Bill Maher’s first show of the season was excellent. Senator Bob Kerrey was the first guest who bantered with Maher (Kerrey thinks Senator McCain will ultimately support Chuck Hagel) and the panel consisted of CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Martin Short, and Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette. Caruso-Cabrera, who is generally fairly conservative, began by stating that Americans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Whether or not this is true, it continues to amaze me that those who pretend to support fiscal conservatism never want to raise revenues via marginal tax increases or cut military waste, especially since President Clinton proved that such a fiscal policy can be economically beneficial.
The panel also discussed the alternate state of reality of a large portion of Republicans. Forty-nine percent of Republicans think the election was stolen from them by ACORN, a powerless group that has not existed for four years. Sixty-four percent think President Obama is hiding something about his past. Ed Meese, Reagan’s attorney general, said President Obama should be impeached because of his gun control executive orders. Glenn Beck said he was going to create a self-contained city.
After making fun of the insanity and making fun of South Carolina ex-governor Sanford running for congress, Maher introduced Palestinian journalist, Rula Jebreal. She discussed Israel’s dangerous turn to the extreme right. She irked Maher a bit by suggesting that with the many real issues of concern around the world, his concentration on a football player’s non-existent girlfriend is inconsequential. She then made a another true statement; Americans are some of the least informed citizens on the planet.
Maher’s show, however, excelled in his NEW RULES section. It was intelligently put together. He illustrated that as the NRA and gun nuts continue to hyperventilate about their gun rights, their other rights are being usurped by many laws including the Senate’s passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in a 73-23 vote.