Saturday, November 5, 2016

Donald Trump is the Orange Hitler

It was a great pre-election special on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday November 4, 2016. The discussion was serious and the barbs against Donald Trump were biting. Here is a quick review of the show.
Donald Trump "The Orange Hitler".
Bill Maher called Donald Trump "The Orange Hitler". 
An Interview with President Obama
The show began with an interview with President Obama. It was pre-taped because of Obama’s schedule. This was good for the show because it allowed the interview to go for about a half hour, with additional bits put on YouTube. [See the full interview on YouTube]

Obama defended the ACA (ObamaCare) saying he would have preferred single payer, but it wasn’t possible to start from scratch. He needed to build upon the existing institutions. He calledlikened the ACA to a "starter home." saying that it should be improved.  

Maher pointed out that the news used to be a loss-leader—it didn’t have to make money. Obama said that  it wasn’t possible in the environment we have today. He said that we need "to create a space where truth gets eyeballs" We must have "some common baseiline of facts." Did Obama give a hint about his post election plans? He said, "Maybe we could build some platforms where everybody says let's agree on the facts and argue about means after that."

Obama is optimistic about America and Americans. “I’m a glass half full kind of guy. A government is as good as the people.” He indicated that the problem is that information is not getting to the people. “If I could sit in every living room in the country, I would have the large majority of on my side.” He added, “If I watched Fox News, I wouldn’t like me either. This was a reference to his earlier comment that there is a “Balkanization of the media.”

The best part of the interview was about the upcoming election. Obama said, “The choice should be really clear.” He called out people who say because both parties have problems nothing will change. He enumerated all the changes he was able to accomplish: Reigning in some of the excesses of Wall Street, establishing a Consumer Protection Bureau, health insurance reform, protections for “The Dreamers” were among them.

Obama said, “Every single issue we have made progress on is on the ballot.” He praised Hillary Clinton. “I have worked with her. She cares about people.” He warned that a third party vote is a vote for Trump.

At the end, Obama told Maher, “I watch your show all the time.” I’m sure that Maher who waited eight years to get an interview with Obama was glad to hear it.

Fascism in America
Bill Maher repeated what he has been saying for months. “Trump could win this election.” Maher described it as “a slow-moving right wing coup.” The FBI becoming Trumplandia, doing things to help Trump. The Russians being in league with Trump.

Jennifer Granholm, the former Governor of Michigan was on the panel. She said, Trump would be an "authoritarian nightmare.”

Maher called Trump “The Orange Hitler.” He said, “We would have fascism in this country with Trump. There would be no rule of law.” He pointed out that the Republican dominated Supreme Court shut down the Voting Rights Act, and the states were quick to deny people voting rights by reducing the number of polling places and other tricks. [Fortunately, some state courts have pushed back and limited these attacks on democracy.]

Granholm added, “Trump is undermining democracy. He has said the election is rigged. He has said he won’t accept the results of the election.”

Another panelist, Martin Short, an actor and comedian, said that if you want to sell aspirin you have to tell the truth. We need a Consumer Protection Act for politics. The Trump campaign is filled with lies."

Maher reminded everyone that Hitler was elected to office.Then he declared an emergency to dismantle democracy and seize total power. [I’m sure Trump would try to do the same thing here. He is an authoritarian who says that “I am the only one who can fix it.” A republican Congress would let him do it.]

Maher said that the Republican Congress is already talking about impeaching Hillary. “First they decide you are a criminal, then they look for a crime.” He added, “We are where Rwanda was. Doing God’s work by eliminating the enemy.”

In his facebook special, titled "Whiny Little Bitch, Maher said “Hillary is like a black driver in a white neighborhood and the Republicans are the cops. They keep pulling her over and they keep having to let her go.” [Republicans have investigated her umpteen times, and every time they come up with nothing. Yet the Republican Congress is threatening continuous investigations. This is not how democracy is supposed to work. Please vote for Democrats up and down the ballot so we can have a country that works again.]

Maher said, “Once fascists get power, they don’t give it up.” He expressed concern that people would not take the threat that Trump poses to America seriously. “We cried wolf with McCain and Romney, but this is real.”

[I disagree about the "crying wolf" part.. McCain and Romney would have been very bad for the country and they were rightly criticized. It is just that Trump is a threat of such magnitude that the threats of previous Republican candidates seems minor in comparison. As Maher said in his facebook special, “This isn’t the choice between Coke and Pepsi, this is the choice between Coke and the tap water in Flint.”

