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Bill of Wrongs: The Executive Branch's Assault on America's Fundamental Rights

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  293 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In this, her final and perhaps greatest book, Molly Ivins launches a counterattack on the executive branch’s shredding of our cherished Bill of Rights. From illegal wiretaps and the unlawful imprisonment of American citizens to the creeping influence of religious extremism on our national agenda and the erosion of the checks and balances that prevent a president from seizi ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2007)
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Paul
Jan 25, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago, Ivins promised a friend that she would give a speech per month, for free, in some small town in America, in defense of free speech. This book, which turned out to be her last book, was going to celebrate those common people who decided to stand up and be counted. Watching what has happened to the Bill of Rights, America’s Supreme Law of the Land, due to the “War on Terror,” the book’s focus changed.

Jeff and Nicole Rank (she works for FEMA) were arrested on the grounds of the West
...more
Mark
Jan 21, 2009 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast read that will leave you outraged. The trouble with outrage, of course, is what to do with it. I think there is a danger now to trust a new administration will fix everything. But I would bet there is a great deal of institutional inertia. The ongoing efforts of the Secret Service to silence dissent in the name of protecting the president seems particularly insidious to me. Anyone got suggestions for affecting such policies?

The most appalling cases, of course, have more to do with invalid
...more
Brian
Jan 07, 2008 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every American
Bill of Wrongs is the last book that Molly Ivins wrote (with co-author Lou Dubose), and while not as funny as Shrub or as flippant as Bushwhacked, it is just as, if not more, important as those two books.

This book is a clarion call for all those who care about the values upon which the United States of America was founded: freedom, equality, and justice. Through a number of case studies, the book explains in stark detail just how much damage has been done to the very fabric of our Republic.

Molly
...more
Claudia
Jun 27, 2008 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent journalism on the Bush demolition of the U.S. constitution.
Doug Clark
Nov 06, 2012 Doug Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bill of Wrongs, subtitled The Executive Branch’s Assault on America’s Fundamental Rights by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose is the final book that Ms. Ivins wrote prior to her untimely death from breast cancer on January 31, 2007. Ms. Ivins, a large woman in many ways was perfectly suited for the state she hailed from, Texas. Only a state as large as Texas could contain the spirit, humor and zest for life she had. And only Texas was large enough for her passion for people, good government, and respec ...more
James
Feb 02, 2017 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the events used as examples happened some years ago, this book maintains its relevance.

Molly looks at the issues of freedom of speech, especially in the areas of public protests, and cites cases where the government got a bit too zealous in suppressing dissent and/or criticism of the President; the draconian applications of the Patriot Act with respect to spying on those suspected of terrorism or ties to terrorists (wiretapping, searches without warrants, Kafka-esque laws that don't all
...more
Kate
"Throughout her long career of 'afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted,' the cause closest to Molly Ivins heart was working to protect the freedoms we all value. Sadly, today we're living in a time when dissent is equated with giving aid to terrorists, when any of us can be held in prison without even knowing the charges against us, and when our constitutional rights are being interpreted by a president who calls himself 'The Decider.'

"Ivins got the idea for Bill of Wrongs while
...more
le-trombone
God I miss Molly Ivins. A very sane person who knew the importance of just-the-facts reporting, but who was also enough of a stylist who could make you chuckle while you were shaking your head in disbelief.

The first sentence of the book says it all: "I set out to write this book as a cheerful and joyous tribute to all the heroes I have met over all the years, the folks who make the Bill of Rights more than just dead words on an old parchment." This is a collection of reports on the front lines o
...more
Mattie
Dec 24, 2007 Mattie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If nothing else, this book is worth getting as a thank you and tribute to the life of the fabulous Molly Ivins. Ivins, who died of cancer in January 2007 cared passionately about the idea of America and the lives of Americans. She was frequently appalled by what she saw around her, yet never lost her faith in the system and in the good mass of folks out there to make the system work. She also never lost her sense of humor or appreciation for the irony of life.

