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Welcome to an HBO podcast from the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. Thank you. Thank you. Please sound like a great crowd, and I know you're happy today. Hey, NASCAR has banned Confederate flags. Things are changing in America. Wow. I mean, you know, you may not think that's a big thing, but NASCAR banning Confederate flags. It's like gay bars, banning sarcasm. Now, good on NASCAR, they said this will provide a more welcoming and inclusive environment for their black fan.


But, yeah, flags, statues, Confederate statues, finally that's happening, they're all coming down everywhere and protesters in England get this, they marked racist. They wrote racist on the statue of Winston Churchill. Wow. Responded. World War Two. What do you hear about the other guy?


So fear not about racism, because Trump is going to make a speech about race relations. This was in the news this week written by Stephen Miller. Steven Miller is going to write it. Yeah, and it's like having your spam music performed by Megadeth.


And by the way, why even write a speech for Trump about race relations?


He's got two points about race. Kanye loves me and I let Ivanka marry a Jew.


I mean, is there any situation that he cannot make worse? No, I'll give you the answer, he said. I'm sure you saw what happened in Buffalo. A protester, a 75 year old man was pushed by the police backward, cracked his head on the sidewalk. And Trump, of course, has to go out there and tweet. He he fell harder than he was pushed. Could it be a setup? Yes, exactly. In fact, are we even sure it was the cops, it could have been Joe Scarborough.


It's so listen to this, liberals want to take police money, police funds and diverted to community services, which sounds like a very good thing, good idea. But they're calling it defund the police, which sounds bad. That is so Democrats for you, you know, they must have meetings to be this fucking stupid about politics. Hey, guys, we're making some headway here. How can we turn this into something that makes people have to vote for Trump?


Yes, should we divert funds, but not defund it, like I'm always pissed off when I read about teachers having to beg for money and paying for their own school supplies. But the cops, cops just go, you know, it'd be cool if we had a robot that shoots fireballs. Done.


So, yeah, Trump is a monster, but, boy, he knows how to market himself, and that's the whole ball game, like he's starting rallies again and of course, at his rallies, no precautions, no facemask, no social distancing, because this is on Brand for the guy who fucked a porn star without a condom.


So, yeah, that's going to be quite a rally, no decent thing, no masks, but hey, I wouldn't worry about it. Magga fans want your old overweight smoke drink. I've diabetes, stress issues and anger issues.


And if you have those, I would avoid the virus. Yes, well, things are opening up again, even New York, which of course was hit hardest, but they are opening with stringent guidelines. For example, a pizza rat that's been restricted to curbside pickup only pizza is evil.


But here in California, we have opened up bowling alleys and miniature golf courses. No word yet on soda fountains or shake ups.


But yeah, today's the day. Bars. Bars are opening again, gyms, schools, movie theaters, movie theaters at 25 percent capacity. And if this is how we do it, you're allowed to open but not make any money. And of course, there are stringent guidelines here in California where the nanny state here, mandatory masks enforce social distancing. And, of course, they remind you of anything else that would make the experience not pleasant or fulfilling.


It's interesting that we're finding out now that everything that we thought we do, we actually didn't know what it was all wrong. Last week, the CDC said touching services. No, you don't really get it from that. So anybody who's putting the box out for three days, waste of time, stupid. This week, the World Health Organization said very rare to get it from asymptomatic people, which we were told was the truth. No, now they're saying very rare for an asymptomatic people to pass it to you and spread it.


Today, the CDC and the WHL put out a joint statement. It said, what the fuck are we doing again?


Oh, we got a great show, we have Larry Wilmore, Matt Welch, Radley Balko and Dr. Dariush Russophobia and I spoke to them all yesterday. Let's get to. All right, my first guest is an opinion journalist for The Washington Post and author of Rise of the Warrior Cop The Militarization of America's Police Forces. Radley Balko is back with us from Nashville, Tennessee. Thanks for being here. Radley, I know you've written many times about the police, probably more influential than anybody in recent years.


And for a long time, change was slow coming. It looks like that's finally changed and maybe the straw that broke the camel's back. And now things are changing. Attitudes are changing. Tell me what you think policing is going to look like in five years. Different, same. Somewhat different. Man, I got to tell you, I mean, if you'd asked me that question two weeks ago, I'd give you a completely different answer today. I mean, we've seen just such remarkable change in the last couple of weeks.


And I think I read somewhere where there's been a 20 percent jump among the general public in questions about things like whether there's systemic racism in policing, whether policing is sort of fundamentally flawed and needs to be reformed. I never would have thought, for example, that we were at a place where we might soon be repealing qualified immunity or there might be sort of pan ideological support. This is the shield that police officers get when they violate your rights. They're held to a higher standard.


And this makes it really difficult to sue them. And I never thought it would have been a popular political position for members of Congress to introduce a bill to to dramatically scale back or even abolish qualified immunity. But there seems to be a growing probably not a consensus at this point, but certainly it's more popular than it's ever been. I think we're see a lot of experiments. Minneapolis is sort of going to tear down its police department and build again from the ground up.


I think we'll probably see a lot of cities to try different things, try to, for lack of a better term, outsource different things that we normally.


