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Welcome to an HBO podcast from the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. Great to save people, people, actually, human beings. Look at this. Thank you so much. Thank you, I appreciate it. Great to see you. We were. Thank you. We were off last week, in the words of Ted Cruz, I'm back what I missed. Ted Cruz, good Macavity. This guy proof that shit can step in itself and that he's just.


And I'm not making fun of Texas, you know, I got used to when I could travel, that may happen to go to Texas a lot and Texas is fun. But boy, I tell you, it is it is a fun place. Not used to the cold, though, there in Texas. And men were showing up in the emergency room with their lip stuck to their gun.


Terrell just they had a cold snap down there that you can believe in on the highway that the truck nuts were shriveled on the vehicles.


It was.


And Ted Cruz, of course, you know this he went to he bugged out and went to Cancun and then blamed it on his kids.


He said I was trying to be a dad. Yeah.


Except when they lower the lifeboats, then I try to look like mom.


Oh, yeah, the Republican. Republican Party, they are they're struggling, right, and they need heroes, because I'm sure you also saw this the week we were off last week, Rush Limbaugh died. Please hold your tears.


His legacy will live on whenever a rube is yelling, fuck, yeah, buy a transistor radio so I can run.


This guy now is getting hammered, but, hey, there's scandals on the other side, too, Andrew Cuomo in New York, you're worried about that. Now he's got a sex sexual harassment scandal. Some woman in the office says he shouldn't be flirting. I don't know, you know, this, but she's kissing. That shouldn't have happened to jokes that were not good. I know it sounds cheap. It was actually very romantic. He said to her, I want to grow old with you and then put you in a home and cover up your death.


But American politics, it's so screwed, right? I mean, the crazies are just in ascendant now, right? I mean, the twenty two year old woman and you see this this week, part of the capital riot who got in there and stole Nancy Pelosi's laptop. There's a video now of her dancing to techno and giving the Heil Hitler salute. And that stuff is very offensive. But techno.


That and all the crazies are meeting this weekend, you know, this weekend is for the conservatives down in Florida at CPAC, that's the Conservative Political Action Conference. They have it every year. It's the Woodstock of conservatives said, oh, it is a big deal for them all.


The latest strains of covid are going to be there.


It's really something. Orlando, Florida, is hosting it to get a big banner over Main Street. Welcome reality deniers.


It's really and I have sad news to report from that site or break from having to listen to Donald Trump is coming to an end. It was a lovely few weeks, which will be known to future future historians as the great quiet, but.


But he's going to be the keynote speaker at the end, the final speaker, and this is look at this, this was what they were doing in today, wheeling in the golden calf.


Boy, Trump's party is stuck on him like gorilla glue, aren't they? They just loved this guy.


And I know what's going to happen. He's going to get up there and say that he's the nominee and no one's going to object to this. You know, they're already on this page and he's not going anywhere. And he's going to return and he's not going. He already has a slogan for twenty twenty four. Let's get done. What we never started.


It's all right. We got a great show. We have Senator Jon Tester and Ezra Klein are here. But first up, she is a journalist and the host of the Meghan Kelly Show broadcast. Megyn Kelly is over here.


Megan Kelly. Oh, wow. Look at you today. You're right. You're ready to be over. covid finally got dressed up and I was going to say, you look like you got your old Fox News outfit on there. Right this way, more than I used to wear on that show. They encourage you to do that, right?


So I. Here, come on. No, honestly, they never did with me. That was one I've got. Didn't you have to show you now that no one ever told me that? Really? I have heard other women say that. But I mean, I was one of their principal anchors. Yeah. And in the 14 years I was there, no one ever told me I couldn't wear pants. And if you look at my history, I was wearing them all the time.


Well, you know, I always thought of you as the Marilyn Munster of Fox News. What does that mean? Well, you know, she was surrounded by monsters, but she was pretty and blond and normal. You know, she. You never watched The Munsters.


Thank you. I did. But I was like four. Who remembers The Munsters? Well, I wasn't four. I watched them last night. I think I know. Anyway, what do you think about your old shop there? I mean, could you even work there today?


Well, I mean, look, I'm focused on being in my own independent lane, which I like right now. No, I'm saying they have gotten crazier that look at their personalities there who went hard.


Right, during the Trump administration, right? Yeah. Maria Bartiromo sounded very different than when I was there. Lou Dobbs kind of sounded the same as he always did. But Lou Dobbs used to be on CNN.


Yeah, he was on CNN when he was normal. He he had the highest rated show on Fox Business talking like that.


Right. So there was an audience for that. But when I look at him, that's how I brand of programing. But when I look at him, I don't think he's any more committed to his hard right partisanship than Don Lemon is committed to his hard left partisanship. You know, I mean, the cable networks are doing that now. They're low into the far right and the far left.


OK, well, I agree there's just crazy on both sides. But that's a false equivalency, don't you think? Because what Lou Dobbs believes is that the election was stolen. I mean, I don't agree with Don Lemon on everything, but he's not he's not living in an alternative reality. I don't know about that.


But look at Rachel Maddow. Right. I mean, she went totally down the rabbit hole and was embarrassed by that Lou Dobbs. Same thing on the on the crazy election claims. So there's plenty of blame to go around. I think at this point in our in our universe, you have to decide on a personality you trust. You know, at at Fox, if I'm going to watch television news, I'll still watch Bret Baer. He's a straight shooter and I trust him.


