Friday, February 20, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #344 02/20/15 "Pardon Me"

by Catherine Giordano

Pardon me, but I have to inform you about a few rather ugly things in the news this week, and I’m not even talking about terrorism (Islamic or otherwise. Bill Maher and his guests discussed some of these despicable events on Real Time with Bill Maher episode 344, which aired on February 20, 2015. 

Shoe stepping on giuliani (dog mess)
I have some giuliani on my shoe.
Giuliani: I’ve got some giuliani on my shoe.
I have to lead with Rudy Giuliani for his despicable comments this week; the ones that he should be asking pardon for, but instead he’s proud of them. He said:

“I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” 

Giuliani knows it is horrible, he said it—in public—anyway, and not only does he not apologize for it, he’s proud of it. 

I can’t look at that man’s face with thinking about something that needs to be scraped off the bottom of my shoe. He disgusts me that much. 

Remember santorum. Google it. Rick Santorum said some despicable things about gays, and as a result a campaign was launched to create a neologism making his name mean a disgusting substance. It came up as the first listing for many years, and it is still on the first page.

I propose that we do the same for Giuliani. As in: 
Pardon me, I’ve got to scrape this giuliani off my shoe.
Yuck, it looks like I’ve stepped in some giuliani.

Panel member, Fran Lebowitz, is a writer for Vanity Fair, humorist, public speaker, and author of several books including Tales from A Broad: An Unreliable Memoir. Lebowitz is particular noted for writing about New York City. She offered the best explanation for why Giuliani said this. She said that Giuliani earns his living now as a public speaker, and smears against Obama is what his groups want to hear. Maybe his bookings were slipping so he needed to get himself some publicity. I hope it backfires on him. After all, who wants giuliani on their speaker’s platform? It’s bad enough when you get it on your shoe.

Maher’s explanation was a joke about how Giuliani wanted love from Obama, in the carnal way. As part of a joke in his monologue, Maher read from a book he said that Giuliani had written—“50 Shades of Black.” In one scene Giuliani is alone in the oval office with Obama when Obama “reaches into his pants and pulls out his long hard black…veto pen, and waves it in Giuliani’s face. (Pardon me for repeating that very-off-color joke.)

Remember Giuliani’s short-lived campaign for the Republican nomination for president, Joe Biden said, Giuliani’s entire campaign was “a noun, a verb, and 9-11. Giuliani is still at it. He trades on the fact that he was mayor of NYC when 9-ll happened. He ignores how he was responsible for some of the deaths because he insisted on having the command center in the World Trade Center when the people responsible for security of the city wanted it to be in Brooklyn. As a result there was no command center that day. Why did he put the command Center in the World Trade Center? He did it so he would have a convenient place for trysts with his mistress.   

Giuliani is also always talking about how much he loves America. Maher said, “If America was a woman he’d move her into the mayor’s mansion while his wife was still there. (Giuliani actually did have his mistress come to live at the mayor’s mansion while his wife was still living there.) 

[If you like me have a little trouble with the spelling, remember Giuliani puts I (himself) before U (you).]  

New Rules: Doobie Brothers
Barack Obama young man
Obama as a young man
In the final New Rules segment, Doobie Brothers, Maher took on some more despicable behavior from politicians. He began by saying how stupid it was to ask potential candidates about their use of marijuana. It was shocking when Bill Clinton admitted to it; now it would be shocking if a candidate denied it. 

 “Everyone from Bill Clinton to Newt Gingrich, Al Gore to Rick Santorum, John Kerry to Sarah Palin — they have all fessed up,” he said. “Come on, when even Ted Cruz cops to it? That one surprised me, I must admit. I thought, ‘Who would get high with Ted Cruz?’”  

Now it is about the hypocrisy. Jeb Bush got singled out for being particularly hypocritical. Jeb not only smoked pot, he was a dealer in his prep school.           Jeb dismissed it by saying that he was “a cynical little turd at a cynical school.”  

