GOP Health Reform Effort Decried

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

Folder2 104House Republican efforts to push the American Health Care Reform Act (HR-3121) were denounced by leading Democrats as “unfair” and “unpatriotic.” The bill would fully repeal Obamacare, allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, permit small businesses to pool resources so they can bargain for better deals, modify malpractice rules, expand access to health savings accounts, give individuals the same tax break on insurance that corporations enjoy, and provide funding to help insure those with pre-existing conditions.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the GOP bill “a stab in the back. These opportunists are using the failures of the Affordable Care Act as an excuse to inflict their own plan on America.”

The “fatal flaw” in the GOP’s approach as Sebelius sees it is “the siren lure of personal choice. If we examine the details of their plan we find that it relies on individuals to secure the kind of coverage they think they need. Under the GOP plan, there is no mandate for the types of coverages that our experts have determined every policy must have. There’s no free birth control. Women would be forced to pay for it out of their own pockets. People could dodge the responsibility to fund abortions by alleging moral scruples against it. It’s just unfair.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) called the bill “disgusting and unpatriotic. Instead of rallying behind the President in this time of trouble they’re trying to use the setbacks to his visionary health transformation as a window of opportunity to take the country in a completely different direction.”

Reid characterized the GOP bill as “an exercise in futility. No matter what the House may pass I can assure you that it will not get a hearing in the Senate. Their only option is to work with us to try to make the President’s plan succeed.”

The types of legislative adjustments to Obamacare that Reid said he would be willing to consider include “measures to increase funding for its implementation, a stiffening of the penalties for noncompliance, or a means for automatically enrolling everyone into a comprehensive Medicare/Medicaid program.”

In related news, the Obama Administration announced that it was amending the Affordable Care Act, yet again, to push back the date for small businesses to comply with the law. “There was concern that requiring these businesses to conform with the statutory deadlines during an election year would add unnecessary confusion to what already looks to be a very contentious political situation,” Press Secretary Jay Carney explained. “Voters will have enough to contend with on the health care issue without adding this log to the fire.”

Kerry Defends Deal with Iran

Amidst concerns that the US may have yielded too much in order to reach an agreement with Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry stridently defended his achievement saying “we drove a hard bargain.”

“First, let me point out that this is the first agreement this country has reached with Iran since the Shah was overthrown in 1979,” Kerry boasted. “This is more than the five Administrations between then and the current Obama Administration have been able to accomplish.”

“Second, the amount that we have to pay Iran to refrain from developing a nuclear weapon is very reasonable,” Kerry argued. “In my mind, there is no upper limit to what we should be willing to pay to avoid a nuclear war. The fact that Iran settled for a mere $8 billion is an unbelievably low price.”

“Third, at a moment when many Americans are disturbed and disgruntled over the misfortunes attending the roll out of the Affordable Care Act, this agreement is a real morale booster for the average person,” Kerry contended. “Polls are showing that three-fourths of those surveyed support this deal.”

Fear that Iran cannot be trusted was brushed aside by the Secretary. “The leaders of Iran gave me their solemn word,” Kerry said. “Even in the event that this proves to be unreliable, the first victim of an Iranian attack will almost surely be Israel. So, in that regard, we’d still have a ‘trip wire’ before we had to face hostile action.”

AG May File Suit against Abortion Drug Manufacturer

A recent warning by the manufacturer of Norlevo, a morning-after abortifacient, that the drug won’t prevent pregnancy in women weighing over 176 pounds and may be unreliable for women over 165 pounds inspired US Attorney General Eric Holder to threaten to sue the manufacturers of this and similar drugs.

“It is important that all be treated equally,” Holder declared. “To market a medicine that works for some, but not for others is, ipso facto, discriminatory, and thus, illegal.”

Holder said he isn’t buying the argument that inherent differences between individuals inevitably means that the responses to medications are not uniform from person to person. “We are a country dedicated to the concept of equal rights,” Holder maintained. “The equal right to medical care is undermined if therapies are devised that have unequal results for different people.”

The fact that the average weight of women in the United States is 166 pounds seemed to add fuel to Holder’s anger. “What this manufacturer is saying is that the average woman in America cannot rely upon their product,” Holder observed. “This means, that in essence, their remedy is only fit for a thin elite of this country’s female population. This is so wrong that it cannot go uncorrected.”

