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Texas blog roundup for the week of September 13

The Texas Progressive Alliance honors the memory of those who died on 9/11/01 as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for September 12

“We condemn you to Websites From Hell, an archive of the internet’s ugliest websites”.

Are you old enough to remember the McDonaldland character Grimace? Then do not read this, whatever you do. You don’t want to know.

“A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodice of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare.”

“Approximately two million years after our ancestors first learned to move about the planet with an upright gait, whether or not walking places is good or bad has become yet another dividing line in the American culture wars.”

I’m a longtime fan of The Amazing Race, and so I really enjoyed this oral history of its first season. I didn’t start watching it until a few seasons in so this was all new to me, but looking back 20 years later it was an incredible feat of television, and it’s still a terrific show.

RIP, Tunch Ilkin, former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and longtime broadcaster.

RIP, Michael K. Williams, actor and five-time Emmy nominee best known for his role as Omar Little on The Wire.

RIP, Sam Cunningham, College Football Hall of Fame running back and leading rusher for the New England Patriots who is widely recognized for helping speed up the process of integration in football programs across the South.

RIP, Larry Winters, longtime volunteer and DJ at KPFT who created the “Spare Change” show.

RIP, Irma Kalish, pioneering writer and producer for television.

Did anyone ask for another season of 24?

“The scolds claim to care about social deprivation and learning loss and the developmental concerns of kids being out of school. If that’s the case, they should care about things that might cause classrooms or schools to close at unpredictable intervals, causing a loss of stability to every single child affected. Again: There’s that 6.5% of the kids in Mississippi’s public schools who have already quarantined. Who wants to step up and claim that’s less disruptive to their lives than wearing masks in school would be?”

Along those lines

“The evolution of education in the United States is more complicated than you think”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of September 5

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with the abortion providers and patients of Texas as it brings you this week’s rounup.

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Weekend link dump for September 5

“Baseball For All’s message to women and girls: You don’t have to stop playing the game you love”.

“The ideal host for Jeopardy! should embody what the show means to its viewership: a passion for knowledge and a respect for a diverse community. Maybe the host would also reflect that diversity in order to show that it’s not just white males who can be the gatekeepers to these values. What’s especially shocking is that the producers of a show that is about knowledge demonstrated a substantial lack of awareness of recent cultural history and the coming of age our institutions — from government to the academy to entertainment — have been going through.”

In the meantime, the ideal executive producer of Jeopardy! will not be Mike Richards. Don’t piss off the former champions and hardcore fans, that’s the lesson to be learned from all this.

“Are You Entitled to Privacy Over Your Pee and Poop?”

“The internet doesn’t turn people into assholes so much as it acts as a massive megaphone for existing ones, according to work by researchers at Aarhus University.”

The penis is just another organ that is at risk due to COVID-related blood clotting.”.

“So that’s how we ended up here. Ivermectin fans on Facebook, complaining about wait times and high drug prices, got fed up with America’s Frontline Doctors, who sold them conspiracy and the fake cure. So they went to the feed store, to eat the horse goo, because it’s cheaper.”

RIP, Ed Asner, beloved actor and seven-time Emmy winner. Here are two great stories about him.

“As a full-time hospitalist for the last year and a half, I — together with my colleagues — have personally taken care of hundreds of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We are also nine months into vaccinating about half of Texas. You know how many hospitalized patients I’ve personally cared for with serious side effects from the vaccine? Zero.”

“Nicole Carroll said there is “no higher calling in journalism than to give people accurate information to help them make decisions that can save lives.” That’s a vision of journalism oddly drained of its inherent moral character. “Accurate information” is not the same thing as “the truth.””

Some Mister Rogers trivia, to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of the show.

“People in the crisis-management field have made peace with blanket one-size-fits-all policies that some individuals don’t like. When a ship is going down, passengers aren’t given the luxury of quibbling with the color or design of the life vest, and they can’t dither forever about whether to put one on or not. Emergencies invariably force people to make some choices that they might not consider ideal, but asking everyone to get vaccinated against a potentially lethal virus is not a big imposition.”

“Rather than work with him to vaccinate the country, Biden’s Republican opposition has, with only a few exceptions, done everything in its power to politicize the vaccine and make refusal to cooperate a test of partisan loyalty. The party is, for all practical purposes, pro-Covid. If it’s sincere, it is monstrous. And if it’s not, it is an unbelievably cynical and nihilistic strategy. Unfortunately for both Biden and the country, it appears to be working.”

“But no matter her sexuality, the Green M&M’s eroticism persists, adding a little frisson of horniness to the humble candy bowl.”

Boy, that cancel culture sure is something, isn’t it?

“Steven Petrow’s Advice On Stupid Things Not to Do When You Get Older”.

“Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission is also tired of waiting for their damn McFlurry.”

“The current [Supreme] Court is deeply corrupted and corrupt. The lawful remedy is to create new seats on the Court to break its power. The lawful solution to overruling Roe is to take current precedent as of today and enact it as law.”

RIP, Carolyn Shoemaker, comet hunter extraordinaire who co-discovered the Shoemaker-Levy Comet.

“The most-cited study promoting ivermectin may have been completely fabricated“.

RIP, Willard Scott, beloved longtime weatherman for The Today Show.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 30

The Texas Progressive Alliance is ringing all the bells and sounding all the alarms for the need for federal voting rights legislation as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 29

“The dinosaur-killing asteroid took a back road to Earth.”

An interview with Jim DeRogatis, the reporter who’s been telling us all what a sleazeball R. Kelly is for the last 20 years.

More about now-former Jeopardy! host Mike Richards and his unsavory past, with further details that couldn’t fit into the story here. Yeah, maybe Levar Burton would have been a better choice.

A look at MLB mascots through history.

Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera, the first Venezuelan-born player in MLB to hit 500 home runs.

“What happened, and what can be learned about the vaccine’s impact on a highly vaccinated country? Here are six lessons learned — and one looming question for the future of the pandemic.”

RIP, Don Everly, rock and roll pioneer and elder half of The Everly Brothers.

Why wildfires have gotten so much worse lately.

RIP, Gregg Barrios, playwright, poet, journalist.

“Despite a declining growth rate and data collection complications related to the Coronavirus pandemic, the six long-term trends of American population migration continued unabated. Gentrification and urban renewal continue to make cities attractive for young professionals. Cheap property, spacious homes, quality schools, and ample opportunity continues to attract people from all backgrounds and livelihoods to the expanding suburbs. Retirees continue to seek relaxation in the Sun Belt and scenic natural communities. Rural and post-Industrial America continues to decline as both the young and the old seek better lives in distant communities. African Americans continue to leave the blighted, post-industrial Midwest and impoverished Black Belt rural areas for southern cities teeming with opportunity. The overall population continues to grow less White, more diverse, and more intermingled.”

“The Seattle Storm, the 2020 WNBA champions, met with President Joe Biden on Monday, becoming the first professional basketball team since 2016 to visit the White House.”

