Friday, June 20, 2014

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher #322 "Bad Boys"

Hillary Clinton gives her book,
 Hard Choices, to Mr. Squirrel
Bad Boys

by Catherine Giordano


The bad boys came out to play on "Real Time with Bill Maher", episode 322, which aired on 6/20/2014. 


Bill Maher, who is always a bad boy, had a few comments in his monologue about some bad boys. He mentioned the Isis group in Iraq who took the Iraqi city of Baiji and robbed a bank in the process. Maher said “When they do it they are terrorists; when we do it we are venture capitalists.   


Maher also blasted the Republicans who got it all wrong when they urged the U.S. to go to war with Iraq—Dick Cheney, John McCain, Bill Kristol (to name a few) all over the TV now complaining that Obama is not handling the ISIS insurgency correctly. He called them “Satan’s V.I.P. list for Hell.” The bad-est of these bad boys is Cheney-- Maher joked that Cheney said, “My thoughts and prayers go out to our oil.” 


Later in a discussion about foreign policy, Maher reported that even Fox News was buying it anymore.  Megan Kelly, A Fox-News host grilled Cheney during a TV interview saying “All your predictions were wrong.” Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Republican pollster for the company, Echelon Insights, and a columnist for The Daily Beast reported that “There is a wide spectrum of opinion on that by Republicans.”  Well perhaps.  There is Rand Paul vs. all the other Republicans.) 

The pope is now on Maher’s list of bad boys.  Maher said, “The honeymoon is over between me and Pope Frank.” It seems the Pope called drugs and alcohol evil and said there can be no compromise with evil. Maher added that this was coming from someone “who never drinks anything stronger than the blood of Christ.”  A wicked bad quip. 

The interview was with Ta-Nehisi Coates who is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, which recently published his much talked about article in The Atlantic magazine, “The Case for Reparations.”  He is also the author of the memoir. The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood.   Coates said that black people in America are in a constant state of “unfreedom.”   He talked about Jim Crow, debt peonage (share cropping) segregation and more making the case for reparations. Maher asked his if he agreed with Martin Luther King who said (repeating words first used by Theodore parker, a Unitarian minister and abolitionist) “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Coates responded saying “oh, nooo,” drawing out the word “no” and sadly shaking his head. The he added “It’s an arc of injustice.” 

Two of the panelists, both bad boys got into a bad screaming match. Paul Reickhoff is a veteran of the United States Army and the Iraq War and founder and Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and author of Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier’s Perspective. Reickoff is passionate about advocating for soldiers and veterans. His opponent in this fight was Glenn Greenwald, a lawyer, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, author I of several books. His most recent book is No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. Greenwald is a passionate advocate for Edward Snowden and more transparency in government.
 
They strongly disagreed about whether Snowden was a traitor for revealing state secrets (Reickhoff’s position) or  a hero for exposing excessive government surveillance (Greenwald’s position). Greenwald made an excellent point when he said that Snowden did not reveal anything. He only turned the files over to newspapers and asked them to vet it carefully. It may be splitting hairs, but Greenwald is a lawyer, and a defense can turn on how hairs were split. 

Maher had to break up the fight before it came to blows by interrupting and changing the subject to the Flip–A-District campaign.   

Maher then moved on to a news story about Dr. Oz touting green coffee extract as a “miracle” and “magic” weight loss aid. (When a doctor uses words like “miracle” and “magic” you know he has sold out.) Maher then held up a Time magazine showing the cover story about weight-loss titled, “Eat More Butter.” Maher claimed this was all about telling people what they want to hear, and he had a few magazine cover story ideas of his own.  Here’s a few of them: 

Boys Life:                If All the Scouts are Doing It, It is Not Really Gay         

Sports Illustrated:    Video Gamers: The Real Athletes

AARP:                     That Smell Isn’t Really Coming from You

Hustler:                    Masturbation Prevents Cancer    

Modern Parenting:   How to Raise a Genius by Sticking Your Toddler in Front of the TV All   Day    
 
Read more about wish-fulfillment magazine over stories at BillMaherRules.
(I include the most salacious ones there.)

The mid-show guest was, Mike Shinoda a musician, record producer, and artist. He is best known as the rapper, principal songwriter, keyboardist, rhythm guitarist and one of the two vocalists of the rock band Linkin Park which has had more number one hits than any other band.  His newest album is The Hunting Party. Shinoda is also the author (with Shepherd Fairey) of Glorious Excess. 

Shinoda talked about how the band has moved from themes of teen-aged angst to songs about social issues over the years. Shinoda is now very involved with social issues like relief efforts for major natural disasters causes like climate change. 

In New Rules, Maher mocked “Co-dependence Day.”  He said “Broken nations are like broken people. You can’t fix them,” adding, “Maybe America needs Dr. Phil to ask, 'How’s that nation-building thing working out for you?’”  

Maher said that the United States went into Iraq thinking (My interjection: Or at least saying, because we all know the real reason was oil) we would liberate the country from a dictator, install a democracy, and then that democracy would be a model for the whole Mid-east. He brought the point home by finishing with “and then after lunch …” He said the United States was like a woman who thinks she can fix the bad boys.   

Have you seen that big bad orange squirrel on TV—the one that is following Hillary Clinton around. (Actually, it’s a person in a squirrel costume, and the squirrel looks cute and cuddly.) It’s leftover from the campaign against Obama and it was meant to associate Obama with the group, Acorn.  Maher pointed out that since Acorn has been defunct for many years now, the prop no longer makes sense. Unless, as Maher said, as he held up a picture of the 2012 Republican contenders on the debate stage, it makes sense because “Republicans like to gather all their nuts in the fall.” 

The whole squirrel thing is not working at all. I saw a clip on TV where Hillary approached “Mr. Squirrel”, as she called him, shook his hand, and gave him a copy of her book, Hard Choices.  Mr. Squirrel looked delighted as he hugged the book to his chest and gave Hillary a thumbs-up sign. (My guess is that the person inside that squirrel costume no longer has a job as a squirrel impersonator.)  CLICK HERE to see video.
 
The bad boys are not going to change, whether they are your boyfriends, or your   leaders, or your leaders, or even your comedians. I wish they would, except for Bill Maher—Bill, you keep on being your bad funny self. Keep that political and social satire coming. Our country needs it bad.
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Bill Maher’s Guests,  #322,  June 6, 2014

Paul Reickhoff: Writer, veteran of the United States Army and the Iraq War, founder and Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and author of Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier’s Perspective

Ta-Nehisi Coates: National correspondent at The Atlantic, which recently published his much talked about article, "The Case for Reparations." He is also the author of a memoir. The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood.

Glenn Greenwald: American lawyer, journalist, author I of several books.  His most recent book is No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

Kristen Soltis Anderson: Republican pollster for the firm, Echelon Insights, columnist for The Daily Beast.

Mike Shinoda: Musician, record producer, and artist. He is best known as the rapper, principal songwriter, keyboardist, rhythm guitarist and one of the two vocalists of the rock band Linkin Park.  His newest album is "The Hunting Party." He is the author (with Shepherd Fairey) of Glorious Excess.

Please like, share, and tweet.