Friday, May 15, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher, #354, 05/15/15 "Killing it"

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America
Carsick: John Waters
Hitchhikes Across America
by Catherine Giordano


Bill Maher and guests were killing it on Friday May 12, 2015.  on episode #354 of "Real Time with Bill Maher." We had serious conversation, laced with witty jokes and put downs. And, sad to say, it had not just metaphorical killing, but some real death to talk about.  
 
Presidential candidates
Bill Maher began the show with jokes about Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate who got into the 2016 race for about five minutes. Now that he is out of the race, he can do fun things like have a charity boxing match with Evander Holyfield.  Maher quipped, “I guess he just likes getting beat by a black man.” On Saturday morning, I saw the results of the match. Romney lost. 

“You heard about the big train wreck? But enough about the Jeb Bush campaign. “ Good one Maher. A simple question about the Iraq war turned into a four day-train wreck for Jeb Bush. Maher said, “He’s the only one who could answer a simple yes or no question two different ways and be wrong each time.  

Actually, it was four different ways, but who is counting?  Bush capped it off by saying, “We don’t need ObamaCare. We have the I-watch.” And he’s supposed t be the smart one? He’s killing his own campaign.  

Even the ultra conservative on the panel Chares Murray was amazed that Bush could not answer the question. [Charles Murray is a paleoconservative and paleolibertarian—defined as someone who advocates tradition, limited government and civil society, along with religious, regional, national and Western identity.  He’s also a political scientist, author, columnist, pundit, and scholar at The American Enterprise Institute.  He is the author of several books. His most recent book is By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission 

Panelist Heather McGhee said “George W. Bush did a lot to this country that his brother will have to answer questions about.” She is President of Demos, a public policy organization dedicated to increasing social and economic equality in America.  

John Waters wants Hillary to win so Bill can be First Lady. He’d like to see Bill be a First Lady like Mamie Eisenhower. [John Waters is always so funny  He’s a film director, screenwriter, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, art collector, and author of a (sort of) memoir, Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America. Waters is being honored by the British Film Institute in September for his 50-film oeuvre which includes his cult hits Pink Flamingos and Hairspray.]

John Waters was the mid-show guest  in June of 2014. He discussed his book, Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, on that show. Read about it in my review and recap titled, “Spinning.”

The train wreck
The train derailment in Philadelphia killed eight people. Yet, the next day Congress voted to cut Amtrak funding. Maher said that they objected to subsidizing transportation with taxes “as opposed to the interstate highway system which is a natural-occurring geographical formation.”  

Heather McGhee
Heather McGhee
Heather McGhee said, This is no way to run a country.” While we are refusing to repair crumbling bridges from 100 years ago, across the pond, our competitors are doing broad-band, wind farms, etc. They are doing the things we taught them.”    

Maher said, “We can’t have victory for America because it might be seen as a victory for Obama. Murray tried to blame the problems on regulations. Maher pointed out that the stimulus package Obama managed to push through got things done.  

McGhee delivered the knock-out punch. “They are killing programs because they are afraid regulations would hold back the projects. That makes no sense.” 

Progressive Programs
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York wants to organize progressive leaders.  Progressives want common sense programs to improve the lives of the middle-class: A living-wage minimum-wage, sick leave, family leave, universal pre-K, etc. Republicans say it costs too much, but Maher pointed out the country had plenty of money for useless military aircraft. The F22 cost $67 billion and was never used; The F35 cost $1.57 Trillion and it doesn’t work.  

Murray said, “If they adopt this agenda, they will get wiped out.”   

Maher said that Republican citizens support these proposals, even though Republican politicians don’t.  He said, “The donor class is the gatekeeper.” 
 
The interview
"Heretic" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
"Heretic" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The interview was with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Somali-born American human rights activist, writer, and politician. She is critical of female genital mutilation and Islam and Muslims. She supports women's rights and atheism. She is the author of several books. Her newest book is Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. 

Her personal journey is amazing. She suffered genital mutilation at age 5. Her father tried to force her into a marriage, but she managed to escape to the Netherlands. She later emigrated to the United States.  

Maher and Ali agreed that liberals must stand up for women’s rights and not hid behind claims of cultural difference. Ali said, “Yes, some women like the burka, but millions do not like it.” 

She is calling for Islam to have a “reformation.”  She said, “We must stop investing in life after death instead of life before death. We must give up Sharia law. Holy war must be replaced with holy peace.”  

Calls for an “Islamic Reformation” are making an analogy with the Protestant Revolution. I don’t remember my history all that well, but how long did it take to “reform Christianity, how many wars, and how many dead? Religious reform does not go down easy. 

Religion
Perhaps religion is dying a slow death. The Pew Poll on religion is done every seven years. The 2015 poll shows that in the United States, the proportion who say they are Christian has gone from 78% to 70%.   

The “Nones,” people with no religious affiliation, are now at 23%. Among Millennials, 35% are “Nones.”  

This led to the mid show comedy segment –The King James Franco Bible.
  • Honor your father and mother… so you can live in their basement. 
  • Thou shall not steal.. except for music online.
  • When our Lord returns…Uber will be there.
Killer Mike
"Run the Jewels" with Killer Mike
"Run the Jewels" with Killer Mike

The mid-show guest was the rap artist known as Killer Mike. He is a rap recording artist and activist against racially- motivated police violence. He has several music CDs including Run the Jewels. 

Mike talked about the problem of cops killing black men. He said we need community policing. It’s not enough to just have black cops, the cops must live in the neighborhoods they police. And good cops must turn in bad cops. 

Maher mentioned that Bill O’Reilly is always going after rappers. He blames the decline in the numbers of Christians on rappers. Maher pointed out that blacks are the least likely group to leave Christianity. 
 
Jesus was a black guy with a posse of homies. He was against government. And everyone like him better when he was dead.
 
Brit for Brains
Bill Maher’s final New Rules bit was about the use of British accents in American culture to convey gravitas. Things just sound better with an American accent. Maher said, “They have the gravitas; we have the swag.” 

“Face it,” Bill said. “We are not a serious people. We drink wine out of a box. We invented Mormons. And Bill O’Reilly is a best seller. And the Iraq war sounded a whole lot better coming out of Tony Blair’s mouth “
 
Killing it, Maher!
When comics are funny, they are said to be killing. Bill Maher kills every week. But not for the next two weeks. He’s on tour in Europe so there is a two week hiatus of the show. He’ll be back on Friday, June 5, 2015.
 

Bill Maher’s Guests:  May 15, 2015  

The interview
 Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Somali-born American human rights activist, writer, and politician. She is critical of female genital mutilation and Islam and Muslims. She supports women's rights and atheism. She is the author of several books. Her newest book is Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now 

The mid-show guest 
Michael Render, aka Killer Mike: Rap recording artist and activist against racially- motivated police violence. He has several music CDs including Run the Jewels. 

The panel included: 

John Waters: Film director, screenwriter, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, art collector, and author of a (sort of) memoir, Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America. Waters is being honored by the British Film Institute in September for his 50-film oeuvre which includes his cult hits Pink Flamingos and Hairspray.
 
Heather McGhee: President of Demos, a public policy organization dedicated to increasing social and economic equality in America.  


Charles Murray "By the People"
Charles Murray"By the People"
Charles Murray: Paleoconservative and paleolibertarian political scientist, author, columnist, pundit, and scholar at The American Enterprise Institute.  He is the author of several books. His most recent book is By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. (A paleoconservative is someone who advocates tradition, limited government and civil society, along with religious, regional, national, and Western identity.)