Spate of the Union

by Miles Leicher

Let's talk about numbers.  Specifically, the number 200.  In the year 200, Chinese warlord Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shao in the battle of Guandu, leading to the unification of Northern China (like I have to tell you that).  More recently, 200 cows were found dead on a farm in Wisconsin.  I suspect Cao Cao, but I can't back that up.  And tonight, in what is indisputably the most important event in history, 'Real Time with Bill Maher' will broadcast our 200th live episode on HBO!  Suck on that, everything else!

From the looks of it, tonight's show is shaping up to be another great one.  Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Kim Campbell, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Will Cain and DL Hughley will be here to talk about the issues of the day and, by popular demand, Bill's monologue will be followed by a rebuttal from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

If you consider yourself a fan of history, facts or eye contact - and also watched Rep. Bachmann's response to the President's State of the Union address on CNN - I have some advice for you: pick up the phone, dial 3-1-1 and request that the city come pick up and dispose of the television that (I'm assuming) you threw out your window.  At least that works here in LA.  Check your local listings.

Among the forward-thinking economic solutions proposed by Rep. Bachmann: stop the EPA, drill for oil, roll back some (unspecified) regulations, repeal 'Obamacare' and cut corporate taxes.  She then went on to say, "Just the creation of this nation itself was a miracle. Who's to say we can't see a miracle again?"  Which, if you think about it, pretty well sums up the Republicans' plan: "Screw the environment, consumers and sick people; let's cut taxes and hope for a miracle!"

Now, there may be some lampooning of CNN tonight over their choice to air Rep. Bachmann's comments.  I should point out that both HBO and CNN are owned by Time Warner, which makes them, as Wolf Blitzer likes to say, "sister-networks."  And, like sisters, they usually just share clothes and fight over the bathroom.  But then, inevitably, one of them starts hanging out with some jerk who everybody knows is no good for her, but she ignores the advice of her family and friends, insisting that she has to make her own mistakes if she's ever going to learn anything or boost her ratings.  But, in the end, they love each other unconditionally, because that's what sisters do.  And that's more or less what we're seeing here.  I guess what I'm trying to say with all of this is: I'm glad I don't have a sister.