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 It must be rescinded.”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.
A Satirical Look at Recent News