Episode 295

September 27, 2013



"This Ted Cruz guy, I mean, he incurred the wrath, really, of his own party. They don't like him. Democrats hate him. Independents hate him. Republicans hate him. Even Miley Cyrus, he's the one guy she refuses to lick." -Bill Maher

"For the first time since 1979, we are talking to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Obama says talking to him is probably pointless, but it's a hell of a relief from Mitch McConnell." -Bill Maher

"Officials believe that one of the terrorists was a woman. And there are female suicide bombers. It's just that their reward in paradise is a little different. Instead of getting 72 virgins, they get 72 guys who just listen." -Bill Maher


"One of the things that we started about seven-eight years ago, was this prison project in which we go into prisons and we work with incarcerated men, and we take them through a series of exercises that are very difficult for them at first. And, essentially what we're trying to do is give them the vocabulary to exit prison with a better control over their emotions." -Tim Robbins

"The last program we did, out of 800 people in that part of the prison, 400 of them signed up for this program. So the culture of the prison has changed. The other prisoners see how it affects the prisoners that take it." -Tim Robbins

"As far as we know, we have not heard of any recidivism in the seven years. I'm sure there's some we haven't heard of. But, overall, the state rate is about 65% of people that leave prison will be coming back. And, even if we're at 20, we're doing way better than the state." -Tim Robbins


"I know Republicans really resent when this term 'hostage taking'-- legislating by 'hostage taking' -- is thrown around. But, the way I see it, all the things that were in the Romney-Ryan platform are the things that they are demanding that Obama do." -Bill Maher

"I think 'hostage taking' really is not exactly the right word. The right word would be extortion." -Robert Reich

"We're talking about shutting down the government, which is hysterically unpopular. So, instead of doing something that the American public actually wants, we're now trying to talk about trying to defund Obamacare, which people don't actually want to do, even though they don't personally like Obamacare." -Matt Welch

"If there was a domestic terror group that was threatening to empty everyone's 401k with some sort of overnight cyber-attack, we wouldn't negotiate with them; we would drone them." -Bill Maher

"After Obama was elected, you know, we all cried, and we were so happy because he was going to be the one that reached across the aisle and brought us all together. Yet, here we are feeling like, 'Losers, shut up and sit on the side.'" -Monica Mehta

"This 'Republican roulette' that they keep playing with the economy, it doesn't seem like something the 'party of business' should be doing." -Bill Maher

"I think the Obama Administration has done a lousy job marketing and selling and explaining this entire thing. And, as a result, all of these right-wing front organizations financed by the Koch brothers, are blanketing the airwaves with lies about Obamacare. And people are scared." -Robert Reich


He reminds me of Miley Cyrus, Ted Cruz. Because he is not afraid to incur the wrath of even some of his fans for the greater good of drawing attention to himself. I really think a filibuster is the political version of 'twerking.'" -Bill Maher

"I think it was refreshing, was it not, to have somebody in Washington, standing up for his own conviction like that? The problem is his conviction is ludicrous." -Robert Reich

"Rand Paul is running for president, too. He's number two in that same poll. The way that he's looking at it is, let's expand the party and try to persuade other people. Ted Cruz hasn't persuaded anyone who's disagreed with him." -Matt Welch

"I don't think the Tea Party has decided that they want to stay with the Republican Party, to be honest with you. I think there's a lot of resentment for big spending, and they associate the Bush years with big spending as well." -Monica Mehta


"Eighty-to-90 percent of the people who use these drugs like crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, are not addicted. They're more like the guy in the White House. He used drugs before. The guy before him used drugs before: George Bush. Bill Clinton used illegal drugs before. Those guys are not addicted. They weren't addicted." -Dr. Carl Hart

"We've done studies and we have shown how you can shift people whose drug-taking behavior, even when it comes to drugs like crack, if you provide alternative reinforcers, alternative options like money, jobs and those sorts of things. You can shift drug-taking behavior quite readily." -Dr. Carl Hart

"You also make the point that some of the drugs that we demonize are very similar to some of the drugs that we actually use and are legal, like Adderall and morphine are just heroin and speed." -Bill Maher

"If we don't like the users, if the users are despised groups, or they come from despised groups, it's a high likelihood that we're going to vilify that drug." -Dr. Carl Hart


"You've got to hand it to the Republicans and to some very wealthy donors -- they've sold this hoax -- a cruel hoax called 'supply side, trickle-down economics.'" -Robert Reich

"I live in small-business land. And my parents are immigrants. And I think immigrants, particularly from Asian countries like Korea, and from India and China, have a really interesting case study when it comes to economic mobility. A lot of us came here with very little. And, within one generation, quietly rose." -Monica Mehta

"What we should be focused on is income, not income inequality, per se, but mobility. Can you move? Can you escape poverty? And what can we do policy-wise, and as a country, to help people escape poverty and move? I don't care if you make a lot of money." -Matt Welch


The CEO of Panera Bread spent a week on food stamps. And he said, 'I was hungry all the time, because what you can buy is just empty carbohydrates.' Don't anybody tell him that's what's in Panera bread!" -Bill Maher

"The entire idea of food stamps, along with a lot of other things that are supposed to kick in when the economy goes bad, is to help people who lose their job, who can't do any better, to have the money they need to buy things to get the economy back on track. But, we have lost that notion." -Bill Maher

"There is a principled case to be made that welfare is not a very efficient way to do things. The problem is, that is especially true -- it's especially providing new pathologies on the corporate side. When you get billionaires getting money from the government, that is a problem. And it's a much more pressing problem than whatever happens." -Matt Welch

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