This self-admitted turd is still a cynical little turd. When Jeb was governor of Florida, he instituted jail-only policies—no treatment-- for drug offenses — except in one case. Maher said, ““Except when it was your daughter, when you made an exception,” Wow, that sounds like something a cynical turd would do.” We better be careful--if Jeb gets into the oval office, he’ll be getting giuliani all over the rug.
Maher reminded us that President Obama not only smoked pot as a young man, he looked cool doing it. These presidential candidates never went to jail for the drug crimes they committed. (It helps to have “parents who are white and well-connected”, Maher said.)
Maher said that it’s time for Obama to call an end to the war on drugs and to give a pardon to all the people in prison for non-violent marijuana offenses.

In the monologue Maher said that the Academy Awards were about “movies you haven’t seen with British actors you don’t know.” Maher went on to say that each group was rooting for a different movie. The blacks are rooting for Selma, the gays are rooting for Imitation, and the Catholic Church is rooting for Boyhood. 

Later in the show, Maher mentioned that the Best Picture Oscar usually goes to the movie about a cause. He said a sure winner would be “a movie about a slave with AIDS during the Holocaust.”  

Maher did the comedy segment about the Oscars. The nominees all get swag bags. This year the swag is estimated to be worth $160,000. Maher showed us some of the actual items in the actual items in the swag bag and since the Oscars coincides with the Daytona 500 this year, he joked about the counterpart item in the Daytona 500 swag bag. For instance, at the Oscars you get a fancy face cream; at the Daytona 500 you get a jar of Bubba’s mayonnaise. The Oscars gives you an expensive weight loss treatment; the Daytona 500 gives you a bag of meth. 

The Issues

Pardon me, for even bringing these up again. I know you probably feel as much despair as I do whenever these subjects come up. 

Maher mentioned “Millennial Anger” saying that young people today are blaming the prior generations for the mess they will inherit. I can’t say I blame them--we have created problems (like ISIS) and ignored others (like climate change. 

Climate Change
Bill Nye, scientist, educator, humorist, and author of several books (including Bill Nye's Comic History of England and Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation) said we have to stop talking about “climate skeptics.” The correct term is “climate denier.”

Panelist, Elahe Izadi, Journalist and reporter for The Washington Post said “Half of the Republicans now believe it.” Maher said, But not the feces-throwers and flat-earthers who vote in the primaries” which makes it political suicide for the Republican leadership refuses to acknowledge climate change.

The Mid East
We wouldn’t be having the ISIS problem if we had not invaded Iraq and removed Saddam and his Sunni regime. Panelist Rob Reiner said that now those Sunnis are ISIS fighting a sectarian was with the Shiites and using terrorism as revenge against the west. (Reiner is an actor, director, producer, and activist. He directed This is Spinal Tap. He played Meathead, Archie Bunker’s son-in-law, in the television series All in the Family.)  

Maher said that the Arab nations must put “the boots on the ground.” He pointed out that there is a precedent for this. They all banded together to fight Israel. Now they need to band together to fight ISIS.  

Aloe Blacc
Aloe Blacc
Music royalties
Perhaps the issue of writers of music not being very poorly paid for their work is not as grave as the other issues, but it is important to the writers. The interview was with musician Aloe Blacc. (His newest release is Lift Your Spirit.) Blacc says that he wants “control over who sings my songs and the current copyright laws don’t allow that.   

Maher said, “If the world is going to shit, on the way, I want to listen to good music.”  

Pardon me
Pardon me for not really doing justice to the Real Time with Bill Maher show. This review and recap has to leave so much out. I’ll get to some of the bits I omitted in other posts that I will do later in the week. 

Bill Maher’s Guests, episode 344, aired on February 20, 2015

Bill Nye: Scientist, educator, humorist, author of several books including Bill Nye's Comic History of England and Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation

Rob Reiner: Actor, director, producer, activist. He directed This is Spinal Tap. He played Meathead, Archie Bunker’s son-in-law, in the television series  All in the Family.

Aloe Blacc: Rapper, musician. His newest release is Lift Your Spirit

Fran Lebowitz: Writer for Vanity Fair, public speaker, author of several books including Tales From A Broad: An Unreliable Memoir

Elahe Izadi: Journalist, reporter for The Washington Post
Bill Maher and Bill Nye
Bill Maher and Bill Nye


Friday, February 13, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #343 02/13/15 "Unholy BS"

for Merchants of Doubt
by Catherine Giordano 

The unholy aroma of BS hung heavy in the hair throughout episode 343 of Real Time with Bill Maher which aired on February 13, 2015.  