“NEW: in the last couple of weeks there have a *lot* of new studies out assessing vaccine efficacy, many of which have touched on the question of waning immunity. Unsurprisingly, these have prompted a *lot* of questions. Time for a thread to summarise what we do and don’t know:”

RIP, Charlie Watts, legendary longtime drummer for The Rolling Stones.

RIP, Micki Grant, playwright and actor who was the first woman to write both the music and lyrics to a Broadway musical and the first Black actor to become a contract player on a daytime soap opera.

RIP, Brian Travers, saxophonist and founding member of UB40.

“A discovery made during a police raid has been identified as the most complete fossil of a flying reptile from Brazil. The remains revealed new information about tapejarids, or pterosaurs that soared across the skies during the Early Cretaceous period between 100.5 million and 145 million years ago.”

“It is one thing to be exhausted, depleted, and fearful after 18 months of a pandemic, brutal racial injustice, climate panic, and global political instability. It is quite another thing to be expected to embody pitch-perfect emotional responses to each one of those things instantaneously online.”

“It is one thing to be exhausted, depleted, and fearful after 18 months of a pandemic, brutal racial injustice, climate panic, and global political instability. It is quite another thing to be expected to embody pitch-perfect emotional responses to each one of those things instantaneously online.”

This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process. It is one thing to take on the charge of vindicating rights associated with an allegedly fraudulent election. It is another to take on the charge of deceiving a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were infringed, without regard to whether any laws or rights were in fact violated. This is what happened here.”

Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody are two of the best people on the planet.

“This is probably the most comprehensive account of Jan. 6 in terms of civil cases. It spans from the former president to militants around him to his campaign supporters.”

“Remembering the Origins of the United States’ 20 Year War in Afghanistan”.

“This is why monoclonals are a linear tool in an exponential fight”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 23

The Texas Progressive Alliance is not happy there’s a quorum at the Legislature but is resigned to move on to the next stage of the fight as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 22

“I cannot emphasize enough what an emergency this is. Public servants, health care workers, ordinary citizens–the very fabric of our society and our democracy–are under attack by crazed conspiracy theorists and bad actors looking to make a buck on division and hate.”

“A few things still need to happen before [COVID] shots can be authorized for Americans younger than 12.”

“The former president only received about 19 percent of his 74 million votes from counties with shrinking populations, according to Muro and his team’s analysis. Overall, the counties where he won added 7.8 million people during the previous decade. But Biden counties nearly doubled that total, expanding by 14.9 million individuals. Blue America is driving America’s population growth.”

“[T]he Democrats are trying to accomplish something nobody has ever accomplished, let alone attempted, on the House and Senate floors: a single piece of legislation designed to overhaul the social contract on a disparate array of fronts.”

The NFL is a good example of how and why vaccine mandates work.

“We need to talk about the pediatric bed situation in the USA. Because things are going to get really bad, real fast, unless people doing things to stop it.”

“There’s a growing consensus among health experts: Covid-19 may never go away. We’ll likely always have some coronavirus out there, infecting people and, hopefully only in rare cases, getting them seriously ill. The realistic goal is to defang the virus — make it less deadly — not eliminate it entirely.”

“Modernizing the Electoral Count Act (“ECA”) is the fix most likely to stop an effort to overturn the results of a future election that can receive bipartisan support.”

Rachel Maddow >> OANN.

“The Republican-led Maricopa County Board of Supervisors filed a financial claim Wednesday seeking $2.8 million from the GOP-led Arizona State Senate for the cost of replacing elections equipment compromised during the Republicans’ sham audit.”

“The National Association of Secretaries of State approved a series of recommendations for audits aimed at combating Arizona-style, slapdash reviews of the 2020 election and future races.”

Some SFF/F book recommendations, if you need some new reading.

“If you believe the pandemic is almost over and you can ride it out, without getting vaccinated, you could not be more wrong. This virus will find you.”

“The sentencing for one of the January 6 US Capitol rioters was abruptly postponed Wednesday after new videos emerged of the man allegedly fighting with police, an unexpected twist in the case because prosecutors hadn’t previously accused him of committing violence that day.”

“Instead, on the eve of a once-in-a-generation federal investment in infrastructure, the environmental review process for big projects is totally unfit for the task at hand. Transportation is the country’s largest source of carbon emissions, but ideas that aim to reduce dependence on planes, cars, and trucks have even more trouble gaining environmental approval than highways. The result: delays and high costs that perpetuate the dominance of ice cap–melting SUVs in American transportation policy.”

Where are the anti-war voices?

Mike Richards is officially out as the new Jeopardy! host, and not a minute too soon.

RIP, Bill Freehan, 11-time All Star catcher for the Detroit Tigers.

RIP, Tom T. Hall, country singer/songwriter who wrote “Harper Valley PTA”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 16

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with its on the lam members of the State House as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 15

“So it goes for many media companies, at a loss for revenue and drooling over the profit potential in sports betting. As gambling swallows up sports media, anyone pausing to consider editorial conflicts (or, in the case of bets based on nonpublic information, possible law-breaking) might feel left out.”

“Indonesia says ‘Jurassic Park’ project on track despite UNESCO warnings”. There’s no way this ends well, is there?

“COVID-19 accounts for nearly half of all police deaths” in 2021 so far.

There is a huge uptick in the request for vaccines. We’re back almost to how we were when the vaccine first came out.”

“If Americans truly wish to protect all children (and adults) from kidnapping, exploitation, and other forms of sexual and physical harm, we must recognize that cases like Johnny Gosch’s and Eugene Martin’s are extremely rare. Stranger abduction and exploitation understandably terrify parents and other family and community members in acute ways, yet family members and acquaintances are far more likely to perpetrate harm against children.”

“My reaction to the Dick Farrels of the world is: I’m sorry their friends lost a friend, and I’m sorry for all the people they fed bullshit to who are currently in danger of contracting a dangerous but easily preventable virus because he encouraged them not to protect themselves with a simple, safe and efficient vaccine. If his death and deathbed conversion to the efficacy of vaccines serves as a useful rebuttal to all his previous bullshit on the subject, so much the better. Beyond that, I wouldn’t have wished him dead, and I’m glad he’s no longer able to tell other people not to get vaccinated. It’s too bad the former was required for the latter, but, well. Here we are. If it takes more deaths like his for it to sink in, at least they will not be entirely useless deaths. This is about as kindly as I can put that.”

Pitchers really, really can’t hit. That’s all you need to know.

RIP, Lauryn Farris, leading voice for transgender advocacy in San Antonio.

“The audacity of the former President’s attempts to subvert the law by weaponizing the Justice Department not only underscores how close the United States came to a full blown constitutional crisis this year. It also emphasizes that any attempt by Trump to use a war chest already worth $100 million to try to recapture the White House in 2024 would represent a mortal threat to democracy and the rule of law from a leader who was undeterred even by his own first impeachment.”

This is the core of good climate policy: pushing fossil fuels off the grid over the next decade and replacing them with zero-carbon energy.”

