Episode 311

March 21, 2014



“I kid Fox News, but they may be a little biased. We had an earthquake here on Monday, and they reported that 'the earth’s crust was emboldened by Obama’s weakness.'” – Bill Maher

“It happened very fast. One day, Crimea’s status with Ukraine was 'in a relationship,' and the next day, it was 'it’s complicated.'” – Bill Maher

“He made a list of Americans who can’t go to Russia. And he put on the list: John Boehner, John McCain, Harry Reid. Talk about 'no country for old men.'” – Bill Maher

Midterm Elections

“The fun of the midterm is actually voting against something, really. You’re voting against your own interests. It doesn’t matter, actually, that the Democrats and Democratic president have actually saved the country economically from going down the toilet. The object is to express a little bit of joyous spleen.” – Simon Schama

“When people are unhappy about the economy, the people in power are the ones that feel the repercussions. Whether you could have done better, I will leave that to other people to decide. But, people are unhappy with the economy and that’s going to hurt against the people who are currently in power.” – Sheila Bair

“They’re not different enough from the Republican Party. And if people have the choice between a Republican and 'Republican Lite,' they’re probably going to go for the real thing.” – Bill Maher

“Young voters, a lot of folks who get up for the presidential don’t get up for the midterm. So, we’re trying to turn folks on during the off year, and we have just got to go door to door and really have a strong field campaign. I think going door to door and not putting all that money into TV ads is the way to do it.” – Keith Ellison

“It’s tough because presidential elections, you’ve got faces. You’ve got a clear choice, who is going to actually symbolize America.” – Simon Schama

“We’ve got to change this pattern of getting up for the presidentials and falling off during the non-presidentials. And that’s just the work we’ve got to do. And it can be done.” – Keith Ellison

Gun Control

“The Republicans have convinced too many people that having any common sense regulations means that they’re going to take your freedom away.” – Keith Ellison

“Common sense gun safety is bullshit. It means that there are 3,000 types of guns available in the U.S., and you want to ban about 200 of them.” – Bill Maher

“The trouble is that the rhetoric is – as very often is the case – completely irrational. Wayne LaPierre says actually that in a time of lies and corruption, it is important that people have guns, revolvers and so on. Excuse me? So, if someone tells a lie, you don’t contradict them, you shoot them.” – Simon Schama

“The NRA is very good. It’s grassroots, retail politics. They will turn their voters out. Those people will go to the polls and vote; the others will not. And if people are unhappy about gun control, they’ve got to start doing a better job of organizing at the grassroots level.” – Sheila Bair

On HBO's “Vice” and Vice Media

“I don’t know that I like to go to the places, but that’s where the stories are. A lot of times, you have to go, you know, where they are. Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, now in Crimea and Venezuela, all over the world.” – Shane Smith

“As news gathering gets more and more expensive, they are sort of shifting down to sort of more news cycle and then talk-radio, op-ed crap. And, so for us just to go get stories internationally, there’s nobody else.” – Shane Smith

“The news cycle is like kindergartners playing football or soccer. Because the ball goes over here, everybody goes over here; ball goes over…everybody goes over here. But, there’s a lot of other stuff happening in the world. So, we just go and say, okay, we’re going to cover that stuff.” – Shane Smith


“It just seems like every time we see a spider in the bedroom, we have to tent the whole house. Every time there’s a little thing, we don’t have to go to DEFCON 5 every moment, which just seems like what we do.” –Bill Maher

“We cannot let international borders become an irrelevancy. If there is a way for Crimea to rejoin Russia, it should be through some international process which people discuss, and there’s negotiation. Not folks rolling over borders with guns.” – Keith Ellison

“I think responding with economic sanctions is appropriate. If you’re going to do it, do it, right? Have some impact. I think the first round he announced was pretty tepid. But, the second round was good, is having some impact. And I actually think he’s getting some Republican support. I hope that. I think he’s handling it correctly.” – Sheila Bair

“What’s happening now is everybody is ramping up and we’re going back to this Cold War rhetoric, which is very disturbing.” – Shane Smith

Pakistan & Bin Laden

“What I was shocked at, that I didn’t know, was that Bin Laden was leaving the house. I thought he was confined to that house; that, you know, as long as you don’t show your head we’re not going to say anything. He was going out whenever he wanted to. His 8x10 was up at the dry cleaners.” – Bill Maher

“It’s a huge problem. It’s a no-win situation, because of the warheads that they have pointed primarily at India. It’s a massive problem. But, look, Pakistan and the ISI made the Taliban.”

“The Bush Doctrine said, if a country harbors a terrorist, we’ve got to go to war with them. So, do we just go, well, it was Bush, come on?” – Bill Maher

“I think we have had sort of a transactional relationship with that country. When we leave them, we kind of work with them or we don’t. We kind of leave them alone. I think we need to build a more durable, sustainable relationship with Pakistan.” – Keith Ellison

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