Conservatives must dare to be fiscally responsible

By U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, (Arizona-Republican)

If there’s anything I have learned since returning to Congress, it’s that talk is still cheap, progress is still slow, and our liberties continue to erode every day.

When I last served in the House during the 1990s, it was common to say that we needed to control spending to protect future generations. Since I left, I have watched the national debt pile up under President George W. Bush, and then explode to unprecedented levels under President Obama. Indeed, both political parties are responsible for this. Our fiscal situation has now become so dire that it’s no longer just about protecting future generations — it’s about protecting the person retiring tomorrow.

This is what compelled me to return to Washington and get back in the fight to restore fiscal sanity.

Since being sworn in, I’ve had the opportunity to survey our problems from the inside out for more than two months. It’s not pretty. America now owes more in debt than the total of our national gross domestic product, and Congress is more dysfunctional than ever.

Sadly, far too many politicians in Washington lack the courage to do something to fix our problems. They are worried about the political implications of making the hard choices we so desperately need to cut spending and shrink government.

That’s unfortunate, and it needs to change.

During my previous tenure in Congress, House Republicans passed several pieces of meaningful legislation. We enacted welfare reform, pro-growth tax cuts, and achieved the holiest of grails — a balanced budget. In fact, by the time I left Congress in 2001 to honor my term-limits pledge, we had a budget surplus of more than $240 billion.

These successes were not easy to achieve. They came about because House conservatives were willing to confront GOP leadership when they occasionally got off-track rather than standing firm on the principles of economic freedom.

One tactic we used was to vote against House rules on specific bills that did not uphold conservative principles.

This is how it works: Before a bill can be considered in the House, there must first be a vote on the rule. The rule dictates how much time is spent on debate, how many amendments will be allowed, etc. Since the majority party is in charge of the House schedule, they are the ones who create the rules. The vote to pass these rules is almost always party-line affairs and usually goes unchallenged.

It’s not uncommon for strong, fiscally conservative Republicans in the House to support the rule on an ugly bill that grows government, but then vote against the underlying bill.

Yet it shouldn’t be that way. Why should a self-described fiscal conservative enable the passage of a bad bill by supporting the rule? If they oppose the underlying bill, then they should vote against any procedural move — including the rule — that enables the bill’s passage.

As Rep. John D. Dingell, Michigan Democrat, once said, “If you let me write the procedure, and I let you write the substance, I’ll [beat] you every time.”

More recently, had House conservatives voted against certain rules, they could have defeated several big-government bills that passed under a Republican House.

It’s time to shake things up and return the Republican Party to its roots of smaller government and less spending.

From this point forward, I will vote against the rule for bills that increase spending without offsetting spending cuts and encourage my other conservative colleagues to do the same. Similarly, if House leadership brings any more bills to the floor without first securing the support from the majority of the GOP conference, I will take the same action. If enough of my conservative colleagues in the House join me, we can unilaterally put an end to the growth of government that is moving us closer to Greece-like fiscal calamities.

Why would I be willing to challenge my Republican leadership? Because my allegiance will always be to the Constitution and the American people first and foremost, not to my political party.

The United Kingdom Special Forces have a motto — “who dares, wins.” It’s time for conservative Republicans in Congress to dare. The future of our nation depends on it.


McCain Calls Fellow Senators ‘Wacko Birds’

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

Folder2 104Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) assailed fellow Senators Rand Paul (R-Ken) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex) as “wacko birds” for participating in a 13-hour long filibuster against the confirmation of CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The filibusterers vowed to continue until the Obama Administration answered a question they had about possible drone strikes on American citizens on American soil.

McCain maintained that “the question is an impertinent violation of the separation of powers. The decision to use deadly force against this country’s enemies is the sole prerogative of the Commander-in-Chief. Senator Paul has no business meddling.”

