New rule: Read this

The best, smartest five minutes of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher are often the last five when Maher goes through the funny and pithy “New Rules,” commentaries on current events with an editorial-length “New Rule” to close. The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass is often laugh-out-loud funny and doesn’t require listening to a conservative blowhard for 53 minutes first. It features both rules from the show and some written specifically for the book. You can see how far ahead Maher and his writing staff have been on some national events. In a rule from August 26, 2005, called “Surreal Estate,” Maher writes, “[It] won’t be funny when the [real estate] bubble bursts and people start going bankrupt, taking banks down with them, and then the markets and then the dollar.” But what does he know? He’s just a comedian.