Trump doesn’t want to “shake things up” as he so often says; he wants to tear it all down. In Maher’s facebook special on 11/2/16,  Maher said Trump would shake things up like a Great Dane at a toddler’s birthday party or like soccer played with handguns.]

Harking back to the Obama interview about the lack of information among the public, David Frum, a Republican on the panel who is currently editor of The Atlantic magazine urged everyone to “buy a subscription to a newspaper, and don’t rely on facebook.”

A Useful Idiot
Maher told us that “Russia is in collusion with the Republican candidate. He is an unwitting agent, a useful idiot.”

[This phrase “a useful idiot” has been in the news a lot. It is spy talk for someone who you don’t even have to convince to betray his country--He is just too stupid to know that the enemy is using him. It is why Hillary Clinton, in the third debate called Trump, Putin’s Puppet.”]

Bible Trumper
In New Rules, Maher said, “There is one good thing that Donald Trump did—He exposed evangelicals for the shameless hypocrites they are. Trumps Commandments are the regular ones with LOL added.”

“He is the world’s least godly man.”
 “Jesus Christ is his Personal Lord and Taylor.”
 “Jesus Christ is from the Middle East. Trump wouldn’t even let him into the country.”

He concluded with praise for the Mormons. Essentially he said they believe a lot of dumb-ass ideas, but they rejected the Orange Hitler.

Here are some other essays that address Bill Maher’s views about Trump and religion.
 Donald Trump: Move Over Jesus
 Donald Trump: I Love the Bible and Other Panders

It Can't Happen Here
It Can't Happen Here
for more info
Sinclair Lewis wrote"It Can't Happen Here" in 1935. The reprint of this novel is now on amazon’s best-seller list.  I guess a lot of people are worried about fascism in American.

The plot summary in Wikipedia says it all. The novel is about ”the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a populist United States Senator who is elected to the presidency after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and "traditional" values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes a plutocratic/authoritarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force, in the manner of Adolf Hitler and the SS.”

You could use the exact words to describe Donald Trump is you remove the words “United States Senator.”  Trump has never held elected office before.  
Thumbs Up for the Show Format
The show was great tonight. It began with a serious interview with Barack Obama I’m so glad Maher finally got to have Obama on his show. The interview was long so there was not mid-show comedy bit and no mid-show special guest.

The main reason I wanted to praise this episode was the quality of the guests. I wish every show would have one comedian, one Democratic politician and one thoughtful, intelligent, and polite Republican who does not tell lies. David Frum was that Republican on this show. Some weeks, I just can’t watch the show because the Republican is a loud-mouthed idiot who interrupts everyone, talks over the other guests constantly, and spews lie after lie.

I want to hear intelligent discussion of issues. I don’t want a bar brawl. Please give us guests who know what they are talking about and who can comport themselves like an adult.

P.S. The full interview includes a discussion of atheism. 

--By Catherine Giordano

Addendum: To you want to fight against fascism in America? Please join this facebook group: Blue America Fights Back 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Real Time with Bill Maher 01 22 16 Tell Me About It

Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane
by Catherine Giordano

Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 374, airs at 10pm on HBO on Friday January 22, 2016. Maher and his guests will be telling you all about it.

I’m looking forward to what the multi-talented Seth MacFarlane, the mid-show guest, will have to say. He’s always charming and intelligent. He can even be soulful as he is on his new album No One Ever Tells You. 

Alan Grayson is on the panel and you can always count on Grayson to tell it like it is. He’s not shy about airing his views and he’s willing to be blunt. He’s sure to liven up the panel.

The interview is with Michael McCaul. I am not familiar with him, but I expect he is going to tell us “the terrorists are coming for you.” Terrorists are a threat, but put the threat in proportion. The statistics show that you are more likely to get killed with your own gun (if you own a gun) than by a Islamic terrorist. I think you are more likely to be killed by a deranged American on a mass shooting spree than by a jihadist.

Jon Meacham is always an interesting panelist. He makes his points with humor and without shouting. He’s not a political partisan so you can count on him to tell it like it is.

Liz Mair is definitely a political partisan, but she usually makes her points without rancor. However, the fact that she heads a super-pac dedicated to taking Donald Trump down suggests she may harbor some rancor for this would-be president.

In some polls, close to half of Republicans say they want Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee. Never mind terrorists, it is Republicans who scare me.

Just a list of guests for now. come back for the full review and recap on Saturday.

