By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
CBS News skepticism regarding the number of jobs saved by the Obama Administration’s stimulus legislation raised ire at the White House. CBS News reporter Chip Reid aired a report revealing that many of the Administration’s claimed “job saved or created” totals were either exaggerated or false.
Separately, CBS investigative reporter Stephen Stock worked undercover to expose a pattern of fraud at medical clinics operating in South Florida. This is part of an estimated annual $60 billion worth of fraud perpetrated in the government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs.
“We’re putting CBS on notice,” said Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. “It’s basically a question of loyalty. We expect this kind of nonsense from Fox News. By imitating Fox, though, CBS is undermining its credibility with the Administration. They need to know that no good can come of such behavior.”
Emanuel indicated that CBS, like Fox, might be put off limits for Administration officials. “Access to those inside the Obama Administration is by invitation and permission only,” Emanuel reminded. “We can’t stop our enemies from attending events open to the public, but we don’t have to let them into our own house.”
CBS, along with other recognized news outlets, recently thwarted Administration efforts to exclude Fox News from participating in a “pooled-media” interview with Obama’s “pay czar,” Kenneth Feinberg.
Dems Warn that Too Much Ballot Scrutiny Will Disenfranchise Disadvantaged
The Democratic Party of New Jersey is pressuring the Secretary of State to ignore discrepancies on the signatures that are supposed to verify absentee ballots. Under state law, anyone can cast an absentee ballot for any reason.
Paul P. Josephson, a lawyer representing the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, declared “this level of scrutiny is unwarranted and discriminatory. Just because a signature contains misspellings, or a different address or name than the registered voter is insufficient reason for disqualifying the vote. Many Democratic voters are poorly educated, illiterate, or worse. Cracking down on these ‘errors’ will disproportionately depress the votes for Democratic candidates.”
“Obviously, the ballot has to be filled out by a real person,” Josephson continued. “That person, whoever he or she may be, is entitled to participate in our great system of democratic self-government.”
Josephson denigrated the idea that checking signatures was an important safeguard against fraud. “Look, if they were serious about combating fraud every voter would be required to show positive proof of identity before casting a ballot. Once you allow unlimited absentee voting, though, that’s impossible. Throwing out the few percent of ballots that are crude fakes is unfair when the more competently done forgeries can sneak through.”
In other New Jersey news, that state’s appeals court ruled that citizens do not have a right to possess hand guns. “It is inconceivable that an Amendment written in 1787, when only muzzle-loading muskets were available, can be stretched to cover modern weaponry,” Judge Stephen Skillman wrote on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel. “To rule otherwise would enable a private civilian arms race that could put the government’s ability to control the population at risk.”
Obama Administration Rebuts Criticism of “Cash for Clinkers” Program
Recent disclosure that the so-called “cash for clunkers” government program that paid new car buyers up to $4500 each for the trade-in of qualifying vehicles actually cost taxpayers an average of over $24,000 per trade-in due to government “red tape,” prompted a scathing response on the whitehouse.gov web site.
“Quibbling over the cost to taxpayers is both untimely and unseemly,” wrote an anonymous White House staffer. “The important objective is to pump money into the economy. It wouldn’t have mattered if we simply threw currency from the windows of a moving car. In this case, the government employees who processed the paperwork had jobs. So, one man’s waste turned out to be another man’s wages. This is the core of the Obama recovery plan. We mustn’t allow petty notions of fiscal frugality to derail it.”
Forcing People to Buy Health Insurance President’s Prerogative, Says Gibbs
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs dismissed arguments that there is no Constitutional mandate for requiring people to purchase health insurance.
“The President’s opponents are tying themselves in knots over arcane notions of ‘enumerated powers’ and ‘rights supposedly reserved to the people’ when the issue is as simple as can be,” Gibbs asserted. “I’m no Constitutional scholar, but as I read the document, President Obama is the nation’s Supreme Commander. And if the Supreme Commander gives an order, everyone is obliged to obey it—’game over.’”
Gibb’s statement was backed up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) who maintains that the issue of whether there is a Constitutional mandate for compelling people to buy health insurance is “not a serious question. We are a sovereign government. That means we can make laws and the people must comply.”
Pelosi added “I don’t see any difference between taxing people to fund a government delivered service and requiring them to go out and buy that service from a private firm. We already force people to fund Social Security. We forced people to pay bailouts to private banks. We force them to pay for innumerable special projects in every appropriations bill. Why are the so-called conservatives belatedly raising a Constitutional issue over health care when that horse left the barn long ago?”
President Obama Surpasses Bush Administration on Golf Course
CBS’ Mark Knoller reports that the Obama Administration is on pace to more than triple the output of rounds of golf played by a president while in office. In his first nine months in office, President Barack Obama has played 24 rounds of golf. It took President Bush 34 months to play as many holes.
The President’s Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, attributed the feat to “the superior dynamism of an agenda focused on hope and change. The faster pace set by the President is emblematic of the energy he has brought into the White House. It should bolster confidence in his ability to take on the challenges of the job.”
Gibbs contrasted the upbeat message sent by President Obama compared to President Bush at the same point in their respective terms. “When Bush was president nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in a terrorist attack by this point in his reign,” Gibbs said. “Fear and anxiety gripped the nation. Under President Obama, America has been free from attack and the President has won a Nobel Peace Prize. Which America would you rather live in?”
Key Dems Order Suppression of Report on Honduras
The chairmen of the House and Senate foreign relations committees—Representative Howard Berman (D-Calif) and Senator John Kerry (D-Mass), respectively—are demanding the librarians at the Law Library of Congress to suppress a report on the Honduran crisis. The problem with the report is that it concludes that the removal of former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was carried out in accordance with that country’s constitution.
“This report directly contradicts the President’s position on this crisis,” Berman pointed out. “It creates an air of confusion regarding US policy on this matter. On matters of foreign policy, this nation must speak with one voice and that voice belongs to the President.”
Berman suggested that “as a general rule, a government library should not be a repository for documents contradicting the President’s policies. If the librarians hope to keep their jobs we expect them to enforce this without our having to point out their responsibility.”
Kerry Warns McChrystal’s Call for Additional Troops Goes “Too Far, Too Fast”
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) labeled General Stanley McChrystal’s proposal to send 40,000 additional U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan “ill-considered.”
“This kind of blind blustering and saber-rattling might have sold in the Bush era, but it’s a new day under Democratic leadership,” Kerry boasted. “A more cautious and deliberate approach must guide us.”
In support of his position, the Senator cited a resolution passed unanimously by the Berkeley City Council calling for “an end to the United States’ barbarous ravaging of Afghanistan with cowardly remote attacks.” “At least the so-called jihadis have the good taste to blow themselves to bits when launching their suicide missions against American troops,” said Councilmember Max Anderson. “Their willingness to give their own lives offsets the collateral damage they inflict on innocent bystanders.”
Kerry recommended that rather than meet General McChrystal’s request, “we, instead, send a smaller number of troops a shorter distance.” “An expeditionary force of 10,000 US troops to Honduras to back the reinstatement of President Zelaya would be more in keeping with the new direction and attitude President Obama is trying to implement for American foreign policy,” Kerry contended.
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