s precise movements for months at a time.” The senator also points out that there’s no indication the software can tell the difference between minors and adults meaning that “the millions of children and teenagers who use iPhone or iPad devices also risk having their location collected and compromised.”
I’m going to reproduce Franken’s letter to Apple Chairman Steve Jobs here:
Dear Mr. Jobs,
I read with concern a recent report by security researchers that Apple’s iOS 4 operating system is secretly compiling its customers’ location data in a file stored on iPhones, 3G iPads, and every computer that users used to “sync” their devices. According to the researchers, this file contains consumers’ latitude and longitude for every day they used an iPhone or 3G iPad running the iOS 4 operating system-sometimes logging their precise geo-location up to 100 times a day. The researchers who discovered this file found that it contained up to a year’s worth of data, starting from the day they installed the iOS 4 operating system. What is even more worrisome is that this file is stored in an unencrypted format on customers’ iPads, iPhones, and every computer a customer has used to back up his or her information. See Alasdair Allen & Pete Warden, Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is Recording Your Moves (Apr. 20, 2011), available at http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/04/apple-location-tracking.html.
The existence of this information stored in an unencrypted format-raises serious privacy concerns. The researchers who uncovered this file speculated that it generated location based on cell phone triangulation technology. If that is indeed the case, the location available in this file is likely accurate to 50 meters or less. See Testimony of Michael Amarosa, Before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, June 24, 2010 at page 7 available at http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Amarosa100624.pdf. Anyone who gains access to this single file could likely determine the location of a user’s home, the businesses he frequents, the doctors he visits, the schools his children attend, and the trips he has taken-over the past months or even a year. Cf: People v. Weaver, 909 N.E.2d 1195, 1199- 1200 (N.Y. 2009) (“What this technology yields and records with breathtaking quality and quantity is a highly detailed profile, not simply of where we go, but by easy inference, of our associations … and of the pattern of our professional and avocational pursuits.”).
Moreover, because this data is stored in multiple locations in an unencrypted format, there are various ways that third parties could gain access to this file. Anyone who finds a lost or stolen iPhone or iPad or who has access to any computer used to sync one of these devices could easily download and map out a customer’s precise movements for months at a time. It is also entirely conceivable that malicious persons may create viruses to access this data from customers’ iPhones, iPads, and desktop and laptop computers. There are numerous ways in which this information could be abused by criminals and bad actors. Furthermore, there is no indication that this file is any different for underage iPhone or iPad users, meaning that the millions of children and teenagers who use iPhone or iPad devices also risk having their locationcollected and compromised. An estimated 13% of the 108 million iPhones and 19 million iPad devices sold are used by individuals under the age of 18, although some of these devices may not have been upgraded to iOS4. See AdMob, Admob Mobile Metrics Report at 5 (Jan. 2010), available at htt://metrics.admob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/AdMob-Mobile-Metrics-Jan-10.pdf; Complaint of Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics CV-11-1846 at 4-5 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 15, 2011).
These developments raise several questions:
- Why does Apple collect and compile this location data? Why did Apple choose to initiate tracking this data in its iOS 4 operating system?
- Does Apple collect and compile this location data for laptops?
- How is this data generated? (GPS, cell tower triangulation, WiFi triangulation, etc.)
- How frequently is a user’s location recorded? What triggers the creation of a record of someone’s location?
- How precise is this location data? Can it track a user’s location to 50 meters, 100 meter, etc.?
- Why is this data not encrypted? What steps will Apple take to encrypt this data?
- Why were Apple consumers never affiamtely informed of the collection and retention of their location data in this manner? Why did Apple not seek affirmative consent before doing so?
- To whom, if anyone, including Apple, has this data been disclosed. When and why were these disclosures made?
I would appreciate your prompt response to these questions and thank you for your attention to this matter.