Fortunately, there is ample reason t
...more
James
Frightening and infuriating. Beyond the poignancy of knowing, while reading this book, that Molly Ivins had died of cancer just as it was being completed, the feeling that came through over and over was anger and disgust at the Bush administration's absolute contempt for the Constitution, the rule of law, human rights, human life, and any shred of integrity or decency.
The authors show, in a way that is thorough, systematic, and eloquent, that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the people they brou
...more
Stacy
Feb 01, 2008 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone should read this for the good of our country
Recommended to Stacy by: D'Anne
In 2001 a man carrying a sign saying "Welcome Governor Bush" was arrested for standing on a public sidewalk in view of the newly-installed president's motorcade. This incident happened on the campus of my alma mater, Western Michigan University. I remember vaguely hearing about it at the time, and dismissed it as Republican bullshit I don't agree with but can't do anything about. It took Molly Ivins' book to put things in perspective: this was an outrageous violation of the right to free speech, ...more
Tei
Aug 08, 2009 Tei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man, I hate the fact that Molly Ivins is now dead. She was half the reason I kept my subscription to the paper when I lived in Chicago, and this book reminds me why. It's terrifying; it's funny; it makes me want to go out there and become a judge so I can fix everything, but frankly I'm not that good. It does, however, make me want to be damned sure I have a lawyer who's in the habit of calling up every month just to be sure I haven't been thrown in the brig for associating with Pakistanis who k ...more
Tiffany
Aug 22, 2010 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore Molly Ivins' writing. Sadly, she passed away in 2007, and this is her last book. As always, her sharp wit allowed me to actually enjoy reports of the unbelievably horrible (and unconstitutional and illegal) behavior by government officials over the past 10 years. Ivins is openly, and hilariously, critical of George W. Bush (aka Dub-ya and Shrub) and his administration, and for good reason; I won't to into the specifics because you can read them and become outraged on your own. Read, be a ...more
Phil Lawless
Apr 16, 2016 Phil Lawless rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mollie-ivins
This is the last book that Molly Ivins wrote. She died before it was completed. It is definitely written in a tone different from her previous books, more serious and without some of the humor that I learned to anticipate. But the subject of this book is clearly more serious - the subtitle is "The executive branch's assault on America's fundamental rights." There are eight chapters describing prosecutions of citizens by an overwhelming government (local/federal). The prosecutions were chilling i ...more
Jane
Jun 21, 2009 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Molly Ivins, and she will be sorely missed. This book was her last, but perhaps her most important. It just goes to show us that, as we should know, Democracy is hard work, and requires vigilance from its defenders. We must never forget how dangerous it is to allow people to convince us to sacrifice our basic tenets for any reason. They are what makes us who we are, and our failure to protect them debases our people, our country and our Constitution. I just hope there are others who can d ...more
Tiffany
Sep 10, 2010 Tiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always give Molly Ivins 5 stars because her writing is hilarious and though-provoking and because she questions authority at every turn. And by "authority", I mean G.W. Bush (or Shrub, as she sweetly refers to him). These are well-researched essays on recent violations of our Constitutional rights by the national government, usually aided by local government representatives playing various roles. Ms. Ivins passed away before the book was published, but her co-author brought it to completion. R ...more
Donald Shank
Mar 04, 2016 Donald Shank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One last shot from Molly Ivins, friend of the dispossed, champion of the Bill of Rights, enemy of wealth, power, zealotry and just plain jackassedness. She and Lou Dubose chronicle some of the more egregious violations of the Constitution that Bush and Cheney have engaged in. It reads like a bill of charges for impeachment, only more entertaining.
If you've picked up this book, you probably already know about most of the cases in it, but it would make a good gift for well intentioned but unenligh
...more
Fran
Dec 18, 2007 Fran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Molly Ivins - unabashedly liberal and passionate defender of civil liberties; with a homespun wit that stripped the veneer off much of the soundbites that masquerade as political wisdom - how bittersweet and comforting to read her words again. I absolutely love this book; partially because her words express so many of my thoughts and partially because reading them is like a chance to visit with an old friend who is gone and sorely missed.
