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I’m sorry that no one in Swampland has gotten out to say this sooner, as I’m sure we were all thinking it: Rest in peace, Molly Ivins.

She was the first woman I came by who wrote in a way that was funny yet seriously smart and sober about policy. And she had red hair! My dad particularly enjoyed having introduced me to her writing and for years paid for my subscription to the Texas Observer so that I could follow her career through my cross-country postings in college and beyond.

Molly — I feel I can call her that though I never got the nerve up to actually introduce myself — showed that political writing can be both well-informed and irreverent, passionate and ironic, pointed and generous. She was inspiration to many and a beacon of sanity to many more. Thanks, Molly, I should have written you a fan letter earlier.