Friday, July 11, 2014

HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" #324 07/11/14 Zombie Lies

Sombie Liesby Catherine Giordano

Has this ever happened to you? You just keep killing zombies and they won’t stay dead. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? On episode #354 of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” we learn a little something about that during the “New Rules” segment. Here's the recap and review of the show...with commentary, of course.

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It was all about Republican lies. They certainly won’t admit to lies. The best they can do is to say they “misspoke.” But worse yet, when caught in a lie, they don’t stop saying it. 
Republican lies about the Iraq war are finally starting to elicit some outrage, but where is the outrage over the lies about the Affordable Care Act? Everything Republicans said about it was untrue. There are no death panels. Young people have signed up. Enrollees have paid their premiums. The number of uninsured has dropped. People like it—even Republicans-- 75% of Republicans who are now covered like it. But Republican politicos continue to lie about it. Maybe Republicans have a case of “If-it-wasn’ t-for-wrong-opinions-I- wouldn’t-have-any-opinions- at-all.” 

On the other side of the ACA debate, Obama may have told one lie. It was an inadvertent lie about being able to keep your doctor; it affected less than 2% of people, and when “observable reality” showed it to be untrue, he stopped saying it. 
Republicans are lying about fracking, lying about voter fraud, lying about tax cuts for the rich trickling down to the middle class, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But no matter how many times these ideas are shot down, they keep on standing.  Maher said, “They are roaming the countryside, neither living or dead … like Dick Cheney.” Then Maher showed a picture of Cheney, and, I swear, even without makeup, he looks like a zombie.
Maher concluded with a brief description of how the lies circulate from one right-wing media outlet to another until they finally go to die “being tweeted by Donald Trump.” 

See the video at Bill Maher Rules.

Republicans are still lying about climate change/global warming, although every day the evidence against their denials grows stronger. The interview was with Jason Box, climatologist, glaciologist, and professor at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. His observations indicate that the oceans will rise 70 feet, not just five or six feet as others are predicting, and hehis predictions have been right before when others were wrong. Box says that the glaciers are getting sooty, getting darker and dirtier, and therefore less reflective of sunlight. He says, that this loss of reflectively is not being factored into the global warming models of others. 

Republicans don’t just tell lies, they tell stupid lies. Republican state senator of Kentucky,. Brandon Smith, claimed that man-made climate change is scientifically implausible because Mars and Earth share “exactly” the same temperature and since Mars doesn’t have any coal mines, coal can’t be responsible for global warming.  A rather absurd argument made all the more absurd by the fact that Earth and Mars do NOT have the same temperature. According to NASA, the average temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Fahrenheit--138 degrees above Mars' average of -81 degrees. That pesky observable reality. (Why am I feeling the urge to type this whole paragraph in caps? Oh, I know, because it is such a STUPID LIE!) 

Rick Perry
Rick Perry
Speaking of stupid, Governor Rick Perry (R, TX) was the butt of a lot of Maher’s jokes about how stupid he is. Maher quipped that Obama did not need to go to the border “to see a five-year old who can barely speak English. I’m with Rick Perry right now.” Later he said that all the media coverage of Obama shaking hands with a man wearing a horse head mask shouldn’t have been a big deal because he later shook hands with “a horse’s ass” (Rick Perry.) Bill got a few more licks in at Perry because Perry wanted to avoid being photographed with Obama, but as foiled by Obama. Bill said that Obama not only shook the governor’s hand, but patted Perry on the arm, back, and shoulders making sure to get his “Kenyan cooties” all over him.  

