Obama Says Failure to Raise Debt Ceiling Will Wreck Global Economy

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

President Obama issued a dire prediction of global economic catastrophe should Congress fail to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling.

“This is no time for fooling around or playing politics on this critical issue,” Obama declared. “USGovernment spending is the driving force of global prosperity. Without it businesses and individuals would be forced to make their own decisions on what to produce, how to produce it, and where to sell it. We need government to ensure that resources are used wisely and distributed equitably to avert the chaos of unfettered capitalism.”

A few examples of capitalistic chaos were cited by the President. “Left to its own devices, the free market is profiteering on the production of ‘gas-guzzling’ cars, big-screen TVs, and fat-laden diets,” Obama complained. “This is not my vision for how we win the future. We need ‘green’ vehicles like the Volt, or better yet, high-speed passenger rail to effect the kind of transformation I have promised to the American people. And we’ve got to get more control over what people put in their mouths. Government needs to have the funds it requires to carry out the mission I’ve laid out for it.”

The President explained that “Because Congress refuses to increase taxes more borrowing is the only way we can keep the spending flowing,” the President continued. “Ideally, we ought to eliminate the idea of placing a ceiling on government borrowing. But at a minimum Congress must provide the leeway needed by raising the ceiling high enough to accommodate the extra trillions we will need to spend during my time in office.”

The President’s current position on the debt ceiling is a reversal of the stand he took in 2006 when, as a Senator, he voted against increasing it because “raising the amount that the government is allowed to borrow rewards the undisciplined profligacy of a runaway deficit.” Obama reconciled his changed stance by saying that “Bush’s deficit was caused by wasting the country’s resources on tax cuts. Mine is the result of desperately needed investments inAmerica’s future.”

Not everyone in government sees the situation as dire. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke agreed that “while it would be easier to inflate the money supply by continuing to buy Government debt, that isn’t our only option. Should reaching the debt ceiling prohibit the Treasury from issuing more bonds we could still create new money and just deposit it into their accounts so they could continue to fund all existing programs. Of course, this would make the Fed’s debasement of the currency more obvious, but it’s still doable.”

In related news, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned key Democrats that lack of an expeditious increase in the debt ceiling would put ‘friendly’ Wall Street investment banks at risk. “These banks rely on the arbitrage profits from buying and selling US Government debt to sustain their institutions and reward their top bond traders with incentive bonuses,” Geithner pointed out. “The turmoil caused by a delay in raising the ceiling, or worse, a failure to raise the ceiling at all, would hit these pillars of our economy hard. Their ability to make donations to the President’s reelection campaign would be negatively impacted.”

President Warns against GOP Budget

President Obama stridently attacked the Republican budget passed by the House of Representatives as “anti-American” and warned “it will turn this country into a ‘Third-World’ nation.”

“In the ‘Third-World’ countries there are no comprehensive social safety nets,” the President contended. “People must work long and hard to make a living. I’m proud to say that my vision forAmericagoes in the opposite direction. People shouldn’t be forced to take demeaning jobs. We are a rich enough country to be able to free our citizens from this type of wage bondage.”

In support of his case, Obama cited statistics indicating that currently only 45% of American adults have jobs. “What other society could afford to have a majority of its population living lives of leisure?” the President asked. “My initiatives have put this country on the right path. Now’s not the time to turn back.”

“If the Republicans have their way, though, we’d lose the gains we’ve made since the Roosevelt Administration,” Obama maintained. “Americans wouldn’t be able to count on the government relieving them of the tiresome burdens of life. Drudgery would become the universal bane of the working class. Voters will have the opportunity to prevent this by returning a solidly Democratic government in the 2012 election.”

Both the GOP and President Obama’s budgets project deficits and annual increases in spending, albeit at different rates: 2.8% per year for the GOP budget and 4.7% per year for the President’s budget.

Gaps in White House Visitor Log Explained

Despite pledges that his Administration would be “the most transparent in history,” logs of who comes and goes to confer with the President and his staff at the White House have glaring omissions.

Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney attributed the incomplete record to “efforts to serve conflicting objectives. On the one hand, we want to be as open as possible. On the other, we want to respect an individual’s right to privacy. So, we tried to compromise by allowing those who preferred that their visits not be acknowledged to opt out of having their names recorded.”