Right. But when I'm trying to find my own news, I just read as much as humanly possible on the right. In the left, go to Real Clear Politics dot com every morning. Read one from the left, one from the right. Sadly, you got to work at it if you want to find straight factual media these days.


OK, so I want to talk to you about the schools because I really just wanted you back here because I read this, that you took your kids out of the school in New York and I have been hearing anecdotally. Very much the same thing for many parents, you know, parents confide in me, I guess, because I don't have kids, it usually starts with you're so lucky you don't have kids. And then I hear about their problems.


But just tell us why basically you did this.


Yeah, well, we loved our schools. We were in the New York City private school system. Our boys went to an all boys school and our daughter to an all girls school teachers loved it, you know, students and the faculty and the parents. And they were definitely leftists, you know. I mean, we're more center right. But that was fine. You know, my whole family are Democrats. It wasn't like I was bothered by the fact that they leaned a bit left, but then they went hard left and they started to take a really hard turn towards social justice stuff.


And at our boys school in particular, it started with when our son was in third grade, they unleashed a three week experimental trans education program on these eight and nine year old boys. And it wasn't about support. It was about it. We felt like it was more about trying to convince them, like, come on over. And the boys started to get confused and they had to implement the system where they raise their hand. If you're really confused, put up a one.


If you're just a little confused, like, how old are they? They were eight, nine at the time.


And we objected and so did a lot of other parents to the point where the school had to apologize for that one, which they very rarely did.


Then our kindergartner was told to write a letter to the Cleveland Indians objecting to their mascot. Now he's six, like, can he learn how to spell Cleveland before we activate him? He lives in New York City. We got busses, we got subways, we got crime. He's got things to worry about other than social activism. And if you going to be activated and I should do it, not not a kindergarten teacher didn't realize. This is what I've heard from.


And these are all liberal, by the way. People say that my kids are not ready to be told they're white supremacists. That's right. And I'm not ready to be people. I know we're not we're not left and right. We're not black and white. We're it's this is a this is a question of reason and unreason. But you talked about this letter that the school put out. So this is on the racist. Can I read some of the things that are from this letter?


Unless people think I'm losing my mind. This is this is a there's a killer cop sitting in every school where white children learn. Where children are left unchecked and unbothered in their homes, one sentence starts, well, how old do you have to be before you can just be unchecked and unbothered? You know, what age do you get bothered? I'm tired of white people reveling in their state sanctioned depravity, snuffing out black life with no consequences. You know, go reform white kids.


You know, it bothers me so much that I have to be on this side of this issue. Yeah, because I've always been a civil rights advocate, you know, and don't make me Tucker Carlson. You're the fucking nuts. This is insane. As black bodies drop like flies around us by violent white hands, there is racist problems in this country. But this is hyperbole and this is making people crazy.


Yeah. And and children, what is it? I mean, this is not the way we get to the promised land. Absolutely not.


It's divisive. It's racist. And it's having exactly the opposite effect of the one they intend. And it is not that all the black people in our school or other schools are in favor of this kind of talk. My friend Coleman Hughes, who's twenty four, he's a liberal here. We know Coleman. He's been speaking out about this as a black man, saying, how dare you presume to know how I feel to try to I mean, it's pejorative to him.


Like, the whites are the ones who understand, who are arrogant and in control and work hard. Right. These are the terms now associated with white supremacy. And then the white people feel bad and feel judged because they're told they're white supremacists because of a pigmentation over which they have no control. It's so divisive and counterproductive. And it wasn't just our school in New York. And it's not just New York. I mean, all over New York, New York privates, New York publics, there was no place to move them in New York to get away from this.


So it wasn't just our school. There's a public school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that just got in the news because they gave out this panoply of eight categories into which all white people fall and on the one hand is white supremacist. And on the other end is it was white traitor, basically white abolitionists. And they're really encouraging you to be more of a white traitor. It's like everybody gets divided into oppressed or oppressor, right? On racial identity, on sexual identity.


Cupertino, California, they did the same thing. They took eight, nine year olds and made them deconstruct their their racial and sexual identity to figure out whether they were an oppressor or the oppressed eight year olds. Right.


I mean, this is really damaging. And as you get older, what the studies show is these sort of implicit bias education efforts bring out racism. So if somebody is having racist thoughts in the back of their head, it brings it to the frontal lobe and more people act on their latent racism than they otherwise would have.


Did you read about Smith College like so I interviewed Jody Shaw. OK, if people don't know what's going on, that's one of the most liberal colleges in the country for many decades, I think it would be safe to say yes. And there is a black student there. And she accused someone of I think it was a janitor, was it of racial profiling because she was eating in a dorm. But it turned out that she was just someplace where she shouldn't have been.


She was not supposed to be in the location a janitor had been told is the custodian. If you see a student in there, got to remove them. They're not allowed to be in there. So he saw somebody he called the security to say somebody in there, and she was removed. And from that point forward, the student who is black kept saying, I'm I'm sitting while black. This is a racist institution. This custodian's racist. Some teacher, she passed on the way into the dorm.


