Bill Maher show openly discusses vote fraud, smoking gun memo and the truth about Iraq
by : Bill Maher
Thursday May 19, 2005 - 16:48
clips from the last Bill Maher show of the season with Al Franken, Liz Marlantes and GORE VIDAL!
Okay, let’s get to it. Ohio , what went wrong in Ohio ? The Democrats seem to be in two camps about losing the last two elections. One camp says, “Get over it! You know, you’re making us look worse by just belaboring the fact that we lost to this man.” And the other side says, “No. There are irregularities and they’re stealing elections. And the one thing the Democrats shouldn’t do is get over it.”
GORE VIDAL: Well, I quite agree. We shouldn’t. [applause] If we’re to have a republic. And after the 2000 election, somebody said, “Do you think he’ll get re-elected?” I said, “Well, he hasn’t been elected, so far.” [laughter] [applause] “But he may be reappointed by the Supreme Court.” But I said, “Look, he’ll lose again, but he’ll probably serve a second term, because they’ve got four years between 2000 and 2004 to make sure that he gets an overwhelming vote from Diebold, the electronic machines
MAHER: Yeah, I mean, the thing that I found disturbing about this - and I’m not a conspiracy theorist - is that everybody agrees there were irregularities. And when you say that, the Republicans go, “Well, shit happens.” Except that all the shit favored Bush. [laughter] All the shit that happened seemed to favor one guy.That does strike me as-
LIZ MARLANTES: The Republicans will, if you ask them - I mean, they will offer up certain examples of things they think went wrong that didn’t favor them, like dead people being on the voting rolls in Ohio . They will point to irregularities that didn’t work in their favor as well.
VIDAL: Well, there’s one interesting irregularity. There were three third-party candidates that nobody in Ohio had heard of, except perhaps their mothers-[laughter]-and they’re on the ballot. They got more votes, just three of these people that nobody knew, than Kerry, who was the best-financed Democratic candidate for president in years. Now, that’s very odd.
FRANKEN: Where? I thought Kerry came in second in Ohio , not fifth. [laughter]
VIDAL: Oh, no. It looked like fifth, but it wasn’t.
FRANKEN: But, as a radio host, and as a liberal radio host, I was - I had to think about this right away, on November 3 rd , 4 th and 5 th , 6 th and on. And I didn’t want to be a conspiracy theorist. We called the best experts we knew in voter machinery and voter technology. A guy named Steve Ansolabehere at MIT, a guy at Cornell, and went through as well as we could. [to Vidal] I know that you’ve written the introduction to the Conyers Report.
They won dirty, there’s no doubt about it. Blackwell, the Secretary of State of Ohio , ran - did this in a dirty way. First, he sent out voter registration slips on the wrong weight of paper, and then said they weren’t eligible - the people that had registered that way weren’t eligible. He had to reverse that. He said that people had to - if they filed a provisional ballot, if they weren’t allowed to vote, they had to have tried to vote in the right precinct. And then Republicans called people in the days and nights before the election and told them the wrong precinct to go to.
He didn’t send - he didn’t put enough voting machines in...
MAHER: But your point is that this is normal. That this goes on everywhere, and that’s the way a democracy is run.
FRANKEN: It’s dirty. It’s somewhat normal. They’re dirtier. The Rove people are dirty. They’re just dirty. [applause]
FRANKEN: And - and listen, if they wanted people not to have conspiracy theories, they would have a paper trail. [applause] So if they wanted to actually play this clean and not get people doubting - if you really believe you’re going to win, you don’t want people doubting that you won. You want the certainty- ----------
FRANKEN: Yeah, yeah. [laughter] But not until later. And we found out this week, by the way, from the Downing Street memos, that the “smoking gun,” that this president-
MAHER: Right, but we knew that.
FRANKEN: We knew that, but this just confirmed that he wanted to go to war to overthrow Saddam, and that he would fit - what we didn’t really get quite as confirmed is that he tried to fit the intelligence - I mean, we know that - but this was confirmed.
MAHER: What we know is they wanted to go into Iraq , and they always work on two tracks: here’s what we want to do; what do we have to tell the dummies to sell it? Okay, fear works best, it’s always been good to us. [laughter] Let’s try that again: fear.
FRANKEN: Okay, but now - but now they’re saying - you know, at the inaugural, he said it was about shipping freedom around the world. I’ve gone a few USO tours, and a couple of years ago, I went to Uzbekistan . Okay, now, Uzbekistan , you know, is right above Afghanistan . I went to an Air Force base that serves the war in Afghanistan . And I always like to talk to the PSYOPs guys when I go, like, a base. Because they-
MAHER: The what guys?
FRANKEN: The PSYOPs. They’re the Psychological Operations guys. They’re like the-
FRANKEN: —CIA of the military. And they’re real loose-lipped. They’ll talk to a comedian. [laughter] And so I said to these guys, I said, “Now, how is the Uzbekistan regime?” And they went, “Ah, they’re great! They’re so cooperative.” And I said, “No, no, no. I meant, I’ve heard they’re like the most repressive regime of all the former Soviet republics.” And they said, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re horrible.” [laughter] [applause] “They boil people. They boil people.”
MAHER: Yeah, I heard that. I heard they boil people.
FRANKEN: Yeah. And - and now we read from last week, that we are rendering people to Uzbekistan to be tortured!
And so this is just - it’s just sick. It’s just sick that we’re sending people to get tortured. We don’t believe in democracy. We don’t. Bush certainly doesn’t. [applause] [cheers]
MAHER: Now, Gore, I noticed - I noticed the whole time Al was talking, you’re reading a book. Does that reflect on Al, and how...? [laughter]
VIDAL: No, it was - I was thinking about television, really, and news.
VIDAL: And how - how everything is getting more like television programming, in that it’s all unoriginal. This last election, who was the villain according to Congressman Conyers? I was just looking to make sure I got his name right. He’s the Secretary of State of Ohio, J. Kenneth Blackwell. He was simultaneously co-chair of the Bush/Cheney campaign.
MAHER: That seems to smell of bullshit. [laughter]
VIDAL: Well, I must say it’s overpowering, whatever the scent. [laughter] [applause] Let us hope that it is not formaldehyde for the republic.
MAHER: Yeah. Well, what do you think about what’s going on now in Iraq ? It’s been a bloody couple of weeks.
VIDAL: Well, everybody was wrong. And, I mean, there are people who objected, naturally, to our going in, as it’s no business of ours to rearrange other countries’ governments. [applause] Ours, yes. This is not a second Eden here that we’ve got on our hands. And I’ve never seen a period in which more people are just disconnected; they feel it’s not part of their business anymore when they read about the scandals. Either they’re all untrue, which half the people believe, or if they are true, it’s hopeless. Well, this is a very terrible state to get a country in.
If they did this in 2000, and then they did it again in ’04, they had four years to practice in between, it’s all the same plot. You know, like Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone, crazed killer, is always at hand when anything goes wrong. Well, what’s at hand is always the Secretary of State - remember the lady in Florida with the mascara? [laughter]
FRANKEN: Katherine - Katherine Harris.
MAHER: Katherine Harris, yes.
VIDAL: Wonderful, wonderful human being. [laughter] [applause] She was also co-chair of the Bush/Cheney Republican campaign.
MAHER: Oh, yeah.
VIDAL: While running the electoral machinery of the State of Florida . No big surprise.
FRANKEN: Can we - Iraq is - is really a sad, sad situation. I don’t think we can leave Iraq now. I think if we left Iraq now, it would just descend into a worse civil war. On the other hand, our being there makes things worse as well. I think some of the things that we should be doing right now - because you asked about what we should be doing - we should start investigating the fraud and the profiteering that’s been - there’s $8.8 billion-[applause]-that’s unaccounted for.
MAHER: Yeah, why doesn’t CNN run that on a loop all day long? [laughter]
FRANKEN: Well, why doesn’t - why doesn’t Norm Coleman look at that?I mean, why does - Norm Coleman keeps doing this “oil for food” stuff, but we’ve had on our show, Republican Congressman Jim Leach from Iowa, who wants to get a Truman-like commission together - remember, Truman looked at war profiteering in 1941. It saved a lot of American lives, saved a lot of money.
MAHER: Are you going to run against him?
FRANKEN: I’m - I’m definitely thinking about it. [applause] [cheers] I don’t like...
MAHER: And what - what I was asking him about, I don’t think anyone has ever run against a comedian. I think that is a completely different animal in politics. And-
FRANKEN: Well, people-
VIDAL: You mean to say Bush isn’t a comedian? [laughter] [applause] [cheers]
FRANKEN: We should - but getting back to this, because it is - as I said, I’ve been there a couple times - our troops are great, and because of this fraud, because this money wasn’t spent to reconstruct the country, but instead was stolen, our guys are dying. That’s why this country has descended into chaos. But our Congress won’t investigate it, because it’s a Republican Congress with a Republican president who is giving money to his pals. [applause] And that is - they’ve got blood on their hands. And they won’t look at it. They refuse to look at it. They refuse to look at it. And that is a sin. We should have been - at the beginning - there is less electricity available to the people of Iraq now than before we invaded the place.
