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Weekend link dump for January 16

There are a lot of musicals currently in development as movies.

The CW is for sale, if you’ve got a bit of spare change for a questionably viable broadcast TV network.

“The president of Turkmenistan is calling for an end to one of the country’s most notable but infernal sights — the blazing natural gas crater widely referred to as the “Gates of Hell.””

RIP, Bob Saget, comedian and actor best known for Full House.

Congratulations to Rachel Balkovec, the new manager of the Tampa Tarpons, the first woman ever named to manage a minor league baseball team.

And congratulations as well to Genevieve Beacom, the first woman to pitch for a professional baseball team in Australia.

Robert Durst has died. You know who Robert Durst is. That’s all I’ve got.

RIP, Marilyn Bergman, lyricist who won multiple Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys.

Actions have consequences. I hope.

Along those lines: “It’s up to [Cawthorn] to prove that he did not [engage in insurrection]. So we’ll see what evidence he puts forward. We’ll learn some new information, even if in the end he is found eligible to serve. And he’ll have to testify under oath.”

RIP, Elouise Adams Jones, longtime Houston restauranteur.

A neat behind the scenes look at being on a TV game show, told by people who have done it themselves.

Speaking of TV, here are some new shows for 2022 that may interest you. Yeah, I’ll watch that Game of Thrones prequel.

“So while I understand the urge to dunk on Cruz, what happened on Carlson’s show is more than just an example of Cruz’s weaselly pleading being worthy of a laugh. It’s ultimately not funny at all.”

“Along with bleach and horse-dewormer, anti-vaxxers have another Covid cure to add to their medicine cabinets: urine.”

“Sarah Palin Really Doesn’t Want A Jury To See This Footage Of Her Rapping ‘Baby Got Back’ While Dressed As A Bear“. I on the other hand think it is vital that they are aware that she likes big butts and cannot lie.

“Thanks to lax antitrust enforcement, four companies now control 55 to 85 percent of the markets for beef, pork, and poultry. Since the fall of 2020, the price of beef has risen by more than 20 percent, far higher than the inflation rate. At the same time, the profits of the meat-packing industry are up more than 300 percent.”

Lock them up. All of them.

RIP, Ronnie Spector, iconic 60’s girl-group lead singer for The Ronettes.

How bullshit works, the continuing story.

“Last year, over 100 companies signed a letter declaring their principled support for voting rights, their opposition to the state bills restricting voting, and their belief that action to protect voting rights was critical. But, as the fight for voting rights hits a critical juncture, virtually all of these corporations have gone quiet.”

“A baseball team doesn’t have to show a profit, although if we had perfect information we would see that most do, in most years. When one doesn’t, absolutely nothing bad happens to anyone. The businesses those 30 owners run that generated enough money for them to buy a baseball team — those are the ones that have to sweat the bottom line. The law firms and grocery chains and trucking companies…they’re real businesses. The baseball team is the unlocked achievement, the bauble, the special toy. It is not a business like any other, because baseball teams aren’t evaluated based on their profits, they’re evaluated based on their wins, their championships, the number of moments they create for the people who invest not just their money, but their time and their passion.”

Wishing Chris Evert, one of my very favorite athletes, all the best.

Texas blog roundup for the week of January 10

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to see a whole lot more people get held accountable for January 6 as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for January 9

“Did a John Denver song get Billy Martin fired?”

“It’s worse than that, really; the ethic of Jesus has gotten in the way of successfully prosecuting the culture wars against the left. If the ethic of Jesus encourages sensibilities that might cause people in politics to act a little less brutally, a bit more civilly, with a touch more grace? Then it needs to go. Decency is for suckers.”

“But there are some positive trends peeking out from behind the fog of gloom. Let’s explore them…”

“On the contrary, what I observed in person Sunday morning, as well as what we can see from national survey data, make clear how Trump has conformed white evangelicalism to his own image, and why so many evangelicals await his second advent.”

Here’s the second half of that comprehensive list of musicians we lost in 2021.

“Trump supporters have waged a campaign of intimidation against the state and local officials who administer U.S. elections. This visual analysis explores hundreds of menacing messages – and explains why they’re difficult to counter.”

Ever wonder who actually makes the Kirkland brand products you buy at Costco?

Make the US Senate more like the House of Lords.

“One year after the Jan. 6 riot, the voices of those who broke with Trump over that day have mostly been muted, moved on, or, in certain instances, come to embrace Trump all over again.” Cowards, the lot of them.

Pour one out for the classic 3G BlackBerry phone, which as of this week is now a paperweight.

RIP, Jean-Marc Vallée, director and producer known for recent HBO series like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies.

Ken Rosenthal deserves much, much better.

Does the name Rita Jenrette mean anything to you? Three things I did not know about this woman, who was briefly famous for being the wife of a Congressman who was arrested in the notorious ABSCAM sting and then posing in Playboy as a result of that notoriety: She was born in San Antonio, she was a correspondent for the tabloid TV show A Current Affair in the late 80s, and oh, by the way, she’s now an actual princess. (I found that Forbes story because there was a similar story a couple weeks later in the Express News, which then ran in the print version of the Chronicle. Easily one of the more entertaining things I’ve read lately while eating breakfast.)

RIP, Ann Harithas, artist and curator and co-founder of the Art Car Museum in Houston.

“Sheep are such likeable animals — maybe they can get the message over better.”

“How 38 women in Congress want you to remember January 6.”

Yeah, I don’t know why anyone would want to be on a cruise ship right now. Someday, maybe, but not today.

RIP, Joan Copeland, longtime Broadway and TV actor, and sister of playwright Arthur Miller.

RIP, Grichka and Igor Bogdanoff, eccentric French TV presenter twins, COVID skeptics who (you guessed it) died from COVID. Yes, both of them, less than a week apart.

RIP, Peter Bogdanovich, Oscar-nominated director, writer, and actor.

RIP, Sir Sidney Poitier, groundbreaking actor and director, first Black actor to win an Oscar, Hollywood legend.

RIP, Cyber Ninjas. Good riddance.

Texas blog roundup for the week of January 3

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a happy, safe, prosperous, and hopefully COVID-free 2022 as it brings you the year’s first roundup.

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Weekend link dump for January 2

“Now more than ever, you need to know these 9 phrases to avoid like the plague in 2022″.

“It’s a small mercy that I at least never attended an anti-abortion protest. That was a little too tacky, too “political” for my upwardly mobile family at our upwardly mobile church. God sent his Son to die on the cross so we could clean up and move to the suburbs, and his perfect will for our life obviously didn’t include yelling and screaming and getting arrested.”

Five things to know about omicron, from a national health reporter.

“How can Yellowstone be one of TV’s biggest hits when it’s one of the least discussed?” (Full disclosure: It’s not a show I watch. No judgment, just not my thing.)

