Witty best-selling author and political columnist Molly Ivins has passed away after a long battle with cancer at the age of 62. She was always a heroine of mine, my female Will Rogers with a snarky Texas attitude. I loved her salty language and fearless and funny approach to journalism. Even if you disagreed with her politics you couldn't resist her charm. Her voice will truly be missed. Rest in peace, Molly.
Some of my favorite Ivins quotes:
--- "If you think his daddy had trouble with 'the vision thing,' wait'll you meet this one," Ivins on George W. Bush in "The Progressive," June 1999.
--- "If left to my own devices, I'd spend all my time pointing out that he's weaker than bus-station chili," on Bill Clinton, from the introduction to You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You
--- "The poor man who is currently our president has reached such a point of befuddlement that he thinks stem cell research is the same as taking human lives, but that 40,000 dead Iraqi civilians are progress toward democracy," from a July 2006 column
--- "I don’t care what anyone smoked 20 years ago, I approve of those who boogie till they puke, and I don’t care who anyone in politics is screwing in private, as long as they’re not screwing the public." from The Best Little Whorehouse in Washington column.
The following is from her column Sometimes, You Just Have to Laugh ...
"The Legislature provides us with an array of verbal treasures. During a debate on a bill to stop out-of-wedlock children from getting welfare, Bob Eckhardt said, "It is not so much the natural bastards I worry about as the self-made ones."
Craig Washington, filibustering one of those idiot flag-burning amendments, said, "I prefer those who would burn the flag and keep the Constitution to those who would tear up the Constitution and keep the flag."
After yet another unsuccessful effort to modify the Texas sodomy law, the authors of a successful amendment were slapping backs and high-fiving. A voice from the press box said, "Sergeant, you must go over and reprimand both those men. Because under the amendments just passed by them, it is now illegal for a prick to touch an asshole in this state."
Then there was the special time we were having Disability Day to honor the handicapped, and Speaker Gib Lewis said to those in the wheelchairs wedged up into the balcony, "And now, would y'all stand and be recognized?"[..]
That entire column is hilarious .. more of it here:
And she went down fighting...
Stand Up Against the Surge
By Molly Ivins
Thu Jan 11, 3:00 AM ET
The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things. What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Egypt-Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that WE simply cannot let it continue.
It is not a matter of whether we will lose or we are losing. We have lost. Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military. "You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically," he said.
His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who only recommend releasing forces with a clear definition of the goals for the additional troops.
Bush's call for a "surge" or "escalation" also goes against the Iraq Study Group. Talk is that the White House has planned to do anything but what the group suggested after months of investigation and proposals based on much broader strategic implications.
About the only politician out there besides Bush actively calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record). In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: "The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own — impose its rule throughout the country. ... By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed." But with all due respect to the senator from Arizona, that ship has long since sailed.
A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country — we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (about 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls. We know this is wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented.
Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco. Ted Kennedy's proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. And if Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration's idiotic "plans" and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recent colleagues.
Anyone who wants to talk knowledgeably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaran's "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone." It's like reading a horror novel. You just want to put your face down and moan: How could we have let this happen? How could we have been so stupid?
As The Washington Post's review notes, Chandrasekaran's book "methodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraq's fiendish politics, rebuild the electrical grid, privatize the economy, run the oil industry, recruit expert staff or instill a modicum of normalcy to the lives of Iraqis."
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. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"