RIP, Tony Esposito, Hall of Fame goalie for the Chicago NHL team.

“Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said state and local governments should require teachers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.”

“Newsmax helped create and cultivate an alternate reality where up is down, pigs have wings, and Dominion engaged in a colossal fraud to steal the presidency from Donald Trump by rigging the vote.

RIP, Cameron Burrell, former NCAA champion sprinter at the University of Houston.

“What the crank is giving people is the *illusion* of not trusting an authority—unlike all those sheep who trust the *mainstream* authorities. A bit like the media elites who win large followings by telling you not to trust media elites.”

Let unvaxxed people complain about vaccination requirements for travel. They shouldn’t be traveling if they’re not vaxxed.

Who should Americans be angry at? Can we narrow it down? Sure.”

RIP, Nanci Griffith, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter.

“More than 4,700 lives lost to Covid-19 in Florida and Texas could have been saved if those states had higher vaccination rates, according to a study released on Thursday.”

“Restaurant owners across the country are experiencing similar waves of backlash after announcing vaccination requirements for anyone who wants to dine indoors. Their Yelp pages get overrun with one-star reviews from people who have never eaten there; their Instagram posts get spammed with vitriolic comments; their inboxes and voicemails get flooded with messages. Many of the comments are eerily similar: angry anti-vaxxers accuse restaurateurs of medical segregation, comparing vaccine requirements to racial discrimination.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 9

The Texas Progressive Alliance is way out of patience with anti-vaxxers as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 8

“In the early 20th century, a famous anti-vaxxer exposed himself to smallpox. What happened next offers a COVID cautionary tale.”

“Every time there is another data breach, we are asked to change our password at the breached entity. But the reality is that in most cases by the time the victim organization discloses an incident publicly the information has already been harvested many times over by profit-seeking cybercriminals. Here’s a closer look at what typically transpires in the weeks or months before an organization notifies its users about a breached database.”

Apparently, a lot of people hate the song “Imagine”. I kind of do, too, and this article goes into why people hate it.

“In my decade-plus of social-policy reporting, I have mostly understood these stories as facts of life. Government programs exist. People have to navigate those programs. That is how it goes. But at some point, I started thinking about these kinds of administrative burdens as the “time tax”—a levy of paperwork, aggravation, and mental effort imposed on citizens in exchange for benefits that putatively exist to help them. This time tax is a public-policy cancer, mediating every American’s relationship with the government and wasting countless precious hours of people’s time.”

“I am angry that the tragic scenes of prior surges are being played out yet again, but now with ICUs primarily filled with patients who have chosen not to be vaccinated. I am angry that it takes me over an hour to explain to an anti-vaxxer full of misinformation that intubation isn’t what “kills patients” and that their wish for chest compressions without intubation in the event of a respiratory arrest makes no sense. I am angry at those who refuse to wear “muzzles” when grocery shopping for half an hour a week, as I have been so-called “muzzled” for much of the past 18 months.”

Poor Rudy. No really, he’s broke and he ain’t getting a dime from Trump. These two deserve each other so much.

“The finding indicates that there’s a very large population of wild animals in North America that could serve as a reservoir for the [SARS-CoV-2] virus, even if we were to get its circulation within the human population under control.”

“Let’s look back at the lesbian pulp explosion and try to uncover its legacy…”

“Just weeks after its launch, the pro-Trump social network GETTR is inundated with terrorist propaganda spread by supporters of Islamic State, according to a POLITICO review of online activity on the fledgling platform.”

“#STILLWATER was “directly inspired by the Amanda Knox saga.” Director Tom McCarthy tells Vanity Fair, “he couldn’t help but imagine how it would feel to be in Knox’s shoes.” …But that didn’t inspire him to ask me how it felt to be in my shoes.”

Maybe this guyrecently flagged government data center hard drives as a promising source of the rare earth elements America needs not just for data storage devices and consumer electronics, but also for energy technologies that are key to fighting climate change.”

“Those exceptional few white evangelicals who were on the right side of the abominable matter of slavery quickly found themselves to be on the wrong side of white evangelicism.”

“During the pandemic, child care was a second full-time job for many moms of young kids.”

“The end result may still be a much needed reform that finally forces America’s bitcoiners, ethereum fans, and doge nuts to pay their taxes. But the last minute rescue by top members of both parties is a vivid demonstration that, in Washington, crypto has some legislative sway.”

“[LSU] has not only abandoned its responsibility to its students and faculty, but also to Baton Rouge and Louisiana as a whole. As Louisiana’s flag-ship university, the administration has failed to set an example for the rest of the state’s public schools, both in terms of integrity and public health policy.”

“Hey, I’m going to take literally a half a second to type in ClevelandGuardians.com, just to see if anyone has it.”

RIP, JR Richard, legendary pitcher for the Houston Astros. I’m just glad that he and the franchise were able to reconcile and that he was inducted into the inaugural Astros Hall of Fame class while he was still with us.

RIP, Richard Trumka, labor leader and President of the AFL-CIO.

“The reality of the Ohio primary is that Nina Turner, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, was the Establishment in this race. She had more money, higher name recognition and tons of celebrity endorsements in her pocket. Her opponent Shontel Brown was a local Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chair, that nobody would’ve been able to pick out of a lineup four months ago. And yet, Turner still lost.”

“Everybody makes mistakes. And holding [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis up as Republican Covid hero was a doozy. Now the press needs to address that failure.”

RIP, Markie Post, actor known for Night Court, The Fall Guy, Hearts Afire, and more.

“The Democrats had 47 or 48 votes to fix the Senate or make a start of it. That wasn’t enough. What they’re on their way to doing is passing close to the entire agenda even with it still being broken. That’s a huge and historic accomplishment in policy terms and no mean feat in legislative handiwork. The aim of passing a big spending bill isn’t to fix the legislative body. It’s to pass the bill.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of August 2

The Texas Progressive Alliance marvels at Greg Abbott’s willingness to be COVID’s best friend as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for August 1

“Federal Courts Keep Shooting Down Anti-Trans Laws. Will That Hold at SCOTUS?”

“Your location data is for sale, and it can be used against you.”

Australian cockatoos can open garbage can lids, and what’s more, they can learn how to do it from other cockatoos.

“It seems like after the election, someone really did stop talking about COVID-19. It was the guy who never cared.”

“A Vaccine Or This Marriage: Conspiracy Theories Are Tearing Couples Apart“.

“Quick thread: I don’t think most people know what antivaxx posts on Facebook really look like. That’s good. Why would you? But I think people assume it’s Suzy Turmeric plaintively yelling at you about the microchip, and it’s not. It looks like this. Like code. Or gibberish.”

“Even in the face of Delta, vaccines are still doing what they’re designed to do. That is, they’re defanging the threat of a Covid-19 infection, protecting people from getting so sick they have to be hospitalized and from death. Pretty much nothing in medicine is absolute, so a tiny fraction of vaccinated people will still wind up getting really sick, but there’s a clear reason why some 97% to 99% of current hospitalizations and deaths are occurring among those who are unvaccinated.”

