By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayer, raised some eyebrows with her unusual responses to senators’ queries on Second Amendment issues. Particularly interesting were her views on the use of firearms for self defense.
“The phrase ‘self defense’ doesn’t appear in the Constitution, so I think there is considerable room for interpretation regarding what is and isn’t permissible,” Sotomayer argued. “It is one thing for a person to take up arms in defense of the nation. It is quite another for a person to assert an individual right to use deadly force even in so-called self defense.”
Sotomayer suggested that “a weighing of factors to ascertain what is in the best interest of the social whole might be more appropriate than a simplistic assertion of a person’s supposed right to protect his own life. Who is to say that the community might not enjoy a greater benefit from a gun-free environment? Surely, this counts for more than some notion of a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach to deterring crime.”
The nominee allowed that she was “looking forward to crafting an optimally beneficial policy with my judicial colleagues when my nomination is approved and I can join the Court in its deliberations.”
VP Says Bankruptcy “Not So Bad”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that at current rates of spending, the federal government is facing bankruptcy within the next decade or less.
“Federal budgetary outlays have been growing faster than the ability of the economy to support them for some time now,” declared CBO Director Doug Elmendorf. “Government borrowing is crowding out the private sector’s ability to obtain credit. This is further depressing tax receipts, worsening the deficit. Monetization of the deficit by the Federal Reserve is undermining the value of the dollar. Unless the burden of government is reduced bankruptcy is almost certain.”
Vice-President Joe Biden counseled against what he characterized as “gloom and doom.” “We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation, but it isn’t the end of the world,” he contended. “Many of my friends have declared bankruptcy. They got to keep their homes and most of their stuff. Best of all, their debt was wiped out. They didn’t have to pay back a cent. So, would it really be so bad if the government were to do the same? I mean, at least it’d be a fresh start.”
In related news, the CBO debunked the Administration’s claim that its health care proposal would result in cost savings. “Government sponsored health care in every other nation has been followed by increased costs, just like Medicare and Medicaid have here,” said Elmendorf. “How could it be otherwise? When you shift the responsibility away from the individual he loses the incentive to conserve. Waiting rooms will be clogged with malingerers and hypochondriacs and costs will run amok.”
Intimidation Called Legitimate Exercise of Emergency Authority
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson justified using extortion on the Bank of America last year, calling it “the legitimate exercise of government authority to head off the financial catastrophe threatening the country.” The Bank of America’s CEO, Kenneth Lewis, was told by Paulson that “if he wanted to keep his job he must do as he was told.” Specifically, Lewis was told his company had to “buy” the financially troubled Merrill Lynch brokerage firm.
While Paulson acknowledged the pressure he exerted on Lewis would be illegal if carried out by any private individual, he contended that “since the government is responsible for the well-being of the entire population, it cannot be constrained by norms or laws that apply to lesser entities in society.”
“In fact, it is the duty of all Americans to obey the directives issued by the duly constituted authorities,” Paulson added. “Individuals cannot be permitted to place their own interests ahead of what the government has determined are the interests of the collective whole.”
Paulson said the argument that the government lacked statutory authority for the actions taken was “a formula for governmental paralysis.” “A dynamic situation calls for dynamic measures,” Paulson argued. “A crisis is the wrong time to be worrying about words written down on paper. I had the President’s backing. The President is sovereign. If he does something, or orders something be done, it’s not illegal.”
President Looks at the Bright Side of Unemployment
President Barack Obama conceded that unemployment would continue to “tick up” for the next few years, but this is not “all bad.”
“Those who’ve lost their jobs have gained leisure,” Obama pointed out. “Leisure is a man’s preferred state. It requires compensation for him to sacrifice it. So, shifting a growing portion of the population toward leisure enables a greater share of our nation’s people to enjoy it.”
The President said that a further advantage would be that “it will allow more people to be well-rested for the challenges of transforming our country into the more socially just nation that voters endorsed when they elected me. An army of unemployed persons is a fertile recruitment ground for my proposed American Corps.”
More than 2 million have lost their jobs since Congress passed the President’s $787 billion economic stimulus package. Part of the sales pitch for the stimulus is that it would hold unemployment to a maximum of 8%. Nationwide, unemployment has hit 9.5%. In Michigan, where the auto industry received the Administration’s special attention, unemployment now exceeds 15%.
Governor Threatens to Release 10,000 Prisoners If He Can’t Get a Tax Hike
Illinois, like almost every state that has failed to restrain the growth of government spending, is facing severe financial difficulties. Governor Pat Quinn (D) has proposed cutting the budget by granting early release to 10,000 convicts.
The Governor said that the main focus for the reductions in head count will be at the maximum security facilities. “That’s where the biggest savings can be achieved,” Quinn explained. “That’s where we have more guards per inmate and incur higher expenses trying to control the prisoners.”
“The plain fact is that running this state costs money,” said Quinn. “If voters aren’t willing to pony up what it takes, they’ll have to do without some of the services. If that means learning to live with more crime, so be it.”
The Governor rejected the idea of trimming the bureaucracy as a way of reducing the deficit. “We could lop off 100,000 bureaucrats and nobody would notice,” Quinn lamented. “We’d be no closer to our objective of persuading the public that higher taxes are needed. On the other hand, when more citizens personally experience a rape or a robbery—that may prove very persuasive, indeed.”
Supreme Court Justice Says Abortion Is Essential to “Prune Excess Population”
In an interview with New York Times reporter Emily Bazelon, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended the controversial Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion throughout the United States, calling it “essential for ensuring that society can lawfully control population growth.”
Ginsburg said she was concerned that since the 1973 Court case was decided some states have taken measures aimed at limiting the scope of abortions. “This is a case, I think, where society must preserve its options,” Ginsburg said. “Requiring under-age girls to get parental permission, for example, is a step in precisely the wrong direction. These girls aren’t ready for motherhood. Terminating their pregnancies is the wise choice. We shouldn’t be impeding it.”
The Justice also castigated the congress’ passage of the so-called Hyde Amendment in 1980 forbidding federal funds from being used to perform abortions. “That affected a segment of the population that needed culling,” Ginsburg asserted. “Forcing the birth of these children breeds all manner of social ills driving up other costs that the government must incur to support these children and to arrest and incarcerate them as they grow up. ‘Nipping them in the bud,’ so to speak would’ve been the more efficient course of action.”
In related news, President Obama reiterated his complaint that he is being unfairly criticized by “anti-abortion extremists.” “They talk as if I have blood on my hands,” Obama said. “The truth is, I’ve never personally harmed a single unborn child. I am just a public servant carrying out the wishes of the voters on this difficult issue. My aim has been to balance competing objectives in the best interests of society as a whole. Right now, that society demands that abortion be legal and freely available even to those who can’t afford it.”
Whether Obama’s claim of that a lack of direct participation in the performing of any abortion absolves him of moral responsibility is dubious. Hitler never personally harmed a single Jew either.