Friday, June 13, 2014

Real Time with Bill Maher #321 June 13, 2014 "Totally Tripping"

Totally Tripping

by Catherine Giordano

Bill Maher was tripping out, but his guests pretty much avoided tripping up on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 321, which aired on 6/13/14.  I promise, this review and recap will be worth the trip. 

Let’s start at the end with New Rules and a bit called “Brownie Points.” Maher gave Colorado its marching orders with the rules a state must observe when that state is the first to legalize recreational marijuana making it “The Jackie Robinson of Pot.” His point was that when you are first at something, the way Jackie Robinson, was the first black in major league baseball, you have to get it right or you will ruin it for those who hope to follow you.  

Maureen Dowd went to Colorado, got some pot, and did everything wrong.  Then she blasts the details of her bad trip in The New York Times. (Read the column here.)  This prompted Maher to proclaim some rules for weed newbies.  I repeat them as a public service.

·         Don’t do it alone the first time. 

·         Don’t mix pot with alcohol.  It’s like funny pron.  It ruins both. 

·        The first time, smoke it, don’t eat it.  Eating it makes is more intense.  Eating it is more likely to make you paranoid. 

·         It takes time to have an effect. Be patient. Don’t keep taking more. 

·         Also the serving size of a regular brownie may be one brownie, but the serving size of a pot brownie is just a very small bite.
·        Don’t take stuff made for veteran users. You know like skiers who are supposed to learn on the bunny slope.   

Then he advised Colorado not to throw the baby out with the bong water. Be sure to give newbie customers detailed instructions and guidance. Also, stop selling pot that looks like popular brands of candy. That is not what stoners do; it is what R.J Reynolds does. 

CLICK HERE for more details about "Brownie Points"

And now to a few people in the news who tripped up this week. 

·       Eric Cantor lost his primary for his e district to a Tea party newcomer.  Maher quipped that Cantor said, “I get it. I was unreasonable, uninformed, and hateful.  What happened?  

·        Rick Perry compared gay people to alcoholics.  Perry believes that maybe they got a bad gene, but they can just control it. 