Bill Maher’s Guests January 22, 2016

Michael McCaul: U.S. Congressman (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and author of Failures of Imagination: Deadliest Threatsto Our Homeland and How to Thwart Them

Mid-Show Interview
No One Ever Tells You
Seth MacFarlane: Filmmaker, producer, actor, singer. His newest album of songs No One Ever Tells You has been nominated for a Grammy.He’s the creator and voice actor for the animated TV series Family Guy. He’s the producer of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Alan Grayson: U.S. Congressman (D-FL), candidate for U.S. Senate (D-FL) He is a contributor to the Huffington Post, where he recently authored The Gun Show Loophole: Common Sense vs. Nonsense.

Jon Meacham: Executive Editor and Executive Vice President of Random House, author of numerous biographies of former presidents. His latest book is Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.

Liz Mair: Republican political consultant, head of the anti-Trump Make America Awesome Super PAC.

Destiny and Power

Friday, January 15, 2016

Real Time with Bill Maher 01/15/16 Heating Up

Chair in front of fire
Pull up a front row seat to the debate
by Catherine Giordano

The presidential nomination campaigns are heating up. We also had some heated debate on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on the January 15, 2016 show. As usual, when there are two Republican guests on the show, the debate devolved into a screaming match to the point where I couldn’t make out what was being said.

Here are the highlights of Real Time with Bill Maher, back after a hiatus for his first show of the New Year.

Obama to be a Guest on Real Time?
No point burying the lead in this recap and review of the show. Maher has one burning desire—he wants Barack Obama to be a guest on Real Time before his presidency ends.

Maher feels slighted. Obama has given an interview to pretty much every other show—every late night show, every daytime show, every web podcast. Maher reminded Obama that he has been a supporter both with his comments on the show (plus with a million dollar campaign contribution which he didn’t mention last night). Maher mentioned that Real Time has 4 million viewers—a sizeable audience-- and according to Maher these viewers are the “absolute best.” (“The viewers are informed, engaged, and smart enough to steal cable.”)

Sign the Petition

We the People Petition
Sign the Petition

So Bill Maher wants you to sign the petition. Obama instituted a program at the beginning of his presidency. If 100,000 people sign a petition within a 30-day period, the government will address that petition. The website is This link will take you directly to Bill Maher’s petition. As of this writing, less than 24 hours since the show aired, there are already over 30,000 signatures. Click the link to add your signature.

After you sign, you will receive an email to confirm your signature. Click the link in the email and your signature is added to the petition.

Maher tied this request to his 60th birthday celebration. He did the request as the final segment of New Rules at the end of the show. In the last minute if the show, a mariachi band marched onto stage singing happy birthday. There was even a balloon drop. Maher looked completely surprised and also moved.

Candidate Commentary
Maher began his monologue with jokes about the candidates. He said the Republican Debate should be called The Hateful Eight, referring to the new Quentin Tarantino movie. He called the Republican Party “the party of impotent white rage.”

Chris Christie caught incoming for saying Obama is an” impotent child.” Maher said this came from “the man who needed surgery to give his stomach a time-out. [BTW, despite the surgery, he is still really, really, fat. Also, apparently desperate to get some attention for his failing campaign. He is trying to be the angriest white man on the stage.]

Ben Carson is just the opposite. Maher described him as a “human screen saver” for his painful slowness [Also, when is going to stop rubbing his hands together? It is a really creepy gesture.]

Donald Trump was cited for talking about “foreigners sneaking into the country. “ To which Maher added, “But enough about Ted Cruz.” [That one was a twofer.]

Ted Cruz insulted an entire state with his derisive sneer about “New York values.” Maher couldn’t resist showing the front page response from one of the most popular New York newspapers, The Daily News. And I can’t either.

Daily News Drop Dead Ted
Here is what New York thinks of Ted Cruz. 

Is Ted Cruz eligible to be President of the United States?
The panel didn’t discuss the issue about whether Ted Cruz is a “natural born citizen or not so I will.

Cruz keeps saying he is eligible because he is a citizen of the United States even though he was born in Canada because his mother was an American citizen. (His father was a Cuban citizen at the time.) But “natural born citizen” does not mean the same thing as “citizen.” If it did, the Constitution would just say “citizen.” Based on what I have heard from legal scholars, I think natural-born means born in the United States (born on United States soil). Natural-born could be construed to mean not only born on one of the states but also born in a U.S. territory or even a U.S. military base or consulate.

I’m not sure Cruz’s mother was a citizen at the time of Cruz’s birth. She may have become a Canadian citizen. Her name has been found on Canadian voter rolls. In Canada, there is a monthly “family allowance” paid to the parents of children. Did she ever collect this money? If yes, did Cruz’s mother have to be a Canadian citizen to collect this money or could she have collected it just because her child was considered to be a Canadian citizen  I couldn’t find any information on this. I assume we’ll get the answer when the law suit is brought as it surely will be if Cruz wins the nomination and maybe if he even starts to come close.

