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[00:00:01]

Welcome to an HBO podcast from the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. My fake studio audience loved to see you all in your smiling faces. What can I say? It's August and I'm still here at home. I haven't spent this much time in my yard since I used to have to grow my own weed.

[00:00:42]

Oh, I miss my old life, I got to tell you, this time of year, I used to always be like in the Midwest doing stand up gigs on the weekends. And I got a message today. I called up the Westboro Baptist Church and asked if they would come over and picket my house.

[00:01:00]

But hey, let's look on the bright side, we've got a great show got Chris Evans is on Captain America and we're going to be talking about our president, the incredible sulk.

[00:01:14]

Oh, yeah, he had quite a week trump some disastrous interviews, they asked him about the high death tolls from coal, but he said it is what it is, huh? Yes. Thanks, President. Shrug Emoji.

[00:01:27]

I'm I'm sure that look better when Melania wrote it on the jacket. Yeah, he said, you know, his usual litany of crazy things is that the coronavirus will go away like all things go away, says the man who will not go away.

[00:01:47]

I am starting to think something if someone was paid to take his dementia test. And he has been hammering away on Joe Biden's age, I love this, don't vote for this really ancient guy who's three years older than me. Democrats keep grumbling that Biden needs to be more visible. No, no, he needs to be more invisible.

[00:02:18]

Don't fuck this up. This is working. This shit is working. They announced this week Biden will not go to Milwaukee at the Democratic convention where there is none. He will accept the nomination from home in Delaware. He will become the first official candidate to accept the nomination of a webcam and very likely may be the first to accept it without pants on.

[00:02:44]

Could keep him safe, keep the idea of Joe Biden. That's what I really like, let you know, do that thing where he does and watch from home. He says he's going to be watching from home on the state of the Art 13 and CRT color television he takes such pride in. But yeah, it's going to be an interesting night when he accepts the nomination, his wife, Jill, is going to get up on a ladder and drop a balloon.

[00:03:15]

But I tell you, the writing is on the wall here that Biden, I think, is going to win the election and so the Republicans are just going to now steal everything that they possibly can. Listen to this this week, Kodak, Kodak, you know, the picture people were awarded a seven hundred and sixty five million dollar loan to begin producing drug ingredients. I always say you're never too old to start experimenting with drugs. And finally, Trump says he has done more for the black community than anyone since Lincoln.

[00:03:51]

Yes, that's so true because there's so much love in the black community for Donald Trump. For months, they've been marching in the streets chanting his name.

[00:04:00]

All right, we've got a great show, we have Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Paul Begala, Meghan Daum and Chris Evans. I spoke to them all yesterday. Let's get to. OK, my first guest is a distinguished visiting professor at the College of William and Mary and former chief of staff to Colin Powell, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. Great to see you always, Colonel. Thank you for joining us. And I first must say to you, I have a special affection for you because for the last few years, you're the only person I could get interested in my theory that Trump is not going to leave if he did not win the election.

[00:04:39]

So before we get into the details of that, which I know is your area of expertise, it's a given that on Election Day, no matter what happens, he will declare victory. Right. I think so. OK, so you had a group called the Transition Integrity Project. Now that Trump has tweeted, maybe we should delay the election, I assume that things are more urgent than ever over there. What is the plan? What does the Transition Integrity Project do?

[00:05:13]

Let me say that I'm also a member of the National Task Force on Election Crisis, so two groups, the larger group, the task force, looks and has been looking since June of twenty nineteen at the entire process. In other words, everything that's happened and everything that will happen before three November. The tip looks the Transition Integrity Project looks at, as its name suggests, the transition to some 70 days or so between when that election is determined.

[00:05:41]

And it's very important to understand it will not be determined probably on three November. It might be seven, eight, nine November before it's determined because of all the new voting methodologies and votes coming in and coming in well after the election and the usual poll closings occur. So the tip is looking at that time period all the way up to 14 December when the Electoral College must meet all the way to 20 January at noon when the incumbent has to leave the Oval Office.

[00:06:13]

So it's two different perspectives. It's tipped that's been doing the war games.

[00:06:18]

And I think that's the one you're probably interested in war games, meaning that you are gaming out scenarios that happen after November 3rd and what he might do and what the Democrats might do in response.

[00:06:31]

Can you tell us exactly can you tell who's had some really high powered political analysts, scholars and others playing the Republicans? And I might add, many of them are Republicans think the Lincoln Project, for example, and we've had Democrats playing the Dems and we've had different scenarios, one that you might suspect is a complete Biden blowout, that is to say, electoral college and popular vote. Biden wins. Then what does the Trump team do? Another one, as you might surmise also and very difficult and complex, is where there is really a lot of closeness, a lot of indecision, maybe a popular vote one way and the Electoral College vote another way or possibly even no way to determine.

[00:07:16]

And it's thrust into the House of Representatives. So different scenarios, different reactions from each team. Interestingly, when the Republican team got a scenario, decisive Biden win and through its moves out there, the Democratic team was stunned by the arrogance, the sheer power and the sheer indecency, if you will, of the Trump team moves everything from, OK, we got 70 days to destroy the United States government.