United States Senator
- Are iPhones Tracking Us? Al Franken Wants Answers (techland.time.com)
- Senator Al Franken takes the iPhone location tracking issue to Steve Jobs (9to5mac.com)
- Dear Steve Jobs: Al Franken Has 9 Questions For You About Location Tracking (AAPL) (businessinsider.com)
- Congressmen Press Steve Jobs On iPhone Tracking (huffingtonpost.com)
- Steve Jobs, Come Clean! (thedailybeast.com)
- Franken questions Apple over tracking (cnn.com)
- iPhones, iPads secretly tracking user’s whereabouts (ctv.ca)
- Privacy concern: Your Apple tracks your location without your permission (wilderside.wordpress.com)
Found this in Raw Story:
Telecoms want ‘to put Netflix out of business entirely,’ Sen. Franken tells SXSW
Here’s a clip, but go into Raw Story and read the rest:
- Are Big Corporations Trying to Shut Down the Internet? (lockergnome.com)
- Al Franken Warns Of ‘Outright Disaster’ Over Net Neutrality (paidcontent.org)
- SXSW 2011: Al Franken warns of ‘outright disaster’ over net neutrality (guardian.co.uk)
- Sen. Al Franken seeks Net neutrality support at SXSW (cnet.com)
- Franken: They’re ‘after the Internet’ (politico.com)
- Netflix’s Streaming Cost Per Movie Drops 50% From 2009, Expected To Spend $50M In 2011 (streamingmedia.com)
- Stunning story revealed in latest Netflix movie stats (cbsnews.com)
Sign Al’s petition at AlFranken.com.
- Al Franken Makes a Case For Net Neutrality (yro.slashdot.org)
- Scandal! Entertainer Owes Back Taxes! [Politics] (gawker.com)
- Al Franken, Former NBC Employee, Fights For Old Network in Face of Comcast Takeover (observer.com)
- Franken Warns FCC Chief on Net Neutrality, Comcast Deal (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
This was in the HuffPo today… I reproduce it in full here:
This Tuesday is an important day in the fight to save the Internet.
As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate.
This principle is called “net neutrality” — and it’s under attack. Internet service giants like Comcast and Verizon want to offer premium and privileged access to the Internet for corporations who can afford to pay for it.
The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission has the power to issue regulations that protect net neutrality. The bad news is that draft regulations written by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski don’t do that at all. They’re worse than nothing.
That’s why Tuesday is such an important day. The FCC will be meeting to discuss those regulations, and we must make sure that its members understand that allowing corporations to control the Internet is simply unacceptable.
Although Chairman Genachowski’s draft Order has not been made public, early reports make clear that it falls far short of protecting net neutrality.
For many Americans — particularly those who live in rural areas — the future of the Internet lies in mobile services. But the draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections.
Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. For instance, Verizon could prevent you from accessing Google Maps on your phone, forcing you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it costs money to use and isn’t nearly as good. Or a mobile provider with a political agenda could prevent you from downloading an app that connects you with the Obama campaign (or, for that matter, a Tea Party group in your area).
It gets worse. The FCC has never before explicitly allowed discrimination on the Internet — but the draft Order takes a step backwards, merely stating that so-called “paid prioritization” (the creation of a “fast lane” for big corporations who can afford to pay for it) is cause for concern.
It sure is — but that’s exactly why the FCC should ban it. Instead, the draft Order would have the effect of actually relaxing restrictions on this kind of discrimination.
What’s more, even the protections that are established in the draft Order would be weak because it defines “broadband Internet access service” too narrowly, making it easy for powerful corporations to get around the rules.
Here’s what’s most troubling of all. Chairman Genachowski and President Obama — who nominated him — have argued convincingly that they support net neutrality.
But grassroots supporters of net neutrality are beginning to wonder if we’ve been had. Instead of proposing regulations that would truly protect net neutrality, reports indicate that Chairman Genachowski has been calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement of this draft proposal, which would destroy it.
No chairman should be soliciting sign-off from the corporations that his agency is supposed to regulate — and no true advocate of a free and open Internet should be seeking the permission of large media conglomerates before issuing new rules.
After all, just look at Comcast — this Internet monolith has reportedly imposed a new, recurring fee on Level 3 Communications, the company slated to be the primary online delivery provider for Netflix. That’s the same Netflix that represents Comcast’s biggest competition in video services.
