By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Concerned that the current Senate version of the President’s healthcare legislation won’t pass muster with House pro-life Democrats because of its provisions funding abortion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) is proposing a deal in which pro-life Democrats will be allowed to introduce separate bills to strip abortion funding from the law if they go along with the President’s request that they vote for the Senate Bill.
“Getting the Senate Bill passed in the House without amendments is the only way we can get the legislation to the President for signature,” Pelosi asserted. “Once it’s signed we’ll have healthcare reform. We can go back later to try to eliminate the public funding of abortion. I have promised Representative Stupak that the House will allow a vote on any bill he presents to restrict public funding for abortions.”
Of course, there is no guarantee that a Stupak bill would garner a majority in both the House and Senate or that the President wouldn’t veto it if it did. No matter, says Pelosi, “This deal gives Representative Stupak and the other anti-choice advocates cover against constituent complaints. “They will still be able to show that they voted against abortion funding, while at the same time being able to take credit for a desperately needed overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system. It’d be a win-win for him and his allies.”
Rangel Defends Ignorance
Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY), forced to take a “temporary leave of absence” from his post as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee for accepting lobbyist bribes, held firm to his profession of ignorance and labeled those who doubt it as “out of touch with the reality of Washington politics.”
Rangel contends that he didn’t know that the all-expenses-paid trips to posh resorts he’d received were funded by lobbyists. “How was I supposed to know?” Rangel asked.
The Congressman rebuffed arguments that his claim of ignorance was implausible and that he should have inquired more closely into the source of his good fortune. “Since when should I have to look a gift horse in the mouth?” Rangel demanded to know. “At the Capitol, the policy has always been don’t ask/don’t tell. And members of congress have always respected each others’ right to privacy in such matters.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supported Rangel’s perspective. “We don’t even have time to read or familiarize ourselves with the laws before we enact them,” she pointed out. “How can we be expected to carefully examine every freebie that comes our way? If constituents are grateful for the heroic work we’re doing why shouldn’t they try to repay us in some tangible way?”
Pelosi characterized the allegations of corruption as “a ‘tempest in a tea pot’ that will blow over in a few months. The nation needs Charlie’s financial expertise on the Ways and Means Committee. I expect he’ll be restored to his chairmanship once this manufactured scandal has been buried by weightier concerns.”
Reid Lauds Jobs Numbers
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) heralded the February report showing a net loss of 36,000 jobs for the month as “a big day in America. At this low rate of job losses it will be more than 300 years before we reach total unemployment. So, I’d say our quick action in congress has bought us some valuable time.”
Obama on Verge of Deal with China Regarding Iran Sanctions
The long refusal of the Chinese government to go along with sanctions against Iran as a way of pressuring that country to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons may be close to an end. President Obama announced that China will go along with sanctions if China is exempt from complying with them.
The President defended this deal as “necessary if we are to have a program of sanctions. This way, China will be a party to the policy of sanctions without having to forego their independent right to conduct trade with Iran.”
Obama rejected GOP arguments that “a net with this big of a hole is worthless.” “Iran will still be blocked from direct access to American-branded merchandise,” Obama argued. “They’ll be forced to settle for cheap Chinese knock-offs, many of which are adulterated or tainted in some fashion.”
Neither did the prospect of China acting as a middleman and reselling American-branded items to Iran faze the President because “resold items will have an added handling or mark-up cost and force Iran to pay more than they otherwise would to get the real thing,” Obama said. “This will put further pressure on the regime.”
McCain Denounces Hayworth Campaign Ad
A campaign ad on behalf of J.D. Hayworth’s effort to unseat Senator John McCain) in Arizona’s upcoming Republican primary election sparked an angry response from the Senator.
“Senators have a weighty responsibility of dealing with foreign affairs,” McCain said. “Senators, for example, must approve treaties. My opponent’s ad may have done serious damage to this nation’s ability to make treaties with the Na’vi in the future. Will the Na’vi be willing to come to the bargaining table with our nation after being mocked by a candidate for the US Senate? Such reckless disregard of delicate issues involving diplomacy demonstrate an unfitness for office of the person responsible.”
The Hayworth ad lampooned McCain by suggesting he should be an Oscar Award nominee for “best conservative actor” and portrayed him as a Na’vi character in the movie Avatar.
Government Surveillance of E-Mail to Increase
The Department of Homeland Security is upgrading a software program code-named “Einstein” in order to enable government agents to read every e-mail sent or received through a server located in the United States.
“We will leave no tool unused in our efforts to protect this government from attack,” boasted Secretary Janet Nipplitaliano. As for concerns this would be an Unconstitutional invasion of privacy, she insisted, “No one has a right to privacy in his or her communications if those communications threaten the government.”
Nipplitaliano expressed regret that “it has taken so long for us to develop this capability. Who knows, if we’d had access to every e-mail earlier maybe we could’ve snuffed out the so-called ‘Tea Party’ movement before it was able to take down several key members of the government or before it was able to intimidate congress and thwart critical legislation. Hopefully, we can now turn the tide.”
South African Land Reform Failing
The South African Government’s program of seizing farms from white owners and giving them to black owners isn’t going well. Nearly 90% of the redistributed farm lands are unproductive.
Land reform minister Gugile Nkwinti expressed his frustration with the beneficiaries of the land transfer. “They are complaining that the farms we gave them aren’t profitable,” Nkwinti said. “Well, they were profitable under the previous owners.”
Nkwinti speculated that “the fact that these people were given farms rather than having to earn them may have confused them as to how profits are made. There’s a lot of work needed to make the land produce a viable crop. Perhaps this fact was obscured in our efforts to redistribute the ownership of these formerly productive assets.”
Edwards Seeking Presidential Pardon
As a grand jury works on an indictment for possible campaign violations related to paying his mistress Rielle Hunter, former presidential candidate John Edwards is said to be seeking a pardon from President Obama.
“I can’t go to jail,” Edwards told friends. “The inmates would fight over a looker like me to see which one would make me his ‘bitch.’ Surely that would be cruel and unusual punishment for a person of my stature.”
Sebelius Thanks Insurers for Timely Rate Hikes
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius extended the Obama Administration’s gratitude to its allies in the insurance industry for their “timely and well-publicized rate hikes.”
“Our work with the industry to reform the healthcare system has been imperiled by the resistance of poorly-informed opponents in the Tea Party movement,” Sebelius told the assembled CEOs of Wellpoint, Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group and other companies. “Your latest announced round of increases in the premiums charged by private insurers makes the President’s contention that his bill will actually lower health costs seem less implausible. For this we are grateful.”
Sebelius took pains to reassure the executives that “the President isn’t out to ‘get’ private insurers. He is aiming to forge a joint public-private partnership that will be mutually beneficial. By passing a law requiring that everyone purchase insurance and by insisting that others boost their coverage, revenues for the industry will be pushed higher. And just like the public-private partnership that has enabled bank executives to take down big bonuses, we think the possibilities for top insurance executives will be similar.”