Episode 225

September 23, 2011



"All the Republicans on this show suddenly become independents." -Bill Maher

"[Sarah Palin] is about three banjo lessons from playing Branson, Missouri." -Bill Maher

"It's one thing to say you don't believe in evolution and you don't believe in global warming, but, videotape?!" -Bill Maher, on Michele Bachmann

"The Palestinians made their application for statehood at the United Nations. The White House, you know, they don't like this. They are afraid this will set back the peace process. And the Republicans are afraid it will delay the rapture." -Bill Maher

On the Obama Administration:

"I don't think the administration is sexist. I think that they're making a strong claim that they're no longer, let's just say, as incompetent as they might have been at the beginning." -Ron Suskind

"The president you're seeing now that's more dynamic, more engaged, is essentially the president Barack Obama says he will be and wants to be." -Ron Suskind

"Even a lot of Democrats thought [President Obama] was too green. And a lot of Republicans thought he was too black." -Bill Maher

"People could paint their yearnings on him, especially at a time of crisis. That gave Obama his extraordinary appeal." -Ron Suskind

"The fact of the matter is, the president is learning hard lessons in that period of how difficult it is to control and own his own White House." -Ron Suskind

"Obama inherited an incredible mess that he's had three years to clean up. And he should have came in like gangbusters on day one." -Michael Moore

On the Republican Debates:

"Did you see the Republican debate last night? I love this: it was brought to you by Fox and Google. I think that makes sense that they were working together, because Google is what people go to, to fact-check the bullshit that comes out of Fox." -Bill Maher

"I watched the Republican debate last night with a grief counselor." -Bill Maher

"Obama must be sitting back and thinking, ‘Phew!'" -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

"Rick Santorum said, ‘Any type of sexual activity has no place in the military.' He doesn't even like it when they blow reveille." -Bill Maher

"Republicans keep hoping for another Reagan. So they project on someone immediately." -John Avlon

"There are some folks who are realizing, you know, we're getting a little bit too enthusiastic about the extremes." -John Avlon

"I actually agreed with [Rick Perry] about the Dream Act in Texas, what a good idea it is to have children, who came here through no fault of their own, get to go to college." -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

On the Rich:

"Who would do the things for rich people that allow them to act like rich people if we were all rich?" -Bill Maher

"Most people don't actually - don't want to be rich. They just want a roof over their heads. They want to be able to send the kids to college." -Michael Moore

"I don't think we can all be rich. I agree with that. But, look at who is rich, and how people, young people who are colossally inventive, can become the billionaires. And, our country permits this." -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

"The right answer is to have policies that promote innovation and enterprise in this country and let everyone participate." -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

"I think there is a role for government to help strengthen the middle class. But, the whole deal is, is that you can't dismiss the idea of the American dream because people live it every day, and that's what animates our country." -John Avlon

"We should dream about making sure those 400 billionaires are not stealing our democracy from us. That should be the American dream." -Michael Moore

On Taxes:

"We need a simpler, fairer tax system, and we should close the loopholes." -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

"The problem is that we keep having - we keep having a fear-based debate in this country instead of a fact-based debate." -John Avlon

"You know, the difference between 35 and 39 [percent] is not the difference between socialism, freedom and tyranny." -John Avlon

"Tax reform is one of the ways we're going to get out of this mess we're in." -John Avlon

On Health Care:

"If you're a patriotic American, you want every American to be covered [for health care] the same as you." - Michael Moore

On Tony Bennett and Free Speech:

"[Tony Bennett] is one of the greatest Americans ever. Seriously. -Michael Moore

"He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. And if you didn't, climb down off his ass." -Bill Maher

"As someone who was there during 9/11, I understand why people are offended, because I'm offended." -John Avlon

"The only person who is responsible for those two towers coming down are Osama bin Laden and the 19 hijackers. And we fool ourselves and we try to blame America or find some way to say we're culpable: it's bullshit." -John Avlon

"We have a First Amendment and a free press...and people have a right to say whatever they want to say. And entertainers who are not in politics maybe are a little more careless with some of their language. But, on 9/11, and on the Holocaust - let's understand this - a lot of people take it very personally, and it's totally understandable..." -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

"This is a free country, so stand up for yourself and say what you want." -Michael Moore

"When people kill innocent civilians in order to get their message out, they lose any right to have their message understood by civilized people." -John Avlon

"I think that everybody in their line of work, whether they're a carpenter, students, whether they're the unemployed, whether they're longshoremen or firemen, should bring their beliefs into their work. You know, they should talk about what - and how - they want the world to be, how they see the world being, and what's going wrong in it, and the injustices they see. They should be able to talk about that freely. That's what I do in my music." -Tom Morello

On Congress:

"Twelve percent of people still like Congress. One of my children asked, ‘Who are the 12?'" -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

"It's those centrist Democrats, who are really corporatist Democrats, who work with the Republicans; that's what cock-blocks everything in this country." -Bill Maher

"I think working together is what Congress always used to be. We can disagree with each other, but to get something done, you have to work together." -Fmr. Rep. Jane Harman

"You know, politics is really not divided between left and right. It's radicals, reactionaries and reformers. And that's why the center matters." -John Avlon

"We've got a divided government. The only way you're going to get anything passed, is if you find a way to reason together. That's the core idea of our government." -John Avlon

"What's hurting us, is that Wall Street and corporate America own our members of Congress." -Michael Moore

"[President Obama] tried reaching out to the moderates in the other party and found out they don't exist." -Bill Maher

On the Death Penalty:

"They did put to death [Troy Davis] this week. I thought it was going to stop. I couldn't believe it happened." -Bill Maher
"When the real truth comes out, we murdered somebody in Georgia this week." -Michael Moore

"Until the 1960s, lynching was a spectator sport. I mean, it's in the DNA of this country." -Tom Morello

"I come from Michigan. We were the first English-speaking government in the world that outlawed the death penalty back in the 1840s. It is immoral. It is wrong." -Michael Moore

"It's really about revenge and it's about wanting - that blood lust. And it's beneath us. It's uncivilized and it has to end." -Michael Moore

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