She said she was racist. Do all that woman did was passer and just wave. That's it. The assumption was that she reported her these people, the custodian, the teacher, had their lives ruined, ruined. The one woman got put on administrative leave or she got ultimately furloughed trying to look for another job in a restaurant. The restaurant owners like aren't you that racist? They did nothing wrong. Nothing wrong. But the student wasn't disciplined. And we're seeing this more and more.


I just interviewed a girl from a school in the Midwest, St. Louis, private school, Catholic, all girls. She was seventeen. A black student there said that this seventeen year old girl had stood up in the middle of a class, looked at her and said, black lives do not matter.


Now, if that had happened, can you imagine the uproar? The girl said, I never did that. The teacher said she never did that. No one other than the one accuser was claiming she did that. And the tape, the class was videotaped. And the videotape, according to the girl and her lawyer, does not reflect any of the kind. The school won't turn it over, but they're not claiming it shows that. Do they discipline the accuser for ruining this girl's reputation?


She became the scourge of St. Louis. No, they just. Kept looking at her saying all white people are white supremacists, your family loves Trump, you have a supportive flag for police on your laptop and therefore you're in the wrong. I mean, this is getting nuts. We're we're dividing children from one another baselessly. And at a time when teenage suicide is at an all time high, you know, kids come into this world, these little boys, in particular white kids, they can't control their white, same way as we used to be doing to black kids, treating them like as less than because of their pigmentation.


And the answer to that racism is not more racism.


The quote from this student was all I did was be black. It's outrageous that some people questioned my being at Smith College in my existence overall as a woman of color.


I don't think that's what's going on at Smith College in twenty twenty one. Again, I'm with you. Of course, we should all acknowledge that there is racism in this country and we have a horrible sorry history. Yes. We don't have it exactly horrible. Sorry. Present certainly as much as it was in the past. That doesn't mean there's not lots of work to do and we should do it. But we should all.


But but. But but don't gaslight me. Don't tell me things are going on that I just don't think I feel like this is beyond race. I feel like it's a generational thing where so many people want their identity wrapped up in being a victim.


Right. That's funny, because that's the push.


You can applaud that without going to hell. If you agree with it. Can you go back to the bush now? Is is to lean into victimhood.


And it's not just a race thing. I mean, I see it with some of my fellow women. You know, it's not that the metoo situation wasn't real, but we don't have to lean into victimhood even when we might be victims. When I would say to you as somebody who's got a lot of real life, many of them.


Well, listen, even if you are a real victim, which I've been in the past, too, it isn't psychologically helpful to lean into it. I always use the word target. I was the target of certain men that didn't make me anybody's victim. And the more you wallow in that mentality, the more you veer toward negativity and attract more of it in your life. And what we're doing right now to children is encouraging is exactly the opposite. And then when it comes, whatever comes their way, they see it through that lens.


We're setting them up to fail. So it's very damaging.


OK, well, I thank you for coming on and talking about this. Not an easy topic. I hope someday we don't have to talk about it. Thank you, Michael.


All right. Thank you, Kelly. Let's meet our panel. OK, and there he is, a New York Times opinion columnist and host of the Ezra Klein Show podcast. Ezra Klein is over here. Ezra. How are you doing? Good. How are you? He is a Democratic senator from Montana who also happens to be the Senate's only working farmer. And he's the author of Grounded a Senators Lessons on Winning Back Rural America. Senator Jon Tester.


Senator, great to see you.


Thank you. The only working farmer, is that right? Yeah.


Look, I think there's a lot of people involved in agriculture in the Senate, but but I'm the one that's really out there and we're also the ones that do the work. My wife and. And you're from Montana, of course. So you're not from either Texas or California.


Let's talk about them, because it's interesting, those two states, my state and Texas, where a lot of Californians, by the way, have gone recently, there is an exodus there to Texas, both having a lot of troubles. You've written about California recently. I was very sympathetic to what you were writing. I think you maybe were sympathetic to what I've been saying about it. I have my days without waiting for solar chart.


We're going to get to that in a minute. It's up to eleven thousand three.


But it seems like what we have here is a case of one state that is terribly overgoverned and one state that's terribly under governed as a sweeping generalizations go. Is that true, you think? Actually not so.


I think, weirdly, California is under covered. Part of the point of that column is that it's really hard for a lot of California politicians to get anything done. So in California, in L.A., I talk about Eric Garcetti. He got L.A. to pass a huge homelessness initiative, Measure H passed a sales tax, the whole thing.


But then it took three years to open the first homeless shelter because in L.A., every community would organize to keep the homeless shelter from coming into their area. California's leaders did want to do high speed rail, but like individual cities, individual places, individual lawyers stopped it.


So one of the weird things about California is as much as it seems really progressive and this is the point I'm making the column, a lot of people in it, a lot of folks who have like Black Lives Matter signs in their front yard and say every life is, you know, kindness is everything and no human being is illegal.


They actually organize against anything that would bring more equity and create change in their individual lives. And as you see there, there's a lot of folks at the top of California government who want to speed solar power and in getting individual local governments to allow more building or changed local regulations is unbelievably hard because how fractured and decentralized power is in the internal structures.


