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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), a ranking Republican Member of the House Armed Services Committee, spoke to Eric Shawn on Fox News this weekend about the rampage of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) across Iraq. Franks criticized the Obama Administration for failing to listen to the generals who warned that a failure to secure a Status of Forces Agreement would lead to the sort of scenario currently unfolding, stating that the Administration has a “magic ability…to get it wrong every time,” and that the notion of “ignoring the danger of this jihadist ideology has bewildered our friends and emboldened our enemies and it’s left suffering and death in the wake every time.” The full segment and a transcript is available below:
Eric Shawn: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are on the march. They are said now to be only 40 miles away from Baghdad. And with those 300 U.S. military adviser on their way to Iraq to help the Shiite government get the crisis under control, will they? Republican Congressman Trent Franks from Arizona sits on the House Armed Services Committee and joins us now from San Diego. Congressman, good to see you. Look, 300 American adviser. Can that number turn the tide against these fired up, ruthless Islamic militants?
Trent Franks: Well, our special forces and some of the advisers we are sending have an incredible ability to organize and to understand the danger that we face there, so there is certainly some efficacy to that. But, you know, the bigger story here: when you opened the program, you mentioned the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. That really tells the whole story if we examine carefully. Because this administration somehow has this magic ability when it comes to the middle east or really anywhere else in the world on foreign policy to get it wrong every time. Their generals warned them that if we pulled out of Iraq without a status of forces agreement that something like this could happen. And this ISIS group that makes al-Qaeda look like a bunch of cub scouts — one of the most dangerous and brutal groups in the world — they are beheading their way across Iraq, they are killing especially Christians. And yet, we have known about this group for quite some time. This administration simply had to read their own (ISIS’) reports of some 10,000 operations of military capacity there, and they claimed to have had 4,000 improvised explosive devices, over a thousand assassinations. I just don’t know how this catches this administration every time. It seems like the naiveté and the hell-bent notion of ignoring the danger of this jihadist ideology has bewildered our friends and emboldened our enemies and it’s left suffering and death in the wake every time.
Eric Shawn: Congressman, excuse me for interrupting, someone pointed out al-Maliki didn’t want us there. That the Obama Administration insisted on the parliament approving that status of forces and that wasn’t going to happen. So, you know, this is al-Maliki’s fault.
Trent Franks: Well, Maliki is obviously a failed leader. There is no question about that. But this administration has projected weakness and vacillation and naiveté all over the world. And, if you just grant me diplomatic immunity here, Eric, I don’t mean to be harsh, but somewhere, on a peanut farm in south Georgia, Jimmy Carter must be breathing an enormous sigh of relief, because he knows now that he will not go down in history as the most inept president we have ever had.
Eric Shawn: I want to point out again that you are a Republican. If I could point that out. But there is something in the Wall Street Journal – front page today — about a secret U.S. plan to aid Iraq that fizzled among mutual distrust. The administration tried to do something secretly, says the Wall Street Journal, but in just didn’t work. We won’t read the whole thing, Congressman, but let me just get your reaction, because we only have a minute.
Trent Franks: Well, ultimately, as you know, there are issues all over the country and the world now that I think represent some pretty serious danger to this country. This administration has even talked about allying ourselves with Iran and that will only give them additional credibility. If iran gains a nuclear weapons capability, which I think this helps them in that pursuit, we will need a new calendar, Eric. It will change our world that much. And our children will then walk in the shadow of nuclear terrorism. And I have to suggest to you it just boggles and be bewilders me to no end.
Eric Shawn: We have to leave it there. Thank you for joining us.
June 19, 2014
“The White House is incompetent and the dumping of illegals is intentional.”
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio takes the dumping of illegal aliens in his Maricopa County as an “affront” because Arizona has been a high-profile critic of federal immigration policy, and Arpaio has been “like the poster boy” for slamming the Justice Department and the White House.
He doubts the massive wave of illegals, many of them unaccompanied minors, is a result of mere administration ineptitude.
“I got my own theory,” he said. “I think the White House sometimes is incompetent, but I can’t imagine them doing this without realizing that there was going to be controversy.”
Arpaio thinks President Obama is deliberately courting that controversy because the current crisis on the border gives him a chance to issue more executive orders, or prod Congress into passing immigration reforms that suit the president’s taste.
Having worked extensively on both sides of the southern border, Arpaio doubts that most politicians have a proper understanding of conditions in Mexico or the southern United States. He thinks the drug and gang problems are frequently underestimated, noting that when criminals are deported, it doesn’t seem to take long before they reappear in the United States — sometimes 10 or 15 times.
He said he has written to the new secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, about the problem of repeat offenders but has yet to receive a satisfactory response. He says he hasn’t been able to attract much attention from the media, either, which is leading him to appreciate the power of social media and viral video, after some initial resistance to using the technology.
He criticized the way the media and Border Patrol agents have been given limited access to the refugee camps springing up in response to the unaccompanied wave of minors.
“Why are they hiding these kids from the media?” Arpaio said. “Well, I think I have a theory here. I don’t think they’re all young kids. I would bet there are 16-, 17-year-olds. How do we know they’re not members of a gang coming across?”
Sheriff Arpaio’s suspicions on this point appear to be well-founded, as The Washington Times has reported complaints from the National Border Patrol Council that some of the “children” surging across the border are indeed teenage gang members, often with blatant gang tattoos.
The 82-year-old sheriff has 55 years of law-enforcement experience. (His birthday is Flag Day, and he says this year he spent it “locking up deadbeat dads.”) After spending many of those years fighting the drug trade as a federal agent, he finds it disappointing that the federal government spends so much time hassling him.
“That’s sad, in a way,” he said. “But you know what? It doesn’t bother me. Actually, I love challenges. The more they go after me, the more happy I am, and I’m not going to surrender.”
