Molly Ivins from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:28:22 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Molly Ivins from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/molly-ivins-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins efaa9294a25dfd6120f5f5610d285496 What Would Molly Think? for 01/28/2009 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/01/09/what-would-molly-think-efaa9294 Wed, 28 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0800 JANUARY 31, 2009, IS THE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF MOLLY IVINS' DEATH. THE FOLLOWING COLUMN WAS WRITTEN BY MOLLY IVINS' FORMER ASSISTANT AND &quot;CHIEF OF STUFF&quot; FROM 2001 TO 2007, BETSY MOON. -- CREATORS SYNDICATE<br /> <br /> AUSTIN, Texas -- The question I have been asked most often during the last two years is, &quot;What would Molly think about this?&quot; Molly Ivins would have loved this election. She would have loved the beautiful sight of &quot;We the People&quot; finally stepping up to become the <em> real deciders. </em> She would have loved the drama, the comedy and the characters. <p> We miss her regular twice-weekly comments and insights, and hearing her dissect, slice and dice, and make fun of the events and revelations of the week. No one could do it like she did. She made us feel like we weren't alone. She made us want to be our better selves and stand up and use our power. She would be so proud that we finally woke up and worked to make this happen. <br /> </p> <p>In many of her lectures, she would exhort her audience to believe in their power. She'd say:&nbsp; &quot;I hear people whine: 'I can't do anything. I'm just one person.'&quot; Then she'd lift her head high and quote from the Declaration of Independence in her Barbara Jordon voice, and remind them, &quot;As a U.S. citizen, you have more political power than most humans who've ever lived on this earth.&quot; <br /> </p> <p>In fact, we know how she would have felt, because she was as prescient about this election before her death two years ago as she was about all the other tragedies of the Bush years. Carlton Carl, CEO/publisher at Molly's beloved Texas Observer, recalls her saying after Obama's 2004 speech at the Democratic convention, &quot;You know ... that young man could be president someday.&quot;<br /> <p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> c8cd658ffe9b6d6d67415a8b9e96fb78 Molly Ivins Tribute for 02/01/2007 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/01/07/molly-ivins-tribute-c8cd658f Thu, 01 Feb 2007 00:00:00 -0800 MOLLY IVINS BEGAN WRITING HER SYNDICATED COLUMN FOR CREATORS SYNDICATE IN 1992. ANTHONY ZURCHER IS A CREATORS SYNDICATE EDITOR BASED IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, AND HE HAS BEEN MOLLY'S EDITOR AND FRIEND FOR MANY YEARS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION. -- CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC. <br /> <br /> MOLLY IVINS TRIBUTE<br /> BY ANTHONY ZURCHER<br /> <br /> Goodbye, Molly I. <p> Molly Ivins is gone, and her words will never grace these pages again -- for this, we will mourn. But Molly wasn't the type of woman who would want us to grieve. More likely, she'd say something like, &quot;Hang in there, keep fightin' for freedom, raise more hell, and don't forget to laugh, too.&quot;</p> <p>If there was one thing Molly wanted us to understand, it's that the world of politics is absurd. Since we can't cry, we might as well laugh. And in case we ever forgot, Molly would remind us, several times a week, in her own unique style.</p> <p>Shortly after becoming editor of Molly Ivins' syndicated column, I learned one of my most important jobs was to tell her newspaper clients that, yes, Molly meant to write it that way. We called her linguistic peculiarities &quot;Molly-isms.&quot; Administration officials were &quot;Bushies,&quot; government was in fact spelled &quot;guvment,&quot; business was &quot;bidness.&quot; And if someone was &quot;madder than a peach orchard boar,&quot; well, he was quite mad indeed. <br /> <p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 965b28d280a4f3d597f955d5445cb0f9 Stand Up Against the Surge for 01/11/2007 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/01/07/stand-up-against-the-surge-965b28d2 Thu, 11 Jan 2007 00:00:00 -0800 <p>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.</p> <p>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. &quot;You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically,&quot; he said.</p> <p>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.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 08790790eb47ef124c4052bd830c6617 Iraq Exit is Up to Us for 01/09/2007 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/01/07/iraq-exit-is-up-to-us-08790790 Tue, 09 Jan 2007 00:00:00 -0800 The president of the United States does not have the sense God gave a duck -- so it's up to us. You and me, Bubba.<br /> <br /> I don't know why Bush is just standing there like a frozen rabbit, but it's time we found out. The fact is WE have to do something about it. This country is being torn apart by an evil and unnecessary war, and it has to be stopped NOW.