John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
This past week the Obama Administration unilaterally decreed a postponement in the legislated deadline for implementation of the employer compliance component of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). While many have questioned the legally of this action, Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett vociferously defended it.
“The President can’t be held to a rigid statutory calendar if, in his judgment, the results would be detrimental to his overall agenda,” Jarrett claimed. “Allowing the employer sanctions to go into effect as legislatively mandated would’ve introduced a negative impression of the Act at a most inopportune time.”
The postponed employer sanction is a $2,000 fine for each employee not provided with acceptable heath insurance. The “negative impression” likely refers to the anticipated shock wave of anger amongst the surprisingly large segment of the population that surveys show is unaware of this penalty.
“Heading into the crucial mid-term elections in 2014 we feel it is essential that there be a positive vibe to the program,” Jarrett argued. “Much more is at stake than ritualistic adherence to arbitrary deadlines. The chance for our Party to retake the majority in the House must not be imperiled by mindless devotion to formalities.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) confirmed Jarrett’s take on the issue saying that “the year’s delay will give employers more time to adjust their attitudes toward the new reality. Right now there’s a lot of complaining about how this will hurt profits and force layoffs. We can’t risk vindicating these complaints ahead of the 2014 elections that will determine which Party will control Congress.”
Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla), Chair of the Democratic National Committee, praised “the President’s commitment to a higher principle than mere observance of a statutory requirement. I find it reassuring that he is willing to go beyond a narrowly defined role as an enforcer of the laws enacted by Congress and assume the mantle of champion of the people’s right to improved health care.”
GOP contentions that the delay in implementation is evidence of the impracticality of the heath care law were dismissed by Jarrett. “If the health care law is a mess it’s because we didn’t get the single-payer system we wanted,” she complained. “If government were the sole arbiter of what could be spent on treatments there would’nt be penalties for noncompliance. There wouldn’t be any option to decline coverage. Everyone would be covered whether they liked it or not. The necessary funds would simply be withheld from their paychecks.”
Obama Urges Africans to Accept Poverty to Save Planet
President Obama urged Africans to “step up and make the sacrifices needed to spare the world from the ravages of global warming.”
The President blamed global warming on “America’s insatiable lust for comfort and convenience. In America the people have grown soft. If they are hot they want to turn down a thermostat to cool an entire building. Instead of going to sleep when it gets dark they demand electricity to banish the night. Rather than confine their travel to destinations reachable on foot they drive everywhere.”
The “self-indulgent” behavior of Americans was contrasted with the “stoic heroism of average Africans who endure lives of squalor that place minimal burdens on the planet’s ecosystem. Your homes are built of mud and straw. Your food is natural and unprocessed. Manual labor and walking for hours each day keep you fit. It is a lifestyle to which all should aspire.”
Obama allowed that “it will take generations of effort and enlightened policies to bring Americans in line with the planet-saving modes of living that are the norm in Africa. I ask that you patiently wait for us to catch up with you rather than rushing to embark on the same destructive path we have taken.”
President Cancels Fireworks for Troops
Citing budget constraints, the Commander-in-Chief ordered the cancellation of July 4th fireworks displays at a number of military bases. The juxtaposition of the relatively minor savings achieved with the extraordinarily costly Presidential family vacation tour of Africa currently underway has raised some hackles.
Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed some sympathy for the disappointed service men and women, but defended the Administration’s choice to spend $100 million on the African trip. “Granted, the trip may be a thousand times more expensive than what would’ve been spent on the canceled fireworks, but the benefits are more than a thousand times as great,” Carney contended.
“I’d venture to say that every one of the military personnel affected has seen fireworks shows more than once in their lives,” Carney guessed. “Compare this to the millions of Africans who have never had the opportunity to see President Obama. The President’s trip is giving these millions of Africans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to glimpse the greatest man of their era live and in person.”
“We are confident that the American people will weigh the minimal sacrifice imposed on some of our troops against the enormous benefits the President is bestowing on these otherwise deprived and impoverished Africans and agree that he made the correct decision,” Carney concluded.
In related news, US troops stationed in Afghanistan celebrated July 4th by holding a “Gay Pride” parade. An incensed Afghan Government protested the “flaunting of depraved and forbidden sexual behaviors in our faces” and demanded “the payment of $10 billion in compensation.”
Egyptian Turmoil Puts Administration in Quandary
The military ouster of the democratically elected Mohammed Morsi government in Egypt has put the Obama Administration in a difficult position. Existing statutes mandate the termination of military aid to any country in which a military coup overthrows an elected government. On the other hand, the new Egyptian regime threatens to release the contents of Morsi’s secret files if aid is stopped.
Based on previous disclosures from Libyan intelligence files, it is speculated that Morsi’s files may contain information linking his government to both arms trafficking between Ambassador Stephens and al-Qaeda rebels in Syria as well as the attack on the Benghazi Consulate safe house that ended up killing Stephens and three other Americans.
“It’s a difficult moral dilemma,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry. “On the one hand, we have an obligation to respect the right of an electorate to choose their own oppressors. On the other hand, we have the obligation to protect our own government from damaging revelations.”
Kerry insisted that “there will be no ‘knee-jerk’ rush to comply with what may be an out-dated and inapplicable statute. There will be discussions at the highest levels to try to find the most appropriate resolution of these seemingly conflicting obligations.”
NYC Mayor Choice: Pervert or Food Nazi?
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s latest campaign promise may be behind the surprising surge in voter appeal of her rival for mayor, former Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Quinn says that if she’s elected companies will not be allowed to market unhealthy foods to children.
One voter who said she is reluctantly switching her support to Weiner explained “it’s a tough choice. I mean, there’s no question that Weiner is a pervert, but the scope of the damage he can do seems like it would be more limited. Being on the receiving end of one of his sexts would be disgusting. Quinn, though, looks like she wants to be a dictator. Sure, she thinks it’s for our own good, but shouldn’t I be the one who decides whether my kid gets a ‘Happy Meal’ or not?”
DOJ: Government Has Right to Ban Home Schooling
The Department of Justice intervened in the case of a German family seeking asylum in order to home school their children. The Romeike family fled Germany when authorities threatened to remove their children from their parents’ custody if they weren’t sent to public school.
Lawyers for the family called teaching one’s own children a fundamental parental right. Not so, said a brief filed by the US Department of Justice: “Where the boundary lies between parental authority and state authority is a matter of law. The state’s interest in promoting a child’s socialization as a participant in the collective body of the nation’s people is just as valid as a parent’s desire to promote his values and beliefs. To assert that this family has a so-called ‘human right’ to escape from a jurisdiction that imposes a collective vision over their individualist vision unfairly denigrates the state’s interests.”
The fact that the German law against home schooling was enacted by the Nazis in 1938 was held to be “irrelevant” by the DOJ: “The Nazis have been long gone from the scene in Germany. Numerous subsequent governments have had the chance to repeal this law. We can only conclude that Germans prefer siding with the state over the individual in this matter. By granting asylum we would be negating the German government’s claim to decide who shall control the education of a child.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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