Friday, October 30, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #369 10/30/2015 “It’s War”

by Catherine Giordano
David Spade Almost Interesting
David Spade

I expected all-out war on Real Time with Bill Maher on the October 30, 2015 show. There were two very outspoken Republicans on the panel and one outspoken Democrat. However, everyone behaved themselves and the debate did not get out of hand like is sometimes does.

The CNBC Republican Debate
The Republicans are at war of each other. The latest debate (on October 28) pitted the candidates not only against each other, but it pitted the moderators against the candidates. And these moderators are hosts on a network (CNBC) which generally leans Republican. (I don’t watch the network much, but when I have all I heard was Obama and Democrat bashing.) Maher said that CNBC is for “wannabe masters of the universe." "They are not the liberal media.”

The moderators asked rude and insulting questions—I was shocked by the disdain they expressed towards candidates. I presumed these were the candidates that they did not like. They did not act like responsible journalists and the candidates are right to be angry. I’m a Democrat and this may be the first time I have said, “The Republican candidates are right.”

I also thought the moderators wee not well prepared. They did not have the facts at hand for follow-up questions to use when candidates lied. In my mind I contrasted this with Hillary at the Benghazi hearing. She had a binder in front of her and was able to immediately find the page with the facts relevant to every question she was asked. The moderators could learn something from Hillary.

In the monologue, Maher dismissed the debate saying “None of them got suddenly smart.”

Maher also said “The other big loser of the night was CNBC. They [TV stations] put on the debates for ratings.” He discussed how the desire for good ratings leads not to an attempt to get a serious debate where the candidates can state their stands on the issues, but instead leads a desire to generate conflict that will get them tweets and retweets. He added that they asked “stupid nasty questions” and gibed, “What do you think? This is the Benghazi hearing?”

The Republican Candidates—Ben Carson
The first to fall victim to Maher’s wit was Ben Carson. Maher said if you haven’t yet decided who you will go as for Halloween, you can go as Ben Carson by taking a few Xanax. (Or you can put the Xanax in somebody’s drink and do as Bill Cosby.) Later Maher added that Carson talks like he’s moderating a golf game. He mimicked the slow monotone of a golf commentator while speaking Carson’s words.

Back to Carson. Maher remarked, “Carson told a whopper about his involvement with Mannatech.” (Even the far right National Review called him out on this.) He has had a ten-year paid relationship with this dietary supplement company which was convicted of false advertising. Maher said the Carson has claimed that Mannatech cured his prostate cancer, but he had the prostate surgery anyway because he wanted to be a role model. Maher mocked him for this obviously ridiculous statement.

Ben Carson has a book; sometimes his campaign seems more like a book tour than a campaign. His book is A More Perfect Union: What We the People CanDo to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties

The Republican Candidates—Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush was mocked in the monologue also. Maher told us that Bush has told us that his campaign is “alive and well.” Maher took aim and scored with “He said the same thing about Terry Schiavo.” He added that Bush might wake up to find Dr. Kevorkian at his bedside. He added, “This is the smart Bush?”

The panel also had some attacks for Bush. Panelist Maxine Waters, congresswoman (D-CA), said, “He doesn’t know who he is.” She later added, “Bush is a wimp. He doesn’t know how to fight.” [My impression is that Bush is angry that he has to fight for the nomination. He doesn’t like having to do the things a candidate has to do—he’d rather be doing “cool things.” He thinks he should just be crowned president.]

During the debate, Marco Rubio successfully deflected Bush’s attack on him about his habit of not showing up for votes in the Senate saying Florida needed to be represented by both of its senators. This led to Maher telling us the “Bush family invented dirty tricks. Remember Atwater and McCain’s black baby.”

Even conservative attack dog, Roger Stone, former senior adviser to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, political operative for Nixon, Reagan, and Dole, said,  “And we thought W was  the dumb brother.”

There was a discussion about whether Bush’s last name was helping or hurting him. Stone who is the author of several books. including his latest book, The Clintons’ War on Women, an opportunistic exposé rehashing old scandals, rumors, and lies, tried to compare the Bush dynasty to Hillary Clinton becoming president 16 years after her husband. Maher slapped him down telling him three generations of Bushes (We have to include Senator Prescott Bush, grandfather to Jeb and W.) is not the same as Hillary who has been a Senator and Secretary of State and who worked closely with her husband when he was president, wanting to be president in her own right. [And I’ll add, at least so far, she is not trading on her name. In fact, she is disavowing some of Bill Clinton's policies something the Jeb won't do with respect to his brother.]  
Jeb Bush Outed

Jeb Bush also has a book It is a collection of emails and it seems like a rushed, made for the campaign book. It is called Reply All. [I remember when Jeb Bush was so anxious to show how transparent he was that he released all his emails--but didn't bother to redact people's personal information, like their social security numbers. You might be better off reading this book: Jeb Bush Outed: Who He Really Is and Why He Should Never Be President  Jeb likes to talk about how successful he was as governor of Florida; the truth is that he was a disaster. (Just like his current presidential campaign.) 

The Republican Candidates—Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio is the “Do-Nothing” candidate. Not only does he not show up in the Senate but even conservative panelist Grover Norquist, founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform (an organization that opposes all tax increases) criticized him saying, “He has never done anything.”