For more about rick Perry, read: Oopsies

Obama was meeting with Perry because of the immigration/refugee crisis happening n Texas. One panelist, Reihan Salam, a conservative political commentator, columnist for Slate and National Review, and author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream, said we should open a processing center in Mexico. News Flash—these people are NOT Mexicans—they come mainly from Guatemala, El Savador, and Honduras. They are more refugees than immigrants because they have fled their country to escape the drug-gang violence. 
Maher blamed the crisis on the drug related crime, and said the solution was to legalize drugs to remove the profit from drug trafficking. No profit, no gangs.  Another panelist, Ron Suskind, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author whose most recent book is Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, agreed that we needed to “deal with the problem at the source.” 
The third panelist, Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D, MD) attributed the problem to a “patchwork quilt of immigration laws.”  One of those laws, signed by George W. Bush, requires that unaccompanied minors must see an immigration judge before a decision can be made as to whether they are sent back to their home country or allowed to stay. (Currently, about 85% of these kids already have a family member in the United States willing to take them in.) 
Maher said that the people of Central America seem to think “America is like the Holiday Inn. Kids stay free.” Maher also railed about the United States acting like it is being  overwhelmed with 50,000 refugees. He pointed out that many counties far smaller than the United States manage to deal with hundreds of thousands and even millions of refugees.  Salam reiterated that they should stay in Mexico—see what I mean about zombies—once again—they are NOT Mexicans. Maher appeared to lose patience with Salam and said to him, “Your folks weren’t on the Mayflower.”

menopause or Global Warming
Menopause or Global Warming?
The mid-show guest was Sandra Tsing Loh, a writer, actress, and radio personality who is the author of The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones and  Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!  She was a whirlwind of energy as she ranted about the situation of women in mid-life. Aside from the raging hormones, it appears she is OK with hormones. It just returns women to the person they were when they were 12 year-old girls. She said by 2015, one out of every two women in America will be post-menopausal and “having more sex than ever because they are not making babies.” In comparison, in 1900, women only lived to an average age of 48 so there weren’t a whole lot of women dealing with menopause back then. Tsing Loh doesn’t think we should worry about electing women to high office because of their monthly estrogen surges—the real problem is electing men with their continual overabundance of testosterone which makes them too aggressive. 
One woman who should never again be elected to high office is Sarah Palin, but every time you think she is gone forever, she ‘s back just like those pesky zombies. Maher skewered both her and John Boehner over the lawsuit Boehner is filing against Obama. Palin is all over TV calling Boehner a wuss for not going for impeachment. So Maher did the mid-show comedy segment giving us Articles of Impeachment written by Palin. One of the articles blamed Obama for the riots in “Ben Gazarra.” The articles included a variety of malapropisms and ended up devolving into her grocery list.   

The Hobby Lobby decision was discussed not only as a freedom-of-religion issue, but as a woman’s issue. Edwards pointed out that 40% of the businesses in this country are the same type of corporation as Hobby Lobby is and that “women are not going to stand for it.”  Edwards believes this should be about freedom of religion for employees because “corporations can’t posses a religious right.” Maher pointed out that Justice Scalia completely reversed himself from his early opinion involving the religious rights of native Americans. “No peyote for Injuns,” but Christians can get exempted from the law. Maher threw out a rhetorical question about what would have happened if a Muslim group had brought the suit.  

Last Maher discussed economic realities. He quoted a group that reported that it takes about $131,000 a year to live a middle-class life for a family of four--a house, a car, a one-week vacation—nothing extravagant. The median income in the United States is $50,000 a year. Salam, who had been mostly well-behaved up to this point, finally lost it, and began angrily flailing about. He had half a dozen objections to the study, examining the trees and missing the forest. The zombies must have eaten his brain because otherwise he would have seen that the point of Maher’s remarks was that once upon a time in this country, the median income bought a nice middle-class life.  

Thank you, Bill Maher, for being a zombie-slayer each week, dispatching right-wing lies and making us laugh while you do it.

Bill Maher’s Guests: #324 July 11, 2014

Life Animated Ron Suskind

Jason Box: climatologist, glaciologist 

Rep. Donna Edwards: Congresswoman (D, MD)

Ron Suskind: Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, author--His most recent book is Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism

Reihan Salam: conservative political commentator, columnist for Slate and National Review, author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream

The Madwoman in the Volvo Sandra Tsing Loh
Sandra Tsing Loh: writer, actress, and radio personality—Her books include The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones and  Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!

Mother on Fire Sandra Tsing Loh


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A small apology: I'm doing zombies again. I thought I was done with zombies for a while after writing about Maher's episode 23, The Real Zombie Apocalypse, and then writing a web article, ZOMBIES: The Mythology, Popularity, Psychology, Philosophy, and Reality, but Bill Maher did a New Rules segment about zombie lies, so here I am doing zombies again.