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Weekend link dump for June 17

How to create an AI psychopath seems like the sort of thing we might be better off never learning how to do.

“A band of brigands eventually collapses in on itself, to paraphrase St Augustine. So the Irish referendum cannot simply be dismissed as a symptom of collective moral disintegration. On the contrary, it can be seen as the assertion of the common good over and against a corrupted and dysfunctional institutional church. But the most effective way of accommodating this decision might be to recognise that a modern shift in church teaching might now be unsustainable, unless one is willing to demonise and condemn countless millions of women and girls around the world who have abortions.”

“For a week in late April and early May 1969, Babe Ruth actually had 715 home runs. It was a sports scandal. This is the remarkable thing about Ruth’s magic number of 714. Even the most minor adjustment will cause a scandal.”

“Could it be, some Canadian scientists wondered, that all the big fish are found in deeper water because we fished them out of shallower water? Apparently (and somewhat astonishingly) this possibility had never been evaluated. And the scientists found that not only could this be the case—it in fact was.”

“Trumpism is non-falsifiable. Whatever Trump does is right. There are no principled arguments to be had, because if Trump changes his mind or tweets something off the wall, Trumpers change their position immediately.”

“But it’s past time to take seriously the only explanation for all of Trump’s behavior: He wants to destroy the Western alliance. Maybe it’s ideological, and he prefers Putin-style authoritarianism to democracy. Or maybe he has no grand strategy and Putin really does have some compromising information. Or maybe Trump just likes being against what every other modern American president was for.”

Get thee to Twitter if you want to try to save a program that may be or has been canceled.

“Web site names ending in new top-level domains (TLDs) like .men, .work and .click are some of the riskiest and spammy-est on the Internet, according to experts who track such concentrations of badness online.”

“Warner Bros. Animation is announcing its most ambitious Looney Tunes content initiative to date with Looney Tunes Cartoons, a series of new short form cartoons starring the iconic and beloved Looney Tunes characters.”

“Most U.S. efforts to strip immigrants of their citizenship focused largely on suspected war criminals who lied on their immigration paperwork, most notably former Nazis.” That was then, this is now.

“Roughly speaking, the question is whether the campaign got involved with Russian agents who committed computer crimes to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election. The verdict on this is unclear. But there is certainly plenty of evidence pointing toward collusion; what you would call “probable cause” in a legal context, or what a journalist might simply consider reason to continue investigating the story. And the investigating thus far, both by special counsel Mueller and by journalists working on the story, has been fruitful. The efforts have continued to turn up contacts between Trumpworld and Putinland, cover-ups, and dishonesty.”

“Still, there has never been a disaster like the G7 meeting that just took place. It could herald the beginning of a trade war, maybe even the collapse of the Western alliance. At the very least it will damage America’s reputation as a reliable ally for decades to come; even if Trump eventually departs the scene in disgrace, the fact that someone like him could come to power in the first place will always be in the back of everyone’s mind.” This is something I’ve worried about a lot lately.

Pro tip: Don’t plug USB drives given to you by a representative of a foreign (or even domestic) government into your computer. You’re welcome.

“This was an argument fought — and won — by the Confessing Church that rose in opposition to the rise of fascism in Europe. An argument relitigated and reaffirmed after World War II by a world and a church that struggled to grasp the full horrors of what unjust, evil leaders enforcing unjust, evil laws were capable of accomplishing with the compliance of complicit Christians citing this verse as their rationalization.”

RIP, Houston Police Officer Norberto “Bert” Ramon, who helped rescue nearly 1,500 people from floodwater during Harvey.

RIP, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, longtime blues guitarist and Blues Brothers band member.

Weekend link dump for June 10

Our aging prison population.

Cracking down on immigration is a great way to reduce the number of doctors practicing in the US.

“Some of the biggest work issues strippers face are not so different from those of other gig economy workers. Long before Silicon Valley entrepreneurs offloaded employment costs via app-based work (driving for Uber, say), strip clubs classified dancers as independent contractors.”

RIP, Fre’derick “Ziggy” Stovall-Redd, honorary member of the Rice University football team. He was ten years old, and he had battled acute lymphoblastic leukemia for more than half of his life. Goddamn, cancer really sucks.

“The President’s lawyers have argued that since the President cannot be indicted he can also not be subpoenaed or brought before a grand jury. Simple argument: If he can’t be indicted, there’s no basis to subpoena him. This is wrong both as common sense and law.”

“You might not like that women have the right to vote, you might not like that anyone has the right to vote, but it’s about winning a long-term political victory.”

“The biggest lesson from Masterpiece, in other words, is that state officials need to mind their tongues when dealing with people who ground their prejudices in faith. It’s still kosher to enforce the law against such people, just so long as the state does so courteously.”

Roseanne minus Roseanne could happen. Whatever.

RIP, Dwight Clark, great wide receiver for the 49ers, famous for “The Catch” against the Cowboys in the 1982 NFC Championship Game.

“On Tuesday morning, Gretchen Carlson, chair of the board for the Miss America Organization, announced that the competition will be doing away with its famed swimsuit portion.”

RIP, Kate Spade, fashion designer and businesswoman.

