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Texas blog roundup for the week of May 3

The Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup was as always included in the Oscar nominees’ swag bag.

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Weekend link dump for May 2

Please don’t feed the bears.

“U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s reported $2 million book deal is drawing criticism from legal experts who say its size and timing create bad optics for a court that is already in the political crosshairs.”

A new malaria vaccine could save a lot of lives.

“David Brooks can be maddening, but he has a role to play in moving the needle of progress.”

“The issue is in part semantic: The term low-skill as we use it is often derogatory, a socially sanctioned slur Davos types casually lob at millions of American workers, disproportionately Black and Latino, immigrant, and low-income workers. Describing American workers as low-skill also vaults over the discrimination that creates these “low-skill” jobs and pushes certain workers to them. And it positions American workers as being the problem, rather than American labor standards, racism and sexism, and social and educational infrastructure. It is a cancerous little phrase, low-skill. As the pandemic ends and the economy reopens, we need to leave it behind.”

In which dogs are used to find turtles to help fight an emerging virus that affects turtles.

“There are basically four countries in the world that are at the head of the pack in terms of vaccinations – with one, Israel, far ahead of the other three. There are as many as a dozen others but they are either city states or tiny jurisdictions that it’s hard to draw much from in terms of statistics. Those four are Israel (Pfizer), the United States (Pfizer & Moderna), the UK (AstraZeneca) and Chile (SinoVAC). There’s a decent body of theoretical and empirical support for the proposition that the population-wide effects of COVID vaccination kick in when about 60% of the population has been vaccinated – at least with the Pfizer/Moderna vaccinations.”

“You don’t need to win every vote. You need to get a majority of votes. Similarly, we don’t need to get everyone vaccinated (thought that sure would be nice). We need to get to herd immunity.”

“To recap: A tabloid falsely linked a study to the Democratic president; Fox News regurgitated the lie; Fox News consumers swallowed the regurgitated lie like conspiratorial ipecac then urped it up all over the internet; America became a measurably dumber place to live.”

“Quentin Tarantino Had A Diabolical Method For Preventing NBC From Messing With His ‘ER’ Episode”.

“A Jan. 6 Commission is Crucial to Understand the Reality of the Attack, and the Alternate Reality of the Attackers”.

“I think the bottom line here is somewhat simple, though: Mask up in crowds. Otherwise—though some judgment calls might be involved—if you’re outdoors, it’s just not as necessary.” Here’s an opposing view to that.

“Russian singer finally voted off reality TV show he didn’t want to be on following three months of misery”. Honestly, that may be the most 2021 story we’ll ever see.

“Good news: Prancer has been adopted.”

I’d say that not listening to Joe Rogan is good advice in general.

RIP, Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut.

RIP, Courtney Hall, Rice Owl and former NFL player.

Josh Duggar is in the position he is in because he was enabled and protected from consequences at every step by his revolting parents and their patriarchal, dehumanizing theology.” (More here, if you can stomach it.)

“Newsmax apologized on Friday for airing false allegations that an employee for Dominion Voting Systems manipulated machines or tallies on Election Day to the detriment of former President Donald Trump.”

RIP, Olympia Dukakis, Oscar-winning actor and cousin of former Massachusetts governor and 1988 U.S. presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 26

The Texas Progressive Alliance calls for the passage of the George Floyd Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for April 25

The story of William Clarence Matthews, a Black baseball player (and many other things) who almost integrated the sport in 1905.

“Having police interrogate you while showing you pictures of the weapons and bombs made *literally feet from where you sleep at night* and telling you how badly this guy wanted to kill you over and over again… I can not explain how this felt.”

Three words: Purple Urkel Cannabis. You’re welcome.

“A New York Times report suggests OAN knew its election claims were false when it made them”.

Bitche, please.

“Billions of cicadas will emerge in the eastern United States this spring, presenting a once-in-a-17-year opportunity for scientists to understand how they shape populations of birds and other species.”

RIP, Helen McCrory, actor known for Peaky Blinders and as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

RIP, Walter Mondale, Vice President under President Carter, Senator from Minnesota, diplomat, statesman, mensch.

How network TV navigated the COVID shutdown.

“Our politics can never truly move forward on anything until there is a final and complete reckoning of the only organized mob coup d’etat in the country’s history. The longer that reckoning is delayed, the harder it’s going to be for the country and its politicians to recover public confidence in the government’s institutions, without which self-government itself is a limping, spavined farce. If the Democratic congressional majorities have to go it alone, then they should. If Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice needs to be the venue for that reckoning, then so be it. It’s too important to be hostage to a party that has lost its mind, and that’s funding its operation on the public’s mania.”

“Social Media Influencers Are Spreading Wild Rumors About COVID-19 Vaccines and Periods”.

“Rather than attempting to obtain the consent of the governed, the Republican Party has turned to a model that relies not on persuasion of voters, but on slicing and dicing the electorate—and erecting more and more severe and onerous barriers to broad participation in elections—to help ensure that they remain in power, regardless of whether they have majority support.”

“It’s not just you: Commercials, particularly those that air on streaming services, are too loud. The FCC is now asking the public to weigh in on whether or not it should update its rules that are supposed to prevent commercials from being louder than the programming they accompany.” YES. YES, THEY SHOULD. Sorry, didn’t mean to shout.

RIP, Jim Steinman, iconic rock composer responsible for “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” and a whole host of rafter-shaking big-vocal 70s anthems. As I said on Facebook, I hope that in the end, the last thing he saw was his heart, still beating, breaking out of his body and flying away, like…well, you know.

BTW, if you liked Steinman at all, you really owe it to yourself to listen to the Hit Parade episode about him.

“For most of the House’s history, however, states did not lose representation after the national head count’s results were released. Generally speaking, as the country’s census numbers grew, so did the size of the House since it was first established at 65 seats by the Constitution before the first U.S. count in 1790.”

“In other words, Bitcoin has few of the attributes of money but all the attributes of a collectible. And because it’s the original cryptocurrency it’s more sought after than, say, Ethereum, the way a 1952 Mickey Mantle is worth more than a 1951 Willie Mays. And both are more valuable than a Tom Egan rookie card, sort of the Dogecoin of baseball cards.”

“That’s right, Dominion Voting Systems, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Denver, Colorado, is functionally the same as the United States government for all eternity as a result of having sold its machines to various jurisdictions for election administration.”

RIP, Tempest Storm, burlesque dancer and star of Russ Meyer films.

America will finally get the LeVar Burton Jeopardy! guest hosting gig it has been waiting for.

RIP, Thelma Harper, Tennessee’s longest-serving female state senator and the first Black woman to be elected to the chamber.

RIP, Lance Mannion, blogger and culture writer.

RIP, Chandler Davidson, founder of the Rice University sociology department and a leading expert on voting rights.

Hope everyone had a happy Sarah Cooper Day.

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 19

The Texas Progressive Alliance now accepts contributions in dogecoin as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for April 18

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? first aired on PBS 30 years ago, between 1991 and 1995. But the show’s legacy lives on for the kids of the ’90s.”