The Arizona Senator argued that his stance was confirmed by the fact that it was he and eleven other “important Senators who were invited to dine with President Obama while Paul and his accomplice were blathering in the Senate. I think we have to question the sanity of someone who would prefer to rant in the Senate chamber over an evening of fine dining with the President.”

Senator Lindsey Graham echoed McCain’s sentiments insisting that “the crucial interactions of our government are settled quietly among men of stature. It should be readily apparent that our ‘sit-down’ with the President carried more weight for the fate of the nation than a couple of neophyte senators droning on in an empty room.”

Senator Paul lamented “the troubling implications of colleagues who prefer schmoozing with the President to taking a stand against undermining citizens’ Constitutional rights to due process. The parallel with how Roman senators acquiesced in the demise of their republic is disturbing.”

Whether the filibuster was effective or not remains to be seen. Senator Paul did achieve his immediate aim of getting the Administration on record as eschewing any authority to use drones to execute Americans on American soil. The value of this statement, however, is undetermined. Obama has a well-documented history of incongruity between his words and deeds.

In related news, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said “the President should stop wasting his time trying to be nice to the Republicans. He doesn’t need them. He’s the Commander-in-Chief. That’s all the authority he really needs to rule this country. He needs to use it more forcefully.”

Administration’s Sequester Antics Strain Credibility

In an effort to try to make the sequestration as painful as possible, The Administration announced that the White House would be closed to tourists for the duration. White House Visitors Office Director, Ellie Schafer explains that “in this time of fiscal crisis everyone must do his or her fair share of sacrifice.”

The estimated annual savings to be attained by canceling visitors’ access to tours of the White House is a little over $900,000. This is less than the million dollars the Administration spent on a single Presidential golf outing with Tiger Woods in February.

Schafer contended that the comparison is “unfair. The cancellation of one Presidential recreational outing would place the sacrifice all on one person. Closing down the tours spreads the pain over tens of thousands of people each of whom suffers a small amount. We think it’s more equitable for a lot of people to give up a little than for one person to give up a lot, especially when the President has already sacrificed so much for the country.”

The sequester belt-tightening has skipped over Ms. Schafer who received a 25% salary increase this past year. The three White House calligraphers who collectively take home nearly $300,000 a year have also been spared because “hand-crafted invitations are essential to upholding the majesty of the office.”

NYC Mayor Insists Documented Incompetence of Citizens Validates His Actions

The case for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “nanny-state” style of governance received a boost from a just-released study revealing that 80% of New York City’s public school graduates can’t read.

“I think this pretty much vindicates what I’ve been trying to do,” said a euphoric Bloomberg. “The demonstrated incompetence of those who graduate helps illustrate the magnitude of the problem when you realize that the majority of those who start high school in this city drop out before finishing.”

“Let’s face it, the average New Yorker is a moron,” Bloomberg elaborated. “These people are obviously unqualified to decide what to eat and drink, how much sleep or exercise they need, what to listen to or watch on TV. They need my help. Unlike my pusillanimous peers, I’m not afraid to take the reins and govern for benefit of those who can’t run their own lives.”

Bloomberg said he is working on a program to use the City’s extensive surveillance system to spot those up and about past a healthy bedtime hour and guide police to interdict offenders. “It’s not as airtight as a nightly ‘bed-check,’ but it’s the best we can do with current resources,” Bloomberg acknowledged. “We’re also looking at ways to use this system to organize some supervised callisthenics for those out on the streets during daylight hours. If Muslims can be called to prayer for a few minutes at intervals during the day surely we can call on people to do a few jumping-jacks and squat-thrusts for their health and fitness on a similar schedule.”

Democrats Argue for Fairer Allocation of Nation’s Collective Wealth

Both President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) labeled GOP demands that the federal deficit be reduced by focusing on cuts in government spending “narrow minded.”

“By insisting on looking only at federal spending they’re ignoring 75% of the economy,” the President complained. “America produces $15 trillion of output per year. The federal government only spends $3.5 trillion of that. What we’re saying is that the fairest way to cut the deficit is to take a slice out of the bigger piece of the pie that currently is allocated to the private sector.”