“The other side—the accurate perspective—isn’t that complicated. In 2016, Vladimir Putin’s regime mounted information warfare against the United States, in part to help Trump become president. While this attack was underway, the Trump crew tried to collude covertly with Moscow, sought to set up a secret communications channel with Putin’s office, and repeatedly denied in public that this assault was happening, providing cover to the Russian operation. Trump and his lieutenants aligned themselves with and assisted a foreign adversary, as it was attacking the United States. The evidence is rock-solid: They committed a profound act of betrayal. That is the scandal. But how often do you hear or see this fundamental point being made?”

“But let’s not let the true import of Trump’s action today get subsumed by the usual lying and megalomania. His true message is that African American dissenters protesting in the quest for racial equality — in a manner he claims to find offensive — have no place at a celebration of this country’s heritage over which he is presiding.”

RIP, Red Schoendienst, Hall of Fame player and manager with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Turns out the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision does not actually provide a license to discriminate against LGBT folks.

RIP, Anthony Bourdain, celebrated chef, author, and TV personality.

Weekend link dump for June 3

Making China great again.

“But in the coming weeks, even more scripted series will tackle misogyny and the impact that inappropriate and/or abusive behavior has on women, so much so that it feels accurate to refer to the upcoming season as the summer of #MeToo TV.”

“There are not many Trump scandals. There is one Trump scandal. Singular: the corruption of the American government by the president and his associates, who are using their official power for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people, and their attempts to shield that corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, or legal accountability.”

“The past month has seen one blockbuster revelation after another about how our mobile phone and broadband providers have been leaking highly sensitive customer information, including real-time location data and customer account details. In the wake of these consumer privacy debacles, many are left wondering who’s responsible for policing these industries? How exactly did we get to this point? What prospects are there for changes to address this national privacy crisis at the legislative and regulatory levels? These are some of the questions we’ll explore in this article.”

“How to hear (and delete) every conversation your Amazon Alexa has recorded“. I solved that problem by just not having an Alexa.

Have you rebooted your router yet? There are some other things you shoud do, too.

“Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world.”

The cruelty is the whole point.”

“The Trump administration’s goal is to inflict pain upon these families. Cruelty is not an unfortunate, unintended consequence of White House immigration policy; it is the objective.”

“The practice harms children. It does not actually work as a deterrent. And it’s an affront to a core American value: keeping children with their parents.”

Calling a lie a lie is harder than you might think.

RIP, Don Peterson, astronaut who participated in the first spacewalk of the 30-year Space Shuttle program.

“While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

“Until you’re ready to protect fast food and daycare workers from being fired for their social media speech, I’m not here from your blubbering over celebrities like Roseanne.”

RIP, Daisy Kadibil, youngest and last-surviving of three girls whose life story inspired the award-winning film Rabbit-Proof Fence.

“ABC shouldn’t be expressing outrage at one tweet. The network should be expressing disappointment at an employee who cost the company millions and cost dozens of extremely talented co-workers their livelihoods by not being able to resist being reprehensibly racist, when merely being tangentially gross was apparently condoned.”

Let’s Remember What Dinesh D’Souza Did“.

“The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect You From Being A Moron”.

“I learned that day the power of the presidency and the power of the Trump machine. Immediately the death threats started pouring in again but more violent and serious than the previous night.”

Weekend link dump for May 27

“But I think these attention-grabbing silly questions are also damaging, and that they reflect a harmful, shallow, and ultimately off-putting approach to the Bible itself.”

The appeal of MLB in general and the Yankees in particular in South Korea.

“Everyone needs to wake up and realize that this is not a black eye on the FBI or President Obama. This is what counter-intelligence agencies do: they investigate and try to disrupt efforts of foreign powers to infiltrate and subvert the country, its government, its assets. In 2016, the FBI and the DOJ were faced with just such a situation at the highest level with a hostile foreign power. They went to extreme lengths to keep the probe confidential so as not to impact the presidential campaign. President Trump and his allies are now using the gravity of the threat and the efforts to protect the President as somehow facts in their favor.”

Cheers has been off the air for 25 years now. In related news, we are all old.

RIP, Billy Cannon, Heisman Trophy winner and the first star player of the AFL.

“The members of the NRA should know this history because while they may like it when [Oliver] North says we should have to go through five metal detectors to get into our children’s school, they won’t like it when North follows his nature and figures out a way to inadvertently expose their dirty laundry while scamming them out of their money.”

I honestly don’t know why anyone would want The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library book, but you will have the option to have it anyway.

“The ongoing debate around whether it’s feasible to have an electric grid running on 100 percent renewable power in the coming decades often misses a key point: many countries and regions are already at or close to 100 percent now.”

“Your mobile phone is giving away your approximate location all day long. This isn’t exactly a secret: It has to share this data with your mobile provider constantly to provide better call quality and to route any emergency 911 calls straight to your location. But now, the major mobile providers in the United States — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — are selling this location information to third party companies — in real time — without your consent or a court order, and with apparently zero accountability for how this data will be used, stored, shared or protected.”

“Roughly speaking, Mishel estimates that the gig economy acounts for 0.1 percent of total hours worked in the American economy. He also, to my surprise, mentions in passing that Uber alone accounts for two-thirds of this. So not only is the gig economy small, but it’s basically just Uber and a few tiny stragglers. In other words, it’s probably best if everyone stops hyping the gig economy too much.”

“Bad news for those of you who currently emit a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, combined with the smell of a salted, wheat-based dough. You need to stop doing that immediately, because that particular smell has just been trademarked by the Hasbro Corporation.”

RIP, Dovey Johnson Roundtree, groundbreaking Washington, D.C., lawyer who persuaded the Interstate Commerce Commission to issue a ruling banning racial segregation on buses.