“The Krispy Kreme backlash (and backlash to the backlash) was the latest salvo in the decades-long battle about fatness, anti-fat bias, and whether fat Americans realize that doughnuts do not have the same nutritional value as raw carrot sticks. If that sounds like a familiar dance, it is. If that sounds patronizing, well, buddy, it is.”

“Evangelicals also understand the power of narrative, which is why they’re so concerned with controlling the stories the public hears not only about themselves, but also about those of us who leave evangelicalism and tell the truth about how it has harmed us, criticizing evangelical theology as well as the racism, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ animus, and culture-warring politics that theology bolsters.”

“As presented by the Biden team, [the American Jobs Plan] represents not only an enormous total investment, but some really smart investments, in areas where the positive knock-on effects for the clean energy transition could be enormous. There were some true-blue energy wonks involved in writing this thing.”

“At any rate, the 17th Amendment isn’t going anywhere, so it may be time for the nation at large to understand it.”

“For the last few months, the primary focus of the U.S. has been getting shots to everyone who wants them, as quickly as possible. Soon, that focus will abruptly shift to convincing holdouts to get vaccinated.”

“How Gabby Giffords is using music to rewire her brain after being shot”.

Don’t depend on Greg Abbott to protect you from phony vaccine passports, learn to recognize them for yourself.

Welcome to the Freedom Cafe!

“Almost no person or entity who helped spread Trump’s election fraud lies is even attempting to back them up with evidence. In fact, most of those lie-spreaders have either partially or totally backed away from them in the face of litigation: Fox, Newsmax, OANN, Giuliani’s radio host WABC, the RNC, and two former Trump lawyers.”

“Men are sharing ways they’ve experienced sexual harassment from coworkers, friends, and total strangers. It’s an eye-opening perspective — one that isn’t often discussed.”

“Not long ago, women playing college baseball was unthinkable. Today, it’s more of a reality than ever, with opportunities opening up quickly at all levels of the collegiate game.”

Bernie Madoff has died. He doesn’t get to rest in peace.

RIP, Bob Gallarza, musician and producer, known as the “Quincy Jones of Tejano music”.

“There are other humans in this movie, which is a shame, because my antidepressants got a stress test every time they came on screen. But I suppose the world is not ready for a dialogue-free monster movie. (I mean … I am.) Alexander Skarsgård is also a scientist, but he’s haunted by loss and forced to deliver — with a face as straight as listening to Toby Keith at a gender reveal party — lines about the Hollow Earth realm from which the giant monkey and lizard hail. Brian Tyree Henry plays a podcasting conspiracy theorist looking to expose the shadowy corporate … things happening. Millie Bobby Brown is also here because she is friends with the lizard and has a good agent.”

“How “A Drive Into Deep Left Field by Castellanos” Became the Perfect Meme for These Strange Times”.

“Selena Quintanilla-Pérez’s legacy is one that has transcended generations, languages and cultures. The Tejano music star was born April 16, 1971 — today would’ve been her 50th birthday.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 12

The Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup counts as infrastructure. That’s it, that’s the intro.

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Weekend link dump for April 11

“Biden’s Evangelical Foes Set Aside Satan Fears, Cash Aid Checks”.

“No, Eric Greitens Was Never “Exonerated” of Sexual Misconduct”.

“Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) political career has been imploding for longer than we knew.”

“But, in truth, Boehner’s I-Was-Just-a-Feather-in-the-Gales-of-Crazy act gets a little wearisome for those of us who lived through it. If there’s any evidence that John Boehner tried to arrest the prion disease before it took over his caucus, and then his entire political party, it was not evident in his performance as Speaker.”

“Thanks for noticing that NY’s voting laws are bad! Like GA, many of NY’s restrictions on the right to vote are rooted in racism and xenophobia and need to change. “So, why aren’t you suing NY over early voting and no-excuse absentee balloting right now?” Glad you asked.”

This is a great story. That’s all you need to know.

“Some new research out this week suggests that, for all the high-minded good intentions behind those other strategies, shut the hell up about national politics can actually reduce political polarization — not just at a dinner table, but in an entire community.”

RIP, Yahoo Answers, in case anyone was using it.

“Paige Bueckers has to wait to play in the WNBA because the league never thought there would ever be a player this good, and this young. She’s proof of just how much the game has evolved.”

“Ne’er-do-wells leaked personal data — including phone numbers — for some 553 million Facebook users this week. Facebook says the data was collected before 2020 when it changed things to prevent such information from being scraped from profiles. To my mind, this just reinforces the need to remove mobile phone numbers from all of your online accounts wherever feasible. Meanwhile, if you’re a Facebook product user and want to learn if your data was leaked, there are easy ways to find out.” Basically, bookmark Have I Been Pwned and refer to it any time you see a story like this.

“John de Lancie will reprise his role as Next Generation trickster god Q on Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard“.

“Embattled National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre feared for his safety after mass shootings in recent years, forcing him to take refuge aboard a friend’s luxury yacht, the gun rights advocate testified.”

“New surveys show Americans’ membership in communities of worship has declined sharply in recent years, with less than 50% of the country belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque.”

What is it about Trump voters that makes them such easy marks for scammers?

RIP, Midwin Charles, legal analyst for CNN and MSNBC.

“You can’t complain that right-wing media have usurped the church’s role when the church itself has abdicated that role, refusing to stand up against those usurpers.”

“Why, that sounds like the kind of systemic market failure the [Wall Street] Journal is always insisting can’t happen.”

“The standard explanation for all this is the advent of the coronavirus. The country is in crisis, and Biden is rising to meet the moment. But I don’t buy it. That may explain the American Rescue Plan. But the American Jobs Plan, and the forthcoming American Family Plan, go far beyond the virus. Put together, they are a sweeping indictment of the prepandemic status quo as a disaster for both people and the planet — a status quo that in many cases Biden helped build and certainly never seemed eager to upend.”

Be wary of immigration attorney ads on TikTok.

“That Fyre Fest tweet with the sad sandwich will be auctioned as an NFT for medical expenses“. I got nothin’.

RIP, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

RIP, Anne Beatts, original Saturday Night Live writer and creator of Square Pegs.

Everything you wanted to know about muons but were afraid to ask.

RIP, DMX, hip-hop artists and actor.

RIP, Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General and civil rights champion.

Texas blog roundup for the week of April 5

The Texas Progressive Alliance bids “bon voyage” to the Ever Given as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for April 4

“For many cities and counties, the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) state and local funds are not just a $350 billion lifeline; they represent the largest positive fiscal jolt to their budgets in decades. Now, a scramble is underway to determine how best to deploy the money. The decisions made in the coming weeks— and over the next year regarding the second tranche of funding—will determine whether cities merely enjoy a brief stimulus or seed a new trajectory of inclusive economic growth. The stakes are high. The money needs to move fast and be deployed smartly and equitably. In 10 years, we may look back at this time and ask: Which places merely spent their money, and which places invested it?”

“America’s Covid Swab Supply Depends on Two Cousins Who Hate Each Other“.