“Just because streaming is the future doesn’t mean it has to be your future.”

An impressively comprehensive list of musicians we lost in 2021. I had missed the news about Mike Mitchell of The Kingsmen and Robbie Steinhardt of Kansas.

I admit, I went down the rabbit hole of the r/DuggarsSnark subreddit after reading this story about it.

RIP, Sarah Weddington, the attorney who at the age of 26 successfully argued for the plaintiffs in Roe v Wade.

Yes, yes, yes, a vaccine mandate to fly on a commercial airplane is long overdue.

“In its 2021 Food Waste Index Report, UNEP reported that the United States ranked higher than any other country in terms of food waste from food services, at a little more than 141 pounds per person. They also reported that each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced gets thrown away. That’s around 1.3 billion tons of food that ends up rotting or spoiling—an amount worth approximately $1 trillion. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste constitutes 24 percent of municipal solid waste and is a big reason why landfills are the nation’s third-largest source of human-related methane emissions.”

RIP, E.O. Wilson, pioneer of evolutionary biology.

Republicans are rapidly rolling back rights around the country. Maybe we should, I dunno, do something about that.

RIP, Harry Reid, former Senate Majority Leader and amazingly effective politician.

RIP, John Madden, Hall of Fame NFL coach and broadcaster.

“Nearly 18,000 more dialysis patients died in 2020 than would have been expected based on previous years. That staggering toll represents an increase of nearly 20% from 2019, when more than 96,000 patients on dialysis died, according to federal data released this month. The loss led to an unprecedented outcome: The nation’s dialysis population shrank, the first decline since the U.S. began keeping detailed numbers nearly a half century ago. They were COVID-19’s perfect victims.”

“10 lessons I’ve learned from the Covid–19 pandemic”.

RadioShack reboots as cryptocurrency company. I got nothin’.

I for one think that Ted Cruz should go to Western Australia, so he can learn that it is not part of the United States. And then he can stay there, or pretty much anywhere else.

RIP, Betty White, national treasure, absolute legend, five-time Emmy winner, animal advocate.

RIP, Dan Reeves, former NFL player and head coach, who won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys and coached the Broncos to another.

RIP, Sam Jones, basketball Hall of Famer and 10-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics.

Best of luck to Becky Hammon on her new head coaching gig with the WNBA Las Vegas Aces.

It was twenty years ago today

As of today, this blog is officially 20 years old. I started it because I wanted an outlet for my writing – before that, I mostly shared my thoughts via email, mostly but not entirely on various email discussion lists, now all long defunct – and a place to store them that would be accessible by me over time. I didn’t really intend for it to be about politics, but that wound up being what interested me and gave me fodder for basically everyday writing. I’d heard about blogs, had in fact come across a blog written by my friend Ginger, and I asked her how to set one up the next time I saw her. And here we are, two decades later.

I suppose I should have some retrospective, or a Top Ten Posts list or some such, but that’s not how I think. Feel free to nominate something in the comments if there’s a post that stands out to you, but I feel like I’m a force for consistency, so to me it’s just another day of business. My mission is the same, to talk about and analyze local and state politics, with some diversions for transportation and technology and a few other things. I’ve been regularly publishing interviews with political candidates for 15 years, and consider that (the judicial Q&As are a special case of those) and post-election data reviews to be my big selling point. If that sort of thing is your jam, I’ve got it for you.

I know my audience has changed over the course of 20 years – for sure, regular commenters come and go – but I’ve managed to maintain a steady readership, judging by the analytics I occasionally look at. As of this writing, I have 1,406 likes and 1,509 followers for the Off the Kuff Facebook page, so if you feel the need to mark this occasion you could add yourself to those totals, if you’re not already among them. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, thank you for listening to the interviews, and thank you for all the feedback over the years. It still makes me smile whenever someone tells me they like the blog. Here’s to the next however many years. Happy 2022, y’all.

Texas blog roundup for the week of December 27

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes that all is calm and bright with you as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for December 26

“The difference in death rates from COVID between Republicans and Democrats is becoming even more striking.”

“Tornadoes and the severe storms that create them are far below the typical scale that climate models can predict. What we can do instead is look at the large-scale ingredients that make conditions ripe for tornadoes to form.”

“Why Are Paleontologists Getting Into Florida’s Oyster Business?”

“We Have Confirmed That Headlights Are In Fact Too Bright”.

“Before vaccines arrived, the best public health strategy against covid-19 was to throw everything we had at the virus — masking, distancing, hand-washing, cleaning, ventilation. That was the 2020 playbook, essentially an admission that no one strategy in and of itself was sufficient. But the game has changed. Given the availability of vaccines, here are 10 updates to the playbook for 2022″.

“There are good reasons not to revive lockdowns and other blanket restrictions, which have their own costs — and in theory, we shouldn’t need them. Vaccines are available; doctors understand the virus much better and have more effective treatments. But there is still a lot the US could do short of locking down to slow the virus and give hospitals and their staff members a better chance to handle any surge in Covid-19 patients without sacrificing care for all of their patients.”

“Bottom line: Omicron is still Covid, it’s still capable of doing damage to your body. And it’s still capable of overwhelming our health systems. It’s shaping up to be a hard winter. Get vaccinated and boosted ASAP.”

“The Trump administration engaged in “deliberate efforts” to undermine the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic for political purposes, a congressional report released Friday concludes.”

Victorian-era Christmas cars were…wow. Just, wow. Go see for yourself. Warning: You will not be able to un-see.

RIP, Eve Babitz, author known as “a hedonist with a notebook”.

Lock them up.

“Recent American history has had plenty of examples of failed prophecies.”

RIP, Joan Didion, groundbreaking author and cultural critic.

Hugh Jackman is a mensch. Better video at the second link, but the first post has the background.

RIP, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner and hero of the anti-apartheid movement.

Can’t wait to see what the James Webb space telescope can tell us.

Texas blog roundup for the week of December 20

The Texas Progressive Alliance knows exactly how nice or naughty everyone in this week’s roundup is.

Off the Kuff lets you know about the absolutely bonkers primary election that Republican voters in Potter County are fixing to have.

SocraticGadfly offers a few thoughts from up on the Red about 2022 primary filings (and Green and Libertarian convention filings).

Stace gives us his thoughts on some of the 2022 Dem Primary races.

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

CultureMap breaks the news of the whiskey being distilled by the folks at Saint Arnold.

Texas Monthly presents the 2022 Bum Steer Award winners.

The Bloggess tells you how to participate in the 12th annual James Garfield Miracle.

Mark Sumner earns “honorary Texan” status for reminding us of the time that Louie Gohmert sued Mike Pence for the crime of obeying the law this past January.

Juanita is not impressed by Ken Paxton’s “vote fraud” efforts.

Will Wilder and Elizabeth Hira show how the Freedom to Vote Act would de-fang Texas’ voter suppression law.

Weekend link dump for December 19

“The thing is, though, while this type of selfish behavior is outlandish, it isn’t unfamiliar to most people; it’s a set of traits based in reality. Today, we have a name — a nonmedical diagnosis, even — for this way of being: main character syndrome. The concept, popularized on TikTok by Gen Z, is as an affliction where someone acts like and believes the world centers around them. Just like Carrie.”

“Common beliefs, media depictions, and powerful gender norms point to men as the only real sexual threat. But research on female perpetrators has grown dramatically in recent years, forcing us to rethink our ideas about sexual abuse. This reconsideration is as urgent as ever: A thorough understanding of the full range of abuse is necessary to help advance the feminist lessons from the #MeToo movement and beyond.”

“When I was asked for my 2021 predictions, I wrote that the press would risk elevating a Shadow President Trump, treating him as a leader in temporary exile — and I was right. With that in mind, I take no pleasure in offering my next prediction: 2022 will be the year that journalists either change everything about how they cover politics…or it will be the year they enable a party dead set on obliterating whatever guardrails are left between the representative democracy that the U.S. is supposed to be and the minority-rule competitive authoritarian government they have been trying to build for decades.”

“Friendly, foul-mouthed crow befriends entire Oregon elementary school before state police are called in”.

RIP, Anne Rice, bestselling author of the Vampire Chronicles books, “East of Eden”, and many others.

“So he called and just frickin SPOKE TO ANNE RICE for like an hour.”

“Not only does the vulnerability affect thousands of programs but the exploitation of this vulnerability is very straightforward. Attackers are already starting to launch widespread attacks. Further compounding the problem is the huge diversity of vulnerable systems, so those responsible for defending systems are going to have a very bad Christmas.”

“Because of the enormous attack surface it poses, some security experts are calling Log4Shell the biggest cybersecurity calamity of the year”.

“Someone Is Lying About Why It Took So Long for the National Guard to Deploy on January 6″.

“So what if the war on democracy was covered like a real war? Or maybe that’s the wrong simile, given how little attention we paid to the war in Afghanistan until it finally ended. What if we covered a wave of election rigging from coast to coast with the same fervor as a bump in inflation or a showdown in the Senate?”

RIP, Al Unser, Sr., legendary race car driver who won four Indianapolis 500s.

“old people really need to learn how to text accurately to the mood they’re trying to represent”.

He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”

“Some of these issues raise real points of concern. Such as: How did multiple members of the Republican Party in Congress receive an extended briefing on methods by which they might illegally overturn the election results, and none of that appeared in the press. It might be too much to think that a Republican in the House would let the media in on what they were up to, but were there no staffers, no observers, no AV guy hired to run the projector who thought the public needed to know what these guys were up to? The idea that Republicans sat through a 38-page PowerPoint on How to Destroy America in the week before Jan. 6, and the public didn’t learn about it for 11 months, should be—and is—terrifying.”

Oh, and Mark Meadows lied like a rug in his book about what was happening on January 6. Oh, and he used his personal email account for all of his correspondence in that. I’m old enough to remember when that itself was a national scandal.

RIP, bell hooks, acclaimed poet, author, feminist, and professor.

Lock him up.

“Everything else pales in comparison. This is who to blame. If conservatives hadn’t deliberately fought vaccination, we would probably be the most highly vaccinated country in the world right now. And life really would be nearly back to normal.”

“Wait…You didn’t know? The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was about a police informant working undercover to expose a drug-trafficking cartel.”

“But in those early days, the budding #SeditionHunters community was doing critical work that is still paying off today and will continue to pay off going forward.”

“However, initial results of studies conducted both in the lab and in the real world show that people who get a booster shot, or third dose of vaccine, may be better protected. Though these data are preliminary, they suggest that getting a booster will help protect people already vaccinated from breakthrough or possible severe infections with Omicron during the winter months.”

RIP, Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, bassist and founding member of The Roots.

RIP, John Mueller, pitmaster and self-proclaimed “dark prince” of Texas barbecue.

Lock him up.

Texas blog roundup for the week of December 13

The Texas Progressive Alliance knew that SCOTUS was a partisan institution a long time before putting together this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for December 12

“The Untold Story of the Portuguese Diplomat Who Saved Thousands From the Nazis”.

“25 years ago, Tickle Me Elmo’s co-creator was suspected of being the Unabomber by the FBI”.

“Here’s Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten More Difficult To Understand (And Three Ways To Fix It)”.

“Our children are not having the education around race and history that they should, and it’s to our detriment and it’s a disservice to our children.”

“The Science And Art Of Sustainable Mushroom-Based Building Materials”.

“We did not have very far to go, between throwing actual literal parades for our medical heroes and people threatening them with violence if their relatives are treated with anything other than Farmers’ Choice Premium Horse Paste, TM, because in truth hospital staff members have long been used to patients and those with patients getting violent, or making threats of violence, when doctors or nurses disagree with them about what their diagnosis should be or what drugs should be dispensed to fix it. There’s something particularly Republican about this new strain, though.”

Ichiro is a mensch. And a damn legend.

An illustrated history of dogs-playing-poker paintings.

RIP, Eddie Shames, WWII veteran who inspired one of the characters in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers”.

An update on the Fonzie memorabilia auction, which I have mentioned before.

“For starters, a Democratic vice president will be presiding over the Senate when the Electoral College votes are opened.”

“I catch him when he’s straying, like any brother would”.

“A field guide to understanding who is at the center of the Jan. 6 probe”. (TL;dr Lock them up.)

“As previously promised, we have no plans to start our own religion.”

Hot tip: Don’t invest in nuclear fusion startups.

“Three Myths About Pearl Harbor, According to a Military Historian”.

“The U.S. government has moved one step closer to turning science fiction into reality. On Wednesday, the federally funded National Academy of Sciences released a new report laying out six avenues to alter the oceans in an attempt to suck more carbon dioxide out of the sky and store it for centuries to come.”

“A newly approved eye drop hitting the market on Thursday could change the lives of millions of Americans with age-related blurred near vision, a condition affecting mostly people 40 and older.”

“Amy Coney Barrett Was Speaking In Anti-Abortion Code. Here’s What She Really Meant.”

RIP, Michael Nesmith, guitarist, singer, and songwriter for The Monkees. A great obit for him from Houston Chronicle writer Andrew Dansby is here.

“Prosperity gospel preachers should be presumed guilty unless proven innocent. We should always give them the doubt of their benefit.”

RIP, Dave Campbell, longtime journalist and founder of “Dave Campbell’s Texas Football” magazine, an annual must-read for college football fans.

Texas blog roundup for the week of December 6

It’s beginning to look a lot like the first Christmas season Texas Progressive Alliance roundup.

