Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Molly Ivins 1944-2007

Molly Ivins Biography
Political Columnist, 1944-2007

"The best way to get the sons of bitches is to make people laugh at them." [in conversation with me when I took her photograph]

Mary Tyler Ivins was born in Monterey, California and grew up in Houston, Texas. She graduated from Smith College in 1966, from Columbia School of Journalism and studied for one year at the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris.

She began her newspaper career with the Houston Chronicle and then moved to the Minneapolis Tribune where she became the city’s first female police reporter. Returning to her home state as co-editor of the Texas Observer, she concentrated on politics and social justice issues. In 1976 Ivins became a political reporter for the New York Times, working first in New York then in Albany and, for three years, covering nine mountain states as Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief. She returned to Texas in 1982 as a columnist for the now-defunct Dallas Times-Herald and then, for nine years, with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 2001 Molly Ivins became an independent journalist.

Her awards include the William Allen White Award from the University of Kansas, the Smith Medal from her alma mater, the Ivan Allen, Jr. Prize for Progress and Service and the Pringle Prize for Washington Journalism from Columbia University. She was elected to membership in the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her freelance work appears in many national magazines, and she contributes essays to both the Lehrer News Hour and National Public Radio. She has written several books, most recently, Shrub; the Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush. She is an active participant in the journalism network of Amnesty International and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

To honor a journalist as a truth teller is implicitly to comment on the scarcity of courage and candor in a profession ostensibly dedicated to writing and speaking the truth. Molly Ivins is singular in her profession not only for her willingness to speak truth to power but for her use of humor to lampoon the self-seeking, the corrupt and the incompetent in positions of public trust. Her wit and insight place her squarely in the tradition of America’s great political humorists like Mark Twain.

************************************************************************************ Painting and biography written while she was still alive by Robert Shetterly, his website is:

Americans Who Tell The Truth.

He is quite a man, great artist and writer. I stumbled onto his site by accident, now it is on my favorites.

Rest in peace Molly, you were one of a kind, we can never replace you.



DEN said...

Posted this today instead of tomorrow because I thought the loss of one of our finest writers and fellow administration antagonists deserved attention.

We have some mighty big shoes to fill to replace her. (Not that she had big feet or anything.)

Carry on.

Jeanne said...

Man she was good.

Hajji said...

An mere ounce of the courage and a jigger or two of the wit she has shared with us is quite the invigorating cocktail.

Cheers, Molly!
Rest easy.


Jeanne said...

We just have to follow in her footsteps. She's leading the way.

Micki said...

Molly and Ann -- two of my favorite Texans. Witty, intelligent, sassy...and caring.

Now, they're both gone...but not forgotten.

Jeanne said...

I've been reading some of the bios on Molly Ivins. She was a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune in the 60's. My great aunt was one of the founding members of the Gray Panthers in MN. She was a real gutsy lady. I wonder if Molly Ivins reported on her.

Saladin said...

Oh, Dear Molly. You will be missed.

Alan said...

2 things

About what Micki said...

"Before that possibility could occur (Pelosi as prez), one of the two nuts would resign BEFORE IMPEACHMENT HAD LEGS..."

Yeah, that sounds logical, but since when do these clowns do anything logical? WHICH one do you think would give in and resign? I myself don't see either one giving up. Both in their own bubble and going down with the ship. Least that's how I see it.

Next, Dr. B's comment about Iranian IUDs cracked me up. I know he meant IEDs, but it was funny wondering what was really on his mind. haha

*tips hat to my fellow Texan Molly*

I felt like that was coming, I just didn't know it would be that soon.

Gerald said...

For Our Molly

Gerald said...

The Perfect Date

Men, have you from time to time thought about the perfect date? I believe that the perfect date has changed in your thoughts over the years. As I am now in the twilight of my life, I will share with my thoughts of the perfect date.

As I rang the doorbell to the home of my perfect date, who should answer the door, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, looking very lovely. You go to the car with your date and as you ride to the restaurant you find yourself talking to Cindy Sheehan. Cindy lost her son in the Iraq war. What is remarkable, she has changed the Iraq war and wars in the near future as mothers’ wars. Mothers will now have to fight for the lives of their children by saying NO to wars.

You arrive at the restaurant and you sit with your date and you find yourself talking with Helen Thomas, the illustrious journalist, who as been in Washington, D.C. for decades. She shares with you her many experiences and you find yourself mesmerized with the details of all her experiences.