“How One State’s Public Health Defunding Led to Vaccination Chaos”.

“For decades, Americans relied on analog televisions employing UHF signals for our hundreds of (mostly inane) channel distractions, but one particular stop on the dial was nowhere to be found: channel 37. Apparently, the nationwide lack of a channel 37 on living room TV sets wasn’t some big coincidence, but an intentional decision overseen by the U.S. government based on two very obvious reasons: the location of a 400-foot radio telescope and aliens.”

“The true dimensions of the worst Christian sex abuse scandal you’ve never heard of have long been largely unknown.”

I had no idea that The Flintstones had a different theme song for its first two seasons.

“An Extremely Scientific Economic Breakdown of the MCU”.

Frequently asked questions about the Deshaun Watson lawsuits, by attorney/Texans fan/all around good egg Stephanie Stradley.

“Yesterday the CDC reported the results of a study which suggest the vaccines are almost as effective against infection as they are against the disease itself.” (We already knew the vaxxes were very good at preventing you from getting sick from COVID, but you could still carry the virus, which is why mask-wearing and other precautions are still recommended after you get your shots. If this study is accurate, it means you’re unlikely to be an asymptomatic carrier as well, which would mean that a true return to normal is on the horizon.)

“The second half of May could see rates of COVID-19 finally plunging to levels that have not been seen since the first weeks of the pandemic. It’s entirely possible that, at that point, a national program of testing and case management could do what it should have done from the beginning: Help direct isolation and quarantine to take those remaining cases and push them, as much as possible, toward extinction. But that can’t happen yet. There simply are not enough doses in enough arms at this point. Which is why social distancing and mask mandates remain critical.”

“It’s amply clear that Biden’s judge-picking machine has learned some important lessons from the Federalist Society’s stranglehold on judicial selection. The game has now changed for both sides.”

“With billions of dollars in lawsuits now in the balance, Dominion Voting Systems has quietly expanded its legal armada in recent days, as the election technology company goes after Trumpworld and conservative media giants.” Among the attorneys representing truth, justice, and democracy against these modern-day Visigoths is Justin Nelson, 2018 Democratic candidate for Attorney General against Ken Paxton.

“One of the interesting things about the current misinformation landscape is that it’s not necessarily uninformed people. It’s misinformed people. It’s people who say, ‘I do my own research; I don’t trust the elites.’ And their research is nonsense, it is sophisticated nonsense.”

“Confronted with compelling video and photographic evidence in court, dozens of rioters have apologized and expressed regret as the consequences of their actions have started to sink in. The ramifications include potential job losses, financial ruin, and possible time behind bars.”

“In private, they concede their own polling shows that no message they can devise effectively counters the argument that billionaires should be prevented from buying elections.”

Are we entering the beginning of the end of Pat Sajak’s time as host of Wheel of Fortune?

“Should Masking Last Beyond The Pandemic? Flu And Colds Are Down, Spurring A Debate.”

It’s impossible to keep up with the Matt Gaetz scandal, but one should try anyway. Especially since it’s getting really ugly about now.

“The Democrats seem to understand very well that all politics is national right now. The more they stand by the president, especially a popular one, the more likely they are to survive the coming midterms. Bottom line: this [infrastructure] plan is going to happen. The Democrats will work out the details. It’s not a matter of if or whether. It’s a matter of when. They’re hoping by July’s end.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of March 29

The Texas Progressive Alliance is the least fungible token ever as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for March 28

“In the simplest terms, Gates gets splashy headlines for his interest in problems that, according to Q and MAGA types, are overblown or don’t even exist — the climate crisis, the strain of overpopulation where resources are scarce and pathogens that can wipe out millions in the West as well as poorer countries. Therefore, it stands to reason that this is all a front for some nefarious secret agenda, which he can bankroll indefinitely.”

“Being an Asian woman means moving through spaces with the constant anxiety that someone is about to make you their sex object or punchline.”

“There is a robust symbiosis between misogyny and white supremacy; the two ideologies are powerfully intertwined.”

Everything you ever wanted to know about that Geico “Scoop There It Is” TV commercial but were afraid to ask.

“Rights of the dead and the living clash when scientists extract DNA from human remains”.

“As U.S. drivers buy more full-size and heavy-duty pickups, these vehicles have transformed from no-frills workhorses into angry giants. And pedestrians are paying the price.”

“How scary are cow burps exactly? Measured by their planet-warming power, methane-filled livestock belches are the equivalent of 850 coal plants burning year-round. But scientists have found that spicing up cattle feed with a little seaweed can dramatically reduce the methane they produce.”

“‘Evidence is trending’ toward sedition charges for some involved in the Capitol insurrection”.

RIP, Elgin Baylor, all-time great NBA player and executive, who was also a civil rights leader.

RIP, Kent Taylor, CEO of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain.

Some people just have no idea who supported or voted for what in Congress.

A delightful thread of famous person reaction GIFs, posted by the famous people themselves.

Just some funny dog photos. Isn’t that enough?

If fear of lost commerce is what it takes to veto nasty anti-trans legislation, then that’s what it takes.

RIP, Jessica Walter, Emmy-winning actor known for Arrested Development among many other roles.

RIP, Don Bankston, former Fort Bend County Democratic Party Chair and District Court judge.

RIP, George Segal, longtime actor known for roles from The Owl and The Pussycat to The Goldbergs.

RIP, Dr. Bobby Brown, former MLB player and executive, Korean War veteran, and cardiologist.

“Overlooked is that Biden and his team are also making a strategic bet. Limiting his exposure to the press and, by extension, the public isn’t simply a defensive ploy to avoid an embarrassing gaffe. It’s a conscious calculation that people don’t need—or want—to hear from the president on an hour-by-hour basis, that they will be satisfied if he can revive the economy and end the pandemic. After all, Americans just had a president who entered their life and refused to leave, who gripped the megaphone and wouldn’t let go. Biden has no wish to resurrect Donald Trump’s in-your-face presidency.”

RIP, Larry McMurtry, legendary author and screenwriter known for Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, and Terms of Endearment, among many others.

“Georgia is an all-hands-on-deck crisis for our democracy.”

RIP, Beverly Cleary, beloved children’s author.

RIP, Leon Hale, beloved Houston Chronicle columnist and damn Texas treasure. Seriously, whether or not you have any idea who Leon Hale is, go read that obituary.

Texas blog roundup for the week of March 22

The Texas Progressive Alliance condemns anti-Asian hatred and violence in all its forms as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for March 21

“THREAD: Lots of us learned classical music from watching old cartoons, so I’m going to identify the pieces that frequently popped up.”

Huey Lewis-Inspired Anthology Series in the Works at Fox”. I’m sorry, but if the title doesn’t contain a duck-related pun, then what are we even doing here?

“I grew up in a family of people who loved classic films. Now, how can you love these films if you know that there’s going to be a maid or mammy that shows up? Well, I grew up around people who could still love the movie. You appreciate some parts of it. You critique other parts of it. That’s something that one can do and it actually can enrich your experience of the film.”

“When private equity firms acquire nursing homes, patients start to die more often.”

