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Bill’s guests tonight:
How Not to Get Shot author D. L. Hughley
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Enlightenment Now author Steven Pinker
FMR. L.A. Times editor Christina Bellantoni
Bill: Right here, with me. [Cheers and applause]
Bill: Thank you. Thank you, I love you too. I appreciate that. Thank you. I know. Shut the fuck up. Because I’m not buying this, it’s just cool in here. We all know what it’s like out there. I hate to start off with the bad news, we need to keep our eye on this. July was the hottest month ever in California’s history. Applause? [Laughter] a title can survive in everything. In Death Valley they recorded the hottest temperature ever anywhere on earth. The smoke from our fires has now reached New York, that should tell you something. Even the smoke won’t stop in a flyover states. I did my special in Oklahoma, I love the flyover states. This is part of our life now it’s hellfire in the summer, president Trump tweeted his condolences to the loved ones and praise for our firefighters… I’m joking, of course. That’s what a normal president would do, this psychopath, of course, blames the victim and tweets out that Trump says he’s making our wildfires worse because were allowing massive amounts of our available water to be diverted into the Pacific Ocean. And Lebron James it said “I’m the one with a low IQ? “[Applause]
Football is starting up again and Trump is tweeting about the kneeling, it’s kneeling season… he can’t stand this. He said that they wanted to show outrage, something most of them are unable to define. Which is why I think they should take his advice and have a nice long talk with Frederick Douglass. In the middle of all this, Omarosa is out… I’m sorry, ex White House official Omarosa is out with a book with a big reveal that Trump is a racist, it begs the question what does the opposite of breaking news? Can we have a Chiron, breaking “duh”. Trump has to tweet this shit because he has to distract people, he’s got so many legal problems. The Washington Post said he was worried that Don jr…. Douchebag von fuck face wandered into legal jeopardy. Yes, poor people commit crimes, rich people wander into legal jeopardy. [Applause] he tweets and makes it worse for him and his own son. Last Sunday at 5:35:00 a.m. Because crack of dawn is more than just a Stormy Daniels movie… so at a 5:at 35 undoubtedly on the toilet he tweets his latest version of what happened when the Russians came to Trump tower and this is his final offer and the other eight versions are fake news, throw them out like a sharper image clock radio that charges your iPhone 3, that’s just ridiculous. “This is a meeting to get information on my opponent, totally legal! Done all the time in politics”. This is his idea of truth, I know that I denied it never happened and I dictated a statement it was only about adoption and I lied about dictating it but I’m telling the truth now. I’ve grown up a lot since last July, we all do foolish things when we’re 70. We’ve gone from hope and a change to hope and change your story.
Trump’s people are just begging him to shut the fuck up about the trial and stuff tweeting about it. Stop giving Rudy Giuliani every day more to explain. He wasn’t that fast on his feet when he was alive. Rudy Giuliani, he’s got a new offer for Bob Mueller that Trump is willing to sit down to do the interview but some topics have to be off limits like why Trump fired Comey and anything to do with obstruction of justice. My client has nothing to hide as long as you asking about the things he wants to hide. It’s like saying [ Applause] I’m willing to do the prostate exam as long as I don’t have to take off my pants.
Everybody around this guy is such a crook, what a bunch of thieves and grifters. Are you watching this Paul Manafort trial? He’s a campaign manager, his deputy campaign manager rick gates is the star witness for the prosecution, Manafort stole from everybody, defrauded the country, stole from the IRS all that stuff, Gates is saying I was with Manafort, I stole with Manafort. Then it comes out this week I also stole from Manafort. Manafort started to suspect this when his ostrich went missing. What a bunch of fucking thieves.
This congressman Chris Collins one of Trump’s earliest supporters, who wasn’t Russian… got arrested for insider trading from the white house lawn. Wilbur Ross stands accused of stealing more than $100 million from people. Tom Price, Scott Pruitt—remember him?—Michael Cohen, Manafort, he hasn’t drained of the swamp he’s swamped the drain.
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We’ve got a great show. D. L. Hughley, Christina Bellantoni and Seth Moulton are here and a little later we’ll be speaking with author and Harvard professor: Steven Pinker. But first, he’s the host of MSNBC’s “the last word with Lawrence O’Donnell” and his book Deadly Force: A Police Shooting and My Family’s Search for the Truth, is now re-issued: Lawrence O’Donnell! We love to have you.
O’Donnell: Did you get the note from Giuliani about the questions I wanted asked? It’s going to be shorter than you think.
