The Watering Hole, Monday, October 28th, 2013: Bill Maher: “You Cannot Have Both”

This past Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”‘s panel consisted of Michael Moore, a surprisingly quiet Al Sharpton, Valerie Plame, and Richard Dawkins. And while the group had some interesting discussions, the best part of the show came in Bill’s soliloquy at the end of the show. Crooks and Liars has the video, but I have borrowed their transcript, here:

MAHER: “Now, when it comes to raising the minimum wage, conservatives always say it’s a non-starter because it cuts into profits. Well, yeah. Of course. Paying workers is one of those unfortunate expenses of running a business… you know, like taxes, or making a product.

If you want to get rich with a tax-free enterprise that sells nothing, start a church.

You might think that paying people enough to live is so self-evident that even crazy people could understand it, but you would be wrong.

Michele Bachmann is not only against raising the minimum wage, she’s against having one at all. She once said “if we took away the minimum wage… we could virtually wipe out unemployment because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.”

Put that in your brain and smoke it. You could hire everyone if you didn’t have to pay them. And naturally, Ted Cruz agrees. Ted Cruz thinks it’s a good thing that when his Cuban father came to America he was paid $.50 an hour to work as a dishwasher, before becoming Charo.

When did the American dream become this pathway to indentured servitude? This economic death spiral where workers get paid next to nothing, so they can only afford to buy next to nothing, so businesses are forced to sell cheaper and cheaper shit?

Walmart employees can only afford to shop at Walmart. McDonalds workers can only afford to eat at McDonalds. And Hooters waitresses have to wear shirts they grew out of years ago.

Even if you’re not moved by the “don’t be such a heartless prick” argument, consider the fact that most fast food workers, whose average age by the way now is 29, we’re not talking about kids, are on some form of public assistance. Which is not surprising. When even working people can’t make enough to live, they take money from the government in the form of food stamps, school lunches, housing assistance, day care. This is the welfare that conservatives hate.

But they never stop to think, if we raised the minimum wage and forced McDonalds and Walmart to pay their employees enough to eat, we the taxpayers wouldn’t have to pick up the slack.

This is the question the right has to answer. Do you want smaller government with less handouts, or do you want a low minimum wage? Because you cannot have both.

If Col. Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, then Uncle Sam has to, and I for one am getting a little tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers.”

Bravo, Bill – hear, hear!

O/T: Today my mum would have turned 93 – Happy Birthday, Mum, wish you were here.Scan10002

This is our daily open thread, got anything on your mind that you’d like to discuss?

74 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, October 28th, 2013: Bill Maher: “You Cannot Have Both”

        • What’s in a name?

          My grandmothers’ names were ‘Hilma’ and ‘Mathilda,’ (Swedish and German, resp.) Meanwhile, granddads’ (both Swedish) names were, resp., ‘Andrew’ and ‘Ted’ (Theodore). My mother’s first and middle names were ‘Margie Ordella;’ my father was named ‘Vernon Cornelius.’ IOW, many names do, honestly, deserve extinction. Unfortunately for moi, there have been exceptions (sigh), and most likely there always will be . . . exceptions. For example, today there’s a TED Cruz. My grandfather surely is spinning in his grave over that one. Also, my nephew’s first name is Randall. Rand, for short; another nephew’s name is Paul. I mean, holy shit. Yukkamundo; poor fellows. I also, however, have a SiL named Jesus. So maybe all is not lost.

          Or maybe it is, what with a President whose middle name is ‘Hussein’. I mean, think of it, how much better things really were when the president’s middle name was, ummm, Walker? Herbert Walker? Wilson?

          Jesus (the other one). What’s up with allathat!

        • My grandmother’s first name was Georgia, but she chose to go by her middle name, Maxine. I think the Andrews Sisters had something to do with that. 😉

          She had a sister named Elzora (yikes!), who went by Robbie. Their last name was Robinson.

  1. Walmart has been called out on its practices and is now back peddaling with a new propaganda of “Made in America”
    They just neglect to tell you which America.
    North or South?

  2. My son has been laid off, used the chance to have long needed carpal tunnel surgery, and now cannot collect the unemployment he qualifies for until he gets a note from his doctor saying he is ready to return to work should he find any. So we’ve all been beating the bushes looking for job opportunities for him. I chanced across an ad for Lowe’s for a sales associate. The first sentence:
    “Must be available to work any hours, any shift, any day.” My son is a hard worker with four children under the age of 8. Two of the children have some long term physical/mental problems that are being evaluated now that the children have finally qualified for Medicaid, it can still be difficult to get appointments, most are delayed by a month or two from the initial call. Most of these medical appointments are scheduled in one of two larger cities, the closest of which is about 40 minutes away. His wife does not drive as she has accumulated some traffic fines they’ve never been able to get far enough ahead to pay off. How in the bloody hell is anyone with any kind of family life and responsibility supposed to be constantly available to fill whatever shift an employer needs at short notice? I know Walmart uses a similar practice, referring to it as “open availability”. They don’t just want you to work for a low wage, they want you to surrender complete control of your entire life for that low wage!
    Whew…I feel better having spewed that this morning. Perhaps I’ve had enough coffee.

    • In California, Worker’s comp provides up to 2 years for temporary disability. Carpal tunnel may be a cumulative work-related injury. There’s also State Disability, if unable to work because of health condition.

      And, yes. minimum wage jobs are economic slavery, only cheaper, as the slave owner doesn’t even have to pay enough to cover the bare essentials of life.

