Monthly Archives: March 2011

President Justifies Bypassing Congress on Libyan Attack

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

President Obama rebuffed critics of his approval of military attacks on the armed forces of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhaffi.

“Let me say first that the assertion that I should have consulted Congress prior to authorizing our military intervention is based on an incorrect premise,” the President said. “It’s true that only Congress can declare war. However, there is no war. What I have authorized is best defined as ‘Kinetic Military Action.’”

Thus far, the “Kinetic Military Action” has entailed missile attacks on the tanks, troops, and aircraft deployed by Gadhaffi’s army. Though these types of attacks are among the actions most people would normally characterize as “war,” Obama stubbornly contended “I don’t see it that way.”

The President additionally argued that “obtaining Congressional approval for these attacks was unnecessary because they had already been cleared by the United Nations, which is, I think we’d all agree, a higher level of authority than the legislature of a single nation.”

“And it’s not as if I didn’t inform Congress of what was going on,” the President pointed out. “I sent them a rather nice letter outlining the steps I had taken and indicating the funds they would need to appropriate to support the costs of the operation.”

The President also denied that there was any contradiction with his 2007 statement that the President lacked the Constitutional authority to unilaterally authorize a military attack. “In 2007 we had an untrustworthy occupant in the Oval Office,” Obama argued. “As a senator it was my duty to oppose his deployment of troops. Obviously, that situation no longer applies.”

Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, endorsed the President’s action saying, “not only is it a question of the need for speed, but there’s also the chance that Congress might not have approved of the attacks. That would’ve made the President look weak. That wouldn’t have been good for the country. In matters of war and peace it is vital that we stand united behind our leader.”

Not all the critics were mollified by the President’s explanation. On the right, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected the President’s contention that a UN resolution was an acceptable substitute for Congressional approval. On the left, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) called for President Obama to be impeached for launching a war without the express approval of Congress. “I disagreed with President Bush’s war on Iraq, but at least he went through the Constitutionally required step of asking for and obtaining Congressional approval beforehand,” Kucinich recalled. “If a President can unilaterally get us in a war we are headed for tyranny.”

Senator Says Republicans Abuse Constitutional Freedoms

In a speech before a gathering at Planned Parenthood, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserted that Republicans who oppose a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy “don’t deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution!”

“The right to freedom of speech comes with an obligation to exercise it in a responsible manner,” Lautenberg insisted. “Using freedom of speech to advocate restrictions on a woman’s right to choose is an abuse that ought to be prohibited.”

While the Senator acknowledged that “prohibiting such an abuse is currently blocked by the Constitution’s First Amendment. So, for now, we’ll have to let them have that freedom. But we must not let this stop us from having government fully fund abortion, as well as the educational effort necessary to bring about the change in thinking that will secure this fundamental freedom for future generations.”

GE’s Zero Tax Liability Explained

Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney assured a puzzled media that General Electric’s “zero tax liability is a legitimate demonstration of the positive reinforcement President Obama intends to use to inspire businesses to cooperate in the implementation of his agenda for change.”

“It would be counterproductive for the Administration to be indifferent to the diverse attitudes of the major players in our economy,” Carney continued. “There have to be incentives to distinguish between our friends and enemies when it comes to policy. Presidents going back to FDR have used the IRS and its authority over taxes to help provide the type of meaningful incentives that corporate leaders can appreciate. The power to grant exemptions, conduct audits, and impose penalties shouldn’t be forgone out of a misguided adherence to a mythical impartiality.”

G.E.’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Immelt, is reputed to be President Obama’s favorite corporate leader and is on such good terms with the Obama Administration that he has been appointed to head the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Border Violence a Myth Says Napolitano

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano claims that “those citing border violence in order to criticize the President’s program of fostering a secure and prosperous flow of goods and people between the United States and Mexico are sadly mistaken.”

Though there were an estimated 13,000 Mexican murdered by drug lords last year, Napolitano pointed out that “not a single one of these victims was murdered on the border, per se. All were clearly killed within Mexico. The border itself had no fatalities—making it the safest place on Earth, as far as I’m concerned.”

