President too Nice to His Enemies, Congresswoman Says

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

Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) took President Obama to task for “being too nice to his enemies.”

“We are at war for the soul of this country,” Waters argued. “Yet, the president insists on treating those who oppose him as if they are just friends who disagree. I mean, playing golf with Boehner, inviting the boys over to watch the Super Bowl and drink beer—this is ‘pussyfooting.’”

Waters called on Obama to “show an iron fist” and “to crush the opposition under the heel of his boot.” “These people are trying to kill him,” Waters ranted. “He’s got to get them before they get him.

It’s as simple as that.”

The Congresswoman said she was generally pleased with the President’s “jobs bill,” but that there were still some unanswered questions about it. “I love the president,” Waters said, “But I still need to know where’s my money in his bill? He shouldn’t be taking the support of fellow Democrats for granted. We need to get paid.”

In related news, former Ways & Means Chairman, Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) was be honored by his peers in a ceremony at the House of Representatives this past week. It’s quite a turnaround from the censure Rangel received last year for tax evasion from these same peers. “To be fair, the censure may have been a bit too harsh,” said former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). “Most of his tax evasion occurred during the Bush Administration—a time when I think we can all agree that tax dollars were being misused by an out-of-control regime. So, in a way, Charlie was merely diverting funds that otherwise would’ve been mostly wasted.”

Connecticut Daycare Providers Forcibly Unionized

Saying that he was “tired of waiting for the ‘pantywaists’ in the legislature to get off their ‘duffs’ and take action on this issue,” Democratic and Working Families Party Governor Dannel Malloy issued two Executive Orders that will force daycare providers and home healthcare workers in Connecticut to join unions.

“The right of workers to organize is inalienable,” Malloy asserted. “It cannot be left up to individuals to decide for themselves whether unionization would be beneficial on a case-by-case basis. If bargaining leverage is to be maximized solidarity is essential. Everyone must pull together for the benefit of the whole. The false consciousness of atomistic individualism must not be permitted to impede necessary collective action.”

The compulsory unionization of these workers is expected to yield over $1 million in union dues, an outcome that Malloy hailed as “a key factor in ensuring that the representatives of the working class will have the resources needed to continue to effectively influence future electoral results.”

The move is part of “a series of triumphs for the working people of this state,” Malloy boasted. The most notable previous “triumph” engineered by the Governor was the largest tax hike in the state’s history. The tax hike was made retroactive—a feature that “prevented the opportunity for income earners to avoid taxes by altering behavior,” Malloy pointed out. “We totally neutralized the risk that higher tax rates would lead to lower revenue yields. The ‘Laffer Curve’ argument has been convincingly defeated once and for all.”

Senate Candidate Rejects Individualism

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren dismissed the GOP’s “class warfare” criticism of President Obama’s push for tax increases as “founded on fantastical notions about individual rights.”

“The argument that people somehow have a ‘right’ to keep what they earn is totally bogus,” Warren contended. “In our complex economy it takes cooperation to produce anything. Who can say what anybody has ‘earned?’”

Rather than leave the allocation of rewards to what she characterized as “the arbitrary whims of the market,” Warren argued for a “socially determined distribution of the jointly produced output.”

“Wouldn’t it be more equitable for the people’s democratically elected representatives to decide how the nation’s collectively generated wealth ought to be divied up?” Warren rhetorically asked.

Warren pledged that if she is elected to replace Republican Senator Scott Brown she will work to transform the economy from it current mode of “taking” to a more humane mode of “giving.” “The idea that anyone can freely take money under the pretense of free enterprise must be replaced by an acceptance of a system of socially conscious giving. As the representative of the social whole, the government must assume the responsibility for overseeing this giving and ensuring that each person receives his or her fair share.”

In other Massachusetts news, Democratic Governor Duval Patrick brushed off being caught driving in his SUV during the “car-free” week he himself had declared. “What one individual does is inconsequential,” Patrick insisted. “It’s the collective response that’s critical. If enough people leave their cars at home we all benefit.”

Patrick argued that “the Governor’s need for mobility has to take precedence over mindless adherence to a public relations gimmick. I can’t afford to waste my time riding on a bus.” He also suggested that he and his chauffer constituted a “car pool,” and thereby basically met the intent of his anti-automobile proclamation.

