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Weekend link dump for July 14

“Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes of insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone.”

Eh, who cares about honeybees, anyway?

“The sport should be so much further along by now; these women should be making so much more money; and these women shouldn’t have to fight so hard just to prove that they’re worthy of a modicum of the investment and attention that male athletes get simply because they’re men.”

RIP, Joao Gilberto, musician and composer and the father of bossa nova.

Megan Rapinoe is a mensch.

“But, finally, it looks like justice will be served to [Jeffrey] Epstein in the form of new sex-trafficking charges filed by the formidable U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.”

In case it’s unclear: Fuck Jeffrey Epstein, and fuck everyone who may have abetted him.

“[T]his team is a reminder of the best of the American ethos—the promise of ever-expanding equality, the spirit of reform that yielded Title IX and laid the basis for American female soccer supremacy, the carnival of individuality that is the team’s roster. At a time of despair, the players represent a form of not-so-utopian hope: how a community of different backgrounds and sexual orientations relates to one another with familiar affection.”

John Roberts and Donald Trump deserve each other. The rest of us, not so much.

“At its most fundamental level, the backlash wasn’t about New Coke at all. It was a revolt against the idea of change. That story should sound familiar. We’re still living it.”

RIP, H. Ross Perot, billionaire and two-time Presidential candidate. I like this obituary for him better.

How Did Jeffrey Epstein Make His Fortune?” We may find out thanks to the current investigation.

“No one seems to have a clear idea of where Jeffrey Epstein’s money comes from.”

RIP, Rip Torn, versatile actor best known for The Larry Sanders Show.

“This is an old game at this point, but it’s impossible to dodge. Let us pretend, for a moment, that, let’s say, President Jimmy Carter owned a private club discovered to be hosting stripper golf caddy services. Let us imagine President Bill Clinton, during his first years in office, had a side business that dabbled in the occasional stripper auction. Let your mind wander over the response President Barack Obama, the subject of frothing outrage for the school he attended when he was but 6 years old, was as president making a few extra dollars pairing wealthy golfers with the nude dancers of their choosing. The Republican Party would, to use the scientific term for these things, have gone apeshit.”

Selig is lying when he said he had no idea about PEDs in baseball during the McGwire-Sosa chase. He is lying when he said he became aware of it in the years in between that and Bonds’ final pursuit of Aaron. He wants our sympathy for how saddened he was by Bonds’ PED-aided accomplishments yet says absolutely nothing — zero — about why he failed to act until bad press, Congressional pressure, a couple of books which put the game in a bad light and public opinion forced him to do so.”

RIP, Jim Bouton, former MLB pitcher and author of Ball Four.

The two word reason why the Trump executive order on the Census must fail.

Some questions for Alex Acosta.

RIP, Denise Nickerson, actor who played Violet Beauregard in the original Willy Wonka movie.

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 8

The Texas Progressive Alliance fondly recalls the story of Washington crossing the Jersey Turnpike to surprise the British at the Battle of Newark Airport as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 7

“Does anyone doubt that despite his seemingly good-faith call for Congress to eliminate gerrymandering, that any kind of national law seeking to overturn the practice would make its way back to the Roberts Court? Does anyone trust this court to do the right thing?”

“It has felt impossible, in the Trump era, to hope even for a second that our governing systems will operate on any standard of morality. What we have instead is a standard of consistency. If the President had ever convincingly espoused ideas of respect for people who are not like him, or of equal rights for women, it’s possible that he would be held accountable for his actions. Instead, he promised mass campaigns of cruelty against undocumented immigrants, and he is delivering. He said that he grabbed women by the pussy, and many women—twenty-two, so far—explained that, yes, he did that, or something like it, to them.”

Working Through Postpartum Depression While Working in Baseball”.

“Is this progress? Is this the future of cinema? Is this preferable to the days when a Wild Wild West–caliber turd had to languish in multiplexes for weeks on end, exposed as the indefensible flop it obviously was?”

The end times aren’t what they used to be.

The Yankees didn’t just win the two games in London, they won the all-important Baby Archie team onesie battle, too.

“ThinkProgress, the flagship news site of the Democratic think tank Center for American Progress, is up for sale.” I hope they find a good buyer, and soon.

How should we keep track of time in space?

“But it turns out that conservatives find it pretty exciting to be in power.”

We are running out of sand. No, what’s in the desert doesn’t count because it isn’t useful for the things we actually use sand for.

Sue Bird is a mensch. So is her girlfriend, Megan Rapinoe.

Three words: Giant prehistoric ostrich. You’re welcome.

“Historically, as in Jones’ case, personhood has been used in one direction, Goodwin notes: defining a fetus’s rights broadly when it comes to regulating women’s bodies and doing so loosely otherwise.”

RIP, Milton Quon, Disney animator who worked on Fantasia and Dumbo.

RIP, Lee Iacocca, automaker who headed Ford and Chrysler.

RIP, Arte Johnson, comedian and actor best known for Laugh In.

“One if by Land. Two if by Sea. Three if by the Delta Shuttle from LaGuardia.”

You should read what Mark Evanier has to say about the apparent demise of MAD Magazine. All I can say is that like many children of the 70’s, MAD shaped my sense of humor in profound ways.

RIP, Cameron Boyce, Disney channel star.

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 1

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a happy Trump-free Independence Day as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for June 30

Facebook content moderator is not a job you want.

“How scout Noelle Needham and superstar Hayley Wickenheiser are smashing hockey‘s glass ceiling”.

“Though the number of people who are ideologically opposed to vaccination is vanishingly small (1 to 2 percent, according to research), significantly more state that they have “serious concerns” about vaccination — it’s this group that most worries public-health experts.”

“We know that misinformation gets plenty of engagement on Facebook. But how does the reach of corresponding fact checks compare?”

“And as long as the Democrats—presidential candidates, Senate candidates, House Democrats, whomever—run around acting like Mitch McConnell isn’t a huge impediment to progress in this country, in his way a bigger one than President Trump, and not calling him out as the one-man Berlin Wall of reaction that he is, they’re wasting everyone’s time.”

“my post-art plan is opening a grilled cheese cart. it will serve $1 grilled cheese made with white bread, bulk cheese, bulk butter, and thats it. greasy as hell. no options, no artisan, nothing. there will be no change. you give me $5 youre getting 5, you figure your own life out.”

“The massive trove, and the story behind it, sheds light on the slap-dash way President Trump filled his cabinet and administration, and foreshadowed future scandals that beset his government.”

Important giant squid news.

Yeah, there’s basically no way the Tampa Bay Rays could play half of their games in Montreal.

“[T]he simplest and most straightforward explanation makes the most sense. Maybe the cruelty, far from being the point, is actually beside the point. Maybe the administration, from the president on down to detention center guards, doesn’t care one bit about the health and well-being of the children in its care. Maybe it views them as a nuisance, as an irritant, as a matter of relative moral indifference.”

“To all of the excuses for our lack of interest — that this was more than 20 years ago, that her motives have been compromised by her commercial interest in selling her book and, my personal favorite, that she should have come forward last year, at the #MeToo moment deemed appropriate by those who’ve never had to learn the hard way that whenever a woman comes forward is somehow the wrong moment — I have one question: If this had been alleged of any of Trump’s potential 2020 rivals, in either party, would the coverage and public response be so meek and measured?”

“An Alabama woman who was shot in the stomach while pregnant has been indicted and charged with manslaughter for the death of the fetus. Charges against the shooter have been dismissed.” And some people wonder where those Handmaid’s Tale protests come from.

RIP, Lonn Taylor, writer, historian, curator, raconteur.

Sad news: Finland’s public radio’s weekly Latin news bulletin has gone off the air.

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 24

The Texas Progressive Alliance does not want to be lied into any more wars as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for June 23

The day the music burned.

“The widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies creates employment opportunities up and down the supply chain. Worldwide, the sector employed 11 million people at the end of 2018, according to this sixth edition of the Renewable Energy and Jobs series.”

“The Secret History of ‘Vampire’s Kiss,’ the Craziest Nicolas Cage Movie of All Time”.

RIP, Gloria Vanderbilt, fashion designer, socialite, artist, and mother of Anderson Cooper. (Warning: autoplay video)

A prequel to The Hunger Games will be published next year. Expect a movie to follow.

Great, now I have to worry about black holes disappearing.

“When comparing the 2016 presidential election to 2018 House races, the biggest increase of support for Democrats came not in the suburbs (which received the most attention) but in rural areas.”

Don’t like your lousy polling numbers? Fire your pollsters. Problem solved!

From the Couldn’t Have Happened To A Nicer Guy department.

Facebook’s “cryptocurrnecy” makes no sense, except to Facebook.

How Long Must We Keep A Straight Face?”

“This willingness to eschew democracy in favor of authoritarianism was forecast by Zachary Roth before Trump’s election.”

I hope the Newtown families take these assholes for every penny they have.

“Headlines have warned about a coming ratpoclaypse driven by climate change. But there isn’t a lot of research to back these warnings up. Part of the reason is that it’s hard to predict what rats will do, because it’s harder than you’d think to study what rats are doing right now.”

Is your kid’s cellphone causing them to grow horns? Well, probably not. But it’s a hell of a question.

“This is not just a problem for Major League Baseball, this is a problem for humans. But when a person in the public eye, like a baseball player, is charged with domestic violence, it’s an opportunity to put a spotlight on something that affects a staggering percentage of the population.”

How Donald Trump is trying to make it harder for Americans abroad, including active military members, to vote.

RIP, Molly O’Neill, author and food critic, sister of former Yankees star Paul O’Neill.

Everything I Learned While Getting Kicked out of America’s Biggest Anti-Vaccine Conference“. One of the more dsturbing and disheartening things I’ve read recently.

“The problem isn’t that it’s unbelievable. The problem is that his base doesn’t care.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 17

In honor of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Texas Progressive Alliance strongly denies that this is this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for June 16

You don’t bring me flowers any more.

“That means Border Patrol can perform traffic stops and searches (on both private vehicles and Greyhound buses) not just in El Paso, but also in cities like Philadelphia, Portland, and Chicago.”

“The Internet is a costume party in which everyone comes dressed in an opinion, or rather dozens of them or an endless array, one right after another. An opinion is, traditionally or at least ideally, a conclusion reached after weighing the evidence, but that takes time and so people are dashing about in sloppy, ill-formed opinions or rather snap judgments which are to well-formed opinions what trash bags are to evening gowns. If opinions were like clothes, this would just be awkward, but opinions are also like votes. They shape the discourse and eventually the reality of the world we live in. Journalists used to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts, but opinions are supposed to be based on facts and when the facts are wrong or distorted or weaponized, trouble sets in.”

“How an African-American psychiatrist helped design a groundbreaking television show as a radical therapeutic tool for helping minority preschoolers.”

“In one sense Carlson and Caputo are right, those people are rarely charged, much less go to jail. But that is a perfect example of how our criminal justice system stacks the deck—by going after poor people and giving the rich a pass. So spare me your crocodile tears for Manafort.”

Get well soon, David Ortiz

“Alabama is one of two states with no statute terminating parental rights for a person found to have conceived the child by rape or incest, a fact that has gained fresh relevance since its lawmakers adopted the nation’s strictest abortion ban in May.”

