Monday, June 29, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #358 06/26/15 "A Very Good Week"

by Catherine Giordano


Rainbow  flag
The rainbow flag flies.
Real Time with Bill Maher, episode #358, which aired on 6/26/2015, reminded us that it was a very good week.  

“The Confederate Flag went down and the Rainbow Flag went up,” Maher said in his opening monologue. It was a very good week, except maybe for Lindsey Graham. Maher chided the Republicans for acting like a bunch of “drama queens” about the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. “They do realize that same sex marriage is not mandatory?” Maher quipped. You wouldn’t know it by how outraged they are.

It was a great week for Obama. It was such a good week for Obama that Maher said, “It was like an episode of The West Wing.”

The Affordable Care Act survived the challenge to it in the Supreme Court. It was saved by a six to three ruling, with Kennedy and Roberts joining the liberals. They actually ruled on only a very narrow bit of law—whether or not four words, essentially just a typo, could overturn the clear meaning and intent of the act as a whole. They ruled that it could not. This ruling said nothing about the merit, or lack of merit, of the law as a whole. However, just the fact that the law survived is cause for celebration.  

Next Obama got the fast track approval he wanted in order to negotiate the TPP trade deal. He did it by getting mostly Republican votes. So weird that this time it was Democrats opposing him. I trust Obama. What could be his reason for negotiating a bad deal that hurts American jobs? He doesn’t need campaign donations. And he certainly doesn’t need to do something that would tarnish his legacy. 

Obama has finally learned how to play the political game. It is so sad about how long it takes presidents to get savvy enough to get their legislation passed. One good thing about having Hillary as president is that she won’t have that learning curve. She’s done it all before when her husband was president. She can be an effective president on Day One.  


So many times I have said, “Obama gave the best speech ever.” He did it again on Friday afternoon at the funeral for Clementa Pinckney. The White House announced that it would not be a political speech, and in some ways it wasn’t. It celebrated the life of “Clem” (as the president called him a few times), and he joined the family and friends in grief. However the political message for gun control, for voting rights, for equality, and against the remnants of Jim Crow came through loud and clear. I could see how his years as a community organizer when he worked with black churches was proving to be time well spent because he learned oratory from the best during those years, His speech rivaled the “I come to bury Caesar not to praise him” speech given in Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, in the masterful way he wove his political themes into a funeral oration.  


Obama had barely finished speaking before those confederate flags started coming down. 


If you missed that speech, listen to it right now.




 
The interview
I am supposed to be reviewing Bill Maher’s show here and I went way off on a tangent. You can’t blame me--even the interview began with the sentence “I am so proud of this president.” 
The interview was with Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She said, “Renewables are how we protect public health. That’s my job and I’m doing it.” 

Talking about the coal industry, Maher said, “Why do we want to save the worst jobs in the world.” There should be money for retraining so the coal minors can have jobs that don’t kill them. McCarthy agreed saying “It is not a choice between saving the planet and jobs.” Exactly right. Investing in renewable fuel will help save the planet while being good for jobs and the economy. 

ObamaCare/Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Maher, speaking about Republicans vows to repeal the Act, said, “When it (the ACA) is five years old, you have to stop talking about abortion." I'll add: It is even too late to kill it in its crib.  

You can always count on Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst, contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, and author of several books, including Debating Race: with Michael Eric Dyson, to speak his mind—straight up and with eloquence. Dyson said: “If you think it is bad, then fix it.” “They are against it, but they don’t know what they are for.” “Why doesn’t Congress let the people have [the health insurance plan] that they have?”  

Mary Katherine Hamm, contributing editor to Town Hall magazine, contributor to Fox News, and co-author of End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun) chimed in. “There aren’t enough doctors.” Of all the arguments against the ACA this is the most despicable. Other people should die so Hamm doesn’t have to wait an extra week for a doctor’s appointment. If there are not enough doctors, then get more doctors, allow nurses to do more of the routine tasks, etc.  
I know nothing about this woman. However, based on the title of her book, I predicted that I would not like her and that she would talk over the other guests. I was right on both counts.

Gay Marriage
Dyson talked about the many politicians like Obama and Hillary Clinton who have changed their minds on this issue along with most of America (Today about 60% of Americans are for allowing same sex couples to marry.) Dyson said, “People do evolve.” Then a slip of the tongue: “Why shouldn’t gay people be as miserable—I mean as happy as …”
Kristen Soltis Anderson, co-founder of Echelon Insights (an opinion research firm), contributing editor for The Daily Beast and the author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading the Country (and How Republicans Can Keep Up), agreed that opinions on this had changed rapidly, but “not as fast as they did for the Confederate flag.” True enough, the Confederate flag thing seemed to happen overnight.  

