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Texas blog roundup for the week of November 28

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

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Weekend link dump for November 20

“Meet the Pollster Who Convinced Republicans There Would Be a Red Wave”.

“A Step Back from the Precipice on Election Denialism and a Slightly Rosier Forecast for a Free and Fair Election in 2024″.

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. How about if we waste less time trying: A proposal.”

“Your Creation Museum Report, 15 Years On”.

“Could a rebranded MAGA movement continue by just replacing the frontman? Is it still Journey without Steve Perry, or the Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia? In a way, yes. MAGA could Jefferson Starship itself indefinitely as long as the crowds keep vibing. But without the original magic the venues tend to shrink, the fans get old, and it all starts to seem a little pathetic.”

“Voters Want Impartial Election Administration—And Tuesday’s Results Confirm It”.

“Here’s why 51 is much better than 50, even if we don’t keep the House. And no, it’s not (mostly), about Manchin and Sinema.”

The emoluments clause of the Constitution was there for a reason.

RIP, Budd Friedman, founder of The Improv comedy club. Mark Evanier shares some stories about him.

RIP, Keith Levene, guitarist and co-founder of the bands The Clash and Public Image Ltd.

RIP, Mehran Karimi Nasseri, Iranian man whose 18-year residence in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport loosely inspired the 2004 Steven Spielberg film The Terminal.

RIP, Dan McCafferty, lead singer for the rock band Nazareth. I commend you to read this Popdose article, which I know I linked to back in the day when I was regularly doing Friday Random Tens, about the origin of Nazareth’s biggest hit, “Love Hurts”.

RIP, Virginia McLaurin, national treasure. If you don’t remember her name, go watch this and you will. She was 113 years old, born in 1909. What an amazing life.

“Pro-abortion rights ballot measures outperformed Democrats on the ballot in three states, while Republican politicians ran ahead of failed anti-abortion ballot measures in two states.”

“The numbers are in, and the Machiavellian scheme worked. In the six races where Democrats got the Republican nominee they wanted—after running reverse-psychology ads highlighting the candidates’ conservative bona fides—Democrats won.”

“Could I say something about Kari Lake, you guys?”

“Helmed by erratic new owner Elon Musk, Twitter is no longer fulfilling key obligations required for it to claim Ireland as its so-called main establishment under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”. (More here.)

“Seeing as this the one moment where being a Grover Cleveland biographer has any social utility, let me save you all a lot of Googling: Cleveland and Trump are starkly dissimilar figures.”

“Trump’s announcement was exactly what it looked like: a desperate, low-energy attempt to head off 2024 GOP primary challengers; possibly ward off ongoing investigations into his seizure of classified documents, January 6th, and attempts to overturn 2020 vote results in Georgia; and consolidate his wavering support. He is too weak not to run; his dwindling political assets are still worth too much to abandon.”

“Ticketmaster might be used to criticism from advocates and Capitol Hill when it screws something up so publicly. But the company has never shaken a beehive quite like the Swifties. Swift’s fanbase is as rabid as they are loyal to the megastar, and the Eras presale nightmare focused the collective’s attention on a new enemy: Ticketmaster and its monopoly power.”

“Larry David sued for crypto ad in which he talked crap about crypto, which feels about right”.

RIP, Robert Clary, actor, singer, and Holocaust survivor.

“Pelosi is the strongest congressional leader I’ve ever seen. McCarthy is the weakest.”

“Hundreds of Twitter’s remaining employees have resigned ahead of Elon Musk’s “extremely hardcore” cultural reset of the company”.

When grifters get grifted.

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 14

The Texas Progressive Alliance is relieved that democracy is still a thing as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for November 13

“One of the cores of democracy is neighborhood trust. You need to trust others in your society and in your community for democracy to work. Period. When there’s a very high level of distrust, you will see a fracturing of community.”

“So there you have it. Banks charge higher swipe fees for reward cards—mostly paid by merchants—and then rebate that money in the form of rewards mostly paid to customers who are middle class and above. The net result is that richer, more sophisticated cardholders end up paying less than poorer, less sophisticated cardholders. And that’s before we even get to the higher interest rates they’re charged on unpaid balances, which is at least notionally justifiable.”

“The Disney Parks have seen better days. What was once a desirable, affordable vacation for some American middle class families has devolved into something prohibitively expensive and stressful. Every aspect of the Disney experience must be premeditated and scheduled to maximize its declining worth. But despite the backlash, the problem isn’t getting better.”

“Google is funneling revenue to some of the web’s most prolific purveyors of false information in Europe, Latin America and Africa, a ProPublica investigation has found. The company has publicly committed to fighting disinformation around the world, but a ProPublica analysis, the first ever conducted at this scale, documented how Google’s sprawling automated digital ad operation placed ads from major brands on global websites that spread false claims on such topics as vaccines, COVID-19, climate change and elections.”

I guess Tony Blair won’t be watching the latest season of The Crown.

It’s How Elon Is Screwing Up Twitter all the way down, isn’t it?

“Even if Trump never again holds public office, his anti-statist conspiratorial politics dominate contemporary Republicanism. This is bad news not just for public employees who have become targets in an increasingly scary culture war. It’s bad for the rest of us, too, because the services public employees provide will decline in quality. As loyalty to the regime becomes the key criterion for hiring, it will grow harder to attract good people into government.”

RIP, Leslie Phillips, British actor who was the voice of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter movies.

“The tale goes something like this: Some notable Twitter advertisers have paused their expenditures with the site. General Motors, General Mills, and Audi are some of them. But contrary to Musk’s version of events, the problem is less that leftists are bullying the company that makes Cheerios and more that Musk is not as good at business as he thinks he is. Advertisers don’t like to run their ads in places where they might appear alongside abuse, harassment, spam, racism, misogyny, slurs, and the like.”

“Musk’s fans see the billionaire as a visionary, but it’s worth noting that many casual observers—people whose only real understanding of Musk is as the guy who put the fancy electric cars on their streets—have also internalized the heuristic that he is Good at Business and the type of man who spends his waking moments dreaming of how to save humanity from its existential problems. But what the past two weeks demonstrate is that Musk is, at best, a mediocre executive—and undoubtedly a terrible, distracted manager.”

“While many of Musk’s detractors may hope the platform goes through the equivalent of thermonuclear destruction, the collapse of something like Twitter happens gradually. For those who know, gradual breakdowns are a sign of concern that a larger crash could be imminent. And that’s what’s happening now.”

“Want to know whether the charity organization, celebrity, political figure, reporter, or corporation you’re following on Twitter is the real one or an imitation identity meant to deceive you? There won’t be one. It appears there won’t be a way for Twitter itself to differentiate between the real and fraudulent accounts, either. There’s little chance that’s a salvageable situation, when it comes to the FTC consent agreement Twitter is required to follow. What turns this into a potential multi-billion dollar catastrophe is the strong suggestion, from Musk, that his own actions are intended to allow Twitter to financially profit from fraudulent user behavior.”