He doesn’t think America should surrender to an illegal immigration crisis some describe as intractable.
“We’re the greatest country in the universe,” Arpaio declared. “You’re trying to tell me that we can’t control the illegal immigration coming into our country?”
Among the other issues he has no intention of retreating from is his challenge to the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, which he remains convinced is a forged document. Arpaio is well aware of the criticism this crusade generates, from accusations of racism lobbed against him, to charges that he’s an obsessed eccentric. He repeated his determination to push harder in the face of such adversity, and suggested his critics consider that he knows how much trouble he’s causing for himself, and how quickly it would all go away if he dropped the subject.
He’s also aware of the support he receives, especially from the constituents who keep re-electing him sheriff. He speaks of his commitment to treating legal immigrants, such as his own parents, with fairness and respect — which means enforcing the laws they respected in turn.
“It’s a fairness issue,” he said. “Many people obey the laws, and yet those that don’t, reward them. That’s not right.”
By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy
When Planned Parenthood loses, women win. [The] decision by a federal court to deny a request by Arizona’s largest abortion provider to temporarily block a common sense health and safety standard is a victory for anyone who cares for the well-being of women.
Passed in 2012, the purpose of this law is to ensure the abortion industry distributes the dangerous and deadly abortion pill in line with FDA protocol. While the FDA protocol requires the pill to be distributed within the first 49 days of a pregnancy, Planned Parenthood has dispensed the pill through 63 days of a pregnancy.
With all the evidence that shows the abortion pill presents serious risks to the lives of women, it should be distributed with the utmost care. It is irresponsible for Planned Parenthood to persist in ignoring this protocol for a pill that is responsible for at least 14 deaths in the United States.
Based on the fact that now the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected similar challenges to this law, and the Arizona Federal District Court has ruled that Planned Parenthood is not likely to succeed in this latest legal charade, I call on the abortion giant to drop their challenge. It would be shameful for Planned Parenthood to continue to waste state resources by pressing on with this frivolous lawsuit.
AZ Congressman Matt Salmon: “The president is our nation’s elected leader and has the privilege and responsibility to set the tone for our nation. Unfortunately, this cannot happen with a president who remains tone-deaf and unwilling to listen to the American people. We learned last week that President Obama believes he can lead our nation with only a pen and a phone. But Americans don’t care about pens and phones; they care about jobs and paychecks. This requires a president who will work with Congress to pass bills that grow the economy, not the size of the government. If the president is serious about working with Congress he should start by asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take up the 40 jobs bills the House has sent to the Senate, finally approve the Keystone Pipeline and remove job-killing regulations through legislation such as the REINS Act. I firmly believe that job creation and higher-wages are a product of economic growth, not mandates from Washington. Americans have a strong spirit of ingenuity and will. We can and should support policies that foster these values, not hinder them.”
AZ Congressman David Schweikert: “For those who watched the president’s speech and the Republican response, the difference could not be more stark. The Republican message of optimism and opportunity contrasts with the president’s speech of recycled proposals from his previous years in office. If the president is ready to accept responsibility for his policies that have led to stagnant economic growth over his 6 years in office, he needs to follow through this time and address the issue with more than just talk of job creation. I am hopeful 2014 can be a productive year, but it will require President Obama to do something he has refused to do until now. And that is, reach out and work with Congress in good faith.”
Gubernatorial Candidate Frank Riggs: “President Obama’s SOTU speech is more of the same: big government proposals that shift more power to DC, and dominion and control over our lives, despite the fact that the federal gov’t can’t stop deficit spending or secure our state and national border with Mexico. We need to put our fiscal house in order, revive our economy and create jobs, and promote more competition and choice in education and health care to build a better future for all Arizonans! The common sense conservative solutions we need are in Arizona, not Washington, DC.”
John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
While admitting that the process for adding a new baby to a family’s Affordable Care Act insurance coverage is “difficult,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius denied that it is yet another of a seemingly endless series of “glitches” to the program.
“Though this may come as a shock to some, the world is over-populated,” Sebelius contended. “Adding more people is something we need to discourage. Since we cannot outright restrict family sizes like they do in China we have to make do with a ‘second-best’ policy. The annoyance and anxiety factors that attend the paperwork aspect of the ACA program are as far as we thought we could go for now.”
“It’s not as if the program doesn’t provide other options,” the Secretary continued. “The new policies all cover birth control and abortion services at no out-of-pocket cost to the policy holders. We are hopeful that a greater appreciation of the contrast of these free services compared to the extra hassles of obtaining coverage for a socially unnecessary augmentation of the population will push people’s decisions in the right direction.”
Criticism of Obamacare’s complexities vs. the ease with which families could add a new member under the so-called “substandard” policies in existence prior to enactment of the ACA were dismissed by Sebelius as “short-sighted and selfish. An increase in the population is a matter of collective concern. It shouldn’t be easy for individuals to inflict this burden on society.”
In related news, Sebelius insisted that the two hours Dr. John Venetos’ office staff spent on hold trying to get authorization from ACA policy holder Sheri Zajcew’s insurance for surgery “wasn’t just wasted time. The majority of surgeries are unwarranted. If this type of miniscule delay can prevent some of them both the patient and America will be better off for it.”
Evidence that Charter Schools Better Serve Poor People Disparaged
A 2013 study on Michigan charter public schools done by Stanford University and a recently released study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy showing that charter schools do a better job serving low-income students than public schools was disparaged by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as “off target.”
The studies indicated that charter schools enroll a larger proportion of students from low-income families (70%) than public schools (55%). On top of this, the Stanford study found that black and Hispanic students did significantly better in reading and math when in charter schools than their peers in conventional public schools.
