Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

A yuge amount of money, just yuge

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Twice, this piece on Politico says that a conservative PAC is spending “$500,000 million” on just this one GOP Congresswoman’s re-election. That’s… um… half a trillion dollars. Or, as I think of it: even more money than Trump lost in any given even year.

(Update:  They’ve corrected it. Now the PAC is spending “only” $500,000 — to protect a GOP House member in normally ultra-red Utah.)

Fucking red letter day

Saturday, October 8th, 2016



Today, on its front page, the New York Times printed the word “fuck.” And the word “pussy,” of course.

Prediction: Before this election is over, we’ll be seeing the word “cumshot” on the front pages of newspapers, and the only debate will be people like me arguing over its spelling.

The past two years has shown that all of this is certainly a good way to pick the leader of the free world. Just judge by the result so far.

The LAST person to defend Trump

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Yes, I watched the debate last night. Then dug in for an enjoyable evening of reading comments on Facebook and Twitter. Yee haw.

This morning, a friend of mine posted this on FB:

“Believe me, when I say I am the LAST person to defend Trump, but to everyone that is focusing their energy on mocking him for saying ‘Bigly,’ go back and listen again (if you can stomach it). I could be wrong, but I think he’s saying ‘Big League.’ ”

I’m not going to defend “bigly” — which is not in Webster’s New World Dictionary or Webster’s New World College Dictionary, which I consider the sources for proving (or disproving) such matters; however, I should note that “big lie” is in there, and perhaps that’s what Trump was fishing for. Of course.

But, going to the heart of the matter while parsing the language, I still don’t think my too-generous friend is on firm ground.

  • Because I think the LAST person to defend Trump would be one of those ex-wives.
  • Next-to-last would be all those vendors he screwed.
  • Then it would be all the employees and all the lenders shafted in his six bankruptcies.
  • Then it would be his GOP rivals who didn’t cave.
  • Then Bill, then Hillary, then Chelsea.

(I’m sure I’m forgetting others.)

Comparatively, and with all due respect, by the time it gets to my friend, he’s practically a supporter.



About walls

Friday, September 23rd, 2016


“Walls are for hiding behind. Americans don’t hide.” So says my friend the writer and performer and patriot Ernest Kearney. Check it out here.

Don’t sweat the Brexit

Friday, June 24th, 2016


I got up this morning and screamed, “Sell everything!” I put my house on the market, gathered up the guns and ammo, loaded up the vehicles with water and canned goods, and got ready to set off for the mountains. After all, the English, who clearly are at the root of all of the world’s economy, controlling as they do some fraction of 2.5% of the world’s economy, had voted to pick up their Crackerjacks and go home!

Then I read this, from my friend Jane Beule of financial planning firm Griffin Black.

So now all of us have more time to work on our doomsday prep. Newly advised by Jane, I started unloading the minivan.

Next week:  Those Killer Bees — they’re getting closer!


Turning up the heat

Monday, June 20th, 2016


Yesterday was a record-breaking temperature here in Burbank, CA — 109 degrees. Except today it went above that. All I can say is, I can’t wait for this global-warming hoax to come to an end. By the way, the photo above, of the temperature outside my car when I had to run a brief errand today, reads 108 degrees. It’s blurry because reality was starting to melt all around us.

Speaking of reality melting, the Senate just voted down legislation that would have banned gun sales to suspected terrorists. Let me repeat that:  a week after 49 people in Florida were murdered, and another 53 wounded, by a man that many of these very same Senators said was associated with terrorism (others have their doubts), the Senate said no to legislation to ban gun sales to suspected terrorists. Because, you know, why do that? It’s also notable that probably the least-voting member of the Senate, “Little” Marco Rubio, made the journey to Washington, D.C. in order to vote against the measure.

And what’s the state he theoretically represents?


Bringing in the big guns

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

I’ve been stewing in my anger from the Orlando shooting, and spent far too much time today online debating zealots who somehow still think ISIS is to blame — or, better, OBAMA. As I wrote to one, re the ISIS theory, “Let’s assume you’re right. And that’s an assumption — neither one of us knows. But I’ll capitulate. Can we ban the AR-15 now? Because even if the guy was from outer space, he BOUGHT THE GUN LEGALLY HERE IN THE SAME WEEK HE MURDERED PEOPLE WITH IT.” Rather than tackle that, my Facebook correspondent pivoted to blaming Obama, which prompted this reply from me:  “I hadn’t realized until now that the President of the United States was responsible for this massacre. I thought it was a guy with an AR-15. Thank you for the clarity.”