FRANKEN: [overlapping]-if you continue to have corrupt companies there stealing money from us, we just - what did we vote, another $82 billion? So it’s just repeating the same thing over and over again.
MAHER: But do you think part of the problem-[to Vidal]-I mean, you’re a historian - is it just we are such an impatient culture that we do not understand that an undertaking of this magnitude just is not going to get done in two years!
FRANKEN: That’s not - that’s not what we were told when it started.
MAHER: Well - well, what we were told, of course, was all bullshit. That’s the given. [laughter] Look who we’re dealing with. But we’re here now. Now that we’re there - of course, you know, I agree, it’s a hard pill to swallow, to say, “Okay, you lied to us, but we’ve got to move on.” But we do gotta move on.
VIDAL: We have to move out , not on.
MAHER: Really? [applause] [cheers]
VIDAL: We have no business there. This is-
MAHER: But will it become if we just pull out?
VIDAL: Well, we didn’t care before what Iraq became-[laughter]-and we don’t care now. [applause] We’ve gone in and smashed the place to pieces so that Halliburton can make some money repairing it. What the Department of Defense knocks down, Halliburton rebuilds at the same cost as it was to knock it down.
MAHER: So there’s no hope, even after the Iraqi election where the people did come out, faced a lot of danger to say to the world, look - and their own people - “We want - we want a different kind of country.” You think there’s no hope that this could actually turn around and become something more decent than it was before under that dictator?
VIDAL: Like Guatemala ? Like Nicaragua ? Like all of those countries that we wrecked down in-[applause]-Central America? We are lousy at this sort of thing.
VIDAL: We are not made for the empire game. We were supposed to be republic. And not in the empire business. And every time we set our foot in, we fall on our face.
MAHER: Okay, one thing we can say for sure about Iraq is that it has made us hated around the world. And as a tribute to how much we’re hated - and I don’t say this - I know, Al, you’ve been accused of the same thing -[to Vidal]-so have you, as, you know, “Oh, they are ‘hating America first.’” We don’t hate America. We love America. We just want it back from the cretins who have taken it over. [applause] [cheers]
FRANKEN: And - and I have to say that I don’t buy the idea - and even - there’s mounting evidence of this - that every Republican who fights against gay rights, every male Republican, is gay. I don’t buy that. [laughter]
MARLANTES: It seems the joke. But then you do have - you have, you know, the Jeff Gannon incident. He was at Tom DeLay’s little tribute last night-
MAHER: Yes, he was.
MARLANTES: He paid his $250 for his plate, and was there with all the, you know, conservative leaders of Washington.
MAHER: Well, we had Jeff Gannon on a couple weeks ago.
MARLANTES: I know you did.
MAHER: And I tried to ask him, you know, “Why were you in the White House so many times when there wasn’t a press briefing going on?” It looked like a Monica Lewinsky situation. [laughter] Why else would a guy be in the White House over and over again unless he had a-
FRANKEN: [overlapping] [with mock naiveté] But that’s not - that’s not possible, because Monica Lewinsky was a woman having sex with a man. Who in the White House would have sex with Jeff Gannon? [laughter] [applause] [cheers]
And finally, New Rule: The people in America who are most in favor of the Iraq war must now go there and fight it. [applause] [cheers] The Army missed its recruiting goal by 42% last month. More people joined the Michael Jackson Fan Club. [laughter] “We’ve done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit.” [laughter] And now we need warm bodies. We need warm bodies like Paula Abdul needs...warm bodies! [laughter] [applause]
Now, I know you’re thinking, but, Bill, I already do my part with the “Support Our Troops” magnet I have on my Chevy Tahoe. [laughter] How much more can one man give? [laughter] Well, here’s an intriguing economic indicator. It’s been over a year since they graduated, but neither of the Bush twins has been able to find work. Why don’t they sign up? [applause] [cheers] Do they hate America or just freedom in general? [laughter] [applause]
And that goes for everybody who helped sell this war. You’ve got to go first. Brooks and Dunn, drop your cocks and grab your socks! [laughter] [applause] [cheers] Ann Coulter, darling, trust me, you will love the Army. [applause] [cheers] You think you make up shit! [laughter]
Curt Schilling, b-bye! [laughter] You ended the curse on Boston. Good. Let’s try your luck in Fallouja. [laughter] Oh, and that Republican Baldwin brother, he’s got to go so that Ted Nugent has someone to frag. [laughter] [applause]
But mostly, we have to send Mr. And Mrs. Britney Spears. [laughter] [applause] Because Britney once said, “We should trust our president in every decision that he makes, and we should just support that and be faithful in what happens.” Okay, somebody has to die for that. [laughter] [applause]
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