<br /> <br /> This war is being prosecuted in our names, with our money, with our blood, against our will. Polls consistently show that less than 30 percent of the people want to maintain current troop levels. It is obscene and wrong for the president to go against the people in this fashion. And it's doubly wrong for him to send 20,0000 more soldiers into this hellhole, as he reportedly will announce next week.<br /> <br /> What happened to the nation that never tortured? The nation that wasn't supposed to start wars of choice? The nation that respected human rights and life? A nation that from the beginning was against tyranny? Where have we gone? How did we let these people take us there? How did we let them fool us?<br /> <br /> It's a monstrous idea to put people in prison and keep them there. Since 1215, civil authorities have been obligated to tell people with what they are charged if they're arrested. This administration has done away with rights first enshrined in the Magna Carta nearly 800 years ago, and <em>we've</em> let them do it.<br /> <br /> This will be a regular feature of mine, like an old-fashioned newspaper campaign. Every column, I'll write about this war until we find some way to end it. STOP IT NOW. BAM! Every day, we will review some factor we should have gotten right.<br /> <br /> So let's take a step back and note, for example, that before the war one of the architects of the entire policy, Paul Wolfowitz, testified to Congress that Iraq had no history of ethnic strife. Sectarian and ethnic strife is a part of the region. And the region is full of examples of Western colonial powers trying to occupy countries, take their resources and take over the administration of their people -- and failing.<br /> <br /> The sectarian bloodbath we see daily completely refutes Wolfowitz. And now Bush has given him the World Bank to run. Wonder what he'll do there.<br /> <br /> And let's keep in mind that when the Army arrived in Baghdad, we, the television viewers, watched footage of a bunch of enraged and joyous Iraqis pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein, their repulsive dictator, in Firdos Square. Only one thing was wrong. The event was staged. Taking down the statue was instigated by a Marine colonel, and a PSYOP (psychological operations) unit made it appear to be a spontaneous show of Iraqi joy.<br /> <br /> When we later saw the whole square where the statue was located, only 30 to 40 people were there (U.S. soldiers, press and some Iraqis -- and one of several U.S. tanks present pulled the statue down with a cable). We, the television viewers, saw the square being presented as though the people of Iraq had gone into a frenzy, mobbed the square and spontaneously pulled down the statue. Fake images and claims have been a part of this fiasco from the beginning.<br /> <br /> We need to cut through all this smoke and mirrors and come up with an exit strategy, forthwith. The Democrats have yet to offer a cohesive plan to get us out of this mess. Of course, it's not their fault -- but the fact is we need leaders who are grown-ups and who are willing to try to fix it. Bush has ignored the actual grown-ups from the Iraq Study Group and the generals and all other experts who are nearly unanimous in the opinion that more troops will not help.<br /> <br /> So, like I said, it's up to you and me, Bubba. We need to make sure that the new Congress curbs executive power, which has been so misused, and asserts its own power to make this situation change. Now.<br /> <br /> To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.<br /> COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> e2102c805c17d6f5d280848fcba3472f Thanks - No, Seriously for 11/24/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/molly-ivins-thanks-no-seriously-e2102c80 Fri, 24 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- It's time to give thanks, and I want to start off with a great, big thank you for the top American movement conservatives and all the fun we've had since Election Day. I know I promised not to gloat after this election was over, but I'm not talking unseemly gloating -- I'm talking about moments so brilliantly hilarious the only option is to put your head down on the desk and howl. <br /> <br /> First in line is the wit of The National Review's Kate O'Beirne, who clearly teamed up with Borat to explain the great conservative win. Her explanation is that this is a win for conservatism because a great many of the D's elected are so conservative themselves. She says half of them are conservatives. <br /> <br /> She is indeed right. If only twice as many Democrats had been elected, it would have proved that there are twice as many conservatives in the country, and this is clear to any thinking person. We might challenge Ms. O'Beirne to explain how the next Republican win is a victory for liberalism. <br /> <br /> The reason that O'Beirne and others are able to accept such an absurdity is because they've been listening to George W. Bush for six years and are thus able to believe six impossible things before breakfast. <br /> <br /> Speaking of &quot;thinking,&quot; another great moment for conservatives this year was highlighted on the Nov. 16 edition of Comedy Central's &quot;The Daily Show.&quot; Host Jon Stewart addressed a recent remark that CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck made to Representative-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim ever elected to Congress. <br /> <br /> Beck said, &quot;I have been nervous about this interview with you because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.'