Marco Rubio has his campaign book too: American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone

The Republican Candidates—Donald Trump
Norquist said he likes Trump’s tax plan (Norquist is the author of several books. His latest book is End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America. His other books have similar titles.) If Norquist likes the tax plan it can’t be any good. Maher said, “Trump’s plan would blow a hole in the budget.”

Stone defended Trump. “You can’t buy Trump. You can’t bully him. He's not coached. He’s not scripted. He’s real.”  

By the way, all of the Republican tax plans would blow a hole in the budget. Independent analysis of the plans has proven it. Some of the candidates even advocate doing away with (or reducing) Social Security and Medicare. Most want some form of a flat tax. A flat tax with only three rates sounds good, but it would make the poor pay more and the rich pay less. Don’t be fooled when Republicans say they will cut taxes. They mean they will cut taxes for the rich and super-rich, not for the rest of us.

Donald Trump has been touting the Art of the Deal. Now he has a new book to tout: Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again. The co-author (ghostwriter?) is Tony Schwartz. 

The Interview—Tulsi Gabbard
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a Congresswoman (D-HI), serving since 2014. She is the first American Samoan, first Hindu, and one of the first female combat veterans elected to Congress.

Since Gabbard is vice-chairman of the DNC, Maher asked her about the election. He asked, “Which Republican candidate do your fear the most?” She responded with an incredulous look on her face and gave a one word answer, “Fear?” I think that was the best deflection of that question I have heard from anyone.

Since Gabbard sits on the Committed on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Maher asked her about Syria. She said, “In Syria we need to know what the mission is and who the enemy is.” [I don’t think anyone knows that.] “Overthrowing Assad will strengthen our enemies.”

Maher said our choices were “between bad and worse.” And then he was off on the one of the topics that set him off into a tirade. He says the mid-east factions don’t want Americans in their war. According to Maher, they are telling us, “If you morons would get out of the way, we would gladly kill each other.”

He next attacked barbaric Islam practices and liberals who are too pc to condemn them.

You may be right on both issues, Maher, but we have heard it all before.

[I don’t know what my opinion is, but I am glad Obama is the one making the decisions. We’ll have WW III if a Republican gets into the White House. Each candidate constantly tries to prove, (except for Rand Paul) that he (or she) will be tougher and more belligerent than the others.

The mid-show comedy segment
Maher said that every week a toddler shoots someone. (Why would anyone leave a loaded gun where a toddler could get it, but they evidently do.) He said, “The NRA says that they only thing that can stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun,” So he brought out a book for toddlers named “Every Baby Shoots”. He read it to us. It had the simple rhymes and rhythm of a Dr. Seuss book. One of the verses was
                       
Forget dressing your dollies
Or playing with blocks.
You need to have lugers
And shotguns and Glocks.                       

Mid-show interview—David Spade
David Spade
David Spade
I’ve seen David Spade on TV and in movies, but I have never seen him interviewed. Sometimes when I see an actor I really like do an interview, I realize that I like the character they play more than I like them. It was just the reverse with David Spade. I like him more after this interview than before.

Spade is a comedian, actor, and author of a new memoir, Almost Interesting: The Memoir. He had a quiet presence and spoke mainly about his issues with his height. [He’s short.] He said some actors who are short get a pass because they are good looking implying that he wasn’t good-looking. I don’t think there is anything wrong with his looks—I would call him good looking. I guess the ladies think so too because they spent quite a bit of time talking about how to get rid of your one-night stands the morning after.

Maher thinks that the ones who don’t get a pass are older men who dare younger women. He’s 60 and he was obviously talking about himself.

New RulesNag Reflex
Bill Maher is perpetually on the warpath against liberals who are overly political correct. (And I mostly can’t say he’s wrong.)

Tonight it was about Halloween costumes that some people find offensive. Maher pointed out that you can get offended by any costume if you try hard enough. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz—that could be offensive to victims of real tornados. A vampire—offensive to those who think “Drac Lives Matter.”

One of the hottest costumes this year is the Caitlyn Jenner costume. Bill argued that it is not offensive to transgenders and it sends no message.

Maher complains that this barrage of rants from the pc police is what makes people vote Republican. The liberals just nag too much.

The message Maher wanted to send is that Halloween is a fun holiday. He said, “I love a holiday that celebrates ghosts and mythical beings. It ranks right up there with Christmas.

BTW, David Spade said he is going as ‘pizza rat.” That’s a little sad.


I’m going as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. That’s a little sad too. She’s the mother of dragons; I will have to be the grandmother of dragons. 


Bill Maher’s Guests October 30, 2015


The Interview: 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman (D-HI), serving since 2014  She is the first American Samoan, first Hindu, and one of the first female combat veterans elected to Congress. Rep. Gabbard sits on both the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and is a Vice Chair of the DNC.

Mid-Show Guest:
David Spade: Comedian, actor, and author of a new memoir, Almost Interesting: The Memoir. From 1990-1996, he was a cast member on Saturday Night Live and will be performing stand-up with Bill Maher on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Hawaii. He is best known for his stint on Saturday Night Live and his roles in some other TV shows (Just Shoot Me) and movies (Joe Dirt).

Panel:
Rep. Maxine Waters: Congresswoman (D-CA), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, member of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus. She was first elected to Congress in 1991.

Grover Norquist: Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform, which opposes all tax increases, author of several books. His latest book is End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America.

