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-4 11 ,11 11111111111111111110 1.1 I _ 1,1 I II I II TET.DBSERvER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1985 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher Vol. 77, No. 2 January 25, 1985 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. EDITOR Geoffrey Rips ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Denison EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger CALENDAR EDITOR Chula Sims EDITORIAL INTERN: Terri Langford WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Al Watkins LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Alicia Daniel EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD:Frances Barton, Austin,; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston: Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge. Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana,, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Dallas; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Fred Schmidt, Tehachapi, Cal., Robert Sherrill, Tallahassee, Fla. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Warren Burnett. Nina Butts, Jo Clifton, Craig Clifford, John Henry Faulk, Ed Garcia, Bill Helmer, Jack Hopper, Amy Johnson, Laurence Jolidon, Mary Lenz, Matt Lyon, Rick Piltz, Susan Raleigh, John Schwartz, Michael Ventura, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue, Russell Lee, Scott Van Osdol, Alicia Daniel. CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Tom Ballenger, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Carlos Lowry, Miles Mathis, Joe McDermott, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau. A journal of free voices We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see if. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the power.fitl or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal of free voices. Managing Publisher Advertising & Development Director Subscription Manager Circulation Assistant Consultant Cliff Olofson Dana Loy Alicia Daniel Stefan Wanstrom Frances Barton Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 The Texas Observer at Austin, Texas. Subscription rates, including 5 1/8% sales tax: one year $23, two years $42, three years S59. One year rate for full-time students, $15. Back issues $2 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Copyright 1985 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. 2 JANUARY 25, 1985 PAGE TWO Bones To Pick Austin THE DISCOVERY of the bones of a mastodon on Congress Avenue just prior to the beginning of the state legislature’s 69th session is an event of some meaning. In saying this, I am not alluding to the interest of a gaggle of Creationists who huddled near the entrance to the hole on Third Street being gouged by the machines of Trammell Crow. They had interrupted their planning for the Epiphany long enough to inspect the archeological action from a distance in order to formulate a theory wherein the extinction of the mastodon preceded the birth of Christ by some 39 days, proven that day on Congress Avenue by the appearance of a mastodon tusk not 17 inches below the French tile of a house razed on that spot a little short of 100 years ago an inch, they said, being worth slightly more than a century. Neither do I mean to imply that history had conspired with Trammell Crow to provide stunning publicity for his latest venture in downtown Austin \(he promises to display the bones in the lobby of the building whose making dislodged them from their once-final rest in a pool of cottonmouths and slime thrown up by a rampaging Colorado River, untrammeled for common history. No. Anyone who witnessed Trammell Crow’s efforts in staging the recent Republican national spectacle in Dallas would not doubt his showmanship or his ability to pull off such a media coup, but this is not what I mean. What I’m driving at is the appearance of ancient elephants on Congress Avenue during the same week that Reaganomics takes over as the modus operandi in a Republican-laden Texas Legislature. Now, there is no way that blame for this situation can be laid on the 50-some-odd Republicans in the Texas House. Their increased numerical strength is just symptomatic of what’s going on. And this is not to say that the overwhelmingly-Democratic legislatures of the ’50s and ’60s were not Reaganoid in their lack of concern for social programs. Back then it was called “good ol’ boy-nomics ,” whereby all your social needs were met by oil revenues because you didn’t think the state had very many social needs. ALL of which is to say that the old bones of laissezfaire capitalism have risen and are rampaging through the halls of the Capitol skewering any possible spending increase in social programs. Every officeholder in the state is running scared of what is perceived as a Reaganomic lesson in the last election. Every legislator is afraid to vote for a tax hike this session to make up for projected state budgetary shortfalls coming so soon after the 1984 vote for a sales and motor-fuels tax increase. At least seven or eight legislators are rumored to have refused appointments to the powerful House Appropriations Committee for fear of being identified too closely with revenue proposals and budget cuts. So a legislative perspective that is long in the tooth is setting in: the elimination of social spending to support an inequitable tax structure that can no longer support itself. The Social Darwinists of the business lobby are licking their chops: less funding for regulatory agencies, legislative support for any lobby concoction that promises “a better business climate.” Cut support for colleges and universities. Cut support for preschool education. Loosen wiretap regulation. Only highway