Finally, Cruz was a Canadian citizen--he had dual-citizenship allowed under Canadian law-- until May 14, 2014.

Cruz is showing his mother's birth certificate. That is just done to confuse the issue. No one doubts that Cruz's mother was born in the U.S. I would like to see Ted's birth certificate. Does it give his mother's nationality on his birth certificate. 

Cruz likes to point out that no other presidential candidate with circumstances similar to his was ever challenged on his eligibility. But these candidates never became president. Further just because no one brought suit doesn’t mean a suit could not be brought now.

Finally, Cruz keeps saying it is settled law. ”Settled law” is a term used when the Supreme Court has ruled on an issue. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the meaning of “natural born.” In fact, no court has ruled on this issue. There have been some rulings on the qualifications for “citizen,” but never “natural-born citizen.” The scholars say that according to the doctrine of “original intent,” Cruz is not a natural born citizen.

Donald Trump has said that he will not sue Cruz on this. I think that is a wise position. Trump can do (and is doing) enough damage to Cruz just by bringing up the issue. And if Cruz wins or even starts to look like he is winning, Trump can change his mind. In the meantime, Having Cruz in the race keeps all the other potential challengers to Trump from gaining ground.

No matter what the outcome, I would like to see this go to court so we can have a definitive ruling.

Bernie and Hillary
The race for the Democratic nomination in Iowa and New Hampshire is very close. The idea of Bernie winning made panelist Nicolle Wallace positively giddy with joy. She was literally jumping up and down with joy like a little kid (or maybe someone who just found out they won the Powerball lottery). She was cackling with glee. Wallace is a former communications chief for George W. Bush and is currently a political commentator and novelist. Her most recent novel is MadamPresident: A Novel.

Why is Wallace so happy over the prospect of Bernie winning the Democratic nomination? It can only be that she, like most Republicans, thinks he would be easier to beat.

Donald Trump has already called him “crazy Bernie.” Bernie will be Gene McCarthy all over again, losing practically every state. I love Bernie in the Senate, but America will not vote for a self-avowed socialist. (He’s also a Jew and maybe an atheist, but people who won’t vote for him because of his religion would probably be voting Republican anyway.)

I love Bernie’s ideas, but He never says just how he will get it done. He will never get his ideas through Congress. Obama tried for universal health care and even some Democrats wouldn’t vote for it. Bernie won’t be able to get his other stuff through either.

I love that Bernie caucuses with the Democrats, but he has never chosen to run as a Democrat. Now he wants to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. Hillary, for all her faults, has been a Democrat all her adult life, has served in a Democratic administration, and won her seat as Senator from New York as a Democrat.

Cornell West, professor at Union Seminary Theological College, political activist, and author of several books including Black Prophetic Fire, also supports Bernie over Hillary. He said, “Sister Hillary is smart. She is sharp. But integrity is not the first thing that comes to mind.”

I say, “At least Hillary is tested.” She has been viciously attacked for 20 years. What will the Republicans come up with against Bernie? They are holding their fire for now and only attacking Hillary so Bernie can win the nomination. Let’s see how well Bernie does in a head-to-head matchup against a Republican when the political attacks start.

Mid-show comedy—Celebrity endorsements
Maher began by telling us to vote for whoever is their favorite celebrity. He showed a clip from the infamous Duck Dynasty add on behalf of Ted Cruz.

He then launched into endorsement statements from various celebrities and told us what they were really thinking

Jennifer Lopez:        It’s time for a woman president.
                                    Trump will deport my whole family.

The Cake Boss:        Chris Christie will help small business.
                                    You know I make cake, don’t you?

Seth McFarland:       Bernie is serious about climate change.
    An old Jew in the White House--the jokes will practically write  themselves.

George W. Bush:       Vote for my brother, Jeb.
                                    Then I will be only the second worse president.

The movie 13 Hours, Benghazi, and Iran
The mid-show guest was John Krasinski, an actor currently starring in the new movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. The movie may bring up the issue of Benghazi again in the presidential campaign because the movie shows that there was a stand-down order. However, both Maher and Krasinski both said that the movie clearly shows that the stand-down order came from the CIA and not from The State Department or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and that the order was given to civilians who were there to protect the CIA Annex (not the U.S. consulate). Further, these guards ignored the order and ran to help. It also showed that Ambassador Stevens refused the additional security the State Department wanted to give him.

