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Weekend link dump for November 27

“Fox News significantly decreased its volume of violent crime coverage in the week of the midterms, down 63% from the week prior.”

You’re Not Ready for How Much These Jokers Want to Talk about Hunter Biden’s Laptop”.

“This model prosecution memorandum (or “pros memo”) assesses the potential charges against former President Donald Trump emanating from his handling of classified documents and other government records since leaving office on January 20, 2021.”

“How the news media – long in thrall to Trump – can cover his new run for president responsibly“.

I don’t know enough about “effective altruism” to know if it’s a worthwhile movement or mostly bogus, but I agree that Sam Bankman-Fried was a terrible face for that movement and to whatever extent it continues to exist they’re better off without him.

The comic strip Funky Winkerbean will cease publication on December 31 after fifty years.

“Buffalo Bills fans in New York rallied [last] Saturday to shovel out players, amid a dangerous lake-effect snowstorm, in an effort to get them to the airport in time to travel to Detroit for their game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.”

World’s biggest crybabies, bar none.

The conservative SCOTUS justices are even more corrupt than you thought.

“Do you have any idea how embarrassed the creator of a television show must be of that show to have his name removed?”

“The Messaging Mistake That Cost Republicans the Midterms”.

“Malta’s government is to propose a change in the law to allow doctors to terminate a pregnancy if a mother’s life or health is at risk.”

Congratulations to Olivia Pichardo, the first female baseball player to be on an active NCAA Division I roster.

“The Illustrated and Admittedly Incomplete History of the Turducken“.

“Whatever the reason, actual turkey prices right now are nowhere near what the Farm Bureau says they are—a fact the group sheepishly admitted in the press release announcing the survey last week. But those “sharply lower prices” didn’t make it into News at 10.”

“[A] voting rights advocate is an election denier who lost a close election.”

“If the 11th Circuit does what now seems likely, once the newly appointed special counsel gets up to speed, an indictment of the former president for unlawful possession of the materials found at Mar-a-Lago should quickly follow. The case is both a prosecutorial “slam dunk” and the most effective way to begin prosecuting all matters related to the Jan. 6 riot and the attempts to overturn the 2020 election.”

The story of Jake Powell, a sort-of Kyrie Irving from the 1930s.

“As data continues to roll in, however, it seems quite likely that long COVID is a significant part of why the labor market is currently so tight: it has forced people out of the workforce, plunging them into financial turmoil, which is making it harder for employers to find workers. One international online study of nearly 4,000 long COVID patients found that 22 percent had left the workforce due to their symptoms.”

RIP, John Y. Brown, Jr., former Governor of Kentucky, NBA owner, KFC mogul, and husband of former Miss America Phyllis George.

Shame on you, CBS Sports. Shame on you.

RIP, Irene Cara, actor and singer best known for the theme songs to the movies Fame and Flashdance.

Cartoonists celebrate the 100th birthday of Charles M. Schulz, creator of “Peanuts” and an all-around beloved figure in the comics world.

Weekend link dump for November 20

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

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

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

“Your Creation Museum Report, 15 Years On”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When grifters get grifted.

Weekend link dump for November 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for November 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for October 30

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

Happy 100th birthday, BBC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucianne Goldberg has died. I have no further comment.

Weekend link dump for October 23

Disbar them all.

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

Maybe the Cartoon Network isn’t quite dead yet.

Wishing Dikembe Mutombo all of the best.

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

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

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

The misogyny-to-fascism pipeline.

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

Lock him up for longer than that.

Make him testify.

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

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

Weekend link dump for October 16

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

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

All efforts to avoid the future robot apocalypse are appreciated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Flintstones was not a documentary.

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

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

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

Wait, Tulsi Gabbard still exists?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now this is justice.

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

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

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

All the owners hate Dan.”

Weekend link dump for October 9

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

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

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

TV shows get gun violence wrong. Color me shocked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, Mikey. Actually, not sorry at all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for October 2

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

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

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

“How Roberto Clemente Harnessed Celebrity To Change America”.

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

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

Who is Perla? And where is Perla?

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

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

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

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

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

A few alternate email signatures to try.

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

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

Weekend link dump for September 25

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

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

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

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

Tractor hacking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hold him accountable.

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

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

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

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

Sue the hell out of them!

Knock it off, GEICO.

Lock him up.

Bar him from the ballot.

RIP, Pharaoh Sanders, jazz saxophonist.

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

Weekend link dump for September 18

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

Regis Philbin, American icon.

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

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

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

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

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

“Netflix Considering Shift Towards Weekly Releases”.

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

Just read this.

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

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

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

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

RIP, Jean-Luc Godard, pioneering French director.

Subpoena them!

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

RIP, Lowry Mays, founder of Clear Channel.

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

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

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

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

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

The prices of your streaming services to go up soon.

RIP, Rommy Hunt Revson, inventor of the scrunchie.

Weekend link dump for September 11

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

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

So where is Times Square, anyway?

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

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

“The Human Psyche Was Not Built for This”.

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

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

Ken Levine signs off as a blogger.

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

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

Lock him up.

Make them pay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lock them up.

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

Weekend link dump for September 4

So what would a dragon smell like, anyway?

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

“The Case for the 16-Year-Old Vote”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Republicans in disarray.

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 28

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

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

“4 underrated parts of the Inflation Reduction Act”.

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

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

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

Guess I need to start watching Sandman soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Campaign finance reform now!

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

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

I love an Ichiro Suzuki story.

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

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

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

This you?

Lock them all up.

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 21

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

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

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

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

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

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

Testify!

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go big or go home, Merrick Garland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Anne Heche, Emmy-winning actor.

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But his emails!

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

Weekend link dump for July 31

The oldest teenagers on TV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Diane Kennedy, cookbook author and culinary anthropologist.

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

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

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

“A Retrospective on the 2015 Ashley Madison Breach”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for July 24

Is there anybody out there?

“I mean, it’s pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike. They’ve been intentionally pulling that out over the past few seasons. Even in Season 1, they hinted at that and slowly, slowly grew that storyline. I think for Season 4, it was just me playing this character who loves his best friend but struggles with knowing if he’ll be accepted or not, and feeling like a mistake and like he doesn’t belong. Will has always felt like that.”

“How Providers Are Planning to Innovate Around Abortion Access Deserts”.

Don’t let Mike Pence off the hook for the January 6 insurrection.

“We’re Beginning to Suspect That Not Everyone Sees Us as Their Moral Betters”.

“Here Are the States That Incentivize Filming and Also Outlaw Abortion“. So don’t make your movies or TV shows in those states. Those of you now filming in Georgia, you’re on the clock.

“Pregnant Women Can’t Get Divorced in Missouri”.

“Reproductive endocrinologists are joining the abortion rights movement to protect IVF and fertility care. But would they help write laws to ban abortions if it meant saving IVF?”

RIP, Mickey Rooney, Jr, actor, original Mouseketeer, member of the Willie Nelson band, and son of Mickey Rooney.

Now is your chance to learn how to speak High Valyrian, the language used by Daenerys Targaryen.

“Every official establishment of religion is a violation of free exercise. Free exercise requires no establishment. The two clauses are necessarily complementary.”

Lots of former Trump officials want to testify before the January 6 commission now.

