Sunday, November 11, 2012

HBO “Real Time with Bill Maher” #266 “It’s Odd”

By Catherine Giordano

Last week Bill Maher said that if Obama is elected America wins and if Romney is elected comedy wins. Well Obama was elected and America won, but comedy is still alive and well on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The episode airing on 11/09/2012, episode 266, had lots of great comedy moments. I’m going to name this episode “It’s Odd.” Read on, and you’ll see why.  

Bill began with a funny monologue. (Actually doesn’t everything seem funnier now that the pall of a Republican win no longer hovers over us?)  Bill said “Mormon has broken and we are black in the saddle again.”  Puns may be the lowest form of humor, but this one rocked. 

Talking about Mormons, Romney got a lower percentage of the Mormon vote than Bush did. Romney also lost all of his home states (Massachusetts where he currently lives, Michigan where he grew up, New Hampshire where he has a summer home, and California where he has another home.) As has been stated many times, the people who know Romney best, like him least.  P.S. He also lost Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin. It's odd when candidates lose their home states.

Bill also made a joke about the Secret Service dropping protection as soon as the election was called. Romney arrived in a 15-car Secret Service motorcade, and went home in the back seat of his son’s car.  

OK, now I’m just piling on. Buh Buh bye, Romney. I hope he finally disappears from public life--maybe goes to live with his money in the Cayman Islands--so I never have to look at his ugly face again. Yes, I know, he has movie-star good-looks, but he has an ugly soul. Somewhere, in an attic someplace, a Dorian Gray-like portrait shows him looking like something from “The Crypt.”    

The interview was with Mason Tvert the co-director of “The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.” Marijuana won on election night too. Several states, including Colorado, have moved marijuana closer to full legality. Mason told Bill to make a generous donation to his group (referencing Bill’s $1 million dollar donation to Obama) and he would move to California and make MJ totally legal there. Bill promised to do so.  Medical marijuana is already legal in California, but people shouldn’t have to come up with medical conditions just because they want to get high.  

In Colorado, the marijuana referendum got more votes than Obama did. Maybe Obama got elected on marijuana’s coattails. 

The panel included Andrew Sullivan, who writes The Dish’ for the “The Daily Beast”. Sullivan is an odd duck. He describes himself as a political conservative, but he is increasingly at odds with the Republican party. He’s a Catholic, but he is also openly gay.  

Another panelist, James Carville, a Democratic political strategist and CNN contributor is not so much an odd duck as just plain odd. He’s a funny guy, a fierce Democrat, and he speaks his mind straight out. 

The third panelist was S. E. Cupp. a columnist for the New York Daily News and is a co-host for the “The Cycle” on MSNBC. This woman just has odd opinions. For instance, on “Overtime” she said that Obama has the same foreign policy as Bush and that Obama’s actions in Libya (where we had no boots on the ground) equates to Bush’s undeclared war in Iraq. Everybody started yelling at once when she said that, and any hope for reasoned debate was gone. It’s odd, isn’t it, how conservatives always say the most outrageous things in order to avoid serious debate. I do not like this woman. I wonder if she has a portrait in an attic someplace.  

Talking about outrageous statements from conservatives, consider this one from Bill O’Reilly, a Fox News host. Maher mentioned that O’Reilly commented on Obama’s win by saying “50% of the people in this country want stuff.”  And the Democrats promise to give them stuff.” (He was echoing Romney’s infamous 47% comment and the Republican “takers vs. makers” comments.)  “Yeah”, Bill said, referencing ObamaCare, “they don’t want their little girl to die of leukemia.”  Bill went on to point out an odd fact: The blues states (where “the takers” supposedly live) subsidize the red states. Yes, the blue states pay more in taxes than they get back in federal aid, while the reverse is true in the red states. 

Andrew Sullivan pointed out that health care was originally a Republican idea.  He described Republicans as “completely nuts.”  

The talk turned to reproductive rights and Todd Akin. Andrew Sullivan said that Catholics believe human life starts at conception.  Bill interjected, “At erection!”  

Cupp said that the Democrats message to women is that they can’t survive without government.  Again, Cupp was being so outrageous that everyone started screaming at her, and she just kept talking louder and shriller. Bill had to interrupt and change the subject. 

James Carville pointed out that “Never have so few, spent so much to effect so few.”  He was referring to the hundreds of millions that Repubican billionaires donated to Super Pacs and how just about none of their candidates won. They got about a 1% return on their investment. Obama won, the Dems gained 2 seats in the Senate and a bunch of house seats. Republicans retained control of the House only because of gerrymandering. 

This was a great segue for Bill’s “In Memorium” segment.  He ran through the list of the politically “deceased”—McMahon, Morris, Koch Brothers, Murdock, Walsh, West, Sununu, the dressage horse, Brown, Akin, the empty chair, Trump, Rove, Romney-- and ended with “Farewell Douchebags.”  This was the “you-had-to-be-there” moment of the week. It doesn’t sound that funny when I write it, but if you watch the bit, it is hilarious.

The special guest was Samuel L. Jackson, an actor. Bill suggested that the election of Obama to a second term was even better than if he had just been elected once.  If he had not been re-elected, it would have been like saying “Ok, we tried” but it just didn’t work out.  

Cupp went to the Republican argument about the liberal media not taking the president to task. Carville retorted that Republicans never take responsibility. “Who prepped him?” he said referring to Romney. They blame Candy (the moderator of the second debate), but he stepped in it. Carville has it right. Conservatives live in “the bubble;” they refuse to believe facts (like polls), and so they lost. 

Andrew Sullivan talked about Romney and how Romney said that he knows how to run things, but Romney couldn’t even run get-out-the-vote efforts. Odd isn’t it, how this supposedly great businessman who claimed he knew how to run a country couldn’t even run a campaign. Obama was mocked for being a community organizer. True, he didn’t make a lot of money, but he learned how to get out the vote. Thank you Sullivan for saying on national TV what I have been saying throughout this campaign. Romney ran a bad convention and campaign; Obama ran his convention and campaign successfully. So who showed the country that he knew how to run things?   

Bill brought up the government report that showed that lower tax rates for the top incomes does not create jobs.  Clinton raised taxes and created 22 million jobs, GWB lowered taxes and created only 1 million jobs. (And “The Great Recession”.)  

New Rules. 

Nate Silver was right, Fox News was wrong. Next time, Fox News talks about polls, they should cut to a shot of Sarah Palin winking. 
Ted Nugent said that if Obama won he (Nugent) would be either dead or in jail. “Sounds like a plan to me,” Bill said.
Donald Trump-if you had a golden retriever who howled like that, had a mangy coat and fat deposits like that, the phrase your vet would use is, “the kindest thing to do …”

Bill closed with a riff about white people only voting for white people. Obama got only 39% of the white vote for his re-election. Obama has won an election four times. The only time he won the white vote was when he ran against another black guy. Do you find that odd?
 James Carville cracking up over a joke by Bill Maher.

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