The Attorney General acknowledged that he was “loath to issue a cease-and-desist order, since continued access to abortion for thinner women is a vital component of the President’s vision for the future. However, holding the company liable for every unwanted birth by the users of its product may be the only equitable solution.”

Under the “consent agreement” Holder’s agency is drafting, manufacturers of morning-after abortifacients would be required to reimburse every woman who uses their product the estimated $250,000 lifetime cost of raising a child in America if they later became pregnant.

IRS Tightens Regs on “Anti-Government” Speech

Concerned that “excessive opposition is impeding the Administration’s ability to govern the country,” the IRS has moved to tighten regulations on “right-leaning” political “education” organizations.

“The notion that anyone can organize to speak out against government policy and still get the same exemptions from taxes that those working to help the government is wrong-headed,” said Mark Mazur, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy. “People should all be pulling together to help propel the ship of state toward the attainment of the greater common good. Those rowing with us deserve preferential tax treatment. Those rowing against us do not. It’s as simple as that.”

Mazur dismissed objections from Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush and current head of the Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategy, that the new regulations aim at stifling free speech. “Mr. Rove and his kind are still free to say whatever they want,” Mazur contended. “But there is no obligation on the government to abet these right deviationists by allowing them to be funded with tax-free donations.”

Administration Confident of Victory over Hobby Lobby

News that the US Supreme Court has decided to accept the case involving Hobby Lobby’s objection to being forced to fund abortions in the health insurance policies it provides for its employees failed to faze the Obama Administration.

“The idea that individual conscience or religious beliefs can override the collective decisions of the American people is flawed thinking,” US Attorney General Eric Holder said. “We don’t allow pacifists to refrain from paying the costs of the wars their government chooses to fight. We don’t even allow them to refuse to personally participate in combat operations if we deem it necessary. Granted, we may place them on the battlefield as unarmed participants in a support roll, but we don’t excuse them from assisting in the war effort.”

“If the Courts uphold taxing pacifists and sending them into battle, the lesser obligation imposed on anti-abortionists clearly must be upheld,” Holder continued. “Unlike war, whether abortion takes a human life is a matter upon which many people disagree. And unlike war, the anti-abortionist isn’t being sent into the operating room with orders to assist the doctor. So, we’re pretty confident that the lawyers for Hobby Lobby have raised a false hope for their clients. The idiosyncratic beliefs of the few cannot be permitted to outweigh the policy decisions of the majority.”

Arizona Immigration Activists Oppose Proof of Citizenship to Vote

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett’s plan to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in his state was assailed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

“There is no need for this,” MALDEF attorney Nina Perales insisted. “The US Supreme Court has already ruled that federal law trumps state law on this issue.”

Federal law merely requires that those registering to vote attest that they are citizens. They are not required to provide any documentary proof.

“Mr. Bennett’s suspicion that people could falsely swear denigrates the integrity of every Latino,” Perales complained. “Not everyone should be treated as if they are as untrustworthy as the one who promised we could keep our health insurance if we liked it.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

Senate Minority Leader ‘Fighting Mad’

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

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev) move to eliminate the rule that required a 60-vote majority to end debate has “grievously irked” his GOP counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken).

“Harry promised he would never use this so-called ‘nuclear option,’” McConnell complained. “When you put this together with the false promises of ‘if you like your insurance you can keep it’ that have been made by the president and virtually every Democrat over the past three years we see a pattern of deception that has destroyed the Government’s credibility. I’m fighting mad.”

McConnell says he places most of the blame on “Tea Party bullies who have undermined the collegiality I have worked so hard to build with Democratic members of the Senate. They let us keep the filibuster with the understanding that we wouldn’t use it to impede the important work of the Senate. But Paul, Cruz and Lee broke this agreement and now we see this long standing Senate tradition swept aside.”

The minority leader has told friends that he “will ‘cold cock’ these guys with a punch to the nose when they least expect it.” McConnell said he expects his personal version of the “knock-out game” will “serve the dual purpose of showing these guys who’s boss and curry favor with younger voters.”

Obamacare Prices Bite Congressional Staffers

Even though Congressional staffers were illegally granted subsidies they aren’t qualified to receive under the Affordable Care Act regulations many are finding that the cost for health insurance is far higher than expected.

“In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office have now found out their personal health insurance costs have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Representative Gwen Moore (D-Wis) complained. “The coverage is worse. The cost is higher. This is simply unacceptable.”

