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Weekend link dump for February 18

A filter for assholes would really improve Twitter. It would really improve real life, too, though that may be a bit much to ask.

Three words: Mutant crayfish clones. You’re welcome.

Goddammit, Alamo Drafthouse. You needed to be better than that.

Sexual Harassment in the Children’s Book Industry. Sadly, a long read.

Fifty Shades markets itself as a swirling Cinderella romance with a dash of kink, with a mousy nobody who is swept off her feet by a charming billionaire with a penchant for handcuffs and rough play. But the union between Christian and Anastasia is so unbelievably toxic and awful that it becomes an endurance test to sit through.”

“You show me [a Harvard Law School] grad willing to work with Trump, and I’ll show you an active threat to democratic self-government.”

“We now have ample evidence of what should have been predictable from the start: Almost everyone who signed up to serve President Trump was in a critical way like him, either ideologically or in personal character. The notion that more than a handful were dedicated, non-extremist professionals serving in spite of Trump’s failings rather than because of them has simply failed the test of evidence.”

I think the lesson here is to avoid buying houses that were prominently featured in TV shows about gruesome murders.

Behold a robot dog that can open doors. Yeah, we’re pretty much screwed as a species.

Turns out it is possible to shame Sean Hannity. Difficult, but possible.

“But the best people want to work for the best bosses, in the best organizations, supported by the best cultures. Trump hasn’t created anything of the kind. The Trump administration is a leaky, chaotic, dangerous place, where staffers operate under constant threat from Trump and each other, and in which the president is so uncertain of his own opinions and agenda that more staff energy goes into persuading him of what he believes than carrying out what he wants.”

The tanking will be strong in the NBA this year.

Roy Edroso tells you what you need to know about Megan McArdle.

“Michael Cohen lies through his teeth like most people breathe. So it’s entirely possible that Trump or various other entities made Cohen whole. But as someone who’s done a lot of research into Cohen and his decade-plus relationship with Donald Trump, I will say again: picking up this charge himself is entirely plausible.”

Chrome’s new ad-blocking capabilities sound pretty good.

From the Donald Trump Ruins Everything: Bachelor Winter Games department.

There are things that can be done to reduce the frequency of gun massacres. We know that because in every other developed country on Earth they have been done, and have made a difference. Australia, Scotland, Norway, Canada, Germany, Finland—these and other countries have had occasional horrific mass shootings. These countries have just as high a proportion of mentally ill people as the United States does, just as many with pent-up grievances. But only America has an endless series of gun killings.”

“This shows Mueller has been doing consequential work, not just sniffing around the White House looking for an excuse to indict Trump.”

“Disclaimer: The following op-ed was penned by guest blogger B. Mercenarius III (well, by his ghost writer, and in accordance with the conclusions of several focus groups regarding the talking points likely to be most effective in eliciting the sympathy of his fellow Americans). Any resemblance to Rebekah Mercer’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal of February 14, 2018, entitled, “Forget the Media Caricature. Here’s What I Believe” is deliberate and intended as parody.”

Weekend link dump for February 11

Everything you wanted to know about the link between lead and crime but were afraid to ask.

Three words: Internet of dildos. You’re welcome. Also, too, Dan Quayle would totally say “Internet of dildoes”.

So what’s up with all the TV reboots, anyway?

“But neither Budweiser’s good deeds, nor its slick marketing, can camouflage what’s happened to the once-ubiquitous brand: Budweiser is in the midst of a long, steady decline, the victim of drinkers’ shifting preferences.”

A history of mocking how people from South Asia speak.

Pretty much everything you need to know about the Devin Nunes memo.

How to keep the Super Bowl experience going all year long.

“We lose track of how many things the President has done just in the last few weeks which were heretofore unimaginable and which all would be credible and robust grounds for removal from office.”

RIP, John Mahoney, Chicago stage actor best known for his role on TV’s Frasier.

“This bears repeating: Computational propaganda—defined as “the use of information and communication technologies to manipulate perceptions, affect cognition, and influence behavior”—has been used, successfully, to manipulate the perceptions of the American public and the actions of elected officials.”

“So now the main attack on the FBI is about font size. No doubt all the subsequent memos Nunes is promising to release will have additional bombshells.”

“One thing we’ve learned in the last two years is that no legal, moral, or cultural strictures bind Trump and that he is immune to the better angels of human nature. The moral event horizon around him consumes the good in anyone who becomes one of his vassals. There is no better version of Trump, ever.”

Like Game of Thrones in space, except not really.

RIP, John Perry Barlow, lyricist for the Grateful Dead and cofounder of Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“A new DNA analysis of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton has concluded that early Britons had dark skin, dark hair, and light eyes — upending assumptions about what the area’s indigenous population really looked like.”

Woman Claims Airline Told Her To Flush Emotional Support Hamster Down Toilet“. I got nothing.

“It’s pretty strange that Pence is seriously losing it over being called out for his own dehumanizing views on LGBTQ community. Judging from his life’s work, he ought to be thrilled to not have to talk to a gay person. Instead, he’s resorting to passive-aggressive negging and self-pitying.”

“Grandma’s no-exceptions policy on divorce was an absolute rule, but it wasn’t her only absolute rule. And when that absolute rule clashed with another one — the rule that said women must be kept safe from the men who would harm them — she didn’t hesitate.”

Weekend link dump for February 4

“In a recent review, published online Jan. 10 in the journal Astrobiology, a trio of scientists from the U.S. and Japan posited that viruses may be spread across interplanetary space. Those researchers want to convince astrobiologists to devote more time looking for these curious molecular machines.”

“Dear White Evangelicals, I need to tell you something: People have had it with you. They’re done.”

How likely it is that a reboot may happen for your favorite TV sitcom.

“But the sad fact, one year into this presidency, is that the current approach to covering this White House is no longer working. We are reading the same memes again and again, and the president, a savant at intuiting public sentiment, is doing everything he can to keep the treadmill moving.”

“As a straight male, the best teacher I ever had was a gay man.”

“The fitness tracking app Strava is giving away the location of secret US army bases.” Oops.

I for one welcome our new robot newscaster overlords.

“There have been very, very many attempts to identify the core of Trumpism, but this — stripped of conventional politics, stripped of considerations of wealth and celebrity — seems to reach it as few other anecdotes have: Donald Trump is a guy on dry land, staring at the television for hours because he wants to make himself feel terror and loathing toward sharks.”

Meet Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go on the record to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual assault.

Tom Hanks will play Mister Rogers in a forthcoming biopic of same.

RIP, Kevin Towers, former general manager of the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks.

“That belief is a political choice. It is a political choice to accept a big lie that the president and his defenders have been peddling for months about federal law enforcement and intelligence.”

“Alleging a concerted conspiracy by the FBI/DOJ in obtaining the Page FISA necessarily implicates the judge who approved it, and suggests they are incompetent (at best) or corrupt (at worst). If Nunes is alleging serious crimes on the part of the FBI and DOJ, he must put his money where his mouth is and identify the judge who approved the FISA application. If he doesn’t, it’s likely because even he knows that this would be taking his accusations too far.”

RIP, Oscar Gamble, former Yankee outfielder known for his glorious Afro.

No one says “No” when they mean “No”, so maybe we shouldn’t fixate on that.

I’m in a 7-foot blue shark costume. There’s no cool in that. So what’s the other option? Well, I’m gonna play a different character.”

“A Texas-size bollocking over proper attire, wasting taxpayer money and spying for the bureaucrats in Washington.”

RIP, Emma Primas, supercentenarian, businesswoman, and honorary ambassador for Houston.

Weekend link dump for January 28

There’s a good case to be made that collusion is happening again in Major League Baseball.

When life hands you lemons, form an organized crime syndicate. Or something like that.

From the you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave department.

“The cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua are considering a scheme to build an integrated binational bikeshare system between the two cities.”

Great overview of improv comedy and how that form has finally come to be more diverse in recent years.

“A lot of people occupying powerful positions in American soccer are not making a good faith attempt to recruit the best talent possible. The USMNT is not getting better. For those reasons alone, American soccer needs new leaders.”

“A new species of wasps in Florida was named after Ichiro Suzuki“.

The headphone compatibility problem we now face.

“I liked the actress who portrayed me. And I would like to say, ‘Gins-Burn!’ sometimes to my colleagues.”

“On Monday, the executive leadership of the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors — Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder, and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley — all announced their resignations, effective January 21.” Good riddance. Burn it all down.

RIP, Hisako Robets, co-founder with her husband of the legendary Salt Lick BBQ outside Austin.

“A watchdog group filed a pair of complaints on Monday alleging that a $130,000 payment reportedly made to a pornographic film actress who claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump violated campaign finance laws.”

RIP, Hugh Masakela, South African trumpeter, singer and activist who played with Paul Simon on the Graceland album and tour.

RIP, Ursula K. LeGuin, groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy author.

So, which religious conservative groups were targeted for infiltration by the Russians in 2016, and which ones got themselves infiltrated?

In case you were wondering what Garrison Keillor was alleged to have done.

“This might be one of the greatest examples of political performance art I’ve ever seen.”

“Travel to the U.S. has been declining since Donald Trump took office, leading to a cost of $4.6 billion in spending and 40,000 jobs”.

“Harvey was the most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in United States history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts, since reliable rainfall records began around the 1880s.”

RIP, Mort Walker, longtime cartoonist who created Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois, among many others.

Weekend link dump for January 21

“President Trump’s approval rating fell across a wide swath of demographic groups over his first year in office, including among those seen as important to his base, like white voters, evangelical Christians and those who live in rural areas.”

There’s something charmingly retro about an extortion threat delivered via snail mail that demands payment in Bitcoin.

“I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls from Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter”.

“So in answer to the question, why do we let all these people from holes into this country, I guess the answer is because they renew our energy and values, and help us combat our growing golf gut.”

You can learn a lot from shitholes, shit piles, and other things having to do with shit.

You’re not on Arya’s list. Deal with it.

The “Do Not Call” list is basically useless these days.

RIP, Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Irish band The Cranberries.

“I’ve never tweeted before but today felt like a good day to start.” Click over and you’ll see how right he was.

Just a reminder that Mitt Romney lied a lot, too.