Sue his ass.

“A Brief History of Nobody Wants to Work Anymore”.

Lock them up.

“Yet the current state of politics puts Pape and his colleagues in a tricky situation. Can a fact-based approach prevail when many of the subjects — people who supported overturning a presidential election through violent means — subscribe to a conspiracy theory called the Big Lie, the claim that the 2020 election was stolen? Or when other Trump allies, including some of the very politicians who were forced to evacuate the Capitol, have downplayed, even defended, the insurrection? How can researchers avoid the trappings of politics when facts themselves are deemed partisan?”

“One of the great tragedies of the Senate’s climate failure this week is that fossil fuel workers are going to bear the brunt of their failure, in spite of their claims to be on their side. And there is no better place to see that tragedy than West Virginia.”

“One way or another, it’s hard to believe anything other than the obvious: those texts were damning enough that the Secret Service knew it would get in more trouble for keeping them than for erasing them—no matter how much trouble they’d get into for erasing them.”

RIP, Johnny Egan, former player, coach, and broadcaster for the Houston Rockets.

Of course the Former Guy is a supporter of the Saudi golf tour.

Please enjoy these photos and video of Josh Hawley running away from his insurrectionist buddies like the little bitch he is. And here’s some more derision and mockery, all of which he richly deserves and will hopefully haunt him forever.

Weekend link dump for July 17

“The highest Court in the most powerful nation in the world appears to have decided that it only needs to follow the law when it feels like it.”

“In one corner, there are laws and contracts and old-school conventions about the way negotiations work—most notably, the concept that when someone signs papers agreeing to do something, they have to do it or pay a penalty. In the other corner is complete and total bullshit, wielded by a bullshitter who is attempting to worm his way to a preferred outcome on the strength of being not just the richest person in the world, but also the most annoying. It is a heavyweight bout between how business is done by most people and how it is done by one person. We are all about to locate the outer limit of what hucksterism can achieve.”

“Guns account for most suicides and are almost entirely responsible for an overall rise in homicides across the country from 2018 to 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“The Department of Defense, bound by the funding restrictions of the Hyde Amendment, can cover abortions only for people whose pregnancies were the result of rape or incest or endanger the life of the pregnant person. Emergency and convalescent leave policies and the process to request sick leave will also remain unchanged, according to the memo. But because the department does not cover other abortions, service members who do not report rape or incest, or whose lives are not immediate endangered by pregnancy, must find their own providers and pay out of pocket. This has huge implications for people who, though employed by the federal government and based on federal property, need to seek health care off base. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe on June 24, more than a dozen states immediately ended abortion or set in motion policies to severely limit access. Several hundred thousand service members are stationed on bases in these states by no choice of their own.”

“Has the Netflix Algorithm Finally Eaten Itself?”

The people who do the subtitles for Stranger Things had a lot of fun doing them.

“FDA will consider over-the-counter birth control pill“. Yes, please.

“A new bill could help protect the census after Trump-era interference”. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

This is some kind of bullshit: Family Research Council Is Now A Church In Eyes Of The IRS. You need to reverse this, IRS.

“Basically, it’s like the way you’d approach someone who wasn’t famous but just someone you wanted to get to know: Don’t come on too strong.”

So Twitter has sued Elon Musk for trying to weasel out of his agreement to buy them at an inflated price. By all rights, Musk should lose, but with the reality distortion field that surrounds him, anything can happen.

Lock him up.

“The rise and fall of 3AC, as their Singapore-based fund was known, parallels the transformation of crypto. What started with speculation on a few well-known coins such as Bitcoin and Ether became an interdependent industry of tokens linked to other tokens, crypto companies acting like banks offering depositors double-digit yields, and lots of borrowing by traders looking to juice their returns. The rapid growth of this infrastructure helped push up crypto prices and 3AC’s fortunes; when prices turned this year, 3AC unraveled and may have even accelerated the decline. For all the complexity of the new crypto ecosystem—the “smart contracts,” reams of online white papers, and heady talk of decentralized finance—it still proved to be a giant wager on the simple idea that there would always be more buyers for digital coins and prices would mostly keep going up.”

“The Jan. 6 committee hearings have been among the most dramatic and significant congressional investigations into the conduct of a White House in our nation’s history. They reflect months of research, painstaking work by investigators, and testimony from dozens of Trump officials, law enforcement officers and election experts. But a key component has been a small club of women who have provided critical testimony and created a support structure for one another to combat the intense backlash it’s produced.”

“These hearings show that Trump, through his lawyers, lied to Congress about the events of Jan. 6 in his second impeachment trial in denying that the then-president had meant to spark violence. In so doing, he undermined the constitutional process of impeachment—as well as the peaceful transition of power.”

“What this 10-year-old went through is a national shame and a personal tragedy. And all of that was before she became a viral news story and a political football. Who could possibly blame her, or her family, for wanting to maintain her privacy?”

“Celsius, the crypto trading platform that halted all withdrawals a month ago and filed for bankruptcy yesterday, has a $1.2 billion sized hole in its balance sheet, according to a bankruptcy filing and new report from the Financial Times. What does that mean for users? You’re probably not getting all your money back, if you see some at all.”

You can thank Brian Krebs for making the Internet a slightly better place, at least for a few days.

RIP, Adam Wade, singer, actor, and the first Black host of a network TV game show.

“IOC reinstates Jim Thorpe as sole winner of 1912 Olympic decathlon and pentathlon”.

Weekend link dump for July 10

“It’s Hard to Overstate the Danger of the Voting Case the Supreme Court Just Agreed to Hear”.

“The fall of Roe could also be disastrous for IVF: Since the process often produces extra embryos, which for the anti-choice movement still constitute life that should be protected, states may decide to impose restrictions on the practice or outlaw it altogether. But regardless of what happens to IVF, there is the question of the fate of the embryos that are currently being stored, and who will pay for that storage if the creators of the embryos can’t.”

“Why roller coaster loops aren’t circular anymore”.

“The president and Congress can check SCOTUS’ power when they believe the justices have exceeded their mandate. This might be the best way to save the court from itself.”

“Almost from the beginning of this series of blockbuster hearings, the [January 6] committee has been up-front about its intention not just to tell the truth, but to do so bluntly and directly.”

Let’s go, Brandon Brundidge.

“Doctors in red states are reporting a huge spike in demand for vasectomies and tubal ligations as Americans react to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

“Sounds Like Ron DeSantis Needs To Ban Taking Kids To Contemporary Christian Concerts!”

“More guns in public means more lost and stolen guns, which supply a criminal black market, and laws enshrining the right to carry weapons sap the ability of police to actually investigate gun crimes. Right to carry laws are associated with a stunning 35 percent increase in gun thefts, a 13 percent decline in violent crime clearance rates, and as a result, a 29 percent increase in firearm crime, especially robberies. Ostensibly law-abiding gun owners, like those who would automatically get the right to carry a gun in public in a post-Bruen world, can make America a more violent place even if they aren’t actually acting out Bernard Goetz fantasies.”

“During the Baby Scoop Era, the toxic mix of a lack of sex education, birth control, and a post-war boom in premarital sex, led to a baby boom and increasing numbers of unmarried pregnant women. Many of these women and teenagers were sent to maternity homes where they would have their babies in secret, then place them up for adoption and return to their lives as if nothing had happened.”