[00:07:51]

We got 70 days in which to not provide the incoming team with any transition whatsoever. You want to know what our policy is on Iran, on China, on taxes? You won't know it because we've destroyed all the paperwork and we won't let anyone brief you. You were coming in to an empty White House. There will be no National Security Council staff, nothing to brief you. You might have a note in your desk drawer in the West Wing that says, welcome, you stupid idiot.

[00:08:21]

These moves really put the Democratic team on its feet, coming back with moves that were mostly legalistic, mostly not powerful, mostly not dramatic.

[00:08:35]

And so I think an insight from that game was, hey, you Democrats, you can't be so timid. The Republicans may be quite ruthless. They may be quite strategic. They may be quite arrogant with their power. No, inside here, if you own the government, you have a considerable advantage over those who don't.

[00:08:55]

Yeah, I mean, honestly, that's that's a benign reading of it. Then I would have thought, because at least in that reading they're leaving. Maybe, maybe they're being assholes when they leave and say, well, we're not going to give you the briefing books, but who gives a shit? Fine. Who wants your briefing book? You are a bunch of ninnies anyway, running the government for four years. I don't give a shit what you were doing with China.

[00:09:18]

We're starting anew. I'm worried that he just doesn't leave. So I've asked you what the Republicans are going to do, what the Democrats are going to do. The key question, what does the military do? You're a military man. I know people say it can't happen here. Everything anyone said can happen here has happened here. It could happen here. Now, I know that there's a breakdown between the top leadership. I think they're much more anti Trump.

[00:09:44]

But I've heard you talk about people in the ranks who are like literally neo-Nazis. That's the real issue, I think if you're familiar with General Milley's promenade, I'm sure you are with Trump and Mark Esper, the secretary of defense to St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, Lafayette Square. You know that Secretary Esper was less than happy about that. And you know that Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, actually made a speech to the National War College.

[00:10:14]

And I recommend that to every American citizen. The speech essentially said I should shouldn't go on and explain to all the military officers listening what his view of the Constitution was and so forth, which was quite good. I also happen to know that about three hundred flag officers, that's generals and admirals, weighed in active duty and retired afterwards to let me know that he'd done the right thing. So at that level, the command level, we're probably in pretty good shape.

[00:10:44]

But as you suggested, there are a lot of people in the ranks, particularly the Staff Sergeant Malow. Right. That I'm not so sure about. Many of them voted for Trump. I understand from people I've talked with that that's falling away, that support is falling away a bit because they're not happy with what he's doing and has done with regard to the covid-19 epidemic. But still, that's that's a question. I do think as a military professional, the military will, quote, stay in barracks, unquote.

[00:11:15]

That is why I say it will knock, come out and follow any untoward orders to do anything against the American people at the same time. I wonder what will happen. And here we go back to the scenarios in the tabletop exercises. If Trump calls his base to the streets with their guns is based on something like 60 to 70 percent of the three hundred four hundred million guns in America, if they answer that call and come to the streets with guns, then we probably are going to have a need for the military.

[00:11:46]

And then all bets are off as to how much blood might flow.

[00:11:49]

OK, but just to be clear, obviously, no one thinks any sort of large percentage of people in our military are neo-Nazis or far right supremest, but. There is a faction you think that could be trouble? There are some and I'll give you an example, we just got an email from one who said after I made a remark that times are different today, that we have Muslims in rifle squads, we have Jews in rifle squads, we have Christians.

[00:12:20]

Of course, we have different varieties of Christians. We have Wiccans, we have Jedi knights and rifle squads. You have them all across the the panoply of religious and non-religious beliefs in the military.

[00:12:32]

Today, I got an email from a Marine who said, yeah, you're right, Colonel, I am friends with that Muslim soldier in my squad until we get to combat. And then I'm going to shoot him in the back. Well, on that note, I'll just just go out there and drink myself silly for the rest of the afternoon. It's these are trying times. I'm glad we have a steady hand like you watching it for us. I sure hope it comes out better than the worst scenarios might suggest.

[00:13:03]

And what can I say? Let's have faith in America and hope for the best. Thank you.

[00:13:09]

Let me throw something else at you. Another group of belong to the Silver Linings Group out of New York is doing a lot of people like Mark Cuban and LeBron James and so forth to create their working with the baseball league, the NFL, the NHL, the NBA to create these voting centers like Louisville had recently. They they'll turn their arenas over and 300 or 400 voting stations will be set up. And this is a marvelous development in terms of the nineteen epidemic, because you can stay safe and you can stay healthy in these centers.

[00:13:43]

So this is an initiative that's happening to I think the American people are coming together in a way that's really positive to make sure this is a free and fair election.

[00:13:52]

Yeah, I, I got my fingers crossed and yeah, I think we'll be here next year. Thank you. Appreciate it. Carter. OK, here's our panel. He is a CNN political contributor and author of the new book Your Fired The Perfect Guide to Beating Donald Trump, Paul Begala. And she is the host of the new podcast, The Unspeakable, and author of The Problem With Everything My Journey through the New Culture Wars, wanting to meet you for a long time.