That the deal is even worse for members of the general public who do not receive subsidies didn’t seem to faze Representative Moore. “I thought that the President’s granting a subsidy would enable my staff to escape the hardships they otherwise would’ve faced under the Act,” Moore observed. “My people are loyal and essential functionaries of the Government. They need to be rewarded for their contributions, not thrown into the same unprotected pool with those we govern.”

Disastrous Roll Out of Obamacare Inspires Action

While Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) continue to harp upon the damage being done to Americans who are losing their health care insurance, losing their jobs, or seeing their work hours cut in response to rules laid down by the Affordable Care Act, the Administration has taken action to deal with the crisis. The date by which employers with 50 or more workers must begin to comply with the Act’s requirements has been pushed back to November 15, 2014.

“Republicans may think that they can bully us into rescinding the entire plan to transform the way we provide health insurance,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said. “They are wrong. They may think that the millions of cancellation notices that those currently covered by employer-provided insurance will start getting next Fall will hurt Democrats in the November elections. They are wrong. The cancellation notices won’t be mailed until after November 15. Most of those affected won’t know they can’t keep their policies until after they’ve already cast their votes.”

“Another thing the GOP is overlooking is that even though the websites aren’t getting many enrolled in health insurance they are registering a lot of new voters,” Sebelius added. “Our navigators, people like Christopher Tarango, will ensure that these voters are contacted by Organizing for Action and educated on how to vote long before the next wave of bad news about canceled policies and soaring premium costs hits in mid-November.”

Whether the Secretary’s optimism is warranted was called into question by a CBS poll showing that only 7 percent of those queried want to see Obamacare continue, as is. The rest want “repeal” or “major changes.”

FEC Rules against Tea Party

The Federal Election Commission ruled that “fear of harassment” is an insufficient reason for Tea Party affiliated groups to conceal the names, addresses, and places of employment of those who donate to their cause.

FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub rejected Tea Party arguments citing protections against disclosure granted to organizations like the NAACP and Socialist Workers Party. “The Socialist Workers Party has never been an effective organization,” Weintraub pointed out. “None of their candidates have ever been elected. The same cannot be said for the Tea Party.”

“The NAACP is working for the advancement of a racial minority,” Weintraub continued. “They need protection from harassment by a racist majority. The Tea Party arose, in part, to oppose the policies of a minority President. For them to try to claim the same protections would be a travesty.”

Weintraub dismissed revelations of Government spying by the NSA and harassment by the IRS of Tea Party groups as evidence of a real threat to freedom of speech. “There is no question that the values, views, and actions of Tea Party groups are out-of-sync with those of the federal government,” she declared. “It would seem that the Government has good reason to want to keep close tabs on them. Exposing the identities of the shadowy figures who are bankrolling these anti-government activists is our first line of defense against them.”

Is Obama Stupid or Distracted?

President Obama’s assertion that “I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity a week before the Web site opens if I thought that it wasn’t going to work” was called into doubt when it was revealed that he and top aides, including Kathleen Sebelius, were briefed on the website’s deficiencies last March.

“The notion that this implies that the president might be stupid is out-of-context and unfair,” Press Secretary Jay Carney contended. “As everyone well knows, the president is an avid basketball fan. The briefing everyone is now citing took place in the midst of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The president had put his basketball acumen on the line with his bracket forecast. It should be understandable that he might have been distracted and not paying close attention during that briefing.”

Carney’s effort to deflect blame from the president was labeled “ridiculous” by Obamacare critic Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex). “Is it too much to ask that the president of the United States focus on his job?” Cruz wondered. “If he can’t pay attention when his signature legislation is being discussed why is he even in the room?”

“He was in and out of the room multiple times during the briefing,” Carney argued. “He could have easily missed the part where the failure of the website was covered. The others present may not have noticed. Since he didn’t specifically say the roll out should be delayed everyone assumed it was still full speed ahead.”

In related news, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) insisted that forcing people to buy health insurance they don’t want “is the free market option. Everyone is free to chose from the array of policies that conform to the president’s vision of health care. Only those who refuse to cooperate are assessed a fine. It’s not like the government took over the health care industry. Although, we may have to consider that if Obamacare fails.”

