Congressman Wants Critic Jailed

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News 

Representative Alan Grayson (D-Fla) has filed a complaint with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that a pesky critic of his be prosecuted. The critic is one Angie Langley—originator of a web site called “”

“It’s a sad day for America when a nobody like Ms. Langley can harass a member of congress with impunity,” Grayson complained. “People should be taught respect for those of us who govern them. We shouldn’t have to endure the kind of round-the-clock mockery being dished out by the people who live under us.”

The basis for Grayson’s contention that Langley ought to go to jail is the fact that she does not live in his congressional district. “Calling her web site ‘mycongressmanisnuts’ is untrue and misleading,” Grayson complained. “She doesn’t even live in my district. Those who don’t live in the district shouldn’t be allowed to mislead the real constituents who do.”

Grayson insisted that his acceptance of campaign donations from persons who don’t live in the district is different. “Every legitimate candidate for office gets financial help from outside the district,” Grayson contended. “This is a normal part of the political process. But Langley is a rogue operating beyond the bounds of established procedures.”

The congressman insisted that only recognized candidates be permitted to criticize incumbent officeholders. “I can deal with opposing candidates on a level playing field,” Grayson said. “I can’t hit back at a non-candidate like Langley. She has nothing to gain. She’s invulnerable to anything I might throw at her. That’s unfair.”

GOP Request that Legislation Be Read Called “Obstructionist”

The idea that pending legislation ought to be read at least once before being enacted into law doesn’t seem too unreasonable. Nevertheless, a Republican request that a 700+ page amendment to the pending health care bill be read before the Senate votes on it was labeled “obstructionist” and blocked by the Democratic leadership.

“The size of the bills we are dealing with precludes this seemingly reasonable step,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). “The amendment is over 700 pages. The main bill is over 2,000 pages. It would take days of our precious time to read these measures before we enact them.”

Reid emphasized that “it’s not as if no one is reading these things before we act on them. Key members of the Democratic staff and the lobbyists that write the bills we pass have read them. We need to have faith in their work and trust their judgment. Besides, it’s not as if Congress has the final say on any of this. Ultimately, the lawyers and the courts will tell us what we’ve passed after-the-fact.”

Iran Long Range Missile Test Successful

Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s Minister of Defense, announced that the latest test of its Sajjil-2 missile was “a complete success. We will now be able to deliver the outputs of our peaceful nuclear development program to locations as far as 1900 kilometers away in a matter of minutes.”

Vahidi noted that “this should serve as a warning to the Zionist terrorists that their days are numbered. The continued Jewish occupation of Palestine is now untenable. Withdrawal or annihilation are the only remaining options for them.”

The Minister dismissed the possibility of an Israeli strike against Iran. “Muslims are not afraid of death,” Vahidi declared. “Paradise awaits all Muslims who fall in the battle against Satan. It is the Jew who must fear death. His shekels will do him no good in Hell.”

Bernanke Named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2009

Time Magazine’s Managing Editor Richard Stengel announced that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2009. Stengel cautioned that “this should not be considered an endorsement of either the man or his policies. After all, Time has previously named such dubious characters as Ronald Reagan and George Bush as its ‘person of the year.’” Even more dubious awards have gone to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Ayatollah Khomeini.

Prof Says “Deniers” Distort Climate Memos

In a Washington Post op ed, Penn State University Professor Michael Mann insisted that “Palin and other global warming deniers have distorted the content” of the e-mails from the British University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

“Ms. Palin and her ilk are pulling words out of context to create the impression that global warming is a hoax,” Mann said. “She is merely broadcasting her ignorance of scientific terminology in pursuit of a political agenda bent on preventing governments from exercising the necessary control to avert climate catastrophe.”

Among the “scientific terms” Governor Palin is said to have misconstrued are the words “bogus,” “misleading,” and “cooked” numbers. “These are very valid terms in the proper context,” Mann argued. “Those who aren’t scientists cannot be expected to understand that these words may describe techniques that have been widely accepted in the academic community as necessary in the struggle to obtain grant funding.”

