President Defends Delay in Approach to Gulf Oil Spill
By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
President Barack Obama took on critics who say he has waited too long to take action on the BP oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.
“Those who say we should have acted sooner have misplaced priorities,” the President asserted. “A hasty plugging of the leak would’ve squandered a valuable demonstration of the folly of an economy dependent upon oil-based sources of energy. Now no one can question the consequences of that dependence.”
The President pointed out that “the magnitude of this disaster has created a significant opportunity for us to move forward toward ending this dependency. First, it has given me the opportunity to order a stop to all offshore drilling—a step that would not have been possible without this crisis.”
“Second, this spill has so damaged the public’s perception of BP that my immediate move to seize $20 billion of their assets for distribution at my direction can go forward without serious objection.”
“Finally, it has given new life to my legislative agenda—including the ‘cap and tax’ energy bill, ‘green jobs’ subsidies, and ‘high-speed rail’ initiatives.”
The President urged people to remember that “the oil spill is also permanently taking billions of gallons of oil out of the production pipeline. Look, my drilling ban could be lifted by a subsequent president. But the oil from this spill that is lost to dispersion and evaporation will be gone for good—bringing the day when we are forced to do without it that much closer.”
Vice-President Joe Biden called criticism of the President’s unprecedented seizure of funds from BP “insensitive.” “Those who put the law ahead of the people in a time of crisis have no heart,” Biden contended. “Do they really want the President to shy away from the threats and arm-twisting he deems necessary for coping with the situation on the grounds of some legal technicality? When the people cry out for justice the President must act. We must trust in his sense of fairness rather than put our faith in words on a scrap of paper.”
Congressional Leaders Advise against “Town Hall” Meetings
A purported rationale for a summer recess in the congressional session has been to give members a chance to reconnect with constituents. A time-honored tradition for accomplishing this reconnect has been the so-called “town hall” meeting. The open format enables a congressman to achieve efficiencies of scale by answering a question or concern held by many at one time and place. Democratic leaders are advising Party members to skip this type meeting this summer.
“We did this last year,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said. “We got hammered with angry demands that we not pass the health care bill. That wasn’t helpful. We needed that bill. Hearing reasons why it shouldn’t pass didn’t aid the progress of the legislation. Now that it’s passed we don’t need to get beat up for it.”
As a substitute for the open meeting, Democrats were urged to schedule “by-appointment-only” get-togethers. “This way you can be assured that only those who you’ve screened ahead of time will show up,” Pelosi recommended. “Correlating the invitation to meet with an invitation to make a campaign donation will help weed-out the antagonistic and build up funds for your reelection effort. Your time is valuable. You shouldn’t just give it away to someone just because he lives in your district. Extract a reasonable price for this access.”
SC Democrats Decline to Overturn Greene Election
Alvin Greene, the surprise winner of the South Carolina Democratic Primary election for the nomination to run for the US Senate will not be deposed by State Party officials. Greene, an unemployed 32-year-old former Army veteran facing a pending trial on a felony obscenity charge, won nearly 60% of the votes despite the absence of any sign of a campaign.
A request by Greene’s defeated opponent, former state legislator Vic Rawl, to have the election overturned was denied the state Democratic Party Executive Committee on the grounds that “there is insufficient evidence of a wrongful outcome. The absence of a visible campaign, while unusual is not unprecedented. The possibility that the visible Rawl was less attractive than a largely unknown and invisible Greene cannot be ruled out.”
Greene may also have benefited from a sympathy vote mused one member of the Executive Committee speaking “off-the-record.” “Unemployed felons have been targeted as a key constituency for the Democratic Party,” he argued. “While not yet a convicted felon, Mr. Greene is unemployed. And the charge against him—what man can deny that he hasn’t done the same at some point in his life. Maybe Greene is the ‘everyman’ America needs. This may just be our generation’s version of ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.’”
Congressman Says Constitution on His Side in Assault Incident
Representative Bob Etheridge (D-NC) was recently videotaped assaulting a student reporter on the sidewalk. The student’s offense: asking him a question about his stance on “the Obama agenda.” Etheridge has brushed aside charges that he has broken the law and insists that he was “within my Constitutional rights” in the incident.
While Etheridge’s behavior would appear to fall within the legal definition of felony assault, the Representative claims he is Constitutionally exempt from any charges under Article I, Section 6 of the US Constitution. “The Constitution says that a member of Congress ‘shall not be questioned in any other place,’” Etheridge argued. “A public sidewalk is obviously one of those ‘other places’ contemplated. So, right out of the gate, we see that the person complaining about me was in the wrong.”
“Secondly, members of Congress are immune from arrest while Congress is in session or when members are on their way to and from that session,” Etheridge continued. “Inasmuch as that pretty much covers 24/7 it seems clear that my accusers have no recourse under the law.”
Etheridge said this isn’t the first time he’s had to “get tough with young punks who don’t show proper respect for their betters. It’s a sad commentary on the decline of our civilization when just any nobody thinks he can accost a member of the government anytime and anywhere he wants. If I have to be a one-man army standing against that I will.”
President Targets Lifestyle Modification
This week President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council. The task of this council will be to monitor the nation’s health and prescribe the behavior modifications needed to ensure optimal health.
“Now that the federal government has taken on the responsibility of ensuring that all persons residing in America will have health insurance it is only fitting that we take aggressive steps to control the cost of this undertaking,” the President said. “We all know that bad habits are the major cause of preventable illnesses. Individuals who are unable to refrain from these bad habits on their own need our help. And the fiscal solvency of this nation requires that we impose this help where necessary.”
An initiative the Council will be asked to consider is a mandate for all employers to institute a mandatory exercise period as part of each work shift. “Lack of exercise and sedentary behavior are factors most experts cite as crucial health threats,” said US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. “By making physical exercise part of every workday we’ll kill two birds with one stone.”
Sebelius contended that the mandate “won’t cost us a cent. In fact, it’ll save us money over the long run. You go to the office and spend your first 30 minutes getting a physical workout at instead of gabbing, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. What used to be wasted time is now used to boost your health. It’s a win-win deal.”
Jobs that already entail a large component of physical labor will be allowed to apply for waivers, “but we will be looking very closely at these to ensure that the right balance of physical activity is still maintained,” Sebelius added. “Menus at company cafeterias will also be scrutinized to avoid losing the gains from the exercise regimen. Only the most wholesome fare in strictly measured portions will be permitted.”
In a show of solidarity, President Obama has pledged to boost his basketball and golf workouts threefold and has limited gala White House dinners to a maximum of one per week.
Dem Says Bush Given “Free Pass” on Oil Spill
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) contends that “the media are giving former President Bush a ‘free pass.’ The exclusive focus on President Obama’s inaction during the Gulf oil spill overlooks the fact that Bush has done even less to deal with the crisis.”
“At least President Obama has visited the Gulf region,” Hoyer observed. “And the other night he gave a speech from the Oval Office of the White House. Bush, meanwhile, hasn’t been seen or heard from. So, if President Obama’s dithering is a demonstration of poor leadership, what kind of leadership has Mr. Bush provided this country in this time of dire need?”
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