Goldman Sachs Scandal May Impugn President

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

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation of the Goldman Sachs investment firm has sparked concerns regarding President Obama’s connections to company executives. Goldman Sachs is accused of manipulating markets and swindling customers by selling securities it knew to be of dubious value.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs denied President Obama took any campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs. “He didn’t take any money,” Gibbs insisted. “Nobody saw him take any money. You can’t prove he took any money. So, he’s not giving any money back.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) brushed off any attempt to impute guilt to the President or the Democratic Party declaring that “once funds are transferred to the Party they are purified of any taint. Even if the giver has obtained the funds fraudulently no fault can be laid on the Party as we are only passive recipients.”

According to Federal Elections Commission records, officers of Goldman Sachs donated nearly a million dollars to Obama’s presidential campaign. As a point of reference, Obama received about seven times more money from Goldman Sachs executives than President Bush received from the disgraced Enron Corporation executives.

The Case for Government Funded Abortion as a Human Right

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) issued a report arguing that “funding for abortion services has increasingly been recognized as a necessary tool for ensuring access to a fundamental human right. Efforts to block government funding violate this right to the detriment of the health and prosperity of the nation.”

In support of this argument CRR cited the fact that in over 20 European countries the government funds abortions. According to CRR, “these countries recognize the threat posed by an unwanted child to the well-being of the prospective mother and the community. Child bearing damages a woman’s body. No woman should be forced to endure this damage against her will. It is government’s obligation to prevent this damage.”

“And lets not forget the ongoing financial burdens inflicted on the parents and society from every child that is born,” the CRR report continued. “Caring for and raising a child to adulthood is a costly undertaking. Sparing the parents and the community from having to bear these costs frees up resources for other uses.”

CRR spokesperson Sheila Kilborne rejected contentions that aborting the unborn in order to promote the prosperity of the community is a modern equivalent to the abhorred ancient practice of human sacrifice. “Ancient human sacrifices were based on unsubstantiated superstition,” Kilborne pointed out. “They lacked a firm empirical foundation. In contrast, the benefits of abortion are well-documented. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated the cost to raise a child to age 18 is nearly $300,000. If you add a college education to that we’re looking at a half-million dollar burden per child that can be avoided if abortion is freely available.”

Charge of “Crony Capitalism” Rebutted

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s assertion that the Obama Administration’s favoritism toward certain corporations is a manifestation of “crony capitalism” was rebutted by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who argued that “friends helping friends is something I was brought up to expect and respect.”

“Conducting a successful economic program requires cooperation and partnership between government and business,” Geithner contended. “There’s got to be an incentive to encourage businesses to act with rather than against the Administration’s initiatives. Access to loans and subsidies is one incentive we have been using to try to induce business leaders to sign on to our program.”

Geithner maintained that the Administration’s approach was both legal and nondiscriminatory. “Congress appropriated the money and gave us discretion on how to use it,” he reminded. “And whether any particular firm gets any of the money is up to them. If they cooperate we can reward them. So, if any firm can get in line to receive government money how is that ‘cronyism?’”

“Critics like Ms. Palin underestimate the potential impact of uniting the forces of government with leading businesses,” Geithner added. “We are building a juggernaut that will drive the economy to a new paradigm that these naysayers cannot envision.”

Sebelius Says States Will Not Be Allowed to Opt-Out of the Health Care Law

As state after state enacts measures to prohibit its citizens from being compelled to purchase health insurance, US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius vowed that “all such measures will be overruled by the supremacy of the national government.”

Sebelius specifically rejected the argument that the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment reserves powers not delegated to the federal government to the states. “I think the ‘general welfare clause’ pretty much disposes of any contention that any state can object to any action Washington takes to promote the general welfare of the people,” Sebelius argued. “Congress and the President have determined that the welfare of the nation requires that everyone be forced to buy health insurance. No resistance to this mandate will be tolerated.”

“The notion that any state or any individual, for that matter, can interpose their judgment for that exercised by the federal government is null and void,” Sebelius went on. “The best minds in the nation have decreed that the collective well-being necessitates requiring all to have health insurance. Whether an individual wants it or not is not an issue. Those residing in states that have passed so-called ‘opt-out’ legislation will be treated no differently than residents of other states. They will be fined if they don’t buy health insurance. They will be jailed if they don’t pay their fines. It’s as simple as that.”