Camden, New Jersey, did that did they not? Did they not fired the whole the police department hired many of them back, but completely retrained them. And it was a success, was it not?


I think it was, yeah. I think it was an unqualified success. They fired them. They abolished the union, and then they rebuilt it from the ground up, retrained everyone. There is now a union again, but it's not the same type of union that was before. And crime has gone down in Camden since this was tried and relations between the police and the community have improved immensely. So it's been a big success.


It does seem like we're often at this standstill with the police where the public is saying, you know, can't you do it without the brutality? The police are saying, we resent that you are questioning us and the public is saying, well, then stop doing horrible shit. And and we don't seem and we don't seem to understand why you can't have both. Why you can't have I think they do it in other countries where you do have law and order and police do the job of police without this sort of we see so much sadistic joy from the police and stuff.




And I think, you know, there's this constant debate over is it a few bad cops? Is it is it a significant number of cops as a majority of cops? And kind of the way I look at it is if you have cases where you have police officers who, you know are bad, who it's clear I've done bad things, whether it's beating people or corruption or whatever, and the system is incapable of ejecting those people, then I think you can only conclude that you have a corrupt system.


You know, it almost doesn't matter sort of whether it's one percent or five percent or twenty five percent of cops that are bad. If we can't get rid of the bad at once, then the system itself is corrupt.


Yeah. And it's the union, I think, that is so different from other unions. Am I right about that? The police union, it doesn't really negotiate.


It threatens you know, it's a little bit like are are terrified of police unions. I mean, you look at somebody like de Blasio who ran on a platform of police reform, got elected on it, and then said something that was pretty, pretty tepid and milquetoast. He said he told his mixed race son that that he should be careful around the police and the police union, just clutch the pearls and feign this outrage. And then all the officers turn their backs on de Blasio when he tried to give a eulogy at a police funeral.


And you could tell that it just shook him to his very core because he's been completely deferential ever since. And it's really a testament to the power that these unions really have over politicians. I mean, they are terrified of crossing. And again, because they they don't really negotiate. It's more of a mafia like protection racket idea that they put across that. If you I mean, let me quote Bill Barr. I saw this in December. He said this.


I flagged it never got to do it on the show, but it stuck in my mind. This is the attorney general of the United States said they, meaning the public, have to show start showing more than they do respect and support for law and the law, for the the respect and support law enforcement deserves. And if communities don't give that respect and support, they might find themselves without the police protection they need. I find that such a chilling remark.


I've heard it from union people. I've never heard it from the attorney general of the United States.


Well, Sessions actually said something similar. Oh, yeah, regular bar. But yeah, I mean, chilling is the right word for it. It is. I mean, I can't think of any other profession that is so kind of psychologically isolated and kind of bound to one another where, you know, I'm a journalist, no journalist call each other out for bad behavior all the time. The idea that, like, I would stop doing my job or intentionally doing it less well, because some other journalist was criticized, it's it's sort of mind blowing.


And then you think about what police actually do. And it's not just about not doing their jobs. Right. They're literally saying we are going to put people in harm's way. We are going to be able to protect people if you dare to criticize or you dare to prosecute us when we do things that that are illegal. I mean, it's it is a mind blowing place that we've gotten to where we are right now. And, you know, it's overdue for a correction.


It's overdue for a major correction. And it's it's it's heartening to see that we're finally or we seem to be finally there.


Do we ask the police to do too much, though? We're talking we're talking now a lot about defunding, which is a terrible way to put it. And I'm going to talk about that with the panel, the branding aspect of it. But just the idea of defunding it really means reorganizing and in some ways asking the police to do less of the things that they do. Now, they do seem to have to do everything from, you know, stop murders to being marriage counselor sometimes.


I mean, it's true.


I think, you know, I think defunding it means on some level, drinking the footprint of the police and trying to minimize the number of actions police have with the interactions police have with the public. So, you know, if we decriminalize drugs, you would eliminate a ton of police officers and a ton of police where we get cops out of the schools, you do the same thing. And this is what I'm saying now is going to sound somewhat radical only because we're so accustomed the idea.


But there's been a lot of writing on this this week and it's been fascinating. There's no reason why police should be enforcing our traffic laws. It just doesn't. It doesn't we accept it because they've always been doing that. But if you think about what happens when you get pulled over, cop pulls over, pulls you over, know he's got his gun and his four other weapons on his belt. He's looking down on you. You're very sort of power, lopsided power reaction.


What does he do? He gives you a ticket, which he didn't take home and decide whether you're going to pay or not. There's no reason why I have problems with traffic cameras for other reasons. But there there's no reason why a camera or even a bit of a parking meter maid couldn't just drive a behind you, get your license, call it in, and you get a ticket in the mail. And you're right back to where you were before you decide whether or not you're going to pay it.


The idea that we have to have these interactions with these armed sort of enforcers for what are petty offenses. I mean, you've got to think about how many how much of the animosity between, say, the black community and police has stemmed from traffic stops that go awry or that go wrong or that lead to unnecessary or unjust search, which is you eliminate that. And you also, again, you eliminate a lot of police personnel, but you also eliminate a lot of the bad will and bad blood.


