By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Polls continue to show that a majority of Americans dislike the recently enacted healthcare reform. A CBS poll taken last week showed 53% of voters disapproving the law compared to 39 percent approving it. This represents a deterioration from a CBS pre-enactment poll showing 48 percent opposed and 37 percent in favor just prior to passage.
President Obama remained unfazed by the results and boasted that “voters will think differently after they hear from me in the upcoming weeks. I haven’t been called the best campaigner since FDR without good reason. A barrage of my eloquence will leave them begging for even more reform than I’ve already given them.”
It may be a hard sell for the President. Younger voters, a bloc that went for Obama by a two-to-one ratio in the November 2008 balloting are targeted as a cash source by the healthcare legislation. Estimates are that insurance rates for this demographic segment will rise 17% faster than inflation over the next few years.
Vice-President Joe Biden defended the impact on younger Americans as “simple fairness. They’re more physically fit and have longer to live than their elders. These very real advantages are certainly worth more than money. Paying more money so that those in worse condition can be adequately cared for is a minor sacrifice compared to suffering the frailties we older folks have to put up with.”
Democrats Decry Corporate Revelations on Obamacare
The wave of corporate announcements of the special multimillion dollar charges to their income statements that will be necessary to account for the costs of the newly enacted healthcare legislation has sparked anger among Democrat leaders.
Obama Administration Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke called the announcements “unpatriotic.” “Although these kinds of adjustments to company earnings may be required under Securities and Exchange regulations, there’s no need for them to be so public about it,” Locke complained. “If people start to think that the new law is more of a burden than a benefit they may turn against the President. So, my question is couldn’t these companies have just suffered in silence for the sake of the country?”
“Suffer in silence is precisely what they should’ve done,” according to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif). “Now they’re going to answer to me in Committee hearings. And I warn you, it won’t be pretty.”
US Bureau of Prisons Sued
The government agency that oversees federal prisons has been sued by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) for isolating Muslim inmates from the rest of the incarcerated felons.
Rachel Meeropol, a staff attorney for CCR asserted that “isolating these men is discriminatory and violates their right to the free practice of their religion.”
Meeropol rejected the argument that these Muslim inmates’ potential for violence against other inmates justifies separating them from potential victims. “These men are commanded by their faith to proselytize amongst the nonbelievers,” Meeropol said. “To deny them this opportunity interferes with the practice of their religion. Confronting nonbelievers and persuading them to accept Islam is a practice that is fundamental to being a good Muslim. Blocking this on the grounds that the Quran sanctions killing those who refuse Islam imposes Western standards on those who expressly reject them.”
“Freedom of religion must not be trampled by squeamish authorities who fail to comprehend cultures of which they remain ignorant,” Meeropol added.
No Wrongdoing in Climategate Scandal Says Committee
A House of Commons investigation into the bogus climate data put out by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) found the practices “well within the norms for university-based research.”
“Cooking the numbers in order to ensure continued grant funding is a common technique in the world of academia,” the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee report said. “To single out Professor Jones and his fellow climate researchers would impose a higher standard on them than is applied to others in the academic community.”
The report said “demands that government-funded scientists be immune to the temptations of greed and personal interest is naïve. In movies scientists may save the world. In reality, though, their looking out for ‘number one’ is what we should anticipate.”
UK Cracking Down on Fish Sales
A sting operation in the United Kingdom has netted a $1500 fine on Joan Higgins, 66, owner of Majors Pet Shop in Sale, England. Ms. Higgins has also been fitted with an ankle monitor so police may keep track of her movements during a seven-week curfew that was also imposed as a penalty. Ms. Higgins’ crime was to sell a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy sent into the store by police as part of an entrapment ploy.
“I realize that the average person might not see the importance of this case,” admitted Molly Caudel, Undersecretary of the Department for Children, Schools and Families. “But selling a fish to a person less than 16-years old is illegal. And we cannot allow the law to be flouted.”
Caudel defended the law as “a public health and safety matter. Young people have been buying and swallowing these kinds of fish. Choking and fish-borne disease are distinct possibilities we must be on guard against.”
Currently, there is no law to prevent those older than 16 purchasing goldfish and supplying them to under 16-year-olds. However, Caudel says her Department is “working with police to discourage this sort of subterfuge. We must not shy away from taking whatever effort is necessary to prevent under-aged children from being exposed to this unnecessary risk.”
Obamacare Will Save Money
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says that the recently enacted healthcare legislation will end up saving the US government money in the long run.
“Right now, a huge proportion of the nation’s health spending goes to prolonging the lives of the terminally ill,” Krugman pointed out. “By instituting a government review of both patients and treatments this waste of resources can be eliminated.”
“Characterizing this review as a ‘death panel,’ as critics like Sarah Palin have done, is overly melodramatic.” Krugman said. “Denying futile treatment isn’t the same as putting someone to death. I mean, everyone dies. It’s merely a question of when. Logically, there’s no sense expending the nation’s scarce resources trying to avert an event that is ultimately inevitable.”
TSA to Drop Extra Scrutiny of Travelers from Muslim Nations
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will discontinue extra airport screening on all travelers from “terror-prone” Muslim nations due to protests from offended allies such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. The extra screening had been put in place following the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a flight to Detroit by a passenger flying out of Nigeria.
“Look nothing we are doing is all that effective anyway,” said TSA’s Acting Administrator, Gale Rossides. “I mean, the extra scrutiny we’re using now wouldn’t have stopped the Christmas Day bomber even if it had been in effect then. So, why insult our friends by continuing a useless procedure?”
Rossides contended that “the main accomplishment of the TSA measures thus far has been to help overcome Americans’ fear of flying by making it seem that safeguards are in place—thereby avoiding a devastating decline in air travel. Confiscating nail clippers and shampoo gives everyone the idea that they’re sacrificing convenience to help keep the country safe. It’s a small price to pay for cultivating an appearance of security.”
Florida May Tax Bottled Water
In a desperate grab for more revenue, Florida legislators are considering a special excise tax on bottled water.
“Nobody really needs to drink bottled water,” argued tax advocate, Senator Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach). “Municipal water systems provide all the water people need.”
Bipartisan support came from Senator Charlie Justice (D-St. Petersburg) who characterized bottled water as “a rich man’s drink. If a person can afford to buy bottled water then he can afford to pay a tax on it.”
A secondary consideration expressed by a senator who declined to speak for the record is that “the government’s ability to efficiently deliver fluoridation is undermined when people drink bottled water. We need to deter this practice for the sake of our dental health alone.”