Saturday, October 13, 2012

HBO Real Time with Bill Maher #262 “This Thing Called Facts”

“Real Time with Bill Maher” episode #262 aired on Friday October 12, 2012.  I’m naming this episode “This Thing Called Facts."  During the show Bill said, “We have this thing called facts.”  With guests like Ann Coulter and Darrell Issa, it’s hard to get a fact in edgewise. 

Bill’s opening monologue was a little weak this week.  He began by asking Republicans to stop the whining.  He said that you can tell Biden won the debate because of all the whining the Republicans are doing.  (I heard that line all day Friday by every commentator who is not on Fox, so the line was a little “stale” by the time Bill get around to it.)  However, Bill redeemed the cliché with a quip, “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to interrupt someone when he’s lying.” 

Have you noticed that there is no longer any hesitancy on either side of the political divide to call someone a liar? We used to use euphemisms (He doesn’t have that exactly right) or evasions (That’s for the American people to decide). I think it was Republican Congressman Joe Walsh from Illinois who broke the barrier when he yelled, “You lie!” right in the middle of the President’s State of the Union address. (According to the polls, Joe is not doing so well in his re-election bid—9 points behind his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth. If he loses, I’ll consider that payback.) 

Ann Coulter was the guest for the interview, so we had very little facts and lots of lies. She said that anyone who voted for Obama is a racist. She thinks they voted for Obama because of guilt over their racism. She said that only non-racists like her could feel free to vote Republican. LOL. Pul-eeze, does she think anyone actually believes her?  I don’t think it matters to her. She makes her living by being way-over-the-top outrageous. 

She then topped herself with an even more outrageous statement.  President Obama is the most liberal president ever.  (As a liberal, I can only say, “If only.”)  Bill was incredulous.  Obama is a Rockefeller Republican, he said. He asked Ann if she thought Obama was more liberal than FDR.  Since Ann cares not a whit for facts and truth, she insisted that Obama was the most liberal president ever.

BTW, this is my “I-can’t-resist-being-catty" moment of the week. Coulter looks terrible. Most concentration camp survivors came out of the camps with more meat on their bones than she has. She has long blond hair hanging down nearly to her knees.(OK, I exaggerate.)  I think her hair weighs more that she does.  She wore a low-cut, tight-fitting mini-dress and kept tossing her hair. I guess she thinks she looks sexy. Actually, she is a rather homely woman, and her get-up just makes her look like she is trying to hard. (Also, her voice is so screechy and gating—I think she wins arguments by puncturing people’s eardrums.) 

I groaned when I saw that Darrell Issa was on the panel.  That man reminds me of a junkyard dog.  He always has his back up, his teeth bared, and a low growl rumbling within his throat. Issa wasted not a moment before launching his attack on Obama over the incident in Libya where a mob killed Ambassador Stevens and others.  Another panelist, the actor/director Ben Affleck, who is always an intelligent addition to the panel, pointed out that Issa was just casting around for something to blame on Obama.  He pointed out that bad things happen all the time. 

Every time anyone called Issa out on his “facts” and lies, he just moved on to another point. Finally, the hero of the night, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, jumped in. He silenced the panel when he said “I’m the only one here who has lived in Libya.”  He explained how chaotic allegiances are in Libya and how it was very unlikely that this incident could have been predicted and prevented. He concluded by saying, “It does no one any good to have a Salem witch hunt.” 

Schweitzer is a charming, amiable, and very likeable person. He is coming to the end of of his second term as governor. I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope he will remain in public service. Schweitzer, a Democrat, faced a Republican legislature. He had to use his veto power a lot. But here is what I especially love about him—his flair.  He had the name of the bill inscribed on a board, he had a branding iron with the word “veto” on it. Then he’d take his props out into the public square and brand the bills with his veto.  Now that is flair. 

Bill did a great bit for his mid-show comedy bit. He pointed out that Sarah Palin, realizing that she has no future in politics, is writing an exercise book. He proposed some titles for other famous politicos who might want to write an exercise book.

            “Raising Dumbbells”  -- Sarah Palin’s father
            “Keep Your Chin Up” -- Mitch McConnell
            “Lie your Ass Off” -- Mitt Romney
            “Five Minute Marathon” – Paul Ryan
            “Pumping the Help” -- Arnold Schwarzenegger
            “Buy Bigger Pants”-- Chris Christie
My second “I-can’t-resist-being-catty” moment of the week: Every time I see that man—Chris Christie-- on TV, I fall back into my chair flabbergasted.  We had a tree here in Florida, about 3,500 years old, named “The Senator.” (It recently burned down).  I think Christie’s girth is greater that the girth of that tree.
Coulter tried to explain away her now-famous remark, “If we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will get the nomination and we’ll lose.”  Since she now goes around saying that Romney will win, she has to side-step the fact that she called him a loser. She joked, “I ran off with a biker, but now I’ve come home.” Get it! Coulter is making an analogy. She is the foolish housewife who had a fling with a sexy rebel, but now she’s mended her ways, and returned to her boring husband. Christie is the biker; Romney is the boring husband.  I buy Romney as the boring husband, but Christie as a biker!? Come on.  There isn’t a “hog” big enough for that man. (I warned you, I was going to be catty.)
Sheila Bair, a Republican former chairman of the FDIC, was the second featured guest.  Even though she is a Republican, she is not supporting Mitt Romney.  She said she was for John Huntsman.  Smart woman.  I said throughout the primaries that Huntsman was the only worthy candidate of the bunch.  (He never got above 1% in the primaries.  Republicans don’t like credible qualified candidates.) 
Bill got back to his point about facts in the “New Rules” segment.  He said that when someone gets it wrong, in a big and public way, when the facts come out, shouldn’t that someone have to at least apologize.
Donald Trump never took “the walk of shame” over his birther nonsense—in fact, he is still proclaiming this foolishness to anyone who will listen (e.g Fox News  hosts and viewers).
George W. Bush was wrong about WMD, but paid no penalty for getting it wrong, so very painfully wrong. (The pain being the blood and treasure this nation, and the world, paid in the Iraq War.) 
Reagan said that Medicare would destroy our freedom.  It is now one of the most successful and popular programs in the country.  (That is why I don’t, and you shouldn’t, listen to Republican cries of doom about ObamaCare.  It’s baseless.  In the Overtime segment, Ben Affleck predicted the program will be very popular once it is fully implemented.) 
Bill concluded “New Rules” by reminding us of what Biden said during the debates, “Use your common sense!”
Common sense requires a little thing called facts. Learn the facts. Then apply your common sense.

This picture of Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana came from

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