And then with the cops that are left over, the people who are actually going to be fighting crime, you can pay them a lot more so you can attract better people and keep better candidates.


Well, this this week, they canceled cops and they canceled live PD. So once again, Hollywood has come to the rescue and found the solution to the problem will do it. We're kids like the TV shows. You're welcome, America. Hey, thank you for joining us. I appreciate your expertise on this subject. And I'll see you soon. Thanks for having me.


OK, all right. Well, in the many weeks we've been doing the show here in the backyard, people have seeing glimpses of my dogs before they show up and they've asked me, can we see more of the dogs? And all I can tell you is yes. And here's the day we're going to do it, because these dogs are exquisitely trained. Chico, come over here. Sit. As you can see, they do whatever the fuck they want, because that's the way I like it, I don't like to train my animals.


I think it's demeaning. I like to know what they're thinking. Come here. You've got some shit on your ass. Come on. OK, the secret to training animals is knowing they're stupid and they're hungry, they'll do what you want if you give them food. Hey, stupid, hey, you can't even smell food. This drug is so fucking dumb. C'mere, Ginko, it's your lunch.


And that's today's version of Bill with Dogs. All right, here's our panel, here's a writer, comedian and host of the podcast Black on the Air, Larry Wilmore from here in Los Angeles. Larry, great. Bill, good to see you. He's editor at large of Reason magazine and host of the Reason Roundtable podcast. Matt Welch from Brooklyn, New York. Matt, great to see you. I see you, too, Bill.


Looks like you're calling the next game there, but don't down. Yeah. Yes. All right.


So very frustrated if you. I wish we could watch basketball. I guess we will soon. Not there, but on TV, maybe. Well, listen, let's talk about the protests first that we saw the last couple of weeks. It did seem something was like something was very different in that it was a multiracial protest against police brutality. Mitt Romney, Larry, would you like to comment on the social significance of the whitest man in America and Black Lives Matter protest?


It's unbelievable. I have to tell you, it actually this is kind of weird, but it actually makes me feel good that white people are showing the level of passion for black people that they normally reserved for animals.


I think that's really, really very few white people care about animals either. Trust me, I'm a PETA board member. I, I know you. Yeah, well, you can love all living creatures.


You know, all creatures that all creatures. Creatures of all creatures. Great and small, black, white, furry.


Romney, though, it's kind of a probably a thumb in the eye to Trump. You know, like at this point he's doing everything against Trump. But it is interesting, though, how it's kind of become not just diverse, but it's global, which is really surprise me. I mean, in the ninety two writes, it was really localized. You know, it was right here in Los Angeles, I think. I don't know if you're here in New York at the time.


No, I was here. Yeah it was, it was bad. So what happened to the police were six feet apart. It's a matter of life and death that seemed to that seemed to go out the window very quickly.


What would must frustrate a lot of people are the people who had to bury loved ones without having to see them in the hospital in the final days. And and then you can't go to a religious ceremony and such like and then seeing that incredible zoom shot, I think it was on Hollywood Boulevard where just a guy had a gigantic street party. Hopefully that will lead to us being able to do things like go to the store in my neighborhood in Brooklyn again and go to the beach and all that.


But I think pursuant to your original point, it also it's an amazing shift in public attitudes in six years since Ferguson. It's amazing to see that a majority of Republicans support these demonstrations, not just a clear majority of Americans. People's view on whether the criminal justice system has systemic problems is way, way up. And I think one big part of that, which is interesting, is that it's cell phones, right? Everyone has one in their pocket.


We've been able to see because the media for a long time did not cover certain neighborhoods or certain populations that much. Well, we cover ourselves now or whoever covers themselves. And you can share this. And I think that's really alerted public opinion as of the protests themselves, which have been largely peaceful. There's been some looting at the tail end in places, but the confrontations with police themselves would show how armed they can be or sometimes how arbitrary they can be in going after people has kind of fed into all of this.


So I think it's it's really remarkable how different world we live in than just a couple of weeks ago.


Larry, did you see that, that Trump is resuming rallies and the first one is going to be on June. Did you see this today in in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is the site of the worst racial one of the worst racial crimes ever in American history, certainly in the 20th century? Wow. Not since Reagan went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, to open his campaign in 1980 have I think I've seen a racist dog whistle that loud.


Yeah, Trump has passed dog whistling. It's like a it really is a dog megaphone at this point, you know, and and even if it's not that, Bill, the insensitivity to it and not doing just do your fucking research, do your homework. You know, he'll be a little more conscious of the actions that you're doing, even from the way he did that. You know, his silly walked to that church, you know, and had all the people, you know, gassed them or whatever, you know, just for that ridiculous photo op.


You know, Trump, he's he's in the weirdest kind of bubble ever seen for president. Bill, I've never seen this type of bubble he's in. It's even harder. It defies explanation. I think that one move, however, permanently made unpopular what Tom Cotton was talking about, like, if that's what it looks like when you send in the National Guard or send in federal troops, that's ugly. They're just shooting pepper gas and tear gas canisters at people and arbitrarily clearing out a population of people who were not rioting in any sense and not breaking the law at all.