[00:14:21]

Meghan Daum, Megan, big fan of yours. Listen, if you guys think I'm a little upset right now, I just had a very disturbing conversation with Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. So that may be why and we were talking about the election. I didn't get to the topic that I wanted to. Let me ask you about this. The mail looks like democracy might be lost in the mail. You know, I knew Trump was going to steal this election.

[00:14:49]

I never could have predicted that it would be politicizing the US mail. But that's where we're going. Fifty one percent of Democrats say they plan to vote by mail. Only 20 percent of Republicans do. What are we going to do about this problem of them stealing the election through the mail?

[00:15:10]

Well, first first, thanks for having me on. I wish I was there in person first. Democrats are holding up the covid relief bill over over this and other things.

[00:15:20]

And I think it's terrific. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, they need to fight like hell to make sure that the Postal Service is fully financed so they can do this. One of the things that the Trump guy who's in there running the Postal Service is doing already is he's canceled overtime. He's telling mail carriers, if you're backed up, just leave that stuff back there. So mail is slowing down already. He's setting the stage for this. The other thing that the Democrats need to do that I'm doing is explain to people that vote by mail has been around for 150 years.

[00:15:49]

It's perfectly safe. It's perfectly ethical. It's perfectly honest.

[00:15:53]

The five states vote a hundred percent by mail already and have for quite some time. I took a look at Colorado, which is a swing state. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU looked at all the vote by mail in Colorado, you know, much fraud.

[00:16:04]

There was zero point zero zero zero zero zero zero one percent. That is one ten millionth of one percent. So it is the most ethical, safest way. By the way, there's another option that people need to know. A lot of places you can just drop off your ballot. You don't even need to use email a lot of places on pushing states to counties to do this, put a drop box at the firehouse, put the Dropbox at the police station, put the Dropbox at the government center so that you don't even have to bother Jessee, the mailman.

[00:16:34]

You can go down to the to the firehouse. But that's not really the issue we know at works. Right. Who are we arguing with? The problem is that they're going to gum up the works so that it doesn't work, so that there's a surge in ballots that come as there always are right before the election. And it can't be handled by the post office because he appointed his lackey to head the post office and because they're sabotaging it from the inside.

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That's what I'm asking. What do we do about that? We know the thing works. It was staffed correctly. So it's why they have to fund it.

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Right. And the Democrats are forcing that. They're pushing that. I think they're going to win that fight, which will expand the capacity of the postal service, but also we can work around it.

[00:17:19]

That's why I love these Dropbox's. Some people who are younger and healthier, are not at risk, can and should vote in person. By the way, your audience skews young if you can, and it's safe, you should volunteer to be a poll worker. The majority of poll workers are over 60, so young people going to volunteer to work at the polls can shorten the line so that in-person voting is less dangerous. That's another thing that anybody who's watching this show can do.

[00:17:42]

OK, let me ask about the vice presidency. Why don't you handle this one, Meghan? You get the first crack at this because you're a first timer here. Who do you think it should be? Which black woman?

[00:17:56]

You know, I have to say, I don't I don't have a favorite. And what really troubles me about this whole dynamic is that, you know, wouldn't I cringed when Joe Biden during that debate in March, said he was committing to picking a woman. Don't get me wrong, I will be happy when he announces a woman running mate. It would be wonderful to see a woman of color, but it was a setup. What he did by by committing to that was was set up, whoever it is, is his running mate to be boxed in and to have to deal with a whole bunch of stigmas.

[00:18:34]

There's going to be a whiff of tokenism. It would have made me so much happier if he had said I will pick the most qualified person and then pick a woman. Instead, he set somebody up right. For all kinds of all kinds of whiffs of tokenism. And frankly, if it is a woman of color, which it's looking increasingly like it will be, that stigma will play out on multiple fronts. And it's it's really not fair. And now it's a foregone.

[00:19:02]

Inclusion and, you know, people who are now talking about this strategist, pundit, it's who will she be? The pronouns are already in place and it's starting to sound like picking the homecoming queen. And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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I have to say, Paul, you're one of the best handicappers I know who from a strategy point of view, who do you say is the smart pick?

[00:19:26]

You know, I don't know, because I think what Biden is going to do is pick someone who can be a good governing partner the way he was for Obama. That depends on the report that he has in the room. So I can't I'm not there. I don't know. I was I was actually surprised when Clinton picked Gore, who turned out to be a terrific pick.

[00:19:42]

So I just don't know. Honestly, I.

[00:19:44]

I will say that we've had I largely agree with Megan that I think was a tactical mistake, but a strategic genius to make sure that you have a woman on the ticket.

[00:19:55]

We've had forty eight vice presidents, every single one a man, every single one white women. If they get a run between now and the year two thousand two hundred fifty one, they'll only be tied with men in place. So it's about time. It really is. I don't I can't handicap who, though. I really don't know.

[00:20:12]

OK, you say in your your book, which I read in one Big Gulp, it's like a novel almost, but it's about how you could we could beat Trump and and you say you have there's a chapter that says will guarantee it. Do you want to you want to tip what that is or do we have to buy the book to know what the answer is?

