By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
A reported 10-percent decline in the crime rate for last year has sparked a heated disagreement over the cause.
On the right, the surge in purchases of guns of all sorts since the ascension of Barack Obama to the presidency is hailed as proof that a well-armed citizenry deters crime. “The more likely it is that a law-abiding citizen is armed, the riskier it is for a criminal to attempt to rob or assault him,” said National Rifle Association Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre. “Those who wrote the Second Amendment knew this. Maybe this latest data will demonstrate this truth to a modern audience.”
The data, though, isn’t demonstrating any such truth to die-hard gun-control advocates. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence attributes the decrease in reported crime rates to the economic recession. “With so many people out of work, there is simply less for criminals to steal,” said spokesman Brayon Tripper. “So, in a way, the bad economy is leaving thieves unemployed, as well.”
Vice-President Joe Biden credits increased government hand-outs for the decline in crime. “With trillions in stimulus money floating around, there’s less need for ordinary robberies,” Biden reasoned. “I mean, why take the risk of illegally trying to get into someone else’s pocket when there’s a legal way to get the same result?”
Biden argued that “President Obama and Congress—or at least the Democrats in Congress—don’t get a fair share of the credit for what they’ve done to help lower the crime rate. Without the programs they’ve enacted, many people would be forced to initiate their own poorly-conceived heists and a lot more people would get hurt.”
President Endorses Reid’s Reelection
President Obama traveled to a Nevada “town hall” meeting to publicly endorse the reelection of that state’s Senator Harry Reid (D) and urge voters to “reject the anti-government message of our right wing opponents.”
“It would’ve been easy for Senator Reid to read the polls and turn his back on the reforms I have planned for this country,” Obama told the audience. “But he put loyalty ahead of popularity and stood by me. I’m here today to return the favor.”
The President also reminded Nevada voters that he did not come empty-handed. “Sticking with me doesn’t just earn my lip service—valuable as that may be,” Obama bragged. “There’s also a tidy sum of federal cash that is headed to those states whose senators and representatives have helped push my program in congress.”
Obama defended using federal money to help boost the reelection prospects of men like Senator Reid. “We’re in a mighty struggle to transform this nation,” he pointed out. “We must use every means at our disposal to ensure that the troops fighting for this transformation receive all the support possible. Just as we would never deny America’s soldiers the money for bullets to defeat this country’s foreign enemies, we must not deny our political allies the money for ballots to defeat the domestic enemies of our progressive program for change.”
Saying that “as much as I’d like to take credit for this strategic use of the nation’s public resources, I’m forced to admit that I cadged it from former President Franklin Roosevelt,” Obama admitted. “Nevertheless, I’m proud to be able to say I’m big enough to have learned a trick or two from America’s greatest past president.”
McCain Bill Would Limit Access to Nutritional Supplements
In a bid to forge yet another bridge across the aisle, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) has joined forces with fellow Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to introduce Senate Bill 3002, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act. The bill would grant the federal government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broad new authority to control the nutritional supplements available to American consumers.
“What we have now is a chaotic, every-man-for-himself kind of approach when it comes to nutritional supplements,” McCain said. “Anyone can decide for himself what to take, when to take it, and for whatever reason he wants. Government has minimal control. All it can do is pull misbranded, fraudulent, or contaminated products off the market.” The Senator contrasted this with the FDA’s authority “to absolutely bar access to drugs until the government is convinced they are both safe and effective.”
“Not only are these substances outside of the FDA’s purview, they don’t even require a doctor’s prescription,” McCain complained. “A person’s health is being left in his own uninformed hands instead of being overseen by those trained in the field. Government has an obligation to save such a person from his own folly.”
The new powers for the FDA in McCain’s bill are modeled on those of the European Food Safety Authority. Under this Authority, nutritional supplements are much harder to obtain and are more expensive per unit of potency.
McCain characterized his bill as “a first step in a more comprehensive plan to upgrade the nation’s health. We’ve already taken steps to assert government oversight of the drugs that a person puts into his body. Gaining a firmer grip on the food he puts into it is the next logical move. Ideally, all of a citizen’s food and drug needs would be handled like they were for me when I was in the Navy.”
President Apologizes for Meeting with Dalai Lama
A letter leaked from an internal Administration source indicated that President Barack Obama apologized to the Chinese government for what he termed a “politically necessary” and “pro forma” meeting with the Dalai Lama.
“I hope the Chinese government will understand that, for political reasons in America, I must appear to sympathize with Tibet’s quest for religious freedom,” Obama wrote. “Inviting Tenzin Gyatso for tea at the White House enabled me to fulfill this need. But the meeting was strictly pro forma and should not be interpreted as being, in any way, critical of China’s subjugation of the Tibetan people.”
In an effort to prove his sincerity to the Chinese government, the President’s letter pointed out that “we barred the media from photographing or recording the meeting—minimizing the meeting’s value as potential propaganda for China’s enemies. Mr. Gyatso was also required to use the side service entrance to help diminish the perceived importance of the meeting.”
The letter concluded with the President’s plea for the Chinese government’s “sympathy and cooperation in our efforts to fend off reactionary challenges to the progressive goals our two governments share.”
Microsoft Officer Calls for Licensing Users of the Internet
Citing the need to take stronger measures against cyber warfare, Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, demanded that access to the Internet be restricted to “licensed drivers.”
“We wouldn’t let a person get behind the wheel of a car without a license, so why should we allow just anyone with a computer to cruise the web?” Mundie asked.
Mundie contended that by screening those who want to use the Internet, “governments could dramatically reduce the incidence of hostile actions against them. Making those who want to use the web prove they are no threat to the government before they are allowed onto it is a common-sense security procedure.”
The prospect that those with malevolent intentions toward governments or anyone else might fraudulently obtain Internet user’s licenses or simply hack onto the web without a license “is something we haven’t yet gotten a handle on,” Mundie admitted. “The out-and-out criminal or saboteur is a tough one, kind of like the convicted felon who can’t legally own a gun, but manages to commit a crime with one anyway. Nevertheless, we’ve got to start cracking down somewhere.”
U.S. Political System “Sucks” Says Podesta
John Podesta, Democratic Party operative and former advisor to President Bill Clinton, says the nation’s political system “sucks.”
“Major reforms are being stifled by an archaic reliance on a worn out idea called ‘checks-and-balances,’” Podesta complained. “I mean, President Obama has some exciting ideas, but they are being blocked by Republicans who refuse to go along. Instead of supporting a transformational change of American institutions, the leadership of the Republican Party seems bent on opposing the President.”
Podesta conceded that “with Democrats holding a majority in both the House and Senate, as well as the presidency, the average person might conclude that any failure to take action belongs with the Democrats. However, this is an unsophisticated view. Passing legislation on a straight party line vote makes it a partisan undertaking. Republicans may have been willing to risk doing this when they were passing popular legislation like tax cuts, but it is asking too much of Democrats to expect them to do the same with unpopular legislation like health care reform.”
Podesta did assign a small portion of the blame to President Obama for not using the media enough, even though Obama has made three times as many appearances on TV as his predecessor.