RIP, Robert Curl, Nobel Prize winning chemist at Rice University, who was on the team that discovered a new form of carbon known as “buckyballs”. Curl was also a fixture on the local tournament bridge scene, and I had the pleasure of sitting down against him any number of times back in the day. He was well-liked in that community and at Rice, and he will be missed. You should read the Rice University news release about him as well.

Lock him up.

Lock them up.

Disbar them all, at the very least.

RIP, Kazuki Takahashi, Japanese manga artist who created Yu-Gi-Oh!.

RIP, James Caan, longtime movie star best known for The Godfather.

“Fact Check: 99% of the World’s Population Gets Sunlight at the Same Moment on July 8″.

RIP, Tony Sirico, actor best known as Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos. Rolling Stone has a lovely article about him as well.

Weekend link dump for July 3

“NASA to Power Down Voyager Probes: Here Are Their Best Space Photos“.

You have to wonder how things might be now if Harriet Miers were on SCOTUS now instead of Sam Alito.

“These installations are called traffic gardens — or safety towns, safety villages, or traffic parks. They are small-scale worlds where children can practice using roadways and learn how they work. This matters because road use, as my mom says, isn’t intuitive.”

“The landscape of misinformation is characterized both by a high level of familiarity with the narratives we tested and also a high level of uncertainty about whether these narratives are true or false; In fact, we walked away believing that uncertainty is a much more important focus of attention than belief; As such, we also saw the potential strategic value, counter to some conventional guidance, of airing out and debunking certain narratives; And we concluded that “susceptibility” is not the right framework for understanding (or countering) disinformation, misinformation or propaganda.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade is about to upend the lives of one group that few activists on either side of the debate have considered—women in the U.S. military.”

“This is how Hamtramck Stadium sounded in the 1930s, when the Negro Leagues’ Detroit Stars called it home. This is how it sounded again Monday, thanks to a grassroots effort to renovate the historic ballpark.”

Meet Bernice Gera, the first female umpire in professional baseball history. The Athletic has a story if you have a subscription.

“Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, passionately believed in girls’ and women’s sports. Arguably the most popular cartoonist of his day, he used his platform to promote Title IX, with characters such as Lucy, Marcie and Peppermint Patty cheering on the legislation – and top women athletes of the era.”

RIP, Steve Gonzales, celebrated photographer for the Houston Chronicle whose work included an iconic shot of an armadillo rescue during the 2016 Tax Day floods. The photo was later touted as the proper image for a new city of Houston flag.

RIP, Alexander Jefferson, revered former colonel for the Tuskegee Airmen.

A whole lot of y’all have watched Stranger Things season 4. (This includes daughter #2 and me.)

Seven-year-old Abigail Courtney has seen some things at the ol’ ballpark.

Lock them up.

“Who Is Cassidy Hutchinson? And Why Is She A Key Witness?”

“I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.”

“Legally, the most important is what seems to me like very specific evidence that the former President is guilty of seditious conspiracy, among numerous other crimes.”

Don’t Trust DIY Abortion Advice on TikTok“.

“Due to increased demand, at this time we are limiting purchases of Plan B contraceptive pills to three per customer.”

RIP, Philip Baker Hall, legendary character actor who was in basically everything.

“A group of 200 top writers, producers and directors have signed an open letter backed by the Brady gun violence organization that includes a pledge to incorporate gun safety best practices into their shows and to scrutinize the use of firearms in storytelling.”

“The tech companies contacted by Motherboard have decided to not acknowledge their stance explicitly either way, despite the stark reality they now find themselves in; that they may provide the forensic or digital evidence that puts a person who can be pregnant in jail.”

RIP, Margaret Keane, artist best known for her paintings of big-eyed, melancholy children.

RIP, Hershel Williams, last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was supposed to be a movie, but then Solo didn’t do well enough, and so Disney+ it was.

“Practically, the report is an instruction manual for how Trump partisans at all levels of government—aided by citizen “posses” of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—could, quite literally, round up opposition activists, kill their leaders, and install Donald Trump for a second term in office.”

Patsy Baloney is my new drag name.

Weekend link dump for June 26

“Not a single MAGA candidate who has been screaming 2020 fraud—Ken Paxton in Texas, Herschel Walker in Georgia, JD Vance in Ohio, Ted Budd in North Carolina, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania—not one of them has answered the question of how such endemic fraud just happened to be missing from their own election.”

“According to an NBC News analysis of FBI hate crime data from the last 10 years, more than 160 hate crimes were recorded at grocery stores in 2020, 65% more than in 2019 and four times as many as in 2010.”

“Stolen-election activists and supporters of former President Donald Trump have embraced a new tactic in their ongoing campaign to unearth supposed proof of fraud in the 2020 presidential race: chasing down a fictional breed of fraudster known as a “ballot mule” and using social media to do it.”

“Researchers Release Comprehensive Twitter Dataset of False Claims About The 2020 Election”.

“The legitimacy of judicial review hinges in part on the public perception that we are applying the rule of law regardless of our personal preferences instead of merely engaging in judicial policymaking.”

“The philosopher John Rawls’ bit was to argue that justice was rational because it makes sense for all of us to want a world in which any such Great Swapping wouldn’t put us in jeopardy of losing our rights, needs, safety, and dignity.”

“It is clear that weeks before January 6 the White House staff under Trump’s direction engaged in a pattern of firings, transfers and otherwise diminishing agencies that could have prevented the events of the day. In addition it is clear that Trump and others close to him were advised, and were aware, that their conduct would violate the Electoral Count Act and perhaps other statutes. It is clear also that Trump was advised and knew even through communications from his daughter and the former Attorney General that he had lost the election and that there was no cognizable evidence of fraud. Put all these things together and it is clear that Merrick Garland would have grounds to seek indictments and would be able to deflect any argument that the participants in the seditious conspiracy lacked criminal intent.”

“While the rest of official Washington, including other government buildings including the White House and Capitol, has reopened its doors to the public at least partially as the pandemic ebbs, the top U.S. judicial body remains in a form of lockdown with what appears to be siege mentality even as it wields huge influence over public policy.”

Why you get paper receipts for cash transactions at fast food and casual dining outlets.

RIP, Rosemary Catacalos, former poet laureate of Texas.

Birds of a feather. Who should both be locked up.

“Sexualized threats. Home break-ins. Death threats. An attempted citizen’s arrest. Being singled out by name and image by Donald Trump and his advisers. This is just a fraction of what Georgia’s election workers and their families experienced in the days and weeks after the former president made the state the focus of his “Big Lie” election conspiracy.”

Here’s a fairly simple explanation of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.

Lock them up.

“Should you keep abortion pills at home, just in case?” (Spoiler alert: The answer is yes, you should.)

RIP, Tony Siragusa, TV personality and former NFL player who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.

“What makes this article special, though, is that it’s a perfect example of how sexism and mainstream media collide and collude to convince Americans that abusive men are the real victims. And in a moment when misogynist backlash is on an upswing, pieces like this are more dangerous than ever.”

“If you’re wondering what you can do right now to fight for abortion rights in the wake of the Dobbs decision, this is one of those things”.

Weekend link dump for June 19

“A Texas entrepreneur is bringing back the woolly mammoth. Well, sort of.”

