Molly Ivins: 2 Years After Her Death, People Who Knew Her Are Putting Words into Her Mouth (Are They Holding Seances?)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins

(Courtesy Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, January 31, will mark the second anniversary of Molly Ivins’ death from breast cancer.

At the time of her death, a lovely tribute was composed by her editor and friend of many years, Anthony Zurcher.  In his moving tribute, he wrote:

Goodbye, Molly I.

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, “Hang in there, keep fightin’ for freedom, raise more hell, and don’t forget to laugh, too.”


But while she was here, her heart never failed to see clear and true — and for that, we can all be grateful.

Almost exactly one year before she passed away, Molly Ivins announced:

Molly Ivins: Not. backing. Hillary.

Friday, January 20, 2006; Posted: 9:18 a.m. EST (14:18 GMT)

AUSTIN, Texas (Creators Syndicate) — I’d like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone.  This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.


I listen to people like Rahm Emanuel superciliously explaining elementary politics to us clueless naifs outside the Beltway (“First, you have to win elections”). Can’t you even read the damn polls?

Here’s a prize example by someone named Barry Casselman, who writes, “There is an invisible civil war in the Democratic Party, and it is between those who are attempting to satisfy the defeatist and pacifist left base of the party and those who are attempting to prepare the party for successful elections in 2006 and 2008.”

This supposedly pits Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, emboldened by “a string of bad new from the Middle East … into calling for premature retreat from Iraq,” versus those pragmatic folk like Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman.

Oh come on, people — get a grip on the concept of leadership. Look at this war — from the lies that led us into it, to the lies they continue to dump on us daily.


I can understand what Molly wrote back in 2006 because, to be honest, I was thinking much the same thing.

Well, now we fast forward to 2009 and Molly’s former assistant, Betsy Moon, described as “FORMER ASSISTANT AND “CHIEF OF STUFF” FROM 2001 to 2007,” has decided to commemorate Molly’s death by being a mind reader.

What Would Molly Think?

Betsy Moon

AUSTIN, Texas — The question I have been asked most often during the last two years is, “What would Molly think about this?” Molly Ivins would have loved this election. She would have loved the beautiful sight of “We the People” finally stepping up to become the real deciders. She would have loved the drama, the comedy and the characters.


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, “You know … that young man could be president someday.”

Before Barack Obama announced his candidacy, Chicago Magazine asked a number of luminaries if they thought he should run. Opinions varied. Molly was succinct and direct, and with her usual wit and certainty said: “Yes, he should run. He’s the only Democrat with any Elvis to him.”

And, in her column on Jan. 20, 2006, she said: “It’s about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator … with the guts to do it.” She was speaking about Gene McCarthy then, but it might as well have been Barack Obama.


She’d love that Barack Obama began his community organizing knowing that power lies in all of us united and that he continues to remind us that we are the deciders.


Ken Bunting, an old friend of Molly’s who’s now associate publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, said of Molly on Election Day, “I’m not much of a believer, but I think our friend is looking down and smiling right along with Barack’s grandma.” You know, I think he is right.

Where do I begin? First of all, I think it’s a bit presumptuous for anyone to speak for a person who can’t speak for themselves. What, did Moon and Bunting conduct a seance?

Secondly, just because Molly didn’t like Hillary Clinton and had some good words for Obama’s “Elvis factor” back in 2006, doesn’t mean she would feel the same way today.  Furthermore, for Moon to state that Obama shares the same qualities of “guts” with Eugene McCarthy is a reach, isn’t it? I still have my McCarthy bumper sticker from back then…somehow, I don’t see Obama as having the same courage of Eugene McCarthy!!

Then there’s the matter of what Molly thought, not only of Clinton, but also about Rahm Emanuel and Joe Biden, both now hanging around the Obama Administration. Emanuel, of course, is in a very powerful position as Chief of Staff, while Biden is posing as VP.  And Clinton is rattling around at the State Department.

So, what would Molly Ivins be thinking now? I DON’T KNOW, but if she were staying “clear and true” I think she MIGHT be throwing some caustic comments out there into the ether, particularly with regard to the “stimulus package” and some of the little games played by Obama over the last couple of days aimed at attracting GOP support (and winning ZIP with the House vote). And would she really think that we were “the deciders”??

