Friday, June 21, 2013

Real Time with Bill Maher #286 “True Confessions”

by Catherine Giordano

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 286, airing on June 14, 2013 opened with a scathing monologue on the topic of Syria. Bill commented on Obama’s decision to arm the rebels in Syria.  He said, I voted for Obama so he could carry out McCain’s  ideas.”  The he said, “Using chemicals to harm people.  Who does Assad think he is? Monsanto?”  He topped it off with “Assad can kill as many people as he wants with guns…just like in our schools.” 

Bill also joked about Pope Francis’ comment about a gay network in the Vatican. He said that it sounded like a show for Bravo, “The Real Homosexuals of Vatican City.”  I say, the Pope is just “fessing up” to what everyone already knows.

The interview was with former Rhode Island Representative, Patrick Kennedy, who is the co-founder of “One Mind for Research.” He advocates for mental health being treated the same as physical health by health insurance companies. I wholeheartedly agree. But then he got off on a passionate diatribe about marijuana, saying it destroys the brain. No one says things like that around Bill who is passionate about legalizing marijuana. Kennedy says if marijuana was legal kids would use it. Bill countered that because kids might use it, adults can’t use it?  (Remember cigarettes and alcohol are illegal for those under 18, but adults can purchase these drugs legally.) I seem to remember Kennedy having some substance abuse problems, and as the saying goes, there is no one more self-righteous than a reformed drunk.

The panel included Niall Ferguson, a professor of history at Harvard; Jonathan Alter, a journalist, and KellyAnne Conway, a Republican political strategist.

The conversation included a discussion about the NSA collecting metadata on communications. Alter said that “if you are looking for a needle, you need to a haystack.” Very apt analogy. Fergusan said, “Terrorism is a new kind of threat. It is hard to fight a network.” Conway said about the controversy, “It is a conversation we need to have.”

I’m so tired of hearing of this conversation. The “spying” is being done legally with judicial oversight (unlike during the Bush years when it was done illegally). It has already prevented numerous attacks. No one is listening to our conversations. The NSA is simply looking for patterns, connecting the dots you might say.

Besides there is no privacy anymore. Bill said, “We live in an age where people don’t care about privacy anymore.”  He said the popularity of “Confession Signs” proved it. It started with pets—someone would  post a picture of their dog with the sign “I pee on the rug.”  But now it has been extended to people. He made up some confession signs for celebrities for the mid show comedy bit. For instance:

            Will Smith                              “I Didn’t See After Earth either.”

            Kate Middleton                      “Downton Abbey is my porn name.”

            Darell Issa                             “I got nothing.”

            Pope Francis                        “I totally voted for myself.”

The one about Darell Issa was the “so-true-but-so-never-gonna-happen” moment of the week.

 The special guest was Josh Fox, a filmmaker who made the documentaries “Gasland” and “Gasland II.” He talked about fracking (obtaining natural gas by fracturing rock) being an “absolute nightmare. It leaks methane into the air worsening global warming.  (Methane is much more potent than CO2.) It contaminates underground water. Ferguson insulted Fox, telling him he was exaggerating the harm because he was a film-maker.  When the others tried to refute him, he got red-faced angry. “Cheap shot.” he yelled. Clearly, he is one of those people who can dish it out but can’t take it. I wish someone would post his picture somewhere with a confession sign attesting to this.
In New Rules, Bill remarked that Rubio is insisting the immigrants learn English.  He thought this was pandering from the guy who delivered the state of the union response in Spanish, who used Spanish language campaign ads, and who published his book in Spanish. Bill added, “Tell me the Spanish word for ‘hypocrite.’”

Bill concluded with an attack on Congressional lifers. There are so many 80 and 90 year olds in Congress. “Congressmen suck at their job because they can’t lose their jobs.” (Gerrymandered districts.) “There are only three ways to leave office,” Bill said. “Die in office, leave to become a lobbyist, tweet a picture of their dick.”  “We have Weekend at Bernie’s government.”

So true.

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