“But Musk should be afraid of the FTC, for no other reason than that the agency can fine Twitter literally billions of dollars—and Musk’s own message to employees this week suggests that the company is already in significant financial trouble. So rockets notwithstanding, Musk should tread cautiously with the FTC. The rest of us should tread cautiously with turning over sensitive information (like, say, credit card numbers or bank account information) to Twitter at a moment when the company seems more insecure than ever.”

(Yes, I know, it’s another Musk-and-Twitter-palooza. What can I say, I’m having fun. I promise I’ll eventually stop.)

The Speaker math for Kevin McCarthy could be very dicey if the Republicans do win the House.

“Kentuckians voted down an anti-abortion proposal that would have amended the state constitution so that it does not protect the right to an abortion, Decision Desk HQ projects. It is now the second conservative state this year to reject such a proposal.”

“I heard from women who spent the entire summer post carding and phone banking and registering voters, post Dobbs, and most of them never doubted for a moment that they were invisible to pollsters and pundits and journalism as it is currently practiced. The spiraling story about who cared about what didn’t stop them. Bless them, every one.”

RIP, Harold Cook, longtime and well-loved Democratic strategist, pundit, blogger, storyteller, and all around good guy. I got to hang with him once in person but engaged with him online for years. He was a hoot and a mensch and will be greatly missed. I commend you to read Rachel Truair’s eulogy as well.

“If Mitch McConnell Is Still in the Minority It’s His Own Damn Fault“.

“State legislative races are on pace to be the highlight of the Democratic ballot. If Democrats hold on to Nevada, this will be the first time the party in power hasn’t lost a single chamber in the midterms since 1934, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.”

“Alex Jones ordered to pay an additional $473 million to Sandy Hook families“. This is all good, but I would like to see some actual money get taken away from him. It’s just headlines and things he can continue to thumb his nose at until he is made to feel the pain.

RIP, Gallagher, prop comedian known for smashing watermelons as part of his act. Mark Evanier has a cool Gallagher story to tell.

And just like that, after a week that can’t even be described as chaotic because that doesn’t begin to capture it, RIP, Twitter Blue. We’ll always have the mocking tweets.

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 7

The Texas Progressive Alliance really hopes you voted and voted wisely as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for November 7

“In both instances, no significant damage was done to the paintings. The question is: was any harm done to them, the people being glued (and gluing)? Upon reading about these incidents, we couldn’t help but wonder: what are the mechanics behind gluing oneself to something? How long is it supposed to last? How does it feel? How do you unglue yourself?”

“How A Conspiracy-Theorizing Documentary Fueled Voter Intimidation In Arizona”.

A long thread of awesome and iconic tweets. Enjoy while you can.

“Putin, as leader of the leading natural gas exporter in the world, has managed to accomplish what climate scientists and activists have unsuccessfully lobbied for over the past 20 years: Created a peak target in fossil fuel consumption worldwide, and driven a more rapid shift to renewables and other cleaner technologies such as wind, solar and nuclear power.”

“Elon Musk (and his consortium of much smaller investors) now owns Twitter. We need to take seriously the possibility that this will end up being one of the funniest things that’s ever happened.”

Also, too: Elon Musk’s deep abiding love for free speech, as long as that speech isn’t a criticism of him or anything he does.

“The essential truth of every social network is that the product is content moderation, and everyone hates the people who decide how content moderation works.”

“But now for the caveat: If we see mass layoffs and/or resignations, I think the whole company is doomed from the start. No matter Musk’s big vision, you need a highly skilled, knowledgeable workforce capable of (re)building a viable platform and responding to EU obligations. Without it, I think the company’s toast. In probably relatively short order.”

“Maybe Musk knows more than I do, but the verified users are the only people we know aren’t trolls, bots, or imposters (it’s why the blue checkmark system was originally created), so I have no idea how this would combat trolls and bots. If he wanted to do that, he’d need to charge everyone else $8 a month, except they wouldn’t pay it.”

Hollywood’s Twitter Exodus: Who Has Quit, Who Has Threatened To Quit And Who Refuses To Leave”.

“Twitter is instead the equivalent of putting an anarchist crust-punk from Seattle into the same room as a Kappa Alpha alum from Auburn and watching them talk about politics all day. Of course, they would probably rip each other’s heads off. Now, imagine watching a thousand versions of that all day. It would make you think the world is crazy. There’s your issue.”

“Instead of making Twitter a more desirable corner of the internet, Musk wants to pull more money out of existing users by threatening to make the platform worse for those who don’t pay up. He is using mostly sticks, with a side of small carrots that may not even be carrots. If Musk wants Twitter to start printing cash, he is in trouble. There is a reason the company’s old board of directors was so eager to unload the company onto him. But if he is to have any chance of making Twitter more profitable, he should start by making it a better place to spend time. What he’s unveiled so far doesn’t do that.”

“The man really thought he could flip a switch and overpower Twitter with Dad jokes and desperation. It’s almost like content moderation is not controlled by the forces of free speech but by market forces. Ain’t that a kick in the ass for the world’s richest man?”

“Five former Twitter employees who were fired on Thursday have already filed a lawsuit against the social media company for failing to adhere to California’s WARN Act, a law that requires large employers to provide 60 days of notice to employees before mass layoffs. And the lawsuit even calls out another company run by Elon Musk for doing the exact same thing.”

(Yes, I know, this is all way too much attention to that idiot who now owns Twitter. I’m just enjoying a little schadenfreude, which I fully admit may turn into an ice cold take someday, if he’s even a fraction as smart as he thinks he is. I’ll take that chance.)

Want to know more about the opening credits to Season 2 of The White Lotus? There you go.

RIP, Shirley Baskin Familian, public TV pioneer, multimedia artist, philanthropist and businesswoman who was involved in the founding of Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream.

“How threats against women in power are tied to threats against democracy”.

“Judge Allows Poll Workers’ Entire Defamation Case Against Rudy Giuliani Over False Election Fraud Claims to Move Forward to the Discovery Phase”. GOOD!

So, how much rainbow fentanyl did the kids get trick or treating this year?

RIP, Julie Powell, author of “Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen”, the book on which the movie Julie and Julia was based.

“Recently I learned about a man who has trained 1,000+ people to block wind and solar projects. I read through all his training materials, presentations, and seminars. Here’s what I learned about him and how his students plan to “win the war on clean energy.””

Everything You Need to Know About ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ On Its 25th Anniversary”.

“ESPN has hired Becky Hammon as a studio analyst for its NBA coverage, the latest stop in an extraordinary career for the former player and current coach.”

