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Weekend link dump for September 15

“In 2009, Conservatives Shouted Down Efforts to Confront Right-Wing Threats. We’re Still Dealing With the Consequences.”

“Though it can’t change everything, Walmart’s act is likely to change something. The employees’ response shares the logic of a previous people’s fight, against drunk driving. It’s the primary rule both of social agitation and of social reform: the more micro-changes you make in more places, the more effective the macro-change becomes. Banning the sale of some of the most dangerous kinds of guns and ammunition is just one step. But many steps make long marches.”

“According to data gathered on all fifty states (and D.C.) by the National Federation of State High Schools Association, more girls are playing on boys football teams than ever before. For the 2018-2019 school year 2,404 girls played 11-man tackle football on boys teams at the high school level.”

“We almost filled every swamp and river in the Eastern US with 1.5 ton murderous ornery bulletproof amphibious assault cows. Just breathe that in for a second.”

“We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge fund. We’re not educating; we’re buying real estate every year and taking students’ money to do it.”

“The American Meteorological Society fully supports our colleagues at NOAA, who consistently put the safety of the American public first and foremost. They work tirelessly employing state of the art science to keep Americans safe. With respect to the press release that was issued by NOAA on Friday, 6 September, regarding the forecast of Hurricane Dorian, AMS believes the criticism of the Birmingham forecast office is unwarranted; rather they should have been commended for their quick action based on science in clearly communicating the lack of threat to the citizens of Alabama.”

What is minor league baseball for these days?

“As we know, Donald Trump likes to go it alone when it comes to foreign policy. So he pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear weapons agreement with Iran and started a unilateral trade war with China. Now those two countries have deepened their partnership, dealing what might be a fatal blow to any leverage the United States has in dealing with either country.”

“The Threat of a Post-Roe America Is Already Changing How Women Get Abortions”.

“Italy, one of the main locations in Spider-Man: Far From Home, recently erected a statue of Iron Man created by artist Daniele Basso in order to commemorate the hero’s cinematic death.”

“Sure you negotiate with your enemies. But you don’t host Taliban leaders at your historic presidential retreat days after they claimed responsibility for yet another deadly attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. serviceman and 11 others, not to mention the deaths of thousands of their fellow Afghans and U.S. forces over the years.”

“This is the story of 2019, as Trump has replaced institutionalists attempting to curtail his grossest instincts with loyalists happy to indulge them. It is playing out across multiple dimensions. This is the through-line between several seemingly disconnected episodes from the last several days.”

RIP, Daniel Johnston, influential Austin singer-songwriter and artist.

“We’re now considering giving Iran a bailout to get them through the damage caused by our sanctions which we put on them after we tore up a deal the US had agreed to and all to get the Iranians to come back into the deal.”

RIP, Eddie Money, rock and roller.

“It has been by far the longest TV partnership in baseball, but the number of Cubs games left to be broadcast on WGN TV is down to less than a half dozen. After 72 seasons, the last of them is almost over.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 9

The Texas Progressive Alliance has written this week’s roundup entirely in Sharpie.

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Weekend link dump for September 8

Don’t put non-recyclables in the recycling bin. It does more harm than good.

“Stephens fell victim to the Megyn Kelly Syndrome, the pattern whereby those who were groomed by the peculiar insular culture of right-wing media find it hard to adjust to the norms of the outside world.”

“While discipline is an admirable quality, in my conversations with Mattis I found it exasperating, because I believe that the American people should hear his answer to this question: Is Donald Trump fit for command? He should answer the question well before November 3, 2020.”

And as long as we’re asking, there are a lot of questions about James Mattis’ involvement with Theranos that need to be answered.

“The problem, of course, is that men like Stephens, Will, and Brooks—they are almost uniformly middle-aged or older white men—represent very few people in American civil society. Notably, very few of their kind wind up in elected office.”

Astros fans are well familiar with field reporter Julia Morales, who’s a good follow on Twitter and Instagram if you’re into that sort of thing. In a just world, she’ll get a chance to do play by play one of these days.

“A Response to Rod Rosenstein”.

“Can the world’s advanced democracies please stop electing clowns and grifters now? Things are getting serious.”