&quot; After airing Beck's comment, Stewart declared, &quot;Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking.&quot; <br /> <br /> While the Washington press corps worried its pretty little head to a frazzle over Nancy Pelosi's Armani suits and terrible start as speaker of the House (except she hasn't started as speaker), they forgot to fret over Trent Lott, who had previously been bounced unceremoniously from the Senate leadership team to which the Republicans just re-elected him. They seem to have forgotten that he had expressed the wish that Strom Thurmond, the segregationist candidate for president, had won in 1948. <br /> <br /> Thanks for the late Johnny Apple and the now retired Adam Clymer (who predicted a 28-seat sweep and the possibility of taking the Senate) for reminding us that The New York Times used to know how to cover politics. So, for that matter, did The Washington Post, now graced only by E.J. Dionne. <br /> <br /> Thanks for Cokie Roberts, who was the only alert citizen on television on election night. The others were either stalwart Republicans or John McCain worshipers.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Thanks from a grateful nation for an obedient press corps that failed during Bush's six-hour, carefully orchestrated visit to Indonesia to register the fact that there were massive demonstrations against his administration and its policies toward Muslims. The demonstrators during his short visit forced him to stay behind the presidential palace wall all day and -- due to concerns for his safety -- not spend the night. <br /> <br /> So many of our media mavens have been so wrong for so long that we may yet see a mere modicum of becoming self-doubt from our professional pontificators. And think how thankful we'd all be for that. Their sources, led by Karl Rove, have had them eating Pablum out of their hands for years now. <br /> <br /> Nope. No hope. <br /> <br /> To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.<br /> COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> cde01efef0cce7433855680351784428 Farewell, Rummy for 11/17/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/farewell-rummy-cde01efe Fri, 17 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- There's been so much in print about how Daddy 41's people are back in the saddle, I was terrified when I saw a photo of Dan Quayle among the pack. If they've called back Dan Quayle to lend intellectual heft, we're all dead ducks. Fortunately, it was just a file picture of Quayle with the old team. <br /> <br /> It does seem that we may be going back to the typical modus operandi of Dubya. Poppy Bush has helped Junior out of the Vietnam War, his failures in the oil business and other efforts all of his &quot;adult&quot; life. <br /> <br /> Unfortunately for us and for the world, the people from the first Bush administration who initially joined this administration were Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. Not exactly the most diplomatic, forward-looking, helpful people to be guiding Dubya. <br /> <br /> During the first Gulf War, Bush 41 and his administration knew what it would be like if they tried to take Baghdad -- and opted not to go in. Now, the more sober-headed people from that administration are moving in to try to clean up the mess Junior made in his Iraq excursion. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, let us bid farewell and adieu to Brother Donald Rumsfeld, who is so full of wisdom he does not seem to be able to apply it. As a parting gift, here are some of his classic quotes:<br /> <br /> 1. &quot;If you develop rules, never have more than 10.&quot; <br /> 2. &quot;Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles De Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.&quot; <br /> 3. &quot;Needless to say, the president is correct. Whatever it was he said.&quot; <br /> 4. &quot;I don't do quagmires.&quot; <br /> 5. &quot;I don't do diplomacy.&quot; <br /> 6. &quot;I don't do foreign policy.&quot; <br /> 7. &quot;I don't do predictions.&quot; <br /> 8. &quot;I don't do numbers.&quot; <br /> 9. &quot;I don't do book reviews.&quot; <br /> 10. &quot;Don't divide the world into 'them' and 'us.' Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs, and you have yours.&quot; <br /> 11. &quot;Don't say, 'The White House wants.' Buildings can't want.&quot; <br /> 12. &quot;If I know the answer, I'll tell you the answer. And if I don't, I'll just respond cleverly.&quot; <br /> 13. &quot;I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know what I think, and, well, I assume it's what I said.&quot; <br /> <br /> In fact, I'm rather going to miss Rumsfeld's Zen-like nuggets of wisdom, the most famous of which is probably about the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns:<br /> <br /> &quot;As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.&quot; <br /> <br /> According to Newsweek, Air Force Secretary Jim Roche went to Rumsfeld early on and said, &quot;Don, you do realize that Iraq could be another Vietnam.&quot; <br /> <br /> Replied Rummy: &quot;Vietnam? You think you have to tell me about Vietnam? Of course it won't be Vietnam. We are going to go in, overthrow Saddam, get out. That's it.&quot; <br /> <br /> I don't know what happened to that excellent plan, but I would like to know who knew it was unknowable. <br /> <br /> To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.