Pick Wayne's Brain

March 28, 2016

Idiots On The Stage

Filed under: Parody — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 11:08 PM

This is simply something inspired by the tone of some recent political debates. Some of it actually happened. I wish that statement did not have to include the claims about the size of their penises. What can I say? You work with what you got. I hope you enjoy this parody of Herman’s Hermits’ cover of “Silhouettes.”

Idiots On The Stage
Words and Music, “Silhouettes” by Bob Crewe, Frank C. Slay, Frank Slay Jr, 1957
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2016

Took a look at the debate, hate fest night
All their lips were curled and drawn way down tight
(more…)

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March 6, 2016

Look At The Ideologies, Not The Party Names

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 11:40 PM

As I get into my occasional Twitter fights with conservatives, I find that many still believe the false notion that the Democrats and Republicans of today have the same ideological position on the Left/Right-Liberal/Conservative scale as the parties of the same names did 150 years ago. Nothing could be further from the truth. For these people, political ideological history ends about fifty years ago. The Civil Rights Movement didn’t happen, and the famous Southern conservative, pro-segregationists of the Democratic Party didn’t switch to join the Republican Party (cough, Strom Thurmond.) So now along comes Dinesh D’Souza with a movie trying to make that very same bad argument. It’s idiotic and shallow. It completely ignores the content of Republican policy today and how it compares to 1860 Democratic policy. And worst of all for them, it’s hardly an intellectual argument at all since even I can debunk it, and my only intellectual achievement was to be (more…)

March 22, 2015

It’s Clearly Not A Budget

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:26 PM

It’s supposed to be a budget, but clearly it’s not. Sure, it’s got some numbers in it, but it also has places where there are no numbers, just huge assumptions about money that even a high school student would find obviously wrong. For example, they want to repeal Obamacare (because, what, 57th time’s a charm?) but they make no provision for where the tax revenue the ACA generated will be raised. The other major problem with that thing with numbers is that it calls for cutting a trillion dollars in spending without specifying the programs being cut. The likely candidates are “food stamps, disability payments for veterans, the earned income tax credit, and Pell grants for college students,” but even cuts there won’t make up for the money Republicans claim they won’t be spending. In short, there is no way this Republican budget can have any connection to Reality.

That’s putting it more kindly than Paul Krugman. He called Republicans (more…)

November 8, 2014

That Was No Mandate

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 9:49 AM

If you’ve been paying any attention to right wing media this week (and I hope for your sake you’re well paid to do so), you’ve been hearing the “M”-word thrown around a lot – “Mandate.” Conservatives running the gamut from Hannity to Ingraham to Limbaugh to Rove (okay, maybe that’s not the whole gamut; maybe it’s just B-flat to C-flat) have been claiming that the Republican gains in Congress Tuesday night represent a mandate to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “the reason so many people have health insurance when they couldn’t get it before, or, “Obamacare” for short.) Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, they’ve been telling a lot of lies to make their point.

Writing an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal (I won’t link to it since it’s subscription, but the MMFA article has one), Karl Rove claims that the results proved Americans’ “disgust with a six-year liberal experiment.” Yet just one week before, (more…)

October 25, 2014

Five Republicans I Fear Might Win

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 2:11 PM

Courtesy of the good people at Right Wing Watch (a project of People For the American Way dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement), here are five Republicans I fear might win on Election Day (which is just one week from this coming Tuesday.) What’s even more frightening than the mere fact that they won their party’s nomination is that they may end up being members of a Republican-controlled House and Senate. And that would be horrific for anybody in this country who isn’t a white, male billionaire which, last time I checked, was just about all of us.

The five names you don’t want to hear announced as winners on Election Night (or however many days it takes to count up every vote against them) are (more…)

February 8, 2014

Why Republican Religiosity is Wrong

According to my dictionary, the definition of “fact” is

n. 1. the quality of existing or of being real; actuality; truth.
2. something known to exist or have happened.
3. a truth known by actual experience or observation.