After dinner as you drive to a cozy bar for a drink, you have great conversation with Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired military officer, who is quite objective in assessing the current sad state of affairs in Iraq. You feel good talking to her because she is a woman who cares about our American soldiers.

You top the evening off at a cozy bar drinking cold brewskies from the bottle with Molly Ivins, another fine writer who tells it like it is. Yes, men, that would be my perfect date.

Gerald said...

RIP Molly Ivins

Ann Coulter's Q and A personifies the Nazi Party, a.k.a. the repugnants.

Gerald said...

Molly Ivins dies at age 62

Gerald said...

To Ivins, "liberal" wasn't an insult term. "Even I felt sorry for Richard Nixon when he left; there's nothing you can do about being born liberal — fish gotta swim and hearts gotta bleed," she wrote in a column included in her 1998 collection, "You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You."

Molly save one dance for me.

Gerald said...

We Are All Molly

Gerald said...

But Ivins served as more than a writing mentor for me. Ivins is among the last of a breed of political observers who didn't write what people wanted to read. She wrote the truth, as she saw it at least, and was willing to call someone a bullshitter regardless of their political views. She was a torchbearer for such crusading editorialists as H. L. Mencken, Ambrose Bierce, and Mike Royko; writers who put their balls on the chopping block with each successive story they published. In a century quickly becoming known for cowardice and phony machismo, Molly Ivins followed her predecessors into the storm of controversy, knowing how easily her tits would get twisted in the wringer of public opinion. It was this same courage she fought the battle with breast cancer for nearly eight years. However uncommon a person Ivins was, she practiced a courage common to all of us.

And if her death is to mean anything, we desperately need to absorb her burning passion for justice. Touch our own courage in ridding our nation of despicable, self-absorbed leaders unconcerned by the plight of common people taking solace in Ivins' words. We are all Molly's, and we can imprint our vision of this country upon neighbors, friends, and leadership alike by applying the same wisdom and bravery Ivins left as her legacy.

DEN said...

Breast cancer is a killer, no different than an assassins bullet, it cuts down many fine people with it's ruthless nature.

My best friend when I was younger just lost his wife to that insidious disease, luckily he had family for support.

Please do what you can to help fight this disease.

Susan G. Komen for the cure

Saladin said...

DEN, there is also some very interesting research being done in Canada, check this article from New Scientist.

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their “immortality”. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks.

DCA attacks a unique feature of cancer cells: the fact that they make their energy throughout the main body of the cell, rather than in distinct organelles called mitochondria. This process, called glycolysis, is inefficient and uses up vast amounts of sugar.

Until now it had been assumed that cancer cells used glycolysis because their mitochondria were irreparably damaged. However, Michelakis’s experiments prove this is not the case, because DCA reawakened the mitochondria in cancer cells. The cells then withered and died (Cancer Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2006.10.020)...

A Cure?

And then, read this:


Daniel Haley's brilliant book, Politics in Healing, recounts how NCI's 1991 clinical trial of the innovative and "alternative" cancer medicine, hydrazine sulfate (HS), was rigged. Rigged to fail.

A spectacularly promising medicine, HS had shown good results in trials at Harbor/UCLA hospital and in Russia. NCI felt obligated to test the drug. But there was a catch.

The drug's discoverer, Dr. Joseph Gold, had found that HS reacted badly if patients were taking other drugs, especially tranquilizers. Several warnings were given to NCI before it began its test. The warnings were explicit. Patients could DIE if they were taking tranquilizers.

It turned out that none of the NCI patients were warned about this. It turned out that 94% of those patients were in fact on tranquilizers.

Barry Tice, an investigator for the US General Accounting Office (GAO), looked into the NCI trial of hydrazine sulfate after it was over. He called Dr. Gold and told him he had found a "smoking gun." There was an internal NCI memo which showed that NCI was well aware of the problems involved in the drug combinations. The GAO did not back up its own investigator. The final GAO report on the NCI clinical trials of hydrazine sulfate simply accused NCI of sloppy bookkeeping.

In the June 1995 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a letter from the NCI was published. The letter stated that NCI had omitted mentioning, in its own published account of its cancer study, that 94% of the patients had been on tranquilizers.

But, because this letter did NOT mention how dangerous that situation was, it looked like NCI was simply admitting to a technical and unimportant mistake. A clerical error.

So what did happen to the patients in the NCI hydrazine sulfate study?

They ALL DIED...
Seems that cheap, effective cancer medicine that is unavailable for patenting is not very popular with big pharma. No mystery was Marijuana is illegal.

Saladin said...

I meant WHY. Coffee hasn't kicked in yet!

DEN said...

Sal, once again corporate interest overrides common sense.

Simply murder for a buck.

Saladin said...

Common sense and ALL compassion apparently. Could Molly still be alive today? We may never know since big pharma couldn't make any money off it.

DEN said...

Sal, one thing I've learned is people will sell their souls to the devil for a buck.

Insane worship of the almighty dollar.

They should try to eat money and see how long they would live.

Money whores!

Saladin said...

DEN, the dollar isn't all that mighty anymore, in fact, it's bleeding badly. But as long as big brother can keep slapping a bandage on it I guess it will keep limping along a while longer.

DEN said...

Sal, comparatively in bad shape but the less value the dollar has the more the money grubbers want to make up for the loss of value.

We all need it to survive but some people never get enough and screw over everyone to get it, corporate greed is alive and well.

If not the dollar it would be something else.

Micki said...

A few of my favorite Mollyisms:

• There's never been a law yet that didn't have a ridiculous consequence in some unusual situation; there's probably never been a government program that didn't accidentally benefit someone it wasn't intended to. Most people who work in government understand that what you do about it is fix the problem -- you don't just attack the whole government.

• I believe in practicing prudence at least once every two or three years.

• It's like, duh. Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong.

• In the real world, there are only two ways to deal with corporate misbehavior: One is through government regulation and the other is by taking them to court. What has happened over 20 years of free-market proselytizing is that we have dangerously weakened both forms of restraint, first through the craze for "deregulation" and second through endless rounds of "tort reform," all of which have the effect of cutting off citizens' access to the courts. By legally bribing politicians with campaign contributions, the corporations have bought themselves immunity from lawsuits on many levels.

• Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory.

• During a recent panel on the numerous failures of American journalism, I proposed that almost all stories about government should begin: "Look out! They're about to smack you around again!"

• I am not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We'd turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don't ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.

• The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people. Not in our name, not with our money, not with our children's blood.

* A few years before Billie Carr died this September at age 74, a friend called to ask how she was doing. "Well," she said, "They just impeached my boy up in Washington, there's not a Democrat left in statewide office in Texas, the Republicans have taken every judgeship in Harris County, and yesterday I found out I have cancer."
"I think I'll go out and get a pregnancy test because with my luck, it'll come back positive."

* from her last column, January 11, 2007: 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.

• Everyone knows the man has no clue, but no one there has the courage to say it. I mean, good gawd, the man is as he always has been: barely adequate. [on George W. Bush]

• Let me say for the umpteenth time, George W. is not a stupid man. The IQ of his gut, however, is open to debate. In Texas, his gut led him to believe the death penalty has a deterrent effect, even though he acknowledged there was no evidence to support his gut's feeling.

* [Molly Ivins quotes George W. Bush in one of his "Bushisms"] "What I am against is quotas. I am against hard quotas, quotas they basically delineate based upon whatever. However they delineate, quotas, I think vulcanize society. So I don't know how that fits into what everybody else is saying, their relative positions, but that's my position."

Micki said...

Foreign travelers aren't taking advantage of the weakened dollar. Tourism TO the United States is at an all time low.

Imagine that.

DEN said...

Micki, thanks for the Mollyisms!

The only tourists are illegals.

DEN said...

Democracy Now had David Corn on this AM, abbreviated due to Molly tribute.

They discussed the Libby trial briefly.

DEN said...

Hey we're back!

DEN said...

A rather chilling synopsis of the impending Iran attack by Robert Parry, HERE.

I do not like standing around while an theocratic, megalomaniac decider cooks up Armageddon for us all.

Gerald said...

Carey made a comment awhile back that there were many Catholics, practicing and non-practicing Catholics, posting on Alternate Reality and Dancing with Fools. I try to post on these two blogspots as the spirit moves me from the blogs that are posted.

Carey, G.K. Chesterton, the Apostle of Commonsense, said while he lived that the greatest stumbling blocs for Catholicism are Catholics.

It is not easy being a true Catholic because Catholicism goes beyond a belief system. To be a true Catholic means that you must be a Christian. In order to be a Christian requires a value system and a way of life deeply involved in the practicing of Jesus' Words.

