Black Day in Arizona: One Judge Throws out 1.2 Million Votes for Marriage

Balderdash!

Tyranny!

The out of control, tyrannical, activist courts are … out of control, tyrannical and activist again!

Voters, you’ve been had!

U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick has thrown out all the 2008 votes that enacted a state constitutional marriage amendment recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He ruled that a recent decision by the Ninth Circus appeals court to redefine marriage applies to Arizona.

This is un-American. Arizonans should be outraged!

There is no place in a court of law for activists like Judge Sedwick or any of the other judicial activists who have been destroying marriage in recent months by overturning the will of millions of Americans who defined marriage in fair and honest elections. These judges need to be impeached or voted out.

What will follow is blatant fascism by homosexual activists and their friends in the political party they’ve captured – the Democratic Party. Christians and non-Christians alike who define marriage as one man and one woman will be punished merely for disagreeing with same-sex “marriage” and special rights for people struggling with same-sex attraction and gender confusion.

We are already seeing this all across the country. And this is why the Arizona Legislature passed 1062 earlier this year to strengthen protections for Arizonans who don’t want to be forced to endorse behavior they disapprove of. Of course, we remember that homosexual pressure groups, along with their cowardly media friends running cover for them, intimidated the bejabbers out of Governor Jan Brewer and stampeded her into vetoing the bill.

With the latest activist antics in Judge Sedwick’s court, we can now expect people to lose their jobs over refusal to perform same-sex weddings. Photographers, florists, bakers, and others involved in wedding venues can now be severely punished and harassed by left-wing local and state office holders for not agreeing to endorse the message of same-sex marriage. It’s happened from the Atlantic coast to Hawaii. Why wouldn’t it happen here?

A run-away, out of control government will come down with all of its weight and fury on honest people following their consciences. Some will be fined and burdened by unconstitutional demands. Others will be forced out of business. They will receive hate mail, hateful phone calls, and threats. It will be a feeding frenzy for those on the radical Left.

You see, same-sex “marriage” and religious freedom cannot co-exist. Non-discrimination laws and radical left-wing dogma will over-rule the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the Founding Fathers who wrote the First Amendment. The Bill of Rights means absolutely nothing to the Left.

This is a sad day in Arizona. A black day.

In November of 2008, a total of 1,258,355 Arizonans voted to enact marriage as one man and one woman in the state Constitution. A single man, a man with incredible hubris, threw that out. This is the America we live in today. It is not the America of James Madison and the Founders who penned the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Not by a long shot.

We are not alone. This is happening all over America. Tens of millions of voters have been disenfranchised.

And this is the cost of allowing the party of CONTROL, the Democrats, to pack the courts with Constitution-challenged activist judges.

All that’s left is for radical scavengers to clean up the scraps – demonizing anyone who disagrees. Take our word: persecution is coming, fascism will warp into high gear among Arizona’s hardcore leftists. You disagree with the homosexual agenda? Okay, consider yourself a target for the fascists.

A final word to Judge Sedwick and the other activists who have co-opted the courts and disenfranchised the people: when you come to a gate in the road, before removing it take time to consider why it was put there in the first place.

*  *  *

VITALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CHURCHES AND PASTORS

It is crucial you update church policy on rental of church facilities to protect yourselves from litigation when someone asks you to officiate over a same-sex “wedding” or to rent church property for a same-sex “marriage.” Consult an attorney with expertise in religious freedom law. Don’t wait. Do it now!

VITALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES

If you are asked to provide a service or a product for a same-sex “wedding,” and you are opposed to doing so on religious grounds, do not respond to the homosexuals’ request until first consulting an attorney. This will help you avoid a legal entanglement that could land you in hot water or potentially force you to go out of business. Don’t wait. Do it now!

General Election Endorsements

The Arizona Conservative is endorsing candidates for public office in the Grand Canyon State in advance of the November 4 general elections. Voters have two choices: candidates who will champion FREEDOM for the individual and those who will push policies that deny and reduce personal freedoms – the candidates of socialism and excessive government CONTROL of your life. Whom do you want in office? Those who will protect your constitutional freedom, or those who would expand government and take away more and more of your freedom, controlling more and more of your life? Your vote will impact every facet of American society and culture. Please make informed and intelligent decisions. Vote on values and principle, not on personalities and negative advertising. Compare what candidates actually say and how they have legislated previously; if you do this, you will find that many candidates from the party of CONTROL will not be as truthful.

Office Freedom Control
Governor Doug Ducey Fred DuVal
Secretary of State Terry Goddard
Attorney General Republican candidate removed for supporting same-sex “marriage” Felicia Rotellini
State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt
Supt. Of Public Instruction Diane Douglas David Garcia
Mining Inspector Joe Hart Manuel Cruz
Congress-District 1 Ann Kirkpatrick
Congress-District 2 Martha McSally Ron Barber
Congress-District 3 Gabriela Saucedo Mercer Raul Grijalva
Congress-District 4 Paul Gosar Mikel Weisser
Congress-District 5 Matt Salmon
Congress-District 6 David Schweikert
Congress-District 7 Steve Gallardo, Cesar Chavez
Congress-District 8 Trent Franks Helmuth Hack
Congress-District 9 Wendy Rogers Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona Legislature

District 1

Senate:

House: Karen Fann

District 2

Senate:

House:

District 3

Senate:

House:

District 4

Senate: Connie Uribe

House:

District 5

Senate: Kelli Ward

House:

District 6

Senate: Sylvia Allen

House: Brenda Barton

District 7

Senate:

House:

District 8

Senate: Irene Littleton

House:

District 9

Senate:

House:

District 10

Senate:

House:

