Molly Ivins passed away at home today after a long battle with breast cancer. Her knife-sharp wit and dry humor that made “the ridiculous look ridiculous” will be terribly missed.
From Farewell, Rummy – 11/16/06:
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.
From Populists! Who’da Thunk It? – 11/23/06:
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 The Paranoid Style in American Politics. Bad history can do a powerful amount of damage. . . .
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 Eastern snobs. When Andy opened up the White House and let in the people, the snobs had the fantods.
OK, it’s not the 19th century anymore, but it is always the right time to point out that 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.
From Iraq Exit is Up to Us – 1/8/07:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 we’ve let them do it.
From her last column, Stand Up Against the Surge – 1/11/07:
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. . . .
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. . . .
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!”
Requiem in pace, Molly. The world is a little dimmer tonight, but, of a certainty, heaven is quite a bit brighter.
We’ll miss you, and we’ll continue to fight and march and annoy the powerful and the power-mad, and we will end the Shrub’s war.
1944 – 2007
It’s the 9th Anniversary of my 29th birthday!
We got a little bit of snow yesterday evening. Barely enough to cover the grass, but it’s there, so this is an improvement over last year’s disappointingly snowless day.
To celebrate, I’m having lunch with my mom and baby sister, opening a bottle of wine (after dinner) and getting into my new and comfy blanket-robe. (after the wine) With luck, it won’t occur to anyone to have an actual party. Unless, they have it at their place. Then it’s okay.
And I’m sharing some of my favorite music (not so much the videos). Partly because I’m remembering some of my favorite birthday celebrations. Mostly because I like them.
To start things off, because I am one:
My 9th or 10th b-day was a good one. My gramma asked what kind of cake I wanted, expecting to hear “chocolate” or “marble.” Being a bit odd (even at that age) I said, “Blue.”
“Blueberry?” she asked.
“No,” said I. “Blue.”
Imagine my delight when I got a blue cake with blue frosting! I hope I applauded. I was so amazed by her talent – making a blue cake! (Much later, I learned about food coloring.)
I just love that song! It’s pretty much a compendium of my siblings’ and my childhood experiences. Although I think I was the one who did surgery on Stretch Armstrong, and only Shosh-oshua was a Cowboys fan. H.L. was – and remains – a die-hard Steelers fan. Skating at Bonin’s on Friday or going to the drive-in in Wysox were all but requirements of high school.
Most of my pre-marital memories have my siblings in them. We were a unit, and there’s very little that happened to one without the rest of us acting as helpers, instigators, or lookouts.
My Sweet 16 was…memorable. As usual, we got a blizzard and only one of my friends was able to make it, thanks to her trusty 1978 Dodge Ram, Nellie. Even my boyfriend didn’t make it, because A) he forgot, or B) he went drinking with friends, (he was 21!) or C) he really did get caught in a snowdrift and couldn’t get up the hill. To this day, I don’t know which it was…but I have my suspicions. He made up for it later.
With tickets to Foreigner. (Get your mind out of the gutter!)
My sister decided to cheer me up by dancing for me…to Madonna’s Like A Virgin. She copied it exactly.
She was 8.
The Momma-person was not impressed, and I expected my new curfew (midnight) to vanish into the mists.
My 18th birthday was the hardest. I was 8.25 months pregnant, couldn’t see my feet, had driven cross-country not-quite a month earlier from PA to Arizona, had exactly three outfits I could fit into, and didn’t know a soul except my husband and a couple three of his USAF buddies. My mother was 3000 miles away.
I was terrified of being a mom. Terrified of the whole process of becoming a mom, sure – but also terrified of the responsibility. How in the name of heaven was I supposed to do this?
As my mom said when she found out I was pregnant, “Your life’s not ruined. It’s just going to be different.” Now, here we are 20 years later, and my first little birdie is getting ready to fly the nest, and I have to keep reminding myself, “It’s just going to be different.”
While the video’s all women, the message of this one applies equally to sons.
More fun below the fold.
Sorry about not posting anything new recently. Apparently my multi-tasking gland has quit, because it’s impossible to list things on Ebay, keep up-to-date on the live-blogging of the Libby trial over at FDL, pay attention to the kids and the house, AND actually write something besides a grocery list. Which reminds me…we’re out of shampoo. (Just how, exactly, can three people go through one bottle of shampoo and one of conditioner in a week??!)
On top of all that, I’m looking for a new home, trying to figure out what goes with us and what should go to the landfill, getting boxes, nagging the son to look for his own place and – please, for the love of Mike – learn how to do his own laundry, nagging the daughter to get her grades up and – please, for the love of Pete – learn to clean her room, scheduling parent-teacher conferences in reference to the afore-mentioned grades, waiting for the W2s to get here and collecting all the other needed tax info, and trying to remember to get groceries.
I’ll likely be in and out for the next month, but I’ll try to post something – even if it’s just a quick “Hi” – every couple days to let you know I’m still alive.
Photo by Joe Tresh
Photos Above by JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS
Photos Above by KEVIN WOLF/AP
Photo by JIM BOURG/REUTERS
Photos Above by DINO VOURNAS/AP
Photos Above by GUS RUELAS/REUTERS
Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP
Photo by REED SAXON/AP
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UPDATE: 1/27/06 9:58 EDT – added more pictures, changed a couple that were acting wonky.
Protesters from around the country converged on Washington, DC in a rally organized by United for Peace & Justice to demand that Congress end this war and bring our troops home. CNN has video. (I tried to link to it, but it’s not working. Just go to their site.)
From the AP, via CNN:
Protesters energized by fresh congressional skepticism about the Iraq war demanded a withdrawal of U.S. troops in a demonstration Saturday that drew tens of thousands and brought Jane Fonda back to the streets.
A sampling of celebrities and busloads of demonstrators from distant states joined in a spirited rally under a sunny sky, seeing opportunity to press their cause in a country that has turned against the war.
“We see many things that we feel helpless about,” said Barbara Struna, 59, of Brewster, Massachusetts. “But this is like a united force. This is something I can do.”
Struna, a mother of five who runs an art gallery, made a two-day bus trip with her 17-year-old daughter, Anna, to the nation’s capital to represent what she said was middle America’s opposition to President Bush’s war policy.
Her daughter, a high school senior, said she has as many as 20 friends who have been to Iraq. “My generation is the one that is going to have to pay for this,” she said.
The rally was held as congressional opposition to the war is building. The Senate is considering nonbinding resolutions that would state opposition to Bush sending the extra forces to Iraq.
Frank Houde, 72, of Albany, New York, was a career Air Force pilot who served in Vietnam. Houde did not carry a sign, but said that his protest was on his hat, which said “Veterans for peace.”
“The fact is war doesn’t work,” he said. “Iraq is not going to work. The war was started for reasons that turned out to be false.”
Houde, who is retired from the antique restoration business, said he was never upset by protests at home while he was in Vietnam.
“I knew most were protesting on principle,” he said. “It was a democratic process.”
Houde added, “You can’t sit in the middle of the stink of war for a year and not be affected by it. We changed the balance of power in Congress.”
I wish I could be there. I also wish I could find a picture that would show the true number of protestors. Say, one taken from the Capitol? But, as usual, the true size of any protest against the government is almost never shown on the MSM.
There’s Something in the Air/But It’s not on the Airwaves
You know, we have GOT to get it together. There ARE people in the streets.
At the very onset of Oil War Two there were already more people on the
streets protesting than there were at the height of the Vietnam war.
There is something in the air, but it is not on the airwaves.
If there are a half a dozen Jaycees in Cincinnati on a street corner
waving yellow ribbons, Fox News acts like it’s A Republican Woodstock.
“By the time we got to Fallujah we were half a million strong.”
But put a million people on the street and they build a fence around you and
call it a protest zone.
We like to look at Vietnam through the soft focus of Hollywood ,
which took the blood of war and turned it into rose-colored glasses.
We see hundredss of beautiful semi-naked twenty-somethings putting daises in
the barrels of M16s, all to the tune of Country Joe McDonald singing “One two three what are we fightin for?”
It makes for spectacular video. Sometimes I see these images and I want
to run naked through the streets singing “Why don’t we da do it in the
But I know better.
When the first American troops went in to Vietnam in 1964 there was
barely a soul on the streets, yet people were already singing Blowin’
in the Wind, and Waist Deep in the Big Muddy and I Ain’t Marchin’
Anymore. These songs were being released on major record labels. Mega
hits would follow. Today we have more people on the streets and yet there has not been a single hit song on the radio. How could this be?