RIP, Philip Roth, groundbreaking novelist best known for Portnoy’s Complaint.

Sending cease and desist letters to The Onion is seldom a good idea.

“As someone who was part of diplomatic talks, this story on how Trump team screwed up China negotiations is a textbook case of nearly EVERY SINGLE THING you should NOT do. Bodes badly for North Korea summit.”

“These are not ‘conflicts of interest’. A ‘conflict of interest’ is a case in which the nature of a situation makes it impossible for a person to separate their personal interests from their public responsibilities (or to appear to do so). All previous Presidents put their private wealth into blind trusts. We assume they weren’t going to try to directly make money off the presidency. But they wanted to remove any question of it and avoid situations where there own financial interests would bump up against their public responsibilities. What we’re seeing now are not conflicts of interest. They’re straight-up corruption.”

“To the contrary, what we’re watching unfold is in some ways more alarming than the likelihood that Trump simply did more colluding than we thought. The countries that helped see to it that Trump became president, all of which are heavily corrupt, have been rewarded with extraordinary geopolitical spoils that have rendered U.S. interests an afterthought. Trump has frayed the western alliance more in a year and a half than the Russian government was able to do from the outside over the course of decades. He has at the same time thrown the weight of the White House behind a Saudi-Emirati effort to consolidate power in the Middle East at the expense of other U.S. allies.”

So much for that Nobel Peace Prize.

“Sixteen months into the Trump Presidency, it is finally time to say: we really do know. There are no deals with Trump, and there are increasingly unlikely to be.”

RIP, Alan Bean, astronaut and the fourth person to walk on the moon.

Weekend link dump for May 20

“Women’s lives matter. Women’s lives matter more than men’s rules for moral purity. That is the overarching and underlying theme surrounding every biblical discussion of divorce. Get that wrong and you’re in danger, like Ezra, of arriving someplace truly monstrous.”

Here are your Russian-placed fake-news Facebook ads from 2016.

“The GOP is no longer the Party of Reagan. It’s the Party of Michael Cohen.”

“Let me offer an alternative explanation of the affair and the payoff. It is still just a hypothesis, but, I would argue, it fits more comfortably with what we know about the various players than the reported version of events: Donald Trump, not Elliott Broidy, had an affair with Shera Bechard. Bechard hired Keith Davidson, who had negotiated both Playboy playmate Karen McDougal’s deal with the National Enquirer and Stormy Daniels’s NDA with Trump. Davidson called Cohen, and the two of them negotiated a $1.6 million payment to Bechard.”

An open letter about female coaches, from longtime NBA player Pau Gasol.

Who knew stock photos of “scientists” could be so funny?

“The paperwork required by both [Jared] Kushner and [SNAP recipient Matthew] Cortland should have the same goal: protecting the U.S. taxpayers from our own generosity. But that generosity is generally unquestioned for the rich and ground into fumes for the poor.”

Why the ditched-by-Trump Iran nuke deal was an excellent agreement for the US, not a flawed one.

RIP, Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane in the original Superman movies.

RIP, Chuck Knox, longtime NFL coach.

“Speaking truth to power” is not something that CIA Directors have been known to do.

Oh, just more legal troubles for Donald Trump.

Weekend link dump for May 13

You can stop shooting your Yeti cooler now.

From the “Be careful what you vote for, you just might get it” department.

On the dysfunctional relationship between Lucy and Schroeder.

“Following last month’s DNA-driven arrest of a suspect in California’s four-decades-old Golden State Killer investigation, detectives on the trail of the infamous Zodiac Killer say they believe genetic evidence could provide a breakthrough.” Hey, just check it against Ted Cruz‘s DNA. That’ll do it.

“My name is Wil Wheaton. I live with chronic Depression, and I am not ashamed.”

“The Milwaukee Bucks plan to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon for the franchise’s head-coaching vacancy”.

South Florida is so screwed by any rise in sea level.

Gregor Clegane – OK, fine, the dude who plays him on TV – is the strongest man in the world, at least for this year.

“Bottom line: Nothing is perfect, but Obamacare works fine. That is, it works fine if you put in the minimal effort it takes to administer it properly.”

“To put the point clearly, after President Trump became President, after the Russia probe and story were well underway and Trump and all his associates were repeatedly denying any collusion, Cohen was receiving regular payments of almost $100,000 a month more or less directly from a Russian oligarch.”

Baseball in London next year. Jolly good.

“This is why Paige Patterson is just about the least Baptist person imaginable. He sought to rule, and so he could not abide the inherent unruliness of Baptist polity. And so he transformed that polity, imposing hierarchy and structure and rank.”

“In a series of as-told-to conversations, two dozen Texas women talk about gender, work, and what needs to change for women in their home state.”

“That’s not progress; that’s bigotry disguised as acceptance.”

“The truth is that Trump has indeed changed the culture of corruption in Washington, in two main ways.”

“Donald Trump’s genius has always been his ability to capitalize, literally, on his fame—to use his celebrity as a vehicle to enrich himself, even when he didn’t have the accomplishments or knowledge or business prowess (or the cash) to back up what he claimed. Since his entry into politics, plenty of his hangers-on have attempted the same thing, hoping that Trump’s fame could prove their meal ticket, too. And while some of these figures have found success, several of them also find themselves in serious legal jeopardy, demonstrating once again that what works for Trump is often extremely dangerous for other people.”