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Weekend link dump for December 5

“Every age group in Vermont has seen cases rise in the past couple of weeks, with one exception: senior citizens. They’ve actually seen cases fall, which points to the fact that boosters protect not just against hospitalization and death, but also against infection.”

Meet the leading polio anti-vaxxer, whose methods and general message will sound pretty familiar.

A brief primer on the evangelical roots of toxic masculinity.

Good for Elizabeth Berkley.

“They want to be conservative and cosmopolitan, to have it all and every way: to complain about being canceled, but on national television. To spew bigotry, but dress it up as free thought. To be anti-intellectual while running a university. To be contrarian, but never be contradicted.”

“Over the past year, however, the supplement rhetoric has taken a dark and ideological turn. Increasingly, support for supplements has become part of the basket of beliefs that anti-vaccine and COVID deniers expect their community to endorse.”

“This is a clear indicator of the success of the vaccine mandate, as 98.5% of the active force has had at least one shot.”

The y’all of it all.

See ya, Jack. Please stop tweeting about inflation and other things you know nothing about.

“In retrospect, have low-income workers decided they were less happy than they thought at the time? Are they sick and tired of pandemic working conditions and eager to switch jobs just for a change of scenery. Is it just a year’s worth of normal job restlessness all squashed into just a few months? Or what?”

RIP, Lee Elder, first Black golfer to play in the Masters.

“But they’re arguing that, in this exceptional case, that’s a good thing, because white patriarchal American evangelical culture, they believe, is the one culture uniquely capable of properly interpreting the Bible and representing orthodoxy without introducing any of the cultural distortions that will inevitably be introduced by, you know, women, foreigners, or non-white Americans.”

The cast for the Facts of Life live show looks pretty good. If they can get Jennifer Hudson to sing the theme song, I might even watch.

“I think there’s perhaps been some confusion regarding transmissibility vs immune escape in Omicron. The apparent rapid increase in frequency of Omicron in Gauteng does not mean that Omicron is necessarily more intrinsically transmissible than Delta.”

“Tuesday Was the Best Day for American Democracy in Months”.

RIP, Eddie Mekka, actor best known for playing Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa on Laverne and Shirley.

“Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 80 years ago not only ensured the United States’ entry into the second world war. It inadvertently but categorically changed baseball history.”

“The CIA is too polite to say this directly, but it has issued a report that shows that Donald Trump, while obsessing over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, abandoned one of his primary duties as president: to stay fully informed about potential threats to the nation.”

RIP, LaMarr Hoyt, Cy Young Award-winning pitcher for the Chicago White Sox.

“I have received a request to update my old chart showing the number of politically-related criminal convictions per administration. Happy to oblige”.

“Warning lights are blinking red. We are seeing January 6, the attempted stealing of an American presidency, just in slow motion right now. What we’re seeing right now is no longer about 2020. It’s about 2022 and 2024, making what was attempted on January 6 more feasible the next time around. So I believe we are at an incredibly urgent time in terms of things that we have to do, that we must do.”

Lock them up.

RIP, Bob Dole, longtime Senator and 1996 Presidential candidate.

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 29

The Texas Progressive Alliance has recovered from its tryptophan coma in time to bring you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for November 28

“The endless disappointment is painful to the character of Logan. The fact that the boys and the girls, they can’t see the game. It’s a game, but like all games, even when it’s a matter of life and death, it’s still a game. And they can’t see it.”

It’s a little hard to imagine not having Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Wire in the top five of your “best HBO shows” list, but then I guess that’s a testament to how deep the list is.

“The inescapable conclusion is that if this Republican Party wins back control of even one house of Congress, they will grind governing to a halt — and that, if they win the presidency again, democracy as we know it may well no longer exist.”

“Scientists have evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads explosively in white-tailed deer and that the virus is widespread in this deer population across the United States. Researchers say the findings are quite concerning and could have vast implications for the long-term course of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“We hold Congresswoman Boebert to a far lower standard. If we held her to the same standard as every other elected Republican and Democrat in Colorado – we’d be here nearly nightly chronicling the cruel, false, and bigoted things she says for attention and fundraising. This is not about politics, if politics is still about things like taxes, national security, health care, jobs, and public lands. This is about us as journalists recognizing that we’ll hold a politician accountable if they say something vile once, but not if they do it every day. Our double standard is unfair to all the elected officials in Colorado – Republicans and Democrats – who display human decency.”

“Fundamentally, I hope people learn to understand what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more than directions on how to access or download an image. The image is not stored on the blockchain and the majority of images I’ve seen are hosted on web 2.0 storage, which is likely to end up as 404, meaning the NFT has even less value.”

“Billingsley has just won the Reuben Award for outstanding cartoonist of the year. It is the 75th year of the National Cartoonists Society’s peer-voted prize — whose legendary recipients include Charles Schulz, Matt Groening, Rube Goldberg and Roz Chast — but 2021 marks the first time that it has been won by a Black creator, according to comics historians.” How it is that Morrie Turner didn’t win one, I have no idea.

“Despite all the talk about burnout and reevaluating priorities, the soaring quits rate has little to do with white-collar jobs. It’s more about lower-income people getting the chance to move up.”

“Indeed, the high quit rate is a red herring for understanding the sluggish return of workers to the US labor market following the COVID-19 pandemic, in our view. Instead, the true cause is a hesitation of workers to return to the labor force, due to influences tied to the pandemic such as infection risks, infection-related illness, and a lack of affordable childcare.”

RIP, Doug Jones, former All Star closer for the Astros.

“Executives are seizing a once in a generation opportunity to raise prices to match and in some cases outpace their own higher expenses, after decades of grinding down costs and prices.”

Bankrupt them. All of them.

RIP, Bill Virdon, former MLB player and manager of the Pirates, Yankees, Astros, and Expos.

You may not have known that you needed to see a video of Count von Count singing a Violent Femmes song, but you did. You’re welcome.

Lock them up.

“Everyone keeps talking about covid becoming endemic, but as I listen to the conversation, it’s becoming more & more clear to me that very few of you know what “endemic” means. So here’s a thread on how pandemics end.”

RIP, Stephen Sondheim, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist.

RIP, Curley Culp, Hall of Fame nose tackle for the KC Chiefs and Houston Oilers.

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 22

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 21

“For decades, U.S. cities have been closing or neglecting public restrooms, leaving millions with no place to go. Here’s how a lack of toilets became an American affliction.”

“Anyway that is what the University of Austin is. Now I would like to talk to you about how I plan to build a winning basketball program there.”

“There haven’t been enough school bus drivers nationwide for years. But it took a pandemic to make that shortage visible and painful to more than just the drivers themselves.” Better pay would definitely help here.

“What lessons should the U.S. and world learn from the rising Covid cases in parts of Europe, and especially the recent surge in a highly vaccinated country like Germany; and what risks and cautions could Germany’s recent experience foretell for the U.S.?”