“The objective of government’s education policy must be to provide a uniform common experience for all children,” Duncan asserted. “Any evidence that charter schools provide a better experience for some drives us further away from this goal. Do these researchers give any thought to the difficulties that minorities attending charter schools might have relating to their peers who are less skilled in reading and math? What good will their ability to read instructions or calculate sums be to them if they become outcasts from their community?”
North Korean Execution Method Sparks Controversy
Reports that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had his uncle Jang Song Thaek executed by feeding him to a pack of 120 ravenous dogs was met with mixed reactions in the US.
On the one hand, some environmental activists expressed relief that the traditional “bullet-to-the-back-of-the-head” method previously used by North Korea had been avoided. “Lead shot is a major factor in environmental pollution,” said Global Advocates for Environmental Awareness spokesperson, Laura Looney. “Granted, the absolute impact of one bullet is tiny. However, the turn toward a more organic method of disposal of unwanted criminals is a powerful symbolic statement that presents a model we hope others will follow.”
On the other hand, Sunny Day, vice-president of Citizens Against Cruelty to Animals found the event to be “horrifying in its brutality. These 120 dogs were starved for three days and then were given only six humans to eat in the execution. On top of that, these humans were thrown into the cage alive and were able to injure many of the dogs before they were killed. Other dogs injured each other in the feeding frenzy.”
Day said she hoped that “North Korea would more carefully plan any future executions using this method to ensure that no animals are harmed in the process. Perhaps the condemned could be tied up or otherwise immobilized and the ratio of dogs to people kept at a more reasonable level to better guard against injury.”
In related news, the White House listed the doubling of the dogs in residence as one of the Administration’s accomplishments for the year 2013. During the year, Sunny, a female Portuguese Water Dog, joined Bo, a male Portuguese Water Dog, who moved into the White House in 2009. President Obama said he has no plans to include either dog in any future executions, “the drone strikes have been completely satisfactory in that regard.”
New NYC Mayor Vows to “Crush Inequality”
Newly inaugurated New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told those attending the ceremony that he would “put an end to inequality in this City. For too long we have tolerated a situation where some have had too much while others have had too little.”
The first step toward Blasio’s egalitarian utopia will be the elimination of Central Park horse-drawn carriage rides, which the Mayor labeled “frivolous and degrading. First of all, horses represent an inefficient form of transportation. Anything horses can do electric cars can do better. Carriages pulled by electric cars would enable people to tour Central Park more effectively and with less pollution.”
“Secondly, horse-drawn carriages convey an image of aristocracy,” de Blasio continued. “This is an image we should be extirpating from our consciousness. A person overpaying for these posh jaunts humiliates everyone who can’t afford to do the same. The excuse that it is ‘harmless recreation’ and that it provides jobs cannot override its negative impact on people’s psyches.”
The Mayor doesn’t have the last word on this. The City Council must approve the ban before it can take effect. If it does, 200 drivers will lose their jobs and 200 horses will likely be shipped off to slaughterhouses to be made into dog food.
In related news, New York City’s Department of Investigation conducted a test to ascertain the probability of success for vote fraud. In the test, undercover agents went to various polling places and made 61 attempts to fraudulently obtain a ballot. On 39 occasions they used the names of dead people, 14 times they used the names of incarcerated felons, and eight times used the names of non-residents. They were denied ballots only twice. De Blasio discounted the significance of the findings by maintaining that “to my knowledge, very few elections in this city have been decided by as few as 59 votes. So I’d have to say that the fears that fraud might play a decisive role in who gets elected are way overblown.”
As Polls Turn Sour Admin Urges Less Media Coverage
As polls indicate that the majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s performance and that only 10% feel that government works well, the Obama Administration is now urging the media to pay less attention to polls in the run up to the 2014 off-year elections.
“I know there’s a certain ‘horse race’ kind of excitement that makes the polls interesting to a lot of people, but this isn’t as inconsequential a matter as a horse race,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “Promulgating the negative feelings expressed in these polls runs the risk of seriously undermining the people’s faith in their government. Is the momentary thrill of knowing who is leading at any given point really worth it?”
As an alternative, Carney recommended that “the media should undertake an effort to educate the public in a more meaningful way. There are a number of significant achievements and agenda items yet to be accomplished that the voters will need to understand if they are to make informed choices at the ballot box in November.”
Among the significant achievements to be touted, according to Carney is “the mandating of universal health care insurance. Critics may joke about the unforeseen consequences of a misfiring web site, soaring costs, and a net decrease in the number of people insured under the Affordable Care Act, but the fact is that for the first time in our history the government has made it illegal for anyone to decline to buy coverage. That is something the media has an obligation to make sure everyone knows before they vote.”
“And let’s not forget that the economy is robust enough to support a record number of Americans on welfare and disability,” Carney added. “Administration opponents would like everyone to believe that a decline in the portion of the population holding down jobs is a bad thing. But work is something people do in order to afford the good things of life. That the President’s policies have enabled a growing number to obtain good things without having to work for them is something we ought to be celebrating.”
In related news, U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven permanently halted enforcement of a Florida law that requires welfare recipients to take drug tests. Scriven ruled that “the contention that the tests are needed to prepare these recipients for jobs is contrary to both human rights and federal policy. Whether one has a job is a choice that every person is free to make, but the right to sustenance is a human right that cannot be abridged by the State in contradiction to federal rules under the Constitution’s ‘supremacy clause.’”
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.
Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz ,(D-Fla), chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told CNN host Wolf Blitzer that there are “dozens of countries” that will stand with Obama and his proposed “shot across the bow” warning to the Assad Regime.
Pressed to name a few of these hidden allies, Wasserman-Schultz attempted to beg off saying “I’m not that good at geography, but I think the list includes Framistan, Lygeria, and France. I hope I don’t have to remind everyone of the pivotal role France played as America’s first ally during our war for independence back in the 1770s.”
