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Weekend link dump for January 29

“One of George R.R. Martin’s favorite fantasy novels might finally get adapted into a TV series thanks to an unlikely ally — late-night host Stephen Colbert.”

“Over the last year, several Republicans have been clamoring to impeach the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, as the next act in their nativist political theater. Devoid of substance, their production of impeachment is but the latest in an escalating set of performances to engage their base. While a dead-end in the Senate controlled by Democrats, House Republicans reinvigorated their calls for impeachment after their lackluster performance in the midterms guaranteed their efforts would be just for show. If House Republicans move forward with an endless set of hearings or impeachment, their charade will not just be a massive waste of tax dollars and distraction from Republicans’ failure to govern but a dangerous normalization of a conspiracy theory drenched in white nationalism and anti-Semitism that they will employ as a critical accusation. A conspiracy theory that has inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks over the last few years and claimed the lives of dozens of Americans.”

“Pink Floyd Announce Dark Side of the Moon Box Set for 50th Anniversary”.

I’m not in the target demographic for Zoey 101, but this argument against watching the forthcoming reboot by someone who is in that demographic is compelling.

“A new analysis of citizen science reports indicates that light pollution is intensifying around the world.”

If you’ve ever wondered why the NFL doesn’t use the chip that’s in every football to measure for first downs instead of those silly chains, here’s an explanation for you.

So, how are the billionaires doing at supporting and revitalizing journalism?

Lock him up.

Elections have consequences. That includes good ones. And bad ones, too.

“Sunday [marked] 50 years since the Roe decision. Now, in the seven months since the court’s reversal, the scope of its protections are clearer than ever — as are the implications of its loss. The 19th has tracked who in America can get an abortion and where, a picture that has changed dramatically. Here’s where laws stood as of these dates”.

Hey, remember the USA Network? They used to have shows worth watching. I would have included In Plain Sight on their list of quality programs; among other things, it had in my opinion one of the best and most satisfying series finales I’ve seen.

“By coincidence, both party leaders are now Baptists, a faith that outside the South has generally been underrepresented among the political elite. […] There would be good feature potential in comparing the two Baptists’ congregations.” (Via Slacktivist.)

“For these policies to retain such support among House conservatives suggests that Republicans have failed to absorb Donald Trump’s one good political lesson: Don’t mess with Social Security and Medicare.”

“An important lesson of American mass shootings, including the most recent, is that each one is an individual incident, involving different circumstances, different motivations, different victims. We should always be careful to recognize this specificity, as well as the unimaginable losses suffered by the victims and their families. But we must never lose sight of the fact that all these tragedies take place in a culture that has facilitated the sale for profit of deadly weapons, making it relatively easy for people with deadly intentions to acquire one. Unless and until this environment changes, the carnage will continue.”

“And apparently it’s all part of a conspiracy that started with gas stoves, moved on to coffee, and now is infesting video games.”

I trust that by now, a special prosecutor has been appointed. Right?

“Earth’s inner core may have temporarily stopped rotating relative to the mantle and surface, researchers report in the January 23 Nature Geoscience. Now, the direction of the inner core’s rotation may be reversing — part of what could be a roughly 70-year-long cycle that may influence the length of Earth’s days and its magnetic field — though some researchers are skeptical.”

RIP, Lloyd Morriset, co-founder of Children’s Television Workshop and co-creator of Sesame Street.

Cry me a river.

“All of that could be described as Tim LaHaye’s attempt to ensure that the attitudes he expressed in that 1968 letter would be and remain “normal” for white evangelicalism in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s and 2010s. For the next 48 years of his life, right up until his unraptured demise in 2016, Tim LaHaye never stopped writing this letter.”

“Chao has previously suggested that repeating Trump’s racist attacks against her—which often includes not only the personalized slur but baseless accusations of secret fealty to Beijing—only fuels his abhorrent taunting. And yet it’s gotten to the point that even she has to say something. And she had to do it alone.”

RIP, Lance Kerwin, actor best known for the TV show James at 16.

“But after almost four years — far longer than the Russia investigation itself — Mr. Durham’s work is coming to an end without uncovering anything like the deep state plot alleged by Mr. Trump and suspected by Mr. Barr.”

Disbar him.

RIP, Billy Packer, Emmy award winning college basketball announcer and Final Four fixture.