RIP, Richard Stephen Shaw, a/k/a Bushwick Bill, rapper with the Geto Boys.

RIP, Bill Wittliff, Lonesome Dove screenwriter and co-founder of a popular archive for Texas writers and artists.

It’s like Mitch McConnell wants Russia to screw with the 2020 election.

We found “Snoopy”.

Please don’t visit Chernobyl.

Congratulations to Lindsay Gottlieb, the newest assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“If Ted Cruz really wants birth control to be over the counter, here’s the bill for it”.

“Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept.”

“Voting rights group say they have found even more evidence connecting a now-deceased GOP gerrymandering consultant to the Trump administration’s push to add a citizenship question to the census.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 10

The Texas Progressive Alliance knows that the moon is actually part of Uranus as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for June 9

How to Travel at (Nearly) the Speed of Light“.

“Every year, thousands of women suffer life-altering injuries or die during childbirth because hospitals and medical workers skip safety practices known to head off disaster”.

“To recycling experts, the shift could prompt a reckoning for plastics recycling. They hope the pressure from Asia will lead to a new understanding of what can be recycled and what can’t. What’s ultimately needed, they say, is a reduction in the production and consumption of low-grade, single-use plastics.”

A list of TV shows that were cancelled for dumb reasons. The Police Squad! reason is especially mind-boggling.

“Russian Twitter trolls have attempted to fuel the anti-vaccination debate in the U.S., posting about the issue far more than the average Twitter user last year, a study out of George Washington University has found.”

“White supremacists, misogynists, and anti-Semites see the ancient Mediterranean as a touchstone. Would a better sense of history change their minds?”

RIP, Leah Chase, prominent New Orleans chef and civil rights activist.

Possibly the greatest live shot in TV news history.

“The census case is not ultimately about administrative procedure; it is, more fundamentally, about whether the Trump administration can use the federal government for the explicit purpose of increasing white political power.”

“Across the country, in every state, great numbers of these specially nurtured children remain unvaccinated. Apart from certain religious or ethnic groups particular to certain geographic regions — pockets of the ultra-Orthodox in Brooklyn and Rockland, say, or pockets of the survivalist right — Waldorf kids have some of the lowest vaccination rates in America.”

“Reproductive control info and items were EVERYWHERE in early and antebellum America – newspaper ads, the lecture circuit, moral physiology books, almanacs, book and news stands, druggists, you name it.”

RIP, Dr. John, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and New Orleans institution.

RIP, Herb Sandler, one of the main funders of ProPublica.

“In other words, they are against tariffs—except when Trump imposes them. Which strikes me as a perfect rationale for this political moment. They are also presumably against stonewalling investigators, refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, shutting down the government, running up the national debt, labelling close American allies national-security threats, and praising dictators—except when Trump does it. So far, this has been the story of the Republican Senate in the Trump era and, indeed, of the national G.O.P. At a time when no one is really sure anymore just what constitutes Republican ideology, you could do worse than to call it the Except-When-Trump-Does-It Party.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 3

If it had been within the Texas Progressive Alliance’s power to present this week’s roundup, it would have done so.

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Weekend link dump for June 2

Trump administration officials as Blazing Saddles characters.

“I therefore charted the ratio of minimum coach seat width to the proportion of U.S. adults who are overweight. At the risk of being cheeky, I label this variable the Airline Seat Size to Passenger Heftiness Index Tracker (ASSPHIT), which reveals a startling 36% decline in posterior comfort over the past three decades.”

“Experts say these shooters crave attention and want to spread fear among those they feel have slighted them, and each incel shooting might inspire future acts of mass gun violence. ”

On the subliminal sex messages of animated Disney movies.

Rural counties are doing better than you might think.

RIP, Bart Starr, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

RIP, Bill Buckner, All Star first baseman best known for his error in the 1986 World Series.

“Amazon is reportedly back in the market for office space in New York City, which, if true, is a sweet bit of vindication for critics of the company’s whole HQ2 fracas.”

“With future of women’s hockey uncertain, athletes launch Players Association amid boycott”.

What Pawn Stars got wrong about Mad magazine’s history.

“Shorter Mueller: if Trump were not president, he would have been charged with the crime of obstructing justice.”

RIP, Leon Redbone, versatile singer-songwriter.

RIP, Claus von Bulow, protagonist of one of the more sensational murder trials of the 1980s.

What that new college diploma of yours allows you to do.

“Ten years ago [Friday], George Tiller, a Kansas abortion provider, was handing out the bulletin in his longtime church when he was shot and killed. On May 31, 2009, he became the eighth abortion provider to be murdered by antiabortion terrorists. A decade later, his legacy is under dire and escalating threat.”

Stratolaunch fails to launch.

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 27

The Texas Progressive Alliance thinks pardoning war criminals is a lousy way to celebrate Memorial Day as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff analyzed the odd bill to improve ballot access to third parties and the possible effects it may have.

SocraticGadfly looked at the latest woes of the Dallas Morning News.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Better Texas Blog explains its opposition to SB2.

Rick Casey checks on a too-good-to-check story.

Texas Vo decries the Lege’s inaction on preventing chemical fires.

The Lunch Tray gives context to a recent “lunch shaming” story.

Juanita provides an important Louie Gohmert update.

Kam Franklin begs you to help keep stage musicians safe from audience members.

Weekend link dump for May 26

“[N]one of the people who submit grievances to the form will have their accounts restored or content promoted. They won’t get explanations for why social media isn’t working the way they think it should, and they almost certainly won’t get satisfying regulation out of their complaints. Instead, they’ll be advertised to about Trump — and whatever else the Trump campaign uses the list for — for the rest of their digital lives, on the very platforms they feel completely alienated from.”

