Why we miss Molly Ivins


Molly Ivins’ ghost works overtime (link not safe for work, or school), but ghosts have reduced influence in the land of the living. Exactly how great a tragedy that Ivins died just as the Texas Lege was coming into session and the Bush Administration scandals began their geometric expansion, will never be fully comprehended.

But we can catch glimpses.

Would you believe Warren Chisum cutting off debate on a free speech bill? The Burnt Orange Report makes a commendable effort to channel Ivins, and it’s well worth the read. One of the reasons Texas produces great writers, and great humorists, is the simple fact that there are so many unbelievable stories happening in Texas all the time, stories so breathtaking in their inanity (usually) that the only rational response is laughter.

Chisum and his friends got an idea from somewhere that kids in Texas have a difficult time expressing their Christian faith.  Chisum, it appears, has not been in a Texas school room since at least 1900, or he’d know better — but he is a powerful legislator and so his particular flights from reality often end up written out as legislation.

It’s unusual, I know, that in a state where millions of kids don’t have a prayer of getting health care because they don’t have a prayer of getting health insurance, and where kids from poorer school districts have little more than a prayer of getting an equal education, the legislature focuses on the prayer part of the deficits, instead of fixing anything else fixable.

It’s not that the kids don’t pray — it’s that few in the state legislature listen.  The kids don’t need a bill to make it legal to do what they already do that is already legal; the kids need a bill that would make the Lege pay attention and do something about the problems.

Blogging has been limited lately; there is much to blog about.  Is there enough time to catch up?

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