Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015 Bill Maher #359 08 07 Tsunami of Stupid

Tsunami of Stupid
by Catherine Giordano


Bill Maher premiered the Fall Season of Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday, August 8, 2015. Episode 359 of his popular show was a tsunami of snappy dialogue, hard-hitting satire, and funny comedy segments. It appears that the hiatus did Maher and his staff a world of good—they are back and they are better than ever.


The Debates

Bill Maher said that he timed his return so as to be able to comment on the two Republican debates. He asked the audience, “Did you ever take ecstasy? He followed up with, “This was the opposite of that. It was a tsunami of stupid.” “It was like a Comedy Central roast of the Constitution.” 

Bill Maher was delighted to have Donald Trump to kick around again. Maher has had a feud going with Trump for years. Maher said that Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, sent the word down to “kill this Rosemary’s baby monster in its black crib.” Trump is “nasty, boorish, sexist, ignorant, and smug, but that is what the Republicans like about him.” Maher also said there were five governors, three senators, a brain surgeon, and a ham-colored cartoon character on the stage. [Did Trump spend that afternoon at the beach—he was definitely red-faced at the debate, and that was before he got angry at the questions the moderators asked him.]  

Maher had his best quip of the night when he spoke about Jeb Bush. Speaking about the polls, Maher said that Bush doesn’t mind getting the second most votes. He says that’s how his brother became president.  

Maher said the Republicans were mad at the moderators because they were too tough on the candidates. The answers were the same as ever, “Muslims kill, Mexicans rape, and carry the baby to term.” Maher added, “All they had to sell was fear. Hope-and- change meet pee-in-pants.” He concluded with the comment that the candidates “seemed to be unaware that women can now vote.”  

The Interview—Climate Change
Dire Predictions Climate Change book
CLICK HERE
The interview was with Michael Mann, Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change. Mann said, “We are still at the point where we can stop it. It is not too late, but there is an urgency.” Maher said, “It is super-settled science. Climate change is real and it is caused by human activity.” He added that people have to stop thinking that “someone will invent a super carbon sucking machine.”   
co-founder of realclimate.org and co-author of

Bill quipped “We should call it a ‘war on coal’. We might get McCain.” [Maher was referring to McCann’s well-known tendency to call for war at the drop of a hat.].  

Maher Mann discussed how the people are ahead of the politicians on this one—70% of Americans favor renewable energy. Clean energy is not an economy-killer—there are twice as many jobs in solar than in coal. 

 


The conversation about climate change continued with the panel. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), former Mayor of San Francisco, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2018, and author of Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government remarked that none of the Republican candidates in the debate mentioned climate change, social-mobility issues, inequality of policing issues—it was extraordinary for what was not asked.”
 On climate change, Steve Schmidt, MSNBC analyst, Vice Chair of Public Affairs at Edelman Public Relations and former Senior Advisor to the McCain-Palin presidential campaign spouted the usual clap-trap nonsense. “Climate change is real, but do you want a trillion dollar cost to our economy? China and India are doing nothing. Maher had to slap him (metaphorically) upside the head. Maher said “We made a deal with China and they are ahead of the deal.” Schmidt continued telling us how you can’t breathe the air in China so how can anyone say they are ahead of us. Maher explained [as I sure Schmidt already knew] that yes they have serious problems in China, but they were ahead of the timetable for reducing emission that was part of the deal.

Mary Matalin, political analyst, television and radio host, former Assistant to President George W. Bush, and Counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney and author of several books--the most recent is Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home (with James Carville), sounded even more like an idiot than even Steven Schmidt. First she started saying something about God. It seemed a non-sequitur or was she implying that we can all just sit back and let God fix it.


Newsom told that California is having record fire and floods due to climate change. Maitland said California needed more reservoirs. Everyone was stunned by the stupidity of that remark. Newsome had to inform her they had plenty of reservoirs and the problem was that they were only one-third full. Maher had to bring it down to a kindergarten level to get Matalin to understand. “It is the water not dropping down.”


Maitland suggested nuclear power and Maher had to remind her of what happened in Japan. Schmidt came back with the same idea that had already been debunked. “We should not make American workers pay for it.” People actually pay these two for their consulting advice!? They are truly a tsunami of stupidity.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The Trump Bubble?
And then we were back to Trump. It seems like every news show on TV has to devote half of their time to Trump. Maher said that Trump could go all the way He asked us to remember Ronald Reagan. Everyone disparaged his chances--he was an actor, he was divorced, etc.  


Schmidt looked like he had been slapped in the face by the criticism of St. Reagan, and went on to explain why Trump was doing so well. “His message is powerful. ‘Our leaders are incompetent. I will fix it.’ He is saying what millions are screaming at their TVs.” 

Matalin said,” He is competent, confident, and he stands for what we believe in. The federal government is not working.” [Is she a Trump supporter? Earlier she seemed to be a Fiorina supporter.] 

Maher said, “At least Democrats deal with reality. Everything is not Mexico, China, Iran and lazy talkers who use welfare money to buy drugs.” He challenged his Republican guests, “What does it say about your party that the guy who is leading is full of nonsense.” Maher told them that Trump said that he would repeal ObamaCare and replace it with “something terrific.” Newsome pointed out, “Trump is no Reagan“ because the two Republicans on the panel were too busy complimenting Trump to defend Reagan. Maher concluded, “Ronald Reagan was a little better than ‘something terrific.’”  

And now a word from God
Maher asked the panel if they thought it was appropriate for the moderators to ask the candidates about what God was telling them to do. Newsome said it was a “cringe worthy” moment.  

