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June 9th, 2019:

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.”

May runoff results

With 303 of 474 precincts reporting, State Rep. Eric Johnson was leading in the runoff for Dallas Mayor over Scott Griggs, 57% to 43%. At the time I started writing this I didn’t see any news coverage declaring the race to be over, but it sure looks to me like Johnson is going to win. So congratulations to (I presume) Mayor-elect Eric Johnson. You know what this means: There will be another special legislative election, which I would bet will be in November. Johnson’s HD100 is solid Dem so a flip is not in play, but expect there to be a big field.

On a side note here, Johnson knocked off longtime Rep. Terri Hodge (who would soon after be convicted of federal tax fraud charges) in 2010. He’s always struck me as someone who had his sights on bigger things. Having just achieved one of those bigger things, look for him to start getting mentioned in future conversations about statewide candidacy. I could definitely see him taking aim at Dan Patrick in 2022, or Ted Cruz in 2024. Just something to keep in mind.

In San Antonio, Mayor Ron Nirenberg held on.

Incumbent Ron Nirenberg retained his position as San Antonio’s Mayor after defeating Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) in the runoff election on Saturday.

Brockhouse officially conceded at 9:12 p.m.

With 96.98 percent of precincts counted, Nirenberg held 51.07 percent of the vote to Brockhouse’s 48.93 percent.

Nirenberg opened the night with a slight lead in early voting, which tightened as more precincts were counted. The margin was just 1.44 points with 78 percent of the precincts voting before a late surge gave Nirenberg the victory.

“I’ve never worked harder in my life to make sure that this city was well represented than over the last two years, but certainly over the last month where we had to remind folks that we can be a city for everyone,” Nirenberg said.

Unofficial results are here. Brockhouse, who among other things was a shill for Chick-fil-A, went on to whine about how The Media Was Out To Get Him. I’m sure you can hear my eyes roll at this, but it did lead to my favorite tweet of the evening:

Every once in awhile, Twitter proves itself worthy of existence.

Finally, I’m sad to say that Nabila Mansoor failed to win her runoff in Sugar Land. She trailed by almost 600 votes early and closed the gap a bit on Election Day, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

UPDATE: Here’s a Trib story on the two Mayoral runoffs.

Do we have someone running in CD06 yet?

This guy really needs a strong opponent.

Rep. Ron Wright

U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, R-Arlington, says on a video released by an abortion rights group that women commit murder if they have an abortion and should “absolutely” be punished

Reproaction, an abortion rights advocacy group, published a video May 30 asking Wright what he thought of women going to jail for self-managed abortions.

“Of course they should,” Wright says after saying he considers that by having an abortion “they committed murder.”

Asked if women should be punished in general for getting an abortion, Wright says, “Absolutely.” The video ends with one of his staff members cutting off the conversation.

The Dallas Morning News reached out to Wright’s office and received a comment hours later. In a statement, he reiterated his view that “abortion is the taking of an innocent life” and insisted that — despite what he said in the video — his comments were not directed at women who receive abortions.

“My remarks were directed to those who perform abortions. Those who perform the abortions should be held responsible,” he said in the statement.

Wright was elected to Congress last fall, replacing longtime GOP Rep. Joe Barton in the district that stretches from Arlington to Ellis and Navarro counties.

[…]

Aimee Arrambide, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said in a prepared statement that Wright and [State Rep. Tony] Tinderholt do not “represent the values of North Texans.” She referenced a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday showing Texans support abortion access.

“North Texans deserve better than anti-abortion extremists who want to punish women for having abortions.,  she said.

Calling for the punishment of a woman is not the traditional response from abortion opponents.

Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, said it’s hard to tell if the idea is becoming trend. With a combination of state legislatures moving to the right and Donald Trump taking office, abortion opponents feel momentum to overturn Roe v. Wade and that “they can say what they actually believe.”

Yeah, the hell with that guy. CD06 isn’t a top pickup opportunity, and it’s not on the DCCC target list. Wright won it by 7.7 points in 2018 as Beto got 48.0%, so it’s hardly out if the question. Having a good candidate who can raise some money would help. Of all the districts of interest, it’s the only one for which I’m not aware of anyone who might be running. If you know anything about possibilities, leave a comment. The sooner we get this sorted, the better. Think Progress has more.

Many non-existent Bigfoot sightings happen in Texas

Happy hunting, I guess.

Steve Austin knows the truth

Bigfoot walks among us here in Texas. Or at least that’s what researchers tracking the elusive beast would have us believe.

Recently, Travel Channel published a list of the eight best places to catch a glimpse of Bigfoot using “never-before-released data” from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO).

According to Travel Channel, “This exclusive tracking information comes from BFRO’s Follow-up Log and Tracking System (FLATS) – the world’s ultimate sasquatch database of compiled sightings and testimonies.”

After analyzing the 23,000 sightings across the country, Travel Channel came up with a list of the eight states with the highest likelihood of having your own Bigfoot encounter.

According to that list, there’s a good chance you might see ‘Squatch out and about taking in the Texas scenery.

I mean, it only makes sense. Texas is a big state, both geographically and population-wise. I’m sure the odds of spotting fairies, Santa Claus, and all three of Daenarys’ dragons are higher here than anywhere else, too. It’s just how it should be. Patch has more.