Where does the family TV show go from here?

Hey, remember when gay marriage was going to destroy us all? Good times.

“I would humbly suggest that this is not a healthy development for the church or for the country.”

RIP, JoJo White, Hall of Fame guard for the Boston Celtics.

RIP, Doug Harvey, one of only ten umpires in the MLB Hall of Fame.

Some basic rules for securing your Internet-connected devices.

“The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency”.

RIP, Hugh Wilson, director and creator of WKRP in Cincinnati.

Larry Nassar is a monster, but many, many people enabled his abuse.

The only correct ballot for the Hall of Fame.

Weekend link dump for January 14

What “Meltdown” and “Spectre” mean to you.

“Few surprises are more compelling than the recent discovery that falcons are more closely related to parrots than they are to hawks and eagles.”

“We Have A New Prime Number, And It’s 23 Million Digits Long”.

The Asian fetish of far-right white nationalists.

“Trump’s complete lack of fitness as president has nothing to do with whether he has any diagnosable conditions. Suggesting otherwise, in fact, gives him and his enablers medical cover, right when the focus should be on their corruption, bigotry, and incompetence.”

“The truth that Wolff arrives at in Fire and Fury is pretty much the same one that a regular reader of political reporting for the past year would have gleaned from the work of journalists at mainstream papers.”

“All the Mentions of Sexual Harassment During the Golden Globes”.

Hooray! More Fargo next year!

Screw Wikileaks, now and forever.

“That’s why, though the cost of chicken has risen over the years, it’s advantageous for stores to keep the price of rotisserie chickens down. In fact, rotisserie chicken has long been priced lower than fresh whole chicken, a detail consumers perennially find confusing, and publications take turns investigating every few years.”

RIP, Derby, beloved bat dog of the minor league Trenton Thunder.

RIP, Meriem Lucille Roby Anderson, member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, an elite group of more than 1,000 women who flew aircraft during World War II.

RIP, Diego Esparza-Arcienega, beloved figure in Houston’s indie rock scene.

“Every time we get a little bit closer to holding powerful men accountable for their actions, bad historical metaphors tumble forth from people who are eager to appear to be concerned about overreach and due process. Overreach is always possible. Due process is important. But comparisons that equate holding the powerful accountable with the systematic persecution of marginalized people are both offensive and intended to obfuscate the truth.”

“Conservatives have recently been pushing a theory that the basis for the FBI investigation was an opposition research document compiled at the behest of Clinton’s campaign. Simpson’s testimony seems to confirm the Times account and thereby debunk a conservative counternarrative that places the dossier itself at the center of the story.”

Hey, it’s New Diet Coke. Just please don’t call it “Diet New Coke”.

“Leading up the 2016 election, it was possible to imagine a broad anti-Trump coalition that included conservative Republicans like Brooks. But after the chaos wrought by Trump’s candidacy and victory, American politics is again sorting itself along usual partisan lines. If Trump’s personality cult has merged with the Republican Party, then the only effective anti-Trump movement will be among partisan Democrats, who vote not just to stop the president but also the party that enable him.”

RIP, Doreen Tracy, original Mouseketeer.

Donald Trump has a long history of being a racist jackass.

And it turns out that in many languages, there’s no direct translation of “shithole”. As someone who studied French in school – and who admires the fact that in French there are different words for “shit” depending on whether it’s being used as a noun or a verb – I was most interested in their rendition. “Pays de merde” is literally “shit countries” or “shit lands”, which is a pretty accurate rendering of the true intent. #themoreyouknow

It’s a problem for US news organizations, too. You know, when I started this blog a million years ago I decided that I’d keep the language clean on it (something I definitely do not do in real life), and yet here we are.

RIP, Keith Jackson, legendary broadcaster known as the voice of college football.

Weekend link dump for January 7

Hope the new year doesn’t already suck for you.

The ten worst things Scott Pruitt’s EPA has already done.

“How disinformation will be deployed in 2018 and beyond is unclear. What is clear, however, is that the Kremlin believes its efforts to sow chaos in the American political process, which it has continued to hone in Europe, have worked and are poised for a return.”

“Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options”.

“And where are the lavish profiles of people (broke, white, or otherwise) who have soured on Trump?”

This is not normal. Repeat one million times.

Why “biblical literalism” makes you susceptible to hustlers.

December 28, 2017, was the 100th anniversary of the H.L. Mencken hoax about Millard Fillmore’s bathtub.

Here are your 2017 Golden Dukes winners.

Four things that were supposed to have happened by now with Trump as Pr*sident.

“This is banana-republic-type stuff. One year into Trump’s term in office, his character has not changed.”

“Playboy Enterprises Inc. reportedly is considering killing the print magazine, which was started more than six decades ago”.

Did you read something by “Alice Donovan” last year? Then I hope you will recognize that “she” was the creation of Russian intelligence.

People fail to get the joke. Film at 11.

“I don’t know how well the president will do in deflecting these criticisms with this stupid press release, but if this is the kind of criminal defense on which he and his family are pinning their hopes, he’s really going to wish he never became president.”

If you’ve ever wanted to yell at Sean Hannity, here‘s your chance.

Basically, everyone knows Donald Trump is an idiot. It’s just that the people who can do something about it – i.e., the Republicans in Congress – refuse to do so.

We’re Animaniacs, we have pay or play contracts…

“Roy Moore accuser files defamation suit against him”.

RIP, Jerry Van Dyke, actor and brother of Dick Van Dyke.

RIP, John Young astronaut who flew in space six times.

RIP, Rita Clements, widow of former Texas Governor Bill Clements.

Weekend link dump for December 31

Boomers, man. They’ve ruined it for the rest of us.

Lots of people are coming to terms with past associations with sexual harassers. It’s a tough thing to grapple with, but we’re all the better for being open and honest now.

Here’s a map showing how many Americans died as a result of above ground atomic testing during the 1950s.

“The Charterstone Condo Board is pleased to announce this year’s nominees for 2017’s Worthy Awards. Each daily strip has been carefully reviewed by the Condo Board, and this year’s nominees represent the best that Mary Worth has to offer.”

Dirk Nowitzki is a mensch. Be sure to follow the link from inside the story, too.

RIP, Heather Menzies-Urich, best known as one of the Von Trapp children on The Sound Of Music.

“And just what real-world noise is a dragon’s purr based on? Tortoises having very loud tortoise sex.” You’re welcome.

RIP, Bob Givens, animator who helped design Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

“Here is a complete list of the now 20 women who have come forward under their own names to accuse the president of sexual assault, unwanted touching or kissing, or other inappropriate sexual behavior.”

If you’re even a little surprised that female sports journalists have to put up with a ton of sexual harassment, you haven’t been paying attention at all.

“For anyone who ever thought their wedding guest list posed challenges, this one tops them all.”

The Library of Congress won’t be archiving your tweets any more.

RIP, Rose Marie, actor and comedian.

RIP, Erica Garner, daughter of police brutality victim Eric Garner.

RIP, Sue Grafton, mystery novelist.

Weekend link dump for December 24

Some rules and observations for Christmas music, which I endorse.

“While Republicans in the political class will no doubt cite [Roy] Moore’s loss as proof that their party needs to nominate stronger, more mainstream candidates next year, it’s far from certain that primary voters on the ground will heed such pleas from the swamp.”

The science of Star Wars, or why you’re probably not getting a light saber for Christmas.

“Why Anakin Skywalker should’ve been removed from the Jedi Order for sexual harassment”.

“But what those critics don’t recognize is that the nationalistic, race-baiting, fear-mongering form of politics enthusiastically practiced by Mr. Trump and Roy Moore in Alabama is central to a new strain of American evangelicalism.”

How’s that War on Christmas going?

“In hindsight, the Climategate hack, clearly timed to disrupt the Copenhagen negotiations, looks like a precursor to the hack that helped shape the outcome of the 2016 election.”

Meet Kirsten Karbach, the only female baseball play-by-play person working for a professional affiliated club. For now, at least.

“So a bitcoin is just a share of this system. It’s like stock in a newer-and-not-improved PayPal. Although that might be selling it a bit short. It’s more like a time machine that exclusively takes you back to 1999, the peak of the dot-com mania.”

“So I think some of the white evangelical celebration following Trump’s Jerusalem is a sense of relief and of renewed hope that Rapture Christianity might stage a comeback. Rapture Christians have now been given a pretext for resetting the clock and restarting their perpetual countdown. Never mind 1948. The clock starts now — with God’s chosen people (America) officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump just gave them a fresh set of downs — another 40 years in which to revive their message of an urgently imminent Rapture.”

RIP, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, one of three women to play baseball in the old Negro League.

The Disney “Hall of Presidents” attraction will never be the same.

“The Trump presidency is a huge political fact. Donald Trump may not be the leader of American conservatism, but he is its most spectacular and vulnerable asset. The project of defending him against his coming political travails—or at least of assailing those who doubt and oppose him—is already changing what it means to be a conservative. The word conservative will of course continue in use. But its meaning is being rewritten each day by the actions of those who lay claim to the word. It is their commitment to Trump that etches Trumpism into them. And while Trump may indeed pass, that self-etching will not soon be effaced.”

“So stand up. Speak out. Our country needs all of us to raise our collective voices in support of our democratic ideals and institutions. That is what we stand for. That is who we are. And with a shared commitment to our founding principles, that is who we will remain.”

RIP, Heather North, longtime voice of Daphne in Scooby Doo cartoons.

“Young children believe aging is directly tied to celebration, and it is the act of attending your birthday party that makes you age another year. Without the cake and candles, according to a number of the study’s subjects, a kid could stay 3 forever.”

$1.5 trillion could buy a lot of truly useful things instead of lining the pockets of rich people.

RIP, Dick Enberg, Hall of Fame sportscaster.

RIP, Clifford Irving, author of the infamous hoax biography of Howard Hughes.

RIP, Bruce McCandless, first astronaut to float untethered in space.

Weekend link dump for December 17

The Democratic Party is the most united American party in modern political history.

The real-life Bada Bing Club will be closing its doors in New Jersey.

What can go wrong when you give Amazon your house key.

It’s harder than you might think to accurately count violent crimes in the US.

Safer avocados for fewer hand injuries.