“A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.”

Want to buy some classic pinball machines? Now is your chance.

RIP, Bob Moses, civil rights leader and voting rights advocate.

“There is no way to understand the January 6th insurrection without beginning with the fact that it was led by, at the behest of and for the benefit of Donald Trump. It was the result of his actions. It was one of the final developments in a failed coup plot by Donald Trump.”

Rep. Mo Brooks is a traitor. Fortunately, he’s also an idiot. That may help to hold him accountable.

RIP, Dusty Hill, founding member and bassist for ZZ Top. I spent some time Wednesday afternoon , though please understand that the only correct way to listen to “Waitin’ For The Bus” is having it segue into “Jesus Just Left Chicago”. I played that for Olivia a couple of years ago, partly to explain how the age of streaming means a loss of such musical conventions. She was properly impressed.

“But the coverage of the hearing and the violence those officers experienced at the hands of people sent to the Capitol by Donald Trump could have unfolded very differently if Republican flamethrowers like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio had been seated on the committee.”

“As we all know, Donald Trump isn’t the cause of the Republican Party’s descent into madness. He’s merely the result of decades of evolution that started when Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority, Rush Limbaugh picked up a microphone, and Newt Gingrich reinvented modern conservatism. But these were just warm-up acts. It wasn’t until Fox News was up and running that we started to see permanent changes in the electorate.”

RIP, Ron Popeil, infomercial and “As Seen On TV” king.

“Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over Black Widow‘s Disney Plus release”. She’s due a bonus based on box office receipts, which are of course lower now that the movie was simultaneously released on D+.

We need to be placing the burdens on non-vaccination on the unvaccinated. And we need to be clear with the public that the problem is the non-vaccinated. They’re at fault. They’re to blame. And even more, the public influencers, celebrities and political actors who’ve driven resistance to vaccination are to blame.”

“This is a significant development that will clear the way for witnesses to provide evidence to the committees investigating post-election conduct, including the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. It also presents important questions for the doctrine of executive privilege in future cases.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 26

The Texas Progressive Alliance is still standing strong with the quorum-busting Dem legislators as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 25

“Sorry, Leonard Leo. If you wanted someone without a sense of humor, you probably shouldn’t have tapped a 44-year-old from Teaneck, New Jersey. Also, your party should probably have nominated a senate candidate who wasn’t credibly accused of sexual impropriety with multiple teenage girls.”

“Not surprisingly, many of Trump’s supporters don’t approve of how their dear leader is displayed on TV, and they’ve been very quick to let the FCC know. Roughly 360 pages of anonymous grievances from “SNL” viewers dating back to 2017 have been published on Government Attic, thanks to FOIA requests. And wow, they’re a doozy.”

“What do you get when thirty liars write thirty books? Thirty lying books.”

“Researchers have found that “expiration” dates — which rarely correspond to food actually expiring or spoiling — are mostly well-intentioned, but haphazard and confusing. Put another way, they’re not expiration dates at all. And the broader public’s misunderstanding about them is a major contributor in every single one of the factors I named above: wasted food, wasted revenue, wasted household income, and food insecurity.”

“You hear somebody that’s got $200,000 or $300,000 in debt, they almost surely went to graduate school. They didn’t borrow that much money from the Department of Education to get a bachelor’s degree.”

“American kids watched so much Peppa Pig during the pandemic they now have British accents“. Gotta admit, I don’t mind that my kids were too old for Peppa.

The simple reason why ratings for the Emmy awards are down.

“If I were a multi-billionaire, what would I do with my money? […] I would dedicate my fortune to destroying Fox News. I would do it any way I could. Marketing. Lawsuits. Boycotts. Talent poaching. Cable access. Making Rupert Murdoch’s life miserable. You name it. Nor would I have any qualms about playing fair. You have a plan for a space-based laser that interferes with Fox News broadcasts and makes them unwatchable? Great! Here’s a hundred million to give it a go.”

“How Sketchy Data Scavengers Are Using Hatred Of ‘Big Tech’ To Attack Plans To Make The Web More Private”.

“Hey everyone having politicized arguments about vaccine hesitancy/refusal: Are you sure you’re talking about the same people? Let me explain.”

“The last 48 hours on here have been all about The Vaccine Discourse. Is FB killing people? Is the govt passing the buck? Who even can tell what IS misinformation, and who watches the watchmen, anyway? I’ve spent ~7 years watching the AV movement evolve online and have thoughts”.

Of COURSE it’s “Mary’s dress sways”. How was this ever a question?

Screw Jeff Bezos. I’m happy that Wally Funk got to go up into space.

The goal has to be to eliminate COVID-19. Not live with it. Because we really can’t.”

“Many experts have argued that, even with Delta, the United States is unlikely to revisit the horrors of last winter. Even now, the country’s hospitalizations are one-seventh as high as they were in mid-January. But national optimism glosses over local reality. For many communities, this year will be worse than last.”

“The Pentagon’s watchdog said on Tuesday it would evaluate the safety protocols surrounding the president’s “nuclear football” – containing codes needed for a strike – after one such briefcase nearly came within range of rioters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

The “conservative pr0n star” who got canceled at CPAC. It’s even stranger than it sounds.

“As more people are vaccinated (and all else being equal), total hospitalizations will decrease but the *percent* of vaccinated hospitalizations will increase, not because the vaccines aren’t working, but because there are more vaccinated people and fewer hospitalizations overall.”

“So Donald Trump isn’t going anywhere because he has finally found a swindle in American politics where he can quite literally just ask people for money and they simply give it to him by the millions. It’s not complicated. It never is with Trump.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 19

The Texas Progressive Alliance is cheering on the quorum-breaking legislators as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 18

“Lower vaccination rates among young adults in the United States are resulting in anxiety and painful decision-making for those who are vaccinated but have friends, family, loved ones and colleagues who aren’t.”

Don’t be like Missouri. Parts of Texas are already starting to look like Missouri. That’s bad.

“In May, I broke the story that the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees would not grant acclaimed journalist and New York Times Magazine staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure. They didn’t vote it down. They just refused to consider it. Killed it in committee. If that sounds more like politics than academia to you, well …”

“But with that increased attention has come increased scrutiny. Some critics dismiss the paint-by-numbers aspect of some of the genre’s biggest hits, while others worry that the truth often takes a back seat to dramatic flair. Perhaps most worrying is the fact that true crime often exploits or diminishes victims, survivors, and their family members—the people most affected by these horrendous events—while lionizing the perpetrators (and sometimes turning them into sex symbols). As the genre continues to explode in quantity, there’ll be an even greater chance of such mistakes.”

“Archaeologists may finally know the age and true identity of the “Rude Man,” also known as the Cerne Abbas Giant, one of dozens of geoglyphs etched into the British countryside.”