District 11

Senate: Steve Smith

House: Vince Leach, Mark Finchem

District 12

Senate: Andy Biggs

House: Eddie Farnsworth, Warren Peterson

District 13

Senate: Don Shooter

House: Darin Mitchell, Steve Montenegro

District 14

Senate: Gail Griffin

House: David Gowan, David Stevens

District 15

Senate: Nancy Barto

House: John Allen

District 16

Senate: David Farnsworth

House: Kelly Townsend

District 17

SenateA Steve Yarbrough

House: J.D. Mesnard, Jeff Weninger

District 18

Senate:

House: Jill Norgaard

District 19

Senate: Joseph Hobbs

House:

District 20

Senate: Kimberly Yee

House: Paul Boyer

District 21

Senate: Debbie Lesko

House: Rick Gray

District 22

Senate: Judy Burges

House: David Livington, Phil Lovas

District 23

Senate: John Kavanaugh

House: Jay Lawrence, Michelle Ugenti

District 24

Senate:

House:

District 25

Senate:

House: Rusty Bowers, Justin Olsen

District 26

Senate:

House:

District 27

Senate:

House:

District 28

Senate:

House: Shawna Bolick

District 29

Senate:

House:

District 30

Senate: Gary Cox

House:

More Facts about Prop 487 and the Problem of Union Spiking

The Phoenix City Retirement Plan cost taxpayers $28 million in 2000 while it cost $110 million in the 2012 fiscal year and $253 million in 2013.[11][12] In the face of this ballooning of city pension costs, Phoenix voters overwhelmingly approved two propositions that reformed the retirement system of city employees, Proposition 201 and 202, in 2013. Supporters argue that the measure will save millions of dollars for the city in the long-run and will put a stop to exorbitant pension payouts caused by pension spiking. Supporters also argue that Prop. 487 will provide a stable, sustainable retirement system to new employees and any current employees that wish to switch to the new system. Many are worried that the current system is unsustainable and will drag the city into bankruptcy, following the fate of cities like Detroit and San Bernardino.[11]

Phoenix city councilmen who support Prop 487 said …

I am a strong supporter of pension reform, and you should be, too. Facts: 50 Phoenix retirees will be getting $183 million by the time they are 75. A librarian took $280,000 in cash at retirement, and then started a pension of $102,000 per year. This creates strain on public safety, senior services and libraries. The initiative is not perfect, but it does two things: First, it ends all forms of pension spiking. Second, it moves new employees to a 401(k) retirement system, just like yours. Pension reform saves taxpayers millions, stops the abuse and creates more predictability in budgeting.[16]
—Sal DiCiccio, District 6, Ahwatukee and east Phoenix[21]

Vice Mayor Jim Waring, who represents District 2 – northeast Phoenix – on the city council, said:[21]

I support the pension-reform initiative. It will end pension spiking. It will save the city millions in the long run. It will fundamentally change a broken and prohibitively expensive system. Real reform is desperately needed. The March 2013 ballot issue may save taxpayers up to $600 million, but no real reforms were enacted and the financially ruinous status quo persists. In this case, voters will have the chance to make real reforms. If we don’t act, rising pension costs will continue to cause budget deficits and reductions in public safety.[16]
—Vice Mayor Jim Waring, District 2[21]

Supporters of the initiative respond to opponents’ arguments that the initiative could remove death and disability benefits from employees by simply saying the claims are unfounded and false. Scot Mussi said, “This one is just a flat-out lie. It has absolutely nothing to do with death and disability benefits.” He went on to say that the initiative does not prevent the city from offering a separate disability-benefit and death-benefit program for new workers and that the initiative explicitly does not effect current employees who choose to stay in the current pension system. Some supporters also say that the city could easily buy insurance plans for certain employees instead of funding a pension system under Prop. 487.[13]

Reason foundation, a policy research organization espousing libertarian values, also released an analysis of Proposition 487. The report shows significant financial benefits for the city under the initiative, including possible savings of $31 million in the first year and $399.3 million over the next 20 years.[27]

Spiking

Many supporters of pension reform are motivated by a desire to end the use of “pension spiking,” a practice in which city employees convert certain benefits such as unused sick time or saved vacation pay to boost the salaries on which their pensions are based or extend their credited length of city service. Some were further upset by the fact that some employees, such as firefighters and police officers, are allowed to use pension spiking while other rank-and-file employees are limited or restricted from the practice. Some city employees filed suit against the city when they were denied the ability to spike their pensions when other employees were permitted to use the increasingly controversial practice. The city argued in court that it is not legally bound to let employees include unused sick time in their pension-benefit calculations but began allowing it voluntarily in 1996 and can change their position at will.[4]

Several reports released by the Arizona Republic highlighted the pension spiking of executive-level public-safety officers and managers. The reports featured 10 public-safety retirees that had increased their lump-sum retirement benefits to over $700,000 and their annual pension payouts to more than $114,000 per year. According to backers, the proposed pension reform initiative would prohibit the practice of pension spiking.[4]

A study by the Arizona Republic estimated a $12 million dollar cost to the city taxpayers per year from spiking practices, when using overtime and premium pay to boost pensions was counted as spiking. City officials denied the study because they claimed overtime and premium pay were part of base salaries and not a “perk” and, therefore, should not be counted as spiking.[33]

Robert Robb: Who Takes the Risk on Prop 487?

Columnist Robert Robb is the one writer at the Arizona Republic who isn’t in the tank for the Left. He provides this fair assessment of Proposition 487 …

There’s a good debate to be had about Proposition 487. Unfortunately, the opponents are choosing not to have it.

