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If you don't know what "brown bread" is.  Refer to the Cockney rhyming slang dictionary.  🙏

 

RIP,  Lee Iacocca.

 

Auto industry icon Lee Iacocca, once one of America's highest profile business executives and credited with rescuing Chrysler from near-bankruptcy in the 1980s, has died. He was 94.

 

He was instrumental in the creation of the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler minivan.
 
Iacocca's youngest daughter confirmed he passed away of natural causes Tuesday. He is survived by two daughters and eight grandchildren.
 
Born Lido Anthony Iacocca in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on October 15, 1924, to Italian immigrant parents, he would go on to lead two major American car companies.
 
Iacocca started working at Ford Motor Company in 1946, and was a major figure in the development of the Ford Mustang — the first vehicle of its kind. He was named president of Ford in 1970, but was fired by Henry Ford Jr. in 1978.
 
"I began my life as the son of immigrants, and I worked my way up to the presidency of the Ford Motor Company," Iacocca wrote in his 1984 autobiography.
 
"When I finally got there, I was on top of the world. But then fate said to me: 'Wait. We're not finished with you. Now you're going to find out what it feels like to get kicked off Mt. Everest!'"
 
He was then hired by Chrysler Corp. in 1978 and became the company's CEO in 1979. He is credited with saving the company from bankruptcy.
 
Iacocca urged Congress to authorize the Treasury Department to guarantee $1.5 billion in bank loans for Chrysler. Chrysler needed the bailout to survive back to back recessions in the early 1980s. Chrysler repaid the loans early. Treasury made money on the stock it received as part of bailout packages. 
 
With the help of more fuel efficient and competitive products such as the so-called K-cars — which included the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant — Chrysler became strong and profitable again. 
 
Iacocca led Chrysler during an era in which Asian and European imports first started to take a significant share of the US automakers' portion of the American car market.
 
The American consumer may remember him best from a series of Chrysler TV commercials, in which he said, "if you can find a better car, buy it."
 
He retired from Chrysler in 1992. In 1995, Iacocca sued the company accusing it of illegally preventing him from exercising stock options. Chrysler then filed suit against him, saying he gave confidential information to Kirk Kerkorian — who tried to take over the company.
 
Chrysler and Iacocca settled their lawsuits in 1996.
 
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement that it was saddened by the news of Iacocca's passing.
 
"He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through crisis and making it a true competitive force," FCA said in a statement. "He was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole. He also played a profound and tireless role on the national stage as a business statesman and philanthropist."
 
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, said Iacocca was "truly bigger than life and he left an indelible mark on Ford."
 
Ford said he appreciated Iacocca's encouragement during Ford's early career. "He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed."
 
Iacocca was from another era of American business. In his autobiography Iacocca explains why he adopted the name Lee in place of his Italian birth name Lido. It was the 1950s and he was traveling throughout the East Coast teaching Ford employees how to sell trucks.
 
"As part of my job, I had to make a lot of long-distance calls," he said in his autobiography. "In those days, there was no direct dialing, so that you always had to go through an operator. They'd ask for my name, and I'd say 'Iacocca." Of course, they had no idea how to spell it, so there was always a struggle to get that right. Then they'd ask for my first name and when I said 'Lido,' they'd break out laughing. Finally I said to myself: 'Who needs it?' and I started calling myself Lee."

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I came from Detroit. It was a place in the 1940's and 1950's people flocked to, in order to make it into a decent life. 

I was the youngest of nine kids, both parents were smart. I saw a lot of good things and a whole lot of bad things.

My best friends dad had the first 1964 mustang in his garage. It was sitting in an old wooden garage barely big enough to fit it in Garden City, MI.

It was his baby. 

 

Peace!

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Até mais Joao.  Probably my all time favorite easy listening tune. 

 

One of the fathers of bossa nova is gone. Brazilian guitarist and songwriter Joao Gilberto died Saturday at home in Rio de Janeiro after struggling with health problems, the BBC reports. He was 88. "His fight was noble, he tried to maintain dignity," his son Marcelo posted on Facebook. Born in 1931, Gilberto started singing at 18 and released three records as bossa nova, a combination of jazz and samba, blossomed in the late 1950s and grabbed the world's attention in the 1960s. Those records—Chega de Saudade; El Amor, La Sonrisa y La Flor; and Joao Gilberto—gained an international following, per the AP.