The Secretary also dismissed the incidence of crimes committed in the US by illegal aliens as “an artificial statistic. First of all, these perpetrators are only ‘illegal aliens’ because of Congress’ failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform. If those who have entered the country without appropriate documents were granted amnesty the vast majority of the crimes committed by ‘illegal aliens’ would vanish.”

“Secondly, many of these ‘illegal aliens’ have been driven to lives of crime because our refusal to admit them to the country by legal means has denied them the opportunity to earn an honest living,” Napolitano added. “Who wouldn’t be tempted to smuggle drugs, commit robberies, or murder people when the alternative is working off the books for sub-minimum wages? So, really, this phenomenon is mostly our own fault.”

President Defends Aid for Brazil Offshore Oil Exploration

At the same as his Administration has imposed a ban on American firms drilling for oil off US shores, President Obama has extended $2 billion in aid to Brazil for its offshore drilling efforts—including granting permission to Petrobas, the Brazilian Government-owned oil company, to drill 100 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

“Brazil is a poor country,” Obama observed. “They need the money more than we do. By letting them get the oil we can become their customers and help them create jobs and build up their economy.”

Almost Every Federal Employee Gets a Raise

With the federal budget deeply in deficit you’d think that every effort would be made to tighten up efficiency. Well, you’d be wrong.

Despite a survey of federal workers in which the workers themselves judged over 14% of their fellow employees to be performing below reasonably expected levels, less than one-tenth of one-percent were denied raises last year. That means that more than 99.9% got raises.

“You can’t compare compensation policies of the government to those in private business,” said Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney. “It’s a whole different animal.”

As for the notion that 99.9% would merit raises given the economy and the relatively poor performance of the government over all, Carney insisted that “the average person can’t comprehend the complexities of public finance. Only the best of the best are accepted for employment by the federal government. That any of them might fail to meet performance norms seems implausible to me given the nature of the work environment.”

Biden Says Cutting Taxes for Profitable Businesses like Paying Rapists for Violating Women

Vice-President Joe Biden launched his most strident attack on the Administration’s opponents yet.

“While millions are unemployed profiteering businesses are raping the economy,” Biden declared. “But what do we see our Republican opponents doing? They want to restrict spending on the needy and cut taxes for these pillagers. It’s like paying rapists for violating women.”

The Vice-President said he favors “financial castration for these ravagers of our economy. We need to take away their ability to extract profit from their activities. Production should be aimed at fulfilling people’s needs not funding someone’s greed.”

Biden suggested that “the President should replace greedy corporate CEOs with more guys like GE’s Jeffrey Immelt in order to ensure a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth.”

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OMB Nominee Explains Obama Strategy on Debt

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Inasmuch as President Obama’s budget for 2012 is more than a trillion dollars in the “red,” Senate Republicans grilled his nominee for Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Heather Higginbottom, on how this could be squared with the President’s assertion that the budget “doesn’t add one penny to the national debt.”

“First of all, a trillion dollars is not one penny,” Higginbottom pointed out. “So, from a semantic standpoint, the President’s statement is technically correct. Even more importantly, though, the debt is all on paper. We don’t have to pay it if we don’t want to. No one can make us pay it.”

Higginbottom denied that the President’s policy has the country headed for default. “Default would only occur if we lacked the dollars to pay off the debt,” she explained. “However, the US Government has an unlimited authority to create as many dollars as it needs. Thus, we will never be in default.”

Acknowledging that creating more dollars would undermine the value of the currency, Higginbottom said the President remains “unconcerned.” “We didn’t force anyone to buy our debt,” she recounted. “Thus, the ‘caveat emptor’ rule applies and buyers will have only themselves to blame if they end up losers.”

Dems Say More Domestic Oil Will Decrease Employment

Representatives Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla) warned that GOP efforts to open more US territory for oil drilling will decrease job opportunities.

“We can’t let ourselves panic over high fuel prices,” said Andrews. “On the surface, the high costs of driving look like they’d be bad for our economy. But when you really think about it, restricting access to cheap energy will actually help the economy grow.”

