By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The Los Angeles City Council took action to prohibit new fast-food restaurants from opening within half a mile of existing restaurants. The move was sponsored by Council member Jan Perry who asserted that “we must do something to combat malnutrition and obesity among the lower classes.”
Perry’s focus was on South LA, which currently has the city’s highest concentration of fast-food establishments. Fast-food accounts for 72% of the restaurants in this quadrant of the city.
“The fast-food industry is unfairly targeting our least educated and most vulnerable citizens,” Perry declared. “This type of exploitation and profiteering must stop.”
Perry dismissed arguments that the restaurants were simply responding to consumer demand. “Just because a child demands candy doesn’t mean a mother has to give it to him,” Perry said. “Likewise, just because people may be too ignorant to choose a balanced diet of healthful foods doesn’t mean we should let them eat junk.”
The role of fast-food restaurants in providing employment in a city with a 12% unemployment rate was also disparaged. “Those are dead-end jobs anyway,” Perry argued. “People should aim higher. Why not try to be a doctor or lawyer—something that pays a living wage?”
The Councilwoman acknowledged that the measure “is a compromise. Granted, too many fast-food restaurants will be allowed to remain open. Ideally, they all ought to be closed. But we have to take it one step at a time.”
President’s Absence at Debt Commission Meeting Downplayed
Concerns that President Obama ought to have “at least dropped by” at a White House meeting of the special debt commission he appointed were brushed aside by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
“Look, voters are worried about the government’s budget deficit and the mounting debt burden,” Gibbs admitted. “So the President appointed a commission to try to bolster confidence that we’re going to do something about it. But let’s face it, there’s no way we can really repay this debt. Everyone from Treasury Secretary Geithner to Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke knows this. The meetings are just ‘political theater.’ There’s no good reason why the President should be compelled to spend his precious time at them.”
In related news, Fed Chairman Bernanke rebuffed contentions that the Federal Reserve Bank is “printing money.” “It’s the Bureau of Engraving and Printing that prints money, not us,” Bernanke pointed out. “We merely create banking deposits to pay for the bonds we’re buying. We need no ink and no paper. We aren’t plagued by mechanical problems of any sort. Our operation is cost free and there’s no limit to what we can do. That’s why everyone should be confident that the government will never really run short of money.”
Homeland Security Announces “Trusted Traveler” Program for Mexicans
US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Nipplitaliano announced a “trusted traveler” program to “help speed Mexican air travelers through airport security.” Under the program, Mexicans that are certified by their government as trustworthy will be allowed to bypass x-ray screening and pat downs on flights destined for the United States.
“This will save Mexican travelers untold hours of time and the humiliation and inconvenience of routine air port security checks,” Nipplitaliano boasted. “At the same time, by handing off the security clearance to the Mexican government we spare the expense of screening them on the TSA’s dime. It’s a win-win situation.”
Mexico’s Interior Minister Francisco Blake was reportedly “ecstatic” with the new arrangement. “Previously, Mexicans seeking to enter the United States were impeded by fences and border guards,” Blake recounted. “Even when they got through, the cost and tedium of further travel led to the majority of them being concentrated in the border states. Now they will be able to fly directly to any US city with air service to Mexico.” Blake said that over 80 million Mexicans are expected to be cleared for departure within the next few months.
Not wanting to waste what she termed “valuable momentum,” Nipplitaliano signed a “letter of intent” committing her agency to “protect Mexican immigrants once they’ve crossed into the United States.”
Democrat Makes Case for 100% Death Tax
Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) defended the confiscatory taxation of estates arguing that “dead people have no more need for money. Look, everybody knows ‘you can’t take it with you’ when you die. So it’s a question of who gets your money when you do.”
Weiner contended that the deceased’s heirs don’t deserve it. “They didn’t earn it,” Weiner said. “They have no rightful claim. The fact that the person who died wanted them to have it is irrelevant. A dead person’s wishes have no moral or legal authority in the disposition of assets he no longer needs.”
“Rather than allow an unelected private person to determine how these assets will be used after his death,” Weiner continued, “it seems more just that the people’s elected representatives take control to ensure a more equitable distribution. There are many socially warranted programs that are under-funded. These have got to take precedence over the selfish desires of heirs to continue the family business.”
Pundit Denounces Tax Compromise
MSNBC’s Keith Olberman came out against the President’s compromise tax package calling it “fundamentally wrong and misguided.”
“What are the rich going to do with the taxes they don’t have to pay?” Olberman asked. “They’re not going to spend it. They’ve already got more than they can spend. They’re probably going to put it into stocks and bonds. This doesn’t help the economy at all.”
“It’s unemployment compensation that really drives the economy,” Olberman contended. “Virtually every dollar we pump into unemployment benefits is spent—generating income for vendors of goods and services throughout the economy. We need to get more people on unemployment for longer periods if we want to get out of this recession. So here’s my pitch: make the benefits permanent and make people who quit their jobs eligible. As more people receive and spend unemployment benefits the stimulation of the economy will be profound.”
Media Mogul Urges Stringent Birth Control
Media billionaire Ted Turner urged world leaders to impose a sort of “cap-and-trade” system for live births in order to reduce the global population. Under the Turner plan, each person would be entitled to participate in procreating one child. This right could be sold or used.
“There are just too damn many people,” Turner complained. “Everywhere I go there are crowds of people. A person can’t get any solitude or privacy anymore. We can’t go on like this. We’ve got to put a lid on this thing before it’s too late.”
Turner argued that making the procreative right transferable “would help overcome the reproductive imbalance we see around the globe. Prosperous and intelligent people are having too few children. On the other hand, the stupid and impoverished masses are breeding like rabbits. If we clamp down, yet give them the option of selling their birth rights they can trade their poverty for prosperity by selling to someone who can afford to pay for it.”
“A vigorously enforced plan could halve the population in each succeeding generation,” Turner observed. “In only ten generations we could get the world population down to a more manageable 6 million total. And most of those, I’m betting, would be the offspring of superior stock.”
Turner has five children—a feat he considers “in line with my proposal, inasmuch as I would’ve been willing and able to pay for the privilege if my plan had been in effect.”
Sharpton Demands Government Crackdown on Right-Wing Critics
One-time Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton demanded that the federal government pull “illegitimate commentators off the air.” The Reverend was especially incensed by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
“The air waves belong to the government,” Sharpton maintained. “The government has the right to decide who may use them. Those who misuse them like Rush Limbaugh does ought to be shut down.”
“Free speech is not the issue,” Sharpton argued. “Just because we say there’s free speech doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want. There’s got to be limits. When a person like Limbaugh persistently criticizes the President without just cause, that’s racism, and the FCC has the authority to take him off the air.”
To help facilitate the FCC’s regulatory process Sharpton offered to vet all talk show hosts “in order to prevent racism and ensure that those biased against the President aren’t permitted to abuse the public airways with their message of hate and intolerance.”