 

"It was Joao Gilberto, the greatest genius of Brazilian music, who was the definitive influence on my music," wrote singer Gal Costa on social media. Gilberto also won multiple Grammy awards, including Album of the Year, for the classic record Getz/Gilberto with American sax player Stan Getz—another big boost for the bossa nova style. His recordings of songs like "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Quiet Nights" became international hits as his music captured a a time of optimism in Brazil. He spent the last 10 years by himself in Rio, the BBC says, dealing with financial and mental-health issues. "He was the principal voice of the best known Brazilian style in the world and a revolutionary without even really meaning to be," says a music journalist. 

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H. Ross Perot, the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice ran for president as a third-party candidate, has died. He was 89.

 

Perot, whose 19% of the vote in 1992 stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century, died early Tuesday at his home in Dallas surrounded by his devoted family, family spokesman James Fuller said.

 

As a boy in Texarkana, Texas, Perot delivered newspapers from the back of a pony. He earned his billions in a more modern way, however. After attending the U.S. Naval Academy and becoming a salesman for IBM, he went his own way — creating and building Electronic Data Systems Corp., which helped other companies manage their computer networks.

 

Yet the most famous event in his career didn't involve sales and earnings; he financed a private commando raid in 1979 to free two EDS employees who were being held in a prison in Iran. The tale was turned into a book and a movie.

 

Perot first became known to Americans outside of business circles by claiming that the U.S. government left behind hundreds of American soldiers who were missing or imprisoned at the end of the Vietnam War. Perot fanned the issue at home and discussed it privately with Vietnamese officials in the 1980s, angering the Reagan administration, which was formally negotiating with Vietnam's government.

 

Perot's wealth, fame and confident prescription for the nation's economic ills propelled his 1992 campaign against President George H.W. Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton. Some Republicans blamed him for Bush's loss to Clinton as Perot garnered the largest percentage of votes for a third-party candidate since former President Theodore Roosevelt's 1912 bid.

 

During the campaign, Perot spent $63.5 million of his own money and bought 30-minute television spots. He used charts and graphs to make his points, summarizing them with a line that became a national catchphrase: "It's just that simple."

 

Perot's second campaign four years later was far less successful. He was shut out of presidential debates when organizers said he lacked sufficient support. He got just 8% of the vote, and the Reform Party that he founded and hoped to build into a national political force began to fall apart.

 

However, Perot's ideas on trade and deficit reduction remained part of the political landscape. He blamed both major parties for running up a huge federal budget deficit and allowing American jobs to be sent to other countries. The movement of U.S. jobs to Mexico, he said, created a "giant sucking sound."

 

Perot continued to speak out about federal spending for many years. In 2008, he launched a website to highlight the nation's debt with a ticker that tracked the rising total, a blog and a chart presentation.

 

Henry Ross Perot was born in Texarkana on June 27, 1930. His father was a cotton broker; his mother a secretary. Perot said his family survived the Depression relatively well through hard work and by managing their money carefully.

 

Young Perot's first job was delivering papers in a poor, mostly black part of town from his pony, Miss Bee. When the newspaper tried to cut his commission, he said he complained to the publisher — and won. He said that taught him to take problems straight to the top.

 

From Texarkana, Perot went to the U.S. Naval Academy even though he had never been on a ship or seen the ocean. After the Navy, Perot joined International Business Machines in 1955 and quickly became a top salesman. In his last year at IBM, he filled his sales quota for the year in January.

 

In 1962, with $1,000 from his wife, Margot, Perot founded Electronic Data Systems. Hardware accounted for about 80% of the computer business, Perot said, and IBM wasn't interested in the other 20%, including services.

 

Many of the early hires at EDS were former military men, and they had to abide by Perot's strict dress code — white shirts, ties, no beards or mustaches — and long workdays. Many had crew cuts, like Perot.

 

The company's big break came in the mid-1960s when the federal government created Medicare and Medicaid, the health programs for seniors, the disabled and the poor. States needed help in running the programs, and EDS won contracts — starting in Texas — to handle the millions of claims.

 

EDS first sold stock to the public in 1968, and overnight, Perot was worth $350 million. His fortune doubled and tripled as the stock price rose steadily.

 

In 1984, he sold control of the company to General Motors Corp. for $2.5 billion and received $700 million in a buyout. In 2008, EDS was sold to Hewlett-Packard Co.