“Mueller was appointed just under a year ago (next week brings the one-year mark, which will bring another round of cable news segments asking whether this has gone on too long). Starr was appointed in August 1994. Do you remember when he dropped his famous report on Congress’ doorstep? September—of 1998. Four years later.”

Weekend link dump for May 6

Up, up and away, in my beautiful space-bound balloon.

“When the last Toys ‘R’ Us store closes its doors once and for all, the company’s top executives will have pocketed some $8.2 million in retention bonuses for sticking around long enough to liquidate the company. Wall Street firms that loaded Toys ‘R’ Us with debt when they bought it in 2005 will have collected millions in fees from the company, even if they ultimately lost the majority of their investment. And employees like Ann Marie Reinhart, who worked as a supervisor at Toys ‘R’ Us for 29 years, will walk away with nothing.”

“People who submit DNA for ancestors testing are unwittingly becoming genetic informants on their innocent family.”

Or, putting it another way, publicly available DNA data can track an awful lot of people down.

Meet Jon McNaughton, the Jack Chick of the Trump era.

One Cosby juror explains why he voted “guilty”.

Maybe now isn’t a good time to abandon fuel efficiency standards.

Easily the best Twitter thread I’ve ever read about covert parrot operations.

“The way to think about Huckabee Sanders is through the lens of her job. That job is to serve as the voice of the Trump administration. She’s survived because she embraces a policy of not telling the truth — one that serves not only a convenient role in a chaotic administration but also an important political purpose.”

“Every time a legal analyst talks about Trump and the courts, I sincerely question their Logical Reasoning score on the LSAT.”

“You would think wealthy, for-profit companies using the public right-of-way should be held to at least the same standards as paleteros selling popsicles in the park. And paleteros, to their credit, don’t rifle through all the data on your iPhone as a major component — if not the major component — of their business model.”

“What’s it like to spend your childhood assuming the world will end, only to have the rug not pulled out from under you?”

Serial lawbreaker Kris Kobach really needs to spend a few days in the pokey so he can think about his wrongdoing ways.

Remember Tom Price? Trump’s former HHS Secretary? He’s now saying that the Republican repeal of the individual mandate from the ACA will make insurance more expensive for millions of people. Oopsie.

Rudy Giuliani, Super Genius.

“We now have serious SDNY public corruption prosecutors and FBI agents in possession of a massive amount of electronic data from his bagman. They likely already have all of his financial records as well. And Rudy has now given them the roadmap for how Trump may have laundered bribes through Cohen as purported legal fees or retainer payments.”

Weekend link dump for April 29

Some potential advantages for gender-swapping a character in a TV or movie production.

Who even knew that the Nancy comic was still a thing, much less that it was generating a ton of controversy over its recent changes?

10 TV Characters Who Actually Really Suck at Their Jobs

“Williamson specializes in a dance move I like to call the Troll Three-Step. One: Say something vile Two: When challenged, say that wasn’t what you meant, only joking etc. Step three: Go back to saying something vile.”

“As someone who lived through the Bush era, I can attest that Bush was able to impose pretty strict party loyalty on the right. But by April 2006, his approval rating among Republicans was hovering around 80 percent—not too far from where Trump is now. Those midterm elections were a disaster for the GOP. And it went downhill fast from there.”

“Everything suggests Hannity has professionals investing and managing this portfolio of real estate properties. So why would he be seeking the counsel of Michael Cohen? Whatever he claims, there’s very little evidence Cohen has any legal or business acumen or even experience doing this kind of real estate investing – that is to say competent, professional investing for extremely high net worth individuals as opposed to high stakes ‘deals’ and finding purchases for people looking to stash or launder money.”

“The President is going to congratulate him no matter what you say.”

“The ‘weird’ fringe is the biggest part of white evangelicalism”.

Did you know there was an actual real-life murder mystery that inspired Twin Peaks? Well, now you do.

RIP, Verne Troyer, actor best know for playing Mini Me in the Austin Powers movies.

“Do we really need to see what Cohen has to say to know that something is already catastrophically wrong with this picture?”

Keep an eye on this lawsuit against Facebook over its handling of fake ads.

“If a guy like that is sending out anti-Trump tweets while his wife is going on TV serially offering alternative facts in defense of the President, it’s bound to pique the interest of people around Washington. I don’t know if you’d call it Capital-N News, but it’s certainly fair game for an end-of-segment question on a Sunday show.”

“But let’s be clear, presidents who have approval ratings of 40% usually don’t get reelected. That’s especially the case when their favorability rating (a slightly different measure) is also in the same area.”

More than you wanted to know about that guy in Toronto who killed all those people and the toxic and misogynistic subculture he marinated in.

A comprehensive taxonomy of the women in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Congratulations to Jenny Cavnar, the first woman to do play by play for a game on MLB TV. And good on the Rockies for not putting up with any sexist BS about the job she did.

RIP, Bob Dorough, musician best known for composing many Schoolhouse Rock songs. He was a hairy bear, he was a scary bear…

George R.R. Martin will have his Game of Thrones prequel book published before the next actual Game of Thrones is finished. That sound you hear is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

“She’s a 5-year-old fox red Labrador retriever on assignment at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Pennsylvania. Turks is specially trained and certified to appear in courtrooms, where she often snuggles next to victims, especially children, to help them get through the trauma of testifying. These past two weeks she has had an additional assignment: Keep the jury that has been sequestered in the Bill Cosby trial in good spirits as they spend time away from their families.”