“This bears repeating: Judicial supremacy is an institutional arrangement brought to cultural ascendancy by white people who wanted to undo Reconstruction and the rise of organized labor that had followed. And that makes sense, as judicial supremacy can harness the power of an entrenched minority and use that power to undermine the more democratic legislative branch.”

“But the most important thing the hearings can do — given that, if someone tries to steal the next election, they won’t do it precisely the way Trump and his allies tried in 2020 — is to shift our gaze forward: They can highlight continuing vulnerabilities in our electoral system and propose ways to fix them, before it is too late.”

“But there is another subtext informing this European reaction, one which Friedman studiously sidesteps: the reality that the commitments of the United States can no longer be counted on to defend Europe, thanks in large part to the memory of Donald Trump’s administration—specifically Trump’s peculiar sycophancy towards Putin and the Russian Federation.”

“Kim Phúc and Nick Ut on “Napalm Girl,” 50 years later.”

“Now, a little more than five years later, 25 percent of Republicans identify as believers of the Pizzagate successor QAnon, and the far right’s capacity for street violence has grown. At the same time, where once most elected Republican officials would at least nominally distance themselves from Pizzagate-pushers out on the fringe, that wall has largely eroded.”

“The Warning About Trump That JFK Never Got to Deliver”.

“The hearings in Congress provide an opportunity for the public to see Christian nationalism for what it is.”

“You might’ve forgotten about rapper Kanye West’s bizarre ties to ex-President Donald Trump’s election steal scheme – but investigators in Georgia apparently haven’t.”

“So Reiter’s new projection is that there are at least 100 American drivers veering their cars into buildings each day, or 36,500 a year, and that’s the low bound. The revised figure corresponds to 16,000 Americans injured in car-on-building crashes each year, he believes, and more than 2,500 people killed.”

“After signing a pledge opposing anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation last spring, companies like AT&T, Amazon, Pfizer, and CVS Health gave thousands of dollars to the campaign efforts of lawmakers who had been backing such bills, according to a recent analysis from Data for Progress, a left-leaning polling firm.”

RIP, Internet Explorer, put out to pasture after 26 years.

“A new Florida law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks with some exceptions violates religious freedom rights of Jews in addition to the state constitution’s privacy protections, a synagogue claims in a lawsuit.”

Lock them up.

“It is difficult to imagine a more humiliating conclusion to this sad chapter in Wisconsin history for those in the state pushing Trump’s Big Lie. The lawyers who were supposed to find evidence of fraud have destroyed their professional careers. The GOP politicians who supported this bogus audit are in contempt of court. And no one has produced an iota of evidence to suggest that Democrats stole the election. While attempting to discredit Joe Biden’s victory, Wisconsin Republicans have only bolstered its legitimacy.”

“It has been nearly 48 hours since a water line broke in Odessa, leaving the entire city without water amid a dayslong heat wave and bringing the community’s daily lives to a screeching halt. The West Texas city has about 112,000 residents, but the water outage included parts outside the city limits, bringing the number of people affected closer to 165,000, officials have said.”

Weekend link dump for June 12

“Even with the continued decline in payphones, there are still more payphones in the country than McDonalds or public libraries.”

“These 25 rainbow-flag waving companies donated $13 million to anti-gay politicians since 2021″.

“What is the LGIS News Service you ask? The answer reveals much more about our media environment, and is even more disturbing than the botched story suggests.”

“How a washed-up celebrity, men’s rights activists and true crime stans convinced millions of Americans to buy into a conspiracy theory“.

“If you’re trying to make sense of which policies work to reduce gun violence, it’s helpful to keep in mind that here in the U.S., we don’t really have one gun violence problem, we have at least four. Read on.”

“Draft Order Would Have Given Armed Trump Supporters Power to Seize Voting Data“.

“Bill Barr May Have Retired As Attorney General, But He’s Still Working Hard To Degrade The Office“.

“All in all, it sounds like a recipe for quite the hostile work environment at the Supreme Court.”

RIP, Dave Smith, inventor of multiple synthesizers and developer of the MIDI standard.

“How Missouri Helps Abortion Opponents Divert State Taxes to Crisis Pregnancy Centers”. A truly infuriating read.

RIP, John R. Brazil, President Emeritus of Trinity University.

“In other words, it’s possible that depressed turnout was avoided in Georgia only because campaigns and voting-rights groups spent a ton of resources to help people navigate the restrictions. But if Georgia’s restrictive voting law hadn’t passed, those resources could have been used elsewhere.”

Lock them up.

“After all, the Saudis are following the same playbook in golf that they have always followed in international relations: Build a strong enough financial position, and eventually the powerful holdouts against you will prefer to be your friends.”

“Bidding on a special, fireproof copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale ended on Tuesday afternoon, when the book was auctioned by Sotheby’s for $130,000. Proceeds from the auction will go to PEN America’s efforts to fight book banning.”

RIP, Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber baby.

Yes, everyone is (re-)discovering Kate Bush. That’s a good thing. (FWIW, my fave KB song is still “Wuthering Heights”.)

RIP, Jim Seals, the Seals half of Seals and Croft, best known for the song “Summer Breeze”.

“What you’re describing is the single biggest issue facing the future of television production. Your incentive to make the best show you can runs into the brick wall of a complete lack of interest in keeping your show around. And not even at the point where it becomes prohibitively expensive—just more expensive than it was before.”

“President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.”

“Trumpworld Lied To Your Face About The Election”.

Lock her up.

Weekend link dump for June 5

“Male TV presenters in Afghanistan are wearing face masks on screen to show solidarity after the Taliban issued an order that all women on news channels must cover their faces.”

“What is now a push to eradicate exceptions for rape and incest won’t stop there because the anti-abortion movement never wanted compromise. They never planned to stop once they restricted abortion to a certain point. If it was, they would have been satisfied with bans at 20 weeks, 15 weeks, 12 weeks, eight weeks, even six weeks. But they were not and are not, because the goal was never to reach a sanitized consensus. The goal has always been clear – to end legal abortion in any and all cases, and to punish those who have abortions.”

“That one decision to go and find the truth underlying Elon Musk’s promises, rather than just take his word for it, changed my life in ways I never could have anticipated. Now, seven long and often lonely years later, the world seems to be understanding what I learned from the experience: Once you stop taking Musk at his word, his heroic popular image evaporates and a far darker reality begins to reveal itself.”

“Why 18-Year-Olds in Texas Can Buy AR-15s but Not Handguns”.

“To many casual observers, Maus is the comic that made the funny pages legitimate literature. But long before Spiegelman’s account of his family trauma won a Pulitzer and broke open establishment conceptions of what comics could be and do, artists were using the medium to talk about difficult nonfiction topics. During World War II, in fact, some comics creators even delved into the grimmest depths of the Nazis’ Final Solution.”

“Here in the hospital, we will always be waiting to receive those who make it to us. We’ll do our best, on our end, every time. But our best will always be a worse option than prevention. Please don’t lose sight of the better option.”

“It is indeed a striking feature of the American political discourse: In determining whether or not something counts as extravagant or aloof, the socio-economic dimension is almost entirely ignored – all that counts are the cultural sensibilities of conservative white people.”

