Friday, October 24, 2014

Real Time with Bill Maher #333 10/24/14 "Prophets and Wingnuts"

by Catherine Giordano

Cornel West
Dr. Cornel West

Where were the prophets? Where were the Wingnuts? When a guest (Dr. Cornel West) has a book titled Black Prophetic Fire and another gust (John Avlon) has a book titled Wingnuts: Extremism in the Age of Obama I expect prophecy and wingnuttery.  It was nowhere to be found on Real Time with bill Maher episode 333 which aired on HBO on October 24, 2014. Maybe I was just tired, but I found the show dull.

Even Mary Matalin who usually personifies a cross between a biker chick and Thor hurling thunderbolts was just as sweet as could be. She looked like a staid middle class matron, a PTA member in wearing a softly tailored suit jacket and a pastel scarf.  Her voice and comments matched her look. Mary Matalin, a Republican political consultant and author of several books, has evidently been tamed by domestic life. Her newest book, co-authored with husband James Carville titled, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home, may explain the whole thing.
Bill Maher’s Monolog
Maher’s monolog opened with the biggest thing in the news—ebola. He remarked that that ebola was in New York now and if “ebola can make it there, it can make it anywhere.” Then he sang “Start spreading the plague.”  He told us he had to stop the song there or else it would cost big money.

Maher commented on the terrorist shooting in Canada by saying that the worst terrorism in Canada had previously been “Vanilla Isis.”

Maher also noted that there was another White House fence jumper—this one was fortunately sopped. Maher quipped that Obama said, “At least there is one person in America is not trying to run away from me.”

Did you see the funny incident about Obama voting in Illinois on TV?  This very nice young black woman was allowed to stand in the next booth next to Obama. Her boyfriend walks by and says “Don’t touch my girlfriend.”  Maher quipped, “If you like the girl friend you have, you can keep the girl friend you have.” 
Pay Any Price

The interview with James Risen

The interview was with James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the New York Times, and author of a new book, Pay Any Price: Greed Power and Endless War. It appears that he is being threatened with prison because he has been a little too aggressive in whistle blowing.  It seems there are plenty of wingnuts in the CIA hatching hare-brained schemes and Risen is exposing them. Risen says everyone is so afraid of being called “soft on terror’ that counter terrorism projects have gotten out of hand—“There are no rules anymore.”

Maher said he was tired of the whole flap from an earlier show concerning the argument he and Sam Harris had with Ben Affleck had about Islam and terrorism. (See “Wake Up, America".) Fortunately, Maher did not lose his show over this like he did back in 2011 when he said the 9/11 hijackers were not cowards. (BTW, Maher was right. You can call them a lot of things, but people who will kill themselves for their belief are not cowards.)
Dr. Cornel West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary, philosopher, activist, socialist and author of several books about the black experience and race in America. (His most recent book is Black Prophetic Fire.)

West said, “Islam is not monolithic,” again making Affleck’s point that only a small minority of Mulsims are terrorists. This forced Maher to once again repeat his point which is that everyone is missing his points.  The large majority of Muslims share the views of the terrorists. For instance, they believe apostates deserve death. 

Love and War James Carville Mary Matalin
Mary Matalin, a Republican political consultant and author of a new book co-authored with her husband James Carville, Love and War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home made a good point. (I never thought I’d be saying that Matalin made a good point.) “It is not about religion. It is about power and politics.” 

Politics is the art of the possible.
Maher pointed out that Obama is suffering low ratings in the polls because people are disappointed that he has not lived up to the o of the people who elected him. Maher mentioned that “politics is the art of the possible meaning that a president can only do so much. When Maher referred to John Avlon, a journalist, political commentator, the editor in chief of The Daily Beast, and author of several books including his newest book is Wingnuts: Extremism in the Age of Obama, as a conservative Avlon argued that he was a centrist. Then he proved it by listing all the ways that the country is today than when Obama took office in 2008. Bravo. People have to stop complaining about what has not been done and look at how much has been done.