It’s not like Barry McGuire was a deep thinking anti-war intellectual
when he sang “Eve of Destruction.” No, he was jumping on a bandwagon
made possible by people in the streets. Yet right now, there are more
people on the streets than there was then, but you have to think twice
before jumping on that bandwagon for fear it might be a paddy wagon
bound for Guantanamo Bay .
If you speak the truth on national TV your show will be dropped,
regardless of the ratings…ask Bill Maher. A show doesn’t need an
audience as much as it needs sponsors.
Sixties protesters were brought up in the brand-loyal fifties. These kids were major consumers of all kinds of goods. They queued up to buy groovy Carnaby Street “Mod Gear” and “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” cosmetics.
Today’s protester does not BUY anything. They won’t shop at GAP. They boycott Taco Bell. Hell, they won’t even go to Starbucks.
Oh, before the Berlin Wall fell we loved to talk about how the Soviet Union would broadcast only the songs of the state and we romanticized that is was our radio broadcasts wafting in from West Berlin that tore down the wall. .
Yet now, the cell phone is in the other hand. There is a new wall running down
divided America . And it is American radio that is being manipulated by
the agenda of the state, because the state has become indistinguishable
from the corporation – which, as I said before, needs sponsors more
than it needs an electorate.
But I am warning you, there is something in the air, and soon it will
be the people’s broadcasts wafting in from The Indie Media and Free
Speech TV, that tears down the wall, and this time it will not be the
Berlin Wall that falls, it will be Wall Street.
Because, the revolution is now.
There is something in the air and we have got to get it together.
How cool is this? I’ve been nominated – or rather, my blog has been – for one of the WordPress.com-Hosted Weblog Awards!
You have until midnight (Mountain Time) to vote – for this blog or another one. Just leave a comment with your nominee’s name.
I tortured myself into listening to the whole thing on the radio. I wish I’d thought ahead and bought a bottle of wine or maybe some Scotch because listening to it sober was like having a root canal…without anesthesia.
“I come in this chamber are new to the House and the Senate — and I congratulate the Democrat majority. (Applause.) Congress has changed, but not our responsibilities. Each of us is guided by our own convictions — and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we’re all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this nation’s prosperity; to spend the people’s money wisely; to solve problems, not leave them to future generations; to guard America against all evil; and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us.“
Honest to Goddess – who is he kidding?
The state of the Union isn’t strong, it’s weak and getting weaker. Only he and his cronies and other like them (ie: rich as Croesus) are seeing prosperity. The rest of us are either hanging on by our fingernails, sliding into poverty due to the loss of a job or a catastrophic illness, or the fact that wages are stagnant while the costs of daily living have risen dramatically in the last seven years.
‘Keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us’?!
Oh you’ve done a good job of that, Bushie….you’ve cut the VA budget, failed to properly arm and equip our soldiers, failed to properly plan the aftermath of the invasion – occupation and reconstruction both – and 3050+ soldiers have paid for those failures with their lives. Another 25,000+/- have paid in blood, and limbs, and shattered minds.
We need to balance the budget?! Who the hell un-balanced it, George?
We need to stop being dependent on foreign oil?! Haven’t you said that every year, even as oil prices skyrocketed, and your family and your buddies in BigOil were making money hand-over-fist?
We need to use “diplomacy”?! Do you even know what that word means, Mr. McFlightSuit? Because not ten minutes later you were doing the “Iran bad, very bad” thing. In case you didn’t know, ‘diplomacy’ means using words and working with other countries – even ones we don’t like – to find peaceful solutions.
Iraq will fall into chaos?!?! What the hell do you think’s happening over there?!
Tonight’s the night. Commander Codpiece will stand in front of millions of Americans (and Nancy Pelosi!) and give his little speech on how great America’s doing. I almost wish I had cable, or even an antenna on the roof just so I could see the Littlest Dummie, with his ‘trying-so-hard-to-be-serious-and-not-smirk’ look, look across the room and hear only the LieberIdiot and the McCainBot clapping at all his pre-planned “applause pauses.”
Here’s what I suggest the President say, if he wants to hear lots of applause and cheering in the streets:
My fellow Americans
I come to you tonight knowing I am a pathetic, untrustworthy loser. My entire Administration and a great many members of my party have been
impillicastered….uh, uh… implicacatered…uh uh…caught in scandal after scandal. 3047 men and women in uniform and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died because of the lies I told and the lies Dick and Karl and Scooter….and well, ever’body told.
Ever’thing I’ve touched has turned to mud.