The sisterhood of Cosby survivors is an amazing thing.

If it hadn’t been for his decision to scold poor black Americans for their moral failures while decades of sexual-assault allegations had remained hidden, it’s possible that none of Cosby’s victims would have gotten their day in court.”

Pete Souza continues to be a national treasure.

Weekend link dump for April 22

If the words “Eurovision in space” fill your heart with glee, then this will be of interest to you.

“A.M.I.’s thirty-thousand-dollar payment to Sajudin appears to be the third instance of Trump associates paying to suppress embarrassing stories about the candidate during the 2016 Presidential race.”

“In a move that is equal parts activism, investigative journalism, and performance art, and is rooted in one strange man’s performative loyalty to the least lovable franchise in baseball, Marlins Man apparently flew to the British Virgin Islands and sought the location of the corporate home of the Miami Marlins, to discover what he could about his team’s foreign citizenship.”

That Second City TV reunion looks good.

This is the best Twitter thread about a stolen office lunch you’ll ever read.

RIP, R. Lee Ermey, actor best known for his role as the gunnery sergeant in Full Metal Jacket.

RIP, Art Bell, AM radio pioneer and “late night chaplain to America’s crackpots”.

“However, I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality.”

“Companies and firms who used to recruit from presidential administrations and brag when they were successful in poaching an aide are making the calculation that the risks of bringing on a Trump administration official outweigh the rewards, according to interviews with 10 current and former administration officials, top recruiters, and lobbyists who did not want to be named to talk candidly.”

RIP, Harry Anderson, magician and comedian who starred on TV’s Night Court.

Sean Hannity sure spent a lot of time defending Michael Cohen without ever disclosing that Cohen was his own attorney.

I’d never heard of the Shorty Awards before now. I’m guessing Adam Pally wishes he never had.

RIP, Hal Greer, basketball Hall of Famer and the alltime leading scorer for the Philadelphia 76ers.

RIP, Carl Kasell, NPR broadcaster and scorekeeper emeritus from Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

“The truth is that Comey is once again injecting himself into an election cycle. This time he could end up inadvertently helping Democrats in their fight to win control of Congress in November. But it’s just as possible he will drive conservative as well as liberal turnout, and thereby help Republicans. It’s Comey’s law of unanticipated political consequences. Either he hasn’t learned they are inevitable, or he doesn’t care.”

We should remember Larry Doby as much as we remember Jackie Robinson.

RIP, Erin Popovich, wife of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

What Fox News employees think of l’affaire Hannity.

Weekend link dump for April 15

“Facebook’s baseball broadcast was a vision of the hellish future we deserve”.

Diversity in Baseball Begins in Little League.

Wishing all the best in retirement to Phil Coyne after EIGHTY-ONE YEARS of service as an usher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“The federal government under Trump is apparently just a big pot of spoils to be divvied up. Do any Republicans even care about this anymore?”

Hey, you know how your personal information from Facebook gets shared with all kinds of unscrupulous people without your knowledge or consent? Well, don’t make it easier for them.

“POLITICO’s analysis suggests that Trump did, indeed, do worse overall in places where independent media could check his claims.”

A little primer on the perjury trap.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes about Bill Cosby and the good art/bad artist question.

Molly Ringwald takes a long and thoughtful look back on the work of John Hughes.

Congratulations to Sen. Tammy Duckworth, the first sitting US Senator to give birth.

“The image of Michael Cohen as a superlawyer was always laughable, and even the Trump fan club recognized that Cohen was a particular flavor of attorney: The Fixer. His desire to cast himself as a real-life Ray Donovan made him a kind of overwrought, grunting thug character destined for the cutting-room floor in even the most lurid soap-opera script.”

“Once other prosecutors’ offices are involved and have gathered evidence of crimes, though, Trump receives less benefit from firing Mueller, and at an increasing cost. And even if Trump fires Mueller, more prosecutors can carry on the work, with access to some of the same material.”

“Mr. Trump wouldn’t be the first person to stumble into a one-night stand and find he has generated a decades-long relationship. But he may very well be the first president. As matters stand, there is the distinct possibility that the president’s legal clinch with Stormy Daniels will outlast his presidency.”

“The American epidemic of gun violence is both a sin problem and a gun problem; the question is which problem we have the ability to solve. Sin is a power much stronger than us or our individual efforts. Defeating it is an ongoing cosmic project initiated by one greater than us who will complete it, but not on our timetable. Our task is to deal with the other problem: the physical instruments of death that sin has at its disposal. We can’t just keep them away from the bad people, because the bad people might well be us. We have to reduce our firepower.”

Child marriage should be banned. I do not understand anyone who thinks that it’s a good idea for minors to marry adults.

“The National Rifle Association and supporters have fought back against these advisories, sponsoring legislation to stop pediatricians from asking parents about guns in the home — something that really puzzles doctors who routinely ask about other safety issues, such as using car seats and wearing helmets while riding bikes.”

RIP, Mitzi Shore, owner of the iconic Comedy Store.

“But, at this point, with the president* re-enacting the Tell-Tale Heart in public and all over the electric Twitter machine, you have to wonder. Why not give the president* a laurel and hearty handshake and tell him to go slice fairway woods out of bounds for the rest of his life? Thank him for his great service to the ultimate Republican goal of dismantling the Republic for the benefit of their donor class and show him the door. After all, Mike Pence is waiting in the wings.”

