Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins has died of cancer at the age of 62. Ivins' sense of humor, her sharp Texas wit and her populist politics made her a favorite on my reading list. President Bush, who as a Texas politician was raked over her coals on a near-daily basis, had these words to say after her death:
"I respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a phrase. She fought her illness with that same passion. Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be missed." (quoted in The Guardian)
Ivins herself had kind words to say about the passing of her friend Billie Carr in 2002, and I think this tribute reveals Ivins' own values nicely: she said Carr "was there for the workers and the unions, she was there for the African-Americans, she was there for the Hispanics, she was there for the women, she was there for the gays. And this wasn't all high-minded, oh, we-should-all-be-kinder-to-one-another. This was tough, down, gritty, political trench warfare; money against people. She bullied her way to the table of power, and then she used that place to get everybody else there, too. If you ain't ready to sweat, and you ain't smart enough to deal, you can't play in her league." (quoted in The Nation)
The photo of Ivins above is from the Texas Observer, which has a sprawling, loving tribute on its web site. The Scene was the first place I read of Ivins' passing.
Creators Syndicate has links to her columns and books.