Roger Stone: Former senior advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, political operative for Nixon, Reagan, and Dole, author of several books including his latest book, The Clintons’ War on Women, an opportunistic exposé rehashing old scandals, rumors, and lies.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #368, 10/16/2015 Excitement

The Essential Bernie Sanders book
Bernie Sanders
CLICK HERE
by Catherine Giordano

It was an exciting night on Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 368, on Friday October 16, 2015. How could it not be exciting with Bernie Sanders on the show? Sanders is excitement personified. His campaign for the Democratic nomination for president got a real boost from the CNN Democratic Debate on Tuesday 10/13. I’ve been a fan of Sanders for many years—He used to have a regular interview slot on Air America Radio, but most Americans had probably never heard of him prior to his entry into the Democratic race for the nomination for president.

Hillary Clinton
Sanders is closing in on Hillary Clinton some of the polls of the early states, but Hillary has a commanding lead over Bernie nationally. I expect that lead to grow now that Joe Biden is no longer a possible candidate and the Benghazi congressional hearing is over. (I’m sorry that there was not a new Real Timeon Friday October 23 due to Mayer’s travel schedule. He would have had fun with it.) Hillary removed any doubts during that marathon Inquisition that she had the temperament, experience, and endurance to be president.

[I’m very late with this review partly because I was busy preparing for my radio appearance on Mythicist Milwaukee on Sunday and in part because I watched virtually all of the so-called hearing on Thursday.]

Maher declared Hillary the winner of the Democratic Debate on October 13. He said she had stiff competition. Then he named the three “stiffs” who were her competition—O’Malley, Webb, and Chaffee. (By the way Webb and Chaffee have dropped out of the race, but Webb added a face-saving claim that he might run as an Independent. I wish Maher had been on the air to lampoon that assertion.)

Bernie Sanders
Bernie is a long-time Senator (VT I) who runs as an Independent and calls himself a Democratic-Socialist. He caucuses with the Democrats. He was born in Brooklyn, my old home town.

Maher began by telling Sanders that “the last man your age to get this kind of attention was Mick Jagger.” It’s a good comparison—Sanders is a kind of rock star.

Maher said that Sanders should teach America that we are already a socialist country. Sanders said that the U.S. is socialist in some ways, but he listed the ways in which we are not, compared to other “major democratic countries” because in those countries health care and medical leave are rights. He added that we have more people in jail than any other country in the world. He advocated for free college (also a right in some European countries) and higher taxes on corporations and the top 1% of Americans.

Maher suggested that someone who calls himself a socialist could not win because polls show that 47% of the country (according to polls would never vote for a socialist. (Maher compared it to herpes.) Sanders countered that he gets 25% of the Republican vote when he runs for Senate in Vermont and that he has received 650,000 contributions from individuals—more than any candidate in history.)

Bernie said, “We can bring them [Republicans] into the movement. We must stand up to the billionaire class and build an America that works for everyone. Democrats win when the voting rate is high.”

For more about Bernie Sanders read: The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America. 

The Democratic Debate
The Democratic Debate led to an exciting discussion on the show. Maher mentioned that 15 million people watched it—five times more than expected. (It was nonetheless lower that the 23 million the first Republican debate had, but then the Dems did not have a reality TV star on stage to provide entertainment.)

Panel member Katrina vanden Heuvel is the editor and publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for the Washington Post, and author of several books including, The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama and Dictionary of Republicanisms: TheIndispensable Guide to What They Really Mean When They Say What They Think YouWant to Hear. She said, “We heard ideas, not insults.”

Even the Republican on the panel, John Feehrey, had to admit that Hillary’s poll numbers in NH went up after the debate. (Feehrey is a columnist for The Hill, chief blogger for The FeeheryTheory) He also tried to build up the Republican slate, saying “We have good candidates too. We just have to winnow the field a bit.

Maher confronted Feehery saying, “But they really aren’t [good candidates]. Bush and Rubio want to repeal all financial regulations. We will have another crash.”

Maher said that he is going to vote for Sanders in the primary and will donate to his campaign. But if Clinton wins the primaries, he will vote for her in the general election. He appealed to his viewers: “If you can’t get the fish, eat the chicken.” Maher repeated this later in the show, saying he had learned his lesson with Ralph Nader.

Lawrence Lessing—Mid-show interview
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lessing is the Democratic candidate that nobody has heard of. He is a single-issue candidate who is very excited about getting money out of politics. He should have been on the debate stage.

Lessing is also a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of several books. His most recent book is Republic, Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It.

Lessing pointed out that members of Congress spend 70% of their time raising money. Money and gerrymandering has made our government like a car with four flat tires and someone stole the battery. Lessing promised that if he were elected president he would pass the legislation that gets our democracy back.

Campaign Funding
In addition to Lessing, Maher and the panelists weighed in on campaign funding.

Maher told us that Marco Rubio is funded by a group called the Conservative Solutions Project and that is a bigger scandal that Hillary’s emails. Vandal Huevel added that 158 families are providing halve of the funding for the Republican candidates. Panel member Johann Hari: (author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs) mentioned Sheldon Adelson, who is a major contributor to Republican candidates, calling him out for getting all his money from gambling—“he produces nothing.”