Facts are important. When Reality offers a challenge, you must deal with facts if you’re going to solve the problem. You can’t solve a real problem if you ignore the facts, or worse, try to act as if the opposite were true. Now look at the definition of “belief”:

n. 1. something believed; an opinion or conviction.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to vigorous proof.
3. confidence, faith, or trust.
4. a religious tenet or tenets

Notice the difference between these two words. Facts have the quality of (more…)

September 21, 2013

Pru Too Big, Too

The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a US Treasury Dept agency created with the passage of Dodd-Frank, has designated insurance giant Prudential Financial as “too big too fail,” a move that forces the third non-banking institution so designated to undergo additional oversight and stress testing to avoid the kind of financial crisis we endured before. The Pru joins American International Group (better known as AIG) and General Electric Capital Corporation (better known as GE Capital) as non-banks to earn the distinction, and it’s one they don’t want. The FSOC “determined that material financial distress at this company — if it were to occur — could pose a threat to (more…)

April 6, 2013

Republican Lies: Smaller Government

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 7:00 PM

If there’s one phrase that makes me cringe when I hear it from Republicans it’s “smaller government.” It’s been so overused and so misused that I really have no idea what they mean by it. To what does “the size of government” refer? Is it how much money the government spends? Under the George W. Bush Administration, our government spent more than it ever had before, yet I never heard Republicans complaining about deficits or the debt. Is it how many federal agencies there are? Under the Bush Administration, that also grew with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. I’ve never been a fan of the term “homeland security.” Maybe because it’s too close to “Motherland” or “Fatherland,” terms we don’t feel comfortable using in this country. Is it how many employees the federal government has on its payroll? Well, with the federalization of all airport security screeners and the expansion of our military and mercenary forces, that also increased under the Bush Administration. So where were the Republicans to complain about the “size of government” growing under the last Republican president? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if George W. Bush really were the last Republican president? But I digress.

People argue over who is responsible for the federal spending, and because Washington budget politics are a scam that’s almost impossible for the average American to decipher and detect, there’s little point in trying to assign blame. You hear Members of Congress talking about “cuts” in federal spending. But did you know that when they refer to a “cut,” what they’re really referring to is (more…)

January 19, 2013

Will Republicans Ever Get It?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 4:45 AM

Republicans met this week in Williamsburg, VA, to discuss how they could improve their image as a party. They recognize that they are not very popular with women and minorities and they decided that this would be one of the discussion topics at the retreat. Unfortunately for them, their utter cluelessness led them to schedule a discussion of the subject in the Burwell Plantation Room. Yes, that’s right. The “Discussion on Successful Communication with Minorities and Women” took place in a room named for a wealthy Virginia family that owned many slaves. The irony wasn’t lost on everyone. A Congressman interviewed about it said that though the panel discussion would include three white men, it would also include several women. Sadly, he could only identify them as “a woman from CNN” and “Sean Duffy’s wife.” Is it any wonder the Republicans’ approval rating is only 27%?

Then there’s the debt ceiling. Setting aside the issue of whether or not a debt ceiling violates the 14th Amendment, for years the Republicans have been trying to forcefully tie spending cuts to increases in the debt ceiling. No spending cuts, no debt ceiling increase. This is ludicrous because future spending has nothing to do with past debts, and there are plenty of unpaid bills that can be directly linked to GOP policies and laws. For example, the Republicans passed a Medicare prescription drug bill that not only prohibited the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients (like the Department of Veterans Affairs can), it also did not raise any taxes to pay for the new debt this bill brought. Add to that both the War in Afghanistan (which I refuse to describe as a “War on Terror” because that’s like having a “War on Fear”) and the War of Revenge in Iraq (which had nothing whatsoever to do with the people who committed horrific crimes on our soil on 9/11/01), wars that were kept off budget until President Obama put them in the budget (which is why right-wingers often like to falsely say that Obama increased the deficit) and you’ve got a huge mountain of IOUs. Some like to say the GOP spent like drunken sailors, but even sailors have credit limits on their credit cards, and the GOP happily increased the debt ceiling to cover their unfinanced spending without raising a peep about the effects on the nation’s credit rating. Their last standoff over the debt ceiling resulted in you and I paying billions of dollars more in interest on our existing debt. And just about everybody expected the Republicans to announce that they were drawing a line in the sand (again), putting their foot down (again), and refusing to raise the debt ceiling (again). So it was a bit of a surprise when GOP Leader Eric Cantor announced in a press release that next week, “We will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget.” I had always thought that this was a matter of some kind of principle (ill-defined and unspecified though it may be) with the GOP, but apparently they think nobody is paying much attention to what they’ve done in the past compared to what they’re doing today. I am.

For some reason, the GOP acts as though the American people want the GOP running the country, even though they know this isn’t true. They’ve even admitted that the only reason they currently control the House of Representatives is because of gerrymandered districts. Nationwide in 2012, the Democrats got more than a million votes more than Republicans. And despite this attempt at cheating (when, since 1980, has the GOP done anything honestly?), the GOP lost seats in both chambers of Congress. If the American people really wanted the country to be run by Republicans, wouldn’t both the White House and Congress be in GOP hands come Monday? So why do they continue to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite its constitutionality and popularity? Why do they continue to restrict women’s reproductive rights even further? Why did they hold a meeting to discuss how they can reach out to minorities in a room named for a slave-owning family? Maybe it’s time the Republican Party face the facts. They have no idea what they’re doing and they’re just no good at governing.