“An evangelical GOP House candidate in Texas wrote a novel about Anne Frank finding Jesus“. The candidate in question is the Republican running in CD0. I can’t get this story out of my mind, but I also just didn’t want to write a whole post about it. So I’m noting it here, which will allow me to finally close that tab. Also, I should note that this story was broken by a national outlet, while the Houston Chronicle has not had anything on it, not even a short piece noting the JTA’s story. Local media is unquestionably valuable, and good local media coverage is getting rarer, with real effects on society and democracy. We’re in a pretty good place in Houston, with several smaller sites enhancing the generally good work the Chron does. But I think they fell down on this one. Maybe it’s not the most important story, especially in this election, but it deserved some coverage. And this guy also ran for Congress in 2020, when his ridiculous book was published. We should have known about this before now.

RIP, Ray Guy, three-time Super Bowl champion with the Raiders and the first punter to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His stats look pedestrian now, but he changed how the position was played, and as you can see from the embedded highlight here, he was a heck of an athlete.

RIP, Lois Curtis, successful plaintiff in a landmark civil rights case for people with disabilities.

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 31

The Texas Progressive Alliance says that the only thing scarier than Halloween is not voting. Think about that while you read this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 30

Yeah, Bill Murray is a jackass and has been for a long time. I’m just going to have to accept that.

Happy 100th birthday, BBC.

“I happen to agree that there has been, in fact, a Mitt Romney radicalization process. But it is quite the opposite of what this narrative suggests. It isn’t rooted in Republican anger on behalf of Romney but in Republican anger against Romney, and over time that anger has grown to be not just against Romney the man but also against the values he represents.”

“Which means the Sandy Hook families, who are now creditors for both Jones and Free Speech Systems, could find themselves in a very odd position: Trying to get their hands on all of Jones’s personal assets while also working within a legal system that is designed to keep Free Speech Systems and Infowars — which only really works if Jones works there — up and running.”

“We’re about two weeks away from Election Day, but some voter intimidation efforts are already underway in Arizona, painting an ominous picture of just how far some Big Lie activists may go to push their debunked voter fraud narrative during the midterms.”

Two words: Robot tentacles. Yeah, I don’t know either.

“In advance of election night, I think it’s useful to calibrate expectations to the fundamentals, not to polls or vibes.”

“It would be hard to find a clearer example than this of the difference between government negotiation of drug prices and the private market.”

“States passing abortion bans reflect what only a small minority of their constituents actually want”.

Turns out, HR Haldeman was absolutely right about Billy Graham. And once you know that, it’s a lot easier to understand how the much-beloved Billy Graham begat his shitbird son Franklin.

Long live Larry the Cat, who has now served as Chief Mouser to the UK Cabinet Office through the terms of four prime ministers. And counting.

RIP, Ash Carter, former Secretary of Defense who opened military combat jobs to women and ended a ban on transgender people serving in the military.

RIP, Jules Bass, animator, producer, director and composer who partnered with Arthur Rankin Jr. on the stop-motion and animated holiday TV specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.

“This idea that vote by mail is a form of voting that inherently advantages Democrats is just flat wrong. It is a mode of voting that creates opportunities for political parties to mobilize their supporters.”

“Let’s talk about why the price of gas drives people crazy”.

RIP, Jerry Lee Lewis, rock and roll pioneer and Hall of Famer.

Lucianne Goldberg has died. I have no further comment.

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 24

The Texas Progressive Alliance exhorts everyone to go vote as they bring you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 23

Disbar them all.

“I believe the House Jan. 6 committee’s legacy will depend on how its in-depth rendering of the events surrounding the 2020 election and the ensuing insurrection is presented, repeated and understood by successive generations of Americans.”

The full impact of voter ID laws on trans people and others remains difficult to measure. But voting rights advocates say potential voters across the country face an uneven patchwork of policies — and obstacles.”

Lock him up.

“So, yes, Tuberville is a flat-out racist. We knew this. Been knowing it. Saying that isn’t even controversial anymore. But there’s an even larger story here. Tuberville spent decades as a college coach, both at the University of Mississippi and Auburn. How many college football coaches are like Tuberville? How many do what he apparently did: make millions off the labor of Black athletes while apparently hiding their disdain for those same Black people?”

“NBC News found one example of a school district keeping cat litter on campus. The Jefferson County School District has had classrooms with cat litter since 2017, in case students are locked in a classroom during a shooting. Jefferson County is where Columbine is located.”

Maybe the Cartoon Network isn’t quite dead yet.

Wishing Dikembe Mutombo all of the best.

RIP, Jim McDivitt, NASA astronaut who led Apollo and Gemini missions.

Lock him up. Like, for way longer than that.

“After a February 25, 2020, CDC telebriefing ‘angered’ President Trump, the White House wrested control of coronavirus communications away from CDC and mandated on February 26 that all media requests related to the pandemic be approved by the Office of the Vice President prior to release”.

The misogyny-to-fascism pipeline.

RIP, Charley Trippi, NFL and College Football Hall of Famer who had over 1000 yards rushing, receiving, and passing in his career. He played on the last Cardinals team to win an NFL championship, in 1947.

Lock him up for longer than that.

Make him testify.

“Biden administration officials are discussing whether the US should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national security reviews, including the deal for Twitter Inc. and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, according to people familiar with the matter.” Yes, yes they should.

RIP, Daniel R. Smith, one of the last surviving children of a formerly enslaved American.

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 17

The Texas Progressive Alliance has three cheers for a jury in Connecticut along with its weekly roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 16

Don’t let the bastards get you down, Kate Starbird. Hang in there and I hope there’s an effective way to fight back as well.

“As voters cast ballots in the 2022 midterms, they face significant changes in the voting rights landscape since 2020. 2021 was a record-breaking year for legislative activity around voting rights, and many of the same trends have continued into 2022.”

All efforts to avoid the future robot apocalypse are appreciated.

“The lies are louder. The facts are not getting across.”

“Scientists Have Discovered a New Set of Blood Groups“.

“However, once I’ve smoothed out the lines a bit and added trendlines, the conclusion is pretty obvious: on a national level, fear of crime is either flat or going down. There’s no sign at all that people are increasingly interested in security equipment.”

“These views do not square with cold utilitarianism. You can’t insist that every fertilized egg is a human being and then fail to condemn Herschel Walker, who, from that perspective, almost surely paid to kill another human being. At least, you can’t do so and expect to retain any moral high ground.” As Amanda Marcotte points out, the kids – as in, the kids raised in these “pro-life” households, whose parents are now defending Herschel Walker, are watching. And a lot of them get very disillusioned by this.

RIP, Nikki Finke, entertainment journalist and founder of Deadline.

Always be claiming to be victimized. It’s the manly thing to do.

The Flintstones was not a documentary.

If Game of Thrones was a “Homeric tale”, then House of the Dragon is more of a Greek tragedy. I’ve really enjoyed it so far.