“Escaped pet parrots are now naturalized in 23 US states, study finds”.

Clarence Thomas should be required to recuse himself from all voting rights cases for the rest of his term on SCOTUS.

“In the end, then, we have an old story: basically a Ponzi scheme enabled by lots of money sloshing around and a lack of regulation from the people who should have been protecting the victims. The story about Uber and Lyft is mostly just a fairy tale invented to hide what really happened.”

A thread about the smallpox vaccine, on the 270th birthday of Edward Jenner. (Warning: first post contains a disturbing photo of a child with smallpox.)

“Yet Romania’s prohibition of the procedure was disproportionately felt by low-income women and disadvantaged groups, which abortion-rights advocates in the United States fear would happen if the Alabama law came into force. As a last resort, many Romanian women turned to home and back-alley abortions, and by 1989, an estimated 10,000 women had died as a result of unsafe procedures. The real number of deaths might have been much higher, as women who sought abortions and those who helped them faced years of imprisonment if caught. Maternal mortality skyrocketed, doubling between 1965 and 1989.”

“For both women who abort their pregnancies and women who consider adoption, abortion is a pregnancy decision and adoption is a parenting decision, and they’re made at separate times.”

“Trump Has Assembled the Worst Cabinet in History”.

“Coca-Cola will bring New Coke back to market for a brief time, all part of a partnership with Netflix, which has featured Coke in its cult-favorite series Stranger Things.”

Great white shark, doot de doo de doo. (I’ll just show myself out.)

“In terms of Impeachment, we are on the second 30 day cease and desist letter, metaphorically speaking.”

“In fact, the souring of Game of Thrones exposes a fundamental shortcoming of our storytelling culture in general: we don’t really know how to tell sociological stories.”

“Don’t be like those people. Never open attachments in emails you were not expecting. When in doubt, toss it out.”

“What could possibly lead someone to embrace that kind of complacency about our current situation? Can a political analyst be so entrenched in Washington, D.C. elitism that they completely lose touch with what the rest of us are witnessing on a daily basis?”

This is, by far, the nicest thing you will read today.

“Fortunately, there’s a handy-dandy principle you can rely upon to determine when Congress should win and when the president should. It’s this: Congress should get the information it needs to do its job of legislation and oversight, and the president should be able to withhold what is necessary for him to do his job well.”

RIP, John Pinto, New Mexico State Senator and Navajo code talker.

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 20

The Texas Progressive Alliance has the sine die countdown clock going as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for May 19

“If bitcoin is so safe, why does it keep getting hacked?”

“Why abortion access is not only a right according to the 14th amendment (privacy) but also the 1st (prohibiting free exercise of religion.)”

“Instead of obtaining plum positions in Fortune 500 companies or major think tanks, most Trumpworld alumni are working in far less illustrious jobs than their predecessors. Those jobs offer a telling window into the priorities and values of the people he’s hired—and how they’ll influence the country after his presidency eventually ends.”

RIP, Doris Day, legendary actress and singer from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

“The young children of women who are refused access to an abortion are less likely to hit development milestones on time, and more likely to live in poverty, than the children of women who sought an abortion and got one.”

What happens when a patient with no identification arrives at a hospital.

“It is uncommon for any team to have no triples at this late date. In fact, just four teams since 1908 (the Play Index era, and for all intents and purposes, all-time) have reached May 14 without having hit a triple.”

More like this and this, please.

You always knew that “constitutional originalism” was nothing but a pretext to justify a particular preferred outcome, right?

RIP, Tim Conway, actor and comedian best known for killing it on The Carol Burnett Show.

“In hindsight, I seemed convinced that abortion supporters didn’t appreciate the gravity of later-term abortion. But the opposite is true. Nobody understands this issue better than women who have actually had a late-term abortion. By listening to their stories, I’ve come to see that the tragedy of this procedure, sought in desperation, is well understood by the women receiving it.”

On the “stay and fight” question.

“One way or another, Roe v. Wade becomes a dead letter. It could happen very fast. And it is likely to happen just months before the 2020 election.”

“Again, he’s really the caricature of a militarist, the kind of one-dimensional, clownishly hawkish type who gets described in small circulation left-wing magazines but can’t possibly exist in real life, only he does exist and his name is John Bolton.”

“And so Rodion Raskolnikov butchered an old woman and her daughter with an axe. And so Paul Jennings Hill murdered a doctor and a security guard in cold blood.”

“In light of the recent horrific developments in Georgia, Ohio, Alabama and other GOP-run states, it’s time once again to remember that Republican ignorance of, cruelty about and obsession with all things rape-related has been a thing for decades.”

“But no matter what he does next, the story Roberts likes to tell—and that we prefer to hear—about the slow, incrementalist, precedent-loving Supreme Court, is falling apart. It’s openly collapsing under the weight of the death penalty fight, but it’s also disintegrating as states vie with one another for more extreme ways to punish and humiliate women. I feel sorry for the chief justice largely because all this is happening just when the court’s reputation matters most. Roe v. Wade is in the news this month not because it’s in the crosshairs (yet), but because amateurs in Alabama and Georgia are drunk on God, and as a consequence, the Supreme Court’s slip is showing. The path to ending abortion in America was smooth and seamless in the hands of John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh; most of us would never have seen it happen. But so long as Alabama and Georgia keep saying the quiet parts at the tops of their lungs, the court’s conservatives cannot accomplish what they had been on track to accomplish—at least, they cannot do it quietly. The question for the chief justice is no longer whether he prefers to win quietly on reversing Roe. He’s going to win ugly. He needs to decide if he can live with that.”