An amusing side note, on Wednesday night, the GOP had blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer give an inspirational speech. Mr. Weihenmayer did something amazing despite being blind, and that was to climb to the top of Mt Everest a decade ago. (Well, they told him it was Mt Everest.) I did not recall hearing about the story when it happened, but I do remember this classic blooper from a news program where he was about to be interviewed.

December 1, 2012

There Is No Fiscal Cliff

So what’s all this talk about a “fiscal cliff”? Who’s trying to scare us about what’s happening at the end of the year? Well, it turns out that the Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, first described the coming combination of tax hikes and spending cuts as a “fiscal cliff.” He didn’t coin the term, but he was the first to apply it to what may happen. And there isn’t universal agreement that it’s the best way to describe it. There are many who prefer “fiscal slope.” I like “fiscal downshift.” Still moving forward, just a little bit slower.

Despite Republican denials, the stumbling block is clearly (more…)

November 10, 2012

Republicans Still Don’t Get Governing

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 7:39 AM

In his remarks following Tuesday’s elections, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-House of Orange) said that in working with the President, the Republicans would not compromise their principles. But that is the essence of governing – compromising. You’re never going to get everything you want, especially if your party doesn’t control all of government, so you agree to give up some of what you want if the other guy will do the same. But Republicans believe that “compromising” means the other guy completely abandons his positions and comes over to yours before you start negotiating.

I really don’t understand where the Republican Party got this idea that the country has taken a hard turn to the Right. It never did! Our greatest achievements as a nation, (more…)

October 27, 2012

Will We See The Next Frankenstorm Coming?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 3:54 AM

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a possibility of a storm even worse than the Perfect Storm of 1991 hitting the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast next week. Dubbed a “Frankenstorm”, it could be the result of a huge hurricane striking the coast at the same time a cold front moves in from across the country. And while weather prediction is still not a perfect science, our satellites have made it possible to see and track massive storms like Hurricane Sandy. But there’s a very real danger that we (more…)

October 6, 2012

Republican Denial of Reality

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 3:27 AM

Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA) is member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. At a recent banquet in Georgia, Rep. Broun had this to say: [WARNING: The following transcript and video may precipitate an episode of irritable bowel syndrome.]

From Rep. Paul Broun’s (R-GA) remarks at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, 2012, in Hartwell, Georgia:

BROUN: God’s word is true. (more…)

September 29, 2012

Ann Romney, Surrogate Liar

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 3:05 AM

In a recent interview with a Nevada television station, Ann Romney, in addition to confessing should her husband outdo the more heavily favored snowball in Hell and actually win the election this November, said that her main concern would be for his “mental health.” But she also said something that reinforces a common right-wing lie. She said, “This economy has been under his control for the last four years, and we have seen no jobs,” Romney said. “It’s been a jobless recovery.” That is not true.

Most Americans do not know how their U. S. Senate operates. It is not exactly a democratic (small-“d”) institution. (more…)

May 19, 2012

Really, Michele? Really?

I need the help of someone who lives in Minnesota, preferably in Michele Bachmann’s district I just received an e-mail from her (I sign up for newsletters from several Republicans just to see what kind of crap they spew to their supposed supporters, of which I am not one) in which she claimed something rather dubious in veracity. Let me quote the first part of the e-mail: (more…)

June 30, 2011

See Our Best

Well, it looks like the Republicans are putting together another unexciting field of candidates. According to a recent poll, the candidate that Republican voters were most excited about, by 67%, was “None.” In honor of the Republican Candidates for president, I present this song, based on another Disney classic, “Be Our Guest”, from “Beauty and the Beast.” (Another of my personal favorites.)

See Our Best
Original words and music “Be Our Guest” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2011

REINCE PRIEBUS (SPOKEN):
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the GOP proudly presents…

Your winner!

REINCE PRIEBUS:
See our best! See our best!
Put our viewpoints to the test.
Tie a mike around our neck, and see
That we are not in jest.
Kooks for sure, anti-gay,
Anti-anything you say
Try the hate stuff, it’s malicious,
So deceiving and so vicious (more…)

June 19, 2011

Under Their Scheme

Please don’t sue me, Disney. I just wanted to warn people about the dangers of what the Republicans are trying to do, and I thought a catchy little tune might help. This also happens to be one of my all-time favorite Disney songs.