So, yeah, you know, it's it's not the you don't need the Army helicopters going down in the cities in this country.


And he just he had just faked praised the peaceful protesters, you know, and then immediately after that happened, you know, you can't have both. You know, the American people aren't stupid. And it's interesting to see all the well, I won't say other Republicans, but the number of Republicans that are starting to respond to this, especially the military leaders who are coming out and kind of going against Trump, people that he's had in his cabinet and other people, I've never seen anything like that.


That's kind of unprecedented.


So I was talking to Radley Balko earlier about the police and we were talking about defunding. So I want to get into the the branding aspects of that with you. I think it's a terrible way to put it. Only a third of black folks want to, in the latest poll, defund the police. If you put it a different way, like, hey, we did it in Camden and it's the Camden miracle. That would be a and the the mayor of Minneapolis was thrown out of a Black Lives Matter meeting because he said, I do not support abolishing the police.


I worry that Democrats are wandering into another purity test that's not going to serve them well. And it's going to be about how much you want to get rid of police altogether. Yeah, the thing that gets me about this is what do you think happens after you get rid of the police? You know, there's going to be public safety is going to be a function of the person you're interested.


There are maybe just conversations to be had about like whether cops should be like pulling you over for traffic tickets. Right. Or a one way of looking at as the police should stop being funded by shaking people down and seizing their assets, which they can do under civil asset forfeiture or installing traffic light cameras. You know, funding the police through operations like that has created all kinds of terrible incentives. Yeah, sure. Let's talk about that. But that fits a little bit more difficult on a on a street sign.


It was one of the problems in Ferguson a few years ago. It wasn't about funding. The police were funding themselves through all these excessive traffic tickets.


And, you know, if if you're struggling to make it, you know, month to month, you can't pay for like a ticket.


That's four hundred dollars. Five hundred dollars for an incidental thing, like a rolling stop. And then you go to jail for a rolling stop. I mean, that's crazy. And it just that type that's the type of civic oppression that people face all the time. And it puts them in these economic holes that makes it so hard to get out of, you know.


So and I think it's also important to point out that in terms of what is actually on the table, Democrats bill, which has a lot of good stuff in it, also increases funding for the police. Right. It doesn't defund the police. It refunds the police. Joe Biden wants to refund the police even more. So it's not actually a working proposal on a federal level, on the local levels, different things and experiments can be tried. But people aren't actually defunding the police in any widespread sense.


And the Democrats like to do all they can to lose things first.


And I'm so glad you brought that up. That's where I'm going with this, because the Democrats do have a very good police reform bill with the things that have broad support, like no more chokeholds and no more no not going into someone's house, that kind of stuff with a battering ram and shooting their dog. We want to get rid of that kind of stuff. OK, so they're introducing this bill. The Congressional Black Caucus asked them to wear this.


I think it's called a Kentucky scarf, the Kentucky club clock.


OK, it's a scarf. And I'm sure we're going to show a picture of it, I hope. And of course, WOAK Twitter had a shit fit because they said they were culturally appropriating. To me, it's so like woak liberals to do this, to tell the people who are trying to do the right thing. You're helping wrong. You're always helping wrong.


No, but that Democratic Congress, that's the Panda Express, like on the highway, they're just trying to do whatever it. Oh, you're wearing you're wearing Kente. Well, I feel really good. Now, Chuck Schumer, I think you're really going to do what they were asked to by the Congressional Black Caucus.


What would have happened if they had said no? What would they would have marshaled?


Both of those would have been ridiculous, is what I'm saying. But but if they said no, if they had said no, it would have been an even bigger story. What I'm saying is the Democrats, you're right, they're horrible. They put themselves in this no win box and they did it to themselves.


Yes. They look so ridiculous.


It looked like it was like a poor congressman who considered suicide when the rainbow wasn't enough to do this, some black nationalist readings or something.


You know, I actually thought when I the first couple of times I saw this come back on my Twitter feed that it was Photoshopped like, oh, yeah, this is some kind of like a political deck fake of trying to make the Democrats look ridiculous.


All that said, it's this whole cultural appropriation argument that we've been having increasingly in this country is ninety nine percent of the time really stupid, just really stupid. We should mix as a culture. It's kind of the American point. And to be involved, the never ending purities trials over, like whether you can do this, you can do that. And can you write about this experience if you don't have this set of immutable characteristics has been, I think, a source of more poison than anything that's helpful.


Also, it's an African symbol. I think it's from West Africa. I think the nation of Ghana. And it's I don't know, does it not sort of say you're foreigners in your own land? When that when they presented the DREAM Act, they didn't have a mariachi band behind them.


Are you sure they didn't they didn't put on Afro wigs too early? Yeah, they should have had black gloves. And Tommie Smith, Juan Carlos, you know, just they're like this.


Jamie Diamond could take a knee. They can take an issue. Come on. All right.


So signed the damn bill. Meet Bill. How about this handsome? Some good fucking reform. How about that? You know, that's the thing that you are.