RIP, Sam Huff, NFL Hall of Fame linebacker.

RIP, Petra Mayer, beloved books editor on NPR’s Culture desk.

Sesame Street‘s first Asian American Muppet character will be featured in upcoming See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special on Thanksgiving Day”. Don’t tell Ted Cruz.

Lock them up.

“That’s where the good news comes in: Antivaxxers realize that they’re losing the war. They’re attempting to adapt to a largely vaccinated world with ludicrous post-shot remedies. But the outcome is not terrible: more vaccinated people, taking very itchy borax baths.”

“Along these lines I wanted to point out an abiding feature of Trumpism and Bannon’s role in it: in this self-styled American ‘nationalist’ movement it’s surprisingly difficult to find … well, Americans.”

“Cleveland will have two teams called the Guardians. The Major League Baseball franchise and a local roller derby club have reached a resolution in a lawsuit filed over the use of the name Guardians, allowing both to continue using it.”

“Their house was a museum. Old photographs and honest-t0-God daguerrotypes hung on the walls — all at what was, to them, eye level. When I first saw their television, I didn’t know what it was. It looked to me like some kind of wood-finish jukebox, with unlabeled dials and a tiny, almost round screen. It still worked and they would warm it up every evening, twisting those dials to watch Al Roker and Sue Simmons on Live at Five in black and white. The thing still ran even though its tubes and other parts hadn’t been made since Philo Farnsworth had died. They had somehow become friends with an eccentric tinkerer who lived in Brooklyn and took the train out every month or so to have some tea and keep their ancient set in working order. He didn’t charge them — he just wanted the privilege of getting to handle such a thing.”

“The fact that nobody reading this has likely heard any of these names before is what makes them so fascinating. None of them has the star power of Miller or McEnany. They’ll likely struggle to raise the kind of legal defense fund money that’s being raised in support of other Trumpworld denizens. And, crucially, all of them had access to the exact same information as their bosses.”

I don’t know you well enough to know if you would want to click on a link to a story about a “mega-spider”, but it’s there for you if you want it.

“Whether we like it or not, there are numerous loopholes and vagaries in our method of choosing a president. None of them have been remedied since 2020. And there are now multiple examples for the next would-be coup leader to draw from when exploiting the flaws inherent in the electoral system. If anything, Republican-controlled states have been moving to codify those flaws for their own benefit, making it easier for legislatures to overturn the will of the people.”

“We’ve long known that Trump did the opposite of what public health experts advised. More concerned with his own standing in the polls than with the health and safety of the citizenry, Trump dismissed or minimized the threat and sent a mixed message on masks, social distancing, and testing. The new revelations from the committee underscore his immense negligence and dereliction of duty that led to the preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands.”

“A growing group of laborers is trailing hurricanes and wildfires the way farmworkers follow crops, contracting for big disaster-recovery firms, and facing exploitation, injury, and death.”

Meet the guy who created The Oregon Trail, and then basically gave it away. (Which he’s perfectly happy about, by the way.)

The Jamal Hinton/Wanda Dench Thanksgiving story is my new favorite holiday tradition.

RIP, Dave Frishberg, Grammy-nominated songwriter best known for his contributions to Schoolhouse Rock, including the classic “I’m Just A Bill”.

RIP, Bobby Collins, former Southern Miss and SMU football coach. He was the SMU coach at the time that school received the infamous “death penalty” for recruitment violations, though he himself was never sanctioned for them.

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 15

The Texas Progressive Alliance mourns the people we lost at Astroworld as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for November 14

Tis the season for misdirected package phishing scams, often sent as text messages. Don’t fall for them!

“The Man Who Called Bullshit on Uber”.

Have you been longing to have movie theater popcorn to eat while watching movies at home? Well, now you can get it.

RIP, JoAnna Cameron, actor best known for The Secrets of Isis, the first woman to star in a live-action TV superhero show.

“The loss of child care drove out college-educated moms who were in jobs where telework was an option.”

Oh, just R2D2 and C3PO encouraging kids to get vaccinated back in 1978.

“There’s an underlying assumption in burnout discussions: that it can always be remedied with some notion of self-care. What’s never spoken is that burnout is the remnant of a fire. I’ve never seen a piece of charred wood and thought that some time by itself and some water will restore it to its former state. Burning can cause irreparable damage, and I haven’t heard anyone admit that about becoming burned out.”

“One key to arguing that the Critical Race Theory discussion is on the level is pretending these tweets never happened”.

“Firearms make every call to the police more risky, but also make officers and the public perceive every situation as inherently more risky. This helps explain not just how cops themselves behave but why police are involved in so many different calls to begin with, from murders to wellness checks. Armed officials ended up in charge of so many areas of society in part because the US has more guns and sees more deadly violence than its peers.”

RIP, Dean Stockwell, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor known for “Married to the Mob”, “Quantum Leap”, and lots more.

Four words: Stranger Things breakfast cereal. You’re welcome.

“So is there really a shortage of truckers? Maybe, but I trust wage data a whole lot more than I trust either anecdotes or claims from industry associations. If real wages are going down, both in absolute and relative terms, there’s no shortage. It’s all but impossible.”

“Palm facing outward, other fingers curled around the thumb. This simple gesture — resembling a closed fist — led to the recent rescue of a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing from North Carolina days before.”

RIP, Max Cleland, former US Senator, Veterans Administration leader, and war hero.

RIP, Richard Kyanka, founder of Internet forum Something Awful.

RIP, Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founder of The Moody Blues.

Lock him up.

“Just a few weeks before advising the White House on Donald Trump’s efforts to steal a second term as president, conservative lawyer John Eastman took part in an election simulation that imagined it would be left-wingers, not Trump supporters, attempting to destabilize the country through violence.”

RIP, Gavan O’Herlihy, actor best known for playing Chuck Cunningham on Happy Days.

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 8

The Texas Progressive Alliance is in the best shape of its life heading into candidate filing season as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for November 7

Five thousand Saturdays of the Grand Ole Opry.

“Years ago, someone mistakenly put an image of me on a public domain site, and now apparently I am on products all around the world.”

“The Defamation Suits That Could Help Put an End to Trump’s Big Lie”.

“National Advocates for Pregnant Women painted a grim picture of pregnant people increasingly being prosecuted around the country for a miscarriage.”

“That’s a weid way to spell justice.”

Emergency rooms around the country are now overflowing with the non-COVID patients who had been delaying treatment because they couldn’t get it before due to all of the COVID patients.

“But then the polarization of death kicks in as COVID spreads everywhere and county-level responses (both individual and governmental) start to vary. By now, it’s hard not to think that these gaps are going to continue to widen, given where resistance to vaccines is highest.”

“By violating his legal duty to do what he could to end the unlawful occupation of the Capitol, Trump became an accomplice to that crime. He is subject to the same punishment as the rioters who entered the building.”

