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Texas Observer SAVE THIS DATE! Molly Ivins & The Texas Observer Host author, economist, and New York Times columnist PAUL KRUGMAN Signing his latest book THE GREAT UNRAVELING: Losing our Way in the New Century “The most dangerous liberal in the country” National Review Online Saturday, October 18, 2003 5:30 PM 7:00 PM Threadgill’s 301 Riverside Drive, Austin To benefit The Texas Observer E very good storyteller knows that the way to get at the universal is through the local. Find a good story, dig deep, mine it for all it’s worth, and most likely you will discover something you thought you never knew about the human condition. In this issue we are pleased to reprint in its entirety, “The Blues in Belzoni,” a chapter from Bushwhacked: Life in George W Bush’s America, by former Observer editors Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose. As the authors write in the introduction to their book, once upon a time explaining how the government affects ordinary people was what political reporters were expected to do. But somehow the press “became more fixated on the polls, the consultants, the horse race, and the partisan bickering; ordinary people pretty much fell off the screen. We’re still here. The difference between one underassistant secretary and another assistant sec retary is still turning people’s lives upside down; indeed, it can be the difference between life and death.” “The Blues in Belzoni” tells two parallel stories. One story is about Eugene Scalia, son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Eugene was a partner in the law firm that represented George W. Bush in the Supreme Court case that resulted in his being annointed president. Young Mr. Scalia has also been a longtime, die-hard opponent of ergonomics, the science, which, among other things, can be used to make factory production-line work easier on workers’ bodies. “Like a cruise through Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean, to survey ergonomists’ theories is to glimpse the exotic and the absurd, occasionally amusing, and some grisly,” he declared nearly a decade ago. The other Belzoni story that Dubose and Ivins tell is about the women who continued on page 20 EDITORIAL Let Them Eat Catfish VOLUME 95, NO. 18 A Journal of Free Voices Since 1954 Founding Editor Ronnie Dugger Co-Editors Jake Bernstein, Barbara Belejack Session Reporter Dave Mann Managing Publisher Jim Ball Associate Publisher Charlotte McCann Circulation Manager Rosie Bamberger Chavez Art Direction Buds Design Kitchen Poetry Editor Naomi Shihab Nye Copy Editor Roxanne Bogucka Webmaster Adrian Quesada Interns Jessica Chapman, Kate Harrington, Emily Rapp, Adriane Sack, Allison Stuntz Contributing Writers Nate Blakeslee, Gabriela Bocagrande, Robert Bryce, Michael Erard, James K. Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, Steven G. Kellman, Lucius Lomax, James McWilliams, Char Miller, Debbie Nathan, Karen Olsson, John Ross, Brad Tyer. Staff Photographers Alan Pogue, Jana Birchum. Contributing Artists Sam Hurt, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Gary Oliver, Doug Potter, Penny Van Horn, Gail Woods. Editorial Advisory Board David Anderson, Chandler Davidson, Dave Denison, Sissy Farenthold, John Kenneth Galbraith, Lawrence Goodwyn, Jim Hightower, Kaye Northcott, Susan Reid. In Memoriam Bob Eckhardt, 1913-2001, Cliff Olofson, 1931-1995 Texas Democracy Foundation Board Lou Dubose, Ronnie Dugger,Marc Grossberg, Molly Ivins, D’Ann Johnson, Jim Marston, Gilberto Ocafias, Bernard Rapoport, Geoffrey Rips. The Texas Observer contents copyrighted 2002, is published biweekly except every tion, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Telephone E-mail [email protected] World Wide Web DownHome page wow. t e as obse rve r. org . Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas. Subscriptions One year $32, two years $59, three years $84. Full-time students $18 per year; add $13/year for foreign subs. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Indexes The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 1981, The Texas Observer Index. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The Books & the Culture section is partially funded through grants from the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission and the Writer’s League of Texas, both in cooperation with the Texas Commission on the Arts. 10110/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3