“Over a hundred thousand people have now died of Covid-19 in the UK alone; people around the world have been separated from their family and friends, and entire economies have come to a standstill. All of which raises an important question: how can the world prevent another pandemic? The obvious place to start is at the beginning – before a pathogen has been seeded around the world and serious damage has been caused. If we can predict where the next pandemic will come from, perhaps we can stop it at its source.”

“When you put on the White House stage the official with direct operational responsibility – you incentivize reporters to try to extract useful information, not to generate viral video.”

If you don’t recognize our democracy at this point in time, then I don’t think you’re going to be helpful to successful legislation.”

Zoom should hire this kid as a product interface tester.

RIP, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, middleweight boxing champion.

RIP, Yaphet Kotto, TV and film actor best known for Alien, Live and Let Die, and Homicide: Life on the Street.

“Uncertainty about why only 75% of the House is confirmed as vaccinated against the coronavirus is fueling a debate about when the chamber can return to its normal rules of operation.”

“The White House will soon unveil a wide-reaching public relations campaign aimed at boosting vaccine confidence and uptake across the U.S.”

“The Democrats just passed a massive spending bill with no GOP support. So why are Republicans talking about Dr. Seuss and the border?”

For Cruz’s Tweet to make any sense, you have to already believe that Biden saying he hopes people can gather safely for barbecues on July 4 was actually a threat to forbid them from doing so. You have to believe that the president has the power to do such a thing. (He doesn’t.) Basically, you have to be steeped in [Fox News Cinematic Universe] canon.”

RIP, Glynn Lunney, NASA flight director who played a key role in Apollo 13.

Texas blog roundup for the week of March 15

The Texas Progressive Alliance gave up bewaring the Ides of March for Lent as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for March 14

“You’re wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn’t rejoice
If you’re calling him Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice.”

“What to expect when you’re inoculating (i.e. what you can—and can’t—do after being vaccinated)”.

“In the areas where Amazon operates, though, low-wage workers at other businesses have seen significant wage growth since 2018, beyond what they otherwise might have expected, and not because of new minimum-wage laws. The gains are a direct result of Amazon’s corporate decision to increase starting pay to $15 an hour three years ago, which appears to have lifted pay for low-wage workers in other local companies as well”.

“The world’s oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, has hatched yet another chick at Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian archipelago. Biologists first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956; she is at least 70 years old.”

“In other words, Lola Bunny—one of the most infamously sexualized female anthropomorphized figures in recent animation history—has been rendered as a normal cartoon character, rather than the strange manifestation of subliminal interspecies horniness that she previously embodied.”

“The world is now confronting a growing number of coronavirus variants that threaten to slow or undo our vaccine progress. In recent months, it’s become clear that the virus is mutating in ways that make it more transmissible and resistant to vaccines, and possibly more deadly. It’s also clear that, at least in the United States, there is no organized system for tracking the spread or emergence of variants.”

Make the filibuster theatrical again.

“Treating these lost sheep as innocent dupes unwittingly led astray won’t have any effect because they were not dupes and they were not innocent. The problem was not one of error, but of sin — of moral choices, made willingly. It’s not a problem of “fringe ideas” or “conspiracy theories” spreading in congregations due to gullibility and naivete, but more starkly a problem of bearing false witness against they neighbor.”

“I can’t believe I’m writing this, but it seems Democrats … learned from their mistakes?”

You want to know about the history of Pepe le Pew, Mark Evanier can tell you.

This is the best example I’ve seen of a fight in which you root for both sides to lose.

The latest Microsoft Exchange hack looks really bad.

RIP, Norton Juster, author best known for “The Phantom Tollbooth”.

“As a result of sharing my personal experience, others have come forward to confide in me and reveal their own experiences with abuse. So it is my aim to help educate anyone reading this on how to be an ally and support a person who has survived trauma in its many incarnations.”

“A quick thread on what we, in TV writing, call the Idiot Ball. This is a term used to describe when one character, in order to make the show work, has to behave, uncharacteristically, like a complete idiot. It is usually a different character each week.”

“It’s too early to know for sure. But I’ve begun to wonder whether ex-President Trump’s greatest legal jeopardy may not be in Georgia, where there is what seems to be a pretty active investigation into his efforts to bully Republican officials into falsifying the 2020 election results and making him President.”

RIP, Lou Ottens, inventor of the cassette tape. Did you ever make a mixtape for someone back in the day? Then tip your hat to Lou Ottens.

RIP, Roger Mudd, longtime broadcast news correspondent, mostly for CBS.

“John Schnatter, founder and former chairman of Papa John’s, said Monday he’s been working on eradicating the N-word from his vocabulary for 20 months.” I got nothing.

“‘Harry Potter’ Actress Katie Leung Details Racist Fan Abuse: Publicists Told Me Not to Talk About It”.

“One of the more mystifying turns of events since the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah on Sunday has been the response from right-wing commentators. In my understanding of Republican ideology, breaking away from the monarchy and seeking independence, financial or otherwise, would be seen as commendable. There are bootstraps to be pulled! The right-wing commentariat, however, has run toward the opposite direction. They have inexplicably sided with the … British Royal Family.”

“Let Us Take a Moment To Appreciate the Angry Ballpark Goose“.

“Netflix is testing a way it can limit password sharing, in what could signal a notable shift of the streaming giant’s posture toward users.” They’re not yet blocking anyone’s logons, so you can continue to use your mom’s account to binge The Great British Bake-Off or whatever, but you have been warned.

“U.S. health officials are exploring a partnership with Dollar General, one of the nation’s largest retailers, to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the nation’s rural areas.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of March 8

The Texas Progressive Alliance celebrates the passage of the big COVID relief bill as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for March 7

“The truth and power of fundamentalist Christianity derived from and depended on its unanimity and total lack of ambiguity. In church, in other words, we all were taught — as all fundamentalists must be taught — that there can be only one pure, true form of fundamentalism and that any deviation from that one pure, true form meant a rejection of the entire construct. But then we all went to school where we were confronted with the subversive fact that there existed a diversity of fundamentalisms. We were all fundamentalists, but we were fundamentalists in different ways. That wasn’t supposed to be possible. The entire authority structure of fundamentalism hinged on the claim that it was not possible.”

“Mentioned in Exodus 32 and I Kings 12 in the Old Testament, worship of the golden calf is seen as a supreme act of apostasy, the rejection of a faith once confessed”.

“In other words, the reason Impossible and Beyond products have taken off in a way that earlier, vegetarian-targeted brands such as Boca and Gardein never quite did is not their nutritional profile. It’s the fact that they actually taste good.”

“As COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts continue across the United States, the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor reports that a majority (55%) of U.S. adults now say they have received at least one dose of the vaccine (18%) or that they will get it as soon as they can (37%), up from 47% in January and 34% in December.”

“But speaking of history repeating itself, studios hoarding content for their own platform, and Paramount+, aren’t we heading into a new era of vertically integrated entertainment providers that looks a lot like the early days of the Hollywood studio system?”

