Appreciation: Columnist Molly Ivins Texas columnist Molly Ivins died Wednesday of breast cancer. As a tribute, we revisit her 2001 commentary about one of her favorite targets, President George W. Bush.
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Appreciation: Columnist Molly Ivins

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Appreciation: Columnist Molly Ivins

Appreciation: Columnist Molly Ivins

Appreciation: Columnist Molly Ivins

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Texas columnist Molly Ivins died Wednesday of breast cancer. As a tribute, we revisit her 2001 commentary about one of her favorite targets, President George W. Bush.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

One of the president's wittiest critics died yesterday. Molly Ivins, the writer whose iconoclastic voice reached from Texas to the White House and beyond.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

President Bush was the most frequent target of her barbed pen. But yesterday, he called her a Texas original who will be missed.

CHADWICK: Here's part of a commentary Molly Ivins did for Morning Edition about the president. This was during his first year in office there.

Ms. MOLLY IVINS (Political Columnist): I am here to increasify your understanding of the problem between George W. Bush and the English language. The main thing about George W. and English is that he often speaks words that resonate only after deep analyzation.

For example, he has identified the growing problem that more and more of our imports are from overseas. I believe the Grecians, the Timorians, possibly even Canada - which is one of our most important neighbors to the north - will be hopeful after President W. Bush has lowered the terriers and bariffs.

Now that he is in the incumbency, it will lead to a foreign-handed foreign policy in the forethought of our thinking. It is particularly helpful that he thinks we should encourage energy exploration in Mexico so we won't be so dependent on foreign oil.

And speaking of oil, natural gas is hemispheric. Bush likes to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. Is our children confused yet?

Another issue is the tax cut, which Bush sees as an anecdote to recession, but it could be held hostile by Congress. But if you preserve, you will soon be able not to miscalculate him. When he gets his tongue so tangled in his eyeteeth, he can't see what he's saying.

So I just want to say to all of y'all, bye good. Well fare. Wishes best.

CHADWICK: Writer, observer and humorist, Molly Ivins. She died of breast cancer at her home in Austin, Texas yesterday.

BRAND: In an essay called "Living with Death," Molly Ivins wrote, I've always liked the Mexican tradition of seeing death in life grinning at you from the oddest places, and the Irish tradition of laughing and drinking at wakes.

CHADWICK: And so, Molly, this one's for you.

(Soundbite of song, "Miss Molly")

Mr. BOB WILLS (Singer): (Singing) Now when Miss Molly is smiling, the sun is dim a spell. And when she laughs, her voice is like a little silver bell. Oh, oh, oh, me oh my Miss Molly, I'm in love with you. Oh me, oh my, Miss Molly won't you say you love me, too.

BRAND: Music from Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Stay with us on DAY TO DAY. There's a lot more ahead from NPR News.

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Treasuring the Wit and Wisdom of Molly Ivins

Treasuring the Wit and Wisdom of Molly Ivins

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Molly Ivins (right) shares a laugh with the late Ann Richards, former Texas governor, in 1991. Mark Perlstein/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Perlstein/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Molly Ivins (right) shares a laugh with the late Ann Richards, former Texas governor, in 1991.

Mark Perlstein/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

The Quotable Molly Ivins

On How to Understand President Bush, from a Feb. 15, 2001 Commentary on 'Morning Edition'

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On Media Coverage of the Average American, from an Oct. 30, 2003 interview on 'Morning Edition'

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On Bush Foreign Policy, from an Oct. 15, 2002 Commentary on 'Morning Edition'

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

NPR's Wade Goodwyn has this remembrance.

WADE GOODWYN: From the time she was 15 years old, Molly Ivins wanted to be a newspaper reporter. She started out taking complaints at the Houston Chronicle, and in short order worked her way up to become a celebrated beat reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But it was the 1960s, an era of profound political ferment, and by '69 Ivins had had enough of conventional newspaper editors.

MOLLY IVINS: I had sort of given up on conventional journalism. I found it far too restrictive. I couldn't find any way to tell the truth in a regular newspaper.

GOODWYN: In an interview last October, Molly Ivins described how the civil rights and anti-war movements informed her decision to return to Texas.

IVINS: I really felt that this was such a serious time that I should give up all thoughts of a conventional career, joining The New York Times or winning the Pulitzer Prize, and I should go home and help bring about the revolution. So I came home to help bring about the revolution, and really very few people were grateful.

GOODWYN: Ivins became editor of the independent political journal The Texas Observer in 1970 and covered the Texas legislature. She was astounded at the raw open corruption she found there, and with her sense of humor and her ability to tell stories she made herself famous and the Texas legislature infamous.