“A Study Finally Shows Just How Much Deadlier COVID Has Been for Republicans“. Blame anti-vaxxers.

That’s right, you’re not from Texas. Or so the lawsuit says.

Wait, Tulsi Gabbard still exists?

Boy, The Former Guy sure does like surrounding himself with shady characters. I wonder why?

“What does Sean Hannity find so offensive about unconditional love exactly?”

RIP, Angela Lansbury, legendary star of stage, screen, and TV. Her passing caused Jerry Orbach to trend on Twitter, as people were amazed to discover that Lennie Briscoe and the dad from “Dirty Dancing” was also the voice of Lumiere from “Beauty and the Beast”. Here’s a fantastic video clip of Lansbury and Orbach recording “Be Our Guest”, which I guarantee you will enjoy.

“Connecting reparations — the concept of compensating Black Americans who are the descendants of enslaved people for the inhumane suffering of their ancestors — with people who commit crimes https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/10/opinions/tommy-tuberville-reparations-democrats-crime-obeidallah/index.html — and way beyond a dog whistle.”

“According to a consumer survey published by accounting firm KPMG, 20 percent of respondents say inflation has already inspired them to cancel at least one streaming service. And if inflation continues at its current rate, 37 percent of respondents said they plan to drop one or all of their streaming subscriptions. (What will they do with themselves?)”

I would have really preferred to live in a world in which Bill Murray was not a jackass and a sex pest. Alas, that is not the world I live in.

“While there have been conflicting reports on the impact of the Jan. 6 hearings, our polling has been more conclusive. Since the hearings began, more Americans have come to view Jan. 6 as a violent attempt to overthrow the government and more Americans now see the committee’s findings as legitimate.”

Now this is justice.

“What was once believed unthinkable is now a reality: Netflix with ads is here.”

RIP, Bruce Sutter, Hall of Fame relief pitcher primarily for the Cubs and Cardinals.

RIP, Robbie Coltrane, BAFTA-winning actor best known as Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies.

All the owners hate Dan.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 10

The Texas Progressive Alliance is ready for some MLB playoffs as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 9

“Even if the Equal Rights Amendment were somehow ratified today, this Supreme Court wouldn’t care.”

“But recently, this tidal wave of backlash against hormonal birth control has made its way into another sphere of influence. Anti-abortion activists—many of whom are morally opposed to the idea of contraception because they consider it a form of abortion or just morally wrong—have found that wellness influencers, many of them pro-choice, are a boon to their cause. While previous generations of activists saw picketing outside abortion clinics as their only option for engaging the public, today’s crusaders are also using social media to win followers, incorporating wellness messages into confessional videos and stylish memes to convince their audience that hormonal contraception is not only sinful but also unhealthy.”

“Actor Bruce Willis Becomes First Celebrity to Sell Rights to Deepfake Firm“. That…doesn’t actually sound great to me. But maybe I’m wrong.

TV shows get gun violence wrong. Color me shocked.

“In the past decade, several studies have suggested that lawmakers are more likely to take action on climate change when they — and their constituents — have had to deal with the disastrous consequences of previously doing nothing.”

“Cape Coral is a microcosm of Florida’s worst impulse: selling dream homes in a hurricane-prone flood zone. But people still want them.”

“Medical groups ask Justice Department to investigate threats against hospitals over gender-affirming care”.

“Since the January 6th insurrection, more than two thirds of the corporations who announced they would no longer support members of Congress who refused to certify Trump’s loss have abandoned their commitment. And many others have continued to fund sedition without batting an eye.”

RIP, Sacheen Littlefeather, activist for Native Americans who declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar for “The Godfather” on his behalf at the 1973 Academy Awards. The Academy issued her a formal apology just this past June.

RIP, Loretta Lynn, country music icon and the subject of Coal Miner’s Daughter.

“The Biden administration is issuing fresh guidance reinforcing the legal protections for pregnancy and abortion under Title IX“. I can almost feel the lawsuit that will be filed over this.

Sorry, Mikey. Actually, not sorry at all.

RIP, Tiffany Jackson, former All-American basketball player at the University of Texas who went on to play nine seasons in the WNBA.

“That’s right, Scoob fans, Velma is now officially a lesbian!”

RIP, Jim Redmond, father of Olympic runner Derek Redmond, who memorably helped his injured son cross the finish line in the 1992 Games.

RIP, Ramiro “Ramsey” Muñiz, activist and first Hispanic to have his name on a Texas general election gubernatorial ballot. Stace noted this earlier.

“Abortion is murder…until there’s a Senate seat on the line, apparently.” Never believe a word these people say about their “deeply held values“.

“How long have conservatives been screaming about this? Since the ’80s? The ’50s? The Great Depression? And nothing has ever happened. But they keep screaming and screaming anyway without even a shred of evidence that the national debt is actually a problem.”

“This is when I asked again if someone would put me to sleep. A surprise hysterectomy is not something one generally wants to hear and see and, unfortunately due to all the cauterizing, smell.”

Do better, Great British Bake Off. We deserved a lot better than that.

The store where we buy our dog food is a delightful old un-air-conditioned shack, just north of downtown and just next to our chi-chi neighborhood. In business since 1928 selling animal feed and various farm animals (yes, in the heart of urban Houston), owned by the same (male) couple since 1991, it’s been the place to go for backyard farmers for decades. They’re moving to a new location, thankfully not far away, and while it will be weird to not have them in their current space, I’m just glad they will continue to exist. Shop local, y’all.

RIP, Judy Tenuta, groundbreaking, accordion-playing, Grammy-nominated comedienne.

If you’ve heard about some controversy involving people who write books about Westeros with George R.R. Martin and wanted to know more about it, here’s the very deep dive that you need.

“The muted response from some of the country’s most virulent critics of abortion is an instructive reminder that for many conservatives — particular conservative politicians — opposition to abortion has little to do with morality, and everything to do with politics.”

If you’re lucky enough to catch a historic home run, make sure you know a good accountant.

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 3

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes all obstacles could be batted aside with a NASA satellite as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff follows up his mockery of Ken Paxton with a note about what Paxton was really running from and why it mattered.

SocraticGadfly talks about Judge Pitman screwing over third-party candidates in Texas.

Stace reminds us that Greg Abbott’s border sideshow continues to cause death and waste.

===============

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

Houstonia reports on Houston’s Afro-Latino Garifuna community and how it’s keeping its culture alive.

Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje remembers the impact of legal abortion with no regrets.

The Dallas Observer finds your new favorite subreddit.

In The Pink Texas goes back to her roots by recasting a political saga as a rom-com.

Your Local Epidemiologist brings a fall bivalent booster update.

Michael Li explains the Alabama redistricting case now before SCOTUS and its possible implications for the Voting Rights Act.