Bill: Conservatives do watch this show and they’re going to see us talk about Trump and you know what they’re going to say? Trump derangement syndrome. This is a thing for them, if you watch Fox News, I have to a little bit you have to see what they’re saying. They think we’re deranged and I wanted to ask you, what do you do about that? You can’t say to people we have the truth, because then you sound like a guy in Jesus camp.
O’Donnell: You ignore it because it’s just the device. They have nothing good to say, they have nothing more than to say in defense of the president, no one from that site is going to come back with facts for you about Wilbur Ross, they’re going to say you’re just a deranged end he’s associated with Trump, you don’t fall for that. You just keep going into detail what that $120 million is about. That’s what we’re doing in my hour of TV and Rachel Maddow does the most masterful job of that every night. She never gets distracted by any of that or by any of the accusations, any of the adjectives, she is on the fact case of this and she’s a model for all of us.
Bill: If we can’t convince them, how about convincing our side…
O’Donnell: you can’t convince them. You’re trying to get roughly 51%, if you get that that’s supposed to work in a democracy. Anything you get more than that is great. The biggest landslide presidential elections in my lifetime were the high 50s, 60% was the highest anybody ever got while I’ve been alive.
Bill: They say the democrats have to win by 12 because of gerrymandering and voter suppression and they have so many ways of cheating and they are so much better at playing the game. Sometimes they outplay us. Hillary didn’t go to Wisconsin, that wasn’t a good thing. But they also know how to cheat better and are much more open to doing cheating.
O’Donnell: We have an incredibly treatable system thanks to the g electoral college. Those guys made some mistakes, slavery was one of them. They also did some things that made perfect sense at the time. When Rhode Island was this big and New York was this big. They had no idea there was going to be a thing called California that was going to be this big and there were going to have these little Dakotas that would have a lot of land and very few people, they didn’t know that was going to be the mix of the electoral college so that a majority of voters could be denied their choice of who the president should be.
Bill: There shouldn’t be two Dakotas. One is ridiculous enough. That’s where we need to start. We need to start with the Dakotas. If the situation were reversed and Puerto Ricans and people in Washington, D.C., voted republican, republicans would have found a way to make them states by now. But democrats don’t play that game.
O’Donnell: Here’s how they would’ve found a way to do it. Democrats would’ve done the honorable thing and said to Puerto Rico, what we’ve said to them from the start which is you are not a colony, you have your own ability to make a choice about your relationship to this country. You can choose Commonwealth status which is what they choose, you can choose independence and have nothing to do with us, or you can choose statehood. We’ve always said it’s up to them to vote on it. If Puerto Rico voted for statehood now, republicans would say absolutely not, were not giving it to you. Democrats would have done the honorable thing all the way through, because they actually take principles like that to be real things and to be serious. This is a new level of political corruption because it’s a corruption of ideas. We’ve always had ways of trying to get out of the money corruption and we pay a lot of attention to it. What happens when the ideas of a party or a group of political actors are completely corrupted? You sought with Merrick Garland, you saw it with… you don’t get a vote on a supreme court justice and now you’re seeing it with they are going to rush one oned violates their own of not obtaining all the documents that they use to obtain on supreme court nominees, Chuck Grassley just said we can’t get them in time, never mind. We’ll just have the hearing right after labor day anyway. I could go on and on.
Bill: The election is in 90 days or something like that. How do you think the democrats are going to blow it? They are so good at it and there is this blue wave predicted and you and I are very close on policy, were not always close on predictions. What do you think is going to happen? I think the democrats will…
O’Donnell: I will predict something because I’ve never predicted congressional elections, I know how complex that is. I have never made an attempt to try to figure out what are all those districts going to do and there are experts who do it like a charlie cook and I listen to them. I have never had an original thought about this thing, about who is going to win in a house race coming up. You have a congressman coming on who’s going to answer that for you. All of the indicators come all the political arithmetic everything we see…
Bill: Say Hillary is going to be president.
O’Donnell: Well, no it didn’t. She was always pulling within the margin of error against Donald Trump, she was always pulling within that margin. She never cleared a lead over him that was outside of the margin for error. The polls are never telling you a specific number, they’re telling the event of possibility. It’s not like when we take your temperature, it’s as if we took your temperature incidents anywhere between 92 and 98. That’s what pulling is and for the sake of public consumption they specify a number.
Bill: How will the Trump era end and will it?
