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Weekend link dump for July 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 19

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

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Weekend link dump for July 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How Lola Bunny Broke the Internet”.

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

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

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

The world is a slightly better place now.

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 12

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

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Weekend link dump for July 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 5

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

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Weekend link dump for July 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 28

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

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Weekend link dump for June 27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing Coach RC Slocum all the best.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 21

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

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Weekend link dump for June 20

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

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

RIP, Ned Beatty, versatile character actor.

The rise and fall of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Champ, Presidential dog.

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 14

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

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Weekend link dump for June 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On shooting sex scenes during COVID times.

The NFL will impose restrictions on unvaccinated assistant coaches.

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

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

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of June 7

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

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Weekend link dump for June 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

What should the military do about seditious nutbag Michael Flynn?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 31

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

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Weekend link dump for May 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attempting to solve the Toeflop mystery.

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

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

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

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

RIP, John Warner, former Senator from Virginia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 24

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

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Weekend link dump for May 23

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

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

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

Let the people repair their electronic devices.

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana.

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

RIP, Neal Ford, Houston rock pioneer.

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

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

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

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

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

What Really Happened With that Weird Yankees COVID Outbreak”.

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 17

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes India the tiger a safe and happy life as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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Weekend link dump for May 16

“A look at how TV and film productions are faking big crowds these days”.

“The end of the emergency phase of the pandemic is in sight in the United States, at least for now. But as the weight of the crisis is lifted, experts are also anticipating a long-term impact on people’s mental health.”

“Eventually, I want to do a post quantifying all the damage to national security Billy Barr did by thwarting an influence-peddling investigation into Rudy Giuliani in 2019. But first, I want to quantify four ways that Barr is known to have obstructed the investigation into Rudy, effectively stalling the investigation for over 500 days.”

“Here’s who’s most and least enthusiastic about getting vaccinated”.

“Wyoming is faced by a transition to renewable energy that’s gathering pace across America, but it has now come up with a novel and controversial plan to protect its mining industry—sue other states that refuse to take its coal.”

“No one has a greater interest than progressives in public safety and low rates of crime. Because rising rates of crime, especially violent crime, drive rightist politics as sure as night follows day. This is a demonstrable fact.”

RIP, Pete du Pont, former Delaware governor and Republican Presidential candidate.

“Well I can see why you don’t want to talk about Dominion Voting Systems because if you do, Newsmax could get sued and lose billions of dollars because these are lies.”

“All of which is to say: Family policy is one piece of the declining birth rates story. But it’s just one piece, and I’m not sure it’s wise, long-term, to justify good family policies by saying they’ll increase births. Because even if they don’t — and the evidence suggests that even the best family policies in the world may not nudge birth rates above replacement rate — they’re still good, necessary policies that women, children, and families need.”

Just say No to reality TV.

“There are four possibilities for holding an attorney general accountable if evidence suggests he did abuse his office to protect a president.”

What if Rudy Giuliani has already been pardoned, and we just don’t know it yet?

“Five Former IRS Chiefs Say Biden’s Plan Would Make Tax System ‘Far Fairer’”.

Using image metadata to infer Q’s location.

“A Closer Look at the DarkSide Ransomware Gang”, the group responsible for the attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

“I mean, if the prevailing theory is that unemployed workers are just sitting back and collecting UI bc it pays more than any job, how about going out and finding somebody who says that that is what they are doing? People have admitted far more embarrassing things to reporters.”

“Pipeline Hackers Say They’re ‘Apolitical,’ Will Choose Targets More Carefully Next Time“. No, that is not from The Onion.

RIP, Norman Lloyd, longtime actor best known for St. Elsewhere. He got his start on Broadway in 1927 and worked with everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Judd Apatow.

While vaccine resistant people are mostly Republican, vaccine hesitant people are mostly non-voters.

“What we know is that when Trump attempted to subvert the election, a number of Republicans in key positions refused to go along. We know that, for the most part, those individuals won’t be able to stop a similar effort in 2024, and that the party has sent clear signals that standing up for the constitution and the rule of law was unacceptable.”

My early nominee for 2021 Headline of the Year: “Carole Baskin of ‘Tiger King’ blames Ted Cruz, John Cornyn for Houston’s missing tiger on CNN”.

“Joe Manchin’s surprisingly bold proposal to fix America’s voting rights problem”.

“There is a growing public wish to put COVID-19 behind us by eliminating visible signs that it still exists (e.g., mask wearing). But guidance driven by this magical thinking will cause unnecessary harm. Public health measures should protect the larger population, including those who cannot be or have not yet been vaccinated. This CDC guidance proffers individual advice at the expense of the goals of public health.”

“A lot of people may be wondering, with 8 vaccinated breakthrough cases on the Yankees – is this evidence the vaccines aren’t as effective as we thought? The short answer is no.”

“We have a few months to go before we reach ideal vaccination levels. For the sake of at-risk community members’ peace of mind, I’m happy to wear my mask outdoors and in non-intimate indoor environments for a little while longer.”

Texas blog roundup for the week of May 10

Unlike certain wayward satellites, the Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup is built to last.

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Weekend link dump for May 9

“From my vantage point Republicans are giving the left a massive opportunity to wedge them.”

After the pandemic

“Remote Places Desperately Need Vaccines. Drones Could Help.”

For a deep dive on the Josh Duggar backstory, and the “counseling” he got from another evangelical icon who was also a longtime sex creep, read this 2015 TPM story. And then take a shower, you’ll feel like you need it.

“this whole Duggar mess is leading me to think we need to discuss the ways in which purity culture hinders essential skill-building and requires teens be secretive about their sexuality in ways that lead directly to predation”.

Pacific Island nations are now dealing with COVID and trying to get vaccinations after a year of mostly being safe due to their isolation.

“We have plenty of reasons to worry about the continuing pandemic: the variants, runaway viral spread in India and Brazil, differences in vaccination rates that mirror racial and political divides. But cautionary public-health guidance risks losing its impact if it fails to acknowledge what the American public surely can see: We are winning the war against COVID-19 in the United States, and we can adapt better than the virus can.”

You want to browse some classic Far Side cartoons, don’t you? Of course you do.

RIP, Billie Hayes, Broadway and TV actor known for playing Witchiepoo on the psychedelic kids TV show HR Pufnstuf. Mark Evanier has some memories of her and her Bay City Rollers co-star Les McKeown.

RIP, Al Jamison, original member of the Houston Oilers.

RIP, Bobby Unser, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner.

Belgian farmer accidentally moves French border. Who among us has not done the same thing?

“Prince’s earth-shattering “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” solo gets a director’s cut with even more Prince”.

Relax, you’ll know who the next Jeopardy! host is soon enough.

This reasonably sums up how I feel about Rep. Liz Cheney.

“Twitter is taking its permanent ban of ex-President Donald Trump seriously, with the company on Thursday suspending an account for sharing comments Trump made on his new website.”

Don’t drive while on a Zoom call. I mean, seriously.

“Tucker Carlson May Be America’s Biggest Public Health Problem“.

“The public health challenge of the next few months can’t be disentangled from the political problem of the next few years.”

RIP, Tawny Kitaen, actor and music video star.

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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