Weekend link dump for October 2

“Whether The Jetsons was a blueprint for the future or simply a prediction of it, it foreshadowed many of the products and services we now use today.”

“Fifty years ago this spring, I was on the original daytime show with Art Fleming in New York.”

Clearly, the lesson here is to not mess with Jon Bon Jovi.

“How Roberto Clemente Harnessed Celebrity To Change America”.

Just a nice story about Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo, as told by Mark Evanier.

“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”

Who is Perla? And where is Perla?

“But current technology can reveal a person’s transgender identity by linking seemingly anonymized information such as their neighborhood and age to discover that their sex was reported differently in successive censuses. The ability to deanonymize gender and other data could spell disaster for trans people and families living in states that seek to criminalize them.”

RIP, NFL Pro Bowl, an event no one really cared about.

“Netflix is no longer pursuing a copyright lawsuit against the creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical.”

Lock him up.

I don’t know if I should be disappointed with Kim Mulkey for her shameful refusal to support Brittney Griner, or if this is always who she was and I’m just now seeing it.

Please don’t be mean to King Charles, The Crown.

RIP, Joe Bussard, music historian who helped preserve a ton of early 20th century American records.

“A subreddit account has decided to do some masterclass trolling in order to test Gov. Greg Abbott with this horrendous law.”

RIP, Coolio, Grammy-winning musician best known for “Gangsta’s Paradise”.

A few alternate email signatures to try.

A classically-trained flute player plays a flute. Some people find a reason to object to that. No, it makes no sense to me either.

RIP, Hector Lopez, two-time World Series champion with the Yankees and the first Black manager in Triple A ball.

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 26

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

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Weekend link dump for September 25

“Leavitt’s experience is one of a spate of recent examples in which individuals have been targeted with accusations of Satanism or so-called ritualistic abuse, marking what some see as a modern day version of the moral panic of the 1980s, when hysteria and hypervigilance over protecting children led to false allegations, wrongful imprisonments, decimated communities and wasted resources to the neglect of actual cases of abuse.”

“It’s worth noting how rapidly right-wing language about colorblind meritocracy melts away when it does not produce the desired results. Perhaps the actors cast were simply the most qualified?”

Wait, there’s Triple Joepardy! now? I don’t know about that.

“Joe Biden has shown again that American power and American values can be a difference-maker in the long struggle for freedom.”

Tractor hacking.

“Interestingly, it turns out that when both Republicans and Democrats get real substantive things they want, voters are impressed by Democrats and repulsed by Republicans.”

“Popular Information has obtained documentary evidence that migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime.” Even Ted Cruz thinks it’s a crime.

“They overturned Roe and, amid the chaos, gutted 12 more rights and freedoms you might have missed”.

“My contention is that while the polls could have another bad year, it’s hard to know right now whether that bias will benefit Democrats or Republicans. People’s guesses about this are often wrong.”

RIP, Joseph Fiorenza, former Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Houston-Galveston. He was in many ways a force for good, and he was also complicit in the coverup of sexual assault by various priests in his diocese. No amount of the former can ever excuse or minimize the latter.

“Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that there is extraterrestrial intelligent life (ETI) out there. Indeed, given the size of the universe (potentially infinite), we can surmise that there might be an awful lot of ETI (potentially infinite instances). How would this phenomenon affect religious thought, particularly Christian doctrine”?

Hold him accountable.

Honestly, the chess world needed a good anal bead scandal.

“It is difficult to state how completely disconnected from reality this ruling is, and how dangerously incoherent it is. It effectively says that companies no longer have a 1st Amendment right to their own editorial policies.”

RIP, Maury Wills, All Star shortstop for the LA Dodgers who set the record for most stolen bases in a season in 1962.

When you need to clarify to the media that you do in fact believe that “women should be allowed to vote and work”, maybe you’re a tad bit outside the mainstream.

Sue the hell out of them!

Knock it off, GEICO.

Lock him up.

Bar him from the ballot.

RIP, Pharaoh Sanders, jazz saxophonist.

RIP, Louise Fletcher, Oscar-winning actor for “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, and a Star Trek icon for her role as Kai Winn on “Deep Space Nine”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 19

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

(more…)

Weekend link dump for September 18

“To be sure, beaver fans have been around for centuries, if not longer.”

Regis Philbin, American icon.

“Petulance is not measured in hoarded blocks and broken crayons but in the demise of our democratic order.”

Everyone’s taking their fast food to go now, and now many fast food places don’t even give you the option to do otherwise.

“Nearly all U.S. states now have designated safe trading stations — mostly at local police departments — which ensure that all transactions are handled in plain view of both the authorities and security cameras.” So that you can pick up the stuff you bought from some rando on Craigslist without getting murdered.

“What Can The Biden Administration Actually Do To Protect Elections?”

RIP, Marsha Hunt, veteran actress of the Golden Age of film, radio and Broadway who later saw her career wither over her protests against the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

“Netflix Considering Shift Towards Weekly Releases”.

“For incoming [college students, Hillary Clinton has always had a more significant role in American politics than Bill Clinton.”

Just read this.

Looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in too many faces, searching their eyes, looking for traces, of what I’m dreaming of…

In case you were wondering, Ari Fleischer remains a lousy, terrible, no good person.

“Two and a half years ago, the Internet Archive made a decision that pissed off a lot of writers—and embroiled it in a lawsuit that many netizens fear could weaken the archive, its finances, and its services long into the future.”

“The monarchy? I could take it or leave it. But we cannot let the royal goat tradition die. I’d go to war to defend it.”

RIP, Jean-Luc Godard, pioneering French director.

Subpoena them!

Ken Starr has died. How he rests is not a particular concern of mine.

RIP, Lowry Mays, founder of Clear Channel.

More January 6 Committee hearings. Hopefully followed by more referrals to the Justice Department, and more indictments.

“With all due respect, it is not that the public didn’t like the final score at the end of the term when the lights went out in June. The problem wasn’t just the losses; the problem was that his team moved the game to another field, then stole the ball and replaced it with a time bomb, then changed the rules, then lied about it, and then set the entire field ablaze. Now he wants everyone to shake hands and go home.”

RIP, Fred Franzia, California winemaker best known for introducing “Two Buck Chuck” to the world.

“People have wondered why the former president collected classified intel, speculating that he is just a packrat. But he has a long history of gathering and wielding sensitive info to help himself.”

“What McConnell cared about was not social issues but creating a conservative Supreme Court that would tear down government regulations and rule the Republicans’ way on voting rights, gerrymandering, and campaign finance. Now McConnell has gotten the Supreme Court and the political blowback that he deserves as the abortion decision has mobilized Democratic voters and upended Republican hopes in November.”

The prices of your streaming services to go up soon.

RIP, Rommy Hunt Revson, inventor of the scrunchie.

