Main»PI-2001-12-05

Transcript for Wednesday, December 5, 2001

    Nestor Carbonell
Elayne Boosler
Sheri Annis
Dr. Drew Pinsky

Bill: Good evening, welcome to "Politically Incorrect." Let me introduce you to our panel.
Elayne Boosler, one of America's favorite comics.

Certainly one of mine.
Touring the country currently.
Nestor Carbonell, you are on "The Tick," of course, Thursdays at 8:30 on Fox, right before "Temptation island," I believe.
My guilty pleasure.
Sheri Annis, you've been with us many times before.

A political consultant, head of a consulting firm.
And of course, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who I go to for all my --

[ Laughter ]

I do.
If I have a problem in the love area or I have a burning sensation, I always call Dr. Drew.

[ Laughter ]

Drew: Many calls.
Many calls.

Bill: Not personally, but on his syndicated radio show, "Loveline." Give a hand to our panel.

[ Applause ]

Now, I have been dying to talk about The USA Patriot Act which was passed overwhelmingly in our Congress.
And there is a lot in there that people object to.
We could go through all the motions in the act and we might get to it, but let me just ask first about the name.
I find that to be dirty pool, to call an act The USA Patriot Act.
Now, I know their are Republicans and conservatives who were always good at seizing the linguistic high ground.

"Pro-life, who could be against life? States' rights, it's not about blacks, it's about states' rights."

Nestor: Then who could be against liberal? It's liberating.

Bill: Liberal.
Somehow that got to be a dirty word.
But who is going to not vote for The USA Patriot Act? You could be legalizing crack in that act.

[ Laughter and applause ]

Sheri: You always try to put the best wording on whatever it is.

I mean, you always have The Mother and Apple Pie Act.

Bill: But you don't.

Elayne: Sure.

Sheri: You can call it the mother and apple pie act and see who votes against it.

Bill: Name another act that has a name like this.

Sheri: Oh, that's what you do.

You always try to come up with the best-sounding act.

Bill: Well, name one other.

Elayne: Well, I remember the year I left my country and the big you're a big, fat doody head if you don't act.
Remember that one?
[ Laughter ]

Drew: Are you suggesting our leaders make suggestions based on the name of the act they're voting on?

Bill: I'm suggesting that people are so gullible that, if you name an act The USA Patriot Act and then somebody votes against it, the next time an election comes around, in a 30-second attack ad you can say, "My opponent has taken big money from tobacco to buy crack for your children, and he voted against The USA Patriotic Act," and you are dead in the water.

So, of course, Congress people didn't even read it.
They saw USA Patriot Act, they crapped their pants and voted.

Elayne: It's what you name something.

Nestor: Whose fault is that? The Congressmen should have read it.
It's a 30,000-word act.
That's what you're paid to do is to read.

[ Talking over each other ]

Nestor: It's all about the name and the content --

Elayne: It's all in a name.
They have a missionary position so religious people can have sex.

[ Laughter and applause ]

But the act itself, The Patriot Act, that's more offensive than the name, don't you think? I mean, it's more interesting.

Bill: Why?

Elayne: It's giving local law enforcement the authority to almost deputize the Federal Agents to catch terrorists.
"I guess here's how we'll do it.
We'll take out ads on Al Jazeera, and it'll say, 'Learn to fly, no I.D. necessary, apply at any Krispy Kremes.'"

and then they'll find them.

Sheri: That's my part of the point, terrorists don't exactly hold up neon signs and say, "Here I am."

Elayne: You know, first of all, local law enforcement, it took them 30 years to get Sarah Jane Olson, and they still haven't found Jimmy Hoffa, so, you know, knock yourself out.
I mean, they were in this country.

Nestor: Their are a lot of loopholes in the law.
This is sort of a way --
and terrorists are using those loopholes to exploit our own freedom against us.

So it's a temporary provision, this is something that's got a sunset rule.

Elayne: 2005.

Nestor: It's up in 2005.
And up for renewal.

Bill: What about the pledge of allegiance? Are you against that too?

Elayne: I think every child in this country should be forced to recite the lyrics to Creed's "Higher" every morning before they go to school.


[ Laughter ]

It's such a great song.
It says the right things about how you can go through your day.