I think we're seeing the saying the same thing under different terms. Maybe I used the wrong term with over. All I know is I had 11 people at my house on Tuesday. Now I've shown the shed. This is the shed that took three years to build and these are 11 now. These are by the way, these are all nice people I talk to. They're smart, they're professional. It's not their fault. It's just this is like the answer to the joke.


How many state officials does it take to screw in a light bulb? 11, apparently.


And I'm appreciative that they even came out to the house. But just like really, if that's not the definition of overcovering, I don't know what it is. But but something is wrong that these people have to do these different jobs to just do something very simple, just just switching over to solar. I'm not putting a helicopter pad on my roof. You know, that might work, too, though. A hundred and thirty days, I would ask the question why?


I mean, the regulation should fit the risk. And if you're willing to make the investment yourself to put up the solar panels. Yeah. And who's who's really taken the risk here, John, I took a year and three inspection's to put in a new garage door. And I said to the guy, if it falls on my head, that's my fucking problem.


OK, so California has three thousand nine hundred and three hundred and ninety five thousand regulatory restrictions in walnut. You can't fly like fly a kite higher than 10 feet in San Francisco.


You can't carry bread, cakes or pastries and open baskets or exposed containers. In San Jose, it's legal. It's illegal to own more than two dogs or cats in Long Beach. You can't put anything in your car but a garage.


I'm going to I'm going to read this quote from James van der Beek. He was on Dawson's Creek. Remember him? OK, he one of the many people who left California. Here's what he said. He wrote this. He said, at the park in Beverly Hills near where we just moved away from. We were not allowed to fly a kite, also not allowed at any park, riding a bicycle, climbing a tree, throwing a ball against a wall, learning the.


An instructor using weights, wearing cleats, you couldn't use the batting cage. Only the Democrats could suck the fun out of a park and, you know, he said, this is why we're moving. And then he goes to Texas and gets stuck in the cold and has no water. And so I don't know what my question is like, where would you rather live? Which is worse, you know? Well, I think the problem here is, is you need to apply a little common sense, which is, I think what you're trying to apply Bill, in.


And and when we have folks out there to say we want to do it with all regulation, what to do with all regulation, some regulation is actually necessary in the world with these kind of regulations. Give a bad name. That's right. They give a bad name to the regulations. But but and here's what's going on in Texas. Of course, it's the opposite. They they I don't think Ted Cruz is going to pay any political price for that.


I mean, he's down in the polls now. Yeah. But when it comes time, you know, they always think Texas is going to go blue or purple, and it never does because they don't even think you have to govern anymore. Right. We're in this like post performance era, at least in a place like Texas where it doesn't matter how bad you fucked up the job of governing, because that's not what it's about. It's about making an ad where you're firing a gun and didn't mean tweeting it.


Right. I mean, that's what it's owning the Libs. So how do you. I mean, there's a reason why that happened in Texas, but I don't think they will pay a political price, do you? I don't know. I mean, he's he wants to be president.


I mean, that's what Ted Cruz wants to do.


And it's four years out to the next presidential election about. And people may forget about it by then. But I will tell you, leaving your dog home in the cold is an unforgivable sin.


I don't know if he actually did that, but. But, John, you said the way many of us Democrats tend to speak to Americans is broken, dogged up by self-righteousness and identity politics, and we're getting whipped in the messaging war. You know, I mean, this is what I always say about the underperforming Republicans is that people would vote for the Democrats, but then it's like, oh, I don't like them, but these guys are I hate this.


And the Republicans are masters at taking issues that are not mainstream and saying this is what Democrats believe in when that's not the case. The problem is, Bill, is I don't think Democrats get out into places that they need to get out the story. And and sometimes these are tough conversations to have. But the truth is, is I always point out, if you walked into Pep's bar in Big Sandy and somebody said, Jon Tester, aren't you a Democrat, what do you stand for?


And I'd say, you know what? I stand for making sure we've got good public education, making sure our veterans are taken care of, making sure we've got an infrastructure for our next generation.


Everybody in the bar and the most on would be Republicans that everybody in the bar would give you.


Applause And we as Democrats. But who doesn't say that's our story? What's who doesn't say that stuff that you just said it was against veterans and infrastructure and not leaving dogs? When was the last time we passed an infrastructure bill?


Bill, but that's know doesn't this go to the problem? So this is it true in one way in California, but then it's also true in the Senate. It's been driving me crazy the past couple of days. So they're going to cut the minimum wage increase out of the bill, right. Because it can't get through budget reconciliation this weird. And when you can do around the filibuster. And so now there's a bunch of ideas that maybe you'll tax companies that don't pay a fifteen dollar wage because that's a way of getting around the rules.


And the only reason you need to do all this is because Democrats in this case can't get 51 votes to get rid of the filibuster.


It isn't enough. It isn't enough to want government to do good things. You have to rebuild government so it can do good things, rebuild I mean, think actually change the world.


I think if you don't like how you're 100 percent right, they keep not passing infrastructure bills because things can't get 60.


And then I turn on the right and Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema say we will never change the filibuster and we will never vote to overrule the parliamentarian on budget reconciliation.


And so all those good things they say they support like veterans and infrastructure and they say they support all of it. They don't support it more than they support leaving government exactly the way it is. And if that's what you truly prioritize, they don't get anything done. And needing 60 votes is a bastardization to begin with. It's not in the Constitution right now. They didn't write the Constitution saying, yeah, to pass something in the Senate, it's got to be 60, 40 or whatever.