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 12

The Texas Progressive Alliance hummed a few bars of “God Save The Queen” as we compiled this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for September 11

“This case is to Medicaid what Dobbs was to abortion.”

“The world could create more sustainable batteries with an unusual source: crustaceans. In a paper published this week in the journal Matter, researchers say they have made a biodegradable battery with a substance found in crab and lobster shells.”

So where is Times Square, anyway?

“I regret that the heads and bodies of police officers got in the way of your truncheons and flagpoles while you were engaging in Legitimate Political Discourse at the Capitol. I hope that you didn’t hurt your fingers while gouging their eyes, and that their blood didn’t stain your tactical assault gear; if it did, please send me the dry-cleaning bill! I am so sorry that, on your Normal Tourist Visit, you didn’t get to use your noose or all the guns stockpiled at the Comfort Inn in Alexandria. Please forgive me for previously quibbling with your plan to “hang Mike Pence” and your use of the Confederate flag in the halls of Congress. I apologize that you had to break windows and doors, climb scaffolding and rappel into the Senate chamber. My bad! Next time you want to overthrow an American election, just knock.”

“In recent research, I studied how Americans’ perceptions of their own political knowledge shape their political attitudes. My results show that many Americans think they know much more about politics than they really do.”

“The Human Psyche Was Not Built for This”.

I’m somewhat lukewarm on ranked choice voting, but whatever you think about it, RCV isn’t the reason Democrat Mary Peltola won that special election in Alaska for Congress. The many flaws and foibles of a certain former Governor of Alaska is a much bigger reason for that. Also, Rep.-elect Mary Peltola ran a great campaign.

“Donald Trump once tried to pay a lawyer with a horse“. I mean sure, why not?

Ken Levine signs off as a blogger.

Turns out, participating in an insurrection does have some consequences. Who knew?

“There are too many things wrong with the Cannon order to litigate. And there are too many things wrong with Trump’s judicial dominion of every part of our lives— for years to come—to litigate. So maybe it’s time to stop litigating them and start fixing them.”

Lock him up.

Make them pay.

You will never be able to unsee this picture. That shouldn’t stop you from clicking, but be warned.

“Micky Dolenz, best known as the vocalist and drummer for the iconic 1960s pop group The Monkees, is suing the FBI over recently released files that indicate the agency was monitoring the group.” Really, FBI. You should have known they were just monkeying around.

RIP, Peter Straub, horror novelist best known for The Talisman, which he co-wrote with Stephen King. This Twitter thread in tribute from his daughter Emma Straub, also an author, is awesome.

RIP, Anne Garrels, longtime NPR foreign correspondent. Listen to her 2007 appearance on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, she was delightful.

RIP, Bernard Shaw, CNN’s lead anchor for 20 years.

RIP, Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest serving monarch.

Lock them up.

“Response to most of what Joe Biden has done since taking office has followed a predictable reaction-curve”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 5

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a happy unofficial first week of autumn as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for September 4

So what would a dragon smell like, anyway?

“An Afghan family slowly adapts to life in Austin a year after the Taliban takeover”.

“The Case for the 16-Year-Old Vote”.

“Voters in Florida’s panhandle will choose this November between two of the most polarizing political figures in the state.”

“Alvin Bragg is widely viewed as struggling in his job as Manhattan DA. But is that assessment fair — should it be reevaluated with the benefit of hindsight and the developments over the past week in his office’s Trump investigation?”

“Can you inoculate people against misinformation before they even see it? This study says yes.”

RIP, Gwen Barclay, trailblazing Houston chef and pioneer in farm-to-table cooking.

“We still don’t know how many. We still don’t know why. We just know that doing what [Trump] did was not simply an act of ignoring the law, it directly put at risk US intelligence assets and US national security. This is not a story about documents.”

“The 4 major criminal probes into Donald Trump, explained”.

Schenectady, Schenectady, God shed His grace on thee…”

“The Federal Trade Commission sued an Idaho-based data company Monday, accusing it of selling location data from hundreds of millions of mobile devices that could be used to track people at abortion clinics and other sensitive locations.”

Republicans in disarray.

RIP, Mikhail Gorbachev, last leader of the Soviet Union.

“In some instances, even the FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys conducting the review required additional clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents.”

It’s nice to know that some people get the lawyers they deserve.

“If you’re younger than 21, you should still be able to buy a can of whipped cream in New York. You just can’t buy a whippet, or whip-it, a small nitrous oxide-filled charger used to aerosolize the dessert topping.”

RIP, Barbara Ehrenreich, author and activist whose best-known work was the book “Nickel and Dimed”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 29

Yeah, we’re going to squeeze one more reference to “no confidential information in the Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup” before we (maybe) move on to another intro topic.

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Weekend link dump for August 28

“We live in deeply conspiratorial times. The spread of misinformation has never happened more speedily, never been so easy to monetize, never felt so inescapably ingrained in our daily lives. It covers every aspect of our being, from politics to academia to, of course, celebrity. Since my field of interest is mostly the last one, I’ve been privy to some truly bananas conspiracy theories involving the most famous people on the planet. They’re always ridiculous, frequently terrifying, and seldom easy to explain away. They’re also inadvertently extremely revealing about the ways that we dehumanize others as part of a ceaseless search for answers that do not exist.”

“The qualities that make a Nickelodeon Kid are also the traits that would make us challenge Nickelodeon. We were the kids who learned about terrorism, climate change, and AIDS on Nick News. And yes, Linda Ellerbee even taught us about child abuse. We learned to ask the hard questions and challenge questionable behavior. If we can’t trust that Nickelodeon is safe and ethical, we might as well change the channel.”

“4 underrated parts of the Inflation Reduction Act”.

RIP, Virginia Porter Moss, last surviving adult actor from It’s A Wonderful Life.

RIP, Pete Carril, Hall of Fame basketball coach at Princeton.

Pardon me while I give my extremely tiny violin a tune-up.

Guess I need to start watching Sandman soon.

“What is ‘soft’ censorship? When school districts don’t ban books, they still limit student access”.

“Justice, apparently, was only recently invented — some time in the 1960s, perhaps — so evaluating the justice or injustice of any person or group’s “values and mores” before then is just an anachronistic projection of “contemporary social justice issues” into the foreign country of the past.”

“Yelp is adding a prominent consumer notice to crisis pregnancy center listings to more clearly distinguish them from clinics that provide abortion services”. Your move, Google.

“A summer of drought has revealed long-submerged relics across the globe. Some bring us back decades, while others boast histories of thousands of years. A park in Texas now claims one of the oldest revealed this summer – dinosaur footprints dating back over 113 million years.”

RIP, Jerry Allison, drummer for Buddy Holly and The Crickets, who co-wrote the songs “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be The Day”.

RIP, Len Dawson, Hall of Fame and Super Bowl champion quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs.

RIP, Gary Gaines, former head coach at Odessa Permian high school, made famous by Friday Night Lights.

