Friday, March 27, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #348 03/27/15 "In a Blather"

S. E. Cupp
S. E. Cupp .
by Catherine Giordano

Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 348, which aired on March 27, 2014 had the guests worked up into lather, or was it blather on some subjects.

Mike Huckabee
The interview was with Mike Huckabee, former governor (R, AK), ordained Baptist minister, and author of several books. His most recent book is God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy. Usually, I only see Huckabee in a lip on MSNBC so I see him at his blathering worst. In this interview, Huckabee come across as a nice guy. Of course, he was working to create that impression; he knew the make-up of Maher’s audience, and he stayed away from any of his inflammatory opinions. Instead he was mild and folksy.
  • “When we cuss we become coarse and that becomes our attitude towards other people.”
  • “Free speech must also be responsible speech.”
  • “In the south, gravy is a beverage.”
  • “I am not blueblood; I am blue collar.”
  • “I got support from working class people, not just from religious people.”

The 2016 Election
The panel picked up this discussion when Maher introduced the topic of the evangelical vote. He said “Bubbaville is not who America is today.”
Barney Frank

The challenge for Republicans is that there are too many factions in the party. It is hard for one candidate to unite the party. S.E. Cupp, conservative political commentator and columnist, said, “You can’t win when you alienate half f your party.”

Barney Frank is a former Representative (D, MA), and the author of several books. His latest book is Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage. He has an opinion on everything and expresses those opinions forthrightly. Frank said, “Hillary is a consensus candidate.” 

S.E. Cupp insisted Hillary needs primary opponents—the interest generated by a primary will turn people out for the general election. I find it so interesting the Republicans are continually giving advice to the Democrats on how to win. They are gearing up for a three-ring circus of primaries with 10, 15, or even 20 candidates duking it out like spiders in a cage. They sound envious of the Democrats more orderly path to the nominating convention.  

Frank was ready with a retort. “You know who will turn people out for Hillary—the Republican candidate.” That cut through the blather. 

Ted Cruz
So far the only candidate who has actually announced that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination is Ted Cruz. (Notwithstanding that Jeb Bush is holding scads of fundraisers and pulling in umpteen million dollars at each one, he has not actually announced. He is still just “exploring.”) 

Maher described Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to a Cuban father, as having the “gravitas of Justin Beiber” (another Canadian) and” the people skills of Scarface (a character played by Al Pacino in the movie, Scarface, about a Cuban immigrant gangster.) This quip was Maher at his best. 

Sachary Quinto
The panel discussed Ted Cruz’ response to a reporter about what kind of music he likes. Maher told us that Ted Cruz replied that he used to like rock and roll but on 9/11 he changed to country music. Zachary Quinto, an actor known from the TV series, Heroes, and for playing Dr. Spock in some of the Star Trek movies, dismissed this as “pandering. Frank said, “Tell them what they want to hear, but try not to tell them something they won’t believe.” 

Jay Famiglietti and the Water Crisis
Jay Famiglietti is a professor of earth sciences (hydrology and climate) at University of California, Irvine and also works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the Senior Water Cycle Scientist. He said the water crisis is much worse than people know. The drought in California has lasted four years. When it doesn’t rain, the reservoirs are a backup, but now the reservoirs are running out of water.  

Maher said people get scared about the wrong things. “Running out of water—no reaction. Plane goes down—everyone freaking out.” Quinto said, “If you don’t feel it isn’t real” Frank said, “People react when there is a specific identifiable victim.” Maher pointed out that people are more likely to die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria than from a psycho pilot. [I will add ebola. People worked themselves into a lather thinking it was the number one health threat to America not too long ago, but it was always very unlikely to become epidemic in the United States.]  
Last Call at the Oasis
Last Call at the Oasis

For more information on the water crisis read Last Call at the Oasis (paperback) or view the documentary of the same name, Last Call at the Oasis (on dvd.) Famiglietti is a contributor.