Bill: What are the lyrics?

Elayne: Well, "Let me take you higher."

Bill: Let me take you higher?

Elayne: Yes, but not your way.


[ Laughter and applause ]

Elayne: You okay with reciting that one?

Bill: I resemble that remark.

Elayne: I know.
And then it should be followed by them reciting the Golden Rule, and then they should go out into the world, 'cause that's really --
and yes, I think the pledge of allegiance is good.
I understand people had trouble with the God provision.
I don't know how to solve that one.

Drew: You think they should be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance?

Sheri: Forced? I don't think they should be forced.

Bill: Well, that's --
again, here's what happened in New York City, the board of education voted, the president of the board said, "As a small way to thank the heroes of 9/11, that all the kids would say the Pledge of Allegiance." I didn't know kids ever stopped.

Sheri: Exactly.

Bill: All right.

When I was a kid, every day you got up, and you said, "I pledge allegiance to the flag."

Sheri: And it never hurt us.
Frankly, it never hurt us.
I think this is one of the few places where actually kids get a sense of patriotism.
That's the only place.

Nestor: But would you object to, or would you require someone to say it if somebody objected to it? I mean, part of being an American, too, is to be able to object.

Drew: It's encouraging them instead of forcing.

This is the policy, but not required.

Bill: No, no, no.
This was at the New York City board voted, then the people in district three, there's hundreds of schools in New York, so district three has 31 schools, district three revolted and said, "No, our school should be able to decide for themselves." And a guy on district three who was, apparently, a board member and also, by the way, a moron --

[ Laughter ]

See, this is what I object to.
He said, "Requiring students to blindly repeat the pledge is no different than The Taliban requiring children to memorize the Koran and repeat it by wrote."

People do not understand in this country a good analogy from a really crappy analogy.

Elayne: We actually have a church and state division.

Bill: And also, degree matters.

Drew: Yeah, it does matter.

Nestor: That's true of a lot of that, it doesn't matter.

Bill: Yeah, it's the same as The Taliban.

Pledge of Allegiance, Taliban.

Elayne: Well, you know, can I just tell you one quick, little, quicky, quicky, little thing? I went to a committee board meeting the other night and had a lot of things to complain about.
And I was just --

Drew:In your committee, or what?

Elayne: It was a community board meeting in L.A.

Bill: What is your community?

Elayne: District four.

Bill: Oh, four, that's all the troublemakers.

Elayne: To hell with other districts.
But the point was, it was about taking park lands away from people and their dogs.
An so, of course, I went to have a big fight.
But you know what happened? I got there, it was completely full, a zillion people, and they said, it was a newly elected Congressman, I mean city councilman, wonderful guy.
And he said, "I would like you to all join me in the Pledge of Allegiance before we start the meeting." And all these adults stood up, and we pledged.

And the meeting proceeded so civilly and so much better than I could expect that even I thought, "Oh, well, take it easy, say it this way." And there's something that it does to you to realize, well, we are citizens of this, and we're working together to better everything.
I think it's a good idea.

[ Applause ]

Bill: When citizens --
or when a lefty pinko like you back them --

Elayne: I know, what's the matter with me?

Bill: Wow.

Nestor: But when citizens are nationalized, they are required to pledge to the flag.

Bill: Right.
And you object to the "Under God" part.

Elayne: I don't object to it, I'm just saying that, you know, the people use it to say, "Well, if kids aren't religious it makes them feel --
" Well, you know what I did? This is very true.

That night, I didn't say, "Under God." I said the whole thing, and I didn't say "Under God."

Sheri: That wasn't even part of the original pledge.

Elayne: You know, we kind of lost that.
We are part of this and together, and people do run out in a fire and help you.

Bill: You know, now that pro-lifers say, "And justice for all, born and unborn," and left-wing people say, they add, "With equality, liberty and justice for all."

So you know, we haven't changed.
It's all the little interest groups getting their shots in.

Elayne: Sure, but still, it's a good thing to say.

Bill: Yeah, it would be better if they just said it the way we used to say it back when we were dumb and young and hiding under desks.

Sheri: I think you should start the show with the pledge every night now.

Bill: Well, I'm gonna start it with a commercial tonight.
We'll be right back.