So it was that sort of day, with me venting my anger with no real purpose. Except momentary bursts of satisfaction, sure. (As opposed to the rapid-fire stream of killing pleasure afforded by the AR-15.)

Finally, I just decided to go to the gym and take it out on the weights.

But when I got home I saw this: now dozens of former military leaders — including generals — have banded together to create a new gun control group.

Take THAT, National Rifle Association. Now the big guns are aimed at you.

Said retired Marine Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney, “Felons, domestic abusers, even known terrorists can buy a gun here without something as simple as a criminal background check. This has to stop.” Thank you, general.

Well do I remember what just the moms were able to accomplish with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. (Stringent new enforcement in 50 states.)  The gun lobby has alienated the moms, but also the dads, children, gays, government workers, and now even military leaders. Now we have a shot at reform.

And let me repeat, as I’m going to keep doing, I’m not against guns for hunting, or target practice, or self-defense. I’m against gun massacres.

Shooting for hope

Monday, June 13th, 2016


Yesterday morning I awoke to the news that someone had stormed into a gay club in Orlando, FL and killed about 50 people and wounded about another 50 and was holding some people hostage until finally the police were able to kill him.

You’ve already heard that story. I know.

You’ve heard it many times by now, with little variations.

Sometimes involving government workers as the victims, or people in an office, or shoppers, or people out for a movie, or even children.

I don’t have anything to say about this that you haven’t already heard elsewhere. I will just add that over the past day I’ve vacillated between being very sad about it and being very angry. Because it is never true that “nothing can be done,” I’m leaning heavily toward being angry.


Because this particular mass murderer had gays in his crosshairs, I thought I’d share this.

Yesterday, by coincidence, mere hours after I awoke to find that a man incensed about gay people had targeted and killed dozens of them, spraying them with bullets in a place they’d gone to drink and dance and meet each other, I went to see probably the foremost musical of our lives that celebrates diversity and difference, “La Cage Aux Folles.” I didn’t particularly feel like fighting traffic downtown to see it when what I really wanted to do was be angry on the internet and in my personal writing, but a female friend and I had set this date about six weeks ago, so I went. It turned out to be exactly what I needed.

Not just because “La Cage,” which focuses on a gay couple and their farcical adventures at their drag-queen nightclub, celebrates the basic human empathy that I believe dwells in most of us.

Not just because this particular production, courtesy of East West Players, one of the nation’s premier Asian theatre companies, is glorious. (Just the sheer professionalism of it all — the singing, dancing, acting, choreography, costumes, everything — was remarkable.)

Not just because I laughed large and loud.

But also because:  The makeup of the audience told me that the haters have already lost.

It wasn’t a “gay” audience. And it wasn’t an “Asian” audience. It was just an audience, an audience made up of white, black, yellow and brown, gay and straight, male and female, old and young. A mixed-race couple in front of me (Caucasian and Asian) had brought their son, who I figure is 10. Behind me sat a Chinese man with his elderly mother. A few seats to my left and a row ahead were a white hetero couple in their 70s. I saw a young black woman in the back, and also a girl strapped into an upright wheelchair. And on and on.

All of us were there, together, for a celebratory expression of tolerance, understanding, and joy. Big, pure joy.

Do I want things done about our epidemic of mass shootings? Yes. In the meantime, whatever happens, do I think it likely that anyone can turn back the tide of history —  especially now that sentiment travels instantaneously around the world —  that ultimately will draw us all closer together? No.

So I’m going to hold onto my rage — truly nurture it — so that the deaths of the people in Florida, and Colorado, and Connecticut, and Texas, and California, and practically everywhere else in the U.S., for whatever “reasons” the various shooters gave, aren’t for nothing. I’m going to talk to my Congressman about the legislation I believe in, and I’m going to send him some money, and send some other money elsewhere against other people. And I’m going to keep telling everyone:  I’m not against guns, and I’m not against hunting or target shooting or self-protection — but I’m against gun massacres, and this has to stop.

But while I’m doing all this, I’m going to hold onto hope. Because sooner or later, we will win.



Monday, May 16th, 2016


Question / joke of the day

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Bernie Sanders is laying off hundreds of staffers.

What kind of socialist lays off people?