“Business leaders frequently proclaim that “people are our most important resource.” Yet those who are resistant to permitting telework are not living by that principle. Instead, they’re doing what they feel comfortable with, even if it devastates employee morale, engagement and productivity, and seriously undercuts retention and recruitment, as well as harming diversity and inclusion. In the end, their behavior is a major threat to the bottom line.”

“When we think about the normal discrimination statutes…we have protected classes based on something that is sort of inherent to you, with religion maybe being the one that is a choice. But vaccination status you certainly can control.”

“Whereas many people’s fundamental heuristic for health-related decisions is to trust medical and scientific experts, vaccine hesitancy reminds us of the many competing forces informing people’s intuitions about health, be they religious, political, historical, or identity-based.”

RIP, Edwin Edwards, four-term Governor of Louisiana, who defeated David Duke in 1991.

“What we’re seeing right now with these efforts to short-circuit the legislative process is what the legislative filibuster in the Senate should be like.”

“What you do is you take the horse, and you put two horses in a box, and you put the box on the plane.”

“A federal judge has temporarily blocked Tennessee’s transgender restroom law, which requires businesses to post a specific sign if they allow transgender people to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.”

RIP, Charlie Robinson, actor best known for his role on Night Court.

“Days After Threat From Biden, Major Ransomware Group Goes Dark”.

“If you’re a big fan of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, you may want to brace yourself: The recipe for your beloved drink is changing. Coca-Cola said Tuesday that it is tweaking the beverage in an effort to make the drink taste more like regular Coke.”

RIP, Fred Allred, longtime owner of Houston record store Allrecords.

“My point is that the great voice actors are great at voice acting. Some who are not primarily voice actors can be fine in certain roles in certain situations as Mr. Jones was…but when I see a list of nominees like the one for this year’s Emmy Awards, I think someone is disrespecting professional, full-or-most-time voice actors. They’re voting for celebrity, not talent.”

“Ironically, it was Trump’s own Supreme Court nominees who empowered Biden to purge so many Republican holdovers.”

Of course there’s a Ken Starr connection to Jeffrey Epstein.

“One thinks of 911 as a major advance in American law enforcement, but it had several less than beneficial consequences. In our haste to get to every call and handle them quickly, cops began to lose the intimacy of their relationship with the neighborhood they were policing.”

“For now it is more evidence of what we still – six months on – seem mostly in denial about: a defeated President plotted to overthrow the government to remain in power. The nation’s top general and his colleagues had to come up with contingency plans to thwart the coup they believed the commander-in-chief of the military was plotting.

“Norwegian Cruise Lines, through its counsel Quinn Emanuel, sued Florida for actively jacking its whole business model in the name of trolling.”

“How Lola Bunny Broke the Internet”.

“Republicans were happy to support vaccine when they could credit Trump, then went on the attack”.

“Most of us know generally what “stab in the back” mythology refers to but it is worth understanding in the particulars where the idea comes from and how it relates to today.”

If only these people could have had some way to know that getting vaccinated was a great way to protect themselves from serious COVID risk.

The world is a slightly better place now.

RIP, Biz Markie, hip hop musician, DJ, and actor.

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 12

The Texas Progressive Alliance will be using this bloodbath of a special session as incentive for 2022 as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 11

“Now a new FX TV series based on the [Alien]franchise is in the works from Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley—who says it’s about time for the facehuggers and xenomorphs to sink their claws into the white-collar executives who have been responsible for sending so many employees to their doom.”

“Is internet savvy the most important skill an editor in chief ought to have right now? I don’t know. But currently, the skillset seems like an afterthought, especially in larger institutions. That’s a mistake.”

“No, You Can’t Recycle a Bowling Ball (But People Sure Keep Trying)”.

“Trump’s lawyers have called the charges petty and contend they are politically motivated. Others view them as designed to put pressure on the organization’s longtime chief financial officer to turn state’s witness. As a tax professor, I see them as a fantastic opportunity to talk about tax policy and the cat-and-mouse games that people play to avoid paying their fair share.”

“Remember that time when Hobby Lobby paid ISIS for illegally smuggled ancient artifacts from Iraq?”

RIP, Matiss Kivlenieks, goalie for the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets, who died as the result of a fireworks accident.

“Vaccinated people are safer than ever despite the variants. But unvaccinated people are in more danger than ever because of the variants.”

RIP, Richard Donner, film director best known for the first Superman film, The Goonies, and the Lethal Weapon franchise.

“If a party confesses to a crime with the understanding that his words are protected, that they won’t be used against him, or revealed to others, the power of the state or federal government must abide by that promise. It’s simply cheating to do otherwise.”

“He was not found innocent. He was released on a technicality. I would say the world still believes him to be guilty for the heinous crimes he was charged with and he’s going to live a very O.J. Simpson-like existence for the rest of his life.”

RIP, Dicky Maegle, former NFL and Rice University running back, best known for being on his way to a 95-yard touchdown in the 1954 Cotton Bowl when Tommy Smith came off the Alabama bench to tackle him.

“Former President Trump has reportedly cut ties with his former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and has been annoyed with Giuliani’s requests for financial compensation in his efforts to overturn the election results.” Do these two deserve each other or what?

“Meeting with #NikoleHannahJones for an interview this week made me reflect on my June interview with Walter Hussman, the conservative Arkansas media magnate and #UNC megadonor who lobbied against hiring her. It’s worth talking a bit about these two people and interviews.”

“Americans may have fallen short of President Biden’s July 4 vaccination goal, but by most measures, we should be thankful for how far we’ve come in the past year.”

“Trump Sues Facebook, Google, and Twitter: Is It All About the Grift? The cases had barely been filed before the former president began fundraising off of them.” So, in other words, yes.

“The lawsuits are claiming that the former president’s First Amendment rights were violated by the decision to suspend his account, when in fact that is exactly backwards. The First Amendment strongly protects the decision by these companies to make content moderation decisions.”

“Reading between the lines I get the sense that the CDC and FDA see boosters, for the moment, as a solution in search of a problem when the overwhelming threat to public health remains the fact that half the population in the US still hasn’t gotten any vaccine. There’s probably also a desire to keep the tempo of key public health decisions in their hands rather than being driven by a private company.”

“It didn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to imagine a world in which Fox hosts relentlessly talked up how Donald Trump had made the vaccines possible and how if viewers got vaccinated, the dreaded masks and lockdowns would be gone forever.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 5

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a thoughtful and reflective Independence Day week as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for July 4

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”

“Following a months-long investigation into a litany of dubious election fraud claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies, a GOP-controlled Michigan Senate panel concluded [last] Wednesday not only that the state’s 2020 results are accurate, but that some of those who continue to push such claims should face criminal investigation.”

“Two assumptions about gender were at work here. The first was that no man would ever roll a suitcase because it was simply “unmanly” to do so. The second was about the mobility of women. There was nothing preventing a woman from rolling a suitcase — she had no masculinity to prove. But women didn’t travel alone, the industry assumed. If a woman travelled, she would travel with a man who would then carry her bag for her. This is why the industry couldn’t see any commercial potential in the rolling suitcase.”