“Confounding or contradictory data could prove deadly to the fate of a funding request,” Mann continued. “Cooking the numbers, suppressing nonconforming evidence and misleading prospective donors are minor transgressions compared to the alternative of tapped-out funding.”

Federal Stimulus Spending Favors Democrats

An analysis performed by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia found that funds from the “stimulus legislation” bore no correlation to economic need. That is, sections of the country with the highest unemployment weren’t favored over sections that are relatively better off.

The analysis indicated that a better predictor of where federal money would be spent was whether the location had a Democrat representing it in Congress. Congressional districts that elected a Democrat received twice as much stimulus money as districts electing a Republican.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel defended the discrepancy as “good politics.” “You know elections have consequences,” Emanuel asserted. “It needs to be clear to voters that who they vote for will affect their future. They need to remember this whenever they go into the voting booth.”

Emanuel also pointed out that “there’s historical precedent for distributing spending based on political considerations. Under FDR, government aid was channeled to areas where ensuring support for the Democratic Party was most strategically beneficial. What may seem unfair based on a concept of need actually serves the greater long term good of bolstering the political security of the Administration.”

Arkansas Senator Advances Her Theory of Governance

In response to questions about the Constitutional authorization for requiring Americans to purchase health insurance, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) advanced an in loco parentis concept of the role of government.

“It is our government’s responsibility to safeguard the health and welfare of its citizens,” Lincoln explained. “I like to think that America is like one big family. We in congress are like the parents who are charged with looking out for all the members of this family.”

The Senator compared complaints about the proposed health care legislation to children’s objections to being told to eat their vegetables, to brush their teeth, or to go to bed. “You may not like being told what to do, but it’s for your own good,” Lincoln said. “Like your parents, government is smarter and more knowledgeable than you are. It just makes sense to let these wiser heads tend to the needs of all.”

Franken Justifies Slighting Lieberman

Newly seated Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) caused a stir in Congress’ upper chamber when, as temporary presiding officer, he denied Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) an additional 30 seconds to complete his remarks in a speech before the body. Granting small amounts of added time is considered part of the normal senatorial courtesy the members accord one another.

Franken said the decision to get tough with Lieberman came from Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev). “Harry told me that Lieberman has been a pain in the ass for too long,” Franken alleged. “He didn’t back the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Now that he’s balking over the health care bill he’s totally useless.”

The decision to get petty may have backfired, though. Lieberman had announced that he was ready to support the health care bill, but suddenly left town to escape being trapped in DC by a blizzard heading into the city.

Reid attributed this turn of events to “the amateurish stupidity of a freshman senator. I suppose it’s my fault for letting a comedian hold the gavel, even if it was only for a few minutes while I used the rest room.”

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EPA Gets Serious about CO2 Crackdown

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News 

Tired of waiting for Congress to pass the “Cap-and-Trade” bill, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will initiate its own measures to control carbon dioxide emissions. The thrust of the EPA’s approach will be to determine a carbon emissions “budget” for every individual household and assess fines and penalties for those whose emissions exceed an allowable amount.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson acknowledged that this approach would be more costly than a cap and trade system, but defended it as “leverage to induce Congress to take action. Carbon dioxide is the most dangerous pollutant because there are so many sources of emission. It is imperative that we take action to cut it.”

Jackson said the “budgets” for each individual will be set using the model for how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assesses income taxes. “Everyone who now fills out a tax return will be required to also fill out an annual ‘declaration of estimated emissions’ form,” Jackson explained. “There will be an instruction booklet—like the one the IRS mails to taxpayers—that emissions filers can use to help them complete the form.”

The types of information required on the form will include number of persons in the household and their weights, number and type of motor vehicles owned, miles driven, and frequency of miscellaneous use of combustibles like gasoline-powered lawn mowers and backyard grills.

“Those who try to cheat by underreporting their emissions will be subject to audits,” Jackson reminded. “There will also be neighborhood spot checks, as well as a system to reward those who turn in cheating neighbors. Not incidentally, the surveillance system will open up job opportunities and help fight the recession.”

