By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The Obama Administration rejected contentions that the attacks on Libya that he authorized beginning in March must conform to rules laid down by the 1973 War Powers Act.
“The intent of the War Powers Act was to restrain then President Nixon from abusing his authority,” State Department legal adviser Harold Koh argued. “Ultimately, it was his abuse of Presidential powers that led to his impeachment and resignation. That crisis has passed. The War Powers Act is no longer needed.”
Aside from the alleged “narrow historical applicability” argument, Koh also parsed the phrasing of the Act. “Strictly speaking, the War Powers Act bars a President from engaging in ‘hostilities’ without the approval of Congress,” Koh said. “Hostility was no part of the President’s motivation in ordering US forces to bomb targets in Libya. On the contrary it was his concern for the well-being of the Libyan people that guided his decision.”
The Administration’s case got bi-partisan support from Senators John McCain (R-Ariz) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “The threat that the War Powers Act was designed to thwart is gone,” Graham agreed. “There’s no need to tie President Obama’s hands with an obsolete statute.” Meanwhile, Senator McCain claimed that “the Constitution gives the President, as Commander-in-Chief, the unconstrained authority to deploy US military forces wherever and whenever he deems it warranted.”
On the other hand, Louis Fisher, a constitutional law expert at the Library of Congress, contends that President Obama’s Libyan adventure is without proper authority and constitutes a “very grave offense” that is “worthy of impeachment should Congress elect to enforce its Constitutional prerogative over the power to declare war. The failure of Congress to enforce this prerogative is tantamount to its acquiescence to an ‘imperial’ Presidency with unconstrained war-making powers. It’s a replay of how Rome morphed from a republic into a dictatorship.”
Administration Weighing Whether to Invade Belgium
Giddy with its success in fending off Congressional interference with its Libyan intervention, the Obama Administration is said to be assessing whether to take similar steps toward Belgium.
“For more than a year now Belgium has had no government,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton observed. “There hasn’t been any panic yet, but how long can we rely upon the traditional lethargy of the Belgians to keep things from getting out of hand?”
It’s not as if everything has come to a halt in Belgium. Shops are open. Factories continue to manufacture goods. Even government offices and officers are still on the job. The problem is there is no parliament to pass new laws and no recognized prime minister with which leaders of other nations can confer.
“It’s a situation fraught with peril,” Clinton insisted. “Without a government no new initiatives can be undertaken to deal with emerging crises. People will be left to themselves to figure out how to solve problems. It’s a humanitarian disaster waiting to happen.”
Clinton cautioned against those who suggest that the issue is outside of our jurisdiction. “We can’t sit idly by and hope that the Belgians will resolve the crisis themselves,” Clinton asserted. “The very lack of panic itself is an insidious temptation to surrounding states. We cannot rule out the possibility that they could easily lapse into a similar state of near anarchy. It may be necessary for us to inject an external military presence in order to restore a normal state of governance in the country.”
Candidate’s Attempt to Forge Bond Hits Sour Note
Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s attempt to forge a bond with unemployed Florida voters hit a sour note when he tried to characterize himself as an “unemployed American.”
A spokesman for the Romney campaign insisted that the claim is “essentially true. He has no job. He’s not on anyone’s payroll. And he’s looking for work. He meets the criteria for being classified as unemployed.”
The fact that Romney is a millionaire and that his “job search” expenses are being paid out of a multimillion dollar campaign fund was brushed aside as irrelevant. “Corporate executives who are downsized are still counted as unemployed even if they have millions in the bank when they’re let go,” the spokesman pointed out. “So, based on the facts, the Governor’s statement is correct.”
Dems Deserve Credit for Economy
Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Flor), urged Democrats to embrace the President’s economic program as a key selling point for voters to elect more Democrats in the 2012 balloting.
“People who are focusing on high unemployment and falling home prices are missing some truly impressive signs of an improving economy,” Wasserman-Schultz maintained. “For one, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s net worth rose 62% to $35 million last year. Does that sound like a recession to you?”
“Why, even Republicans are doing well,” Wasserman-Schultz added. “Current House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) boosted his wealth by 16% to $2.1 million over the same time period. The idea that the economy is uniformly bad is belied by these success stories. The President’s initiatives have created opportunities. It’s not his fault or the Democratic Party’s fault when people fail to seize these opportunities.”
Wasserman-Schultz warned against Republican demands for spending cuts that “would undermine the President’s strategy for targeted growth. The notion that lower taxes would produce better results has been disproved. Too much of the money in the private sector is wasted on frivolous expenditures. Maintaining government outlays at high levels is diverting this money into more fruitful uses.”
President Obama seconded Wasserman-Schultz’s take on the economy pointing out that “I have a bigger plane and a bigger entourage than I did three years ago. It’s proof that my programs are working and the economy is growing again.” The President also cited robust campaign donations from Wall Street for his reelection as “a sure sign my economic program is on the right track. Who knows more about investing than these guys?”
Palin E-Mails Unsettling
The release of more than 20,000 of former Governor Sarah Palin’s e-mails has yielded content that some are calling unsettling.
“We noted that on more than one occasion Governor Palin mentioned that she hoped for divine guidance to help her reach the right decision on an issue,” the Associated Press (AP) wrote in an unsigned editorial. “This is wrong on several levels. First, it is an illegal mingling of church and state. There’s supposed to be a wall between the two. Palin breached that wall.”
“Second, it implies a certain degree of helplessness on Palin’s part,” the AP editorial continued. “Were the tasks of being governor too big for her to handle in her own without imaginary assistance from a non-existent entity? Is this the kind of person we should trust to exercise governing authority?”
“Finally, if we grant that a god does exist is it fair to seek help from this source?” the AP editorial asked. “Isn’t it like a player asking a referee for special favors? Shouldn’t we want a level playing field in politics?”
Others found fault with the assessment that the e-mails were written at an 8th grade level of comprehension according to the Flesch-Kincaid readability test. “The average score for Palin’s e-mails was only 8.5,” Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney crowed. “The President’s state-of-the-union address was rated 8.8—the same as Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”
Democrat and Chief Executive Officer of 2tor (an on-line education organization) John Katzman cautioned that “comparing ordinary daily communications with historic speeches could be misleading. An e-mail is often a quick, off-the-cuff message. A state-of-the-union speech is crafted by a team over several weeks. That Palin’s e-mails come so close could be considered remarkable.”
Housing Crisis Doesn’t Faze Administration
A recent analysis of housing prices showing that they have fallen by 33% since 2006—a bigger decline than the 31% decrease that was experienced during the 1930s Great Depression—was downplayed by Obama Administration officials.
“In the 1930s they weren’t prepared,” said Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. “People had to build their own shanties or live on the streets. Today we have government funded homeless shelters to take care of those who’ve lost their houses.”
Shaun cited statistics indicating that the number of people using government shelters surged by 57% between 2007 and 2010 in support of his contention that the Administration is prepared. “The idea that families need to live in private housing is incorrect,” Shaun contended. “People can be quite comfortable in our shelters. This housing is efficient and may even serve as a model for how we want to transform the way our society provides shelter for the masses in the future.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News