The Trojan Source bug is another thing to keep an eye on.

RIP, Jerry Remy, former Red Sox player and longtime broadcaster.

“The Casual Sexism Displayed at SCOTUS as the Justices Debated the Future of Abortion Rights”.

I’m sorry, but unless your girlfriend’s pet monkey bit a child on Halloween, you have nothing to complain about.

Would you like to own one of Fonzie’s leather jackets? Well, now you can.

“The reality is that if you live in the Eastern time zone, World Series games have ended after your kid’s bedtime for close to 50 years.”

How Puerto Rico became the best-vaccinated place in the US.

“if your dog has a costume with arms attached, please deposit them in this thread”

In less than two years, more people in the US have died from COVID than they have in almost 40 years of AIDS.

RIP, Ronnie Wilson, co-founder of The Gap Band.

“The Tigers haven’t won a World Series since that magical year of 1984. Yet somehow some of the best players of the last 12 or so years have come from the Tigers’ organization.”

RIP, Margaret Shulock, cartoonist who contributed to “Six Chix” and “Snuffy Smith” and also worked on “Apartment 3G”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 1

The Texas Progressive Alliance is now looking ahead to candidate filing season as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 31

“There’s one less frequently discussed way in which Substack actually might be endangering democracy: It’s become a conduit for public disinformation during a historic pandemic.”

“In six out of seven countries — all but Germany — Tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group.”

“I have (God help me) read a huge amount of this coverage and the thing that strikes me, over and over again, is the sheer sameness of it. Thousands upon thousands of words dedicated to the same arguments, the same low-stakes anecdotes, the same tortured historical analogies. Other than slight tweaks to the headlines, few of these stories even attempt to offer any original reporting or perspective.”

What Facebook knew about how it radicalized users”.

“Pregnant women and new mothers face a barrage of anti-vaccine fearmongering that would be very much worth a look. Black people have generations of reasons to distrust health care providers, and those reasons continue today. There’s the pernicious influence of Fox News and Facebook. If people are so fearful, where is that coming from? But reporters don’t seem to be asking that, or reporting it if they do.”

“We all have things we don’t like about law enforcement in this country. That crimes often don’t get investigated for budgetary reasons is a big one of mine.”

“The US has more jobs than it can fill. Fixing the immigration system could boost the economy.” There are plenty of other reasons to fix the immigration system, but for those of you that are fixated on the economy and the Great Resignation and all that, this is for you.

“Kellogg’s faces $5 million lawsuit for not having enough strawberries in its Pop-Tarts”.

I’m struggling to match my values to my employment here. I came here hoping to effect change and improve society, but all I’ve seen is atrophy and abdication of responsibility.”

How is it possible that in the year of our damn Lord 2021, electric shock devices are still being used as a means to discipline school children? Children with disabilities, in this case, mostly children of color. What the actual fuck?

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee’s process for approving the COVID vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds but were afraid to ask.

RIP, Mort Sahl, groundbreaking comedian who pioneered the style of topical humor in standup.

Mandates work.

Any article that contains a reference to “an arcane feature of Senate tradition” is almost certainly guaranteed to make you want to bang your head against a wall.

“Based on the lowest and highest point estimates, cities that used lead pipes had between 14 and 36 percent higher homicide rates than cities that did not.”

Let’s do right by Claudette Colvin.

“A roller derby team that has called itself the Cleveland Guardians since 2013 sued the city’s Major League Baseball team in federal court in Cleveland on Wednesday alleging that the switch from Indians to Guardians infringes on its trademark.”

Facebook is now Meta. Because “Hellscape” didn’t focus group too well, I guess. And no, I don’t want to know what the Metaverse is.

“Former President Donald Trump’s new TRUTH social network is in violation of the software license it’s built on and must get in compliance, the holder of the license demanded this week.”

RIP, Arnold Hano, baseball journalist and author, best known for the book “A Day in the Bleachers”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 25

The Texas Progressive Alliance notes a freshness to the air now that the Lege is adjourned. That’s it, that’s the intro, now here’s the weekly roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 24

“Christchurch, New Zealand has just made a terrible mistake. It has fired its official city wizard, a man named Ian Brackenbury Channell, and now finds itself undefended against attacks by mystical armies of dragons, goblins, and, most dangerous of all, outraged bands of rogue magicians led by Brackenbury Channell himself.”

“According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 228 officers have been killed by COVID-19 in 2021, and 47 have been killed by gunfire. In 2020, the numbers were 245 and 45.”

RIP, Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and first Black chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell died of COVID despite being fully vaccinated, and that is because as a person with a blood cancer, he was especially vulnerable to the disease.

A thread about breakthrough infections.

RIP, Betty Lynn, actor best known for The Andy Griffith Show. Mark Evanier was a friend and former neighbor of hers, and he has two items about her if you want to know more.

“What would religious leaders do if aliens showed up?”

“While the overlap of left-wing, magazine-friendly wellness and far-right conspiracy theories might initially sound surprising, the similarities in cultures, in ways of thinking – the questioning of authority, of alternative medicines, the distrust of institutions– are clear. But something is happening, accelerated by the pandemic – the former is becoming a mainstream entry point into the latter. An entry point that can be found everywhere from a community garden to the beauty aisle at a big Tesco. Part of what makes a successful influencer is the ability to compel their followers to trust them, and they do that by sharing their lives, their homes, their diets, their concerns. It’s become clear, both by the products they buy and the choices they make, that many people trust their influencers more than their own doctor.”

“In July 2021, according to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report, there were 834 incidents of “mishandled” wheelchairs and scooters of passengers transported by US airlines. An average of 28 a day. But the major airlines have adopted very few policies for the carrying of wheelchairs”.

“Have you signed up for Netflix, Disney Plus or HBO Max just to watch one new show or movie — then canceled for a few months until the next must-see thing comes out?” It’s called “churn and burn”, and it’s mostly done by younger people.

“Facebook said on Wednesday it will start banning […] profiles, pages, groups and events that sexualize public figures — which includes celebrities, journalists, politicians and content creators. The content covers photoshopped images, degrading images or drawings and any otherwise degrading content “depicting individuals in the process of bodily functions””.

“For a certain kind of person, Rolovich will become an avatar for personal choice and fighting back against government overreach. Stupid as his decision to fritter away a $3 million salary and a Power Five coaching job is, it will look to some like principle. But Rolovich is not even a good standard-bearer for the anti-vaccine movement, if such a thing can exist, nor has he asked to be made one. Rolovich is something a lot simpler: He is the coaching profession’s most high-profile failure of the entire pandemic, in ways that go beyond not getting the shot. He is also a selfish coward, in ways that exceed any health risks he poses by not getting vaccinated.”

