Bill Maher’s Back

It’s been so long I wondered if Bill Maher would ever come back on and forgot all about it last night. As usual, the season opener was a doozy, but not as venomous as I would have liked, especially with regard to the Teabaggers (I refuse to call them Tea Partiers…not sure, but that almost sounds gayer and I don’t think they were going for that).

He did, however, have Elizabeth Warren on and I usually like her. She seems like a no-nonsense lady who really has the down-lo on the economy. I was a little ticked at her estimation of the new Credit Card rules though, as I work for a major Credit Card company. I know, that’s like admitting you work for the DMV or Hitler, or maybe Satan’s asshole, but I do and I like my job. The thing I find ironic is that Bill Maher usually has smart people on, and Elizabeth Warren is one of them. Then why do they tow this party line of blaming financial institutions for everything. Not only is it inaccurate (not saying they don’t bear the lion’s share of it, but certainly not all of it), it’s hypocritical. For example, her analogy of “fence posts in the wilderness” struck me as odd, as the government, meaning Obama and his financial wizards, who were responsible for pumping nearly a trillion dollars into the economy to save it, came up with that legislation. My company, while I’d be lying if I said they were all for it, still embraced it immediately, and it did everything  to comply as fast as possible. The atmosphere wasn’t negative in the slightest. We jumped right up and fixed what was said was wrong. Her analogy makes it out that we immediately began sinisterly twiddling our mustaches, , coming up with ways to get around compliance. Far from the truth. And even if we did, isn’t it the responsibility of any financial institution to make money for its stakeholders? And by virtue of that, buoy the economy?

It’s a contradiction for this administration, and Elizabeth Warren, to sit there and scoff at their own legislation, their own bailout and the institutions who survived and are trying to play by the rules. What should we do…give money away for free? That sounds nice, but where would the economy be without banks and credit cards all of sudden. You think it’s bad now, wait til one of the major banks collapses under the weight of too much regulation. Don’t get me wrong, there were some serious errors made in the financial industry, and some of them criminal. A lack of regulation and some way too risky practices are what brought us to the brink, along with the whole Low-Prime/Sub-Prime fiasco, but the answer isn’t to castrate the financial sector. If it were up to people like Elizabeth Warren, new regulation would work about as well as gun control…it would penalize and hinder law-abiding citizens in favor of the illusion of control, while criminals went on their way buying and using illegal handguns.

As for the rest of the show, I found myself in the same position of agreement I usually do. I’m pro-choice across the board (everything from abortion to gay marriage to gays in the military, socially liberal (legalize weed), and anti-religion (ok, not “anti” but I think they should all pay taxes like any other private club as they are in business). The only other things that absolutely steamed me were the whole Palin bullshit about the Downs Syndrome actress (frankly, it appeared they were making fun of Sarah plain and tardy and not her son), and the asshole in Tennessee who did the whole palm commercial.

I look forward to next week as usual, but I just didn’t find it as biting as when Bush was in office…go figure.


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