While France is a real country, the amount of assistance it will be able to render is questionable. At present, they have no sea-launched missile capability and won’t for at least a year. The Congresswoman did point out, though, that “France’s President Francois Hollande has graciously offered us full access to his country’s advanced capability in gourmet cuisine. The tasty sauces and delicious pastries they can supply would help boost the morale of US Forces that will bear the brunt of the actual fighting.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that “we have, in-hand, pledges of financial support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. All we have to do is supply the troops and weapons. In fact, an under appreciated element of this pledge of support is the salutary effect it will have on our budget deficit. We have plenty of firepower. What we’re short of is money. Be hiring out some of this firepower we can close the gap between revenue and outlay.”
Reid Rejects Idea of Hearing Evidence from Russian Envoys
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) rejected Russia’s offer to send a pair of members of its parliament to testify to Congress on intelligence information it has gathered on the Syrian situation, saying that “the interjection of contradictory information would only muddy the waters.”
“We’ve already heard from the President and Secretary of State Kerry.” Reid said. “Our job is to support them. Bringing in outsiders who dispute the case they have presented will only make that harder to achieve.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin found Reid’s position to be “disappointing and incomprehensible. We have a 100-page intelligence report documenting that the rebels the US is seeking to aid have engaged in despicable atrocities—including the use of chemical weapons. Perhaps the Americans would doubt the validity of such a report, but shouldn’t they at least hear the evidence before discounting it?”
As bad as the Assad Regime is, the brutality of rebel fighters has sparked growing support for his government. Massacres of unbelievers, horrific filmed executions, and cannibalism perpetrated by opponents of Assad have persuaded many that he is the lesser of evils. One of the rebel faction’s vow to “slaughter all the Christians after Syria is liberated” suggests that a US role in helping to bring this about might not be a good idea.
Despite substantial evidence of the murderous nature of the main forces opposing Assad, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) insists that “helping them is our only option. They may not live up to our ideals of freedom and humane human interactions, but who does in this part of the world. Oppression, persecution, and mass murder are the time-honored ways of governing in the Middle East. If we refuse to assist these rebels because they have innocent blood on their hands we won’t have any horse in this race.”
Secretary of State John Kerry sought to bolster the case for US inventing by citing the fact that one of the rebel leaders recited a poem before executing a group of captured Syrian troops as “proof that they are not simply barbarians, but also have the capacity for appreciating literature and possibly other fine arts. Should we just stand by while this spark of culture is crushed by a loathsome regime?”
Reid is expected to schedule a Senate vote on whether the US should or shouldn’t bomb Syria in support of the al-Qaeda rebels on September 11. The date is considered ironic since it would be the twelfth anniversary of al-Qaeda’s attack on the NY World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
“When you think about it, doesn’t it make more sense for us to align ourselves with an organization that has a broader reach than the Assad government?” Reid asked. “Assad has shown no capability to harm us. Al-Qaeda, obviously, has. Do we really want to risk disappointing them? Wouldn’t taking sides with the stronger party make the most sense?”
DOD Chief Says Cost of Syrian Strike Small
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hailed the proposed US attack on Syria as “a bargain.”
“The display of force contemplated can be accomplished at a very low cost to us,” Hagel contended. “The millions we’ll spend on ordinance and the few casualties we may incur will be a very reasonable price to pay for defending the credibility of the nation’s Commander-in-Chief.”
“Look, given what’s already been said, a failure to carry through with at least an air strike would make the President appear as a blow-hard issuing empty threats,” the Secretary added. “We are confident that the American people don’t want their President to have his image damaged in this fashion. We believe they’d be happy to pay much more in blood and treasure to ensure that their country isn’t humiliated in this way.”
Chicago Police Say They Will Veto Illinois’ Concealed Carry Law
Angry at state legislation authorizing citizens to carry concealed firearms, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy says he will authorize his officers “to issue on-the-spot vetoes against this dangerous law.”
“We maintain that the police are the only ones who ought to be allowed to arm themselves,” McCarthy argued. “They are the only people properly trained in the use of firearms. A law encouraging people to arm and defend themselves disrespects the job the police do. It also potentially complicates every confrontation.”
“When police arrive at a scene where shooting has taken place how are they to know whether the person left standing is an assailant or a victim defending himself?” McCarthy asked. “It’s a difficult question that my officers don’t have the time or inclination to ask much less try to answer. Therefore, I am instructing them that when they arrive on a crime scene to not to hesitate to take down anyone wielding a gun.”
In related news, Colorado House Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Gunbarrel) contends that citizens don’t need guns to protect themselves because “they have the legislature to protect them. A woman should not have to carry a gun in order to feel safe on the streets. Keeping the streets safe is the legislature’s job.”
Hullinghorst recommended that “people should put my phone number on speed dial so that if they find themselves in a dangerous situation they can quickly get a hold of me. I will immediately get to work to draft a bill that will rectify whatever predicament they find themselves in. They will also have the satisfaction of knowing that whatever remedy we come up with will be more far reaching than their concerns of the moment.”
UN Demands Obama Nullify State Laws
Verene Shepherd, chief of the UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent, expressed alarm at “the irresponsible proliferation of weapons fostered by misguided, so-called state governments” and demanded that “President Obama use his powers as Commander-in-Chief to nullify these affronts to civilized rule.”
“It is unconscionable that the US President should sit idle while these subordinate governmental units commit such atrocities,” Shepherd complained. “In some states, any adult can qualify to carry a weapon. In others, people are allowed to ‘stand their ground’ and provoke a confrontation rather than comply with a simple request to hand over their wallet or remove their clothes.”