Dispute over $16 Muffins Heats Up

The revelation that the U.S. Department of Justice has been paying exorbitant prices for food and drink ($16 apiece for muffins and $8 a cup for coffee) at official functions sparked a heated exchange between Congressional critics and Administration officials.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) labeled the outlays “extravagant and wasteful. We’re in a recession. The budget is in a big hole. Families have to scrimp and save. What kind of a message does this sort of ‘lord of the manor’ attitude toward federal spending send?”

Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va), who chairs the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, also condemned the expenditures as inappropriate. “How can we tolerate splurging on snacks at a time when taxpayers are forced to tighten their belts?”

Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney called the criticisms “off-base” and “incredibly wrongheaded.” “Economists all agree that the remedy for recession is higher spending,” Carney maintained. “Quibbling over the prices paid is, at best, nonsensical nitpicking. As Keynes pointed out long ago, spending the money is what counts. Whether anything of value in the tradition sense is obtained in exchange is irrelevant.”

“The speed at which money can be pumped into the economy is crucial,” Carney continued. “From this perspective, paying $16 for a muffin is far more effective than laying out the more typical $2 that the average person might pay for such an item. That the government has the wherewithal and the sense to do this is something we should all be thankful for.”

Senator Says New Yorkers Should Pay Lower Federal Tax Rates

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) maintains that current federal tax rates are unfair to his state’s residents.

“Tax rates that are fair in Mississippi aren’t fair in New York,” Schumer said. “New Yorkers face a much higher cost of living than people in other states. New York’s state income taxes are higher. Sales taxes are higher. Property taxes are through the roof. New Yorkers need a break.”

The Senator acknowledged that his position seems to clash with President Obama’s assertion that the rich aren’t paying their fair share. “New Yorkers are richer,” Schumer admitted. “But they are also, for the most part, reliable Democratic voters. The President shouldn’t be pushing policies that penalize them.”

Schumer suggested that some sort of indexing for state and local tax rates should be incorporated into the federal tax code. “States that show less of an effort to tax their citizens should pay higher federal taxes than states that have made the effort,” Schumer argued. “New Yorkers shouldn’t have to suffer just because other states aren’t doing all they can to extract the maximum in taxes from their residents.”

Administration Rebuffs Contentions that it Mistreated Women

A claim in Ron Suskind’s book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President, that the Obama Administration created a hostile workplace for his female advisors was met with denials from current White House Budget Director Jack Lew.

“The contention that the President or any of his male appointees would denigrate these women in any way is mistaken. To the contrary, we all had a broad amount of respect for these ladies,” Lew said as he struggled to suppress a titter over his use of the word “broad.”

Former head of the Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer’s complaint, quoted in Suskind’s book, that she “felt like a piece of meat” was denounced as “inaccurate” and “unwarranted.”

“You can’t take what a disgruntled former employee says as the gospel truth,” Lew warned. “Comments get taken out of context. Disagreements are blown up into accusations of disrespect. The bottom line is that Barack Obama is America’s ruler. He can say and do whatever he wants. It’s our job to make him look good. If that requires the sacrifice of a little of one’s self respect, well, as professionals, we need to recognize that it’s all part of the job at the White House these days.”

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President Confident of Re-election

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

Despite unanimous polling trends showing increasing dissatisfaction with his job performance, President Obama says he’s confident he’ll come out on top after the ballots are counted in November 2012.

“In 2008 I was a virtual nobody,” Obama recalled. “Now I’m the president. Just being the president gives you a big leg up on all the up-and-coming nobodies who want to take your place. Consequently, I’d have to say that the odds of me being re-elected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”

The president boasted that “my ideas are the key. I have more of them than anyone I know. Just ask my staff. For every idea we’ve tried that hasn’t worked there are at least a dozen more waiting in line for their turn. I think voters will appreciate my intellectual fertility compared to the GOP’s simplistic message.”