I never watched Friends back in the 90’s – I’m not much of a sitcom person, and I wasn’t watching much TV back then anyway – so the revisionist view that it was an awful show doesn’t cause me any stress. And it probably won’t have much effect on the kids today, like my own, who are watching it.

Are you getting spam in your calendar? You can do something about it.

This is all totally normal, nothing authoritarian or anti-democratic about it.

“We may not be any closer to changing the politics of guns in this country. But we’re seeing more clearly what’s going on, and who it benefits. That’s a start.”

“How to Stop Russia From Attacking and Influencing the 2020 Election“. You know, in case that’s a thing you want to do.

“Speaking ill of the dead after a selfish, harmful life, Dickens saw, was essential because it was true and because it demonstrated to those still living such lives the urgency of their need for repentance. It was only because he was granted the grace of hearing the harsh words spoken about him after his own death that Ebenezer Scrooge found a path to redemption.”

“Baseball is America’s pastime, but prices on its China-made gear are about to rise as the trade war escalates. Golf, lacrosse, basketball and other sports will feel the pinch, too.”

The right wing pill pushing industry.

The wheels on the bus go round and round, more efficiently now.

Keep an eye on Georgia this election season.

“Trump doctored a weather chart and ordered a rear admiral to release a statement backing up his falsehoods. The NOAA also jumped to Trump’s defense, and the White House won’t say if they engineered it. By my count, something like this has happened at least 7 times.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 2

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a happy Labor Day as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for September 1

How to reshape the federal judiciary for the better.

What the ginormous coconut crabs may have to do with Amelia Earhart.

“Trump’s haphazard style of governance forces journalists, lawyers, and government officials to expend innumerable hours on doomed initiatives and errant tweets. His corrosive effect on American politics forces Americans to devote far more hours of their life to thinking about him than they should.”

“Pastor Mark is basically Martin Niemöller ca. 1924.”

“This raises a question: Are members of the news media tiptoeing around obvious questions about Trump’s instability? What do the daily lies, distortions and contradictions add up to?”

“It’s almost as if we need a recalibration of the insanity of the Trump era, a new set of definitions about what comprises normal presidential behavior.”

“Separate instructive episodes stretch from 2003 to 2018 and involve three major American media outlets — Vanity Fair, ABC News and The New York Times. And taken together, they may help illuminate [Jeffrey] Epstein’s drive to avoid tough journalistic scrutiny and the media’s reluctance to take the story on.”

“Must we celebrate David Koch’s bountiful donations to public institutions, even if we dislike how the duo have pushed the Republican Party (and America as a whole) to the right? Not at all. The Koch brothers’ bad deeds outweigh their public service. Besides, plutocratic philanthropy is a wretched social model.”

Altagracia Alvino, mother of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero and grandmother of Vlad Guerrero, Jr., is a mensch.

“For everyone involved in the Penn leadership: This isn’t a matter of academic freedom anymore. This is not an academic. This woman is just using the title you afford her to vent her decidedly unacademic views. It’s time to cut her off. Every day she keeps that title, she degrades the institution.”

“A subreddit’s descent into hate can be fairly reliably predicted.”

“And he apparently spends his Monday nights searching his name, not his handle, but his name on social media so he can lash out at people that have less power than him that say mean things about him. That means, A, he doesn’t understand the Streisand effect. Strategically, that’s dumb. But, B, it also means that he thinks by virtue of the power and privilege he has at the New York Times, he thinks by virtue of that that other people shouldn’t be allowed to criticize him.”

“But here’s what still bothers me as this strange episode recedes from the news cycle: Bret Stephens seems to think that his social status should render him immune from criticism from people like me. I think that the rewards of his social status come with an understanding that lesser-known people will say mean things about him online.”

RIP, Jessi Combs, racer, fabricator, and television personality. If you’re a Mythbusters fan, she was the pinch hitter for Kari Byron when Kari went on maternity leave.

RIP, Dr. Alfonso Chiscano, surgeon and champion of Canary Islands cultural heritage.

How did you celebrate Tan Suit Day?

“If anybody can spot (and ultimately exploit) inefficiencies in the grifting market it’s these guys. This is the political equivalent of the shorts moving in.”