Attorney General Eric Holder assessed the demands as “certainly earnest and heartfelt” and promised “to explore Ms. Shepherd’s suggestions for how we might deal with this situation.”
John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent NewsA Satirical Look at Recent News
The rising tide of extralegal presidential edicts bypassing Congress was justified by Obama himself in remarks during a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo.
According to the president, “most Republicans tell me privately that they’d like to support me, but are afraid of retaliation from Tea Party primary challenges or being lambasted by right-wing talk shows. They’re grateful that I’m taking the ‘hot potatoes’ out of their hands with these executive orders.”
In illustration of his case, Obama pointed to his executive order authorizing subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs to offset the higher health insurance costs of the Affordable Care Act. “Their inadvertent neglect to exempt themselves from the mandates of the Act put them in the same boat as private individuals vis a vis the requirement to purchase compliant coverage,” Obama said. “It was their own fault. I could’ve just sat by and let them take their lumps. That’s what a strict observance of the law would’ve required. My willingness to go outside the narrow confines of the law saved them from the pain of having to pay more without them having to face the embarrassment of explicitly amending the Act to save themselves.”
“Congress has two core responsibilities,” the president maintained. “One is to pass the legislation needed to promote the general welfare. The other is to provide the money the Government needs. When Congress fails to carry out these responsibilities it is up to me to bridge the gap.”
“There is a solid majority on both sides of the aisle for getting things done,” the president continued. “We could let ourselves be stymied by archaic limitations or we can adapt modern methods for meeting the needs of governing in a changing world. Thankfully, the consensus favors a dynamic and flexible approach.”
In related news, Obama deflected criticism of NSA spying on citizens. “Let me assure everyone that the government is not listening to your emails or reading your phone conversations,” Obama asserted. “The claim that we would or even could do such a thing is an absurdity that raises questions about the mental health of those who make the accusations.”
Meanwhile, the NSA’s campaign of intimidation against Dan McCall continues. McCall’s website LibertyManiacs.com lampooned the NSA as “the only part of government that actually listens to the people.” NSA Director, General Keith Alexander, defended the intimidation saying that “the important work we do deserves the respect and support of every American. Mockery merits repercussions.”
Axelrod Says Talk of Impeachment “Dangerous and Disloyal”
Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn’s suggestion that President Obama may be “perilously close to impeachment” elicited a harsh rebuke from Obama adviser David Axelrod.
“Senator Coburn calls himself a friend of the President, but then stabs him in the back like some sort of latter day Brutus,” Axelrod complained. “His remarks are way out of bounds. They are dangerous and disloyal.”
Axelrod mocked Coburn’s credentials for criticizing the president. “What does an obstetrician know about the law?” he sarcastically wondered. “Every move the President has made has the full support of the nation’s top lawyer, Attorney General Eric Holder. The Senator would be wise to back off to a safe distance. The President will make full use of all the powers at his disposal to sterilize the ‘virus’ infecting our politics and undermining his authority. It would be a shame if any of his ‘friends’ became collateral damage.”
Axelrod cited news that the First Family bought a new puppy in furtherance of his argument. The puppy, like their other pet, is a Portuguese Water Dog. “Is the purchase of a puppy the kind of thing a tyrant would do?” Axelrod asked. “We think that the American people will agree that a man who lays out $2,000 to give an animal a home evinces the type of benevolence and good will they want in a leader. We are confident that this rebuts the negative impressions the President’s detractors are trying to foist on the general public.”
President’s Promise on Health Care “Null and Void”
One of President Obama’s pitches in promoting his Affordable Care Act was the promise that those who were happy with their current coverage could keep it. The statute, however, requires those whose policies are deemed non-compliant to switch to more comprehensive and expensive plans beginning January 1, 2014. Most affected will be healthy people currently enrolled in high-deductible plans.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explains that “in our view, high-deductible policies are inadequate for several reasons. The major flaw in the premise of such policies is that the individual is competent to assess his own health. Doctors are the experts in assessing people’s health. We need to move toward a system that shifts the decisions away from untrained individuals and into the hands of trained professionals.”
“A second deficiency of letting individuals choose the amount of coverage they pay for is that most will be too focused on their own needs,” Sebelius contended. “It allows healthy people to escape their fair share of the burden of paying for the insurance of their more sickly fellow citizens. It’s all very well for such a person to smugly say he doesn’t engage in risky behaviors and, therefore, doesn’t need expensive insurance. But who will take care of his peers who do? Who will pay for the abortions, rehabs, surgeries, and the like that are needed by those with less self-discipline?”
“The genius of the Affordable Care Act is that it overturns selfish ‘rugged individualism’ with compassionate collective responsibility,” Sebelius boasted. “It makes America into one big happy family where everyone is harnessed to a common goal of promoting the general welfare. A disgruntled few may chafe under this new responsibility, but like wayward children they will be taught to love and care for their brothers and sisters.”
Congressman Proposes “Indenture Program” for College Students
Distressed by the high cost of college and the high unemployment of college graduates, Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) recommended “a major revision of how we educate people for the public good. I have heard so many stories of graduates facing crushing debt loads and no prospects of a job that I think it’s time we remake the whole system.”
“First of all, why should a student have to pay for college?” Rangel asked. “We don’t make them pay for elementary or high school. If a college degree is needed for the role a person is to play in our society it is society’s obligation to bear the cost of providing it.”
“A second aspect of the problem is the inapt choice of what to study,” Rangel went on. “Why do we expect 18- year-olds to wisely choose the kinds of knowledge and skills that our society needs? Most of the 18-year-olds I know have no idea on what skills will get them jobs.”
“What we need to do is have experts determine what types of education are needed and get capable students to study subjects that will prepare them to fill the jobs society needs done,” Rangel suggested. “Wiser heads would inventory the youth of the nation, send those deemed able to colleges to study appropriate courses, and assign graduates to fill posts for the good of the country.”