The Merchants of Doubt
Did you know that you can earn a living being a professional bs-er? Robert Kennar, producer, director, and screenwriter for a new documentary, Merchants of Doubt which will be released on March 5, 2015. (It is based on the book, Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway. His previous documentary, Food Inc., was nominated for an Academy award.) 

The professional bs-er is in the business of deceiving people. Let's call them "the merchants of unholy bs."  Kennar explained that it began with tobacco. Not only did these bs-ers maintain that tobacco did not cause cancer long after there was no longer any doubt about the connection, they claimed that cigarettes didn’t cause fires-- couches caused fires. Their bs was so convincing that laws were passed to add fire retardant chemicals to couches. Guess what—the chemicals caused cancer. How many cancer deaths did these people cause? 

After tobacco the bs-ers moved to pesticides, ozone, climate-change, drugs, sugar, and even cloned meat. They turn common sense on its head. How do you save the forests—more logging!

Maher said that they and the politicians they have bought put it this way, “If we protect you, it will infringe on your freedom." (I guess they are referring to your freedom to die an early painful death.) 

Read more about this and see video clips at Professional Liars: he Merchants of Doubt

Marriage Equality
Baratunde Thurston
Baratunde Thurston
Some counties in Alabama are refusing to issue marriage licenses to anybody in order to get around an order from the federal court to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Panel member, Baratunde Thurston (writer, comedian and entrepreneur, author of How to Be Black), said, “They are fighting a war that has already been lost. It is like they are auditioning for the part of Governor Wallace in the movie Selma.”
Republicans BS in London
Panel member, Zanny Milton Bedoes, is Editor in Chief of The Economist magazine. She’s from England and she called out Republicans on the bs they speak when they visit her country. Chris Christie got in trouble for bs-ing about vaccinations and Scott Walker got in trouble for bs-ing about evolution. Bedoes said, “If you are a Republican candidate for president, don’t go to London.” The English press is fierce. They will take you down if you bs.

While in London, Walker said that he would not answer a question about whether or not he believed in evolution. He later tried to walk it back by saying science and faith are completely compatible. Maher called out that bit of bs. He said, “No. Stupidity is not another form of knowledge.”

Racism and Cops
Cop with gun
Do cops have an 007 mentality?
I learned about another wanton murder by cops “in the line of duty” on Maher’s show. He showed a shocking video clip. A Hispanic man, this time, threw some rocks at some cops and ran away. Three cops chased him and shut him dead, firing multiple times, as he ran away. He ran away—he was no longer a threat to them. Beside there were three of them.

This 007-License- to-Kill mentality has to be stopped. The rules are that deadly force (guns) can only be used as a last resort to protect human life. But too many cops are shooting just because they are pissed off.  

Maher said, “Something is wrong in the culture. They know they can get away with it.”

Panelist Tom Davis, former Representative (R, VA) and author of Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis (with Martin Frost and Richard E. Cohen) said “The police have to call out their own.” 

Jeff Comey, the director of the FBI, is the top cop. He is starting to speak out. He said, “We are all a little bit racist.” Yes, that is true. We all have prejudices, but we don’t all go out and shoot people based on those prejudices. (We cross the street.)  

Maher said, it was better for a white person (like Comey) to say these things. I agree, a white person is more likely to get racist people to listen and I agree they are more likely to listen if he approaches the subject gingerly, but he is just bs-ing if he doesn’t get tough. It won’t stop until these cops get prosecuted.

Maher cited a New York Times article that reported that ObamaCare is working. More people have insurance and costs are coming down. Thurston said that he has personally benefitted from it because he did not have insurance before.  

Davis said that it has helped some and hurt others. It was a badly written bill. (Question to Davis: What did you do to make it better? Trying to kill it completely does not count as making it better.) 

Maher said, “We should have a single payer system. Insurance companies are sharks.” Later, he added, “We shouldn’t have the profit motive in sickness and death.” (No bs there.) 

