c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ Sees Russell Brand And Sen. Bernie Sanders Take Aim At The Status Quo
By Bruce Haring
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March 3, 2023 8:52pm
Russell Brand and Sen. Bernie Sanders are mad as hell, and they don’t want you to take it anymore. That sums up Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher, as the actor/comedian and the politician railed against the machine and said the system has to be changed to give a voice to the working class.
Maher, for once, largely let them have at it. He took issue with a few things Brand said, and questioned what Sanders is proposing. But neither he nor panel guest John Heilemann from Showtime’s “The Circus” could mount a strong attack on the fire hose of information both guests were spewing.
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Sanders is out promoting his new book, It’s OK to be Angry About Capitalism. He said that we need “the right mix” in our economic system, since we “have more income inequality in wealth than we’ve ever had.” That is causing the US to be “moving rapidly into an oligarchic form of society,” he contended.
Maher claimed to be “philosophically with you” on taxing the rich. “But the government is taking more than half and you want more?”
Sanders fired back, citing the large number of people living paycheck to paycheck, a child care system that is an “absolute disgrace,” and added homelessness and student debt.
How can raising taxes on the rich solve that, Maher asked. Sanders said that education was the key, making colleges free and “taking on the greed of the insurance companies. “Do Medicare for all,” he thundered. He also called for training more electricians, sheet metal workers and plumbers
But more than that, we need to combat the “diseases of despair,” he said.
“We have to restore hope to the American people,” Sanders concluded.
Russell Brand was equally fierce in his passion for the little guy. Whether it was the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of Big Pharmacy in society, or the media biases exhibited by certain networks, he kept coming back to one theme – we have to change the way things are done and stop focusing on trivial matters like the political leanings of talking heads.
After Maher and Heilemann tried the “on the one hand this/on the other hand that” argument in defense of the pharmaceutical industry, Brand pounced. “Out of respect to you and your show, I’ve brought some facts,” he said. He then rattled off a laundry list of how the pandemic made new pharmceutical billionaires, how Congress received funding from Big Pharm, and how Pfizer profited.
“All I’m querying is if pharmaceutical companies benefit from emergencies, you will generate states of perpetual crisis.”
Brand ended his night by stamping Maher with a challenge. “You’re telling the American people that it’s impossible to improve,” he said. “And you’re better than that, Bill.”
Maher’s “New Rules” editorial dealt with the proliferation of trigger warnings, which he termed “a mask on your mind.” See the video above for details.
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