O’Donnell: I gave up predicting and I remember sitting on Morning Joe when he went from 6% to make a 12% and I said with all the authority I can muster, you don’t think it’s going to get any higher than that, do you? And I think Joe did and I didn’t so I gave up predicting shortly after that one. If I have to, I would say the most likely ending of it is when Elizabeth Warren or whoever the democratic nominee is beats him in the next election.
Bill: You think he’ll leave leave. We are getting into predictions. You think if he loses the election he will greeter out the door on January.
O’Donnell: It’s not up to him.
O’Donnell: She becomes president because of the time of day. The chief justice of the united states supreme court will administer the oath to her, no matter where it is and he doesn’t have to show up, he never has to concede, he doesn’t have to do a thing. The second she takes that oath, she is the president, he isn’t any longer, the secret service will physically remove him from the building, if he’s still there. We’ll see.
Bill: Did you ever have to remove a tick from your dog?
O’Donnell: I hear the secret service is good at that.
Bill: Your book a very important book, it was the first one that talked about police brutality in the black community. You have reissued it.
O’Donnell: I wrote this book over 30 years ago, Deadly Force the first book out there about the police use of deadly force. The first thing I ever wrote was an op-ed piece for The New York Times in 1979, it was about police use of deadly force. It was the first time at “The New York Times” imprint acknowledged there was a proble. I’ve been on it for a long time and four years ago this week was when Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, that changed everything. It changed everything because of the community’s reaction to it. We haven’t seen a reaction to a police shooting like that since the invention of cable news. We have seen them before. We’ve had giant community reaction around the country for Arthur McDuffie in 1980 and others around the country. This was the first time all of the apparatus of modern media, social media was there and on the street covering every minute of it. Finally America woke up. Only four years ago. And by America, of course, I mean white America. Because black America always knew there was this problem. They always knew that police officers in their community were much more inclined to serve and protect themselves. [Applause] Then the people they were assigned to serve.
Bill: I’m glad you’re on the air. Lawrence O’Donnell everybody. Let’s meet our panel.
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Bill: Here they are. He’s an actor and comic who’ll be at the comedy get down in la on august 17th and author of How not to get shot: and other advice from white people: D.L. Hughley. She was assistant managing editor at the L.A. Times who will soon be a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California: Christina Bellantoni. He was a marine captain who served four tours of duty in Iraq and is now a 2nd-term u.s. Representative for Massachusetts’ 6th district and democratic rising star: Seth Moulton. Great to see you. Don’t forget to send us your questions for tonight’s “Overtime” so we can answer them after the show on YouTube.
I think the theme of the show tonight I would like to be is how cocky the republicans are because they control everything, they think they can do everything out in public. Trump’s tweets are a timeline of obstruction of justice, this Devin Nunes tape I hope we have time to talk about that where he’s openly saying we have to stop the truth from coming out. The corruption on the white house lawn. But I want to start with what Lawrence and I were just talking about. We’ve seen so many videos lately of emboldened… I don’t want to say rednecks, but… white folks who were yelling at black folks for existing in America, there is a video like that every day and then Laura Ingraham this week said something… why don’t we let her speak for herself. Everyone is talking about this video and we will show it and we can react.
Laura Ingraham [Fox News clip]: In some parts of the country it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people. They are changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like.
Bill: Is the dog whistle dead? Were just saying it outright.
Hughley: And then she got offended that David Duke would support her, that’s like Bill Cosby benefiting in our Kelly supporter. You’re saying the same shit, you’re trying to keep a hold of your one advertiser. It’s ridiculous.
Bellantoni: Demographic change is a very specific concept. Demographic change is not about the immigration debate that is going on at the policy levels of government. It’s about this country and lots of different people, my son is half Chinese. He is demographic change, is he being foisted on the American people? That’s kind of an insightful dog whistle type message to people and she goes back and says that’s not what I meant, that was interpreted differently by this particular person. What you say really does matter, it doesn’t matter what you meant, it matters the words that come out of your mouth.
Moulton: This is nothing new from her.
Bill: What if she had set the scale and speed of immigration over the past few decades is a real issue, since 1990 the share of foreign-born people in America has gone from nine to mecca 15%, most of the new immigrants come from cultures that are distant and it different and societies can only take so much change in a generation. That’s Fareed Zakaria and he’s a liberal.
Moulton: That’s what makes America
Bill: This isn’t totally dissimilar to what she’s saying but policy wise it’s not that different and Fareed Zakaria is a liberal and the son of immigrants.