Weekend link dump for January 22

“I’m a Criminology Professor. I’ve Seen Students Like the Idaho Suspect Before.”

“After being fired by Disney for transphobic and antisemitic statements, Gina Carano’s new movie has epically flopped”. I should note that what is reported there is not entirely accurate, but the real story is pretty hilarious.

Only 47 percent of nursing home residents were fully up-to-date and had received the bivalent COVID booster in the four weeks preceding December 18, according to AARP. Less than a quarter of staff, 22 percent, are fully up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations. This is despite relatively high rates of infection and transmission. Over the same time period, one in 17 nursing home residents tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 1,100 nursing home residents died. In all, 64 percent of nursing homes had at least one resident case. COVID is the third leading cause of death for Americans over 65.”

“In the country which we live in, about 60 percent of the population identifies as white, and you take Latinx people who identify as Caucasian, it’s maybe closer to 70 percent if you’re going for the biggest meat of the audience … you tend to program for white men, because women watch a lot more drama and comedy than men, so if you get a scripted program that appeals to men, that’s automatically a boom. You worry, when there’s narrowing prospects, who’s losing opportunity.”

“The Pentagon’s new office for investigating potential UFO sightings received hundreds of new reports in 2022, and while it can explain more than half of those events, a sizable chunk remains a mystery.”

“The cycle has some experts wondering about how useful these discussions are. We aren’t, after all, obsessing about which strain of H3N2 flu has been causing most of the illness that has cycled through the United States in this abnormally early flu season. That’s because new strains of existing flu viruses may make us more vulnerable to infection, but they don’t render us defenseless against influenza. The same is true with SARS-2 subvariants — but that sometimes gets lost in the back and forth.”

RIP, Gina Lollobrigida, iconic Italian movie star.

“CNET Has Been Quietly Publishing AI-Written Articles for Months”.

“Roomba testers feel misled after intimate images ended up on Facebook”.

“The Taliban have started using Twitter’s paid-for verification feature, meaning some now have blue ticks on their accounts.”

“To be fair, there are not a large number of Bible verses that directly address the subject of oral sex. The practice is enthusiastically celebrated in several places in the Song of Solomon, but that book is a tricky thing to cite if you’re also intent on blanket condemnations of all extramarital sex.”

RIP, Chris Ford, former NBA player and coach mostly for the Boston Celtics, credited with scoring the first 3-point basket in NBA history.

“Here are some fun numbers. Toyota did not sell a single all-electric product until 2020, flagging far behind both rivals like Mitsubishi, Nissan, and BMW, all of which were selling EV models years before Toyota even established an electric car office. And that electrified product (a version of its C-HR SUV) was initially exclusive to Chinese consumers. The company’s first globally available zero-emission vehicle, the bZ4x, had a limited production run, went on sale in the U.S. only last year, faced an alarming safety recall, and ultimately sold just a couple hundred models here, a paltry portion of the 800,000 total EVs sold stateside throughout 2022.”

We’re all trying to find the guy that did this, SCOTUS edition.

“They said that my husband Don Lewis is alive and well in Costa Rica. And yet all of this hay has been made about me having something to do with his disappearance when Homeland Security has known where he is at least since back then.” The Internet reacts.

RIP, David Crosby, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Lock him up.

RIP, Sal Bando, three-time World Series champion third baseman with the Oakland A’s.

Weekend link dump for January 15

“In addition to helping absorb water, rain gardens can filter dirty street runoff, reduce urban heat, and provide a habitat for pollinators like bees and birds. So if you have space for it, you might consider adding one to your home.”

Some notes from a book critic about the first chapter of Ross Douthat’s epic fantasy novel that he posted to his Substack.

“We were the most gangsta as you could be, but that day at Dionne Warwick’s house, I believe we got out-gangstered that day.”

I don’t know if the Republicans have finally elected a Speaker as I write this, but once they do and they start doing actual legislative things, crap like this will be high on their priority list.

RIP, Adam Rich, former child star best known for his role on Eight is Enough.

Ethics, schmethics.

“We lost many former major league baseball players in 2022. Here is a review and roster of the most prominent ones.”

