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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