“The science is abundantly clear: More guns do not stop crime. Guns kill more children each year than auto accidents. More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members. Guns are a public health crisis, just like COVID, and in this, we are failing our children, over and over again.”

Lock him up.

“There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”

“Programming on TMTG+, the document said, will include “blue collar comedy, cancelled shows, Trump-specific programming, faith-based shows, family entertainment, shows that embrace the Second Amendment, and news.””

“Kalush Orchestra, the ensemble that took home the Eurovision 2022 trophy earlier this month, has auctioned off the statue to support their country’s armed forces.”

What Ewan McGregor and Anson Mount say.

“The quick not-guilty verdict was a sharp slap at Durham’s three-year-long investigation, which was launched by William Barr, when he was Trump’s loyalist attorney general, and which has come across as a political crusade mounted to undermine the various Trump-Russia investigations.”

“A new memo offers insight into exactly how Trump’s lawyers imagined a scheme involving alternate slates of electors would play out.”

“I’ve assembled a lengthy, though surely incomplete, list of stolen apes and related scams. (Keep in mind that ape thefts alone are only a fraction all NFT and crypto thefts over time. It’s an expansive universe! Of scams!) Put on your internet face, whether it’s a bored ape or not, and read on.”

“At any rate, as pointed out earlier, it ultimately bears keeping in mind that the so-called “replacement theory” is an ugly old phenomenon, now burnished with a new name with the word “theory” tagged on. From time immemorial, genocides were always actuated by the mindset that the targeted group posed a problem for the society in which they lived. That is the bottom line. We are seeing it again. That being the case, we must not wait until a “substantial” number of Black people, Latino people, Jewish people, etc., have been killed before we recognise genocide as implicated in the spate of murders now being stoked by the so-called “replacement theory”, notwithstanding that these murders are also rightfully described as “hate” crimes.”

“Late on Wednesday evening, the Education Department announced that it will automatically cancel $5.8 billion in loans for 560,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges, a chain of fraud-ridden for-profit schools. The move is the single largest student debt cancellation action ever taken by the department. It concludes a multi-year push by ex-Corinthian students and advocates for debt relief for people who enrolled at the schools, which engaged in widespread deception of prospective students.”

Weekend link dump for May 29

“So, Have You Heard About Monkeypox?”

Here’s a good monkeypox explainer for you.

“This is the irony of our current moment: The most immediate impact of the Supreme Court’s imminent assault on abortion rights has been … an expansion of abortion rights. Americans in much of the country have greater access to reproductive health care than ever before. Blue states that didn’t bother updating their abortion laws for decades are responding to massive Democratic majorities in favor of reproductive freedom. They have snapped into action, countering red-state restrictions at long last. The result will be an ever starker and more combative divide between red and blue America.”

“But a reason reporters might not be focusing on stories of reconciliation between abuse victims and church-led institutions is simply because there are not many stories about reconciliation and forgiveness to tell. Over and over, institutions like the Catholic Church, Christianity Today, and universities big and small have apologized for covering up, hiding, and abetting abuse in many forms. Very rarely do abuse victims announce that they have forgiven the institution and are ready to move on. Perhaps that is because the institution has not earned and is not owed any forgiveness.”

“So here’s the theory: Ginni Thomas went rogue and leaked the draft to lock in the votes of the five justices who had already agreed to that version.”

“The point is that there is an internal coherence to all the rightist causes, as well as enthusiasm that hasn’t been there in previous incarnations. And, because of this coherence, there is a more solid political bloc that can influence the “establishment” Republicans, or intimidate them. But, in any case, it is a bloc that cannot be ignored.”

RIP, Rosemary Radford Ruether, feminist theologian and scholar.

“I can’t imagine the rage being experienced right now by those who have survived church sexual abuse. I only know firsthand the rage of one who never expected to say anything but “we” when referring to the Southern Baptist Convention, and can never do so again. I only know firsthand the rage of one who loves the people who first told me about Jesus, but cannot believe that this is what they expected me to do, what they expected me to be. I only know firsthand the rage of one who wonders while reading what happened on the seventh floor of that Southern Baptist building, how many children were raped, how many people were assaulted, how many screams were silenced, while we boasted that no one could reach the world for Jesus like we could.”

Lock her up.

“About a third of our population is African American; African Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality. So, if you correct our population for race, we’re not as much of an outlier as it’d otherwise appear.”

“For a segment of Christians, the battle over abortion is just one front in a wider war to make America Christian again — by any means necessary. They are not pro-life so much as pro-control.”

RIP, Colin Cantwell, who designed the prototypes of the X-wing, TIE fighter, Star Destroyer, and the Death Star for the original Star Wars.

The case for supersizing She-Hulk.

“My distrust of the Tesla Motors CEO has nothing to do with his views on censorship or his politics – if he even has any. Rather, it is his long track record of being pathologically full of shit.”

Boy, Republicans erally don’t like it when candidates expect every vote to be counted. Even their own candidates.

“Candidates who take part in an insurrection may be barred from holding public office under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled, overturning a lower court judge’s decision.”

I fully endorse this sentiment.

“AI may be searching you for guns the next time you go out in public”.

The Seth-Green-stolen-“Bored Ape”-NFT-that-was-supposed-to-be-a-TV-show story is, well, bananas.

“British military intelligence estimates that Russia has lost one-third of the ground combat forces it had gathered ahead of its invasion as Moscow’s forces have been bedeviled by both their own operational shortcomings and a fierce Ukrainian resistance, backed by sophisticated Western weapons. The U.S. Defense Department has not seen evidence of a mass Russian mobilization so far, officials said. But as Russia is trying to throw more forces into the fight, it is sometimes bringing in combat groups at less than full strength, including units that took losses in their failed effort to capture the capital, Kyiv.”

“Elon Musk’s move to Texas has been an epic disaster, with no end in sight”.

“None of what shaped Ramos is inherent in the Latino condition. Rather, it’s as much a part of our America as anyone else’s.”

RIP, Ray Liotta, actor best known for Goodfellas and Field of Dreams.

Keep him locked up. Be very careful about reading that story – it contains some truly disturbing descriptions of child sex abuse.

RIP, Andy Fletcher, keyboardist and founding member of Depeche Mode, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

RIP, Alan White, longtime drummer for Yes.

“We filmed this season of Stranger Things a year ago. But given the recent tragic shooting at a school in Texas, viewers may find the opening scene of episode 1 distressing. We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable violence, and our hearts go out to every family mourning a loved one.”

Weekend link dump for May 22

So how’s crypto doing now? Brutal week last week.

“Not only do members of the AAPI community feel less included in the workplace as opposed to other demographic groups, but many have changed their daily routines due to fear of anti-Asian violence.”

“How do people with disabilities feel about abortion? New poll sheds light for the first time.”

“Why are there continent-sized ‘blobs’ in the deep Earth?”

“Who’s Mainstreaming The ‘Great Replacement’ Theory?”

Congratulations to Ukraine on its Eurovision 2022 victory.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one wayward delivery robot, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

“Fred Savage was fired last Friday as executive producer and director of The Wonder Years reboot because Fred Savage is an asshole, and if that comes as a surprise to you, welcome to the 21st century! It turns out that people who play nice guys on television aren’t always nice guys in real life. Have you ever heard of a guy named Bill Cosby?”

