Real Time With Bill Maher

Season 1 Episode 13

August 8, 2003

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Aired Friday 10:00 PM Aug 08, 2003 on HBO
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August 8, 2003
AIRED:
Rated: TV-MA for Adult Content (AC) and Adult Language (AL)
Tonight's episode is Live from L.A.
Special guest, California Governor Gray Davis spoke about the recall vote, the state's budget and the challenge from Arnold Schwarzenegger. The roundtable guests, Donna Brazile, Rep. David Dreier, and Janeane Garofalo, then took up the issue, focusing on whether Schwarzenegger brings an appropriate air of gravitas to the campaign. Bill then steered the discussion towards airport security, specifically, the airline industry's practice of using excess storage capacity for air cargo, which is not screened. The roundtable then discussed the adequacy of the Homeland Security Budget. Finally, discussion moved to Kobe Bryant and his quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, and if it was the best choice to describe his current plight. Bill then closed the show with the New Rules, where he focused on slogans and people's gullibility.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (4)

      • Bill Maher: All right, ready, New Rule Number One: Enough with gay-sploitation TV. "Queer Eye For the Straight Guy"? Hey, if I want a bunch of gay men in queeny outfits telling me how to live my life, I'll go back to Mass.

        David Dreier: Terrible.

        Bill Maher: Yes, it is. New Rule: In fat-ass, stomach-stapling America, stop focusing on the three people in the country who don't eat enough. There's a term for Lara Flynn Boyle's condition. It's called "being a skinny chick." It's just her body type, as seen in this childhood photo. (Famous photo of naked Vietnamese girl shown.)

        New Rule: Skip the truck! President Bush is down on the ranch, and we all know what that means: lots of pictures of him in that pickup truck, as if he's going into town to pick up a bale of hay. Okay, we get it. You're a rancher. You're clearing brush. You're a Washington outsider. You're a huge country fan. Unfortunately, that country is Saudi Arabia.

        And finally, New Rule: Stop believing slogans, especially the ones that come out of the White House. Twinkies aren't wholesome goodness, and the Clear Skies Initiative isn't really going to bring clear skies. And it turns out, the "Leave No Child Behind" law actually leaves lots of children behind.

        So many children, in fact, that they even have a name for them now. They're called "push-outs," as in we're going to push you out of school so that our cumulative test scores will be higher. Yes, that's what this is all about. Our "Leave No Child Behind" law is written like this: as a state, you get federal money for your schools, but only when you make two main things happen: test scores going up, dropout rates going down.

        How best to achieve both those goals? By making the dumber kids disappear. The "Texas Miracle" in education, it turns out, was all about raising test scores by making almost the entire bottom half of the class drop out, and then lowering the dropout rate by putting those dropouts in phony categories like "transferred" or "enrolled in GED" or "dating Kobe."

        We weren't really improving the system, but we were improving it where it matters: on paper. It's not for nothing all these Texans looked up to Enron. For the 2000 election, Houston's dropout rate was given as 1.5% It's been revised to 40%, probably by the same guy who does the budget. I don't need a degree in fuzzy math to know that 40% is not "No Child Left Behind." And if you say "No Child" in your law, it does take a Texas-sized nerve to then treat those kids like cards in a gin rummy game where you get to ditch the two low ones, and where bodies just disappear like dissidents in Argentina or that Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom. Sorry about that.

        George Bush ran for office as the "education" guy, and his caring about leaving no child behind is what softened him into a compassionate conservative. So it seems wrong to find out that what we're really doing is just handing lots of kids a GED kit and telling them, "Hey, good luck exploring your other educational opportunities. Like learning how many vials of crack you can carry in your underwear."

        As no one can tell you better than the President himself, we don't all blossom early in life. So maybe writing off so many kids so early isn't so wise. It might amuse the President to know that this is exactly what they do in his favorite country, France.

        But France has more of a social safety net than we do. We have one. It's called prison.

        People say education is the cornerstone of our democracy. They're wrong, of course. It's campaign cash and lots of it. But shouldn't education still count for something? As the President himself might say, "We can do gooder."

      • (Spoof about LTV, a fictional liberal channel)
        LTV Announcer: Tonight, on Liberal TV, it's a Rainbow Coalition of fun! At 7:00, it's the zany sitcom, "Two Guys, A Girl and an Abortion Clinic." At 7:30, it's the half-hour reality show, "I'm With Streisand," followed at 8:00 by "Who Wants to Tax a Millionaire?" And at 8:30, he's a dyslexic alien who is demanding free dental; he's "ALF-CIO."

        Then at 9:00, it's the gripping hour-long drama, "Touched by a Kennedy." And at 10:00, get ready for LTV's very first made-for-TV movie, "Coultergeist."

        LTV. Because you're entitled.

      • Donna Brazile: I think Al Sharpton has been on message. He's said all the right things in terms of, you know, what Bush has done to this economy, how Bush has broken his promise on just about every issue: the environment, civil rights. I think Al Sharpton has, up until this point, run a traditional movement-type campaign. He needs to run a presidential campaign. Go put people in Iowa and New Hampshire like everyone else, hire a decent campaign manager. Frank Watkins is a great speechwriter. And go out there and start putting out the white papers like everybody else and try to win some states.

      • Bill Maher: Isn't it infuriating? Doesn't it make you angry inside that people want your job who don't know how to do it?

        Gray Davis: It's not a lot of fun. But I try not to let negative emotions consume me, because I am privileged to be the governor. Everyone else is trying to be the governor, and I'm trying everyday to make life a little better for people. Sometimes that's easier said than done, but we have done a few good things. There's a million children that have health insurance that didn't have it when I became governor. Test scores are going up. So we are making progress in some areas, although I feel people's pain because I know that this is a tougher economy nationally, not just in California, than when I first came into office in 1999.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (2)

      • Bill Maher: (Talking to Gray Davis) Have you ever played a barbarian?

        This is a reference to Davis' opponent Arnold Schwarzenegger and his roles in the Conan movies.

      • Bill Maher: (Talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger) Let's just say it involves a robot going back in time...

        This is a reference to Arnold's role in the Terminator movies, in which he plays a robot that goes back in time.

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