“Every dollar we let the private sector take out of the nation’s GDP is a dollar that could be used to reduce the federal deficit,” Obama explained. “By siding with those who are already hogging the bigger share of the collective wealth of America, the GOP is siding with selfishness over community.”

“The Republicans’ argument that the private sector is earning its wealth overlooks the fact that the government is letting them do this,” Pelosi maintained. “The amount of the nation’s wealth that is allowed to flow to the private sector is a discretionary decision. The GOP’s attempt to assert that a person who produces it  has some sort of claim on the output elevates greed over need as a matter of policy.”

Obama and Pelosi expressed optimism that “once the American people realize that the entire wealth of the nation can be redistributed by government action they will either press the Republicans to cooperate in the process or sweep them aside into the dustbin of history.”

The idea that government can make better use of the nation’s resources is cast into doubt by a recent Inspector General’s report showing that most of the $63 billion in taxpayer money spent to reconstruct Iraq has been wasted. Part of the money went to overpay for supplies like the $900 paid for a switch that retails for $7 and the $80 paid for pipe that retails for less than $2. Other funds went for construction projects never completed that now lie in ruins. Nearly a third of the $63 billion seems to have simply disappeared without a trace.

Actress to Run for Senate

Hollywood cutie Ashley Judd is preparing to run for the Kentucky senate seat currently held by Mitch McConnell (R). The 44 year-old actress has no prior political experience, but exudes confidence she’ll win.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll have the edge in the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition,” Judd bragged. “Talent-wise, I’m prepping by taking singing lessons from my Mom. The one iffy part I’m facing is the ‘poise question.’ There are so many worthy causes I’d like to promote during my reign that it”ll be hard to pick one.”

Judd speculated that “McConnell’s ugliness is a definite plus for me. He’s old and kind of lumpy with no sex appeal. While I may be a bit past my prime for Hollywood at 44, McConnell’s way past his ‘sell by’ date.”

Whether Judd’s glamor and sex-appeal will be able to overcome the ill-will sparked her previous campaign to replace coal-fired power-generation with the free distribution of government-subsidized D-cell batteries remains to be seen. Coal mining is a major industry in Kentucky.

Dem Says Better Informed Criminals Is Best Defense against Rape

Seeking to counter a potentially powerful argument against gun-control, Democratic Strategist Zerlina Maxwell contends that women arming themselves to fend off potential rapists isn’t necessary.

“Urging women to take up arms is the wrong approach,” Maxwell said. “The primary responsibility lies with the men who commit rape. What we need to do is tell men not to rape women. We need to clearly communicate the message that rape is an inappropriate way to interact with women. Putting society’s energy into disseminating this message would be our best investment toward solving this problem.” Maxwell cited the low educational achievement of most rapists as proof of “the great potential of an information-based approach.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

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SHOCKING MUST READ: Don’t Let Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Advocates Institute Cultural Madness and Turn America on its Head

Sky Fall: Gender Ideology Comes to the Schoolhouse

The Witherspoon Institute
March 1, 2013

In our discussions with advocates of redefining marriage, we often hear that defenders of marriage and sexual difference are overreacting to cultural and legal changes. “You run around yelling that the sky is falling,” we’re told. “We’ve had same-sex marriage for a decade now in Massachusetts, and guess what: The sky is not falling.”

This is not an argument, of course, but an attempt to end any discussion of what it would mean to remove sexual distinctions from the law. As it did to James Bond’s psychiatric evaluation in the recent hit movie, the mention of the phrase “sky fall” is supposed to terminate the proceedings.

No serious participants in the current marriage discussion are running around like Chicken Little. Defenders of marriage are concerned primarily about the long-term implications of redefining the institution. We might not expect the redefinition of marriage to alter cultural practices dramatically right away. After all, it took nearly two generations to realize the full effects of the divorce revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. But strange things are nevertheless happening in Massachusetts, where sexual difference was eliminated from marriage laws in 2003.