And they could if they thought about it.


The Federalist Papers were a bunch of things from both Hamilton and Madison about why that would be a bad idea. And the line simply was it would lead the minority to embarrass the majority. That is where they come down on super majorities.


And that's right. And that's the system we have, you know, exactly the system we have.


But I hate to be the bad person here, but I will tell you that I think partly because it's usually me and take over.


I've been trying to fill your shoes, Bill.


But but the truth is, is that filibuster, I think, was meant to bring parties together. She had bipartisan bills. Why? Why is that important? That's important because if you just have a simple majority every time Congress changes hands, what you did two years ago will be repealed and you go in a different direction. And I think if there's one thing that the country does need that I think is important, it's predictability and consistency. And I think that's where it's at.


Look, Ezra, you were exactly right. It's being abused to the max. And it's no longer about getting bipartisan group, bipartisan group of senators together to pass a piece of legislation. Now, it used to stonewall, it's used to stop. And for those reasons, I think we do need to go back and take a look at it. But I think we ought to give this Congress a chance to screw up before we change it. That's my opinion.


John, what do you say to I mean, you got I think I mean, Trump came hard after you in twenty eighteen. He didn't did Trump really wanted to get your ass and he failed. And you got I think seven percent of Republican. Yeah. Montana. Yeah. Pretty good. In Montana it's pretty darn good. So enough to win. But when I see that, you know, when I see this polling now like 58 percent, I think of Trump supporters think the capital riot was antifa.


Again, you know, I mean, they think that a lot of them think that the snow in Texas was fake snow from no, I'm not from Bill Gates, but, you know, two weeks before that, it was U.S. space lasers.


What do you say to win over a person like that? Because, you know, we have to tread this fine line. I do it myself. It's like preaching like we can't just insult these people. You know, you just can't say you're stupid. And inside you're going, oh, my God, I just want to say that you're so fucking stupid.


How do you talk to someone who believes in things like this? How do you win that person? Well, I'm not sure you win over everybody. You just got to win one more than the other. So you just don't know. No, no. I think you still have to talk to him. You still have to talk common sense and what you believe in and and what your vision is for the country moving forward. I think that's really important.


And I think for some of those folks, it may trigger something in their mind that goes, you know what? I'm I believe all that stuff, but I like that person and they'll end up voting for you. That's can I try one weird argument on this that most people don't believe? But I do. This is part of the reason I obsess over things like the filibuster, because when you can't pass stuff fast and make it so, government is changing people's lives in a visible way.


Weird symbolic politics comes in to fill the gap. Stories like nothing has any consequences. So, look, you might have people out there like, listen, I don't like the Jewish space lasers, but I do like that there's a new road near my house.


And for a long time in American politics, the way you build and rebuild and change majorities was governing people like that. They got health care through Medicare. They like the New Deal. They like the Reagan tax cuts. But when government stops being able to move quickly, I'm much more worried about this and am worried about unpopular things get reversed.


Because what we see is like when government becomes just people fighting, then like who cares what you believe? Like believe spaceless is belief in Tifa believe the snow. Right. They need a fair point where they tried to get rid of that earmarks. They're bringing them back or or basically little bribes.


It got to. That's how things get done. They're bringing it back. That's what Spielberg's Lincoln. How did he get the 13th Amendment passed. Bribes, little things.


What. You're laughing but you know it's true. You got to promise people.


Little thing. Yeah, I agree with John. Earmarks aren't earmarks, bribes. Earmarks are congressionally directed spending.


OK, so who's better for, like a museum of art? Come on. I mean, it's often for now they have to be able to be debated. I'm with him. So I'm saying. But the point is, is what do you want doing this?


Do you want somebody who knows their state saying, you know what, we need this bridge? Or do you want somebody in the cubicle that maybe never been to Montana or California to see your solar panels? All right.


So I saw Mike Lyndell is in the news. You know, Mike Lyndell show his picture. He's the my pillow guy, big Trump supporter, super Christian conspiracy theories, former crackhead. I'm not saying that as a slam or a slur that he is very honest about it.


Anyway, he's getting reformed his life. Very good. All right.


How easy it is to get them to applaud EDV. It's being sued by the Dominion Voting Machine Company for one point three billion because he keeps claiming that the election was rigged and phony and all that. So apparently he's not going to go away. We thought to be a very good week to do twenty four things.


You don't know about the my fellow guy like Rindo. Twenty fourth. I only switched over to my pillow after my cock sock didn't take off. In high school, I was voted most likely to sell a sack of foam to idiots, I no longer do drugs. I just sound like I do.


Frankly, no, I took the mastermind out of criminal mastermind. When I was a crack addict, I knew I'd hit rock bottom when I thought about selling my bottom for a rock.


I'm a Christian, and the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, but sometimes a guy's got to score an eight ball. Again, we're just kidding. He didn't do that. We're just making jokes. Mike Pence says my favorite to.


I'm an evangelical Christian.


And if you are a dipshit who made 300 million dollars selling pillow's, you believe in God, too.


All right. Kids weekend with good grace and humor, and it's all it's all with it's all with love.