“If gasoline costs more people will be forced to buy more fuel-efficient cars like the Chevy Volt,” Andrews pointed out. “This creates jobs for General Motors. On top of that, we will need to build more electric charging stations to refill the batteries. Since recharging batteries takes considerably longer than refilling a gas tank drivers will need to kill time waiting. This will create a demand for something to do while waiting. This also will mean jobs for restaurants near recharging stations, video game manufacturers and the like.”

Representative Wasserman-Schultz seconded Andrews comments adding that “we need to consider the longer term outlook. Our current way of living is unsustainable. Oil is a finite resource. We need to move toward an economy based on infinite resources like wind and solar power. We’ve barely tapped these sources. Building windmills and solar collectors will employ millions.”

Both Andrews and Wasserman-Schultz rejected arguments that their approach isn’t cost-effective. “If something costs more it’s because it requires more labor to produce,” Andrews observed. “This by itself means more jobs. So, if it comes down to a choice between efficiency and more jobs, as a Democrat it’s a no-brainer decision.”

Senator Says “Tea Party” Will Fade

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) professed himself “unconcerned” about potential opposition from the so-called “Tea Party” movement since it is a “transient phenomenon.”

“Let’s face it, the long run trend has been for government to grow,” Reid observed. “The American people like getting goodies from the government. They don’t mind higher taxes because they think someone else—the rich—will pay them. They don’t mind bigger deficits because we can always postpone the necessity of paying off our debts. And don’t get me started on inflation. Americans blame businesses for that.”

Reid admitted that the Tea Party “has had some electoral success, but the old hands in Congress—of both Parties—will block any serious damage to the budget. Look, we’ve created the perception that a $100 billion cut out of a two trillion dollar budget would be catastrophic. In the end, the Tea Party crowd will have to settle for a few crumbs painstakingly extracted at great effort. When they’re exhausted it’ll be back to business as usual.”

“Once voters recognize that no one can cut government spending they’ll go back to supporting Democrats because we promise them a bigger slice of the government pie,” Reid confidently asserted. “The Tea Party will be left in the dust—just a brief hiccup in the nation’s march toward a more socially just society.”

In related news, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) advised House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to “ignore any pressures from Tea Party affiliated members of Congress that would tend to undermine the permanent bipartisan governing majority that we long-tenured leaders have established.”

School Boys May Be Expelled for Possession of Oregano

Four boys at the Hickory Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia were suspended and may be expelled for handling a baggie full of oregano at the school. The ill-fated prank was held to be “unacceptable mockery of the school’s ‘zero tolerance policy’” by the school administration.

“While oregano isn’t a banned substance, per se, I mean we use it home-ec classes, placing it in a small plastic bag and passing it to another student is the same thing a student would do if it were,” said Vice-Principal Jesse Twitman. “It’s an act of disrespect and defiance toward school authority. If there’s anything that the ‘zero tolerance’ policy is meant to achieve it is unwavering respect for authority by the students at this school.”

Twitman evinced indifference over the prospect that the accused students’ lives might be irreparably harmed by the contemplated disciplinary action. “If we make an example of these smart asses it may shock others into a more obedient frame of mind,” Twitman asserted. “The sacrifice of a few troublemakers is a small price to pay for the broader objective of bolstering the tools available to the proper authorities.”

President Urges Americans to Flee as Radioactive Plume Heads toward US

A plume of radioactive dust from Japan’s nuclear disaster is expected to drift over the United States mainland in the next few days. President Obama urged Americans to “plan their own exit strategy.”

“While we don’t know exactly how dangerous this cloud may turn out to be there are steps you can take to protect yourself from exposure,” the President said. “For example, now would be a good time to visit the Southern Hemisphere. The plume is expected to bypass this region on its first trip around the globe. So, you should be relatively safe there.”

Following his own advice, President Obama has scheduled a trip to Brazil for the duration.

NFL “Modern Day Slavery” Says Running Back

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson argues that professional athletes are “modern day slaves.”