Concerns that the selective reporting of who visits with the President could undermine trust in the Administration was taken in stride by Carney. “It basically boils down to whether you have faith in the honesty of the President,” Carney said. “If you do, you accept that some things must remain private. If you don’t, you’re going to be demanding documentary proof of everything just like the ‘birthers’ are about where the President was born. Is having to produce papers to verify stuff the kind of country we want to live in? I think not. I believe the American people trust the President to tell them what they need to know for the good of the country.”

Higher Gas Prices Save Lives

Revelation that highway fatalities decrease by 2.3% for every 10 cent per gallon increase in the price of fuel has US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood fired up.

“For all the carping I have to listen to over high gas prices I’m happy to be able to point to a silver lining,” boasted a bubbly LaHood. “Driving their own cars is the most dangerous thing most people do. The more we can discourage this, the more lives we can save. Based on this latest study it looks like if we can get the price of gasoline up to around $9 a gallon we could virtually eliminate traffic fatalities.”

“I’m thinking that at $9 a gallon there’d be a lot less driving,” the Secretary ventured. “Cars and trucks would be so scarce on the roads that their chances of colliding with each other would be nil. There’d also be fewer motor vehicles for trains to hit on the grade crossings. Air pollution would be way down. That’d save lives too.”

LaHood professed himself “a strong supporter of the President’s ban on offshore drilling, carbon taxes, and the ‘cap-and-trade’ emissions bill—anything that will help get prices up to where they need to be to change people’s decisions. A person driving himself wherever he wants whenever he want is both inefficient and unsafe. The sooner we can do away with such anti-social behavior the better off this country will be.”

Former Speaker Torn over Importance of Elections

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) admitted to mixed feelings over the role elections will play in the future of America.

“I know that as a Democrat I’m expected to support democracy,” Pelosi said. “But is democracy an end in itself or merely a means to an end? I mean, it was important that we elected President Obama to rule this country. Now that he is President, though, what further gains could there be from the electoral process? Might not future elections even serve to undermine the changes he’s already implemented?”

Pelosi proclaimed herself extremely distressed over what she termed “the dangerous influence of the Tea Party on our governing processes. These people are outsiders who don’t really share the values of those of us who’ve been engaged in the task of governing this country for so many years. If those of us in the permanent majority—both Republicans and Democrats—can’t stand together against this intrusion Congress may lose its purpose.”

Al-Qaeda Calls for Arab Invasion to Topple Libyan Dictator

Osama bin-Laden underling, Ayman al-Zawahiri, urged the leaders of other Muslim states to send troops toLibyain order “to finish the job of ousting the satanic Gaddafi from his position atop the country.”

“Brother Obama has made a good start by hitting Gaddafi’s troops with air strikes,” Zawahiri said. “But he cannot be expected to do it all by himself. The sinister forces of Zionism still carry too much weight in the American government. Muslim armies must heed Allah’s call if we are to complete the encirclement ofIsrael.”

Councilman Argues for Hiring More Ex-Cons

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess introduced legislation that would make it easier for persons with a criminal record to be hired by the city. “Most of those with a criminal record are Democrats,” Burgess observed. “Should we really be penalizing our own constituency by excluding them from working for the city?”

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Wisconsin Election Turnaround ‘Unprecedented’ Says Union

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Wisconsin union officials are calling the post-election correction of an error that converted a 200-vote deficit into a 7,000-vote lead for the conservative candidate, incumbent Justice David Prosser, for the state Supreme Court judgeship “unprecedented.”

“In every other instance in which previously uncounted or miscounted votes have been brought to light it has been to the benefit of the progressive candidate,” claimed Christine Lamitina, spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Wisconsin. “Is this election in Wisconsin going to be the exception that contradicts a well-established history?” Lamitina appealed for President Obama to “step in and right the wrong that’s been done to the working people of this state.”

SEIU Vice President for Politics and Growth, Bruce Colburn vowed “unrelenting efforts to restore victory for Joanne Kloppenburg. We spent millions of dollars and millions of man-hours to get her elected. We won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. We will takeover the streets. We will clog the courts with lawsuits. We will shut this state down if that’s what it takes to get justice for our cause.”

GOP Bid to Cut Funding to Planned Parenthood Called “Anti-Constitutional”

In explaining why Democrats are willing to shut down the federal government rather than accede to Republican demands that one of the cuts to the deficit be funding for Planned Parenthood, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid characterized the demands as “anti-Constitutional.”