Perot went on to establish another computer-services company, Perot Systems Corp. He retired as CEO in 2000 and was succeeded by his son, Ross Perot Jr. In 2009, Dell Inc. bought Perot Systems.

 

In September 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Perot's wealth at $3.5 billion and ranked him No. 91 on its list of richest Americans.

 

Perot was not immune to mistakes in business. His biggest might have been a 1971 investment in duPont Glore Forgan, then one of the biggest brokerage houses on Wall Street. The administration of President Richard Nixon asked Perot to save the company to head off an investor panic, and he also poured money into another troubled brokerage, Walston & Co., but wound up losing much of his $100 million investment.

 

It was during the Nixon administration that Perot became involved in the issue of U.S. prisoners of war in Southeast Asia. Perot said Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asked him to lead a campaign to improve treatment of POWs held in North Vietnam. Perot chartered two jets to fly medical supplies and the wives of POWs to Southeast Asia. They were not allowed into North Vietnam, but the trip attracted enormous media attention.

 

After their release in 1973, some prisoners said conditions in the camps had improved after the failed missions.

 

In 1979, the Iranian government jailed two EDS executives and Perot vowed to win their release.

 

"Ross came to the prison one day and said, 'We're going to get you out,'" one of the men, Paul Chiapparone, told The Associated Press. "How many CEOs would do that today?"

 

Perot recruited retired U.S. Army Special Forces Col. Arthur "Bull" Simons to lead a commando raid on the prison. A few days later, the EDS executives walked free after the shah's regime fell and mobs stormed the prison. Simons' men sneaked the executives out of the country and into Turkey. The adventure was recalled in Ken Follett's best-selling book "On Wings of Eagles" and a TV miniseries.

 

In later years, Perot pushed the Veterans Affairs Department to study neurological causes of Gulf War syndrome, a mysterious illness reported by many soldiers who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf war. He scoffed at officials who blamed the illnesses on stress — "as if they are wimps" — and paid for additional research.

 

Perot received a special award from the VA for his support of veterans and the military in 2009.

 

In Texas, Perot led commissions on education reform and crime. He was given many honorary degrees and awards for business success and patriotism.

 

While he worked at Perot Systems in suburban Dallas, entire hallways were filled with memorabilia from soldiers and POWs that Perot had helped. His personal office was dominated by large paintings of his wife and five children and bronze sculptures by Frederic Remington.

 

Several original Norman Rockwell paintings hung in the waiting area, and Perot once told a visiting reporter that he tried to live by Rockwell's ethics of hard, honest work and family.

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Freddie Jones agent Lesley Duff announced the actor’s, death. “It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of Freddie Jones. ‘who passed away on the evening of July 9 after a short illness. ‘Freddie was a much loved and admired actor, known for his triumphs in classical theatre, film, and television. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and most especially his family.’

 

Jones left the ITV soap last year with Sandy jetting off to Australia to visit Betty and her friend Maisie. Explaining his decision to leave the soap, he admitted in 2018 that it was about finding balance in his life. Jones played Sandy Thomas on the soap from 2005 to 2018. 

 

Emmerdale offered him another contract to stay on for one more year, but he turned it down as he felt there wasn’t much more Sandy could do after Ashley’s death. He told Radio Times at the time: ‘It’s about the balance of my life. The company generously offered me another 12 months. But I just thought, “I have no idea what I’m going to do in another bloody year!” The drama that Ashley’s death gave me last year was monumental. But that’s gone now.

 

Jones was born in Dresden, a suburb of the town of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, the son of Ida Elizabeth (née Goodwin) and Charles Edward Jones. He became an actor after ten years of working as a laboratory assistant with the British Ceramic Research Association in Penkhull, leaving (according to him) because of a ‘ban on beards.'[citation needed] He then pursued his hobby of acting on a full-time basis.

 

Jones, the father of actor Toby Jones, started out performing in amateur theatre as a side project while he worked as a laboratory assistant. Later in life he decided to make a career change and began acting full time, getting his first credit on TV mini-series Androcles And The Lion in 1960. He also had roles in dramas Far From The Madding Crowd and Nicholas Nickleby, even landing TV parts in Heartbeat and Casualty. 

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RIP, John Paul Stevens

 

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99, ABC News has confirmed.