[00:20:33]

Yeah, this is actually so obvious, but Democrats never do it. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, they're the most popular programs in America. Trump has proposed cutting them by two trillion dollars in his last two budgets in a row. Democrats never talk about it.

[00:20:50]

Understandably, we get distracted by the racism, the misogyny, the Islamophobia. I mean, we get distracted in some ways, understandably. But Ronald Reagan, who was twice, 10 times a politician, a Trump, could have never gotten away with a two trillion dollar cut in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. So I suggest in the book that Democrats like sit there, Apple Watch every five minutes and just spit it out. Just repeat it. I love Beyonce's new film.

[00:21:15]

And Trump wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. It is it's beloved, by the way. It's disproportionately going to impact Trump voters. You could actually peel off a lot of seniors from Trump if you tell them the truth, but which is to pay for his tax cut for corporate America, which was two trillion. He wants to cut grandma's Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

[00:21:35]

But I must tell you that he will just say, as he always does. They're the ones who cut it. I he'll just say fake news and lie his ass off. And, you know, people will will believe that. But OK, let me move on to this. I read today that his poll numbers have stabilized. He was getting his ass kicked real bad by Biden a few weeks ago. How does this happen now? He's within striking distance again.

[00:22:02]

How does a guy who is this viral video of a school bus fire have this much popularity left with people? Whose fault is that? Is that is that people who just you want to judge on the right, who, you know are not smart enough to see through this con man or do they know he's not good? But there's there's something going on on the left that they hate even more.

[00:22:29]

Megan, I think that progressives have to get smart about who who are they're going to get behind, who they're going to come out and vote for, who they're going to get excited about being the vice president. You know, I can address that actually by by saying something about Elizabeth Warren, of all people. You know, progressives had a really hard time getting their minds around the idea that she was not going to be the nominee. She was incredibly intelligent, highly, highly qualified, meticulously prepared, charismatic, all of that.

[00:23:01]

And yet she couldn't go the distance. I think that people forget to consider the fact that, you know, the presidency is it's not like the most intellectual gig. You know, I think that's clear now, but it never has been. Yeah, it's not a job for egghead intellectuals. And, you know, I love Barack Obama. I'm number one fan. I'm glad he was president. But there were moments there where I couldn't help but think that on some level the job was beneath him.

[00:23:35]

It wasn't using his skill set. The job of the president is to to unify people, to be a deal maker, a horse trader, to function as a symbol. And I think progressives make the mistake of thinking that they need to support, like the smartest person, the person who is most like them. They they forget that there is there is sort of an inherent blandness to the job, and that can be a good thing. And so I'm worried that progressives are not going to show up and vote for for Biden.

[00:24:08]

And that may be the reason we're seeing a slight uptick in Trump optimism this week.

[00:24:15]

Let me read a couple of stories that I saw in The New York Times this week. See what you think about this. I just read about this guy's name, Tom Goodwin. I don't know who he is. He is an executive at an ad group, Public Publicness Group. And he got chicken because he tweeted he said he found the total obsession with covid deaths, overall deaths gruesome. He said, seventy five hundred Americans die every day, but only the ones with this precise new virus matter.

[00:24:44]

Now, you may not agree with that opinion, but it's an opinion.

[00:24:48]

OK, now I read the very next day, I read the biggest monster rebounds, tuberculosis, HIV and malaria are making a big comeback. Tuberculosis was already the biggest infectious disease killer worldwide, a million and a half lives every year. So until this year, though, all three were going away. Now they're making a comeback. The World Health Organization's director of the malaria program said covid-19 risks derailing all our efforts and taking us back to where we were 20 years ago.

[00:25:21]

Diverted scientific attention from these three diseases is causing this. The lockdowns have raised insurmountable barriers to patients who must travel to obtain diagnosis. I mean, all this stuff. In other words, he wasn't even wrong. But at worst, you could make the case, and I think people don't like I said this last week, but I have to say again, people don't like living in a country where you can't have an opinion and they blame the left for it.

[00:25:54]

We are in this moment of a narrative free for all the conspiracy theory is a is a loaded phrase, it's a loaded term. But frankly, nobody is in agreement on what any set of facts are. I think that 24 percent of Americans think there is some truth to the theory that global elites, you know, set the virus upon us. And I mean, there are just a million iterations of these things. And frankly, there are there are intelligent, educated people that believe some version of this or some aspects of certain versions of this.

[00:26:32]

And we just don't have enough information. The masks work. They don't work. This this treatment works. It doesn't. And granted, this is a novel virus. We're learning as we go. But I don't think I don't think a lot of Americans are sort of like cognitively able to metabolize such conflicting strains of information. It requires dealing with cognitive dissonance in a way that we're just not very good at. And you're also allowed to have an opinion other than the one true opinion.

[00:27:01]

I'll stop talking about it there. All right. So Mango learned a new word this week. Anarchist. He was talking about what's going on in Portland. He said you had radical anarchists, you had horrible people, always so many horrible people, absolute anarchist, and in many cases professionals. You know, anarchists are bad enough. But when they're professional, I think we all know that's the end of it. But this is a this is a new thing with him.

