Wednesday, July 3, 2013

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher #288 “It’s All Over”

by Catherine Giordano

HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”, episode 288, airing on June 28, 2013, was all over the place discussing things that we may or may not be over.

In the monologue, Bill mentioned the Supreme Court saying racism is over so we are fine with stripping protections from the Voting Rights Act. So now we can all get back to talking about the Trayvon Martin case and Paula Dean. (Pow!) And maybe Todd Aiken had it right—woman can shut down that whole thing—except Bill was taking about how Wendy Davis shut down the vote on restricting abortion in the Texas legislature. (Pow! Pow!) Ms Davis may run for governor of TX—Go for it Wendy. You are my hero.

The interview was with Anthony Leiserowitz from the Yale Project for Climate Change. Bill asked him if it was already all over with respect to climate change. Leiserowitz emphatically replied, “It is not too late.” He also pointed out that China is spending $65 billion on renewable energy, but the U.S. is only spending half that amount.  My opinion: It will be all over for the U.S. if we don’t stop being penny wise and pound foolish.

The panel included Dan Neil from the Wall Street Journal. I liked him a lot. He is very engaging and very knowledgeable. Speaking about the Supreme Court’s decision on voting rights he said, “I’m from South Carolina and Yes!, the South is more racist. Speaking about Texas immediately putting restrictive voting laws into effect, he said that the laws could get struck down eventually, but bad actors can do a lot of damage in the in the two to three years that it takes to get the laws changed.

Another panelist was Horace Cooper. He was identified as being from Monument Communications (a pr firm) and co-chairman of Project 21 (a cnervative group).They evidently forgot to mention that he pleaded guilty to a crime related to the Abramoff scandal. The man proved himself to be a despicable person during the course of the show. There are so many things I could point to show you just how evil this man is, but I only need a few. In the discussion about the death penalty, he smiled with delight when he said about those who are executed, “I’m glad they are going to meet their maker.”  In a discussion about climate change, he said, “I'm a denier and proud of it.” He also said that he is a “believer in Noah.” --whatever that means. He said that only 60% of the clean energy businesses that the government invested in were successful. Neil put him in his place, and gave us our “Sit-Down-and-Shut-Up” moment of the week when he said, “If you were on Wall Street, the sun would shine out of your ass if you had a 60% success rate.

The third panelist was Kristen Soltis, a Republican pollster. She was somewhere in the middle of the spectrum on the show. Nice enough, but not very noteworthy.

The special guest was Adrien Greener, the star of Entourage. He has made a documentary about the drug war. He said if everyone who used drugs went to prison, 50% of the country would be in prison. Then he added, “Except in your audience, it would be 100%.”  He is just as charming (and adorable) playing himself as he was playing Vincent Chase in Entourage. Bill Maher confessed to being a small time pot dealer in his youth.  A pot dealer who ever so little cheated his customers. He took a two pound buy (32 ounces) and made 33 one-ounce bags. Adrien replied, “That’s business.”  (Whatever happened to honr among theives? I'm a bit disheartened by this story and this response.)

Adrien pointed out how the drug war creates problems, corrupting the police, distracting the police from real criminals, and giving us a prison population that is 50% people convicted of drug “crimes” and only 8% people convicted of violent crimes. Bill mentioned that it is disproportionately black men who go to prison for drugs, and this is another method of voter supression since convicted felons can’t vote.  

The comedy segment was very good. Bill showed some inspirational posters that are often found in the workplace; for instance: Success is a journey and not a destination. Bill thought that there should be some more realistic posters. Here are a few of his suggestions.

           Imagination: Think of the alternative. You could be home with your family.

Hope: Maybe the terrorists will blow this shithole of an office sky high.

Teamwork: With your heroin and my cocaine, we might just get through this day.

Aim High: Tommy at the warehouse also deals weed.

The guests discussed gay rights “In San Francisco, the gays were dancing and kissing in the street, and then they heard about the Supreme Court’s decision,” Bill said in the monologue. Later, Bill quoted wannbe president Huckabee who said that Jesus wept over the decision. Bill said that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. He suggested Jesus was weeping because everyone cries at weddings. Cooper said it was a sin like overeating.  My response: Gluttony, a sin Cooper has obviously committed a lot, is one o he seven deadly sins, but being gay is not in that list.

I have this message for Cooper: Same sex marriage—like the right to choose—is the law of the land—get over it. I wonder when we will have to get a vaginal ultrasound to get married. That would stop gays from getting married in a hurry, although we’d need a different law for the lesbians.

In New Rules, Bill talked about the “Scold Wars."  It was about the Republican War on Women, specifically with respect to sex and abortion. Bill said, you should be able to by Plan B over the counter like milk ... and ammo. He talked about the HPV vaccine.  Republicans are against it because they think “HPV is God’s natural intended punishment for sluts who put out” and “HPV is the good kind of cancer that punishes hussies.”  

Republicans think that the HPV vaccine will make young people have sex.  “Yeah,” Bill said, “like when I got a tetanus shot, I couldn’t wait to jam rusty nails into my feet.” (In fact, studies show that the vaccinated kids are no more likely than the unvaccinated kids to have sex.)

Bill said that opposing the vaccine was like not giving kids umbrellas so you could stop the rain. He concluded with a story about ministers' daughters who give in to their boyfriends. “She gives in to him saying you can stick it in for a minute, not knowing that a teenaged boy couldn't last a minute if he tried.”

And with that the show was over.

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