To-date, more than 30 state legislatures have enacted “opt-out” legislation.

In related news, HHS released a report disclosing that, contrary to the President’s promises, the new health care law is expected to increase the nation’s health care costs instead of decreasing them. “Fortunately, this analysis didn’t come out before the bill passed,” Sebelius wryly observed. “Otherwise it might not have passed.”

“South Park” Episode Censored

A two-part episode of the animated satire “South Park” was subjected to extensive “bleeping” of dialog after the station received “warnings” from a radical Islamic group that “the defilers of Muhammed (may peace be upon him) will wind up dead like Theo Van Gogh.”

In 2004, Van Gogh, producer of the film “Submission,” which criticized the treatment of women under Islam, was accosted on a street in Amsterdam and shot eight times, beheaded and stabbed by Mohammed Bouyeri. The murder occurred several weeks after Imam Fawaz of the as-Sunnah Mosque in The Hague, Netherlands gave a sermon condemning Van Gogh for his “crimes” against Islam and wishing him a swift death.

Elmore Craven, Vice-President of Animated Programs at Comedy Central defended the censorship as a “prudent response to a credible threat of harm. These Muslims are nuts. We felt it would be better to butcher the ‘South Park’ cartoon than to be butchered ourselves by some jihad wacko.”

Craven expressed the hope that “this present incident will be forgotten and that the ‘South Park’ writers can get back to ridiculing safer targets. Their jabs at Jesus, movie celebrities and politicians have been a gold mine for the network. Why risk offending people who will kill you. I mean, we can only take free speech so far.”

President Denounces Arizona Immigration Law

A just-enacted Arizona law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration inspired a sharp response from President Barack Obama. The law empowers local law enforcement officers to question any person who they think may be an illegal immigrant in the United States.

The President dismissed arguments that the Arizona law is needed because the federal government isn’t willing or able to enforce federal immigration laws. “The determination of who should or shouldn’t be in this country is not one for the states to make,” the President said. “This is a federal prerogative. Even if the states think we aren’t doing our job they have no right to step in.”

“This type of action runs counter to the immigration reform I am seeking to promote,” Obama continued. “It contradicts our nation’s pledge to welcome the poor and huddled masses yearning to eat free. I can’t allow it.”

New York Confiscates Hundreds of Bicycles

Fearing that bicycles parked along the route that President Obama plans to take on an upcoming visit could contain pipe bombs, New York City police cut the locks and carted off hundreds of vehicles. The confiscation was so hasty that no procedure for owners to recover their bikes has been established.

The fact that owners might become alarmed at finding their bikes missing was brushed off by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The convenience of a few hundred cyclists has to take a back seat to the safety of the President,” Bloomberg said. “No potential threat, no matter how remote or seemingly ridiculous, can be tolerated. I feel confident that most of the bicycle owners will probably get their bikes back soon or later.”

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Clinton Calls ‘Tea Party’ Movement Bigger Threat than Al-Qaeda

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

In an interview with The New York Times, former President Bill Clinton blasted the Tea Party protestors last week, calling them “a bigger threat to the government than al-Qaeda ever could be.”

“No matter how many millions of Americans al-Qaeda might kill, unless President Obama and Congress are among the victims these Islamists will never bring down the United States Government,” Clinton insisted. “The Tea Partiers, on the other hand, represent a very real threat. It is conceivable that they could overturn the Democratic majority in Congress this November and might even succeed in defeating the President’s bid for a second term. This is the threat I would advise the President to concentrate his energies on.”

Clinton praised Obama’s initiative aimed at gaining control over the Internet. “This new, inexpensive means of obtaining and sharing information is undermining the Administration’s ability to control the policy debate,” Clinton warned. “It is essential that it be managed to prevent the Administration’s enemies from exploiting it to rouse widespread opposition.”

The former president belittled charges that Obama’s government is using “gangster tactics” to thwart the will of the people. “The president and members of Congress were freely elected,” Clinton pointed out. “Voters granted them the power to make the laws. So, whatever is done is perfectly legal. No gangster has such authority.”