[ Applause ]

Bill: Hi.
Okay.

[ Laughter ]

All right.
So we were talking about the patriot act which, again, sticks in my craw just because of the title.
But it is part in partial of what people are doing nowadays in our government, which is trying to ram through things under the cover of 9/11.
Now John McCain is doing it, and I applaud him for it.

He's trying to close the gun show, because, you know, they have gun shows.
Yeah, it's like Annie Oakley.
It's not a gun show, it's a place where people people swap guns out of their trunks.

Drew: Apparently, it's so easy to get guns there, they take --
people from other countries come, buy them hear and take them elsewhere.

Bill: Well, that's the thing.
John McCain is seizing on this, and it's true, that it's a good way for terrorists, it's a good way for anybody to buy a gun without having to get checked before you do it.
But a day before 9/11, on September 10th, a Hezbollah guy was convicted, and many terrorists have gotten guns this way.

Why wouldn't they? So John McCain is saying, "Okay, now maybe the time is right to close the gun show loophole." And people are saying, "Well, you know, you're just using the 9/11 attack as cover to get this through." And, you know, if Bush can use it to promote the stupid space panty shield --

[ Laughter ]

--
Why can't John McCain use it to close the gun show loophole?

Drew: I'm not sure he's using it, I think there is more evidence that this needs to be done.
You know what I mean? It's not only a cover-up, it's just further evidence that something like this needs to happen.

Elayne: I think it's just a really easy way to bring the issue up.
There really is no gun show loophole, which is, sort of, the misnomer.
There's always been the ability to buy a gun from a private individual, whether you're at home or whether you're at a gun show, without a background check.
Now we can address that and say, "Should there be a background check?" That's fine.
But it's not a gun show loophole.

Bill: But it's a lot easier to go to a big swap meet where there's a lot of kooks with their trunks open, than it is to go --

Drew:I think they're calling it a gun show loophole, because it's easy to get people to vote for it.

Sheri: It is, exactly.
That's right.
Actually, people usually use fake I.D.s and go through the background checks, and that's how they get a legal gun.

Elayne: But there's a better bill.
Jack Reed of Rhode Island has a better bill.
It has more Senate support, it was before this, and McCain's Bill is well-intentioned, but it's multilayered, and it doesn't address person-to-person sales.

If they would just enforce the Brady Bill the way it was drawn originally, and that's what Jack Reed's Bill does.

Nestor: The Brady Bill's two weeks.
It's a two-week waiting period, isn't it?

Elayne: That's the whole point of gun shows.
Do you know they have 50 caliber rifle-piercing rifles now that bring down helicopters? So there we are making sure that metal detectors really work, and this guy's now in the parking lot of L.A.X. actually shooting down planes that you can walk in anywhere now, 50 caliber rifles and buy them and bring down planes and pierce armor.
They work from a mile away.
There is no restriction on this yet.
Nothing.

Sheri: Most people don't get their guns that way, though.
I think if cocaine were legalized, and there were a cocaine party --

Elayne: I don't get my cocaine that way, but --

[ Laughter ]

Sheri: People wouldn't buy their cocaine there, they'd go elsewhere.

Elayne: I go to cocaine shows, and nobody checks on me.
And I don't have wait.

Sheri: That's the thing, usually, most people do go through background checks at gun shows.
And you have to deal with this --

Elayne: Do you know the Al Qaeda bought 25 of these in the '80s? 25 of these, and they're still available.
You go on all these Jihad websites, I'm trying to get porn, I keep finding this political Website.

Nestor: Click on helicopter firing guns.

Elayne: Look on the jihad Website, they use America's gun laws, learn how to shoot, buy weapons, come back, we'll do the rest.
I'm looking for porn, I keep finding these sites, you know?


[ Laughter ]

I'm the only person who can't find a naked body on the Web.
I keep finding all these politics.

Nestor: You're for this provision, and you're against other provisions under The Patriot Act.

Drew: No, I'm not.

Bill: Under The Patriot Act?

Nestor: Yeah.

Bill: I haven't read it.

[ Laughter ]

Sheri: 330 pages --

Bill: It's The Patriot Act, please.

[ Applause ]

What am I, going to be against The Patriot Act? I'm also against sending people ice cream in the mail.