“Political action committees affiliated with more than 70 major corporations said they would pause or reconsider donations to those who objected to certifying the results of the 2020 election after the attack on the U.S. Capitol two years ago. Then they gave more than $10 million to members of Congress who did just that, according to a POLITICO analysis of federal campaign finance filings.”

“The narrative laid out in the Select Committee’s report illustrates how the twin threats of political violence and anti-democracy schemes were able to feed off each other in the lead-up to January 6 in a vicious cycle that still has not subsided.”

“A Tax Guru Explains Why Donald Trump May Finally Be in Trouble“.

“You do your job, hold up your part of the deal, the way they ask you to. Then they decide they don’t want to do their part of the job — for a tax break. And suddenly you’re paid, but you’re NOT getting the support you were promised as part of the deal.”

“The Earth’s ozone layer is on its way to recovering within the next 40 years”.

RIP, Sheila Masters, Houston community leader, friend and neighbor to George Floyd and his family.

“Investigators used forensic genealogy to zero in on [Idaho multiple murders] suspect Bryan Kohberger. But they aren’t saying so.”

“Give it up, lawmakers: It’s time to give C-SPAN better access to the House floor”.

“How Democrats Managed to Avoid a Red Wave in the 2022 Midterms”.

“Roman concrete, in many cases, has proven to be longer-lasting than its modern equivalent, which can deteriorate within decades. Now, scientists behind a new study say they have uncovered the mystery ingredient that allowed the Romans to make their construction material so durable and build elaborate structures in challenging places such as docks, sewers and earthquake zones.”

RIP, Jeff Beck, guitar virtuoso and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

RIP, Charles White, former ALl Pro NFL running back who won a Heisman Trophy and a national championship while at USC.

RIP, Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis.

RIP, Robbie Bachman, drummer and co-founder of Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Weekend link dump for January 8

“Not only did Greta Thunberg destroy Andrew Tate with her tweet, she made him so angry he inadvertently tipped off Romanian authorities of his presence in Romania with his lame comeback video.”

“Why can’t we make remote controls thick and heavy again?”

“Let’s talk about the real problems with rural America”.

“Google’s embrace of publisher confidentiality means roughly 1 million publishers can remain anonymous to companies and individuals who buy ads on its network to reach customers. This opens the door to a range of abuses and schemes that steal potentially billions of dollars a year and put lives and livelihoods at risk due to dangerous disinformation, fraud and scams.”

RIP, Anita Pointer, Grammy-winning singer with the Pointer Sisters.

Time once again to vote for the Worthy Awards.

Advice on the minimum amount of work needed to protect your data and privacy.

RIP, Cliff Gustafson, longtime baseball coach at the University of Texas, two-time College World Series winner, formerly the winningest baseball coach in the NCAA.

Another “wellness to QAnon pipeline” example.

RIP, Walt Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut who was on the first crewed Apollo flight.

RIP, Orion Know, Jr, one of the discoverers of Natural Bridge Caverns.

Five things to expect from the incoming House”. You’ve already seen plenty of the chaos, and there’s so much more to come.

To put it another way, the worst people you know are having a fight.

“There are other critical functions that the House of Representatives executes that can’t take place until there’s a Speaker in place. Without a Speaker, committee assignments can’t be finalized.”

“An ancient wooden sarcophagus that was featured at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences was returned to Egypt after U.S. authorities determined it was looted years ago, Egyptian officials said Monday.”

RIP, James “Buster” Corley, co-founder of Dave & Buster’s.

The next Benoit Blanc film will not have Muppets in it. Sadly.

“Kevin is a man with many flaws, but on this day his fatal one was not heeding the lesson of the leopard-eating-faces allegory.”

“The longtime partner of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the Jan. 6 riot, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against former President Donald Trump and two men involved in assaulting Sicknick.”

RIP, Nate Colbert, former MLB first baseman and still the all-time home run leader for the San Diego Padres.

Weekend link dump for January 1

I’m sorry, but the year 2023 still sounds like something out of a science fiction story to me.

The sordid history of Ticketmaster apparently includes that company getting a boost from former Sen. Phil Gramm.

“The US Senate is a fundamentally broken institution. Democratic judges need to account for that in their retirement decisions.”

“A freelance producer for ABC News also gathered dirt on critics of a consulting firm’s powerful clients.” A truly bonkers story.

“You Can Now Sue Movie Studios for False Advertising With Deceptive Trailers”. You can thank Ana de Armas, or more specifically two of her fans, for that.

