By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The Obama Administration’s Justice Department filed paperwork in federal court seeking to lift the ban on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research that was ordered by Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Lamberth ruled that a presidential executive order could not supplant existing legislation barring this use of taxpayer money.
The Justice Department’s motion argued that Lamberth’s ruling is invalid because “the President’s executive order was issued subsequent to the legislation upon which the Court based its ruling” and that “this subsequent law making, therefore supercedes the earlier act of congress.”
The motion also characterized Lamberth’s ruling as “anti-democratic.” “In 2008, voters chose Barack Obama to be this nation’s ruler for the next four years. For the Court to harken back to a law passed before he was elected would place a mere piece of paper ahead of the will of the people. This sort of rigidity undermines a democratic process that must be unfettered if government is to have the flexibility to respond to changing needs.”
A final argument offered by the motion cited the negative impact the ruling would have on employment at the National Institute of Health. “The scientists and staff of this well-respected institute have come to depend upon this money,” the motion read. “Surely, the needs of these real people must take precedence over the theoretical interests of the purported ‘human lives’ that the statute champions.”
Jobs Numbers Spark Divergent Responses
The August unemployment numbers showed official joblessness inching up to 9.6%. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) called this “a sign that we are on the right track” and asserted that “we’d be even further along on this track if it weren’t for the continued nay-saying of the Republicans and Tea Baggers.”
The Speaker refused to elaborate on how Republicans, who are in the minority in both houses of congress and the so-called “tea partiers” who have no members in congress, could be so influential in stopping the Democrats from enacting their agenda.
President Barack Obama acknowledged that the jobs numbers “aren’t what we would like them to be” and vowed to offer a menu of new stimulus measures soon. These measures are believed to include a possible 90% income tax on “high earners” who are defined as “those making more than the median income for all Americans.” Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor during the Clinton Administration, is pushing hard for this tax hike calling it “our last best hope for pulling the country out of the current depression.”
“It’s a known fact that high earners don’t spend as great a proportion of their income as low earners,” Reich said. “Much of it goes into stocks, bonds or other forms of stored wealth. On the other hand, those at the lowest end tend to spend all they earn. And welfare recipients spend more than they’ve earned. So, if the President wants to stimulate spending the path he should take is clear ‘take resources away from those who won’t spend the money and put this money into the hands of those we know will spend it.”
Mindful of the role World War II played in “stimulating the economy,” the President and his advisors are also said to be mulling over options for “initiating advantageous hostilities with an appropriate foe.” The most promising scenario is deemed to be one where the United States responds to a possible Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear reactors. Rescuing Iran from “the aggression of a pariah state like Israel” is expected to provide both an economic stimulus and revolutionize this country’s relationships with the 1.5 billion-person Muslim portion of the global population.
Senator Says Fire Shows Need to Ban Oil Drilling
The fire at a Mariner Energy Inc. oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico has spurred calls for even stricter controls over who might be allowed to drill where for oil. This particular well is too shallow to have been covered by President Obama’s moratorium on deep water drilling.
Both the fire and the fact that the well fell outside the President’s ban was a matter of “grave concern” to Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).”If nothing else, this disaster is further proof that oil drilling is an inherently dangerous practice one that we must stop,” Lautenberg said.
“Most people don’t realize that our cars are powered by mini-explosions of gasoline in the vehicles’ engines,” Lautenberg said. “This strikes me as an unnecessarily dangerous way to get around. The sooner we can get everyone onto electric, wind or solar-powered vehicles the safer well all be. Maybe banning all further drilling for oil is the best way to achieve this.”
Lautenberg said he would also consider levying a tax on vehicles that use petroleum-based fuels in order to subsidize the production of alternatively powered ones. “Right now electric vehicles are out-performed by gasoline-powered ones,” he observed. “But if drivers had to pay a hefty tax for this higher performance they might be more willing to put up with the inferior capabilities of an all-electric vehicle. Of course, in an ideal world if everyone took public transportation the poor performance of electric power wouldn’t be so obvious.”
In related news, the Obama Administration announced a new federal “grading system” for cars. The idea is to encourage alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles. Cars running on gasoline will receive a grade of “D.” Vehicles powered by electricity, wind, solar, or foot-pedals would receive grades from “C” to “A” depending upon how impractical they are.
Proposal to Do Away with Current Income Tax Forms under Consideration
President Obama’s tax reform commission is said to be mulling over the idea of dispensing with individuals filing income tax returns. Instead, the IRS would just send out its assessment of tax liability to each individual taxpayer. If taxes withheld from paychecks and bank accounts exceeded the amount the IRS determined was owed a refund check would be included. If withholding was deemed insufficient, a bill for the added amount due would be enclosed. Those who disagreed with the IRS assessment could file an appeal with the agency.
US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner praised the idea as “long overdue.” The current system relies too much on amateurs struggling with the tax code,” he said. “This is’t an efficient way to do it. The IRS has full-time tax professionals working the case. They’ve got to have a better handle on it.”
Geither brushed aside the fact that a majority of taxpayers hire professionals to help them file their taxes. “Yes, these are professionals with some expertise on the tax code,” Geithner admitted. “But their focus is the exact opposite of the IRS. They’re trying to minimize their clients’ tax burden, whereas the IRS is focused on making sure everyone pays a fair share.”
“Saving time is another benefit,” Geithner added. “Only those who want to challenge the IRS assessment would need to keep records and receipts and do their own calculations. This hassle would be avoided by simply paying what the IRS says you owe. I think most will choose convenience over confrontation. This will save a lot of time and trouble as well as boost the revenues flowing to the government.”
Some Carry Freedom too Far Says Governor
The Glenn Beck “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC was an “abuse of freedom” according to Governor Deval Patrick (D-Mass).
“For these white people to horn-in on a date and a place that hosted Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech is just too much,” complained Patrick. “Al Sharpton’s authentic Black celebration was shunted off to a crummy nearby high school auditorium. That’s not right.”
Even apprised of the fact that the site Beck used is a public place that anyone can, with a little advanced planning, reserve, Patrick was not mollified. “Just because you are free to do something doesn’t mean you should do it,” Patrick opined. “There are times when common sense should prevail. I supposed Beck and that crowd will say it’s a free country. I wish it werent.”
Patrick also speculated that the huge attendance at Beck’s rally was “inflated by people who were really looking for Al Sharpton’s rally.” Estimates place the crowd at Beck’s rally at 300,000 compared to Sharpton’s 3,000.
Governor Suspends Right to Bear Arms
As Hurricane Earl seemed to be bearing down on the state, Governor Beverly Perdue (D-NC) declared a state of emergency that included barring anyone from transporting a fire arm off of his private property.
“Police need a simple decision-making matrix for when to use deadly force in the event of a breakdown of order during the emergency,” Perdue explained. “What could be simpler than to know that anyone with a gun is a law-breaker. “Poof, all doubt about who’s in the wrong disappears. Officers can act with confidence that they will not be second-guessed if they have to discharge their own weapons.”
As it turned out, the hurricane did not come ashore in North Carolina and the state of emergency order was recinded. Nevertheless, the Governor’s Office congratulated itself for its “pro-active stance on preparedness.”