Elayne: He voted against The Grandmoms and Warring Kittens Act.

Bill: Yes, exactly.
The Grandma is Not Dead Act.
I also voted for that.

Drew: I actually read The Patriot Act.
I read a sort of condensed version of it.
It's not bad.
There's a lot of nonsense flying out of it in terms of how --

Elayne: What's going now, they're just --
the Bush administration has completely taken away checks and balances at every step since this war.

Bill: Yes.

Elayne: And that's the dangerous thing.
And education is so bad now, that people can't enforce the powers they have.

Drew: This is a temporary solution.
I mean, we were talking before, this is --
we're in an emergency situation.
This is not --

Bill: You know, the Mohair subsidy was a temporary.
And it's so hard, they tried to kill The Mohair Act, you know?

Sheri: It's true.

Bill: Really, I mean, you know what I'm talking about.
Anything that becomes a law takes on a life of its own.
It is almost impossible to kill anything once it has become a law.

Sheri: But this is different.

I mean, nobody wants their Google searches watched, but nobody --

Bill: Nobody what?

Sheri: Wants their Google searches watched.
In other words, you can go --

Bill: Their google?

Nestor: This is why Elayne can't find porn.

Bill: A Google search? I would love to have my Google searched.


[ Laughter ]

Sheri: People Google you, I'm sure.

Bill: Use a rubber glove, but --

Nestor: You need to fit a profile.

Bill: If I remember the way it was.

[ Applause ]

Sheri: Everyone is a little uncomfortable with some of their rights being taken away, as we should be, and we should be watchful of this.

But I hate more the idea of somebody being able to ram a plane through The Twin Towers.
And it does help you.
It makes sure that people --
you tap cell phones that go with a person.
There's important things that are in there.

Elayne: Okay, that's the whole First Amendment that is now stepped on, and we've agreed, for the safety of this country, it happened and yet, the perceived --

Sheri: How does that step on The First Amendment?

Elayne: Because they can tap your phone without you knowing that.

There's right to privacy.

Sheri: How would you get a terrorist? How would you ever --

Elayne: I'm not saying it's bad.
I don't know.
I'm not intelligent enough to say, "Don't do it." It's done, we're living with it.
But a lot of privacy is gone.

However, you're telling me that the second amendment, the perceived right for anyone to buy a rocket launcher, the Bush administration, which is supported by the gun lobby, will not address taking care of this gun show thing and enforcing the Brady Bill because it's going to step on someone's rights we've given up.
All our First Amendment rights, everyone here for safety.

Sheri: And we're going to go after people who actually are terrorists and people who don't go along with the law.
Most gun owners have their background checks.

Drew: I'm not of the gun-toting type.
So what's behind all that? Why are they so afraid to restrict this?

Bill: Selfishness.
Selfishness.

Let me answer that for you.
Pure selfishness.
They love guns the way some people love cocaine or liquor.

Drew: No, I can't believe that.

Bill: You can't? What possible reason could you have to support a 50 caliber machine gun?

Sheri: Frankly, one of the reasons --

Bill: Why do you need that?

Sheri: I would never want a gun in my home.

I don't like guns.
I feel you should know how to use them, but I don't like them, personally.
The reason why people --

Bill: You said you were shooting.

Sheri: Yeah, I've gone shooting.
But I feel it's important to know this, and to know how to use the different --

Bill: Okay, a gun.

But a 50 caliber machine gun that could fire from a mile away? This idea that they hide under, that we need guns because the Constitution says we have to have a militia in case the government gets too uppity, like we could fight them off with the F-16s and nuclear weapons.

Sheri: To tell you the truth, the reason people are so upset about it is because people on the other side actually say that their main goal is to get rid of guns.

Bill: Yes, it's a slippery slope.

Sheri: And if their were a sensible middle, I think more people would be willing to compromise.

Nestor: I don't think the NRA's even arguing with this position though.
I mean, Charlton Heston, he's not arguing with --

Elayne: Oh, yes they are.

Nestor: No, he's arguing not only with the background checks, he's arguing with requiring private dealers to have licenses.
So I don't think that it --

Bill: The NRA basically argues with any sort of gun control because they always bring out that phrase --
a slippery slope.