FBI Director Robert Mueller echoed Clinton’s remarks in testimony before a Senate Committee. “Not since the Oklahoma City bombing has the danger from domestic terrorists been greater,” Mueller said in support of a request for an added $8.3 billion in funding for his agency. “There is a vast reservoir of popular support for right wing opponents of the Administration. Millions on the right openly flaunt their animosity to the President and his supporters in Congress.”

Mueller cited the widespread demonstrations of April 15 as proof that “the greater threat comes from the right. Many ordinary citizens stand ready to provide moral and material backing to those on the right who would depose the President. There is no comparable popular base for Islamic terrorists.”

CAIR Complaint Nets Censorship

Following a complaint from the South Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Miami-Dade Transit Authority removed ads sponsored by Stop the Islamization of America, a New York-based religious freedom group, from 10 of its buses. The ad text—“Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers!”—was deemed defamatory toward the Muslim religion.

A spokesman for the Transit Authority asking that his name not be published for what he called “personal safety reasons,” apologized profusely for “approving the ad without prior consultation with Muslim authorities. I allowed my personal prejudice in favor of free speech to cloud my judgment.”

The Transit Authority did reject demands that the employee who approved the ad be publicly flogged, “as it would reveal his identity and expose him to risk of retaliation. But we are open to sanctions that may be carried out in a more discreet manner.”

“Superpower” Debate Heats Up

President Barack Obama’s remark that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower”—sparked a retort from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin that “most Americans do like it.” Determined not let what he characterized as “an out-of-office rube from the Great White North” have the last word, Obama elaborated on his vision of what most Americans like.

“I shouldn’t have to point this out, but when voters had the chance to put Ms. Palin into the vice-presidency they declined to do so,” Obama observed. “Instead, they voted for me. As I see it, that says they agree with me more than they do with her.”

“You know, being a so-called superpower isn’t so great,” Obama added. “I mean, you can’t just vote ‘present’ and coast along with the group. Others make demands on you insisting that you stand for freedom and against tyranny. But who is to say that promoting freedom is the right thing to do? Strange as it may seem to people like Ms. Palin, not everyone shares her preferences. Other cultures may have other values that they prize more highly. Respecting these other values, even those that at first blush may seem tyrannical to Ms. Palin, is a key foundation for the way I aim to govern this country.” 

Florida Governor Vetoes Teacher “Pay-for-Performance” Bill

Florida Governor Charlie Crist (R) vetoed legislation that would’ve linked teacher retention and salaries to student performance. The bill passed by the Republican majority in the state’s legislature was aimed at weeding out ineffective teachers and rewarding those who excel at instruction.

According to Governor Crist, “this bill would disrupt the existing public school system by subjecting its employees to standards that have never before been expected. No one in the public sector is held to such a high criterion for keeping his or her job or advancing in the system. Imposing a performance requirement in the public schools is sure to raise the question of why we don’t take a similar approach in other departments under my administration. This would open the path to an uncertainty that voters wouldn’t tolerate.”

Potential Palin Presidential Bid Gets Boost from Comedian

The prospect for Sarah Palin becoming President Palin was dramatically increased last week when comedian George Lopez promised to lead all the illegal immigrants out of the country if voters put her in the Oval Office.

The promise came during an interview on the Larry King Show, with Lopez saying that “if la cabrona is elected President all we Latinos will go back to Mexico.” La cabrona is a Mexican slur that literally translated means “goat.” It is roughly equivalent to calling a woman a “bitch” in America.

Lopez’s remark has Obama advisor Rahm Emmanuel incensed. “This Lopez a**hole’s comment only helps the worst of the right wing extremists who oppose President Obama,” Emmanuel complained to several confidantes during their weekly skinny-dip in the White House pool. “The good thing is the morons who make up the majority of the voting population have short memories. It’s likely Lopez’s promise will be forgotten long before it can affect the outcome of the 2012 election.”

Gas Tax Bill Pushed

Legislation to impose an additional tax of 15 cents per gallon on gasoline is being championed by a tri-partisan trio of senators—Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) and John Kerry (D-Mass). Revenue from the tax would be earmarked to fund programs aimed at lowering industrial emissions and boosting wind and solar power installations by electric utilities.