Fire Devin Nunes.

“In 1960, we ranked 11th in infant mortality among rich countries. Not great, but not terrible. Today we rank 24th out of 27 rich countries, ahead of only Turkey, Mexico, and Chile. We are behind every single country in Europe by a large margin. This is the price we pay for our horrible health care system.”

“President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer negotiated a deal in late 2017 to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model who said she was impregnated by a top Republican fundraiser, according to people familiar with the matter. Michael Cohen, whose office, home and hotel room were raided by federal agents this week, arranged the payments to the woman on behalf of Elliott Broidy, a deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee with ties to Mr. Trump.”

Weekend link dump for April 8

Take care when typing a domain name into a browser address bar, because it’s far too easy to fat-finger a key and wind up somewhere you don’t want to go.”

A citizens’ guide to deciphering lobbyist-speak.

I support this effort to make investigative data from old civil rights cold cases public.

How Chinese feminists found a way around government censorship of #MeToo.

Jim Carrey’s Trump art is…wow. Just wow.

“At present, Donald Trump is an autocrat without an autocracy. The system mostly resists his demands because it’s not designed to operate that way and we have centuries worth of norms that are remarkably resilient. But systems change. And it’s clear that ours is already starting to change under his malign influence.”

RIP, Steven Bochco, creator of such iconic TV shows as Hill Street Blues, LA Law, and NYPD Blue.

“But it isn’t okay, Stephanie says later. None of them have been okay since Oct. 1, when the family was caught in the crosshairs of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Rosemarie, 54, has been hospitalized for all but two days since — her excruciating recovery a testament to the all-consuming devastation a single high-velocity bullet can cause. As Rosemarie recovers from multiple surgeries to repair the wounds to her lungs, liver and spleen and awaits a final procedure to treat her damaged stomach, the family has watched in horror as other defenseless people have endured mass shootings. Again and again — at a Texas church, in a small California town, at a Florida high school — the same type of gun, the same type of bullets. Dozens have died, and many others have been left like Rosemarie.”

“But the reality of autism is very different from depictions on TV and film, where autistic people are almost always portrayed as awkward white male geniuses.”

Three words: Emergency backup goalie. I love this story.

RIP, Joe Watts, father of Houston gay theater.

“When you have large groups of embittered people – even more so when they are creative people or crazies who spend countless hours producing videos for Youtube – one of them is going to connect that bitterness to their own unhingedness and do something terrible. That’s what seems to have happened here.”

Congress, Not Amazon, Messed Up the Post Office”.

RIP, Daniel Akaka, former Senator from Hawaii.

Weekend link dump for April 1

The grocery store apocalypse has begun.

“The defining fact of digital life is that the web was created in the libertarian frenzy of the 1990s. As we privatized the net, releasing it from the hands of the government agencies that cultivated it, we suspended our inherited civic instincts. Instead of treating the web like the financial system or aviation or agriculture, we refrained from creating the robust rules that would ensure safety and enforce our constitutional values.”

“Women are also rejected. Women also spend their teen years pining after dreamy boys who will never love them back. You don’t see us going around murdering people over it. You don’t see us setting up internet communities for the purpose of talking about how evil and shallow men are for not taking us to pound town.”

A deep look at Cambridge Analytica.

More streaming apps do not necessarily mean more and better options for TV watching.

“A second possibly criminal danger for Trump stems from his omission of any Stormy-related information on his 2017 financial disclosure forms.”

RIP, Linda Brown, girl at the center of the Brown v. Board of Education case.

“It’s worth noting something that seems to have been totally lost during the Trump Era: lying about people is wrong. Lying about people is not “free speech.” We actually do have laws that govern what you can say about somebody, and when you spread falsehoods, you can be held to account in a court of law.”

If it seems like everything on TV is a reboot these days, well, there’s a reason for that.

“That is a chilling pattern of behavior from a rich man, his legal team, and awful media organizations who are concealing the truth from the public. Legal bullying is bad enough. Media complicity is a true scandal. But the cherry on top is that Daniels — who notably avoids making any inflammatory statements (she downplayed the spanking story, insisted that her sex with Trump, disappointing though it was, was 100 percent consensual, and noted that he respected her boundaries when she didn’t want to have sex again) — says she was threatened in a parking lot in Las Vegas by a man who mentioned Trump by name. He allegedly said it’d be a shame if her infant was left motherless. This is not gossip.”

“The NRA said it did not receive foreign money in connection with the U.S. election. It does not say that foreign money was not used in a U.S. election.”

No one wants to be Donald Trump’s attorney.

RIP, Rusty Staub, “Le Grand Orange”, iconic baseball player and humanitarian for the Mets, Expos, Astros, and Tigers.

“It’s really not that complicated. If you or I appeared on Fox and Friends tomorrow and said that Trump’s golf swing was looking terrific, we would probably find ourselves getting appointed ambassador to the Seychelles or Martinique or secretary of the National Endowment for the Humanities sometime next spring.”

RIP, Johan van Hulst, Dutch schoolteacher who saved hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust.

Weekend link dump for March 25

In the end, Toys R Us will just have been the first of many businesses of all descriptions facing the same hard demographic truth: Economic growth is extremely difficult without population growth.” Which, by the way, is one of the best arguments for increased immigration.

A NASA astronaut brought her 4-year-old son to a spacesuit photo shoot“. Much cuteness ensues.