Senator Says Constitutionality of Legislation “Not My Job”

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La) rejected the notion that determining the Constitutionality of pending legislation was part of her job. The Senator’s shucking of this responsibility came in response to a questioner asking her where in the US Constitution is there the authority for congress to force people to buy health insurance.

“My job is to get all I can for my constituents,” Landrieu argued. “Unlike most of my peers, I got $300 million in added benefits for my constituents in exchange for my vote in favor of the health care bill. I’m not going to let myself be bothered by some arcane debate about whether what I voted for is Constitutional or not. Let the courts decide that issue.”

Ultimately, the courts may well decide the issue. However, Senators are required to take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution” before they are allowed to assume their seats in congress. Reneging on this oath in exchange for $300 million in “pork barrel” spending would appear to be a dereliction of duty.

Press Secretary Defends Continued Bush Bashing

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs defended the Obama Administration’s continued efforts to blame the previous Bush Administration for current domestic and foreign policy problems.

“If we say it’s Bush’s fault, if the media report it’s Bush’s fault, and if the public believes it’s Bush’s fault, then who’s to say it isn’t Bush’s fault?” Gibbs reasoned. “After all, as Dr. Phil tells us, ‘there is no reality—only perception.’”

Of course, TV’s pop psychologist “Dr. Phil” isn’t the most famous advocate of the idea that perception is the reality. That title would have to go to chief Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, who wrote: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

President Declares “Cash-for-Clunkers” Great Success Story

President Barack Obama judged last summer’s subsidies to new car buyers “one of this nation’s most successful programs, ever. At a cost of only $30 billion, we were able to induce 700,000 people to buy new cars—both stimulating the economy and helping to reduce air pollution. It’s an unprecedented accomplishment, one unmatched by any previous administration.”

Gene Sperling, senior counsel to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, contended that “the decision to go ahead with the program in the face of the relentless opposition from free market fanatics has to rank as the most courageous decision by a US President since Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.”

Critics have pointed out that a subsequent decline in auto sales indicates that the program merely accelerated new vehicle purchase decisions by a few months, while simultaneously destroying many valuable used cars and driving up prices—hurting the lower income Americans who buy used cars because they can’t afford new ones.

Senators Say Forcing Taxpayers to Fund Abortion Morally Correct

California Senator Diane Feinstein (D) rebuffed criticisms that forcing all taxpayers—even those who believe it is murder—to pay for abortions is morally wrong.

“Morality isn’t something we can leave up to the individual,” Feinstein said. “People have all kinds of crazy ideas about what is or isn’t moral. It’s up to the government to settle on a common moral code for society. It is the citizen’s responsibility to support the government’s decision, even if he or she personally disagrees. So, yes, most definitely, if congress passes a law requiring taxpayers to fund abortions it is everyone’s moral obligation to support that law.”

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) went even further by insisting that opposition to the health care legislation before it is enacted is immoral. “There are pregnant women out there who are too poor to pay for their own abortions,” Mikulski asserted. “It is the obligation of those fortunate enough to be able to pay taxes to come to the aid of those less well-off. Sadly, personal greed impedes the correct moral action by individuals left to make their own decisions. This is where government must step in to ensure a moral outcome. Those who would attempt to block government action by opposing this bill are clearly on the side of immorality.”

Popularity of Canadian Health Care Explained

Proponents of nationalizing the US health care system assiduously point out how popular Canada’s single-payer, government run system is. Polls show that over 80% of Canadians are happy with the system.

Poll respondent, Emma Linger rhapsodized about her own experience with the National Health Service. “You just go in whenever you want,” she said. “You don’t even have to bring any money. The doctor writes you a prescription for antibiotics, tranquilizers, placebos or whatever you need and you’re off to the pharmacy.”

Linger admitted that the prospect of long waits (an estimated four months—on average) to see specialists might be daunting, but found solace in the fact that “only the very sickest—those with cancer and such—are affected. Luckily, they’re a small minority and mostly older folks who’ve already lived long lives.”

Federal Bureaucrats Pay Rising During Recession

The economic recession gripping the United States seems to have bypassed the federal bureaucracy. At the same time that private sector businesses are shutting down and laying off employees in sufficient quantities to produce a 10% unemployment rate, pay for high ranking federal bureaucrats is booming. Since the recession started, the number of six-figure ($100,000+ per year) federal jobs has risen by almost 50%.

