Thursday, November 7, 2013

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher #299 “Spoofs and Spooks”

By Catherine Giordano

Debbie Wasserman -Shultz
HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”, #299, aired on Halloween (Friday 10/31) or as Bill called it, “the atheist Christmas.” In the monologue, Bill commented that a lot of the Christian holidays are linked to the occult as opposed to the actual Christmas which is linked to

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Bill also mentioned the flap over health insurers cancelling “junk policies.”  This gives the right a chance to proclaim that Obama is a liar because he said, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” Bill brought up all the lies G. W. Bush told while president (like the lies about WMD), and said, "Well, those were OK--they were white lies.”

Keeping with the Halloween theme, my favorite spooky witch of the right, Ann Coulter was the guest for the interview. The coultergeist had a new book to flog: Never Trust a Liberal Over 3-Especially a Republican. (Buy it used—I don’t want to help put even a penny in her pocket.) Her long blonde hair was softly curled—a more flattering style than her usual long straight hair flopping down to her hips. But that dress—was it a Halloween costume? The dress drew bull’s eye’s around each breast. I think she must have had some work done or perhaps just a lot of help from Victoria’s Secret, because she usually looks very flat-chested. I won’t bother to report anything she said because it’s not worth mentioning, but I will point out that she giggled like a teen-aged girl throughout the interview.

Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the Congresswoman from Florida, and author of
For the Next Generation: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation's Problems, was fierce in defending Obama and Democrats in general. She said that Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance was not a lie because he was referring to the 95% who have employer-provided health insurance. Furthermore, from what I have heard, almost all of the people who have had their insurance cancelled were able to get better coverage at lower cost through the ACA. And I’ll add one more thing about these cancellations—it is very self-serving for the insurance companies who would like to see the ACA fail so they can go back to gouging consumers.    

Another guest, Neil de Grasse Tyson, everyone’s favorite astrophysicist and author of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, opined that 10 years from now all the ACA problems “won’t even be a footnote.”  (By the way, Tyson has a lot of books—one more interesting than the next. I’ve put them all on my wish list—hint hint to anyone wanting to get me a gift.) 

The mid-show comedy segment was a spoof about posters for health insurance that you might see in various states. 

            TX:      Because we all get shot sooner or later. Get covered.
            WV:     Because my sister caught me with m other sister. 

            FL:      Because shit here always gets weird 

            DC:     Because you never know where you will run into Chris Brown

Bill introduced a new topic to the conversation, bringing up Ted Cruz senior, a really spooky kook, who recently went on an embarrassing rant revealing to all where Ted Cruz junior learned his nastiness. Bill remarked that Democrats have absent fathers, like Clinton and Obama, but Republicans have father issues, like Bush, Romney, and Cruz. 

Ann Coulter tried to explain away Daddy Cruz’s nutty remarks by saying he was only joking. That is really a stretch even for liar-liar-pants- on-fire Ann Coulter. Bill countered that Republican jokes are never funny because the underlying premise is wrong. For instance, we can make a joke about Sarah Palin being stupid because everyone knows she is an air-head, but if you try to say that about Nancy Pelosi, it falls flat.

Women in politics was another topic of conversation. Everyone was for it, not just Wasserman-Shultz who would like to have more female colleagues in Congress. Tyson was a big fan of the idea, saying, “Women outnumber men. Let’s do it. Women can put women in office. Vote all the men out and the women in.”  

Another panel member, Rob Reiner, co-author with Norman Lear of The Princess Bride: A Celebration (a book commemorating the 25th anniversary of the film), spoke about Hillary. He said, “If Hillary ran we would have the single most qualified person ever to run for president.”

The interview was with Rob Lowe who plays JFK on the television adaption of Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot. (If you want to buy that book, make sure you buy it used. I don’t want to help put even one penny in that man’s pocket.) Lowe spoke about his friendship with John Jr.  Lowe appeared on the last cover of John Jr.’s magazine, George.

There as a discussion of John Kennedy’s achievements—the space program that put a man on the moon, how Kennedy inherited the Bay of Pigs, how he tried to pull back the CIA, but couldn’t and now the intelligence agencies are out of control.

Wassermann–Schultz strongly favors continuing the embargo on Cuba. The other panelists disagreed, saying that we don’t put an embargo on other countries with human- right violations.  Tyson. in addition to being really smart and very charming, is also a funny guy: He said, “If we boycott China, Wal-Mart would go under overnight.”

Because Tyson is an astrophysicist, naturally the talk turned to the new movie, Gravity. I saw the movie—it is weak on character and plot, but the photography and special effects are worth the price of admission. Also, the uplifting theme of the spirit of humanity triumphing against the odds.  Bill thought the movie was exaggerated, but Tyson pointed out that the threat of space junk is very real—in the movie one satellite takes a hit, fragments, and takes out all the other satellites. Bill said that if that happened, we wouldn’t have cell phones. Tyson had to correct him again telling him cell phones worked off towers, not satellites. It seems Bill knows his politics, but science, not so much.

And on to New Rules. Bill jabbed Suzanne Summers who is evidently talking smack about the ACA.  He said, “She sells a metal spring for $30, and [has the gall to say] the ACA is a scam.

Bill jabbed Ted Cruz again, making fun of a photo showing him duck hunting. He looked just as awkward as John Kerry did when he was photographed duck hunting during his presidential run. He told Ted Cruz, “You have already proved your dominion over primitive creatures with brains the size of walnuts—you head the tea party.” But if Cruz insists on going duck hunting, Bill hopes he gets Dick Cheny as a partner. (If you have forgotten, Cheny once shot his friend in the face while duck hunting.) 

Bill also mentioned that some people hunt to eat. For instance, John Boehner lives on Wild Turkey. This segment was the “turkey-turkey-duck” moment of the week. Bill was blasting away at Republicans who just couldn’t duck his shotgun style jokes. 

Bill ended with an appeal on behalf of stoners. He said that ‘the New American Voter is a stoner.”  Bill said, “By the time younger folks turn 65, they’ll want pot to be covered by Medicare Part D.” (I’m not a stoner, but I say, “Why not?”) Bill called Obama a “total buzz kill”  saying he is tired of waiting for him to evolve on the issue. He told Hillary, “Give up your pantsuit and say hello to Stoner Hillary.” 

My thoughts: Who needs Halloween, when you have Republicans.  Never mind ghosts and ghoulies--it is Republicans like Ted Cruz who scare me.

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I'm reading Double Down and even tho I know the plot and the ending, it is a page turner.