Poor babies: “A bad dream for U.S. firearms producers has become reality: The fear-based motivation for gun purchases has evaporated and is being replaced by bargain hunting.”

“This is the Elmore Leonard/Frank Peretti mash-up I didn’t even realize I’d been waiting for.”

“Democrats cannot shut down the government. They are the minority party and have neither the power nor the responsibility to keep the lights on and the government open.”

You can’t snitch on golfers any more.

An already outdated list of TV shows that have been affected by the wave of sexual harassment allegations.

RIP, Ed Lee, former Mayor of San Francisco.

Future generations will be taught about Roy Moore’s final campaign rally in Alabama as the sort of thing that we are glad never happens any more.

“The larger issue is that the Republican Party is led by an unpopular president and unpopular congressional leaders who are pursuing an unpopular agenda, and it’s putting them in massive electoral peril.”

“Not every race is going to go as badly for Republicans as this Alabama Senate election — but if enough go half as badly, or even a third as badly, they’re still in for a rough time next year.”

RIP, Pat DiNizio, lead singer of The Smithereens.

Disney buys most of Fox. But not Fox News. That would have been interesting.

“Rosenstein is clearly trying to thread the needle: protecting Mueller’s lawful and correct investigation while also kicking enough dirt and rubble into the gears of the rule of law to serve or perhaps keep at bay his ultimate master, President Trump. It’s comparable to his role in James Comey’s firing: writing a nominally reasonable memo which he knew would be used for an unreasonable, quite possibly illegal purpose. It is almost the definition of complicity – a largely passive and perhaps incomplete participation in corrupt acts.”

The castle grounds snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind. The sky outside was a great black ceiling, which was full of blood. The only sounds drifting from Hagrid’s hut were the disdainful shrieks of his own furniture. Magic: it was something that Harry Potter thought was very good.”

Weekend link dump for December 10

You’ve probably been playing Monopoly incorrectly your whole life.

Basically, Yetis are bears. I’ll bet the same is true for Bigfoot.

“The Satanic baby-killers have always been with us, even though they have never actually existed. We reinvent them over and over, adapting the old lies in new forms.”

“Trump’s tweets don’t advance a consistent policy agenda. They don’t make a cogent case for the administration’s position on this or that topic. They don’t articulate a direction for the nation’s foreign policy or communicate a coherent message for the wider world. They exist solely to antagonize, provoke, and polarize. Only his most extreme, uncritical admirers like these outrageous assertions. Everyone else ends up appalled — and that negative response ends up being a good part of why those extreme, uncritical admirers liked them in the first place. It’s all about reaction, all the way down.”

Here’s the best Astros-themed Christmas light display you will see.

“About those chopped-down potentates and lords: many of them, one couldn’t help but notice, were not the most attractive specimens on the block: bulbous, jowly men; fat men who told women they needed to lose weight; ugly men drawn to industries organized around female appearance. Men with weird hair. Is it wrong of me to bring this up? We do, after all, move through the world as embodied creatures. I wondered what it felt like, if you’re such a guy, one who’s managed to accrue some significant portion of power in the world but you’re still you—coercing sex out of underlings. When you look in the mirror, is it a great white hunter you see staring back, with women as your game of choice? Sure you’ve won, you’re on top, but isn’t every win a tiny jab of confirmation about your a priori loathsomeness? If sexual domination assuages something for certain men, is it because somewhere inside lives a puny threatened runt, and extracting sexual compliance is some form of recompense?”

“We do not come at this issue as political partisans; though we are registered Democrats, we have supported Republicans, consider ourselves moderates and have worked with key figures in both parties to improve political processes. Still, we can’t help seeing the Republican Party as the root cause of today’s political instability.”

“A column written by the immortal Art Buchwald about Watergate-era Nixon defenders has a certain resonance as Robert Mueller’s investigation proceeds.”

The millennials are coming, and they will have an effect on elections going forward.

RIP, John Anderson, former Republican Congressman from Illinois who ran for President as an independent in 1980.

Bitcoin is terrible for the environment.

“The evidence is now irrefutable that Trump, his associates, and Republican leadership more broadly conspired to give Moscow a pass despite (or perhaps because of) Russia’s attack on our democracy.”

“If you want the tax cuts and the judges, you’ve also signed up for the racism, the misogyny, the amorality, the lawlessness, the deranged tweets, possibly even something close to treason. Trump supporters own it all.”

Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“Europe and Asia have taken a significant lead over the United States in the race to field the next generation of high-intensity lasers for use in medicine, nuclear weapons development, manufacturing and science”. But don’t worry, because we have the world’s greatest coal mines and pass-through tax codes.

Look, there are millions of women out there who weren’t murdered by Ted Bundy, so you can’t go judging him by the women he did murder. Allegedly. I don’t believe any of them are actually dead.

“I don’t know how big a role [Erik] Prince plays in the larger Russia story. But he and his various companies, whatever name they’re now operating under, are a dangerous and malevolent force in our current moment, even more than they were a dozen years ago when Blackwater was playing such a big role in America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“Are you struggling to buy a toy for your child this year holidays? Are you wanting to help others? Do you like ecstatic taxidermied heads in Santa hats? If any of these apply then you are in the right place, because today marks the eighth (EIGHTH!?) annual James Garfield Miracle.”

The rise and fall of Michael Flynn.

RIP, Alice Lok Cahana, artist and Holocaust survivor.

Weekend link dump for December 3

Is this the end of the line for Microsoft Excel?

“It should not be possible for anyone observing James Dobson in 2017 to be disappointed, because it should not be possible, in 2017, to have still retained any illusions about Dobson’s morality or honesty.”

Kids these days, and the Availability Heuristic.

Lots of things the NY Times could have done to avoid writing a puff-piece profile of a fucking Nazi.

“Michigan State must be held accountable for enabling Larry Nassar’s abuse”.

Cut the technobabble in TV scripts, save valuable time.

“If you’ve cooked out of a book, magazine, or newspaper in the past three decades or so, chances are pretty good that many of the recipes you’ve used have called for kosher salt. It’s been an American standard for a good while. The trouble is that the two major kosher salt brands—Diamond Crystal and Morton—perform in wildly different ways.”

“A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets.” Of course lying liar James O’Keefe was behind this.

“But who hired O’Keefe to make this specific video? One where, once again: O’Keefe hired a woman to lie about sexual assault in order to protect a sexual predator by discrediting women who had actually been assaulted.”

Meet Flash Drives for Freedom, one of the leading forms of resistance against North Korea and Kim Jong Un.

A documentary about Mister Rogers is set to come out next year.

“YouTube’s Creepy Kid Problem Was Worse Than We Thought”.

“@JamesOKeefeIII thought he was going to WIN a political argument with CNN by abducting one of their reporters, trapping her in a sex dungeon & videotaping her crying for fear she’d be raped. Now, he’s busted trying to fake cover for a child molester. Is America great again yet?”

How to write about Nazis without making them sound sympathetic.

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but don’t eat raw cookie dough.

“But I think we should recognize this basic point: news coverage can’t force people to care about something they don’t care about.”

Like many other men who have been accused of sexual harassment, Matt Lauer had a history that was there to be seen.

“Donor dissatisfaction has translated into meager Republican fundraising hauls.”

RIP, Jim Nabors, singer, actor best known for playing Gomer Pyle, and honorary Marine.

“But if you want to see a bill rammed through, right now Republicans are showing us how it’s done.”

A profile of Zainab Ahmad, one of the two prosecutors who procured today’s guilty plea from Michael Flynn, and who used to hunt terrorists in Brooklyn federal court.

Weekend link dump for November 26

You tell me there’s an inhabitable planet within feasible travelling distance, I’m so there.

“So if you’re feeling adventurous, here’s how you can make your very own roast Facehugger“.

“Targeted ads that seem to follow you everywhere online may soon be doing the same on your TV.”

So, when are people going to start calling for Clarence Thomas to resign?

Rot in hell, Charles Manson. You died where you belonged.

RIP, Mel Tillis, country music Hall of Famer.

Who am I to disagree with H.R. McMaster?

“What I found was that Trump embodied his supporters’ most profound beliefs—combining an insistence that discriminatory policies were necessary with vehement denials that his policies would discriminate and absolute outrage that the question would even be asked.”

Seeing Roy Moore’s lawyer get called a moron by other, more competent lawyers will never get old.

Pro tip: Check your Christmas tree for spiders before you bring it in the house.

RIP, David Cassidy, 70’s teen heartthrob and star of The Partridge Family.

“This is what we have to worry about. It’s not that there are a bunch of irredeemably racist and misogynistic and religiously bigoted people in our country so much as Trump is making more of them, and he’s getting them to drop their standards on pretty much everything else, too.”

What Grant Brisbee says.

Apparently, Seth MacFarlane had been warning us all along.

How are you ever going to prove the earth is flat if you’re not allowed to launch a rocket to get the evidence?

Basically, nobody actually favors repealing net neutrality.

Weekend link dump for November 19

“The massive asteroid that slammed into Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs might never have triggered a mass extinction had it struck almost any other part of the planet, scientists claim.”

“In a dramatic intellectual turnabout, most archaeologists and other scholars now believe that the earliest Americans followed Pacific Rim shorelines from northeast Asia to Beringia and the Americas.”

“No wonder the Heritage Foundation is so jazzed for this guy — an Originalist who can actually ask George Mason what he was thinking.”

RIP, Liz Smith, legendary gossip columnist.

“So when you ask, will evangelicals abandon Moore over this? Some will. But Trump admitted assaulting women and still 81% of white evangelicals voted for him. White evangelicals remain his strongest base of support.”

“So – even putting aside the point that the criminal-law standard of proof doesn’t apply to a political campaign – there is ample evidence for the proposition that Roy Moore, as a thirty-two-year-old assistant district attorney, molested a fourteen-year-old girl. The prisons are full of people convicted on much less proof.”

“I’m going to state that again, in case you didn’t get the full meaning of that: The conservative right — the most religious segment of our population — decided to boycott a company because it refused to sponsor a show that defended a pedophile. To put it in other terms: The enemy of my enemy is my friend, ergo, Hannity and Co., are now friends with pedophilia.”

How to Opt Out of Equifax Revealing Your Salary History.