Hughley: It’s always funny when I hear the immigration debate, like “we want our country back”. We didn’t take a cruise here on purpose. We didn’t go all: “they’re hiring in America, get on the boat!” It’s so ridiculous, we’re here because you wouldn’t do the shit you needed us to do. And they are like… people say dumb shit like “slavery is a choice”, so if slavery is a choice I guess Harriet Tubman was just a travel agent. It really is this: this country is getting browner and browner and darker. And people… and that’s just the way it is. So instead of republicans trying to fuck with poor people, they should get to fucking. They should have at it.
Bill: He’s a congressman, come on. Don’t say bad words in front of him!
Hughley: I’m glad to meet a congressman before the indictments come down.
Bill: What is the democratic plan on immigration? Because, I mean, I get what they are saying and Laura Ingraham is not a good person for what she’s saying but what are the democrats suggesting because I think what Fareed was getting at here is that people only have two choices in this country. And if the democrats don’t have a plan, if their plan is just… if you can’t explain it to me without saying kids in cages and two words, I don’t know what you’re proposing. It can’t just be “I’m a better person because immigration is at 15% and I think it should be 20”.
Moulton: We actually do have a plan, we passed it through the senate a few years ago with bipartisan support and it had a pathway to citizenship and it also meant strengthening our borders. I went to the border and spent two days down there on both sides…
Bill: Do we really need strengthening our borders? I mean, I hear all the democrats say that just the way they always first say “I’m a big supporter of the second amendment”. Immigration isn’t a problem from Mexico, we need those people, they wanna be here.
Moulton: We want them to come here legally. I was down of the border were customs and border agents up there at the bridge stopping asylum-seekers. People were not coming here to take our jobs, they were fleeing for their lives from making that last final step into our country because if they prevented them from making that last final step, they couldn’t legally seek asylum. We need to make sure that is a possibility, that we encourage legal immigration and we will get the people that…
Hughley: Somebody has to have courage enough to say what’s wrong. They used to put black man in chains and now immigrants in cages and ultimately, they are here because they will do things like… in America you can work if you can do something that people want or you’re capable of doing something they can’t. If you won’t pick a strawberry and you can’t write an app your shit out of luck.
Bellantoni: The fear part that Fareed gets to and actually maybe he’s trying to make a point about is an economic argument, right? Yes, there are people that are afraid of what they’re seeing… what their jobs… different types of people that are working all across America but that’s a very different conversation to have.
Bill: I don’t think that’s an economic… Last week I did a whole thing about how the Russia issue for republicans, how they’re so willing to foment with Russia… it’s really racial because Russia it’s one of the last countries in the world to say “we are white and proud and were staying that way”. I think that’s the fig leaf. I think they look at TV and say “why is Telemundo on my TV, why are there crazy rich Asians on my TV”, one night we showed a thing from hip-hop squares, it was the “Hollywood Squa”… and they were like… these people look at that and go “that is wrong,” because the black people were having lots of fun. They’re dancing around…
Hughley: They weren’t dancing like that!
Bill: They remember “Hollywood Squares” was a stay laid-back show with a closeted [?] homosexual in the middle and that was “Hollywood Squares”. I don’t think it’s on that level.
Hughley: America hated the Canyon so much, they gave it to the Kremlin. They hated Obama so much that they’re willing to do whatever to have white supremacy. Listen… Obama is what we aspire to be, Trump is who we are.
Moulton: On the immigration thing, who creates more jobs? Who creates more jobs in America, immigrants or old white men? So actually the economic argument is really strong, it’s just in favor of the immigration.
Hughley: Make that argument and have it be a commercial. Like, if you were running for president that would be what they say to you. They would run that and say “he’s against…” We have to decide either we are a nation like we say we are… like… America is like this great… like… You see these great brochures on Priceline and then you get to the room and there’s a dead body in it. Because we say a thing and then don’t wanna be what we say we are.
Bill: Or we say both… Trump does it all the time, he says one thing and then he says the exact opposite thing. When he’s standing next to Putin he will say “our intelligence agencies are full of shit, I’m with you” and then he gets home and says “oh, fuck, I misspoke”.
Moulton: Americans are complicated, it’s a complicated country. The reason why what president president Lincoln said in the second inaugural is one of the most famous things in American political history, we need to call out the better angels in people’s nature. Because that’s what we need leaders to do. We do have dark angels in our nature, but it’s up to leaders to inspire the better angels in our nature.