“Survey finds 22% of scientists who do media interviews about COVID get violent threats“.

“Pet Cloning Is Way More Advanced Than You Thought”.

From the If You Snooze, You Lose department.

“TMTG isn’t a social media platform. It’s a scam. Trump does not need another social media platform. He needs suckers willing to buy stock. And Trump has always been very, very good at locating suckers.”

“‘Prayer in schools’ is almost never about prayer in schools”.

RIP, Peter Scolari, versatile Emmy-winning actor known for Bosom Buddies, Newhart, and a whole lot more.

Lock him up.

“Here’s How a Prop Gun Using Blanks Can Still Fire a Fatal Shot”.

“It seems that [Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG)] lifted the code for TRUTH Media without properly crediting the code’s author. And the author is already making noises about taking Trump to court.”

“Trolling is a way of trying to take back a piece of what misogynists feel women owe them, which is attention. If they can’t force you to be a subservient housewife, they can at least force you to be annoyed, upset, even afraid. It makes shitty men feel powerful.”

“Trolling is a way of trying to take back a piece of what misogynists feel women owe them, which is attention. If they can’t force you to be a subservient housewife, they can at least force you to be annoyed, upset, even afraid. It makes shitty men feel powerful.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 18

The Texas Progressive Alliance is glad for a little fall in the air as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 17

“Treat Trump Like the Common Perp He Is”.

“One striking feature of the homicide increase from 2019 to 2020 is how uniform and pervasive it was: it rose in big cities and rural areas, in more conservative and more liberal cities, as well as in places with progressive prosecutors and in those without. The timing of the homicide increase also defies any sort of simple explanation. When looking at city-specific data, it’s clear that some cities saw homicides rise at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, others around the time of George Floyd’s murder, others later in the year, and still others simply had higher levels of lethal violence right from the start; there is no clear, single story about what happened.”

“Idaho’s Palace Coup Is Like Game of Thrones If It Were Produced by OAN”.

“Children facing orphanhood as a result of COVID is a hidden, global pandemic.”

“People’s pandemic views aren’t just preferences. They’ve evolved to fundamental beliefs. And when that happens, social psychologists say, people are more likely to accept incivility to achieve what they want.”

Less Manchin and Sinema, more Jon Tester, please.

“In a first-of-its-kind victory for the right-to-repair movement, Microsoft has agreed to take concrete steps to facilitate the independent repair of its devices following pressure from its shareholders.”

“Gen X’s Wealth Has Gone Up 50% During the Pandemic”.

RIP, Alan Kalter, announcer for The Late Show With David Letterman.

“The Difference Between Captions and Subtitles (and Why It Matters for Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’)”.

RIP, Ruthie Thompson, Disney Legend and longtime animator who got her start on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

“As so many have explained over recent years, the issue is not in most cases that the prestige DC journalists are Republicans, let alone Trumpers. It is that the default assumption is that Republicans will light fires and Democrats will put them out. That is a great boon to Republican arson and legislative terrorism because as the default assumptions they cease to be news.”

President Biden is connected to the Real Housewives universe. I got nothin’.

“The pace of the economic recovery hinges in part on workers returning to jobs that involve dealing with an unpredictable public. But many of those workers say increasingly combative customers — angry about everything from long wait times to mask mandates — have prompted them to quit.”

RIP, Paddy Moloney, Irish folk music legend and co-founder of The Chieftains.

“There’s a super important story we’re not paying enough, or the right kind of, attention to. It’s sort of related to last week’s Facebook/Instagram disclosures but it goes well beyond that: A mental health crisis among America’s youth, aged 10-24.”

“Alito’s speech perfectly encapsulated the new imperious attitude of the Court’s right-wing majority, which wants to act politically without being seen as political, and expects the public to silently acquiesce to its every directive without scrutiny, criticism, or protest.”

“Arresting violent would-be terrorists is the very premise of this nation’s many, many SWAT teams. It was the reason for slapping them together in the first place, after pro-gun advocates succeeded in creating a new generation of criminals decked out in equipment capable of murdering dozens in the span of a minute.”

RIP, Ray Fosse, longtime MLB catcher and broadcaster.

“Football, and the NFL in particular, doesn’t care about employing well-rounded, worldly individuals. It cares only about winning football games. Which is why we’ve all laughed at the league’s attempts to make up for decades of racism and sexism and homophobia with a few token hires and a few end-zone slogans. The entire league is broken because of the people who run it.”

“Some go-to attorneys have been spooked by Trump’s reputation for sometimes not paying as a client, according to several people familiar with conservative legal circles. Others watched closely as lawyers fled Trump’s prior teams, frustrated by him as a client or facing their own ethical predicaments. Others still want themselves and their firms to stay far away from Trump’s insistence that the election was stolen.”

This, among many other things, is not good cyber security practice.

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 11

The Texas Progressive Alliance is dining al fresco as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 10

“11 Netflix Settings Everyone Should Know About”.

“It’s one thing to sell out for a $200,000 car, it’s another to do it for a fast casual milkshake.”

“Why the Texas Abortion Law May Galvanize Young Women Politically Like Never Before”.

“What the Media Gets Wrong About Last Year’s Uptick In Murders”.

The science of Fat Bear Week.

“On the one hand, acting is acting—it shouldn’t require perfect alignment with the character you’re playing. On the other hand, the fact that it keeps happening when Hollywood doesn’t exactly suffer from a lack of Jewish actors shows that something is off. It seems that the idea of letting an actual Jewish actress interpret a Jewish role is pushing a cultural boundary we didn’t realize was still there.”

“Put more prosaically: Does Donald Trump have a perp walk and a prison cell in his future?”

“I’m going to take a handful of recent articles that I felt badly missed the mark, and offer alternative ledes or nut graphs that I think do a better job of telling the truer story.”

“Golden State Warriors’ forward Andrew Wiggins is finally vaccinated.”

Cancel culture really is running amuck.

“Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Literally Broke the Internet in South Korea”.

“Women who have miscarried know first-hand that a pre-term fetus is not a baby, we must use our voices and our standing as mothers to protect abortion access”.

“When we realized tobacco companies were hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action. I implore you to do the same here.”

“What’s so damaging about Facebook is that there’s no willfully bad person doing this. That’s just what the product is.”

“I’m a professor of art crime. To teach my students about the varieties of cultural heritage crime, like forgery, fraud, and looting, I’ve spent decades researching cases from throughout history and around the world. Which, frankly, was a big waste of time. They could have learned nearly everything about heritage crime by looking at what the Museum of the Bible has been caught doing in the past few years.”

Don’t anger Taylor Swift fans. Take it from the father of a devout Swiftie on this.

Lock them up.

RIP, Dr. Robert Grossman, pioneering Houston neurosurgeon who as a young resident examined the fatal head wound of President John F. Kennedy.