“Waiting Rooms (And Other Public Spaces) Should Ban Cable News And Put Food Network Or HGTV On Their TVs Instead”.

“All told, the sharp increase in absentee voting in 2020 wasn’t disproportionately beneficial to either presidential candidate.”

“And now … we wait. Maybe there will be evidence of rampant criminality in those returns. Or maybe everything is by the book and Trump just tried to hide them because he’s given away so much money to charity that he didn’t want to embarrass Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg for their paltry donations. (Yeah, probably not.)”

RIP, Irv Cross, former Pro Bowl defensive back who became the first Black man to work full time as a sports analyst on national television with CBS, on “The NFL Today” with Brent Musberger and Phyllis George.

Remember those weird Quizno’s ads from the Aughts? That will remind you, if you need/want to be reminded.

RIP, Vernon Jordan, civil rights leader and advisor to President Clinton.

“Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Monday that despite how rotten it was to have theme parks closed for so long, the forced downtime was also an opportunity to tinker with technology and data to reopen better than before, for both guests and for shareholders.”

The fruitless hunt for a pristine copy of Citizen Kane.

Flu has virtually disappeared from the U.S., with reports coming in at far lower levels than anything seen in decades.”

As a lifelong Yankees fan, I fully endorse this proposal to honor Roy White in Monument Park.

“An orangutan named Karen, the first in the world to have open-heart surgery in 1994, has made medical history again: She’s among the first great apes to get a COVID-19 vaccine.”

“At least 30,000 organizations across the United States — including a significant number of small businesses, towns, cities and local governments — have over the past few days been hacked by an unusually aggressive Chinese cyber espionage unit that’s focused on stealing email from victim organizations”.

“Lifting restrictions is exactly what the virus wants us to do—as we’re seeing the world over, more community spread creates the perfect conditions for the virus to accumulate mutations that can lead to more transmissible and potentially more lethal strains.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of March 1

The Texas Progressive Alliance prefers the old-fashioned “talk nonstop” filibuster to what we have now as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for February 28

Note: Because of the chaos of last week, I was never able to collect links like I usually do. So, the handful that I had that I was originally going to post last Sunday are here with the ones for this week.

“HuffPost spoke to nine children of QAnon believers in seven states, ranging in age from 19 to 46. Some are desperately trying to deradicalize their moms and dads — an agonizing process that can feel maddening, heartbreaking and futile. Others believe their parents are already too far gone and have given up trying to help them. A few have made the painful decision to cut off contact entirely, for the sake of their own mental health.”

This Politico story about the QAnon Casualties Reddit board is along those same lines.

I’m glad to see that Shelley Duvall is alive and well and living in a community that cares for her. She deserves it.

“Happy Anniversary to the Best Accidental Headline in Christian Newspaper History”.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Congress will establish an independent, Sept. 11-style commission to look into the deadly insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol.”

“American anti-majoritarians have always promised that minority privilege will deliver positive results: stability, sobriety, the security of the public debt, and tranquil and peaceful presidential elections. But again and again, those promises have proved the exact opposite of reality. In practice, the privileged minority has shown itself to be unstable and unsober.”

“With Trump out of office, this group of researchers is now working to make sense of the deluge of data that they’ve collected from platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s been a lesson in modern populism: a world leader amplified once-obscure conspiracy theories, with each tweet and retweet strengthening the ideas and emboldening their supporters. Now, researchers are retooling to understand — and prepare for — what comes next.”

“Working for the Trump hotel meant putting on a performance every night—right down to the gummy bears and popcorn.”

“Scientists have recovered DNA from mammoth fossils found in Siberian permafrost that are more than a million years old. This DNA—the oldest genomic evidence recovered to date—illuminates the evolutionary history of woolly mammoths and Columbian mammoths. It also raises the prospect of recovering DNA from other organisms this ancient—including extinct members of the human family.”

There’s a disclaimer at the beginning of The Muppet Show episodes on Disney+, because as my friend Therese notes, it’s a 40-year-old show and some things that were funny or at least not remarkable in the 70s are not so today. Deal with it.

The snow truthers of TikTok.

I don’t know when lying stopped being a sin. It’s still in my Ten Commandments.

“Ah, those delightful Germans! Always with the single word that describes a very specific thing that any normal language would never have a single word to describe! Well unsurprisingly, the Hamsterkauf was just the Eisbergspitze. Over the past year, German has coined some 1000-plus new terms endemic to the Now Times — ironic capitalization, by the way, being an annoying method that English-speakers use to create new language.”

“The world is a bit bleak at the moment, so we decided to get a little nerdy this week and dive into an entirely new frontier. So grab a bowl of your favorite Klingon cuisine and a barrel of blood wine, because we’re exploring something a bit different: the Klingon language and its interesting impact on modern pop culture.”

“Over the next five-plus years, I learned a lot about covering national politics. Some lessons came the hard way: By being really wrong. So now that we’re about a month into a new presidential administration, I’m trying to keep those lessons front and center.”

“Federal judges are at risk. What are we going to do about it?”

The law is coming.

“Using social media, people across the state are volunteering their time and digital expertise to help others navigate the complicated and confusing web of allocation lists, websites, phone numbers, and seemingly endless waiting lists that make up Texas’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.”

“Is it Mr. Potato Head or not?”

You too can help beloved MAD Magazine artist Al Jaffee celebrate his 100th birthday, but you will have to act quickly.

Texas blog roundup for the week of February 22

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes that everyone has food, water, and power again as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Texas blog roundup for the week of February 15

The Texas Progressive Alliance values Mike Pence’s life more than Donald Trump ever did as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for February 14

“The prospect of lab-grown meat separates two activities that have been inextricably linked for virtually all of human history: Eating meat has always required animal killing. But with the development of lab-grown meat, these two activities can be separated, and the morality of each activity assessed on its own.”

“A wave of anti-trans bills are hitting statehouses”.

“The main goal here is to deter anybody from ever trying this again. That’s what we have to do. There has to be a penalty so that anybody in a future situation looks at this and says, ‘I will go to jail if I try this and so I won’t do this.’”

“Americans have shorter lives than international peers. Some researchers now say conservative policies may be to blame.”

“There has never been any evidence that major sporting events are associated with a rise in human trafficking.”

All hail Rob Gronkowski’s mom Diane, who somehow survived raising Gronk and four other sons.

“Today, by contrast, economists increasingly accept the idea that deficits are not inherently destabilizing, but a normal part of economic management. The price of going too big isn’t a crash, but a little unwanted inflation ― something that can be reined in through Federal Reserve policymaking or some tax increases from Congress. These may be unpleasant when they come, but it will be much worse for people to lose jobs, incomes and homes in the meantime. When the costs of going too small are shattered families and broken faith in a shared national project, the choice is not difficult.”

“https://www.stripes.com/news/us/barrier-breaking-texas-astronaut-dies-at-75-she-lifted-people-up-1.661397″>RIP, Millie Hughes-Fulford, barrier-breaking astronaut and scientific researcher.

RIP, Cathy Cochran, former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals justice and key criminal justice reformer.

