Category Archives: John Semmens

State Department Priorities Debated

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

Folder2 104Prior to 2012′s attack on Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens there were numerous rejected requests from the Ambassador for more security. Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed the repeated rejection of these requests on budget constraints. At the same time, the State Department was laying out funds for some dubious undertakings—including funding the sending of comedians to India.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ken) questioned whether funding comedians might have been a frivolous use of money that might have been better used to provide more security in Libya.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, current Secretary of State John Kerry advised that “we not jump to hasty conclusions. I recognize that there is a huge emotional reaction to our Ambassador being murdered by Muslim extremists, but it is not at all clear to me that diverting the money spent on comedians would’ve been better used to fund more security in Libya.”

Think about it,” Kerry urged, “Given the size of the mob that attacked the Consulate it seems to me that a larger security force would’ve merely bumped up the casualty count from four to whatever. And adding more ‘Rambos’ would not have jibed with the President’s decision against resisting the attack.”

Let me also point out that there were no casualties suffered in India,” Kerry continued. “Does this not imply that the comedians we financed had a salutary effect? It is said that a smile turneth away wrath. Comedians induce people to smile. The extent to which the calm that has prevailed in India may have been due to this timely intervention can never be adequately measured or appreciated.”

Well, what about the $700,000 spent on shrubs for our embassy in Brussels or the $5 million for new crystal ware for the State Department?” Paul asked. “Couldn’t those funds have been better used for security in Libya?”

We shouldn’t be second guessing decisions that can’t be unmade at this late date,” Kerry replied. “I’m sure that my predecessor had sound reasons for the budget choices she made. To her credit, Brussels has remained one of the calmer spots in the world. Perhaps the new shrubbery played a role in that. And entertaining foreign dignitaries is a fundamental responsibility of the State Department. If we give them drinks in shabby glasses it would reflect poorly on our nation.”

An Inspector General’s report found that nearly $6 billion was misplaced by the State Department during Clinton’s tenure there. Whether any of this money could have made a difference in Libya is unknown.

Health Secretary Resigns

This week it was announced that Kathleen Sebelius will be leaving her post as Secretary of Health and Human Services. President Obama thanked her for “her courageous and tireless efforts to ensure that every American has health insurance.” Afterward, those in attendance gave her a standing ovation.

Secretary Sebelius has had to face hostility every step of the way toward this monumental achievement,” the President declared. “Critics in Congress said the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t be affordable. Consumers complained that the policies offered under the ACA cover less than their old plans and cost more. Others were too inept to navigate the simple steps to get covered. But the Secretary withstood this barrage of misfortunes and emerged triumphant. She has made her mark on American history.”

Meanwhile, many of those successful in acquiring policies under the ACA are finding it hard to locate a doctor willing to treat them. One searcher received 96 consecutive rejections.

Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, sympathized with the plight of individuals having trouble getting doctors to treat them, but urged patience. “Getting everyone insured is enough of a task for phase one of this dramatic reconstruction of our health care system,” Koh said. “Even though we’re quite proud of the 7 million we’ve signed up so far, realistically, it will take us a few years to get everyone enrolled. Once that’s accomplished we can begin to wrestle with the issue of whether there are doctors available.”

Let me also remind everyone that not being able to see a doctor is not as dire as some might think,” Koh pointed out. “The vast majority of these people will self-heal without any medical intervention. So, not being able to see a doctor could be a blessing. After all, medical treatment itself is one of the nation’s leading causes of death. To the extent that lack of doctors helps people avoid this fate it’s a definite plus for the ACA.”

Republican Incensed by DOJ Stonewalling

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Tex) described himself as “frustrated and mystified” by his inability to obtain copies of Department of Justice communications that have been provided to the attorneys defending men facing charges for terrorist acts in Illinois. “Why can’t the Attorney General have the common courtesy to give a member of Congress equal access?” Gohmert wondered.

AG Eric Holder insisted that the distinctly different treatment was warranted. “These men are on trial and need this information to defend themselves,” Holder argued. “They face serious consequences if they don’t have the best possible defense.”

In contrast, I have determined that Congress has no legitimate need for this information,” Holder asserted. “The only conceivable purpose would be to try to use the information to assail or embarrass the Administration and my Department. Obviously, the men on trial in Illinois pose no threat to us. The same cannot be said for Mr. Gohmert and his cohorts. I see no reason why I should cooperate with them in their racist campaign against us.”

Mr. Holder’s perception that Congress is a greater danger than terrorists is disturbing,” Gohmert said. “That a person with this sort of mindset is in charge of enforcing the nation’s laws is frightening.”

Perhaps equally frightening, Holder dismissed GOP complaints that his office has been inadequately diligent in enforcing the law. “The law is a living thing,” Holder contended. “The words on paper mean nothing until a human being gives them life. As the nation’s top legal officer I will decide which laws deserve life and which do not. It’s called a prosecutor’s discretion. As long as I hold this office I will use my discretion as I see fit.”

Is this ‘contempt of Congress?’” Holder mused. “Let me ask this, is there any decent person who isn’t contemptuous of Congress? The House has already passed one resolution holding me in contempt. So what? It’s an empty gesture. I am not deterred one iota from my mission. Their inability to impose any meaningful sanction on me demonstrates their incompetence. Who wouldn’t be contemptuous of such a body?”

In related news, Holder downplayed an Office of Special Counsel finding that IRS employees engaged in illegal partisan campaigning during the 2012 election—urging taxpayers calling for help with IRS forms to vote for Obama. “These technical violations of the Hatch Act have to be weighed against the substantive issue at hand,” Holder said. “Technically, federal employees are not supposed to make partisan statements. Substantively, all of the alleged statements supported the Government against a GOP effort to topple it. From that perspective these employees’ actions were exemplary. Under these circumstances a harsh penalty would be unwarranted.”

Congressional Candidate Says Pro-Lifers “Mentally Disabled”

Mike Dickinson, the Democratic challenger for the Virginia Congressional seat currently held by Republican Eric Cantor went on a rant against opponents of abortion this week.

The people who say that abortion is against God’s plan are mentally disabled,” Dickinson maintained. “Look, they say they pray that abortions be stopped, but abortions continue. Since, in their view, God is all-powerful, the failure of their prayers must either mean that there is no God or that God is okay with abortions.”

Not content with belittling pro-lifers, Dickinson also took a swat at the Tea Party, calling them “the true terrorists. The Muslim jihadis may blow up a few buildings, but these Tea Party types want to totally dismantle everything that President Obama has done for this country. We should applaud what the IRS and NSA have been doing to try to suppress these enemies of the State.”

Former Presidents Comment on Obama Administration’s Achievements

Former President Bill Clinton told an admiring audience that “if I were forced to evaluate the Obama Administration I’d have to give it some bad marks, especially when it comes to the economy. It’s been particularly hard on the middle class. Incomes are lower now than when Obama took office. And that’s before accounting for inflation. The people we Democrats profess to want to help have been hammered by the policies the President and Congress have implemented. The ‘stimulus’ and the ‘green jobs’ initiatives had good intentions, but we’ve spent a whole lot of money with no appreciable positive impact on employment.”

Former President Jimmy Carter assailed the Administration’s foreign policy, singling out “the unimpressive record of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Despite all the hoopla over a purported ‘reset button,’ there is little sign that she made any serious effort on behalf of world peace. US troops are still in harm’s way. An Ambassador was killed on her watch and all she can say is ‘what difference does it make?’ The question I have is what difference did she make in the four years she trotted around the globe?”

Hillary Clinton characterized Carter’s remarks as “evidence that the double standard is alive and well. Women are always judged more harshly. At least there were no embassy hostages taken during my term.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you


EPA Justifies Experiments

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

Folder2 104Revelations that the US Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting deadly experiments on unwitting volunteers have surfaced. According to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the EPA’s experiments exposed individuals to pollutants in quantities up to 50 times greater than the levels the agency deems safe.

The OIG findings were dismissed as “exaggerated scaremongering” by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The number of individuals exposed to these toxins are but a tiny fraction of the population. Those criticizing the Agency are overlooking the potentially larger gains to the vast majority of the country that may be achieved by the sacrifice of the few.”

Solicitations for experimental subjects invited individuals suffering from shortness of breath or asthma to earn $12 an hour by participating in a study aimed at improving air quality. None were told they would be exposed to pollutants in quantities far in excess of safe levels.

McCarthy defended misleading the volunteers as “a necessary ploy. If we had been forced to clearly inform the study participants of the dangers we wouldn’t have been able to conduct the experiments. No one would’ve volunteered..” McCarthy asserted that “these methods are no worse than previous experiments carried out using prison inmates as the guinea pigs for testing exposure to harmful substances. Anyone willing to accept $12 an hour to let us use them in an experiment can’t have much value to society. So, prisoners or volunteers, either way, persons of low social value have an opportunity to make a useful contribution to the larger community.”

Pay Boost for Congress Given High Priority

Calling the current $174,000 annual salary (not counting perks) an “injustice,” Representative James Moran (D-Virginia) vowed to “right this wrong.”

Congress is like the board of directors of the largest economic entity in the world,” Moran contended. “With a GDP of over $16 trillion we preside over the distribution of more wealth than any other board of directors. We deserve a bigger piece of this pie.”