“The 5 ‘known unknowns’ that will define 2024″.

About damn time: “West Point will remove Confederate symbols from its campus”.

“A List Of All The Jan. 6 Committee Witnesses Who Pleaded The Fifth“. A real rogue’s gallery in there.

Meet Bessie Mae Kelley, pioneering female animator from the 1920s whose story is just now being told.

“From a spacecraft the size of a refrigerator plowing into an asteroid (deliberately) to a helicopter trying to catch a rocket plummeting back to Earth, 2022 offered surreal moments in space that could have been ripped from the pages of a science fiction movie script.”

RIP, Thom Bell, Grammy Award-winning producer, arranger, composer, and one of the architects of Philadelphia soul music.

“The question of why the Trumpian populist right is so consumed with hatred for Ukraine—a hatred that clearly goes beyond concerns about U.S. spending, a very small portion of our military budget, or about the nonexistent involvement of American troops—doesn’t have a simple answer. Partly, it’s simply partisanship: If the libs are for it, we’re against it, and the more offensively the better. (And if the pre-Trump Republican establishment is also for it, then we’re even more against it.)”

No, Buckminster Fuller was not a cryptocurrency prophet.

‘Home Alone’ reimagined in the style of ‘The White Lotus’ opening credits“. And generated by an AI, which makes it even creepier.

RIP, Kathy Whitworth, pro golfer whose 88 LPGA Tour victories, six more than Sam Snead and Tiger Woods had on the men’s tour, makes her the winningest golfer of all time.

“Netflix is reportedly developing a Stranger Things anime series set in 1980s Tokyo that will be labeled as the franchise’s first official spinoff.”

“Three years on, the pandemic — and our response — have been jolting. Here’s what even the experts didn’t see coming.”

“The Dog Not Barking about a U.S. Recession”.

RIP, Pele, all-time soccer legend. I had the opportunity to see him play a game with the NY Cosmos of the old NASL at Giants Stadium in the 70s, and yes, he scored a goal, the only one in a 1-0 Cosmos win. I have no recollection of how I came to be at Giants Stadium watching a Cosmos game but I’m glad I was there.

“Sherlock Holmes will finally escape copyright this weekend”.

RIP, Benedict XIV, Pope Emeritus.

RIP, Barbara Walters, trailblazing TV newscaster and anchor.

Here are your 2022 Golden Duke winners.

Weekend link dump for December 25

It may be Christmas but it’s also Sunday, and on Sunday we dump links. You needed something to read after the chaos subsided a little, right?

“Which Streamer Was the Biggest A-Hole About Cancellations in 2022?” (Spoiler alert: It was HBOMax, and it wasn’t close.)

“A researcher found more plotlines around and more mentions of abortion on TV this year — though wealthy White characters are still overrepresented.”

“No One Is Happier About Sam Bankman-Fried’s Downfall Than the Bitcoin People”.

“The federal charging documents, obtained by the Globe, outline a plot pulled straight from “The Americans” TV series, about KGB agents raising a family near Washington, D.C.”

“It’s time to change our minds about the cause of our current bout of inflation”.

Can you in fact cook a steak by dropping it from space? Science finally tells us.

“So: A small but not negligible minority of people say they won’t go back to pre-pandemic life. A plurality say they will continue at least some precautions. And there’s reason to believe that covid worries are having an effect on labor force participation. But the who of people with these concerns is where the stereotypes take serious damage.”

RIP, Gabrielle Beaumont, prolific and pioneering TV director, who may have directed more primetime hours of television than any other women in history.

“James Cameron aims to finally put that ‘Titanic’ door debate to rest, 25 years later”.

“At the core of every Musk company is a big, world-changing promise — they sell the idea that their products and services are saving humanity from some intractable problem, whether it’s climate crisis or traffic. But Musk’s promises track more with religion — he has been sent to save us from our earthly sins of waste and pollution — than with science. Think about it a bit and the idea that a luxury sports car can save us from global warming or that the answer for the Earth’s toxification is to move everyone to Mars falls apart, but that isn’t the point. The goal of all this mythmaking is to turn investors, employees, and customers into evangelists.”

Lock them up.

RIP, Tom Browning, former pitcher who won a World Series with the Cincinnati Reds and threw a perfect game in 1988.

