A New Verse in an Old Song
Yes, we're still making jokes about the Republican primary, though I guess that will wind down now that Rick Santorum has dropped out. George Zimmerman is still in the news, having been arrested, finally, for killing Trayvon Martin. New material came courtesy of an inept North Korean missile launch, and Hilary Rosen, who was pilloried by the right for suggesting that stay-at-home mom Ann Romney, Mrs. Mitt, has never worked. It was a decent monologue, but Maher's best material was off-the-cuff tonight.
Smiley, Though Your Heart is Aching
The first guest was author/commentator Tavis Smiley. When Maher brought up polls showing that most black Americans think Zimmerman is guilty, while most whites think he's innocent, Smiley effectively dismissed the myth of "post-racial America." Smiley also mentioned the Democrats' soft stance on gun control, and the "prison-industrial complex" that contributes to high crime rates and gun violence. Smiley's a good guest, generally, sharp and animated.
Stockman Vs. Smirk-Man
I haven't kept track of what David Stockman's doing since he was Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan. According to Wikipedia, he's had a rough go of it in the financial world. But at the very least, he should have a talk show. At least he is quick with a line, and has a very authoritative way of cutting through the nonsense. Conservative journalist Matthew Continetti, meanwhile, can't help that he looks like he's 12, but he might want to try to avoid using that supercilious smirk so much. Former Canadian PM Kim Campbell, meanwhile, had a more traditional liberal view, so it was a good mix, but Stockman was an unstoppable quip machine.
The extra panelist was author and sociologist Eric Klinenberg, who provided some insight into how much our culture has changed since the 1950s regarding our ideas about marriage. They also did a funny bit about Romney, a produced version of that Dos Equis-inspired "ad" for "The Least Interesting Man in the World." Continetti made specious claims that the Democrats are the ones hyping the Republican "war on women," because they're trying to distract America from the economy. As opposed to, maybe, they're just justifiably concerned that the right wing of the Republican Party wants to turn back the clock.
"Remember, if a black cat crosses your path, it is bad luck. Except in Florida, where you're allowed to shoot it."
-- Maher jokes about Friday the 13th and the Trayvon Martin case.
"They pumped 90 bullets into him. 90 rounds. You know, they had time to actually reorder."
-- Maher makes another dark joke about a recent LAPD shooting of a suspect.
"The people sitting on the couch waiting for their next paycheck are the politicians in Washington."
-- Stockman reacts to NJ Governor Chris Christie's remarks about the welfare state.
"The Ryan plan isn't a budget. It's the last will and testament of the Republican Party, if they continue to advocate these policies."
-- Stockman quips about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan.
"During sex, he delays orgasm by imagining himself having an orgasm."
-- From the "Least Interesting Man in the World" bit about Romney.