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 4

The Texas Progressive Alliance has added just a touch of pumpkin spice to this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for October 3

“But in the meantime, the simple story that unemployment insurance was the gravitational force pinning down the labor market and preventing a boom doesn’t seem to have panned out. And as for the states that decided to cut off aid early? That decision is looking increasingly pointless and cruel.”

“Unlike their STEM peers, Black and white humanities graduates earn about the same. How did that happen?”

“The shock of the explosion over Tall el-Hammam was enough to level the city, flattening the palace and surrounding walls and mudbrick structures”. See also: “The proposed airburst was larger than the 1908 explosion over Tunguska, Russia, where a ~ 50-m-wide bolide detonated with ~ 1000× more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.” The Slacktivist gives you some historical and Biblical context for all this, and also a reason to be a little skeptical of the whole thing.

“A system like this rewards the best liars, the most sophisticated liars, or the people who have access to people willing to help them manipulate it.”

“Now, more than 10 months after the election, the country knows of at least five ways in which Trump attempted to retain power despite his defeat.”

“Anti-vaccine Facebook groups have a new message for their community members: Don’t go to the emergency room, and get your loved ones out of intensive care units.”

“It might seem like hyperbole to put LuLaRoe in the same category as a dangerous group like NXIVM — after all, MLM members are not getting their flesh seared with their leaders’ initials, nor are they forced to move to a rural commune in the woods. But “cults” don’t all wear the same cloak, and even so-called “normal” people can find themselves inveigled by one.”

RIP, Sissy Farenthold, Texas Democratic and progressive icon.

“Ignorance, by itself, is not bad faith — but persistence in ignorance is. And as more and more stories like these continue to make their way into the public domain, the persistence of the former president’s supporters in their ignorance ought to be called out for what it is: it’s their bad faith, too.”

“William Shatner’s Actually Pulling A Captain Kirk And Heading To Space On A Bezos Ship”.

I’m not sure we needed a Night Court sequel, but if it has John Larroquette in it, it can’t be too bad.

“It’s the essence of GOP grievance politics aimed squarely at the forehead of civic democracy.”

“This is the way forward. While masking and other precautions are very important until vaccination rates rise and daily case rates drop dramatically, the U.S. needs more people vaccinated to lower the rates of serious illness and death and clear out ICUs. Even so, a tiny minority of people will refuse, but for many more people who were genuinely just hesitating and being told it’s vaccination or your job, these requirements will work. They’re working already.”

RIP, Tommy Kirk, Disney star best known for Old Yeller.

“Instead of learning from those mistakes as we enter the Biden era, the new Times initiative seems to double down on its lost-cause obsession with wooing angry conservatives, like John Cusack holding up that boombox. Why?”

“The best you can say about this idiotic scheme is that it seems to be risk-free for Miami.”

Wait, Hannah Waddingham from “Ted Lasso” was Septa Unella from “Game of Thrones”, and she got to keep the “Shame!” bell? Mind blown.

It’s been Fat Bear Week, y’all. Meet the bears that make the week.

“Infowars host Alex Jones has lost two of several lawsuits filed against him by relatives of Sandy Hook victims after he routinely failed to comply with requests to produce documents related to his involvement in spreading lies about the deadly shooting.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 27

The Texas Progressive Alliance did not consult with Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend in the making of this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for September 26

“Even before the thefts started, the city’s 65,000 delivery workers had tolerated so much: the fluctuating pay, the lengthening routes, the relentless time pressure enforced by mercurial software, the deadly carelessness of drivers, the pouring rain and brutal heat, and the indignity of pissing behind a dumpster because the restaurant that depends on you refuses to let you use its restroom. And every day there were the trivially small items people ordered and the paltry tips they gave — all while calling you a hero and avoiding eye contact.”

“Our analysis of HHS and CDC data indicates there were 32,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in June, 68,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in July, and another 187,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations among unvaccinated adults in the U.S. in August, for a total of 287,000 across the three months. We explain more on how we arrived at these numbers below. If each of these preventable hospitalizations cost roughly $20,000, on average, that would mean these largely avoidable hospitalizations have already cost billions of dollars since the beginning of June.”

“Anyone who’d rather have COVID-19 than get vaccinated is taking two gambles: that immunity will stick around, and that symptoms won’t.”

RIP, Larry Tesler, the computer scientist who invented copy and paste.

“The Covid-driven surge in car deaths shouldn’t obscure what was already a disquieting fact before the pandemic: American automotive deaths — both of pedestrians and of people in cars — are a public health emergency.”

“The dead hand of the Trump administration already controls much of the U.S. government through the federal judiciary. Now it is reaching into other nations, too.”

“The GOP intransigence is fiercely motivating Democrats to vote even in off-year and special elections, even as Republicans and their conservative infotainment allies are functionally killing and incapacitating literally thousands of their own voters almost every day, including and especially the ones so politically engaged and devoted to the cause that they’re willing to risk death rather than wear a mask or get a shot.”

RIP, Sarah Dash, R&B singer and actress, co-founder of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles and LaBelle.

“Activision Blizzard now faces a federal investigation into how the company has handled employee allegations of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. The company’s workplace environment has faced public scrutiny since California authorities filed suit to prosecute similar claims back in July.”

“The goal on January 6 was to have Mike Pence declare Trump the winner of the election by simply leaving out seven states. And if anyone objected to that tactic, there was a backup plan for Pence to hand Trump the election through a second route.” Honestly, a whole lot of people should be facing jail time for this.

“Amazon is actively lobbying the United States government to federally legalize cannabis“.

“Cassandra Peterson — best known to the world as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark — released her new memoir Yours Cruelly, Elvira today and, in the process, came out by revealing her 19-year relationship with another woman, Teresa “T” Wierson.”

RIP, Willie Garson, actor best known for Sex and the City and White Collar.

RIP, Peter Palmer, stage and screen actor who originated the role of L’il Abner on Broadway. Mark Evanier has a nice remembrance of him.

“Why are more men dying from COVID? It’s a complicated story of nature vs. nurture, researchers say.”

“Fact: The unvaccinated phenomenon in America represents the story of Covid today. But the press tip-toes around it, pretending it’s normal for millions of Americans to risk death by refusing to take a vaccine that’s been administered billions of times worldwide.”

RIP, Melvin Van Peebles, groundbreaking filmmaker, actor, writer, and composer.

“As opposition to vaccines becomes a more partisan issue, however, progressives who are vaccine-hesitant will face a decision. Do they remain on the left, even as the politics around the conspiracy theories they embrace lead them out of their ideological comfort zones? Or do they dispense with progressivism in favor of a view of the world that holds that public health is subordinate to personal choice?”

“The pandemic has been a vast natural experiment to determine whether there are people who would literally rather die than admit they were wrong about politics. I would have speculated ahead of time that such people exist, and in significant numbers. But now we know for sure.”