Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bill Maher #336: President Mitt McCain

President Mitt McCain
President Mitt-McCain
by Catherine Giordano

On New Rules, Bill Maher railed against people who don’t vote because … just because.  And then they complain that nothing ever changes.  “You know how you get change, you vote.”

It DOES make a difference!

On Real Time with Bill Maher, episode #336, which aired ON 11/14/14, Maher specifically mentioned Florida where I live. Turnout was very low especially in the Democratic areas of the state. Maher said, "Charlie Crist losing to Rick Scott would have made a difference to the 700,000 people who would have gotten health insurance through Medicaid if Crist was governor." I wonder how many of that 700,000 couldn’t be bothered to vote? Crist lost by 66,000 votes.

(Medicare is important, but Florida will suffer in so many ways from this last election.)

Maher talked about Obama. So Obama failed to meet every one of your expectations. “The choice is not between the perfect Obama in your head and the real one who went to Washington.” Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. So Crist wasn’t a perfect candidate, but he was much, much better than Scott.

Then Maher showed us the world under “President Mitt McCain”  Scary and very funny.

Think about President Mitt McCain the next time you don’t vote because it doesn’t make a difference or because the candidate just doesn’t excite you. I'll paraphrase Maher--you're selecting who is going to hold office, not a lover. 

You can read the full recap and review of this episode here:

Here's the New Rules video clip.

Bill Maher’s Guests: November 14, 2014
Martin Short:  Actor, comedian, and author of several books. His most recent book is I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend 
Andrew Sullivan: Former editor of The New Republic, blogger in chief at The Dish and author of six books.  His most recent book is Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival  
Jeremy Scahill: Journalist and author of two books.  His most recent book is Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Working Harder; Getting Poorer: Bill Maher Interviews Linda Tirado

Hand to Mouth
By Catherine Giordano

Linda Tirado, with hard work and a lot of good luck, pulled herself up by her bootstraps.  She explained poverty to the rest of us in the interview segment on Real Time with Bill Maher, episode #335, which aired on November 7, 2014.  

Her good luck began when she did a post on gawker which got picked up by Huffington Post. This led to a book deal. She said, sarcastically, “That would be Mitt Romney’s answer to poverty. ‘Why don’t you get a book deal?’” (Remember, during the campaign, Mitt Romney said poor people should start a business by borrowing money from their parents. He wasn’t being sarcastic or ironic; he was just totally clueless.) 
Read it here. This is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense

The article is written with raw honesty.  The prose is not polished—it reads like something dashed off at 3am in the morning, and that is what make is so affecting and effective.  

Linda Tirado
Linda Tirado
Linda Tirado also talked about how people look down on poor people “for not properly wearing their hair shirt." She said that everyone is allowed to have vices, except poor people. It is a form of poor-shaming. 

Maher and Tirado also laughed at the McDonalds Employee Handbook which recommends good health practices.
  • Get daily exercise: The only exercise poor people have time for is running from their second job to their third job. 
  • Eat well:. Poor people can’t afford to buy nutritious food and they don’t have time to prepare good meals.  They need to grab something fast and cheap as they rush to their next job.  What is fast and cheap—McDonalds.
  • Get enough sleep:  When a poor person is holding down two or three low paying part time jobs (and sometimes also raising kids and going to school), eight hours sleep is a luxury they can’t afford.
I’ve been poor. I don’t recommend it.


Read the full review and recap for this episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, titled: Talking Nice.
P.S.: I wrote a post about work. How to Work Harder, Smarter, Better: Quotes from Famous People on Work. It includes “rules” for work based on inspirational quotes from famous people.  I doubt that any of these quotes would have helped Ms.Tirado--I'm sure she would have laughed at me if I had given them to her when she was poor--but they may help you.

Be sure and read her book, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, if you want to understand what it is like to be poor in America. You should also read by Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. (Click the links for more information and reviews plus a peak inside.)

Bill Maher’s Guests for November 7, 2014

Linda Tirado: Author of Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, a book about what it is like to live in poverty in America 

Robert Costa: Political reporter for the Washington Post 

Kristen Soltis Anderson: Co-founder of Echelon Insights, a Republican opinion research firm, columnist for The Daily Beast, author of The New Vote. 

Lisa Kudrow: Actress, currently starring in Showtime’s Web Therapy and HBO’s The Comeback

Monday, November 10, 2014

#ShowMeYourPeanuts Sugar is Poison

by Catherine Giordano

A few months ago Robert Lustig was a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher. 

I wrote a recap of the interview at Robert Lustig--Fed Up. Robert Lustig is 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.

On October 26, John Oliver took on the subject of sugar and raised the volume several hundred notches as Oliver is prone to do. In this hilarious segment, Oliver demonstrates the harmful effects of sugar and shows how much hidden sugar Americans consume. 
Oliver suggests that food labels stop reporting the amount of sugar in products as the number of grams—no one understands grams. He wants the sugar content be reported as the number of circus peanuts—a type of candy that Oliver calls “the most disgusting candy ever."

He then suggests that everyone encourage food manufacturers to adopt this new standard by tweeting using the hash tag “SHOWMEYOURPEANUTS."
Enjoy the video clip of John Oliver’s segment.



Now watch Bill Maher’s interview with Robert Lustig for a more serious take on the subject.  John Oliver opened his segment talking about Halloween costumes. If you want a really scary Halloween costume, go as a sugar cube. I think you will agree after watching this video.

Fed Up DVD