Two years ago, the Massachusetts legislature enacted a statute prohibiting, among other things, discrimination in public schools on the basis of “gender identity.” The law defines gender identity as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior,” which is not determined by “the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”

On the basis of that statute, the Massachusetts Department of Education (MDOE) has now eradicated sexual distinctions from public schools. MDOE’s new directive requires schools to let children use bathrooms and play on sports teams according to the gender they personally identify as theirs, not their anatomical sex. The directive also admonishes schools to eliminate sex and gender distinctions in graduation garb, physical education, and other practices.

Under Massachusetts law, the connection between gender identity and sexual distinction is now considered a historical accident, the result of arbitrary (at best) or mistaken documentation at birth. MDOE’s directive explains:

One’s gender identity is an innate, largely inflexible characteristic of each individual’s personality that is generally established by age four, although the age at which individuals come to understand and express their gender identity may vary based on each person’s social and familial social development. As a result, the person best situated to determine a student’s gender identity is that student himself or herself.

Because the child is solely responsible for identifying his or her own gender, the regulations require school officials to seek the student’s permission before disclosing the student’s gender identity to his or her parents.

That’s not all. The regulations suggest that students who don’t endorse a fellow student’s gender identity may be subject to punishment. After condemning bullying, the directive endorses a memorandum that a Massachusetts school principal sent to teachers instructing them to discipline students who intentionally refer to a transgender student by his or her given name, or the pronoun corresponding to his or her anatomical sex. Such behavior “should not be tolerated.”

MDOE justifies these regulations on pedagogical grounds: “All students need a safe and supportive school environment to progress academically and developmentally.” By “all students” MDOE must mean all students who share MDOE’s conception of sex and gender as an individual choice.

It is not difficult to imagine who will embrace MDOE’s conception. The regulations state, “A student who says she is a girl and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day and throughout every, or almost every, other area of her life, should be respected and treated like a girl” (emphasis ours). The caveat that the student might want to be treated like a boy for some purposes seems an implicit admission that gender identity is not, in fact, an inflexible characteristic, as MDOE insists, but rather can adjust over time. And the directive states that the law “does not require consistent and uniform assertion of gender identity” (emphasis original).

While we doubt that teenage boys will take much interest in the provenance of gender personality, it’s not a stretch to suppose that they will welcome its implications for co-ed activity.

Perhaps this is why many parents in Massachusetts find these regulations shocking. We must confess that we are not so surprised. Massachusetts lawmakers have for many years been eradicating sexual distinctions from the law. This result seems to us the logical consequence of those efforts.

Redefining marriage to eliminate sexual complementarity as an essential characteristic doesn’t automatically commit a state to forcing girls to share locker rooms with boys. But there is a logical connection. One of the premises justifying the redefinition of marriage also grounds these new regulations, that is, the view that sexual difference is irrelevant to the practice of marriage.

But if sexual difference is irrelevant to marriage, then how can it be relevant to any practices? Once the state has determined that sexual difference is no longer a legitimate reason to extend special recognition to man-woman monogamy, there is no reason in principle to maintain sexual distinctions in less intimate practices. If one’s anatomical reality isn’t relevant to one’s marriage, it’s even less obvious why it should be relevant to one’s bathroom choice.

To be sure, there are prudential implications of eradicating sexual distinction from education laws. But if letting people identify their own gender is a matter of justice, then it’s the job of law to solve the practical problems of implementation. (That is a key lesson of civil rights legislation.)

Though future practical problems might seem obvious, the law makes it far from clear that there are any. If a boy who identifies as a girl really is a girl, as the law declaims, then any perceived harms resulting from his presence in a girls’ locker room are illusory. No wonder the Commonwealth exhorts school officials to discipline students who object to the arrangement.