John Scalzi and Jenny Lawson have a conversation about writing and other things.

“People hate mosquitoes, and so companies make a lot of anti-mosquito things: candles, wristbands, chemical and herbal sprays—even electronic devices. But if you want to keep mosquitoes off your bare skin this summer, you really just need two things: bug spray and a fan.”

“The case for eating bugs is straightforward: They’re healthy, and doing so is good for the environment.”

“A new species of the ancient giant rhino – among the largest mammals to walk on land – has been discovered in north-western China, researchers say.”

“Network television has essentially given up. It’s dying, but instead of seeking treatment, it’s decided to continue doing the same thing until its heart gives out. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no reason one of the networks couldn’t take a defibrillator to its chest and resurrect itself.”

“The Department of Justice is setting up a task force to address the rising threats against election officials and administrators, something Attorney General Merrick Garland said would not have happened without news reports bringing the severity of the problem to his attention.”

“The structure of the Democrats’ new select committee must reflect the new reality that their Republican counterparts are engaged in an active cover-up of the events they are investigating. If Republicans in Congress wanted to be honest and equal partners in this investigation, they would have supported forming a bipartisan 9/11-style commission. Instead, they blocked it.”

“That’s it. All that happened is that a restaurant in Minneapolis decided to implement European-style gratuities included in the bill. They hope this will allow them to pay back-of-house workers more fairly and they also hope it will overcome known bias in tipping behavior.”

“And in that sense, the most successful horror story of 2020 is QAnon.”

“Harris’s dilemma is not simply a product of her supposed naivete about her own political interests or Biden’s supposed insensitivity to them. Rather, it is a natural consequence of her new position—where holding the status of potential president-in-waiting is often seen as more important than whatever the occupant might be expected to accomplish while waiting to be president. If it were otherwise, perhaps a vice president who tackled a difficult national issue would be praised, not second-guessed, for addressing the governing challenges of today rather than merely protecting her personal ambitions for tomorrow.”

RIP, Stuart Damon, actor best known for a longtime role on General Hospital.

A Bronx Tale: One Sperm Donor, 19 Siblings, and Six Decades of Secrets”. It’s a riveting and somewhat bonkers story. Definitely worth the read.

“The WNBA made clear this week that it is leading the major professional sports leagues in COVID-19 prevention measures, with 99 percent of its players fully vaccinated and zero new players testing positive since the start of the regular season.”

“The Trump Org is in deep, deep trouble. And not because of the criminal charges. Because of its bank loan covenants.”

JD Vance is a tool. That’s it, that’s the link.

“Rudy Giuliani, already being sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. over his debunked election-conspiracy claims, has been issued a subpoena in a similar lawsuit the company filed against Fox News Network.” Sydney Powell and the MyPillow guy, too.

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 28

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes we are hearing the last breaths of the filibuster as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for June 27

“How to Cut Down on Ransomware Attacks Without Banning Bitcoin”.

“The Fair Repair act would make it easier for everyone in America to fix their own stuff.”

“As Republican legislatures enact new voter suppression laws, Congress should reaffirm the House’s promise in 1965 to refuse to seat, or to unseat, members who benefit from discriminatory voting laws.”

“A CEO of a prominent aviation company has admitted that he helped invent a fake spokesperson for his company — and even gave interviews as that phony press representative for years.”

“I assure you, the Black Death was actually bad”.

“The decision by the bishops to take greater offense to a fellow Catholic over abortion than, say, the abuse of migrant children or the the state murder of prisoners by a grinning philanderer illustrates their real motivations.”

A great story about finding some of the still-missing box scores to Negro Leagues games, to help fill in the historical record and add to the database of Major League statistics.

“That 2009 climate bill, the one that President Barack Obama couldn’t pass? It required the U.S. to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 as compared with their all-time high. Yet last year, our emissions were down 21 percent. The same bill said that the U.S. had to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. Last year, we met that target. We will surpass it in 2021.”

Meet the pink fairy armadillo, an animal that really does exist.

“A majority of the 52,000 separate drinking water systems in the United States still haven’t inventoried some or any of their information technology systems — a basic first step in protecting networks from cyberattacks.”

James Hong, whom you know from Big Trouble in Little China and Wayne’s World 2 and the Kung Fu Panda movies, is finally getting a well-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Telling the people what they want to hear isn’t good leadership. It isn’t leadership at all. It’s pandering—and yet millions of Americans love it even though it harms them in the end.”

RIP, Sang Ho Baek, pitcher at George Mason University who died after complications due to ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery.

Three cheers for Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

“A unanimous ruling from the nation’s highest court might not be a death knell for the NCAA’s business model, but it clearly and devastatingly exposes the facade upon which the entire enterprise rests”.

“Facing both the rapidly spreading Delta variant and dominated by the somewhat vaccine evasive Gamma variant (formerly known as the Brazil P1 variant), these countries are being hit with a one-two punch of the worst variants evolution has yet cooked up, and vaccination programs that are either completely ineffective or short of high-efficacy vaccines. Things may be getting back to normal in much of the U.S., but mass graves and overflowing hospitals are still the rule in far too many nations. The pandemic is not over.”

Wishing Coach RC Slocum all the best.

“On the one hand this is totally insane. But it is also textbook incitement.”

“Trump lawyer and Ukraine conspiracy peddler Rudy Giuliani can no longer practice law in the state of New York: A state disciplinary group requested and was granted an immediate suspension of Giuliani’s license for lying to courts during his attempts to overturn the U.S. presidential election on Trump’s behalf.”

RIP, John McAfee, antivirus software pioneer and total whackjob.

RIP, Janet Malcolm, longtime writer for The New Yorker.

“U.S. government prepares to issue landmark report on UFOs”.

RIP, Mike Gravel, former Senator from Alaska and 2008 Presidential candidate.

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 21

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone has a nice and not-too-scorchingly-hot summer solstice as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for June 20

“The India that Silicon Valley once so loved has long given way to a different one: an increasingly authoritarian regime that wants even tighter control over information dissemination. It’s an India that’s not only willing to bully the very companies it once welcomed in order to firm up its grip, but also one that’s attempting to craft its own parallel social mediasphere as a bargaining chip to Silicon Valley: Either you play by our rules, or we don’t need you.”

“Danish PSA for wearing bicycle helmets is the best Viking movie in 63 years”.

RIP, Ned Beatty, versatile character actor.

The rise and fall of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.

“The FBI has released an unclassified intelligence assessment that predicts that some Qanon adherents will soon decide they can no longer “trust the plan” after so many Q predictions have come up short and resort to acts of violence.”

Everyone involved in this story is an amazing human. Standing ovation. (Via Ask A Manager.)

“How Does One Get Hired by a Top Cybercrime Gang?”

“Senate unanimously passes a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday”.

“Again, I ask: Doesn’t this all sound pretty fucking familiar?!!!”