Senator Lieberman boasted that “the timing is right for this action. The impact on working people will be minimized by virtue of the fact that so many of them are currently unemployed. When you don’t have to drive to work you don’t use as much gasoline. So, even with the tax hike the amount the nation is paying for gasoline in a given week will still be lower than when the economy was closer to full employment.”

Senator Kerry heralded the tax hike as “an extra incentive for people to use mass transit. We’ve been urging drivers to park there cars and take a bus or train to work. Putting a higher tax on gasoline will give this argument more teeth. If we make driving less affordable riding transit will be more attractive.”

Senator Graham emphasized his pleasure for “the opportunity to work across the aisle with my good friends in the Democratic Party. Getting behind a tax increase is the easiest way to forge a cooperative effort. It’s a simple idea that I’m sure will find a well of support from my Democratic colleagues.”

The bill is also supported by several oil companies, including Shell, British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips.

Poll Results Dismissed

Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed recent polls showing substantial majorities feel they are over taxed. Particularly galling was a Rasmussen survey indicating that 66 percent of respondents said they were over taxed while only 25% disagreed. The other 9 percent were unsure.

“Look, these figures are unbelievable,” Gibbs argued. “Statistics show that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all. Maybe the 53 percent of those who do could argue that they are comparatively over taxed, but not 66 percent.”

“Besides, these polls don’t account for the offsetting benefits that are provided in exchange for the taxes we pay,” Gibbs continued. “The government is employing people, disbursing welfare checks, putting a roof over peoples’ heads—these benefits are quickly forgotten by those who criticize our tax rates.”

“It’s a simple matter of equity,” Gibbs concluded. “Taxes take money from those who can afford to pay and spends it on what society needs. This is fairer than letting those who have money squander it on themselves.”

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Democrat Insists New Healthcare Law Doesn’t Force People to Buy Insurance

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

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) insists that the recently enacted Obamacare law “does not require anyone to purchase health insurance. Republicans who say the law forces people to buy insurance are lying for political gain.”

“The law gives people several options,” Schultz pointed out. “First, and of course, most recommended, is that they may buy insurance coverage. A second option is that they may pay a fine. And the third option is that they may go to prison. So, those who maintain that we have eliminated choice are just plain wrong.”

Romneycare Preview of Obamacare?

A possible preview of what is to come from Obamacare was observed in Massachusetts this past week. The state’s mandatory health insurance law (dubbed Romneycare, in honor of the former governor who championed it, by many) ran into a snag when insurers halted writing new policies. The refusal to write new policies followed the state government’s rejection of proposed rate increases.

Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy denounced the industry’s response saying that “they are putting profits ahead of the public interest. The state government has declared that everyone must be insured. It is the duty of every company, every individual to comply regardless of cost.”

Murphy brushed aside fears of bankrupting insurers. “Most of these insurers are in the ‘too-big-to-fail’ category,” he said. “The government can be counted on to step in and bail them out. As for others, maybe they shouldn’t be in a business they can’t handle.”

Brian Rosman, research director at Health Care for All, seconded Murphy’s perspective declaring that “the universal availability of insurance is the fundamental principle of health care reform in Massachusetts. The law does not permit anyone to place profit or personal preference ahead of this principle. The state has decreed that all must have health insurance. Financial infeasibility is not recognized as an excuse for not complying with this mandate. All must obey no matter what the cost.”

Veronica Turner, vice president of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers East characterized the insurers’ action as “an illegal strike against the public interest. They are arrogating to themselves a privilege that state law reserves for unions.”

Greenspan Says Congress to Blame for Financial Meltdown

Former Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Alan Greenspan rebuffed contentions that the Federal Reserve was to blame for the nation’s current financial problems. In testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in Congress, Greenspan bluntly asserted that “moronic policies put in place by congress guaranteed there’d be financial disaster somewhere down the road.”

While admitting that the Fed may have erred in trying to offset the blunders of others, Greenspan honed-in on the actions of Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Ct.) and Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass) for “tipping the country into a toboggan ride down the slope of fiscal insolvency. Policies that extended housing loans to borrowers who plainly could not repay them created the ‘toxic assets’ that bankrupted so many banks. It was stupidity compounded by corruption. Sadly, there is no sign that we’ve learned anything in the process.”

