Friday, January 30, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #341, 01/30/15 "The Big Game"

Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
by Catherine Giordano

It was time for the big game of Real time with Bill Maher, episode 341, which aired  on 01/0/15. And when I say big game, I’m talking about the Super Ball, but not just the Super Bowl. But let’s start with the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl
“The Big Game,” is the Super Bowl which occurs on Sunday February 1. In the monologue Maher called it “our national religion.”  He then continued by making an allusion to “deflategate”, so mysteriously under inflated footballs, that has dominated the new for the past week.  He made an allusion to Katy Perry, who will be singing at half time, and promised us that a certain part of her anatomy would definitely not be deflated.

Later Bill spoke about football with the mid-show guest, Mel Brooks, film director, screenwriter, comedian, actor, producer, composer, songwriter who  is best known as the producer of comic farces and parodies. (Nine of his best movies are included in The Mel Brooks Collection.) Bill was talking about the terrible physical toll taken on the players who suffer brain damage and a life of constant pain.  

Mel Brooks had this to say about when people should play football: “From Age 5 to 10—no football. From age 10 to 15—only touch football, no tackling. From age 15 on--no football.”
Mel Brooks
Maher mentioned that Brooks was 88 years old and he recently did a one-man show which will air on HBO on Saturday night (1/21/15) at 9pm (8 central), Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen. Maher also congratulated Brooks for being one of only 12 EGOT’s people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. Brooks added that he had also been a Kennedy Center honoree.
At time Mel Brooks was on his game with funny and witty comments. At times he was showing his age.  He told a long rambling story about Cary Grant. Evidently, Brooks met Grant when he was a young man newly arrived in Hollywood.  When Grant asked Brooks to join him for lunch at the studio commissary, he was over the moon. (“I paid,” Brooks said.) Grant started calling him every day and they discovered they had a lot of mutual likes and dislikes. Brooks mentioned these in great detail. The punch line was anti-climatic. Brooks hero-worship was deflated after all these calls. Brooks had gotten bored with Grant and refused to take his calls.
Mitt Romney is out of the game
The biggest news of the week, after deflategate, was Mitt Romney’s announcement that he was withdrawing from the game—he will not seek the Republican nomination for president. Maher joked, that Romney was getting out for health reasons: “He couldn’t handle the stress of pretending to care about poor people.”
Romney said he wanted to clear the field for a fresh-face. Was this a dig at Jeb Bush? Nowadays the race for president starts so early and is so fast-paced that a candidate withdraws before he even formally announces.
The Money Game
Maher said that the Koch brothers are going to put $889 million into the race. Maher joked, that even Romney, with four mansions and his car elevator, was too poor for this race. He was the front runner and the Koch Brothers pushed him out. Romney who had crushed his opponents with money in the 2012 primary realized “I can’t play in this game
Joaquin Castro, representative to Congress (D, TX) said, “We are moving to an oligarchy. They want to buy the country. The question is will the American people sell it to them.” He added, “It’s an arms race—raise the money or lose the election. 
Katty Kay is a journalist, lead anchor of BBC World News America, and author. Her most recent book is The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know. She said, “The Democrats would do it too, if they could. She added, “It is only going to get worse.”
Monica Mehta, financial writer and commentator and author of The Entrepreneurial Instinct: How Everyone Has the Innate Ability to Start a Successful Small Business  joined in on the discussion saying that maybe “the extremeness we are seeing, such big numbers and such shamelessness, will be a call to action.”  My opinion is that it doesn’t matter if the public is outraged if the game is so rigged that we can’t do anything about it.
The Republicans took over Congress and they know how the game is played. Maher told us the very first thing they did was vote to weaken Dodd-Frank, a bill that tightened the rules on Wall Street to prevent them from crashing the economy again. It was payback time for all the money the fat cats had invested in their campaigns. 
Kay tried to defend this and Brooks quipped, “You should be in the Olympics the way you skated around Dodd-Frank.”
The Spy Game
Laura Poitras is a documentary film director and producer. Her latest documentary, Citizenfour has nominated for a 2015 Oscar and is the favorite to win.  It’s about Eric Snowden and the NSA spying. Poitris is against the government classifying information as secret when it is information the public has a right to know. They both agreed that Snowden was sincere when he said that he became a whistleblower because the NSA was misusing its power to spy and was invading the privacy of citizens and hiding information these citizens had a right to know.
Babrbie Doll
Barbie Doll Games
The mid-show comedy segment was about the decline in sales of Barbie dolls.

Evidently little girls are no longer fascinated with the feminine perfection this doll is supposed to represent. 

Bill suggested some new Barbie dolls.

  • Student Loan Barbie is a stripper with a pole for an accessory. Evidently because that is the only job she can get that pays enough to pay off the loan.
  • The Mormon Barbie comes with three sister wives.
  • The Texas Barbie is pregnant because all the abortion clinics have been closed. 
  • The Disney Land Barbie has measles.
  • The Camille Cosby Barbie has blinders on (because she refuses to beleive the stories about her husband drugging and raping 35 women.)
Republicans Gaming the Public
Save the Middle Class Bill Maher
In New Rules, in a segment called “Nixed Income”, Maher called out Republicans for their sudden interest in “middle class economics.”  Suddenly they are talking about income inequality and blaming it on the Democrats. Maher sarcastically said, “Those damn Democrats fighting the Republican Party’s efforts to help the middle class.”  He opined that “There is no shame in the Republican game.”

Maher jabbed, “The Republicans used to say ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ which is easy to say when you are on a yacht.”
He made Sarah Palin’s recent speech in which she appeared to be babbly and sprouting random phrases—much more than she usually does.  Maher said , “If Sarah Palin had a stroke, how would we know?” 
Maher then got serious and talked about the middle class. He said, a society with a thriving middle class is a fluke and a middle class is not the normal by-product of capitalism.  The U.S. had a middle class after WW II because of socialism. Taxes on the rich were as high as 90%. and this money was redistributed it through social programs like the G.I. Bill, free education, low-cost mortgages, etc.

Read more about this and see the video clip here: Middle Class Economics

Games Game Games
Bill Maher is the Super Bowl of comedy/talk shows. Let the games begin. 

Bill Maher’s Guests:  #341 January 30, 2015

Katty Kay. Journalist, lead anchor of BBC World News America, author. Her most recent book is The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know 

Monica Mehta;  Financial writer and commentator, author of
The Entrepreneurial Instinct: How Everyone Has the Innate Ability to Start a Successful Small Business, ambassador for Operation Hope, a non-profit financial literacy organization. 
Laura Poitras: Documentary film director and producer. Her films include My Country, My Country. Her latest documentary, Citizenfour  (about Eric Snowden), is nominated for a 2015 Oscar.

Mel Brooks: Film director, screenwriter, comedian, actor, producer, composer, songwriter. He is best known as the producer of comic farces and parodies.  Nine of his best movies are included in The Mel Brooks Collection  

Joaquin Castro:  Representative in congress (D, TX)