By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Legislation that would grant President Obama the authority to selectively shutdown Internet sites is advancing in the senate. The “Cybersecurity Act of 2009” would allow the President to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do whatever he feels is necessary to respond to the threat.
Author of the bill, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), declared that “recent events surrounding ‘town hall’ meetings on the President’s health care plan emphasize the need for this legislation. As we saw, access to the Internet enabled rightwing fanatics to quickly and inexpensively alert cadres of sympathizers who turned out to disrupt public forums held by members of congress to explain the plan. As a result, important reform of our health care system has been impeded.”
“If the President had been authorized to take preventive measures, these anti-government agitators could have been thwarted before they even got started,” Rockefeller added. “It’s clear that the Internet is too precious a resource for us to allow it to be abused by the enemies of change.”
The 55-page bill includes a provision restricting the operation of Internet services to “professionals” who would be licensed by the government. “The inept, the unwholesome, and the disloyal must not be allowed to continue to run rampant through the nation’s cyberspace,” Rockefeller said. “The Internet must be reserved for uses compatible with the needs of a progressive society. My bill will ensure that this happens.”
Government Considering Harsh Measures to Deal with Flu Pandemic
Fear that the coming flu season will be deadly has inspired several extreme measures aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.
The senate of Massachusetts has passed the so-called “Pandemic Response Bill.” Under the bill’s provisions, persons suspected of being infected may be interrogated and, if necessary, quarantined by state authorities “as they deem most conducive to protecting the collective health of the state’s inhabitants.”
The Massachusetts bill would also establish mandatory vaccinations and would impose fines of $1,000 per day and/or possible imprisonment for anyone who refuses to submit or to follow orders given by state-licensed law enforcement or medical personnel. Criticism that this bill tramples individual rights drew a sharp rebuke from sponsor, Senator Richard Moore. “No individual has the right to endanger the public’s health by refusing medications deemed necessary to protect that health,” Moore asserted. “If the government orders you to be inoculated, you will be inoculated, by force if necessary.”
At the national level, the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology warns that “as many as 90,000 of the sickest and most susceptible Americans may need to be aseptically euthanized in order to prevent these disease carriers from initiating a more widespread pandemic that could kill millions. Optimally, this would be carried out under the reforms written into the current health care bill. But the situation is so dire that a Presidential Executive Order may have to suffice until such authority is legislatively granted.”
Kennedy Request to Be Buried at Sea Blocked by EPA
The late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) had requested that he be buried at sea. While such requests normally are honored, this one was vetoed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The key sticking point was the Senators request that his “coffin” be a “1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88.” Those familiar with the Chappaquiddick incident may recognize this as the car that the Senator drove off a bridge in 1969 on the way to an extramarital tryst with a young campaign volunteer named Mary Jo Kopechne in the car with him. Ms. Kopechne was trapped in the submerged car for several hours and died of suffocation while Senator Kennedy took steps trying to build a false alibi and conferring with lawyers and political advisors.
“Of course, it was the nation’s great loss when the Chappaquiddick incident was exploited by the Senator’s political opponents to deny him his presidential destiny. And while granting this burial request would seem the least we could do for this outstanding American, we cannot permit the negative environmental impact that would result if it were carried out as presently conceived,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “Instead of contributing to polluting the ocean, we recommend that the Senator be ‘composted’ and returned to the soil as fertilizer. That way he can go out on a high note.”
Castro Throws Weight Behind Obama’s Health Care Bill
The Obama Administration received political support from an unexpected source when retired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro denounced the “rightwing racists opposing this visionary leader” and urged all Americans with “progressive values to rally behind their new President.”
While many Democratic Party leaders were uncertain that this endorsement would necessarily be advantageous, Representative Diane Watson (D-Calif) had no doubts. “President Castro is one of the brightest leaders I’ve ever met,” Watson said. “He gave his country a great health care system. If there’s anyone’s advice we should be taking on this issue it’s his.”
Watson argued that “Fidel’s support coming on top of Hugo’s gives us a potent one-two punch in our fight against the reactionaries trying to mount a counterrevolution against our President. We must stamp out selfish individualism and transform our country to be more socially conscious like Cuba and Venezuela.”
Democrat Explains Why Tort Reform Isn’t in Health Care Legislation
Even though it is widely acknowledged that lawsuits are a major factor in the escalation of health care costs over the last few decades, no attempt to rein-in lawsuit abuse is included in the 1000+ page health care reform bill. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean explains why.
“First, the bill is already long enough,” Dean argued. “Adding even one more page would make it unreadable.”
“Second, lawyers are America’s heroes,” Dean contended. “You can’t turn on TV without seeing a lawyer fighting crime, ensuring justice, or rescuing the weak. Voters wouldn’t stand for a bill scapegoating this noble profession.”
“And, let’s face it, lawyers have got America by the short hairs,” Dean confessed. “The mere threat of litigation can destroy a person’s finances and peace-of-mind. Can we really afford to piss these guys off by trying to restrict their income? They have so many legislators in their pocket that any such effort could well backfire and make us worse off than if we did nothing.”
Dems May Initiate Steps to Remove Reagan’s Name from DC Airport
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board is said to be considering removing former president Ronald Reagan’s name from the City’s airport.
“National monuments should reflect an accurate picture of a society’s character and core values,” said Board Chairman H.R. Crawford. “Reagan symbolized a kind of ‘cowboy individualism’ that ran counter to the mainstream of American history. His political ascendancy was an aberration, a detour, so to speak, on the nation’s road to greater social consciousness. We shouldn’t be exaggerating that detour by having the City’s airport named after him.”
Crawford suggested that “if we have to personalize it, LBJ or FDR would be better namesakes for the airport. But even this still exaggerates the importance of selected individuals. In my opinion, a more fitting name for the facility would be ‘People’s Airport.’”
Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate Seat to Be Made Hereditary
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) says he will sign legislation making the senate seat held by the late Senator Kennedy “hereditary.” “Look, the seat has been held by one Kennedy or another, come Hell or high water, for over 50 years,” Patrick observed. “The people of this state obviously want a Kennedy, need a Kennedy in this position. Making the seat hereditary is the simplest way of guaranteeing this.”
Under the draft legislation, the Massachusetts senate seat would pass to his son Patrick Kennedy. Patrick Kennedy is currently a Democratic member of congress from the State of Rhode Island.
The Governor dismissed charges that having the seat pass to a non-resident was “carpetbagging.” “Senator Kennedy’s son is more native to our state than Hillary Clinton was to New York,” the Governor pointed out. “He was born and raised here. And he has the Kennedy blood.”
Governor Patrick cited Representative Kennedy’s DUI and rehab session as “pretty conclusive proof that this apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.”