The Congressman suggested that “a salary of $2 million per year might be a good starting point. In total, that would only amount to around a billion per year share of our $16 trillion economy. That’s only a miniscule fraction of the whole.”

Moran also argued that “a fringe benefit of my proposed pay hike is that the pressure for us to sell our votes to lobbyists would be greatly reduced. We would finally be able to afford to pay for our own lunches, dinners, and vacations. Many would be able to self-finance their reelection campaigns. It’s a win-win for both us and the American people.”

Schumer Denounces Supreme Court Election Spending Ruling

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) denounced this week’s Supreme Court ruling allowing individuals to donate to as many political causes and candidates as they please.

The worst thing about this decision is that it will hamper the Government’s ability to regulate speech,” Schumer complained. “Critics may end up almost as well financed as spokespersons for the government. That is a formula for dissent and disunity.”

The limits struck down by the Court cut the legal ground out from the Administration’s program of using the IRS to scrutinize and restrain groups that contribute to dissension and disunity,” the Senator added. “Fortunately, the folks at the IRS answer to the president and not the Court or the law, per se. If he instructs the IRS to ignore this ruling there’s nothing his right-wing critics can do about it. Sure, they could file more lawsuits against this alleged suppression of their rights to free speech, but these cases would take years to resolve. Even then, President Hillary Clinton would be in a position to order her IRS to ignore those later court decisions.”

Audit Suggests Voter Fraud Widespread

An audit of voter registration rolls in North Carolina uncovered tens of thousands of duplicate voter registrations in which the first and last names as well as last four digits of Social Security numbers matched for voters registered in both North Carolina and elsewhere. The odds of randomly producing a single match using these three variables is infinitesimal. Nevertheless, the audit found more than 150,000 matches. In 35,000 cases, votes were cast both in North Carolina and in other states for the November 2012 election.

US Attorney General Eric Holder rejected calls for a more comprehensive investigation, calling the findings “interesting, but clearly a matter for state rather than federal authorities. The Constitution gives states the responsibility for policing their own elections.”

Whether states ought to follow up was dubbed “probably unnecessary,” by Holder. “As I understand the statistics, out of the 150,000 duplicate registrations only 35,000 resulted in duplicate votes. That’s less than 25%. Based on this data, 75% of those with duplicate registrations could not be shown to have cast more than one ballot. The overwhelming majority are obeying the law. I can’t see getting worked up over the minority that might not be.”

Of course, North Carolina is only one state. If its findings are representative the number of duplicate registrations could be over 4.5 million and the number of duplicate votes cast could be more than a million. “Nothing to worry about,” says Holder. “As I recall, President Obama won by a lot more than a million votes.”

In Response to Ft. Hood Massacre, DOD May Ban Smoking

This past week’s second mass shooting at the Ft. Hood Army base may finally stir the Department of Defense into action. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is reportedly ready to ban smoking by military personnel.

While some are using this tragedy to urge that military personnel be allowed to carry weapons for self defense, I am not going to be stampeded into a move that runs counter to the President’s philosophy on guns,” Hagel declared. “These shootings are tragic, but the toll from smoking is far larger.”

Even if we were to come up with a successful counter to these mass murders we are talking of saving only a handful of lives,” Hagel pointed out. “In contrast, thousands of those who serve in the military will die prematurely from smoking. Reducing this source of casualties seems to me to be a much more rewarding course of action.”

In a jointly issued letter, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), Dick Durbin (D-Ill), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) praised Hagel’s “outside the box thinking. For too long we have allowed US military personnel to degrade their health by indulging in unsavory habits. This negatively impacts their fitness to serve. It is tantamount to destroying government property and threatens the security of this nation. By nipping this veritable treason in the bud, Secretary Hagel has demonstrated true courage.”

President Orders End to Health Care Debate

In a press conference heralding the attainment of 7 million enrollments in his signature Affordable Care Act insurance plan this past Monday, President Obama declared “the debate over the merits of this law has been settled. The success of the program has been conclusively proven by the events of this past week. There is no longer any need for further discussion. I am instructing the FCC to monitor all media outlets that are licensed through this agency for compliance with my directive. Any unwarranted excursions into disputation or reporting that is intended to reflect negatively on the program or to undermine its acceptance among the population will be dealt with expeditiously and penalized if necessary.”

A report from the RAND Corporation cast doubt on the magnitude of Obamacare’s triumph. By RAND’s estimate, fewer than a million of the President’s touted 7 million newly insured came from the ranks of the previously uninsured. With an estimated total pool of uninsured of around 45 million less than 3% are now enrolled under the Administration’s program.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius challenged the RAND report, saying that “essentially all of the 7 million cited by the President came from the ranks of the uninsured. RAND is only looking at the long term uninsured. They have completely overlooked the 6 million newly uninsured that were obliged to sign up because their previous insurance was canceled for noncompliance with the ACA’s requirements.”

Sebelius granted that “7 million may be a small portion of the number who will eventually enroll, but let’s not forget that this target was met with only the ‘carrot’ of persuasion. The ‘stick’ of penalties has yet to be deployed. Now that the President has put further debate out-of-bounds we will be able to focus on using this enforcement tool to coral the laggards without having to fear public criticism.”

Ryan Budget Gets Mixed Reviews

This week Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis) presented a 10-year federal budget that would slowly reduce the rate of growth in government spending. His proposal was blasted from both sides of the political spectrum.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin lambasted its timidity, arguing that “adding more spending now and postponing any slow down in the spending rate to the future ensures a continued accumulation of debt. The hope that some future Congress will have the courage to rein-in runaway spending is not a satisfactory trade-off for refusing to tackle the current spending binge.”

President Obama called the Ryan budget “a stinkburger prepared by a poopyhead.”

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, self-proclaimed arbiter of political etiquette, characterized these contrasting views as “a measure of the deplorable state into which our public discourse has fallen. That a disgraced former vice-presidential candidate is even allowed to comment is an affront to the nation’s dignity. It is an intolerable distraction from the brevity and eloquence of the president’s more subtly nuanced views. Views, I might add, that merit a deeper form of respect than they are currently receiving from my peers.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you


Senator Insists Videos of Him Must Have Been Photo-Shopped

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

Folder2 104Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) vociferously denied ever accusing victims of Obamacare of lying about their troubles. He dismissed video evidence of him making such accusations as “bogus.”

In an earlier era ‘seeing is believing’ might have been a powerful verification of reality,” Reid said. “However, in this age of increasingly sophisticated computers, software, and savvy users one can no longer count on believing one’s own eyes and ears. It is inconceivable to me that I would have made such a foolish and politically inept assertion in public.”

Reid’s portrayal of sophisticated computer users victimizing him clashed with his nearly simultaneous contention that computer illiteracy is the cause of the myriad of problems with getting people signed up for Obamacare health insurance.

The government has spent hundreds of millions creating and implementing the computerized sign-up system,” the senator pointed out. “If people aren’t successful in using this system it can only be due to their own ignorance of how to use computers. Perhaps we were too optimistic in allowing individuals to make their own choices on a complex issue like health care.”

In hindsight, maybe we should’ve gone directly to a universal government run health care system like the one we have for active military personnel,” Reid speculated. “Soldiers don’t have the burden of selecting their own insurers or doctors. These decisions are made for them. All they need to do is follow orders.”

In related news, Dan Pfeiffer, senior adviser to President Obama, said he found Reid’s photo-shopping theory “insightful. Up until now we’ve been assuming that the 30 some videos of the President assuring people that they could keep insurance and doctors that they liked pretty much proved he said those things. We’d overlooked the possibility that these videos may have been concocted by the President’s enemies to make him look bad.”

Congress Is No Place” for Farmers Statement Defended

Iowa Democratic Senatorial candidate, Representative Bruce Braley’s assertion that Congress is no place for a farmer has not gone over well among the state’s rural population.

I’m not saying that farmers don’t have a meaningful role to play in our society,” Braley said in his own defense. “Obviously, someone has to grow the crops and raise the livestock to feed this nation. What I’m saying is that farmers lack the skill necessary to make our laws.”

The persons with the necessary skills, according to Braley, are lawyers. “The job of Congress is to enact laws,” Braley observed. “Lawyers are trained in the law. It should be clear that a lawyer is, by far, the most logical option for a state’s Congressional representation.”

Braley brushed off criticism from Iowa’s offended farmers as “insular and parochial. If further proof of the unfitness of farmers to serve as lawmakers was needed this is it. It could hardly be clearer that they lack the training and perspective to be entrusted with the authority to make the laws that govern our country.”

California State Senator Denies Hypocrisy

California State Senator Leland Yee vigorously denied that his arrest on gun running charges in anyway contradicts his long time support of gun control laws.

My position all along has been that firearms do not belong in the hands of untrained individuals,” Yee maintained. “What I have sought to prevent are shootings carried out by unorganized citizens.”

The parties for whom I arranged to purchase guns are all well-organized cadres of persons dedicated to a political cause for which the possession of high-powered firearms is essential,” Yee explained. “Do you think that the Islamic jihad has any chance of peacefully prevailing in America? These weapons are absolutely vital to their chances of success.”