“People might laugh at me for saying this, but I feel like a slave,” Peterson contended. “Sure, there’s six or seven-figure annual salaries, but what about the working conditions? We have to play outdoors most of the time—in the heat, cold, rain or even snow. Meanwhile, most of our fans are sitting at home with their feet up, snacks and drinks at hand. They’re benefiting from our suffering.”

“And how many other jobs are there where 200+ lb. guys get to beat on you and it’s legal?” Peterson asked. “I feel like I’m feloniously assaulted every time I carry the ball. I get beat more often than Uncle Tom did by Simon Legree.”

As degrading as playing football for a living might be Peterson feels “the pain could be eased somewhat if the pay were better. I mean there’s lots of money out there they could give us. The owners are millionaires. The cities have multimillion dollar annual budgets. Each of the fans may not have as much, but there are millions of them. We just need to come up with some way to get more of that money into the players’ pockets.”

President Warns Supreme Court

President Barack Obama issued a stern “hands off” warning to the US Supreme Court on the issue of health care, saying that “this program is too important to allow it to be overturned by an unelected oligarchy.” The warning came in the face of calls for the Court to resolve conflicting rulings on the President’s health care legislation from several lower courts.

Conceding that “normally, it would be incumbent upon the Supreme Court to eventually clarify a situation in which lower courts have ruled differently,” Obama’s Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal nevertheless urged the Court to “back off. Right now public opinion is heavily against this law, but this is before the Administration has been able to implement it—a step that the President feels will turn the tide of public opinion toward a more favorable view. We feel that the Administration deserves a chance to show that the program can work before the Court prejudges it.”

Katyal also suggested that “deferring a ruling would allow the opportunity for some more turnover on the Court, which could prove dispositive if an additional Obama appointee or two could be named.”

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Wisconsin Legislation Irks Prez

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

President Barack Obama sharply criticized the Wisconsin Legislature for passing a bill that limits public employee unions’ collective bargaining to wages only.

“This legislation goes against my policy,” the President declared. “It is an insult to the efforts I am making toward the social transformation I am seeking for this country. It must be rescinded.”

Press Secretary Jay Carney embellished upon the President’s position contending that “the main purpose of the legislation seems to be the vilification of public employees. The implication that excessive pay or benefits for government employees may play a significant role in a state’s fiscal difficulties is unacceptable and dangerous. Public employees are the vanguard of the President’s push for change. Any attempt to cut or restrain the payments made to them won’t be tolerated, especially when the options to raise taxes haven’t been exhausted.”

Carney called reports of death threats made against Governor Walker and the GOP legislators behind the new law “understandable given the seriousness of the situation, but premature at this time. If these people will yield to the President’s desire that they step down I think we can avoid any bloodshed.”

The President is believed to be weighing several options to restore order including sending troops and imposing a “no fly zone” over the state.

Feds Say They Can Strip-Search Anyone, Anytime

In response to a legal challenge to their warrant-less searches of air travelers, the Department of Homeland Security advanced the argument that it is authorized to conduct whatever searches it wants, whenever it wants, and wherever it wants.

“Our mandate under the Patriot Act is to keep this country safe,” said Secretary Janet Napolitano. “We cannot shy away from this duty out of misplaced concern for privacy lest the enemies of our government exploit such a weakness for their own malicious ends.”

Napolitano asserted that “air travelers or anyone venturing into any public place is assumed to have given implied consent to any measure we deem appropriate for carrying out our mandate. Being ogled, stripped, or probed are minor inconveniences compared to being blown to bits in a man-caused disaster.”

The Secretary defended the extension of body-scanning to those conducted by roving vans on public streets calling it “the next logical step in our move toward a continuous surveillance of all potential venues that might be occupied by our enemies. There must be no safe zones for anyone who would do us harm.”

Gingrich’s Affair Explanation Mocked

Potential GOP presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s explanation for his extramarital escapade—“I did it because I love America”—brought loud guffaws from former President Bill Clinton.