Well, I just don't understand why they never rebel against the bullies who are on. Twitter, who do not represent how many times do they have to learn it, they do not represent nearly the mainstream of the party. Now they're doing it with this looting issue.


You know, on social media, it's saying looting is bad, is bad and looting is bad. I can keep two thoughts in my head at the same time, you know that police brutality must stop. Racism is horrible. And it's taking things that aren't yours also not good.


Absolutely. And a lot of it the looting was kind of this weird, like other experience that was happening alongside it, because normally looting usually happens right away when people are at their angriest. You know, it's usually local because people there's a connection between that local business where you feel maybe oppressed by where they're taking money out of the community. You know, that's where people were looting in Santa Monica.


Bill, you got to use ways to get to that looting. Yeah, I saw the white guys come away with surfboards getting on a motorcycle.


Right. I mean, when they're looting a wet seal, at least have some taste if you're going to loot, right?


No. Right.


I mean, as ridiculous, they were rolling up in New York where I'm out there rolling up and in like black Rolls Royce.


It's like a hundred thousand dollar cars and getting out there in a very organized sense. And it was gangs and everything. And to your point, Bill, it's it's not hard at all. This is exactly where the vast majority of Americans are to say we want police reform. Demonstrators are fine and also don't loot and smash. It's really not hard. It's just sort of this elite conversation where everyone is on eggshells, like afraid to say this obvious thing, because then they won't be seen as being, you know, having a good enough ally ship and its nonsense, like normal people.


Look at that and say, what language are you speaking? Right.


And one of the worst examples was when the police station was burnt and in Minneapolis. Now, that's one of those instances where you can say that's a horrible thing to do. You would never support that. But I understand where that anger is coming from, because that's the source of it. That's where you can have both thoughts at the same time. I would never support that. I would never want somebody to burn a police department is terrible. But when you see that that happen, you understand it.


I don't understand. People like looting the Gap in Venice Beach. It's like, you know, that just doesn't make sense.


The L.A. Times interviewed looters, which is pretty funny. I have a few days ago at one of the quotes was looting is the only way that we can get our voices heard.


It's like, no, yeah, no. You can get your voices heard in other ways.


You're pretty sure voting would be a good one to start with. Speaking of that, they had a primary in Georgia this week and it did not go well, the things we've seen before. I feel like this is just a dress rehearsal for what's going to happen in the fall. Not enough ballots, five hour lines, broken machines. We also know that the Republicans much more happy to go to the polls in person. Democrats are much more afraid of the coronavirus.


So they're going to stay home and we don't know what's going to happen with the mail. Trump has his way to get rid of the post office altogether. So I just see a bad moon rising. And this authoritarianism that I see in the country now taking shape, you know, trying to call out the military last week and that kind of stuff. I feel like this is the bond between Trump and his Republican allies. They don't really like each other on a lot of stuff, but they both agree that trusting democracy to the voters, trusting our government to the voters, letting democracy take its course is just a little too risky.


Republicans just have to maintain control for the better part of the country. So what do you think is going to happen in the fall with voting? It's a tough one, I think if there's a feeling of a protest the like the way the protests are happening now, people aren't going to be thinking about Karen, especially if it hasn't come back yet, which it probably will, but it may be early in that flu season. So who knows? But if a lot of that energy is gone in or let's say covid comes back early, I think you're I think you may be right.


It's it's I mean, you talk about the alternate days ex machina, you know, coming down and saving Trump, for Christ sakes. Even the we our heads would explode if people don't get out to the polls because of this coronavirus and Trump becomes president again. I can't even imagine that future. Hmm.


Yeah, I don't I think Larry's right. Like, the coronaviruses, I don't think is going to be that big of a feature. And in fact, it's going to be a lot more states that allow more mail in voting than we've ever seen before. That's already starting to happen. So there's going to be, I think, access to the vote. And it's also worth keeping in mind every time Republicans are around and Trump in particular are talking about voter fraud and all of this, they tried this set up a voter fraud commission.


It was it was a complete, like Wile E. Coyote cellphone, like they had to disband it in disgrace when they found nothing. The people who end up being caught voting illegally tend to be like Republicans, Florida or college students who forget what state that they're in. So the the kind of laying the groundwork as Trump is tried to do to to assume that all this voting activity is happening there has fallen on its face and it's been rebuked by a series of judges as well.


So it's I think it's could be more difficult, perhaps, than you fear, Bill, that that the voting is going to be significantly happening.


Bill, one of the reasons why people don't want this in voting is because it's harder to purge voters that way, because many times you're purged from your precinct or that type of thing, but you may still be on the road. You know, it's this weird middle ground where you're you're registered, but you don't appear. And so many times your vote doesn't get counted, you know, to give you an alternative ballot. I forgot the name for. But if you're mailing in your vote, you don't have that problem.


So it's one of the ways that votes are suppressed.


Well, purging voters off of voting rolls and that's sort of what I know is that close elections are decided by a percentage point, sometimes less than one. I mean, we remember Florida in 2000, 537 votes in the state of that many people. So I feel like now that we've and I blame the media mostly for this, but also the government scared the shit out of everybody in America there. I believe there is a certain amount of people who will never come out of the house to do anything again, not a large percentage, but there is a percentage of people who are like, yeah, I can do this.