The movie shows that Secretary Clinton was not to blame, but Maher and Krasinski wondered if people would note these facts.  

The show’s guests also discussed the flap over the Iran incident. All of the Republican candidates for president sounded like they were willing to start WWIII over this. I’m scared to death over the thought that one of these people could be commander-in-chief.

Ralph Reed, another Republican on the panel, said the sailors should never have been detained. (He is chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and author of several political books including Awakening:How America Can Turn from Moral and Economic Destruction Back to Greatness. He also writes novels—his most recent novel is Ballots and Blood: A Novel.) However, the boats were in Iranian waters so Iran had every right to board them and take the sailors prisoner. The U.S. would have done the same if the situation was reversed.

The prisoners were well treated and were not harmed. (Perhaps photographs of them should not have been shown, but compared to what could have happened that was nothing. I’ve even heard Republican outrage because the female prisoner was made to wear a head scarf. Really?! They want to start WW III over a head scarf?!)

Finally, negotiations for the release of the prisoners began immediately, and they were released the very next morning. I would say President Obama and Secretary Kerry should be praised for handling this extremely well and preventing a minor incident from escalating.

Our sailors were quickly released and were not harmed because of the Iran deal that every Republican candidate vows to tear up on Day One. Not only were there channels of communication, but Iran quickly released the sailors because it did now want to do anything to jeopardize the deal.

Breaking News: Prisoners in Iran Released
I took a break as I wrote this on Saturday morning (1/16/16), turned on the TV, and learned that five Americans who have been prisoner in Iran for years were just released this morning. The timing coincided with the formal release of the sanctions on Iran.

All those Republican candidates who have criticized the president for not including the prisoners as part of the Iran deal now have to eat crow. Obviously, the release of the prisoners was part of the deal. Once again we see how diplomacy is a better option than military action. Will the Republican candidates still continue to proclaim that they will tear up the deal of Day One? Do they still want to nuke Iran? Their reckless foreign policy ideas make them unfit to be the leader of the free world.

We all have a front row seat to the Republican view of the future of the United States. It will be Hell. Literally, thermonuclear Hell. They can’t wait to start bombing.

Al Gore is the founder and current chair of The Climate Reality Project and was interviewed about his work in the area of climate change. He is also the author of several books including his most recent book The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.

Maher began by apologizing for his support of Ralph Nader in 2000. “I was wrong,” he said. (Be careful, Bill, about your support for Bernie. You may have to apologize to the whole country.)

Maher and Gore spoke about how the United States is the only country that denies global warming. Maher said it was because the U.S. is too religious, and too many of the religious think the world is going to end anyway, so why worry about things that might happen in the future. Gore countered with how Pope Francis has made a big difference in getting people to act on climate change.

They also discussed solar energy vs. coal. Maher asked the rhetorical question he has asked before: Why are coal miners fighting for their jobs which are the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs when they could retrain for better paying jobs that won’t kill them. Gore spoke about how the cost for solar energy has come down to the point where it is now cheaper than coal. And the cost of solar is continuing to go down.  

It is so nice to know that international tensions are becoming less heated thanks to President Obama’s diplomacy. Now bring on the mariachi band. I want to celebrate.

Bill Maher’s Guests: January 15, 2016

Al Gore: Founder and current chair of The Climate Reality Project, former Vice President of the United States, recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work advocating on behalf of the environment, chair of Generation Management, partner in venture capital firm, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.. He is also the author of several books including his most recent book The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change

Mid-Show Guest
John Krasinski: Actor. His newest film is 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi 

The Panel
Dr. Cornell West: Professor at Union Seminary Theological College, political activist, and author of several books including Black Prophetic Fire

Nicolle Wallace: Former communications chief for George W. Bush, former senior adviser for the McCain-Palin campaign, political commentator, and author of several (White House themed) novels. Her most recent novel is Madam President: A Novel

Ralph Reed: Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and author of several books including Awakening: How America Can Turn from Moral and Economic Destruction Back to GreatnessHe is also a novelist. His most recent novel is Ballots and Blood: A Novel.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #370 11/06/15 Wild

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
by Catherine Giordano

Remember Keith Olbermann from the old days of MSNBC. He was the first successful host of a TV news show—Countdown with Keith Olbermann-- with a liberal slant. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, and his commentary was as brilliant as it was scathing to Republicans, conservatives, and Fox News. His pugnacious temperament led to some wild and searing commentary, but sometimes got out of hand. He got into some disputes with MSNBC and his show was cancelled. However, it was Olbermann who transformed MSNBC from a wanna-be Fox News into the liberal news channel it is today.

