Wednesday, October 16, 2013

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher #297 "Time for Thorazine"

By Catherine Giordano
Jesus and Satan duke it out on New Rules

It was time for Thorazine on October 11, 2013 on episode #297 of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Nobody is ever going to stifle Chris Matthews and the two conservatives, Jim Glassman and Carol Roth were quite the extroverts as well. Bill had to threaten them with Thorazine to get them to calm down.The panel was a bit raucous. 

Maybe a dose of Thorazine would do us all some good. Congress is a hot mess and I’m really scared about what this means for our country and for me, in particular.  Rising interest rates, dropping-like-a-stone stock markets--forget the Thorazine. I may need something a little stronger, like arsenic.

Bill called out Republicans in Congress in his monologue. He said that at Thanksgiving they go around the table and everybody says what they are hateful for. He said that  they don’t believe in evolution , they don’t believe in global warming, and now they think defaulting on the nation’s debt is a good thing—the moron trifecta. Then Bill added that the Republicans have said (and yes, this is true) “We are standing up for an important principle and as soon as we figure out what it is, we will let you know.”

The interview was with Maya Wiley, a civil rights attorney and president of the Center for Social Inclusion. She said that saying the government shutdown is a good thing is like saying to the homeless, “You are saving so much money on rent. Aren’t you lucky.”

She said that the Republicans in Congress just don’t care about the people who are working two 40-hour-a-week jobs and they still can’t make it. The minimum wage needs to rise. By a lot. And soon. Bill said that the war on poverty has become the war on the poor. People have already done all the belt-tightening they can do. I agree. I know I have.

Bill began his discussion with the panel by mentioning data from the latest polls; 53% blame Republicans for the shut down and only 24% have a favorable opinion of Republicans. Jim Glassman is the founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute and the author of several books (which got very poor reviews). He’s also a fan of Ron Paul. But his 20-20 hindsight is good--he said the Republicans chose the wrong cause. Their focus should have been on cutting spending and not on gutting the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Carol Roth, an MSNBC correspondent, agreed and said that if they had they just held off, they could have used the glitchy opening of the program as an excuse to delay it. Neither one of these two did themselves much good on the show.

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s evening news show, Hardball with Chris Matthews and the author of Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked  broke in: “This is ridiculous. When Apple can’t handle the demand for a new product, it’s called a success.” Exactly, the only problem with the ACA right now is that too many people are trying to buy the insurance.  Republicans never know when to quit so Matthews had to chime in again: “If the airplane is an hour late, you don’t get rid of the airplane.”  Bill added that the ACA is working very well in blue states; the troubles are mostly in red states where it is being sabotaged.

Carol Roth is the typical Republican air-head. She says ridiculous things just to be provocative. She’s a brunette Ann Coulter, only younger and prettier. Bill referred to Roth as a Republican. She promptly denied it saying indignantly, “I’m an Independent.” Bill allowed her to get away with it, saying that she leaned Republican. But Republicans never know when to quit, so she said “It depends on the day.”  “What about today?” Bill asked.” “I’ll decide at the end of the show,” she shot back. This is the “who–do-you-think-you’re-fooling” moment of the show.

It also makes me wonder why MSNBC hires these conservative airheads. You won’t see any liberals on Fox. But then MSNBC is not a liberal network the way Fox is a conservative network. I think it is the smart-people-telling-the-truth network.  Maybe they need a few airheads just for contrast.

Glassman did the typical Republican trick of changing the subject when he was cornered. Bill said that the Republicans did not have a coherent strategy. So Glassman changed the subject. I don’t understand Obama’s foreign policy strategy. The best- defense-is-a-good-offense I guess, but it was so transparent. And then he goes way over the top. “I don’t think winning WW II was a joke,” he said. No one said it was.  Please Glassman, if you don’t have a response, just shut up.

Talking about the debt ceiling, Matthews brought his wit to bear once again. Glassman was saying the country doesn’t need to raise the debt ceiling—no one knows for sure that economic disaster will ensue.  Matthews retorted, “Let’s find out what it is like to be dead. No one actually knows what that feels like either.” And, Roth made another stupid comment saying the United States credit rating was downgraded after the last debt ceiling brinkmanship games because the U.S. had too much debt. Absolutely false! It was clearly stated by S & P that it was because of concern about whether the U.S. might default in the future considering how close they came, averting default by mere hours. And now the U.S. has had its credit rating downgraded again. This means that the U.S. has to pay higher interest to borrow—billions more.  Way to go Republicans! Tell me again how you want to reduce the deficit.

Oliver Stone, the movie producer who has a new documentary coming out, The Untold History of the United States, was the special guest. He had some very interesting things to say about the U.S. using the atom bomb against Japan in WW II. He said that Japan probably would not have lasted more than two weeks, the bomb was unnecessary, but a lot of money had been spent developing it so it had to be used.

The mid-show comedy segment was about campaign posters for the next Congressional race when new Republican crazies have to prove themselves crazier than the current Republican crazies. “Read my gums. No more food stamps.” The segment was not all that funny, except maybe for the last one. “I can do this job providing that it is not within 500 feet of a school or daycare.”

The final New Rules segment was titled “Raptures Delight.” Bill began, “If you think we are living in the end times, we get to take the car keys. Next year’s budget doesn’t concern you.”  His target was Michelle Bachman. Bill said, “If Jesus is coming back, it will be the first man that Michelle ever saw coming.”  (Ouch!”) 

But it is not just Bachman. It is Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court justice. He believes that the devil is a real person who is running around trying to get people to not believe in God. “Bachman and Scalia are the exact same moron, but Scalia gets to interpret our laws.”  Bill reported that Scalia said they you don’t see the devil around very much, not like during Biblical times when he was everywhere. Why, because the devil has gotten wilier!.  Are you laughing yet? This would be funny, if it was a joke, but it isn’t. 

People who believe that the world is divided between good and evil--and the evil is winning--can’t ever compromise. How can you compromise with evil?  And these are the people who are running our country.  It’s enough to make me say ‘God help us.”  Now where did I put that Thorazine?

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