By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Key Democrats came out against legislation (H.R. 3 and H.R. 358) sponsored by Representatives Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) that would block the use of federal money to pay for abortions and would protect health care providers who are morally opposed to abortion from being forced to provide it.
Speaking at a press conference to announce opposition to the legislation, Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) vowed her “implacable resistance to any attempt to place limits on abortion. Women must not be denied this fundamental right because of their inability to pay for it out of their own pocket.”
DeGette rejected the suggestion that pro-choice proponents establish a fund to cover the costs of those unable to pay, stating that “it is unfair to compel a portion of the population to bear the whole burden of our collective responsibility to assist the less fortunate. A person should not have to rely on charity to secure her rights.”
Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) also attacked the bills. “We are a pro-choice country,” he declared. “Women have a Constitutional right to abortion. Impeding this right in any way is a virtual a declaration of war against women. In this war I stand with women and against those who would subjugate them.”
Weiner adamantly assailed “the idea that health care providers should be permitted to insert their own moral values into the equation. If the law declares that medical practitioners must provide pregnancy termination services as a condition of licensing then no nonconforming scruples can be allowed to interfere.”
In related news, Weiner rejected the suggestion that due to a shortage of a drug used in executions the condemned be dispatched by having a scissors jammed into the back of their necks as “cruel and unusual” and, therefore, “unconstitutional.” While few would dispute that such a procedure is cruel, it is not that unusual. Thousands of unborn humans have been terminated by such means without the due process of a prior finding of guilt by a judge or jury.
University Study Finds Conservatives More Outrageous than Liberals
A study of political “vitriol” conducted by Tufts University Assistant Professor of Sociology Sarah Sobieraj and Professor of Political Science Jeffrey Berry found that political talk has become nastier over the years on both ends of the political spectrum. However, in the judgment of the researchers, those on the right have gone further over the line of civil discourse than those on the left.
“Using mainstream thinking as our baseline, it is clear that conservative commentators go beyond the accepted norms both more frequently and to a greater distance than liberal commentators,” Sobieraj said. “Take, for example, the assertion by many conservative commentators that President Obama is a socialist. None of the mainstream media have described him in such a way. Further, the president himself has denied he is a socialist.”
“In contrast, former President Bush never directly contradicted accusations that he is a Nazi,” Sobieraj observed. “And, truth be told, many of us in academia find this very telling. When you add in his approval of water board torture, the charge has an element of truth that must be seen as an offset to the inflammatory tone of the charge.”
Coming at the issue from a slightly different angle, Professor Berry emphasized the perspective of the victim of the nasty talk. “More flat out ‘outrage’ has been expressed by the targets of right wing hate talk,” Berry contended. “If we count the number of times people say they are outraged by a comment, the overwhelming majority of the time it will be a comment from the right side of the spectrum. So, if conservatives are outraging more people more often then it stands to reason their commentary is more outrageous.”
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Abuses Justified
Inconsistent handling of FOIA requests to Obama Administration agencies was robustly defended by Attorney General Eric Holder last week. It seems that requests from parties deemed friendly to the Administration are expedited while requests from parties deemed hostile are delayed.
Holder explained that “when it is apparent that a request may be made with the intent to embarrass the Administration we meet it with ‘all deliberate speed.’ We see no need to rush in order to supply ammunition to those who will use it to assail the President or his mission. They’ll get the information they are legally entitled to, but in a timeframe that will attenuate its use against us. On the other hand, requests from those who we know are trying to help promote the President’s cause will be met as quickly as possible so as not to dilute the favorable impact of these parties’ efforts.”
Those who think that all requests ought to be treated equally under the law are “naïve” according to Holder. “Control of the government is a political asset that should not be thrown away through misplaced notions of impartiality,” Holder argued. “Why should we give our opponents a fair shake if we don’t have to? A ‘level playing field’ is a myth and chivalry toward one’s enemies is for fools.”
Holder challenged those unhappy with his handling of this issue to “win the next election—if they can.”
Obama Administration Rebuffs Opposition by Court and Congress
The Obama Administration is standing its ground in enforcing what it terms “the people’s mandate” despite opposition from two other branches of government.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius brushed aside Federal Judge Roger Vinson’s decision that the President’s health care law is unconstitutional. “The nation’s health is too important an objective to be turned aside by the opinion of a single judge,” Sebelius asserted. “Voters elected the President who proposed this law and the Congress that enacted it. This mandate takes precedence over the views of the unelected branch of our government. So, until we hear otherwise from the voters we will continue with the steps needed to implement this law.”
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson similarly rebuffed a Congressional challenge to her agency’s rulemaking authority. “EPA regulations are saving millions of lives every year,” Jackson boasted. “Against this record of achievement we have an argument on behalf of a quaintly formal notion that making laws should be congress’ prerogative. Given the flagrantly immoral and corrupt behavior of so many in that body would it really be in the public interest to entrust it with safeguarding the environment? The President and I think not. Until we are persuaded differently, we’ll continue to do what we think is best.”
In related news, the Federal Communications Commission announced that the “Presidential Alert System” will be in place by early 2012. Under this system the President will be able to take control over every television set in America so that messages of national urgency may be transmitted. Any resemblance to the similar use of TVs depicted in George Orwell’s distopian novel 1984 were pooh-poohed by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as “anachronistic—in case you didn’t know 2012 is way past 1984.”
Rumpelstiltskin Covenant Inadvertently Disclosed
Vice-President Joe Biden’s recent exclamation that “the Chinese will own our children if we don’t build high-speed rail” was considered by many to be just another example of his patented incoherent babbling. However, belated scrutiny of the terms and conditions attached to the Chinese Government’s purchase of US Treasury debt has shed a new light on his remarks.
An unadvertised rider to the debt purchased by China requires the US Government to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars in high-speed rail equipment and supplies from China over the next ten years. Failure to do so would activate the so-called “Rumpelstiltskin Covenant.” This convent requires the US to supply “in-kind” labor services of equivalent value. That is, Americans would have to work off the debt at Chinese wage rates. While to say that China will own our children is imprecise, that country’s claim on our children’s labor may essentially amount to the same thing.
Fed Not Worried about Inflation
Fears that the Federal Reserve Bank’s massive monetization of US government debt will lead to runaway inflation were dismissed by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
“Inflation is characterized by rising prices,” Bernanke said. “If such a situation were to arise the Fed has the authority to create whatever amount of money it takes to pay these higher prices. People need not worry that their government will run out of money. I know I’m not worrying.”
Obama Explains His Tax Promise
Despite having urged and signed legislation that has resulted in higher tobacco taxes for those earning under $250,000 per year (the median income for smokers id $36,000/year), President Obama insisted he has kept his pledge. “I said no one earning less than $250,000 would see a tax increase,” Obama clarified. “The tobacco levy is imbedded in the price of the product. There is no overt tax increase for anyone to see unless he reads the fine print. Besides, smoking is unhealthy. If the added tax inspires quitting, the money saved by those who do quit may outweigh the higher taxes paid by those who don’t. Collectively, the nation will be better off.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News