There are other indications that those who perceive inherent differences between men and women will increasingly be marginalized from public life in Massachusetts. A few months ago, a federal court in Massachusetts ruled that the United States Constitution requires the Commonwealth’s Department of Corrections to pay for a sex-change surgery requested by an inmate who is serving time for murder. It is cruel and unusual punishment, the court reasoned, to force the prisoner to keep his anatomy intact while he is incarcerated.

This ruling might seem unrelated to removing sexual distinctions from law, but for the court’s reasoning. The court discredited the Commonwealth’s expert witnesses, who expressed doubt that a sex-change surgery is medically necessary, and who recommended treating the prisoner’s psychological and emotional disorders instead.

The court ruled that these recommendations are “not within the range that would be acceptable by prudent professionals.” In other words, the court decided that no prudent professional would deny sex-change surgery to a male prisoner who identifies himself as a woman.

The lesson is clear. If you think male and female are two distinct sexes determined by your anatomy at birth, then don’t bother serving as an expert witness in the United States District Court in Massachusetts. Nor can you in good conscience send your children to public school in the Commonwealth. A view of human nature that until very recently was understood to be obvious is becoming a source of disqualification from participating in public life.

As lawyers, we perceive the logic of this latest regulatory innovation. But as fathers, we think that those who are dismayed by MDOE’s regulations are the only Massachusetts residents who can plausibly claim to be in their right minds. If the sky is not falling then it is at least showing ominous fissures.

Adam MacLeod is an associate professor at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and a 2012-2013 Visiting Fellow of the James Madison Program at Princeton University. Andrew Beckwith is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Massachusetts Family Institute.

Rep. Montenegro Exploring Run for Secretary of State

State Representative Steve Montenegro (LD13), responding to a letter he received earlier this week from nearly 20 conservative community leaders, announced Thursday that he had formed an exploratory Committee to explore a campaign for the office of Secretary of State.

The third-term lawmaker released the following statement about this announcement:

“I am honored to have the confidence of so many great leaders from around the state. When respected leaders of your community come together and ask you to consider serving a worthy cause, it is impossible not to answer their call.”

“I appreciate their kind recognition of my voting record, and agree that ourparty faces challenges in communicating our message to every corner ofour state. Our message of smaller government, greater personal freedom, and opportunity for all, remains a winning message and I look  forward to sharing it with everyone across this great state.”

The letter read, in part “As a conservative, you have a voting record second to none, which offers voters the assurance that you can be trusted to protect taxpayers and our Constitutional rights. You respect the rule of law and youcan be trusted to be fair and impartial in that important office. As a Latino Republican, and a legal immigrant into this country, you have the ability to take our message into every neighborhood in Arizona and connect with voters in a way that no other candidate can.”

Martial Law: Tucson City Council Hands Authority Over to Military

Info Wars reports …

On February 20, 2013, the Tucson, Arizona City Council passed a resolution allowing the U.S. Air Force to “make appropriate decisions when balancing National Security and community needs when it comes to their existing and future military mission and assignments.”

In other words, the resolution allows the military to reject decisions made by the people of Tucson.

The resolution is posted on the Tucson government website (as of this writing) and further states that it “is necessary for the preservation of the peace, health and safety of the City of Tucson that this Resolution become immediately effective, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Resolution shall be effective immediately upon its passage and adoption.”

In short, the Council has imposed what for all practical purposes is a declaration of martial law on the residents of Tucson.

According to the Military Law Dictionary, “Martial law is defined as the imposition of military rule over a particular region on an emergency basis” and the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus is routinely denied during its tenure.

The resolution does not, however, implement full-blown martial law but rather a limited version that permits the Pentagon to decide what municipal laws it will obey when dealing with civilians.

The public was not allowed to voice its opposition and Council members were not permitted to discuss the resolution, as noted by the meeting notice and agenda posted on the city government website.

“Matters listed under the Consent Agenda are considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion and one vote,” the agenda states. “There will be no separate discussion of these items. If discussion is desired by members of the governing body, that item will be removed from the Consent Agenda and will be considered separately.”

The Department of Defense initially made the power grab in response to civilian complaints about military flights over the city.

“This resolution will allow DM to increase by at least two-fold or more, the number of overflights of the very densely populated midtown Tucson, and allow round-the-clock overflights, and the introduction of whatever aircraft they wish, in whatever numbers they wish…. including the hearing-damaging accident-waiting-to-happen-experimental F-35!” Occupied Tucson Citizen reported.

“The use of the term ‘emergency’ is particularly despicable! In this case, it is not even stated what constitutes the so-called “emergency”, but is obviously being used to get around the fact that it was passed in great haste and secrecy, so as not to alert citizens of how they are being shafted!” has moved copies of the above linked PDFs to its server due to past instances where government has removed documents:

Resolution 22006

Mayor and Council Regular Meeting Notice & Agenda

Martial Law: Tucson City Council Hands Authority Over to Military

Rep. Schweikert Frustrated over Denial for Tribal Amendments

Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) made the following statement on the House Floor Thursday to express his disappointment that the Cole-Issa tribal amendment was not allowed to be offered during debate on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 

“I wanted to share a certain frustration, particularly about the votes we just had here in the House.

“I come from Arizona. We have 22 tribal communities–21 actual designated reservations.

“I’ve lived almost my entire life alongside the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. It’s a sophisticated tribe with wonderful outreach into the community. They’ve come light-years in the last ten. They’ve done amazing things.

“And we have been working with that community and Congressman Cole’s office, trying to work on language that would work with them in VAWA.

“And yet Congressman Cole and Congressman Issa, were not allowed in the process to offer their amendments.

“And that’s of great frustration to me because there were months and months of labor and work put into that.

“But there was also another irony here and I heard some folks on the Right, and a lot on the Left, talking about it. ‘Well the self determination of the court process within those tribal communities…’

“Okay, great!

“Are we now ready to have this body step up and help our tribes in Arizona that are sophisticated manage their own finances? Their own healthcare?

“Because they are asking for that self determination.”

Homosexual Fascists Score Tainted ‘Victory’ in Phoenix; Freedom Strikes Out

Freedom suffered a damaging blow from homosexual fascists in Phoenix this week.

The city council, led by far Left Mayor Greg Stanton, went into session in the middle of the afternoon to consider a bill that would allow men to use girls’ bathrooms in public places in Phoenix by claiming they are not really men. The resolution is commonly introduced by radicals in major metropolitan areas across the United States with the goal of the furthering the homosexual agenda. With mayors and councilmen typically swinging from the Left side of the plate in these socialist cities, it’s not too difficult to pass such extreme measures.

The timing couldn’t have been more deliberate. Where are most people in the middle of the day? At work, right.

The mayor allowed a scant 60 seconds for those who testified for or against the bill.

Homosexual activists — really fascists — mocked, ridiculed, heckled and booed those speaking against the bill. The mayor was all in — he did nothing significant to allow speakers to be heard. After all, the railroad job was in progress. This is typically what fascists do: they demonize their opponents and do everything to keep them from being heard. Democratic process? Not interested.

The bill passed 5-3.  It’s a loss for Phoenix, whose city leaders have slowly radicalized the state’s largest city over the past two decades.

In the mid-1990s Phoenix won best-run city in the world title.

Then the council approved domestic partner benefits, in essence subsidizing cohabitation. Women in the U.S. are 9 times more likely to be killed by a live-in boyfriend than married women by their husbands. So why are Phoenix and other cities glorifying such risky behavior? Why are taxpayers made to support this?

When I asked an HR rep from Phoenix how many of these people the taxpayers were supporting, he went off on a diatribe, claiming Phoenix isn’t “Leave it to Beaver” anymore. No joke! Thanks to the city councilmen in Phoenx.

And now Phoenix is allowing men who want to be women to use the same bathrooms as little girls.

No wonder Phoenix isn’t winning any more best-run city awards.

Sequester Hits, Disasters Loom

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

Folder2 104“Fiscal bloodbath” is how one federal official speaking off-the-record described the early impacts of the much dreaded budget sequester. “We’re looking at the cancellation of many mission-critical government activities. There’s no way of knowing whether the country will ever be able to recover.”

Anticipation of the cutbacks in spending inspired the Department of Homeland Security to release illegal aliens slated for deportation into the communities near where they were incarcerated. Secretary Janet Napolitano denied any responsibility for the early release and attributed it to a “misunderstanding by a low-level employee.”

“I don’t really know why we were holding these people to begin with,” Napolitano said. “The President’s policy is to grant a path to citizenship. Keeping these people locked up appears incompatible with that.”

While DHS has normally been releasing illegal aliens on their own recognizance until they are expected to voluntarily show up for deportation, others who are facing criminal charges or have criminal records are the ones jailed while deportation processes are underway. These are the ones that DHS started releasing this week.

Napolitano admitted that “this massive and sudden release has been a public relations disaster. I would’ve preferred a less overt strategy of dribbling out a smaller number each day over a more extended timeframe. No one would’ve noticed and the criticisms we’ve been hearing from the right-wing would be more easily ignored.”

Another casualty of the sequester is a projected severe reduction in the number of military aircraft flyovers at major sporting events. Incoming Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed dismay “in having to preside over such a demoralizing blow to the country as one of my first official acts” and blamed “the excessive influence of the Israeli lobby on Republican members of Congress for blocking President Obama’s tax increase solution.”

Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif) predicted that the sequester will eliminate 170 million jobs. Since official government records show that fewer than 140 million Americans are working, the sequester will be more destructive than anyone imagines. Waters tried to reconcile these figures by pointing out that “even jobs in the underground economy will be lost. People being paid under the table, prostitutes, drug pushers—all these people will lose their livelihoods if federal spending isn’t maintained at high levels. Let’s be honest, we’re facing a total unemployment Armageddon here and it’s all the Republicans’ fault.”

Meanwhile, the struggle over who will control the narrative on who’s to blame took a nasty turn as the White House strove to keep the media in line. Long-time liberal reporter Bob Woodward ruffled a few feathers by reminding readers that the sequester was originally President Obama’s idea.

“This is not the current meme,” insisted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). “Woodward’s rummaging through statements made by the President more than a year ago is inappropriate. The President’s says that the cuts forced by the sequester are dumb and arbitrary. Whether it was originally his idea is no longer relevant.”

“For the President’s plan to succeed we must all pull together,” Reid demanded. “Reporters like Mr. Woodward can’t allow themselves to be distracted by selfish notions that attempts to preserve their independence and integrity should rank ahead of the President’s efforts to save the country. We all must say and do whatever is required to help him.”

One of the things Reid and the Democrats in the Senate refused to do was enact a bill passed by the House that would have permitted the President to substitute other spending reductions for those he deems “dumb and arbitrary.” “We gave the President a way out of what he has been characterizing as an undesirable course,” House Speaker John Behner (R-Ohio) said. “Rather than take responsibility for trimming the expenditures he deems least necessary, he prefers a perceived political advantage in accepting ‘dumb and arbitrary’ cuts because he thinks he can shift blame away from himself.”

More Firearms Advice from Vice-President Biden

Continuing his campaign for more gun-control regulations, Vice-President Biden elaborated on the logic behind banning assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

“Look, all a person needs for self-defense is a shotgun,” Biden contended. “Most people aren’t going to be good enough shots to hit a target with a regular gun. With a shotgun you don’t have to be an Annie Oakley. If you think someone is trying to break in, just fire the gun right through the door.”

That the idea of shooting someone sight unseen might not be a good one didn’t seem to faze the VP. “I think most people can tell by the types of sounds coming through the door whether the person is a friend or foe,” Biden argued. The potential risk to innocent visitors like solicitors and salesmen was brushed aside. “Would it really be so bad if fear getting shot deterred some of these annoying pests?” Biden joked.