“Two Wisconsin Democratic presidential electors are suing 10 Republicans who acted as fake electors for then-President Trump following the 2020 election.”

“I think it is important to be clear here that Musk is lying. The spam bots are not why he is backing away from the deal, as you can tell from the fact that the spam bots are why he did the deal. He has produced no evidence at all that Twitter’s estimates are wrong, and certainly not that they are materially wrong or made in bad faith.”

“So yes, ten years on, the Lowest Difficulty Setting still applies. It’s as relevant as ever. And I’m sure, even now, a bunch of straight white men will still maintain it’s still not accurate. As they would have been in 2012, they’re entirely wrong about that.”

“Many of today’s most successful cybercriminal groups operate like Fortune 500 companies, with deep investments in research and development and marketing of their products and services and day-to-day operations.”

“In time, abortion’s illegality is going to affect everyone: you, your friends, your loved ones, your community, your kids, and your parents. It’s going to affect you if you or someone you know wants an abortion, and it’s frankly going to affect you even if you don’t.”

RIP, Vangelis, composer who won an Oscar for his score to the movie Chariots of Fire.

Bankrupt him.

“SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018″.

It’s going to be a bad hurricane season. Anytime the year 2005 comes up, look out.

RIP, Roger Angell, Hall of Fame baseball writer and author. He was an editor for The New Yorker for 75 years, and they published this remembrance of him.

Weekend link dump for May 15

“The case against the Supreme Court of the United States”.

“So the $35 sculpture you got at an Austin Goodwill was looted from a museum during WWII. Now what?” A delightfully bonkers story that the reporter had apparently needed to sit on for four years until the legal stuff got worked out.

“This is a weaponized grimness. It feeds on isolation and silence and gaslighting; it tells us that we are reactionary and foolish for worrying about getting sick or making someone else sick. It tells us that we are wrong and bad to protect ourselves and others. It mocks us for ever having believed things could have been different: that systemic change was possible, that a pandemic could shift the future of public health. This grimness tells us that we must throw away our old masks, the ones that protected our lungs and bodies, and put on new ones: happy faces unconcerned with 1 million people dead from COVID in this country alone.”

“Roe has long protected the fertility industry from regulation of IVF & fertility care decision making. My take on WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO Embryos, IVF, and ART IF THE LEAKED DOBBS DECISION STANDS. Note: most IVF cycles involve “extra” embryos.” (Note: “ART” = “Assisted Reproductive Technology”.)

“Apple, Google and Microsoft announced this week they will soon support an approach to authentication that avoids passwords altogether, and instead requires users to merely unlock their smartphones to sign in to websites or online services. Experts say the changes should help defeat many types of phishing attacks and ease the overall password burden on Internet users, but caution that a true passwordless future may still be years away for most websites.”

“I’m just going to throw a bunch of graphs in this thread about views of abortion. Here’s a good place to start – allow abortion for any reason.”

“We are going to see threats to basic assumptions of how states work together. Normally, states cooperate. Normally, states leave their laws within their borders. But because anti-abortion states are going to get so aggressive in trying to solve this problem of what do we do for people traveling out of state, it’s going to create all these issues.” And that’s why you don’t throw issues like this back to the states, kids.

More than you wanted to know about the weird music on reality TV shows.

“A group of Republican senators is calling for a TV ratings system to warn parents about LGBTQ content in children’s programs. Their statement singles out Disney repeatedly.”

“Just read this translation of Putin’s speech. Reaction—that’s it? Completely out of ideas. Either doesn’t now understand the reality of the situation in Ukraine, or wilfully ignoring it.”

“One America News, the right-wing cable network, aired a 30-second segment yesterday essentially admitting the falsity of its previous “reporting” on supposed voter fraud by two Georgia election workers. The prerecorded statement aired shortly after OAN settled a defamation suit brought by Fulton County election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, whom the network had falsely accused of participating in a conspiracy to steal the 2020 election.” I hope they also got a ton of money from that settlement.

RIP, iPods. I listen to a lot of podcasts on my iPod – you know, the source of the “pod” part of “podcast” – and now I don’t know what I’m going to do when this device goes belly up. I don’t like iPhones, so I guess I will eventually have to figure out a workable-for-me podcast-playing solution for my Android phone. This feels about like how I felt when Google announced it was killing off Google Reader. It’s still perfectly good technology that lots of people like! Couldn’t you just, like, license it to someone?

“Demanding civility from those you seek to oppress is absurd. But considering the anti-abortion movement has, for decades, turned the front door of an abortion clinic into a war zone, it’s the height of hypocrisy.”

“Suddenly startups are having trouble raising money. Why?”

RIP, Bob Lanier, basketball Hall of Famer and NBA global ambassador.

RIP, Ray Scott, known as the “Father of Modern Bass Fishing” and the creator of the Bassmaster TV show.

What the January 6 Subpoenas Say About Kevin McCarthy“. Nothing good, obvs.

RIP, Fred Ward, versatile actor who will live forever in my heart for his starring role in Tremors.

“For the first time, astronomers have captured an image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.”

Weekend link dump for May 8

“It’s been fascinating to see how Netflix in particular is falling into the Accidental 30 Rock trap. The mammoth streaming service was supposed to change the game, to be the subversive force that didn’t play by traditional TV’s rules. It took them only a few years to do the exact same nonsense that network broadcasting does. Their reality slate, from Is it Cake? to The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On, reeks of the kind of decision making made by harried executives on a tight budget desperate to fill out the schedule.”

“According to the spam blocking company YouMail, robocalls have spiked in the last few months since hitting a low in December.”

“The key insight there is that the “demons” of Pentecostal Spiritual Warfare always, always, always represent attacks on the pre-existing cultural beliefs and presuppositions of these Christians. Spiritual Warfare, in other words, is reactionary. It spiritualizes a defense of the status quo by portraying any form of change — negative or positive — as the strategic handiwork of a conspiracy of literal demons.”

“The federal Department of Education has begun investigating Liberty University’s handling of student reports of sexual assault.”

“You Can Now Ask Google to Remove Your Phone Number, Email or Address from Search Results”.

Emergency backup goalie alert!

RIP, Bob Krueger, Texas Senator, Congressman, Railroad Commissioner, ambassador, diplomat, professor, and many other things.

RIP, Neal Adams, legendary comic book artist who revitalized “Batman”, among many other things. Look for Mark Evanier to have more to say.

Susan Collins told the women of America that they could trust her to protect their reproductive freedom. She let us down.”

RIP, Kailia Posey, Toddlers and Tiaras alum probably best known for a reaction GIF you have almost certainly seen.

RIP, Ron Galella, notorious paparazzo.

“With their engrossing and terrifying two-part investigation of Grey’s Anatomy writer Elisabeth Finch, Vanity Fair has revealed a tale that involves alleged trauma-theft, one of the worst hate crimes in American history, multiple potentially fake illnesses, Anna Paquin, and yes, a kidney.”

“A location data firm is selling information related to visits to clinics that provide abortions including Planned Parenthood facilities, showing where groups of people visiting the locations came from, how long they stayed there, and where they then went afterwards, according to sets of the data purchased by Motherboard.” Seems bad, you know?