“If infidelity is proof of love of country I ought to have gotten the Congressional Medal of Honor,” Clinton boasted. “But when he had the chance Gingrich and his boys tried to impeach me. I see a double standard here.”

Clinton recommended that Gingrich “give up the notion that he’ll ever be elected president. He’s already a semi-celebrity—not in my league, of course, but still getting paid for his opinions on Fox News, on the speaking circuit and in books. It’s a life that earns him a living far greater than his value to humanity. He shouldn’t be reaching beyond his grasp.”

Illinois Governor Signs Legislation Limiting Death Penalty

People’s Republic of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed legislation that would restrict the imposition of the death penalty in his state to those under nine months of pre-birth age. The signing was accompanied by the commutation of the sentences of all those currently on “death row” in the state’s prisons.

The Governor rejected arguments that the heinous acts committed by those sentenced to death might warrant the punishment. “The inhumanity of the death penalty has been a blot on our society for too long,” Quinn said. “We have been subjecting human beings to anxiety and terror. Being held behind bars by those who plan to kill you is a nightmare that no one should have to suffer.”

Quinn refused to extend his quest for mercy to the unborn because “we lack irrefutable evidence that these entities are, in fact, separate human beings and not just an extension of the mothers’ flesh.”

Support for the Governor’s reasoning can be found in the work of Princeton Bioethics Professor Peter Singer. Dr. Singer has made the case that the life of a human fetus is of no greater value than the life of a non-human animal. Even further, he has argued that defective humans have no right to burden others with their care and can be terminated by those—parents, the government—who would otherwise be responsible for that care. 

Senator to Pay Back Money for Chartered Flights

Insisting that “it was all a big misunderstanding,” Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) has agreed to reimburse the government for $88,000 in charges she racked up using chartered flight services from a company she jointly owns with her husband.

“As senators, if we accept services for free we could be perceived as obligated to do favors for our benefactors,” McCaskill explained. “To avoid this perception I charged the cost of my travel to my expense account.”

The Senator said she eschewed the option of flying on a commercial airline because “it’s so inconvenient. You have to stand in line. You get scanned or fondled. You’re restricted to one skinny seat and any yahoo can sit next to you. I didn’t feel that was a proper way for an important person like myself to travel.”

McCaskill added that another motivation was to “spread some business around to a smaller company. The fact that it was my own company was just a lucky break. I mean, the government should be helping small businesses. Is it so bad that the one helped in this instance was mine?”

McCaskill and her husband have a net worth of at least $15 million.

Report on Public School Failures Sparks Interest in Change

A Department of Education study indicating that 82% of the nation’s public schools could be labeled “failing” under standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act has sparked a discussion of the need for “change.”

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan characterized the Act’s approach as “fundamentally flawed.” “What other government service demands such strict standards of accountability?” Duncan asked. “Do we penalize public transit because it can’t deliver cost-effective transportation? No, we invest more resources to keep it going. We ought to do the same thing for our public schools.”

Duncan also maintained that the goal of having all students be proficient in math and reading by the year 2014 “is wildly unrealistic. For many learning is just too hard. For others it is simply unnecessary. Does a person need to know math to pick up a government check? Does he need to know how to read if he’s going to watch TV?”

Since it is estimated that 35% of the population currently lives off government payments, Duncan suggested that the target for proficiency be set at 65% of the students and scaled down over future years to reflect the growing proportion of the population who will no longer need to fend for themselves. “It is senseless to try to force everyone into a life of toil if we only really need a dwindling portion to produce the necessary output,” Duncan argued. “If the capable would just be more productive the aggregate result would be a greater quantity of leisure for a greater number of people.”

Goldwater Institute Denounced by Hockey League Commissioner

The Goldwater Institute, an Arizona-based policy think tank, came in for some criticism from National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman. Questions about the possible illegality of using taxpayer money to subsidize the Coyote Hockey team and the threat to file a suit against the subsidy by the Institute inspired Bettman’s demand for them to “butt out.”

“No one elected the Goldwater Institute to do anything,” Bettman observed. “What right do they have to interfere with the elected officials who have authorized the deal?”