As for Moon and Bunting–is seems that they are transferring their OWN fascination with Obama into a dream of  what they would WANT Molly Ivins to think.

OK, Molly, give us a sign.  I sure would like to know what you’ve been REALLY thinking about  all that’s happened over the last year…

But I sure have MY opinion…Molly, have you been listening?

Obama-Odinga:50-50 Split Demands Sound SOOOO FAMILIAR…(UPDATE 1X–Author of “The Obama Nation” Detained in Kenya; UPDATE 2X–Corsi Released, Odinga Official Website)


Tuesday (4/8) night’s BBC America news report on renewed fighting in Kenya piqued my interest, especially when I heard that Raila Odinga, Obama’s cousin (?) has suspended power-sharing talks and is now demanding a 50-50 split in the cabinet. I couldn’t help but immediately think of MICHIGAN and Obama’s “solution” to the delegate “problem”–namely, a 50-50 split!! Needless to say, it put the whole Obama-Odinga relationship in back on my radar. The BBC website filed this report Wednesday, 4/9:

Kenya opposition urges restraint

Kenya’s main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has appealed to his supporters to exercise restraint after violence broke out in the capital, Nairobi. Mr Odinga suspended talks on forming a power-sharing government on Tuesday.”It is better to take slightly longer and get it right then to rush it and make mistakes which will lead to regrets,” he told the BBC. Mr Odinga says he wants a 50-50 split in cabinet posts as promised by an accord to end post-poll violence. Some 1,500 people died and 600,000 were displaced in January and February. …

In a piece written by Travis Kavulla for the National Review which was posted at CBS News, he commented that the December 2007 election was run with a distinct “Western” flavor…right down to the purported hiring of Dick Morris by the Odinga campaign.

This time around, the campaign season was an extravaganza aimed at the workaday voter – a remarkable notion in African politics. Pork was promised wide and far. The candidates were branded (the incumbent Mwai Kibaki cast as the elderly economist who quietly gets things done; his challenger Raila Odinga, the visionary populist who had been imprisoned under the dictatorship for the sake of Kenya’s democracy). Each presidential campaign spent millions of dollars on television advertisements. Mwai Kibaki, the president seeking a second term, had a special campaign targeting the disabled; Raila Odinga, his challenger, hired Dick Morris as a consultant. The campaigns, in short, were as refined as a Western democracy’s.

The story about Morris is that former Clinton aides who are now working for Obama supposedly dispatched Morris to help Odinga. Unfortunately, the link to this storry at news aggregator is no longer active (“cannot be ‘retrieved’ at this time”).

Former Clinton aides currently working for Obama were the “mutual acquaintances” who directed Dick Morris to Kenya to advise the Odinga campaign in November of 2007, shortly after Odinga visited with Obama in America. Morris was an extremely divisive factor in the Kenyan elections, as a foreigner, a white man, and the creator of an antagonistic “have vs. have nots” campaign platform for Odinga’s ODM. He also suggested the current campaign of civil disobedience to protest the election result, including a “Million Person March”, a la Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

When things got out of hand following the election, Obama called Odinga repeatedly, but Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the Government would not return his calls as he perceives Obama to be biased toward his Luo relative Odinga in the conflict. Obama is featured prominently in ODM campaign posters, slogans, and songs in Kenya, and the plaintive phrase “A Luo will become President in America before a Luo will become President in Kenya” is often heard.

The BBC also reported:

Odinga also told the BBC that Obama had … taken time out of campaigning for the New Hampshire primary to call him twice, to express his concern, and to say that he would also be calling Mr Kibaki. (Odinga says Obama is his cousin, BBC News)

More fascinating details about Odinga’s charisma and ways of organizing (that sound awful familiar) can be found in this Newsweek International piece, entitled “The Man Who Would be President.”

Obama visited Kenya in 2006 with CNN reporting a hero’s welcome (Screaming crowds welcome U.S. Senator ‘home’). At the time of the visit, Odinga capitalized on Obama’s visit and there are pictures of Odinga and Obama together greeting crowds, which may or may not be real, according to Kenyan immigrant Edwin Okong’o at the PBS FrontlineWorld blog in a piece entitled Obama: the Kenya Connection.

