By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The Republican Party’s effort to clarify its stand prior to November’s election by issuing what it calls its “Pledge to America” was met by universal scorn from the Democratic Party and its allies.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer called the Pledge’s plan to cut taxes and trim federal spending “wrong for America. If this economic crisis has taught us anything it’s that we need more government now than we ever have in this nation’s history.”
Pfeiffer characterized Republican contentions that individuals and businesses would do a better job with their money than the government would “ludicrous.” “The idea that government is wasteful while private individuals aren’t is exactly backwards,” he wrote. “Private individuals are repeatedly spending money on things they don’t really need—big houses, big cars, fancy gadgets, fatty foods, you name it. The President is trying to stem this private waste. Electing Republicans will undo the progress he’s made so far.”
Former President Bill Clinton labeled the Pledge “a hysterical rant against government” and “an attempt to capitalize on the failure of the president’s initiatives for political gain.” Clinton urged voters to forbear ousting Democrats from Congress this year in order to “give them more time to fix the mess they’ve made. If by 2012 voters are still dissatisfied they can vote the president out during the primaries.”
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) denounced the Pledge’s promise to cut government waste as “a dagger aimed straight at the heart of the public sector workforce. It’s the kind of thing you expect private sector firms to do to protect their profits. It is the task of government to rise above petty concerns for efficiency and solvency if that’s what it takes to ensure full employment.”
The LA Times editors opined that the “Pledge” is “the wrong medicine for what ails the economy. Promising to reduce ‘pork,’ ‘bailouts,’ and ‘special favors to corporate elites’ may sound good in theory, but these government payouts represent real income for real people. Letting ‘the Market’ determine who gets what overlooks the possibility that there may be no buyers for what these recipients of government payoffs might produce. As
Keynes so aptly pointed out, spending is the key to recovery. It is nonsensical to quibble about waste if the end result would be to cut spending. We hope Americans will see this truth before they vote.”
UK Royal Family Applies for Government Aid
Citing the rising cost of utilities, the British Royal Family has sought funds from a program designed to help poor households with their heating bills.
“The global recession hasn’t exempted the Queen and her kin from hardship,” said Reginald Smythe, spokesman for the Crown. “The million pounds a year it costs to heat and cool the Palace has put a real bite on the family’s budget. There’s even a fear that Prince Charles may have to sell his string of polo ponies just so his mother can make ends meet. Her Majesty felt such a turn of events would risk demoralizing the nation. To avoid this setback, the Queen thought it would be better to seek out this alternate source of money.”
Nation Not Ready for “Race-Neutral” Civil Rights Holder Says
The claim by prosecutor Christopher Coates that the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has injected racial bias into its enforcement efforts was brushed aside by Attorney General Eric Holder. The claim stems from the DOJ’s refusal to go ahead with a case of voter intimidation against the New Black Panther Party.
On Election Day in 2008 members of that Party were videotaped harassing white voters in Philadelphia. One of the harassers with a prior criminal record for assault, brandished a club.
Holder defended his Office’s refusal to prosecute saying that “the scales of justice have long been tilted in favor of whites persecuting blacks. Jim Crow laws and the Klan harassed more blacks in more places over more years than these Black Panthers did in just one year in only one city. We are sympathetic to the desire for payback.”
The Attorney General hastened to add that “African-Americans should not take this case as a ‘blank check.’ A little menacing is one thing. Even some bruises and bleeding might be acceptable. However, we draw the line at lynchings. We would likely have to press charges against anyone videotaped committing these crimes.”
Cuomo Picks up Endorsements
Disgraced former Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) announced he is throwing his support behind the current Democratic candidate for New York governor, Andrew Cuomo.
“He is the dirtiest, nastiest political player out there,” Spitzer said. “He knows what it takes to run this state and isn’t afraid to use whatever muscle it takes—leaning on people, cracking heads—to get the job done.”
Asked if he weren’t describing a Mafia don, Spitzer demurred, “it’s more like a caudillo or strongman. Sometimes we need a guy—a Fidel Castro type—who can rule with an iron fist and deal with big problems that defy normal governmental approaches.”
Cuomo also got the nod from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg
asserted that “what the state needs is an active government that will prevent the people from making bad choices in how they lead their lives. Cuomo has shown that he has the brass to take on that thankless job. He has my full support.”
Muslims Sue Jailers
Two Muslim inmates in the Pierce County Jail in Tacoma, Washington have filed suit alleging that their religious rights aren’t being respected. Inmates Raymond Wesley Garland and Larry Edward Tarrer are being assisted by the ACLU in pursuit of their case.
While the jail is providing halal compliant meals and is allowing time for the five daily prayers required of Muslims, the plaintiffs contend that this is insufficient. “We are still compelled to dine amongst unbelievers,” Garland complained. “This is forbidden by sharia law.”
“If we are in our cells when it is time for prayer there is no problem,” Garland continued. “We can perform our ritual washing and have easy access to our prayer rugs. But if we are somewhere else there may not be a convenient place to wash. And what about our prayer rugs? Are we supposed to carry them everywhere?”
On the dining issue, the plaintiffs are demanding that a separate dining area be set aside for Muslims. “It must be walled off from where the unbelievers eat,” Garland said. “We must not be forced to see or hear them while we dine amongst the faithful.”
On the prayer issue, they are demanding that “suitable washing sites be established at every location accessible to inmates and that these sites be stocked with appropriate prayer rugs sufficient for every incarcerated Muslim.”
“It’s not like they’re asking that crucifixes be placed on public property,” said ACLU spokesman Bertram Petty. “These are simple requests that must be honored under our Constitution’s freedom of religion clause.”
In related news, two construction workers are facing three year jail terms in Algeria for drinking water in daylight hours during Ramadan. “The arguments that they were hot and thirsty and that they are not Muslim is no defense,” said prosecutor Ahmed Fula. “This is a Muslim country and all must abide by its rules regardless of what faith they may profess.”
President Has to Rebuff Numerous Requests for Campaign Help
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Democrats aren’t running away from President Obama and his agenda. They are, in Representative Pelosi’s words, “clamoring for him to campaign with them.” The lack of joint appearances between Democratic congressional candidates and the president are due to “scheduling problems.”
“The President can’t be everywhere at the same time,” Pelosi explained. “So being nowhere at anytime may be the best option. That way he doesn’t show favoritism toward some while neglecting all the others.”
Man Burns Koran, Loses Job
Derek Fenton, 39, of Bloomingdale, New Jersey was videotaped burning a Koran at the 9/11 observance in New York City. He was subsequently fired from his NJ Transit job.
NJ Transit official, Alfred Tremor explained that the firing was “precautionary.” “Desecrating a Koran is a grievous offense to Muslims,” Tremor said. “Fanatics blow people up for that. We don’t want them to blow up one of our trains just to punish Mr. Fenton for his crime.” Tremor dismissed the possibility of a wrongful termination suit. “Burning flags may be protected free speech. Burning Korans isn’t. So, we’re not worried.”
Meanwhile, in the UK, two men were arrested for watching a video of Fenton burning a Koran. Northumbria Police declared this to be a “hate crime.” “The Koran is very sacred to Muslims,” said police chief, Charles Caitiff. “No one has the right to destroy it nor take pleasure in its destruction by someone else.”