It is estimated that the government’s subsidized loan guarantee firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are responsible for over $5 trillion in debts that will not be repaid by borrowers.

Consequently, Chairman of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Paul Volker, recommended the U.S. adopt European-style value-added taxes. “The recipients of these loans can’t repay them, they don’t have the money,” Volker observed. “So, we’ve got to get it out of people who do have money. People who can afford to buy stuff obviously have money. Making them pay these debts is our only option.”

IRS Announces Plan to Target and Eliminate “High Wealth Individuals”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it has launched a new global program to target and eliminate what it calls “high wealth individuals.”

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said “the plan is a key objective in the Administration’s battle against the enemies of equality. For too long we’ve looked the other way while a money-grubbing minority has taken more that a fair share of the nation’s wealth. Now we say ‘no more.’”

Under the IRS plan, “a ‘game-changing,’ robust enforcement program will ferret out wealth wherever people may try to hide it and reclaim it for redistribution by the federal government,” Shulman bragged. “We will not be deterred by the fallacious notion that this wealth has somehow been ‘earned’ by its recipients. The allocation of the Earth’s bounty should be and must be a social decision founded on need rather than left to the anarchy of individualistic greed.”

Shulman said that “tax agencies around the world, including those in Japan, Germany, the UK, Canada and Australia, have agreed to cooperate with our effort.”

Duke Unveils New Sexual Misconduct Code

Duke, the university that pioneered the concept that status outweighs evidence in the 2006 case against the school’s lacrosse team, is at it again with a new campus policy declaring that “in cases where there are perceived power differentials, a student may be deemed guilty of sexual misconduct even when evidence of so-called voluntary consent is present.”

Women’s Center Director Ada Gregory hailed the new policy. “Men must not be allowed to use their superior intellect, achievement, or looks to seduce women into having sex with them,” Gregory said. “This is predatory behavior akin to forcible rape. It needs to be treated as the same offense.”

Gregory pooh-poohed the use of “mutual consent” as a potential defense against a charge of rape. “How is a coed assenting to sex with a member of the football team any different from a woman yielding to a man who threatens her with violence?” Gregory asked. “She knows that the football player can easily overpower her. She knows she is powerless to enforce an answer of ‘no.’ Acquiescence under this type of duress cannot be permitted to exonerate the accused.”

Homely, powerless males shouldn’t take comfort in the new rules either. Their very “unattractiveness may be deemed to create a presumption that any sexual activity they engage in must have been achieved via coercion or deception.” It appears that at Duke, the only safe sex under the new rules would be masturbation.

Gun Registration Law Pushed

California Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-West Hollywood) is proposing a new law requiring all the state’s residents to register their shotguns and rifles. Those who don’t would face possible prison sentences.

“In this time of rising public opposition to government like we’ve seen with these so-called ‘Tea Parties,’ it is important that authorities know where all the weapons are,” Feuer said. “That way, in case of emergency they can all be seized before things get too far out of hand. As I see it, no one should have the means to resist the duly authorized arms of the government.”

While several states (New York, Maryland, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts) have mandatory registration of hand guns, under the premise that such registration will help law enforcement prevent gun-related crimes, none, thus far, require registration of rifles or shotguns. 

A hearing on Fueur’s bill is scheduled before the California State Assembly’s Committee on Public Safety for April 13 in Sacramento.

Reid Confident of Reelection

Despite unfavorable polls and a disconcertingly small turnout at a recent campaign rally (100 showed up vs. an estimated 10,000 at an anti-Reid rally the same week), Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) expressed confidence that he would be reelected come November.

“Those opposing me can offer only vague concepts like liberty, freedom and the Constitution,” Reid boasted. “The average voter has no idea what they’re talking about. I, on the other hand, have a solid record of leadership and service. I have been instrumental in passing the President’s economic stimulus package that has helped put money into the hands of crucial businesses and helped shift the burden of debt from those who can’t pay to those who can.”

“I also stood strong in the successful fight to give everyone free healthcare,” Reid added. “No greater benefit has been granted to the American people by its government. Surely, this must weigh more heavily in voters’ minds than some ethereal vapors like liberty and freedom. I mean, liberty and freedom don’t pay the bills. And that, I think, will be what voters remember when they’re in the voting booth.”

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Tax Freedom Day arrives in Arizona

By Dr. Byron Schlomach, Goldwater Institute
April 8, 2010

PHOENIX — Tax Freedom Day for Arizona this year was Easter Sunday. According to the Tax Foundation, that’s the day by which Arizonans have earned enough money to pay their total 2010 tax burden. After 94 days or 26 percent of the year has passed, the average Arizonan finally gets to work for himself! Well, sort of.

If the statewide sales tax referendum passes on May 18, Arizonans will have to work almost another day just to pay their taxes for this year, and an additional 1½ days in 2011. With an 18 percent tax increase this year, we would rank with Florida, Montana and Texas in working 95 days to pay our taxes.

Nationwide, Tax Freedom Day will be this Friday, a date nearly two weeks earlier than in 2006 and 2007. But the change isn’t because of lower taxes and less government. It’s largely because incomes are down and deficit spending is way up. Under our progressive income tax system, when incomes fall, tax collections fall disproportionately.

Even though the recession has reduced what government brings in through taxes, government spending has hardly fallen at all (especially considering federal spending). The government has kept spending steady though deficit spending. If we actually paid enough in taxes to support all government spending, Tax Freedom Day would occur in the middle of May, the second latest date ever.

On top of current deficit spending, we also have unfunded commitments for social programs at the federal level that will cost more than three times our current gross domestic product. Add in unfunded government worker benefits and state and local debts, and our future tax burden almost looks insurmountable. The arguments for spending restraint being written into the law just keep adding up.

So, congratulations. As of Monday, you are now working for yourself. At least until May 18.

President Dismisses Unfavorable Polls on Healthcare Law

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

Polls continue to show that a majority of Americans dislike the recently enacted healthcare reform. A CBS poll taken last week showed 53% of voters disapproving the law compared to 39 percent approving it. This represents a deterioration from a CBS pre-enactment poll showing 48 percent opposed and 37 percent in favor just prior to passage.

President Obama remained unfazed by the results and boasted that “voters will think differently after they hear from me in the upcoming weeks. I haven’t been called the best campaigner since FDR without good reason. A barrage of my eloquence will leave them begging for even more reform than I’ve already given them.”

It may be a hard sell for the President. Younger voters, a bloc that went for Obama by a two-to-one ratio in the November 2008 balloting are targeted as a cash source by the healthcare legislation. Estimates are that insurance rates for this demographic segment will rise 17% faster than inflation over the next few years.

Vice-President Joe Biden defended the impact on younger Americans as “simple fairness. They’re more physically fit and have longer to live than their elders. These very real advantages are certainly worth more than money. Paying more money so that those in worse condition can be adequately cared for is a minor sacrifice compared to suffering the frailties we older folks have to put up with.”

Democrats Decry Corporate Revelations on Obamacare

The wave of corporate announcements of the special multimillion dollar charges to their income statements that will be necessary to account for the costs of the newly enacted healthcare legislation has sparked anger among Democrat leaders.

Obama Administration Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke called the announcements “unpatriotic.” “Although these kinds of adjustments to company earnings may be required under Securities and Exchange regulations, there’s no need for them to be so public about it,” Locke complained. “If people start to think that the new law is more of a burden than a benefit they may turn against the President. So, my question is couldn’t these companies have just suffered in silence for the sake of the country?”

“Suffer in silence is precisely what they should’ve done,” according to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif). “Now they’re going to answer to me in Committee hearings. And I warn you, it won’t be pretty.”

US Bureau of Prisons Sued

The government agency that oversees federal prisons has been sued by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) for isolating Muslim inmates from the rest of the incarcerated felons.

Rachel Meeropol, a staff attorney for CCR asserted that “isolating these men is discriminatory and violates their right to the free practice of their religion.”

Meeropol rejected the argument that these Muslim inmates’ potential for violence against other inmates justifies separating them from potential victims. “These men are commanded by their faith to proselytize amongst the nonbelievers,” Meeropol said. “To deny them this opportunity interferes with the practice of their religion. Confronting nonbelievers and persuading them to accept Islam is a practice that is fundamental to being a good Muslim. Blocking this on the grounds that the Quran sanctions killing those who refuse Islam imposes Western standards on those who expressly reject them.”