I hope his appearance on Bill Maher is part of a comeback tour. Maybe he could start as a guest commentator on MSNBC. If things work out, perhaps a hosting spot again. I used to love Up with Steve Kornacki from 8am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Now Steve Kornacki has moved to prime time. On Sunday mornings, MSBC now airs Politics Nation with Al Sharpton at 8am followed by an hour of Up with various hosts. Maybe Keith Olbermann would be a good fit for the second hour.

I can’t wait to see Olbermann do the interview with Maher. Olbermann was a bit of a wild man the last time I saw him—has he retained his biting edge and can he contain his impulse to go way over the top?

Quentin Tarantino is another wildman famous for his own over the top movies. He will be the guest for the mid-show interview. He has been very vocal recently about police shootings unarmed people (usually African-American people.) I expect he will be talking about that.

Anthony Weiner is on the panel and during his time as Representative to Congress (D I) he was a passionate, sometimes crossing the line into wild, defender of Democratic causes. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control his impulses to send inappropriate sexts to women. It cost him his job in Congress and the after supposedly reforming, he ruined his chances to become mayor of New York City because he couldn’t control his impulses to send these sexts. I hope this appearance on Maher’s show is part of his comeback tour. We need his voice.

The other two panelists are David Frum (former GWB speechwriter) and Jillian Melchior (reporter for The National Review). I’ve seen Frum on TV a lot—he’s usually not too wild. I’m not familiar with Melchior, but whenever there are two conservatives on the panel things often get wild.

Just a list of the guests for now. Come back later for the full review and recap. 

Bill Maher's Guests November 6, 2015 

Keith Olbermann: Broadcaster and commentator whose credits include “Olbermann” on ESPN2 and “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” on MSNBC. He is the winner of three Edward R. Murrow awards for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. He is the author of several books including Pitchforksand Torches: The Worst of the Worst, from Beck, Bill, and Bush to Palin andOther Posturing Republicans

Mid-Show Interview
Quentin Tarantino: Academy Award winning director and screenwriter whose newest film, The Hateful Eight opens in theaters December 25. (Some of his best movies have been packaged in a box-set Quentin Tarantino - The Ultimate Collection(Box Set), Includes: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol.1 & 2 and Death Proof. His recent efforts to call attention to those killed in police shootings have sparked controversy among law enforcement groups.

The Panel
Anthony Weiner: (D-NY) Former congressman (D NY), unsuccessful candidate for mayor of NYC

David Frum: Senior Editor of The Atlantic and Chairman of Policy Exchange, a UK think tank. From 2001-2002, he was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush. He is the author of several books about politics and one politically-themed novel, Patriots.

Jillian Melchior: Reporter for The National Review and a Senior Fellow at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum. She was recently named the 2015-2016

Tony Blankley Fellow at the conservative group, Steamboat Institute. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #369 10/30/2015 “It’s War”

by Catherine Giordano
David Spade Almost Interesting
David Spade

I expected all-out war on Real Time with Bill Maher on the October 30, 2015 show. There were two very outspoken Republicans on the panel and one outspoken Democrat. However, everyone behaved themselves and the debate did not get out of hand like is sometimes does.

The CNBC Republican Debate
The Republicans are at war of each other. The latest debate (on October 28) pitted the candidates not only against each other, but it pitted the moderators against the candidates. And these moderators are hosts on a network (CNBC) which generally leans Republican. (I don’t watch the network much, but when I have all I heard was Obama and Democrat bashing.) Maher said that CNBC is for “wannabe masters of the universe." "They are not the liberal media.”

The moderators asked rude and insulting questions—I was shocked by the disdain they expressed towards candidates. I presumed these were the candidates that they did not like. They did not act like responsible journalists and the candidates are right to be angry. I’m a Democrat and this may be the first time I have said, “The Republican candidates are right.”

I also thought the moderators wee not well prepared. They did not have the facts at hand for follow-up questions to use when candidates lied. In my mind I contrasted this with Hillary at the Benghazi hearing. She had a binder in front of her and was able to immediately find the page with the facts relevant to every question she was asked. The moderators could learn something from Hillary.

In the monologue, Maher dismissed the debate saying “None of them got suddenly smart.”

Maher also said “The other big loser of the night was CNBC. They [TV stations] put on the debates for ratings.” He discussed how the desire for good ratings leads not to an attempt to get a serious debate where the candidates can state their stands on the issues, but instead leads a desire to generate conflict that will get them tweets and retweets. He added that they asked “stupid nasty questions” and gibed, “What do you think? This is the Benghazi hearing?”

The Republican Candidates—Ben Carson
The first to fall victim to Maher’s wit was Ben Carson. Maher said if you haven’t yet decided who you will go as for Halloween, you can go as Ben Carson by taking a few Xanax. (Or you can put the Xanax in somebody’s drink and do as Bill Cosby.) Later Maher added that Carson talks like he’s moderating a golf game. He mimicked the slow monotone of a golf commentator while speaking Carson’s words.

Back to Carson. Maher remarked, “Carson told a whopper about his involvement with Mannatech.” (Even the far right National Review called him out on this.) He has had a ten-year paid relationship with this dietary supplement company which was convicted of false advertising. Maher said the Carson has claimed that Mannatech cured his prostate cancer, but he had the prostate surgery anyway because he wanted to be a role model. Maher mocked him for this obviously ridiculous statement.

Ben Carson has a book; sometimes his campaign seems more like a book tour than a campaign. His book is A More Perfect Union: What We the People CanDo to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties

The Republican Candidates—Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush was mocked in the monologue also. Maher told us that Bush has told us that his campaign is “alive and well.” Maher took aim and scored with “He said the same thing about Terry Schiavo.” He added that Bush might wake up to find Dr. Kevorkian at his bedside. He added, “This is the smart Bush?”

The panel also had some attacks for Bush. Panelist Maxine Waters, congresswoman (D-CA), said, “He doesn’t know who he is.” She later added, “Bush is a wimp. He doesn’t know how to fight.” [My impression is that Bush is angry that he has to fight for the nomination. He doesn’t like having to do the things a candidate has to do—he’d rather be doing “cool things.” He thinks he should just be crowned president.]

During the debate, Marco Rubio successfully deflected Bush’s attack on him about his habit of not showing up for votes in the Senate saying Florida needed to be represented by both of its senators. This led to Maher telling us the “Bush family invented dirty tricks. Remember Atwater and McCain’s black baby.”

Even conservative attack dog, Roger Stone, former senior adviser to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, political operative for Nixon, Reagan, and Dole, said,  “And we thought W was  the dumb brother.”

There was a discussion about whether Bush’s last name was helping or hurting him. Stone who is the author of several books. including his latest book, The Clintons’ War on Women, an opportunistic exposé rehashing old scandals, rumors, and lies, tried to compare the Bush dynasty to Hillary Clinton becoming president 16 years after her husband. Maher slapped him down telling him three generations of Bushes (We have to include Senator Prescott Bush, grandfather to Jeb and W.) is not the same as Hillary who has been a Senator and Secretary of State and who worked closely with her husband when he was president, wanting to be president in her own right. [And I’ll add, at least so far, she is not trading on her name. In fact, she is disavowing some of Bill Clinton's policies something the Jeb won't do with respect to his brother.]  
Jeb Bush Outed

Jeb Bush also has a book It is a collection of emails and it seems like a rushed, made for the campaign book. It is called Reply All. [I remember when Jeb Bush was so anxious to show how transparent he was that he released all his emails--but didn't bother to redact people's personal information, like their social security numbers. You might be better off reading this book: Jeb Bush Outed: Who He Really Is and Why He Should Never Be President  Jeb likes to talk about how successful he was as governor of Florida; the truth is that he was a disaster. (Just like his current presidential campaign.) 

The Republican Candidates—Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio is the “Do-Nothing” candidate. Not only does he not show up in the Senate but even conservative panelist Grover Norquist, founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform (an organization that opposes all tax increases) criticized him saying, “He has never done anything.”

Marco Rubio has his campaign book too: American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone

The Republican Candidates—Donald Trump
Norquist said he likes Trump’s tax plan (Norquist is the author of several books. His latest book is End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America. His other books have similar titles.) If Norquist likes the tax plan it can’t be any good. Maher said, “Trump’s plan would blow a hole in the budget.”

Stone defended Trump. “You can’t buy Trump. You can’t bully him. He's not coached. He’s not scripted. He’s real.”  

By the way, all of the Republican tax plans would blow a hole in the budget. Independent analysis of the plans has proven it. Some of the candidates even advocate doing away with (or reducing) Social Security and Medicare. Most want some form of a flat tax. A flat tax with only three rates sounds good, but it would make the poor pay more and the rich pay less. Don’t be fooled when Republicans say they will cut taxes. They mean they will cut taxes for the rich and super-rich, not for the rest of us.

Donald Trump has been touting the Art of the Deal. Now he has a new book to tout: Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again. The co-author (ghostwriter?) is Tony Schwartz. 

The Interview—Tulsi Gabbard
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a Congresswoman (D-HI), serving since 2014. She is the first American Samoan, first Hindu, and one of the first female combat veterans elected to Congress.

Since Gabbard is vice-chairman of the DNC, Maher asked her about the election. He asked, “Which Republican candidate do your fear the most?” She responded with an incredulous look on her face and gave a one word answer, “Fear?” I think that was the best deflection of that question I have heard from anyone.

Since Gabbard sits on the Committed on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Maher asked her about Syria. She said, “In Syria we need to know what the mission is and who the enemy is.” [I don’t think anyone knows that.] “Overthrowing Assad will strengthen our enemies.”

Maher said our choices were “between bad and worse.” And then he was off on the one of the topics that set him off into a tirade. He says the mid-east factions don’t want Americans in their war. According to Maher, they are telling us, “If you morons would get out of the way, we would gladly kill each other.”

He next attacked barbaric Islam practices and liberals who are too pc to condemn them.

You may be right on both issues, Maher, but we have heard it all before.

[I don’t know what my opinion is, but I am glad Obama is the one making the decisions. We’ll have WW III if a Republican gets into the White House. Each candidate constantly tries to prove, (except for Rand Paul) that he (or she) will be tougher and more belligerent than the others.

The mid-show comedy segment
Maher said that every week a toddler shoots someone. (Why would anyone leave a loaded gun where a toddler could get it, but they evidently do.) He said, “The NRA says that they only thing that can stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun,” So he brought out a book for toddlers named “Every Baby Shoots”. He read it to us. It had the simple rhymes and rhythm of a Dr. Seuss book. One of the verses was
Forget dressing your dollies
Or playing with blocks.
You need to have lugers
And shotguns and Glocks.                       

Mid-show interview—David Spade
David Spade
David Spade
I’ve seen David Spade on TV and in movies, but I have never seen him interviewed. Sometimes when I see an actor I really like do an interview, I realize that I like the character they play more than I like them. It was just the reverse with David Spade. I like him more after this interview than before.

Spade is a comedian, actor, and author of a new memoir, Almost Interesting: The Memoir. He had a quiet presence and spoke mainly about his issues with his height. [He’s short.] He said some actors who are short get a pass because they are good looking implying that he wasn’t good-looking. I don’t think there is anything wrong with his looks—I would call him good looking. I guess the ladies think so too because they spent quite a bit of time talking about how to get rid of your one-night stands the morning after.

Maher thinks that the ones who don’t get a pass are older men who dare younger women. He’s 60 and he was obviously talking about himself.

New RulesNag Reflex
Bill Maher is perpetually on the warpath against liberals who are overly political correct. (And I mostly can’t say he’s wrong.)

Tonight it was about Halloween costumes that some people find offensive. Maher pointed out that you can get offended by any costume if you try hard enough. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz—that could be offensive to victims of real tornados. A vampire—offensive to those who think “Drac Lives Matter.”

One of the hottest costumes this year is the Caitlyn Jenner costume. Bill argued that it is not offensive to transgenders and it sends no message.

Maher complains that this barrage of rants from the pc police is what makes people vote Republican. The liberals just nag too much.

The message Maher wanted to send is that Halloween is a fun holiday. He said, “I love a holiday that celebrates ghosts and mythical beings. It ranks right up there with Christmas.

BTW, David Spade said he is going as ‘pizza rat.” That’s a little sad.

I’m going as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. That’s a little sad too. She’s the mother of dragons; I will have to be the grandmother of dragons. 

Bill Maher’s Guests October 30, 2015

The Interview: 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman (D-HI), serving since 2014  She is the first American Samoan, first Hindu, and one of the first female combat veterans elected to Congress. Rep. Gabbard sits on both the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and is a Vice Chair of the DNC.

Mid-Show Guest:
David Spade: Comedian, actor, and author of a new memoir, Almost Interesting: The Memoir. From 1990-1996, he was a cast member on Saturday Night Live and will be performing stand-up with Bill Maher on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Hawaii. He is best known for his stint on Saturday Night Live and his roles in some other TV shows (Just Shoot Me) and movies (Joe Dirt).

Rep. Maxine Waters: Congresswoman (D-CA), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, member of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus. She was first elected to Congress in 1991.

Grover Norquist: Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform, which opposes all tax increases, author of several books. His latest book is End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America.

Roger Stone: Former senior advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, political operative for Nixon, Reagan, and Dole, author of several books including his latest book, The Clintons’ War on Women, an opportunistic exposé rehashing old scandals, rumors, and lies.