Below is an article from one of my foxes, Sister Joan. To be a fox requires that a woman possesses two characteristics, nurturing and sensitivity. When a person reads this article, some light should arise with the difficulty of being and remaining a Catholic. If I recall correctly, Sister Joan has come underfire for advocating that women should be allowed to be priests. I could be wrong so please do not put my hands to the fire if I am wrong.

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

Gerald said...

Carey, I was watching the Liturgy of the Eucharist on Catholic television awhile back and the priest during his homily called George W. Bush, an honorable man. Many priests live a sheltered life.

Carey, there is NOTHING honorable about George W. Bush.

Even if there weren't any priests, I would still be a Catholic as long as I had my Bible and my Catechism of the Catholic Church.

But, being a Catholic is not always easy.

Gerald said...

Lack of Water

Frosty has a website! Please add him to your favorite column.

Gerald said...

Bush could and should be impeached

Gerald said...

Here are the reasons for impeachment

Gerald said...

How America's Conflict with Iran Will Begin

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: February 1, 2007

Alan said...

Trial had a late morning start, plus they've been arguing over issues without the jury present since about 10am. Now, at their 2:51 pm, the trial actually resumes. Here's Marcy's reaction...

Agent Bond taking the stand. Hey!!! A jury AND a witness!!! David Corn warns you not to get used to it.

Micki said...

Alan sez: Yeah, that sounds logical, but since when do these clowns do anything logical? WHICH one do you think would give in and resign? I myself don't see either one giving up. Both in their own bubble and going down with the ship. Least that's how I see it.

Alan, one (both?) could step down because it would be a "logical" step in maintaining their hold on power. It wouldn't be "giving up." It would be a very, very calculated move in an attempt to retain power.

Think about it...these thugs have been planning and plotting to take over for decades. If they calculated that by stepping down, thus enabling them to hand-pick a successor, that it would likely tighten their grip on power, they'd be willing to resign if impeachment/conviction looked like a sure thing. They would resign to put the lid on impeachment, investigations, and a possible trial in the Senate.

Saladin said...

DEN, you are absolutely right. If peanuts were the common currency all these people would be literally dying for peanuts, it's disgusting. I submit that the single most deadly disease to human beings is greed, it has killed more than all diseases combined and is the most preventable. It is also the only disease in which a minority of the population displays symptoms, yet the vast majority suffer for the most.

DEN said...

GREED, Americas #1 killer!

I like it!

Guess it would have to be expanded to read:

GREED, the worlds #1 killer!

Money is the root of all evil too.

Alan said...

Alan, one (both?) could step down because it would be a "logical" step in maintaining their hold on power.

Sorry, but I don't see it that way. I don't think Dubya has been plotting to take over shyt... I think he's an idiot that got handed power and he plans on keeping it. Cheney, well he's diff. He MIGHT have plotted for a long time, which is all the more reason to think he'd never resign and give up that power. So, you see one or both resigning before it's too late, in order to pass their power on to a fellow conspirator. (you're not channeling one of the regs on AR, are you?)
I see both of 'em snubbing their nose at reality, holding out to the very end, until they are handcuffed and taken off to jail... kinda like Saddam acted.

David B. Benson said...

Alan --- IUD: Intensely Unusual Deception. :-)

Micki said...

hahaha Alan, no I'm not channeling anyone. Good one, though! Though he does like bullying as much as the next thug, I agree with you about Dubya. The dick is another matter.

I'd like to see them both frog-marched off.

I'm not saying they ARE going to resign -- but I could see that scenario if impeachment/conviction by the Senate looked liked a sure thing.

Resignation WOULD ABSOLUTELY occur if BOTH of them were under a clear and present IMPEACHMENT/CONVICTION danger. Becaue if their impeachments/convictions were simultaneous, Nancy Pelosi would be sitting in the Oval Office.

They sure as hell aren't gonna let THAT happen!

Anyway, all this is moot...because if the gang of goons have their way, they'll have a new war in the coming weeks.

Micki said...

Oh, Alan, it's not a conspiracy. They do things in plain sight. For all to see.

DEN said...

Alan, Yup! stubborn holdouts to the end unless someone kicks their asses to the curb!

We need a Grand Jury to tackle the lies that took us to war in the sandbox hell hole called Iraq.

If we do not remove them from office ASAP we definitely will regret it.

Micki said...

They just pass the "throne" on to the next guy.

David B. Benson said...

Kindly ask your senators to support Warner-Levin. A letter is considered to be the most effective (other than a personal visit to the senator's office.)

º¿carol said...