This was Matalin’s cue to revert to her true colors and start a tirade about ObamaCare.  Maher finally had to interrupt her because most of what she was saying was not true.  Matalin then tried another tack, saying that she personally was hurt., Maher pointed out that she was rich. He said “If ObamaCare helps 98% of Americans and huts only  2%, it is a good program.” Again, the art of the possible—nothing is perfect.
Harvard Divestiture
The mid-show guest was Chloe Maxmin, identified as a Harvard activist. Her issue was the Harvard Endowment fund and its investments in big oil companies. She argued that Harvard shoud be involved in education, not profit. Oil companies are polluting the plant and thus Harvard should divest itself of oil companies.  

Halloween Treats--comedy segment
The mid-show comedy segment was about Halloween.  Maher said that some people did not want to give candy out because candy is not good for kids. Here is part of Maher’s list about what some people are doing:
Kirk Cameron: Bible verses
Paula Dean:     Deep-fried sticks of butter
Donald Trump: Cotton candy the same color as his hair
Kansas wingnuts—New Rules
The final New Rules segment of the show began with a question: Was it easier to distract a cat with a laser pointer or the American voter?

Maher proved it was the American voter with a discussion of the race for governor in Kansas. The current Republican governor has bankrupted the state because he refuses to give up on the Zombie Lies of trickle down economics. The state has lost jobs, had its credit down-rated and drastically cut public services such as education.
Dorothy from Wizard of Oz
Even Dorothy doesn't want to
go home to Kansas anymore.
Polls showed him losing big to his Democratic opponent.  Then the Republicans came up with an old incident abut his opponent Paul Davis.  When Davis was a 26 year-old single man he once went to a strip club with a group of co-workers and had a lap dance. This has turned the race is for Brownback????!!!!. Davis is not moral enough to be governor???!!!!  Because as a young single man he went to a strip club???!!! Once???!!! 

Maher said that “Even Dorothy doesn’t want to go home to Kansas.”

See a video clip "Sam's Flubs" at Bill Maher: Meet Roy Zimmerman
Perhaps I was wrong in my first paragraph. There was some wingnuttery on the show after all.

Wizard of Oz Monopoly Game
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Real Time with Bill Maher #332 10/17/14 “Going Viral”

Maher joked abut a virus "going viral"
by Catherine Giordano

Bill Maher opened his show with an ebola joke in his monologue. “This is the first time something went viral that was an actual virus,” he said. Later in the show, ebola got a series discussion on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 332, aired on October 17, 2014.

Maher was passionately angry about the way the screw-ups in Texas that allowed the virus to spread. He was outraged that the nurses weren’t properly protected. Later I realized it was personal for him. His mother was a nurse.  

Everyone is panicking about ebola. Obama is being blamed. Why not? Doesn’t Obama get blamed for everything? Why isn’t Rick Perry being blamed? He is the governor of the state where the ebola cases occurred. If political leaders are being blamed, surely Perry should be the first one blamed.   

I don’t think that either Perry or Obama should be blamed. I blame the administration at the hospital where Eric Duncan, the initial patient ,was treated. First for turning him away untreated and secondly for having such poor containment measure that two nurses got sick. It is scandalous how badly they handled it. 

Representative Barbara Lee
Representative Barbara Lee, (D, CA), and author of Renegade for Peace and Justice: Congresswoman Barbara Lee Speaks for Me put the blame on Congress, specifically Republicans in Congress.  The United States does not have a Surgeon General, a medical profession who could have overseen the response to ebola in this country because Republicans have blocked his confirmation. Republicans have also cut funding for the CDC and other organizations which stopped or slowed their research for a cure and a vaccine. 

 Ebola is not something new—it has been around for over 20 years, but it is only now reached epidemic proportions in West Africa. Many politicians are calling for a travel ban—a proposal that makes people feel good but which will do nothing to help and probably make the situation worse.  It was good to see that the panel was smart enough to oppose the travel ban.
David Millband, chairman and CEO of International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development nongovernmental organization, said, “If you want to guarantee an epidemic of one million in West Africa, do a travel ban.’

David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic, political commentator, former George W. Bush speechwriter, and author of several books, the most recent being a novel, Patriots said “I’m not panicked. There is only a small risk versus the damage that would be done by a travel ban.”