 

"Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, John Paul Stevens, died this evening at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, of complications following a stroke he suffered on July 15. He passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side. He was 99 years old," the Supreme Court said in a statement.

 

Stevens was nominated to the high court by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975 and retired in 2010 after serving more than 34 years on the court.

 

He is survived by his children, Elizabeth Jane Sesemann and Susan Roberta Mullen, nine grandchildren: Kathryn, Christine, Edward, Susan, Lauren, John, Madison, Hannah, Haley, and 13 great grandchildren. His first wife Elizabeth Jane, his second wife, Maryan Mulholland, his son, John Joseph, and his daughter, Kathryn, preceded him in death.

 

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. released a statement through the Supreme Court following the death announcement.

 

“On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice John Paul Stevens has passed away. A son of the Midwest heartland and a veteran of World War II, Justice Stevens devoted his long life to public service, including 35 years on the Supreme Court. He brought to our bench an inimitable blend of kindness, humility, wisdom, and independence. His unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation. We extend our deepest condolences to his children Elizabeth and Susan, and to his extended family," the statement read.

 

Despite being put on the bench by a Republican, Stevens became a hero to liberals voting to limit the use of the death penalty, uphold affirmative action, broaden the core holding of Roe v. Wade and argue for a strict separation of church and state.

 

But Stevens might be best known for his dissent in Bush v. Gore, the controversial Supreme Court decision that halted a recount of Florida ballots and cleared the way for George W. Bush to take the presidency.

 

"Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear," Stevens wrote at the time. "It is the nation's confidence in the judge as the impartial guardian of the rule of law."

 

Stevens was active in legal and political discourse to the very end.

 

In May, he gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal, giving this assessment of our politics today: "I think there are things we should be concerned about, there’s no doubt about that,” he says, parrying requests for specifics. Eventually, he allows, “The president is exercising powers that do not really belong to him. I mean, he has to comply with subpoenas and things like that.”

 

Stevens also penned an op-ed published in The New York Times in March 2018 calling for action to end gun violence. Stevens called for a repeal of the Second Amendment to the Constitution in order to weaken the National Rifle Association’s ability to "stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation."

 

President Donald Trump dismissed Stevens' call to repeal the Second Amendment. "The second amendment will never be repealed," Trump tweeted at the time. "As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens."

 

Speaking at Washington University School of Law in 2016, Stevens was asked what about his legacy. His reply: "I did the best I could."

 

Earlier this year he released his third book - an autobiography - "The Making of a Justice, Reflections on My First 94 Years."

 

Reflecting in the book on the 2000 Bush v Gore decision, he writes, “I remain of the view that the Court has not fully recovered from the damage it inflicted on itself."

 

Stevens was known as a keen tactician on the court. Because he was the senior justice on the liberal side of the bench, he had the authority to assign cases when the chief justice was voting on the other side.

 

Stevens used this authority strategically, sometimes assigning himself the big decisions, but other times working with an undecided justice hoping to bring him or her to his side of the argument.

 

He once told law professor Jeffrey Rosen, "In all candor, if you think somebody might not be solid...it might be wiser to let that person write the opinion."

 

Stevens' rise to the High Court

Shortly after graduating from the University of Chicago in 1941, Stevens joined the Navy and served as a code-breaker in WWII, for which he was awarded a bronze star.

 

After the war, Stevens attended Northwestern Law School with funds from the G.I. Bill, after which he served as law clerk to Justice Wiley Rutledge of the Supreme Court during the 1947 term, the court said in a statement.

 

Stevens was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1949.

 

From 1970-1975, Stevens served as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

 

Upon his retirement from the Supreme Court in April 2010, then-President Barack Obama hailed Stevens as an "impartial guardian of the law."

"Justice Stevens has courageously served his country from the moment he enlisted the day before Pearl Harbor to his long and distinguished tenure on the Supreme Court," the president said. "During that tenure he has stood as an impartial guardian of the law. He's worn the judicial robe with honor and humility. He has applied the Constitution and the laws of the land with fidelity and restraint."

Stevens on the issues

Abortion: Stevens was not yet on the court when Roe v. Wade, the opinion that legalized abortion, was decided, but he later voted to reaffirm its core holding in Casey v. Pennsylvania.

 

Affirmative Action: In 2003, he voted to uphold the admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School which took race into consideration in its admissions process. Stevens told an audience at Fordham College in 2006, "With respect to the constitutionality of affirmative action, we have learned that justifications based on past sins may be less persuasive than those predicated on anticipated future benefits."