The conversation veered away from the debate into a discussion of atheism. Maher said that atheists and agnostics are the same thing. I’m glad he said that because that is what I have been saying and getting a lot of pushback from some in the non-believer community who prefer to split semantic hairs. He pointed out that 38 million people in the U.S. are “Nones”, the second largest group surpassed only by evangelical Christians.  

[Maher was referring to the 2014 Pew Poll. I wrote about it in Polls Show Christianity Declining, Nones Rising ]

Matalin once again showed her ignorance by saying “Atheism is a belief.” Maher explains, “No it’s not. It’s an absence of belief. Saying atheism is a belief is like saying abstinence is a sex position.”  

Matalin responded by shouting, “But it is! It is! It is!” [Maybe abstinence is her favorite sex position—she was very insistent-- and maybe that is why both she and her husband, James Carville, always seem so emotionally anorexic.] 

Maher said that Dana Perino, former press secretary to President George W. Bush, once said “If they [atheists] don’t like it, they don’t have to live here.” Matalin tried to deny that Perino said it, but when forced to back down, she sanctimoniously replied, “I believe in tolerance—it is the essence of my faith.”  

Finally Schmidt brought the conversation back to the debate. He said, “They [the moderators] should have asked if they knew the difference between Shia, Sunni, and a kangaroo.” Which gave Maher the opportunity to say, “Once again you say these people are utter idiots and they are my people.” [It appears that Schmidt sometimes forgets what team he plays for and gets as exasperated with the tsunami of stupidity as the rest of us.] 

Read more about the "the God question" at the Republican debate here: : "A Word From God"

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
The mid show comedy: Hillary’s Tweets
The mid-show comedy segment was a riff on Trump’s tsunami of angry 3am tweets attacking Megyn Kelly for asking him tough questions [Maher said there were about 30 of these tweets.] 

Maher showed us what Hillary’s tweets would look like if she were an angry fool like Trump is. What if she got on the bluster bandwagon? Here’s a few of them—I picked the most wicked ones. .

Lincoln Chaffee: Zero percent in the polls. Are you a candidate or a great rate on a car loan? 

Carly Fiorina: You come off kind of cold and unlikeable and entitled and that’s coming from me.  

Chipolte: Glad I didn’t tip. If I want to throw my money at Mexicans, I’ll buy coke from Jeb Bush’s kids.” 

New York Times: Crossword Puzzle. 1 across: Kiss. 2 down: My Ass. 

Monica Lewinski: I’m still married. How are you doing?

Mid-show interview: Caitlin Flanagan
Caitlin Flanagan is a journalist, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, and a former staff writer for The New Yorker.The September issue of The Atlantic will feature Flanagan’s new article, “That’s Not Funny: Today’s College Students Can’t Seem to Take a Joke.” She is also the author of To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife and Girl Land.

She was invited on the show to talk about one of Maher’s favorite subjects, political correctness, especially on college campuses. Flanagan’s thesis is that college students know nothing of the world and it is the duty of parents and instructors to teach them. The adults have abdicated their responsibility in this and colleges are like a country club nowadays. The kids perceive themselves as being the victims of a host of micro-aggressions.  


Maher then quoted from a “Bias Free Language Guide.” This reads like a comedy bit, but Maher swears that he is not kidding.


Senior citizens: People of advanced age


Rich: Person of material wealth


Obese: People of size

Tomboy: Gender non-conforming

Homosexual: Same gender loving.

Personally, I prefer the current terms. Advanced age? Say that to me if you want to get smacked upside the head.

New Rules
One of Maher’s New Rules brought us back to the debates. It was captioned "Ruff Crowd". Maher said the debates were like the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. There were two divisions. The big dogs who bark a lot and slobber (Trump and Christie) The small dogs who wear sweaters and prance (Santorum and Graham.)

The final New Rule was a segment called “Floss Hogg.” One of Maher’s hot buttons is animal rights and he was really taking aim at the dentist who shot Cecil the lion. He told him if he wants to kill things to show what a big man he is, he should “Go to Syria and take out Isis.”  

Maher’s theory is that someone like this dentist wants to go on a hunting safari to show everyone that he is rich because in America being filthy rich is the greatest good.” [Trump takes every opportunity to say “I’m very rich” and it appears to be working for him.]
 
Scott Walker Trophy
Scott Walker Trophy
Maher segued to the Republican nominating process and how the wealthy buy candidates. Maher said, “The rich shouldn’t just get to tell politicians what to do. They should get to hunt them so they can then put the trophy Republican’s head on their wall to go with their trophy kills, trophy car, and trophy wife. Scott Walker’s eyes already look like taxidermy. Chris Christie’s leg would make a lovely umbrella stand.
 
It was a tsunami of comedy and barbed wit on the August 7th show. I hope Bill Maher can maintain that high performance level throughout the season.
  


Bill Maher’s Guests:  August 7, 2015
 
Michael Mann: Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, co-founder of realclimate.org, co-author of Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change

Caitlin Flanagan: Journalist, national correspondent for The Atlantic, former staff writer for The New Yorker The September issue of The Atlantic will feature Flanagan’s new article, “That’s Not Funny: Today’s College Students Can’t Seem to Take a Joke.” She is also the author of To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife and Girl Land

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA): Former Mayor of San Francisco, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2018. He is the author of Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government

Mary Matalin: Political analyst, television and radio host, former Assistant to President George W. Bush, and Counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. She is the author of several books--the most recent is Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, TwoDaughters and One Louisiana Home (with James Carville)
 
Steve Schmidt: MSNBC analyst, Vice Chair of Public Affairs at Edelman Public Relations, former Senior Advisor to the McCain-Palin presidential campaign


Matalin Carville Love and War book
CLICK HERE