“I’m not saying that it rises to the level of unconstitutional,” Reid said. “But it’s pretty darn close. A woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy falls clearly within the ‘pursuit of happiness’ clause. Her right to fully enjoy her body without fear of unwanted consequences is fundamental to our way of life. I can think of no better place to take a stand against the mindless fiscal misers running the Republican Party.”

Reid rebuffed suggestions that the $350 million in yearly federal aid granted to Planned Parenthood could easily be made up through fees and private donations. “Why should any woman have to pay a fee to exercise her rights,” Reid asked. “Why should private individuals have to pay while the government neglects its duty to provide for these rights? If government can’t fulfill such a basic responsibility we may as well shut it down.”

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) concurred with Reid’s stance adding that “this organization and its supporters are the ‘life’s blood’ of the Democratic Party. As long as I have anything to say about it, the Senate will never, never, never cut funding to Planned Parenthood.”

In its efforts to protect women’s rights Planned Parenthood has slain over 300,000 children per year since it has been receiving federal aid. This amounts to 900 per day, all 365 days of the year.

Government Shutdown Won’t Affect Congressional Pay

While various segments of the federal government face defunding in the event of a government shutdown, Congressional pay won’t be affected. In an effort to deflect political repercussions, several members of Congress (including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio) have sworn to forgo their paychecks for the duration of any shutdown, Representative Linda Sánchez (D-Calif) won’t be one of them.

“I can’t afford to go one day without my salary,” Sánchez declared. “Like most Americans, I live paycheck-to-paycheck. I have a two-year-old son. I have expenses. I need this money. Voters who elected me gave me a right to this money. I won’t give up a single cent of what I’m entitled to as long as I’m here.”

Sánchez’s annual salary is $174,000. On top of this she also receives generous allowances for job-related expenses (office and staff, travel, mailings), health insurance superior to that of most Americans, and a retirement package that is the envy of every working man and woman. The median household income of her constituents is around $46,000. About 9% of her constituents are currently unemployed.

In related news, even though a possible federal government shutdown might include suspending the paychecks of US military forces around the globe, US Army General Carter Ham told Congress that the Obama Administration is considering sending ground troops to Libya. Rebels fighting Dictator Qaddafi’s forces complain that “America’s ‘humanitarian bombing’ is not doing enough to help us destroy this enemy of Allah.”

President Urges Consumers to “Get used to Higher Gas Prices”

Calling higher prices “a key incentive for conserving,” President Obama told an audience of 500 employees at the Gamesa Technology Corp., a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania, that “we need to get used to higher gas prices for the sake of our environment.”

“There is no gain without at least a little pain,” the President argued. “Paying a few dollars more at the pump will encourage people to cut back on unnecessary trips and use public transit when they have to travel. If we’re going to save the planet we all have to make sacrifices.”

As an example of what a person could do, the President cited the fact that “I work from a home office. I’m not driving to work, burning hydrocarbons, adding to traffic congestion and air pollution. And when I find I do have to go out I never drive alone. I always carpool with a couple of bodyguards. If others would just do the same even if only for one or two days a week we’d make a significant contribution to solving our environmental problems. So, just think of higher fuel prices as kind of a ‘stick’ to help persuade more people to make the changes in their behavior that are required to clean the air.”

“Of course, the upside for you here at Gamesa is that when people can’t afford the high cost of fossil fuels they’ll be buying your products,” Obama pointed out. “That’ll mean more jobs and more profits for you.”

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Republicans warned that high energy prices could lead to a “double dip” recession. Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex) reminded the President that “higher prices for energy means businesses will have to make cuts elsewhere—maybe hire fewer workers or lay off some they already employ. If consumers have to pay more for gas they’ll have less to spend on other things. The businesses that sell these other things will have lower revenues with which to employ people. This can only make a weak economy worse.”

Former Senator Takes Self Hostage in Bid to Avoid Prison

Former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) threatened to kill himself rather than go to prison. Edwards has been under investigation for alleged payments to take care of his mistress, Rielle Hunter, during his failed run for president in 2008. The payments violated a campaign finance law that Edwards supported as a senator.

“I can’t go to prison,” Edwards lamented. “With my looks I’d be any cellblock’s number one ‘bitch.’ It’d be cruel and unusual punishment for such a trivial violation of such a questionable law.”

