Bill and his in-studio guests – Cornel West, Alex Wagner, Matt Welch, and former Rep. Barney Frank answer viewer questions after the show.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Thursday, July 21, 2016
COULD DONALD TRUMP PASS A SANITY TEST?
Short answer: probably not.
First, several important caveats. There is little worse and nothing cheesier than questioning the psychological stability of a public figure, especially a candidate for president, even in this case.
Except that in his year of campaigning, Donald Trump has called Lindsey Graham “a nut job,” Glenn Beck “a real nut job,” and Bernie Sanders “a wacko.” Trump has insisted Ben Carson’s got a “pathological disease,” and asked of Barack Obama: “Is our president insane?” He called Ted Cruz “unstable,” “unhinged,” “a little bit of a maniac,” and “crazy or very dishonest.” He also called the entire CNBC network “crazy.” He called Megyn Kelly “crazy”—at least six times. . .
Read more (or better yet, watch the video) at: Vanity Fair
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
|Future "Vice President" Mike Pence?
This is hardly a complete surprise as an eventuality. But it is a shocking thing to find out in advance. Nobody ought to really believe that Trump wants the day-to-day grind of the job of the Presidency. He wants the title, the prestige, the ego-stroking, the political "happy ending" (double-entendre intended and encouraged). But this means this cult of personality frothing at the mouth for Donald J. Trump, celebrity? Would be getting TRUMP stamped on the front of the White House, while President Pence runs things.
That ought to freak out anyone who isn't a far right-wing social conservative. That ought to become the biggest news story going. It should be drowning out Mike Pence's speech (which is happening as I type this). Hillary Clinton should hit this, and hit it hard: Donald Trump has no intention of doing the job of president.
Trump's offer to Kasich to be running mate: Be in charge of both domestic, foreign policy
CLEVELAND — John Kasich could've become America's chief operating officer, the most powerful vice president in U.S. history, if only he'd said yes to becoming Donald Trump's running mate, several Kasich sources told The Dispatch.. .
Read more at: The Columbus Dispatch
But, having been prescient before, Stephen Colbert has resurrected his arch conservative character (also called Stephen Colbert), brought along retired Jon Stewart, and his character-defining comedy segment, The Word, the bit that brought truthiness into being, in his very first show. And the new Word is:
Stephen Colbert Brought Back “Stephen Colbert”—and Jon Stewart—to Explain the Rise of Trump
The 2016 Republican National Convention is a scary time for many Americans—including many Republicans—and so on the Late Show on Monday night, Stephen Colbert brought back two figures from the in-retrospect quite comforting era of the mid-to-late 2000s: Stephen Colbert (the character) and Jon Stewart. . .
Read more at: Slate
|Marshall with Julia Roberts, from source, Variety
Awwww. Damn you, 2016! I've been a fan of Garry Marshall since before I knew who he was. Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy were pop culture touchstones of my childhood. I loved his acting appearances (he could seemingly turn up anywhere), particulrly in Soapdish, and his sister Penny's Jumpin' Jack Flash. Garry Marshall just knew FUNNY. RIP, Mr. Marshall. Maybe Chachi jumping the shark at the RNC is what did it?Garry Marshall, who created some of the 1970s’ most iconic sitcoms including “Happy Days,” “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy” and went on to direct hit movies including “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia. He was 81. The news was first reported by Access Hollywood. . .
Garry Marshall, ‘Pretty Woman’ Director and Creator of ‘Happy Days,’ Dies at 81
Garry Marshall, ‘Pretty Woman’ Director and Creator of ‘Happy Days,’ Dies at 81
Read more at: Variety
|Grab-ass Murdoch, from source, Reuters
Murdochs decide to oust Fox News chief Ailes: report
Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O), and his sons James and Lachlan agree that Fox News Channel boss Roger Ailes should leave the company but they have not settled on the timing, New York magazine reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources. . .
Read more at: Reuters
Monday, July 18, 2016
Bill Maher and his guests – Frank Luntz, S.E. Cupp, Jelani Cobb, Eliot Spitzer, and Viggo Mortensen – answer viewer questions after the show.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
|Rocky Mountain Mike's inspiration, maybe?
(See what I did there?)
Now that Hillary Clinton's email "scandal" is behind her, along with Bernie's overdue endorsement and the sputtering out of the most recent Benghazi report, she can finally, finally focus on the national election. But it won't stop the die-hards from sputtering and fuming that the email thing didn't pan out. So, just like Benghazi, they'll probably keep at it, trying to turn it into something. And maybe--as when Ken Starr turned an unrelated investigation of real estate dealings into one about cigars and blowjobs--something will eventually stick.
But don't tell me anyone is actually outraged about emails or servers. Liberals are outraged at a) conservatives who can't drop a bone, and b) Hillary for making such a rookie mistake. Conservatives are only outraged that they couldn't dredge anything up to hang her with. And they've hung Comey up to dry, right next to where the #BernieOrBusters put Bernie himself after his "sellout" to Hillary. But, does anyone really know what the crime is Mrs. Clinton is alleged to have committed? Glad you asked.
|Michelle Obama trying gamely to play along with the goofball.
- Michael Dukakis: filmed driving a tank, wearing a helmet
- John Kerry: wore a hazmat suit at a science facility, went windsurfing that one time
- Howard Dean: screamed enthusiastically at a rally, magnified by a unidirectional microphone
- Al Gore: sighed audibly at a debate
|Why is one of these things not like the other?
But here is another double-standard, and it goes to the double-standard for Clintons that is much more rarely addressed. For all of the certainty so many claim to have that the media and the system are "in the tank" for the Clintons, the fact is, they're held to a tougher standard than most. Making it more remarkable when they do manage to bounce back, or shrug off the brutal treatment they get. Case in point.
Bill Clinton was at a funeral for Sec. Ron Brown, and was seen on camera smiling and walking with someone. When he noticed a camera trained in his direction, he did what your grandmother would scold you to do: he wiped that smile off his face right quick, and tried to look somber. This was and remains fodder for right-wingers to this day, as an example of Clinton disingenuousness. When in fact, it's something probably anyone might do. Contrast that with yesterday's memorial for the police officers slain in Dallas this past week.
Presidents Bush and Barack Obama both gave stirring speeches. Dubya's was much shorter, obviously prepared for him, and rehearsed. And he couldn't help but keep his colloquial Texas twang. But it was fine. But check him out later, while holding hands with his much more mannered wife, and our current first lady (who, poor lady, is fairly trapped there with this goon) dancing around and acting goofy. At a funeral.
Think this will be brought up endlessly--or ever--by conservatives? Or even make more than a light ripple on the news before going down the memory hole?
Saturday, July 9, 2016
But I mean something more obvious like double-entendres, unwanted associations, things like that. For instance, you take a bonafide political star, a practically super-powered megawatt hit like Cory Booker? Everyone loves him, he's demographically perfect, but,
CLINTON - BOOKER?
How quickly would a mind as juvenile as Trump's seize on the "Book her, Danno!" sound of that?
CLINTON? BOOK HER!
Another potential pitfall would be name association, say if Mrs. Clinton picked another up-and-comer like Julian Castro?
CLINTON - CASTRO!
Tell me there wouldn't be posters with an unflattering picture of HRC alongside Fidel Castro.
She's going to have trouble with bad conservative humor no matter who she picks though, no getting around that, so maybe for Hillary, it's a secondary concern. I mean, you could conjure the bad memes and jokes just by thinking about them for a minute. Al Franken? Frankenstein's monster and his Bride. Elizabeth Warren? An American Indian theme of some sort (they've got little else there), or something sexist/homophobic about two women.
But, Trump has another problem: "Trump" is a verb. And a noun. His name could inadvertently comprise a full sentence just on his pick alone. A good one (were the man himself a potential pick) Andrew Card would yield
TRUMP - CARD.
Not bad! But it could get bad. It could get weird and confusing, say if he picked Utah Rep. Mia Love:
TRUMP - LOVE!
With an effective campaign and some sweet graphics, you might pull it off, but we're talking about Trump here. You're treading into the three-wives, alleged rape, "my daughter is hot" territory that late night comics could have a FIELD day with.
TRUMP - CORKER?
Hilarious, jokes write themselves.
TRUMP - PENCE
Runs together awfully easily: Trumpence. Sounds a bit lit Tuppence. Do they consider things like that?
There is Joni Ernst, whose last name sounds like an accidental body noise (and who, let's face it, is Palinesque). And those whose names are also parts of speech, and could just form a confusing sentence. Say he picked Keebler Elf Jeff Sessions:
TRUMP - SESSIONS! Whaaa???
Or Steve King of Iowa?
TRUMP - KING!
You've got to be Trumpking kidding me.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
The way my posts (when I actually get around to writing them) go is, a bit of editorializing on my part, followed by a story in today's news that backs up my point. And if I get another story about this up today, I'll probably do that. But for now, on this subject, I'm just going to say something loudly and clearly that I believe to be true:
FOR HILLARY CLINTON, BENGHAZI AND THE EMAIL "SCANDAL" ARE OVER.
That's it. They're wrung out, they're exhausted. Right Wing World is furious, but when are they not? The thing is, they're not furious about four dead Americans, or the political consequences of what happened in Libya. They're not furious about a former Secretary of State potentially endangering state secrets, or leaving the country open to a attack, or any other potential pitfalls or consequences. They're furious that it didn't stick. They're furious that their Fitzmas didn't come, and that it didn't send Hillary Rodham Clinton to jail, or to obscurity.
Remember, there was no fury over any other prior email scandal, attached to George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Rick Perry or Jeb! Bush. Remember also, that Benghazi was a) originally used as an albatross around President Obama's neck, not Clinton's. It was tried to prevent a second term. It didn't work. Then, someone got the bright idea to attach it to Hillary Clinton instead. They've been trying ever since. Along the way, they picked up the email "scandal," which--let's face it--had to be known to anyone who cared for literally years.
Anyway, this thing; these things are now dead. Right Wing World will continue to bellow and bleat. We'll continue to hear things about decision making and trustworthiness and the lot of stuff they already throw at her. But nothing is looming anymore. The subjects as headwinds are gone. This was a great week for Hillary Clinton, I don't care what pundit says otherwise.