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.
  • 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

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: 

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