RIP, Marty Schottenheimer, longtime NFL head coach.

RIP, Mary Wilson, founding member of Motown legends the Supremes.

“The spread of extremist conspiracy theories in the United States is the second most dangerous pandemic the country faces right now.”

“This is why I continue to think that democracy in the United States is way stronger than people are giving it credit for. It took a devastating punch from a uniquely demagogic president supported by hundreds of Republican politicians and the massed media efforts of Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media machine. Despite this, everyone outside of Trump’s cult opposed him and the effort failed miserably. That’s not bad.”

“I’ve got my assistant here, and she’s trying to remove it but uh… I’m prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”

“I never hear much about nature or dinosaurs or things like that. Maybe you should call your show Newsy things Considered, since I don’t get to hear about all the things. Or please talk more about dinosaurs and cool things.”

There is now a criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s attempt to interfere with Georgia’s election. Someone please tell Dan Patrick to stand by with his one million dollar reward for Fulton County DA Fani Willis.

“Liz Cheney may not have been Never Trump, but she is clearly Never Again Trump, and that’s a beginning. But it also raises the question: What do we do with the late arrivals like Cheney?”

I’m just appalled by the allegations Charisma Carpenter is making against Joss Whedon. I was a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and I loved her on those shows. She deserved so much better. At least her fellow cast members are standing with her.

RIP, Larry Flynt, publisher of “Hustler” magazine.

RIP, Chick Correa, groundbreaking and multi-Grammy-winning musician and composer.

“House Democrats Are Showing That Trump Is More Guilty Than You Thought”.

“Who Is Stacey Plaskett, the Breakout Star of the Senate Impeachment Trial?”

“The 19th reached out to all 143 women in the 117th Congress to ask about their experiences January 6. Twenty-three, all Democrats, shared their points of view, many remembering new details after a month of processing.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of February 8

The Texas Progressive Alliance says “bipartisan support” is more about what the voters want than what the politicians want as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for February 7

“So, how many early human species were there?”

So, have you bought some Dogecoin yet?

One reason why it’s basically impossible to do political TV shows these days is that any accurate representation of the vast majority of Republican officeholders and members of the professional conservative movement would be basically just cartoonish villainy, the kind that would have been justifiably seen as unfair and unbelievable as little as ten years ago. Among many other things, that kind of characterization makes for lousy TV.

“Looking to political personalities rather than Jesus for salvation is the worst kind of mistake a Christian can make, [Rep. Adam] Kinzinger said.”

“Customer entitlement, or what customers believe they are owed, has long been an issue in the hospitality industry. Restaurant workers swap stories like war veterans about ridiculous demands, difficult customers, and bad tippers. But the pandemic, and the terrible customer behavior that has come with it—impatience regarding wait times, name-calling, frustration over limited seating and menu options, and disregard for safety protocols—has only served to highlight how pervasive and, frankly, dangerous the problem really is.”

RIP, Janie Tarses, first woman to run a network entertainment division.

RIP, Dustin Diamond, actor best known for Saved By The Bell.

I’m happy that some QAnon acolytes are looking for a way back to reality, but at some point they’re going to need to reckon with all the harm they caused.

“Implementation and Evolution of Mitigation Measures, Testing, and Contact Tracing in the National Football League, August 9–November 21, 2020″.

RIP, Freddy the Great Dane, the tallest dog in the world.

“And yet, there’s something to the idea that we need to ask how American schools can help to build a more cohesive society and more resilient democracy. Americans’ lack of regard for their country—or, more accurately, the people with whom they share it—is a real problem with profoundly negative consequences. The Capitol insurrection offered a vivid illustration of that. And schools have an important role to play in addressing the problem.”

RIP, Hal Holbrook, actor who among many other things made a career out of playing Mark Twain in a solo stage production.

“The Pilot Who Can Connect Prince Andrew to Jeffrey Epstein’s Plane Is Reportedly Cooperating With the FBI”.

“The Georgia secretary of state’s office is investigating allegations that Lin Wood, a high-profile pro-Trump attorney who launched fruitless challenges to election results and pushed baseless conspiracies of fraud, may have illegally voted in the November general election.” Get Dan Patrick on the line, stat!

“The fact that Cheney has faced more criticism from her colleagues than Greene in recent days reflects how the GOP’s traditional values are under siege and the vast power that extremists and conspiracy theories welcomed into the party by Trump are accumulating.”

“For people who have been monitoring the growth and spread of right-wing extremism inside the mainstream Republican Party—manifested in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol—the arrests that came in the aftermath of that event provided some revealing numbers. Of particular interest is the fact that the average age of the arrestees was 40 years old. That’s a surprisingly high number, particularly considering that most of the pro-Trump activists involved in violent protests of the past four years (especially the Proud Boys) have been younger men between 20 and 40 years old.”

“More than 370 Democratic congressional aides have signed onto an open letter appealing to senators to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting a violent “attack on our workplace” that threatened the peaceful transition of power and left one of their co-workers dead.”

“March for Our Lives co-founder David Hogg tweeted on Thursday that he and software developer William LeGate are launching a pillow company to compete against MyPillow, which is led by Trump supporter CEO Mike Lindell.”

“Voting technology company Smartmatic files $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell over ‘disinformation campaign'”. Lou Dobbs is already a casualty of it,

RIP, Christopher Plummer, Oscar-winning actor known for The Sound of Music and so much more.

RIP, George Shultz, four-time Cabinet official.

RIP, Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champion who defeated Muhammad Ali.

Texas blog roundup for the week of February 1

The Texas Progressive Alliance never short squeezes its weekly blog roundup.

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Weekend link dump for January 31

“The story of [Father Charles E.] Coughlin, the demagogic radio priest who dominated American airwaves during the Great Depression, offers an intriguing analog-age precedent to the digital-age debates over the limits of free expression. Then as now, the serene pleasure of no longer having to listen to a noxious voice blare incessantly in the ear coexists with a queasy unease at the realization of how suddenly and imperiously the rulers of corporate media can switch off one’s microphone.”

More technology troubles for Parler.

“That late-summer showdown inside the Statehouse in Boise on Aug. 24 showed supporters of President Donald Trump how they could storm into a seat of government to intimidate lawmakers with few if any repercussions.”

“Representative Madison Cawthorn has misled the public about training for the Paralympics, just as he misrepresented his education and business history.”

What other female basketball coaches have to say about Becky Hammon and her inexorable rise to an NBA head coaching gig.

“Trump Left A Big Legal Mess For Biden”. Figuring out what to do with a bunch of lawsuits where Biden disagreed with the position taken by the Trump Justice Department will take time and a lot of careful case management.

“But there is good news. If the Biden administration’s Department of Justice wants to rectify some of Trump’s abuse of the pardon power, there are now options at its disposal.”

“Five reasons to wear a mask even after you’re vaccinated”.

“Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is benching Super Bowl commercials from Budweiser, perhaps its best-known product — the first time in nearly four decades that the brand won’t have a place on the Big Game ad roster.” They will give money to the Ad Council for pro-vaccination PSAs.