Republicans
Republicans get very excited about war—they can’t wait to get the U.S. into one. They talk a lot about how tough they would be with foreign leaders. Maher said, “For instance, “Chris Christie said, ‘I’ll call Vladimir and say ‘Don’t you try me. I’ll do it.’ Maher added “War is their campaign prop.”

Vanden Huevel said, “Strength is not the bullyboys. It is diplomacy.”

Hari brought global warming up. Republicans refuse to recognize that global warming is a problem that we must deal with. Hari said that global warming will lead to more war. “When there is no water people will do terrible things.”

Mid show comedy bit
This was a great comedy bit about how excitable Republicans are about socialism. Maher first repeated something Bernie Sanders had said and then showed what Republicans heard. Of course, what they heard was so distorted by their own hatred of “socialism” that it was nothing like what Sanders actually said.

BTW: Was this done as a nod to Vandel Hueven's book Dictionary of Republicanisms: What they Really Mean When they Say What They Think You Want to Hear. 


This deserves to be seen in its entirety to I will link to it




New Rules: Lord of the Spree
Maher took on the increase in killing sprees in the United States. The attacker is usually a young man. He claimed that these men attacked because they can’t get laid. One even left behind something he had written, “I am going to die a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl and I will punish you for it.” Maher called it "The worst e-harmony profile ever."

Maher said no one ever went on the attack saying “Sex! Sex! Sex! It is all I do. Where is my gun? I am mad at the world.”

Maher went on to say, “In America, it seems like everybody is having sex but them.” He then showed some advertisements that were full of sexual imagery, with the implication that this was raising the frustration level of young men who aren’t getting any.  Maher said, “Wake up and smell the testosterone.”

He also blamed that attacks by Muslims on the lack or appropriate sexually outlets. “What is the sexual frustration level of men who only see men who look like this?” as he showed a picture of a woman in a burka, completely covered from head to toe. “How do you masturbate to that? I know masturbation requires imagination, but that is ridiculous.”  


Bill Maher’s Guests, #268, October 16, 2015

The Interview:
Bernie Sanders: Senator (I VT), former Congressman (I VT), Democratic candidate for President. A 2015 biography of Bernie Sanders is The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America by Jonathan Tasini

Mid-Show Special Guest: 
Lawrence Lessig; Professor at Harvard Law School, champion of campaign finance reform. Democratic candidate for President, author of several books. His most recent book is Republic, Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It

The Panel:

Katrina vanden Heuvel:  Editor and Publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for the Washington Post, author of several books including, The Change IBelieve In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama and Dictionary of Republicanisms: TheIndispensable Guide to What They Really Mean When They Say What They Think YouWant to Hear

John Feehery: Columnist for The Hill, chief blogger for The FeeheryTheory

Friday, October 16, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #368, 10/16/2015 Excitement

Bernie Sanders
by Catherine Giordano

It was an exciting night on Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 368, on Friday October 16, 2015. How could it not be exciting with Bernie Sanders on the show? Sanders is excitement personified. His campaign for the Democratic nomination for president got a real boost from the CNN Democratic Debate on Tuesday 10/13. I’ve been a fan of Sanders for many years—He used to have a regular interview slot on Air America Radio, but most Americans had probably never heard of him prior to his entry into the Democratic race for the nomination for president.

Hillary Clinton
Sanders is closing in on Hillary Clinton some of the polls of the early states, but Hillary has a commanding lead over Bernie nationally. I expect that lead to grow now that Joe Biden is no longer a possible candidate and the Benghazi congressional hearing is over. (I’m sorry that there was not a new Real Time on Friday October 23 due to Mayer’s travel schedule. He would have had fun with it.) Hillary removed any doubts during that marathon Inquisition that she had the temperament, experience, and endurance to be president. 

[I’m very late with this review partly because I was busy preparing for my radio appearance on Mythicist Milwaukee on Sunday and in part because I watched virtually all of the so-called hearing on Thursday.]

Maher declared Hillary the winner of the Democratic Debate on October 13. He said she had stiff competition. Then he named the three “stiffs” who were her competition—O’Malley, Webb, and Chaffee. (By the way Webb and Chaffee have dropped out of the race, but Webb added a face-saving claim that he might run as an Independent. I wish Maher had been on the air to lampoon that assertion.)

Bernie Sanders
Bernie is a long-time Senator (VT I) who runs as an Independent and calls himself a Democratic-Socialist. He caucuses with the Democrats. He was born in Brooklyn, my old home town.

Maher began by telling Sanders that “the last man your age to get this kind of attention was Mick Jagger.” It’s a good comparison—Sanders is a kind of rock star.

Maher said that Sanders should teach America that we are already a socialist country. Sanders said that the U.S. is socialist in some ways, but he listed the ways in which we are not, compared to other “major democratic countries” because in those countries health care and medical leave are rights. He added that we have more people in jail than any other country in the world. He advocated for free college (also a right in some European countries) and higher taxes on corporations and the top 1% of Americans.

Maher suggested that someone who calls himself a socialist could not win because polls show that 47% of the country (according to polls would never vote for a socialist. (Maher compared it to herpes.) Sanders countered that he gets 25% of the Republican vote when he runs for Senate in Vermont and that he has received 650,000 contributions from individuals—more than any candidate in history.)

Bernie said, “We can bring them [Republicans] into the movement. We must stand up to the billionaire class and build an America that works for everyone. Democrats win when the voting rate is high.”

