By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
After insisting that it is not the United States’ place to meddle in the internal affairs of other nations in the case of Iran, US President Barack Obama demanded that Honduras restore Manuel Zelaya to the presidency of that country. Zelaya was removed from office by order of the country’s supreme court with the concurrence of the legislature when he attempted to illegally implement a proposed amendment to the nation’s constitution.
According to the Honduran constitution, Zelaya was to be barred from reelection by its term-limit provision. Rather than seek to amend the constitution through methods specified in the document, Zelaya called for an emergency referendum to abolish the term-limit clause.
President Obama rejected the Honduran government’s action in ousting Zelaya. “What’s at stake here is the very concept of democracy itself,” Obama argued. “Zelaya is the duly elected leader of Honduras. Removing him for, of all things, attempting to ascertain the will of the people in regard to his continuation in office beyond the current term, contravenes democracy.”
Obama also dismissed the Honduran government’s argument that its action followed constitutional procedures. “A rigid adherence to a piece of paper cannot supplant the will of the people,” Obama asserted. “We must not put form over substance. A true constitution is a living document with the flexibility to adapt to evolving contingencies. Should a president be penalized for appreciating this need for flexibility? Would Americans tolerate their president being removed from office for requesting a similar referendum on our term limits?”
White House Defends Lavish Independence Day Luau
With unemployment at 9.5 percent and a federal budget over a trillion dollars in the hole, many Americans were stunned by the lavishness of the White House July 4th celebration. Not content with traditional burgers and hot dogs, the Obama Administration had several tons of exotic food and flown in from Hawaii. Obama’s favorite chefs accompanied the food on the flight.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended the extravagance as “a morale booster and a stimulus to the economy.” “Sure, the President could’ve made a show of economizing,” Gibbs observed. “But that would send the wrong message. More spending is what it will take to revive the economy. The President is just doing his part.”
“Besides, a spectacular and well-publicized party provides a vicarious sense of enjoyment for every American,” Gibbs continued. “Scrimping would demoralize the country. It is comforting to even the poorest of our citizens to know that the President isn’t being short-changed on America’s birthday.”
In related news, White House senior adviser David Axelrod said despite last year’s campaign promises, the Obama Administration won’t rule out a tax increase on the middle class. “You know, what we call the ‘middle class’ in America is really quite wealthy from a global perspective,” he pointed out. “The average per capita income in the United States is nine times the world average. So, these so-called tea baggers’ claims that Americans can’t afford to pay more just doesn’t jibe with the facts as I see them.”
National Health Care Won’t Be “Rationed” Says Sebelius
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded to critics who contend that government-run health care will inevitably entail rationing. Conceding that national health systems in Canada and the United Kingdom have been forced to ration care for critically ill patients via lengthy waiting lists, Sebelius insisted that a similar outcome won’t happen here.
“First, we will do a better job of managing health care resources,” Sebelius boasted. “Careful cost/benefit analysis will ensure that only those individuals with a positive ratio are scheduled for treatment. We won’t allow waiting lists to be clogged with persons whose cost of treatment exceeds their worth to society. I think Senator Daschle has the right idea. Senior citizens should learn to accept their afflictions and exit gracefully when their time comes rather than draining the nation’s resources trying to unnaturally extend their unproductive lives.”
“Second, unlike private insurers, the government has access to unlimited funds,” Sebelius continued. “There is plenty of money in private hands that can be taxed. And if need be, the government has the right to create more money if we run out of things to tax.”
“Finally, doctors, nurses, drug manufacturers, and the like are all, in one way or another, licensed by the government,” Sebelius reminded. “”Permission to practice their trades or manufacture their products is contingent upon their service to society. This permission can be withheld if their personal greed impedes their obligation to serve. The health of the nation is too important to let petty individualism stand in the way.”
In related news, government welfare payments in the United Kingdom exceeded income tax revenues for the last calendar year. Prime Minister Gordon Brown indicated he was “not particularly concerned. A lot of people still have more money than they need. We can always go after that if we have to raise taxes.”
Frank Rejects Using Repaid TARP Funds for Tax Relief
Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass) flatly rejected the idea that funds received from banks repaying government loans be used for tax relief.
Frank characterized the taxpayer role in the TARP program as “at best, passive.” “Sure, we used taxpayers’ money to finance the thing, but we didn’t get much support from them for our efforts,” Frank recalled. “Most of the taxpayers I’ve heard from opposed the TARP program. So, why should they get any benefit from it now?”
The congressman has proposed, instead, what he calls a “TARP for Main Street” bill that would channel repaid loans into “a special fund that members of congress can tap into as needs arise.”
“Congress did the heavy work to get the TARP legislation passed,” Frank bragged. “We deserve to be rewarded. This fund will enable essential members of congress to access these resources for critical needs in their districts and states.”
Charges that the set-aside amounts to little more than a political “slush fund” were rebuffed by Frank. “The critical factor in this endeavor was congress, or rather, key members of congress,” Frank argued. “The special fund is aimed at preserving and enhancing this critical factor. You could call it an investment in America’s future.”
French Move to Outlaw Burka Elicits Threat
Concerned that the veils, scarves, and head-to-coverings prescribed for women by Islamic law may be undermining both French culture and facilitating the subjugation of females by a Muslim patriarchy, the French government is considering outlawing the garb in public places. The hijab (head scarf for girls) has already been banned in French public schools.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has called the Islamic dress code for women “a tool of repression comparable to the six-pointed star the Nazis forced Jews to wear. It is a step in the wrong direction—away from the freedom and equality our constitution guarantees to all. We cannot idly stand by and allow one half of the population to enslave the other.”
Sarkozy’s bid to outlaw this restrictive clothing drew an immediate threat of retaliation from al-Qaeda. Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb warned that “if the French government interferes with Sharia law blood will flow.”
Wadud issued his own counter proposal. “If the prescribed attire for our women is outlawed, we will outlaw the appearance in public of any woman who indecently exposes herself in public,” Wadud said. “The penalty for breaking our law will be death. Every Muslim man will be empowered to carry out this sentence without the encumbrance of western so-called ‘due process.’ Then we will see who really rules in France.”
Hamas Calls “War Crimes” Charge Unfair
The Palestinian terrorist group known as Hamas contested an Amnesty International report that charged the organization with committing war crimes during its conflict with Israel. The charged stemmed from Hamas’ unprovoked rocket attacks on clearly civilian targets in Israel.
Israeli forces subsequently invaded Gaza, the site from which the rockets were launched, in an effort to stop the attacks. Amnesty International also charged Israel with war crimes for the collateral damage to Gaza civilians during the invasion.
“I am glad to see that Israel’s criminal regime has been justly cited for their atrocities,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “But how can we be war criminals? We only killed Jews. According to the Koran, Jews are the equivalent of monkeys or pigs. Why is our freedom to practice our religion not respected?”