“Rudy Giuliani has made a lot of money since his time as New York City mayor, but he has not made the $1.3 billion for which Dominion Voting Systems is suing him for what the company characterizes as a “viral disinformation campaign.””

A pro-Trump think tank sounds like a contradiction in terms to me, but you do you.

“Note that the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” doesn’t concern itself with whether the bearing of false witness is maliciously deliberate or the result of mere ignorance. It doesn’t suggest that such ignorance would be relatively benign or exculpatory. It simply states that we are morally responsible for the truth of any witness we bear against others and does not allow for any separate sub-category of spreading “innocent” false accusations.”

Five simple things President Biden can do to shore up democracy in the US.

RIP, Cloris Leachman, Oscar and Emmy-winning actor, known for many great roles but who will always be Frau Blucher to me.

“Chronicling Trump’s 10 worst abuses of power”.

RIP, Cicely Tyson, iconic Emmy-winning actor.

“So many folks (esp. the media) are missing the complete backstory on $GME and how we got here. This has been simmering for over a year and the story behind it is great. I’ve been tracking this since September and devoured all of the details from the origin through today.”

“The Most Sought-After Capitol Insurrectionists Remain At Large”.

RIP, John Chaney, Hall of Fame coach for the Temple Owls.

Oklahoma may have legalized marijuana before we did, but they also bought $2 million worth of hydroxychloroquine that is now sitting on a shelf gathering dust, so.

A long list of things President Biden has already done on climate change.

Texas blog roundup for the week of January 25

Has the Texas Progressive Alliance mentioned how relieved it is that President Biden was finally inaugurated? Because we really are. Here’s the first roundup entirely in the Biden era.

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Weekend link dump for January 24

“This Story About Ivanka, Obama, and Poop Is So Much Worse Than You Could Imagine”.

“If you’re using an Android device—or in some cases an iPhone—the Telegram messenger app makes it easy for hackers to find your precise location when you enable a feature that allows users who are geographically close to you to connect. The researcher who discovered the disclosure vulnerability and privately reported it to Telegram developers said they have no plans to fix it.”

No Coke or Pepsi ads in this year’s Super Bowl.

“This is one of the most abject, groveling admissions of guilt I’ve ever read.”

“Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters.” Three words: Lock. Them. Up.

“At noon on January 20, Trump will be in desperate shape. His business is floundering, his partners are fleeing, his loans are delinquent, prosecutors will be coming after him, and the legal impunity he enjoyed through his office will be gone. He will be walking naked into a cold and friendless world. What appeared to be a brilliant strategy for escaping consequences was merely a tactic for putting them off. The bill is coming due.”

“There is nothing of Jesus in the frenzied waving of flags bearing one man’s name. There is nothing of Jesus and nothing pro-life about a politician and his minions who whip-up a crowd in a rally and then point them in the direction of the Capitol where five people lost their lives in the violence, including a police officer. Do not be deceived, Jesus was not any part of that. His name has been desecrated just as clearly as our nation’s Capitol has been desecrated.”

“Trying to pick the most notable lies from Donald Trump’s presidency is like trying to pick the most notable pieces of junk from the town dump. There’s just so much ugly garbage to sift through before you can make a decision.”

“Voting rights advocates say the attack on the Capitol represents the culmination of an administration that used lies, deception, and misleading claims to undermine key democratic institutions.”

“Delta Air Lines is threatening to permanently ban passengers who don’t show respect and civility to employees and passengers. Personally I think the US airline industry is long overdue for some more repercussions for poor behavior on planes.”

“That pattern of trolling until you aren’t anymore has happened alongside the algorithmic spread of disinformation and conspiracy-mongering across social media. The combination of alt-right trolls obfuscating truth to spread their agenda, and the confusion about reality that conspiracy theories like QAnon help propagate, has created a chaotic, emotion-fueled online environment in which people like Gionet have thrived the only way they know how: through constant disruption.”

“MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell confirmed on Monday that his products had been dropped from several major retailers after the pro-Trump executive sought to relentlessly spread false claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.” He’s also gonna get sued by Dominion Voting Systems.

Here’s a current list of who’s been arrested so far for the Capitol coup attempt. Here’s hoping that list keeps on growing.

Twelve unforgettable photos of Trump’s presidency. I have to admit, I thought that iconic and highly memed “Trump stares/yells at kid mowing the lawn” picture was a Photoshop job.

82 Stupid Things From The Trump Era You Probably Forgot About“. I actually remember nearly all of these, which probably means I need to get off the Internet more often.

RIP, Don Sutton, MLB Hall of Fame pitcher mostly for the Dodgers, and broadcaster for the Braves.

“So, what exactly did Trump write in his note to Biden? Twitter has some excellent guesses”.

It was one year ago this past week that the first COVID case was reported in the US.

RIP, Mira Furlan, actor best known for Lost and Babylon 5.

RIP, Henry Aaron, all time great baseball player and a world-class human being. The amount of hatred and racism he had to deal with as he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record was appalling, and meant he was never able to enjoy his massive accomplishment. I love what Andrea Thome, wife of Jim Thome, had to say, “if there’s a HOF for Hall of Famers, he’d be in it”. Rest in peace, Henry Aaron.

RIP, Larry King, longtime CNN talk show host.

A comprehensive timeline of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

Texas blog roundup for the week of January 18

The Texas Progressive Alliance is excited for the official start of the Biden Administration as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for January 17

“David Hasselhoff is auctioning off KITT from Knight Rider“.

“The ongoing breach affecting thousands of organizations that relied on backdoored products by network software firm SolarWinds may have jeopardized the privacy of countless sealed court documents on file with the U.S. federal court system, according to a memo released Wednesday by the Administrative Office (AO) of the U.S. Courts.”

“For Biden’s Justice Department, tackling domestic terrorism will now be front and center.”

“Even Trump Loyalists Can No Longer Defend His Legacy”. But don’t let that let them off the hook even a little.

“Every Republican—all 147 of them but especially Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz—who voted to overturn election results even after the insurrectionist mob of terrorists drove them out of the House and Senate chambers must be held to account and ostracized. Hitting them where it hurts by taking away their big donors is exactly the right lane for the [Project] Lincoln gang to be in.”

That defamation lawsuit against Sidney Powell looks pretty solid.

“The PGA of America will strip Donald Trump of the 2022 PGA Championship, which is scheduled to be held at Trump National Bedminster golf club in New Jersey.” There’s similar action in Scotland, affecting Turnberry.

“When historians eventually tally the cost of the Donald Trump era, the manifold indecencies of which culminated in Wednesday’s sacking of the United States Capitol during a failed insurrection, golf will not be counted among its casualties. The game will instead be portrayed as Trump’s refuge, something he did while ignoring a pandemic that has claimed 365,000 lives, refusing to acknowledge a resounding electoral defeat, and inciting feeble-minded fascists to violence that left five people dead at the opposite end of Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s the best case scenario.”

“It is the main cause of our current crisis – and of the difficulty in solving it. Today’s Republican party is one where it is considered divisive to take decisive action against a faction that was trying to hunt down Democratic _and_ Republican politicians a few days ago.”