OK, so I want to talk about covid now. Can we be a little happy? Can we be a little happy about where we are now?


covid wise as opposed to where? I mean, it's like they really don't want you. I think it's counterproductive.


I really do the constant gloom and gloom and it's always a new strain from Satan is coming. And we're coming up on one year of shit. And I'm sorry, can I quote Dr. Marty Makary, surgeon and professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins, says, At the current trajectory, I expect covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life. I don't know who Dr. Marty Makary is, and I don't care. I love him.


I think he's right.


I think he's he's a very he's Gostin is a professor. Whatever whatever the fuck is. I love him. And look, OK, six weeks ago it was hundred cases. Now it's down to fifty thousand. The vaccines are working. Johnson and Johnson, there's coming on the market. You can get it right with your pimple cream I guess. And at the market by summer, they're going to be given the shit away. I'm telling you, they're probably going to be more than enough in five weeks time.


By the end of March will probably have vaccinated one hundred and fifty million people. So is that the wrong approach to to say let it? Because otherwise I think people go, oh, you know, what's the point of even trying if we're always going to be living with it?


Foushee such a downer, you know, wear masks forever. I don't want to wear masks forever. That's not healthy either. By the way, wearing a mask, I guess we have to do it. But breathing your staler, not healthy, not healthy. So I want to be.


Yeah, I don't want to wear a mask wherever I go. I've been right in the most pessimistic columns for a year.


You go back a couple of weeks, you can see this piece I did on the strains in the New York Times about how these were going to be. It was going to be potentially a period of hell before the vaccines come. I think people are afraid to be caught wrong, optimistic. But I am feeling more optimistic and for three reasons.


One, when I wrote that when these strains were exploding in the UK, in Portugal, in Denmark, in South Africa, you looked at the numbers like, oh my God, like between here and the vaccines is going to be just a period of unbelievable death and destruction. And now the strains are under control like they could.


We could be wrong in three weeks. Things change. Like if the facts change, I'll change my mind. But they're down in the UK, they're down in Portugal, they're down in South Africa, which is not vaccinating at heavy rates. Meanwhile, the vaccines are unbelievably effective in the Pfizer medicine. Johnson Johnson and AstraZeneca, Oxford trials. Not one single person was hospitalized or died, not one single person.


Those are extraordinary vaccines. And America having done everything wrong for a year, we did a terrible job on a lot of stuff for a year.


We actually have the best vaccination program of any major country.


Save maybe the UK in the world.


We could really be in an extraordinarily better place in sixty days. There are always things that could go wrong, but we're getting to a place where if we get enough of 65 and older folks vaccinated, which is happening real quick and people have comorbidities, the level of risk, you know, in 60 days, 100 days by summer can be pretty acceptable. It's not going to go to zero like their diseases. And we can't that we can't expect that they can go to something where you have a normal life again.


And that's what I like, get vaccinated. The supplies that you open up can't vaccinate people, cannot expect numbers to ever go to zero with anything. No flu, potentially. Life's a rough game. It is.


And none of us gets out of it alive and things are moving. No, you don't know that's a fact. But think. Ah, thank you. Things are moving very, very well and I think we need to recognize that. But I do think to think from a medical standpoint, I'm a farmer, I'm not a doctor. That could is the operative term. There's things that can go wrong. So what they're saying is just continue to wear the mask, social distance news, good hygiene.


We're headed in the right direction. And I think that I don't know anybody that's not just sick of this virus and they want to get it behind us. But there's good signs out there. When I flew in the day, the plane was two thirds full and it was a big plane. I haven't seen that since February of last year. So things are moving in the right direction. And I think we should applaud. I don't know what they were doing on the planes, but something I made fun of that when they were first I said, why?


Why can I get on a plane breathing right next to the guy? It is recycled. Coughs and farts. This is the and and I can't go to a baseball game, you know, and sit outside. We're out there three. Feet away from somebody else, they must be scrubbing the air on those planes. Yeah, because I never hear of something going wrong on a plane. There have been a few. But why can't we do that everywhere?


Why the plane is magic. Because the ventilation system. Yeah, well, only available at 30000 feet.


This family planes are small, like the planes are small. It's not that much I know, but you could expand our technological capability.


This is this is to go back to its infrastructure spending. I mean, a bunch of the money in that Biden bill, I think there's 130 billion dollars in there to retrofit schools. That is ventilation. We could spend money to make the world safer like we could. Policy can do good things if we decide to do it. And the planes had a reason to do it and they had the money to spend other places should do it. We should have a lot more ventilated, by the way, not just for covid like air pollution is worse than people think all the time.


Yes, we can actually make the world cleaner and kids like use will go up. People aren't going to get sick like, yeah, let's like spend some money on this thing and spending money on.


And you are the defense, the chair of the Defense Subcommittee of Appropriations. Yeah. So that's a big job. A lot of money, very important. But where a lot of the money goes, can I just military budget. Congress just passed 50 percent higher than the Cold War average when we were in an arms race. All told, the U.S. military budget in 2019 exceeded the next ten countries defense budgets combined. You know, I've been on this for twenty five years, I'm good at it, it's just terrible.


The F the F thirty five, we've spent one point seven dollars trillion on this thing for twenty years trying to make it a thing. And now we realize it'll never be a thing, the F-35, we just bombed Syria and we didn't use it. It was supposed to replace the F-16. It's a turkey at one point. I mean, I feel bad about this, but that's not one point seven trillion that we so.