“In many states, regulations have created barriers to safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable abortion services.”

“So what motivates this swell of right-wing support for Trump? At this point, though many people on all sides still refuse to acknowledge it, the evidence is overwhelming: It was cultural backlash, against immigrants, minorities, uppity women, liberals, and all the other forces seen as dislodging traditional white men from their centrality in American culture.”

The tax loophole business is booming, thanks to the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

“This is a good place to start because the real experts in Stone Age nutrition think our ancestors — who, by the way, were foragers — consumed a wide variety of ever-changing plant foods that gave them up to 100 grams of fiber daily. We, on the other hand, eat an average of 15 grams of daily fiber. Our forebears are thought to have eaten lots of insects, too.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reviews that book about The Bachelor.

“How Trump’s Lawyer’s Silly Lawsuit Against BuzzFeed May Free Stormy Daniels From Her Nondisclosure Agreement”.

Gosh, why do you think Donald Trump is acting guilty?

An Abridged List Of Facebook’s Unforeseen Consequences.

“If you can’t quite bring yourself to close down your account—maybe there’s a support group or family connections you’d like to keep active—then here’s how to restrict the amount of data Facebook has got on you.”

“So, in my view, if Breitbart is losing traffic, it’s not for any extrinsic reason; it’s because as low as they brought things, their audience — its brains turned to harmless glue by long exposure to Breitbart’s crap– now wants to go lower still.”

Weekend link dump for March 18

Ichiro Suzuki is one of the most fascinating people, not just baseball players, you’ll ever hear about.

Microsoft is trying to kill the password, and it’s about time.”

“Civil society requires the toleration of the expression of opposing viewpoints, no matter how personally discomforting you may find them. Therefore, it would be profoundly hypocritical for the editorial staff of the New York Times opinion section not to immediately invite me to come to their offices to call them all morons and trolls.”

Lying liar Hans von Spakovsky continues to lie a lot.

There’s another big abortion-related case before the Supreme Court.

You can now permanently turn off sound on websites in Chrome.

“Why has so little changed in almost 20 years since Columbine? I don’t know. Why has so little changed since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook where 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down in cold blood? I cannot understand. Why has the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida galvanized the nation? Because now, it is our innocent children leading the fight for meaningful change.”

“When you go to work in the White House, you divest yourself of your secrets for the same reason you divest yourself of your financial holdings: so people can’t blackmail you. Though the emphasis on Trump’s taxes may have seemed to many voters a secondary issue, the Stormy Daniels scandal shows why they mattered.”

RIP, Floyd Carter, Sr., Tuskegee Airman and NYPD veteran.

Jeffrey Toobin explains why you shouldn’t take that OJ Simpson interview seriously.

“From 1999 to 2015, more than 1,000 15-year-olds married in Missouri. Of those, The Star’s review of data shows, more than 300 married men age 21 or older, with some in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Assuming they had premarital sex, those grooms would be considered rapists.

“Let me put it to you this way. Which would you rather have: a bumbler who disagrees with Donald Trump from time to time, or a seemingly efficient bureaucrat who agrees with him almost all of the time? Because we had the former in Rex Tillerson, and soon, in [Mike] Pompeo, we will have the latter, and that’s a lot more dangerous.”

“But at the present time, Lamb’s performance in Pennsylvania 18 is merely the latest sign Democrats are surging right now, spelling trouble for Republicans heading into the midterm elections.”

RIP, Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist and much more.

“Google will ban online advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings starting in June, part of a broader crackdown on the marketing of a new breed of high-risk financial products.”

RIP, Augie Garrido, college baseball’s winningest coach.

Even peak Jerry Springer couldn’t have come up with this.

“Avenatti is giving a master class on how to create a great scandal.”

RIP, Rep. Louise Slaughter, longtime member of Congress from New York.

RIP, Ed Charles, the “heart and soul” of the 1969 Miracle Mets.

Weekend link dump for March 11

“We spent months talking with anti-Trump forces—and they’re not who pundits say they are.”

There are a lot more bisexual characters on TV these days.

If you’re a Terry Pratchett fan, your cup is about to runneth over.

A definitive chronology of generations, including future ones.

“For all those who like to say Donald Trump doesn’t do anything of significance as commander in chief, the president reached an important milestone [last] Saturday, when he spent his 100th day since moving into the White House at one of his golf clubs”.

Donald Trump is in up to his neck on Russian influence. It’s been there all along.

“But we’ve seen enough in the last week to make it seem plausible that Kushner’s aggressive, enabling behavior in that crisis was tied to his efforts to get money to bail out his family company. If that is true – and I suspect it is – it would amount to a level of corruption entirely unparalleled in American history.”

“Washington became the first state Monday to set up its own net-neutrality requirements after U.S. regulators repealed Obama-era rules that banned internet providers from blocking content or interfering with online traffic.”

Wait, you mean embiggen wasn’t already in the dictionary?

“The USS Lexington, one of the first US aircraft carriers ever built, sunk during a heated World War II battle against the Japanese Navy. After laying 3,000 meters (about 2 miles) beneath the waves for over 75 years, researchers have discovered its final resting place.”

But is it art? It can be if it wants to be.

Boobs. Utah boobs. Utah Bar Association boobs. Have you clicked yet?