Campaign finance reform now!

Here’s one way to tell that The Former Guy is really scraping the bottom of the legal barrel these days.

“Letter shows National Archives, DOJ, and Biden gave Trump every chance to return documents”.

I love an Ichiro Suzuki story.

“The rise of the ‘Morally Dubious Podcaster’ in pop culture”.

Don’t read too much news. It’s not good for you.

Will the last creator at HBO Max please turn out the lights?

This you?

Lock them all up.

Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols is taking one final journey through the final frontier. Celestis Inc., a private space flight company that works with NASA, will include some of the actress’ ashes on a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket as part of the upcoming Enterprise flight, scheduled to take off sometime later this year.”

“Pair Trump’s attitude toward the intelligence services, whistleblowers, and witnesses of all kinds, with his incredible disdain for protecting classified information, and it’s a recipe for utter catastrophe. The revelation of a “NOC list,” giving away dozens of undercover operatives in vital roles, may be the subject of adventure fiction, but it seems like an all-too-real possibility for Trump.”

RIP, E. Bryant Crutchfield, inventor of the Trapper Keeper.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 22

There is still nothing classified as Top Secret in the Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roudup.

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Weekend link dump for August 21

“Storytelling has always been a dance between the creators and the audience. Plots turn and twist, steering expectations and swaying emotions. But as filmed entertainment has grown on a near-exponential scale, encompassing interconnected franchises and expanding onto more platforms than ever before, audiences have begun to more actively engage with what they watch. They analyze, turning ambiguity into clarity, forging connections with fellow fans. As a result, storytellers have to do more than spin a satisfying yarn; they must contend with fans who are so involved, they’re practically racing them to the finish line. For TV shows in particular, the most passionate viewers have become a part of the writers’ room—not physically, of course, but as a looming presence, at least in the minds of those shaping seasons’ worth of plot.”

“The money that Democrats like to invest in clean power is largely spent in Republican districts.”

“In the late 1910s, a strange disease took the world by storm. Its cause remains a mystery to this day.” This is the real-life illness that the plot of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is based on.

“Everyone from NASA scientists to elementary school teachers knows that Uranus is the most giggle-inducing planet in our solar system.”

Lock him up.

“The FBI is investigating an “unprecedented” number of threats against bureau personnel and property in the wake of the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, including some against agents listed in court records as being involved in the recent search”.

RIP, Paul Burka, longtime Texas Monthly editor and Texas political journalist, creator of the iconic “Ten Best/Ten Worst Legislators” lists. I got to talk to him a couple of times back in the day. Good guy, very warm and welcoming, and he had a ton of good stories. His former colleague Mimi Swartz has a long reminiscence about him.

“We are asking for a commitment from the community of media outlets reporting on abortion to keep in mind the true danger that you present when interviewing anti-abortion extremists. You are giving the opportunity for dangerous lies to spread. You are, by way of asking them questions, legitimizing their answers. You are allowing hateful, dangerous harassers to build a base that encourages protesting at clinics, stalking and harming clinic staff and abortion providers, and online and in-person abuse of people who have abortions and those who support them in getting that care.”

Lock him up.

“The first time Sacheen Littlefeather encountered the Academy, in 1973, she was booed onstage at the Oscars, heckled with mock ululations and so-called “tomahawk chops” offstage, and threatened with arrest and physical assault. Nearly half a century later, she will return to the Academy as an invited guest of honor for an evening of reflection at the Academy Museum, featuring something she never dared to imagine: a formal apology from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

“Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome”, tweets Very Serious Person Elon Musk. Sure, Jan.

“It’s not just that Joe Biden has succeeded while Donald Trump failed, it’s also that Biden succeeded where Trump failed.”

“The United States has made a small but significant move toward creating a public system to allow millions of Americans to file their taxes for free.”

“But there’s also a grating flip side to the bleating of Blackburn and the so-called thought leaders of the modern conservative movement. There’s no need to “imagine” what an oppressive police and carceral state can do to everyday American citizens. Just pick up a newspaper or surf the web and read the horror stories.”

Testify!

RIP, Henry Engel, the 6-year-old son of NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel. Henry had a rare genetic condition called Rett syndrome, for which he had been treated at Texas Children’s Hospital. Researchers there hope to use Henry’s case to better treat others affected by Rett syndrome moving forward. You can support their research if you are so moved.

“Almost 100 years after its extinction, the Tasmanian tiger may live once again. Scientists want to resurrect the striped carnivorous marsupial, officially known as a thylacine, which used to roam the Australian bush. The ambitious project will harness advances in genetics, ancient DNA retrieval and artificial reproduction to bring back the animal.”

Texa blog roundup for the week of August 15

The Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup is not classified as Top Secret and thus can be safely taken home with you.

(more…)

Weekend link dump for August 14

“The Surprising History of the Slur Beyoncé and Lizzo Both Cut From Their New Albums”.

“The construction of a world based on lies is a key component of authoritarians’ takeover of democratic societies.”

“The fake electors are the entry point to Trump’s various efforts to pressure state officials into throwing out Biden’s win and to turn the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress into the denial – and not the certification – of Biden’s win.”

“Even before the COVID-19 vaccine was authorized, there was a plan to discredit it.”

“Many adult adoptees are tired of being rendered as products to prove a point. They challenge the argument that adoption is a simple, sacred and mutually beneficial solution to unplanned pregnancy.”

“It’s fit that Alex Jones is held accountable for the impact of his words. He used false statements of fact to paint his picture, and those false statements of fact caused harm. But I suspect that a vast judgment against Jones won’t have much value as a deterrent or proclamation of truth. Jones is loathsomely rich because people want to consume his art. His landscapes of hate and fear and mistrust resonate with a frightening number of Americans. The people who enjoyed his Sandy Hook trutherism didn’t enjoy it because it was factually convincing or coherent; they enjoyed the emotional state it conveyed because it matched theirs. The plodding technicalities of law are probably inadequate to change their minds.”

RIP, Olivia Newton-John, actor best known for Grease and pop singer of many #1 hits. Cancer truly sucks.

Go big or go home, Merrick Garland.

“As such, Hulu, a money-making streaming service with 45.6 million subscribers (as of April 2; we’ll get an update for the June quarter on Wednesday afternoon) and major ARPU (average revenue per user), could be lost to history. Sounds crazy, because it kind of is.”

“You’d think a platform made up of independent creators who were once like Barlow and Bear would stand by them in their time of strife, not abandon them. However, Barlow and Bear’s hubris might bring down future creators’ ability to create. If this project gets shut down, future ones might never get off the ground. Plus, fans don’t seem to like Barlow and Bear’s seeming disrespect for the female creators of the source material, Rhimes and Quinn.”

“How 2 DC Watchdog Groups Blew Open The Trump Administration’s Deleted Texts Scandal”.