“While WikiLeaks bills itself as a neutral proponent of transparency, the 2016 election made it quite clear that wasn’t the case.”

“At no point during the 10-month correspondence does Trump Jr. rebuff WikiLeaks, which had published stolen documents and was already observed to be releasing information that benefited Russian interests.”

“The evidence of Russian hacking has been coming in from other sources, including George Papadopoulos, who was informed that Russia had obtained hacked material long before any of it was actually released. What remained a question was whether Wikileaks was a witting or unwitting participant in Russia’s game. In my opinion, these Twitter messages remove any doubt about that. Wikileaks was acting in a way that was completely indistinguishable from how a Russian intelligence agency would act. And they weren’t making any effort to disguise this from the Trump campaign.”

“Sean Hannity would like his fans to stop smashing Keurig coffee machines.”

“Well, it turns out that Roy Moore — in addition to being a vicious bigot seething with contempt for LGBT people, Muslims and non-white people, and in addition to being so contemptuous of the rule of law that he was twice removed from service as a judge, resulting in a lifetime ban from Alabama courts, and in addition to being a Barnum-esque grifter who turned used a Ten Commandments monument to fleece church-goers out of millions in donations, and in addition to being an alleged child molester and attempted rapist who so creeped out his neighbors that he was (allegedly) banned from a local shopping mall and YMCA — is not particularly honest.

“Trump’s tweets are impulsive, immediate, unvarnished. They amount to realtime surveillance of what he was thinking and what he knew at key points of the campaign. They just require the fruits of the ongoing investigations to decipher what they mean.”

RIP, Bobby Doerr, Hall of Fame second baseman for the Red Sox. As it happens, a family friend was part of the effort to get Doerr inducted into the Hall by the Veterans Committee in the 80s. I remember reading a paper he’d written called “Open The Doerr” to advocate for his case.

The more I hear about the Galaxy Quest TV show, the more I am looking forward to it.

“Cards Against Humanity, an irreverent card game company known for its attention-seeking pranks, says it bought land on the U.S.-Mexico border to block President Trump from building his wall.”

Roy Moore’s lawyer is kind of an idiot.

What Mara Wilson says.

Sen. Al Franken should be ashamed of himself, and it’s good that he will cooperate with the Senate ethics investigation against him and accept their verdict. For what it’s worth, Leeann Tweeden has accepted his apology, which is not something we’ve seen in any of the far-too-many cases before now.

RIP, Ferdie Pacheco, boxing analyst and ringside doctor for Muhammad Ali.

RIP, Malcolm Young, co-founder of and guitarist for AC/DC.

Weekend link dump for November 12

“What Happens When A Surrogate Unknowingly Gets Pregnant With Her Own Child At The Same Time She Is Pregnant With Someone Else’s Child?”

How to design streets for people in an age of driverless cars.

Using optical illusions as traffic-calming devices.

Hey, John Schnatter, don’t you wish you’d kept your big mouth shut about the NFL now?

“The Republican tax bill looks like it was written by Donald Trump’s accountants and tax lawyers, and I’m not even joking.”

“Recent research done by Everytown for Gun Safety has found that of the mass shootings in the United States between 2009 and 2015, 57 percent included victims who were a family member, spouse, or former spouse of the shooter. Sixteen percent of attackers had been previously charged with domestic violence.”

“If we profess to follow Jesus, all of our talk must be indivisibly connected to all of our deeds. If there are no deeds, then the talk is meaningless. The contrived, empty platitudes [from these politicians] are a public relations gimmick to avoid confronting this ideologically captive religion which bears no fruit.”

“I think it is becoming increasingly apparent that we have a practice of blasphemous Christianity by many so-called Christians. Jesus is the Prince of Peace in a world of war. Rather than continue to push for more instruments of death, which are unable to keep us safe, we must rather start to call for a more peaceful existence that limits the proliferations of instruments of death.”

“Federal law shields firearm purveyors from liability. Taxing gun-makers and dealers is the only way to make victims whole.”

Too much TV, too little time.

RIP, Richard Gordon, astronaut on the Gemini 11 and Apollo 12 missions.

RIP, Roy Halladay eight-time All Star pitcher for Toronto and Philadelphia.

“The microparticles that leafhopper insects sweat out not only repel water from their wings, but also alter wavelengths of light, which could make them useful to researchers working on the long-running quest to create an invisibility cloak.”

Sure, go ahead, send your nekkid pictures to Facebook. What could possibly go wrong?

RIP, John Hillerman, best known as Higgins on Magnum, PI.

“Bringing Joseph and Mary into a modern-day molestation accusation, where a 32-year-old prosecutor is accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl, is simultaneously ridiculous and blasphemous. Even those who followed ancient marriage customs, which we would not follow today, knew the difference between molesting and marriage.”

The true story of the Church of the SubGenius.

“It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird…We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall…”

“The allegations against Roy Moore are merely a symptom of a larger problem. It’s not a Southern problem or an Alabama problem. It’s a Christian fundamentalist problem.”

Weekend link dump for November 5

“It is rare for a new animal species to emerge in front of scientists’ eyes. But this seems to be happening in eastern North America”.

What if horror movies actually stop crime, not cause it?

It was the flu pandemic, and it swept the whole world wide/It caught soldiers and civilians, and they died died died.

Superstorm Sandy, five years later.

So why did Paul Manafort go to work for Donald Trump?

Facebook’s bigotry problem goes well before the 2016 election.

“What the U.S. Olympic Committee can — and can’t — do about sexual abuse”.

“The recent torrent of public allegations against celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein, Terry Richardson and James Toback is unprecedented. But the stories have been circulating on the industry grapevine, and on blogs and social media, and among women especially, for years. The headlines are shocking — unless you read Gawker before it was shut down, in which case this may feel like a throwback, to a time when sexual aggressors roamed the land, but had not yet occupied the presidency.”

Buffy the Middle School Vampire Slayer. I may need to pick that up for my girls and see if they like it.

“An estimated 126 million Americans, roughly one-third of the nation’s population, received Russian-backed content on Facebook during the 2016 campaign”.

There’s little evidence to suggest that corporate training about sexual harassment is effective.

“The National Braille Press has been churning out millions of pages of braille books and magazines a year. But as it turns 90 this year, advocates of the tactile writing system are wrestling with how to address record low Braille literacy.”

My high school classmate Jessica Safran is among those quoted in this Chicago Tribune story about dealing with a recurrence of cancer. She died this week, leaving behind a husband and 12-year-old daughter and about a million friends. Rest in peace, Jessica.

RIP, Rick Hader, minor league baseball entertainer known as Myron Noodleman. I saw him perform at a game in Butte, Montana (seriously) in 1996. He was a hoot, and one of the ways in which minor league baseball is awesome.

Yes, there are limits on attorney-client privilege.

Poor, pitiful Papa John’s. Make better pizza, I say. And tell your CEO to quit being an ass.

“Okay, fine, you’re allowed to propose at a stadium if you just won the World Series there”.

“There are many good reasons to criticize Sarah Huckabee Sanders. This isn’t one of them.”

Weekend linkdump for October 29

And the gold medal in pole dancing goes to…

Frank Oz talks Muppets and Little Shop of Horrors.

“Over the past 30 years, food companies like Nestlé, Mars, Barry Callebaut, and Hershey’s — among the world’s biggest producers of chocolate — have poured millions of dollars into scientific studies and research grants that support cocoa science.”

When people said “I read it for the articles”, this is what they were talking about.

“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist“.

“Over the last century or so, the precise reasoning behind why America fed its students had a strong influence on how we did it. And the rationale has changed more times than you’d think.”

“We do not currently have a clear public vocabulary of civic freedom in the US or a cultural penumbra that surrounds support for the same. We didn’t need them before. Now we do.”

“A ThinkProgress investigation found that fake Twitter accounts run out of Russia had wormed their way into dozens of [media] outlets from across the American political spectrum over the past two years.”

RIP, Paul Weitz, retired NASA astronaut who commanded the first flight of the space shuttle Challenger and also piloted the Skylab in the early 1970s.

RIP, Robert Guillaume, two-time Emmy-winning actor, best known for Benson and Soap.

RIP, Fats Domino, rock and roll pioneer and legend.

An oral history of “The Contest”, the famous “master of my domain” episode of Seinfeld.

This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special will premier in the theaters, and will include the first look at Jodie Whitaker in the title role.

Weird Al Yankovic on the craft of making his polka-fied cover song medleys.

“So now, after a year of revelations on this scandal, it’s worth taking a step back to consider why and how political journalism failed so badly prior to the election.”

RIP, Catherine Nance, a Houston Moms Demand Action activist that I’m sorry I never knew.

Why was Team Trump such easy pickings for Putin?

“Astronomers may have discovered the first interstellar object, a comet or asteroid that’s broken free of another star to pay a visit to our sun.”

Weekend link dump for October 22

On “American Pie”, the Book of Revelations, and the perils of deciphering ancient texts.

When graphic designers rise up.

“Of course, you want as many people to watch your show as possible. But some things are more important than bringing in a big audience. I hope that we, as a nation, get back to a time where I can have a normal, well-rounded show, that’s more focused on Beyoncé and Jay-Z than Donald and Ivanka. But for the time being, this is what’s at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Larry Flynt once offered a million dollars to various famous women if they’d pose in his magazine. He’s offering a lot more than that now to anyone with information that could be used to impeach Donald Trump.

The Republican Party’s overlords have spoken.

Record-breaking hurricanes are even hitting Europe now. Nothing to see here, move along.

“I want to walk through the world as a woman without fear. I don’t want to assume that men are so weak, they need to play a weird pretend game just to not abuse me. Y’all are stronger than that.”

What Gregg Popovich says.

What You Should Know About the ‘KRACK’ WiFi Security Weakness.

The Russians used House of Cards to learn about American politics as they aimed to screw with us in 2016.

RIP, Roy Dotrice, actor who recorded the Game of Thrones audiobooks.

“The disparity between these two scenarios suggests something perverse but inescapable about the media’s expectations for politicians’ response to scandals. Public figures who talk about a social problem in the abstract get pressured to repudiate their associates who contribute to it. Public figures who weren’t vocal about the problem to begin with get to stay silent when it’s one of their friends.”