The Vice-President contrasted his “sensible use of firearms for self-defense” with “the total lack of need for multi-shot weapons. I mean, who needs weapons capable of taking on an army? Sure, we’re supplying opponents of foreign dictatorships with assault type weapons, but in this country the Army is on our side.”

Apprised of the fact that gun-control has been a favorite policy of many brutal dictatorships didn’t alter Biden’s views. “You can argue that guys like Hitler and Stalin used gun-control as a way to disarm opposition, but there is no doubt in my mind that things would’ve been a lot worse if citizens had the means to engage in armed battle with police and troops,” Biden maintained.

In related news, a 22-year-old man in Virginia Beach, Va., was arrested on a charge of reckless endangerment for taking Biden’s advice to shoot through the door to his home to scare off a couple of suspicious characters. The man expressed confidence he would be absolved of the charge. “No court would dare convict me,” he said. “All I did was follow Biden’s advice. Even if I’m found guilty, I think a Vice-Presidential pardon is in the bag.”

Regulations Stifling Business

Fred Deluca, founder of Subway Restaurants says that government regulations are hurting business so much that if he were attempting to start Subway today he’d be unlikely to succeed. Among the regulations he cited as most harmful were the mandatory minimum wage and Obamacare.

“The costs incurred to comply with regulations are particularly hard on small businesses,” Deluca complained. “A guy trying to run a sandwich shop can’t afford the added legal expense of trying to keep up with constantly changing rules. Government bureaucrats think we can easily pass higher costs on to customers, but customers have many choices and will not simply dig deeper to pay more.”

Press Secretary Jay Carney characterized Deluca as “a first-class ingrate. Subway is already a large business. To the extent that regulations are driving up costs for small businesses government is actually helping him fend off the competition of newcomers. He should be thanking us.”

Government regulations discouraging new start-ups was seen as a good thing. “Going into business for yourself is risky,” Carney pointed out. “The majority of new small businesses fail. Stopping them before they get started saves them from the financial and emotional setbacks of failure. It’s not as if there aren’t already enough sandwich shops out there. Besides, the President is a cheeseburger and ice cream kind of guy anyway.”

In related news, in Albuquerque, New Mexico the Route 66 Malt Shop says it will defy a new city ordinance boosting the minimum wage. “Our choice is a stark one—obey and go bankrupt or refuse and stay in business,” said owner Eric Szeman. The shop currently employs 12 minimum-wage workers.

Pat Davis, executive director of the liberal activist group Progress New Mexico, is demanding that the law be strictly enforced. “Failure to pay what the law prescribes is stealing from the employees,” he declared. “The business says that the employees should have the right to choose whether to accept the sub-minimum wage rather than lose their jobs. We say it is better that no one work than that unfair wages be paid.”

Homeless Shelter Ordered to Destroy Food

The Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission was ordered to destroy 1,600 pounds of venison by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. It’s not that there was anything wrong with the meat. It had been processed in accord with regulations put out by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. It’s just that the Mission hadn’t gone through the appropriate channels to get venison on the approved foods list.

“Just because an organization is trying to feed the hungry doesn’t mean they can serve whatever food they want,” Secretary Bruce Greenstein explained. “That the food may be wholesome and nutritious is not the point. We have a process for reviewing foods that institutions would like to add to their menus. If they don’t follow the process they can’t serve the food, it’s as simple as that.”

Whether it would’ve been practical for the Mission to follow the process for this ad hoc donation from Hunters for the Hungry, an organization that allows hunters to donate any extra game to charity, seems doubtful. Not to worry, though, “in the grand scheme of things, the waste of 1,600 pounds of meat is no big deal,” Greenstein insisted.

Ironically, venison is the kind of high-protein, low-fat type of meat that First Lady Michelle Obama has been urging Americans to eat for their health.

A Satirical Look at Recent News

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