Imagine if Comcast customers couldn’t watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast’s Video On Demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist.
That’s why net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time. And that’s why, this Tuesday, when the FCC meets to discuss this badly flawed proposal, I’ll be watching. If they approve it as is, I’ll be outraged. And you should be, too.
- Franken Warns FCC Chief on Net Neutrality, Comcast Deal (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- Internet Service Guarantees is What Net Neutrality (and consumers) Need (fiberevolution.com)
- FCC nears vote U.S. Internet traffic shaping regs (theglobeandmail.com)
- Comcast gets hammered by complaints (politico.com)
- Franken to FCC: Fix Net Neutrality Plan or Nix It (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- Choosing Sides Over Net Neutrality (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Franken Unplugged (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Franken stumps in Delaware for Chris Coons (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- University of Minnesota Press Launches Newest Book – This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Senate Recount (eon.businesswire.com)
- Al Franken presents the “ditch” speech (salon.com)
And chokes up as he does… This was picked up at TPM:
Al is turning into one of the most moving Senators… I hope to hell he doesn’t get corrupted. He’s so good right now.
- Franken gets emotional over ‘Don’t ask’ vote (politico.com)
- Senator Al Franken’s Final Word- An Emotional Story About DADT (lezgetreal.com)
“We can’t let companies write the rules that we the people are supposed to follow. Because if that happens those rules will be written only to protect corporations.”
– Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
Read more HERE.
Well, one way is to get a city like Duluth, MN, as a prime participant in the Google Fiber for Twin Ports project, which would bring high-speed fiber optics to a broad mass of Franken’s constituents. He may be using comedy, but he’s dead serious about bringing the best, new internet technologies to Minnesota.
Take a look:
“If we in the Senate pledge to fix those top priorities right away through reconciliation… the House of Representatives should pass the Senate bill. The exact details of this process need to be worked out by the leadership and the president.
Like it or not, the reality is that big pieces of legislation often need to be fixed after passage. Health care is a historic undertaking and this is no different. I think we have to stop letting the perfect — and everyone has different definitions of perfect — we have to stop letting the perfect be the enemy of the good… Walking away empty-handed to me is just not an option.”
– Sen. Al Franken (D- Minn.)
Al, of course, is calling for use of the Reconciliation process… and forget the Repiglicans’ 41 vote “majority”.
Let’s go back to the time before Al Franken was a Senator… back to when he wrote “Lying Liars, etc…” and was campaigning to get Bush out of office. Here is “Supply Side Jesus” done as an animated comic book. Al’s perception was correct all along… and the Republicans he was satirizing haven’t changed much, either.
I thought John McCain was going to explode!
Al, you did a fine thing today. Holy Joe does not need to be glorified, extended or listened to a second longer than necessary.
Michael Moore makes a really good observation on his site:
In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Furchtgott-Roth argued:
As configured, the three plans under consideration today would cause job loss and impede job creation, increasing the probability of bankruptcy. They would encourage American firms to move abroad, taking jobs to other countries.
But Franken countered that people in other countries with national health plans don’t go bankrupt for medical reasons.
Take a look at this video and see what I mean:
Of course France and Germany and such are SOCIALIST plans and not the kind of thing that Americans (who pay the most for the least) would want to even think of.
Listening to Jay Rockefeller (who is one of my 2 Senators here in WV) on Keith Olbermann a few minutes ago, he talked about an Amendment he is going to propose at the Finance Committee markup, probably tonite (they are working late). He said it was adapted from an Amendment that Al Franken had proposed at his own committee ( Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee) when they put their Health Care proposal together.
Al and Jay have tightened it… it helps stand up to the Insurance Companies walking away with 90% of the funds that the new bill will create, funds which, in their greed, has caused the Insurers and their lobbyists to keep Baucus away from the Public Option and has made any number of Senators their puppets.
Good for Al and Jay… let’s see if Baucus lets this Amendment get in (you know the Repiglicans, led by Chuck the Schmuck Grassley, will vote against it.)