“On Monday, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol released an executive summary of its final report, which focuses primarily on former President Donald Trump’s alleged criminal efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The committee, however, also presented new evidence of criminal efforts to interfere with its investigation – on the part of some witnesses, their attorneys, and others associated with the former president. It is the kind of evidence that may have far-reaching implications including bolstering Special Counsel Jack Smith’s January 6th and Mar-a-Lago investigations.”

“Whale-sized shonisaurs dominated the ocean 230 million years ago. A fossil cluster offers a fascinating glimpse at how they lived—based on where they died.”

RIP, Franco Harris, Hall of Fame running back who won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers and caught the iconic Immaculate Reception.

“But while it’s hard to ignore the warning signs, there are plenty of reasons to still have hope for our planet’s future — starting with what happened at COP15.”

“But it’s also gutting because I’ve seen that look before. I’ve seen that same heartbroken and heart-breaking expression on my own father’s face.”

RIP, Rudi Valentino, oldest male orangutan in North America, lifelong resident of the Houston Zoo.

“A New York State metropolis recently rocked by a racist mass shooting filed a groundbreaking lawsuit Tuesday against multiple gun manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson, Glock, Remington, Sig Sauer, and Beretta.”

“Hotels say goodbye to daily room cleanings and hello to robots as workers stay scarce”.

I did not believe it for a second.”

Weekend link dump for December 18

“How Demographic Shifts Fueled by Covid Delivered Midterm Wins for Democrats”.

Times sure are tough for cable channels right now.

“The very last 747 jet has been made, ending a run of more than 50 years”.

RIP, Paul Silas, three-time NBA champion, former NBA coach, father of current Rockets head coach Stephen Silas.

“The 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are a good laugh”.

“Here is the list of shows that HBO Max canceled in 2022″.

“Before and after. Those are the lines chalked out over the field of life, until it becomes a grid of pasts foreclosed and futures opening onto unstable terrain. Before this. After this.”

“Companies say they want to acknowledge environmental impacts. Republicans are mad about that.”

“Beyond its stark cruelty, this tweet is incredibly thirsty. As right-wing troll memes go, it is Dad-level, 4chan–Clark Griswold stuff, which is to say it’s desperate engagement bait in the hopes of attracting kudos from the only influencers who give Musk the time of day anymore: right-wing shock jocks. But that is the proper company for the billionaire, because whether or not he wants to admit it, Musk is actively aiding the far right’s political project. He is a right-wing activist.”

RIP, Mike Leach, head football coach at Mississippi State, innovator who co-created the Air Raid offense.

RIP, Michael Lindenberger, vice president and editorial page editor of the Kansas City Star who won a Pulitzer as the deputy opinion editor for the Houston Chronicle.

“YouGov found that self-described liberals now view Tesla more negatively than conservatives, though conservatives also have a negative view of the brand on average, according to the firm’s most recent data.” My next car will be electric. It will not be a Tesla.

“50 years ago today, one of the most iconic Sesame Street segments first aired on PBS.” More on it here, and if you’re not laughing, crying, or both by the end you have a cold, cold heart.

I didn’t realize when I started reading this Twitter thread that it was a loving tribute to one of the adult victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. But it was and it was beautiful and life-affirming and now I’m mad again at everyone that has helped enable the gun violence lobby. Talk among yourselves, I’ll be doing some deep breathing exercises.

“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on Tuesday that he expects there will be action on the Electoral Count Act reform before the new Congress takes over in January.”

Disbar him.

Lock him up.

“Congress votes to remove a bust of the Dred Scott decision’s author from the Capitol”. About damn time.

Weekend link dump for December 11

“Why do McCarthy, Scott, and other so-called Republican leaders duck explicit invitations to address the former president’s behavior? Because they’re cowards.”

“Imagine an “Oh, yeah?” button on your browser.”

“Here’s a midterm report on remote work”.

“I have a few stray, in-the-weeds thoughts on the verdicts that I’d like to share after live-tweeting all but about two hours of the 29-day [Oath Keepers] trial from the courthouse media room.”

RIP, Bob McGrath, actor and singer and original cast member of Sesame Street.

She seems nice. Also, lock her up.

