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Molly Ivins

"You could probably prove, by judicious use of logarithms and congruent triangles, that real life is a lot more like soap opera than most people will admit."

Molly Ivins, "Soap Opera," in The Progressive (1987)

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"The charm of Ronald Reagan is not just that he kept telling us screwy things, it was that he believed them all. No wonder we trusted him, he never lied to us. ... His stubbornness, even defiance, in the face of facts ('stupid things,' he once called them in a memorable slip) was nothing short of splendid. ... This is the man who proved that ignorance is no handicap to the presidency."

Molly Ivins, "Don\'t Worry, They're Happy," in Savvy (1989)

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"... no one has ever accused Texas of being in the vanguard of social progress. This is the most macho state in the U.S. of A. By lore, legend, and fact, Texas is 'hell' on women and horses."

Molly Ivins, "The Women Who Run Texas," in McCall's (1990)

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"We've had trickle down economics in the country for ten years now, and most of us aren't even damp yet."

Molly Ivins, in Mother Jones (1991)

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"[Of a local politician:] If his IQ slips any lower, we'll have to water him twice a day."

Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? (1991)

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"... the more a body tries to explode all the foolish myths that have grown up about Texas by telling the truth, the more a body will wind up adding to the mythology."

Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? (1991)

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"Texans do not talk like other Americans ... shit is a three-syllable word with a y in it."

Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? (1991)

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"I often plagiarize from myself. I like to think of this as ecological journalism: I recycle."

Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? (1991)

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"Calling George Bush shallow is like calling a dwarf short."

Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? (1991)

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"Sometimes I think Texas exists as a reality check for those who might wander too far toward the precious."

Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? (1991)

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"I always thought the world was divided into only two kinds of people -- those who think the world is divided into two kinds of people, and those who don't."

Molly Ivins, "I Am the Cosmos," in Mother Jones (1991)

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"What we have here, fellow citizens, is a crassly egocentric, raving twit."

Molly Ivins, on Camille Paglia, "I Am the Cosmos," in Mother Jones (1991)

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"The only coherent fashion statement I can recall from the entire [feminist] movement was the suggestion that Mrs. Cleaver, Beaver's mom, would on the whole have been a happier woman had she not persisted in vacuuming while wearing high heels. This, I still believe."

Molly Ivins, "I Am the Cosmos," in Mother Jones (1991)

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"Many people did not care for Pat Buchanan's speech; it probably sounded better in the original German."

Molly Ivins, on his ultra-right-wing comments at the 1992 GOP convention, in The Nation (1992)

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"As a lifelong fashion dropout, I have still read enough fashion mags while waiting at the dentist's to know that the object of fashion is to make A Statement -- all I've achieved, statement-wise, is 'Woman Who Wears Clothes So She Won't Be Naked.'"

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1992)

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"With politicians, artful evasion is always preferable to the outright lie."

Molly Ivins, in San Francisco Chronicle (1992)

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"I had always envisioned the literary life or, as we used to say in East Texas, 'being an arthur,' as involving a lot of hanging out at Elaine's in New York City with terribly witty people. I have finally become an arthur and I find myself hanging out at obscure radio stations, trying to think of answers to questions like, 'So, what is it about Texas?' "

Molly Ivins, "Being an 'Arthur'," in Mother Jones (1992)

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"I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults. If Texas were a sane place, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun."

Molly Ivins, "Good Morning, Fort Worth! Glad to Be Here," in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1992)

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"... isn't that the point of this whole political year -- that what is becoming increasingly clear is that we are all tired of having this country run primarily for the benefit of people who make more than $200,000 a year?"

Molly Ivins, "A Good Fight or Two Keeps Political Show Moving Right Along," in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1992)

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"We often seem to be swimming through such a miasma of sexual violence -- in advertising, television programming, heavy metal, rap, films, and worst of all, in the home -- that even First Amendment absolutists sometimes daydream about how nice it would be to have government-as-nanny just outlaw all this effluent."

Molly Ivins, "Speaking of Values, Here's Someone Who Took Action," in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1992)

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"It is quite reasonable to subscribe both to the old saw that no good girl was ever ruined by a book and to the perception that it is not good for children to be constantly exposed to the sexual violence in our popular culture. Protecting children seems to me logically, legally, and rather easily differentiated from censorship ..."

Molly Ivins, "Speaking of Values, Here's Someone Who Took Action," in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1992)

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"Texas liberals are the camels of good news. We can cross entire deserts between oases. "

Molly Ivins, "Thank You, George, Dan, Marilyn...," in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1992)

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"Wouldn't you think some sociologist would have done a comparative study by now to prove, as I have always suspected, that there is a higher proportion of Undeserving Rich than Undeserving Poor?"