RIP, YTMND, one of the earliest and most influential meme culture websites.

RIP, I.M. Pei, renowned architect who designed the Louvre’s pyramid.

“Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told investigators that people linked to the Trump administration and Congress reached out to him in an effort to interfere in the Russia probe, according to newly-unredacted court papers filed Thursday”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 13

The Texas Progressive Alliance practices saying sine die in the mirror as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for May 12

“And the most important thing to understand about Thomas of Monmouth’s massively, enduringly influential and culture-shaping story is this: It’s a lie. It’s a vicious, outrageous fabrication — the product of an evil, deceitful man with a twisted mind.”

“So why the reluctance to attribute white supremacist violence to white supremacist ideology?”

“Of all religious or ethnic groups in America, Jews have by far the most positive attitudes toward Muslims. Equally striking: by far the most negative attitudes toward Muslims are held by white evangelicals.”

“The players behind #ForTheGame don’t believe that the NWHL holds the keys to a viable future for the sport. Rather, many want to see the National Hockey League (NHL) to put legitimate resources into a professional women’s hockey league.”

“My question, though: how do you say Mike Pence in Valyrian?”

“What we’re going to have is capitalism with some level of taxation. Most people really aren’t arguing against capitalism. There may be a few, but most people are just saying that the taxes should change.”

“The reason this story makes tears come to our eyes is because it is a story about goodness. A story about someone who was brave and generous, someone selfless who believed and nurtured and demonstrated the good of the human race.”

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”

“This is a huge step forward after a giant leap backwards. It promises that the citizens of Brunei won’t be executed for being gay. It also sends a very crucial message to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia that there is a cost for enacting these laws. And the cost isn’t folks boycotting their hotels. The cost is that corporations and big banks won’t do business with you. The financial institutions stepping up had a huge impact. Having said that, the law to stone their citizens is still in place. Meaning that as soon as the pressure dies down they could simply start the process of carrying out executions. So in reference to the boycott everyone should do what they feel is correct. For my family and me we simply can’t walk away until this draconian law is no longer on the books.”

Sadly, doctors are a big part of the opioid problem, too.

“Would it further unsettle you to know that 50,000 to 75,000 bees weigh about 10 pounds? Sorry about that, then.”

“For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever.”

“Let’s talk about this eye-popping story from Reuters which claims that back in 2015 Michael Cohen helped early Trump endorser and now-consummate supporter Jerry Falwell, Jr. make some embarrassing photos disappear. This is at least the third story Aram Roston has written on this saga (this one at Reuters, the earlier two when he was at Buzzfeed). Each has reported a series eye-popping or bizarre facts. But each has also read with the clear sense that Roston either knows more than he can write or believes there’s much more to the story than he can prove.”

“Keeping Trump’s tax returns private is not like keeping Mitt Romney’s tax returns private. This is a man who was handed hundreds of millions of dollars, flushed it down the toilet, and was desperate to maintain his image of wealth and success. You couldn’t invent a more inviting target for a foreign intelligence service to manipulate.”

“An attorney general spinning for a president who might have criminally obstructed justice is important. But, arguably, it is not as important as what has prompted all this hubbub: the Trump-Russia scandal itself.”

“Unfortunately, ectopic pregnancies cannot continue to a live birth. If untreated, as a pregnancy grows, the Fallopian tube (where 96% of ectopics develop) gets stretched to the point of rupture & can cause massive bleeding. 4% of maternal deaths are related to ectopic pregnancy.”

RIP, Jim Fowler, naturalist and former host of TV’s Wild Kingdom.

RIP, Peggy Lipton, actor best known for The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks.

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 6

The Texas Progressive Alliance has a little snitty blog roundup for you this week.

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Weekend link dump for May 5

Keep garlic out of your vagina. Words to live by.”

“The NRA’s current financial woes bear a striking similarity to what happened during [its] tumultuous period in the 1990s.”

“The decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact on our health, our wellness, even the safety and education of our children. It’s a silent sleep loss epidemic. It’s fast becoming one of the greatest challenges we face in the 21st century.”

When non-pitchers pitch to pitchers, or baseball’s version of Inception.

“I cried until my throat burned for this family who has just had to endure the unthinkable.”

RIP, Jana Duty, former Williamson County DA who did the world a favor when she beat John Bradley in the 2012 GOP primary.

RIP, John Singleton, movie director best known for Boyz N The Hood.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is now a writer on the Veronica Mars reboot, and you’re not.

“Some conservatives, it would seem, have an easier time imagining a coordinated, multifaceted, campaign is being waged to leverage false allegations against Republicans, than they do accepting the idea that men can be sexual predators. And because they believe it so steadfastly, they’re certain that they, too, can get in on the con.”

“So Ms. Lee and local residents, desperate to save the 96-year-old school, came up with an idea: How about enrolling older villagers who wanted to learn to read and write?”

“It’s not exactly clear what will happen in court after the chair decides not to use legal resources to defend her agency, but it is likely that a judge will force the FEC to take action and consider investigating the NRA for potential campaign finance violations.”

“I was willing to give Bill Barr a chance. Consider me burned.”

“This is a major blindspot. Bill Barr is another Republican guy in his late 60s who’s been living, as Miller puts it, in that Fox News/GOP legal circles cocoon for two decades. Why would he be any different from your birther uncle you avoid at holiday dinners?”

RIP, Peter Mayhew, known forever as Chewbacca from Star Wars.

RIP, Rachel Held Evans, influential progressive Christian writer and speaker.