Hughley: Whenever somebody quotes Lincoln to me, you’re still quoting the dude on the penny. We need to update our resume.
Bill: People still quote Cicero. They still quote your boy, Jesus, 2000 years ago…
Moulton: When you look at these midterms and you’re asking are we going to screw it up again, … a fair question, we’ve done that before. There are great news democrats stepping up to lead again. I’m supporting these veterans, who are running across the country, people like MJ Hegar, down in Texas, an helicopter fighter pilot, another navy helicopter pilot up in New Jersey…
Bill: Does that matter to people? Trump is a giant draft dodger.
Moulton: It matters, because they are winning, because they are already winning these races. Dan McCready, a marine down in North Carolina, running in a district where the democratic party said you don’t have a prayer he’s already had seven points in the polls. There are people stepping up, democrats stepping up to start leading this country again and I think when democrats start leading, will start winning.
Bill: Let me ask you about this Devin Nunes quote, they caught him on tape. He was at a fund-raiser. So, again, this idea that they don’t think anyone is listening but we hear what they have to say. And he said “if Sessions won’t un-recuse…”, un-re…, is that even a thing? Un-recuse? Like un-masturbate, I don’t think it’s a… [Laughs] Un… what is that… “if Sessions won’t un-recuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones”. “Won’t clear the president?” What about what the report says? It’s like they don’t… What if the report comes back and says he was burying little boys in the backyard? They don’t care what it says?
Bellantoni: Local elections matter but the broader picture matters. He’s doing a fund-raiser for another member of republican leadership, he’s a chairman and he’s basically saying “we are the last defense of this president”. And every voter should hear that. And if they don’t want that to happen, they can go out there and make a choice. People always speak more honestly when they are in front of their supporters who give money. We’ve seen it with Barack Obama, we saw it with Mitt Romney, etc. And this is something that his actions have actually played out on that. We’ve seen him attempt to protect Trump even in the face of the facts.
Hughley: We had a porno star say she had unprotected sex with the president. If you’re not worried about the gonorrhea, how are you going to help us with North Korea?
Bill: You slipped in a joke from your act there! I think you did.
Hughley: Look at all the things we’ve seen people say, all the things we’ve heard people say, in comparison that’s so mild, all he’s doing is saying what he does out in public. I don’t understand why we would be shocked that he actually did what he said he was going to do.
Moulton: Maybe we shouldn’t be shocked but there is one thing we can do with Devin Nunes, that’s beat him in November.
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Bill: Let’s bring out Steven Pinker. He’s the Harvard psychology professor whose new bestseller is Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress: Steven Pinker.
I have been following you for a very long time and I always felt your necessary corrective for the society were the media is by nature never reporting the good news. You’re the guy whenever I quoted you to people, you can tell it’s shocking because they are shocked. The good news is what is shocking to people. Why don’t you give us the top few things, you talk about poverty and health around the world that have greatly improved in the 21st century that people aren’t really aware of.
Pinker: We can begin with life itself, through most of human history life expectancy at birth was around 30. Now it’s 71 worldwide and 80 and the more developed parts of the world. Education, through most of human history, the vast majority of people were illiterate. Now 90% of people under 25 in the world can read and write. [Applause] By the way, polls show that virtually no one knows these people do worse than chimpanzees picking bananas because the chimpanzees pick at random and people are systematically too pessimistic. Wealth and poverty, 200 years ago 90% of the world lived in extreme poverty, now it’s at 10%. [Applause] The rate has been reduced by about 50% just in the last 25 years. Every day, 137,000 people escaped from extreme poverty, it’s more than a billion people in the last couple of decades.
Bill: This is somewhat connected to Trump voters. Because one reason why people are in less poverty around the world is because jobs do go there. Jobs that we used to have here, and people used to work at subsistence level now they’re working in a sweatshop and that’s actually a step up.
Pinker: Yes, free trade has not been good for everyone but it’s been on average good for humanity as a whole. Peace, even though there are horrific wars that continue to go on at the rate of death worldwide is about a quarter of what it was in the 80s, a seventh of what it was in the 1970s during the war in Vietnam, to say nothing about what it was in the early 50s during the Korean War or World War II. Safety, we are about 95% less likely to be killed in a car accident, plane crash, be mowed down on the sidewalk, to die in an industrial accident, even to be struck by a bolt of lightning, we are 99% safer than our ancestors were a century ago.