Because of poor governance and the corrupt nature of the Kenyan political system, which gives the president absolute power to dispense funds, many Kenyans, particularly the poor and less educated, mistakenly believe that if elected president of the United States, Obama would have the sole discretion to write a blank check to end their poverty. … Ordinary Kenyans are not the only ones who see Obama as a messiah. Kenyan politicians have been using his popularity as political capital. In 2006, opposition leader Raila Odinga tried to portray Obama’s trip to Kenya as a personal endorsement. Odinga’s supporters created T-shirts and posters with cleverly computer-altered images that showed Obama and Odinga standing side by side, arms around each other. More recently, on January 8th, Odinga told the BBC that Obama is his maternal cousin. Those who understand Kenyan politics know that Odinga’s claim is meant to rally Kenyans behind him as he tries to fight his way into the State House, Kenya’s highest office, which he contends Kibaki robbed him of by rigging the December 27 elections. But given Odinga’s controversial background and the continued ethnic violence in Kenya, his attempts to invoke Obama’s name may undermine Obama’s campaign in the U.S. … Odinga is the son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenya’s first vice-president, a socialist who sent his son to Communist East Germany for college. The younger Odinga named one of his sons Fidel Castro and has also admitted to being one of the masterminds of a 1982 attempted coup against Daniel arap Moi, Kenya’s second president. In American Op-Ed pages and in the blogosphere, many of Obama’s political foes are already capitalizing on his supposed ties to Odinga.


The picture in question

Odinga and Obama’s father come from the same Luo tribe and Odinga’s claim that he is Obama’s cousin has neither been confirmed or denied by Obama.

The violence that erupted following the December 2007 election involved some acts by Odinga followers that were horrific, including the burning of a locked church in which 50 people perished (MSNBC). At the time of this violence, Odinga made a point of rejecting talks with the government, using terms that sound eerily familiar (recall discussions of possible scenarios in which Obama agrees to seat MI and FL delegates…)

But opposition candidate Raila Odinga refused, saying he would meet Kibaki only “if he announces that he was not elected.”

That statement and the current push for a 50-50 split of the Kenyan cabinet sure does sound “refined” doesn’t it?? And coming from a “visionary populist,” no less!

Of course, there’s more to worry about than whether Odinga is Obama’s real cousin versus just a member of the same tribal background or whether Dick Morris really worked for Odinga or not. A few months ago there were documents circulating that showed that Odinga was pushing for Sharia law in Kenya. (I saw these posted myself.) In November 2007, Kenyan Muslim leaders denied this was the case.

From the BBC, this report: Kenyan Muslims deny Sharia claims

Kenyan Muslim leaders have dismissed as propaganda allegations that an opposition party promised to introduce Sharia for Muslims if it won elections.

The National Muslim Leaders Forum said its deal with the Orange Democratic Movement was to end the current discrimination against Muslims.

Christian leaders have been calling for the pact to be made public to end angry speculation ahead of December’s polls. …

Muslim leaders decided to make the pact public after a document circulated on the internet claimed that Mr Odinga’s ODM had pledged to introduce Sharia in parts of the country where Muslims are in the majority.

“There was a fear that Muslims will force their faith on other people, Islam does not allow suppression of other religions and we will be the last to advocate for this,” said Abdullahi Abdi of the National Muslim Leaders Forum.

Instead the memorandum of understanding, signed in August, states that Mr Odinga has pledged to defend Muslims against harassment and victimisation by state security forces who claim to be fighting terrorism.

However, you can bet that this story will resurface if Obama is nominated, particularly if the situation in Kenya continues to be volatile. Sooner or later, the Obama-Odinga connection will be “explored.” I haven’t been able to find other stories I saw a few months ago that claimed that many Odinga’s followers were members of groups with ties to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Why those stories have suddenly disappeared is something I can’t explain.

All in all, it’s a murky picture of relationships, possible political ties between Obama and Odinga’s campaign and differing stories about Islamist interests and Odinga’s political background. Rest assured, when you throw Obama’s name into the mix if he’s the nominee, the 527’s working on the Republican side will help things become even murkier…and not to Obama’s benefit.

UPDATE  10/7/08

Jerome Corsi, best-selling author of The Obama Nation: Leftist Pollitics and the Cult of Personality has been detained in Kenya…

Story followed here at Uppity Woman, mirrored here at No Quarter…


UPDATE 10/13/08

Corsi has been released.

ALSO: Here is the Official Raila Odinga website…where he touts himself as “The People’s President” and as
“Your Agent for Change.”