Real Time with Bill Maher: Highlights from Episode 259, September 14, 2012

Highlights from Real Time with Bill Maher – Episode 259, September 14, 2012


John Legend — Musician
Bob Costas — Sports Broadcaster
Chris Hayes — Host of “Up with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC and author of “Twilight Of The Elites”
Zanny Minton Beddoes — Editor at The Economist
John Feehery — GOP Strategist & Blogger


Bill Maher monologue highlights

It’s nice to know that no matter how bad things get in the Middle East, Mitt Romney is always there to make them worse.

A lot of Republicans, you know, are now blaming Obama for all of this [violence and protests in Middle East] because he’s weak. Right. You know what, if we were attacked in Egypt, and Libya, and Yemen — George Bush would know what to do — invade Iraq.

No American president — I don’t care who he is; what party — could affect an angry mob halfway around the world. It’s not rational. Do you know that in Tripoli today they burned down a Kentucky Fried Chicken. That is going to far for me. Do fuck with our nuggets man. — However, the Chick-fil-A was unharmed out of respect for its hatred of gays.

The original of all this trouble of course is this trailer for a movie that may or may not exist, that makes fun of a certain Islamic Prophet, I won’t say his name. Uh, let’s call him “Gary.” But in the movie, “Gary” is portrayed as a womanizer, a homosexual, a child molester. Uh, accusations that in the Muslim world can get you killed, and in the Catholic world can get you transferred to another perish. — But no, the Muslims do not like it. The Arab “Roger Ebert” gave it “Two thumbs completely severed off.”


Highlights from the first segment with John Legend

(On voter suppression)

John Legend: I was in Virginia, it’s actually not so bad in Virginia. The ID laws are pretty relaxed there, but Pennsylvania is a bit worse and, you know, it’s in court right now. Ohio, where I was recently, does have a strict voter ID law, but they have other ways they are trying to suppress the vote, where they were trying to end early voting, and actually the court overturned that. So we’re making some progress actually with the courts.

Bill Maher: So what states are in play now for this, where…

John Legend: Pennsylvania is definitely in play.

Bill Maher: And that’s a big one.

John Legend: That’s a big one, and…

Bill Maher: But how many people might be — what percentage of the vote might be…

John Legend: I think it’s half a million people in Pennsylvania are eligible voters that don’t have the proper ID. That’s a lot of people. — (Actually, I think the number is closer to one million if I recall correctly…900,000 something) — And, you know, the state representative there, one of the state official there said that specifically “we” changed the voter ID laws to help Mitt Romney win. — (That would be Mike Turzai, and he said, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.“) — So, Republicans are pretty much being known as the party that doesn’t want people to vote.

Bill Maher: And you know what [James] Carvell said about Pennsylvania?

John Legend: He said uh, it’s Pittsburgh on one side, Philadelphia on the other side, and Alabama in the middle. (Indeed it is. And I say this as a Pennsylvanian living on the Philadelphia side.)


John Legend: In-person voter fraud just doesn’t exist. Just think about the mechanics of in-person voter fraud and how useless it would be. One, your vote is useless anyway. As one person, honestly… Like, you going to vote, there’s no utility in it for you. It’s just the feeling of being a good citizen and voting. So, why would you risk getting caught cheating just to get one vote in? It doesn’t even make any sense to do in-person voter fraud, and ID laws are only supposed to combat in-person voter fraud.


The panel highlights

Bill Maher: I think this is the week Mitt Romney lost the election. — (I totally agree. Mitt Romney looked really small this week. He did not look presidential. Just think “smirk.”) — I do think he kind of made himself toast. I’m not saying that because that’s what I wish — although I do wish it.  Um, but it kind of reminds me of exactly almost four years ago when John McCain kind of lost the election when he looked unready when here was a financial crisis and he said we have to suspect our campaign, and Obama just looked cool and smart. And again this week Obama just looks cooler and smarter — because he is. — And uh, so welcome to the show John.

John Feehery: Yeah, good to be here. Good to be here. My view is that we’ve got a lot of time left. We’ve got three huge debates. We’ve hot an unemployment rate above eight percent. We’ve got all hell breaking loose in the Middle East. And we’ve got a lot of anxiety with the voters, and Obama in many of the key states is not getting above 47 percent.

Chris Hayes: Could I respond to that?

Bill Maher: Yeah, please.

Chris Hayes: We don’t have all hell breaking loose in the Middle East. Just so we’re clear. — All hell breaking loose in the Middle East are 4800 Americans dead in Iraq and 500,000 Iraqi civilians dead. That’s… That is what all hell breaking loose in the Middle East looks like.

Zanny Minton Beddoes: Can I add to that, I’m not sure of the other part of what you [John Feehery] said is “we have a lot of time left.” — I think back at the beginning of July there was a whole lot of concern about Romney then too, and then the word was: Don’t worry, know one’s paying attention, we’ve got a lot of time. We’ve got the vice presidential pick, we’ve got the conventions, and we’ve got the debates. You’ve had two of those.

John Feehery: You know, the polls are neck and neck, there still 46, 47 percent.

Bill Maher: No

John Feehery: Yes they are. Rasmussen….48, 46

Bill Maher: Fact check. Fact check. Wait, wait. I know you hate facts. Wait a second, even the Fox poll…even the Fox poll came out this week, he [Obama] was 5 points ahead.


Zanny Minton Beddoes: The point about this week is a good one, which is, foreign policy is not Mitt Romney’s strong suit, and his reaction was certainly not a particularly, you know…

Bill Maher: I think it was a new low. (Again, I totally agree.) I really feel it was a new low. What do you [John Feehery] think? Because when it first happened, a lot of Republicans, and still a lot of Republicans, have come out against Mitt Romney. That’s a bad sign, you gotta admit that. When Peggy Noonan, and Joe Scarborough, and Tom Ridge, and Chris Wallace — all these Republicans were saying: Mitt, what the fuck are you doing?

John Feehery: I have a rule: Never put out a press release at midnight.


Bill Maher: The line coming out from the Republican side is that, you know, Obama brought this on because he was weak. I don’t understand why he’s weak. First of all, if anybody has credibility as a bad ass, it’s Obama. He’s the one who decimated Al-Qaeda and got bin Laden.


Bill Maher: Let me show you the picture, this is the famous picture this week from the guy in Florida, he’s a pizza [shop] owner and he was lifting up Obama, and I must say, Mitt Romney has scoured the country for six years looking for a human moment like this, and never found it.

Barack Obama, Scott Van Duzer - pizza shop owner

Bill Maher: And this guy, this guy, the pizza [shop] owner is a southern, Republican, white male, and he was lifting Obama up in pleasure. And I gotta think that this picture might have a lot of effect, people who think like that guy, look at that and go, “Look, he touched one [black person] and nothing happened.”


Chris Hayes: Taxes right now in American history, just to get some context here, all right? — Taxes as a percentage of GDP are the lowest they’ve been since the 1950s. OK? We are vastly under-taxed — Historically under-taxed. Taxes are going to have to go up. And they’re going to have to go up in the medium to long-term, not just for people making more than $250,000, but people below that as well, right? Taxes are going to have to go up. That is one of the fundamental parts of this equation [dealing with the debt]. But, if you look at the actual things that are put on the table, whether it’s the Ryan plan or the Romney plan — What do they want to do? They want to massively, massively cut taxes. All of which leads you to the conclusion that they don’t actually care, in any discernible way, about the deficit and debt. What they care about is cutting taxes.


Chris Hayes: He [Mitt Romney] said in a previous interview, earlier this year he was going around, in the same vein on specifics, and he said, you know, if you give specifics they just attack you on them. And he said, I’ve learned my lesson – (later) – The magic that makes all the math work [Romney’s debt reduction / tax plan], which it can’t work, but if it were to work, is to close things like the mortgage interest deduction. You can’t go around the country, telling people you are going to get rid of the mortgage interest deduction, and be elected President of the United States. So, he’s not going to say it.


Chris Hayes: I think everyone thought 9/11 changed everything. And in the wake of both the uh, commission that was constituted afterwords, and all this kind of backwards looking — How did this happen? How did we fail? — Everyone came to different theories, the left and the right, about what was the core existential essence of the failure. Why did this happen? And the Eichenwald thing made me think: Maybe this was just a screw up. It was just a screw up. And in fact, the powers the government had, and the intelligence the government had, what we had ex-ante was sufficient, it just didn’t actually stop the attacks, but it should have. And if that were the case, think how differently everything that has happened afterwords, in terms of the amount money we’ve spent, and the countries we’ve invaded, and the war on terror, and the legal regime that has been built on top of that. All of that happened out of that one moment, that who knows, maybe a better bureaucracy and a better administration just would have prevented it. (This is why Chris Hayes rules.)


New Rules highlights


New Rule: Now that we’ve passed the eleven-year anniversary, we must all learn the final lesson of 9/11, and stop obsessing about 9/11. In 1986 most people had let Vietnam go. In 1952 people weren’t constantly referencing Pearl Harbor. And in the years since the civil war, nobody [picture of southern civil war reenactors] — well, never mind.


And finally, New Rule: If there’s one place God should not be, it’s on money. Why? Because one is a supreme, all-powerful entity that Americans worship above all else. — And the other is God. (not the complete final New Rule.)

Real Time with Bill Maher Highlights

#Bill Maher#Bob Costas#Chris Hayes#debt#deficit#George Bush#HBO#John Feehery#John Legend#Libya#middle east#Mitt Romney#Real Time#taxes#voter ID#Zanny Minton Beddoes