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Dialogue CORNYN’S RIGHT STUFF Your observation that Sen. Cornyn is closer to the Republican base of the party than are Perry, Dewhurst, and Hutchison is absolutely correct \(“The Gospel According to John Cornyn,” planks of the Texas Republican Party platformwhich is written by the rank and file. In my view Sen. Cornyn is one of the few in the Senate who conducts himself as all senators shouldwith dignity; thoughtfulness, and conviction. He would make a great president. One further observation: Most of those at the state convention were struck by the ultracool reception given to the speech by Kay Bailey Hutchison. She will not be our next governor. Gerald Fruzia via e-mail Isabel. I am actually an Okie in disguise and at present live in Manor \(the end I remember reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac many years ago on a vacation from Ponca City, Oklahoma, to South Padre Island. I am without a typewriter at the moment and know better than to handwrite this, but necessity rules. I have written for Oklahoma Today, Western Woman, True West, Real West, and others. Before moving to this town, I wrote a weekly column for a South Padre Island paper. Many years ago, I wrote for True Story, True Confessions, True Romance, and the like. I hope to rejoin the fraternity of writers soon. Aleta Lutz Manor AN ALTERNATE TAKE Big John. Texas down the toilet. Big John. Big Sad John. George P. Webster via e-mail A BRIGHTER FUTURE There is another energy system on the horizon to help these people \(“Let has always been whether the “powers that be” will allow the new power systems. I actually know of several inventors who have developed systems that can generate more than enough power to manage these people’s energy deficit. There is no reason that everybody can’t enjoy easy living with cheaper electricity. Kim Zorzi via e-mail NO END TO THE ROAD Please forgive me for my handwritten letter and my informality. I am reading the July 11 Summer Books edition of the Observer. It is captivating. I began at the back and have progressed to the front this afternoon. I am a 91-year-old freelance writer and fugitive from South Texas, Port COMPELLING VISUALS What amazing photographs! I want to get a copy of Exodus/Exodo as soon as it comes out \(“Movement of the images that have increasing relevance as each day passes and as the pressures to leave the country escalate. Altha Cravey via e-mail TO SWIFT GO THE SPOILS I, too, love the work of Edward Swift, and don’t understand why it’s not more Thanks for a wonderful piece on the unique genius of Mr. Edward Swift. Peter Cameron via e-mail WALL OF SHAME South Texas refuge manager Ken Merritt deserved a better fate for all of his years of unselfish service \(“Against the Wall,” June Our country is circling the drain as a result of this administration’s acts. We must have a change before it’s too late for future generations. Jan Rutter via e-mail AUGUST 22, 2008 TheTexas Observer FEATURES WHEN LYNDON LOOMED LARGE 8 LBJ, The Texas Observer & Me. by Ronnie Dugger THE MADNESS OF BANKERS 17 An Interview with Charles R. Morris. by Robert Bryce RUNNING SCARED 20 Four congressional races will test the Democratic resurgence in Texas. by TO staff DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 JIM HIGHTOWER 24 More tinkle-down economics BOOKS & THE CULTURE POETRY 25 by Eric Rosenbaum AND THE BEAT GOES ON 26 Gary Hartman’s The History of Texas Music. by Michael Hoinski AFTERWORD 29 by Ruth Pennebaker Cover illustration by Don Bartlett, early Texas Observer staff artist and cartoonist. In observance of the 100th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Aug. 27 birth and our cover story by founding editor Ronnie Dugger, the drawing and masthead are taken from the November 30, 1955, issue. The masthead proclaimed the Observer an “Independent Liberal Weekly Newspaper,” and promised, “We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it.” 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER AUGUST 22, 2008