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2006 5:00 to 7:00 Monday, November 13 The Twig Book Shop 5005 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78209 Elroy Bode Book Reading El Paso writer Elroy Bode, a longtime contributor to the Observer, will be reading, In A Special Light Dialogue GREAT WOMEN The Molly Ivins piece on Ann Richards [“A-men. A-women. A-Ann,” October 6] was forwarded to me by a friend. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for a piece on a GREAT woman by another GREAT woman. Cuthbert Thambimuttu, Columbus, OH Thank you for the story on Ann still in mourning, but this helps lots. Roberta Hill Via e-mail Thank you, Molly Ivins, for such a wonderful, funny, and touching article on Governor Ann Richards! I was raised as a conservative, Catholic Republicanmy vote for Ann Richards was the first Democratic vote I ever cast \(and I have voted as Democratic ever since then for all major elections, county, state and incredible. Ms. Ivins, I have seen you speak in public, and you are one of the best speakers and writers I have ever had the pleasure to hear and read. Thank you so much! Jill A. Harper Denton County THE CONTENDER Tim Eaton’s piece on Juan Garcia [“The Contender,” September 22] was first rateand news to me out here in Sacramento. I guess I’ll be checking on the results in the Corpus Christi newspaper the day after the election. Eric Brazil Sacramento, CA Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lecture in Journalism The School of Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin cordially invites you to hear Molly Ivins on “The Future of Journalism: Slow Death or Suicide” Wednesday, November 15, 2006 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Hogg Memorial Auditorium 24th Street & Whitis Avenue, The University of Texas at Austin Tickets, free, are limited to two per person and available in advance at Bass Concert Hall, Hogg Auditorium, and the Erwin Center. For information call Wade Lee at 512/232-5466. Department of Correction Ooops. Foolish us. We assumed in our late-breaking editorial, “Political Science;’ Ney was indicted he would immediately resign. In fact, the congressman declined to do so, at least right away. NOVEMBER 3, 2006 TheTexas Observer FEATURES WHY THE BELL NOT? 7 Can Chris Bell turn his serious mien into a campaign plus? by Jake Bernstein IT ONLY HURTS WHEN HE LAUGHS 8 Kinky’s bravado hides a dark vision of politics and life by Dave Mann CAROLE THE CHAMELEON 10 Four surnames and three party labels later, will the real Carole Strayhorn please stand up? by Emily Pyle DON’T LET YOUR BABIES 12 GROW UP TO BE COWBOYS On the Perry trail in Haskell County by Eileen Welsome DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 The CHIPs Are Down POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 4 MOLLY IVINS 14 Why Can’t They Level With Us? JIM HIGHTOWER 15 Katherine Harris Speaks DATELINE 20 Breaking form, Abilene Considers a Dem by Tim Eaton BOOKS & CULTURE POETRY 23 by Lee Robinson RODIN WAS A HACKER 24 by Julie Ardery AFTERWORD 30 Dias de Muertos by Erasmo Guerra Cover illustration by Mike Krone 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 3, 2006