Obama advisor David Axelrod echoed the President’s confidence. “The lower taxes/less government mantra that the Republicans are trying to sell doesn’t resonate with the average American,” Axelrod contended. “Voters want a government that cares enough to try. I mean, isn’t it better to be in the barrel with the guy who has the nerve to tackle Niagara Falls than to be ‘nay-saying’ from the sidelines?”

“Plus, let’s not overlook the considerable advantages that incumbency has for President Obama,” Axelrod added. “For example, his recent Executive Order granting amnesty to illegal immigrants gives him a lock on the Hispanic vote. And he’s got more than a year to further tilt the playing field in his favor.”

Dems Push Bill for Unlimited Debt

Contending that “the very idea of a debt ceiling for federal borrowing places unacceptable restraints upon government,” three Democratic Representatives—Jim Moran (VA), Hank Johnson (GA) and Jerry Nadler (NY)—have introduced legislation that would bar any limits on the amount that could be borrowed.

“We should never permit a lack of money to prevent the government from taking whatever action may be needed for the betterment of our society,” Moran argued. “If the money isn’t already in-hand or can’t be obtained due to mindless opposition to higher taxes, the option of borrowing must not be infringed.”

Moran maintained that “the notion that there ought to be some sort of upper limit on the amount of resources the government has access to is archaic and inappropriate under a democratic Constitution. In America, the government is the people. There is no need for the people to hamper itself with this kind of constraint.”

“The mere existence of a debt ceiling allows the enemies of progressive policies to periodically divert voters’ attention away from the benefits of those policies by focusing an unwarranted emphasis on the costs,” Nadler said in support of the bill. “It encourages miserly, penny-pinching behavior that can only slow the pace of our nation’s transformation toward the attainment of social justice.”

In related news, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) asserted that the President’s efforts to stimulate the economy have failed “because they weren’t big enough. We show too much trepidation when it comes to spending. Too many of my colleagues get squeamish over taking money from taxpayers to fund government programs. The reality is that the average American has far more money than he needs. The real crime is that we let these people keep money that would be better spent if it were in the government’s hands.”

Dept of Energy Rushing to Beat Deadline

Unfazed by the high-profile bankruptcy of Solyndra—a recipient of over $500 million in federal loan guarantees—the Obama Department of Energy is rushing to complete as many as 15 more loan guarantees before a September 30th deadline arrives.

“If you just read the headlines you’d think that our program is a colossal waste,” Secretary of Energy Steven Chu complained. “What the headlines don’t tell you is that even if we never recover the money we lent to Solyndra, we still helped provide 1100 ‘green jobs’ there for two years. We must not lose sight of that.”

To-date, the president’s “green jobs” initiative has funded an estimated 3500 new jobs at a cost of around $5 million each. Chu acknowledged that “on the surface it seems that we have missed our target. We had hoped to create 65,000 new jobs at a cost of around $500,000 each. Nevertheless, the 3500 we did create is more than any other Administration has achieved. It should inspire us to press ahead, not turn back.”

In related news, John Silver who heads the DOE’s “green jobs” loan program claimed that the blame for the Solyndra bankruptcy should be placed on the Bush Administration. “They’re the ones that vetoed Solyndra’s loan before we even got here,” Silver pointed out. “If they had okayed it we wouldn’t have had to deal with it and people wouldn’t now be blaming us. It’s not fair, but I suppose it goes with the territory.”

NYC Mayor Says “Pass the President’s Jobs Bill”

New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that “there could be dire consequences if we don’t pass President Obama’s jobs bill. Look, the President has made it clear that if we love him we’ll pass the bill. This means that refusing to pass the bill is tantamount to hating him, which, I believe, is a felony.”

The mayor says he admires Obama’s “pluck.” “The guy may have laid one egg after another, what with all the bailouts and stimulus spending flushing billions down the drain, but at least he’s trying,” Bloomberg said, contrasting the President’s approach with what he labeled a “do-nothing” Congress. “Even bad ideas are better than no ideas. I think the suggestion that the government should back off before it does more harm represents the worst kind of defeatism. Did FDR back off when his programs failed? No, he kept on going until World War II came along to rescue the economy. We need to do the same today.”

Bloomberg characterized resistance to the President’s request as a “threat to our domestic tranquility. There’ll be rioting in the streets like there was in Cairo and Madrid. Not only would our police be powerless to stop it, they might well join in. I know I’d be sorely tempted to do so if I were in their position.”