Maher told everyone to calm down. Ebola is spread by direct contact with the body fluids (diarrhea, vomiting, blood) of the sick person. It is not like the flu which kills thousands every year in this country and is an air borne virus. It appears likely that none of the people who were living with Daniel Duncan have become sick. I doubt that any of the people who were on the plane with the nurse who has come down with ebola will become sick.  

One of the medical staff who treated Duncan is currently on a cruise. They have voluntarily placed themselves in isolation. Of course, it is a Carnival cruise, the same cruise line where epidemics of norovirus have occurred.  Maher quipped, “Will there be an outbreak [of ebola] on the ship? How will they know?”
Everyone needs to calm down. Obama has appointed a “czar” to oversee prevention measures. The best way to ensure that we do not have an outbreak in the United States is too treat the problem at the source in West Africa, to closely monitor anyone who has been in close physical contact with an ebola patient in this country, and for hospitals and doctors to take fever seriously and test for ebola.     

There are no direct flights from West Africa to the United States. Why the fixation on planes—what about any place where there are crowds—shopping malls, movie theaters, trains and buses? If you take this obsession with planes to its logical conclusion, the whole country will come to a standstill.  I respect Obama for standing firm and not doing something stupid because of political pressure. 
Kristen Gillibrand Off the Sidelines book
Off the Sidelines
by Kristen Gillibrand

Women’s Issues
The interview was with Senator Kristen Gillibrand, (D, NY), author of Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World. She said that although we now have 20 women in the Senate, thet is a very low proportion compared to othr countries.  She said women bring “different issues and different outcomes.”

She talked about feminism.  There is a viral meme that feminism means bra burning and men-hating.  It does not. It means equal pay for equal work, reproductive righs and opportunity for women.  

Maher talked about how appearance is always an issue for female politicians, whether she is attractive or unattractive.  Maher said, “Mitch McConnell looks like a muppet,” and no one cares.
ObamaCare has now been in effect for a year and it is working.  You would thin that would put an end to ObamaCare-will-destroy the-country viral line.  Mahaer said Obamacare is containing costs–medical costs are being contained, insurance is more affordable and millions more people have it. Maher asked Frum who spoke against ObamaCare before its implementation if he will admit that he was wrong. Frum hemmed and hawed and finally said “cost control was being achieved by suppressing choice.”  People now have more choice than ever before.

Millband, who is British, said about “socialized medicine” in Great Britian,  “The Brits spend half as much as the U.S.”  Even Frum who is from Canada,could not fault the universal healthcare system in that country.
Lee pointed out some of the good things that Obamacare has done in addition to cost containment—for example, young people can stay on their parents plan until age 26, the elimination of people being refused insurance for pre-existing conditions. She told us that before ObamaCare being domestic abuse was a pre-existing condition. If a woman reported her spouse for domestic abuse, she could lose her insurance.  

Maher said that ObamaCare is making people healthy because it is removing some stress from their lives—the stress of being sick and being unable to afford care. Frum pointed out that ObamaCare gave him more stress--the stress of filling out the forms. I wanted to reach into the TV and slap him.  What a charmed life you lead, Mr Frum, your worse stress is filling out a form. People should die and suffer financial ruin so you don’t have to fill out a form.

So You Have Been Exonerated
The mid show comedy segment was about a woman who had been falsely convicted and spent 17 years in prison before being exonerated and freed.  She remarked abut how everything has changed. 

Maher suggested a pamphlet for newly released prisoners to tell them about the changes. Some of the changes Maher listed were:
  • Your old video store now sells pot.
  • You must take a picture of your food before eating it.
  • If someone says you have a gigantic ass, it is now a compliment.
  • Things that are bigger: TV sets, mortgages, Americans [Shows a picture of fat people].
  • But, Donald Trump is still a jackass
Read more about this segment and see the video clip at Bill Maher Exonerated.

Joel Stein
The special guest was Joel Stein, journalist, humorist, and author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity. Maher called him a “very ballsy columinist.”