Yee described the $2 million he was seeking in exchange for brokering the arms deal as “a key building block of my campaign for California Secretary of State. My quest to disarm those unqualified to own weapons would be substantially bolstered by my election to this position. Adding this money to my campaign fund would have given me a big leg up on my opponents.”

That the proposed arms deal could have endangered Californians was brushed aside by Yee. “The deal was to import the weapons to Newark, New Jersey,” Yee argued. “That is about as far away from California as you can get. The threat that any of my constituents might’ve been harmed is remote.”

California Governor Jerry Brown called Yee’s arrest “an unfortunate setback for sane gun control laws.”

Abortions Are Environmentally Friendly

Reports this past week that hospitals in the United Kingdom have been burning aborted babies to save on fuel costs for heating the buildings appalled some, but not all.

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, urged that “once you get beyond the initial ‘gag-reflex,’ the idea has significant environmental positives. First, it almost goes without saying that adding more human beings to the population is a definite stress to the environment. So, abortions make a substantial contribution to lessening this source of stress.”

Once the abortion is completed what do we do with the ensuing medical waste?” McCarthy continued. “By using it as fuel the hospital has saved the cost of disposal while simultaneously reducing its consumption of alternative fossil fuel. This lowers the pressure to dig more coal mines and drill more oil and gas wells. The result will be less rape of the land. On balance, this is a net positive innovation in resource management.”

Administration Signing up Mexicans for Obamacare

While progress in inducing Americans to sign up for health insurance has been less than robust, The Obama Administration has been meeting with more success signing up Mexican nationals. Affordable Care Act “navigators” are reportedly conducting a vigorous “outreach program” at Mexican Consulates all over the US.

Vice-President Joe Biden rejected contentions that this violates President Obama’s promise that the ACA would cover only American citizens. “The people being signed up are American citizens in everything but name,” Biden insisted. “They reside in the United States. They have jobs or are receiving government benefits in the United States. And we are giving them the option of registering to vote as they sign up for insurance.”

Biden called these persons’ illegal entry and presence in the country “a temporary technicality. They’re going to get amnesty one way or another. If Congress won’t do it the President is prepared to act on his own authority.”

The Vice-President belittled the idea that immigrants ought to be required to pass a test in order to gain citizenship status. “I know we’ve been requiring immigrants to study the Constitution and American history before we grant them full citizenship rights, but is this reasonable or necessary?” Biden asked. “Only a tiny minority of people born in America could pass this test. Why should we hold immigrants to a higher standard?”

US Blocks Sexual Fidelity and Abstinence in Battle against AIDS

To the consternation of African representatives on the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), US and European delegates rejected the idea of including sexual fidelity and abstinence among a list of measures aimed at countering the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power defended the move as “part of the United States devotion to protecting the unrestricted right of individuals to have sex with whomever they choose, whenever they choose. To merely suggest that a person might lower their risk of infection by remaining faithful to a sexual partner or deferring sexual gratification until such time as they can secure a condom is an intolerable infringement on this most basic of human rights.”

CSW delegate from Zimbabwe, Taurai Chinyerere, expressed severe disappointment with the censorship of these options. “We need to advocate every feasible means of fighting this infection,” Chinyerere said. “We are not saying that fidelity or abstinence are the only ways to combat this illness. We only want to include them in our communication to the general public. Rich nations may be confident that they have the means to attack the infection after it has struck, but poor nations must take inexpensive precautions where possible.”

Nevertheless, Power was adamant that “the inclusion of advocacy aimed at self restraint is demeaning toward those who may lack this ability. It implies that those who become ill may be at least partially at fault. This can have devastating psychological impacts that we should do our utmost to avoid.”

Power tried to reassure the distressed African contingent that “the wealthier nations will do what they can to help poorer nations purchase the medications they need to treat HIV and AIDS. Remember, ensuring the revenues of the pharmaceutical firms that have invested so heavily in a cure is a crucial building block to our efforts against this plague. We can’t afford to attenuate their return on this investment if we hope to win this battle without interfering with basic human sexual rights.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you


Veep Says Trials and Tribulations of Health Law Qualify President for Sainthood

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

Folder2 104No one has suffered more than the President over this thing,” said Vice-President Joe Biden commenting on the disastrous Affordable Care Act. “I know it will be hard for those who’ve lost coverage or seen their premiums skyrocket to grasp this. But these people have minor individual problems. The President has to face a rising tide of criticism and blame. He’s not used to that. If anyone qualifies for sainthood it’s him.”

Talk show host Ellen Degeneres largely concurred in Biden’s assessment arguing that “while there may be a few malcontents, I think the vast majority of Americans are truly grateful for what the President has done for them.”

Malcontent” Mort Dedmon begged to differ. “Because of this new law my insurance carrier was forced to cancel our ‘bad apple’ policy,” Dedmon complained. “It didn’t offer a zero out-of-pocket cost coverage for birth control. But it was paying for my wife’s stage-3 breast cancer treatments. I think we’re signed up for a complying plan, but I can’t be sure. My wife’s new doctor made us sign papers accepting financial responsibility in the event that we aren’t signed up. On top of this, the monthly premium for our new insurance is almost twice what we were paying before.”

Biden characterized Dedmon’s situation as “a minor bump in the road. From a broader perspective, the implementation of a nationwide uniform health insurance is of greater importance. Every major advance in civilization always leaves a few people behind. In our view, we must take these inevitable casualties in stride if we hope to win the battle for social justice.”

The “battle” may be a long one, though. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that as many as one million of the previously uninsured may have signed up to purchase Obamacare compliant policies. HHS is currently unable to ascertain how many of these potential customers will follow through by making payments of their premiums, but predicted that “if payments can approach the 90% range at this rate we’ll be on pace to eradicate the uninsured cohort in less than 20 years.”

In related news, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur admitted to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that “I don’t recall anyone raising the issue of whether we have the legal authority to administratively modify the terms of the Affordable Care Act. I mean, this is the President’s law. If he tells us to make changes regarding who is affected by any of its provisions who are we to question him?”

DOJ Rejects Independent Prosecutor Request

Attorney General Eric Holder rejected Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s request that an independent prosecutor be named to investigate IRS targeting of conservatives.

The impartiality of those presently assigned to this case—both AG Holder himself and his delegated investigator Barbara Bosserman—is tainted,” Cruz contended. “Any finding of ‘no wrong doing’ they may issue would lack credibility.”

Holder dismissed Cruz’s request as “outside the normal range of authorized governmental processes. The voters elected President Obama to rule this country. His appointees are fully empowered by his election to carry out his will. There is no mandate for such a thing as an ‘independent prosecutor.’”

If Senator Cruz is dissatisfied with the way the President is governing this country he should refer to the US Constitution for a remedy,” Holder added. “This document provides for regular elections. The GOP has every right to advance candidates in these elections in an effort to win control of the government. If the prospect of waiting until the next election is deemed too distant, the President’s critics have the option of impeaching him.”

Inasmuch as the alleged IRS infractions entail discriminatory intervention in the election process, I find Holder’s suggestion that elections are the proper remedy self-serving and unsatisfying,” Cruz remarked. “In essence, he seems to be promising that the Administration will continue to abuse its authority until it is forcefully thrown out of office by the voters or Congress.”

In related news, the IRS has proposed new regulations that would bar non-profit organizations from publishing “legislative scorecards” or mentioning any elected officials by name in any of their communications. IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen explained that “we don’t feel it is appropriate for a member of Congress, for example, to have these kinds of organizations monitoring his every move. Informing voters is the job of the recognized professional media, not some self-appointed interlopers funded by the Koch brothers.”

Judge Rules Border Fence Illegal

U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Beryl Howell ruled that “the construction of any kind of barrier to the free movement of people across the US/Mexican border is illegal. There can be no disputing that such a barrier would explicitly target a protected ethnic minority. This violates the equal protection clause.”

As the Judge sees it, “in order to pass muster, a policy, program, or enforcement must be shown to affect all racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, and sexual-orientation subsets of the population in roughly equal proportion to each group’s percentage of the population. Since a fence along the United States’ southern border would disproportionally affect Hispanics it is impermissible under our laws.”

Howell suggested that “if Congress is determined to build a border fence they should look north rather than south. The mix of populations on both sides of the US/Canada border is roughly similar. No one group would be disproportionally disadvantaged by having their movements over this border impeded.”

While not part of the case being adjudicated, Judge Howell hinted that “deportations should be subjected to scrutiny, as well. There is little doubt in my mind that a disproportionate share of those being forced to leave this country against their will are Hispanic. This would also appear to violate the equal protection clause.”

The Mexican Government hailed Howell’s decision. Mexico’s former foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda, insisted that “there must be no impediments to the migration of Mexican nationals into the land that was stolen from our country by American aggression in the 19th century.”

Leftist Government Officials Attack NYC Charter Schools

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleased the teachers’ union by canceling three previously approved charter schools. However, Brooklyn City Councilman Vincent Gentile wants him to go further.

Saying no to new charter schools doesn’t do anything to combat the over-achievement being inflicted on our community by the schools that are already operating,” Gentile complained. “The advocates for these schools imagine that a recitation of the learning gains for students in these schools should persuade us that they are a good thing. I maintain that this is evidence of the pernicious effects of the charter school movement.”

The learning gains of students in charter schools gives them an unfair advantage over their peers in our public schools,” the Councilman pointed out. “This undermines the equality we should be guaranteeing for all children. Not every child can or wants to handle an increased burden of study. Why should those who do be allowed to pull ahead of everyone else? We can’t insure that everyone has the same genetic inheritance, but we can insure that everyone has to cope with the same school environment.”

In support of Gentile’s view, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has joined with others to file a lawsuit that would block charter schools from leasing vacant space in public school buildings. “It is better that these classrooms sit idle than that they be used to foster inequality,” she argues. “If we accomplish nothing more than to save the demoralized public school students from having to share space with charter school nerds we will have struck a blow for the kind of social solidarity that must be the uniform goal of all education.”

Bribery Case against Pennsylvania Democrats Dropped

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) has decided to drop charges against four state legislators caught on tape accepting bribes in exchange for voting against a voter ID bill in 2012. According to the tapes, Rep. Ronald Waters got payments totaling $7,650, Rep. Vanessa Brown $4,000, Rep. Michelle Brownlee $3,500, and Rep. Louise Bishop $1,500.

Kane called the investigation “poorly conceived. The notion that these individuals were influenced by the bribes is ludicrous. Every one of the individuals implicated was a Democrat. Democrats would be expected to vote against voter ID no matter whether they were bribed or not. In essence, they were not selling their votes. They were merely bilking the briber by taking money for something they would’ve done anyway. Besides, the amounts were pitifully small. At best, these were petty crimes of opportunity, not major felonies.”

A second factor cited by Kane was that “every one of the bribe takers was an African-American Democrat. I felt it would be inappropriate to go forward with a prosecution laden with these racially and politically disparate impacts. If there had been a more balanced mix in terms of race and political Party the case might have been worthy of pursuing. However, I will not be a party to a prosecution that disproportionately impacts one race over another or one Party over another.”

Governor Warns Gun Owners

The assertion by many Connecticut gun owners that they will not comply with the State’s new requirement to register their weapons did not sit well with Governor Dannel Malloy (D).

What these people need to realize is that I’m serious,” Malloy declared. “They may chatter about the 4th Amendment all they want, but if they fail to comply I promise to use the full power of the State to enforce the law. They had the opportunity to make their case before we passed the registration requirement. They lost. We won.”

Possession of an unregistered firearm is now a felony in this State,” the Governor continued. “Felons cannot expect leniency. If we have to make some examples, kick down a few doors, apply deadly force—we will do so. We have the firepower to out-gun any individual who would dare to defy us. Any blood will be on the hands of those who refuse to obey.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you

President Admits Obamacare Will Block Access to Many Doctors

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

Folder2 104Despite promising that those who liked their doctors would be able to keep them under Obamacare, President Obama now admits that “in many instances this will not be possible. On balance, though, this is probably a good thing—an unexpected benefit of the Affordable Care Act.”

Studies have shown that over 90% of the patients seen by doctors would have recovered without any medical intervention,” the President pointed out. “So, if loss of access to a favorite doctor discourages a person from seeking medical help—well, 90% of the time this will result in a saving of both time and money.”

Health outcomes could also be improved,” the President added. “Let’s not forget that medical care itself is the third leading cause of death in this country. To the extent that our new health care system diverts people from seeking medical attention we may actually be saving lives. In this light, the narrow networks and high out-of-pocket deductibles will save the relatively healthy majority from this fate.”

As for the high cost of insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act Obama suggested that “if a family were to shift resources away from cable TV and expensive cell phone plans they could easily cover the cost of health insurance. As Michelle has been saying for years now, getting off your duff in front of the TV would, by itself, be a major contributor to better health. Not having access to cable would stimulate more physical activity and its beneficial impacts.”

Schumer Says GOP Needs to Get On-board with Amnesty Plan

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) warned Republican colleagues that “there’s no question that amnesty will be the law of the land in the near future. The GOP can get on-board and share in the credit or be left behind futilely railing against the inevitability of it all.”

The choice they face is simple,” Schumer said. “By joining us in legislatively enacting the legalization of these undocumented immigrants they have a chance to blunt the electoral effect of adding millions of new Latino voters. By opposing us to the bitter end they will earn the enmity of these new voters. They should not mistakenly believe that they can block this legalization because the President will move forward to accomplish it by Executive Order if Congress fails to act.”

Senator Complains about CIA Spying

This week Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif), a long time supporter of the intelligence community, expressed outrage upon discovering that the CIA has been spying on members of Congress.

I have backed every budget request the CIA has put forward,” Feinstein declared. “I have defended them against their detractors from both sides of the ideological spectrum. Now we find out that they have been surreptitiously breaking into the emails of members of Congress—including mine. It is one thing to spy on ordinary people. It is quite another for them to spy on a separate branch of government.”

CIA Director John Brennan dismissed the Senator’s complaints saying that “to be effective surveillance must be comprehensive. Just because a person is a member of Congress is no guarantee that he or she doesn’t have malevolent intentions toward the Administration. In fact, Senator Feinstein’s public disclosure of our penetration of her email account is the kind of breach of security that gives aid and comfort to our enemies. As far as I’m concerned it vindicates the need for our Agency to leave no source of information untapped.”

In related news, reports have surfaced that the NSA has been using social networking websites as a means of hacking into individuals’ personal computers. NSA Director General Keith Alexander would neither confirm or deny these reports. However, he did postulate that “from the amount of personal information voluntarily posted on these public sites we don’t think it unreasonable to infer that these individuals have waived their right to privacy. Under these circumstances, it would be irresponsible for us not to use this avenue for the purpose of defending the nation against threats to the Government.”

Vote Fraud Felon Released Early

Melowese Richardson’s five-year sentence for serial vote fraud was commuted to “time served” by Hamilton County (Ohio) Prosecutor Joseph Deters. Richardson was convicted of illegally voting multiple times in elections held in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

It was my sense that five years in prison was an excessive punishment for Richardson’s crime of over exuberance,” Deters contended. “A passionate devotion to a candidate or policy shouldn’t be used to justify a harsh penalty. After all, who did she hurt? It’s not like she was voting for the Communist Party. She voted for President Obama and a slate of Democrats. She’s a supporter of our government, not a malcontent or dissident.”

Deters brushed aside Richardson’s prior criminal record for intimidation, assault, drunken driving and theft that the sentencing judge cited as support for the five-year term of incarceration as “prejudicial. Ms. Richardson had already been punished for these earlier offenses. The implication that she might be a habitual criminal should’ve been weighed against her 14 years of community service as an election poll worker.”

In related news, a quick investigative report by a Florida TV station found 100 ineligible persons in two counties had voted numerous times over the past few years. Nonetheless, the Obama Department of Justice is suing to block Governor Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voter rolls of those ineligible to cast ballots. “At best, the supposed problem of ineligible voters is clearly minor,” Attorney General Eric Holder maintained. “More fundamentally, though, we challenge the notion that any benefit is attained by blocking these persons from voting. Voting is a human right. No state is justified in denying this right to anyone under any pretext.”

Kerry Issues Ultimatum to Russians

US Secretary of State John Kerry chastised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country’s “unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine” and warned that “serious repercussions will be undertaken.”

National sovereignty is a principle that you either respect or don’t,” Kerry lectured Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in high level talks this past week. “Engaging in displays of military strength or actual incursions into a foreign country in order to influence or intimidate its government is not acceptable.”

Lavrov questioned Kerry’s sincerity and historical knowledge by alluding to US intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya in recent years and the American Civil War. “Hypocrisy is not a coherent policy,” the Russian Foreign Minister countered. “Unless Mr. Kerry is ready to acknowledge his own country’s violations of the sovereignty of other states and offer to make amends why should we take his current objections seriously?”

Kerry gave the Russians until Monday to “reverse course or face the consequences.” Kerry declined to elaborate on what the “consequences” might entail on the grounds that “retaining the element of surprise is crucial to the success of any armed intervention.”

Not content to wait for decisive action from the Obama Administration, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is reportedly on his way to Ukraine “to serve as a ‘human shield’ against any further Russian incursions. All we really need is for people of stature to face down these cowardly invaders. If FDR or Churchill had placed themselves in front of the German Army on the Polish border in 1939 Hitler would never have dared attack.”

In related news, Kerry called Israel’s insistence that it be recognized as a Jewish state a mistake. “Globally, there are only 12 million Jews compared to over a billion Muslims,” Kerry observed. “Allowing such a tiny minority to block the majority’s desire to assert a different philosophy of governance for the region now known as Israel would be profoundly undemocratic. Justice requires that the lesser number yield to the greater number. My Government cannot acquiesce in a protocol that would permit a minority to rule over a majority.”

Chicago May Double Property Taxes to Pay for Pensions

With pensions for retired municipal employees exceeding City resources by an estimated $7,000 per household, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has warned residents that he may have to double their property taxes to cover these costs.

The mayor admitted that “doubling the property tax would hit a lot of people hard, but the alternative of cutting back on the benefits we pay to our retirees is unthinkable. Remember, these are people who have dedicated their careers to serving the citizens of this city.”

Emanuel argued that “extracting another few thousand dollars from each home owner seems the more tolerable option. I mean, a tax on property falls on those who are well enough off to be able to afford home ownership. They are people of means who must step up to help the city in its time of need.”

Those familiar with the city’s finances are said to see a doubling of the property tax as “only a temporary fix.” “The city’s fiscal burdens have been allowed to grow uncontrolled for so long that bankruptcy is virtually inevitable no matter what the mayor may do to try to avert it,” said a city inside source who asked that his name be withheld. “The main objective at this point is to protect the mayor’s future political viability for some other office—governor, maybe, or president—by staving off the collapse until he’s moved on to greener pastures. Let the next Mayor bear the burden of foreclosing on property owners who default on tax bills they can’t pay.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

Seriously Ill Hurt by Obamacare a ‘Tiny Minority’

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

Folder2 104As the number of seriously ill patients whose access to treatment has been impeded by the Affordable Care Act continues to increase, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius insists that “the actual number affected represents only a tiny minority of the population.”

No plan can comfortably accommodate every single person,” Sebelius pointed out. “Trade-offs are inevitable. We can’t let ourselves be distracted by the pitiful stories of a handful of unfortunate victims of rare diseases. The vast majority are receiving the coverage we deem essential.”

Providing the “vast majority” with contraceptives, mammograms, and sex change surgery while short-changing the desperately sick would appear to contradict the main purpose of insurance. According to Sebelius, though, “serving the majority’s needs is more democratic. Why should the healthy majority be denied the convenience of having basic services covered at the cost of investing society’s scarce resources in a futile effort to treat those likely to die from their ailments?”

The secretary argued that “from a broader perspective, culling the weakest from the herd is the sounder investment. The money saved by diverting funds from being spent on hopeless cases can be better used to serve the much larger number of persons who can benefit from basic preventive care.”

The IRS has estimated that the “basic care” provided by the Affordable Care Act will cost the average American family $20,000 a year—a statistic that Sebelius insisted “bolsters the case for prioritizing outlays to ensure as wide a distribution of benefits as possible. The notion that we should concentrate these outlays for the benefit of a sick minority flies in the face of political reality.”

Putin Cites Historic Precedent for Crimea Vote

In rebuttal to President Obama’s assertion that having voters in the Crimea decide whether to be immediately absorbed into Russia or to first declare independence from Ukraine before being absorbed is illegal and “on the wrong side of history,” Russian President Vladimir Putin cited a 20th century precedent in justification.

A plebiscite in which the people of a region decide their own fate is the most democrat way of resolving sovereignty issues,” Putin said. “We are not inventing this method. In 1938 it was used to allow the people of Austria to unite with their fellow ethnic Germans. Why should we not use it to permit the majority of ethnic Russians in the Crimea to reunite with their mother country?”

The presence of Russian troops in the Crimea, according to Putin, “will ensure that the fascist Ukrainian minority does not intimidate the Russian majority from freely expressing its wishes.” The Russian President intimated that he has similar concerns that ethnic Russians are being mistreated in other nations bordering his country and “would not rule out forceful intervention to secure their liberty from their oppressors.”

Perhaps the most tragic consequence of the Crimean crisis is that it may force President Obama to cut short his Florida vacation. The trip, his third vacation since January 1st of this year, is considered “vital to the nation,” according to First Lady Michelle. “How can Barack be expected to retain his image as the world’s most important and powerful man if a minor skirmish in a far off part of the world is permitted to disrupt his plans? Rather than allowing himself to be diminished by events he should rise above them by doing as he pleases.”

Carney Explains President’s “God’s Will” Comment

Speaking to a group of “pro-choice” advocates for government-funded abortions, President Obama praised them as “doing God’s work.” In a bid to stem criticism from “pro life” opponents of abortion, Press Secretary Jay Carney suggested that “since God is supposed to be all-powerful, how can the President’s assertion be wrong?”

When a person dies the devoutly religious often say God has called him back to heaven,” Carney recalled. “So, if a doctor sends a fetus back to heaven who’s to say he isn’t doing God’s work? Look at all the suffering that is averted. An unwanted child is spared a lifetime of pain. A hard-pressed would-be mother is spared the encumbrance of two decades of imprisonment as an unwilling caregiver. Aren’t these objectives worthy of God’s appreciation? I think those taking the President to task on this are skating on thin ice.”

In related news, at the University of Georgia, the Women’s Studies Student Organization and Sexual Health Advocacy Group screened off an anti-abortion demonstration so it could not be seen by passersby. Danielle Duncan, one of the pro-choice activists, defended what she characterized as “guerrilla censorship,” contending that “the pro-life display is hate speech, pure and simple. Showing the dismembered bodies of aborted fetuses could trigger negative emotions. So-called freedom of speech shouldn’t be used to offend people in this way.”

Taking the 5th Is Only Option for Lerner, Lawyer Says

There is little doubt that former IRS official Lois Lerner possesses key information on illegal activities conducted by the Agency. Emails from her account verify that. Yet, on two occasions, Lerner has invoked the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against self-incrimination and refused to testify before Congress.

Lerner’s attorney Bill Taylor argues that “it is her only chance if she hopes to come out of this alive. This point was made clear to me when we talked to representatives at the Department of Justice. The Administration has many potent options for taking extreme action against my client. Convincing the DOJ that she is unshakably loyal is the only safe course she has. Should there be a smidgen of doubt about this she’s a goner.”

Taylor portrayed a looming contempt of Congress citation as “an inconsequential threat. Even if they levy this against her it will be up to the DOJ to pursue the case. We have assurances from AG Holder that she has nothing to fear along these lines. No one with any sense can blame Ms. Lerner for preferring to risk the animosity of an impotent Congress to that of a deadly earnest President Obama.”

In related news, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s call for the IRS to be abolished was labeled “totally irresponsible” by Commissioner John Koskinen. “Cruz’s proposal for a simple flat tax would eviscerate the Agency’s flexibility. All income would be treated alike. We’d have no latitude to guide the economy by granting exemptions for favored activities or groups. The Agency’s utility as a tool of the Administration for rewarding those who are contributing to the success of its policies would be severely curtailed.”

Democrats Denounce Continued GOP Interference with Obamacare

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) denounced the latest GOP efforts to intervene in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The former Speaker’s remarks followed a House vote to delay the individual mandate to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

When will these people recognize that this is the president’s law?” Pelosi asked. “They’re the ones that insist it be called Obamacare, for heavens sake. Shouldn’t it be clear that if any changes are needed that the President be the one to enact them?”

That changes might be needed seems readily evident. Problems with the website, complaints from key Democratic constituencies, and potential political setbacks for the party come November have already led the President to make nearly two dozen illegal modifications to the statute.

The assertion that it takes an Act of Congress to amend an Act of Congress is a non-starter for this pivotal legislation,” Special Assistant to the President Josh Earnest said. “There can be little doubt that the GOP’s objectives are to undermine this law. The President, in contrast, is trying to protect it. Who should we trust?”

The Republicans in the House are wasting their time,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid boasted. “I control the Senate. I will ensure that no revisions to this law originating outside the oval office will ever be heard, much less voted on, in this chamber. No matter how many tales of suffering or hardship may be concocted, I will not be swayed from my determination to protect the president’s prerogative to shape the law as he sees fit.”

Union Defends Publishing Names of “Opt-Outs”

Lawrence Roehrig, international vice president of AFSCME and secretary treasurer of Michigan AFSCME Council 25, defended the union’s decision to publish the names of hospital workers who opted out of the union.

Social pressure is one of the time-honored ways the union has used to encourage people to accept their responsibility to join,” Roehrig said. “If a non-joiner can keep his apostasy secret he will be able to shirk his responsibility without consequence. If he knows he will be unmasked he will be more inclined to do the right thing.”

Roehrig maintained that “the people opting out are doing so for selfish reasons. They allege that they don’t get enough value out of the dues they have to pay. The purpose of the union, though, is to promote the collective benefit of the whole workforce. People shouldn’t be allowed to leave just because they personally would be better off. They have a duty to sacrifice for the good of the whole.”

With their names posted for all to see, these miscreants will know that they have only themselves to blame if coworkers exact a bit of informal justice on them,” Roehrig pointed out. “If this brings them to their senses we’ll welcome them back with no hard feelings.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

Senate Democrats Reject Limits on IRS Intimidation of Political Speech

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

Folder2 104In the midst of the Obama Administration’s efforts to “reform” IRS regulations, the Senate Democratic majority rejected language proposed by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would have blocked the IRS from acting to penalize dissent against government policies and programs.

The specific text of Senator Cruz’s proposed language would have made it unlawful for the IRS to “willfully act with the intent to injure, oppress, threaten, intimidate, or single out and subject to undue scrutiny any person or organization in any state.”

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) explained, “whether intent is malicious or scrutiny is undue is a matter of opinion. Senator Cruz’s amendment would invite persons dissatisfied with how they are treated by the IRS to put the issue before a court. Frankly, we don’t see they need for that. The president and his appointees at the IRS are fully capable of rendering an appropriate interpretation on whether any actions taken by the agency are malicious or excessive.”

The Democrats also unanimously rejected Cruz’s amendment that would require the IRS to use the Federal Election Commission’s definition of political activity as a guide for whether more scrutiny or other action is warranted in any given case.

Tying the IRS to a preexisting standard would hamper its flexibility to adjust to changing conditions,” Reid observed. “The Government must have as wide a latitude as possible if we are to deter individuals and organizations from engaging in unwarranted and unwanted political activities. The job of governing the nation is difficult enough without organized attempts to challenge the wisdom or intent of policies we deem necessary.”

To be truthful, I’m sick and tired of those who are using the First Amendment as a crutch for their persistent opposition to this Administration’s policies,” Reid angrily continued. “The voters elected President Obama to do a job. Loyal Americans have an obligation to support their president in his efforts. Those intent on obstructing him are about as un-American as I can imagine.”

President Complains Media Give too Much Credence to His Opponents

President Obama expressed his frustration with a news media that “feels compelled to give air time to opponents of my policies. We all know that there is no substance to the views of these malcontents, but out of a ‘knee-jerk’ compulsion to appear even-handed the media are allowing them to voice their opposition to a wide audience.”

While acknowledging that “mainstream media outlets have been appropriately favorable in most of their coverage of what I’m trying to do, the sliver of contention that they allow to be juxtaposed to the Administration’s official proclamations is undermining the country faith in our program.”

One sign of the undermining of faith cited by the President was a poll showing that nearly 60 percent of Americans are disappointed in the Obama Presidency. “This destabilizing shift of opinion never would’ve happened if the media had been more discreet and selective with who they give air time to,” Obama maintained. “Just think about the damage that would be done to people’s religious faith if Satan were given equal time, or even any time, at weekly church services. Isn’t it about time that we stop allowing the voices of political evil into our living rooms? Isn’t it about time that the FCC takes stronger measures to ensure these voices are more muted?”

Inability to Cancel Called a “Feature, not a Flaw” of Obamacare

A new problem with Obamacare is that people who have signed up and later changed their minds are finding it impossible to stop the automatic deductions of premiums from their bank accounts. A Florida man has spent over 50 hours trying to stop $300 per month debits to his checking account for coverage he no longer needs. After six weeks of effort he has yet to succeed.

I found a plan that costs only $116 a month for similar coverage,” Andrew Robinson said. “I want to cancel the more expensive and now redundant $300 plan, but haven’t been able to accomplish that.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius denied that this is yet another “glitch” in the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. “We cannot have people canceling coverage willy-nilly,” she asserted. “The decision on whether to discontinue a plan is one that we cannot carelessly leave up to unqualified individuals.”

As for redundancy, Sebelius argued that “it is better that a person be over-insured than uninsured. If we let people just drop plans that they decide they don’t want there is too much risk that they’ll end up without any coverage. Our Department has a process for evaluating which plans are a better fit for each person. We will determine when or if a particular plan may or may not be dropped for any given individual.”

Sebelius also contended that “the so-called redundancy issue is phony. From a collective standpoint all of the premiums collected will be put to use for someone’s benefit. Any one person who pays for more than he needs simply helps contribute toward our shared responsibility for the well-being of others.”

In related news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) characterized those who allege that they have been made worse off by the Affordable Care Act as “liars, pure and simple. This law was passed for the good of the country. It is inconceivable to me that the end result could be to make anyone worse off. Contentions that persons are being denied critical care because previous insurance that they liked was canceled by ACA rules can only be fabrications. We ought to be cracking down on these people for slandering the President and the Democratic Party.”

First Lady Calls for More Stringent Food Regulations

Claiming that “America’s moms are confused and bewildered by the task of selecting from a wide array of non-standardized options when it comes to feeding their families,” First Lady Michelle Obama made a plea for more rigorous government control over what’s available for purchase.

Reading the labels of multiple alternatives for a single food item is, at best, time consuming,” Michelle complained. “Understanding these labels is also daunting. Is there any mom who can be expected to know how to choose wisely?”

The first lady suggested that “if nutrition experts were to oversee what’s available we could simplify the process of shopping by eliminating the redundancies of stocking more than one product for each food item. Rather than having to weigh which of a half-dozen cans of beans to buy, the shopper could simply decide whether to buy the only available can that has been certified as the best by the experts.”

Businesses would also benefit from not having to stock so many items,” she added. “This will save time in purchasing inventory. It will reduce the shelf space needed and lower the real estate costs of grocery stores. If we could convert the unneeded floor space into an area for calisthenics the time moms saved by not having to read product labels could be invested in aerobic exercise that would be of far better benefit to their health.”

Senator Calls Keystone Pipeline a Health Threat

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) wants the EPA to take a closer look at the proposal to build the Keystone Pipeline. The pipeline would replace rail transport of oil from Canada and is considered a generally safer means of getting the flammable commodity to its destination.

Boxer sought to clarify her opposition to the pipeline, saying that “I’m not stupid. I know that trains sometimes get derailed and that in terms of the safety of transporting oil a pipeline would be less dangerous. The point I am trying to make is that a cheaper and safer mode of shipping will mean lower costs and higher supplies. This means more fossil fuel will be burned. The emissions from burning more fuel are what worry me.”

The pollutants from fossil fuel burning cause cancer and heart disease,” Boxer declared. “Making this energy source more plentiful and affordable means more people will die. The EPA needs to consider the benefits of making fuel less plentiful and more expensive in its analysis of the Keystone proposal.”

The higher we can push the cost of fueling automobile travel the better chance we will have of pricing people out of this market,” Boxer envisioned. “Those for whom we make it unaffordable to drive will have to use public transit. This requires more walking to reach stops and stations, which is healthier.”

AG Says Enforcing the Law Is “Optional”

US Attorney General Eric Holder urged his state attorney general counterparts “to not let rigid adherence to the prescribed duties of your office force you into enforcing laws with which you disagree. As your state’s top legal official you have a prosecutor’s discretion to decline to enforce such laws.”

Holder cited the Obama Administration’s successful refusal to enforce laws it dislikes “as proof it can be done. I’m not saying that there won’t be complaints. There most certainly will be those who try to pressure you to blindly follow your state’s laws. But what can they really do?”

The AG praised those “willing to boldly seize the initiative of overtly flouting imagined constraints,” but also admitted that “a subtler strategy of quietly dragging your feet could be just as effective in some jurisdictions.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

FCC Chairman Says Critics Are Overreacting to New Plan

The Federal Communications Commission plan to send “researchers” into newsrooms in order to observe how stories are selected and reported has sparked fears of government intimidation and censorship. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, said “the mere presence of agents of the government may exert a subtle pressure to slant reporting in a way that deters critical coverage of Administration policies.”

Ajit Pai, one of the FCC’s Commissioners, voiced his concern that “this claimed ‘information gathering effort’ to ascertain the ‘philosophy’ behind how those in the news media do their jobs could stifle dissent. It strikes me as beyond the scope of the Commission’s legitimate authority.”

Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce argued that “The FCC was created to ensure that broadcast media is competitive and is not monopolized by any one business entity or point of view. Sending personnel from the FCC into newsrooms to ask about their ‘philosophy’ and demanding to know who chooses which stories to report isn’t a necessary or appropriate method for carrying out the agency’s legally authorized responsibilities. It has the heavy-handed appearance of a tactic aimed at influencing how the news is reported.”

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler characterized these apprehensions as “the typical overreactions of those who are out-of-step with President Obama’s agenda for transforming this country. Our goal at this stage of the process is to obtain information on who is doing what. Media outlets that are doing a good job of covering essential information and meeting the needs of under-served populations can avoid duplicating the fate of Jay Leno whose excessive and inappropriate mockery of the President necessitated his involuntary exit from his cherished gig as host of the Tonight Show.”

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn defended the initiative saying that “we must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to receiving the news that the Administration has determined is essential for them to hear. Finding out who is adequately doing this job and who is not must be the first step in any plan to reform how information is transmitted by media outlets entrusted with this public responsibility.”

First Lady Says Obamacare Needed to “Save Young People from Their Own Stupidity”

In an interview on the Tonight Show, Michelle Obama unveiled the latest effort of the Administration to induce young and healthy adults to sign up for health insurance by pointing out how stupid this target cohort is.

If you look at how young people behave it’s clear that the vast majority of them are knuckleheads,” she asserted. “They can’t be trusted to do this simplest tasks—like making a sandwich—without hurting themselves. Their choices for leisure activities are typically dangerous and irresponsible—you know, smoking dope, getting drunk and then getting behind the steering wheel of a car. We’re trying to get the message to these youngsters that they need the insurance the Affordable Care Act requires them to buy.”

Michelle admitted that “the low enrollment rates for this group are a cause for concern. In hindsight, our expectation that these folks could be compelled to sign up of their own volition under threat of a penalty was probably overly optimistic. Educating them about their responsibility is a difficult and likely hopeless undertaking. We really need to find some way of making the sign-ups and the extraction of fees automatic.”

Perhaps, though, these young adults aren’t as clueless as the Administration thinks. True enough, they voted overwhelmingly for Obama. On the other hand, in a recent study, researchers from the Stanford University of Medicine found that among those suffering traumatic injuries, uninsured patients get better care than those who are insured. It seems that those with insurance are routed to hospitals on their plan while those without insurance are taken to the nearest trauma center.

This Week’s New Executive Orders

True to his word, President Obama bypassed Congress this week with a trifecta of new Executive Orders.

Concerned that trucking firms are “needlessly wasting money on gas-guzzling semi-trucks,” the President ordered haulers to “improve their MPGs.” As Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx explained, “no one cares more about this country and its well-being that President Obama. These truckers may be satisfied to fritter away costly fuel, but the President is not. Unless they clean up their act we will shut them down.”

In a bid to end the debate over global warming, President Obama issued an Executive Order declaring that “the science proving global warming is irrefutable.” Because the consequences of denying global warming are “severe” the Order bars any firm or individual that contests this irrefutable climate science from bidding on, or participating in, any work funded by the federal government.

On Wednesday President Obama corrected an omission from President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 State-of-the-Union speech by adding “freedom to enjoy sodomy” to FDR’s famous “four freedoms.” Previously, the four freedoms included freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. “Even though Americans’ right to pursue happiness could be construed to include this right—as it could be construed to include FDR’s list—for similar reasons it is clear to me that a more explicit enumeration is required to ensure that this right will never be abridged by those who refuse to participate under the guise of feigned religious objections by the practitioners and purveyors of intolerance.”

Administration Insists that Increase in Minimum Wage Will Increase Employment

The Obama Administration battled back against the Congressional Budget Office finding that boosting the minimum wage would cost the economy about 500,000 jobs.

In a “tweet” sent out to his followers, the President wrote “The notion that raising the price of labor will cause employers to purchase less of it is an out-dated misconception. Our research shows it will create 140,000 jobs.”

Jason Furman, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers explained that “the biggest disincentive for getting a job is low wages. Right now with the minimum wage at only $7.25 per hour it makes more sense for people to go on welfare than go to work. We estimate that raising the minimum to $10.10 will inspire as many as 140,000 of these so-called ‘slackers’ to accept jobs they previously scorned.”

With additional 140,000 persons receiving these higher wages we will pump over $30 billion into the economy, thus making the increase self-financing,” Furman contended. “Better paid workers will buy more stuff. This will lead to higher sales and profits for businesses. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Asked why businesses would have to be compelled to pay higher wages if his theories are correct, Furman suggested that “the people running businesses may not be sophisticated enough to grasp the big picture. From their short-sighted and self-centered perspective, they think that holding down costs is prudent and efficient. They can’t comprehend the seemingly nonsensical reality that paying more for something is the path to greater efficiency at the collective level. Thus, we must force them to do what’s best for themselves and everyone else.”

William Dunkelberg, small business, entrepreneurship and consumer behavior specialist for Forbes magazine, called the President’s and Furman’s contentions “ludicrous and utterly inane. If it is to survive a business must hold its costs below its revenues. If we raise the cost of labor it creates a need for businesses to reduce their use of this input. The inevitable outcome is that fewer jobs will be offered.”

White House Puts Lid on Drone Killing Info

Complaining that “the release of information on the Administration’s use of drones to kill its enemies has led to unforeseen consequences,” Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney said “there will be no further information forthcoming about any aspect of this program.”

The thinking was that the Administration’s aggressive use of this technology to counter threats to national security would be met with a greater sense of appreciation,” Carney opined. “Unfortunately, it has not. Instead it has resulted in a spiral of annoying questions from the media wanting to know too many details.”

Some opponents of the President are raising accusations that these killings violate due process,” Carney said. “Others worry about the collateral damage to nearby innocent parties from using missiles to take out the intended target. These kind of distractions are impeding the President’s latitude to carry out actions he deems appropriate. It has become clear that a greater degree of secrecy would better serve our interests.”

Retiring NSA Snoop Says Eavesdropping Is Not Indiscriminate

General Keith Alexander, who is leaving his post as the Director of the Nation Security Agency next month, denied that the agency is spying on everyone. “We have not been indiscriminate in our selection of who to monitor,” Alexander maintained. “The Government pretty much knows who its enemies are.”

The General justified the huge volume of data being collected by alleging that “the dangerous persons we feel must be kept under surveillance easily exceeds tens of millions of individuals in this country alone. Sixty million people voted against President Obama in 2012. There are an estimated 270 million firearms in the hands of private citizens in the United States—obviously, many of these weapons are in the hands of the President’s opponents. Under such circumstances, it is prudent that we remain as alert and watchful as we can.”

Obama Defends ‘Flip-Flop’ on Executive Orders

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

Folder2 104Before he became president, Senator Barack Obama was a strident critic of George Bush’s use of executive orders to get around Congressional participation in policy making.

The biggest problems we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch, and not go through Congress at all,” the then 2008 presidential candidate Obama said. “That’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”

The sharp contrast of this earlier sentiment with his current “have pen, will rule” stance was brushed aside as “a phony issue” by President Obama. “The crucial point is the ends to which the power is used. Executive orders that thwart social justice and progressive policies are clearly abusive. However, when it is clear that those wielding legislative authority refuse to support these goals it is incumbent on the president to shoulder the burden. So, I’d have to say that given the differing circumstances there is no contradiction.”

In fact, as well-informed observers have pointed out, my post enactment amendments to the Affordable Care Act are both ‘wise and courageous,’” the president added. “As MSNBC’s Chris Matthews put it, ‘we have in President Obama a bold leader willing to break free of the chains of stale legalistic formalism and blaze a new path of governance.’ Why shouldn’t I use every means I can to ensure that the best policies are implemented?”

NSA’s Revenue Generating Potential Being Explored

The Obama Administration is reportedly evaluating the possibility of using data gathered by the National Security Agency (NSA) to help fund the government.

NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett says that “for too long we’ve been overlooking the commercial opportunities of this vast surveillance project. We know what web sites people have been visiting. We know who they’ve been calling on their cell phones. And in many instances we’ve been reading their emails. There has got to be a lot of businesses that would pay substantial sums to have a peek at this information.”

Ledgett speculated that “the obvious customers for purchasing this information would appear to be corporations seeking probable buyers of their products or services. But on the flip side we believe that there may be a market amongst persons wanting us to withhold release of data that might be inconvenient or embarrassing. We haven’t yet developed a refined plan for realizing the full revenue potential, but we are seriously exploring options.”

Jason Furman, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, sees the revenue potential as “a heretofore untapped resource. As changing lifestyles diminish the traditional methods of funding the government, as more people choose subsidized leisure over gainful employment, the idea that we can support the public sector by simply taxing productive effort is becoming out-dated. In our so-called ‘information age’ it seems fitting that we exploit the information the government has gone to such great lengths to acquire in order to help finance the government’s needs.”

Campaign Finance Law Enables IRS Harassment of Conservatives

The impetus behind the passage of federal laws to regulate contributions to political campaigns was the idea that this would prevent the surreptitious influence of big money in elections. By requiring donors identities to be disclosed to the Federal Elections Commission voters would be able to find out who was backing a candidate or a cause. That the government might use this information to punish dissent was overlooked.

Anonymity has long been a method by which persons critical of the government have protected themselves from retaliation. Pamphleteers of the American Revolutionary Era often used pseudonyms for this purpose. The failure of proponents of the campaign finance laws to consider why this was done has had pernicious effects.

Cleta Mitchell, member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law, says that “many donors to conservative causes and candidates are showing up as targets of IRS audits. The increased frequency of this type of thing is disturbing. The message that is going to be taken from this is that daring to assist an opponent of the Democratic Party is an invitation to increased harassment.”

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen rebuffed GOP complaints saying that “there is nothing in the statutes that guarantees an equal distribution of audits among persons of various political leanings. If these GOP donors have done nothing wrong they have nothing to worry about.”

Mitchell wasn’t reassured, however. “An IRS audit is a grueling ordeal even when the taxpayer has totally complied with the complex tax code,” she observed. “By itself an audit is viewed as a punishment by the person undergoing the scrutiny. In the absence of probable cause one would hope that the selection of audit targets would be done in a random manner. That political factors might be used is abusive and tyrannical.”

President Urges Congressional Allies to Ignore Political Cost of Supporting His Agenda

With polls showing plunging support for his policies and programs, President Obama attempted to soothe the fears of Democrats facing reelection battles in November.

The Democratic agenda is more important than whether any specific member of our Party wins in November,” Obama declared. “I’d even go so far as to say that whether we have a majority in either House after November is largely irrelevant. My executive authority is sufficient for the implementation of our agenda.”

Obama reassured that “those of you who are retired against your will by the voters of your state or district can count on me to find you a comfortable post within the executive branch.”

The president discounted the risk that “even should the Republicans gain a nominal majority in Congress I doubt we have much to fear. Many of the GOP leaders have privately assured me that we are on the same page with where we want to take the country. In some ways, allowing them to take over the Legislative branch could be optimal. I could still rule by executive order while they could futilely rant against my usurpation of their authority. Effective opposition would be totally neutralized.”

Not all Democrats were mollified by Obama’s reassurances. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) urged the President “to deploy the IRS to crack down on right wing political organizations in the months running up to the November elections. Short of secret arrests and assassinations, the IRS is the most potent weapon in the government’s arsenal. If we want to ensure that the champions of progressive policies can continue to hold onto the reins of power we need to use this weapon.”

Statistics from the 2012 election cycle appear to bear out Senator Levin’s perspective on the importance of the effective use of the IRS. During that cycle 100 percent of the political organizations subjected to IRS audit were conservative or “right-leaning” in their politics. While these right-leaning groups were otherwise preoccupied with fending off IRS harassment, President Obama sailed to reelection for a second term.

US Falls to 46th in Global Press Freedom Rankings

The annual report of Reporters without Borders rates the amount of “freedom of the press” that exists in each nation. In this year’s rankings the United States fell to 46th–meaning that 45 countries have a greater degree of freedom of the press than the U.S.

Included among the countries ranking as more free than the U.S. are former Communist nations (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, and Romania) and third world nations (Jamaica, Costa Rica, Namibia, Cape Verde, Uruguay, Ghana, Belize, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, El Salvador, Samoa, Botswana, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Papua New Guinea).

Press Secretary Jay Carney said “the Administration has mixed feelings about these results. On the one hand, we are very happy with the kind of relationship we have with this country’s media. On the other hand, this ranking does give a negative impression, but at least we are ahead of Russia and China.”

Russia ranked 148th and China 175th in the report. Finland ranked 1st.

Homosexual Athlete as “Courageous as a Combat Soldier”

The public announcement of Missouri football player Michael Sam that he is homosexual was lauded as “courageous as a combat soldier” by Paulette Aniskoff, deputy assistant to the president and director of the Office of Public Engagement this past week.

I’m not saying that our troops aren’t brave,” Aniskoff explained. “Sure, they could get shot or blown up, but this happens out of view in some far off land. Michael Sam’s homosexuality is on full public display right here in America. There’s no way for him to escape into anonymity.”

Ironically, “anonymity” regarding Sam’s sexual orientation is what he sacrificed by his unsolicited announcement. “That’s what makes his announcement so heroic,” Aniskoff insisted. “He gave up his privacy in a way that helps advance the president’s push to normalize homosexuality. Boys look to athletes as role models. If a high-profile player is homosexuality then it signals to every young man that being homosexual is okay, even admirable. In the grand scheme of things this accomplishes more than any soldier can achieve just by doing his job, even if he might be killed or wounded in the process.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

Dems Say Obamacare Will Liberate Millions from Workplace Drudgery

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

Folder2 104Democrats touted a Congressional Budget Office report that projects more than 2 million workers will opt out of full time work because of the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for unemployed and underemployed persons.

While the Administration’s opponents will try to make this look like bad news, the fact is that work is a disutility,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Everyone knows that leisure is man’s preferred state. By enabling more people to obtain health insurance at government expense, the Affordable Care Act is liberating millions from the drudgery of full time employment.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) maintains that “enabling more people to escape the burdens of toil was one of the key objectives of the Act. Ideally, we would’ve liked to extend this same benefit to every American. Unfortunately, some will still be required to work longer hours in order to provide the funds needed to subsidize the benefits we were able to give to those willing to abandon full time jobs.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed “the end of job-lock. By leveraging the efforts of those willing to work longer hours we have been able to subsidize the health insurance of those who have better uses for their time. Combined with the expansion of the disability rolls and the extension of unemployment benefits, the Affordable Care Act is helping to create a new class of free agents in our society. It is a dream come true for a growing segment of our population.”

Ironically, the CBO report also projected that in 10 years the number of Americans without health insurance is expected to exceed 30 million—virtually the same number that was cited as a rationale for imposing the Obamacare mandate. “There will always be people who refuse to cooperate with the program,” Carney acknowledged. “Hopefully, the IRS will be able to track them down and fine them for noncompliance.”

In related news, Carney maintained that the $4,000 per year decline in median household income since the start of the Obama Administration is “evidence of an America turning away from materialistic concerns.

Households are taking home less money because the Administration’s policies have helped persuade people that grubbing for dollars is not an appealing way to live one’s life.”

Infrastructure, Not Freedom, Is Key to Economic Growth, Says Biden

Vice-President and potential contender for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President, Joe Biden rejected contentions that individual freedom is crucial to economic growth.

I know a lot of people keep insisting that it is America’s free market and individual rights that account for this country’s phenomenal economic growth, but is that really the case?” Biden asked. “Look at the rapid economic growth achieved by the Soviet Union during the 1930s and 40s. By mobilizing armies of human labor to build canals and mine metals they were able to transform perishable human resources into the durable infrastructure that vaulted the country from a backward agrarian-based economy to a world super power.”

The vice-president wondered whether “their divergence from that strategy might be a factor in Russia’s recent decline from its pinnacle of rivalry with the United States. Perhaps their attempts to emulate our freer markets are misguided.”

Biden suggested that “maybe it’s time we rethink our mindless devotion to individualism in this country. The choices that many individuals make when decisions are left up to them are often frivolous and anti-social. Consumers don’t want to go ‘green’ because it’s more costly. They don’t want to use public transit because it’s less convenient. How long should we allow such selfish concerns to warp our economy?”

Jailed Legislator Defends Himself

Though currently serving a six-month sentence for assaulting a woman who declined to have sex with him, Representative Carlos Henriquez (D-Suffolk) refuses to resign from the Massachusetts House.

First of all, my incarceration is illegal,” Henriquez argued. “Members of the legislature are supposed to have immunity. Secondly, the Ethics Committee’s recommendation that I be removed from office contradicts the vote of the people of my district who are entitled to have the person of their choice represent them. Nowhere in the State Constitution does it say that a person in prison cannot serve in the legislature.”

The representative has suggested that “a six-month leave of absence would best serve the interests of everyone involved. The will of the voters would be respected. The expense of a special election would be avoided. And I could rejoin the legislature refreshed and with a new perspective on the issue of state corrections policy.”

Henriquez, who has been a prominent advocate against gun violence, says there is no inconsistency in his behavior. “If that woman had a gun I’d probably be dead,” he pointed out. “So, I’d say that Massachusetts’ tight control over gun ownership has clearly saved at least one life.”

Congresswoman Proposes Expedited Legislative Procedure

Citing the “unwarranted thwarting of the will of the people by the Republicans in the House,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) unveiled what she called “an expedited legislative procedure.” Under this procedure, a so-called “full employment caucus” comprised of Democratic lawmakers will draft Executive Orders and pass them on to President Obama for his signature.

We cannot sit by idly while the GOP uses out-dated clauses of the Constitution to block the initiatives of the Administration,” Jackson said. “By gathering the true representatives of voters into our caucus we can ensure that the President’s will prevails over obstructionism.”

Jackson went on to point out that “as long as everyone is willing to comply with the president’s executive orders they have the same impact as an Act of Congress. We’ll be able to bypass Congressional gridlock and get things moving.”

Included among the items under consideration for this expedited procedure are an increase in the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits, loosening the restrictions on food stamps, and amnesty for immigrants in this country illegally. “Removing these impediments to prosperity is essential if the president’s vision for America is to be realized,” Jackson asserted.

Senator Cries “Foul” over Campaign Ads

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) expressed outrage over a series of campaign ads informing voters of her support for the Affordable Care Act. While not disputing the accuracy of the content, Hagan contended that “the more important question is who is behind these ads.”

Whether I voted for the Affordable Care Act years ago is a moot issue at this point in time,” the Senator claimed. “The past cannot be undone. What matters is the future. The money being put into rehashing the past by the Americans for Prosperity campaign against me is obscuring this crucial fact.”

Instead of allowing themselves to be confused by ‘Monday morning quarterbacking’ of the sort that these ads are undertaking, voters need to focus on what I am promising to do for them if I am reelected,” Hagan urged. “They need to ask themselves if they want to follow the siren song of lower taxes that Americans for Prosperity is trying play for them or do they want to reconfirm the trust they placed in me six years ago.”

IRS Employees to Get Bonuses

The IRS will pay out over $40 million in employee performance bonuses for the year 2013. Commissioner John Koskinen explained that “the bonuses are necessary if we want to attract the kind of people we need at the agency.”

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called the bonuses “outrageous. Given the fact that the IRS was shown to be targeting conservatives for discriminatory treatment these bonuses send the wrong message.”

The National Treasury Employees Union took issue with Hatch’s view saying that “none of these employees should be punished for faithfully following orders. Senator Hatch’s grievance is with the president and his direct appointees, not the rank-and-file who merely carried out directives received from above.”

Commissioner Koskinen agreed saying that “rather than try to take his ‘pound of flesh’ from these loyal low-level bureaucrats, the Senator, if he has objections that he thinks warrant penalties, should aim them at his real target. If he thinks he has a case he should draft articles of impeachment against the President. The misuse of authority he alleges would appear to be an ‘impeachable offense’ as I understand the term.”

President Says O’Reilly Interview “Crossed the Line”

Bristling from what he characterized as “disrespectful and abusive treatment” he received during an interview, President Obama vowed never to appear on Fox News again.

After I agreed to sacrifice some of my precious time in order to grant Mr. O’Reilly an interview prior to the Super Bowl I was greeted with insistent and intrusive questioning on topics I didn’t want to talk about,” Obama complained. “Worse, my veracity was impugned. Rather than just accept my word, Mr. Reilly seemed determined to demand some sort of independent verification, some sort of external evidence. I am not accustomed to being treated this way.”

The president said he will be conferring with advisers “to ascertain whether there are steps we can take to prevent a recurrence of this kind of disrespect. I’m certain that Mr. Reilly has done things that he’d rather keep private. If he were more clearly apprised of the risks he faces I am confident he will not repeat his errors.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.


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