The “deal” entails the expenditure of $100 million in Glendale city funds to enable Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer to buy the Coyotes and keep them in town. The City finds itself in the financially uncomfortable position of owning an arena which would sit mostly idle if the team leaves. The incentive for the team to leave is provided by the poor attendance and financial losses incurred in Arizona.

“Goldwater is the one out of step here,” Bettman insisted. “Cities helping teams is the norm. It’s done all the time all over the US and in Canada. It’s what the people want. Dredging the law books for a rationale to prevent the people from getting what they want is wrong.”

The City of Glendale has also threatened to sue the Institute for $500 million if it persists in impeding the deal.

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Gaza Government Urges Boycott of Holocaust Lessons

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

The Hamas dominated government of Gaza urged school children to cut classes if the subject of the Holocaust is brought up in human rights lessons. The lessons are part of a United Nations’ program aimed at increasing literacy among the 200,000 children enrolled in the UN-run schools in Gaza refugee camps.

Gaza Education Minister Mahammad Ashquol complained that “the UN is overstepping its boundaries by exposing our children to this Zionist filth. It is bad enough that the much needed extermination of the Jewish pestilence was short-circuited before its completion, but its portrayal as a crime against humanity is a lie.”

Ashquol further contended that “the implication that killing Jews offends human rights distorts the truth. The Quran makes it quite clear that Jews are not humans. They are monkeys and pigs. Allowing them to freely move among us, plundering our wealth and subverting morality is the real crime. Our children must not be made to listen to propaganda that may undermine their will to subdue and slay the Jewish occupiers of our land.”

In related news, a Hamas general denounced a new peace proposal from the Israeli government as “grossly inadequate.” “There is no provision for Jews to be removed from the region,” Hamas’ military commander, Ahmed Jabari complained. “Without a plan for at least a phased Jewish withdrawal from Palestine there can be no peace, not even temporarily. We may be left with no alternative but to kill every last one of them.”

In partial agreement, US President Obama called the Israeli proposal “not a serious step toward a solution of the region’s problem. It seems to me that just paying the jizya might be a more cost-effective way of attaining peace than maintaining and equipping the Israeli Army.”

Islamic Shooting Not Terrorism Says White House Spokesman

Arid Uka’s shooting spree that killed two US Air Force members in Germany won’t be classified as an act of terror said Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney. This comes despite Uka’s declaration on his Facebook page that he is “a holy warrior against unbelievers” and wants to “strike fear into the hearts of the enemies of Islam.”

“The President isn’t terrified,” Carney announced. “I’m not terrified. Are you terrified? If nobody’s terrified how can it be an act of terrorism?”

By refusing to classify the attack as an act of terror, the Administration keeps intact its unblemished record of “zero” terrorist attacks since it took office in January of 2009—a record Carney contrasted with that of the previous administration “which saw the worst terrorist attack ever made on this nation. I’ll admit that on 9-11 I was terrified. I think the whole nation was. Until that day’s toll is topped the President feels that there is no cause for alarm.”

Prez Says “Tea Party” Movement Racist

In a new book—Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House, by Newsweek reporter Kenneth Walsh—President Barack Obama is said to have characterized the so-called Tea Party movement as “racist.”

At a White House dinner party for political supporters the President pointed out that “the preceding 43 white presidents never had to face the kind of opposition I’ve had to face with these tea baggers. I find it very telling that such a movement only came to life after the first Black man took control of the government.”

“I mean, there have been some inept white men running the show,” the President continued. “I wouldn’t expect these right-wingers to go after guys like Reagan or Bush. But what about Jimmy Carter? Stagflation, gas lines, hostages—they were all on his watch. But he got a pass because he’s white. I think if we look closely at the facts the only coherent explanation we can come up with is racism.”

In related news, US Attorney General Eric Holder in testimony before a House Committee defended his decision to drop voter intimidation charges against two Black Panthers who accosted voters at a Philadelphia polling place in the 2008 election. “There’s still a long way to go before the scales of justice are balanced for my people,” Holder argued. “Call me when whites are getting hanged by Black lynch mobs. That’s serious intimidation. But two guys with clubs outside a voting booth—give me a break, that’s nothing.”