For more about Bernie Sanders read: The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America. 

The Democratic Debate
The Democratic Debate led to an exciting discussion on the show. Maher mentioned that 15 million people watched it—five times more than expected. (It was nonetheless lower that the 23 million the first Republican debate had, but then the Dems did not have a reality TV star on stage to provide entertainment.)

Panel member Katrina vanden Heuvel is the editor and publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for the Washington Post, and author of several books including, The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama and Dictionary of Republicanisms: TheIndispensable Guide to What They Really Mean When They Say What They Think YouWant to Hear. She said, “We heard ideas, not insults.”

Even the Republican on the panel, John Feehrey, had to admit that Hillary’s poll numbers in NH went up after the debate. (Feehrey is a columnist for The Hill, chief blogger for The FeeheryTheory) He also tried to build up the Republican slate, saying “We have good candidates too. We just have to winnow the field a bit.

Maher confronted Feehery saying, “But they really aren’t [good candidates]. Bush and Rubio want to repeal all financial regulations. We will have another crash.”

Maher said that he is going to vote for Sanders in the primary and will donate to his campaign. But if Clinton wins the primaries, he will vote for her in the general election. He appealed to his viewers: “If you can’t get the fish, eat the chicken.” Maher repeated this later in the show, saying he had learned his lesson with Ralph Nader.

Lawrence Lessing—Mid-show interview
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lessing is the Democratic candidate that nobody has heard of. He is a single-issue candidate who is very excited about getting money out of politics. He should have been on the debate stage.

Lessing is also a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of several books. His most recent book is Republic, Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It.

Lessing pointed out that members of Congress spend 70% of their time raising money. Money and gerrymandering has made our government like a car with four flat tires and someone stole the battery. Lessing promised that if he were elected president he would pass the legislation that gets our democracy back.

Campaign Funding
In addition to Lessing, Maher and the panelists weighed in on campaign funding.

Maher told us that Marco Rubio is funded by a group called the Conservative Solutions Project and that is a bigger scandal that Hillary’s emails. Vandal Huevel added that 158 families are providing halve of the funding for the Republican candidates. Panel member Johann Hari: (author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs) mentioned Sheldon Adelson, who is a major contributor to Republican candidates, calling him out for getting all his money from gambling—“he produces nothing.”

Republicans
Republicans get very excited about war—they can’t wait to get the U.S. into one. They talk a lot about how tough they would be with foreign leaders. Maher said, “For instance, “Chris Christie said, ‘I’ll call Vladimir and say ‘Don’t you try me. I’ll do it.’ Maher added “War is their campaign prop.”

Vanden Huevel said, “Strength is not the bullyboys. It is diplomacy.”

Hari brought global warming up. Republicans refuse to recognize that global warming is a problem that we must deal with. Hari said that global warming will lead to more war. “When there is no water people will do terrible things.”

Mid show comedy bit
This was a great comedy bit about how excitable Republicans are about socialism. Maher first repeated something Bernie Sanders had said and then showed what Republicans heard. Of course, what they heard was so distorted by their own hatred of “socialism” that it was nothing like what Sanders actually said. 

BTW: Was this done as a nod to Vandel Hueven's book Dictionary of Republicanisms: What they Really Mean When they Say What They Think You Want to Hear. 


This deserves to be seen in its entirety to I will link to it




New Rules: Lord of the Spree
Maher took on the increase in killing sprees in the United States. The attacker is usually a young man. He claimed that these men attacked because they can’t get laid. One even left behind something he had written, “I am going to die a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl and I will punish you for it.” Maher called it "The worst e-harmony profile ever."

Maher said no one ever went on the attack saying “Sex! Sex! Sex! It is all I do. Where is my gun? I am mad at the world.”

Maher went on to say, “In America, it seems like everybody is having sex but them.” He then showed some advertisements that were full of sexual imagery, with the implication that this was raising the frustration level of young men who aren’t getting any.  Maher said, “Wake up and smell the testosterone.”

He also blamed that attacks by Muslims on the lack or appropriate sexually outlets. “What is the sexual frustration level of men who only see men who look like this?” as he showed a picture of a woman in a burka, completely covered from head to toe. “How do you masturbate to that? I know masturbation requires imagination, but that is ridiculous.”  



Bill Maher’s Guests, #268, October 16, 2015

The Interview:
Bernie Sanders: Senator (I VT), former Congressman (I VT), Democratic candidate for President. A 2015 biography of Bernie Sanders is The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America by Jonathan Tasini

Mid-Show Special Guest: 
Lawrence Lessig; Professor at Harvard Law School, champion of campaign finance reform. Democratic candidate for President, author of several books. His most recent book is Republic, Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It

The Panel:

Katrina vanden Heuvel:  Editor and Publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for the Washington Post, author of several books including, The Change IBelieve In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama and Dictionary of Republicanisms: TheIndispensable Guide to What They Really Mean When They Say What They Think YouWant to Hear

John Feehery: Columnist for The Hill, chief blogger for The FeeheryTheory

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #367 10/09/2015 “Speaking Truth”

Speaking Truth
Speaking Truth
by Catherine Giordano

Truth is funnier than fiction. You will know the truth, and it will make you laugh. Here is a recap and review of Real Time with Bill Maher episode 367, which aired on 10/9/2015, and provided an hour’s worth of truth wrapped in a layer of comedy. 

