Episode 202

February 11, 2011


On Egypt:

"This Mubarak, he is harder to get rid of than an Irish houseguest." -Bill Maher

"This whole revolution was started by a Facebook page. So, really, Mubarak wasn't so much deposed as 'de-friended.'" -Bill Maher

"We should really kind of let the Egyptians have their moment, have their, you know, February 11th, right now." -Hooman Majd

"I think for U.S. officials, the biggest concern in Egypt is making sure that there's not further chaos. They actually want a slow and peaceful transition, so that it does work out well." -Norah O'Donnell

"I think we have to realize, though, it's really not up to us...it's up to the Egyptian people." -Hooman Majd

"We're learning lessons from Africa. And the lesson that we need to learn is, how do we straighten our backs up in the face of these oligarchs and plutocrats who are trying to snatch the best of our democracy away?" -Cornel West

"It would just be nice if we had leaders in Washington who could unequivocally take a stand on behalf of democratic movements in other parts of the world. And even this is true for even Brother Barack Obama." -Cornel West

"[President Obama] is trying to keep the empire alive and still side with the people at the same time. It's like being pregnant and not pregnant at the same time." -Cornel West

"You're going to end up with a government in Egypt that is concerned about the precious Palestinians, the same way we ought to be concerned about both precious Palestinians and precious Jews." -Cornel West

"The very best thing the Israelis could have done throughout all of this is throw their support behind the democracy movement. They would have gotten so much more good will than hedging and saying, well, it's got to be stable." -Hooman Majd

On Bedbugs:

"You know, bedbugs are not pleasant. They come out at night and feast on human blood. Imagine their surprise when they bite into Dick Cheney. And, to any bedbugs watching, good luck getting a meal out of Ann Coulter." -Bill Maher

On President Obama:

"Obama knows he's never really going to lose us." -Bill Maher

"When [President Obama] has picked the wrong priorities, like healthcare over jobs, debt over growth, nation-building in Afghanistan over nation-building here at home, that's when he loses me." -Arianna Huffington

"Barack Obama has domesticated the left in such a way that we feel as if we have no alternative but him...I refuse to accept that." -Cornel West

"He's still the same centrist I think he's always been." -Norah O'Donnell

"He's more progressive than most centrists, but he's always been pretty centrist." -Hooman Majd

"I think he's is a centrist the way he's a Christian. Not really." -Bill Maher

"Being a Christian is not a political orientation for the president, but he is a centrist." -Cornel West

On War:

"To be fair, there hasn't really been - there hasn't really been an anti-war movement for a while now." -Hooman Majd

"[George W. Bush] should be arrested as a war criminal." -Hooman Majd

"I thought in America we didn't lock you up and throw away the key just because we declared a war that never ends. And I think if he was on American soil instead of in that prison in Cuba, we wouldn't be allowed to do it." -Bill Maher

"We are a democracy and we don't believe in just hunting down gangsters and killing them. We believe in trying to find the gangsters and bring them back for trial, and give them a trial under rule of law. That's what democracies do." -Cornel West

"I mean, we do believe in due process in America. I thought we did." -Hooman Majd

On Acting:

"I play a guy who is 40. And I am a very good actor, because I'm 41." -Matthew Perry

On Addiction:

"Addiction is the dominant form of a culture that suffers from a superficial spectacle and celebrity-connectivity at its center. It's a form of spiritual emptiness." -Cornel West

"I'm surprised I didn't try to drink you." -Matthew Perry, to Bill Maher

"I'm very, very jealous of guys who just go and decide to party and then can work the next day." -Matthew Perry

"I used to have so much fun. I miss drinking like a dead brother." -Bill Maher

"I am totally abstinent." -Matthew Perry

"When people try to take [smoking] away from me I say, 'hey, I stopped everything else.' But, I have to battle that one, too." -Matthew Perry

"I actually liked...what John Boehner said this week somebody asked him about smoking - he said, 'It's a legal product. Leave me alone.'" -Bill Maher

"John Coltrane was an addict; Billie Holiday was an addict; Eugene O'Neill was an addict. What would America be without addicts and post-addicts who make such grand contributions to our society?" -Cornel West

On The O'Reilly-Obama Interview

"[Bill O'Reilly's questioning] was actually bigoted. If I was the president, I'd say, 'Get the f**k out of my house!'" -Hooman Majd

"The interesting thing for me is, if that had been a left-wing person raising questions, [President Obama] probably would have expressed his anger. Because Obama really does get upset about progressives." -Cornel West

"O'Reilly is so egomaniacal, obviously he's more interested in his opinion than anybody else's, obviously. But, he even showed that he's even willing to show the president that in his presence. And it was really off-putting and bad." -Matthew Perry

On Hate:

"It seems like gay is the last group who you can publicly hate." -Bill Maher
"Muslims, too. You can publicly hate Muslims." -Hooman Majd

"More people more accepting of civil unions and gay marriage, which our pollster said was the most significant change they've seen on any social issue. So, this country is changing in a way." -Norah O'Donnell

"Part of the problem is we had so far to go, given the deep homophobia in our society. But, the movement is very real. The movement is very real." -Cornel West

"The men with stars on their shoulders supporting gays serving in the military is going to have a profound impact." -Norah O'Donnell

"The homophobia goes with the religiosity of America, too, I think. I think we have to recognize that." -Bill Maher

"Christians got a lot of work to do. But, the spirit of Dorothy Day is alive. Martin Luther King is still alive. Malcolm X and the prophetic Islamic tradition is still alive. We can't lose sight of those prophetic religious folk who, even given their kin in the same tradition, says, you all are wrong on this, but we're still in the same tradition." -Cornel West

On Huck Finn & The N-Word

"Mark Twain is our greatest comic writer...Why would we want to deodorize the funk in his classic? Keep the funk there. Wrestle with it, learn how to teach the text. Put it in context. But, recognize it's like saying, "Well, you know, 'A Love Supreme' of Coltrane, those notes really hit too high; we need to just lower the notes a little bit and change this section." No. Come to terms with the work of genius." -Cornel West

"Twain needs to come back. He's anti-imperialist. He's anti-racist. He's got something to say. And he's so cool, too." -Cornel West

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