“Turns out that was what he needed. He stood up a little straighter and then, with both of us slightly embarrassed in the aftermath of something unexpectedly holy, I loaded him up with some Big Gator refills and a jug of Pine Sol and sent him on his way.”

RIP, Lila Cockrell, first female Mayor of San Antonio and the first woman elected Mayor of any of America’s ten largest cities.

“It is astonishing to me that someone who apparently had that kind of contempt for Trump that late in the game got such a position. How is that possible? I really don’t know. But I think as a general matter it suggests something we probably already know: that the White House is filled with people who know Trump has no business being President. But he is President. So they don’t care. But since the relationship is purely transactional these kinds of betrayals are commonplace.”

RIP, Valerie Harper, Emmy-winning actress best known as Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and her eponymous sitcom.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 26

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes all of our schoolchildren a happy, safe, and knowledge-filled year as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 25

“Kids, in our school, you’re always #1!”

“As many as 32,000 women get pregnant through rape every year, and at least one-third decide to raise the baby instead of getting an abortion or choosing adoption. But because more than a third of all states do not terminate an assailant’s custody rights unless he’s been convicted of felony sexual assault, the women who make that choice can be forced to co-parent with their rapist. Even in states that make it easier to deny rapists’ parental rights, loopholes abound, and prosecutors and judges have broad discretion in these cases.”

“Under the cover of night, he comes. TV Man, who swans into Virginia neighborhoods with the face of a TV and gifts to give that are also TVs. What? Why? These are the questions we mere mortals are left to ponder.”

Place-based visas could help America’s declining cities.”

Breaking news: Legal weed is linked to higher junk-food sales.

RIP, Cedric Benson, star running back in the NFL and for the University of Texas.

“There is no such thing as an “underage woman.” Underage women are girls.”

RIP, Jack Whitaker, Hall of Fame broadcaster who called Super Bowl I and Secretariat’s Triple Crown triumph.

“An Ebola Doctor Explains the Good News and Bad News of the New Treatment Breakthrough”.

“Recent polling shows that Donald Trump has managed to reshape American attitudes to a remarkable extent on a trio of his key issues—race, immigration, and trade. There’s just one catch: The public is turning against Trump’s views.”

“Life is not a ledger. Your sins can’t be paid off through good deeds. Your good deeds are not cancelled by your sins. Your sins and your good deeds live alongside one another. They coexist in superposition.”

“Paul Ryan, Already Tired of the Boring Heartland and Its Dumb Values, Is Moving Back to the Beltway”.

I can’t offer a pithy summary of this story about The Epoch Times, a media outlet closely tied to Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual community with the stated goal of taking down China’s government. It’s also now very loudly pro-Trump and is spending a crapload of money on Facebook ads. Go read it.

“As current and former elected prosecutors, law enforcement leaders, former senior Department of Justice officials, and former judicial leaders, we took an oath to defend the Constitution, seek the truth and uphold justice. We also understand and embrace our vitally important role in promoting the safety and well-being of our communities. That is why we feel compelled to express our disagreement with the deeply concerning remarks made by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to the Fraternal Order of Police on August 12, 2019.”

Why Facebook or Netflix may be forcing you to reset your password.

“FIFA is already setting up the 2023 Women’s World Cup for failure”.

“Stop Posting This Facebook/Instagram Privacy Notice — Your Pseudo-Legalese Means NOTHING!”

“A brief history of the 19 girls who have played in the Little League World Series”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 19

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with the people of El Paso as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 18

The “Bin Laden” bill is finally going out of circulation.

“A multibillion-dollar business that embraces advanced technology and cherishes precision, Major League Baseball would prefer not to need an oozy substance harvested by one family in a secret location along the Delaware River. But for decades it has, and that won’t change anytime soon.”

Leaders of the “religious right” continue to be a bunch of fatuous, immoral troglodytes.

A Charlie Pierce article about the awfulness of NFL owners is a joy forever.

“As we’ve seen both before his election and since, Trump is a minority candidate, essentially a factional leader, who has incredibly durable support of between 35% and 45% of the population. He really, really needs the presence of spoiler candidates to pull the contest down into the mid-40s where it was in 2016. I’d never say never. But I think there’s a good argument that a significant third party/spoiler candidacy – or ideally more than one – are the necessary predicate of Trump’s reelection.”