Bedoes said, ”England has a single payer system. You want a hybrid system.” I wish she had explained what a hybrid system would look like. Maybe we would have had time for that if Maher had not gone on a rant about vaccines. (See below) 

Mid-Show Comedy Segment: Celebrity Perfume

It seems like every celebrity, male and female, in the world of fashion, music, and film ahs their own perfume label. Maher suggested a few new ones. 

  • Kanye West                         Interruption  
  • Renee Zellweger                 Incognito
  • Bruce Jenner                      Transition for Men
  • Brian Williams                     Conflation    
  • Hillary Clinton                      Inevitable
  • John McCain                       Old Spite
  • Chris Christie                      Enormity for Men 

David Duchovney
David Duchovney Holy Cow book cover
for Holy Cow

The mid-show guest was David Duchovney, actor, director, and author of a new novel Holy Cow: A Modern Day Dairy Tale

 Maher teased Duchovney because he has always called himself a writer, but has never published a book until now. Duchovney joked, “Delusional is my perfume.

The book is a about a cow that goes to India. It is written as a satire (like Animal Farm by George Orwell) to address the issue of animal rights. Duchovney said, “The abuse of animals comes from humans thinking they are separate from animals.” 

Maher said that raising animals for meat causes more global warming than cars. (It’s the methane gas they emit from their butts.) 

Maher mentioned that livestock animals have to be given antibiotics because of the unhealthy conditions in which they are raised. From there he segued to antibiotic-resistant “bugs” and from there, he was on vaccines.  

Maher has had plenty of time to educate himself on vaccines, but he evidently wants to just keep on spewing out the same old bs. Children need to give their immune system a workout. I don’t get sick because I eat healthy. The flu shot is bogus.  

Maher then began yelling that having six kids is worse than not getting vaccinated. (Maher is unmarried and has no children.) The panel was a dissimulated. They didn’t know how to respond to this non-sequitur. Yes, having six kids is probably not a good idea, but what does that have to do with vaccines? 

Measles is highly contagious and can be deadly. Yes, exposure to a few common bacteria that don’t usually cause illness in humans can give the immune system “a workout,” but best not to do that with a serious illness. Yes, the flu shot is not 100% effective, but it does save some lives. Not everyone is as healthy at Maher—some of us need the protection of vaccines. And by the way, I don’t care if Maher thinks his immune system is like “The Hulk”, if Maher is exposed to measles and has not been vaccinated, he is going to be one sick puppy. Why risk it? 

Vaccines give the immune system a workout. When people are vaccinated, they get a weakened form of the virus. The immune system produces antibodies, and then they won’t get the disease if they are exposed to it. The flu mutates every year so immunologists have to try to guess which variant will prevail, and that is why the flu vaccine is not 100% effective.   

One of the definitions of bs in the Urban Dictionary is talking when you don't know what you are talking about. Stop bs-ing about vaccines!

New Rules: Anchor Sore
Maher began, "Brian Williams should not have to go away because he lied. He should have to go away because the news sucks.” 

He berated news shows as a race to the bottom. They feature trivia like YouTube videos and reports about snow (“It snows. They plow it. It melts. The end.”) He ended with a complaint about heart-warming stories. He said, “There’s a place for them. It’s called Reader’s Digest.”  

Fat Bellies
Fat bellies
On his way to his snappy conclusion, Maher did the very thing he was complaining about. He faulted the networks for doing an endless number of segments that pretend to be about obesity and are just an excuse to show jiggling bellies, boobs and butt. (The alliteration is mine, Maher’s.) Then Maher gave us fat jiggling bellies, boobs, and butts.  

I’m with Maher on the viciousness of the broadcast news shows, but I have to call bs on this part of his diatribe. Maher delights in showing us this kind of thing. Maher is thin and athletic. (Remember the season opener last year when he was filmed running from one theater to the other.) Fat is one of Maher’s pet peeves and it gives him a chance to be superior. As previously mentioned, Maher avoids sugar--he has said in the past that he prefers to get his calories from alcohol.  

Stop the BS
I watch Bill Maher because it is a no bs zone for his guests. Lately, I’m feeling like the bs is coming from Maher. I’d like Maher to give his guests more time to talk on their area of expertise and stop interjecting when his opinions are uninformed. 

