Saturday, September 26, 2015

2015 Bill Maher #365 09/25/15 "Screwed Up"

Baby says, "This is screwed up"
From the mouths of babes
by Catherine Giordano

It was a very screwy week and it gave rise to lots of jokes and discussion on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 365, which aired on Friday, September 25, 2015. Here is the review and recap.

Pope Francis comes to town:
Pope Francis has come to town and he has been just terrific. He shows himself to be a wise and humble man who will use his influence to help create a better world for all mankind. I’m no fan of religion (and Bill Maher certainly isn’t one either), but if we have to have religion, all our religious leaders should be like Pope Francis.

Maher said “The Pope came to Washington and cast out John Boehner."  He was referencing the fact the John Boehner announced that he would resign from Congress at the end of October. Maher warned the audience not to be so happy because “This is the Republican Party and it always gets worse.” Boehner screwed this up real bad, but the new leadership will be worse. “The Tea Party hated John Boehner. They said he was slowly destroying Washington and they wanted him to pick up the pace.” With Boehner out of their way, expect things to get worse.

Maher said, “It was all Pope all the time. The last time a man in a dress got this much attention, it was Caitlyn Jenner. “

The Pope gets a lot of criticism from Republicans. He has spoken out against everything they stand for--their economic agenda, their stance on immigration, their oppression of minorities, their denial of climate change, etc. But at least the Pope agrees with them on the so-called “social issues”—gay marriage, abortion, etc. Except the Pope has not mentioned those issues during his visit.

During his speech to Congress, he mentioned the words, “sanctity of all life.” The Republicans rose to their feet with a giant cheer. But the Pope never mentioned abortion as they obviously thought he would—instead he told them that the death penalty was immoral and must be abolished. (The United States is one of the few countries that still has capital punishment.) Maher said that the Pope gave Congress a “master class in reality.”

Maher pointed out that six of the Supreme Court Justices are Catholic, but only three of those Catholics attended the speech. They were Roberts, Kennedy, and Sotomayor. (The other three—Alito, Scalia, and Thomas decided to forgo the opportunity to meet the Pope.) Even Jewish Ruth Bader Ginsberg was there. (The other two who chose not to attend were Breyer and Kagan who are Jewish.) I don’t know why those three Catholics did not attend—they each speak of their religious faith often—but it looks like it was intended as an insult to the Pope.

John Cleese, comedian, writer, actor, author of several books including his autobiography So, Anyway(now available in paperback) was part of the famous sketch comedy troupe, Monty Python. Cleese pointed out that Jesus said nothing about abortion.

Maher joked that the Pope met with other religious leaders and said that we all have something in common—“The belief in some form of utter nonsense.” Later Maher said, “The Life of Brian-- here is not a thing to be said about religion that has not been better said in that movie.” (This reference to the Monty Python movie was a nod to panel member John Cleese.) When Maher said that this Pope has said that even atheists can go to heaven, Cleese quipped, “Will they have to become Catholic after they die?”
  
Ron Reagan, MSNBC political analyst, contributor to the nationally syndicated radio program Both Sides Now, well-known atheist, author, and son of President Ronald Reagan. (His book is My Father at 100: A Memoir.) Reagan said that “Catholics are terrified of women. Cleese said, “They hate sex.” Reagan referred to a Bible story: If angels come to your house and people want to rape them, offer them your daughters instead.”

Maher said, “Religion is dangerous and screwed up.” [I’m using a euphemism here.]
  
The Interview:
The interview was with Dr. Jane Goodall, primatologist, ethnologist, anthropologist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace and author. She recently wrote the foreword to Steven Druker’s book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth about the FDA’s compliance with the GMO industry. She has written several books, including My Life with the Chimpanzees. Her most recent book is Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants.. She began her pioneering studies of chimpanzees in the wild in 1960 and has since become one of the world’s most prominent advocates for endangered species and the environment.

The Pope would have approved of Jane Goodall’s message about protecting the environment. The extinction of species, the polluting of the oceans and the destruction of the forests and GMO are all serious issues, but Goodall managed to bring humor to the situation. She brought a small stuffed toy cow to the interview to illustrate the point about “cow farts” and how the methane they release is contributing to excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Goodall also spoke about big game hunting and Cecil the Lion. This is not culling the herd because they don’t hunt the weak and the old; they kill the biggest strongest animals in their prime. She agreed with Maher that these killers are compensating for their “small penis.”

Presidential politics:
S. E. Cupp, CNN commentator, nationally syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity. She choose to be the voice of the moderate Republicans, although I have heard her spout many of the crazier Republican talking points sounding like she has a screw loose.

Cupp defended Scott Walker who dropped out of the Republican race this week. She said, “In this Republican party if your hair is not on fire, you are not conservative enough. Walker who vowed not to engage in personal attacks clearly could not survive in the environment of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.” She singled out Ben Carson, saying, “Carson fails to sound like a scientist or a doctor.” I can’t argue with her on that one.  

Cleese said, “You need an intelligent electorate.” Maher added that “When people don’t know anything, you can say anything. They are a tabula rosa.” Cleese lamented “with what we have now, it is the end of democracy.”

Mid-Show comedy: Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen screws up.
The big scandal of the week was Volkswagen lying about meeting EPA emission standards. Cleese has become quite the cynic. He said “Everyone lies all the time. It’s hopeless.”

Maher said, “Even by the standards of Corporate malfeasance, this is shocking.” He then gave us some parodies of old Volkswagen ads. 


  • The first name in clouds of poison gas.
  • Touareg—It’s German for asthma.
  • We call it the rabbit because we can’t stop screwing you.
  • We made a green car that pollutes… and people say Germans aren’t funny.

Mid-Show special guest:
Spike Feresten is a comedian, car collector, and host of Esquire Network's Car Matchmaker with Spike Feresten. He said that Volkswagen owners are really screwed. because their cars will not pass the emissions tests in California (an elsewhere). They won’t be able to drive them. They won’t be able to sell them.

Feresten said the Volkswagen cars “emit nitrous oxide and that is really bad stuff. It affects the lungs; it causes asthma.” Maher said that Republicans hate regulations, but “if it wasn’t for the EPA we wouldn’t know about this.” This happened because the EPA didn’t have the resources to do the emissions test themselves. They told the car manufacturers, “You do them and let us know the results.”

Maher asked him about driverless cars. He likes driving and doesn’t want to be made to use a driverless car. Feresten told him it was about safety. Car accidents are the number four cause of death in the United States.

Ahmed and the clock bomb:
It appears that Ahmed Mohamed did not invent anything. He took the guts out of a clock and claimed he had invented it. Maher said, “It is like pouring Cheerios into a bowl and saying that you invented cereal.”

What did Cleese say? Everyone lies.

New Rules: Crush to Judgment:
What do Kim Davis, Joe the Plumber, and Cliven Bundy all have in common? The right rushes to call them “a real American.” And then “they turn out to be a creep.” 
  • Kim Davis is "Joan of Arc for the deep fried Twinkie crowd. Her answer to 'what would Jesus do?' Everybody."
For more about Kim Davis, read: Kim Davis Satirical Memes Photo Album
  • Cliven Bundy, “the not so jolly rancher, said ‘one thing I know about the Negro …” and “that was the end of open mic night at the OK corral.” He was just a guy who didn’t want to pay for grazing his cattle on government land as other ranchers did. Maher summed it up “If you get your grass free from the government, I want my grass free from the government too."  
  •  Joe the Plumber who didn’t want to pay high taxes on his business did not own a business, was not a plumber, and his name was not Joe. Bill added “I’m not kidding.”
  •  Maher even threw in George Zimmerman, “The free lance defender of the cul de sac.” Since his acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin “has had more contact with the police than Dunkin' Donuts.” 

But all of the above was just a warm up for his main target, Josh Duggar, one of the stars from the reality show, 19 Kids and Counting. “His mother’s womb is called ‘Old Faithful.’”

Duggar became a lobbyist for the Family Research Council, the sanctimonious group who wants to promote their version of “family values.” It turns out that Josh had two Ashley Madison accounts, had paid a porn star for rough sex, and has molested his sisters. Maher concluded, “or was that just family research?’

I can’t blame Cleese for being cynical. It is a screwed up world that we live in.


Bill Maher’s Guests: September 25, 2015
  
The Interview:
 Dr. Jane Goodall: Primatologist, ethnologist, anthropologist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace and author. She recently wrote the foreword to Steven Druker’s book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public. She has written several books, including My Life with the Chimpanzees. Her most recent book is Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants. She began her pioneering studies of chimpanzees in the wild in 1960 and has since become one of the world’s most prominent advocates for endangered species and the environment.


Mid-Show special guest:
Spike Feresten: Comedian, car collector, and host of Esquire Network's Car Matchmaker with Spike Feresten.

The Panel:
John Cleese: Comedian, writer, actor, author of several books including his autobiography So, Anyway (now available in paperback). He was part of the famous TV show Monty Python and the Flying Circus. Cleese and Monty Python co-founder Eric Idle will spend October on tour with their new show, John Cleese & Eric Idle: Together Again At Last…For The Very First Time.

Ron Reagan: Author, MSNBC political analyst, contributor to the nationally syndicated radio program Both Sides Now, well-known atheist, and son of President Ronald Reagan. His book is My Father at 100: A Memoir. Reagan recently appeared in a television commercial for the Freedom From Religion Foundation that was banned by several networks.


S. E. Cupp: CNN commentator, nationally syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Losing Our Religion:The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity