By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
President Barack Obama brushed aside the argument that polls showing that a substantial majority of American voters oppose the healthcare legislation under consideration in Congress should play any role in the outcome.
“It doesn’t matter if a poll shows 75 percent are opposed,” Obama said. “As I see it, the only ‘poll’ that counts is the one represented by the election of 2008. Voters who aren’t satisfied with what the Democratic Party does with the mandate they granted us back then can vote against us in the next election.”
The president rejected arguments from Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) that “the lack of promised transparency and the buying of votes via unsavory deals has so tainted the current legislation that we ought to start over with a clean slate.”
“What? Was Senator McCain born yesterday?” Obama mocked. “Breaking promises and buying votes have been integral parts of our political process for generations. It’s how we get things done in government. Expecting congressmen to just do what is right without hope of a personal or political payback is a child’s perspective. It’s a point of view unworthy of someone of McCain’s experience.”
Treasury Secretary Defends Excluding Unfunded Obligations from Budget
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended federal budget protocols that exclude Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac promises to back mortgage loans.
“Just because we’ve said the government will stand behind these loans doesn’t mean we actually have to,” Geithner said. “I mean, the government has the right to ‘walk away’ from debts it is unable or unwilling to pay.”
The Secretary was put on the spot by accusations from Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) that “the Obama administration is using accounting gimmicks in its budget that would make an Enron accountant blush. Enron went bankrupt and several key officers of the firm were sent to prison for the kind of manipulation we’re seeing under Obama.”
Geithner insisted that “the comparison to Enron or any private corporation, for that matter, is inapt. The federal government has what is called ‘sovereign immunity.’ That means no one can take us to court and force us to pay our debts. And you can forget about anyone in the government going to jail. No judge in his right mind would ever contemplate such a foolhardy move.”
Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Alaska), the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, has estimated that the unfunded liabilities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exceed $5 trillion. “Secretary Geithner may feel confident that the government can welsh on this obligation, but the potential impact on financial markets cannot be so easily ignored,” Bachus warned.
President Scolds Republicans for Complicating Healthcare Debate
President Obama scolded the televised “Healthcare Summit” attendee Representative Eric Cantor (R-Va) for bringing a copy of the current 2400-page bill to the meeting and placing it on the table where it would be easily visible to the television audience.
“The point of televising the meeting was to try to give the American people a simple message—that we’re all here working on legislation that will take of them,” Obama said. “Putting a copy of the bill where it could be seen by TV viewers introduces an unwanted element of complexity that dilutes this simple message.”
“The simple rationale behind healthcare reform that has been sold to voters is the need to cover the uninsured and to find a way to restrain runaway costs,” Cantor countered. “Instead of forthrightly addressing this, the Democrats have crafted thousands of pages of new regulations that complicate access to healthcare and promise to push costs even higher. And despite its length, the current bill does nothing to rein-in tort abuses and the frivolous lawsuits that result in billions of dollars in higher costs for all.”
The President contended that “review panels established by the proposed legislation would help hold down costs by prohibiting expenditures on treatments with poor cost/benefit profiles. Without my legislation, resources will continue to be squandered on investments in treating people whose useful lives are essentially over. Critics of my bill conveniently overlook the potential savings from eliminating these expenditures when they portray it as a budget buster.
President Tells Business Leaders He’s No Socialist
In an address to leading corporate executives at the annual “Business Roundtable” meeting in Washington, President Barack Obama made a bid to persuade them that he is no foe of the free market.
“Contrary to the socialist picture of me painted by my political enemies, I believe in a strictly circumscribed government,” Obama said. “Government should be restrained to three main functions: taxing, spending, and regulating. It must not be allowed to venture outside of these limits. I oppose socialism that nationalizes businesses because it is unnecessary and would interfere with these three main functions.”
“Nationalizing businesses would shrink the tax-base,” Obama pointed out. “This would diminish the government’s ability to carry out its second key function of spending. It is also unnecessary because the third function of government—regulating—can easily achieve the proper control over businesses without the government having to bear the direct responsibility for managing them.”
“The free market would be free to deal with everything else,” Obama explained. “Of course, businesses couldn’t tax anyone. That would infringe on government’s prerogative. But they will be asked to pay taxes and, in some cases, collect taxes on the government’s behalf.”
“Businesses will also be permitted some latitude in how they spend the resources that come into their hands,” Obama continued. “Government will only step in when needed to ensure that socially responsible parameters are maintained. If need be, government can always redirect business spending with regulations or by taxing the excess profits away and using them for higher priority needs.”
The President hastened to remind business leaders that “the government’s role won’t be all ‘stick.’ There will also be ‘carrots.’ Firms that show appropriate ‘social consciousness’ may expect to receive direct payments from government and their corporate leaders may use these monies to reward key officers of the firms.”
“We’re all in this together—business, unions, and government,” Obama concluded. “We must all work cooperatively to promote the general welfare of the nation.”
Nipplitaliano Discovers Islamic Threat
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Nipplitaliano held a press conference to reveal information about what she called “a carefully concealed threat to this nation.”
“Hard work by department staff has uncovered information on a group of extremists that few suspected may have existed,” Nipplitaliano said. “This group appears to follow the teachings a ‘Prophet Muhammed’ and may be responsible for carrying out acts of violence against what are termed ‘infidels’ and ‘unbelievers.’”
Nipplitaliano characterized this group as “extremely secretive.” “It is only through the virtually super-human efforts of my dedicated, but under-manned and under-funded staff, that we are able to gain the few scraps of information we have to-date,” she said. “It’s possible that this group may have played a role in previously unexplained tragedies such as occurred at the World Trade Center in 2001, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, and the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.”
The Secretary concluded the press conference by requesting that “an additional $100 billion be added to the Homeland Security budget to enable us to thoroughly research and define this emerging threat.”
AG Adds Former Jihad Lawyers to His Staff
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stood behind his decision to pack the Department of Justice with attorneys formerly employed to represent terrorists interned at Gitmo, calling it a coup.
“It’s like an NBA team signing an opponent’s star players,” Holder boasted. “We’re adding talent and denying that same talent to our opponents.”
Holder also maintained that “incorporating former foes into our lineup may moderate the intensity of our opponent’s antagonism toward us. The more like each other we become, the less ground there is for hostility. We’re trying to move from a ‘deadly enemies’ to a ‘respected rivals’ way of thinking on this.”
Reid Reelection Campaign Takes Ugly Turn
Contending that men who lose their jobs are more prone to abuse their wives, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urged his state’s voters to return him to the senate in November’s balloting “for the sake of my wife’s health and well-being.”