I'm a baaaaad political blogger. I did not make the effort either to watch or listen to the debate Friday evening. By the time I even thought about it, it was over, as they scheduled it early so as not to conflict with Texas religious services (i.e., high school football games). But then, since I will not cast a vote in the Senate race, the debate is of no immediate interest to me. I'll try to catch the video online. (UPDATE: I made it through about 15 minutes of the debate on YouTube, then quit when I was just one "in this country" short of plotzing on the screen.)
Notably absent from the debate, of course is Libertarian challenger Neal Dikeman, because having more than two candidates in a political contest is too complicated for American brains. Dikeman's appearance on Capital Tonight with Karina Kling impresses me no more or less than his website. However, as a matter of public interest and maintaining democracy as anything more than a cleverly crafted illusion, all nominees from parties with a ballot line and qualified independent candidates should at least be invited to participate in these debates.
Also, in light of my recent posts about getting help with chronic depression, I find longtime Green comrade Harry Hamid's casual mention of his near-suicide this summer (linked below) both disturbing and comforting. I'm not the only one in my circle ready to leave this fucked-up world behind, feeling powerless to unfuck it.
PDiddie at Brains and Eggs lists the Texas Democrats he'll be voting for in November, as well as the ones he won't. And in the wake of SD-19's GOP upset by retired game warden Pete Flores of longtime pol Pete Gallego, PDiddie offered some advice to Texas Democrats on how to save their blue wave. Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer quoted Dan Patrick as saying "the tide is out."
Additional post-mortems of last Tuesday's SD-19 special election—complete with eulogies of the Texas Democratic Party—arrived via the Texas Observer and Texas Standard.
Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast links to an NYT piece that reveals a shocking test result: most crime labs analyzing DNA evidence accuse the wrong people of committing a crime. And in his statewide roundup of criminal justice news, the Houston Chronicle's Keri Blakinger told the story of Texas inmates who are refused dentures.
The Texas Tribune via Progrexas writes about the $430 billion farm bill, which is nerve-wrackingly close to expiring, leaving Texas farmers in the lurch.
Congressional leaders are just days away from a deadline to work out a compromise on a massive farm bill or risk a lapse in funding for crucial safety net programs used by thousands of Texas farmers.
Ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline, Congress returns this week with just four legislative days to reconcile differences between the House and Senate legislation, pass the bill through both chambers and send it to the president’s desk before safety net funding dries up.
The bill, which comes with a $430 billion price tag over five years, is particularly important for Texas, which leads the nation in number of farms and ranches, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. One in seven Texans also works in an agriculture-related job, according to the department.
The farm bill includes a vital crop insurance program for farmers that provides financial protection against crop destruction. The crop insurance program is the second largest program in the bill and made up 8 percent of the last farm bill. The insurance has become an increasingly important lifeline for Texas farmers, many of whom are struggling due to drought in west Texas or flood damage closer to Houston, said Laramie Adams, national legislative director of the Texas Farm Bureau, a group that advocates on behalf of Texas farmers and ranchers.
“They have no safety net, no way of surviving if you don’t have crop insurance in place in order to pick them up and allow them to be able to invest in the next growing season,” said Adams.
Kennedi W. at Houston Justice describes #ProjectOrange's successful voter registration drive.
Civil rights groups are changing bail practices in Texas one city at a time, writes Michael Barajas at the Texas Observer.
Murray Polner at The Rag Blog wonders if there are any honest and independent observers still available to sort out the truth.
David Collins has a review of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 11/9."
And Harry Hamid wishes he had another hole in his head where the memory of the presidential candidate he voted for in 2016 resides.