Maher comment on a phrase that has gone viral, “Happy wife, happy life.”  It is always about a man doing something his wife wants him to do to prevent discord at home.  The man is explaining that he is only doing this thing that the othr men are mocking him about to keep his wife happy. Stein said, “He is saying he is pussy whipped.”  Maher pointed out it is never about a wife being happy because she just got a promotion at her job.  

Stein said, “We shouldn’t be talking about feminism.” Lee, jumped right in, “You are right about that!”

New Rules

The final New Rules segment was “The Lemon Party” Maher said Democrats must learn how to talk to whitey. He said “Democrats are as popular as a Liberian travel agent.” Because they don’t understand “what white people want.” 

“Maher said “I am a strong powerful beautiful white man” and the proceeded to give tips to Democrats.  The tips included:
  • Talk a lot about the importance of hard work.
  • Tell blacks to pull their pants up.
  • Talk a lot about dads and personal responsibility  
  • Talk about how much you love small business. Every white man thinks that one day he is going to tell his boss that he is a #@%* and then go off to start his own business.
  • Talk like John Wayne and about “kicking ass.”
Maher said "White dads watch the History channel and the only history on it is Hitler." They know all about Munich and Neville Chamberlin appeasing Hitler. They don’t want Neville Chamberlin they want Wilt Chamberlin who will dunk in your face.

For More on this and to see a video clip, see Bill Maher's Rules for the Lemon Party.

The stupid virus
Sometimes I think there are a whole lot of people in this country who are infected with the “stupid virus.”   Republicans for being against science and policies that actually help the people of this country and the rt of the country for thinking it doesn’t matter who is in office so why should they even bother to vote.

Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Maculinity by Joel Stein
Man Made
by Joel Stein

David Frum Patriots book novel
by David Frum

Friday, October 3, 2014

Real Time with Bill Maher #331 10/03/14 "Wake Up America!"

by Catherine Giordano

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren

If anything is going to wake up America it is Bill Maher and his guests on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 331, which aired on October 3rd, 2014.

Elizabeth Warren
The interview was with Elizabeth Warren, a senator (D, MA) and author of A Fighting Chance.  She is a fighter with so much energy and enthusiasm. She got a standing ovation from the audience when she was introduced.  She believes that America has lost its way and she wants to bring us back to our values.

She said after the Great Depression changes were made so that we would not have a “boom and bust” economy, but we slipping back into an economy run by Wall Street, the type of economy that brought us the Great Depression. Wake Up Amercia! “The economy is leaving people and families behind and we have to fight back.”  

Elizabeth Warren believes we need to raise the minimum wage because no one who works full time should live in poverty. She believes in equal pay for equal work. She believes it is not your employer’s business what kind of contraception you use. She believes that the government should not profit from student loans to pay for tax loopholes for billionaires. She said, “This is what the upcoming election is all about.”

Warren told us that the government is making $66 billion in profit annually on student loans. “This fight is personal,” she said. Her family suffered a lot of economic hardship when she was growing up and the only reason she was able to go to college was because it only cost $50 a semester to go to a commuter college.
Maher mentioned that one of the reasons he is trying to oust Representative John Kline (R, MN) from congress in the upcoming election is Kline’s support for oppressive rates of interest on student loans.   

He said Kline’s campaign strategy is simply to hide. Maher believes that in order for democracy to work candidates have to put their issues on the table. Maher is encouraging the media to report on Kline’s positions and records. He mocked people who always vote for whoever as an “R” next to their name.
If you go to, you can download posters and other stuff.

Republicn Elephant
The Republican brand is a lie
On the prior week’s show (see my review, Safe), Alexandra Pelosi, documentary filmmaker, sowed video clips of her man-on-the-street interviews.  One after another, a person who indicate that they supported the Democrat position (which weren’t labeled with a party name), and then they would proudly proclaim they were voting Republican.  The Republicans have done a good job of branding themselves as the party of strong defense, lower taxes and family values. Wake up America!  

The Republican controlled House of Representatives went on a six week vacation without voting on the war in Iraq in Syria to fight ISIS. They were too cowardly to take a stand. When Republicans talk about lowering taxes, they are not talking about YOUR taxes; they are only interested in cutting taxes for corporations and billionaires. When they talk about family values, they say one thing and do another. Wake up America! 

Maher mentioned during the show that the unemployment rate is down to below 6% after a steady decline since Obama took office.  Also the deficit has been cut in half sine Obama took office. And the Obama administration accomplished this while the Republicans did everything possible to impede his success. But Obama has low approval ratings (in the mid 40’s). Wake up America!

(P.S. When a Republican says he is going to cut taxes, ask him what he is going to cut to make up for the lost funding. Chances are it is a government service that you like and depend upon. Wake up America!) 

Mid-show comedy segment
Republicans are so elitist that they actually had to put out a commercial saying Republicans are good citizens too. They drive a Prius, they recycle, etc. So Maher did a parody ad, saying that Democrats are just like Republicans. They ride scooters (like Sheldon Adelson) they shoot unarmed black people, etc. It concluded with “Democrats are Assholes Too.”

Read more about this segment and see a video at Democrats are A-Holes Too.

New Rules: Dirty Vancing 
Maher totally lambasted Republican hypocrisy in New Rules. He said it was “a good election year for the bad boys of Congress” – congressmen who blatantly misbehave and the electorate sends them back to congress anyway. 

There is Vance McAlister (R, LA) who was caught on tape passionately kissing a staffer. “His tongue was forming an exploratory committee.” “That’s not kissing, that’s fracking.”

Mark Sanford, (R, SC) who gave new meaning to the phrase “hiking the Appalachian Trail ,” when he went AWOL from his job as governor to see his Argentinean mistress. Maher called him "another born-again booty-caller.

And the worse one of them all Mikael Grimm (R, NY) He’s under a 20-count indictment for fax evasion, fraud, and perjury. He forced his ex-wife to have two abortions and also forced his mistress to have an abortion. He’s a doctor who had an affair with two of his patients. He’s up for a third term in congress and will probably get it unlike the fetuses he conceived.

Maher said he has a new definition for insanity: Giving Congress an 8% approval rating, and then sending them all back to Congress.

Wake up America!

United States Secret Service Badge
Secret Service badge
The Secret Service
What is in the news this week? The same stuff that was in the news last week. Every day he learn about another failure of the Secret Service.  Maher quipped, in the monolog that America hasn’t been this worried about a crazy person getting into the White House since Sarah Palin.

Maher pointed out that Obama has three times more threats made against him than any other president. This is no time for laxity of the secret service.

Nicholas Kristof is a journalist, author, op-ed columnist, and a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. His latest book is A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. He said, “The vitriol against this president is unequalled. No prior president has been called the anti-Christ and had his citizenship questioned.”

Maher pointed out that the Supreme Court pronounced that racism is America was over. Even Republican  Michael Steele, former chairman of Republican National Committee, political commentator, and author of the 2010 book, Right Now: A 12-Step Program For Defeating The Obama Agenda had to admit it. He knows racism is not over because he is a black man.

(BTW, take a look at the title of Steele’s book:  It proves my point about Republican obstructionism.If Obama hasn’t accomplished as much as you hoped he would, it is the Republicans who are to blame for that. Wake up America! )

Ebola virus
Ebola virus
The United States has its first case of Ebola. The victim is a man from Nigeria who was visiting family in Nigeria.  Maher quipped that it is Rick Perry governor of Texas, is now in charge of preventing an Ebola outbreak.  Maher quipped, “Rick Perry doesn’t know whether to shoot it or cut its taxes.”

Maher said that it would be nice to have a surgeon general to deal with this problem We don’t have a surgeon general because Republicans won’t confirm Obamas nominee because he once said something about guns that they don’t like.

Kristoff pointed out the problem has come to our country because we ignored it when it was in West Africa.  When will people learn that we cannot ignore problems anywhere in the world.  They will grow larger and eventually threaten us too. Oceans can’t protect us anymore. Wake up America!