·       Hillary got into some kind of fight with Terry Gross on NPR about how and why and when Hillary changed her position on gay marriage. I heard that sound bite.  It seemed to me that they were both saying the exact same thing.  (Listen to it here.) 
·        McCain who has been proven wrong on everything he has ever said about Iraq, now wants us to bomb Iraq to protect the Shiite government. But wait, Iran is Shiite so we would be helping Iran who McCain also wants us to bomb. In fact McCain’s answer to everything is bombing. McCain is a cranky old man who should have retired long ago.
The interview was with Gina McCarthy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator. She spoke about the Clean Power Program and the importance of the fight against pollution to public health.  She said, “Reducing carbon is an economic opportunity. She told us that five Northeast states have acted on their own and are making cap and trade work. Who opted out? Massachusetts (under Governor Romney) and New Jersey (under Governor Christie) they had/have presidential ambitions and both members of the anti-science party. 
I am against the Keystone pipeline, not just because of the dangers of an oil spill, but because it is putting money into an antiquated technology. Renewable energy is the energy of the future and will make this country free of dependence on foreign oil. It will create far more jobs that the pipeline and spur economic development. Its win-win--except if you happen to be a billionaire in the oil industry. (I mean you, Koch brothers.)  
The panelists included Richard A. Clarke, former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism and author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction. His newest novel is Sting of the Drone.  He was the first person to tell the country the truth about 9-11. He has the wisdom and gravitas of an elder statesman.  
Another panelist was Krystal Ball, co-host on MSNBC's The Cycle. She’s relatively young, but she is poised and in command of the facts.  
The third panelist was Tom Rogan:  a contributor to National Review Online, The Daily Telegraph, and blogger at TomRoganThinks. Tom Rogan may think, but not always too well—alas he thinks like a conservative which means he frequently distorts the facts, as in this exchange with Clarke.
Maher:     Saddam was against the jihadists. We got rid of the Sunni secularists and now we have the Sunni crazies.  
Clarke:     Saddam was fighting Al Qaeda.
Rogan:     I agree, but if we hadn’t gotten rid of him he would have had a nuclear program.
Clarke:     No, we wouldn’t have allowed it. (spoken with firm authority)
Rogan:     We allowed it in Iran. 
Clarke:     No, we have not allowed it. (spoken with firm authority)
Rogan:     We’ll see. (spoken petulantly)
Rogan’s dubious arguments were not helped by his over-eager puppy dog manner.  He looked and acted like a 12-year old child.  I wanted to ask him to move to the children’s table so the adults could talk. 
The discussion about Iraq was quite a long one—usually Maher is changing subjects every three minutes—so they got into the dynamics of the Middle East in some detail.
Maher took an historical view. “In the 16th century, the Catholics and the protestants spent 100 years killing each other. Now Islam is having its 16th century. Let them have it.” Exactly right—we don’t need to be involved in their religious wars that have been going on almost since the beginnings of Islam. 
Getting back to the present crisis, Clarke said, “We are still trying to clean up the mess that Bush created for the world.”  
Rogan piped up, “We withdrew our troops that why.”  
Clarke set him straight. “It would have happened whenever we withdrew, even if we stayed for 1000 years.” 
Ball added. “We thought that with magical capitalism-democracy fairy dust, we could fix everything. 
Naturally, Rogan had to bring up the same-old, same old. “If you do nothing, they will export terrorism. 
Clarke had to set him straight again. “If they set up terrorism camps in Iraq, we will deal with it. But let it happen first.”  
Maher added, “Terrorist groups are all over the world. We would have to go to war with 15 countries.”  Later, he added, “We can use drones, the middle ground between sending an army and doing nothing.”  Maher got it exactly right.  
The mid-show guest was Carol Leifer, a stand-up comedian, writer and producer for several TV shows, and author. Her latest book is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying, a book that instructs young people how to succeed in business with such hints as, don’t be late, don’t dress like a whore. (Do young people actually need to be told these things.  It seems they do.)  
On the issue of women in business, Leifer talked about a woman who went on a job interview and was asked if she could make a good cup of coffee. “She stormed right out of that Starbucks.” 
Leifer also discussed telling her eight year old son she was going to marry her partner a woman. Here sold told her “Girls can’t get married to each other.” Leifer said, “So now I have to tell my mother her grandson is a Republican.” 
The mid-show comedy segment was about stuff written on T-shirts for pregnant woman.  It seems a T-shirt that said “Wake me when I am skinny again,” set off a controversy about expectations about women’s bodies.  I don’t get it.  I think a lot of pregnant women feel this way.  So Maher came up with some other T-shirt scripts, such as, 
·         “It looked like fun on Juno. 
·         Nice try, Trojans. 
·         I’m with Stupid รค 
See more details about the comedy bit at Bill Maher Rules.
Let’s end this trip with something Richard Clarke said.  “Doctor Frankenstein creates the monster and it kills him. Cantor created the Tea party and it killed him.”   
Also, a bit of advice for Hillary.  Don’t get testy and petulant during interviews. That slamming the press works for Republicans because the Republican base hates what they call “the liberal media.” Democrats, not so much.  Don’t let the story of the day (or week) be about a catfight.  
I’ll be tripping with Bill Maher again next week. Same time. Same place.  I hope you come along for the ride.
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Gina McCarthy:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator

Richard A. Clarke:  former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism and author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction.  His newest novel is Sting of the Drone 

Krystal Ball:  co-host on MSNBC's The Cycle

Tom Rogan:  a contributor to National Review Online, The Daily Telegraph, blogger at TomRoganThinks

Carol Leifer: a stand-up comedian, writer and producer for several TV shows, and author. Her latest book is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying