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Saturday, October 5, 2013
HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher, #296, Shutdowns, Meltdowns, and Put-Downs
by Catherine Giordano
The government shutdown, political meltdowns, and American put-downs were
some of the subjects th,
John Boehner's drinking problem is lampooned
on Real Time with Bill Maher.
discussed on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”, episode
296, which aired on October 4, 2013
The Republicans have made themselves easy targets for put-downs because
as Bill Said, “ObamaCare” is a pill they cannot swallow.” Carl Reiner, author of a new memoir, I Remember Me, who was the special guest, said he is glad
Republicans named it ObamaCare because 20 years from now people will be saying
Obama gave us health care. And in the segment I am calling “Americans Being
Stupid”—man-in-the- street interviews by documentarian Alexandra Pelosi—a woman said she thought Obama had a lot of gall
to name it after himself. In a comment to last week's review, Twerking It," I
made the point that we should call the new healthcare law by its real name “The
Affordable Care Act (ACA) and not “ObamaCare.” This idiotic comment convinced me that I was right
about calling it the ACA.
Alexandra Pelosi, whose most recent documentary is Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip had a few other stupid comments
from Americans about the ACA, for instance, it’s to insure illegal aliens and
there are death panels, but the best of the lot was the woman who said, “It is
a chip implanted inside your skin.” When
Pelosi asked her if she really believed that, the woman implied that Pelosi was
stupid, “I don’t know how you don’t know about it.” This was the “I-don’t- know-whether-to-laugh-or-cry”
moment of the week.
By the way, the ACA is looking like it is going to be very
successful. Millions of people rushed to
the websites during the first week to try to sign up. Unfortunately, the demand
was so great, they crashed some of the websites. People who do not have health
insurance from their employers can get it or as low as $40 a month if they
qualify for subsidies based on their income. And, they can’t be refused because
of a pre-existing condition.
The interview was with bioethicist Dr.
Ezekiel Emanuel, who has authored several books dealing with bio-ethics and
whose most recent book is Brothers Emanuel : A Memoir of an American Family (His brothers are Rahm Emanuel,
mayor of Chicago, and Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood superagent who was the model for Ari
in the TV series Entourage),
predicted that people will like the ACA. He explained that if 7 million enroll
and at least 2.7 million are young people, the program will be a success. He pointed out that we now pay a hidden tax of
about $1000 a year because we have to pay for the uninsured who get free care
in emergency rooms and the cost of that gets built into the cost of
healthcare. Bill asked him if the ACA
was the first step towards single-payer. Emanuel flat-out said, “No, it is a
subsidy to buy insurance.” Emanuel comes
across as super smart and super nice, and unlike his brothers, very laid back.
Another panel member was Suzy
Khimm, an MSNBC reporter. She wasn’t very exciting, but a least she gave us
facts and didn’t speak in clichés. She pointed out that whatever their feelings
about the ACA, 72% of Americans did not want the government shut down over it. Khimm
said that people want to have the debate about the ACA, they just don’t want
the government shut down while we have that debate. Reiner said we should shut
down every Republican who shut down the government in the next election.
The live wire of the panel was Alan
Grayson, the congressman from Florida. He had a few zingers, but he spoke
them calmly (in line with the apparent new politeness policy at Real Time.) He
called Republican rhetoric about using freedom as a reason to take down the AFC
act a fraud. “They want employers to have veto power over contraceptives for
female employees. How is that freedom?”
Then he told Kibbe flat out “You’re wrong.”
(Someone had to say it.) Bill said, “It’s like match.com.” You go to the
exchanges and you find the one who is right for you.”
Republicans hatred of the ACA is why we have a government
shutdown. By now all of you know that their
opposition is not because of any of their stated reasons—it’s because people
are going to like it and it will be another government program like Social
Security and Medicare that they will never be able to get rid of. Bill reported
that Fox News is calling the shut-down a slim-down. (Yeah, starving kids will
slim down now that programs that help them get food are shut down.)
Grayson said that there are three parties in the Republican Party—the
corporate shills, the religious fanatics, and the freedom thieves who say you
have the freedom to sleep under a bridge. Bill said there are four
factions—Jesus-freaks, Gun-nuts, fat- suburbanites, and the super-rich. That was
the "pulling-no-punches" moment of the week.
Bill asked about the rumors that there is a lot of drinking going on in
DC right now. Grayson confirmed it, saying
there needed to be a chapter of AA for
Republicans in DC. (I’m burned up about that—remember Nero fiddling while Rome
burned—Republicans are out partying while the country suffers the effects of
shut down. Government employees are being forced to work without pay. Some Republicans refused to forego their paychecks
during the shutdown saying “I need the money.” I hope they are not spending it
all on drink.)
Bill said that one of the biggest drinkers is John Boehner. (He has long had a reputation for being a
lush.) The mid-show comedy segment was all about Boehner drunk tweeting.
·Hanging with the only three people I trust—Jack Daniels,
Captain Morgan, and Jim Beam
·The government is shut down and so is my liver
·I went to ObamaCare and signed up as Mike Hunt
In New Rules, Bill put-down a whole swath of Americans. The segment was
called “Slob Rule.” He sarcastically
said, “When you leave the house we can see you.” He’s spoken about this before. It is the
broken window theory: Fix the little things and the big things will
follow. “It about pride” and “Even the
elephant man wore a suit.” I guess he
means that if people took a little more pride in their appearance and dressed
nicer, they wouldn’t be as stupid as the people Pelosi showed in her interviews
that aired at the beginning of the show. It’s a stretch, but maybe.
I thought it was a weak ending and a poor choice for a week when the
government is shut down, the world economy could melt-down if the debt ceiling
is not raised, and Republicans in Washington are oozing hypocrisy and
delivering lies and put-downs instead of solutions, and all Bill wants to talk
about is how people shouldn’t dress like slobs.
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