<br /> COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> d284478f61a24e3be185f52e512d3b33 Now They're all for Bipartisanship for 11/15/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/now-they-re-all-for-bipartisanship-d284478f Wed, 15 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- Having watched election coverage nonstop all week, I sometimes wake screaming, &quot;Bipartisanship!&quot; and scare myself. <br /> <br /> Of all the viral members of the media who have been suggesting that the Dems cooperate with their political opponents, the one who rendered me almost unconscious with surprise was Newt Gingrich. <br /> <br /> Newt Gingrich, the Boy Scout. Newt Gingrich, the man who sat there and watched Congress impeach and try Bill Clinton for lying about having an extramarital while he, Newt Gingrich, was lying about having an extramarital affair. (This all took place during his second marriage. The first one ended when he told his wife he was divorcing her while she was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment.)<br /> <br /> This is the level of Republican hypocrisy that reminds us all how far the Dems have to go. I tell you what. Let's all hold hands together and sing, &quot;Oh the Farmers and the Cowboys Should Be Friends!&quot; Just not, please, Newt Gingrich, the man whose contribution to civility was to recommend that all Democrats be referred to with such words as cowards, traitors, commies, godless, liars and other such bipartisan-promoting terms.<br /> <br /> Please, anyone but Newt. <br /> <br /> Now, from my hours spent battered and half brain dead listening to the fatuous, self-important commentators of our nation, I learn that the people of this country did not elect liberals to Congress last week. Nope, they elected populists! Well, gosh all hemlock. I'll be go to hell. Populist! I AM one. Honest -- been a populist so long I'm on my third bottle of Tabasco. <br /> <br /> Who knew? I thought all said I was chopped liver. Populist. Like Tom Frank of &quot;What's the Matter With Kansas?&quot; fame. Jim Hightower. We can even draw our lines of political genealogy -- via Ralph Yarborough and Bob Elkhart. <br /> <br /> A populist is pretty much for the PEOPLE and generally in this case exactly the same as a liberal -- we just put the em-PHA-sis on a different syl-LA-ble. We also tend to be more fun. We do not vote to hurt average Americans, even if the corporate payoff is really big. Even if it's just a little bit -- like the bankruptcy bill.<br /> <br /> We tend to focus less on social issues and more on who's gettin' screwed and who's doin' the screwin'. In my opinion, Americans are not getting screwed by the Republican Party. They are getting screwed by Large Corporations that bought and own the Republican Party. <br /> <br /> The word populist was misused, abused and co-opted by right-wingers for years, ever since we were all forced to read Richard Hofstadter's &quot;The Paranoid Style in American Politics.&quot; Bad history can do a powerful amount of damage. Most of us stopped at the painful news that Tom Watson, leader of the late-19th century populism, went on to become a raging racist bigot. Populism itself took on the connotation of bile and nastiness, a la Father Coughlin. <br /> <br /> If you read back to the beginning of the populist movement, however, you will find Andy Jackson and the West set against all those dreary snobs of the East. When Andy opened up the White House and let in the people, all the snobs had the fantods. <br /> <br /> OK, it's not the 19th century anymore, but it is always the right time to point out the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Honest. There stands George W. Bush, buck nekkid. We want to help him out of this fix because he's dragging the whole Army, the country and the world down with him. But don't ask us to call those clothes. <br /> <br /> To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.<br /> COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 1f0ae1af81d32be6be0dc7059ef397d3 Post-Election Etiquette for 11/10/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/post-election-etiquette-1f0ae1af Fri, 10 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- The sheer pleasure of getting lessons in etiquette from Karl Rove and the right-wing media passeth all understanding. Ever since 1994, the Republican Party has gone after Democrats with the frenzy of a foaming mad dog. There was the impeachment of Bill Clinton, not to mention the trashing of both Clinton and his wife -- accused of everything from selling drugs to murder -- all orchestrated by that paragon of manners, Tom DeLay. <br /> <br /> Media Matters collected some gems of fairness. For instance, Monica Crowley with MSNBC, in the wake of John Kerry's botched program, astutely observed &quot;how lucky we are that he was not elected president.&nbsp; ... The Republicans remain the grown-ups, the responsible ones on national security.&quot;<br /> <br /> How many dead Americans has this grown-up war resulted in? <br /> <br /> And how darling of Fox's Juan Williams, upon learning polls show the people favor Democrats on taxes, to say, &quot;To me, that's crazy.&quot; <br /> <br /> And how many times did Chris Matthews use the Republican talking points about Nancy Pelosi? Extremist, uncooperative, incapable, unwilling to work with the president.