Bill: Why lightning?
Pinker: I don’t think it’s that Zeus has gotten less angry. Fewer people work outdoors.
Bill: I was trying to figure out a way for a few years to do something on the show about what I call issue fatigue, our audience is a caring audience. If they want, they want to be watching this show, there’s lots of stupid shit they could watch. So I wrote down, just in one week all the things you could worry about, ISIS, ice caps melting, depleted groundwater, identity theft, Russian meddling, rape on-campus, opioid addiction. I’m not done. Antibiotic resistant germs, coral reefs are dying, colony collapse disorder, the bees are dying, violence and football, drought, flooding, brain eating amoebas. A billion people still defecate in the street. Police racism, oceans are lawless and polluted. Solitary confinement is overdone. The E.U. is breaking up, refugees, church pedophiles, PTSD and veteran suicide. Bullying, homophobia, sinkholes, infrastructure crumbling, longer commutes, factory farm runoff. Plastic textiles, endocrine disruptors, running out of water and then I read that we are running out of sand, because that’s what we make glass out of, were running out of sand and then I saw this cover of Newsweek… “Your office is Kill…” I was like oh, fuck! This is the problem, right?
Pinker: The onion had headlined, CNN holds morning meeting to decide what viewer should panic about. We should worry about all these things but it’s kind of a cheap trick. At any point in history if you list all of the worst things happen in the world, they can sound pretty scary.Newsweek – Your Office Is Killing You
Bill: I think I can burst your bubble with just two. Nukes and pollution. All of this good stuff as true as it is, it’s great that you’re saying it, all it takes is a few nuclear bombs to go off and it wouldn’t just screw up where they went off, it would scrub the whole planet. If India and Pakistan exchange their nuclear weapons, it wouldn’t just be those countries that died off. That’s possible.
Pinker: That is possible and we should be giving much more attention to it than we should be giving to terrorism and emails and a host of other issues.
Bill: I don’t know how people walk back the idea they said 10-15 years ago, we only have ten more years before we have to do something drastic about climate change. That was 15 years ago. What’s going on in the world today? I mentioned it to the record heat, people dying in japan in places where they never did from heat, were not even starting on that.
Pinker: For starting out at but not doing nearly enough. It is the greatest threat facing humanity. There are road maps to decarbonized in the economy that we have to implement and accelerate, they include policy measures like a carbon tax, it’s a heavy economic decision everyone on the planet makes factors in.
Bill: There is no carbon tax. Are you for a carbon tax?
Moulton: I am.
Bill: There’s a good democrat. It’s not that hard.
Bellantoni: This is one of the reason Trump is attacking California. At every level, the legislature, the governor, Jerry Brown considers himself the unofficial climate ambassador for this country… no offense to congress, it’s not happening California is saying we need real solutions because otherwise we are in big trouble.
Moulton: It’s also why we have to get democrats elected in 2018 and 2020. The stakes are high. I sit on the armed services committee and one of the most frightening days I’ve ever had in this job was when we went and toured our nuclear infrastructure. The air force is very proud of the fact that their system can’t be hacked. At one point, a colonel said to me “it’s basically foolproof”. Unless the guy at the top is a fool. And that’s what we’ve got right now. That’s why it’s so important that people get out and get involved and make democracy work so that democrats win in 2018 and we get rid of Trump in 2020.
Bill: One other area is democracy, I’m worried about it in this country as a so many people are, aren’t we’ve seen many countries where it’s going in reverse. Poland, Hungary, the Philippines, I could name other others. You think democracy is still on the march?
Pinker: It is, there is pushback, there’s been some regression in the last couple of years, but the world has never been more democratic than it has been in this decade.
Bill: Just because it will elect somebody, Hitler was elected. The Chinese… they find ways to like, sort of have a dictatorship but with a capitalist economy.
Pinker: Yeah, but this comes from countries where several criteria are aggregated, including freedom of press, limits on the executives power and so on. But if you think back to when we were students, in the 1970s, half of Europe was behind the iron curtain, run by totalitarian communist dictatorships. Spain and Portugal were literally fascist dictatorships, not fascist in the sense of the word that we use to criticize anyone to the right of us, but they literally were fascist. Greece was under control of a military junta, most of Latin America was under the control of military juntas. Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, all run by military dictatorships, all of them are democratic today. Democracies in Africa and the Caribbean. If you count, the majority of the world is moredemocratic than autocratic, majority of the world’s people leave in democracies.