Edwards confided in friends that he hopes his threat to kill himself “will serve as a kind if preemptive strike against an overly aggressive prosecution. Why should I be singled out for such severe treatment? Bill Clinton diddled an intern and lied in front of a grand jury. He never had to face jail time. Charlie Rangel misappropriated campaign funds and got off with a slap on the wrist. He didn’t even have to resign from Congress. It’s just so unfair.”

Those who know Edwards best discount the possibility of suicide. “John’s one of the cleverest and most successful tort lawyers,” said a friend under a promise of anonymity. “Histrionics and threats of dire consequences are the methods he’s been using to win big settlements in legal disputes for years. I don’t think federal prosecutors stand a chance against him.”

DOJ Decision a Puzzler

The US Department of Justice’s approval of a Georgia law requiring voters to prove citizenship before they are allowed to cast a ballot has shocked some observers.

“Those who see a contradiction between upholding a requirement for voters to prove citizenship while neglecting to do the same for a candidate are mistaken,” Attorney General Eric Holder contended. “Ensuring that a person who votes is, in fact, entitled to vote is the job of government election officials. On the other hand, whether a candidate is entitled to hold the office for which he is running is the job of voters. Voters by their action in electing a person are saying that, as far as they are concerned, that person is entitled to hold the office. That is how democracy works—the people choose their own rulers. It is not up to my office, the courts, or any other body to interfere in this process.”

Senator Denounces “Tea Party” Extremists

Hoping to set voters against the so-called Tea Party’s influence on Republicans to push for steep cuts to federal spending, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) characterized them as “extremists.” “Look at the name these people took for themselves: the Tea Party,” Schumer said. “You know, the original Tea Party of 1773 entailed the wanton destruction of property as a protest against higher taxes. I think the voters of today would consider such behavior to be extreme disrespect for the duly authorized actions of their government.”

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Dems to Play ‘Hard Ball’ on Government Shutdown

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Undaunted by polls showing a majority of Americans aren’t opposed to a partial shutdown of the federal government if that’s what it takes to get deeper cuts in the deficit, leaders of the Democratic Party vowed to “make any shutdown as painful as we have to.”

President Obama asserted that “what many people don’t realize is that government spending is the vital fluid of our nation’s prosperity. Cutting it back by even one percent would be like putting a tourniquet around the economy’s neck. I can’t allow Congress to take such a dangerous course. If I have to I will use my authority as Commander-in-Chief to ensure that this doesn’t happen.”

“Voters should be careful of what they wish for,” added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). “They imagine that the President will put some bureaucrats on furlough for a couple of days a month or that programs they see as nonessential, like federal funding of the arts, will take the hit. Let’s see how they like it when their Social Security checks stop coming or the public schools are closed.”

In federal government “shutdowns” during the Reagan, Bush and Clinton Administrations furloughing nonessential bureaucrats was the main cost-saving step taken. Care was taken to continue spending for programs considered necessary for the nation’s safety and well-being. These included, among other things, law enforcement, national defense and Social Security payments. However, these were discretionary decisions made by nation’s Chief Executive. President Obama is under no legal obligation to adhere to this precedent.

In related news, Senator Reid’s championing of federal funding for Elko, Nevada’s annual Cowboy Poetry Festival enabled him to win the Citizens against Government Waste’s prestigious “Porker of the Month” award for March 2011.

Illegal Immigrants Who Are Students Won’t Be Deported

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says that illegal immigrants who meet the requirements of last year’s unsuccessful “Dream Act” legislation will not be deported by her agency.

“Just because Congress dropped the ball on comprehensive immigration reform doesn’t mean I have to,” vowed a defiant Napolitano. “Integrating the undocumented portion of our population into our society is crucial to the President’s agenda. These students form a cadre of the best-and-brightest and are essential tools for the President’s promised transformation of our nation’s culture. I will not cast them aside out of a misguided devotion to pro forma enforcement of the existing laws.”

“The President says these are the kind of people he wants to see succeed,” John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pointed out. “Who am I to take any action that would thwart his wishes when he’s the one who’s running the government.”

Joe Garcia, Director of the New Democrat Network’s Hispanic Strategy Center, called the Secretary’s stance “an encouraging baby step toward the full acceptance and enfranchisement of all the Hispanics in America. Ultimately, there must be full citizenship, voting rights, and reparations for the years of exploitation that these victims of institutionalized racism and prejudice have had to endure.”