<br /> <br /> So after 12 years of tolerating lying, cheating and corruption, the press is prepared to lecture Democrats on how to behave with bipartisan manners.<br /> <br /> Given Bush's record with the truth, this bipartisanship sounds like a bad idea on its face. Go back to the first year of the administration, when Bush double-crossed Ted Kennedy in the No Child Left Behind Act. Think about it: You've said at the outset of your administration that you need cooperation to get anything done. Then you double-cross one of the senior senators of the other party when your re-education and labor agenda is dependent on him? <br /> <br /> These people are not only dishonest -- they're not even smart. Not that I recommend nailing them at every turn, but I wouldn't be surprised if they try to do it to Democrats. If what Republicans have been practicing is bipartisanship, West Texas just flooded. <br /> <br /> O.K., here's what the D's have going for them. New kids. Easy, popular first moves -- for example, increasing the minimum wage. Republicans so inept that it's painful. You want to look at some really, really basic legislation, try fixing the Medicare prescription drug bill. Or the bankruptcy bill. Or new dollar and trade policies. <br /> <br /> Then we get to the real meat of this election. There are all manner of shuffle steps and politically shrewd thing for the D's to do. But now is not the time to be clever. The Democrats won this election because we are involved in a disastrous war. We know how to do this: Declare victory, and go home. <br /> <br /> I noticed when Republicans are forced to talk about how to end this, they tend to announce that it's all hopeless: They have no ideas at all. Thanks, guys. Of all the options, I would say splitting Iraq into three states is least advisable. First, it puts us in the position of screwing the Kurds once again. Second, Turkey has serious objections to a Kurdistan. Third, Turkey is not a militia. Fourth, then you give Iran and Saudi Arabia a pawn apiece. And there'd be an unimaginable amount of future hassle. <br /> <br /> Do I have any good ideas? Yes, but it's not a solution. We need to start the Middle East peace process again. Because it's the right thing to do. Because it's what Bush should have done to begin with. Because we have to start somewhere. <br /> <br /> To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.<br /> COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> e7205bc51d202cd11258b8e9a528105d Post-Election Etiquette for 11/10/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/post-election-etiquette-06-11-09-e7205bc5 Fri, 10 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- The sheer pleasure of getting lessons in etiquette from Karl Rove and the right-wing media passeth all understanding. Ever since 1994, the Republican Party has gone after Democrats with the frenzy of a foaming mad dog. There was the impeachment of Bill Clinton, not to mention the trashing of both Clinton and his wife -- accused of everything from selling drugs to murder -- all orchestrated by that paragon of manners, Tom DeLay. <p> Media Matters collected some gems of fairness. For instance, Monica Crowley with MSNBC, in the wake of John Kerry's botched program, astutely observed &quot;how lucky we are that he was not elected president.&nbsp; ... The Republicans remain the grown-ups, the responsible ones on national security.&quot;</p> <p>How many dead Americans has this grown-up war resulted in?</p> <p>And how darling of Fox's Juan Williams, upon learning polls show the people favor Democrats on taxes, to say, &quot;To me, that's crazy.&quot;<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 5029df41e3831ab190418415c1593038 for 11/08/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/campaign-06-goodbye-and-good-riddance-5029df41 Wed, 08 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- Right to the end, this insane conversation between reality and Not Realty. The president of the United States STILL says we are reducing terrorism by fighting in Iraq; STILL says we are creating democracy; STILL says we're preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and making Israel more secure; and, shoddiest of all, STILL not allowing that our fallen have died in vain. <br /> <br /> The vice president, meanwhile, has announced that, all things considered in Iraq, &quot;if you look at the general, overall situation, (the Iraqi government is) doing remarkably well.&quot; And now he's gone off to hunt in South Dakota, thus demonstrating a perfectly balanced sense of reality. South Dakota is so sparsely populated, it's really hard to hit another hunter. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in case you hadn't noticed, Iraq is in a state of full collapse. And Afghanistan is not far from it. Baghdad is worse off for water, sewer, electricity and infrastructure than it was before the war. The R's have taken care of the whole problem with the brilliance we have come to expect from them -- they have decided to abolish the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (which has previously exposed bribery, contracts to cronies, shoddy work, lost billions of dollars, the failure to track hundreds of thousands of weapons shipped there and more). You must admit this is big, bold and brainy. This is Karl Rove problem-solving at its best. <br /> <br /> This campaign has been like getting stuck in Alice's Wonderland for three months. &quot;There is no use trying, &quot; Alice said, &quot;one can't believe impossible things.