      • In Virginia, repetitive motion injuries are never covered under workman’s comp. We have a chicken processing industry to protect from accountability for the way they treat their workers.

        • Ah. Makes sense. I mean, what would happen to the price of Chicken McNuggets if the chicken industry was to be made accountable?? Probably the McNuggets would soon be coming from China.

          Oh, wait . . .

  3. Why does Sebelius still have a job? Isaac Chotiner credits the GOP for her job security:

    “Just imagine for a moment that Obama fired Sebelius and was forced to appoint a new head of the HHS, who would of course need Senate confirmation. This person would almost automatically be labeled the new “Obamacare czar” and would be unlikely to win confirmation unless he or she promised to push for, say, the repeal of Obamacare and the imprisonment of everyone who voted for it. When the Senate goes to unprecedented lengths to block executive branch appointments, it creates a situation where the president is highly unlikely to make personnel changes. Holder undoubtedly remains in his job largely for this reason. Any new appointee for Attorney General would be forced to disown Holder’s record entirely and declare the necessity of investigating what Darrell Issa called ”the most corrupt government in history.” ‘

  4. I didn’t watch this video, but who the hell taught this idiot that when lightening is in the area, you should take cover under the tallest thing you can find? No matter he got hit twice. It’s a myth that “lightening never strikes twice,” and I have no idea how that saying got started. In fact, the exact opposite is true. If it were true, then they could take the lightening rods off the Empire State Building once they got hit the first time. He probably thinks God saved him, when he should really be wondering how he escaped God’s wrath alive.

  5. I would agree that his rights were violated but for one thing – this happened at a private university, not a public one. And a private university can order Confederate flags not be flown if they want. A public one would face a lawsuit over it. Of course, either way, he’s still a jerk for doing it.

    This raises the question for me: “Which flags other than our own are okay to fly?” People would rightly get upset if he flew the Nazi flag (swastika), but what about a Japanese flag? Would that also be offensive? They were our enemy once, too, and while their horrors did not approach the scale of WWII Germany’s, Japan was quite brutal to its POWs. Should anyone be allowed to fly their flag, either? Spain was once our enemy. Is their flag off-limits?

    Where is the line?

    • Flags are, to me, meaningless. All of them. They are, each and all, nothing more than temporary symbols of not much, and beyond ‘not much,’ nada. Whether the flag be the ‘Skull and Crossbones,’ the ‘Stars and Stripes,’ the ‘Swastika,’ the ‘Rising Sun,’ the ‘Hammer and Sickle,’ the ‘Confederacy,’ the ‘Star of David’, the ‘Union Jack,’ . . . take your pick, name it — all are nothing more than symbols of human insufficiency, of human sloth, of mankind’s grotesque failure on each and every level save for that eternal pair of (eternally) useless goals: Power, and Profit; I fart in their general direction. Alladem.

      • Eddie Izzard on the use of flags:

        I’m paraphrasing…

        Brit: “I claim India for England.”
        Indian: “You can’t claim it, we live here. All 500 million of us.”
        Brit: “Do you have a flag?”
        Brit: “No flag, no country.”

  6. Marco Rubio is backing off from his previous support for his own immigration reform bill. Issac Chotiner sees this as proof of Rubio’s “political cluelessness”:

    “This leads to the larger question of what exactly Rubio was thinking when he decided to support the Senate bill in the first place. I have argued previously that it was political suicide for him to get behind the comprehensive approach: if such a bill had passed, Rubio would have been tarred as the most visible supporter of Obama’s biggest second term achievement. (Good luck running on that). And if it fails, as now appears likely, what did he gain by pissing off a bunch of the voters he will need for 2016?”

  7. Federal judge rules controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional
    By Daniel Arkin, Staff Writer, NBC News

    In a stunning move, a federal judge Monday ruled that abortion restrictions authorized by Texas lawmakers in July are unconstitutional, and will not be implemented as scheduled on Tuesday, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.

    The decision comes four months after Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, now a candidate for governor, staged a dramatic 13-hour filibuster against the proposed restrictions, widely considered among the most stringent in the country.

    The filibuster forced Gov. Rick Perry to order a second special legislative session for the Republican-dominated Legislature to pass the controversial law.

  8. Gotta find the photo of my Swedish grandfather (who I never knew or saw) and use it for my gravatar. He’s a doppleganger for Paul Newman.

      • If you so choose to ask of them.

        I’m trying to imagine a Reagancare bill being introduced, with Obama coming out against a name change (from PPACA).

        Would the right-wing explode for not wanting to honor Reagan?

        Would they accuse the President of being against Reagancare because he’s heartless and against providing affordable healthcare to Americans?

    • … (promoting) female independence that, in his estimation, the Girl Scouts of America are all about.

      Imagine that, allowing women to think for themselves…

    • There’s even a copycat organization for the pure:
      the American Heritage Girls. That will show those international sisterhood scouting types. Shit, now I’ll have to buy three boxes of those coconut caramel cookies this year.

    • I was going to suggest someone replacing his communion wafers with Trefoils, Lemonades and/or Thanks-A-Lots cookies, however, this schmuck doesn’t have a church Pastor Swann has conferences to educate suckers on home schooling and home economics. The home economics seems geared to get people to start family businesses to be economically independent. The conferences have plenty of vendors selling their christo- babble books, DVDs, clothing, etc.

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