Beetletheknee
Is it possible for a book to be both delightful and depressing? I like Molly Ivins and am sad that I discovered her so shortly before her death, but this book is downright sad. I mean, it's snarky and fun, but given the terrible consequences of the injustices she describes in the book, I can't say that I "enjoyed" reading it. You should probably read it anyway though. Just cause. And then vote in Nov.
Jen
Mar 16, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Molly, how we miss you. This book, despite as much humor as possible, is horrifying. It's preaching to the choir of course, but this choir is appalled anew at the Bush abuse. I was surprised to be reminded she died in 2007 -- could have sworn it was just last year or so. Wish she'd lived to see Obama elected. Anyway, if you're a Molly Ivans fan, read this. I've got a copy.
Ingrid Erwin
This is the last book written by Molly Ivins (it was actually completed after her death). I bought the book as part of a "grocery bag for $10" at a book sale, and probably wouldn't have found it otherwise. Very interesting (and frightening) accounts of actions taken by the FBI and other government agencies that infringe on First Amendment rights.
Autumn
Nov 12, 2008 Autumn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
concise overview of specific examples of the bush administration's encroachment on our rights. the authors not only give examples but include the context of exactly WHY the "loyal bushies" (as they call them) acted unconstitutionally. the most chilling example to me was one man's five year stint at guantanamo for being muslim.
Paul Dinger
Apr 15, 2012 Paul Dinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A true tragedy that Ms Ivins passed away, her wit will be missed. This is a systematic study of the abuses of power under the reign of George W. Bush. It is amazing how the very people who think we have a tryanny under Obama supported the very thing under Bush. Can you say hypocrite? This book is full of a totally comical irony that would be a lot funnier if it wasn't so true.
Scurvy Jay
Lazily edited, annoying populist voice, but no more biased than any other political writer out there. Ms. Ivins did have some interesting things to say about the W. Bush administration. Ivins lost the battle against breast cancer a few years ago, or I would certainly be interested in her thoughts on the new Obama administration.
Mike
Mar 16, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of her best and tragically, her last--she will be missed terribly since she did such a wonderful job keeping an eye on political misdeeds. This one traces the many ways our civil liberties are being undermined by this administration. The most memorable story concerns textbooks and "The Battle of the Bulge"--you'll have to read it for yourself.
Thomas Stevenson
Mar 10, 2013 Thomas Stevenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is not a new account, Bill of Wrongs is good place to start examining how the US government has eroded the Bill of Rights. Ivins and Dubose are hardly on the right but they raise the same alarms that Republicans make about loss of freedoms - admittedly using different data. In the age of drones, this is an important topic.
Beth
Oct 24, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Molly Ivins, I miss you and your witty insights practically every day. This book is another reminder of what the world lost in January 2007. Fairly frightening stories balanced with humor and strong inspiration to fight all efforts to take away our constitutional rights. Brilliant as always, Ms. Ivins.
Mike
Jan 15, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: all-time-faves
Lou Dubose is my father. He's co-written three books with Molly Ivins. Tragically, he had to write all of this book save the intro because Molly was dying of breast cancer and has since passed away.

Molly Ivins was an amazing writer, friend and human being. I wish that she'd been able to collaborate more on "Bill Of Wrongs" than she did. That said, this is my father's finest work to date.
Nickie
Jun 18, 2008 Nickie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Beware! I put this book down after reading the introduction.
I can imagine our first amendment rights have been violated by more then the present President. Or may be not. I don't really know yet.
However, this book written by a Liberal, (which would be ok I guess) uses what we call in our family garbage talk. I'm not reading a book with profanity.
Sara Fitzgerald
Nov 21, 2007 Sara Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jeff Ray
I have always loved Molly Ivins and really respect her insight and analysis. This is her last book (posthumous with Lou Dubose) and definitely should be on the readying list of everyone who disagrees with the Bush/Cheney assault on civil rights.
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American newspaper columnist, political commentator, and best-selling author from Austin, Texas.

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