“But we know that is not true – the evidence makes that crystal clear. We know that subverting the Constitution is right in this defendant’s wheelhouse. And you don’t have to take my word for it. We know he is ready to subvert the Constitution BECAUSE OF HIS OWN WORDS.”

“Anyone looking for more insight into how Twitter, and social media companies in general, deal with content moderation might learn something. Anyone looking for proof of a political conspiracy will find that even this information, selectively released by people trying to make it look like a big scandal, showed that it wasn’t.

“Julianne Sitch became the first woman to coach a men’s soccer team to an NCAA championship, guiding the University of Chicago to the Division III title.”

RIP, Jo Carol Pierce, Lubbock-born singer/songwriter and playwright. I saw her perform years ago at the Mucky Duck, and it’s probably more accurate to say she was performing a larger-than-life character named Jo Carol Pierce that was still basically her. If you can imagine Dolly Parton as more of a one woman play than a singer, you’re kind of in the neighborhood of Jo Carol Pierce. It’s a great obit, give it a read whether you’d ever heard of her or not.

The Golden Dukes are back.

Actually, goblin mode is your word of the year.

RIP, Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning actor best known for Cheers, Veronica’s Closet, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

“Deshaun Watson’s Return Often Felt Like Any Other Game. That’s the Problem.”

“More than two dozen Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster parent Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. for “unlawful conduct” in the pop star’s chaotic tour sale, claiming the ticketing giant violated antitrust laws, among others.”

“Legendary Los Angeles rock band Guns N’ Roses has sued online gun store Texas Guns and Roses for trademark infringement”.

“Does Alito think that the sole purpose of oral argument is to troll liberals on Twitter?”

RIP, Nick Bollettieri, legendary tennis coach who worked with the Williams sisters, Andre Agassi, and Boris Becker.

Lock them up.

“Trump attorneys admit to finding more classified documents that Trump had stashed in a new location”. There is no bottom.

RIP, George Newall, co-creator of Schoolhouse Rock.

Lock them up.

RIP, Grant Wahl, soccer journalist who was in Qatar covering the World Cup.

Weekend link dump for December 4

Everyone should start blogging again. Own your own site. Visit all your friends’ sites. Bring back the artisan, hand-crafted Web.”

“As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, the first self-proclaimed anti-woke “bank” in the nation is dying a hot flaming bankrupt death only a few brief months after opening for business.”

“Taking all parties together, overall perceptions of crime have been down consistently over the past decade. This changed only in 2022, when news media reports and Republican campaign ads began to insist that crime was out of control this year even though every indicator suggests that property crime is down and violent crime is up only slightly.”

Planes, Trains and Automobiles at 35: An Oral History of One of the Most Beloved Road Movies Ever Made”.

Ninety percent of Ohio diner customers approve of this profile of the NYT Pitchbot Twitter account.

So, does anyone have the wheel at Tesla now that Elon is a full-time Twitter troll/owner?

Did you know that the Netflix DVD-by-mail service is still a thing? Because it is.

Block and mute, whichever floats your boat. I had a moderately viral tweet earlier this year that drew some trolls, and I blocked them without a moment’s thought. Good times.

What Michael Harriot says.

Gaslighting is your word of the year.

The FTX “death spiral” claims another victim.

Methinks Justice Alito doth protest too much.

“Ultimately, Mueller undermined the main purpose of the special counsel, which is (in Mueller’s words), “to assure full public confidence in the outcome of investigations.” And here’s why: Barr, Trump, and others were counting on Mueller to observe institutional norms in crafting their strategy. They knew that, both because of his temperament and strict observance of institutional norms, he wasn’t going to correct their mischaracterizations publicly. Those assumptions have to change this time around: It’s clear that the old rules aren’t going to work in today’s information ecosystem. The key is to tweak them in such a way that they recalibrate perceptions without abandoning the principles on which the original polices are based.”

Lock them up. It’s a big deal.

RIP, Christine McVie, singer, songwriter, and keyboardist for Fleetwood Mac.

“This is why streaming Netflix, Disney Plus, and HBO Max keeps getting more expensive“.

“Dr. Oz’s former producers who worked on his longtime talk show are refusing to talk to him after his failed run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania”.

RIP, Gaylord Perry, Hall of Fame pitcher who was the first to win the Cy Young award in each league.