“Preferring such lies seems strange, given that they involve a massive evil conspiracy that includes nearly everyone at every level of government and in every institution. It’s an awful thing to imagine that the entire world is out to get you and that the situation is so dire that you’ve got to arm yourself and begin stockpiling food so you can flee to the woods as your only slim hope for survival. But it’s an even more awful thing to reach the point where you consider your whole life — your job, your family, your home, your church, your passions — as so entirely meaningless and unrewarding that you’d be better off as someone on the run from such a massive, evil conspiracy.”

RIP, Michael Apted, award-winning director of the 7 Up documentary series and much more.

RIP, Pat Loud, matriarch of the family featured in An American Family, the first TV reality series.

“Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.”

“Republican Attorneys General Association Encouraged Supporters To Attend Wednesday’s Action At The Capitol”.

“I’ve received several DMs from friends asking what do to about parents/family members who believe misinformation regarding the election, vaccines and COVID. Here’s a research-based thread to help explain the roots of these beliefs and how to (and how *not* to) address them.”

Losing his law license should be the first of a very long list of consequences for Rudy Giuliani.

Facial recognition technology is still a bad thing, even if right now it is being used against bad people.

“If you want to understand the real Deep State, the biggest thing you need to know is it’s institutional, impersonal, and operates on a national scale.”

Here’s one thing Parler was good for.

As far as I’m concerned, Elizabeth Smart has a lifetime pass to do most anything she wants.

RIP, Siegfried Fischbacher, the “Siegfried” part of Siegfried & Roy.

“I think it’s reflective of where Trump’s own status is these days in which he has relatively little to offer and people don’t want to be associated with him generally. The fact is he’s not going to get the A team.”

RIP, Joanne Rogers, pianist, humanitarian, and widow of Fred “Mr.” Rogers. You should read this LA Times profile of her, it’s terrific.

““Unity” begins with repentance, and Republicans should get started. Supporting Trump’s removal from office and instituting his permanent exile from American politics are the necessary first steps.”

RIP, Charlie Thomas, former owner of the Houston Rockets.

“Situation with new #sarscov2 variants is becoming harder to follow (and not just because of the names), so let me try and give a brief overview: Where are we at? What should we be worried about? And how worried?”

Texas blog roundup for the week of January 11

The Texas Progressive Alliance calls for the swift prosecution and punishment of everyone involved in the violent assault on the Capitol as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for January 10

“Which Side Are You On?”

“Train your children to think of mass-death as good and thrilling and they’ll grow up to be the kind of people who simultaneously deny and celebrate a global pandemic.”

“There is no reason, frankly, for any of the PAYGO rules to still exist.”

“We resolve to double down on measures to protect ourselves, our families, and our community so we may endure the current surge of COVID-19 cases. We all can do our part by covering our faces anytime we are with anyone outside our immediate household, by maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance, following hand hygiene and environmental control measures, and by not going to work or school when feeling unwell. Masking, including while indoors, is safe and more effective in preventing COVID-19 — including the coronavirus mutation first seen in England — than any other tool we have available today and clearly works to prevent transmission of the virus.”

“The price we paid for Rutherford B. Hayes was too damn high.”

RIP, Tanya Roberts, actor best known for Charlie’s Angels and That 70’s Show. It was then reported that she was still alive, and then reported later than she had in fact passed away.

Solicitation to commit election fraud is a felony under both federal and Georgia law. Donald Trump and everyone else in the room with him should be prosecuted for it. And given how many times he tried to call Brad Raffensperger, there are surely more such calls out there that we don’t yet know about.

And no, recording the call was not in any way wrong or criminal.

“Ordinary people worn out by the dramas and lies of the past four years have a right to refuse to take Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters seriously. To reject further debate with people whose views are completely incoherent is not only understandable, but sensible.”

How to save the Postal Service, and let it thrive.

My kids never knew about the PBS Kids show Caillou, and it seems that makes me lucky.

If you’ve been saying to yourself “What I need in my life right now is a life-like replica of David Hasselhoff that is fourteen feet tall“, boy is today a good day for you.

“WTF Is Going On In The Georgia US Attorney’s Office? And how can Donald Trump make it worse?”

“In October 2020, KrebsOnSecurity looked at how a web of sites connected to conspiracy theory movements QAnon and 8chan were being kept online by DDoS-Guard, a dodgy Russian firm that also hosts the official site for the terrorist group Hamas. New research shows DDoS-Guard relies on data centers provided by a U.S.-based publicly traded company, which experts say could be exposed to civil and criminal liabilities as a result of DDoS-Guard’s business with Hamas.”

The mot pirated TV program of 2020 is The Mandalorian.

“Certainly a basic problem here is that Capitol Police, under the jurisdiction of Congress, were not prepared for yesterday’s attack. But when we ask what happened yesterday, a significant part of the equation is that the various agencies charged with handling such situations – federal marshals, DHS, FBI, DOJ, National Guard, et al – were under the control of the person who was trying to whip the crowd against Congress.”

Go look up the word “superfetation”, then come back and read this story. Pretty damn amazing.

Help the FBI identify and find the insurrectionists. Some of them are already facing consequences, but so much more is needed.

RIP, Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame manager for the LA Dodgers.

“They bankrolled Donald Trump. They applauded his tax cuts. They cheered as the stock market soared. Now, the sound coming from some of the president’s wealthiest donors is this: silence.”

“A voting machine company sued former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell on Friday, accusing her of spreading false conspiracy theories about November’s election that Republican President Donald Trump lost to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.” They’re seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

One last goodbye to Alex Trebek.

It’s taken them way too long, but finally the far right insurrectionists are getting deplatformed.

“If you are a rank-and-file Republican, the kind of person who listens to your party’s elected officials and friendly media outlets, you have been marinating in anti-democratic beliefs for years: that Democrats are fundamentally hostile to the American way of life, that people telling you otherwise cannot be trusted, that you have an obligation to fight against tyranny on your own.”

RIP, Theodore Lumpkin, Jr, Tuskegee Airman.

All right, fine Sean Hannity did not have his Lifetime Pasta Pass revoked.

“Career officials at the State Department filed a second unprecedented dissent cable condemning President Donald Trump for inciting the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and urging top administration officials to consider invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. The dissent cable is the second such cable sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week, reflecting widespread shock and anger in the diplomatic corps at Trump’s actions and Pompeo’s own response to the political crisis. The protest against the sitting U.S. president by American diplomats is largely unparalleled in the department’s nearly 232-year-long history.”

“One thought I keep returning to: if there were a functioning federal government we’d be seeing regular press conferences updating the public on on-going arrests, health status of the injured, progress of the investigation. As far as I can tell there hasn’t been a single one. Nothing from DOJ, FBI, Capitol Police, the Pentagon. Normally you might expect such information to be channeled through press conferences at the White House. But, not to put too fine a point on it, it’s not clear or perhaps too clear which side the White House is on.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of January 4

The Texas Progressive Alliance recognizes this weird feeling it has as “hope” as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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