DOJ Defends Bad Grammar

The Obama Department of Justice has ruled that Arizona school districts may not dismiss teachers who have poor grammar skills.

“In an ideal world we would hope that those teaching our children would be able to set a good example,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “In the real world we must make compromises.”

Holder pointed out that “the rules of grammar are only a convention. Non-discrimination is the law. There should be no question in our minds over which takes precedence. Besides, grammar evolves through usage. Who’s to say what will be considered appropriate in the future? What the law says right now is nobody can be fired for how he talks the English language.”

In related news, scores on the reading portion of the SAT college entrance exam fell to their lowest level on record. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan advised that “we not let this seemingly bad news weigh us down too much. The ability to read the printed word is not as critical as it once was. Given the great advances in graphic media we’ve seen in recent years, it should be apparent that a person can get along quite well even if his reading comprehension doesn’t measure up to what his parents were able to do.”

California Governor Slams GOP

Angry at the failure of his tax and jobs plan to gain enough support in the state legislature, California’s Governor Jerry Brown (D) tore into Republicans for what he termed their “unconstitutional delegation of power.” Brown said that several Republican state senators told him they would like to vote for his package, but wouldn’t for fear of voter disapproval.

“Since when do voters have the right to intimidate legislators on how to vote?” Brown asked. “The State Constitution clearly grants the decision on tax bills to members of the legislature. Republicans shouldn’t be using such a lame excuse and voters should but out.”

NYC Election Shocker

In New York City, Democrats lost a congressional seat that had been continuously held by the Party since 1923. The defeated Democrat—David Weprin—blamed Obama: “It’s pretty simple, the President wrecked the economy and I took the lumps for it. I’d advise any Democrat who hopes to survive the 2012 election to put as much distance as he can between himself and the President.”

Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif) distanced himself from Weprin and denied that the President should bear any part of the blame, attributing the outcome, instead, to “Jewish greed.” “The President is trying to achieve a more equitable distribution of wealth in this country,” Waxman asserted. “This Congressional district has a heavy proportion of wealthy Jewish voters who don’t want to share with those less fortunate.”

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also absolved Obama of any blame, calling the outcome “a fluke borne of frustration with high unemployment that people have wrongly attributed to the President because he hasn’t been able to fix it. Nobody can. That’s the new reality we have to accept.”

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President’s Jobs Speech Wows Congress

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

President Obama’s widely anticipated speech before a joint session of Congress on Thursday stunned and amazed his erstwhile political opponents.

“Until I heard it from his own lips I never realized how mistaken the GOP plans to tear up all the roads and burn down all the schools were,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va). “And now that I know the President’s jobs plan is endorsed by the Teamsters’ Jimmy Hoffa and the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka, well, let’s just say that my eyes have really been opened.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) admitted that he was skeptical at first. “You know, in a way, we’ve been over this ground before,” McConnell pointed out. “Appropriating hundreds of billions to try to stimulate the economy has been the policy of the current Administration since it took office. Just because it hasn’t worked so far doesn’t necessarily prove it could never work. I’ve got to give him credit for consistency.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) focused on the human element. “It’s one thing to get caught up in the statistics of millions without jobs—that’s bad enough,” Boehner observed. “But when I consider that the fate of one specific individual hangs in the balance I start to get all teary-eyed. If we don’t get this thing turned around, and quick, Barack himself could lose his job next year. I have to ask myself, if government action can save just one job why shouldn’t it be the President’s?”

Pelosi Demands GOP Cooperation to Pass Jobs Bill

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) demanded that current House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) schedule an immediate vote on President Obama’s jobs plan. “The situation is too critical for us to afford any delay in passing this much needed legislation to fix our economic problems,” Pelosi contended.

The absence of a draft bill was brushed aside as “nit picking.” “The intent is plain,” the former Speaker argued. “The country needs jobs. Jobs cost money. Congress should stop trying to micromanage the issue. Just pass the required appropriation and let those with the expertise implement the specifics.”

