By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
In direct contradiction to accusations that it is “dithering” or “wishy-washy,” the Obama Administration has acted forcefully to counter what it calls “the most serious and credible threat we face at this time.” It turns out that it is the rising popularity of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, as evidenced in record-breaking sales of her autobiographical book and the massive crowds that have attended her book-signing appearances, that has spurred a concerted effort at countermeasures from the Obama Administration.
While Ms. Palin will still be permitted to go through with an appearance at the Army’s Fort Bragg in North Carolina, she will not be allowed to pose with any soldiers for photographs or to add personal messages when signing copies of her book. In addition, the media will be barred from covering the event.
Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum explained that Garrison Commander Colonel Stephen J. Sicinski was “under strict orders from the President to ensure that our enemies do not exploit this event to the detriment of the Administration’s policies and positions.”
“We appreciate that many of our troops might relish a souvenir photo with the author, and ordinarily it would be okay, but this is a special case, calling for special measures,” McCollum said. “The President believes it is Ms. Palin’s intent to undermine and overthrow his government. It would be inappropriate for a soldier in uniform to have his or her picture taken with such a person. It’d be like having a photo taken with bin Laden.”
McCollum said policing the photo restriction would be simple, “cameras will not be permitted. Smuggled cameras will be seized. As for personalized messages accompanying the autograph, we will be inspecting all books on the way out. Those with offending messages will be confiscated and offending soldiers disciplined.”
“We’re going to nip this in the bud,” McCollum insisted. “We cannot allow a cadre of soldiers who might potentially be disloyal to the Commander-in-Chief to be recruited right under our noses. The stakes are just too high.”
Meanwhile, Mitch Stewart, director of Barack Obama’s Organizing for America sent out a plea for donations to help fund countermeasures to the Palin threat. “Sarah Palin may be the most dangerous threat that President Obama will face during his term in office,” Stewart wrote. “She has effectively rallied voters to oppose his policies and now is embarked on an unfortunately successful tour promoting her book. She must be stopped. Your donation will help the President beat back this threat and achieve his agenda for change.”
Global Climate May Cool, then Warm, or Vice Versa, Says Scientist
In a speech before 1,500 of the world’s top climate scientists, Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany warned that “the recent cooling trend should not be allowed to divert attention from our main purpose. Temperatures rise, temperatures fall, sometimes catastrophically. Amidst these fluctuations, though, it is imperative that funding for climate research be maintained.”
“Many governments are looking for ways to reduce expenditures during the current recession,” Latif ominously observed. “Consequently, a perception that climatic dangers may be easing or that there may be plenty of time to respond to trends that take millennia to evolve must not be permitted to gain a foothold.”
Latif emphasized that his remarks come at a critical time and praised “the efforts of earnest amateurs, like Nobel Laureate Al Gore, who are helping to create the sense of urgency needed to ensure an uninterrupted cash flow. But we cannot leave all the heavy work to others. We, too, must keep up the pressure. The value of dire prognostications from prestigious academic institutes and renowned members of the scientific establishment must not be underestimated.”
Embattled Treasury Secretary Blames Reagan for Country’s Economic Woes
Seeking to deflect a rising frequency of calls for his resignation, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner suggested that “the root source of our current troubles can be traced back to the Reagan Administration. Remember, it was the tax cuts and deregulation pushed by President Reagan that unleashed an abnormal expansion of economic growth. The American people became accustomed to an unhealthy pace of increasing material prosperity that is incompatible with the more socially conscious restraint President Obama is trying to bring to this country.”
“Rising home values, rising investment values, rising salaries all stimulate a sense of greed that is at odds with the type of new nation Obama is trying to build,” Geithner said. “This country was already on the path to learning to live with reduced expectations under President Carter until Reagan took us off the track.”
Geithner insisted that “those who criticize what we’re doing now to get back on track are deluded by an unrealistic optimism about the future. In most of the rest of the world people are much poorer than even Americans who are out of work. Accommodating to lower expectations and living standards is the path that the President has chosen for this country. The sooner people get with the program the easier it will be for all.”
Credit Card Oversight Bill Advances
Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has gotten the Consumer Financial Protection Act through his House Financial Services Committee. This bill will create a new federal agency to oversee consumer credit.
“Too many people are frivolously abusing credit,” Frank alleged. “They’re buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have. This is a recipe for bankruptcy. We have to stop it.”
Under the legislation, a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) would review all current credit cards, as well as applications for new cards, to determine whether the cards are, or would be, used appropriately. Cards intended for uses that don’t meet CFPA standards would be revoked or denied.
Frank acknowledged that the new oversight might be characterized as “intrusive,” but argued that “intrusion is what we need right now. Most people are using these cards selfishly for their own material benefit. Few give any consideration to the social needs of the community. I see nothing wrong with inserting some control over this behavior. It’s like a dad taking a card away from his teenage daughter. It’s for the good of the whole.”
President Dismisses Worries that Stimulus Money Has Been Squandered or Stolen
Reports that some federal stimulus payments apparently may have been stolen or squandered failed to dent President Barack Obama’s confidence that his program is working. Questions arose when a number of supposed recipients of the federal money turned out to be fictitious.
The President urged people to “stop nitpicking every detail of my program. I am trying to deal with the worst national crisis since 1933. A few crumbs falling through the cracks is no big deal.” Some of the “crumbs,” for example, seem to have fallen into a nonexistent “crack” the Administration’s web site (Recovery.gov) labeled “Arizona Congressional District 15.” Arizona only has eight congressional districts.
“Accounting for where this money went is far less of a concern than the fact that it was spent,” the President asserted. “Even if it turns out to be true that funds were misappropriated, the key objective was to inject money into the economy. After all, even a thief spends his loot. This spending helps stimulate the economy.”
Nipplitaliano Denies Rumors
Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Nipplitaliano, denied rumors that Major Nidal Hasan was working undercover for her agency when he went on his shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas two weeks ago.
“Yes, it’s true that Major Hasan participated in a presidential transition task force last year,” Nipplitaliano admitted. “But I am disavowing all knowledge of his actions regarding the shootings at Fort Hood.”
Nipplitaliano suggested that “Hasan may have misinterpreted our warning about the dangers of gun-toting military veterans and taken it upon himself to act unilaterally to try to reduce this threat by culling potential recruits to right wing terror organizations in this country.”
AG Guarantees Conviction in NYC Terror Trial
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sought to allay fears that the pending trial of the 9-11 terrorists scheduled for New York City might go wrong.
“Look, I guarantee these suspects will be found guilty,” Holder adamantly assured senators during a committee hearing. “We aren’t going into this unprepared. It’s like the “Red Queen” said, verdict first, then the trial.”
“However, in the event we get an “OJ-type jury,” they won’t escape consequences,” holder continued. “There are other options. They could be rendered over to another government. And, of course, we can’t guard against every possible misfortune that might befall these men should they be acquitted and released in New York City. The important thing is that we maintain this country’s tradition of the appearance of due process.”