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 29

The Texas Progressive Alliance supports the mass production of subpoenas as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for April 28

“The problem is that this authority has been bestowed too hastily. Algorithms are increasingly found to be making mistakes. Whether it’s a sexist hiring algorithm developed by Amazon, conspiracy theories promoted by the Google search engine or an IBM facial-recognition program that didn’t work nearly as well on black women as on white men, we’ve seen that large companies that pride themselves on their technical prowess are having trouble navigating this terrain.”

“Everyone should be presumptively able to vote.”

“What I’ve Learned From Collecting Stories of People Whose Loved Ones Were Transformed by Fox News“.

On doxxing trolls.

“What It’s Like to Lose a Million Dollars to an Online Dating Scam”.

“Donald Trump’s outrageous behavior described by the special counsel is, at this point, so deeply familiar that it has lost its power to outrage.”

But the American part of this will be 1.7 billion. We have no plans for any further-on funding for this.”

“Whatever his method, Holzhauer is far exceeding the show’s average single-day winnings, which a Jeopardy fan website calculated to be $19,980. With his sometimes six-figure daily prizes, how much damage is Holzhauer doing to the show’s finances?”

RIP, Jacqui Saburido, the face of a major anti-drunk driving campaign in Texas.

“This Was Supposed to Be a Story About a Bizarre Anti-Vaccine Rally and a Sedated Bear. Then It Got Weird.”

FYI, the “It was just a joke!” defense only works if the joke is funny. As someone who has helped write a couple of MOB halftime show scripts, trust me on this one.

“Biden’s Shock-and-Awe Strategy for 2020 Race Smells Like Jeb’s in 2016″.

“Each month, 5 billion prerecorded spam calls target American phones. Because the software enabling robocalls is legal, how can the problem be stopped?”

“Meanwhile, in Arivaca, the memory of young Brisenia Flores lives on.”

Turns out Damian Lillard is pretty good at taking extra-long shots.

“Wait, why are you even reading THE FEDERALIST PAPERS? They’re a blatant sales job to sell the new Constitution, not an honest debate.”

RIP, John Havlicek, Boston Celtics legend and basketball Hall of Famer.

“Now, the last thing we want to do is make Ken Starr and his corrupt investigation a model of anything. But it is an instructive contrast. By any reasonable standard of ‘what seems to have happened’, Mueller unearthed lots of evidence of collusion.”

“This year the London Marathon is making some big changes and trialling a number of ideas to try to make the event more green.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 22

The Texas Progressive Alliance presents its complete and unredacted blog roundup for the week to you.

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Weekend link dump for April 21

“The number of multistate lawsuits filed so far against Trump is twice the number filed against President Barack Obama during his second term, when the spike in such lawsuits started.”

“If you’ve ever fallen in love with someone whose main ability is to hurt you, you’re Chasing Ken Phelps. If you’ve ever bought an 85-inch gigglephonic 3-D television set when you already have a 84-inch gigglephonic 3-D television set in your 83-inch living room, that’s Chasing Ken Phelps too. If you need a car and buy a boat, ditto. Any time in life that your proposed solution to a problem is a complete and total non-sequitur, you’ve got a bad case of CKP.”

Inside the Scam of the “Purity” Movement.

“In light of Pence’s persistent obloquy toward gay people, does it matter that he was personally polite whenever he encountered Buttigieg? Does Pence’s courtesy render Buttigieg’s criticisms unfair and unprovoked? I don’t think so. To the contrary, I suspect that when Buttigieg inveighs against Pence, he does not intend to imply the existence of some personal beef. His critique is not that Pence was nasty to him face to face but that Pence promoted policies designed to strip him of his equality and made comments attacking his dignity. The fact that we have apparently decided to shove so many lawmakers’ anti-gay convictions down a collective memory hole does not erase the fact that their crusades inflicted profound harm on real people. People like Pete Buttigieg, who had the courage to come out when same-sex marriage remained illegal in much of the country.”

“The possibility that Bouman might have been a major player in the black hole discovery similarly seemed to have deeply upset right-wing trolls, perhaps because they feel their status is threatened by women like her.”.

“This Whole China-Mar-a-Lago Story Is Sketchy as Hell”.

“Republicans gave the working class (and the middle class) a temporary and minuscule tax cut while the rich got a big, permanent one. Then, because they don’t really understand the middle class at all, they futzed around with the withholding tables so that lots of people got smaller refunds. Then they wonder why ordinary people aren’t impressed. The answer is simple: it’s because they got close to nothing except a big surprise on tax day. Why would you expect them to be anything but resentful over that?”

William Barr has a long history of being dishonest with Congress.

When bad people sue each other.

“Aretha Franklin is still getting R-E-S-P-E-C-T after death: The Queen of Soul received the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honor Monday, becoming the first individual woman to earn a special citation prize since the honor was first awarded in 1930.”

Good read on measles, vaccinations, and combating the anti-vax movement that ends in a place you might not expect.

“Those two offenders would be nothing but thrilled to see that there’s a two-decade marking of this event. They had this grandiose fantasy that they would be remembered. What’s perverted about the whole thing is that, in a way, they got what they wanted.”

The backlash to cashless stores.

“Whether it’s measuring a few-arcsecond deflection of starlight passing by the Sun or a 180-degree bending of light around a black hole of six billion times the Sun’s mass, a century later we’re still learning about gravity by measuring the bending of light.”

“How Not to Acknowledge a Data Breach”.

RIP, Jerrie Cobb, first woman to pass astronaut training in the 1960s.

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 15

The Texas Progressive Alliance figures we’ll find Trump’s tax returns in that black hole as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for April 14

What 50-year-old astronaut diapers can teach us about the potential origins of life on Earth.

“The campaign and presidency of Donald Trump seems to have ended all references to gaffes. To the extent that the term refers to a politician who goes off script, how can he commit a gaffe when there is never any script to begin with?”