Bill Maher’s Guests for February 13, 2015, episode #343
Robert Kennar: Screenwriter, director, producer, His newest movie is Merchants of Doubt, a documentary, based on the book by Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway

David Duchovney: Actor, director, author of Holy Cow: A Modern Day Dairy Tale

Tom Davis: Former Representative (R, VA), author of Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis (with Martin Frost and Richard E. Cohen)

Zanny Milton Bedoes: Editor in Chief of The Economist magazine

Baratunde Thurston: writer, comedian and entrepreneur, author of How to Be Black

Friday, February 6, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #342 2/6/15 “The Scream”

The Scream
The Scream
by Catherine Giordano

Remember the primal scream. It was all the rage back in the 70’s. It was a type of therapy in which you get all your pent up anger and grief out in an epic fit of screaming. (The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov). I think the whole world is having one great big primal scream.
Johann Hari and The War on Drugs
Johann-Hari: Chasing the Scream
Johann-Hari: Chasing the Scream
The War on drugs has been going on in this country for more than 100 years. We are not winning. Johann Hari, a journalist, has written a book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, that gives the best explanation I have ever heard about why we are losing the war on drugs and what we need to do to treat drug addiction.
He says everything we think we know about addiction is wrong. He pointed out that people in hospitals get heroin, often for long periods of time. “Your grandma didn’t become a junkie from her hip operation.”  
He described an experiment with rats. If you put a rat in the cage with types of water—regular water and water with heroin in it. He will choose the heroin water. But if you create a Rat Park, a place that has everything rats like, he will choose the regular water and won’t touch the drug water. Happy rats don’t become addicted.
Hari told us about Portugal a country with a really bad drug problem. They decided to take all the money they were spending on treating drug users like criminals and use it to help them instead. They got them subsidized jobs. (The government essentially paid employers to hire the addicts. It worked. There are far fewer addicts.
I want to scream because the United States probably won’t try this. I think it goes back to the Calvinistic and puritanical roots of this country. People are sinners and no one deserves anything they have not earned. So we treat drug users like animals and lock them in a cage at enormous cost both financial and socially. Will any politician be brave enough to try treating people with love?
I want to learn more about this. Maher kept interrupting Hari to make jokes. I know it is Maher’s job to make jokes, but I wanted to scream at him to shut up and let the man talk.
Everyone is screaming about vaccines. Maher is in favor of the measles vaccine (I think, but he just had to go off on how the flu vaccine is useless. He had a doctor on the show who explained it to him, but Maher can be just as stubborn as anyone else about not letting the facts get in the way of his opinion.
Panel member, Marianne Williamson is a spiritual teacher and author of 10 books including Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens. Her best known book is Year of Miracles based on A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman. Williamson said “it is a public health issue that overrides individual choice.”
Panel member, John McCormack, senior writer, The Weekly Standard said that the measles vaccine does not cause autism.
Panel member, Amy Holmes, news anchor on the, said the criticism of Rand Paul and Chris Christie for suggesting otherwise was “gotcha politics.”
Maher jumped on this bandwagon. “If you ask any questions, it is like you are a climate denier. Medicine is more complicated than climate science.” (Really!?) He compared vaccines to antibiotics which he called “too much of a good thing.” He then went on to say “The body needs a workout to build the immune system.” To some extent this is true, but Maher doesn’t seem to know how vaccines work. A vaccine gives you a small dose of the weakened virus so your immune system can go into action, conquer, and produce antibodies that give you immunity in the event you are exposed to the real thing. Vaccines give your immune system a workout! (The italics are to indicate that I am screaming.)
Williamson had to force spirituality into the debate. She said,”People who have been prayed for live longer.” Maher, said “Sure, but not because the prayers reached God.” (People who are prayed over live longer because they have social support. Many experiments have shown that random intercessory prayer has no effect.) Williamson is not arguing prayer over vaccines is she? I don’t think so. So why bring up prayer?)
Obama and the National Prayer Breakfast
Obama at the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast
Obama at the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast
Everyone is screaming over Obama’s remarks at the national prayer breakfast. He pointed out that terrorism in the name of religions is nothing new. Christians did it with the Crusades and the Inquisition. Homes said “These are non-sequitors. They are from 800 years ago. What does one have to do with the other?”
Maher explained it. “We did it then, they are doing it now.” Nonetheless, Maher went on about how Islam was worse. “The evil is right in the book.” Christianity had the reformation and Islam needs to have its own reformation. Maher said, “They worship Allah; we worship money.” He meant that we have more of an interest in living well here on Earth.”
Then everyone started screaming and talking over each other and I couldn’t make out what anyone was saying. So I’ll just have to report on my own comments. Obama said those things because he is smart. If he wants allies in the Arab world in the fight against terrorism, he can’t insult Islamic nations. He must say that these terrorists are not part of the true Islam. The U.S. and Europe need to be allied with Muslim nations in order to suppress terrorism! They will not be our allies if we insult them! (Screaming again.)
Williamson blamed it all on our invasion of Iraq. I believe she is correct bout this, but she forced it into the conversation just the way she did when she made her comments on prayer. So everyone started screaming again and talking over each other again and I couldn’t hear a thing.
The Jobs Report and the Good Economic News
More good economic news and more new jobs created last month. The number of jobs has increased for 55 straight months. Maher taunted his conservative guests. Remember how Republicans said ObamaCare would be a job killer? Has it killed jobs? No!”
McCormack said it hasn’t killed jobs yet because the employer mandate was delayed. Again not letting facts get in the way of opinions.  
Obama’s poll numbers have been steadily increasing since the November elections despite Republican screams of outrage over everything he does or says. Why are the poll numbers going up? I think it is because all the negative attack ads are off the air since the election is over.  
Janet Mock: Transgender Issues
Janet Mock,  transgender activist
Janet Mock
The mid-show guest was Janet Mock, transgender rights activist, author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