Prop. 487 would change the retirement program for new City of Phoenix workers from a defined benefit to a defined contribution system. Under a defined benefit system, workers are guaranteed a portion of their final salaries, in public systems usually around two-thirds, as a retirement benefit. Under a defined contribution system, taxpayers put a certain amount of annual pay into something similar to a 401(k). The retirement benefit depends on what the employee contributes and how well the investments do over time.

The question of whether a defined benefit or a defined contribution plan is more appropriate for public employees is as much philosophical as it is practical or actuarial. And the question is who should take the investment risk.

In a defined benefit plan, taxpayers guarantee the benefit and thus take the investment risk. If investments do worse than expected, taxpayers have to make up the difference. In a defined contribution plan, what taxpayers owe is fixed. The investment risk lies with the employee.

There are, however, also practical issues. Most public employee defined benefit plans are seriously underwater and straining government finances. Certainly that’s the case with Phoenix’s.

The Phoenix retirement plan only has assets to cover, based upon assumed market performance, about 64 percent of benefits owed. The unfunded liability is north of $1 billion. The cost of the program to the city has been escalating rapidly.

In addition to requiring new hires to enter into a defined contribution program, Prop. 487 would ban spiking (artificially boosting the pensionable salary with ancillary benefits) and other supplementary pension programs.

Proponents and opponents dispute whether the near-term effect of Prop. 487 would be to save the city money or cost it more. In reality, there’s no way to know. Knowing that requires knowing what the stock market will do over the next 20 to 30 years. And despite the pretenses of actuaries, that’s unknowable.

But two things are knowable. First, if there is a near-term cost, it is because switching to a defined contribution program for new hires requires the unfunded liability of the defined benefit program to be dealt with rather than kicked down the road.

And that raises an equity question. Opponents of Prop. 487 want to keep new hires in the defined benefit system so they can help pay off the unfunded liability for current workers and retirees. But that’s not how these systems are supposed to work. If past city governments and workers contributed too little, why should new hires have to contribute more to compensate? Shouldn’t the cost of that past mistake be more broadly socialized?

Second, it is knowable that passage of Prop. 487 will, over time, reduce and ultimately eliminate taxpayer risk for the performance of the stock market.

There are legitimate arguments against Prop. 487. There may be transition costs. Some contend that public employment is intended to be more secure than private-sector employment, so it is appropriate to shield public employees from investment risk regarding their retirement.

Rather than make these arguments, however, the city and its labor unions have gone into cahoots in a pettifogging campaign of misdirection.

The city council adopted ballot language stating that passage of Prop. 487 would prohibit the city from contributing to the retirement system for police and firefighters. Public safety employees aren’t in the city retirement program. They are part of a separate state system.

Prop. 487 plainly says it doesn’t apply to cops and firefighters. No fair interpretation of its operative provisions would find that it does. And it would be superseded by state law if it did. It’s a non-issue.

More recently, the pettifoggers are claiming that Prop. 487 might jeopardize public safety death benefits. Again, it categorically excludes cops and firefighters. It also only applies to retirement benefits. No judge in the history of jurisprudence, going back to the days of Hammurabi, would hold that dying is the same thing as retiring.

For voters, the issue presented by Prop. 487 should be straightforward: Do they think taxpayers or public employees should have the investment risk for the latter’s retirement income?

Yes on Prop 122

Americans for Prosperity’s Arizona chapter has recommended a YES vote on Arizona Proposition 122: Rejection of Unconstitutional Federal Actions, stating Prop 122 will provide Arizonans with a way to protect themselves from overreaching and harmful federal policies.  AFP-Arizona strongly endorses Prop 122.  

Taxpayer Watchdog Group: YES on Phoenix Proposition 487

By Tom Jenney, President
Americans for Prosperity, Arizona Chapter

YES on City of Phoenix Proposition 487 -- Prop 487 would solve the City’s nearly $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability problem by moving new employees to a plan similar to the 401k plans that are common in the private sector.   Prop 487 would fix the City’s scandalous $190 million pension spiking problem by limiting the excess pension benefits given to current employees.

Former Obama Press Secretary Says GOP Unfairly Exploiting Administration’s Failures

By John Semmens – Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Folder2 104The incoherence of President Obama’s foreign policy and the cascade of domestic policy scandals are being unfairly exploited for political gain according to former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Hitting a man when he is down is just plain dirty,” Gibbs maintained. “It’s disloyal and unpatriotic. Rather than criticize the President, Republicans should be looking for ways to help him recover from the battering he is taking in the media. That would be the decent thing to do.”

Gibbs was especially outraged that “the GOP hasn’t given the President enough credit for what he has accomplished. President Obama came into office with less executive experience than any other president in American history, with the possible exception of Lincoln. Yet, despite this handicap he was able to pass landmark health care reform and win reelection by a sound margin.”

The former Press Secretary expressed “hope that voters will look past the scurrilous attacks narrowly focused on so-called performance and remember why they voted for the President in the first place. There can be no question that his efforts to make government ‘cool’ have changed the way Americans think about how they want to be governed. Voting for the Democrats on their ballots in November will help him stay the course.”

State Department Praises Hamas-Fatah Alliance

A thawing of the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah was hailed by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki as “a positive step toward resolving the issue of Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands. This helps thwart Israel’s attempt to drive a wedge between Muslims.”

From a broader perspective anything that stops Muslims from fighting amongst themselves is an encouraging development,” Psaki said. “Different sects of Islam have been warring against one another for centuries. Jihad is a noble endeavor that should not be frittered away on internal disagreements. This needlessly siphons off energy that could be more productively employed for the good of all Muslims. We look forward to the day when all Muslims are united in one ummah, not just in Palestine, but worldwide.”