“You know, it’s ironic to think that when we had a 2,000-page healthcare bill all I heard from the Republicans were complaints: ‘It’s too long.’ ‘It’s too complicated.’ ‘I need more time to read what’s in it.’” Pelosi reminisced. “Now that we have the opportunity to pass a one-page bill that simply appropriates $447 billion to save and create jobs they’re still complaining. Some people are impossible to please.”

In related news, a report on Obamacare prepared by Jonathan Gruber, a health policy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped design the program, conceded that the President’s showcase legislation will, contrary to promise, likely raise health care costs. Unfazed, Pelosi argued that the added costs “will be good for the economy. The increase in paperwork needed to comply with the regulations requires people to be employed preparing it. That means jobs. Though it might have been unforeseen, this should be considered an added plus for the legislation.”

Obama Uncle May Be Granted “Refugee” Status

President Obama’s half-uncle, Onyango Obama, an illegal immigrant recently arrested for drunk driving in Massachusetts, will apparently not face deportation. Like the President’s illegal immigrant aunt, Zeituni Polly Onyango, he will be granted asylum as a “political refugee.”

“Let’s face it, Kenya is a hell-hole unfit for normal human beings,” said U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “It would be inhumane for us to forcibly send him back to such an awful place.”

Napolitano denied that Onyango’s relationship to the President played any role in the decision. “If I may remind everyone, the President has declared that illegal immigrants from Mexico don’t have to go back,” the Secretary said. “And Mexico isn’t nearly as bad as Kenya is. So, it should be obvious that nepotistic favoritism was not the decisive factor in this case.”

Decline in Deficit Hailed by Geithner

News that this year’s projected federal fiscal deficit is $30 billion lower than last year’s ($1.23 trillion vs. $1.26 trillion) was cited by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as “a sign we’re on the right track.”

“I know it’s only a small one-year improvement, but if we can maintain this pace, the budget will reach equilibrium in only 40 years,” Geither asserted. “Of course, maintaining this pace will require both a full team effort and a little luck.”

Geithner brushed off the criticism that maintaining the current pace would add at least $25 trillion more to the nation’s debt. “Look, $25 trillion in added debt shouldn’t scare anyone who’s familiar with the government’s estimated $500 trillion in liabilities for promised pensions and medical benefits,” Geithner suggested. “Anyway, these are just numbers in a ledger somewhere. They can be erased by an act of Congress or diluted into insignificance by the Federal Reserve if necessary to protect the solvency of the government.”

Solar Firm Bankruptcy Not All Bad, Says Administration

The Obama Administration cautioned the public to not be misled by the news of bankruptcy overtaking the Solyndra LLC solar panel manufacturing firm. The company, a recipient of $535 million in taxpayers’ money, had been touted as an example of the success of President Obama’s “green stimulus” program just last year.

“While we would’ve liked to see this company grow and prosper, let’s not lose sight of what was achieved,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Sure, 1100 employees are slated to lose their jobs because of the bankruptcy, but don’t forget, they got those jobs because of the government stimulus money. Keeping these people employed for two years like we did shouldn’t be scoffed at.” (Note: The taxpayers’ tab for each of the 1100 employee’s two years on the job exceeded $400,000.)

In a move aimed at preventing the President’s enemies from exploiting the bankruptcy for political gain, the Department of Justice ordered the FBI to seize company records and put them under lock and key until after the 2012 election.

Drug Addicts Can’t Be Denied Welfare, Says ACLU

A Florida law requiring welfare recipients to pass a drug test before receiving benefits is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU contends that the law is an unconstitutional “search and seizure.”

“Welfare must be made available based upon need,” explained ACLU spokesman Bertram Petty. “It cannot be made contingent upon passage of a drug test. Drug addiction is not a crime. Therefore, the state has no ‘probable cause’ for seizing anyone’s urine and subjecting it to any test.”

Petty dismissed the argument that applying for welfare benefits is a voluntary act and that no one is forced into the drug test. “Need is what forces a person into the welfare system,” Petty argued. “It has been widely accepted that drug addiction is a disabling condition that thrusts a person into a needful status. To insist that an addict is at fault for his own condition blames the victim.”