The Congressman said fitting this new idea into his annual effort to reinstate the military draft “would signify a seamless transition from our anarchic ‘every man for himself’ way of doing things to a more cohesive collective effort to do what’s best for the whole. If those who aren’t college material can be drafted into the Army and assigned to defend the nation, why can’t those who are suited to college be drafted for other positions that would best serve our national interest?”
Candidate Promises Bigger Condoms
New York City mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn called the city’s current free condom giveaway program “pitifully inadequate” and pledged to increase the size of condoms if she is elected.
Quinn contended that “the condoms the city is providing are too small and flimsy for African-American homosexual men. The size of the appendages and the narrowness of the orifices that must be penetrated call for a more robust device. Asking these men to make do with the standard size condoms the city provides or, worse, to purchase extra-large, extra-strong versions out of their own pocket is a social injustice that must end.”
It isn’t only homosexual African-American males who can expect to benefit from Quinn’s triumph at the polls. She also promised to make “morning after” abortion pills available to 11-year-olds.
“I can hardly imagine a situation more frightening than being 11 and pregnant,” Quinn imagined. “You can’t go to your parents without getting bawled out or grounded. Safeguarding girls from such a horrifying dilemma will be a top priority of my administration.”
Unsurprisingly, polls show that Quinn has moved ahead of former Congressman Anthony Weiner whose “free pics of his dick” offer has sagged after an initial rise at the outset of the campaign.
911 Caller Sued for Deputy’s Injuries
A Texas woman is being sued for injuries suffered by Harris County Deputy Sheriff Braden Pullen when he responded to her 911 call. The woman didn’t injure the Deputy. The man who was assaulting her did.
“It’s not that we’re unsympathetic to this woman’s plight,” said Pullen’s lawyer, Arnold Doltman. “But the fact of the matter is that she lured Deputy Pullen into a situation where he got shot. If she hadn’t called my client would never have been harmed. She didn’t explicitly say that her assailant was dangerous. There was too much screaming during her 911 call to clearly determine that. So, in our view she is liable for the Deputy’s suffering.”
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia insisted that this lawsuit shouldn’t deter others from calling 911. “Citizens are entitled to help in emergencies, but we’ve got to balance this against the risk to our officers,” Garcia declared. “Ultimately, the woman’s assailant was subdued by our officers. Her picking up the tab for Pullen’s injuries seems like the least she could do.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent NewsA Satirical Look at Recent News
Anti-Assad rebels from the Jabhat al-Nusra Front are reported to have carried out a raid on the Syrian town of Tal Abyad near the Turkish border this past week. Rebel troops are said to have gone door-to-door killing everyone they encountered—including an estimated 450 women, children, and elderly men.
The Jabhat al-Nusra Front is one of the groups receiving military assistance from the Obama Administration and was visited earlier this year by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) for a photo op. McCain hastened to mention that “the reports of the massacre have yet to be confirmed by the Administration. Even if they are this doesn’t necessarily imply that we are backing the wrong side in this civil war.”
“I mean, it’s not as if United States Armed Forces have never killed women and children,” McCain pointed out. “Our bombing of Hiroshima in World War II indiscriminately killed many non-combatants. Why, I myself conducted bombing raids on villages in Vietnam that must have resulted in similar non-combatant casualties. So, I don’t think we should be too quick to judge these people too harshly.”
The Arizona Senator vowed he would “stand behind our Commander-in-Chief. He’s the one we must trust. To do otherwise would be insubordinate, possibly treasonous. If he orders us to come to the aid of Jabhat al-Nusra, then that’s what we all must do.”
In related news, President Obama has issued an Executive Order granting “refugee status” to Syrians at risk of reprisals from the Assad regime. In the event that the Assad Government is successful in repulsing rebel efforts to overthrow it, escaping members of Jabhat al-Nusra will be awarded permanent residency in America.
Administration to Step Up Neighborhood Diversity Initiative
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new fair housing regulation aimed at increasing the diversity of America’s neighborhoods.
“Too many of our minorities are trapped in blighted, high-crime neighborhoods solely because they can’t afford to live where conditions are better,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan declared. “We are launching a two-pronged approach to remedy this social injustice.”
“Prong number one,” Donovan says, “will be an intensive data collection and analysis of the racial composition of every neighborhood in the country. Prong number two will be aiding the integration of an appropriate racial and ethnic mix of inhabitants.”
Aids to integration are reported to entail “government subsidies for persons who otherwise couldn’t afford to live in better neighborhoods” and “a relocation permit process to interdict movements that would tend to undermine the intent of the program.”
“Ideally, we’ll erase the distinctions between so-called good and bad neighborhoods,” Donovan promised. “Not only would we achieve a more equitable distribution of the population, we’d also eliminate the significant cost of people needlessly moving around in search of a better neighborhood. Every place would be the same.”
Governor Defends Tax Breaks for Political Donors
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rejected allegations that his support for legislation granting tax breaks to a firm that made substantial donations to his political campaign is corrupt.
“The fact that the Extell Development Company donated to my campaign is, by itself, evidence of their support of good government,” Cuomo insisted. “Don’t we want supporters of good government to prosper? Shouldn’t good corporate citizens reap the rewards of their civic virtue?”
Ironically, the potentially illegal link between the campaign donation and the tax break came to light after the Governor established a commission to look into legislative corruption. “It appears that the commission has wandered off the track we’d hoped they’d pursue,” Cuomo complained.
A further irony is the contention by Richard Brodsky, a former legislator and current Senior Fellow at the NYUWagnerSchool for Public Service, that the Governor’s intended “track” for the commission is, itself, illegal. “The Mooreland Act authorizes the Governor to establish a commission to investigate management and affairs of any department, board, bureau or commission of the state. The Legislature is not included.”