In related news, a study done for the State of Colorado revealed that nearly 12,000 non-citizens were registered to vote and that 5,000 of them cast ballots in the November 2010 election. While Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss) found this “disturbing,” Representative Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) labeled it “no big deal, 5,000 votes by non-citizens is smaller than the number of ballots cast from graveyards in many jurisdictions.”

Political Vetting of FOIA Requests Assailed/Defended

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Representative Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif) complaint that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is injecting political bias into the process of responding to freedom of information requests was dismissed as “sour grapes” by Representative Gerald Connelly (D-Va).

“Inasmuch as representative Issa himself has characterized DHS’ actions as ‘Nixonian’ I can’t see what his beef is,” Connelly argued. “Nixon was a Republican President. Now the shoe is on the other foot. So what?”

“Using a political compass to guide the agency’s response to requests for public documents is unlawful,” Issa asserted. “The fact that a previous president also engaged in unlawful behavior is not a valid defense of the current Administration’s practices.”

Notwithstanding former President Nixon’s abuses, a report from DHS Acting Inspector General Charles Edwards called the agency’s political vetting of requests “unprecedented involvement in the Freedom of Information Act process. Not only were requests handled in a discriminatory manner, but responses were often edited to black-out content that would potentially be embarrassing to the Administration.”

John Verdi, director of open government for the watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center, contends that DHS “has gone farther than any other agency in the Obama Administration in corrupting the process by inserting an illegal political bias into its handling of external requests for information.”

Robbery Victim May Go to Prison

Gun enthusiast Stanley Sokolowski is facing a possible prison term for what Lowell, Massachusetts police are calling “possession of terrorist paraphernalia.” The charges stem from an incident in which Sokolowski’s home was burglarized and his gun collection stolen. In addition to owning a number of firearms, Sokolowski also loaded his own ammunition. This means that he had gunpowder, shell casings, and shot that he personally assembled into the bullets used in his assorted weapons.

“We’re not saying a person can’t own a weapon,” said Lowell Police Department Spokesman Max Cretan. “But this privilege must be weighed against the state’s need to control access to firearms. So, when a person goes overboard like this we see it as a potentially serious threat to peace and order.”

Cretan was unmoved by the prospect that Sokolowski could spend more time behind bars than the guy who robbed him. “A burglar is your common, garden variety criminal,” Cretan observed. “We deal with this kind of problem every day. Sokolowski, on the other hand, is a greater threat. He has dangerous knowledge. And with the equipment he had he could easily assemble bombs. Making bombs is a terrorist activity. Having the means to make bombs is possession of terrorist paraphernalia. That’s against the law.”

In case a jury doesn’t concur in the charges leveled by the Lowell Police Department, they have taken the precaution of revoking Sokolowski’s gun permit “because this is something we can do on our own authority,” Cretan said. “We don’t have to get a judge or jury’s okay to take this step for public safety.”

President Accepts Transparency Award

In a ceremony closed to both the media and general public, President Obama received an award from the “open government community” for having “the most transparent Administration in this nation’s history.” Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press explained that “the meeting had to be kept closed to prevent the President’s enemies from using the event for their own political advantage. This way the President can strictly control the information that is released to the public.”

In remarks later released from the White House, President Obama declared himself “proud to be recognized as the most transparent President this nation has ever had,” but modestly acknowledged that “I couldn’t have achieved this without the unstinting support of my friends in the media. They have been veritable megaphones helping to promulgate my message of hope and change for America. Their loyalty will not be forgotten. Their reward will be a place of high honor in the New America I am creating for the American people.”

Democrats Spar over Libyan Intervention

President Obama’s unilateral decision to send US military forces to bomb the armed forces of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhaffi has produced a mixed reaction among members of his own Democratic Party.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the President’s action, asserting that “as Commander-in-Chief he has the authority to use whatever military assets this country possesses in any manner he deems necessary. He does not have to obtain Congressional approval for any measures he has taken or may in the future take to achieve the goals of his Administration.”

Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) disagreed. “The Constitution says Congress has the power to declare war,” Rangel said. “Calling it a ‘kinetic military action’ is pure mumbo-jumbo and doesn’t excuse the President’s usurpation of a Congressional prerogative. I’d like to think that the House Leadership will be looking into an impeachment action, but unless polls start showing massive voter opposition to this war I’m afraid he’ll skate on this.”

Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney predicted that “Rangel’s objections will carry little weight seeing that he himself was censured by the House last year for tax evasion and mishandling campaign funds.”

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