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Remembering the incredible Molly Ivins. Also, is calling women "birth-giving machines" a career ruiner?

Published February 1, 2007 1:45AM (EST)

In remembrance of muckraking Texas columnist Molly Ivins: a tribute by John Nichols, Washington correspondent for the Nation; the New York Times obituary; a Salon profile from 2000, a Salon interview from 2003 and some choice Ivins quotes.

In Ivins' own words: Her last column implored us to stand up against the surge in Iraq: "We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous."

San Francisco Chronicle: The good news: More U.S. employers are covering gender-reassignment surgery. The bad: Most still do not. "Gender reassignment is not a medical necessity in terms of treating disease or injury," said Brad Kieffer, a HealthNet spokesman. But transgender activist Andre Wilson sees it differently: "Ultimately, the understanding that this is a life-saving and fundamental service for people who need it really deals with all those questions. When something saves life, we don't debate on whether we have political fallout for it. We just do it."

Reuters: The public is calling for Japanese Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa's head after he referred to women as "birth-giving machines." Despite pressure for Yanagisawa to resign, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe maintains his support for the beleaguered minister and said he wants him "to fulfill his duties with all of his body and soul."

Associated Press: If you thought you'd heard the end of it, you're wrong -- the debate over anorexic supermodels is still under way. Bronx, N.Y., Assemblyman Jose Rivera has announced that he would like to see the state issue weight standards for models under age 18. "New York City is one of the world's leaders in fashion and entertainment and we don't want to do anything to harm those industries," he said. "At the same time we need responsible protections in place, especially for younger workers."

Feministing: In a piece for Fox News, "iFeminist" Wendy McElroy attributed the following quote to Feministing: "It probably isn't appropriate to continue calling this the 'Duke rape case.'" Problem is, while the quote did appear on Feministing, it was a comment from a reader, rather than one of Feministing's writers. After a flurry of terse e-mails between Feministing's Jessica Valenti and McElroy, the quote was finally taken down and a retraction is expected.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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