Molly Ivins, "Reindeer Are Counted Better Than Homeless," in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1992)

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"Nice is a pallid virtue. Not like honesty or courage or perseverance. On the other hand, in a nation notably lacking in civility, there is much to be said for nice."

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1994)

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"... the pyramids were built for pharaohs on the happy theory that they could take their stuff with them. Versailles was built for kings on the theory that they should live surrounded by the finest stuff. The Mall of America is built on the premise that we should all be able to afford this stuff. It may be a shallow culture, but it's by-God democratic. Sneer if you dare; this is something new in world history."

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1994)

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"I have been to the pyramids of America. I have seen the cathedral of commerce. Our Parthenon, our Coliseum, our Chartres. I have been to the Mall of America, the world's largest shopping mall."

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1994)

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"I'm sorry that government involves filling out a lot of forms. ... I'm sorry myself that we're not still on the frontier, where we could all tote guns, shoot anything that moved and spit to our hearts' content. But we live in a diverse and crowded country, and with civilization comes regulation."

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1995)

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"It's all very well to run around saying regulation is bad, get the government off our backs, etc. Of course our lives are regulated. When you come to a stop sign, you stop; if you want to go fishing, you get a license; if you want to shoot ducks, you can shoot only three ducks. The alternative is dead bodies at the intersections, no fish and no ducks. OK?"

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1995)

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"California is now close to spending more on prisons than it does on higher education -- surely the death warrant of a civilization."

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1995)

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"Margaret Atwood, the Canadian novelist, once asked a group of women at a university why they felt threatened by men. The women said they were afraid of being beaten, raped, or killed by men. She then asked a group of men why they felt threatened by women. They said they were afraid women would laugh at them."

Molly Ivins, in Regina Barreca, ed., The Penguin Book of Women\'s Humor (1996)

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"Personally, I think government is a tool, like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build or you can use a hammer to destroy; there is nothing intrinsically good or evil about the hammer itself. It is the purposes to which it is put and the skill with which it is used that determine whether the hammer's work is good or bad."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"Our political system has been thoroughly corrupted, and by the usual suspect -- money, what else? The corruption is open, obscene, and unmistakable. The way campaigns are financed is a system of legalized bribery. We have a government of special interests, by special interests, and for special interests. And that will not change until we change the way campaigns are financed."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"We just need to get the hogs out of the creek so the water can clear up."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"The impulse to make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free is an old one ... When we are badly frightened, we think we can make ourselves safer by sacrificing some of our liberties. We did it during the McCarthy era out of fear of communism. Less liberty is regularly proposed as a solution to crime, to pornography, to illegal immigration, to abortion, to all kinds of threats."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"Listen to the people who are talking about how to fix what's wrong, not the ones who just work people into a snit over the problems. Listen to the people who have ideas about how to fix things, not the ones who just blame others."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"How the American right managed to convince itself that the programs to alleviate poverty are responsible for the consequences of poverty will someday be studied as a notorious mass illusion."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"... the purpose of journalism is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"... nothing like a few restful weeks contemplating the decline of civilization to restore the humors. What I did on my summer vacation was listen to a lot of people talk about the decline of practically everything -- you could call it the leisure of the theory class."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"Politics in this country isn't about left and right; it's about up and down. The few are screwing the many."

Molly Ivins, You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You (1998)

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"I like politicians, which is sort of like confessing that you are into interspecies dating. I consider this a harmless perversion on my part, and besides, I discuss it only with consenting adults."

Molly Ivins, in Rosie (2001)

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"Most of us think of government as them. Yet government isn't Them: It's us."

Molly Ivins, in Rosie (2001)

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"Prayer in school is quite perfectly legal, and is especially common before algebra exams. Mandatory prayer organized by, led by and broadcast over the public address system by paid agents of the state is unconstitutional."

Molly Ivins, in Fort Worth Star-Telegram (2001)

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"I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt."

Molly Ivins, Who Let the Dogs In? Incredible Political Animals I Have Known (2005)

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"So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy cat, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."

Molly Ivins, "The Fun's in the Fight," Mother Jones (1993)

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"It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our constitution to everyone in America."

Molly Ivins, in Margaret Engel and Allison Engel Red Hot Patriot: The Kick- Ass Wit of Molly Ivins (2010)

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"If an armed nation were a polite nation, America would be paradise. We have more than 200 million guns in private owernship here. But our manners are not getting better."

Molly Ivins

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"Whatever you do, don't give up. Because all you can do once you've given up is bitch. I've known some great bitchers in my time. With some it's a passion, with others an art."

Molly Ivins

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"I learned two things growing up in Texas. 1: God loves you, and you're going to burn in hell forever. 2: Sex is the dirtiest and most dangerous thing you can possibly do, so save it for someone you love."

Molly Ivins

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Molly Ivins, U.S. writer, columnist, political commentator, humorist
(1944 - 2007)

Full name: Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins.