John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
A tearful Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla) blamed “heartless Republicans” for the “severe hardships” the sequester is imposing on members of her staff.
“Nearly half of my office staff has been forced to forgo lunch on a daily basis because of the cruel budget cuts that have been forced down our throats by the GOP,” the Congresswoman claimed.
The “toll of suffering” has been less than half because “some have been able to make do with sack lunches of leftovers or peanut butter sandwiches they bring from home,” she explained. “This is not a solution that can be applied across-the-board, though. Some simply lack the skill required to assemble their own lunches. Others feel that going out for lunch is an essential part of being a person of stature.”
Wasserman-Schultz suggested that those wanting to help preserve the dignity and health of those serving in government could make a cash donation to the “Congressional Aide Feeding Fund” and should call her office (202- 225-7931) to arrange for automatic monthly transfers from their checking accounts.
Homeland Security’s Big Ammo Purchase Raises Concerns
Congressional efforts to ascertain why the Department of Homeland Security needs over a billion rounds of ammunition and thousands of armored vehicles have been rebuffed by Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Representative Timothy Huelscamp (R-Kan) says his efforts to obtain an explanation have gone nowhere. “No one at DHS will give me any kind of response,” Huelscamp complained. “They tell me that the information I’m seeking is only given out on a ‘need to know’ basis.”
Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ) has experienced similar difficulties in getting answers. “The contention that ‘buying in bulk’ is a cost-saving measure is suspect,” Lance argued. “At current usage rates, the 1.6 billion rounds recently purchased would last 100 years. That’s far beyond the shelf-life of the ammunition.”
Napolitano stood fast behind her Department’s refusal to go into any detail about the purchases saying that “there are many enemies who could make use of information relating to our government’s intentions. By keeping these intentions confidential we retain the element of surprise, which as anyone familiar with armed conflict knows, is a great force multiplier.”
As ever, Vice-President Joe Biden was somewhat more forthcoming. “The Government can’t take a chance of being out-gunned,” he said. “Until we have comprehensive gun-control laws, the Government needs enough firepower to take down everyone who might threaten its authority.”
Concern over the intent of these huge weapons procurements isn’t confined to President Obama’s critics on the right. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, a left-wing “peace and social justice movement,” called the DHS actions “troubling.” “We are upset that the media and Democratic members of Congress who would’ve been all over such behavior if it were being carried out by the Bush Administration are giving President Obama’s crew a pass,” Benjamin said. “It’s as if they’re tacitly saying a police-state run by Democrats is okay.”
In related news, Napolitano defended her decision to upgrade travelers from Saudi Arabia to “trusted traveler” status. Even though 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, Napolitano insisted that “we’re not going to let a single statistical quirk outweigh the substantial bonds of friendship achieved between our two countries. President Obama has assured me that the large sums donated to his reelection by the Saudi Government have reassured him that Saudi citizens can be trusted and should not be hassled or molested by our TSA officers.”
NY Gun-Control Law a Fiasco
Before it has even gone into effect the gun-control law championed by Governor Andrew Cuomo has run into insurmountable problems. Under the law it is illegal for anyone in the state to have a weapon with a magazine that holds more than seven bullets. Aside from converting the majority of the state’s gun owners into criminals virtually overnight, hardly any seven bullet magazines are available.
Rather than admit this law is infeasible, Cuomo is pressing the legislature to amend it to allow larger magazines, but forbid anyone from loading more than seven bullets in them. Skeptics wondering how law enforcement personnel would be able to tell how many bullets were loaded in these magazines were assured by the Governor that “an energetic stop-and-frisk program would be implemented by police. Not only will we catch those who’ve loaded too many bullets, but those without permits to bear arms will also be snared.”
Under Cuomo’s proposed amended law, those who inadvertently or innocently violated the law could be pardoned by the Governor—a feature Cuomo contends will augment civil peace. “My ability to differentiate between those who are essentially good citizens who’ve made a simple mistake and those who are flouting the government’s authority is a potentially powerful tool for maintaining order,” the Governor argued. “People who pay their taxes and obey the laws will get a break. People who have a history of challenging authority can expect to bear the full penalty. The incentives for citizens to behave themselves will be strengthened.”
Another explanation for Cuomo’s reluctance to abandon his infeasible law may be the anticipated surge of revenues from fines. Turning hundreds of thousands of previously legal gun owners into criminals is seen as an equitable way of covering the state’s deficit. “If anyone deserves to pay more for the cost of state government it’s those who insist on having guns they don’t need,” the Governor declared.
Kerry Sees UN Treaty as End Run Around Second Amendment
Secretary of State John Kerry touted the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as “the perfect solution for bypassing the objections of gun zealots citing the Constitution’s Second Amendment as a bar to gun control.”
“Even if we accept the notion that the Second Amendment prohibits the Government from disarming the population, the Constitution provides an alternative method for accomplishing this objective,” Kerry asserted. “The Constitution’s Article VI says that treaties made by the US Government are the supreme law of the land—anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
“All we need to do is for the President to sign and get two-thirds of the Senate to consent to a treaty to ban private possession of firearms and there wouldn’t be anything the opponents of gun-control could do about it,” Kerry bragged. “We wouldn’t need three-fourths of the states to acquiesce in amending the Constitution. State or local sheriffs couldn’t refuse to enforce gun control without running afoul of the penalties specified in the treaty. It’s the ideal checkmate for Americans who bitterly cling to their guns.”
Senate Democrats Vote to Keep White House Closed to Tourists
A GOP attempt to make a modest change to the budget in order to overturn the Administration’s decision to use the sequester as an excuse to shut down tourist access to the White House was shot down in the Democrat -controlled Senate by a 54-45 vote.
“Every sector of our society must bear its share of the pain caused by the sequester’s budget cuts,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). “Wrecking vacations and disrupting school field trips helps convey the importance of maintaining the full measure of spending the President wants.”
As it turns out, though, not every sector of society is bearing a share of the pain. Untouched by the sequester’s budget constraint were federal subsidies of $400,000 to study the size of duck penises, $345,000 to see if snakes would attempt to eat a robot squirrel, and a $140,000 grant to China to investigate swine manure.
Reid argued that “cutting funds for more esoteric and obscure projects wouldn’t have the same impact. No one cares about such outlays. But when a busload of kids is turned away a lot more people are going to hear about it. When they do they’re going to blame stingy Republicans. Democrats shouldn’t feel obliged to rescue the GOP from the rightful outrage of their disappointed constituents.”
Biden and Pelosi Take Holy Communion in Rome
As supporters of legalized abortion, nominally Catholic politicians like Vice-President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) are not supposed to receive Holy Communion at Mass. Enforcement, though, is on the “honor system.” Biden and Pelosi skirted this honor system and took Holy Communion at the Mass of Installation for Pope Francis in Rome.
Biden viewed it as a personal triumph. “Each time you receive Communion the slate is wiped clean,” Biden boasted. “So whatever sins you might’ve committed are absolved. It doesn’t matter whether the priest unknowingly gives it to you or overlooks your support for abortion rights in order to avoid making a scene. Either way, you’re home-free.”
Pelosi saw it as more of a political statement. “Each time a proponent of choice is accepted among the ranks of the faithful draws us closer to the day when a woman’s right to choose is finally incorporated into the Church’s theology,” Pelosi predicted. “After all, Jesus was a great champion of women’s rights against an ultra-patriarchal Jewish orthodoxy. What could be more important to a woman than full control over her own body?”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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