Bill Maher: It's time for New Rules, everybody!
Okay. New Rule: Instead of censuring President Bush or reprimanding Cynthia McKinney, have McKinney and Laura Bush do that temporary wife-swap thing. If TV has taught us anything, it's that there's nothing more entertaining than a no-nonsense black woman dressing down an incompetent white man. When Bush goes into his "We're fighting them over here" shtick, McKinney can do the "Oh, no, you didn't!" Punctuated with the ever-colorful, "Neocon, please!"
New Rule: No TV until you can hold up your own head. "Sesame Street" has released a new line of videos for kids as young as six months old. Which is a stupid business to get into considering what the competition is. [photo of infant breast-feeding shown]
New Rule: You can't go out and play until you finish your war. President Bush kicked off another baseball season with a high, inside ceremonial first pitch. Come to think of it, the president's pitching style is a lot like what he's exhibited in Iraq: a lot of balls, with no real plan to get anybody out. Bill appreciated that just on a comedic level.
Bill Sammon: That was good.
Bill Maher: Okay. New Rule: If you work at an office, you have to take a turn cleaning the office microwave. I opened ours the other day, and a bat flew out. The inside looks like a Jackson Pollock painting. The three settings are now, "Cook," "Defrost" and "Hepatitis." And if you're not going to clean the damn thing, at least take out whatever is growing in there so we can harvest the stem cells.
New Rule: No product placement in your tell-all confessionals. Soccer great David Beckham told a newspaper he suffers from OCD, and is so obsessive he counts Pepsi bottles. Pepsi, of course, being the soft drink that pays him endorsement millions. I was so offended by this cheap commercialism, I slammed down my delicious cup of Starbucks Morning Blend, hopped into my Toyota Hybrid, and raced over to the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Boulevard where I'll be performing, May 13th—just to clear my head.
And finally, New Rule: Don't blame illegal immigrants for driving down wages. Blame Congress. Republicans in Congress have to stop saying that the problem with Mexicans coming over the border is they keep wages down. You know what keeps wages down? The fact that Congress hasn't raised the minimum wage since 1997. 1997, when my dealer still had a beeper! Car dealer, car dealer, what did I say?
Yes, news flash: Congress controls what the minimum wage is. Who did you think it was, the valet parking team at Tony Roma's? And upping the minimum wage would affect wages. It has to. The word "wage" is right in it. Even George Bush could understand that. Maybe not. The point is, the elephant in the room is that no one can live on minimum wage, and that we are making a whole swath of our society - tens of millions of people - live like animals. So that the luckier segment can live with indulgences their parents never dreamed of.
Do you know that most upper-middle-class people nowadays never clean their own toilet or do their own laundry...until they go to rehab.
Ben Affleck: Sometimes not even then.
Bill Maher: Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is actually lower than it was in 1968, the year George Bush graduated from Yale. And that is unforgivable! And the wage thing is bad, too.
People like to tell themselves that these immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do. Not true. Americans will pick fruit in the hot sun. But not at $5.15 an hour. Trust me. If some of these jobs paid real wages, your wife would be having sex with a Jewish gardener.
Americans want the contributions of the poor and the immigrant without having to actually see or be among them. Which is why I suggest, instead of building a wall on the border, we build a Wal-Mart. It would be 1,950 miles long, or the size of a normal Wal-Mart. And there would still be just the one register open. But it would solve this problem.
Because if we built this Wal-Mart exactly on the border, the Americans could come through the front door and shop, and the Mexicans could come through the back door and work. And then go home the same way at night, unless they got locked in. It is Wal-Mart.
In summation, I am not saying that raising the minimum wage is going to solve the illegal immigration problem. That can only be solved by arming Lou Dobbs. But five bucks an hour in an America where the luckier ones spend that on a coffee, is a cruel joke. And if you don't believe me, do what I do. Listen to the voices of those poor souls who are making this paltry sum. Of course, I have to. They're my staff.
All right, that's my show, our show. We want to thank my great guests: Bill Sammon, Ben Affleck, Senator Joe Biden and Representative Cynthia McKinney and Kevin Phillips. And happy 80th birthday to Hugh Hefner! Keep it up!
We'll be back in two weeks. Be sure to join us then. Thank you, folks. Good job!
Sen Joe Biden: I'll tell you what I remember about 9/11. I remember the people the age of those people out there lined up, single-file, block after block after block after block after block, waiting to give blood. And after they were told none was needed. It was a silent scream: "Let me help." What the hell has anybody asked anybody in this country to do, in terms of building this country? What would have happened if the president had gone and said, right after 9/11, "I have an energy policy. It's going to be painful. This is what it's going to take, and I expect you to do it." They would have all responded.
Ben Affleck: Tom DeLay personally gerrymandered that district so severely that it looks like a map of Italy. There won't be a Democrat elected in that seat for 1,000 years!
Sen Joe Biden: I think he makes these decisions based on his instincts and then prays he's right.
Bill Maher: Don't you think that being a person of faith has become a third rail in American politics? If you want to run for president nowadays, you'd better get out there and say you're a very faith-based person.
Kevin Phillips: You're looking at a lot of history here which has involved countries that, in their later stages of power, they tend to think they have more power than they have. They often overreach. They often get carried away with a kind of evangelical religion, that they're out to spread morality around the world. And often, as they try to do this, they have to spend more money than they have, and they start piling up debt. And that's a quick, but not inaccurate summary, and the history supports it a lot more. But the basic reason for laying this out is that, obviously, what has gone wrong before is in the process of going very wrong again for the United States.
About intelligent design
Sen. Joe Biden: This is reversible, man. This is reversible. We don't have to go down this road. I refuse to believe the majority of people believe this malarkey!