In related news, the US State Department declined to condemn ISIS’s trafficking in slavery. As part of its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, ISIS has kidnapped and sold an estimated 2500 Christian women as sex slaves for their jihadi warriors. “As I understand it, these transactions fall under the guidance of the Quran,” Psaki observed. “Condemning the sales just because they contradict western values would insensitively disregard the deeply held religious beliefs of over a billion Muslims. I mean, Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, held slaves. How could we justify criticizing his followers for emulating his model?”

CDC Clarifies Obama Statement on Ebola

President Obama’s attempt to reassure people that “you can’t get Ebola from sitting next to someone on a bus” directly contradicted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice for people who have returned from Ebola infested west African nations to avoid taking public transportation.

The President seems to have misunderstood what we told him,” CDC Director Tom Frieden explained. “Of course, the President would never have to worry about catching Ebola from a fellow bus passenger because he never rides on public transportation. How he generalized this into a notion that no one could catch Ebola from close proximity to a carrier in a public place is a mystery to us.”

As for the question foremost in the minds of every American, let me alleviate everyone’s worst fears: your President is in no imminent danger of contracting this deadly ailment,” Frieden promised. “You may all go about your daily lives knowing that every measure, no matter how costly, will be undertaken to insure that he remains safe.”

In related news, Frieden nixed the idea of a travel ban, calling it “unnecessary. There are simpler ways for us to insulate the President from exposure to Ebola than banning travel from west Africa to the United States. There is no need for us to negate the fundamental human right of individuals to travel wherever they wish. In fact, it is logical that a person who suspects he has Ebola would want to come to this country where he could expect to face better odds of recovering than if he were confined within the borders of the African Hell-hole he lives in. Blocking his efforts to escape would be cruel and inhumane.”

Frieden also mused that “the possible upside of allowing Ebola to spread to the United States is that it would inspire Congress to approve desperately needed increases to the CDC’s operating budget. Senators and Congressmen are frequent users of public transportation—taxis to the airport, commercial airlines back to the home state. I expect that self-preservation would push them to boost our budget once Ebola gains a foothold in this country.”

Kentucky Candidate Rebuffs Ballot Question

The Democratic candidate for the US Senate in Kentucky, Alison Grimes refused repeated queries as to whether she voted for Obama in either 2008 or 2012.

People may think they have a right to know, but they don’t,” Grimes forcefully asserted. “In this country we have a secret ballot. No one has the right to demand to know how I cast that ballot.”

Louisville Courier-Journal editor Pam Platt defended asking the question when Grimes appeared at the paper’s editorial board meeting to seek its endorsement in her race to unseat Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. “The secret ballot is meant to protect the private citizen from potential government harassment for voting the ‘wrong way.’” Platt said. “But Grimes is seeking to become a member of the federal government. Knowing whether she voted for President Obama would give our readers some insight into what policies she might support if she is elected.”

Grimes stubbornly tried to cast her refusal to answer as a mark of personal integrity. “I could’ve just lied and said I voted for McCain and Romney, but I didn’t,” Grimes argued. “I’m bigger than that. If people want to know where I stand on the issues they can go to my campaign website to find out.”

Whether Grimes’ campaign statements are a valid reflection of where she stands, though, was thrown into doubt by a recent covertly obtained video in which Juanita Rodriguez, a Grimes campaign supporter, admitted that Grimes’ claimed backing of Kentucky coal miners was bogus.

Obama’s Attempt to Cast GOP as “Party of Billionaires” Muddled by Fund-Raising Event

President Obama’s efforts to try to differentiate Democrats from “billionaire Republicans” was undercut by his own participation in a posh fund-raiser sponsored by billionaire Rich Richman.

Though the entry fee for the event ranged from $1,000 to $32,000, the President insisted that “it was an opportunity for the middle class to have a say in the electoral process” contending that “the $1,000 minimum fee was less than half the annual $2500 savings in health insurance premiums that each middle class family has experienced under the Affordable Care Act.”

As for billionaire host Rich Richman, the President asserted that “there are some great Americans—Richman, Soros, Buffett, to name a few—who haven’t had their values warped by money. These aren’t evil billionaires using the free market to amass wealth for selfish purposes. These are men who are aligned with progressive policies, who are cooperating with our effort to promote the collective welfare of those the government has taken under its wing.”

Maryland Governor Declares WiFi a Human Right

In what some project to be the opening gambit of a potential 2016 presidential campaign, Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley (D) declared that access to WiFi is a human right.

I’m not saying that people should merely be free to purchase and use WiFi at their own expense,” O’Malley clarified. “Doing what you please and paying for it out of your own pocket is an archaic conception of basic human rights. It may have been fine for our nation’s Founding Fathers because they didn’t know any better. Fortunately, we’ve made significant advances in our thinking since then.”

A key phrase that O’Malley thinks ought to guide modern thinking is one that appears in the standard “Miranda warning” that police give to arrestees regarding their right to an attorney: “if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you at government expense.”

People can’t really be said to be free if their resources are insufficient to fulfill their needs,” O’Malley contended. “WiFi has become such an ingrained part of modern life that everyone must be entitled to participate. After all, man does not live by bread alone. If we can justify feeding, clothing, and housing the poor how can we draw a line that bars them from enjoying the abundance available to their better off peers?”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), a projected rival for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination called O’Malley’s declaration “an interesting opening to a whole new philosophy of freedom in this country. My only criticism is that we must go further than just universal free WiFi. No person in America should have to go without anything that anyone else has merely because of insufficient funds. We must evolve out of the anarchic individualized distribution of wealth in this country toward one where government plays the main role in guaranteeing a more equal allocation to all.”

Colorado Senator Opposes Any Limit to Abortions

In a debate with Rep. Cory Gardner, his Republican opponent for the state’s US Senate seat up for election in November, Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo) took a strong stand against any limits on abortion.