“Biden’s efforts to strike up an anti-authoritarian chorus among our allies will be uncomfortable for Putin (as well as Xi, Erdogan and many others). But nothing he could say privately to Putin will resonate as strongly as enhanced unity on this issue by a newly energized western alliance. After all, Putin’s main goal throughout his entire career has been to weaken that alliance. Trump was his pawn in that effort. But Biden will deliver a message before he sees Putin that his efforts have now suffered a major reversal.”

“This month, corporations are plastering their social media avatars with rainbows, sponsoring Pride parades, and declaring their unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ community. Many of these companies, however, are spending millions supporting the campaigns of anti-gay politicians at the federal and state level. A Popular Information investigation found that 25 major corporations have spent more than $10 million since 2019 supporting members of Congress with a zero rating on the latest Congressional scorecard produced by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the most prominent LGBTQ rights organization in the United States. These same corporations have also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to state legislators who have sponsored anti-trans legislation this year.”

“In an all-out push to clean up Europe’s beaches — one plank in the European Union’s trailblazing efforts to address the almost 28 million U.S. tons of plastic waste it generates annually — a ban comes into effect July 3 that halts the sale in EU markets of the 10 plastic products that most commonly wash up on the continent’s shores. These include, among other items, plastic bottle caps, cutlery, straws and plates, as well as Styrofoam food and beverage containers.”

“Per Breyer, the red states and the individual plaintiffs lack standing in the big case involving the Affordable Care Act. The case is dismissed. The holding here is one that I’ve discussed many times before, but let me walk you through it.”

“The federal calendar has long served as a national text into which the country writes a story about itself. Among many other things it does, the Juneteenth federal holiday puts the political Civil War back at the center of the national story and affirms the centrality of African-American liberation, albeit incomplete, to the American story.”

How the Obamacare Town Halls of 2009 connect to the current critical race theory “controversy”.

“In the strongest move yet this year from the Biden administration in support of transgender students’ rights, the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) have filed a joint brief in support of a transgender girl who is suing her state for the right to participate in school sports.”

Sooner or later, the hammer is going to drop on Rep. Matt Gaetz.

RIP, Champ, Presidential dog.

RIP, Frank Bonner, actor best known for WKRP in Cincinnati.

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 14

The Texas Progressive Alliance has no idea hw any of these entries got into this week’s roundup but promises they will all be taken out for next week’s version.

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Weekend link dump for June 13

“A pandemic upside: The flu virus became less diverse, simplifying the task of making flu shots”.

“Take a closer look at Walt Disney’s 1961 animated One Hundred and One Dalmatians film, and you may notice its animation style looks a little different from its predecessors. With its dark outlines defining characters from backgrounds, its departure from the subtle and sensitive animation of Sleeping Beauty just two years prior was considered jarring to some. That’s because the film is completely Xeroxed. The technology, invented by American physicist Chester Carlson in the 1940s, completely streamlined the animation process, and ultimately saved Disney’s beloved animation department.”

“But it begs the question: why is America’s meat supply so at risk of price fluctuations and shortages in the first place? The answer is simple: the industry is too consolidated. More than 80% of the beef industry is controlled by just four companies—JBS, Tyson, Cargill and National (owned by Brazil’s Marfrig)—and two of them are foreign businesses. Brazil-based JBS is responsible for a quarter of the U.S. beef market through its JBS USA subsidiary. The company is the country’s largest beef producer and its No. 2 producer of pork and chicken. That hyper-concentration makes any shocks to the system feel seismic.”

“Political parties rarely run ads to try to win over long-term loyalists. New research suggests it’s actually possible—and worthwhile.”

RIP, Clarence Williams III, actor best known for The Mod Squad and Purple Rain.

RIP, David Dushman, the last surviving Soviet soldier involved in the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

“There’s nothing wrong with taking the layup, with pandering to voters’ most basic interests. With control of the White House and Congress, and with the predictable pushback to Biden’s proposed infrastructure spending bringing his honeymoon period to an end, Democrats could make an easy play to curry favor with voters by creating new federal holidays.” Juneteenth and Election Day are given as obvious first candidates, I’m sure you can think of others. Speaking as someone with a lot of European co-workers, we sure could have more holidays.

“Two Senate committees have released their long-awaited, bipartisan report investigating the January 6 attack on Congress by Trump supporters over the certification of the 2020 presidential election. The report, as expected, includes a list of recommendations for boosting security and intelligence-sharing practices after the insurrection at the Capitol more than five months ago. It also reveals that federal agencies had intelligence about plans to attack the Capitol and their “potential for violence” well in advance of January 6.”

“The report doesn’t provide a deep look into the causes of the insurrection. As might be expected, Republicans have opposed every effort to look into how Trump’s statements and actions—not just at the rally on the morning of the insurrection, but before and after the election—encouraged his followers to conduct an assault on the Capitol that included an attempt to capture and kill lawmakers. Instead, the Senate report focuses on the structural issues in preparing for the events of that day led to inadequate actions to protect the Capitol, and how a series of structural failures led to a lengthy delay in providing National Guard support to the overwhelmed police force.”

“That is, after all, what hypocrites do. Otherwise they wouldn’t be hypocrites.”

“With a strong vaccination campaign, the United States was able to reduce the B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant’s toll to a bump in cases. What might happen with B.1.617.2 (delta) which is ~50% more transmissible, and more evasive to our immune response?”

“The first quiz show launched on radio in 1923; now, nearly 100 years later, the National Archives of Game Show History has launched at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y.”

On shooting sex scenes during COVID times.

The NFL will impose restrictions on unvaccinated assistant coaches.

“While Republicans have been doing their damnedest to stonewall an investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, new information about the event continues to emerge as congressional inquiries continue, and federal prosecutors continue to amass evidence in the hundreds of arrests already made, as well as the fresh round of indictments handed down each passing week.”

“Election officials and their families are living with threats of hanging, firing squads, torture and bomb blasts, interviews and documents reveal. The campaign of fear, sparked by Trump’s voter-fraud falsehoods, threatens the U.S. electoral system.”

“Should President Joe Biden convey legitimacy upon a man who shares blame for the death of 400,000 or so Americans? That’s one way of questioning whether Biden made the right choice in proposing the summit he is set to hold with Russian leader Vladimir Putin next week in Geneva. “

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 7

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes that Greg Abbott can refrain from taking out his frustrations on a bunch of legislative staffers as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for June 6

“Someone finally asked restaurant workers why they’re not returning”.

“Gun Church That Worships With AR-15s Bought a 40-Acre Compound in Texas for Its ‘Patriots’”. It’s located near Waco. What could possibly go wrong?

“Specific language about the QAnon conspiracy theory has all but disappeared from mainstream public social media platforms, new research concludes.”

Using blimps to fight climate change by replacing short plane rides.

“Among the unvaccinated in Washington state, for example, the rate for hospitalization and deaths is the same as it was in January, the most virulent month of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

They just don’t make the mark of the Beast like they used to.

What should the military do about seditious nutbag Michael Flynn?