Hughley: With all of the advances, black men are still where they were in the 1970s. The earning potential of black people is about where it was, it’s like were stagnating. Black women are excelling but black men virtually… about where they were in South Africa. All of these advances are feeling good but our situations are still the same. Were still shot disproportionately, were still uneducated, our communities are dirtier.
Pinker: I don’t think the data back that up. There is still racial gaps that we have to close.
Water unconscionable racial gaps, what does that mean?
The difference between whites and blacks. The well-being of African-Americans, they are living longer, there earning more.
Black men are living longer?
Then in the 1970s?
Yes. The rate of happiness has increased more quickly.
Just because snoop got high and did your survey. I don’t want to focus on one single issue but I don’t think that people feel like we are seeing particularly in communities of color come up that we see this optimistic vantage point.
In polls we do.
Bill: You live in a rich neighborhood.
I know. When I go visit my mother.
Pinker: To say that things improve doesn’t mean they’re acceptable now but they used to be worse. If the violence against African-Americans were much worse.
Hughley: What has remained the same as nobody is brought to account for those shootings.
Pinker: During the riots, police would pick off ten or 15 African-Americans at night, people didn’t care, now they do care.
Hughley: I love this data but caring isn’t saying this is horrible, caring is saying somebody needs to be accountable for. Statistically, people do not go to jail, police officers shoot unarmed men, they don’t go to jail, they just don’t, for whatever reason.
Pinker: They didn’t in the 60s, 70s, 80s either.
Hughley: So how is this helping me? It’s what I’m saying!
Bill: Because half the country now is saying they should. I did an editorial about the police a couple weeks ago and said things I don’t think anybody ever said before about the police, like if they are mostly good, how come there are so many videos of them being bad and when you shoot somebody in the back it’s cowardly. I don’t think you could say that ten years ago.
Hughley: Listen, I understand… those are thoughts and sentiments I’m sure are well intended but for Philando Castile was a legally armed black man, he got shot on TV, we saw him die, we watched what happened and the officer still got acquitted. I kid in the stairwell in New York, officers shot him, called his union rep while he was dying, they convicted him and he still didn’t go to jail. So our lives still look pretty much the same. People might care more, they say they care more, but that’s results. All anybody wants is to see action behind the words.
Bill: What’s that quote that Obama used to always say about the mark of justice bending slowly?
Moulton: It also matters how quickly he’s bending, right? And look, I’m a white guy I’m not saying I know this, but I spent… No, I mean… It’s important knowledge…
Bill: We are sent into beings even if we are whites, we can say things and make comment and study things. It doesn’t mean we have to recuse ourselves from America. We are all on the same side.
Moulton: Fair enough, I don’t know the black experience but I went down and spent some time in Atlanta with correspondent John Lewis, a true American hero alive today. When we walked around with him, you got the sense that maybe things are better, maybe they’re worse, but in the 60s a lot of people were changing things and things were changing quickly. And I think that things are changing quickly right now and they should be.
Hughley: I appreciate that but if something’s wrong, it should be wrong. There should never have been the time when committing an injustice was acceptable. One of the common refrains as if you don’t break the law, you wouldn’t get killed.
Bill: No one’s arguing that that. Were going to have to end that without arguing. Thank you panel, it’s time for new rules.
* * *
New rule: Since apples look so much alike we use stickers to identify them, let’s do the same with chirpy blondes on Fox News. “Honey, Ainsley Earhart is on!” Never mind. It’s, Sandra Smith.” That petered out quickly, didn’t it?
New rule: Smokey the Bear has to look less like he’s just been caught in a roadside sex sting. Do you have something you want to tell us, Smokey? Because you look guilty, walking out of the woods with no shirt on holding a shovel. Not cool, man. You didn’t have to kill that guy. He was just a married republican who wanted some sex in the woods with a bear.
New rule: Stop making Melania pretend to do people things. Like this totally candid, unposed picture of “gardening.” It’s like putting a party hat on the cat. It should be cute, but it’s just sad.
New rule: Everyone interviewing the pair of identical twins who married another pair of identical twins must ask the only question anyone wants the answer to. “Do you sometimes fuck the wrong one?”
New rule: If you sell sex for money, don’t call yourself a prostitute, because that’s illegal… call yourself a ho, because that word isn’t in the criminal code, which means ho-ing isn’t a crime! And that’s just some of the expert legal advice you can expect when you call 1-844 get Rudy! Rudy Giuliani invented the legal defense of “using a different word” and he can make it work for you! So stop by his office today, his appointment policy is like his marriage policy. Even if he is with someone else, he’ll still see you.