I know that it might sound cruel to say that a fetus on the verge of birth might have to be aborted because that is the mother’s decision, but the alternative is just so abhorrent that this seeming cruelty must be seen as the lesser evil,” Udall proclaimed. “For the government to step in at any stage of the pregnancy to stop its termination is the equivalent of saying that the woman is a slave to the fetus and must place its interests ahead of her own.”

This country fought a bloody war to abolish slavery,” the Senator reminded. “To allow this inhuman practice to creep back into our laws under the guise of protecting innocent lives would be the ultimate betrayal. The women of this state, and America for that matter, need to know that their government has their back and will not shy away from the hard choices they have to make about life or death and how they will use their own bodies.”

Despite some gasps from the audience, Udall said he remains confident that his seemingly callous attitude won’t hurt him with the broader electorate. “Right now my refusal to allow these debates to be televised is looking pretty damned smart,” he boasted. “By the time what I said is filtered through the media I’ll look like the second coming of the Great Emancipator.”

Senator Minimizes Concern for Those Who Lost Health Care Insurance

In a debate with GOP opponent Ed Gillespie, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va) expressed little concern over the reported 250,000 Virginians who lost their health care insurance coverage due to Obamacare.

Look, every battle has casualties,” Warner blandly commented. “What we need to do is weigh these against the gains achieved by the Affordable Care Act, of which I believe there were many.”

Among the gains cited by Warner were coverage for preexisting conditions, equal prices for men and women, and keeping children on parents’ plans until age 26. As good as these provisions may sound to Obamacare advocates, they yield no benefit to the 250,000 Virginians who lost coverage due to the ACA.

Warner blamed “penny-pinching business owners for putting profit ahead of the public policy that all be insured. Saying that the costs of the ACA would bankrupt them is no excuse. They should have faith that the government would eventually cover their losses if that becomes necessary for the nation’s overall well-being.”

In related news, Logan Clements, producer of the film “Sick and Sicker: ObamaCare Canadian Style,” has been hit with an IRS audit. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen insisted that “the selection of Clements for audit was completely random. Unfortunately, the documents verifying this were among those lost due to one of the many computer crashes that have plagued our agency.”

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.

Terry Goddard Distorts the Facts on Voting

Outgoing Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett issued a news release today taking Terry Goddard, the liberal Democrat running for secretary of state, to task for blatant distortions in a debate …

Candidates often make inflammatory statements as a tactic to provoke a sense of mistreatment to curry favor with voters.  However, blatant mischaracterizations about Arizona’s system of elections must be corrected.  With less than three weeks before the General Election, current Secretary of State Ken Bennett believes it’s necessary to clear up inaccurate information being presented by Terry Goddard over the past few months.

The latest examples occurred during the Clean Elections Debate, hosted by Arizona PBS.  During the broadcast, Mr. Goddard made two statements that were either terribly ignorant or deliberate misrepresentations of the truth for political gain.

“I’m confused where Mr. Goddard came up with amount of $2 million to implement the so-called Dual Track, or bifurcated system of voting in the primary,” said Secretary Bennett.  Truth is, our counties will spend about $500,000 for both the primary and general elections.  This system—one that I’ve repeatedly said is not ideal for election officials—was developed in response to two conflicting directives.  One from Arizona’s voters, (Prop. 200) and the U.S. Supreme Court (Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Ariz., Inc.)  As I’ve publically said before, and I’ll ask Mr. Goddard, which directive should we ignore; Arizona’s voters or the Supreme Court?

“In addition, I’m troubled by Mr. Goddard’s characterization that students, ‘who have to vote a federal ballot, are treated as second class citizens,’ which is patently false and simply absurd.  College students do not have to vote a federal form.  Those voting a federal ballot are simply doing so because they haven’t provided proof-of-citizenship to our County Recorders, a requirement approved by voters in 2004.  Election officials around the state are committed to treating each voter equally and for Mr. Goddard to assume otherwise is offensive to elections officials statewide.

“Combined with his conspiratorial accusation of voter suppression when he declared ‘independent voters get only one chance to cast a ballot,’ I question Mr. Goddard’s fundamental understanding of how elections work in Arizona. While I certainly appreciate Mr. Goddard’s compliment about my singing voice during the debate, I would ask he either learn the songs or stop making up the lyrics.”

 

Obama Nixes Ebola Travel Restrictions

By John Semmens – Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Folder2 104Despite numerous urgings, President Obama remains determined not to block entry into the United States by persons who may have been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that “the President emphatically believes that we are all citizens of the world. This ideal cannot flourish if we bar our doors to fellow citizens. We would do more damage to our image as leaders of a global community if out of fear of contagion we sealed our borders to those wishing to enter.”

Earnest also cited “humanitarian reasons” for not blocking travel to the US from regions known to be infested with the virus. “Suppose it is some afflicted person’s dying wish to visit America before he succumbs, should the President cruelly deny that wish?” Earnest queried. “Besides, it is entirely possible that innovations made by the Affordable Care Act will prove a crucial weapon in the battle against this disease. Is it not part of our obligation to share this benefit with those who are less fortunate?”

David Quammen, author of Ebola and Spillover—books on infectious diseases—argued in support of the Administration’s policy saying that “America’s legacy of slavery demands that it bear the burden of succor to ailing Africans. Many of those suffering from Ebola are ancestors of former slaves sent to Liberia by the American government. If this endangers Americans, well, just consider that part of the reparations they owe for that ancient crime.”

GOP Refusal to Extend Unemployment Benefits Leads to Job Growth

A study published by the New York Federal Reserve found that the number of job openings rose by an estimated 20% in the six months following the lapse of the federal government’s extended unemployment benefits. The lapse occurred because the Republican controlled House refused to vote to extend the benefits.

Fatih Karahan, one of the authors of the study, cited the “mutually reinforcing effects of decreasing the burden on businesses to fund the benefits and decreasing the incentives of recipients to shun employment. If your tax burden of supporting benefits declines you can afford to hire more workers. Similarly, if the reward for idleness is taken away your need to seek and accept employment rises.”

Jason Furman, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers didn’t dispute the economic logic of the study’s findings, but suggested that “certain intangible factors may have escaped the authors’ attention. The lapse of the extended benefits may have sent more people back to work, but the study failed to calculate the loss in leisure time experienced by those compelled to take jobs in order to feed themselves and their families.”

A person receiving unemployment benefits is relieved of some of the stress of making a living,” Furman pointed out. “Being forced into the work-a-day rat race will have long term negative health consequences. So too will the loss of extra time to spend with one’s family—both for the employed individual and his children.”

The fact that four out of five new jobs added this past month were in the low wage sector bolstered Furman’s concern that “more may have been lost than gained. When all factors are considered is a low wage job really better than unemployment payments from an individual’s perspective?”

Obama Calls November Elections “Referendum on My Policies”

Miffed that so many Democrats running for reelection have shunned his endorsement and declined to appear in public with him, President Obama sought to take control of the narrative by insisting that “though I’m not on the ballot this November my policies certainly are.” Mortified Democrats raced to microphones across the nation to dispute the President’s assertion.

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) called the President’s words “very discouraging and a ‘stab in the back.’ We supported his programs. He needs us in the Senate if he hopes to push ahead with his transformation. We’re on-board with that, but we can’t get there if voters know where we stand. It’s discouraging that his need to be the center of attention has caused him to forget his obligation to his fellow Democrats.”

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) expressed her own frustration, saying “doesn’t he realize how unpopular he and his ideas are with the voters? Obamacare irritates more people each day as they see their insurance premiums rise and find the roster of doctors willing to treat them shrink. The open borders have let in illegal immigrants by the hundreds of thousands. It was bad enough when the biggest risk was exploding costs for welfare to feed, clothe, and house these indigents, but now they appear to be vectors for diseases that may kill untold numbers of Americans.”

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes was especially aggrieved. “I wasn’t in Congress,” Grimes fretted. “I didn’t vote for any of the President’s programs. Now, with his latest statements I may never have the chance to help him transform America. It’s just stupid. I thought he’d be a lot smarter than it appears he is.”

A possible rationale for the President’s pitch of a “referendum” theme may be his disappointment that “the gains for the economy have not been broadly shared. People who make investments or who have jobs are reaping a disproportionate share of the nation’s collective wealth. Voters dependent on government for their sustenance need to realize that their votes are needed to ensure the continuation of federal benefits. It is crucial that this key constituency understand that this election is a referendum on my policies.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) sort of backed the President’s view. “Republicans might win this year, but when voters start seeing their benefits cutback and are herded into jobs they’d rather not have by Republican policies they’ll be champing at the bit to restore Democrats to control both Houses and the Presidency in the 2016 elections,” she predicted.

GOP Criticism over Obama Missing Intel Briefings Panned

Revelations that the ISIS grew while President Obama skipped nearly 60% of his scheduled intelligence briefings has sparked harsh criticism from mostly GOP sources. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) characterized the missed briefings as “disturbing and possibly irresponsible. Is ignorance of what’s going on in the world behind what appears to be this Administration’s feckless foreign policy?”

Former Vermont Governor and Democratic presidential aspirant Howard Dean dismissed the criticisms as “baseless. The erroneous premise is that any information that the President might have gleaned from any briefings would have altered his policy decisions. People who know the President are confident that no quantity of intel would have changed his policies in any significant way.”

President Obama is a once-in-a-life-time transformational figure in world history,” Dean said. “He has insights and inspirations that go beyond what more ordinary men can conceive. The chattering of supposed intelligence experts are just distractions that could only deflect him from his destined course of action. Should such a giant fritter away his time listening to the ill-conceived notions of others? I believe ‘no’ is the obvious answer.”

UK Bans Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

Protests from Muslims that dogs are “unclean” has prompted United Kingdom Transport officials to ban the use of dogs to sniff out explosives that terrorists might attempt to smuggle onto transportation vehicles.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin explained that “for Muslims contact with a dog or even being in the presence of a dog is a certain and serious defilement. Since this is a religious belief rather than just a personal quirk it ought to merit the full protection of the law. I mean, we can’t trample this right merely on the theoretical possibility that without these dogs explosives might make their way onto a plane or train.”

Muslim spokesman Ayatollya Ibombu praised the decision as “a true victory for Allah. Protecting the faithful from being tainted is vital for their ultimate salvation. Even if they are blown to bits their clean status assures that they will enter paradise. This same assurance is available to unbelievers who convert to Islam.”

Reporter “Creeped Out” by Michelle Obama Campaign Rally

Meg Kissinger, a long-time reporter for the politically liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, attempted to cover a Milwaukee campaign speech by First Lady Michelle Obama. She was stunned to discover that she was prohibited from talking to members of the audience.

Michelle’s aide Mary Burke explained that “it is important that the message the First Lady is trying to communicate not be confounded by inappropriate crowd comments to any reporters. This is, after all, her event. She has a right to control how it is perceived and reported.”

To say that I was creeped out is an understatement,” Kissinger said. “We members of the press have been very friendly toward the Obamas. By now I would think we could be trusted not to portray their message in any negative way despite whatever feedback the audience might have given us. For me to get the ‘Potemkin Village’ treatment was a disheartening insult.”

