Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bill Maher #319 Death Row Follies

by Catherine Giordano

 In “Real Time with Bill Maher, episode #319, which aired on 5/23/14 Maher and the panel discussed capital punishment which was in the news because of the botched execution in Oklahoma.

Capital punishment is in the news again. The Supreme Court took a tiny step in the right direction by saying courts must allow for a statistical margin of error when using an IQ score to determine if a prisoner is too mentally deficient to be executed. Florida (and by extension other states) can no longer use a strict cut-off of 70, because due to the margin of error the score could actually be as low as 65.

Maher mentioned capital punishment in his monologue. “Tennessee is reinstating the electric chair. They are firing up the grill.They really do fry everything in the South. They don’t call it an execution; they call it ‘empowering minorities.’”

 It strikes a nerve because minorities are disproportionately given the death penalty.  Maher said, “We are a very vengeful country, but we don’t want to be seen so.” Of the industrialized countries only China, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia still execute people. Not the best of company for our country. Revenge killing is unbecoming for a country that proclaims itself to be “the leader of the free world.”
"Why do we kill people who kill people to show killing people is wrong."

To maintain the fa├žade of being civilized, we try to do executions “humanely,” as if an execution could ever be humane.  Maher said, “We have assisted suicide, we know how to kill people. Put them under [like when you are anesthetized for an operation in the hospital,] then guillotine them, shoot them, whatever.” Maher sounded more callous than funny.

My opinion: We can all see, if we take a moment to understand the issues, that execution is morally wrong. (In my public speaking career, I do a talk about this. See my website TalksAllAbout)

Now is the time for all governors, in the 32 states that still have capital punishment, to call a moratorium on executions. They have the cover of the botched execution to do the morally right thing. Instead, a number of states seem to be in a race to see who can be the first to execute someone.

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Guests for May 23, 2014
Jose Antonio Vargas: journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of “Define American” an organization dedicated to immigration, is most famous for his New York Times article, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” His new documentary, Documented is in theaters now.

Sarah Silverman: comedian, writer, and actress, author of The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, star of the former (very funny) TV series, The Sarah Silverman Show. She is in a new movie titled A Million Ways to Die in the West, based on a novel by Seth MacFalane.

David Frum: senior editor at The Atlantic, political commentator, former George W. Bush speechwriter, and author of several books, the most recent being a novel, Patriots

Michael Smerconish: political talk show host on Sirius radio and CNN, and the author of several non-fiction books. His most recent book is a novel about a talk show host, Talk: A Novel 
 
Anna Devere Smith: actress, playwright, and professor, currently featured in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bill Maher #319 John Boehner: Leader of the Tea Pary

By Catherine Giordano

On episode #318 on “Real Time with Bill Maher” which aired on 5/23/14, Maher and his panelists discussed the primary elections.  Maher said comedians had a field day with far-right Tea Party loonies: Christine (I am Not a Witch) O’Donnell, Todd (Legitimate Rape) Aiken, and Sharon (2nd amendment rights) Angle. 

[Note: I did a news print poem, Legitimate Lunkheads, about Todd Aiken.] 

This year, more mainstream Republicans seem to be winning in the Republican primaries. Or maybe not. The Tea Party has moved the Republican party so far to the right that there is no difference anymore, except one difference, the current crop knows not to say loony things in public.   

Maher cited all the reasons why John Boehner is the new head of the Tea Party. Just look at the bills he has brought (or refused to bring) to the floor of the House and his own votes.  

·         Shut down the government

·         Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)—50 times

·         Derailed immigration reform

·         Cut food stamps

·         Repealed the ban on energy inefficient light bulbs

·         Voted to stop studying climate change

·         Voted to investigate Benghazi for the eighth time 

I will add not extending unemployment benefits, andnot allowing a vote to raise the minimum wage, and also one for equal pay for women.

How is John Boehner not the head of the tea party?

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Guests for May 23, 2014

Jose Antonio Vargas: journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of “Define American” an organization dedicated to immigration, is most famous for his New York Times article, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” His new documentary, Documented is in theaters now.

Sarah Silverman: comedian, writer, and actress, author of The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, star of the former (very funny) TV series, The Sarah Silverman Show. She is in a new movie titled A Million Ways to Die in the West, based on a novel by Seth MacFalane.