Pentagon budget is so bloated and we, you know, conflate the term defense, I think, with defense contractors, like a lot of this is money is going to defense contractors. It's socialism for defense contractors. It's not really making us safer. It's not really up to date on what the threats are.


Are you, Senator Jon Tester, going to be the one brave enough to to abide by what Eisenhower said when he left about the military industrial complex and take them on, I think. Oh, sure. I think it's about accountability, Bill.


I mean, truthfully, there's anybody in this room or anybody that's watching this show that doesn't want this country to be safe. They want it to be safe. The question is, are we spending the money in the right ways to keep this country safe? And you say no. And you may be correct. It's up to people like me, me and people like me to ask questions and hold people accountable and make sure these dollars are spent in a way that truly is getting the biggest bang for the taxpayer.


Bill would say we're wasting a lot of dough. We've been wasting a lot of dough for twenty five years. I want to be able to get these folks in front of me. And by the way, I want to get folks from the outside looking and saying, you know, this is why they're right or they're wrong that this money needs to be spent so that you make good decisions based on good information. And if I'm able to get good information, we will for ways if the waste is there.


But what do you think? Just as a question, sure. We would be safer or less safe if we took half the money we spent on planes, took it out and spent twenty five percent that money on cybersecurity, like they're not going to come at us from the air.


And it's so so that's that's what that's what I'm saying is that we're not just fighting the last war. We've all heard that we're fighting three wars ago. We're fighting the Soviet Union in nineteen seventy eight on. And also we never end any of the wars we are fighting. We're still in Afghanistan. Wild. That's what Trump says. So I've had this. My gosh, listen, there's right once and that's why I understand. Right. That's why you go bye bye.


Oh he said it. He you must be wrong because it's the same thing. No, let's just go by what ideas are right.


The truth is, I've had this chairmanship for two weeks and and I think the point you make is absolutely spot on. We need to be prepared for the next war, not the last one. And I couldn't agree with you more. We need to take a look at cybersecurity and make sure where we need to be in the world stage to be able to keep the country safe. So can I just when the time we have left, talk a little bit about something.


I did not want to talk about this. No, it's Trump because, you know, when he after he lost, you know, people would keep coming up to me and saying, are you going to I said, he's gonna stop obsessing.


I don't want to talk about it, but but I have to.


Knowing what's going to happen this weekend at CPAC, I must bring this up about Ill-judged in exile, because as I keep saying, the shark is not gone. We did not. We need a bigger boat. The shark went out to sea for a while. It's going to come back and eat more people on the shore.


He is going to say Sunday that he's the presumptive nominee for twenty twenty four. No one is going to oppose him. There are nine panels at the CPAC convention, all about how the election was stolen, none about why it was lost. That's where they are. If you think twenty twenty four is not going to be nailbiter or that he isn't going to be the nominee. I think you're being naive. I agree.


And yeah, I agree with your assessment. A hundred percent insist he's absolutely the front runner right now and may well be their nominee in twenty twenty four. I don't think there's any doubt about it. Take a look what Mitch McConnell said right after the impeachment and then what he said again yesterday. What are you saying after the impeachment he railed on him? Yeah, I heard a part yesterday said if he's the nominee, I'm voting for him. I will say this forever, right?


Yes, first, yes, he said he was responsible for the riot and immoral and blah, blah, blah, and now he's going to vote for him. I will say this forever. The problem is not Donald Trump. It is a Republican Party. Yes, it's him.


Yeah, it is like I mean, it's voters, which it is Mitch McConnell.


It is all of these folks who come in and don't have the courage to say even just like you are bad for the party at this point and have to go. You lost Steve Scalise, right? All these people who walk around D.C. in a suit and tie and are the normal Republicans are the ones enabling him. And at some point and like this is what history shows over and over and over and over again. If, like the establishment of the right wing party will not stand up to the demagogic players to take it over, your democracy will like is at risk of genuine collapse.


The two wings of the party that I can see are Trump and then the people who want to take his voters who want to be his successor. There's Ted Cruz and Josh Hall. Nikki Haley is they want to be the next nominee, but they're not about to get rid of his voters. They just want to be Trump saying, I'm sorry, just one thing like before the Jaguar ate your face to say, I think the Jaguars and I could eat my face right after.


When you have no face and you've already gone through the capital insurrection to say maybe next time it'll work out differently, like they have no control over this.


Let's not let's they can't keep it in check. Let's not be insensitive to the faceless. All right, it's time. Thank you, guys. You're terrific. It's time for new rules.


Everybody knew. There were all the Colorado man who was feeding his kids lunch when a piece of a Boeing 777 landed in his kitchen must promise the first thing he did after it crashed onto the floor was turned to them and say, see what happens when you don't finish your carrots.


Neuroscience, Americans love challenges, the ice bucket challenge, the cinnamon challenge, the tide pod challenge, there is no take the redneck headline challenge or you have to do is come up with a headline that is more redneck than this one that actually ran in an Alabama newspaper this week. Teen reunited with Pet Rooster lost at Alabama Cracker Barrel after a Civil War reenactment.


OK, here's my entry humping cousins back, knock over tiki torch, set Confederate flag ablaze cause meth lab explosion in trailer park.