[00:27:31]

You know, that there's anarchists and he's going to restore order. I can't help but think how Richard Nixon in 1968 ran on I'm going to end the war in Vietnam did not. And then was enough of a salesman to in 1970 to run again on I'm going to end the war in Vietnam. As somebody once said, that's quite a salesman. Well, you don't do it the first time, OK? Trump seems to be running on its American carnage, except now there is because of him.

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What do Democrats do about that? Right.

[00:28:03]

I think they have to take the fight to Trump. I mean, it is it is, first off, professional anarchists. They're probably hard to organize.

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I don't know when they had staff meetings, Zoome calls.

[00:28:13]

You know, it's baloney. But the Democrats have to take the fight to him. The conservatives today believe that wearing a mask to visit your grandma in the nursing home is tyranny. OK, but camouflaged, unmarked men in body armor ripping peaceful protesters off the streets and thrown into unmarked vans. Oh, that's law and order. That that's what it is to be a conservative today. The key to this, I think, is for Democrats to make it about voters lives, that Trump always will always try to create some mythical enemy out there.

[00:28:49]

It's antifa if you listen to him or the anarchists or all that nonsense.

[00:28:53]

Meanwhile, your life sucks because of him. We got one hundred and sixty thousand people dead because of what he did and failed to do. We have tens of millions of jobs lost for him. By the way, the opioid crisis has only gotten worse. We lost seventy one thousand people to drug addiction last year, most of them to opioids. Thirty eight thousand a handguns, violence. He hasn't done squat for what we're paying him to do. And there is an appeal.

[00:29:18]

There is with him when he says, I hate the same people you hate, but Democrats have to poke through that and say that's not the point. The point is he's trashing your life. And that's that's like that's like the hope of you read the book. That's the whole point. The book is it. Don't be completely distracted by Trump and his latest thing. You know, his whole recent presidency has been a match race between stupid and evil.

[00:29:40]

And the truth is, no matter who wins, you lose. Right? He rope a dope shoe, doesn't he, by doing crazy shit, and then you wind up talking about his crazy shit and not what you what we're going to do for the American people.

[00:29:53]

Right this week. I'm sorry. This week, that's all the Democrats are all I'll get their panties to watch because Trump says, I'm going to give my convention speech from the White House, which is actually illegal. It's uncool. I don't like it.

[00:30:04]

It's not going to change anybody's life. He could give it in the White House and some convention hall in North Carolina. And meanwhile, a thousand people are dying. He should give him a makeover award. He should give it from a morgue. He should give it from a cemetery because those are the hallmarks of his presidency. That's how Democrats should answer that instead of, like, wringing their hands about the Hatch Act.

[00:30:21]

And I know in your book you say, you know, you got twenty six wrong because you forgot Bill Clinton's first rule of politics, which is make it about them, not about you and or even the other guy. But let me ask you about Bill Clinton, because this is always comes up with the Democrats with every election. What do we do with the Clintons now? Seriously? I mean, now Bill Clinton, people are saying that there are witnesses who saw him on Jeffrey Epstein's sex island.

[00:30:49]

Obviously, that's denied. Well, I mean, you shake your head like that. That's impossible, Bill Clinton, a horny guy on sexual island, ridiculous, I mean, that just so not look, it's possible. My my question is, you know, he has assets and he has things that are not quite assets. And same with Hillary. What do what do the Democrats what should they do? Megan, you go first with the Clintons.

[00:31:14]

Well, I mean, why why are we not allowed to have any problematic people from my past? I mean, the Republicans have their share of incredibly unsavory figures and a lot of them are still in office. I would just say let's can we take the Clintons off the table for the moment? We've got enough distractions. It's like let's let's move on.

[00:31:35]

But they are distractions. That's the point is they are they are huge distractions. I could see them being huge distractions. That that's why I'm asking this question. Paul, what do you think?

[00:31:48]

He did win two landslide presidential elections in a row. She did win more votes than Trump. So they're pretty talented politicians. The part of the problem the Democrats have is that they have a really good base, a bench right there, Barack Obama, that Michelle Obama, they have lots of talent. It's very hard to deploy them all, actually, when you're in a covid quarantine. So actually, there's plenty of places, I think, to send them to campaign.

[00:32:11]

And they could do a whole lot of good, particularly Bill Clinton has credibility on the economy, which is the one issue holding Trump up right now is still holding him up. And in the end, it's the last thing I guess people think they saw him portray a CEO on a cardboard set for 14 years on NBC. So they feel like he's a businessman in the economy. I think Bill Clinton could puncture that. And if it was me, that's what I'd send him out to do.

[00:32:35]

OK, my last thing is Tina Smith, senator from Minnesota, is proposing a full on legalization of pot. I just want to say, if the Democrats had a brain in their head, they would get behind this huge I've said this many times before. This could be your winning issue, some personal issue. People like tot he. Well, look, everybody has their drug of choice.

[00:33:00]

I've never smoked weed and I'm not. I like beer. Come over.

[00:33:04]

Come over here. Exactly. I like beer. You like weed? Trump likes hydroxy chloroquine.