“While the idea of breaking the United States into separate racial territories is, of course, ludicrous, it doesn’t come without an audience. And if anything, that audience is growing, with flames fanned by actors both foreign and domestic. American state fracture — breaking up the country, outright — has gained increasing credence among the far-right over the past few years. And with last weekend’s terrorist attack, the domestic push to dissolve the United States outright entered a new phase — one whose end remains unclear.”

My kids loved Legos when they were younger. They love watching Friends now. I am not going to tell them that a Friends-themed Lego set is a thing you can buy now.

“By now, Trump’s party in Congress, the members of his Cabinet, and even his White House entourage all tacitly agree that Trump’s occupancy of the office held by Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower must be a bizarre cosmic joke, not to be taken seriously.”

Tumblr has been sold again, but there are no plans for the naughty pictures to come back.

“That weirdly reduced notion of blasphemy is, itself, a kind of blasphemy. It allows white evangelicals to chant white supremacist slogans at a rally for a white supremacist president and to imagine that’s all hunky dory just as long as they don’t cuss while doing so.”

“By its very definition, white privilege is the ability to film yourself conducting a “social experiment” with military-grade weapons at the same store where a mass shooting just happened, without being shot dead in your tracks.”

That bizarre story about the Harvard law professor and the women who allegedly sex-scammed him has gotten even more bizarre.

“A guide to driving in America from a hapless Brit.”

“Our galaxy’s black hole suddenly flashed a bright light — and scientists don’t know exactly why”.

“It’s not perplexing to me that Christians have a multitude of beliefs that don’t all come together as a uniform and internally logical system. But I do notice what is negotiable and what is not. With evangelicals, not much is supposed to be negotiable, but it turns out that the truth is almost the complete opposite. You can be the worst, most disrespectful person towards the actual tenets of the faith so long as you insult and belittle the people who don’t share the faith.”

“There have been hundreds of articles and broadcast stories since the attack in El Paso, reporting with depth and compassion about this moment. But the banner headlines and the segments at the top of newscasts reflect the value editors assign to aspects of a story. The front page still speaks volumes. The top story in a broadcast signals to the audience which topics matter most. And despite the fact that the attacker purposefully targeted Latinos, that is not what most outlets chose to emphasize.”

“If Trump were correct that China pays the entirety of his tariffs, as he has repeatedly claimed, why would the commerce secretary say the decision to delay tariffs was made to protect U.S. consumers for holiday shopping?”

“Trump has never been a reasonable man, but for two years, he has gotten worse. He literally cannot tell the truth from a lie, he often seems completely unable to comprehend even basic information, and he flies off the handle in ways that would make most of us take our children to a pediatrician for evaluation.”

Serena Williams versus drones. What more do you need?

The world is terrible, but there’s a new John Coltrane album, so at least we’ve got that going for us.

“NO-ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED THIS: unintended yet entirely foreseeable results of boneheaded trade policy.”

RIP, Richard Williams, animator best known for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

RIP, Peter Fonda, actor best known for Easy Rider, son of Henry and brother of Jane.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 12

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with the people of El Paso as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 11

What lawyers can learn about criminal liability from Beavis and Butthead“.

Phree the Phanatic!

What “doing life together” really means.

More than you wanted to know about the spinning wheels used on game shows.

Reconsidering Tracy Flick, the actual heroine of the movie Election.

The candidate for president was seething with disdain for a large swath of Real Americans. The candidate scoffed at their suffering. The candidate oozed with haughty superciliousness as he wrote off all those Americans as unworthy of concern or outreach. All the while, the candidate’s audience, cloistered in their bubble, insulated from those Americans and their travails, tittered with glee.”

“There are several bipartisan election-security bills in the Senate, and McConnell is blocking every single one of them.”

“But, although these Republicans probably don’t know it, there is a clear and obvious connection between video games, white nationalist terrorism, and the image board where the El Paso shooter posted his manifesto. That connection is Gamergate, the campaign of misogynistic harassment by aggrieved gamers that began in 2014, and which moved to 8chan from 4chan when the latter refused to allow Gamergaters to use that board for coordinated harassment campaigns and doxing.”

RIP, Cliff Branch, three time Super Bowl champion with the Oakland Raiders.

