By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
House Minority Whip Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md) sent letters to the secretaries of state in all 50 states asking them to take action against “any and all attempts to limit the right to vote by requiring those wishing to cast ballots to show identification.”
“It’s supposed to be a secret ballot, but how can it be if voters must reveal their identities?” Hoyer wrote. “Voters may have good reasons for not wanting to disclose personal information about
themselves. Creditors might link names and addresses and harass these people with demands for debts to be paid. Police could use such information to serve outstanding warrants.”
“Besides, a system that confines voting to only those registered is fatally flawed,” Hoyer’s letter continued. “Is a person any less of a person because he is unable or unwilling to register to vote? Aren’t all ‘men’ created equal? Shouldn’t all ‘men’ have the right to vote?”
Hoyer urged the secretaries of state to use a simplified protocol. “Anyone who takes the trouble to walk into a polling booth ought to be given a ballot,” Hoyer suggested. “The process would be more efficient. People wouldn’t be delayed by needless reference to registration lists. They could just vote and move on.”
The risk that unscrupulous persons might defraud Hoyer’s proposed system by voting multiple times was deemed “inconsequentially small” by Hoyer. “The chances of any single vote determining the outcome is tiny,” Hoyer pointed out. “From a logical perspective, it doesn’t make sense to vote even once, much less repeatedly. In my opinion, the fear of multiple votes from a single person is way overblown.”
The House Democrat admitted that it was unlikely that many states would formally adopt his recommended approach. “The important thing was to get this idea out there,” Hoyer maintained. “Even if my suggestions only inspire an irregular tendency to occasionally overlook a rigorous adherence to ID rules it will still be a step toward a fairer and more universal franchise for all who live in this country.”
In related news, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) says she is confident that Democrats will regain the majority in the November 2012 election because “Democrats have raised more money than GOP candidates. Money is the life’s blood of politics. Now that President Obama has cut loose from Congress he can ensure that those who back us will recoup their donations via federal contracts and awards. The GOP can’t match that.”
Senator Calls for Abolition of Guns
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif) says that the “Fast and Furious” gun scandal “shows that now, more than ever, we must abolish guns in this country.”
“Fast and Furious” is the name given to a Department of Justice (DOJ) program that enabled Mexican drug gangs to more easily obtain weapons. Thus far, an estimated 2,000 guns are believed to have been conveyed to these gangsters by the DOJ program.
According to Feinstein, “the fact that even government officials could make such a blunder argues against the idea that anyone should be allowed to possess firearms. Plainly, guns are too dangerous to be left in the hands of human beings. The only way we are going to stop the carnage is by disarming everyone.”
“If possession of firearms is restricted to only those authorized to use deadly force—the police and military—the daily tragedies we’ve been seeing with neighbors killing neighbors, husbands killing wives, children killing themselves would come to an end,” Feinstein predicted. “The government’s ability to suppress resistance to legitimate authority and other criminal behavior would be enhanced. A new dawn of humane and civil intercourse between Americans would be at hand.”
DNC Chair Says “Personhood” Amendments “Extreme” and “Radical”
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla) lashed out at those who argue for laws to protect “personhood” calling them “purveyors of an extreme and radical notion.”
The inspiration for Wasserman-Schultz’s outburst is the growing movement for enacting so-called “personhood” amendments to state constitutions in Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Kansas, and Florida.
Under these amendments an unborn human would be deemed a person for the purpose of defending his or her legal rights. The most alarming aspect of this from Wasserman-Schultz’s perspective would be that the amendments would bar such persons from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process.
“It’s no secret that ‘due process’ in this country moves at a snail’s pace,” Wasserman-Schultz observed. “By the time a case pleading the necessity, justice, or utility of a prospective abortion could be brought to court the issue, in most instances, would already be moot.”
The Representative characterized the push for these amendments as “divisive, dangerous, and destructive. They are wrong on so many levels. First, they aim to divest women of the reproductive rights granted by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade almost 40 years ago. Second, they would impede society’s ability to manage the population for the greater good. The measure is written so broadly that unwanted, useless, and burdensome persons would be endowed with rights that could block effective remedial actions.”
Filmmaker Denies He Is Part of Targeted 1%
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore says he fully supports the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and rejected suggestions that his vast fortune makes him a member of the 1% targeted by the protesters.
“The 1% is the capitalist pigs who grow rich off of exploiting other people’s needs,” Moore contended. “Using a person’s need for food and shelter to make money is the type of crime the occupiers are protesting. None of the money I’ve made has been so coarsely acquired. People wouldn’t starve or suffer if they didn’t see my films. I am not exploiting their basic survival needs. The money I get is freely given. There’s no duress.”
Moore dismissed the idea that his lavish lifestyle might be unseemly given the more meager conditions under which the 99% lives. “Do I feel guilty?” Moore responded. “Not one bit. I earned every dollar I’ve got. No one’s got a legitimate beef with me. Besides, the money I spend helps provide jobs for people like my chauffer.”
Pulling down capitalism—one of the demands of the occupiers—wouldn’t bother Moore. “I’m not a capitalist,” the multimillionaire insisted. “I am a tribune for the truth. Progressives around the globe recognize the importance of the role I play. I’m confident that I will be comfortable in a post-capitalist America.”
President Obama lent credence to Moore’s optimism, calling him “a truly great American who hasn’t shirked from speaking out against the abuses of the rich, business, and other rightwing opponents of social justice.”
In related news, the Oakland, California “occupier” protest turned violent this past week—rampaging through the community breaking windows and vandalizing property. Mayor Jean Quan who had given city employees the day off to join the protest said she is hopeful that the protesters’ demand for “death to capitalism” can be moderated. “I would be more comfortable with a ‘regulate capitalism’ slogan, or if we must have pithy wording, I think ‘hamstring capitalism’ would be more palatable with most of my constituents,” Quan said.
Democrats Say Free Speech Undermining Democracy
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) and six of his Party comrades are calling for a Constitutional Amendment that would limit freedom of speech “before it can destroy our democracy.”
“Political speech in this country has gotten so far out of hand that democracy itself is endangered,” Merkley contended. “Right now, anyone who wants to can say anything he wants about any public figure. The only constraint is whether he has the means to get his message out. Even this constraint is melting away. With the Internet, any boob can get an audience of millions if he’s clever enough.”
The trouble, according to Merkley, is that “the responsible voices of the people—their elected representatives—are drowned out in the cacophony of the masses. We need to be able to screen messages, especially those sent over communal rights-of-way like TV, radio, and the Internet, to ensure that only the truly important content gets through.”
Merkley says the chief impediment to a robust and responsible democracy in this country is language in the First Amendment that says Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. “We have absolutely no flexibility to deal with the problem of errant or unwarranted speech,” Merkley complained. “People can attack my livelihood, say I should be voted out of office, and impugn my character, yet our courts are bound to allow it because of this First Amendment language.”
“Ideally, an agency that combined the power of the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communication Commission should be established to monitor, prioritize, and edit what can and can’t be said on matters of government policy,” Merkley argued. “That way we’d be secure in knowing that statements denigrating or destructive to proper governance could be filtered out before they pollute the conversation. We’ve tried to legislate this, but the Supreme Court has struck down our efforts. That’s why we need an Amendment.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News