“Meaning you can add “flying killer robots” to your list of plausible fears that science fiction predicted.”

“A ransomware attack against Brazilian meat-packing giant JBS has disrupted production in the U.S., Canada and Australia.”

Don’t act like a hooligan at sporting events. I know it’s been awhile, but surely we all remember this.

“With the coronavirus pandemic receding for every vaccine that reaches an arm, the push by some employers to get people back into offices is clashing with workers who’ve embraced remote work as the new normal.”

“Unfortunately, the trendline of where children are getting vaccinated so far shows an expected but still disappointing development. The same places where adults aren’t getting vaccinated are not seeing children getting vaccinated either, which will only exacerbate the growing discrepancies in the places where the most people are protected from the virus.”

No one is coming to our rescue, certainly not “history.” Once democracy is gone, it’s gone. It is up to us to protect and preserve it. Right here, right now.”

RIP, Mike Marshall, first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award.

“Kraken Lawyer Sues MLB For Violating Atlanta’s Constitutional Right To Host The All Star Game”.

RIP, F. Lee Bailey, criminal defense attorney who represented Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson, the Boston Strangler, and the army commander at the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, among others.

“But I have another theory. It’s the thirst. Trump broke the cardinal rule of fame: He made it clear how much he wanted it.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 31

The Texas Progressive Alliance knows we will be dealing with the wreckage of this legislative session for a long time as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for May 30

“Why Hawaiian-Born Surfers Aren’t Excited to Surf for America in the Olympics”. If the Olympics happen, anyway.

Here are the pioneering women who will be on new quarters, beginning in 2022.

“We found that across states, a doubling of population size is associated with a 22 to 33 percent increase in regulation.”

“How did UFOs become so respectable? Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s excellent and lengthy New Yorker article provides some useful context. What we’re seeing now is actually a return to an older norm; there was a golden age of UFOs in the late 1940s and early 1950s when mysterious encounters with flying objects were widely discussed in both government circles and by respectable media.”

The TL;dr version of this is basically “give a person an extra thumb on one hand and they quickly adjust to having the extra thumb, but also begin to forget what it’s like to only have the one thumb on the other hand”.

I’m pretty sure that I myself would not read the unpublished John Steinbeck werewolf mystery novel if someone were to be allowed to publish it. But I do think I would read what someone else wrote about the John Steinbeck werewolf mystery novel, and so therefore I would like for it to be published.

“We’re approaching the year-and-a-half mark of the globe’s collective experience with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Covid-19 pandemic it has triggered. At this point, it’s fair to assume people the world over are asking themselves the same two questions: How will this end? And when?”

RIP, Kathleen Andrews, former top executive with Andrews McMeel, the syndicate that launched the comic strips Doonesbury, Ziggy, and Cathy, among others.

“Gordon Sondland, the former U.S. ambassador to the EU, is suing former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the government in a bid to have one of the two pay for $1.8 million in legal fees incurred during the 2019 Ukraine impeachment inquiry.”

Attempting to solve the Toeflop mystery.

“Pete Rose will do more for the game as a pariah than he could ever do pardoned.”

“Once any reasonable person hears the tell-tale features of the now hackneyed lie – the big, burly man, the calloused hands, the tears streaming down his face – that person will correctly conclude that this story must be presumed false unless proven true.”

RIP, Samuel E. Wright, Tony Award-nominated actor who originated the role of Mufasa in the Broadway version of The Lion King and was the voice of Sebastian in The Little Mermaid.

“But among the strangest and easily one of the most ill-advised dispensers has got to be this Pez gun, which shoots candies with the simple pull of a trigger.”

RIP, John Warner, former Senator from Virginia.

RIP, Kevin Clark, Chicago musician who as a child actor portrayed drummer Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in the 2003 film School of Rock.

RIP, Eric Carle, author and illustrator best known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

RIP, John Davis, one of the real vocalists behind Milli Vanilli.

“Mitch McConnell Saw the Insurrection Clearly and Then Decided He Liked It“.

RIP, Mark Eaton, former Utah Jazz center and two-time NBA defensive player of the year.

RIP, Gavin MacLeod, TV actor best known for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat.

RIP, BJ Thomas, Houston singer/songwriter best known for “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 24

The Texas Progressive Alliance adds the General Land Office to its shit list as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for May 23

“I Quit the GOP and Moved Left. Will Liz Cheney Do the Same?”

Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes On Social Media, Research Shows”.

“In this article, we will explain how [Major League Baseball’s Automated Ball/Strike System (ABS)] operates, review the system’s initial design and subsequent iterations, and preview some of the additional ABS changes and improvements slated for 2021.”

Let the people repair their electronic devices.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that many survivors — even those who had mild cases — continue to manage a variety of health problems long after the initial infection should have resolved. In what is believed to be the largest comprehensive study of long COVID-19 to date, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that COVID-19 survivors — including those not sick enough to be hospitalized — have an increased risk of death in the six months following diagnosis with the virus.”

“But here’s the thing: Digital extortion gangs like DarkSide take great care to make their entire platforms geopolitical, because their malware is engineered to work only in certain parts of the world.”

“The constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy may now be under more severe and imminent threat than it has been at any time since Roe came down in 1973.”

RIP, Damon Weaver, youngest person to interview a sitting President when he talked with President Barack Obama in 2009 at the age of 11.

“In three weeks, my twins will have their second shot. Two weeks after that they will, if the research holds, have a 100 percent immunity to the Covid virus. That means that in five weeks, our family will be able to move in the world, largely in the way we did in the before times. I will likely encourage masking in crowded spaces and in school, but this nightmare is almost over, and I can’t wait to take my 13-year-olds to the movies and on airplanes and to meet their unvaccinated one-year-old baby cousin. We don’t know how this pandemic will change our kids, but we can vaccinate them so we don’t need to know how Covid could ravage them.”

RIP, Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana.

RIP, Charles Grodin, versatile actor known for Midnight Run and The Heartbreak Kid.

RIP, Neal Ford, Houston rock pioneer.

“Investigators from the New York attorney general’s office are now working alongside the Manhattan district attorney in its ongoing criminal fraud investigation into former President Donald Trump and his company.”

“New research shows how fraudsters can abuse wireless provider websites to identify available, recycled mobile numbers that allow password resets at a range of email providers and financial services online.”

“Drones Reveal That Great White Shark Encounters Are Extremely Common”. Mostly, they leave us alone.

“There are a lot of reasons Americans are reluctant to get vaccinated, and one of them has nothing to do with religion or politics: It’s the fear of lost income. For many people, getting the shot requires taking time off work ― not just once but twice, if the vaccine is a two-dose regimen. A bout of side effects may well keep someone off the job for another day or two after getting jabbed. But the U.S. has no universal guarantee of paid time off, and low-wage workers are much less likely to enjoy the benefit than high-income workers.”

RIP, Lee Evans, who won two gold medals at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City and was part of the Black protests against US racism.

What Really Happened With that Weird Yankees COVID Outbreak”.