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


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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The good news

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

For Carly Fiorina, ending her campaign provides another opportunity to fire people.

My Iowa caucus prediction

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

The Iowa caucuses are tomorrow. I’ve been following the polls closely, as well as a great deal of press coverage. Also, I have been to Iowa, to lose about a hundred bucks in a casino a few years ago, and to stop in at a strip club with friends. (Female friends who thought it would be fun. But the club was closed.) Given my obvious expertise, expertise that puts me on equal footing with anyone on MSNBC or Fox News, I feel confident that I can make this prediction regarding the caucus results:  I predict that the winners will be a Republican and a Democrat that the majority of Americans don’t want as president.

In fact, I 100% guarantee this will be the result.

Enough is more than enough

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Six weeks ago, I posted “Ho hum, another shooting.” By some estimations, there have been almost four dozen more mass shootings in America since then.

It appears to be too much to ask that elected representatives do something about this. One of my friends on Facebook theorized that the gun lobby effectively owns Congress. But you know what there’s even more of than NRA supporters?

Parents.

And parents, especially middle-aged parents with children in college, or with grandchildren out and about, tend to vote in large numbers. So if Congress is afraid of alienating the gun lobby, maybe the best solution is to make them more afraid of alienating the parental lobby worried about their offspring getting shot up.

So now I’m encouraging everyone to join Everytown for Gun Safety.

As I stated back here (in reference to another of the 355 mass shootings so far this year in the United States), I’m not anti-gun. I actually like guns. I’m anti-gun-massacres.

Everytown for Gun Safety (note from the name: they’re not “taking guns away”) has a common-sense platform for reducing gun violence. The organization was formed by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats and, perhaps most importantly, mothers who were sick and tired of shootings.

Please visit their website by clicking here, learn more — and join. Because when our political power outweighs that of the NRA, we’ll be more likely to stop mass shootings.

Sole support — update

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Lincoln Chafee just confirmed that he although he’s dropping out of the presidential race, he is available for consideration as vice-president. But he does have to pick up his dry cleaning first.

Sole support

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Lincoln Chafee has dropped out of the presidential race.

I’m sure his supporter will be disappointed.

House rules

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

News flash: Paul Ryan has announced that he’ll run for Speaker of the House if the GOP will pick out all the brown M&M’s first.

Speak-less

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Here’s that video from Colbert about nobody wanting to become Speaker of the House. It’s still funny (and still kinda not funny).

Bi-bi-bi

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

The other night on a friend’s recommendation I recorded Stephen Colbert’s show to catch a bit he did on the multi-car pileup that is the House Speaker’s succession. (Or, I guess, secession. For two men in a row.)  The piece was indeed hilarious.

I wound up watching all of the show (although fast-forwarding a rather empty interview with James Corden who, yes, can sing and dance, but who seems to have nothing to say) and then came upon the musical guest:  Halsey. I recognized her song, “New Americana,” which is at #95 on the U.S. charts but constantly on my radio, and decided to learn a little more about her. I looked her up and learned that she’s 21, grew up about 30 miles away from my birthplace, and is biracial, bisexual, and bipolar. And then it occurred to me that, even 10 years ago, any one of those three would have disqualified you for any number of things; now you can be on network TV and mention all of it in your official biography.

Meanwhile, the GOP is acting far crazier than any of the bipolar people I know.

Who is the worst CEO in history?

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

I’ll give you a hint: She’s running for President.

Dog-bites-man massacres

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

If you haven’t yet, please invest the 12 minutes to watch the President’s statement about today’s mass shooting, at a community college in Oregon. I say “today’s,” because we now have one every day. Given that these shootings are now business as usual, you may not have seen this.

There’s an old saying in journalism, that dog-bites-man isn’t a story, but man-bites-dog is, because the latter is so unusual. I remember when the Colombine high-school-shooting massacre happened in 1999, the news was not just awful, as today’s was, but also breathtaking. How could this happen? It was so massive, so unusual, so man-bites-dog. I was in an airport — in Colorado, I believe — and started making and receiving cellphone calls about the massacre, as every television station in the airport started carrying news about it.

Now it’s 16 years later, and we’ve made zero progress on gun violence, and we now reside in a time when there’s a mass shooting every day, so it’s not unusual. It’s dog-bites-man.

For the record, I like guns. I used to like them for hunting, and I’ve always liked them for target practice — either paper targets, or cans, or skeet. More than 40 years after learning how to shoot as a boy, I’m still a good shot. Most of my family shoots, most of them for target practice, some of them still for hunting. I’m not anti-gun. I’m anti-gun-massacres.

A few years ago, there was a study that showed that more gun laws equate with fewer gun deaths. Here’s some reporting on that. I don’t want all the guns rounded up. (That’s impossible anyway.) I want better profiling, I want a slower application process, and whatever else will help restrict crazy people from easily accessing automatic weapons and taking them to college campuses, shopping centers, movie theaters, and every single other place that we congregate.

I want the idea of mass shootings in this country to become unusual again.