“[H]ow abortion could and will be prosecuted in the United States, and how tech companies will be enlisted by law enforcement to help prosecute their cases.”

“But the gulf between Trump and the generals was not really about money or practicalities, just as their endless policy battles were not only about clashing views on whether to withdraw from Afghanistan or how to combat the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran. The divide was also a matter of values, of how they viewed the United States itself.”

“You can depend on Pete Rose. He will always let you down.”

“As president, Trump approved a law increasing penalties for mishandling classified info. It could come back to bite him.”

RIP, Gene LeBell, actor, stuntman, and wrestler who faced off onscreen against Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee.

“Just a few hours shy of the deadline set in late July by hundreds of top female writers and showrunners on abortion safety protocols, most of Hollywood’s biggest studios and streamers today opted to sidestep specifics.”

“The former president was the most dangerous person in the world when he held power, and he never had respect for the rule of law.”

RIP, Anne Heche, Emmy-winning actor.

RIP, Lamont Dozier, Motown songwriter who penned hits for the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Isley Brothers, and more.

“The complete guide to every excuse Republicans have made for Trump’s theft of classified documents”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 8

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to see more damage awards being given to Sandy Hook parents as it brings you this week’s roundup.

(more…)

Weekend link dump for August 7

“Misinformation is eroding the public’s confidence in democracy”.

The anti-abortion fanatics just don’t care at all about the life and health of the mother.

“Do Vending Machines Really Kill More Americans Than Sharks Every Year?”

“A collective of more than 400 television creators and showrunners sent a letter to top-level executives at Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Apple and more, demanding specific protocols to protect pregnant employees in states where abortion is outlawed.”

By the way, if you got to the bottom of that list and asked yourself “where are all the dudes?”, the answer is here. And good for them.

A brief history of recessions, and how something gets to be called a “recession”.

“The infant mortality rate in states banning or expected to soon ban abortion is 6.3 per 1,000 births. In states that aren’t going to ban abortion, it’s 4.7 per 1,000.”

RIP, Nichelle Nichols, actor best known for playing Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, one of the first Black female leads on TV. A bunch of well-deserved tributes from across the Star Trek universe is here.

RIP, Pat Carroll, Emmy-winning actor who provided the voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid.

Welp, Netflix is now suing the creators of that Bridgerton: The Musical production.

RIP, Paul Coker, character and production designer for the classic Rankin/Bass stop-motion and animated holiday specials and longtime MAD Magazine artist.

“It’s Time For a National Gun Buyback“.

“It’s hardly new to point out that algorithmic trending lists can amplify bad stuff to huge audiences. So why does Twitter still have this feature in 2022?”

RIP, Vin Scully, iconic and legendary broadcaster for the LA Dodgers.

Schadenfreude. Pure, unadulterated, blissful schadenfreude. Try not to injure yourself stifling giggles.

“This is a foundational principle in the United States: That while voters should be able to pick their president and their representatives in Congress and at the state level, and have the power to vote on various state-level laws, our Constitution protects the rights of minority and other historically mistreated groups as well. No one should see their basic rights subject to the tyranny of the majority.”

“I can only speak for myself, but I never believed their infinitely repeated protestations that they didn’t want to ban abortion, just make reasonable regulations about it. I didn’t believe it because they didn’t even believe it themselves. Apparently, about six out of 10 voters didn’t believe them either.”

But his emails!

“After passing the House with the support of 47 Republicans, the Respect for Marriage Act, which would protect marriage rights for same-sex couples if the Supreme Court were to overturn its 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, faces much dimmer prospects in the Senate. There is one reason why: the Christian right still controls the Republican Party.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 1

The Texas Progressive Alliance would prefer there to be fewer right-wing billionaires with hegemonic fantasies as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 31

The oldest teenagers on TV.

“Agrivoltaics pairs agriculture (including grazing) and solar power production on the same plot of land.”

“The [Respect For Marriage Act] would repeal DOMA, directing the federal government to recognize same-sex couples’ lawful marriages. But it also goes further, compelling states to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere—even if the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell and restores states’ authority to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”

There’s a storm brewing in Hollywood’s creative community, just as the largest unions and employers are preparing to wrestle anew at the contract bargaining table.”

“If a baseball team is a brotherhood, the bullpen can sometimes feel a bit like a set of step-brothers. Relievers are physically distant from their teammates in the dugout and bound by a different set of routines. But a bench-clearing can feel like a chance to demonstrate their commitment to the larger group: They know they’re far away, and they know they’ll probably be too late, but they’re still making the journey, distance (and barriers) be damned.”

“We could veer off here into a deeper discussion of why, for the white evangelical audience of CCM, Amy Grant “counts” as a “Christian singer” while Aretha and Mavis and Al Green don’t. And thus we could discuss the unspoken, yet unsubtle reasons that “CCM” and “Black Gospel” exist as separate categories. But that would require, at a minimum, several doctoral dissertations and a background syllabus longer than any of us will ever live long enough to read.”

“Assuming MLB eventually expands, the following is an argument for radical realignment and the end of interleague play.”

“Our research suggests that there may be a problem of overconfidence getting in the way of learning, because if people think they know a lot, they have minimal motivation to learn more. People with more extreme anti-scientific attitudes might first need to learn about their relative ignorance on the issues before being taught specifics of established scientific knowledge.”

RIP, Paul Sorvino, actor known for Goodfellas and Law and Order among many other roles, father of Mira Sorvino.

“As I said, there are people outside who find it a little hard to stomach, that someone who looks like me would play this part. But that’s an issue they have to deal with and I don’t have to. The issue is always the same I just have to say the lines convincingly and avoid bumping into the furniture.”

RIP, Bob Rafelson, director of the movie Five Easy Pieces and co-creator of The Monkees.

RIP, Diane Kennedy, cookbook author and culinary anthropologist.

Good call, Hulu, but you shouldn’t have put yourself in that position to begin with.

“Here are nine of the biggest remaining things we still don’t know about Jan. 6.”

“Will the pro-abortion rights billionaires please stand up?”

“A Retrospective on the 2015 Ashley Madison Breach”.

RIP, Carey Latimore, professor and scholar of African-American history.

Yeah, polio is starting to make a comeback. Get your vaccinations!

“Anecdotal reports indicate that more people have been undergoing permanent birth control procedures since the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which struck down Roe. Dr. Kavita Arora, who chairs the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ ethics committee, said providers across the country are beginning to see an influx of patients into their operating rooms.”

Boy, those wacky disappearing text messages, am I right?

“We’re Going to See Abortion Fugitives. Here’s How to Protect Them.”

RIP, Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champion, first Black head coach of a team in a major sports league, writer, broadcaster, civil rights activist, and more.

RIP, Samuel Sandoval, WWII veteran and Navajo Code Talker.