John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued a directive blocking persons from donating food to the homeless in his city.
“It’s not that we question the generous intent of these donations,” Bloomberg reassured. “It’s just that we have no way of guaranteeing the quality of the donated food. The risk is that donor ignorance could result in excessive amounts of salt and fat in the diets of these unfortunates.”
If those operating homeless shelters or the homeless themselves do not turn away food donations, NYC police are authorized to seize food items before they can be consumed. While there is, as yet, no explicit penalty associated with the new policy, organizations operating homeless shelters are warned that “failure to comply could spark a more thorough evaluation of their authority to continue to operate.”
Bloomberg haughtily dismissed suggestions that salty or fatty food might be preferable to no food from the point of view of a person living on the street. “We can’t let short-sighted hunger pangs deter us from our goal of raising the standards for all food consumed in the City,” Bloomberg insisted. “The consumption of excess salt and fat in a person’s diet has serious health consequences that we must prevent.”
Luckily, other City regulations will continue to ensure that the more adventurous and enterprising members of the homeless population can feed from dumpsters that are well-stocked with semi-comestible discards from restaurants and grocery stores.
Democrats’ “Get-out-the-Vote” Efforts Impressive
One of the things many of the pre-election polls failed to account for was the Democratic Party’s potent get-out-the-vote efforts. While a complete accounting for all votes has not yet been achieved, results from several locations in key battleground states are impressive.
In nearly two dozen precincts from Philadelphia President Obama received over 99% of the ballots cast. This was topped by some precincts in Cleveland where the President secured 100% of the votes cast.
As sterling a performance as these locations in two states accomplished, they were both outdone by precincts in Colorado where the President received in excess of 100% of the votes cast. In GilpinCounty, 110% of the votes went for Obama. County official Gail Maxwell attributed the showing to the County’s “highly mobile and energized population.”
“On a superficial level, Romney was lulled into believing that drawing large crowds to his speeches in the latter weeks of the campaign was a positive sign,” Obama Campaign adviser David Axelrod observed. “But below the surface and hidden from view our methods are what prevailed on election day.”
GOP Adviser Claims Obama Campaign “Suppressed the Vote”
Republican campaign adviser Karl Rove complained that his Party was the victim of vote suppression.
“You couldn’t turn on a TV in a swing state without seeing a Democrat ad tearing down our nominee,” Rove said. “Sadly, too many registered Republicans were so disgusted by these attacks that they sat out this election as a protest. It was so unfair.”
Rove contrasted the Democrats’ “low road” with the GOP’s “high road.” “On numerous occasions Governor Romney called President Obama a ‘nice guy,’” Rove pointed out. “Not once did President Obama respond in kind. Voters were left to conclude that the Governor might not be a ‘nice guy.’ This is not the way a gentleman campaigns.”
Several of Romney’s rivals for the GOP nomination expressed puzzlement over Rove remarks. “Romney’s ads tore into my candidacy like a hungry T-Rex after I won the South Carolina primary,” Newt Gingrich recalled. “I was mercilessly out-spent and repeatedly pounded by Romney’s TV ads when I was the last obstacle in his path the the nomination,” Senator Rick Santorum remembered.
While admitting that Romney ran a “no holds barred” campaign for the nomination, Rove contended that “a major Party nominee ought to be entitled to a certain measure of respect. Once it’s man-to-man there should be a modicum of mutual respect from both the candidates. President Obama’s refusal to accord Governor Romney the respect due him will forever be a stain on his legacy.”
Odd/Even Gasoline Rationing Runs into Trouble
Borrowing an idea left over from the Carter Administration, New York City announced an odd/even gasoline rationing scheme. It was hoped that the scheme would cut four-hour wait times at gasoline pumps in half.
However, a substantial portion of drivers are unable to determine whether the numbers on their license plates are odd or even. “My plate has four numbers on it,” one driver observed. “Which one should I use?”
Another driver pointed out that “I have a vanity plate. All of the writing on my plate is letters. Do I go on an ‘odd’ day because it is odd to have a vanity plate? Or do I go on an ‘even’ day because there are six letters?”
An unsympathetic Mayor Michael Bloomberg chastised drivers for continuing to own gasoline-fueled vehicles. “If these people drove electric-powered cars like President Obama has been trying to get them to do, they wouldn’t be having this problem,” he said.
It is unclear whether owners of electric vehicles would necessarily be as well off as the Mayor imagines. Hundreds of thousands of homes have been without electricity since Hurricane Sandy hit the City more than a week ago.
In related news, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offices in the hurricane stricken regions of New York and New Jersey were closed due to bad weather. FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate explained “Conditions were bad enough before this latest storm. Getting our employees to their desks under these circumstances is just not worth it. Once the weather emergency has passed we are confident that we can ramp up to a fully staff operation in a matter of just a few months.”
Pundit Grateful for Hurricane Sandy
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews called “the timely arrival of Hurricane Sandy” last week “a God send,” and “a small price to pay for ensuring the reelection of President Obama.”
“Prior to the storm, polls were showing that Romney might win this thing,” Matthews averred. “But the wreckage of people’s homes and the promise of redemption from the federal government that was held forth reinforced the case for big government in many voters’ minds.”
“Governor Christie’s virtual endorsement of President Obama didn’t hurt either,” Matthews added. “Having a Republican governor laud the President’s leadership as ‘magnificent’ kind of deflated Romney’s contention that he would be the best man to work across the aisle.”
That the storm killed more than 100 people and caused over $30 billion in property damage failed to faze Matthews. “The reelection of the President will easily save many more lives,” Matthews argued. “Just yesterday, the Administration announced its support for the UN Small Arms Treaty. If this treaty is ratified by the Democratically controlled Senate the federal government will have the authority to confiscate weapons from those who aren’t qualified to have them. This alone will save thousands of lives a year.”
“Far from being a negative, the $30 billion it will cost to rebuild will stimulate the economy and provide jobs,” Matthews continued. “It will be hard for Republicans to oppose more spending while people are suffering. In a way, the more destruction there is, the better it is for the President’s agenda.”
Ex-Con Elected to Michigan Legislature
Democrat Brian Banks was elected to represent a Detroit district in the Michigan State Assembly last Tuesday. The 35 year-old Banks defeated Republican rival Dan Schulte by a 68% to 32% margin. The fact that Banks had been previously convicted eight times for check kiting and credit card fraud did not deter voters.
“They’re all crooks anyway,” said one supporter. “Why not have someone with relevant experience to help us get a bigger piece of the pie?”
Banks says his experience in financial matters gives him “a leg up in the fight for benefits for my constituents. As I understand it, most of how the government is funded is based on passing the bill forward to the next generation or maybe just reneging on it. The only difference between that and what I’ve done before is that legislators don’t get prosecuted for doing this.”
Though the Michigan Constitution appears to bar convicted felons from running for office, the ban only applies to those who’s felonies occurred while acting in an official capacity for the government. Inasmuch as Banks’ crimes occurred while he was a private citizen he is fully eligible under state law to serve in the legislature.