Is there anything the Trump administration won’t blithely and cheerfully lie about? Literally anything?

“An elementary school in Mississippi is changing its name, scrapping former Confederacy President Jefferson Davis and replacing it with former President Barack Obama”.

Good for you, Doris Burke.

Weekend link dump for October 15

What not to order at a chain restaurant, according to the people who work at them.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, though probably not right away.

The Babel Fish is coming.

It’s decorative gourd season, y’all.

“About half of fetuses with serious anomalies won’t be detected until an ultrasound at 20 weeks. It’s also after this gestational age that other pregnancy complications can occur that endanger women’s lives, such as ruptured, infected membranes or severe preeclampsia. Contrary to what the far-right claims, pregnancy does kill women.”

“What’s a urinal fly, and what does it have to with winning a Nobel Prize?”

RIP, Y.A. Tittle, Hall of Fame quarterback and easily the most famous person named “Yelberton” ever.

“The Corker episode is perhaps a case study of a delusion still affecting too many senior Republicans: that they can use him without being used by him. It is hard to feel too much sympathy for them if Trump does not hold up his end of whatever bargain they believed they had, given the collateral costs—the damage to vulnerable groups, the enshrining of bigotry, and, indeed, the heightened risk of a third World War—that were always built in. But the most useful lesson might be that Republicans actually did, and do, have choices.”

Kakistocracy is back, and we are experiencing it firsthand in America.”

In case you needed another reason to think Bret Stephens is an idiot.

“[Mark] Zuckerberg needs to testify before Congress in an open hearing about Facebook’s business model and the design priorities for its algorithms, and defend his view that Facebook is not responsible for what third parties do on its platform.”

“This, too, is rape culture. Rape culture is not about demonizing men. It is about controlling female sexuality. It is anti-sex and anti-pleasure. It teaches us to deny our own desire as an adaptive strategy for surviving a sexist world.”

“In virtually every oppressive workplace regime—and other types of oppressive regimes—you see the same phenomenon. Outsiders, from the comfort and ease of their position, wonder why no one inside the regime speak ups and walks out; insiders know it’s not so easy. Everyone inside the regime—even its victims, especially its victims—has a very good reason to keep silent. Everyone has a very good reason to think that it’s the job of someone else to speak out.”

George Strait is a mensch.

“The home of Charles Schulz, Peanuts creator and American treasure, is among the residences that have been lost to the wildfires currently raging in Northern California”.

“Lawsuits filed in the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 58 people dead face several obstacles–including a 2005 federal law that protects gun manufacturers and sellers from civil claims brought by gunshot victims.”

“Americans often have a reputation for brashness and rudeness. But in the end, we’re not too rude. We’re simply too nice to rude people.”

Weekend link dump for October 8

Pocatello, Idaho no longer has the worst flag in North America.

“For for the fourth time since early last year, astronomers announced the detection of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of space-time created by the powerful collision of two black holes.”

“On average, someone gets shot by an American toddler a little more frequently than once a week”.

“Is there any more poignant example of how Congress’ wasteful partisanship affects ordinary Americans? It’s hard to imagine one. If the lawmakers can’t act in support of a program that was enacted in a spirit of bipartisanship and serves the most truly defenseless members of society, there’s no hope for them.”

On the legalization of canoeing while drunk in Canada.

“Contrary to what the NRA may say about shooting violence, a good guy with a gun would have made no difference in Las Vegas.”

“The Second Battle of Fallujah (November-December 2004) is viewed by many as the bloodiest and most intense battle of the Iraq War. According to Wikipedia 95 Americans died over 6 weeks; 54 between November 7th and 16th. The current death toll out of Las Vegas is 58.”

People support gun control laws. Politicians – Republican politicians, in particular – do not.

RIP, Tom Petty, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

“My working hypothesis, formed years ago and supported by mountains of evidence observed ever since, is that good faith and political power are inversely proportionate in the anti-abortion movement.”

Assume you’re compromised, and take steps accordingly.”

“Archaeologists in Turkey may be on the cusp of solving a mystery thousands of years in the making after they stumbled on a tomb beneath the ruins of an ancient church they believe contains the remains of Saint Nicholas—known popularly as Santa Claus.”

“The early Medicaid expansion was associated with an 11 percent reduction in the number of loans taken out each month. It also reduced the number of unique borrowers each month and the amount of payday loan debt.”

Roy Moore really is dangerously outside the mainstream. He makes Ted Cruz look thoughtful.

The “IRS scandal” was a total zero. Not that anyone who made a bid deal out of it will ever admit that.

How about a statue of Fannie Lou Hamer somewhere?

RIP, Ralphie May, stand-up comedian.

“Until Americans change their minds about guns, Americans will die by guns in numbers resembling the casualty figures in Somalia and Honduras more than Britain or Germany.”

RIP, Connie Hawkins, basketball Hall of Famer who starred in the ABA and NBA.

Weekend link dump for October 1

Sabrina, the Gritty Reboot, next on The CW.

“For the first time in over 60 years, Brigham Young University will sell caffeinated soft drinks on campus.”

“Artificial Colors are Back in Trix Because Nobody Liked Natural Ingredients”.

Equifax sends an email to people affected by their data breach with instructions for how to protect themselves, succeeds in making everyone think it’s a phishing scam. Good Lord, these people are idiots.

BUT HER EMAILS!!!

“In fact, the weaponization of betrayed military sacrifice is a common, almost universal feature of rightist political movements.”

There are many reasons why paying minor league baseball players a living wage is a good idea.

“After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.”

“It’s impossible not to be struck by Trump’s selective patriotism. It drives him to curse at black football players but leaves him struggling to create false equivalence between Nazis and anti-Fascists in Charlottesville. It inspires a barely containable contempt for Muslims and immigrants but leaves him mute in the face of Russian election intervention. He cannot tolerate the dissent against literal flag-waving but screams indignation at the thought of removing monuments to the Confederacy, which attempted to revoke the authority symbolized by that same flag.”

“If we wish to get partisan politics out of sports dominated by black athletes, perhaps we should try to make support for reversing racial inequities a nonpartisan issue.”

The “Six Million Dollar Man Christmas Album”. How did I not have this as a kid?

“So it’s time for Jubilee. Cancel [Puerto Rico’s] debt. Erase it from the books.”

“The engagement is announced between Kit, the younger son of David and Deborah Harington of Worcestershire, and Rose, middle child of Sebastian and Candy Leslie of Aberdeenshire.”

RIP, Hugh Hefner, who I’m sure you know. See here for many tweets by famous people about him, and this article from 2010 about why he is considered a civil rights icon.

“[Aaron] Judge is a brobdingnagian big boy from beneath the Earth’s crust, and when he plays the Astros, [Jose] Altuve is forced to orbit around him. It’s Hank Pym vs. Hank Pym, and the real winner is us.”

“Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson donated his first game check to three women who work in the NRG Stadium cafeteria and who were especially affected by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey.”

“9 ways Trump’s tax plan is a gift to the rich, including himself”.

Very best wishes to Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

RIP, Monty Hall, game show host and creator of Let’s Make A Deal.

Weekend link dump for September 24

I guess this means my kids are Generation Z. I can already hear them rolling their eyes.

How young is too young to take public transit by yourself?

“In a just world, the name of Joseph De Laine would already be familiar to South Carolinians.”

Basically, everything about this. Just go read it.

“It is 2017, and this grown man is on my show talking with me — a female host — about boobs. Is this seriously happening?”

“At North Farmington High in Michigan, there’s a senior tradition in which students get to take their ID photo in whatever pop culture costume they desire. The creativity and execution alone will make you wish you lived in this district.”

You will be relieved to know there’s been a settlement in the case of the monkey selfie.

“When you treat politics as entertainment, you get Sean Spicer at the Emmys”.

“This is the beating heart of the Žižek Game: the disbelief that something you care about has failed to register on the consciousness of another.”

RIP, Stanislav Petrov, lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Forces who literally saved the world in 1983.

Equifax should definitely get the “Son of Sam” treatment.

Some foreign-born MLB players are learning English by watching reruns of Friends. This is my favorite baseball story in at least a year.

Toys R Not Us.

“The President of the United States is regularly manipulated by Twitter bots”.

What you need to know about the latest (for now) Trump/Russia revelations.

Why Stephen Colbert invited Sean Spicer to the Emmys.

“Most of the congresspeople who vote on this bill probably won’t even read it. And they want us to do the same thing. They want us to treat it like an iTunes service agreement. And this guy, [Sen.] Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.”

“We are supposed to be in rehab from our housing binge of ten years ago, the one that nearly bankrupted the country. We are supposed to be in a state of contrition. But our national love of HGTV suggests that the dream won’t die.”

“You could do a post office renaming and call it ‘repeal-replace’ and 48 Republican senators would vote for it sight unseen.” That was a Republican legislative aide speaking, by the way.

RIP, Jake LaMotta, the Raging Bull.

“On Monday, a new project was announced at the Google News Lab Summit that aims to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms in the next five years. Report For America takes ideas from several existing organizations, including the Peace Corps, Americorps, Teach for America and public media.”

RIP, Bernie Casey, football player turned versatile actor.

The horniest people you know are nowhere near as obsessed with sex as professional conservative pundits.

“Were Manafort and Flynn Recruited By the Russians?”

“Facebook has struck a deal with Capitol Hill investigators to release ads purchased by Russians to influence the 2016 presidential campaign”.

“Germany is likely to send far-right delegates to the Bundestag for the first time since 1945.” What could possibly go wrong?

“Written by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), this bill is so bad that you’d either have to be lying through your teeth or dumber than bricks to support it. Every argument that’s being used to sell the bill is flatly contradicted by what’s inside of it.”

“A Texas Billionaire, The Stripper He Beat Up, And The Mugshot He Doesn’t Want You To See”.

Weekend link dump for September 17

How Game of Thrones spoilers happen. Because people want them to happen would be my explanation.

“We’re not talking here about anything as puny as political economic power. No, climate is about something far more terrifying it its capacities: Climate change is about planetary power.”

What’s really going on with Google Drive.

“Why the Equifax breach is very possibly the worst leak of personal info ever”. And what you should do about it.