“To put that in the form of a question, what *good* do incitement standards, as we currently have them, do for the people most likely to be the victims of the kind of racial violence black people have known in this country for 400 years?”

Keep it classy, Mitch.

RIP, Toni Morrison, Pulitzer and Nobel-winning author and novelist.

My in-laws are great. Not everyone’s are. This woman’s in-laws are The Very Worst.

“There must always be room in politics for uncivil, intemperate, even vitriolic language. But justifying or glorifying political violence is different. Most politicians do not encourage their supporters to shoot people, as Trump did in Florida in May. Trump’s repeated invocations of redemptive political violence are what grants him a measure of responsibility when those who take his rhetoric seriously decide to engage in such violence. Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on acts of political violence, but there is no leader on the left who delights in it and encourages it the way Trump does. At least three times now, men convicted of planning or carrying out violent crimes targeting individuals or communities singled out by Trump have cited the president as inspiration by name.”

“To paraphrase Elizabeth Warren from last week’s debate, why talk about what we can’t do? More to the point, why talk about things that this isn’t about? If a guy drives about nine hours from Dallas to El Paso to murder 20 people, and then we lay blame for that on immigration, we buy into his framing. No, the root causes of these actions are almost always threefold: easy access to guns, adherence to white-supremacist ideology, and a history of misogyny and associated violence. We already see all three threads running through the Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton shootings, to varying degrees — and that is before much investigation has taken place.”

You had one job.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 5

The Texas Progressive Roundup stands with the people of El Paso as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 4

Is the classic movie Airplane! now problematic?

“The 69 Best Alternative Rock Songs of 1999″. I probably know more of these songs than I can recognize just from the titles.

Better to have a few rats than to be one“.

“NASA is planning to blast New Mexico chile pepper plants out of the Earth’s atmosphere in March 2020 and grow the fruiting blooms on the International Space Station. Researchers hope it will lead to improved meals for astronauts, as well as a deeper understanding of how to someday grow food on the moon and Mars.”

“But not until I made the biggest mistake of my professional life could I really relate.”

“It’s more accurate to say Trump’s racism and narcissism are both facets of his desire to rule like a feudal lord. If we see Trump as a would-be baron or an aspiring king, then his varied reaction to people of color makes sense: He loves those who pledge loyalty to him and hates those who defy him in any way.”

More than you wanted to know about Alan Dershowitz.

Feral hogs are now a European problem, too.

Some details about that Capital One data theft.

Shooting Bullets At Asteroids is the name of my next album.

RIP, Nick Buoniconti, Hall of Fame linebacker for the Miami Dolphins.

Donald Trump? Never heard of him.

“In this scenario, these goobs just latched onto Denhollander because she’s an outspoken woman and therefore must, in their view, be Bad, and they chose to make her their emblem of demonic opposition to their One True Faith without having any clue as to who she is or what she’s done because, as a rule, they never ever listen to the substance of what any outspoken woman is actually saying and because their stunted, carefully curated media diet does not include Time or Sports Illustrated or legitimate news sources of any kind and the tiny epistemic bubble of Fox/Breitbart/Christian talk radio they rely on never covered the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal and it apparently only registers in their little misogynist reptile stimulus-response mechanism brains as having something to do with #MeToo and therefore with feminism and therefore with the worst and scariest threat they can imagine. And that is the best possible explanation for this.”

“Nationally, hate crimes have been rising across most groups in recent years after bottoming in 2014″.

“This Senate inaction brings to mind Albert Einstein’s infamous definition of insanity as repeating the same behavior but expecting a different outcome. With no beefing up of election defenses and high odds of continuing foreign interference, 2020 will likely see the same problems of 2016: campaigns that sow discontent and play on societal divisions, active efforts to undermine electoral legitimacy, and widespread public doubts following the campaign about the integrity of the election process itself. Americans will wake up on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 wondering how the U.S. electoral process again fell prey to foreign interference and why political leaders failed to defend our vital democratic processes.”

We have a gun problem. We have a white supremacy problem. They are increasingly intertwined, and we need to respond to each of them legislatively and culturally, without fear or intimidation.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 29

The Texas Progressive Alliance thinks that maybe some Republicans ought to try reading the Mueller report as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 28

“The Zero for Zeros campaign is asking companies with pro-equality records to stop bankrolling the fiercest opponents of equality.”