“Nobody proofread the NCAA’s huge signs in Minneapolis”.

Hey, remember when Shazam! was a weird Saturday morning kids show?

A few of those lost MySpace songs have been recovered.

“Anyway, I have an answer to this dilemma: nominate Stephen Miller as secretary of Homeland Security. He’s the guy who’s been advising Trump on immigration policy all along, so he’d be obligated to break the law and do whatever Trump wanted. Later, he could be prosecuted for wilfully violating immigration statutes and be put away for five-to-ten with time off for good behavior. Trump would get what he wants and Miller would get what he deserves. It’s win-win.”

“Over all, 59 percent of people 18 to 24 say they’re Democrats, compared with 33 percent who say they’re Republicans, according to an Upshot analysis of Pew Research Center data over the last year.”

“Many of you spoke out against this barbaric policy. However strong the opposition, your words are meaningless unless they are backed up with resolute action. We call on you to make it clear that you will not hire for employment, contract for consulting, or seat on your boards, anyone involved in the development or implementation of the Trump administration’s family separation immigration policy.”

How you can ask for the Mueller Report.

“What happens to Nielsen now can serve as an example to other people in the administration as they decide whether to just follow orders. By this, I don’t mean that people should scream at Nielsen in restaurants. Rather, those horrified by family separation should do whatever they can to deny Nielsen the sort of cushy corporate landing or prestigious academic appointment once customary for ex-administration officials. The fact that she evidently didn’t go as far as an erratic and out-of-control Trump wanted is immaterial; she should be a pariah for going as far as she did.”

“Iowa’s economy relies on immigrants who often work in our agriculture, construction and manufacturing industries. Iowa’s economy now depends on its estimated 96,000 immigrant workers.”

A Twitter thread in appreciation of Tom Lehrer.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Bingo cards. For those who might need that sort of thing.

RIP, Charles Van Doren, disgraced former game show contestant on whom the movie Quiz Show is based.

RIP, Marilynn Smith, one of 13 women who founded the LPGA in 1950.

RIP, Lt. Col. Richard Cole, last survivor of the Doolittle Raid, the first U.S. strike on the Japanese islands during World War II.

“The relevant law here is neither obscure nor unclear. If most citizens were previously unaware of tax code section 6103, that’s because they’ve not been in a position to invoke it. But for those to whom it is relevant — law enforcement agencies, state tax authorities, committees of Congress, and others — it is straightforward. The statute permits the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to request any tax return, provided — and this is important — he ensures the privacy of the return.”

“I was among those who wanted to give [William Barr] the benefit of the doubt when he came in. I just felt he would just want to protect his reputation for integrity and would want to show that he was independent … and he has now repeatedly acted in ways that have called all of that into question.

“They simply can’t grasp their way toward the obvious explanation. He’s a bad actor, using his office for the purpose of defending the President as opposed to enforcing the law. He’s a crook. But he’s a smart one. And at least as far as we know so far he’s using his legitimate powers in creative ways to take corrupt actions.”

“Ozzie Albies’s New Deal Could Be the Worst an MLB Player Has Ever Signed”.

“One of the first two Muslim women ever in Congress was always likely to face smears equating her with terrorism and questioning her loyalty and fitness to serve. Such are the wages of embodying an existential threat to a politics that has spent decades profiting from fear of Muslims, immigrants, and — more recently — refugees and asylum seekers, and vowing ruthlessness toward them in response.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 8

The Texas Progressive Alliance did not listen to Paul Ryan’s advice in putting together this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for April 7

A primer on spotting creeps and taking action to help someone who might need assistance in avoiding said creeps.

A deep dive into the NRA’s deep connections with Russia.

“Then it dawned upon me that there was lots of money in being a Munchausen of the right kind, and for twelve years I gave it to them hot and strong, but never too hot.”

“Congress, doing the NRA’s bidding, enacted PLCAA precisely because it feared that under generally accepted legal principles, the threat of industry liability was real.”

“Garfield phones beach mystery finally solved after 35 years”.

We really are seeing the best baseball players to ever play the game, until the even better players come along in the coming years.

The rodents of unusual size that are laying waste to the Louisiana coast.

“If you’re not vaccinated, it’s extremely easy to get measles. In an un-immunized population, one person with measles can infect 12 to 18 others. That’s way higher than other scary viruses like Ebola, HIV, or SARS. (With Ebola, one case usually leads to two others. With HIV and SARS, one case usually leads to another four.) Measles is an airborne virus, transmitted by respiratory droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person, so usually through coughing or sneezing. Small-particle aerosols from someone with measles can stay suspended in air for long periods of time after the person has left a room, and the virus can live on surfaces for up to two hours.”

RIP, Nipsey Hussle, rapper and civic activist.

“So, as the sole owner of my story, it is high time that I reclaim it — from strangers, Twitter, the pundits and the late-night hosts.”

“In the heat of battle—or, rather, a fake one—even the most hardcore fighters have got to make sure they stay out of real harm’s way. That’s why Game of Thrones’ stunt team has utilized a powerful, but also kind of adorable, safe word. One that might sound completely foreign to the people of Westeros.”

“Among other talents, President Donald Trump has a knack for revealing surprising members of the opposition. On TV, we have Jimmy Kimmel. On sports TV, Warner Wolf. In sportswriting, we have Rick Reilly. That’s right. It’s official. Rick Reilly is woke now.”

“Forested areas in cities may seem best left untouched, but it’s a common misconception that they can take care of themselves”.

“President Trump may have thought that he was done with the Mueller investigation, but it is not yet done with him.”

RIP, Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, former Senator from South Carolina.

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 1

The Texas Progressive Alliance presents to you its complete, unredacted, and unsummarized roundup for the week.