[00:33:10]

OK, fine. Everybody gets a drug of choice. All right. But what changed me on this bill, and I hope it changes, Joe, is it took me a long time. This has been going on a long time, but I was blind to it. You know, you don't know what? You don't live. The ACLU did a study in in all 50 states and in 95 percent of our counties that have more than one percent black population, black people are arrested for weed.

[00:33:33]

Three hundred and sixty four percent more. They don't use it more, they're arrested, so it has been a tool of systemic racism and and Joe needs to wake up to that. I've woken up to it. So I think he needs to to to join me very late comer to this cause. But it is time because the way it's been used to systemically discriminate against people of color.

[00:33:55]

Exactly. It needs to be made part of the Black Lives Matter message. It needs to be rolled into Tibet. The discussion about structural racism, about policing, about about school to prison pipeline, all of that. It's a very it's a very organic match. It's they fall perfectly into each other. So someone just needs to be smart about how to integrate that and have the conversation.

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So you're saying we should take something organic and roll it into. All right. Yeah, I'm going to do that as soon as I get out it.

[00:34:25]

All right. Thank you. So PostOffice. Thank you, guys.

[00:34:29]

A real pleasure talking to both of you. We'll see you soon.

[00:34:33]

Thanks, Bill.

[00:34:36]

Well, it's back to school time. The little ones are going off to school. Well, wait, they're not because, you know, the pandemic and almost half of parents say they're going to homeschool. And of course, with any phenomenon that big, there's going to be a magazine about it. And we got it. The inaugural issue of better homes and kindergartens. Would you like to see some of the articles in the inaugural issue? I'm sure you would.

[00:35:01]

For example, there's you've taken attendance now. What drug taking in the classroom, how to get away with it without your children noticing, calling their bluff, making your kid wait till the dog shits on his homework, gets the dog, ate the homework ways to shut your kids up that aren't technically illegal. Becoming the gym teacher made me realize I'm gay. What do you do when your student turns 30 and still won't move out of the classroom? One mother's revelation, it wasn't the teacher, my kid really is a little asshole, what to do when you're frustrated, exhausted and out of ideas.

[00:35:45]

A guide today to the best cough syrups that make naptime really last. And can you still put your kids up for adoption? The answer may surprise you.

[00:36:01]

OK, my final guest and actor, producer and director who originally founded the civic engagement platform A Starting Point, oh, it doesn't say he's also Captain America. I guess people know that. Chris Evans. All right. Yes. I think you've done that in a few movies. Hey, how are you doing? Are you and I know you have places in L.A. and you're I know you Boston guys. It's yeah. Yeah. Galectin guys are very loyal to your home turf.

[00:36:28]

But, you know, I think in this these days, the carnival of horrors, that is twenty twenty, I felt like I just wanted to be home.

[00:36:37]

Yeah, I figured you would. And I read that like for you quarantining. You said it was not that big a difference because you're home alone all the time anyway.

[00:36:48]

Is that because you leave the house. Yeah. I mean that that's not true. I'm not like you know, I'm not like, you know, I'm not like agoraphobic or anything, but but I just you know, it takes me a while before I need human contact. I like being alone.

[00:37:02]

Yeah. Maybe it's that. Or maybe you're kind of guy who just doesn't need to leave the house to get laid. I think that I wish that were the case, but. Yeah. Oh, yes. Oh, poor you. By the way, some of the women around our office have mentioned that if you need someone to quarantine with, they are. But they thought I was Chris Hemsworth. They're voluntary. Yeah. Anyway, let's go to politics.

[00:37:24]

I know you started this website called A Starting Point. I'm going to let you explain it. It's your baby. You were talking to me about this years ago. Yeah. You've been brewing this a very long time. I know it's really important to you. So you explain what it is and what you want to accomplish with it.

[00:37:40]

Sure. Well, it grew over time. I think when you and I spoke about it, it was only in its infancy initially. It was just meant to kind of demystify certain political issues. I wanted to try and, you know, I'm a bit of a political junkie and I know a lot of people are wary of the political landscape because it's daunting. And when I tried to Google things in the past, I found that there is a missing piece there, this kind of gentle entry way into kind of basic political political understanding.

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So we wanted to create a site that would ask the questions that the average American would want to know what what what's Toca, what's the difference of Medicare and Medicaid and have it answered by people across the political spectrum. So that's where it began. And then over time, it grew into these other sections now that try to explore debate but but ultimately creates engagement just as more participation in the political process.

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And it's and what I love about it is that it's well, a couple of things. One, it's bipartisan. You know, I met last year at the end of the year, the last good year we had I was trying to say something to people that I did a long editorial about how we can't own each other. You know, no one wants to try to work together anymore. They just want to own the other side. They don't really want to coexist.

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They want to vanquish them. And I feel like what you are doing is trying to say, no, that never can work, which is what I was saying. Even if the Democrats win, did all the Republicans in the country are not going to self deport? Right. They're still going to be.

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There is. And I suppose this has always been true. There's the perception of injustice on all sides, which is probably par for the course. But but this is a we're going to live in a country of 300 million plus we we're in a relationship with the other side. We have to find a way, you know, most relationships, if they're toxic and unhealthy, illegal, we can't leave this one. We have to find a way to speak to one another, to listen to one another, find common ground and move the ball down the field.