Under Their Scheme
Original words and music “Under The Sea” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, 1989
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2011

Sebastian (spoken): Ariel, listen to me. The Ayn Rand world is a mess
Life under their scheme is deader than anything you’d want out there

(singing) The sequence is always greener, in somebody’s else’s take
You dream about growing up there, but that is a big mistake
Just look how their view confounds you, they scare you and want you poor
Such powerful things astound you, what good is they working for?

Under their scheme, under their scheme
Medicare’s deader, not getting better, take it from me (more…)

December 12, 2010

Their House

Filed under: Parody — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 12:17 PM

Well, as we all know, our worst nightmares came through on Election Day and the Republicans won enough seats to take control of the House of Representatives. But what everyone wants to know is how will they govern? And that’s an interesting question because Republicans have no interest in governing, only in ruling. But we do know that with their penchant for telling lies, their House will be one filled with deceit.

Their House
Original words and music by Madness, 1982
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2010

Boehner talks the Sunday fest
Cantor’s wired to do the rest
The lies they’re making up will scare
Seems they’re standing in it deep
Bagger’s have a vow to keep
They won’t hang around

Their House, will be riddled with deceit
(more…)

December 6, 2010

The Cut That Isn’t a Cut

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:20 PM

As you may have heard, President Barack Obama and the Republicans (who, oddly enough, are not, technically, in power yet), have struck a deal extending the Bush Tax Cuts For The Wealthy (their official name) for another two years. In return for these tax “cuts”, the Republicans have agreed to extend unemployment benefits for currently unemployed people for another thirteen months along with a few other helpful things for the poor. The stage has been set to make this a campaign issue for 2012. Do you support extending tax “cuts” for millionaires and billionaires who don’t need them? Or do you finally agree that rich people do not use their tax savings to create jobs? But is anybody really going to be paying less in taxes because of this? Not necessarily.

In Washington, DC, and only in Washington, DC, a “cut” is merely a (more…)

July 3, 2010

Republican Girl

This could really be about any of them. Sarah Palin. Michelle Bachmann. Liz Cheney. Phyllis Schlafly. They’re all out there, so detached from reality. Maybe you can name some more. 🙂

As usual, thank you, Jane, for your help.

Republican Girl
Original words and music “American Girl” by Tom Petty
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

Well, she was a Republican girl
Raised on premises
She couldn’t help thinkin’ that she
Was a little more Pro-Life than all else
After all it was a (more…)

May 7, 2010

The Right Ignores

One of the challenges we on the Left have in debating some on the Right is the experience of debating someone who is not working within the same reality we are. It seems that no matter how correct we might be, some on the Right will just be willfully blind to the facts. Their ideology is the framework for their belief system, and it makes no difference to them that this framework does not match the truth. No matter how many experts you give them, no matter how strong a proof you can lay out, if it doesn’t match their pre-conceived notions, they will simply ignore it.

The Right Ignores
Original words and music “The Night Before” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

We hear all these guys (ah the Right ignores)
Proof was in our eyes (ah the Right ignores)
But to facts they’re blind
You can’t change their mind
(more…)

July 12, 2009

Republicans Lie

I have decided to make this post sticky so that newcomers to my blog can find it more easily. I also hope they’ll check out the rest of it, too. And thank you all for visiting my blog.

I have to thank Jane for her fantastic help with some of the words. Her suggestions really made this a lot better and a lot easier to write. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you very much, and if you’re out there Don McLean™, I apologize. 🙂

UPDATE: At the very good suggestion of a poster at dkos (Fumie), I changed one word. “stay” to “pay”. I like it better. I hope you do, too. I am not in the habit of changing these things after I finally post them (except to correct typos.) 🙂

Republicans Lie
(Original words and music, “American Pie™” by Don McLean™,
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2009)

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that party use to show its guile.
And I knew if they had their chance,
That they would take an ugly stance
And maybe they’d be greedy for a while.

But Ronald Reagan made me shiver
With every falsehood he’d deliver.
Bad views for the nation,
I couldn’t fake elation.

I still remember how they cried
When they read about his widowed bride.
But something left them satisfied,
The way they used their lies.

So why, why do Republicans lie?
Give them credit how they edit
Out what they want to hide.
And them Party boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
Singin’, “This’ll be the way The Truth dies.
This’ll be the way The Truth dies.”

Do you hate the Book of Rules,
And would you make space for God in schools,
If the Bible tells you so?
(more…)

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