Monday, August 5, 2013

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher #292 “Frankly Speaking”

By Catherine Giordano

Jay Z was Maher's guest on 08/03/13.
This is a picture of his new album, Magna Carta, Holy Grail 

Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 292, aired on August 2, 2013 began with the Monologue as usual taking shots at the usual suspects.
 
·        Congress repealed Obama care for the 40th time.  Bill wanted to know if you can file a restraining order against Congress. 
·         Russia is hosting the next winter Olympics and Putin is so anti-gay that figure skating has been cancelled.
·       The Pope said that gay Catholics shouldn’t be marginalized.  “Who am I to judge?, the Pope said. Bill said that it show that when people get to know gays as friends and co-workers, prejudice against them falls away. And who has more gay friends and co-workers than the pope.
 
·         Ariel Castro was sentences to life in prison for the kidnapping of the three young women in Cleveland.  Bill joked that Castro said, “It’s a personal matter and should not influence my candidacy for mayor.” There were more Anthony Weiner jokes throughout the hour.  I’m getting tired of Anthony Weiner jokes.  Anthony Weiner needs to go away.
The interview was with Larry Miller, a comedian who recently cracked his head open in an accident. He was in a coma for 10 days. It was a close call. He told the story about how his wife lost it one night, and went out on the balcony to yell at God. She said, “Take him or cure him, but I can’t go on this way any longer.” The next morning she went to the hospital and found out that her husband had come out of his coma at just the moment that she yelled those words. Here Bill, so anxious to put down any supernatural claims, stepped on Miller’s joke. Finally, Miller was able to conclude, “The doctor said that the wives always yell at God. But this is the first time that it worked.” 
 
The guests were Josh Barlow, a contributor to The Nation magazine, Alexis Goldstein, from Occupy Network and Barney Frank, former Congressman from Massachusetts.  I titled this review “Frankly Speaking” in honor of Barney Frank who can always be counted on to speak frankly. (Also because comments and  jokes about “Pope Frank, the atheist,” as Bill calls him, were plentiful.)

The conversation began with a discussion of the Rand Paul and Chris Christie verbal “slap fight”. Barney Frank said he was taking Christie’s side because he has “a soft spot for rude fat guys.”  (Frank is hefty, but nowhere near the size of Christie and Frank’s barbs are done with wit, Christie is just a bully.)  

The question came up about Christie’s potential race for president. Would his governance match his rhetoric?. Barlow looked to be on Christie’s side saying that you don’t know what he will do. For instance, Bush promised us a humble foreign policy, and look what he did. This not exactly a good way to defend Christie—it implies that, like Bush, he will be worse that he promised.

Bill took issue with Goldstein about the Occupy movement for not becoming a political force, a voting block, like the Tea party. Goldstein said the movement wasn’t about running for political office it was about calling attention to issues. And besides the tea party hasn’t accomplished anything—all they do is obstruct. This riled Frank, “Yes,” he said, “and all Cain did was murder Abel.” Frank had to fight that obstructionism everyday while in Congress—she hit a sore spot.

For the remainder of the show Frank “schooled” Goldstein.  He lectured her and demolished her arguments. Goldstein was out of her depth.

The comedy segment dealt with predictions for newspaper headlines over the next five weeks while “Real Time” is on hiatus. Some of the headlines were

·         Huma Abedin files for divorce citing irreconcilable douchebaggery

     ·         Bloomberg bans dirty limericks in bars

·         Bugler jury shot to death. Police suspect mass suicide
 
·         Cleveland police find teen kidnapped ten years ago chained in front yard under a giant spotlight
 
·         Pope Francis moves to Massachusetts; marries long-time companion

The special guest was Jay Z. His new album is Magna Carta, Holy Grail. What a class act. A soft-spoken self-effacing man, billed as an entrepreneur who raps a little. Bill noted that one of the songs in his new album said to question religion. 
 
The conversation moved to police and the plight of the poor especially Arican American poor. Jay Z said that the middle class was disappearing and this would bring trouble down on America. 

Goldstein complained about the police (as might be expected given the police brutality in Zocatti Park during its “occupation.”  She said the police should stop and frisk young white men in the Wall Street area—they are all carrying tons of cocaine.  Frank said, African Americans don’t’ want to reduce the police presence; they need protection, they just want better a behaved police force.

Bill said that the pope was doing a better job moving his party into the future than Republicans. Frank quipped, “he doesn’t have a primary.” Bill and Frank agreed that we seem to have government by temper tantrum, and that the general electorate that votes in November has to punish “the crazies” who win the Republican primaries.

The new Rules final segment was about Citizen’s United.  Sheldon Adelmen allowing rich guys to have extreme power. Sheldon Adelman spent a total of $150 million dollars trying to defeat Obama. North Carolina has taken a hard turn to the right because Art Pope (who is a “Koch brother by another mother” who earned his money by inheriting it from his father) has outsized influence.  He said it was time for the liberals to pony up because it is no longer our ideas against their ideas and our base against their base.  He made a show of trying to think of someone, but it was clear he had Jay Z in mind.  This was the “you-talking-to-me” moment of the week.

Bill suggested that Spielberg could take over Wyoming and put E.T. on the state flag; Tyler Perry could take over Montana and be both of the senators from the state and make Madea governor; and how about gay marriage in Oprahoma.

Frankly speaking, I’m going to really miss this show while it is on hiatus for five weeks.
 
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