“The US Supreme Court’s legitimacy has been deeply pierced, and it may never recover its stature in the eyes of America.”

On the plus side, condors are back. So we’ve got that going for us.

“Please Allow Me, a Woman Who Just Had a Baby, to Fact-Check Justice Samuel J. Alito”.

“As Ukraine Reels, Putin’s Alliance with Russia’s Orthodox Church Leadership Remains Strong”.

“Accumulating this much power is not easy and it is very expensive. But anti-abortion forces had a critical ally: corporate America. A Popular Information analysis of corporate political giving found 13 major companies have given $15.2 million to the NRSC, RSLC, and RGA since 2016.”

“May the Fourth, Rex Manning Day, and 10 More Made-Up Movie and TV Holidays“.

Congratulations to Dusty Baker for his 2,000th win as a MLB manager.

“A Louisiana legislative committee on Wednesday advanced a bill to make abortion a crime of homicide in which the mother or those assisting her in terminating the pregnancy can be charged.” I guarantee you, this will be on the Republican legislative agenda in 2023.

“It was school segregation, not abortion, that brought Christians together in prayer and a quest for political power.” Slacktivist has been on this for a long time.

“A group of Florida residents has sued the state’s governor and other officials over the repeal of a special tax district that has allowed Walt Disney World to self-govern its operations since it was created 55 years ago.”

RIP, George Pérez, comic book artist best known for his work on Wonder Woman and The New Teen Titans. Mark Evanier has more.

RIP, Mickey Gilley, country music star and owner of the iconic Gilley’s honky-tonk in Pasadena, the inspiration for Urban Cowboy.

Weekend link dump for May 1

They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert.”

“Mark Meadows is registered to vote in how many states? Three and counting, apparently”. That sounds like, I don’t know, what’s the phrase, oh yes, voter fraud.

“Now, in a move that rudely interferes with everyone’s ability to make excuses that they’re only buying five boxes of the cookies to practice their splitting technique, a scientific study has found it’s impossible to break apart an Oreo so that the filling distributes evenly on both halves.”

“In other words, the restrictive nature of the law does more than hamper a patient’s access to abortion. It distorts her decision-making process.”

“Most people who are really into disinformation and conspiracy theories don’t believe in a single conspiracy theory […] Rather, they’re drawn into a self-reinforcing conspiratorial worldview in which conspiracies build on one another. While the theories can seem disparate, they often have unifying themes: They feed distrust in sources of authority; they claim insider knowledge that makes the believer feel valuable; and frequently, that knowledge includes a secret plan to defeat the forces of evil.”

RIP, Johnnie Jones, Louisiana civil rights attorney and World War II veteran who was wounded during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, the Army’s first Black warrant officer.

“The previous analysis, which examined data through 2016, showed that firearm-related injuries were second only to motor vehicle crashes (both traffic-related and nontraffic-related) as the leading cause of death among children and adolescents, defined as persons 1 to 19 years of age.4 Since 2016, that gap has narrowed, and in 2020, firearm-related injuries became the leading cause of death in that age group.”

RIP, Cynthia Albritton, artist better known as Cynthia Plaster Caster. If that doesn’t make sense to you, I suggest you click the link.

RIP, David William Kearney, Texas blues legend known as Guitar Shorty.

Feel better soon, Cary Elwes!

“One of the likeliest and most dramatic things that Elon Musk will do once he has acquired Twitter is let Donald Trump back on. The effect on our nation’s discourse will be disastrous. And, sadly, I fully expect the news media to go back to its old ways of serving as Trump’s megaphone.”

“Reality Check: Seven Times Texas Leaders Misled the Public About Operation Lone Star”.

“Right now they’re doing surgery where people used to buy sheets and towels.”

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán is the US Christian Right’s new Vladimir Putin. It’s all about the homophobia.

“The ‘anti-woke’ agenda is going to cost taxpayers big bucks”.

“The key insight to all this work is that those who distrust vaccines, science and expertise aren’t doing so necessarily because they have a knowledge gap or a misunderstanding. Distrusting experts is part of their identity. Motta and his colleagues’ work suggests that being anti-vaccine has become an identity, too. In some respects, distrusting experts has become a political choice, which means that any message from an official source — whether it’s a researcher, head of a government agency or a journalist — is more likely to inspire the opposite of its intended reaction from those who view that source as part of the political opposition.”

Too soon, Travis Scott. Seriously.

“We need to sanction the hell out of this guy.”

RIP, Naomi Judd, part of the Grammy-award winning country music duo The Judds, mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd.

Weekend link dump for April 24

“With MLB adopting the universal DH, the era of pitcher hitting in the league is officially done. To say farewell, let’s hand out awards for the best, weirdest, and most magical moments produced by pitchers stepping up to the plate.”

“By applying the 2020 error rates to each state’s racial and ethnic makeup, we find that undercounts in the 2020 census deprived six states of a congressional seat; correspondingly, overcounts of white and Asian residents enabled six other states to gain one seat more than their populations warranted.”

“Since Russian troops crossed Ukraine’s borders at the end of February, colossal amounts of information about the Russian state and its activities have been made public. The data offers unparalleled glimpses into closed-off private institutions, and it may be a gold mine for investigators, from journalists to those tasked with investigating war crimes. Broadly, the data comes in two flavors: information published proactively by Ukranian authorities or their allies, and information obtained by hacktivists. Hundreds of gigabytes of files and millions of emails have been made public.”

“You would think: Well, that’s part of the story. But maybe it’s a needlessly narrow way to begin. That’s what I would think. I would also think: we know that journalism inevitably flattens reality. But you want to fight the flattening as much as you can. To me the joy of reporting, and its essence, is openness to the things you didn’t know until you showed up.”

Meet Emmett Ashford, the first Black umpire in Major League Baseball, who made his MLB debut 19 years after Jackie Robinson did.

Take all his money. Every last filthy dime.

“I am sitting here next to my gay husband living my gay life reading a gay novel as research for my new gay book…and yet I am not and will never be as gay as whatever is haunting Tucker Carlson’s fantasies.”

RIP, Liz Sheridan, actor best known as Seinfeld’s mom.

Comics For Ukraine.

“A federal judge will allow a group of Georgia voters to move forward with a case to disqualify Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from running for a second term, arguing that her role in the Jan. 6 insurrection disallows her from appearing on the ballot.”

“In the end, the attacks failed to diminish public support for [Justice Ketanji Brown] Jackson, and her poised responses to questioning helped secure her nomination, by a vote of 53–47. But the fierce campaign against her was concerning, in part because it was spearheaded by a new conservative dark-money group that was created in 2020: the American Accountability Foundation. An explicit purpose of the A.A.F.—a politically active, tax-exempt nonprofit charity that doesn’t disclose its backers—is to prevent the approval of all Biden Administration nominees.”

If I’m ever in a position to vote for Mallory McMorrow for something, I will.

The worst episode of Saturday Night Live is so much worse than you can imagine, and it’s all due to Steven Seagal.

“Mike Lee may want to pretend he had no role in this process, but the stone-cold truth is that he, and many other conservatives, breathed life into Trump’s schemes and made the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol possible.”

“Now we are at the point where to be a Republican means to believe the Big Lie. And as long as Republicans leading the party keep promoting and indulging the Big Lie, that will continue to be the case. If I’ve learned anything from my focus groups, it’s that something doesn’t have to make sense for voters to believe it’s true.”