&quot; <br /> <br /> &quot;I daresay you haven't had much practice,&quot; replied the White Queen. &quot;When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.&quot; <br /> <br /> Every time you turn around, you run into the Jabberwocky or the Frumious Bandersnatch -- Richard Perle in penitence -- or some other equally fantastic sight. The great Skywriter in the Sky has positively run amok with irony and has been splashing it all over the campaign like Jackson Pollock. Fortunately, it is not my duty to lend dignity to the proceedings. I do make it a rule to skip talk of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -- but when Mark Foley turns out to the chairman of House Committee on Missing and Exploited Children, you know you just have to sit down like a tired dog and scratch for a while. <br /> <br /> While this perfectly insane dialogue has been taking place, Congress stands before us so hopelessly corrupt that the stench has washed all over the country. Perhaps my least favorite excuse for cheating is, &quot;Everybody does it.&quot; NO, everybody DOESN'T do it. Nor does the system make you do it, or alcohol or drugs or Jack Abramoff. I do not want to hear one more excuse -- apologize and go.<br /> <br /> On the other hand, I am really going to miss the stories this Congress provided. Remember Terri Schiavo? I mean, you wake up one morning and there it is, kind of like finding Fidel Castro in the refrigerator. And you listen to these people who do hold high elective office having this debate -- as though they know, as though they have any idea, as though they have any right. And then there are some of the troops, like Randy &quot;Duke&quot; Cunningham, semi-owner of the houseboat &quot;The Duke-Stir.&quot; Some days you couldn't wait to get up to find out who'd been indicted. I miss watching Katherine Harris from Florida wear less and less blue eye-shadow as she went through her Senate race. <br /> <br /> Well, it's been rank -- racist, sleazy, lying and full of insinuating scare tactics. Thank God it's over. <br /> <br /> To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.<br /> COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 817f92a44d5fc89a1d0236005352177e Campaign '06 -- Goodbye And Good Riddance for 11/08/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/campaign-06-goodbye-and-good-riddance-06-11-07-817f92a4 Wed, 08 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- Right to the end, this insane conversation between reality and Not Realty. The president of the United States STILL says we are reducing terrorism by fighting in Iraq; STILL says we are creating democracy; STILL says we're preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and making Israel more secure; and, shoddiest of all, STILL not allowing that our fallen have died in vain. <p> The vice president, meanwhile, has announced that, all things considered in Iraq, &quot;if you look at the general, overall situation, (the Iraqi government is) doing remarkably well.&quot; And now he's gone off to hunt in South Dakota, thus demonstrating a perfectly balanced sense of reality. South Dakota is so sparsely populated, it's really hard to hit another hunter.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in case you hadn't noticed, Iraq is in a state of full collapse. And Afghanistan is not far from it. Baghdad is worse off for water, sewer, electricity and infrastructure than it was before the war. The R's have taken care of the whole problem with the brilliance we have come to expect from them -- they have decided to abolish the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (which has previously exposed bribery, contracts to cronies, shoddy work, lost billions of dollars, the failure to track hundreds of thousands of weapons shipped there and more). You must admit this is big, bold and brainy. This is Karl Rove problem-solving at its best.</p> <p>This campaign has been like getting stuck in Alice's Wonderland for three months. &quot;There is no use trying, &quot; Alice said, &quot;one can't believe impossible things.&quot;<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 709ea606ba7caabe51ebec0cf7b11c9f Keeping Our Eyes On the Ball for 11/03/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/11/06/keeping-our-eyes-on-the-ball-709ea606 Fri, 03 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 AUSTIN, Texas -- I'm still worried sick. The R's have seized the news cycle! Which says more about how dim American politics are than anything I can think of. <p> Apparently, the Michael J. Fox affair didn't have enough meat to it, and even Rep. Mark Foley is out of the game, so now we have the semi-hemi-demi-gaffe from John Kerry, who is not in fact running for anything.</p> <p>If Kerry had been given as many breaks for misspeaking as George W. Bush has, he'd be a professor of grammar by now. And this all shows what the Bush regime has -- attacks on Kerry, Clinton, Kennedy, Pelosi, liberals! -- not any actual policies to help them.