Jessica Klement, government affairs director for the Federal Managers Association—the “union” that represents these high-salaried government employees—said “opportunities and compensation are rising because the country needs these highly skilled people to run an expanding government. Government has had to step up its activities to cover for the private sector’s failure to generate jobs during the recession. If we’re spending billions in stimulus money we can’t afford to have low-level chumps handing out the subsidies.”

Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) characterized the bump in lavish salaries for bureaucrats as “ridiculous and unjustifiable given the poor financial conditions of both the government and the economy.”

US Consul Says Mexico Is Safe for Tourists

Reports of heavy violence in Mexico should not deter tourists, said U.S. Consul Michael Barkin. “Really, Mexico is no worse than the south side of Chicago,” Barkin assured the McAllen (Texas) Chamber of Commerce. “Your odds of coming through without being robbed, kidnapped or murdered are relatively good. There’s probably less than 10% chance you will be a victim.”

The Consul advised that “if you are one of the unfortunate minority who is victimized and are still alive afterwards, please contact the Consulate so we can fill out the proper ‘after-incident’ reports.”

Barkin expressed the hope that immigration reform would move more of this crime north of the border and thereby make Mexico a safer place to visit.

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Obama Says Health Care Reform Is ‘Jobs Program’

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News 

With polls showing little support for his proposed overhaul of the nation’s health care delivery system, President Barack Obama is now trying to pitch it as a remedy for high unemployment—the number one concern of most voters, according to most surveys.

“Those who’ve been accusing me of ignoring the unemployment problem haven’t been paying attention,” Obama contended. “Health care reform will create thousands of jobs.”

“First, we will be hiring people to scrutinize proposed treatments to determine whether the prospective patients really need it and whether society can justify the investment of scarce resources on the health of the applicants,” the President said. “There will be documents to review and statistics to compile—creating work opportunities in the clerical professions.”

“Second, we will be hiring people to track down and apprehend those who neglect to purchase the federally mandated insurance,” Obama continued. “This will open up opportunities for law-enforcement type jobs—cops, lawyers, prison guards, and the like.”

“Finally, we will be hiring people to help us raise the revenues needed to fund the program,” Obama added. “We will need more tax collectors and auditors to make sure that every dollar required is channeled to the US Treasury.”

“And, of course, all these new hires will be spending their salaries and creating the demand for other goods and services,” Obama concluded. “In turn, the increased demand from this government spending will result in the need for additional employees in the private sector.”

Ayers Denounces Afghanistan Troop Decision

Bill Ayers, former terrorist and alleged long time friend of President Barack Obama, took issue with the President’s decision to deploy more troops to fight in Afghanistan.

“I feel betrayed,” wailed a disconsolate Ayers. “I poured my heart and soul into electing this man. I thought we agreed that the real enemy was right here in America. This is where the capitalist exploiters are. Sending troops to foreign lands diverts our energy from the real mission.”

Ayers hinted that “the President’s betrayal of the progressive agenda could turn out as badly for him as JFK’s attacks against the progressive regime in Cuba were for him. If I were a young man, I’d be taking up arms like I did 40 years ago. But at this stage of my life I’ll have to settle for inciting the young to take up the burden.”

The President dismissed Ayers’ comments as “an hysterical overreaction. I am the President of the United States. Mr. Ayers is just some guy who lives in my old Chicago neighborhood. Besides, I’m taking other steps to deal with the enemy within. We’ve already tripled the federal deficit. We’re close to nationalizing the health industry. ‘Cap-and-Trade’ legislation and higher taxes are on my ‘to do list.’ Bill should ‘chill out.’”

“Real” News Media to Be Defined by Law

Concerned that “casual” and “irregular” so-called journalists are “confusing” the American people. Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have introduced legislation that attempts to “draw the line between legitimate and illegitimate purveyors of news.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 448, would define a legitimate journalist as a person working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, a recognized publisher or broadcaster of news. Those falling outside this definition would be denied the privileges granted to established news media under freedom of the press.

