By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The new Republican majority’s insistence on an oral reading of the US Constitution in the House of Representatives was assailed by outspoken Democrats as “a colossal waste of our precious time.”
“Get real,” demanded Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). “We don’t even have the time to read the bills we pass much less this ancient screed that no one takes serious anymore. Our job is to give the American people the government they need. We shouldn’t be limited by the quaint notions of men who died 200 years ago.”
Leftist loon of the TV show “The View,” Joy Behar wondered if “this reverence for an archaic scrap of paper is getting out of hand. The real agenda of these tea party Republicans is to use this document to handcuff Congress. Instead of just letting Congress and the President do what’s needed for this country, they want to restrict them to what is authorized in some hoary old piece of writing.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) averred “they may have time for such nonsense in the House, but we have the votes to prevent such shenanigans in the Senate. Any Senator who thinks the Constitution is worth reading is free to do it on his own time.”
Secretary Defends Failure to Develop Behavior Detection Program
US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano defended her agency’s refusal to develop a “behavior detection” security screening procedure. A behavioral detection approach is used by the Israelis. Development of a similar approach for the US was authorized by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act passed by Congress following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
“Look, Israel and America are different cultures,” she pointed out. “The Israeli’s query-based approach is a massive invasion of privacy. Travelers are asked if they are terrorists. They are asked if they have hostile intentions. They are pressed on matters that they may not wish to discuss.”
Napolitano also raised the issue of discriminatory treatment of travelers. “Sorting people out based on the answers they give to questions will result in different treatment for different travelers,” the Secretary observed. “This is inherently discriminatory. In Israel, those whose answers are deemed unsatisfactory are shunted into a different path for more intense scrutiny. We feel it’s important that everyone be treated the same.”
“Then there is the practical issue of how to get the questioning accomplished,” she continued. “The Israelis have well-trained experts sorting out potential terrorists from the rest of the travelers. At the salaries we pay we can’t get the quality of personnel we’d need, nor could we afford to train them even if we wanted to use this type of method. Scans and pat-downs are the best we can do give our values and our budget.”
Representative John Mica (R-Fla), sponsor of the original Aviation and Transportation Security Act is urging 100 of the nation’s busiest airports to use the law’s “opt out” clause to privatize their airport’s security. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned an airport security system as inept and unfocused as what we’ve seen under the current Administration,” Mica said. “Maybe if enough airports opt to privatize this function we can get a more sensible approach for making travel safer.”
In related news, Napolitano disclosed that she has authorized the transfer of 25 border security personnel to Afghanistan. “We’re going to build on the success of our Mexican border operation by using what we’ve learned here over there,” she said. Napolitano admitted that “getting border crossers to use the check points manned by these 25 agents will be a problem,” but insisted that “if we are assiduous in getting the word out I see no reason why we can’t duplicate what we’ve achieved here.”
Democrat Announces Push to Restore Pelosi as Speaker
Confident that “voters will correct their error once they realize what they’ve done,” a House Democrat is busy laying out a plan to restore Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) to her position as Speaker following the 2012 national election.
“As the first woman to ascend to the position, Representative Pelosi achieved an historic accomplishment,” Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) boasted. “By throwing so many other Democrats out of office last November voters inadvertently and foolishly sacrificed this accomplishment in a vain effort to scuttle the President’s program. Once they realize the futility of this effort we are confident that they will atone for their mistake by returning a Democratic majority in the next election.”
Israel said he expects the House’s new Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be “our main ally in our pursuit of this goal. Every time voters see this sad sack mumbling about tax cuts or deficit reduction, or idiotically weeping over some trivial matter they’ll be reminded of what could’ve been if Democrats had held control of the House. A tidal wave of remorse and regret will bring them back home to the Democratic Party.”
Obama Press Secretary Ousted
In a shake-up President Obama is calling “routine maintenance,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has found himself out of a job.
In-coming Chief of Staff William Daley (member of Chicago’s longtime ruling family) characterized the move as “a necessary house cleaning. When you’ve got great products like President Obama and his program it’s clear that the problem has been in the marketing. As the President’s main marketer to the media, Gibbs has to bear the brunt of the blame for the President’s surprisingly poor approval ratings with the American people.”
Gibbs’ bid to stay on in a lesser capacity was also nixed by Daley. “You don’t get rid of the stink by putting the garbage in a closet or in the basement,” Daley insisted. “You’ve got to haul it away for proper disposal.”
Daley denied that Gibbs was being treated too harshly. “Gibbs forfeited his chance to exit honorably,” Daley said. “We left a pistol on his desk, but he didn’t take the hint. He has only himself to blame for whatever may happen to him from hereon.”
Dems Vow to Defend Health Care Law
With the GOP House majority promising to vote to repeal the health care law passed last year, leading Democrats have manned the battlements.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) said “any repeal of the Affordable Care Act that gets out of the House will be killed by the Democratic majority before it sees the light of day in the Senate. And even if it isn’t, for some reason, President Obama will veto it. In fact, we’ll shut down the government if that’s what it takes to protect this essential reform of the nation’s health care system.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) warned that “repealing this law will make the deficit skyrocket. Without the funding for abortions authorized by this law, the government will be saddled with ballooning welfare payments to unwed mothers on one end. On the other end, without the law’s end-of-life counseling many of our elderly will be left to linger with expensive to treat conditions for years—drawing down Medicare benefits and putting added pressure on the federal budget.”
Representative Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-Fla) contended that “Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would force Americans to have to chart their own path on health care. They’d be burdened with selecting whether or not to buy coverage, what it would cover and what they’d have to pay. They would lose the freedom of having their health care choices made for them by those with more expertise.”
The Democrats’ advertisement that enacting the law would lead to lower insurance premiums has already been contradicted by reality. With the added leverage of a legal mandate compelling people to purchase their product, firms in the business of selling health insurance have wasted little time in attempting to jack up prices. In California, for example, Blue Shield is seeking price hikes of up to 59% “to cover higher costs resulting from the new health care law.”
Court Upholds Dismissal of Inspector General
Gerald Walpin, the inspector general who was discharged by President Obama in spite of a law requiring an advance 30-day notice to Congress, lost his case for reinstatement. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that “the President’s need for persons in whom he can rely upon supercedes Mr. Walpin’s right to his job.” As for the law requiring advance notice, the Court held that “this law is so flaccid that even the President’s lame excuse that he ‘no longer had the fullest confidence’ in Mr. Walpin appears to meet the statutory mandate. If Congress is not satisfied with this excuse it is up to Congress to take action.”
Walpin ran afoul of the Obama Administration with his persistent investigation of the misuse of $800,000 in AmeriCorps grant money that was given to a program run by Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California, and a prominent backer of the President’s campaign for office. Johnson reputedly offered to pay back some of the money in exchange for the investigation being dropped. Walpin’s unwillingness to accept this deal was followed by his firing.