 

Death Penalty: During his career on the high court, Stevens came full circle on the issue of the death penalty. In 1976, he voted to reinstate the use of the death penalty but 32 years later, he dropped a bombshell: he had come to believe the death penalty was unconstitutional.

 

In Baze v. Rees (2008) he wrote: "I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty represents the pointless and needless extinction of life with only marginal contributions to any discernible social or public purposes."

 

Before this revelation, he wrote Atkins v. Virginia (2002), which ended the death penalty for mentally retarded criminals, and voted to strike down the death penalty for juvenile offenders.

 

Campaign Finance: Stevens authored a withering dissent in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 5-4 decision that invalidated decades old federal legislation restricting corporate spending in poltical campaigns.Stevens read his dissent from the bench shredding the majority's reasoning, saying "at bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt."

 

Gay rights: In 2003, Stevens assigned Justice Anthony Kennedy to write Lawrence v. Taylor, the landmark gay rights case striking down a criminal ban on gay consensual sex. In his opinion, Kennedy relied heavily on a dissent Stevens had written years earlier in an opinion upholding an anti-gay law.

 

Internet: In Sony v. Universal Studios, he wrote the decision that found consumers do not violate federal copyright law when they tape TV programs with their video cassette recorders.

 

Flag Burning: Stevens didn't always express a liberal view in his opinions. In 1989, Stevens, who won a Bronze Star in World War II, wrote a strong dissent in a decision that upheld a protester's right to burn the American flag. Stevens said, "Sanctioning the public desecration of the flag will tarnish its value -- both for those who cherish the ideas for which it waves and for those who desire to don the robes of martyrdom by burning it."

 

National Security: In Rasul v. Bush, Stevens struck a blow to the Bush administration's take on executive power when he said that federal courts have the jurisdiction to hear challenges to foreign nationals being held in Guantanamo Bay. "In national security cases under the second Bush administration, Guantanamo-type cases, he was very strong in ruling against what he said were excessive uses of presidential power and in expanding judicial power in the national security area," said National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor.

Stevens: A Judicial Conservative?

In the few interviews the justice has granted over the years, he has steadfastly maintained that he is a judicial conservative, despite his liberal votes. He suggests that he hasn't changed, but the court became more conservative.

 

"I see myself as a conservative, to tell you the truth," he told ABC in 2007, just after the death of Gerald R. Ford, the president who nominated him.

 

In that interview, Stevens expressed his admiration for Ford, saying, "I have to tell you I was amazed to find how intelligent he was; right away, I realized I was talking to a very sound, good lawyer, which is kind of contrary to the image he portrayed to the press as sort of being a klutz or something. He was anything but. He was a charming, decent guy."

 

As for Ford, until his death, he maintained how proud he was of his decision to name Stevens to the court. In 2005, Ford sent a letter to the Fordham Law School which said, in part, that Stevens, "served his nation well, at all times carrying out his judicial duties with dignity, intellect and without partisan political concerns.

 

"Justice Stevens has made me, and our fellow citizens, proud of my three-decade-old decision to appoint him to the Supreme Court," Ford wrote. "For I am prepared to allow history’s judgment of my term in office to rest (if necessary, exclusively) on my nomination thirty years ago of Justice John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court." Stevens has the letter framed in his chambers.

 

Stevens was born in Chicago in April 1920 to a wealthy South Side family. His father owned the famed Stevens Hotel, which is now the Chicago Hilton. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1941 and then served as a Navy intelligence officer. He graduated from Northwestern University Law School in 1947.

 

Stevens was just a few years away from breaking the record for the longest serving member of the court held by William O. Douglas who stepped down after 36 years on the bench. But former Stevens clerks say their boss had no interest in breaking records.

 

Unlike most other justices, he wrote the first draft of his opinions himself, he continues to play tennis and commutes to his home in Florida. He told Joan Biskupic of USA Today that he was surprised at the frenzy of speculation over his retirement."That can't be news," he said in October, declining to reveal his plans. "I'm not exactly a kid."

 

Asked about his legacy in the 2007 interview with ABC, Stevens said he wanted to be remembered on the basis of the opinions he's written. "There's an awful lot of them. They'd have to pick and choose among them," he said. "But you leave -- you know, you leave your record on what you had to say over the years.

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