“The American people need to be protected from being misled by unauthorized sources,” Feinstein declared. “It is so easy and cheap these days for just about anyone to publish whatever pops into his head on the Internet. To help sort things out, we need to establish a distinction between legitimate newspersons and unvetted amateurs. This bill does that.”

As an example of the “unvetted amateurs” she has in mind, the Senator cited the undercover operation conducted by James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. “Here we have two untrained individuals taking it upon themselves to do a so-called expose´ of an important American institution,” she said. “We can’t allow these kind of individuals to enjoy the same privileges and immunities we would accord to reporters for the New York Times or CBS News. That is a road toward the anarchy of uncontrolled content.”

O’Keefe and Giles posed as pimp and prostitute, respectively, and visited the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) offices seeking advice on how to set up a brothel employing under-age, illegal immigrants. Video recordings of the helpful suggestions offered by numerous ACORN personnel in several different offices in several different states created a scandal last September.

Obama Said to Be Open to Creative Ideas for Fighting Unemployment

President Barack Obama asserted that he “will consider any and every proposal that’s put to me” in search of a way to get Americans back to work.

One idea that the President attributed to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would entail the Federal Reserve creating a trillion dollars of new money. This money would be placed inside an abandoned coal mine. The mine would be dynamited. The government would then accept bids from private contractors and select one to dig up the money.

“I think it’s ingenious,” the President said. “The cost to the government to implement this plan is negligible. Creating money is a snap for the Federal Reserve. Placing the money in the mine and blowing up the shaft probably won’t even cost a billion dollars.”

“The funds coming in from the successful bidder will help reduce the current budget deficit,” Obama went on. “The expenses of the digging will pump money into the economy. The wages paid to workers will trickle down to the consumer sector. Then, when the diggers get to the buried money they will report a profit. Some of that will be shared with stockholders. Some will be paid in taxes. I can’t see any negatives to this idea.”

Geithner humbly denied full credit for the idea, saying that the ploy was suggested by John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s as a way to get men back to work during the Great Depression. “I’m just a conduit for passing on the wisdom of this renowned economic sage to a new generation,” Geithner insisted.

Release of E-Mails Has Senator up in Arms

The unauthorized release of hundreds of e-mails from the British University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit has outraged Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Oddly, it is not the implication in the e-mails that much of the purported climate research carried out to promote the global warming crisis is flawed, bogus, or worse that has gotten the Senator’s dander up.

“A lot of people are trying to make a big deal about the irregularities of the research,” Boxer said. “However, the more critical issue is the violation of privacy. These scientists had no expectation that their communications would be made public. Consequently, they may have been more frank in these private messages than they otherwise would’ve been. Now, they’re labeled as liars and frauds. It’s unfair.”

Boxer acknowledged that “unfortunately, we can’t undo the damage to these scientists’ reputations. We can ignore the implications. Over time, people will tend to forget who did what. Still, the humiliation stings.”

To try to prevent future incidents of this nature, Boxer recommended that “the person or persons we divulge confidential information should face criminal charges. The risk of ending up in jail will go a long way toward deterring the next whistle-blower or computer hacker from delving into matters better left private. Those of us responsible for making policy shouldn’t have to worry that interlopers will derail our agenda with untimely disclosures of confounding information.”

Gore Critiques Copenhagen Environmental Summit

Before anything has been decided by those participating in the environmental summit to be held in Copenhagen, the world’s foremost environmental expert, former US Vice-President Al Gore, criticized the efforts as “inadequate.” “Much more stringent measures are necessary if the returns on my investments in carbon offsets, alternative energy sources, and environmentally friendly technologies are to be maximized,” Gore observed.

In related news, Gore cancelled a planned appearance at the Copenhagen summit where his fans would’ve been allowed to have their pictures taken with their idol for a fee of $1200 per photo. “It wasn’t the money,” said disappointed fan, Franklin Fawner. “I would’ve gladly paid as much or more. The trouble was with the Danish Government’s refusal to let Mr. Gore use their king’s throne for a few hours. It’s this kind of selfishness that will lead the planet to its ruin.”

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