Therefore, I am resigning as President. [*Cheney's face glows with unholy light*] But before I do, I am ordering the resignation of every senior member of my administration. [*Cheney collapses to the floor, clutching his chest*]
Also, I will turn myself and my Vice-President… [*looks at the floor*]…if he survives…Secretary of State Rice, and former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld over to the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague. [*Laura Bush begins laughing maniacally and lights up a smoke*]
Tomorrow, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will swear in the Speaker of the House, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi as President.
I can’t ask for your forgiveness, an’ I don’ expect it. I can only apologize for the great disaster my Presidency has been on this nation.
May God continue to bless America.
And may God have mercy on my soul. [*tears roll down his cheeks*]
Thank you, and good night.
But, of course, that’s not what we’ll hear. We’ll hear something like this:
Blah, blah, blah. Oil dependency….blah blah Bible verse blah. 9/11 blah War on Terror blah blah success blah victory blah 9/11 blah blah democratic Iraq blah we were attacked blah blah blah deaths not in vain blah Bible verse blah blah.
I’ve been checking out some of the other Blogs for Choice. Here’s a few I enjoyed:
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Blogs for Choice has a list of participants.
Here’s more George Carlin to finish up the day:
[...] But let’s get back to this abortion shit. Now, is a fetus a human being? This seems to be the central question. Well, if the fetus is a human being, how come the census doesn’t count them? If a fetus is a human being, how come if there’s a miscarriage there isn’t a funeral? If a fetus is a human being, how come people say “we have 2 children and 1 on the way” instead of saying “we have 3 children”? People say life begins at conception, I say life began about a billion years ago and it’s a continuous process! Continuous, just keeps ~rolling~ along! ~Rolling~, ~rolling~, ~rolling~ along!
And say, you know something? Listen, you can go back further than that! What about the carbon atoms, huh? Human life could not exist without carbon! So is it just possible that maybe we shouldn’t be burning all this coal? Just looking for a little consistency here in these anti-abortion arguments. See the really hard-core people will tell you that life begins at fertilization. Fertilization, when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Which is usually a few moments after the man says “Gee honey, I was going to pull out but the phone rang and it startled me.”
Now. Speaking of consistency. Catholics, which I was, until I reached the age of reason, Catholics, and other Christians are against abortions and they’re against homosexuals. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals? Leave these fucking people alone, for Christ’s sake! Here’s an entire class of people that’s guaranteed never to have an abortion! And the Catholics and Christians are just tossing them aside! You’d think they’d make natural allies!
Go look for consistency in religion. And speaking of my friends the Catholics, when John Cardinal O’Conner came to New York, and some of these other Cardinals and Bishops have experienced their first pregnancies, and their first labor pains, and they’ve raised a couple of children on minimum wage, then I’ll be glad to hear what they have to say about abortion! I’m sure it would be interesting! Enlightening too. But, in the mean time what they ought to be doing is telling these priests who took a vow of chastity to keep their hands off the alter boys. Keep your hands to yourself, Father! Ya know? When Jesus said “suffer the little children come unto me”, that’s not what he was talking about!!
But you know, the longer you listen to this abortion debate, the more you hear this phrase, ‘ sanctity of life’. You’ve heard that, ‘Sanctity of life’. You believe in it? Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit. Well I mean, life is sacred? Who said so, God? If you read history, you find that God is one of the leading causes of death! Has been, for thousands of years! Hindus, Moslems, Jews, Christians, all taking turns killing each other cause God told ‘em it was a good idea. The sword of God, the blood of the lamb, vengeance is mine. Millions of dead mother-f*ckers. Millions of dead mother-f*ckers, all because they gave the wrong answer to the God question. “Do you believe in God?” “No” Pfft, dead! “Do you believe in God?” “Yes” “Do you believe in my god?” “No” Pfft, dead! My God has a bigger dick, than your God! That’s all it is!
Thousands of years, thousands of years, and all the best wars too, the bloodiest most brutal wars fought, all based on religious hatred. Which is fine with me, hey any time a bunch of holy people want to kill each other, I’m a happy guy! But don’t be giving me all this shit about the sanctity of life. I mean even if there were such a thing, I don’t think it’s something you can blame on God. No you know where the sanctity of life came from? We made it up! You know why? ‘Cause we’re alive! Self-interest. Living people have a strong interest in promoting the idea that somehow life is sacred!