Feds May Increase Vehicle Surveillance

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is drafting regulations that would require all new cars to be equipped with tracking devices that constantly broadcast the car’s location, direction, speed and, possibly, even the number of passengers it is carrying.

As NHTSA Administrator David Strickland explains, “we constantly admonish parents to watch their children at all times. Well, this would build on that same principle. How can the Government assure the safety and well-being of Americans if we don’t know where they are or what they’re doing at all times?”

Strickland granted that “the proposed new regulation is only a partial solution. It only deals with when people are in their cars. But it’s still a step forward. We would know if the vehicle is speeding. We might be able to tell if a vehicle was in a location it shouldn’t be. We certainly would have the capability to dispatch police to interdict a vehicle and, if necessary, arrest the occupants.”

“A more comprehensive program that would obtain this type of information in situations outside of vehicular travel is something we can work toward,” Strickland envisioned. “Maybe each individual could be implanted with a miniature tracking device. Then everyone could feel confident that their government could find them and take care of them on a 24/7 basis. No one would have to fear that they might be abandoned and alone. Meanwhile, the NHTSA is proud to be an innovator toward this new era.”

In related news, in a series of random stops in Texas, the NHTSA forced motorists to participate in a  study aimed at detecting the percentage of impaired drivers on the road. While civil libertarians characterized these stops as “unwarranted invasions of privacy without probable cause,” the NHTSA defended them as “necessary to ensure a random sample of drivers.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and do not change the context. Thank you.

FLASHBACK! ‘I Have no Dog in the Fight’ and Other Arizona Media Myths

As we celebrate 10 years of The Arizona Conservative, here’s one of the more memorable reports on appalling and outrageous behavior by the left-stream media:

I Have No Dog in the Fight’ and other Arizona Media Myths

July 6, 2006

No one in the Arizona media better epitomizes liberal bias than Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services. It is unclear whether Fischer obtained his journalism degree from a box of Crackerjax or from the “Acme School of Pseudo-Journalism.”

What was apparent once again today were his bias and unquestioned disdain for all things conservative relating to respect for life/marriage/family. The boorish Fischer behaved atrociously, not to mention unprofessionally, in the events surrounding Protect Marriage Arizona’s submission of ballot initiative signatures at the Secretary of State’s Office in Phoenix.

Fischer is an agenda-driven “journalist” who has made a disreputable career of starting off his so-called “straight news stories” by ripping conservative ideas and legislative bills. Today, he teed off on an initiative designed to prevent judicial activists from circumventing the democratic process and changing the definition of marriage to include homosexual and polygamous “marriages.”

As members of the Protect Marriage Arizona coalition waited for colleagues to arrive at the state capital with the signatures of 307,576 eligible voters who want to protect current marriage laws with an amendment to the state constitution, Fischer could barely contain himself. He asked gleefully if the petitions had been lost or possibly delivered to the wrong location.

A person knowing of Fischer’s biases responded, “You wish …” To which, Fischer said, “I have no dog in the fight,” and then he walked away.

Minutes later, the coalition forces had transported several boxes of petitions up seven floors to Secretary of State Jan Brewer’s office, as a large media entourage watched. The boxes had barely been placed on the office floor when Fischer, salivating for the taste of conservative flesh, led the charge. Leo Gozdich, president of The National Association of Marriage Enhancement, answered a media question, and then Fischer and the media “pack dogs” surrounded  him and verbally tore into him. Gozdich explained the benefits and value of marriage to society, all of which was lost on the intellectually challenged, emotionally-driven media.

Fischer was front and center harassing Gozdich. “Why do you not want civil unions,” Fischer angrily asked Gozdich.

Gozdich said, “We are protecting traditional marriage.”

“Who’s tradition!” shouted an alleged “reporter,” obviously emboldened by the alpha “reporter’s” aggression.

As the rancor grew between the attack dogs and Gozdich, Nathan Sproul cut in. “The story today,” said the campaign consultant for PMA, “is that we have submitted over 300,000 signatures. This speaks to the grassroots movement to protect marriage in Arizona.”

When Bob McClay, reporter for KTAR Radio (Phoenix) asked Sproul his name, Fischer bared his “fangs” and shot in, “He’s paid.” As if Sproul would not want to protect marriage if not paid for his services.

“Our singular intent is to preserve marriage,” Sproul said, unfazed. Sproul said the idea behind Protect Marriage Arizona is to put the issue of heterosexual marriage on the election ballot and let the people decide.

“Isn’t that pretty elitist?” Fischer asked snottily.

“It used to be that blacks and whites couldn’t marry either.”

Gozdich, himself a former Columbia University journalism student, had seen enough. “We live in a democracy … you’re engaging in debate, not in journalism,” he told an over-the-edge Fischer.

Another alleged “reporter” – not wearing any badge and who could have been a homosexual activist posing as a reporter – wedged his way to the front and fired another hard-edged and loaded question across the bow of the PMA leaders. Sproul calmly said, “We are 100 percent confident we will be able to defend the legal challenge in Superior Court and in the Arizona Supreme Court.” Sproul, too, had had enough by now and he declared the press conference over.

He and the coalition members then departed via the elevator.

“Why are you cutting off the press conference?” shouted Fischer, anxious for more verbal sparring.

On his way to the elevator, Gozdich said that the New York Supreme Court had just yesterday delivered a ruling in defense of traditional marriage. Not that any of this would matter to intellectually starved media reps in attendance plying leftist theology.

Fischer continued ranting and raving as the ravenous pack waited for its own elevator. “They should answer our questions! They cut off the press conference!” The media “groupthink swarm” then moved as one unit into the elevator and headed down to the first floor. Fischer, spoiling for a fight, rambled on barely coherent: “Sproul’s been investigated before. In Nevada, he was destroying Democrat registrations … they cut off the press conference … I love Nathan saying ‘we’re off the record here’ …. And Nathan saying ‘we weren’t prepared for a press conference.’”

Another “reporter” in the elevator — Dennis Welch of the East Valley Tribune, said, “we’re the media scum.” The temptation is strong to make a statement about truth in advertising, but no additional comment will be added here.

At last, the elevator reaches the ground floor, the door opens and “alpha dog” Fischer lunges out looking for and finding a likely victim — Secretary of State Jan Brewer, waiting for an upward bound elevator. “Have you ever had a relationship with a homosexual,” Fischer asked. Brewer laughed him off and walked on.  I

t was obvious that the homosexual activists who oppose PMA did not need to be there today. The media did their dirty work for them.

The one bright spot of the morning came minutes later in the Wesley Bolin Plaza parking lot, where McClay conducted a fair, civil, and unbiased one-on-one interview with Gozdich.

Imagine that, a real interview conducted with professional deportment, rather than a debate from a reporter. There is hope for the Arizona media after all.

President ‘Fixes’ Obamacare

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

Stirred into action by the threat his signature legislation poses to Democrats’ hopes for the November 2014 elections, President Obama agreed to stand behind his false promise that those who liked their health insurance could keep it. The “fix” the President offers is that he will forgo enforcing the Affordable Care Act for one year.

Ironically, the year’s delay in enforcement is what the GOP proposed over two months ago. At that time delay was so unacceptable that Obama had the government shutdown rather than accede to the GOP proposal.

Whether the president’s fix is legal was questioned by former Governor Howard Dean (D-Vermont). “This would seem to violate the president’s oath of office,” Dean said. “As chief executive, the President is supposed to ensure that the laws of this country are faithfully enforced. Amending the clear language of the statute as President Obama has done usurps powers the Constitution delegates to Congress.”

A GOP attempt to codify the “fix” via enabling legislation was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich). Upton’s bill—the “Keep Your Health Plan Act”–passed the House by a 261-157 vote. Nevertheless, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md) declared the vote “a waste of time and an infringement of the President’s flexibility. If we pass a statutory change to the Affordable Care Act it would tie the President’s hands. I mean, what if he determines that the delay needs to be rescinded?”

The White House has already vowed to veto the House measure should it make it through the Senate and reach the president’s desk. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) assured that “this will never happen. The President has shown the courage to rise above the petty constraints others would impose on his latitude. You don’t hog tie the person you’re counting on to save the day with fetters forged by those long dead. He needs a free hand to rule in the best interests of the American people.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) concurred in Reid’s assessment. “The notion that there are a lot of people who like their old policies is completely bogus,” Pelosi contended. “I have yet to meet a single person who isn’t glad that the government is forcing everyone to buy a new and improved insurance plan.”

Pelosi dismissed reports of cancer patients being thrown off their old insurance plans and widespread “sticker shock” at the higher prices of ACA compliant policies as “minor bumps in the road. Every major undertaking is bound to rack up a few casualties along the way. No insurance system can save everyone. The important thing is to get everyone on-board a plan that Health and Human Services has determined best serves the nation.”

