Wrangling over the War Powers Act

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

Republican demands that President Obama comply with the War Powers Act will be ignored, says Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“President Obama is already in violation of the War Powers Act,” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ken) argued. “The civil war in Libya did not meet the Act’s criteria for allowing the President to take military action. It was not a national emergency nor did the President seek and obtain Congressional authorization as former President Bush did before deploying troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“Even if it were determined that the Libyan situation did constitute a national emergency, the War Powers Act gives the President a limited 60 day window within which he must obtain Congressional approval to continue to use military force,” Paul added.

Senator Levin sees things differently. “The War Powers Act was passed in 1973 by a Democratic Congress to protect the country from being dragged into an unnecessary war by a Republican President,” Levin asserted. “Its attempted use by Republicans to try to tie the hands of President Obama is politics at its worst.”

Arizona’s Senator John McCain (R) expressed an even more expansive version of Presidential power. “In my view, the War Powers Act is unconstitutional,” McCain said. “Any President, Republican or Democrat, should be able to deploy armed forces whenever and wherever he deems necessary.”

Friday, May 20 marked the 60th day since US forces began hostilities in Libya.

President’s New Middle East Policy Sparks Debate

Bristling at suggestions that his newly announced initiative on the Middle East is a “morally cretinous strategic disaster,” President Obama defended his demand that Israel withdraw to the borders that prevailed prior to the 1967 “Six Day War” when three neighboring Muslim countries—Egypt, Syria, and Jordan—expelled UN troops from buffer zones around Israel and massed troops for an attack aimed at annihilating the Jewish state.

“Israel should not be rewarded for successfully fending off its enemies by being allowed to continue to occupy lands that rightfully belong to Palestine,” Obama contended. “This will only further antagonize those who hate them and delay the final solution to the region’s problem.”

Calling the Jews a “tiny minority in the grand scheme of things,” President Obama declared “their insistence on a disproportionate role in world affairs compared to the vastly more numerous Muslims only causes trouble. The principle of the greater good for the greater number urges that we take the side of the more numerous and sacrifice the interests of the few for the benefits of the many.”

Obama dismissed contentions that withdrawal to pre-1967 borders would make Israel indefensible as “irrelevant.” “The forces of democracy are on the march in the Middle East,” Obama said. “The minority has no inalienable right to resist the will of the majority. Fortunately, the Jews have a long history of surviving as a minority in many countries around the world. All I’m asking is that we make use of this history to help guide us toward a lasting peace in the region.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hailed Obama’s new policy as “an important first step toward the eventual elimination of foreign influence over Palestinian lands. Ultimately, the people of Palestine must be free to come and go wherever they wish within the region and to select the government of their choosing without interference from alien occupiers.”

Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan condemned Obama’s new policy as “biased in favor of Israel.” “The occupation that began in 1949 goes on,” Radwan complained. “The Jewish pestilence continues when extermination is what is needed.” Radwan did concede, though, that “a withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders would allow us to move up to more advantageous firing positions for the final push to drive out the Jews.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) praised Obama’s new policy as “incredibly pragmatic.” “Muslims outnumber Jews by more than 100 to one worldwide,” NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley observed. “By aligning the United States with the stronger side, President Obama has made this country more secure from terrorist attacks. For this he deserves our thanks and support.”

Legislation May Restrict Investors’ Access to 401(k)s

Concerned that “short term desires to put food on the table may interfere with the Government’s ability to adequately control the nation’s resources,” legislation that would limit people access to their 401(k) funds has been introduced in Congress.

A Bill titled the Savings Enhancement by Alleviating Leakage in 401(k)s Act, otherwise known as the SEAL Act, was jointly introduced by Senators Herb Kohl (D-Wis) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo). The
legislation aims to reduce the number of loans a person can take out using his 401(k) as security.

“There is a risk that too many people will put personal needs ahead of the national interest,” Kohl warned. “The Government allowed 401(k)s in order to encourage workers to put aside money for the future. The notion that this is solely for the benefit of the individual is erroneous. The Government needs to be able to get its hands on this money in case of an emergency. It won’t be able to do that if the funds are depleted by their owners.”

Despite high unemployment, the rate of premature withdrawals from 401(k)s in 2010 was only 7%, up from 5% in 2005. Kohl, however, did not find this small impact reassuring. “What will happen when unemployment benefits expire and we still have nine or ten percent of the workforce without jobs?” Kohl asked. “Rather than see their families starve or get kicked out of their homes a lot more people will be tempted to tap into these savings. This is what the legislation is trying to prevent.”

USDA Shakes Down Missouri Family

What started out as a hobby for their son and turned into a family side-business grossing $4600 (with a net profit of $200 after expenses) last year has landed John Dollarhite of Missouri in a heap of trouble. For the “crime” of selling more than $500 worth of rabbits in a single year, Dollarhite has been hit with a $90,643 fine and been warned that the penalty could go as high as $3.9 million.
US Department of Agriculture spokesman Robert Crook explained that “if you sell more than $500 worth of rabbits in any given year you have to have a license from our Department. Dollarhite didn’t have a license. So we assessed a preliminary fine of $146 for each rabbit he sold last year.”

Crook added that “Dollarhite would be well-advised to pay what we are asking. We are authorized to impose a fine of up to $10,000 per rabbit. And we could include penalties for earlier years if we so choose.”

It doesn’t matter that Dollarhite was unaware that he supposedly needed a federal license nor that the punishment is way out of proportion to the alleged offense. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” Crook reminded. “Besides, we’re being merciful here. The guy can take out a loan or sell his house to raise the $90,000. We could’ve crushed him with a multi-million dollar penalty if we’d wanted to.”

CDC Urges Americans to Prepare for Possible Zombie Infestation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is advising Americans to assemble emergency kits in preparation for a potential outbreak of zombies.

CDC spokesman Ali Khan said that “votes cast by the deceased are a clear indication that zombies may walk among us. With a hotly contested presidential election coming up in November of 2012 we should expect an unusually high manifestation of this phenomenon. It is best that people be prepared with emergency supplies and weapons in case these zombies do more than just vote at that time.”
Khan warned that “people should be cautious, but not too quick on the trigger because it is often difficult to distinguish between a zombie and a Democrat. If in doubt the safest course is to simply run away.”

Obamacare Waivers Favor Dems

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has thus far approved 1,372 waivers from the health care legislation passed by Congress last year. A disproportionately large percentage of these waivers have gone to Democrat constituencies. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district, for example, received nearly 20% of the most recent batch of 204 waivers issued by HHS.

“The people of my district are caring and responsible,” Pelosi maintained. “They don’t need to be forced to do the right thing. Complying with the law’s mandates will add to their costs of doing business, possibly putting some of them out of business. As their elected representative it is my duty to help them avoid such unreasonable burdens. So I fully support Secretary Sebelius’ action in granting these waivers.”

Equally supportive was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) whose state also received a waiver. “I wouldn’t have pushed the legislation if it didn’t have the flexibility to make exceptions for worthy causes,” Reid said. “Serving the interests of the people of my state is why I’m in Congress.”

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