Illinois AG Wants to Publish Firearm Ownership List

The People’s Republic of Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to publish a list of the names and addresses of all the state’s registered firearms owners. “People have a right to know whether their neighbors have weapons in their homes,” Madigan asserted. “If people are embarrassed for others to know they have guns, they can get off the list by disposing of those guns.”

The Attorney General was undaunted by critics who characterized the publication of such a list as dangerous because criminals could see which homes were not on the list and, thus, “safe to burgle.” “If there are fewer break-ins to homes where firearms are present there’ll be fewer shootings,” Madigan reasoned. “If burglars know which homes are firearm-free they won’t need to bring guns to defend themselves. Property transfers could be accomplished with less threat of bloodshed. This is a big plus in my mind.”

Madigan also portrayed the move as “an assist to the police in the case of civil unrest. If the list of gun owners is well-known the weapons can be more expeditiously confiscated. If people know which of their neighbors have guns they can help point them out to authorities if a weapons round-up is desired. There are many anti-government nuts who wouldn’t hesitate to use their weapons against what they imagine to be government tyranny. An orderly disarming of these people will save many lives. This is another big plus.”

No One Can Make Me Issue Drilling Permits, Says Interior Secretary

Despite two court findings that his Department’s refusal to issue offshore drilling permits violates the law, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar remains defiant. “If anyone wants to drill they need a permit from me,” Salazar said. “If I don’t want to issue a permit, no one can make me.”

The Secretary brushed aside the court rulings as “impotent posturing.” “I see that the court says I’m in the wrong,” Salazar observed. “So what? What are they going to do, send someone to arrest me? Oh wait, the ‘arresting officers’ report to the Chief Executive, not the court. Sorry, I guess the court’s out of luck.”

Salazar dared “those who don’t like my policies can elect a different President next time around. In the meantime, what I say goes. I will not be pressured to take any actions I don’t want to take.”

Senators’ Bid to Force Governor to Accept High-Speed Rail Money Fails

The effort of State Senator Thad Altman (R) and Arthenia Joyner (D) to have the court compel Governor Rick Scott (R) to accept $2.4 billion in federal money for the construction of high-speed rail in the state was unanimously rejected when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that “by both federal and state law, the Governor is authorized to make this decision.”

Senator Altman called the decision “devastating for the State of Florida. Perhaps the Governor is within his legal rights to reject this money, but the consequences will be felt by every person in the state. Even if the Governor is right about future operating losses, we shouldn’t pass up the money that can be made just by building it.”

The Governor rejection of the federal aid cited the state’s fiscal difficulties as his rationale. “The $2.4 billion is only a minor part of the estimated $11 billion total construction cost,” Scott recounted. “On top of that there would be annual operating deficits of $100 million or more. This financial albatross around the state’s neck is not what we need during these difficult economic times.”

Senator Joyner disagreed with the Governor’s take. “Constructing this rail line would mean jobs for Floridians right now, when we most need them,” Joyner alleged. “The state could’ve borrowed its share of the matching funds required. How to pay back this money along with covering the operating losses is a decision that could’ve been deferred to a future and, hopefully, more prosperous time.”

Dems Unhappy with GOP Unwillingness to Compromise on Budget

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) chastised GOP colleagues as “intransigent” in their refusal to accept the Democrat’s “50% cut” proposal.

“Look, we have stated repeatedly that we are willing to scale back spending increases by 50%–to meet our opponents halfway, so to speak, but we can’t get any agreement,” Pelosi complained.

Reid mocked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for “letting himself be bossed around by a caucus dominated by freshman representatives. Boehner’s been around long enough to know the score. There’s no realistic way we can actually reduce spending. Getting an agreement on slowing the rate of growth in spending is the best he can hope for. The President’s offer to settle for half of the increase in spending that he’d like is as generous as he can be. Boehner needs to get real and stop kowtowing to those newly elected Republicans who don’t understand how Washington works.”

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