</p> <p>The Great Wall of Republican ads is bearing down on us -- race-baiting, scare tactics and sleaze-mongering. (Who knew so many people had signed up to &quot;promote the homosexual agenda&quot;? I don't even know what it is. But apparently, you don't have to sign up to support -- you could be part of it and not even know!) The R's are throwing distorting ads, funded by endless money, all over the place. Can the people see that, and ignore and punish them for it?<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 57a1e7791a9adfe70f3a4dfdf5defbe3 GOP Ineptitude and Some Advice For Dems for 11/01/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/gop-ineptitude-and-some-advice-for-dems-57a1e779 Wed, 01 Nov 2006 00:00:00 -0800 <p><em> &quot;There's no doubt in my mind, with your help, Dave Lamberti will be the next United States congressman.&quot; &mdash; President George Bush last week, endorsing Jeff Lamberti </em></p> <p>AUSTIN, Texas &mdash; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has announced his candidacy for the president of the United States. Until now, he's barely been noticed as a guy who took money from Brent Wilkes and Mitchell Wade, whose bribes to Randy &quot;Duke&quot; Cunningham led to his resignation from Congress and a plea of guilty to bribery charges. Hunter is widely expected to be the next congressman indicted in this scandal.</p> <p>As for the chair of the House Armed Services Committee's presidential candidacy, we have been thinking of scarcely little else around here. It's about time we had some good news.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 48f50d6cee072bded0b392093fe30472 A Campaign of Sleaze for 10/27/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/a-campaign-of-sleaze-48f50d6c Fri, 27 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700 <p>AUSTIN, Texas &mdash; It's a race to the bottom. For misinformation and cruelty, not to mention plain old dreadful manners, it is so hard to beat Rush Limbaugh. We can only measure the Great Blowhard against himself.</p> <p>Even by Limbaugh standards, his recent attack on Michael J. Fox, the actor, is several levels lower than tacky. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, has done some political ads favoring candidates who in turn support stem cell research.</p> <p>&quot;He is exaggerating the effects of the disease,&quot; Limbaugh told his listeners. &quot;He is moving all around and shaking, and it's purely an act. This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting. This is the only time I've ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has.&quot;<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 794346fd7d0272de73d00ad4b14ad366 The Good Economy Myth for 10/25/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/the-good-economy-myth-794346fd Wed, 25 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700 <p>AUSTIN, Texas &mdash; Oh, goody. According to the White House press office, President Bush will spend much of the next two weeks discussing what a swell economy we have. Did you know that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is at its highest point EVER? And the NASDAQ, ditto. Wow, breathtaking, huh? But the Dow is not a good indicator of how things are really going for the majority of Americans.</p> <p>I just love listening to the Bushies play with numbers. When Bush took over in 2001, he had predicted a surplus of $516 billion for fiscal year 2006. Last week, the administration announced a 2006 deficit of $248 billion, missing its projection for this year by $764 billion. Bush said the numbers are &quot;proof that pro-growth economic policies work&quot; and are &quot;an example of sound fiscal policies here in Washington.&quot;</p> <p>This is highly reminiscent of Dick Cheney's recent observation about the Iraqi government, &quot;If you look at the general, overall situation, they're doing remarkably well.&quot;<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 2da93ae8de847ae4b432e706a6714c8e Election Day Still a Long Way Off for 10/20/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/election-day-still-a-long-way-off-2da93ae8 Fri, 20 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Stunning coincidence. The verdict in the long-running trial of Saddam Hussein in Iraq is now due two days before our congressional elections in November. Astounding. How ineffable.</p> <p>Sometimes you know the Republicans have just lost the rag completely. This week, Dick Cheney said to Rush Limbaugh regarding the Iraqi government, &quot;If you look at the general, overall situation, they're doing remarkably well.&quot; The vice president also acknowledged there's some concern because the war wasn't over &quot;instantaneously.&quot; We have now been in Iraq just one month shy of the entire time it took us to fight World War II. Seventy Americans dead so far in October. Electricity in Iraq this year hit its lowest levels since the war started.</p> <p>What infuriates me about this is the lying. WHY can't they level with us? Just on the general, overall situation.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> c0a4b577fefb85f4f1bbd3d88661e02d Iraq War Despair is Not an Option for 10/18/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/iraq-war-despair-is-not-an-option-c0a4b577 Wed, 18 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700 <p>AUSTIN, Texas &mdash; One reason despair is not an option is because things can always get worse, and then what'll we do? I was actually trying to figure that out when I came across a remarkable article written for the The Nation magazine (known for its liberalism for 141 years) by Richard J. Whalen &mdash; a conservative in good standing, a former Nixon staffer. Whalen has undertaken the singularly valuable task of talking to dissenting generals about the war in Iraq.