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And we just kind of retreated to our own sides. And it's become such a toxic culture. And I think that breeds apathy and dispirited disinterest. And I think when that happens, politics stops working the way it could.

[00:39:57]

I think that is the exact right analogy. It's a relationship that you can't leave.

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You know, we have to find the tools necessary. We can't leave and pretend you're not there. We can't just scream louder than you. We have to find a way to speak to each other.

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And people in a relationship know the three most important words aren't I love you there. Let it go.

[00:40:18]

Oh, I was going to say I hear you for that. I think the most important thing, in my humble opinion, I mean, I'm single, so I guess I'm not doing something right.

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But I would argue that I think just saying it for you again, you know, it's just to say I hear what you're saying. That doesn't mean I agree with you. That doesn't mean I endorse what you're saying. It just lets you know that I'm listening. And I think right away we start to put our our weaponry down when we realize that we're in a discussion or someone else is recognizing who we are. And, you know, it's it's not a pleasant process trying to find common ground and no one's going to get the whole loaf.

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But but we have to get better.

[00:40:53]

Well, maybe with women out there hearing you say how much you like to listen, someone some day. That's all this was, this is basically like my my I think someone will take pity on you and go out because I feel for you again. But the other thing I love about it is there's no like I feel like like have ruined America. They make people inauthentic and phony and virtue signalling. And I call it the avatar. It's not the real you.

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It's the you that you put out in public and your you have no message board there. You have no likes. We got to get back to that. Right. Just information. Yeah.

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I mean, I think, you know, being an actor, you have an intimate relationship with message boards and I've never in my life felt better after reading one. And and, you know, I think politics in general is a very vitriolic landscape. And I think that's one of the things that turns people off. So so I think we just wanted to remove that. There are some negative reward mechanisms when it comes to likes and comments and things like that.

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And I think we just wanted to keep it purely scholastic. And I think both I think not only to the viewers of the site, but the contributors of the site also appreciate.

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And where did you get your interest in politics? Was it from your uncle? I know your uncle Mike Capuano, right? Yeah. He was the longtime congressman who was unseated recently by Ayanna Pressley. Right. That's the district you are probably in now where you grew up, right?

[00:42:23]

It's actually not where I grew up, but that's close. OK, so is that is that why you became so interested in politics? Because of Uncle Mike?

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Not you know, maybe I might. My family has always been very altruistic, very passionate, unafraid to share their point of view. And I you know, I don't know it, to be honest. It's not that I'm interested in politics. You know, it's it's more about trying to help. And politics, to me seems like this weird broken machine that we've all kind of given up on. But the truth is, if we gave it a spit shine, this thing might actually work.

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And that starts with participation and engagement. And again, it's become such a toxic landscape, it it breeds this exhaustion. People just can't they can't be bothered. You know, these are, you know, intelligent people that I'm speaking about, the people who are anxious that they understand it's their civic duty, but it still feels so daunting. Life as it is is is overwhelming enough. So to to dive into a pool where everyone is just so horrible to one another, there's no interest.

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And so I think there's a way to kind of, you know, bring that back to us.

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So, you know, you don't see yourself running ever. That's not something in your future because we are entering an era. I think I mean, it started with Reagan or even a little before Reagan, but now we move to Trump and where really people look to show business for Ford, that's who that who has the credibility.

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They have name recognition. Look, it's a dumbed down society. So I think in the future you could see, you know, Clooney, Ben Affleck, a lot of these people. And that's is that for you?

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I would never you know, I just don't know enough. That's another thing. I think we're all kind of scared to say. I don't know. I don't know. And I don't know enough. So I wouldn't to service or disrespect the position by thinking that I can handle it. I've thought about, you know, somehow helping in that capacity. But it would require a lot of homework.

[00:44:30]

Well, listen, I'm not pushing it around or not to run, but I just want to disabuse you of this one thing. I've spent a very long time on television talking an awful lot of politicians, and I know you pretty well by now. You know a lot more than a lot of them do. They're fucking idiots. A lot of them. All you need to run is a fucking clip on tie and a suit. There's no qualifications. And that's proven every day by the guy at the top of the world right now.

[00:44:57]

He knows, you know what, I. I want him, but don't do it because you think you know less than they do because they don't have they don't have to know anything and many of them don't.

[00:45:07]

Well, I think my heart's in the right place, but there's a real there's a real tapestry of cause and effect. You know, you might think you're fixing one thing and the downstream impact is something you could have never been aware of. So I just think before I delve into that requisites, I think you can get away with that in mind. Just reading. I'm going to try to direct. Why not? You know, I think I think when it comes to politics, you've got to have a little bit more reverence.

[00:45:32]

OK, well, I'm anxious to see your next project. I always enjoy in the movies. I hope the epidemic and the pandemic end soon. And your loneliness epidemic will follow soon after that.

[00:45:44]

I to these thoughts and this is it. This was it. Put out the feelings, thoughts and prayers. Evans All right. We'll see you soon. Thanks for doing it. OK, time for Newroz backyard additions again, new rules.