“We’re not denying that a person may contribute to his own decrepit condition,” Petty continued. “A lot of those in need got that way because they’re lazy or improvident. Yet, these people can pass the required drug test. Surely, a person who is disabled by drugs has a stronger claim on our sympathy than one who is simply lazy. For an addict to be denied benefits because of his affliction is
discriminatory. It cannot be permitted.”

9/11 Remembrances One-Sided, Says al-Jazerra

As America seeks to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the al-Jazerra TV network urges us “not to forget the other lives lost on that fateful day. There were 19 young Muslim men who sacrificed themselves that day to bring glory to Allah. Though President Obama professes to be a friend to Islam he has done nothing to rectify the fact that every 9/11 event scheduled in his country slights the memory of these brave men. Shame on him.”

President Explains “Civil Discourse”

Recent Democrat attacks in which Republicans have been called “barbarians” and “terrorists” who “must be taken out” are not offensive says President Obama.

“You have to consider the source and the context,” the president maintained. “Who says something is just as important as what is said. For example, I know Joe Biden. I know his heart and mind are in the right place. If he calls someone a barbarian it is not without good reason.”

“It’s a different story, though, when the speaker is on the wrong side of the great moral divide that separates us from our enemies,” Obama went on. “Their words are more suspect because their intent is evil. Condemning evil while supporting one’s friends is the stance that every righteous person ought to take. So, far from chastising them, I’d have to say that I’m proud of my friends who have dared to speak the truth.”

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Obama Miffed over Date Rebuff

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

House Speaker John Boehner’s rejection of President Obama’s request to speak to Congress on September 7 became the focus of the president’s latest plea for campaign donations. Just a few hours after Boehner declined the date and suggested a September 8 alternative, the President’s campaign sent an e-mail to supporters.

“I am the leader of the free world,” Obama contended. “Being rebuffed by Congress does untold damage to my image. This can only harm my ability to effect the transformation for which I was elected to accomplish in 2008. Harming the President like this—some might call it treason.”

The president also hinted that Boehner’s action might be unconstitutional. “Not only was the Republicans’ refusal rude and insensitive—it showed that Boehner doesn’t really care about hurting my
feelings—it was also a cruel and unusual punishment. No other President has ever been treated this way. Now, as a Constitutional scholar, I know that ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ is against it.”

The e-mail recipients were asked to give generously in order “to prevent the enemies of democracy from thwarting our drive toward the social justice we pledged to wreak upon America.”

In related news, Vice-President Joe Biden rejected contentions that a long string of policy failures may indicate that President Obama lacks the smarts to handle the job. “There’s no question in my mind that Barack is the brightest guy we’ve ever had as a president,” Biden said. As proof, Biden cited “all the times he’s beaten me at ‘tic-tac-toe.’ It doesn’t matter whether he has the ‘Xs’ or ‘Os.’ He beats me every time. That’s the kind of dominating brilliance this country needs from its leadership.”

No Special Treatment for President Obama’s Illegal Immigrant Uncle

Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the President’s illegal immigrant uncle, Onyango Obama, will get no special treatment. Onyango was arrested in Framingham, Massachusetts last week on a drunken driving charge.

“Like so many undocumented Americans, the President’s uncle has shown he has the ability to fit in,” Carney observed. “Despite being here illegally for nearly 20 years, he, like so many other immigrants have done, managed to obtain both a Social Security number and a driver’s license. This is the kind of ‘can do’ skill that has made this country great.”

Carney classified the drunk driving charge as “a minor offense—the sort any one of us might commit anytime we get behind the wheel” and said he doubted Onyango would be disqualified for the President’s recently announced blanket amnesty program.

President Puts EPA Regs on Hold

President Barack Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put its proposed new, tighter controls over smog emissions “on hold for the time being.” The President asserted that “while these regulations are fully warranted based on the scientific evidence, the projected negative impact on employment suggests that now is not the time to implement them.”

Observers speculate that the estimated $90 billion in compliance costs combined with the continued poor unemployment statistics pushed Obama to make this “u-turn” in his environmental program. The reaction from industry and environmental groups seems to bear this out.

Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute called the President’s action “good news for the economy,” alleging that “the EPA’s proposed regulations would prevent the job creation that the President says is his ‘top priority.’”