“Freedom of religion must not be trampled by squeamish authorities who fail to comprehend cultures of which they remain ignorant,” Meeropol added.

No Wrongdoing in Climategate Scandal Says Committee

A House of Commons investigation into the bogus climate data put out by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) found the practices “well within the norms for university-based research.”

“Cooking the numbers in order to ensure continued grant funding is a common technique in the world of academia,” the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee report said. “To single out Professor Jones and his fellow climate researchers would impose a higher standard on them than is applied to others in the academic community.”

The report said “demands that government-funded scientists be immune to the temptations of greed and personal interest is naïve. In movies scientists may save the world. In reality, though, their looking out for ‘number one’ is what we should anticipate.”

UK Cracking Down on Fish Sales

A sting operation in the United Kingdom has netted a $1500 fine on Joan Higgins, 66, owner of Majors Pet Shop in Sale, England. Ms. Higgins has also been fitted with an ankle monitor so police may keep track of her movements during a seven-week curfew that was also imposed as a penalty. Ms. Higgins’ crime was to sell a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy sent into the store by police as part of an entrapment ploy.

“I realize that the average person might not see the importance of this case,” admitted Molly Caudel, Undersecretary of the Department for Children, Schools and Families. “But selling a fish to a person less than 16-years old is illegal. And we cannot allow the law to be flouted.”

Caudel defended the law as “a public health and safety matter. Young people have been buying and swallowing these kinds of fish. Choking and fish-borne disease are distinct possibilities we must be on guard against.”

Currently, there is no law to prevent those older than 16 purchasing goldfish and supplying them to under 16-year-olds. However, Caudel says her Department is “working with police to discourage this sort of subterfuge. We must not shy away from taking whatever effort is necessary to prevent under-aged children from being exposed to this unnecessary risk.”

Obamacare Will Save Money

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says that the recently enacted healthcare legislation will end up saving the US government money in the long run.

“Right now, a huge proportion of the nation’s health spending goes to prolonging the lives of the terminally ill,” Krugman pointed out. “By instituting a government review of both patients and treatments this waste of resources can be eliminated.”

“Characterizing this review as a ‘death panel,’ as critics like Sarah Palin have done, is overly melodramatic.” Krugman said. “Denying futile treatment isn’t the same as putting someone to death. I mean, everyone dies. It’s merely a question of when. Logically, there’s no sense expending the nation’s scarce resources trying to avert an event that is ultimately inevitable.”

TSA to Drop Extra Scrutiny of Travelers from Muslim Nations

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will discontinue extra airport screening on all travelers from “terror-prone” Muslim nations due to protests from offended allies such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. The extra screening had been put in place following the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a flight to Detroit by a passenger flying out of Nigeria.

“Look nothing we are doing is all that effective anyway,” said TSA’s Acting Administrator, Gale Rossides. “I mean, the extra scrutiny we’re using now wouldn’t have stopped the Christmas Day bomber even if it had been in effect then. So, why insult our friends by continuing a useless procedure?”

Rossides contended that “the main accomplishment of the TSA measures thus far has been to help overcome Americans’ fear of flying by making it seem that safeguards are in place—thereby avoiding a devastating decline in air travel. Confiscating nail clippers and shampoo gives everyone the idea that they’re sacrificing convenience to help keep the country safe. It’s a small price to pay for cultivating an appearance of security.”

Florida May Tax Bottled Water

In a desperate grab for more revenue, Florida legislators are considering a special excise tax on bottled water.

“Nobody really needs to drink bottled water,” argued tax advocate, Senator Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach). “Municipal water systems provide all the water people need.”

Bipartisan support came from Senator Charlie Justice (D-St. Petersburg) who characterized bottled water as “a rich man’s drink. If a person can afford to buy bottled water then he can afford to pay a tax on it.”

A secondary consideration expressed by a senator who declined to speak for the record is that “the government’s ability to efficiently deliver fluoridation is undermined when people drink bottled water. We need to deter this practice for the sake of our dental health alone.”

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