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Molly Ivins dies
of breast cancer at 62

Molly Ivins dies
of breast cancer at 62

Ivens

Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins, the sharp-witted liberal who skewered the political establishment and referred to President George W. Bush as ''Shrub,'' died Wednesday after a long battle with breast cancer.

Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins, the sharp-witted liberal who skewered the political establishment and pointed out the ridiculousness of President Bush's push to ban same-sex marriage, died Wednesday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 62.

David Pasztor, managing editor of the Texas Observer, confirmed her death. The writer, who made a living poking fun at Texas politicians, whether they were in her home base of Austin or the White House, revealed in early 2006 that she was being treated for breast cancer for the third time.

More than 400 U.S. newspapers subscribed to her nationally syndicated column, which combined strong liberal views and populist-toned humor. Ivins's illness did not seem to hurt her ability to deliver biting one-liners. ''I'm sorry to say [cancer] can kill you but it doesn't make you a better person,'' she said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News in September, the same month cancer claimed her friend former Texas governor Ann Richards.

To Ivins, ''liberal'' was not an insult term. ''Even I felt sorry for Richard Nixon when he left; there's nothing you can do about being born liberal--fish gotta swim and hearts gotta bleed,'' she wrote in a column included in her 1998 collection, ''You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You.''

In a column in mid January, Ivins urged readers to stand up against Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq. ''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,'' Ivins wrote in the January 11 column. ''We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans, and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'''

Ivins's best-selling books included those she coauthored with Lou Dubose about Bush. One was titled Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, and another was BUSHWHACKED: Life in George W. Bush's America.

Ivins's jolting satire was directed at people in positions of power. She maintained that aiming it at the powerless would be cruel. ''The trouble with blaming powerless people is that although it's not nearly as scary as blaming the powerful, it does miss the point,'' she wrote in a 1997 column. ''Poor people do not shut down factories.... Poor people didn't decide to use 'contract employees' because they cost less and don't get any benefits.'' (AP)

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