Saturday, September 15, 2012

Real Time with Bill Maher #259 09/14/12

Bill Maher is a funny guy, his political humor is sharp, cutting, incisive, and right on the money.  If there was one dominant theme in this episode of Real Time, it was money.  Consequently, I am going to name this show “The Clinking Clanking Sound,” a line from the song from the show, Caberet. entitled “Money Makes the World Go Round.”
Bill got the theme rolling during his opening monologue.  He said if Mitt Romney asked for a moment of silence, he’d probably try to sell ad time during it.
Bill is a funny guy, and a good thing too, because not one of his guests said a funny thing during the whole show.  Nobody was even inadvertently funny because he/she said outrageous things. (I mean you, Republican guests.”)The guests were all intelligent, well-spoken, and pretty much dull.
John Legend was the guest for the interview. He was described as a musician/activist.  He spoke about music, voter suppression, and the need to improve education.
The panel included Chris Hayes, MSNBC anchor and author of Twilight of the Elites. I was glad to see Chris on the panel because he is a super wonk. If anybody started making false claims, he’d be there to slap them down with the facts. Then I could cheer from my perch on the couch, “Go, Chris, Go!”  But nobody said anything outrageous.
Zanny Milton Bedoes is the economic editor of “The Economist.”  She had the economy beat in this show.  She said that if the grown-ups (by which she meant reasonable people) would just have a conversation, they would reach agreement. Good comment, but tell me Zanny, where do we find a reasonable Republicans to have this conversation with.
She also said that taxes in the U.S. are the lowest since the 1950’s. She added Republicans don’t care about debt reduction; they just want lower taxes. I cheered from my couch, “Go, Zanny, Go!”
And last, and yes, least, we had John Ferhery, a former aide to the former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert.  (Didn’t he leave congress in disgrace?  He did. I just googled him. His crimes involved financially profiting from his acts in Congress.  He resigned midterm and became a lobbyist.  One might argue he was a lobbyist the whole time he was in office.)  John, your association with Hassert is not exactly something  to be proud of. Perhaps that is why he prefers to describe himself as a full-time pundit.
During overtime John was asked to compare Sarah Palin’s VP acceptance speech to Paul Ryan’s VP acceptance speech. What he didn’t say said more that what he did say.  He never mentioned Ryan. He said Palin gave a great speech four years ago and fact checkers found her speech to be mostly true. Ouch, Ryan, that gotta hurt. And from your own team, no less. 
John added that if Palin were serious about politics she would never have quit the governorship of Alaska midterm. She’s no longer a contender for any political office. She is just a pundit.
The final guest of the evening was Bob Costas, the sports announcer who was one of the main hosts of the Olympics. He famously asked Jerry Sandusky, if he was attracted to young boys during an interview.  Sandusky fumbled his answer badly.  Bill asked him if he were to interview Obama and Romney, would that be his first question to them also.  And that is a good example of the sharp Maher wit. 
Costa said that Romney’s interview with David Gregory on Meet the press (9/9/12) put him in Palin territory. (That was not meant as a compliment.) He was referring to Palin’s ability to talk and talk and say absolutely nothing.  He’s right about that. “Go, Bob, Go!" 
The topic turned to 9/11.  We just observed the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Bill said he objected to the way Jeb Bush, at the Republican National Convention, one of the few to even mention old W’s name, said “He kept us safe.”  Bill adds, “except for that one time.”  That’s exactly what I yell at the TV every time I hear that Bush kept us safe.  "Go, Bill, Go!" 
(Note to Bill:  It was more than that one time. Remember the anthrax attacks. Plus there were a few others that I can’t remember right now.) 
Bill said that if Al Gore had been president the Republicans would have shouted from the rooftops that Gore got us killed. There would have been no uniting behind the president. 
(Note to Bill:  If Al Gore had been president there would not have been a 9/11. The Clinton administration had foiled a few other attempted attacks. Further ,the Clinton/ Gore team had a plan to go after Al Qaeda. Bush ignored this plan when he came into office and did absolutely nothing, despite increasingly ”hair on fire” briefings by the CIA. Call me a “truther” if you want, but I believe W wanted the attacks to happen. I’m not saying he planned them, but he let them happen. I think he may have expected only a simple hijacking; I heard him say as much in an interview right after 9/11. He needed to shore up his popularity after stealing the election, and he needed an excuse to invade Iraq.)
Back to money.  In “New Rules” Bill says America’s favorite show is “Money Boo Boo."  He said the Democrats were right to leave God out of the platform, “It was a platform, not a spell.” Next he reported that Romney said he would never take “God” off our coins.  “No one is proposing to take God off our coins.”  He added that maybe Romney should say “I will not staple a silver dollar on my forehead,” or , and here is the-it's-going-to-get-vulgar moment of the week,“I will not shove a roll of dimes up my ass.” No one is proposing either of those actions either, although, now that he mentioned it ….
Bill talked about how Jesus kicked the money lenders out of the temple. And here is the it's- going-to-get-even-more-vulgar moment of the week: “He would have gone ape-shit on Bain.” He added that Romney doesn’t get his opinions about money from the New Testament, he gets them from the Cayman Islands. "Go, Bill, go!"
Bill said, “Our God is money. He concluded by saying that “free is the first part of freedom and the other part is “dumb.”
This picture from