Sheri: It's more than a slippery slope, though.
You have people, it's like the Palestinians saying we want to get rid of Israel.
Sort of the same idea in that they want to get rid of the Second Amendment.

Most people are in the center and think that there should be some sort of rational laws to make sure that people who are --

Elayne: Why are they fighting this one? Which they are.
It protects the lunatic fringe of the gun lobby.

Bill: They're all for changing the laws except when it comes to their campaign donors.
I hate to tell you that.
But that's the truth.
Oil is another thing that we should be using to fight the terrorists.
The people who sell us the oil get money from us --
Saudi Arabia --
which they then send to the terrorists.

But are we saying to the American people, is our leadership saying, "We should use less oil"?

Drew: Find an alternative source of energy.
I mean, in 100 years, a fluid that combusts.
Can't we come up with that?

Bill: We have it.
We have an electric car.
I just bought one, and it works great.

Elayne: And he gets chicks with that car.

Bill: I got to take a break, we'll be back.

[ Applause ]

Bill: Okay, so listen.
In the time left, we were talking about defending our country.
You know, the Attorney General, John Ashcroft, asked muslim men to come in.
He invited them.

Drew: To a party?

Bill: Come in, let's just have a chat.
It's an invitation.
You know, let's just call it an invitation.
And very few showed up.

Elayne: Because they had to pledge allegiance first.
They didn't want to --

Bill: Yeah.

So he extended the deadline.
I don't know, if we're serious about this, do really we want to do it by invitation?

Drew: Good point.
It's sort of a scary letter, a spooky letter.
Did you read it? Just come on down.

Bill: It is a spooky time and there's some spooky people.

Nestor: If you have nothing to fear, then what does he have to hide? Think about it that way.

Sheri: I just don't know if this was the most efficient way to do it.

You're dealing with tens of thousands of people.
You might want to have a little bit more information.

Elayne: Let them come and tell us.
Because look what they say, "The terrorists did this so they can meet 200 virgins in heaven." What does that mean? It's not religion at all.
It is still guys trying to impress chicks.

Drew: Yeah, that's right.

Guys trying to get laid.

[ Applause ]

Bill: But isn't the problem, the word "Profiling"? Again, just like pro-life or states rights or patriotic.
If you just call it detecting, because all detecting, excuse me, is profiling.

Drew: I must fit some kind of profile.
I fly a lot, and every time I go to the airport, they're putting the gloves on and they're taking out all my stuff.
No cavity searches or anything, but every time I get stopped.

Bill: You didn't have your google searched?

Drew: No, no Google searching.

[ Laughter ]

Bill: Oh, my God, not at the airport.

Drew: First of all, I have two things.
One is, if I fit a profile, hassle me.

Bill: Why do you fit a profile? Pinsky?

Drew: I don't think I do, I think it's bad luck, and I keep coming around to the bad number.
And they even --
they know who I am.
But the point is, is it to maintain randomness or shall we be having a little bit of profiling in the interest of expediency?

Sheri: You shouldn't be, you don't fall into that.
And I think you should profile to the extent that you know who flew into a building.
That makes some sense to go after that person.
You also want to go after people who are known to have ties to those people.

Most of these people do not have ties.

Bill: A liberal, Polish celebrity?

Sheri: I don't think we should be worried about that.

Bill: That's what makes me for profiling.
I'm sorry.
We got to take a break, we'll be back.

[ Applause ]

Bill: We have nine seconds.
Let's go out with the pledge.

All: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
And to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with justice for all.

[ Applause ]

Credits

Executive Producers
Bill Maher
Nancy Geller
Marilyn Wilson
Kevin Hamburger

	

Supervising Producer
Sheila Griffiths

Created By
Bill Maher

Directed By
Hal Grant

Writing Supervised By
Billy Martin

Writers
Jose Arroyo
Kevin Bleyer
Bill Maher
Billy Martin
Ned Rice
Kevin Rooney
Danny Vermont

Coordinating Producer
Claudia Cagan

	

Producer
Carole Chouinard

Associate Director
Bob Staley

Stage Manager

Patrick Whitney

	Produced by

Dean E. Johnsen

Executive in Charge of Production
John Fisher

Executive Producers
Brad Grey

Bernie Brillstein
Marc Gurvitz


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