The truth about the Speaker of the House
The truth is that being Speaker of the House is an impossible job in today’s Congress. It seems like no one wants the job and everyone wants the job.The smart ones don’t want it because it is impossible to bring the so-called Freedom Caucus (formerly known as The Tea Party) under control. It will be a career-killer for anyone who takes on the job. The not-so- mart ones want it because they think they can use the position to bring down the government. Who knew conservatives are the new anarchists?

Maher mocked Kevin McCarthy for his abrupt decision to withdraw himself from the race. McCarthy said the Republicans needed a “fresh face.”  Maher said the McCarthy’s face was so “fresh” no one even knows who he is. Maybe the real reason he withdrew is because he’s been a bit fresh and frisky with Congresswoman Renee Elmers (R, NC). Their affair, going back to 2011, is described as the biggest open secret in Washington D.C.  His political enemies were prepared to let the whole world in on the secret if he did not withdraw. The race for speaker is now a free-for-all barroom brawl. Just like the race for the Republican nomination. How can anyone take the Republican Party seriously anymore?

The Republican Party is collapsing and it is the the Republicans’ own fault.  They were quick to embrace The Tea Party as a way to win elections. Now they have reaped what they have sown. The Tea Party anarchists are destroying the Republican Party from within. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the Congress are just sitting back and enjoying the show. I am hoping that there will be enough left of government when the Democrats pick up the pieces. Maybe they will be forced to elect Nancy Pelosi Speaker. She knows how to get things done. There’s no rule that the Speaker has to be a member of the majority party.

Maher pointed out the truism that the problem is due to gerrymandered districts. Republicans know they can’t lose their election to a Democrat in their tailor-made districts with an over-whelming number of Republican voters crammed into them. What they fear is a primary fight and losing their cushy job to a candidate who is even more extreme than they are. So they move further and further to the right, no matter if they destroy the country.

The true Republican agenda
Panelist Rob Thomas is a singer, songwriter, and co-founder (with his wife Marisol) of Sidewalk Angels, a charitable organization which supports animal rescue and advocacy efforts. He iscurrently on tour for his new album, The Great Unknown. Thomas said, “Their whole job is to foul things up” and then “their idiocy is rewarded in the polls.” (He actually used a different four-letter word in place of “foul” but I try to keep things “clean.’.)

Panelist Anne-Marie Slaughter was the Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department under Hillary Clinton. She is President and CEO of the New America Foundation and the author of several books. Her latest book is Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family. She said “Their sole objective is to blow government up.” 

Panelist Andrew Sullivan is a blogger (The Dish) and author of several books including The Conservative Soul: Fundamentalism, Freedom, and The Future of the Right .He said, “It is all about venting, tantrums, and temper. I’m a Libertarian, but I know I have to compromise.”

Andrew Sullivan went on to say, “Obama is kicking their ass at every turn. He’s playing the long game.”

Andrew Sullivan has it in for Hillary
Andrew Sullivan was making so much sense, and then he had to go and ruin it with a diatribe against Hillary Clinton. It was an out-of-control rant. Maher tried to josh him out of it. “Why do you hate her so much? Were you molested as a child by a real estate lady?” Sullivan was undeterred.

When Sullivan said, “Hhalf of the country doesn’t believe her about the emails,” Maher put that statement in context when he reminded Sullivan that “Half the country also believes the Noah’s Ark story is true.” 

Slaughter defended Hillary (when she could get a word in edgewise) and said, “Hillary is incredibly smart.’ Sullivan countered that she is a “calculating politician.”  Maher topped him, saying, “I’d rather have a calculating politician than someone who can’t calculate.”   

The truth about addiction
Patrick Kennedyis a former Congressman (D, RI) and author of an new A Common Struggle: A Personal Journal through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction He said that his book is not a tell-all about the Kennedy family; it is meant to educate people about addiction.

Maher feels that people are over-medicated, but Kennedy said that addiction is a true illness and it needs to be seen as such by the health-care insurance industry. Alcohol was a way of self-medicating for his father Ted Kennedy—he had two bothers murdered [and, I will add, another killed in war] and he was probably suffering from PTSD. Thankfully, it is a different time now and there are medications. Slaughter agreed, saying, “It’s not character; it’s chemical.”

Sullivan was back to being reasonable, and he sided with Kennedy. “My mom is bipolar and the pills she takes are essential. Sometimes she doesn’t want to take her pills. I told her ‘If you won’t take your pills for depression, I won’t take mine for HIV.’”  

Maher went off about Big Pharma, but Sullivan shouted him down, saying “If it wasn’t for Big Pharma, I wouldn’t be here today.”

I just know it is true
The mid-show comedy routine was one of the best segments ever. It was titled “I don’t know it for a fact…I just know that it is true.” People just “knowing something is true” when they actually don’t know anything at all is all too prevalent.

Here are some of the things Bill Maher said.  “I don’t know for a fact, but I just know it is true that… 
  • The owner of this giant truck has a small dick.
  • Ted Cruz is wearing a bra and panties under his suit.
  • Obama and Pope Francis are atheists. [That is one that I “just know” also]
  • Donald Trump’s father is an orange-haired orangutan.
And
  • The Benghazi hearings are just an excuse to take down Hillary---wait a moment, that one I do know for a fact.”
Barack Obama and Pope Francis
Barack Obama and Pope Francis
share a moment 
New Rules—Yes, we cam
Maher thinks the camera phone has totally gotten out of hand. He said, “You know how the people in some primitive tribes think that pictures steal your soul. They are right.”

He then railed against the practice of constantly taking pictures instead of being in the moment. For instance, taking pictures of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre or having ten seconds to actually see the Pope and missing out because you are snapping a picture instead. (You can buy a post card with a picture of the Mona Lisa and download a picture of the Pope.) 

People are checking their phones even in intimate situations. He joked, about getting a text during sex saying “Are you close?” And if he were to get a “no service” message on his phone, the sex would end anti-climatically.

“Virtual reality—virtual means almost.” Maher wants us to put down the phone and experience true reality.    

Bill Maher’s Guests October 9, 2015

Interview:
Ernest Moniz: United States Secretary of Energy, Professor of Physics, Emeritus at MIT, founding Director of the MIT Energy Initiative, Director of the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment .

Mid-Show Interview: 

Panel:
Andrew Sullivan:  Blogger (The Dish), author of several books including The Conservative Soul: Fundamentalism, Freedom, and The Future of the Right

Rob Thomas: Singer, Songwriter, co-founder (with his wife Marisol) of the charitable organization which supports animal rescue and advocacy efforts, Sidewalk Angels. He currently on tour for his new album, The Great Unknown.

Anne-Marie Slaughter: Former Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department under Hillary Clinton, President and CEO of the New America Foundation, author of several books. Her latest book is Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Real Time with Bill Maher #366 10/2/2015 “Politicizing”

Neil deGrasse Tyson shows off his cosmic vest
Neil deGrasse Tyson shows off his awesome vest.
by Catherine Giordano

Is politicizing a bad thing? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. When Bill Maher politicizes on Real Time with Bill Maher, as in did on episode 366, which aired on October 2, 2015, he combines news with comedy and politics both for our elucidation and entertainment.

Science should not be politicized
What a rare treat! There were two renowned scientists on the show. Richard Dawkins was the first interview and Neil deGrasse Tyson was the mid-show interview. They spoke about the wonders f science.

Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (which works to promote scientific literacy and a secular worldview), and author of several books. His most recent book is Brief Candle in the Dark, My Life in Science, is a follow-up to his 2013 autobiography. He said that the wonder of science is that life came into being without being designed.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, host of Star Talk Radio, and author of several books including Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries. He also talked about the wonders of science. He loves the cosmos so much that he often wears outrageous ties and vests that depict the cosmos.)

 For Tyson, the wonder is that science can change the world. He explained how Einstein published an obscure paper many years ago, and it was considered to be a waste of time—but that discovery led to lasers and bar codes. Quantum physics gave us the technology for the internet.

The microscopic "water bear"
Did the microscopic "water bear"
come from Mars?
Neil deGrasse Tyson is excited about the discovery of water on Mars. He thinks life may have evolved on Mars and Mars seeded the Earth. He spoke about the microscopic organism known as the “water Bear.” He said you can’t kill the thing. If it dries out, you can just add water, and it comes back to life. He said there was no reason for this to evolve on Earth; it might have evolved on Mars and arrived on Earth embedded in some space debris.

On Overtime, Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson revealed their two different approaches to the problem of religion. Richard Dawkins advocates engaging with religionists about the falsity of religious beliefs. Tyson, who describes himself as an educator, wants to offer religionists the scientist’s way of seeing the world and they can come to it on their own.”


Read more about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s views on life, the universe, and everything, including religion.  Neil deGrassse Tyson: The People’s Astrophysicist

Benghazi was politicized by Republicans
In the monolog, Maher said that Republicans are fond of saying that we shouldn’t politicize tragedies like school shootings. And then they immediately follow-up with “Now back to Benghazi.” Now that Kevin McCarthy boasted in an interview with Fox News TV host Sean Hannity about how the ninth and most recent Benghazi hearing took down Hillary’s poll numbers, we have the proof of how Republicans politicize tragedy when it suits their purposes. Maher quipped “Fox News is furious with McCarthy because he broke with the format of Fox News by saying something true.”

Hillary seized the opportunity to attack the Republicans for this. I hear the commentators on TV saying, “Why didn’t she go on the offensive before this?” The answer is obvious. If she had said it was a Republican witch hunt before Kevin McCarthy let the cat out of the bag, Republicans would have scoffed saying she was having “vast right-wing conspiracy” delusions. Now that McCarthy has admitted it, Hillary is finally free to speak up.

Maher said that this latest investigation has lasted longer than Watergate. Panelist Adam Gopnik, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of several books including the best-seller Paris to the Moon, said it was a “tragedy in search of a scandal.” He added that McCarthy blurted out the truth because he was making a campaign promise—he would use his position as speaker for political purposes.

Planned Parenthood was politicized by Republicans
Another wholly political Congressional investigation is the one on Planned Parenthood and the donation of fetal tissue for medical research. Maher said, “It was not a hearing, it was a yelling.” The video has been totally discredited, plus seven states have already conducted their own investigations and none of them found any wrongdoing. Panelist Angela Rye, a Democratic strategist and CEO of Impact Strategies (a government relations and political strategy firm based in D.C.) called it “a witch hunt.” She added, “They do not talk about the benefits to medicine that is derived from research using fetal tissue. Maher had the last word, saying, “The opponents of fetal tissue research should pledge to forgo any personal use of treatments that arise from this research.”

The Pope was politicized by Kim Davis
Kim Dais is the story that will not die. She is politicizing her religious beliefs. She claimed to have had a private audience with the Pope when he was in DC at which time the Pope told her she had his support. It turns out that is not at all true. It is true that she met the Pope, but it was a brief “drive-thru” type of meeting--Or as Maher described it. “Wham! Bam! Bless you ma’am! The spokesmen for the Pope have made it clear that they did not discuss her actions.

The Pope gave only one private audience on that day and that was to his former student, a gay man, who brought his partner of 19 years to the meeting.

Pope Francis and Kim Davis
Kim Davis lied about her meeting with the Pope.
See more funny Kim Davis memes: The Kim Davis Satirical Memes Photo Album

The shooting victims were politicized by Ben Carson
Maher said, “Ben Carson can separate conjoined twins, but he can’t separate fact from fiction. Maher has talked before about the “smart stupid person,” and Carson is a prime example of the type. He’s a highly skilled neurosurgeon, but he doesn’t believe in the Big Bang and he thinks evolution is a theory from the devil.

Maybe Carson knows how to perform neurosurgery, but he apparently is an ignoramus on everything else. Nonetheless, he is rising in the polls. Rye said that his tax plan was a 10% tithe. Tyson added, “It’s like the government is God.”

Carson was thoroughly ridiculed and he had not yet even said his stupidest thing. He blamed the victims in the Oklahoma shooting for not rushing the gunman. [By the way, one student did rush the gunman, but I guess Carson didn’t know anything about the subject he was talking about. The student was shot, but survived. He may have helped to keep the death toll down.]

Carson said he would have rushed the gunman. I doubt it. First of all, Carson is so slow- thinking that the gunman would have shot 50 people before Carson even figured out what was going on. Second, Carson is so slow-moving, that the idea of his “rushing” anyone is ludicrous. Third, he’d be too busy praying to do anything. And fourth, he doesn’t strike me as the hero type.

Note: I wasn’t sure if Trevor Noah would be able to fill Jon Stewart's shoes. Then I saw this bit about Ben Carson blaming the Oregon victims for not "rushing the shooter," and Noah has won me over. Watch this amazing bit from The Daily Show on 10/7/2015.  It’s as good as anything Stewart has ever done.

 
The mid-show comedy segment
Bill Maher turned Putin’s speech at the UN into the mid-show comedy segment. He literally put words into Putin’s mouth as he pretended to translate Putin’s speech. Some examples are: 
  • Your so-called “Russian dressing” is just ketchup and mayonnaise.
  • You are a nation of fat people in workout clothes. The irony amuses me.
  • The food here is poison, and believe me I know poison.
Donald Trump is getting better at politicizing
Maher opened his monologue with a reference to Trump. He remarked that he was already seeing Jack-O-Lanterns everywhere. Then pretending to correct himself, he said that it was only Donald Trump.

Donald Trump revealed his tax plan--and, guess what?--it was the same as all the others from Republicans He would reduce the top rate, cut the corporate rate, and eliminate the estate tax—all of which he would personally benefit from. Maher said, “We need more tax rates—another bracket for the obscenely rich.”

Panelist Matt Welch, Editor-In-Chief of Reason Magazine and co-author (with Nick Gillespie) of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America faulted Trump’s plan, saying, “He is not talking about cutting the size of government. Cutting taxes without cutting spending is just raising the deficit.”

New Rules: Il Papa Don’t Preach
Republicans and Conservatives don’t like the Pope talking about economic justice—you know, the things that Jesus said. Maher said, “There are two Jesuses—liberals have the traditional Jesus and conservatives have a small business man from Galilee, the Supply-Side Jesus, whose main gripe is big government and who wants to make Nazareth great again. He is the Jesus who gave all the loaves and fishes to the top 1% so they could trickle down onto everyone else.”
Supply Side Jesus
Supply Side Jesus
Maher concluded, “This is why Donald Trump is the perfect candidate for the Republican Party. He has he two favorite books. One is about a perfect God who teaches humanity the right way to live and the other is the Bible.”


Read more about Donald Trump's "two most favorite books:" Donald Trump: I Love the Bible and Other Panders



Republicans are great at politicizing. So is Bill Maher. Only, with the Republicans, the humor is unintentional. 


Bill Maher’s Guests October 2, 2015

Interview
Richard Dawkins: Evolutionary biologist, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (which works to promote scientific literacy and a secular worldview), author of several books. His most recent book is Brief Candle in the Dark, My Life in Science, a follow-up to his 2013 autobiography.

Mid-show Special Guest
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Astrophysicist, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, host of Star Talk Radio, author of several books including Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Panel 
Adam Gopnik: Staff writer for The New Yorker, where he covers American politics and culture. He has written several books including the best-seller Paris to the Moon.

Angela Rye: Democratic strategist, CEO of Impact Strategies, a government relations and political strategy firm based in D.C. She was the Executive Director and General Counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus for the 112th Congress. 

Matt Welch: Editor-In-Chief of Reason Magazine, co-author of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America. He was the host of Fox Business Channel’s The Independents, which aired from December 2013 until January 2015.