</p> <p>I suppose one could argue, and I am sure someone will, that these are mostly retired generals. Some, like Lt. Gen. William Odom, are calling Iraq &quot;the worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States.&quot; And they are retired precisely because of their opposition to Iraq.</p> <p>&quot;The only question is whether a war serves the national interest,&quot; one retired three-star told Whalen. &quot;Iraq does not.&quot;<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 84a79d2ed618ec52a09ddddcf6572dfa Dear Leaders for 10/13/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/dear-leaders-84a79d2e Fri, 13 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700 <p>AUSTIN, Texas &mdash; Nobody else seems to be asking the obvious question about Susan B. Ralston, former administrative assistant to Jack Abramoff and, until last week, assistant to Karl Rove. She got hired by Rove at $64,700 after the 2004 election and then received a raise to $122,000. Why? I've never gotten a 100 percent raise. Did you? Is this common?</p> <p>I know next to nothing about North Korea, but I know how to find out. People who do know the weird country have been worrying about it in print for six years now. (See articles in The New York Review of Books.) Eric Alterman picked this bit up in &quot;The Book on Bush&quot;: &quot;The tone of Powell's tenure was set early in the administration, when he announced that he planned 'to pick up where the Clinton administration had left off' in trying to secure the peace between North and South Korea, while negotiating with the North to prevent its acquisition of nuclear weaponry. The president not only repudiated his secretary of state in public, announcing, 'We're not certain as to whether or not they're keeping all terms of all agreements,' he did so during a joint appearance with South Korean President (and Nobel laureate for peace for his own efforts with the North) Kim Dae-Jung, thereby humiliating his honored guest, as well.</p> <p>&quot;A day later, Powell backpedaled. 'The president forcefully made the point that we are undertaking a full review of our relationship with North Korea,' Powell said. 'There was some suggestion that imminent negotiations are about to begin &mdash; that is not the case.'&quot;<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> ac8f4d8adecddaf5ae1d8a19842e5454 The Not-So-Great Texas Gubernatorial Debate for 10/11/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/the-not-so-great-texas-gubernatorial-debate-ac8f4d8a Wed, 11 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700 <p>AUSTIN, Texas &mdash; I sacrificed an hour Friday evening to watch the Texas gubernatorial debate on your behalf, since I knew none of you would do it. Democrat Chris Bell looked and sounded like the only candidate who won't embarrass the state &mdash; he was intelligent, well informed and even funny. But the question remains: Can Texas afford to lose that hair?</p> <p>The Coiffure was in his usual form. As one opponent after another attacked his record, Gov. Rick Perry stood there proudly behind that 35 percent voter support he has so richly earned and simply disagreed. The Coiffure seemed to consider blanket denials a fully sufficient and adequate response.</p> <p>At one point, the debate actually became more interesting, as a panel of reporters with Belo Corp. changed formats. Doing a quick pop quiz, they asked independent candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn who won the election in Mexico. She informed us the winner had won by a narrow margin, and she is ready to work with him. They asked Goodhair the interest rate on a home mortgage. He said 5.9 percent, and it is 6.4 percent (I don't think I would have known that, either). Independent candidate Kinky Friedman didn't even try to guess the average cost of a year's tuition at the University of Texas ($7,630). They asked Bell when the battle of the Alamo was fought. He correctly answered 1836.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> cb2c971103228d2388fa02695c31c2e7 Where There's War, There's Kissinger for 10/07/2006 https://www.creators.com/read/molly-ivins/10/06/where-there-s-war-there-s-kissinger-cb2c9711 Sat, 07 Oct 2006 00:00:00 -0700 <p>AUSTIN, Texas &mdash; The Old War Criminal is back. I try not to hold grudges, but I must admit I have never lost one ounce of rancor toward Henry Kissinger, that cynical, slithery, self-absorbed pathological liar. He has all the loyalty and principle of Charles Talleyrand, whom Napoleon described as &quot;a piece of dung in a silk stocking.&quot;</p> <p>Come to think of it, Talleyrand looks pretty good compared to Kissinger, who always aspired to be Metternich (a 19th century Austrian diplomat). Just count the number of Americans and Vietnamese who died between 1969 and 1973, and see if you can find any indication he ever gave a damn.</p> <p>As for Kissinger's getting the Nobel Peace Prize, it is a thing so wrong it has come to define wrongness &mdash; as in, &quot;As weird as the time Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize.&quot;<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p>