Obamacare “Fix” Disputed

The feasibility of President Obama’s ad hoc revision of the Affordable Care Act was immediately disputed by leading insurers and state insurance regulators.

On the insurance industry side, Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, called the President’s move “unworkable and unfair. There is no way at this late date to implement this latest promise of President Obama. Getting our policy options in line with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act took us close to three years of work. Resurrecting policies that the ACA has outlawed cannot be accomplished within the time remaining before the legislated December 31st expiration of these non-conforming policies.”

The president’s transparent attempt to shift all the blame onto us reneges on the deal we thought we had with the Administration,” Ignagni complained. “The government forcing everyone to buy upgraded policies was the trade-off for us agreeing to take on those with pre-existing conditions. If the government isn’t going to force people to buy over-priced policies where are we supposed to get the money to cover new high-risk individuals?”

On the state insurance regulation side, Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler (D) says “the president’s ‘fix’ would wreck the state’s health insurance exchange. The whole point of the Affordable Care Act is to compel healthy and low-risk individuals to subsidize the medical needs of unhealthy and high-risk individuals. Allowing each person to selfishly purchase only the coverage he or she needs undermines this objective. We won’t allow it.”

Dem Says Congress Has No Authority to Question EPA

In hearings dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, Representative Donna Edwards (D-Md) took issue with the entire concept of Congressional oversight.

These people are trying to save the planet,” Edwards asserted. “We have no right to question their methods and decisions. Our job is simply to ensure that they have all the resources they say they need to accomplish their vital mission.”

House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), wondered “how are we going to know what resources the EPA needs if we don’t ask questions?”

Why can’t we just trust these dedicated public servants?” Edwards suggested. “So what if we lose a few bucks here and there? Isn’t warding off planetary destruction worth the risk of funding a few frivolous studies or padded expense accounts?”

Homeland Security Nominee Irks Senator

Jeh Johnson, President Obama’s nominee to fill the post of Secretary of Homeland Security, irked Senator Tom Coburn (R-Tex) with his “cut-and-paste” responses to a questionnaire put to him by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

We are being asked to confirm this person to an important position in our government,” Coburn said. “Our questionnaire is designed to obtain his views on crucial issues the Department of Homeland Security has to deal with. We deserve the courtesy of an honest effort to respond.”

Johnson maintained that “I’ve been as honest as the circumstances warrant. As Secretary of Homeland Security I must guard against all threats to the Government. To be brutally frank, some of the most serious threats come from within the Government itself, most notably, Congress where persons bent on opposing the President’s attempts to transform the nation are ensconced.”

My reticence is solely for the purpose of preventing hostile elements from obtaining information that might be used to thwart the policies and actions the President is trying to carry out,” Johnson added.

Venezuela Cracks Down on Businesses

The Venezuelan Government sent troops to invade over 1400 shops and arrest over 100 “bourgeois” businessmen in what it described as a “crack down on price gougers.”

President Nicolas Maduro denounced those arrested as “barbaric capitalist parasites.” Their “crime” was to charge prices that the Government considered unfair. Neither the fact that customers voluntarily paid the asking prices nor that there is no current law regulating merchandise mark-ups was deemed inhibiting.

We know that they are guilty,” Maduro insisted. “Everyone knows that they are guilty. We will approve the necessary laws and mete out the punishment they deserve.”

Maduro denied that Government policies that have resulted in 1000% inflation over the past year bore any of the blame for businesses raising their prices. “We are trying to make sure that everyone has enough money to buy what they need,” he declared. “But it will never be enough if businesses are allowed to raise their prices to try to offset our monetary initiatives.”

Obamacare “Navigators” Abet Fraud

James O’ Keefe’s Project Veritas used hidden cameras to expose Health and Human Services employees urging individuals to commit fraud in order to get lower prices and subsidies from the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges.

On video tape, one Obamacare Navigator is caught advising a prospective applicant for health insurance to conceal income in order to “qualify for more stuff as far as aid and stuff like that. You’re already hiding that cash income from the IRS so you don’t have to pay taxes on it. There’s no sense in reporting it on your insurance application. That by itself could trigger an IRS audit of your income tax filing.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defended the navigators actions as “errors springing from genuine concern for those we serve. Getting as many people signed up as we can is the goal. Finding ways to shave the price they have to pay helps us get closer to meeting that goal.”