Mid-show-comedy segment: Water Conservation Guide
Maher showed an actual water conservation guide which discussed such water saving measures as wait staff not bring a glass of water to the table unless the diner asks for it and hotels not washing towels unless the guest asks for it. He had a few suggestions of his own.
  • Get a masochist to lick your car clean
  • When the DEA is at your door, make sure you have thrown your entire stash in the toilet before flushing
  • Instead of the ice bucket challenge, just give the money to charity

Middle East War
Maher segued into a segment about the Middle Eastern wars by saying that some people capitalize on irrational fears, seeing it as an opportunity to do what they already want to do. Dick Cheney seized on 9/11 to go to war with Iraq.  

Cupp immediately interjected, “Both sides do it.”  

Ever notice how Republicans are always saying “both sides do it” whenever someone brings up wrongdoing by a Republican. Sometimes they don’t even have any justification for saying it. It is a knee-jerk response. I can’t recall Democrats saying that. When a Democrat does something wrong, other Democrats usually pile on. Look how many jumped on Hillary Clinton on the trumped-up email scandal before it was shown that there was nothing nefarious there. I think Republicans were howling because they were desperate to get their hands on some personal email that they could use to embarrass Hillary Clinton. 
S.E. Cupp Brought the Crazy
S.E. Cupp did not want to discuss how the Iraq War has led to the current dangerous mess in the Middle East by destabilizing the region and ramping up hatred for the West. [I can’t keep it straight anymore. Iran is our friend in the fight against ISIS but our enemy in the fight against Yemen.]  

Anyway, Cupp didn’t want to talk about it, so she compared it to being pregnant. “When you’re pregnant there is nothing you can do about it…You are going to have a baby whether you want it or not, so you have to decide on what you are going to do about it.“ Her comments were so out of place, I had to google her to try to understand why she was saying this. Sure enough she was pregnant in 2014, and evidently talking like she was the first woman ever to be pregnant. I couldn’t tell if she wanted the baby or not, but she was blathering a lot about pregnancy last year. Everyone on the show politely ignored her blathering.  

New Rules: The Italian Jab
“The designers Dolce and Gabanna said even though they are proudly gay, when it comes to making a bambino they don’t approve of synthetics because they just don’t breathe (or was it breed) like cotton.” So now all the liberals are outraged and refusing to buy their clothes. Maher questioned if we should get outraged over two men who “bedazzle cod-pieces for a living." 

Maher wants the liberals to calm down. This is one of his pet peeves. He does not like political correctness. He’s done this bit so many times before. He is right, but I’m tired of him blathering about it.  

Part of it was funny. 
  • Vegans vs. vegetarians: Cheese eater. Burn him 
  • Atheists vs. agnostics: Do you believe in a talking snake? Me neither. We’re on the same team.
The last bit was about a performance of The Vagina Monologues was cancelled because the play does not include the transgender experience. Maher, said, “I’m sorry. If you are a transgender and you can’t handle The Vagina Monologues, (available as book and on DVD) you don’t need a vagina. You are already a giant pussy.”

Bill Maher’s Guests, episode 348, March 27, 2015

Mike Huckabee: Former governor (R, AK), ordained Baptist minister, and author of several books. His most recent book is God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy

Jay Famiglietti: Professor of earth sciences (hydrology and climate) at University of California, Irvine and also works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the Senior Water Cycle Scientist

Rep. Barney Frank: Former Representative (D, MA) and author of several books. His latest book is Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage 

Zachary Quinto: Actor, known for playing Doctor Spock in two of the Star Trek movies and for his roles in the TV series, Heroes, American Horror Story, and The Slap. He evidently has quite a following because there are a number of autobiographical books about this young man, including The Zachary Quinto Handbook: Everything you need to know about Zachary Quinto 

S. E. Cupp: conservative commentator and author of Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity and co-author (with Brett Joshpe) of Why You're Wrong About the Right: Behind the Myths: The Surprising Truth About Conservatives She was called “the dumbest person in the history of cable television” in Esquire magazine. (At the very least, she knows how to say dumb things to advance her career.) She also claims to be an atheist and “a better atheist than Bill Maher” although she doesn’t sound like one in her book.  And she doesn't sound liker one when she says she's a "better atheist." What does that mean? She doesn't believe more than Maher doesn't believe? Atheists don't talk like that. It's religious people who criticize other members of their own religion for not being a good enough Christian, Jew, Muslim,  (fill in the blank).