Jeffress on Real Time

Dr. Robert Jeffress, current head of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a surprisingly delightful feature interview on this week’s edition of Real Time With Bill Maher discussing some of his controversial comments about Mormonism and other issues…

p.s. You can catch the whole show here.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Bill Maher compares the failure of jurors to convict Casey Anthony in the killing of her child with the failure of Republican voters to connect the dots between the U.S. budgetary deficit and the fact that the wealthiest people in America now pay the lowest amount of taxes in the country’s history.

Update: Replaced previous video link because the dicks at HBO took it down. This one has 43,000+ views so may be more enduring.

Rewriting Socialism

“We have the first time in the history of the profoundly stupid American debate between those who do not fear socialism and those who do, something of an agreement as to what socialism is and isn’t.”

Why Americans can’t accept that the plain fact that they have a mixed economy has always escaped me.

According to Flake…

Sorry, but I just love that guy’s name. What an absolutely horrific childhood he must have had.

Anyway, speaking of flakes, that would be 72 percent of Republican primary voters who either don’t believe that Obama was born in the United States or aren’t sure…

Although really, this shouldn’t be at all surprising in a country where a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government and are utterly clueless about any number of other things that, as Bill Maher quipped, “you should be able to pick up simply by being alive.”

The Last Word

Bill Maher talks with Lawrence O’Donnell about bridging “the partisan divide” amongst other things. It’s a great conversation, as might be expected with these two.

Speaking of partisan divides, Maher’s remarks about the pointless “feud” with Elisabeth Hasselbeck over a joke about her on his show last week provides yet more anecdotal corroboration of a theory we’ve long propounded here concerning the profound disconnect that seemingly exists when it comes to right-wingers and humour.

Snob Story

The concluding part of Bill Maher’s “New Rules” segment last week illustrated some of the glaring contradictions between historical fact and fanciful, revisionist fiction when it comes to the disparity between the fundamental values of America’s Founding Fathers and those of the so-called Tea Party movement that has attempted to co-opt them as spiritual leaders of their reactionary, populist cause.

Writing early last year in New York Magazine about the recent surge of populism in the USA, Kurt Anderson succinctly described the “elitist” disposition of America’s framers this way:

…what those thoughtful, educated, well-off, well-regarded gentlemen did was invent a democracy sufficiently undemocratic to function and endure. They wanted a government run by an American elite like themselves, as James Madison wrote, “whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.” They wanted to make sure the mass of ordinary citizens, too easily “stimulated by some irregular passion … or misled by the artful misrepresentations” and thus prone to hysteria—like, say, the rabble who’d run amok in Boston Harbor—be kept in check. That’s why they created a Senate and a Supreme Court and didn’t allow voters to elect senators or presidents directly. By the people and for the people, definitely; of the people, not so much.

It’s an excellent article that explores the conflicting dynamic that has existed from the outset in American politics between the “deliberative gentlemen engaged in careful compromise” and “the apoplectic vandals… throwing things overboard.”

Note: The usual warning applies regarding any RTWBM video… HBO may decide to have it pulled down at any time because they’re dicks that way.

Update: As expected, the hyper-vigilant copyright police at HBO zapped the clip that had originally been embedded.