RIP, John Hadl, Pro Bowl quarterback for the LA Rams and other teams.

“So this was the last straw.”

“What Congress’s same-sex marriage bill actually does“.

RIP, Herb Ritchie, former criminal court judge in Harris County and survivor of Charles Whitman’s 1966 sniper attack at the University of Texas.

Weekend link dump for November 27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World’s biggest crybabies, bar none.

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

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

“The Messaging Mistake That Cost Republicans the Midterms”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shame on you, CBS Sports. Shame on you.

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

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

Weekend link dump for November 20

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

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

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

“Your Creation Museum Report, 15 Years On”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When grifters get grifted.

Weekend link dump for November 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for November 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for October 30

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

Happy 100th birthday, BBC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucianne Goldberg has died. I have no further comment.

Weekend link dump for October 23

Disbar them all.

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

Maybe the Cartoon Network isn’t quite dead yet.

Wishing Dikembe Mutombo all of the best.

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

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

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

The misogyny-to-fascism pipeline.

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

Lock him up for longer than that.

Make him testify.

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

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

Weekend link dump for October 16

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

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

All efforts to avoid the future robot apocalypse are appreciated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Flintstones was not a documentary.

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

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

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

Wait, Tulsi Gabbard still exists?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now this is justice.

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

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

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

All the owners hate Dan.”

Weekend link dump for October 9

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

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

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

TV shows get gun violence wrong. Color me shocked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, Mikey. Actually, not sorry at all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for October 2

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

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

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

“How Roberto Clemente Harnessed Celebrity To Change America”.

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

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

Who is Perla? And where is Perla?

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

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

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

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

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

A few alternate email signatures to try.

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

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

Weekend link dump for September 25

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

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

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

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

Tractor hacking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hold him accountable.

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

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

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

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

Sue the hell out of them!

Knock it off, GEICO.

Lock him up.

Bar him from the ballot.

RIP, Pharaoh Sanders, jazz saxophonist.

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

Weekend link dump for September 18

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

Regis Philbin, American icon.

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

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

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

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

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

“Netflix Considering Shift Towards Weekly Releases”.

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

Just read this.

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

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

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

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

RIP, Jean-Luc Godard, pioneering French director.

Subpoena them!

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

RIP, Lowry Mays, founder of Clear Channel.

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

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

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

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

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

The prices of your streaming services to go up soon.

RIP, Rommy Hunt Revson, inventor of the scrunchie.

Weekend link dump for September 11

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

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

So where is Times Square, anyway?

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

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

“The Human Psyche Was Not Built for This”.

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

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

Ken Levine signs off as a blogger.

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

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

Lock him up.

Make them pay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lock them up.

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

Weekend link dump for September 4

So what would a dragon smell like, anyway?

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

“The Case for the 16-Year-Old Vote”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Republicans in disarray.

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 28

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

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

“4 underrated parts of the Inflation Reduction Act”.

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

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

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

Guess I need to start watching Sandman soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Campaign finance reform now!

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

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

I love an Ichiro Suzuki story.

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

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

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

This you?

Lock them all up.

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 21

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

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

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

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

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

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

Testify!

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go big or go home, Merrick Garland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Anne Heche, Emmy-winning actor.

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

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

Weekend link dump for August 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But his emails!

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

Weekend link dump for July 31

The oldest teenagers on TV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Diane Kennedy, cookbook author and culinary anthropologist.

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

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

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

“A Retrospective on the 2015 Ashley Madison Breach”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for July 24

Is there anybody out there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sue his ass.

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

Lock them up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for July 17

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

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

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

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

“Has the Netflix Algorithm Finally Eaten Itself?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lock him up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for July 10

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s go, Brandon Brundidge.

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

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

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

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

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

Lock him up.

Lock them up.

Disbar them all, at the very least.

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for July 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lock them up.

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

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

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

Don’t Trust DIY Abortion Advice on TikTok“.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patsy Baloney is my new drag name.

Weekend link dump for June 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Rosemary Catacalos, former poet laureate of Texas.

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

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

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

Lock them up.

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

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

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

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

Weekend link dump for June 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lock them up.

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

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

Weekend link dump for June 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lock them up.

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

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

RIP, Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber baby.

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

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

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

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

“Trumpworld Lied To Your Face About The Election”.

Lock her up.