And finally new rule. If Trump supporters don’t want us to call them stupid, they have to stop coming up with things like Q. It was just a few months ago in this space that I was talking about how republicans are now the conspiracy party, and that there is literally nothing so ridiculous they won’t swallow… birth certificate, chemtrails, jade helm, lizard people. And now we have Q. What is Q? Well, Q is a person… but we don’t know who it is… we just know it’s someone with super high “q level” security clearance, so he knows all the shit that goes on in the “deep state,” namely that our government is riddled with a rogue criminal element that is interested in evil in general, but their specialty is pedophilia. And why not, almost half of Trump voters already believed that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, but it turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg, and frankly, it would be easier to find a powerful person who isn’t a pedophile: George Soros is one, and so are the Rothschilds, J.P. Morgan, John McCain, the Illuminati, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and every president since Reagan. But not Trump. Oh no… oh no… in the Q world he’s the superhero whose whole life has been a cover so he could be in place to strike back against the pedophile rings. And then it starts to get weird. Republicans, please, help me. Help me help you. Help ME, help YOU! Because, like it or not, we are family, and you’re like a brother to me. A sick, alcoholic brother who’s lost his fucking mind. Trump rallies these days are full of these Q people, holding up signs and defending their theory with iron-clad logic:
Interviewer [CNN live]: Maybe it’s not true because there’s no evidence of it. It’s just stuff being talked about on the internet, right?
Lady: There hasn’t been any non-evidence yet.
Bill: You heard the lady… there’s no “non-evidence.” Oh, for fuck’s sake, I liked you people better when you were just religious nuts. Can we have the old religion back? Church is full of horrible, ridiculous ideas, but it’s better than Reddit. I mean, really? The man they think is combatting pedophilia, is this guy?
Donald Trump: I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.
From “The Howard Stern Show”, October 2006:
Trump: My daughter, Ivanka. She’s six feet tall. She’s got the best body.
Stern: She’s hot.
Donald Trump: She’s six feet tall. She’s got the best body I was gonna say sex, but I guess I can relate.
Bill: But wait… wait… remember… remember what the dear leader keeps telling us:
Donald trump: What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.
Bill: Not what’s happening. Not what’s happening. Not what’s happening. [Applause and cheering] That’s right, Donald Trump was just posing as a disgusting pervert for the last half-century, to gain credibility so he could go after the real perverts now! The most important thing to always remember is that everything is the opposite of what it appears. Every time Trump appears to be a dumb bumbling idiot, that’s evidence of the exact opposite… the exact opposite… the exact opposite…: that’s right, the FBI are the traitors, the real patriots are in Russia; Trump is clean, Mueller is dirty. The only thing that would make more sense would be finding out that a Trump-loathing conservative baiter like me is Q. Which is why it is true: I am Q. I am, I am Q. I’m revealing it now, I am Q. You don’t believe me? Just ask yourself, is there any non-evidence that I’m not Q?
[Distorte voice] I. Am. Q!
Ooh, it feels so good to finally be myself: a computer whiz in a hoodie. My entire life has been a sham that gave me the perfect cover to be your source for what’s really happening in America. The drugs? The atheism? The stuff at the Playboy mansion? I did that to throw everybody off the scent. I’m actually a Presbyterian who goes to church every Sunday with my wife and our homeschooled twins, Margaret and Thatcher. The pot I smoke is oregano. And the jokes in my monologue are actually coded messages. Except for the ones about Chris Christie being fat, those I just like to tell. So, now that you real Americans know the truth, I, Q, need your help to make America great again. Keep posting your memes, keep believing everything Trump tells you, and above all, on Tuesday, November 6th, stay at home. Stay at home. Do not leave your house on November 6th for any reason, even to buy vape juice. If you have a basement, go there or better, get in the trunk of your car, close it, and don’t leave for whatever reason. Just stay in the trunk of your car until you hear from me. Stay in the trunk… Stay in the trunk… Stay in the trunk…
Okay, that’s our show. I’ll be at the mirage in Vegas September 7th and 8th, at the Ovens in Charlotte, North Carolina September 22nd, I want to thank my guests, D.L. Hughley, Christina Bellantoni, Seth Moulton, Steven Pinker and Lawrence O’Donnell and join us now for Overtime on YouTube. Thank you, folks!