August 30, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — jchatoff @ 12:21 am
Tags: , ,

To celebrate Molly Ivins’ birthday today, I’m reading Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, mostly because that was the only Ivins my branch library had available – what I was really looking for was Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?

Molly Ivins back in the day.

That book spent more than a year on the Times’ best-seller list and the story of the title is very nice – Ivins had said something about a local pol in  her newspaper column that got so many people outraged that her employer – the Dallas Times Herald – used an aggrieved reader’s question for publicity purposes and Ivins later took it for the title of her book.

What she’d said about the Congressman was “if his IQ slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day.”

If Molly Ivins seemed excessively acid-tongued, you have to see her in the context of Texas politics, and nobody explains Texas politics better.  In Shrub, she points out that governor is the fifth most powerful job in the state – after lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller and land commissioner, and in fact, ‘given [Bush’s] record, it’s kind of hard to figure out why he wants a job where he’s expected to govern.’

She was cynical, satirical, ironic and dead serious.  She was everything a political writer should be, because fundamentally she was passionate about her country. And she was often hilarious, because only humor can keep the caring sane: ‘I still believe in Hope – mostly because there’s no such place as Fingers Crossed, Arkansas.’

Ivins wrote hundreds of columns and articles – a good selection can be found at AlterNet and more at her syndicate.

Molly Ivins (Smith ’66, btw) lost her struggle with breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 62.  She is very much missed.

* * *

There aren’t many journalists still around who served in WWII but Daniel Schorr (he was in Army intelligence), born the last day of August in 1916, was such a one until last summer – he died about a month before his 94th birthday and was still going strong with a commentary on NPR. His accomplishments were many and the full story can be found  here.



  1. A lot of good people are dying. Hopefully some are being born too.


    Comment by GALYA TARMU — August 30, 2011 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  2. I miss Daniel Schorr. His voice and intonations told as much as the words he spoke.


    Comment by Carol — August 30, 2011 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

  3. I liked it good stuff.


    Comment by avery — September 3, 2011 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

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