NSA Spying on “Only a Small Percentage,” White House Says
White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the National Security Agency’s spying activities saying that “only a small percentage of Internet traffic is being monitored.”
“Is there any question that the vast majority of what people do on the Internet is mindless drivel?” Carney asked. “I mean, the number one topic is porn. Only a tiny fraction of the activity represents matters of interest. That’s the activity we’ve got every right and obligation to monitor.”
One of the “tiny fractions” Carney maintained merits scrutiny “is the communications of persons hostile to the Government—including so-called Tea Partiers. Let me remind you that these people adamantly oppose our efforts to enact sensible gun controls. Is that not evidence they may be a danger to the Government?”
Carney argued that “we can’t remain idle and ignorant about these potential threats lest we wake up to find reactionary elements controlling the government. We cannot supinely permit them to exploit freedom of speech in order to mislead voters. We cannot allow an assertion of a right to privacy to block us from observing their schemes to assail the policies and the very existence of the current Administration.”
In related news, the Department of Homeland Security has asserted an unrestricted right to search persons and structures within 100 miles of US borders. Acting Secretary Rand Beers rebuffed American Civil Liberties Union objections alleging this violates the 4th Amendment. “If you carefully read the 4th Amendment you’ll see that it prohibits ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’” Beers recalled. “Given the magnitude of our Agency’s responsibilities it is our opinion that these searches are reasonable.”
President Lambastes “Cold War Mentality”
In an appearance on the Tonight Show, President Barack Obama criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for what he labeled a “cold war mentality.” At issue was Putin’s grant of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden and his refusal to allow the US to extradite him.
“The whole idea of the ‘reset button’ was that our two governments would cooperate with each other,” Obama lamented. “Now, instead of doing what we ask the Russians have suddenly developed scruples against spying on citizens. They invented spying on citizens. They’re such hypocrites.”
The fact that the US has granted asylum to many defectors from Russia didn’t seem to faze the President. “It wasn’t me who granted asylum to those turncoats,” Obama said. “If returning some of them is a condition for our getting Snowden back let Mr. Putin give me a list of who he wants and we’ll see if we can make a deal.”
For now, Obama has decided to retaliate by canceling a planned meeting with Putin next month. “Sit-down time with me is a rare and highly-prized opportunity,” the President bragged. “Well, Putin’s off the list until he changes his behavior.”
While praising the President for this “courageous stand” Senators John McCain (R-Ariz) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) urged him to go further. In a statement signed by both Senators, Russia’s refusal to return Snowden was called “a violation of human rights. The United States is the land of the free. Russia’s failure to return Mr. Snowden to this land of the free demonstrates that it chooses Soviet-style confrontation over cooperation. This confrontation must have serious consequences for the aggressor.”
Though the joint statement declined to name a specific consequence, a source familiar with the Senators’ off-the-record remarks suggested that “drone strikes or armed intervention in Russia’s dispute with Georgia are possibilities.”
State Cracks Down on Farmer
For the second time in less than a year, Minnesota authorities are prosecuting Alvin Schlangen for unauthorized delivery of farm produce. Schlangen offers members of the private buying club, Freedom Farms Co-op, the benefit of his volunteer delivery service. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) demands that the Stearns County District Attorney stop the deliveries by bringing charges against Schlagen.
Schlagen’s customers, many of whom have no other convenient means of getting food to their homes, are irate at the MDA. “A lot of those on Schlagen’s route are house-bound or handicapped,” said Elisabeth Berry. “More to the point, though, all of us are free individuals who have the God-given right to buy from whoever we please.”
Dave Frederickson, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, maintains that “the issue isn’t anyone’s freedom, God-given or otherwise. The issue is public safety. When it comes to food, we are the agency entrusted to protect people from potentially hazardous food.”
“The notion that individuals are competent to determine which foods are safe is flawed,” Frederickson asserted. “We have the expertise. They don’t. If we allow individuals to make their own choices out of some misguided ideal of personal freedom we’d be neglecting our duty. The voters elected the people who made the regulations and the Governor who appointed me. If they’d wanted the kind of individual freedom being asserted by Mr. Schlagen they’d have made different decisions in the voting booth.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Concerned over evidence that some of the weapons the US has been supplying to enemies of the Syrian government have fallen into the hands of jihadists inimical to US interests, both the House and Senate Intelligence Committee members of both Parties voted to restrict funding.
While Congress would appear to be acting within its powers according to the Constitution, the Obama Administration denounced the move as “unwarranted interference.” National Security Advisor Susan Rice declared that “the President’s latitude in conducting foreign policy cannot be infringed by fetters concocted in the halls of Congress. As long as he holds the office he will continue to arm those he deems deserving of our aid regardless of what anyone else thinks.”
The President’s usurpation of Congressional authority ruffled feathers in the legislative branch, but is not expected to result in any significant action against the President. House Intelligence Committee Chair, Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich) appeared resigned to impotence. “Is it an impeachable offense?” he asked. “Yes, but the President could grab a child out of a crowd and strangle it on TV and the Democrats in the Senate would still vote against convicting him. He’s their guy and they will back him no matter what he does. The Framers’ notion that the legislature would jealously guard against executive tyranny has been proven false.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein (D-Calif) effectively concurred in Rogers’ assessment of the situation. “As the revelations of Edward Snowden have shown, the President has access to information that could humiliate anyone who opposes him in any serious way,” Feinstein admitted. “With that sword hanging over your head, why destroy your career if it’s clear that resistance is futile?”