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Weekend link dump for March 31

“Shortly after midnight on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez  — an oil tanker carrying 53 million gallons of North Slope crude oil  — hit a reef in the Gulf of Alaska, ripping half a dozen holes in the hull of the ship. More than 11 million gallons of crude oil leaked into the pristine waters and vibrant ecosystem of Prince William Sound, coating more than 700 miles of coastline down the Alaska Peninsula with a thick film of oil and killing a quarter of a million seabirds, thousands of otters, and hundreds of seals and bald eagles. Even today, a small portion of crude oil still remains just out of sight below the surface of the water in parts of Alaska impacted by the spill.”

Why Trump keeps losing in court.

The comic strip Cathy and its complicated relationship with feminism.

Meet Donald Cline, fertility specialist who, um, really got into his work. (See also: Cecil Jacobson, who was doing the same kind of thing around that time.)

At least one person knew how to fill out their bracket.

Wishing Charo all the best.

“So, as the global political power centers shift toward rising authoritarianism—away from American-style liberal democracy—significant players on the Christian right are gravitating to where the power is.”

“My gut instinct is that it is some combination of these factors that explains the end of the [Mueller] probe. Without knowing the reasons the investigation is finished, it is impossible to know how to assess its end—and nobody should try.”

“Barr’s cover-up gambit means Mueller will certainly be called to testify under oath in the House. That’s why we’re getting the full-on blitz to mischaracterize his findings: to lock the media and public into a favorable narrative nowhere in evidence, before he actually speaks.”

“Raise your glass high and toast to the fact that later this week, Samuel Adams will be releasing a Belgian Brut IPA brewed on International Women’s Day and dedicating it to the Notorious RBG.”

How GDPR is doing, one year later.

“A Salute to TV’s Most Underrated Female Characters”.

“In other words, we have currently seen .057% of the Mueller Report.”

“The Trump administration’s trade war with China has turned out to be a windfall for another country the president frequently berates: Mexico.”

“Divorce as a percentage of marriage has fallen a bit in recent years, but the bigger picture shows that it’s been roughly flat since 1975.”

“If you look back at the previous six seasons, so much of the show was, ‘Oh my God, this is what a politician is like behind closed doors’ — but those closed doors are gone. So often, it was shocking how incompetent her staff is. Well, turn the TV on and you can see that. So much of the show was often her messing up and then paying a very public price for something, and I’m not sure that exists either anymore. So a lot of our bread and butter, if you will, changed.”

“It is the equivalent of punching yourself in the face repeatedly.”

“Which of baseball’s most unbreakable records might actually get broken in 2019?”

“So to determine if the Barr triumphalists are acting in good faith, you need only ask them a simple question: do you accept these basic facts and acknowledge the profound seriousness of each one?”

Texas blog roundup for the week of March 25

The Texas Progressive Alliance pre-busts its brackets as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for March 24

“Flipping the bird is protected by First Amendment, federal appeals court says in cop-stop case”.

“This seems to be one of those stories involving both intentional grifters and others who were merely incompetent, unintentional, self-deceiving grifters carried away by quixotic dreams.”

If baseball allowed ties, how different would things be?

Why phone numbers stink as proof of your identity.

The roots of today’s white nationalism can be traced back a hundred years to an American whose writing influenced the Nazis in Germany.

“Partisanship shapes American politics, and, indeed, many parts of everyday life. Americans are increasingly negative about the possibility of their children marrying someone who affiliates with the opposite party. Many see the other party as a threat to the nation’s very well-being. In the 2016 election, about ninety percent of party identifiers pulled the lever for their party’s presidential nominee. Yet, despite these fierce party attachments, institutional parties play a weak and unclear role in American political life.”

“Grooming doesn’t just happen with the child, it happens with entire families and communities, and in a celebrity’s case, the entire community.”

RIP, Dick Dale, king of the surf guitar.

Devin Nunes’ Cow is my new hero.

The Spider-Man newspaper comic is slinging off into the sunset.

“The attacks that make headlines and those that do not are all rooted in the same hateful ideology. None of the attackers embraced unique or isolated ideas; they didn’t need to. The white supremacist ideology already contains all of the components needed to propel a radicalized individual to violence. And we have hard data showing the threat is regularly materializing. So why is there so much controversy over whether right-wing racially motivated violent extremism is a growing threat?”

I for one would be all in on a 20th anniversary Angel reunion.

Say what you want about MySpace, its loss of millions of songs that had been uploaded to it in its heyday is a damn tragedy.

Who knew asteroids could do that?

“Social Media Giants Have Been Promising to Stop Livestreamed Violence For Years. They Still Can’t.”

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

“What is less remarkable than the fact that such polemics about child sacrifice should continue to exist (how could they not, since they’re at least as old and as ingrained in Western culture as the Bible?) is that, in a truly gobsmacking way, they are entirely gratuitous compared with the actual, unvarnished truth.”

Abolishing the Electoral College Was a Republican Idea“.

Neil deGrasse Tyson was cleared of charges of sexual misconduct by the National Geographic network, but we have no idea how or why.

“Blake Bortles Is No Longer on the Jaguars – A Nation of Jasons Weeps”.

“It should never, ever be forgotten what a resentful, self-absorbed, petty, and insecure husk of a man is occupying the Oval Office, and it never, ever will be forgotten. As he demonstrated again on Wednesday, Donald Trump won’t allow it.”

“The National Cathedral now joins Tic Tacs and Skittles in the realm of bizarre entities that have had to publicly distance themselves from Trump and his family.”

RIP, Sydney Aiello, survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting.

Texas blog roundup for the week of March 18

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands against the threat of white nationalist violence as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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