I can stay home always. And there are germs out there and God knows what could make me sick. And even if it's two percent of the people that could be there, the difference in an election or lots of things disagree.


Bill, I think what we've seen here is like a laboratory experiments on humans.


And, you know, I'm in New York, so I'm in ground zero of this of the virus killing people and all that. You can't do it. You've got 11 year old the five year old try keeping an eleven year old and a five year old in the house when it's like spring. It's the only nice day all year in New York. Well, I wouldn't be voting anyway. They all go crazy.


Human beings can't stay penned in. They're not hamsters. Sometimes even people who are trying to be creepy shut ins. Now we're germophobia. They're going to go out. It's just it's nature to do it.


We'll say, all right, thank you. You guys were great. And I hope I get to go out very soon because really, we could be doing this in the studio. All right. Thanks very much, Cynthia.


OK, I mentioned earlier that Mitt Romney, the whitest man in America, was out marching with Black Lives Matter, which I think is fantastic. I was going to send him a fruit basket just for that. And then I found out Mitt Romney. Oh, no, he's not done. He's all in on this. In fact, this week, he dropped a rap album. Yeah, it's called Fudge of the Police. And here are some of the other cuts on the album he's got.


I've got 99 problems, but my lovely wife and ain't one into country club. Papa's got a brand new binder. I'll be missioning you. Fear of a black coffee. That's the Mormons.


They don't fuck with me sitting in Docker's on eBay.


Mizo, Corney, Nappers, delight. And, of course, little red Corvette with my dog on the roof.


OK, our next guest is a cardiologist, public health expert and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Please welcome Dr. Dariush Mustafah Ian Doctor. I am so anxious to talk to you because you are the dean of the only independent school of nutrition in this country. And I've been trying to tell my audience ever since I've been on the air, you are what you eat. Food is either medicine or poison. And I feel like it's been falling on deaf ears.


But there's one guy in one school who believes me and he's got a lot of degrees. He went to Harvard and a lot of good places. So why don't you tell us? I know. I know you've said that 12 percent of Americans, only 12 percent are metabolically healthy. What does that mean? And why are we not healthy metabolically? Yeah, among adults, only 12 percent meet sort of basic criteria for being healthy, having a healthy waist circumference, having normal levels of blood cholesterol, blood glucose and and not having hypertension, just those few minimum criteria.


And 88 percent of adults are not metabolically healthy. So many more of us are sick than are actually well. And and I'm surprised to find that an alarming number of Americans I talked to still are not aware of the connection between having a bad result with coronavirus, if you get it, and obesity. But that is outside of being very old. That is the main factor, is it not?


Well, you know, what we're seeing with covid-19, with coronavirus is really a fast pandemic on top of a slow pandemic coronavirus has hit the world in a matter of months, has been devastating. And yet at the same time, obesity and diabetes have have hit the world over just 30 to 40 years, 30 to 40 years ago, the world did not look like this. And we have had skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes. Never before seen in human history.


And that that slow pandemic has been at least as equally devastating and really in almost every other way. Much more devastating than coronavirus. And yet, because it's happened over 30 or 40 years, the world has been really collectively struggling and not really doing what it takes are taking it seriously. And what's really striking now, Bill, is that there's a clear link between those two things. If people don't have high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, a couple of other risk factors, many of which are diet related.


They don't get that sick from coronavirus. And so it's very possible if we had a metabolically healthy population, if our country looks like what it look like 40 or 50 years ago, you know, coronavirus would have been deadly, but it would have been far, far less problematic. We wouldn't have had to shut down our economy, spend trillions of dollars in bailout dollars. And so this is a pandemic of coronaviruses has hit on top of this slow pandemic.


And we have to address obesity, diabetes and other diet related illnesses because first, just to deal with coronavirus right now. But this is not going to be the last pandemic. This this is not going to be the last one. And we really need a resilient population. So this is a national this has to be a national priority.


All the more reason why I thought it was a scandal that nobody I saw in those brief press briefings with Trump, the surgeon general, Dr. Burke, Dr. Fauci, none of them ever talking about what you can do to get yourself healthier, just about putting a mask on your face and avoiding and hiding. I never heard them suggest anything about eating. And we know now that you can't hide from it and you can't shut down the economy indefinitely. The one thing we could have done was to make ourselves healthier.


And we have had the time I've heard you say or read you say that it took only four to six weeks to change your metabolic profile. We were locked in for that time. They could have said, look, you're staying home, you're getting your staycation. The government is footing the bill. We've spent all this money to hand out to you. Here's what you can do in return. You could get yourself healthier. Tell me why you think the medical establishment doesn't talk to the American public that way.


Well, first, it's not too late, so let's start and let's start here with this show. But but I think that, you know, we didn't understand. We the scientific community didn't understand covid-19 very well. And really, it's been now a couple of months that we've seen these incredible reports in the United States, in the United Kingdom and Italy and China, every nation that's looked if you have obesity or diabetes or some of these other chronic conditions, the risk of a severe illness of needing hospitalization is three or fourfold higher with each of those.


And so that means in combination, if you have, let's say, diabetes and obesity together, you could have an eightfold higher risk of being hospitalized. These are massive numbers. And when half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes and about two in three American adults are overweight or obese, this is not small change. I mean, these are big, big, big numbers.


And so I'm asking, why doesn't the government say anything? Why doesn't the government say anything? We know what the problem is. But why? Why are people so afraid? Why is this such a third rail? It's a health issue. It wasn't when it was smoking. It wasn't a third rail at a certain point. It was something people were absolutely telling you you can't do when they sued the tobacco industry. Should we have a sugar tax? What should we do on a policy level?


Well, I think, again, you know, in terms of government officials, state and federal officials, they have shown that with simple public health messaging around social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, people change their behavior. So I agree with you. It's a huge missed opportunity and it's not too late. We should be telling everyone every day you're at home. Three hundred and thirty million Americans are having a national experiment to eat at home together and be at home together.


We should be active. We should be trying to sleep. We should be eating just even a little bit healthier. And, you know, across the whole population, bill, small changes in weeks and weeks can make a difference. And over a few months, we could slowly start to improve the health of our population. So I don't know why I'm not in those people's minds, but I think that it just maybe doesn't seem that important or it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal.


But it's a really big deal. I agree with you. And we need more than just messaging, of course. And I think that's what your question highlights is how do we how do we get around this? And, you know, when you have two and three year old kids who are obese now, when you have every segment of the population, every education and income level affected by these diseases, every every country in the world affected by this disease is to some extent we know we have a structural problem.


This is a systems problem. This is not about individual behavior or just about choice. And so we need systems solutions. And I think there's really three top priorities that that we can talk about in more detail. Food is medicine to use health care dollars to pay, pay and help incentivize healthier eating innovation and entrepreneurship, to push the science to allow innovation and business growth to really tackle what's ahead of US and federal coordination. We spend over one hundred and fifty billion dollars in the federal government on food and nutrition programs and other things in their uncoordinated.


And we need federal coordination. And so I think with food as medicine, science and innovation and coordination, we could tackle this pretty quickly actually within within several years.


But that isn't what the medical establishment does. The medical establishment listens to lobbyists. I mean, we get our advice from food, from the Cattlemen's Association, from the dairy industry, from Big Pharma, from Archer Daniels Midland. They make corn in great supplies that we have to eat it. There's a lot of pressure, not just with politicians, I think, but with people in your profession to go along to not even say some of the things you're saying now, which are fairly mild.


Where do you think that comes from? Is it all just the money? Because I know there's no money in healthy people and there's no money in dead people. The money is in what America is chronically ill people who constantly need pharmaceuticals and medical services. Is that not correct? Well, I think all the money, over a trillion dollars is in the healthy people, we're just not valuing it and rewarding it correctly. Right. If we. It's shocking, Bill, how health care costs have risen.


As you alluded to, health care costs from from the last 50 years for the federal government have risen from five percent of the federal budget 50 years ago to 30 percent almost now. The same thing for states, 30 percent of the average state budget for U.S. businesses. In 1970, they spent a total of 80 billion dollars on health care. Adjusted for inflation, they now spend one point two trillion dollars on health care. That's stagnating wages. It's it's suffocating every other priority for business, for government.


So so there's huge savings to be had here. The problem is, I think, twofold. One, this is pretty new science. And so, you know, for most of the last century, we were worried about starvation. We thought we were going to have a billion more people on the planet and we didn't have enough food to feed them. And we were worried about the science of the 1930s and 1940s. Nineteen fifties, nineteen sixties, which was vitamin deficiencies, things like scurvy and rickets and playground night blindness.


These diseases where if you don't have the right vitamin in your food, you get sick. And so we actually very purposely built up the modern food system, which is a food system that has loads of cheap shelf, stable, starchy calories that are fortified with vitamins. That was an intentional goal and it was an intentional goal to address widespread fear of starvation and vitamin deficiency. And what we've learned and this is the new science, this is not something we knew even 30 or 40 years ago.


What we've learned really in just the last 20 years especially, is that that simplistic approach to vitamin deficiencies and kind of mass starvation, which has been very effective for those conditions, doesn't work for chronic diseases. It doesn't work for obesity, for diabetes, for cardiovascular disease, for cancers, for what we're just starting to learn about the gut microbiome and immunity. And so we have this kind of legacy system that's been built over one hundred years and we built it purposefully.


And so that actually gives me hope that we can purposefully now build another system that is good for the population and good for health care costs. And millennials are leading the way. So I'm actually quite optimistic because millennials are demanding food that's healthier, that's sustainable and that's trustworthy. And businesses are hearing this and businesses that don't change are not going to be here in 20 or 30 years.


Thank you so much for joining us. I got a pizza coming. I got to run. But I appreciate your expertise and I'll see you soon. Thank you. Doctor of Place. Great to talk to you. Yeah.


All right. Time for new everybody.


There were no rules, all right? No rule in cells must learn some game before someone gets killed in cell. You probably know stands or involuntarily celibate and describes a movement of young American men who can't get laid and blame women for it, like coal. Carini here, who police say accidentally blew off his own hand while making a bomb he planned to use on hot cheerleaders. Wow. Talk about a lose lose. He fails to kill those who would never have sex with him, and then he blows off the one thing that would.