There was a discussion about Republican presidential contender, Mike Huckabee, making his bid on gender issues and by criticizing Beyonce.
Bill Maher said Janet Mock sees herself as a girl who just happened to be born with a penis. She had gendered reassignment surgery many years ago and came out in a 2011 article in a magazine, Marie Claire.
Mock said that gender is not just Male female. Maher mentioned that facebook has 56 gender categories. Mock said that on tinder (an online hooking-up site), there are over 1000 gender categories.
A Spoof on Two Mommies
The mid-show comedy segment concerned news reports that babies can have three parents. Women who have a genetic defect in their mitochondrial DNA can have it removed from their eggs and replaced with healthy DNA from another woman before in-vitro fertilization and implantation of the fertilized egg.
Maher took the book Heather Has Two Mommies which is about children who have lesbian parents and turn it into a spoof. Watch the segment here.
New Rules: Babble Rouser
Finally Republicans are willing to admit that Sarah Palin is a crazy person. “They have finally realized the emperor has no clues,” Maher said.
Matt Lewis wrote a column in The Daily Beast titled, You Betcha I Was Wrong About Sarah Palin.
Maher asked what else Republicans might finally realize they are wrong about
You Betcha I Was Wrong About Climate Change: Germany gets 70% of their energy from renewable.)
You Betcha I was Wrong About Sending 12 million Mexicans back to Mexico: There are not enough trains. Just ask Germany. (Groans from the audience.)
You Betcha I Was wrong About Middle East Invasions and Heroic Snipers
 And finally, the grand daddy of Zombie Lies—You Betcha I Was Wrong About Trickle-Down Economics: It’s like have three dogs and giving one a wiener and thinking he’ll share it with the others.
What are Zombie Lies? It’s from an earlier New Rules Segment. Read about it here:
I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream
It seems like everybody is mad as Hell and they are not going to take it anymore. We may need to take a collective deep breath and calm the f@#k down.  
Bill Maher’s Guests #342 February 6, 2015
The interview was with Johann Hari, journalist, author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
The mid-show guest was Janet Mock, transgender rights activist, author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
Amy Holmes, news anchor on the
John McCormack, senior writer, The Weekly Standard
Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher, author of 10 books including Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens. Her best known book is Year of Miracles based on A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman