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I watched tonight’s debate, but I was in and out of the room a bit so I didn’t see every single minute. I’m not going to try to distinguish winners or losers, but instead I’ll just toss out a few miscellaneous observations:

On most subjects, there was a scrum of candidates all trying to interrupt as soon as the first person had finished answering the question. But when the subject was climate change, the stage was eerily quiety. Most of these folks don’t really want to talk about it. I think they’re afraid of saying something that will be interpreted as asking people to make an actual sacrifice.

Beto O’Rourke wasn’t very impressive. It’s just a little too obvious that he’s talking in platitudes instead of taking a detailed stand on anything.

Elizabeth Warren says health insurance companies made $23 billion in profits last year. That sounds bad. But total health care spending last was $3.5 trillion. This means that insurance profits amounted to 0.6 percent of the total. I’d be happy to get rid of private insurers and get that to zero, but 0.6 percent isn’t a super persuasive argument for doing it.

Juli├ín Castro sounded pretty good. He’s clear and well-briefed, and his answers seem to be well motivated by both principle and pragmatism. I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves up a few points in the polls.

Elizabeth Warren didn’t make any mistakes or anything, but she didn’t dominate the stage or really distinguish herself. That’s probably OK for now.

Chuck Todd practically begged the candidates to say that they’d try to get rid of the filibuster if they were elected. Surprisingly, hardly any of them took the bait.

John Delaney is very annoying.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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