In related news, the Obama Administration warned the Egyptian government to cease arresting members of the Muslim Brotherhood or face a curtailment of US foreign aid. “The contention that the Brotherhood is undermining the peace does not trump the fact that this organization is the legitimate government of Egypt and has the full confidence of President Obama,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.
Dallas School District Opts Out of Deputized Marshal Program
Dallas Independent School District Police Chief Craig Miller announced that his district will not be participating in a new program permitting school employees to be deputized and trained to assist in providing security.
“If schools are concerned about deterring armed assailants they should be hiring more police, not arming the teachers,” Miller asserted. “The notion that part-time amateurs could substitute for full-time professionals disrespects our profession. The use of deadly force ought to be restricted to fully qualified police officers.”
The new law is predicated on the belief that attackers would be dissuaded by the fear that a widespread possession of concealed firearms among the staff could thwart their efforts to maximize the body-count in any assault on the school. “The cost of hiring enough additional police to provide the coverage that could be achieved by deputizing a trained cadre of in-school personnel is beyond the budgetary grasp of most school districts,” said State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas), author of the law. “Training and arming the school staff is a cost-effective means for warding off criminals bent on murdering our children.”
“I call your attention to Representative Villalba’s use of the phrase ‘cost-effective,’” Miller countered. “He is putting the hypothetical benefit of his program ahead of the plain fact that he isn’t willing to spend money to ensure that sufficient police are funded.”
“Saving these kids’ lives is at least as important as teaching them the three ‘Rs,’” Miller argued. “If we’re going to fund a teacher in every room we ought to be willing to fund a police officer in every room. Surely that would be the ultimate deterrent to any criminal.”
Pelosi Denies that Obamacare Employer Mandate Was Illegally Delayed
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) rejected accusations that the Obama Administration’s postponement of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s “employer mandate” is an illegal delay.
“First of all, a ‘postponement’ is not a ‘delay,’” Pelosi insisted as she attempted to make her point using a football analogy. “In football, a team can be assessed a penalty for ‘illegal delay of game’ if they don’t get a play underway within the allotted time limit. However, a football game can simply be rescheduled to an entirely different day without penalty. What the President did was reschedule the employer mandate to an entirely different day. That is not illegal and no penalty should be assessed.”
“And on the matter of whether President Obama is entitled to reschedule the implementation—isn’t he, in effect, the quarterback of ‘Team America?’ Pelosi asked. “The voters elected him to be their leader. Congress may have sent in a play by enacting the Affordable Care Act, but shouldn’t he be able to call an ‘audible’ if, in his judgment, the provisions of that Act need revision to be most effective?”
Pelosi rebutted GOP arguments that if the employer mandate is delayed, so too should the individual mandate. “It’s an entirely different situation,” she maintained. “If the President thinks the individual mandate should go ahead as originally planned who are we to second guess him? So far, he’s been right far more often than he’s been wrong. After all, he was reelected. I say we trust him and follow his lead wherever it takes us.”
Majority of Muslims in UK on Welfare
Statistics indicate that a majority of Muslims residing in the United Kingdom receive government welfare benefits. This includes 53% of working age Muslim adult males.
Anjem Choudary, spokesman for the Islamist group Islam4UK, justified the behavior saying that “labor is the lot of the kafir. Muslim men have a higher obligation than working for mere material sustenance. The Quran bids them to wage jihad until all the world obeys the word of Allah.”
“Taking the payments freely offered to us by the government enables us to devote our full energy to the struggle to make Islam dominant,” Choudary said. “It also initiates the unbelievers in their proper role under sharia law, while helping to divert resources that might otherwise be used to resist our march toward the global caliphate.”
In related news, lunches packed from home may be banned at school. Education Secretary Michael Gove explained that “parents aren’t the best qualified persons for selecting what their child eats. Widespread obesity is proof of that. When you add in the fact that some of the foods brought from home are offensive to our Muslim students, the policy of barring home-made lunches is a ‘no brainer.’”
Californians Sign Petition to Repeal Bill of Rights
A petition to repeal the Bill of Rights because it is blocking the full implementation of President Obama’s plan for America easily gained endorsements in California this past week. The petition idea was instigated by activist Mark Dice and he found few beach goers who refused to sign his petition.
“Obama’s my man,” said one signer. “I’d do anything to help him out.”
“The Bill of Rights is really old,” said another. “There’s no way that the scribblings of some long dead white guys should be allowed to stop the President from doing what needs to be done today.”
“Too many people abuse the Bill of Rights to make statements against the President,” said another. “This just makes his job of unifying everyone behind a common goal so much harder.”
“Isn’t the Bill of Rights the excuse some people are using to stop the government from disarming all the ‘gun nuts’ out there?” asked yet another. “These people pose a threat to the government that needs to be controlled.”
Administration Disavows Any Knowledge of Break-in
A burglary at the offices of a Dallas law firm representing a State Department whistle blower bore an eerie resemblance to the break-in at Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building in 1972. Computers and files were stolen, but silver bars, video equipment and other valuables were untouched.
The law firm represents Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator at the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General. Fedenisn alleged that a US ambassador and big Obama donor was soliciting underage prostitutes and that high-level officials of the State Department, then run by Hillary Clinton, interfered with eight investigations and doctored her report.
Press Secretary Jay Carney called suspicions that the Administration might be behind the burglary “absurd. Do I have to remind everyone that the files kept at the National Security Agency contain comprehensive records of every email and phone call made by everyone in the country? Should the President or Secretary of State want to know what’s in the files and on the computers of this law firm they could simply access the NSA database. There would be no need to break into these offices.”
Carney speculated that “some well-meaning friends of the Administration may have gone a little too far in their efforts to defend the president and his policies from the sniping of self-styled whistle blowers like Fedenisn. While we can’t completely condone what they did, we shouldn’t be too quick to condemn them.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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