Maher pointed out that Chief Justice Roberts had a “hissy fit,” and although “he was not as bad as Scalia, that is not saying much.”)  

Mid Show comedy: Headlines
Whenever Real Time goes on hiatus, Maher does a headlines segment, where he predicts headlines that you might see while he is off the air. Here are some of them: 
  • Justice Scalia Gets Show on fox News
  • Jesus Christ Returns. Declares Climate Change Real. GOP Says “He’s No Scientist.”
  • Lindsey’s Graham: “He’s Not Gay” Says Roommate of 25 Years
Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow
Josh Apatow and Bill Maher Discuss Bill Cosby
Maher and Josh Apatow have known each other a long time and you could see the friendship that exists between them. Apatow is the producer and director of the new film Trainwreck and author of a new book, Sick in the Head: Conversations About Lifeand Comedy. He is a comedian, actor, director, and screenwriter, best known for the 90’s TV show, Freaks and Geeks.

They began by talking about Bill Cosby. Maher said, “He has put more people to sleep than warm milk.”  

Apatow said that the 40 women who have accused Cosby had no reason to lie. They were not seeking fame or fortune; many of Cosby’s accusers already had both. Apatow said he knew one woman who has not come forward who was one of his victims. Maher replied,” I don’t know any women who don’t have a story about him." 
 
Conald-Trump-Ape
Maher likes to depict Trump as an ape.
Donald Trump
Donald Trump entering the Republican primary and immediately shooting up to second place in polls of Republicans is another reason it was a very good week. Maher said, “He is the guy for people who like belligerence. And added “He’s the white Kanye.” 

Dyson said, “His views are what millions of people think.” When Maher said, “He’s all id.” Dyson said, “Id as in Idiot.”

Maher suggested a Trump-Christie ticket. “Fuhgeddaboutit.”

I think Trump is the best thing that could have happened for liberals. He just ups the clown factor of the “clown car.” He will be slandering every serious candidate. He’s already had plenty to say about JEB!. He will get on the debate stage and make outrageous statements about how all Mexicans are rapists. If the other candidates agree, they alienate the base of the party that agrees with Trump. If they disagree, they alienate middle of the road Americans and Hispanics who they must win to their side. Further, just by being on the stage with the other candidates makes Americans think that this is what the Republican Party is all about. Why would anyone want to be part of a party that puts Trump in the top tier of candidates for the presidential nomination?

New Rules—Doubt Sourcing
Bill Maher thinks we have a right to know where our meat comes from. Certain business interests don’t want us to know. Republicans want to erase meat labels and repeal the estate tax so Maher has the perfect slogan for them “Eat shit and die!” That line got one of the biggest laughs of the night. 

Maher told us that a single burger could have meat in it from 100 cows. “A big gang bang in your mouth.” Another big laugh.

Republicans think “We should balance facts with anti-facts. We are the United States of We Don’t Wanna Know.” 

Maher pointed out that it is a crime to film inside a slaughter house. (It seems the last time that was done, it resulted in the biggest meat recall in history. Apparently pushing cows too sick to stand into a meat grinder just wasn’t appetizing.) “Everyone in America is under constant surveillance—except livestock.” 

He ended, “Your right to know something will always be outweighed by their right to hide it from you.” 

It was a very good week
It was a very good week for the country. It was a very good week for Bill Maher’s show. Maher will be back on August 6, 2015. Until then, we will have to cap off our week on Friday night with reruns.   
 

List of Guests  #358, June 26, 2014

The Interview:
Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Mid Show Guest:
Judd Apatow, Producer and Director of the new film Trainwreck; author of the new book, Sick in the Head: Conversations About Lifeand Comedy, comedian, actor, director, and screenwriter, best known for the 90’s TV show, Freaks and Geeks

Panel
Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst, contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, author of several books, including Debating Race: with Michael Eric Dyson

Kristen Soltis Anderson, Co-founder of Echelon Insights, an opinion research firm, contributing editor for The Daily Beast and the author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading the Country (and How Republicans Can Keep Up)
 
Mary Katherine Hamm: Contributing editor to Town Hall magazine, contributor to Fox News, co-author of End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)