David Frum: senior editor at The Atlantic, political commentator, former George W. Bush speechwriter, and author of several books, the most recent being a novel, Patriots

 Michael Smerconish: political talk show host on Sirius radio and CNN, and the author of several non-fiction books. His most recent book is a novel about a talk show host, Talk: A Novel 

 Anna Devere Smith: actress, playwright, and professor, currently featured in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie.

 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bill Maher #318 Climate Change Deniers

by Catherine Giordano

On "Real Time with Bill Maher", episode 318, which aired on May 16, 2014, Maher and the panelists discussed climate change. I add my two cents worth here.

We all a little fed-up with the climate change deniers? My understanding is that if it weren’t for global warming we would be having a mini-ice age right now. So, up to a point, global warming has been a good thing. But it is clear that it has gone too far. And it is clear that part of the warming is man-made and not just normal fluctuations in climate.  

When 97% of climate scientists agree, the argument is over and even Republicans have to get on board. Kellyanne Conway, a panelist on the show who is a Republican strategist and pollster and president and CEO of “The Polling Group” said, “We have to have an all of the above strategy.”

Exactly—a little wind, a little solar, a little conservation—it all adds up. Side benefit—fewer oil spills like the one we just had in LA that Maher said resulted in the need to “clean up 15 homeless former child actors.”
 
See the full review for this show at Premium Cable Reviews.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bill Maher #318 New Rules--Godzilla at BridgeGate

Godzilla
by Catherine Giordano

In a New Rules segment titled “Reptile Dysfunction” from episode #318 of “Real Time with Bill Maher, aired on 05/16/14, Bill Maher wondered why every movie monster has to go to San Francisco and destroy the Golden Gate bridge.

It happens in Pacific Rim, X-Men, Terminator, It Came from Beneath the Sea, Superman, Planet of the Apes, MegaShark and the Giant Octopus.  (Is that last one even a real movie? It turns out, it is.)

The punchline? If I want to see a 20,000 ton monster destroy a bridge, I’d move to—wait for it--New Jersey.   

I just can’t resist a Chris Christie joke.

See the full recap and review of this show on my other blog Premium Cable Reviews.

Guests for May 16, 2014 #318:
 
Robert Lustig: a pediatric endocrinologist, author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease and a featured expert in the new documentary, Fed-Up.
 
Ian Bremmer:  a political scientist, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, author of Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World

Kellyanne Conway: Republican strategist and pollster, president and CEO of “The Polling Group”

Brian Schweitzer: former governor (D, MT)

Kevin Nealon: actor and comedian, author of Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me and star in a new movie, Blended.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bill Mahar #318 New Rules -- Grandstanding on Benghazi

Grandstanding on Benghazi
Fox News lies about Benhazi
by Catherine Giordano

The final bit in New Rules in #318 of “Real Time with Bill Maher, aired on 05/16/14, was titled “American Grandstand” wherein Maher took on Republicans on Benghazi. Maher said that the resurgence in Republican obsession with Benghazi can only mean one thing—Obamacare is working. 
 
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Maher said it was time for Republicans in Congress to “put-up or shut up” instead of just conducting the eighth investigation into Benghazi. He urged them to impeach Obama because, citing Clinton’s 10 point gain in popularity during his impeachment, he said “It is the only thing that will make Obama popular again."  

Maher asked, “Where’s the crime?” He said listening to Republicans talk about Benghazi is “like trying to relate to someone who is tripping when you are not.

 
Maher suggested a drinking game. Watch Fox News, “the alternative history channel,” and do a shot every time someone says Benghazi. Then he said not to do it “because you would be dead in 15 minutes.” 
 
Can you impeach a president for making you unhappy, for “dereliction of happiness,” for “giving you a case of the sads?”
 
He ended by stating that Obama could use a little bit of impeachment mojo. He urged Republicans to make Obama an issue in the 2014 elections “so he can kick your ass for the third time.”
 
See the full recap and review of this show on my other blog Premium Cable Reviews
 
 

Bill Maher #318 Comedy Segmet--Romance

Romance, Republican Style--X Rated

by Catherine Giordano

Bill Maher holding
"Love's Fair and Balanced Desire" 

The mid-show comedy segment on “Real Time with Bill Maher”, episode 318, which aired on 05/16/14 was smutty and steamy. I warn you—it is X-rated.

It was a spoof inspired by the purchase of Harlequin Books (a publisher of romance novels) by Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News. He said there would soon be a new romance novel Love’s Fair and Balanced Desire 
 
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Here's the best of the bit:
·       Under her icy exterior was a passion that burned like an unprotected embassy in Lybia
·         Her lover was a widower whose wife had died in the war on Christianity
·         A single bead of sweat lay between her ample breasts—just due to normal hot weather, not climate change
·         His manhood strained growing ever larger, like the deficit under Obama
·        When he struggled with a condom, she said, “Don’t bother, my body has a way of shutting that whole thing down”
·         She told him, “Drill, baby, drill.”
·         Her secret lover was a Mexican named Hector. She put her finger to his lips and said “Don’t talk. Not until you learn English.”
·        He placed his face between her legs. She rode his mustache all the way home. “It’s true, she said, “Mexicans will do jobs no one else will do.”

See the full recap and review of this show on my other blog Premium Cable Reviews.

Guests for May 16, 2014 #318:
 
Robert Lustig: a pediatric endocrinologist, author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease and a featured expert in the new documentary, Fed-Up.

Ian Bremmer:  a political scientist, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, author of Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World

Kellyanne Conway: Republican strategist and pollster, president and CEO of “The Polling Group”

Brian Schweitzer: former governor (D, MT)

Kevin Nealon: actor and comedian, author of Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me and star in a new movie, Blended.

 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bill Maher #318 Robert Lustig--Fed-Up

by Catherine Giordano
Fed Up DVD
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Everybody is fed-up about something on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” episode 318, which aired on May 16, 2014.  I’ll spoon feed you the details.

The interview was with Robert Lustig: a pediatric endocrinologist, author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease and a featured expert in the new documentary, Fed-Up. He believes that Americans are killing themselves with poor diet choices.  He brings a lot of scary facts to the table. 
  • The maximum amount of sugar that is safe to eat is 6 to 9 teaspoons a day.  The average American is getting 22 teaspoons a day. Sugar went from a condiment to a diet staple.
  • Sugar causes the same diseases as alcohol.
  • Orange juice is not good for you. The only good part of the orange is the fiber.
  • Obesity has gotten so bad that there is an epidemic of obese 6-month old children.  Even newborns are obese.
There are three big myths that Lustig wants to expose.
  1. Obesity itself is not the problem No. one manifestation of the problem. Chronic Metabolic Disease is the problem. TOFI (Thin outside, fat inside) is the problem.
  2. A calorie is a calorie. No, calories from sugar are worse than other calories.
  3. It’s about personal responsibility. No, it’s about corporate responsibility.  Sugar laden foods are designed to be addictive.
He is not sugar-coating the dangers. I think I am going to see this documentary and read his book. I think most of America should too.

Watch the interview.


Guests for May 16, 2014 #318:
 
Robert Lustig: a pediatric endocrinologist, author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease and a featured expert in the new documentary, Fed-Up.

Ian Bremmer:  a political scientist, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, author of Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World

Kellyanne Conway: Republican strategist and pollster, president and CEO of “The Polling Group”

Brian Schweitzer: former governor (D, MT)

Kevin Nealon: actor and comedian, author of Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me


Friday, May 16, 2014

Bill Maher #317 Comedy Segment--Graduation Hats

By Catherine Giordano

Did you know that today's grads sometimes write messages on their graduation caps? I just learned that from Bill Maher.  I'm always learning something from Bill Maher.


 
The mid-show comedy segment was about the messages that some graduates tape to the mortarboards of their graduation caps.  Maher said that it used to be things like “Thanks, Mom,” but now, the messages reflect the economic difficulties facing graduates. The new messages read something like this:


·         My other hat is a hairnet.
·         Don Sterling, If you pay off my loans, I’ll be your “archivist.”
·         My other tassels are on my nipples.



Guests:

Sister Simone Campbell, a Roman Catholic nun, executive director of NETWORK, a lawyer, and the author of A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change and Community. 

Arianna Huffington, the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, and the author of numerous books. Her latest book is Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being Wisdom and Wonder. 

Matt Welch, editor of Reason, a libertarian magazine and co-host of “The Independents” on the Fox Business Network. He is also the author of a new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America. 

Baratunde Thurston, a comedian and author of How to Be Black. 

Dinesh D’Souza, a contributor to the conservative American Enterprise Institute and author of several books including his most recent book, America: Imagine a World without Her.
 
 
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