They're all Nacho Vidal, the male porn star who sells penis shaped candles and got himself arrested for accidentally killing a friend in a mystic ritual involving toad venom must be declared the new most interesting man in the world. I don't always smoke naturally secreted hallucinogens, but when I do, it's deadly venom. By the way, high on toad venom is what you have to be to buy a penis shaped candle. No real Coca-Cola needs to stop coming out with all these new flavors.


Hey, vanilla, cherry sherbet, lime mango coffee. You know what? None of this makes me want to drink Coca-Cola, but give me a call when you put the cocaine back in it.


New role, if we're serious about getting back to normal, we need a dating site for people who have the antibodies for a coronavirus. Call it OK, covid the site for singers who are ready, rested and tested because nobody's idea of a pick up line is, hey, how about we go back to my place and you watch me jerk off through the window?


Well, someone must explain the popularity of incest porn, it's everywhere now, and it's creepy if a young woman is blowing a guy and her mother walks in on them and then joins in. That's not hot. That's helicopter parenting. And finally, new rule now that the blue wall of silence is finally cracking, Republicans must tell us if we'll ever see a crack in the red wall of silence. Yeah, that's the solid front Republicans put on whenever Trump does something outrageous, as with last week's tear gassing of protesters.


Here's NBC's Casey Hunt. Trying to get senators to comment on that was what the president did last night the right thing to do?


Was that the right thing to do and really see it was clearing the protesters and abuse of power. I don't know that you don't have any comment on what happened at the White House last night.


I didn't watch that enough to know what happened.


Are you concerned at all about what happened at the White House last night? Sorry I'm late for work. Do you think what we saw last night at the White House was what we saw at the White House last night, an abuse of power?


I think we all remember one thing you got to say about Republicans. They're tight. In twenty sixteen three Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and past and present majority leaders Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy were caught on tape in what they believe was a private conversation admitting they thought Trump was on Putin's payroll. Really, they laugh about it. And then Ryan says no leaks. Right? This is how we know we're a real family here. Yeah, that's how they are.


What happens in the underground volcano lair stays in the underground volcano layer. This is how we know we're family, he says. Crime family. Sure. But a family. What I want to know now is, is there another conversation Republicans have had in private where they agreed that there was something Trump could do that would make them stop him? Of course, they would never tell us because being Republican is all about never breaking ranks. But amongst themselves.


Is there a safe word to say for it is right. Don't lie, you freaks. You know, a safe word is an agreed upon specific word that people engaging in rough sex use to let their partner know they're not playing anymore and they really want it to stop. So it has to be an off beat word that would never come up during actual sex. For example, Melania used his upcoming. But for most garden variety freaks, it's a word like, you know, I don't know, pineapple.


You say pineapple, so that way when the dominatrix is choking you, you don't have to say stop, you whore, you're killing me. And she doesn't have to say, wait, really stop or pretend, stop. And I would like to think Republicans have that with Donald Trump, because any dominatrix will tell you most of her customers are successful, older white guys with power and authority they know they don't really deserve. In other words, they're Republicans.


And in Washington, they're all in thrall to mistress caffé. And is 50 Shades of orange the way Lindsey Graham acts around Trump? It's like something out of a PornHub clip titled Slave Abuse by Fat Daddy. And I want to know if there is something fat daddy can do that will make his Republican bottoms tap out and say pineapple, if you ask me five years ago when this nonsense all began, what it would be, I would have thought it was the very first thing.


Mexicans are rapists, but no. Or the next month when he said McCain wasn't a war hero. But it was soon evident that the line was not going to be drawn on matters of. Behavior mocking the handicapped, bragging about your dick in debates, grabbing pussies all good, then once in office, it became apparent the line would also not be drawn at what we call norms practices so universally agreed upon to be the right thing to do that we never thought we needed to codify them into law.


Releasing your taxes, not putting family members in the cabinet, having press briefings, siding with Americans instead of Russians. And then we moved on to breaking actual laws, not answering subpoenas, using campaign funds for hush money to mistresses, withholding foreign aid to allies and domestic aid to states for personal reasons. So we know what won't make Republicans say pineapple. And I doubt when he makes a VANKA, the defense secretary, or starts poisoning journalists or literally shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, that that would do it either.


But now now that we're at the Julius Caesar moment here where the republic becomes a dictatorship with real talk about calling the military into the streets and elections, that might not count because they're rigged, is that the stuff that will finally make Republicans say, I'll do anything for love, but I won't do that? If you've got a safe word, Republicans, you better use it soon because democracy is about to stop breathing. All right, that's our show.


I want to thank my guest, Radley Balko, Larry Wilmore, Matt Welch and Dr. Dariush Mustafah, and we'll be back next week. Thank you, folks. There you go. It. Hey, we have a winner. Give me your bar, shake hands. Lie down, roll up.


If you've never, to me, catch all new episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher every Friday night at 10:00 or watch him any time on HBO on demand for more information, log on to HBO Dotcom.