Your turn. Nuriel, now that Daft Punk are breaking up, they have to prove that they were ever together because all we ever saw was two helmets.


This could be the dudes who recorded Get Lucky or it could be Tim Allen and Kenny G.


We just don't know. In fact, what we do know is that they were broken up by robot Yoko Ono.


That's. Someone has to break it to every man who lived between 1850 and 1950, that his wife was a lesbian. I'm sorry, Mr. Dudley, but I've seen all 87 of these movies, and while I know you're thinking, oh, rubbish, she's just gone out riding. Well, not exactly. But in a way, yes. Rule now that a pack of stray dogs with blue fur have been found near an abandoned chemical plant in Russia.


Let's pretend it's a new designer breed called a Smurf Apu and sell it to white families in the suburbs. They'll love it. Your youngest child will have a trusted companion and your depressed team can lick its fur and hallucinate.


And finally, new rule, liberals need a stand your ground law for council culture so that when the WOAK mob comes after you for some ridiculous offense, you'll stand your ground. Stop apologizing because I can't keep up anymore with who's on the shit list. Now, lately, Republicans have been trying to appropriate the term cancel culture to describe what happens to them when they get a just comeuppance for actual crimes. And this muddying the water is unfortunate because cancel culture is real.


It's insane, and it's growing exponentially. And it's coming to a neighborhood near you. If you think it's just for celebrities know in an era where everyone is online, everyone is a public figure. It's like we're all trapped in the hills. Have eyes and Wi-Fi.


Take Mr. Emanuel Cafferty.


He is was a San Diego gas and electric worker, but he got fired because someone reported him making a white supremacist hand gesture outside the window of his truck. But he's not a white supremacist. He's Latino. And he wasn't making a hand gesture. He's probably just flicking a booger.


Is this really who we want to become?


A society of phony clenched asshole avatars, walking on eggshells, always looking over your shoulder about getting ratted out for something that actually has nothing to do with your character or morals? Think about everything you've ever texted, emailed, searched for, tweeted, blogged or said in passing or now even just witnessed someone had a Confederate flag in their dorm room in 1990 and you didn't do anything.


You laughed at a Woody Allen movie. Andy Warhol was wrong.


In the future, everyone will not experience fifteen minutes of fame, but fifteen minutes of shame. And sixty two percent of Americans say they have opinions they're afraid to share. Eighty percent of Americans, young, old, rich, poor, conservative, liberal, white, minority, all hate the current atmosphere of hypersensitivity. Yeah, everybody hates it and no one stands up to it. Because it's always the same thing to swallow what you really think and just join the mob.


So if someone asks you if Justin Timberlake owes Britney Spears an apology for not being a perfect boyfriend when they were teenagers, just say yes, easy as Justin did, issuing an abject apology and then vowing to return sexy back to where he found it.


Now, you may be asking, why are we even talking about this now? Well, The New York Times did a documentary about Britney Spears, really The New York Times. What do you see, the searing exposure they have coming up on Pebble's anyway?


In it, we find out that teenage Justin hadn't become a perfect person yet. And when asked if he had sex with the girl whose big hit was called I'm a Slave for you said yes, what a cat.


Although I truly believe any guy willing to wear matching outfits can't be all bad.


Now, as for a song called I'm a Slave for You, Nothing.


This is this the Mandalorian. Gina Carano is a person I'd never heard of and resent that I have now.


She's some conservative wrestling chick who kicks ass on a show I wouldn't watch if I was in prison and she made some Nazi analogy, who doesn't?


These days you're like the Nazis is the new I don't like you, but it's always OK with the Nazi that disqualifies her from marching around planet. Who gives a shit in a helmet?


By the way, you can't work in Hollywood if you don't believe what we believe. Yeah, in the 50s, that's exactly what the left complained they were being told. Now, the week before, it was Chris Harrison's turn in the barrel. He's the host of The Bachelor and is stepping away. Stepping away to educate himself on a more profound and productive level than ever before. Oh, good, good. Because all my life, I've looked up to the host of the Fuck a Stranger show.


And if I thought I couldn't count on The Bachelor for moral guidance, I don't know if I could go on. And of course, he's not stepping away because he's the host of a televised snakepit where thirty two female contestants are trapped in the sorority house from hell.


It's because he wouldn't throw one of them under the bus when it came to light that in college he attended a dress up like we're in the Old South Party, which is not a type of party we should be throwing in that it winks at a civilization built on slavery. Yes, but apparently in twenty eighteen, millions of people were still doing it. And mature people understand humans are continually evolving as opposed to Walkerville, where they're always shocked.


We didn't emerge enlightened from the primordial ooze.


What's Chris Harrison supposed to do? Build a time machine, go back to twenty eighteen and knock the mint juleps out of their hands?


Maybe while he's time traveling, he can have a word with that asshole, Abraham Lincoln, who's now canceled in San Francisco.


And they're thinking about it in Illinois. Yes, the land of Lincoln might cancel the Lincoln Memo to Social Justice Warriors when what you're doing sounds like an Onion headline, stop.


All right. That's our show. I want to thank Ezra Klein, Senator Jon Tester and Megan Kelly. And we'll see you next week. Thank you, folks. 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.