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


Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Respect for the dead

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Respect comes from honesty. You can’t respect opinions if they aren’t honest, and you can’t respect people if you aren’t honest about them.

So, out of respect for the late Antonin Scalia, I have this to say:  Sure, he was a “strict constructionist” — until it came to Bush v. Gore, that is, whereupon he and the rest of the majority on the Supreme Court twisted themselves into pretzels to halt the recount and name Bush the “winner.” Without Scalia, we would’ve had no Iraq war, hundreds of thousands of people would still be alive, thousands of soldiers and civilians wouldn’t have been horribly maimed, and we’d have trillions more in the treasury.

Think about that.

And ask yourself if that isn’t what should go onto the tombstone. Out of respect for the truth.

This gets my vote

Friday, February 12th, 2016


Yesterday at a luncheon, a woman with a mic was asking rhetorically, “What do we call that thing where you do something again and again, expecting a different response?” I leaned over to the woman next to me and said, “Voting.”

One thing I would vote for again and again is “Candidate Confessions — a 2016 Cabaret,” a show about all the “major” 2016 presidential candidates (it’s tough to call them “major” when they’ve even included Jim Gilmore) that the folks at Second City in Hollywood were nice enough to invite me to. If you think it would be hard to make  Donald Trump and Ted Cruz look even more absurd, this show will change your mind. As a cabaret, the show is built around original songs, almost all of them funny and unexpected. I especially enjoyed Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz competing for who could be more “Latino” (with Bush trotting out his Mexican wife), Chris Christie finally getting to sing his version of “Born to Run,” and Carly Fiorina whipping up a new spell for us. Big, big highlights:  a spot-on Ben Carson (courtesy of Choni Francis) so funny it was hard for me to recover from; a closing number (also by Francis) that alone makes the entire show worth seeing; and anything that prominently featured Sarah Oliver (especially that Fiorina bit).

If you’ve got an hour or so and prefer your laughable politics to be on stage, go see this.

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?


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.


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).


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.