Eric Bradner at CNN's recent account of the Texas Seventh Congressional runoff leads with the observation that Democrats across the country are paying close attention. Brains and Eggs posted the latest on CD-7 (anecdotally; with a wish that he might be mistaken) and the special election for the vacancy on Houston City Council, District K (and a caution for the next representative).
Disgraced Congressman Blake Farenthold abruptly resigned late last Friday afternoon, but still has not refunded taxpayers the $84,000 he used to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit from his former communications director. Patrick Svitek at the TexTrib notes that scheduling a special election to replace him has a few considerations for Greg Abbott.
On one hand, a pre-Nov. 6 special could turn #TX27 into something of a national spectacle with Dems energized. On the other hand, a bit hard to argue Coastal Bend doesn't need representation ASAP, post-#Harvey.
Meanwhile, Svitek took note of Speaker Paul Ryan dragging his purse through Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi, collecting four million bucks for Team Ryan's PAC, and the Trib's Abby Livingston saw the GOP runoff for Farenthold's seat tightening. (The Democrats in CD-27's May 22 runoff are Eric Holguin and Raul 'Roy' Barrera.)
Off the Kuff noted that Texas lost another federal lawsuit about voting rights.
Socratic Gadfly, seeing the latest anti-Palestinian violence by Israelis, looks at myth vs. reality in a major piece of Jewish history.
Jef Rouner writes in the Houston Press about the urgent need white men have for gun control.
The Population Research Bureau found that white men over the age of 65 are almost three times more likely to die by their own hands as the general population. Middle aged white people, both men and women, are seeing increased mortality rates even as other groups are seeing down turns. Suicides are becoming more common, especially in men in this group, as are substance abuse problems, which a lecturer joked to me recently was “suicide on the installment plan.”
Coinciding with this rise of suicides in aging white male populations is the increase in gun buying. Men on average possess twice as many guns as women, and whites statistically outnumber all other ethnicities in America. The reasons behind both rising gun ownership and dangerous levels of despair in white men go hand in hand; economic anxiety, a feeling of lost power and agency, and fear of a country experiencing great demographical change. Guns and white men blues are making for a fatal cocktail that thousands of Americans are slamming down every year with horrific results.
White men desperately need gun control right now, and they can’t get it because the movers and shakers in the pro-gun debate have successfully overshadowed the idea of safety with oppression and disarmament. Meanwhile, gun manufacturers and pop media continue to market the gun as a virility-enhancing problem-solver, and white men in distress are eating it up.
The Texas Standard talks to Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who doesn't think Trump's tariffs are a big deal for Texas farmers, but does think that restricting H-2A and H-2B visas (for foreign workers, ag and non-ag) are.
Cheerleader Alert: After more than a generation of one-party dominance, it’s tough for any Texas Democrat to predict what a winning statewide campaign would actually look like. But if Texas Leftist had to take guess, it would come pretty close to the Beto O’Rourke campaign thus far. After a massive fundraising haul, Beto is showing that he means business in this race. And speaking of winning, more great news for Texas’ classical music community as the Houston Chamber Choir receives a very prestigious national honor. /pom poms
Stace at Dos Centavos writes about Tex-Mex Grammy winners Los Texmaniacs' new album, Cruzando Borders, which will touch on border and Mexican American themes. It's quite timely during this era of Trumpismo.
Stan Spinner, Lindy McGee, and Julie Boom in the Texas Tribune's TribTalk urge Texans to not politicize vaccinations, Better Texas Blog explains why a property-tax-for-sales-tax swap is a bad idea, and Deborah Beck at the Rivard Report urges elected leaders to have in-person meetings with their constituents.
Elise Hu remembers her first mentor and his warning about Sinclair Broadcasting, and Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher grapples with the politics of Roseanne.
Neil at All People Have Value attended, as he does each week, the John Cornyn Houston office protest. In other Captain Obvious blog posts, Ted at jobsanger has some mono-chromatic polling bars that reveal (!) that blacks and whites differ sharply on issues of race.
And Harry Hamid, a blind priest, and a first-year medical student have a free-wheeling discussion/argument out in the front yard.