RIP, Len Wein, influential comics writer who co-created characters including Wolverine and Swamp Thing.

RIP, Don Ohlmeyer, one of the original producers of Monday Night Football.

“If Mark Zuckerberg runs for president, will Facebook help him win?”

China versus Bitcoin. Who ya got?

How Jeopardy! questions get written.

Just so we’re clear, Donald Trump is a Republican. This is what you call someone who wins the Republican primary for President.

Remembering Bretagne, the Last Known 9/11 Search-and-Rescue Dog. Warning: the video at the end will choke you up.

“This is one of those things — a hurricane strong enough to change the shape of an ocean.”

“Three cheers for Missouri, the upside-down land where Christians perform the gruesome animal sacrifices and Satanists bring the religious freedom lawsuits.”

RIP, Edith Windsor, gay-rights activist whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

“The blinding rise of Donald Trump over the past year has masked another major trend in American politics: the palpable, and perhaps permanent, turn against the tech industry. The new corporate leviathans that used to be seen as bright new avatars of American innovation are increasingly portrayed as sinister new centers of unaccountable power, a transformation likely to have major consequences for the industry and for American politics.”

RIP, Frank Vincent, best known for playing Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos.

Hot oligarch on oligarch violence. May they all lose.

White evangelical Christians are huge hypocrites. I’d say it’s all Donald Trump’s fault, but no one made them do it.

Cassini’s Mission to Saturn in 100 Images. Godspeed and thank you for your service, Cassini.

Four words: Nun with a chainsaw. You’re welcome.

The actress who starred in the porn video liked by Ted Cruz’ Twitter account doesn’t approve of him watching it for free.

I’m so excited about the forthcoming adaptation of Good Omens, I can’t even stand it.

RIP, Harry Dean Stanton, brilliant character actor from Alien, Pretty In Pink, Repo Man, and many more.

Weekend link dump for September 10

Legal Aid should be a backbone of our social safety net, and limiting that service based on state bar requirements doesn’t seem to be helping anybody.”

How does a remake of Lord of the Flies, but with girls instead, grab you? Assuming you didn’t realize that such a work already existed in another form, of course.

This is the self-obsessed, insular bubble Swift inhabits. In a cultural climate packed to the brim with dire, pressing problems, she uses her massive platform to rehash tired grudges that she thinks the world has been eagerly waiting to be settled, completely oblivious to the actual concerns of everyday people. Instead of evolving as an artist and a human, she wallows in the petty beefs with fellow millionaires that the public might have had the headspace for in 2015, but most definitely do not anymore.”

There’s a lot more political pressure on Google these days.

“Unpacking that involves a bit of theology. If that sounds too dull or dry, think of it, instead, as an exploration of a 2,000-year-old dick joke — a funny, pointed, 2,000-year-old dick joke. Because that’s also what we have here in Galatians.”

Monopolies are bad for all the reasons people used to think they were bad. They raise costs. They stifle innovation. They lower wages. And they have perverse political effects too. Huge and entrenched concentrations of wealth create entrenched and dangerous locuses of political power.”

It’s hard out here on a clown.

A lot more people want to be lawyers, thanks to Donald Trump.

An oral history of Ally McBeal.

The Peppa Pig poisonous spider controversy.

“The review shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. It is a view of the president available to few other Americans.”

What Fred says.

RIP, Gene Michael, former Yankees shortstop and longtime front office executive.

Kris Kobach is a lying liar who lies a lot. Among other things.

“I cannot recall a previous data breach in which the breached company’s public outreach and response has been so haphazard and ill-conceived as the one coming right now from big-three credit bureau Equifax, which rather clumsily announced Thursday that an intrusion jeopardized Social security numbers and other information on 143 million Americans.”

Weekend link dump for September 3

Just another day at the movies. No big deal.

“Why would you attempt to pull a con on a community made up of hundreds of thousands of Meddling Kids?”

The case for Taylor Swift’s new song being about Arya Stark.

“Depending on how you’ve set up two-step authentication, however, this may be far from airtight security. What’s more, not all two-step authentication methods are equally secure. Probably the most common form of secondary authentication — a one-time code sent to your mobile device via SMS/text message — is also the least secure.”

Don’t fall for Harvey-related viral hoaxes.

“Pushing civil society from talk and voting to violence and paramilitaries is what the fascists are trying to accomplish – moving from the rule of law to the rule of force.”

“When it comes to tax reform, in other words, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hardly a profile in courage. The reason is simple: the Chamber’s own members can’t agree among themselves on what tax reform ought to include.”

“So, Bronn and Cersei Hate Each Other In Real Life”.

“One of the internet’s oldest and most popular neo-Nazi forums, which has been linked to dozens of murders, has been shut down after more than two decades of promoting white supremacy.”

“For those keeping score, this is a group of white evangelicals tripling down on the precise theology that utterly failed them in the past. Twice.”

“This is what awaits Trump on the flip side of his terrible August. It’s why anyone holding out for the possibility that Trump’s presidency might somehow become more ordinary over time is making a category error. It can’t become more ordinary, because it came into existence under unacceptable circumstances.”

“President Trump just pardoned Joe Arpaio, who was essentially running a concentration camp in the Arizona desert. He said there are some good Nazis, and he’s kicking out young adults who were brought here as kids by their parents, and I’m the one who has to continue to apologize?”

Four words: Floating fire ant colonies. You’re welcome.

Even monster trucks were pressed into rescue service during the height of Harvey.

RIP, Rollie Massimino, former head basketball coach at Villanova and author of the greatest upset in NCAA Tournament history.

“What all of this amounts to is that while Kushner has been given oversight of numerous key foreign policy issues and problems, his ‘family’ is simultaneously in a desperate hunt for money which basically has to come from abroad – from a lot of the people he meets with in his White House job. It’s like having a Secretary of State desperate for help getting money from every foreign potentate he meets with. In fact, it’s not ‘like’ that. It sort of is that.”

RIP, Jud Heathcote, former Michigan State men’s basketball coach who won an NCAA Tournament with Magic Johnson on his team.

RIP, Richard Anderson, best known as Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

RIP, Walter Becker, co-founder of Steely Dan.

“So here’s what you can do. Please, please continue to love us. There are no words to express how much your encouragement means to us. But please, please think before donating.”

Weekend link dump for August 27

“Three years ago, however, a small German town found a fourth option — you can involuntarily conscript Nazis into anti-Nazism.”

“It’s a dramatic story, this epoch-defining tale about automation and permanent unemployment. But it has one major catch: There isn’t actually much evidence that it’s happening.”

“With the start of the State Fair of Texas just a few short weeks away, the deep-fried finalists for this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards have officially been announced.” And they are glorious, but they might give you palpitations just from reading about them.

“This seems to be the only way these Christians can imagine learning what Jesus had to say or to teach about anything — by reverse-engineering the opposite of what they imagine the Antichrist will do.”

RIP, Jerry Lewis, Hollywood comedy legend. As usual, Mark Evanier has the most interesting things to say.

“It would take time, generational change and external events to make Germany what it is today—a vibrant democracy that is notably less permissive of racism, extremism and fascism than the United States. Tearing down the symbols of Nazi terror was a necessary first step—but it didn’t ensure overnight political or cultural transformation. It required a longer process of public reconciliation with history for Germans to acknowledge their shared responsibility for the legacy of Nazism.”

“A small but growing number of Liberty University graduates are preparing to return diplomas to their school. The graduates are protesting university President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s ongoing support for Trump.”

“This is where the argument against steroid users falls apart. How can we justify keeping out [of the Hall of Fame] players who used steroids in the era before drug testing when [former Red Sox owner Tom] Yawkey and Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis — the baseball commissioner from 1920 to 1944, who rigidly opposed integration — are there?”

The skunk in the outfield. I’ve watched baseball all my life and have never seen anything like that.

The International Space Station photobombed the solar eclipse.

Me: I don’t think Trump can get any worse.
Trump: *interrupts #BachelorinParadise to make speech*
Me: IMPEACH

Meet Katie Sowers, the second full-time female assistant coach in the NFL, and the first openly gay coach of either gender.

“But as of Election Day 2016 it was certainly possible to squint at Trump and see the outlines of an ideological shakeup — a figure who would attempt to represent the interests of the Republican Party’s electoral base of older-skewing, less-educated white people rather than hew strictly to the reanimated corpse of Reaganism like the vast majority of the party’s elected officials. But with Steve Bannon fired and Breitbart.com left to snipe from the sidelines as Trump embraces a South Asia strategy pushed by Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, and the uniformed military one must ask: What is the point?”

An oral history of Battle of the Network Stars. My God, the 70s were amazing.

Roy Edroso pours one out for the final print edition of the Village Voice.

A list of the worst storms in American history and the sins that had caused an angry God to send them to punish us.

“MTV has invited transgender members of the U.S. Armed Forces to the 2017 Video Music Awards and we would be honored if they could attend. Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stand for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere.”

RIP, Tobe Hooper, director of Poltergeist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Weekend link dump for August 20

Good. Actions have consequences.

“Republican lawmakers in at least 18 states have introduced bills to crack down on protesters. Among those proposals are bills that would allow cities to sue protesters in order to collect money to pay police forces required at demonstrations, increase the potential penalty for nonviolent demonstrations, and increase fines against picketers.” One of those states is Texas, because of course it is.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

Big Ben goes silent as it undergoes maintenance.

RIP, Frank Broyles, the winningest football coach in Arkansas history.

“[Robert E.] Lee is known for one thing: being the key military leader in a violent rebellion against the United States and leading that rebellion to protect slavery. That’s it. Absent his decision to participate in the rebellion he’d be all but unknown to history.”

By the way, some jerk tried to set off a truck bomb outside a bank in Oklahoma City last weekend. Another right wing anti-government nutjob. Thankfully, he failed in his quest.

“For some Hollywood creatives, particularly those at the peak of their careers, offers of big bucks and promises of creative autonomy aren’t enough to overcome the view that network television is now the least attractive medium in which to work. Rhimes didn’t leave just leave ABC. She left network TV.”

“So what should an employer do if they get word that their employee is involved in an event that brings them bad press? Here are a few concerns to keep in mind.”

“Here is a very real and true thing: 2017 is making it really hard to be a science fiction writer.”

“In general, support for bike lanes and bike-share among black and Latino respondents is high, but confidence that they can secure these improvements from local government is not.”

“The strangest part about the continued personality cult of Robert E. Lee is how few of the qualities his admirers profess to see in him he actually possessed.”

RIP, Joseph Bologna, stage and screen actor best known for Lovers and Other Strangers.

“The Cleveland Clinic, the American Cancer Society and American Friends of Magen David Adom have all canceled plans for galas at Mar-a-Lago.” More like this, please.

How to take a picture of the solar eclipse.

RIP, Billye Henry, co-founder of the Schlitterbahn water park.

RIP, Dick Gregory, trailblazing comedian and longtime civil rights activist.

Weekend link dump for August 13

The National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest for 2017. Go see gorgeous photos.

Donald Trump could have been president in Sharknado 3. Which would have been infinitely preferable to current reality.

“Now that the Republican Party has won the House, the Senate and the Presidency the effort it is making to Repeal and Replace Obamacare is itself a Fraud upon Republican Voters and Donors.”

“That business model and this financial trajectory suggests that MLS’s sea of red ink is either a loss leader or a Ponzi scheme, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the two until it’s too late. Several sports economists, though, aren’t optimistic.”

How NASA will be studying the solar eclipse.

“The wall is no metaphor to Trump. He will accept no substitutes to a huge, long, physical wall, which he believes his voters viscerally want. He told GOP Hill leaders in June he wants it to be 40 to 50 feet high and covered with solar panels. Hill Republicans privately mocked that idea, but some of those same people now recognize that Trump’s big, beautiful — and in their minds, ridiculous — wall could be the thing that brings the U.S. government to its knees.”

“Despite Blum’s rather reductive use of Asian Americans as a model minority to dismantle affirmative action programs, many Asians, including myself, are actually strong proponents of affirmative action.”

“The rapid moral deterioration of Homeland Security took place during the six months that John Kelly, the retired Marine general that Trump appointed to run the vast department, was at the helm. He was not a passive conduit just following orders from the White House.”

“The criminal justice system often responds to drunk drivers by focusing on their driving, for example, by taking away driver’s licenses, restricting driving to daylight hours, or installing a breathalyzer that locks the ignition if the would-be driver has been drinking. But new research indicates that a highly effective approach to alcohol-involved crime is more direct and simple: Take away the offender’s access to alcohol.”

RIP, Don Baylor, 1979 American League Most Valuable Player and former big league manager.

RIP, Haruo Nakajima, the actor in the Godzilla suit for the classic monster movies.

David Letterman is coming back.

Good riddance, and good decision by Google.

RIP, Glen Campbell, country music legend.

Weekend link dump for August 6

A little thought experiment about a shift of power in the Senate.

Chase your dreams, y’all.

“If you’ve been asking why McCain is getting so much credit for this hit job, rather than his two female Republican colleagues without whose “no” votes the bill would have also passed, one of the answers is that he has sought to make himself the fall guy. But it’s true: This was a conspiracy of three. And one thing McCain has in common with Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski is that all three were in an unusually good position to take the blame for killing Obamacare repeal.”

“Which is to say, Trump and his new minion aren’t just colorful personalities, but members of a particular species: the New York douchebag. That’s why Scaramucci may long remain in good standing—as long as he doesn’t break one golden rule.”

How Leslie Neilsen perfectly encapsulates life in the age of Trump.

RIP, Lee May, former All Star who was once traded for Joe Morgan.

“As for impotence, Trump has accomplished nothing beyond conservative judicial appointments. His administration is otherwise a comedy of errors in the exercise of executive power.”

How long is the day on Saturn? Turns out that’s a tricky question.

“it was going super well but there’s some kind of crazed serial killer roaming the grounds right now”

“Now, if you want to talk about new and risky, how about some alternative histories that don’t focus on World War II or the Civil War?”

RIP, Sam Shepard, playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director.

“All told, more than a dozen Democratic candidates with science backgrounds have announced their candidacies for Congress or are expected to in the coming months. The boomlet of STEM-based candidates amounts to a minor seismic event in a community where politics and research have traditionally gone together like sodium and water. Trump has been in office just six months, but he’s already done something remarkable—he’s gotten scientists to run for office.”

Now that is what I call burying the hatchet. Well done.

“Anthony Scaramucci is out, but the Mooch jokes are forever”.

Oh, just a newborn calf that looks like Gene Simmons from KISS. No big deal, not a sign of the apocalypse or anything like that. Now, will someone buy the calf a personal computer? That’s what I want to know.

So long, Flash Player. Eventually.

Anyone Can Legally Say, “Eat Shit, Bob!” Good to know.

“In 2017, 52 percent — a majority — of U.S. Muslims believe that society should be accepting of homosexuality, compared to just 34 percent of white evangelicals. Indeed, white evangelicals overall were less tolerant of homosexuality than any subgroup of Muslims that would be expected to be more conservative, including men (42 percent), those who are older (42 percent), those were born outside the United States (49 percent), and those who say their religion is very important to them (47 percent).”

A good discussion about the ethnic diversity of the Roman Empire, and Twitter trolls.

RIP, Jeff Brotman, founder of Costco.

“First of all, it is obvious that Stephen Miller, a senior policy advisor in the White House, is seriously steeped in the culture of white nationalism. He parrots their viewpoints and has adopted their language.”

Weekend link dump for July 30

“There’s no public indication yet what Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort specifically hoped to receive from the Russians. But if they were aware of (and believed) these conspiracy-theory reports regarding the Russians and Clinton’s emails—real-life fake news that had been bolstered by right-wing media and Trump’s own social media guru—they probably would have been particularly excited to sit down with a Russian lawyer whom they were told was bearing derogatory material on Clinton.”

The Rule of 3 and how to use it.

“This self-perpetuating, self-inflicted death spiral turns the Constitution on its head. And thus states like New York, which have already intervened to save other aspects of Obamacare, would be well within their rights to take Trump to court over a law that he’s duty-bound to execute.”

RIP, John Kundla, Hall of Fame basketball coach who led the Minneapolis Lakers to five NBA championships.

“[W]e find no Trump transgression so foul that Spicer would not grovel before it.”

“A recent analysis by The Trace, a nonprofit news organization focused on gun violence, suggests road rage cases involving guns has more than doubled across the country since 2014, and that states with large numbers of concealed-carry permit holders such as Texas had a higher number of cases.”

“I didn’t think Michael Phelps would actually race the shark, but I’m kind of disappointed he’s not going to race the shark.”

“The BCRA would end the Medicaid program as we know it by taking lifesaving healthcare away from millions. The BCRA takes hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid and gives it to the very wealthiest individuals and corporations in the form of tax breaks. This is simply immoral and contrary to the teachings of our Catholic faith.”

Microsoft Paint is reaching the end of the line.

RIP, Bo Pilgrim, poultry magnate and poster boy for campaign finance reform.

A poop emoji on you, Emoji Movie.

Where the best places to see the solar eclipse are.

Your Roomba knows what your house looks like, and that information will be for sale.

RIP, Barbara Sinatra, widow of Frank Sinatra.

“The result both for the insured and the uninsured would be more people going bankrupt, amassing debt, dipping into their savings, selling assets, and otherwise facing financial ruin when dealing with calamitous health problems—health problems, it is worth noting, that often destroy earning power at the same time as they require costly treatments.”

A federal judge agrees that Kris Kobach is a lying liar who lies a lot.

Trump is exposing our collective rot. The rotten flock to him. And there’s so much rot to go around.”

RIP, June Foray, legendary voiceover and cartoon voice actor.

“So far, Ivanka’s allyship with queer people has consisted of self-congratulatory posts and unverified claims to political action no one can see.”

Here’s What’s Happening In The White House As Explained By “Mean Girls”. Now I need the same sort of thing for the epic Trumpcare Senate fail.

Weekend link dump for July 23

Same sex marriage is likely to be safe from future SCOTUS rulings even if Justice Kennedy retires in the next couple of years. I’d rather not test that hypothesis, though.

Those hot girls on Twitter who want to follow you? It’s a scam. Don’t fall for it.

“I don’t want to have the Bible debates with you. I don’t want to hear you say you love me, but not my sin. I don’t want to have to sit and defend my humanity to you, but I will defend the humanity of others all day long. It’s how my church raised me.”

Meet your first female Dr. Who. Let the thinkpieces begin!

Oh, and we could have had our first female Doctor thirty years ago. Wonder how many female Doctors we’d have had by now if that had happened?

RIP, Martin Landau, versatile TV and movie star who won an Oscar for his role in Ed Wood.

RIP, George Romero, legendary director of Night of the Living Dead.

“A pair of Apollo-era NASA computers and hundreds of mysterious tape reels have been discovered in a deceased engineer’s basement in Pittsburgh, according to a NASA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.”

RIP, Maryam Mirzakhani, first female mathematician to win the Fields Medal.

RIP, Bob Wolff, Hall of Fame broadcaster who called Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

“To put this all as clearly as I can, it’s not that somehow Don Jr was so profoundly clueless that he didn’t know this was a problem. He knew enough to lie about it for at least a year. It’s not that he doesn’t know it’s wrong or against the law. It is that in this family having that be a brake or obstacle to action is simply alien. Dad’s good, Hillary’s bad. What’s the problem? Of course he loves it. It’s fits the family’s entire pattern.”

“The fate of the GOP’s health reform plan right now hinges on Sen. John McCain’s recovery from a blood clot surgery. It’s also the perfect reminder of just how critical insurance can be — and how much protection from health emergencies Americans stand to lose with the Better Care Reconcilition Act, the Senate Republicans’ plan to dismantle Obamacare.”

“Perhaps that’s all Sekulow is, a walking Trump tweet wrapped in a law degree. His role is performance. To force everyone to spin around distracted by how foolish his lawyer sounds, while Trump rests on his own confidence that the force of the backlash will feed his narrative that the media are shrill and out to get him, and if that fails, then at the very worst no one will ever care what Sekulow said in July.”

How will the Potty Police know I’m transgender if the Governor doesn’t?”

“As tuition and student debt go up, homeownership rates go down.”

“Don’t worry, everyone. Tropical Storm Don is only expected to hit golf courses.”

Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for their ongoing Obamacare repeal debacles.

“So here’s how it will go down. The commission will create a national database of voters and look for duplicates. As Gupta correctly points out, they won’t be able to tell two people with the same name and birthday apart. So every instance of the same name and birthdate will be counted as a case of fraud.”

The case for and against the forthcoming HBO “Confederate” series.

RIP, John Heard, actor best known for his role as the dad in Home Alone.

Weekend link dump for July 16

What part of DO NOT TOUCH was unclear to you?

Somehow, this is not satire. I got nothing.

“This, of course, presents a problem for marketers: How do you sell food to a group of people that American culture has harassed into a near-universally fraught relationship with your products? It turns out the answer is easy: Just give them something to do with food that isn’t eating it.”

“This is why Senate Republicans are having so much trouble with the health care bill. The Republican health care effort is the most unpopular legislation in three decades — less popular than the Affordable Care Act when it was passed, the widely hated Troubled Asset Relief Program bank bailout bill in 2008, and even President Bill Clinton’s failed health reform effort in the 1990s.”

“The GOP’s health care effort began with the premise that Obamacare is bad and must be repealed and replaced. But repeal and replace is a means to an end, not an end itself. The end, in theory, is the post-replacement health care system — a system that aligns with the GOP’s vision of how health care should work. But that vision is absent. When we asked eight Republican senators to tell us what the health bill was meant to achieve, we got eight different answers, and most of them were incoherent.”

“But in Fayette County and 779 other mostly rural counties across the country — the vast majority of which went for Trump — more than half the children rely for coverage on Medicaid and the related Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, according to a Times analysis of county voting data, census data and Medicaid enrollment data.”

“The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in charge of deportations has directed his officers to take action against all undocumented immigrants they may cross paths with, regardless of criminal histories. The guidance appears to go beyond the Trump administration’s publicly stated aims, and some advocates say may explain a marked increase in immigration arrests.”

That was no ordinary Russian lawyer that Fredo Trump met up with.

Yes, you can safely ignore those Jayden K. Smith Facebook messages.

RIP, Deborah Grayson Carpenter, champion for models with disabilities.

“So I would recommend that Twitter immediately suspend Trump’s account. They should do so not only because it’s in the public interest, but because he has violated many of their own rules.”

“These geniuses may not have constructed an intricate conspiracy, but it’s as if they desperately want everyone to believe they did.”

“This, then, is Junior’s official explanation: I thought we were colluding to ratfck the Democratic candidate, and the presidential election in general, but then she started talking about getting the mobsters’ money back. Bitch set me up.

“The best defense of Trump’s associates, at this point, is they were too dumb to know what they were doing — a defense that doesn’t work when it includes experienced international operators like campaign manager Paul Manafort and ex-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn. Donald Trump Jr.’s own defense of himself is that he attempted to collude with Russian agents but they didn’t have any useful information and so he didn’t.”

“This is what ought to register: The scheme appears to have been put into play by a Putin regime official and a Putin-friendly oligarch who was Trump’s business partner in Russia—and Trump’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager all joined in. (A pop singer, a Russian lawyer, and a talent manager all had supporting roles.) Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort were looking to collude with a foreign power to gain an advantage in the election—an allegation the Trump team has repeatedly and passionately denied.”

“Trump is saying that he took the meeting because he had, in fact, been promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian source, but that it was no big deal because the lawyer didn’t deliver. Interesting way of thinking about it, Don. Let’s ask anyone who appeared on To Catch a Predator how that argument holds up in court. Oh, sorry. They’re not answering the phone. Because they’re probably in jail now.”

“Future historians and present day pundits will have a lot to say about all of this. Many of those things will have great bearing on the future of our nation and on Trump Jr.’s continued freedom. But, I’m afraid that in all that important discussion we’ll lose track of one of the most salient points: This is so embarrassing. Fortunately, I have plenty of time for the curation of schadenfreude. Here’s six petty points about the most embarrassing parts of this whole imbroglio.”

Some casting trivia for Game of Thrones, if you’re into that sort of thing.

RIP, Chuck Blazer, controversial former FIFA executive.

“No matter how Trump Jr. thinks political researchers spend their days, opposition research is not a dark art. (I’m not sure I’d even consider it any kind of art.) When done well, it’s a thoughtful, directed process of compiling known facts and figures about relevant life and career elements of an opponent to bolster an argument. But even when done badly, opposition research still has nothing to do with what Trump Jr. did. There are lines that trained and talented political operatives wouldn’t cross. The emails Trump Jr. released Tuesday show he has no idea where they are.”

“How strong is Aaron Judge? Strong enough to make actual rocket scientists look stupid.”

“These are the facts: Jared Kushner held suspicious meetings with Russians officials and operatives that he failed to disclose when he applied for a security clearance. If he weren’t the president’s son in law, he’d have been frogmarched out of the White House long ago. Why does he still have access to America’s biggest secrets?”

Weekend link dump for July 9

So is there a limit to human lifespans or not?

A long and thoughtful story on lip synching and our changing attitudes towards it. I fall into the camp of those who prefer actual singing and playing of instruments by people, but I’m old.

The Nuns on the Bus are back on the bus.

Sweet dreams are not made of these.

Is it time to retire the CAN-SPAM Act?

“One of the stupidest aspects of Republican healthcare rhetoric is the idea that consumers want to take charge of their own care by paying routine expenses from special, tax-advantaged accounts.”

All that takeout food we are eating these days has very bad consequences for the environment.

“Trump takes such glee in conflict, and cares so little for standards of decency or compassion, that his assailants often diminish themselves by betraying their own values out of desperation. But this isn’t just true of Trump’s assailants. It is true of all of us. To consistently engage with Trump is to be diminished by him. And we have all been diminished by his presidency.”

“You might flip on the TV in February and see a damn Plumlee in the All-Star Game. Don’t let this happen.”

Star Trek: Discovery is taking this one step further by not restricting death sentences to Red Shirts. And it’s all thanks to one phrase: Valar morghulis.”

“The point Jones needs to communicate is not that he, Alex Jones, believes in the existence of a secret pedophilia-and-human-sacrifice cult operating in pizza shops and on Mars. The point he needs to communicate is that he, Alex Jones, believes that the secret pedophilia-and-human-sacrifice cult operating in pizza shops and on Mars is bad.”

Make sure that’s a certified craft beer that you’re drinking.

Sony Music is pressing vinyl records again, which they last did in 1989.

Support for same-sex marriage continues its steady rise in America. Even among Republicans.

“Americans, therefore, celebrate the Fourth of July under false pretenses. The standard narrative of the Declaration of Independence goes something like this: Colonists could no longer tolerate the British government’s unjust laws or taxation without representation, so the Second Continental Congress voted to compose a document that explained the need for independence and justified the reasons for the revolt. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“After NPR tweeted the Declaration line by line, Donald Trump backers, seemingly unaware of the source document, accused the media organization of playing partisan politics.”

Mighty big rubber duck you’ve got there, Canada.

“The right to speak and remain private clearly has some place. But I would argue that speech without accountability – which is what anonymity frequently enables – creates a basic breakdown in the economy of speech and civic discourse. To put it in market terms, it is the moral hazard of the public square.”

A simple three-step plan to shore up Obamacare.

Hey, Hobby Lobby: Thou shalt not steal. I’m pretty sure that’s a commandment. And stop possibly financing terrorists by your criminally negligent activities.

“How long should a widow sit in isolation before YOU are comfortable enough to release them from their solitary confinement?”

Weekend link dump for July 2

“They just stared at me, and at that moment, Tom’s door opened and another girl came out, adjusting her hair and taking off down the hall, while the first girl in line slipped into Tom’s room. This was a young man who knew something about time management and understood how to successfully juggle Bible study and blow jobs. I went to bed alone that night thinking it served me right for not being religious.”

The Science Channel is all over the August 21 solar eclipse.

Why do so many hackers come from Russia?

Getting bitten by a tick may result in developing an allergy to meat.

The truth about Medicaid, which is a lot more successful than some people would like you to think.

For example, Medicaid pays for most of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes. Where will they go if/when it gets cut to shreds?

“One would think that after the AHCA debacle, Senate Republicans would have proposed a vastly different bill, but they did not. The BCRA disproportionately impacts Americans on the lower end of the economic spectrum.”

“But we do not reside in normal times, McConnell is not a normal leader, and the contemporary Republican Party—one contemptuous of normal standards of behavior or representative process—is itself anything but a conventional American political party.”

“There’s no question that people in the individual insurance market would end up with higher deductibles under the Senate bill, much like the House.”

“A cheap home isn’t affordable if it comes with high transportation costs.”

“But politically, the far more important number is 15 million. The CBO projects that the Senate bill would create 15 million more uninsured in 2018. That’s next year. An election year.”

“According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about sixty per cent of the people who enrolled in the program were employed. Under the Senate bill (and the House bill), many of these workers, some of whom could be earning as little as fifteen thousand dollars a year, would no longer be eligible for Medicaid in a few years, and they would have to take their chances in the open market.”

“I often say that femmes are the queerest of the queer. We walk a lonely line between passing in, but not belonging to the straight world, and belonging to, but being invisible in the queer world.”

Bad Zillow. No biscuit for you.

“Pretending that both parties just have very different approaches to solving a commonly agreed upon problem is really just a lie. It’s not true.”

“I want you to take this in, hat-wearing female dog, lest you spend the next 15 years of your life trying to impress someone who is not worth your time. Ignore the hat-based norms of the dog universe and wear what makes YOU happy. Celebrate yourself! You are awesome and unique, like that dancing eleven-year-old in the blonde wig from Sia’s Chandelier video, only a dog version!”

RIP, Michael Bond, creator of Paddington bear.

Place your bets on who will win the (TV version of) Game of Thrones.

“A lot of top Republican leaders have expressed their dismay about what was obviously a sexist insult, but that’s hardly sufficient. This is the same party, after all, that recently produced its Senate health care bill drafted by a committee of 13 men. A bill whose defenders have argued, in effect, that making maternity health coverage more expensive is not a problem because guys don’t get pregnant.”

“Don’t sugarcoat this. Trump just called for 32 million people to lose health coverage.”