[00:46:03]

Here we go, Daryl, I know that it's terrible so many people are out of work, but you have to admit there's at least a million people in this country that are so awful at their job, it's actually better they're not working baristas on their cell phones, waiters who disappear, salesmen who call you chief mechanic to rip you off, the cashier who always reacts to you walking into the store like it's the worst thing that ever happened to them. I'm not into free handouts or able bodied workers, but I wouldn't mind Uncle Sam cutting them a check each month to stay home forever.

[00:46:38]

There were all the French baker who he uses urine, she gathers from public toilets to make what she calls Goldilocks bread has to answer one question for people here in L.A. It doesn't have gluten, does it?

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Will the British man who lost his penis to an infection and is growing a new one on his arm must answer this question. You know, that's not where it goes, right? But, hey, congrats on your can do attitude at a time when everybody wants other people to solve their problems. You said, screw it, I'm going to roll up my sleeves and do it myself. You're a shining example of that classic adage. When life hands you lemons, make an arm dick.

[00:47:28]

Oh, and bonus joke for political junkies neuro. Can't your mom have anything? Even her idol. Jeez, she's been trapped with your dad for five months, checking your temperature, thinking of new ways to make pasta and crying in a car the bank is going to take. And now Biden is going to let Antifa Luder condo at least let her have her gay best friend.

[00:47:57]

Nurul America's scolds have to stop freaking out about this picture of Jerry Falwell Jr. and his friend on a yacht. Haven't you ever seen a married Republican Christian University president before? I don't know what I like best about this picture. The creeping hand, the unzipped skinny jeans, the black underwear, the redhead and the daisy dukes whose pants are also unzipped, or the fact that he the kind of creep who uses a plastic cup on a yacht.

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And finally, new rule, if even dead people hate you, you got to ask, am I doing something wrong? You know, the only bipartisan agreement we seem to have these days is that neither party wants Donald Trump at their funerals. John McCain, Barbara Bush, Elijah Cummings, John Dingell and now John Lewis. All their families felt the same way. Our loved one is dead. Don't ruin it. Trump is about as welcome a funeral as the gypsy woman who wanders into restaurants and sells you roses at a business dinner.

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And he's the president and people still don't want him there. It's like a children's hospital turning down Batman. What kind of spectacular prick do you have to be that everyone's last request is make sure that asshole is it at my funeral? You know, I watch the eulogies last week for John Lewis and was struck by the genuine outpouring from everyone who ever encountered this model of a man, and I thought of Trump and actually felt sad for him because at his funeral, no one will ever talk about him like that.

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Then I thought maybe if Trump could hear what a eulogy for him would sound like, maybe that would give him some insight into himself. So I've prepared a modest example. Now let me be clear, so the Secret Service feels no need to visit. I wish Donald Trump a long, healthy life, someplace where he can't harm America. And I have only condemnation for anyone who would ever wish any president, no matter how much you dislike them, any physical harm.

[00:50:20]

But in the adventures of Tom Sawyer, when Tom and Huckleberry Finn get to attend their own funeral, they learn a lot about themselves. So in that spirit, let us imagine ourselves many years in the future and listening to these soothing words.

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Dear family and frenemies of Donald Trump, some men look at the world and ask why Donald Trump looked at the world and asked What's in it for me? His generosity knew only limits, and he never once failed to put himself before others. He was a devoted father who every day tried to teach his children the wrong lessons of life. Be quick to anger, never let go of a grudge, see the worst in people and treat them all equally based strictly on how much money they make and what they look like.

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So many wanted to speak here today, but couldn't break their nondisclosure agreements and our hearts go out to Melania who RSVP maybe. Donald always said he knew she was the one the moment he saw her and said those three little words add to cart.

[00:51:48]

Donald loved so many things. Lawsuits, porn stars, dictators, organized crime and the thirty five percent of the American people who still like them, the other sixty five percent could go fuck themselves. He once said that the experience of not being in Vietnam taught him the most important lesson of all, that there's no problem so big you can't lie your way out of it. And when it came to flouting the law, he was a criminal's criminal and intellectually a midget among giants, a man of few words, about 100, mostly tremendous, disgusting, strongly and shithole.

[00:52:38]

Donald Trump. Never met a man he liked, and yet he always suffered fools, you could tell him anything and he believe it. It's painful to think he could still be with us if only his personal physician wasn't that lady who believe medicine came from outer space. Donald's greatest hero, Winston Churchill, said of his own mortality. I'm ready to meet my maker, whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. Well, God trumps your problem now, as for me personally, I guess what I'll miss most about Don is his dull wit.

[00:53:22]

He was never laughing and when he made you laugh, it was always unintentional. But as a walking parody of himself, he was a challenge to satirize and made me a better comedian for it. He died as he lived wearing makeup and lying in front of all of us.

[00:53:43]

So fly free, whiny little bitch, fly free. May you find the piece. Your Twitter thumbs never could. OK, that's our show. I want to thank my guests, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Paul Begala, Meghan Daum and Chris Evans, and we'll be back next week.

[00:54:03]

Good night. 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.