In related news, conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza was sentenced to reeducation camp in order to undergo therapeutic counseling by Judge Richard Berman of the Federal District Court in Manhattan. “Mr. D’Souza’s contention that others, including President Obama, who have committed a similar offense were not subject to a similar punishment is irrelevant,” Berman ruled. “He holds no government office or related position that would entitle him to the exemption he requests. The very fact that he would ask demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of how the campaign finance laws work.”

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.

School Board to Add Masturbation to Kindergarten Curriculum

By John Semmens – Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Folder2 104The Las Vegas School Board has drafted a new sex education curriculum that has some parents alarmed. Part of the new curriculum includes teaching kindergartners and pre-schoolers how to masturbate.

Clark County School Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky called the plan “common sense. Rather than have these students learn about this in back alleys and lavatories we’re bringing it out into the open.”

Skokowsky tried to reassure parents, telling them that “trained professionals from places like the Mustang Ranch will be brought in to conduct the demonstrations. Only the most tried and effective techniques will be displayed. Enabling our students to efficiently achieve sexual self satisfaction will better prepare them for life.”

A side benefit, according to the Superintendent “is a projected decline in unwanted pregnancies when these kids are teenagers. If they learn that they can attain orgasm without needing a partner they’re less likely to engage in dangerous liaisons with members of the opposite sex.”

Liberal Blogger Says Obamacare a “Hidden Success Story”

Ezra Klein, editor of the on-line blog Vox, maintains that “continuing reports of Obamacare failures and deficiencies are being exaggerated by the media. The reality is that the program is a roaring success.”

People who have been forced to obtain a new plan at a higher cost are overlooking the broader social gains the Affordable Care Act has brought to America,” Klein argued. “Those who focus on only their own experiences are myopically selfish in their outlook. The truth is that a vast number of people who previously lacked health insurance are now qualified for government-subsidized health care.”

Klein characterized the complaints as “mostly from individuals who are disgruntled over having to bear a fairer share of the medical costs of those less well off than themselves. If we are to secure the blessings of social justice for ourselves and posterity those who can must help those who can’t help themselves. Labeling those who can’t as lazy isn’t a valid rationale for not helping them. Some people are genetically predisposed to be energetic. Others are not. Winning the DNA lottery cannot be used as an argument for denying the losers an equitable piece of the human pie.”

We need a sort of Miranda-type policy for health care,” Klein asserted. “If the minority who find themselves in need of an attorney they can’t afford have one provided to them at government expense, then surely the much larger contingent of persons in need of medical care they can’t afford ought to have similar rights to have doctors and hospitals provided for them at government expense. In an ideal world, the government would ensure that everyone’s needs were met and that all who are able work to their utmost to fulfill these needs.”

Clinton Forecasts New Corporate Ethic

Former President Bill Clinton told a gathering of Democrats that “the phenomenon of businesses grubbing for profit will wane in the coming years. Corporate leaders with the appropriate guidance from government will turn away from the selfish pursuit of gains for stockholders and toward a role that advances social justice.”

Clinton denied that there was any hypocrisy in his stance seeing that his own estimated net worth exceeds $100 million and his fees for giving speeches are in the six to seven figure range. “It is important that those of us with a clear vision of where society needs to go are not hampered by lack of resources to get the message out,” he said. “People who truly understand our agenda wouldn’t begrudge us the means to make it happen.”

The ex-prez expressed confidence that “the American voters appreciate what we’re trying to do. I think they’ll help grant Hillary the power she needs by electing her the next president in 2016.”

Holder Resigns as AG

Eric Holder announced that he is stepping down as the nation’s Attorney General. The ingratitude of the American people and the constant criticisms of Republicans were cited as compelling reasons for quitting.

Though I’ve done more than any previous Attorney General to reshape the way our laws are enforced I am badgered by contentions that I have veered too far outside the legitimate bounds of my authority,” Holder groused. “History will show that these bounds were too narrow if true justice is to be obtained. Nevertheless, as important as this crusade for people’s justice remains, I am exhausted.”

Representative Darrel Issa (R-Calif) dismissed Holder’s complaints as “a diversion. Holder has clearly been the worst AG this nation has ever had. There is no doubt in my mind that he has been intimately involved in a variety of DOJ misdeeds and cover-ups. Had he stayed on it was just a matter of time before he’d have been compelled to testify or, like so many of his co-conspirators, take the 5th to avoid doing so.”

Racial justice expert Al Sharpton says that “while I regret that this great civil servant has been forced from office for trying to do the right thing, I will work with President Obama to select the best replacement possible.”

One potential person Sharpton said he is considering recommending is actor Jamie Foxx. “Those who saw him in Django Unchained know that he will be an uncompromising enforcer of both the written and unwritten laws the President is trying to give to America,” Sharpton declared. “He would strike fear into racists everywhere. They would know that he wouldn’t hesitate to take direct action to bring them down, that the days of white officers gunning down black men are over. We’ll see how they like it when the tables are turned.”

People Shouldn’t Want to Live Past Age 75

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the chief architects of the Affordable Care Act, says people should want to die at age 75.

Let’s face it, the vast majority of those over age 75 have nothing positive to contribute to society,” Emanuel wrote in an essay for Atlantic. “In both physical and mental terms they’re pretty accurately described as ‘decepit.’ Their bodies and minds are just rotting in their shells.”

It would be best if they could be persuaded to exit peacefully at their own hand—perhaps with the aid of a physician-prescribed suicide drug,” Emanuel suggested. “Heaven knows this would be more humane and cost-effective than stringing out their years with expensive medical treatments that exact a heavy toll on society’s scarce resources.”