Micki, didn't you once say you met Molly Ivins, back in your Texas days?

Micki said...

Carol -- Yes, I did have the pleasure of meeting Molly Ivins back in my Texas days. Her pal, Ann Richards, too.

Speaking of Molly...this graf below is from the NYT today, in reference to her days as a reporter for the Times, which she called No Fun:

Covering an annual chicken slaughter in New Mexico in 1980, she used a sexually suggestive phrase, which her editors deleted from the final article. But her effort to use it angered the executive editor, A. M. Rosenthal, who ordered her back to New York and assigned her to City Hall, where she covered routine matters with little flair.

Rosenthal was No Fun. The "sexually suggestive" phrase her editors deleted was "Gang Pluck."

Saladin said...

Forget VD, we have GD, far more insidious and deadly. Carried by the few and inflicted on the many. No known cure.

Saladin said...

An agreement among conspirators.
New Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I don't know why this word has such a negative connotation. A conspiracy is simply a plan formulated between two or more persons. It can be in secret or known to many, there is no rule either way. It can be a good plan or a bad one. Many people have been convicted of conspiracy to commit crime. A conspiracy theory is formulated by those speculating as to the conspiracy details, including police, detectives, attorneys, etc. The NAU is a conspiracy in the open but not advertised, this is one of many.

Saladin said...

News flash, the new Firefox comes with built-in spell checker! Makes life much easier for blogging.

Micki said...

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold Opposing the Warner-Levin Compromise Iraq Resolution

Micki said...

If Feingold's version bogs this down even longer, then Warner-Levin is a good start.

Something is better than nothing. Forward, positive movement is wht's needed. Movement AWAY from the bush way......

DEN said...

Sal, that double meaning and multiple meaning stuff can keep a strong person's head spinning.

Conspiracy being used to describe a negative event probably got started by the press in the Nixon days.

Repugs then too.

Yea, new Firefox is nice, individual X's for the tabs, cool keeps you from closing the wrong one, the FF version before the one you have was the browser from HELL.

Anybody else using Firefox would be wise to upgrade to the new one. Just go to the site and download. It will keep all your settings for the new one.

Micki said...

Further...if Warner-Levin becomes a truly bipartisan resolution, then it would be an historical event! Six years of rolling over for the busheviks would be ended...

David B. Benson said...

Hmmm, didn't know about Feingold's resolution. Does it have a snowball's chance? Or will it be like the sixteenth-hearted snow 'storm' we had here today. Never seen so little snow fall for so long...

DEN said...

Micki, absolutely, they were not allowed to be Bi-Partisan, the repugs made sure of that.

A balanced Congress is definitely a step in the right direction, they work for the people, not the other way around.

We need a BINDING resolution, talk is cheap, the neo-con machine is showing chinks in the armour, Congress could indeed make a big difference in the way things have been going for six years.

Now they are on the same page, they need to kick it in gear and get busy.

Hajji said...


I heard Linda Ronstadt say once that she thought "Conspiracy" had gotten a bad rap.

She defined - Conspire...To breathe TOGETHER.


Micki said...

I'm not going to get into a discussion of semantics as it pertains to the legislative process. Suffice it to say that there is a lot of misunderstanding about what a non-binding resolution is (and isn't).

Micki said...

If we're so inclined, we can assign a definition to a word that makes us feel good. I don't know the context of Linda Ronstadt's definition for the word, "conspire." But, perhaps she was speaking as a musician, where "breathing together" for the right outcome, the right sound, the sweet spot, is so important -- maybe not. Maybe it was a political statement. If it was, I'd like to know the context.

For most who look at the etymology of words, conspiracy is by definition a secret event about which certainty is difficult, if not impossible. The problem is compounded by temporal distance from the event itself.

Just saying...

Micki said...

Linda cound have been right as far as breathing together -- CONSPIRE:

c.1300, from O.Fr. conspirer, from L. conspirare "to agree, unite, plot," lit. "to breathe together," from com- "together" + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). Conspiracy is from 1386; conspiracy theory is from 1909.

º¿carol said...

Micki, you are SOOOO good at thinking and researching. You are a treasure. You are someone to trust. When you speak, I listen. Keep up the good work!

Just saying...

Saladin said...

What anyone says it means and what it actually means are two different things. To conspire is to plan, or plot, together, good or bad, ignorance does not alter the definition.
Hajji, thanks for the input, it adds emphasis.

Alan said...

Check out the Geico caveman's crib. Take the tour...

caveman's crib