I understand why Wimbledon would ban Russian players from its event this year. I can also understand the argument against holding individuals who may have their own opinions accountable for the actions of their country’s leader.

Who wants ads on Netflix? How about if it costs less?

RIP, Guy LaFleur, Hockey Hall of Famer, prolific goal-scorer, five time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens.

RIP, Daryle Lamonica, two-time MVP quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, nicknamed The Mad Bomber.

RIP, Robert Morse, two-time Tony Award winner best known for How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and later for a role on Mad Men.

“On Friday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took the stand to give a foggy recollection’s worth of testimony in an Atlanta court hearing over whether she should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment from running for re-election this fall.”

“They’re dissolving something the size of the city of Orlando in 72 hours. This is not the way to run a state.”

Weekend link dump for April 17

“If the increasingly bare-knuckle battle between Florida’s conservative Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and the Walt Disney Co., over the Sunshine State’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law and other legislation, sounds eerily familiar, it should. The current clash of values and culture between the Sun Belt and the West Coast sharply echoes the 1990s Southern Baptist Convention’s Disney boycott.”

“It’s easy to look at the Christian Right and get this backwards — to see the Christian Right as an effort to reshape politics in accord with Christianity. But it ain’t that. It’s an effort to redefine Christianity in accord with right-wing politics. This is why the Christian Right can accommodate doctrinal diversity but not political diversity. You can be a member of the Christian Right in good standing while believing either that speaking in tongues is mandatory or that it is forbidden, but you cannot belong if you believe that the Reconstruction Amendments are legitimately constitutional.”

“Here are several additional examples of framing assumptions to watch for in the mainstream news. When you see or hear stories based on these premises, move on to something else.”

“Many Americans—perhaps as many as 37 percent of Americans, and nearly half of Republicans—do not want it to be too easy to find (and leave!) a job. It leads to, for example, worse service at restaurants, school bus driver shortages, and longer checkout lines nearly everywhere. It also leads, sometimes, to union campaigns at your warehouse or coffee shop franchise.”

“The Republicans have apparently decided that the committee in charge of sex crimes legislation should include one guy currently being investigated for actual sex crimes—and another who allegedly looked the other way on them. It’s not exactly the behavior of a party that cares deeply about sexual abuse.”

“Human behavior, such as the choice not to vaccinate (or worse, actively propagate misinformation designed to stoke unsubstantiated fear), is central to the nation’s most prevalent, obstinate conditions, including heart disease and obesity. To successfully improve health outcomes, reduce costly chronic disease management, and prevent infectious disease outbreaks, it is imperative to understand the link between what drives health behavior (our thoughts) and what catalyzes behavior change (our choices). And understanding the science of human behavior means investing in it. Unfortunately, social and behavioral health scientists remain the minuscule minority in the pool of externally funded scientific investigators.”

I’ll be rooting for Kelsie Whitmore this year on the Atlantic League’s Staten Island Ferryhawks. No woman has reached such a high level of professional baseball in more than a generation.

“This is possibly the largest and most brazen instance of public corruption I’ve seen in twenty five years covering American politics as a journalist. And this is saying something since, as you know, public corruption has always been one of my greatest interests and consistent beats.”

Jerry Springer blames himself and his show, a little, for making Donald Trump happen.

RIP, Mimi Reinhardt, the typist who drew up Oskar Schindler’s lists of Jewish workers to be spared from the Holocaust.

RIP, Gilbert Gottfried, brilliant comedian and voice actor.

The median age of “Dancing with the Stars” viewers is 63.5 years old. That right there is why the show is being moved to Disney+ from ABC.”

“Alyssa Nakken broke another historic barrier on Tuesday night, becoming the first woman to coach on the field in a Major League game in the Giants’ 13-2 victory over the Padres at Oracle Park.”

“Many Americans live in fear of a traffic stop. Real power in American life is when the sheriff lends you his car after you’ve mysteriously totaled your own.”

“A new study out today suggests all the new police budget growth is likely to do one thing: increase misdemeanor arrests.”

RIP, Shirley Spork, one of 13 founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

RIP, Mike Bossy, Hockey Hall of Famer, four-time Stanley Cup winner, one of the most prolific scorers in NHL history.

Weekend link dump for April 10

Everyone should watch television with the captions on, in almost all situations, even if your hearing is not an issue. I started doing it a few years ago and it has improved my viewing experience a lot.”

“The Bat-Signal wouldn’t work in real life. But that didn’t stop the team at Hacksmith Industries from making one that does.”

“Any reporters who cite the Catholic League without acknowledging that it’s just one angry wealthy guy who loves to pick fights with everyone who doesn’t bow down to the conservative wing of the Catholic Church is committing journalistic malpractice.”

“Donohue’s success is partly due to his focus on a particular niche of old, frightened, resentful white people. He fleeces old, frightened, resentful white Catholics, and is thus not in direct competition with groups like the Family Research Council or the Liberty Council or the Alliance Defending Freedom, all of which derive most of their income from fleecing old, frightened, resentful white Protestants.”

RIP, Estelle Harris, versatile character actor known for many roles but especially as George Costanza’s mother on Seinfeld.

“The galling cynicism of CBS News hiring Mick Mulvaney”.

RIP, cancel culture. It was never really a thing anyway.

“Local TV Station Unearths Ultra-Rare Interview Footage Of An 11-Year-Old Prince“, who offered support for teachers that were on strike.

“Totally normal journalism, right? The president announces another blockbuster jobs report and the press presents it as borderline bad news.”

I’m shocked and saddened to note that the above was the last entry from Eric Boehlert, who was killed in a bicycle accident later in the week. My condolences to his family and friends.

“To understand impacts of partisan media on beliefs & attitudes, we paid regular Fox News viewers to watch CNN instead for ~7 hrs/week for a month. Our results should worry you.”

RIP, Gerda Weissman Klein, Holocaust survivor, author, Emmy and Oscar winner, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner.

“Ukraine May Mark a Turning Point in Documenting War Crimes“.

“For Gibbons and other Young Earth Creationist cryptozoologists, finding a flesh-and-blood, living, breathing dinosaur would not only be a scientific triumph but, they hope, could bury Darwin’s theory of evolution and prove their beliefs right.”

“In an internal email obtained exclusively by Popular Information, Stand Together, the influential non-profit group run by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, argues that the United States should seek to deliver a partial “victory” to Russia in Ukraine.”

Barney and Friends debuted 30 years ago. You and I, we are old.

RIP, Bobby Rydell, singer, actor, and the namesake of the high school in Grease.

I got your voter fraud right here.

Decolonizing the Search for Extraterrestrial Life”.

“Thus, this story is a fanciful interpretation of what I imagine a Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager does, which I am almost entirely certain has nothing to do with what someone with this job actually does. Please do not come to this story for a true accounting of the job, you will be gravely disappointed, and possibly in danger if you ever encounter an actual grizzly. Needless to say, apologies to all genuine Grizzly Bear Conflict Managers out there.”

How Brett Favre used his fame and connections to steer millions of dollars in federal welfare funds to various personal projects.

RIP, Martha Turner, longtime Houston real estate icon.

Lock him up.