The lingering presence of humanity’s dead weight threatens to bankrupt our health care system,” the essay added. “It may be necessary to limit these oldsters’ claims on that system. Fortunately, the mechanisms in place under the Affordable Care Act already authorize the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out a triage process that will allocate access to medical treatments. No longer will we remain helpless slaves to an ideology that permits individual selfishness to trump the collective good of society.”

US Forrest Service to Charge for Taking Pictures of Trees

Hungry for a means to supplement is budget, the US Forrest Service is proposing new regulations that would allow it to charge visitors $1500 if they want to take pictures in wilderness areas.

Liz Close, the Forest Service’s acting wilderness director, called the new fees “essential to our mission. These wilderness areas belong to the government. Why shouldn’t we get revenue from what is our property?”

Close warned against thinking that “these areas are too vast for us to enforce collection. We are watching from both the ground and the air. Rangers randomly patrol with orders to seize any cameras used by persons who cannot show that they have paid the fee. Airborne drones can cover extensive acreage and help guide ground forces to intercept illicit photographers throughout our territory.”

For now, drone launched missiles are not part of the plan, but could be deployed in the future if needed. “It has already been established that the President has the authority to order the use of deadly force against American citizens without having to go through cumbersome judicial channels,” Close pointed out. “So, if more restrained methods prove inadequate we can always up the ante.”

President Downplays Traffic Woes Caused by His Motorcades

As usual, President Obama’s recent trip to the United Nations to give a speech sparked tremendous traffic jams in New York City. Not to worry, though, it’s not so bad.

I hear a lot of hype about New York traffic, but it didn’t look too bad to me,” the President said. “All the stories of bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic that I’ve heard showed no signs on my trip to the UN.”

While Obama did concede that his experience may have been abnormal compared to what ordinary drivers have to deal with, he insisted that “putting up with a little extra congestion when I’m in town is a price that loyal Americans should willingly pay. They recognize that my time is more valuable than their time. A million trips each taking an additional 10 minutes of a common person’s time are easily outweighed by 10 minutes of my time that is saved by barricading all the streets along my route from the airport to my destination.”

As proof of his assertion, the President reminded everyone that “New York City went heavily for me in both presidential elections. I think this shows the people of this city understand the sacrifices required of them.”

ISIS Urges Muslims to “Rise up and Kill Disbelievers”

Enraged that President Obama Secretary of State John Kerry continue to maintain that the Islamic State is not Islamic, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani called upon Muslims around the world to randomly select and slay disbelievers.

These ignorant men know nothing about Islam if they persist in uttering these slanders,” al-Adnani fumed. “They may hide behind bodyguards, bullet-proof glass, or the entire armed forces of their country, but the people who elected them cannot escape the fury of the faithful. They walk around oblivious to the knives, guns, and bombs that righteous Muslims will kill them with.”

Al-Adnani had high praise for “the heroic action of Alton Nolen who has heeded our call and attacked two unbelievers in Oklahoma. The American police can insist all they want that these are not religiously inspired executions, but everyone knows better.”

There is only one way for people to save their lives,” al-Adnani said. “There is only one path to peace. All must come over to the Islamic faith. They must cease their resistance to Allah’s will. They must lay down their arms and submit. Only then will they be safe from destruction.”

Cities Step Up Efforts to Crush Deviant Behavior

The Seattle City Council passed a new ordinance that will fine people for throwing away too much food. The concern is that this discarded food should be composted rather than just trashed.

Our growth rate for recycling has stalled,” complained Council member Sally Bagshaw. “The notion of some city residents that they need not participate in this effort is erroneous. A successful program requires the full compliance of every citizen.”

To enforce the stricter rules the City will empower trash collectors to examine a family’s discards to determine whether any items found could have been recycled. “We’ve taken voluntary obedience about as far as it can go,” Bagshaw said. “We must not shy away from using the ‘stick’ if that is what it takes to keep people in line.”

Meanwhile, in Montville, New Jersey, the town council is mulling over an ordinance that would authorize police to conduct warrant-less searches of private dwellings in a bid to curb underage drinking.

The theory that this might be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy is invalidated by the fact that cities in this state have enacted 300 similar ordinances,” Montville attorney Fred Semrau contended. “The four walls of a home should not serve to conceal illegal consumption of alcohol.”

As for any damage that might occur when police break into private teenage drinking parties, Semrau laid the responsibility on the parents. “If parents would exert proper control over their children external interventions like this wouldn’t be necessary.”

RFK Jr. Demands Censorship of Climate Skeptics

Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. opined that those skeptical of the dangers of climate change ought to be silenced.

I’m really tired of arguing with these people,” Kennedy complained. “It’s a drain on my energy. It takes time away from restructuring society along more socially beneficial lines.”

Kennedy suggested that “climate skeptics should be put on trial at the Hague as ‘war criminals.’ Whether people realize it or not, we are at war for the planet’s future. On one side are those who want to save the planet. On the other are people who want to stop us from saving the planet.”

If we don’t save the planet everyone will die,” Kennedy continued. “The actions that would lead to such a catastrophe are a worse crime than any committed by Hitler. So why should these climate change deniers be treated any more leniently than we would’ve treated Hitler had he not committed suicide?”

Veep Says Tea Party “Worse than Republicans”

Vice-President Joe Biden castigated the Tea Party as “worse than Republicans. Democrats have their differences with the GOP, but we all agree on the need for the strong hand of government to control things. The Tea Party, though, is just anti-government. They don’t just want to take turns in the driver’s seat. They want to dismantle the machine and turn individuals loose to fend for themselves.”

To help illustrate his point, Biden pointed out that “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was recently quoted saying that he is Obama’s best friend. You’ll never hear something like that from a Tea Party guy. In my book, anyone who can’t be friends with the President is a danger to this country.”

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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