Ben Affleck at Batman
Batman Ben Affleck
ISIS is another problem that was ignored for too long. The discussion on ISIS was dominated by a shouting match between Ben Affleck (panelist) and Sam Harris (mid-show guest). Ben Affleck is an actor, director, writer, producer, activist. (His newest movies are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Gone Girl, based on a novel by Gillian Flynn). Sam Harris is an author, philosopher neuroscientist. His newest book is Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.His other books are: Free Will, Lying, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Letter to a Christian Nation, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. 

Waking Up by Sam Harris
Waking Up by Sam Harris
Sam Harris has correctly pointed out that a large majority of Muslims hold dangerous beliefs. He said, “Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.” He said a small proportion of jihadists who want to kill people. However, a larger proportion are Islamists who want Muslim supremacy. Many more are Muslim conservatives  who are horrified by ISIS but hold many of the same beliefs about gays and women and death as a punishment for anyone who leaves the religion. Harris is merely informing us that fundamentalists are not a fringe group in Islam.  

Affleck couldn’t wait to jump into the conversation and tried to shout Harris down. Harris, to his credit, stood his ground. Yes, there are many Muslims who are peaceful, but we can’t ignore the many more who are still in the Middle Ages with respect to their beliefs.   

Maher pointed out that reasonable Muslims are afraid to speak out. “Islam is the only religion that who acts like the Mafia—they will kill you for writing the wrong book or drawing the wrong cartoon.”  

Maher and Harris have the facts on their side. They recognized that although there are many Muslims who do not hold dangerous beliefs, a very large proportion do. Affleck seemed to think that should be no criticism of Islam. He was acting like an asshole. I think Maher may have had people like him in mind a couple of weeks ago when he did another New rules segment about holier-than-thou liberals who make it easy for people to dismiss liberals. 

Spiritual, but Not Religious

Sam Harris
Sam Harris
I wish Affleck would have shut up so Harris would have had more time to talk about spirituality without religion, the topic of his new book, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Harris explained that we all have spiritual experiences, but we have to apply science to it, and not just attribute it to religion. He said, “Swapping a belief in the virgin birth of Jesus for a belief in Atlantis is not much progress.” 

Wake Up America
I took the title of this review from the new book by Sam Harris. Harris wants America to wake up about religion.  Elizabath Warren wants us to wake up about the economy. Maher wants us to wake up and stand up for liberal values. One thing for sure, Bill Maher’s show, was lively enough to keep us all wake.

Maher’s Guests for October 3, 2014
Elizabeth Warren: Senator (D, MA), author of A Fighting Chance. Maher did the interview with her.

Sam Harris: author, philosopher neuroscientist. His newest book is Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. His other books are: Free Will, Lying, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Letter to a Christian Nation, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Harris was the mid-show guest.

Ben Affleck: actor, director, writer, producer, activist. His newest movies are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Gone Girl based on a novel by Gillian Flynn
Nicholas Kristof: journalist, author, op-ed columnist, a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. His latest book is A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

Michael Steele: former chairman of Republican National Committee, political commentator, author. His book, published in 2010, Right Now: A 12-Step Program For Defeating The Obama Agenda, sounds out of date. 
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Return to Homeland: Season 4

Homeland Season 4 poster
Homeland Returns
by Catherine Giordano

Season Four of Homeland returns to Showtime at 9pm on Sunday October 5, 2014. It will be a two hour debut with the first two episodes being aired.  

Season 3 was a total meltdown. Let’s hope the showrunners have upped their game for Season 4. The new season  is pretty much a reboot of the show so it is worth a look-see.  
Season 4 of "Homeland" finds Carrie (played by Claire Danes) back in the Middle East. The CIA put her through hell in season three and then betrayed her by setting up the death of Brody, the man she loved and the father of her unborn baby. 

Apparently all is forgiven. Carrie has a new posting as a field operative in the Middle East and she is gung ho. She has abandoned her baby (left in the care of her family) and she is off to new adventures killing people.   
Rupert Friend is back as Peter Quinn, the black ops guy. Mandy Patinkin is back as Saul Berenson, but since he was forced out of the CIA, he now works in the private sector.

Watch the Showtime Season 4 trailer. Also do a search for Homeland on this blog to read my reviews and recaps of previous episodes

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