“It’s not accurate. It’s not funny. It’s not clever. It’s not analysis. It’s facile. It shows an actual lack of understanding of reality tv (can’t believe I’m typing that). It’s mediocre. It’s a time when viewers need to understand what’s going on at the highest levels of govt.”

“But America’s gun violence epidemic only can be reduced through effective, enforced legislative policies—or simply by fewer people shooting people. And that is happening. There has been an astonishing 25-year reduction in gun violence and homicide among youth (see charts). This puts high schoolers in a unique position to challenge today’s narrow political discourse.”

Weekend link dump for March 4

Donald Trump is making more lawyers. You’re welcome, I guess.

“In fact, if you’re a Gmail user, the periods in your email address don’t matter at all. Gmail completely ignores them. You can add or remove as many periods as you’d like.”

“Every time there’s a mass shooting or terror event, due to the subsequent backlash, this YouTube conspiracy genre grows in size and economic value. The search and recommendation algorithms will naturally ensure these videos are connected and thus have more reach. In other words, due to the increasing depth of the content offerings and ongoing optimization of Youtube’s algorithms, it’s getting harder to counter these types of campaigns with real, factual information.”

RIP, Nanette Fabray, star of stage and screen best known to me for her role on One Day At A Time.

Citizens United at work: “Donations from 10 super-rich individuals account for more than 20% of the money filling the bank accounts of federal super PACs, a USA TODAY analysis shows, highlighting how a small group of wealthy patrons is racing to influence which party will control Congress for the remainder of President Trump’s first term.”

Bending over: You’re doing it wrong.

An ode to Lisa, the beating heart of The Simpsons, a role model to a generation of women—and to Yeardley Smith, who’s been bringing Lisa to life for 30 years.

The kids are all right.

“The Republican Party has backed itself into a politically untenable position, defending a stance on gun rights that is so extreme it has rendered the government incapable of fulfilling its most minimal function, which is to protect citizens against the kind of deadly violence from which they would suffer in the absence of any government at all.”

“Nearly two-thirds of adults now believe that mass shootings can be prevented, the first time since Columbine that a majority of Americans have felt that way.”

Is umpire extortion a thing, and if so did Lenny Dykstra do it?

“More than 100 cities around the world now get at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower”.

“If the tax cuts matter for investment, then companies like GE, Microsoft, and Amazon were making plans as soon as it became clear that the Republican majority in Congress was serious about passing a tax bill. The fact that we are seeing zero evidence of an uptick in investment suggests that tax cuts don’t have much impact on investment.”

Remembering M*A*S*H, 35 years after its finale.

“Certainty of death, in other words, is no deterrent to mass shooters. Most of them may, in fact, be driven by it.”

What Would the GOP Do If 30 Clinton Staffers Lost Their Security Clearance?

RIP, Judge Paul Clarence Murphy III, one of two Republican judges on a Houston appeals court who ruled in 2000 that the 100- year-old Texas sodomy law was unconstitutional.

“The strongest available evidence supports the conclusion that statutes aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of children curtail unintended injuries to kids, self-injuries and suicides.”

RIP, David Ogden Stiers, versatile and prolific actor best known as Major Winchester on M*A*S*H.

RIP, Sir Roger Bannister, first person to run a mile in under four minutes.

Weekend link dump for February 25

Ancient bird poop is surprisingly good at giving answers to ecological questions.

How the Grammys stack up against other major awards in terms of female representation.

“All in all, the odds are disconcertingly high that Russia, or somebody, has blackmail leverage over the president of the United States.”

RIP, Ed Banks, known as the honorary Mayor of Houston’s historic Third Ward.

It appears that USA Swimming was just as bad as USA Gymnastics.

Tom Cotton is woefully misinformed” is a thing you could say in many different contexts.

I didn’t watch the NBA All Star Game, so I’m happy to accept Fergie’s apology for her rendition of the national anthem.

“At the heart of the Russian fraud is an essential, embarrassing insight into American life: large numbers of Americans are ill-equipped to assess the credibility of the things they read.”

“Miami-Dade County is suing former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and the new ownership group led by Derek Jeter seeking money from the $1.2 billion sale of the team.”

“The Army has awarded Medals of Heroism, the service’s highest medal for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets, to the three JROTC students killed defending their classmates from a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14.”

“Spies looking to infiltrate, compromise and direct a foreign organization look precisely for chaotic and disorganized contexts. They look for gullible people. They look for pleasers. They look for people who are desperate, broke, blackmail-able. These are all features, not bugs. This must have made the Trump campaign an irresistible target for Russia. Because it had all the key vulnerability points in spades. I think anyone who makes this argument really doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

RIP, Billy Graham. You know who Billy Graham is. The Slacktivist puts his obituary into context.

“A look at the Twitter feeds of students like David Hogg shows that they are a remarkable foil for the pro-Trump media’s trolling tactics. Like the pro-Trump media, they, too, are an insurgent political force that’s native to the internet. And while they use legacy platforms like cable news to build awareness of their names and of their causes, much of the real work happens online.”

“It’s time to reexamine the evidence that Clarence Thomas lied to get onto the Supreme Court — and to talk seriously about impeachment.”

“But I, for one, have found myself humbled to near-silence by these brave teenagers, and not just because they are media savvy and seemingly without fear. They are extraordinary. With each spin of the news cycle, these students are offering a lesson for all of us about what protests can look like, and how we can reimagine social justice, in the Trump era.”

Meet Sherri Nichols, one of the great early pioneers of the baseball statistics revolution.

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.”