This is the best Twitter thread I’ve ever read about the Kodak corporation, the International Fixed calendar, and nuclear bombs.

“As far as we know, this is the first time that women’s baseball data has been collected in a capacity that is similar to that of the information made available on players in Major League Baseball.”

“The time for excuses is over. A lot of voters who cast their ballots for Trump in 2016 soured on him and voted for Democrats in 2018 to keep him in check. Voting for Trump once is forgivable. People make mistakes and have flights of fancy and errors in judgment. But if you still back Trump now in July of 2019, knowing what he is, knowing what kind of people you’re aligned with, that’s not on the opposition party–no matter how poorly or well it may be run, no matter how stodgy or populist it may be. That’s not on any politician or group. That’s on you. You’re responsible for every ugly word out of his mouth, and out of the mouths of all the Republican politicians protecting him. You have to own that. Your motives don’t matter.”

If you order food from DoorDash, tip the delivery person in cash, please.

“In a massive new analysis of findings from 277 clinical trials using 24 different interventions, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found that almost all vitamin, mineral and other nutrient supplements or diets cannot be linked to longer life or protection from heart disease.”

Don’t use browser extensions. Like, go remove them now.

Revisiting the Al Franken saga. Very worth your time to read.

Here’s a counterpoint to the above.

“Josh Harris, the author of a wildly popular manifesto on abstinence before marriage, is separating from his wife—and reevaluating his legacy.”

RIP, Chris Kraft, NASA flight director and architect of the space program.

RIP, Mark Kleiman, criminologist and blogger.

“After Mueller testifies, the House should consider transmitting Barr’s multiple testimonies to the Justice Department, and since Barr cannot investigate himself, call for a special counsel to do so.”

RIP, Art Neville, “Poppa Funk”, New Orleans music legend.

RIP, Rutger Hauer. movie star probably best known for Blade Runner.

“The Oral History of Revenge of the Nerds“.

“A federal judge on Friday dismissed a $250 defamation million lawsuit filed by Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student whose video confrontation with a Native American man at the January Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, DC sparked a firestorm of controversy.”

RIP, Russi Taylor, voice of Minnie Mouse and many other animated characters.

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 22

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Presley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib and against Donald Trump’s appalling and unacceptable racism as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 21

How the Atlanta Braves wound up in the original NL West.

“Unlike immigrants, natural-born citizens such as Carlson are neither screened nor forced to pass a citizenship test nor made to swear an oath. And when they stray from the American way, no one thinks to tell them that they’re failing to assimilate.”

Wishing Bob Gibson all the best.

“Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.”

So maybe cord cutting isn’t quite as attractive now.

Screw Julian Assange, now and forever.

Some giant jellyfish news for you.

RIP, John Paul Stevens, former Supreme Court justice.

RIP, Dr. Edith Irby Jones, doctor who pioneered desegregation in Southern medical education and Houston health care for those without access.

“In fact, if all members of Congress were made to “go back” to the countries from which their families originated, as Trump suggested for the Democratic congresswomen, there would be four members left. That’s the number of Native Americans currently serving.”

“8 Charts on How Americans Use Air Conditioning“.

“Christianity is a very visible part of the USWNT. So too, however, is support of the LGBTQ community. Multiple members of the team are open about being in same-sex relationships — including head coach Jill Ellis, co-captain Megan Rapinoe, Harris, Krieger, Tierna Davidson, Adriana Franch, and Kelley O’Hara. And a large portion of the fan base in women’s soccer is LGBTQ as well. When Hinkle refused to even put on a jersey with rainbow-colored numbers on it, it was a clear rejection of the very humanity of the queer community. That isn’t faith. That’s hate.”

“The numbers simply do not lie. America, as a whole, and swing states, in particular, are growing more diverse, more quickly. There is no way Republicans can change birth rates or curb this trend — and there’s not a single demographic megatrend that favors Republicans.”

RIP, Pumpsie Green, first black player for the Boston Red Sox, the last MLB team to integrate.

Rot in hell.

“The Forgotten All-Star Game That Helped Integrate Baseball”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 15

The Texas Progressive Alliance has the people of Louisiana in its thoughts as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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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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