In contrast, Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, characterized the move as a huge win for corporate polluters and huge loss for public health.”

The president asked those concerned with environmental issues to be patient. “You know where I stand on this,” he said. “But let’s keep our priorities straight. There’s an election coming up. It’s critical that I win this election. Hitting employers with higher costs right now will reduce hiring or maybe even lead to more lay-offs. This would tend to undermine my chances. There’ll be another opportunity to enact these regulations after I’m reelected. The rules are already written. All that’s needed is the ‘go ahead.’ I can give that go ahead in 2013.”

Congressional Investigation Inspires DOJ Action on “Fast & Furious” Scandal

The Congressional investigation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) covert program to supply weapons to Mexican drug smugglers has been met by widespread delays, stonewalling, and obfuscation by the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ). However, a recent revelation by Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif), that he has been comparing documents DOJ has supplied to his committee with documents he has received from “third parties” may have inspired Attorney  General Eric Holder to take action.

Calling these “third party” sources referenced by Issa “a dangerous threat to national security,” Holder vowed he would “spare no effort to ferret out who is leaking this confidential information.”

Thus far, three “possible suspects”—Kenneth Melson, Dennis Burke, and Emory Hurley—have been ousted from positions that would enable them to access potentially damaging documents. “We’re not saying these people are necessarily guilty,” Holder cautioned. “We’ll see if this shake-up stems the flow of unauthorized disclosures of information or whether we need to cast a wider net.”

Holder said he does not rule out “the possibility that more severe sanctions may be needed to ensure the appropriate measure of loyalty from our personnel. The President has many enemies outside his Administration. The idea that there could be some on the inside is frightening. We will not tolerate it.”

More than 20 weapons supplied to criminals by the ATF have been found at various murder sites in Mexico. This does not include the two assault rifles used to kill US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry or the weapons found at 11 other crime scenes in the United States.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the scandal “reaffirms the need for comprehensive gun control legislation. It’s only because gun sales are legal in this country that the ATF was able to arm these criminals. If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have them. That will make the police’s job that much simpler—anyone with a gun would be a criminal. Getting a conviction for possession of a firearm will be a lot easier than trying to convict someone for murder. It’s a ‘no brainer.’”

Out-Sourced Qurans Filled with Errors, Iranian Government Says

A recent effort to make Qurans more affordable in Iran is proving a source of embarrassment for the regime. In a bid to cut costs, the government let a contract to print Qurans to a firm located in China. It seems that the finished product is loaded with spelling and grammatical errors.

Ahmad Haji-Sharif, director of the department of evaluation on publication of the Holy Quran, expressed outrage with the results. “Take the Quran’s command calling for Muslims to slay Jews,” Haji-Sharif offered as an example. “These Chinese dolts had the Holy book calling for Muslims to ‘sway’ the Jews. It’s blasphemy.”

Kung Pao, spokesman for China’s Anhui Publishing Group, attributed the problem to “a simple misunderstanding. It was our impression that the Quran was a book based on the sayings of a religious leader, you know, like Buddha or Jesus. Well, aren’t religious leaders trying to guide people toward the right path? Wouldn’t swaying the Jews from their erroneous thinking be a more likely thing to say?”

Trucking Firms Must Hire Alcoholics as Drivers

The Memphis District Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit against the Old Dominion Freight Line trucking company contending that its policy against hiring alcoholics to drive their trucks violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Katharine Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, maintains that “alcoholism is a disability. As such, it cannot be used as a reason for barring a person from employment.”

To counter the company’s claim that putting an alcoholic behind the wheel of a 40-ton truck would be unsafe, the EEOC’s suit argues that “there are other ways the firm can promote safety. They could use breathalyzer, ignition interlock devices, for example. But in any case, the law protects a person’s right to pursue his chosen vocation without being discriminated against because of his disability.”

Texas Sonogram Law Blocked

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks issued an injunction against a Texas law that would require a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram and hear about its results at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that in this country any woman has the right to have an abortion at any time and for any reason,” Sparks wrote. “The intent of the Texas law is to provide information and time during which a woman might change her mind. It is an unacceptable infringement of this well-established woman’s right.”

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