By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Nipplitaliano defended her Transportation Security Administration’s new invasive searches of would be air travelers as “necessary and proper” while also acknowledging that the procedures appear to violate the Constitutional prohibition against “unreasonable searches.”
“In a perfect world everyone’s rights can be respected,” she said. “But sometimes we have to put aside strict adherence to the Constitution if a more important purpose is to be served.”
Presumably, the more important purpose is public safety. However, scientists have raised questions as to whether safety would be enhanced by submitting travelers to repeated x-ray scans. Arizona State University Professor Peter Rez estimated that the probability of dying from radiation from a body scanner is about equal to that of being killed in a terror attack: one in 30 million. And that’s if the scanners work as advertised. Rez’s study revealed that radiation doses are often higher than the manufacturer claims.
Professor John Sedat, a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) professor of biochemistry and biophysics, called the machines “mutagenic” and allowed that “there is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations.”
Nipplitaliano declared these risks “within acceptable parameters. Anyone who gets cancer from the scans will die years, maybe decades, from now. Besides, people who’re concerned about radiation can opt for a ‘pat down.’” These pat downs include manual probing of the passenger’s genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh and buttocks. Persons who leave the airport rather than submit to either the scanner or the pat down search—as John “don’t touch my junk” Tyner did—may be fined up to $11,000.
Cynics suggest that the real “more important purpose” may be the purchase of the scanners themselves. The Government has reportedly committed to investing $800 million in the devices, which, as it turns out, are manufactured by a company called Rapiscan, whose CEO, Deepak Chopra, made the maximum legally allowable donation to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Ironically, Nipplitaliano is said to be weighing the possibility of exempting Muslim women from the enhanced search protocol. “Having their bodies seen or touched by unbelievers is a grievous transgression in their religion,” Nipplitaliano observed. “Forcing them to comply might essentially be barring them from flying. That would be unfair discrimination.”
In related news, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is said to be pushing the idea of using archived scan images as a possible revenue generator. “A lot of people pay a lot of money to view naked pictures over the Internet,” Geithner observed. “We’ll have a steady supply to feed into this market. Or we could agree to withhold certain images from the market in exchange for a fee. Either way, it would be money we could get without having to go to Congress for an appropriation.”
GM Stock Sale Shows Obamanomics Working
President Barack Obama lauded the General Motors stock sale as “proof of the success of my policies.” The sale included half of the shares held by the federal government and netted the US Treasury over $11 billion dollars.
While the goal of getting the Government out of GM is worthy, it is difficult to see how it can be described as a success. The federal government put $50 billion into the company and just sold half its interest for $11 billion. This represents almost a 60% loss of its equity position.
The President discounted the relevance of such financial calculations, though. “From a pure financial perspective this looks like a bad investment,” Obama agreed. “Compared to other transportation investments the Government has made, though, it looks pretty good. Rail transit typically loses about 90% of the taxpayer money we put into it. And high-speed rail is on track for even worse outcomes. But this doesn’t matter. What does matter is that all the money we spent became someone’s income. So nothing was really lost.”
In related news, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) reported the $800 billion “stimulus package” to be a “great success” in that it “created or saved 3.5 million jobs.” For those doing the math, if, in fact, this spending did save 3.5 million jobs this amounts to a cost of over $200,000 per job—four times the estimated average wage for working Americans. The missing $150,000 per job was attributed to “administrative expense, regulatory oversight, and the spillage that is unavoidable in government projects of this magnitude.”
Emanuel Dismisses Possible Residency Challenge
President Obama’s former Chief-of-Staff, Rahm Emanuel dismissed the possibility that he would be found ineligible to run for the Chicago mayor’s job because he hasn’t met the residency requirement.
The residency requirement does allow an exception for active-duty members of the US military. Emanuel contends that he qualifies under this exception. “I have served directly under the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces for the last two years,” Emanuel pointed out. “During that time we have been continuously at war. So, even though I haven’t worn a uniform or carried a weapon I’ve been just as much in the line of fire as the President himself.”
Emanuel stated that he has a letter signed by the President that names him an “aide-de-camp” and that he will present this letter if it becomes necessary to prove his active-duty military credentials.
Press Briefings to Be Scaled Back
The White House announced that the frequency of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ on-camera media briefings is being scaled back. “He was getting more ‘face time’ with the media than the President,” said David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to President Obama. “No one should be getting more face time than the President.”
There is also some speculation that the Administration will be deemphasizing communications in the context of the intent to govern by Executive Order. “It’s not as if the President is under any obligation to answer questions either personally or through his Press Secretary,” said John Podesta, former Chief of Staff for President Clinton. “As Commander-in-Chief, the President has all the authority he needs to rule this country with or without the concurrence of Congress or anybody else. Cap-and Trade, Card-Check, Single-Payer Health Care—all can be implemented by the stroke of a pen. If he needs to deploy troops to enforce his will he has the power to do so. He just has to maintain the strength to act and not let himself be bothered by the caviling of his enemies.”
Carville Issues Correction on “Balls” Statement
Amidst charges that he is an “uncouth bastard,” Democratic political guru James Carville sought to clarify his earlier remarks. “I know I said that if Hillary gave one of her balls to Obama he’d have two,” Carville admitted. “But I confess that I can’t fully back that up. The part about Hillary is true enough. I’ve seen ‘em. But I can’t vouch for President Obama. The transplant I envisioned might only give him the one ball he gets from Hillary.”
President Hampered by Unconstrained Brilliance
President Obama’s low approval status among American voters is being attributed to his “unconstrained brilliance” and “incomparable talent” by a pair of leading Democrats.
White House senior adviser and longtime Obama friend Valerie Jarrett contends that “his extraordinary talent is so far above that of the average person that there is a disconnect that fosters envy and jealousy. People are refusing to respond positively to his genius out of spite. They are crucifying him just like they crucified Jesus.”
Vice-President Joe Biden argued that “the President is brilliant beyond our comprehension. He makes the rest of us look like morons. It is we who have let him down. The failure of his policies is not due to any fault of his. We are just too stupid to get with the program and do our part to make him succeed.”
Biden theorized that Obama’s brilliance was the result of “having a Caucasian mother, being raised in a Caucasian neighborhood by Caucasian grandparents. This gives him the unique blend of a Black man’s strength and virility combined with the intellectual stimulation of a White upbringing. If both his parents had been Black and he’d grown up in the ghetto he’d probably have been a high school drop out and street thug with a prison record and a short life expectancy.”
The Vice-President did claim to have one advantage over the President. “My dog is smarter than his dog,” Biden boasted. “Hell, my dog is smarter than me. Maybe he should be the vice-president.”
Senator Wants Fox News Shut Down
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) urged the Federal Communications Commission to consider putting Fox News out of business. “We could do our work of governing this nation much more effectively without persistent questioning and criticism from the anti-government crowd,” Rockefeller contended. “Media outlets like Fox are undermining the American people’s faith in their leaders. They aggravate problems by casting doubt on our intentions, our motives, and the feasibility of our actions. A big contributor to the success of any undertaking is the belief that it will work. Media that weaken this belief aren’t helping us. The nation doesn’t need them.”