Sebelius characterized the fraud as “minor. In the grand scheme of things the amounts are relatively small—probably less than $10,000 per person per year in unwarranted discounts or subsidies. We have to balance this against the greater numbers of persons who will enroll under fraudulent means than would likely enroll if all the rules were strictly enforced.”

White House Predicts Record Tax Haul Next Year

The Administration is predicting that the federal government will take in over $3 trillion in taxes in 2014. This works out to nearly $30,000 per full-time worker.

Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney touted this “unprecedented achievement as yet another historic moment for President Obama. When we consider the number of persons who have left the workforce and the number who have been shifted to part-time work during his term the accomplishment is even more amazing. The portion of the population tasked with funding the government is shrinking at the same time that more are gaining access to its benefits. In terms of raw numbers, more people have been freed from labor by the policies of this Administration than were freed by Lincoln in his Emancipation Proclamation.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and do not change the context. Thank you.

Center for AZ Policy: Shocking to see Flake, McCain Break Their Promises on ENDA

Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod on the U.S. Senate’s Passage of ENDA

PHOENIX – “It is deeply disappointing and shocking to see Senator John McCain and Senator Jeff Flake break their promise to Arizona voters to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

ENDA is a false bill of goods: while it claims to end discrimination, this bill in fact fosters discrimination against business owners and employers with sincerely held religious beliefs. The adopted Portman Amendment did nothing to address this core concern.

Yet, just as troubling as the fact that the bill passed, is that both of Arizona’s Senators voted for this bill, despite having told Arizona voters when running for office that they would oppose this legislation in their surveys:

Senator John McCain’s 2010 survey (See question 10)

Senator Jeff Flake’s 2012 survey (See question 8 and note on page 2)

ENDA compromises our first freedom – to practice our faith, free from government interference. This legislation creates an environment where government mandates compel business owners and employers to choose between their faith and their chosen profession.”


FLASHBACK: Notorious, Abusive Abortionist Sentenced to 34 Years in Prison

As part of The Arizona Conservative’s 10-year anniversary celebration, we re-post this story of a notorious Arizona abortionist who was sentenced to prison on 22 counts of sex abuse of his patients. This story defeats the leftist argument that abortion is a private matter between her and her doctor. Why? Because an abortionist is not her doctor. A doctor has an ongoing relationship of care-giving for women, but an abortionist does not. The abortionist merely shows up in a room to kill the child of a woman in a crisis pregnancy whom he does not know and has never provided “medical care” for. And then he leaves the room and his so-called “relationship” with the woman abruptly ends. And when the abortionist messes up and there are complications, the woman is carted off in an ambulance to a hospital where a real doctor provides emergency care and treatment. Return now to 2004 and the sentencing of the criminal abortionist Brian Finkel.

By Sue Widemark | January 2, 2004

Abortionist Brian Finkel was sentenced Friday to more than 34 years in prison and 99 years probation to begin when his incarceration ends, after a tearful speech in which he assured the court that he never committed sexual abuse. Late in 2003, Finkel had been convicted by a Phoenix court on 22 counts of sex abuse directed toward former abortion clinic patients.

“Because I am exercising my right to appeal doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilt,” Finkel, 54, said when asked by the judge if he had any remorse. “I feel guilt that the victims were so traumatized by the trial.”  He also said  that he was remorseful for not understanding the victims’ needs. “I was constantly being terrorized by domestic terrorists. I am not Dr. (Marcus) Welby,” he said, referring to the 1960’s TV show doctor.

Finkel admitted that he may have been blunt or even rude, at times, to the victims when he “counseled them about their bad relationships and poor life choices.” Finkel also stated that he cared about every one of his patients and was sorry that his efforts to examine them thoroughly had been misunderstood by the victims. Finkel then stopped rather abruptly, telling the court that his attorney said he was done.

Finkel’s attorney added briefly that Finkel had not done anything that any other gynecologist does not do in the course of an examination. He also cited “mitigating circumstances” — Finkel’s operating in a stressful environment and told the court that Finkel had helped thousands of women during the course of his career. Finkel added tearfully at this point that he was sorry he had embarrassed his wife of 31 years and his children and that he hoped to be reunited with them soon.

Presiding Judge Cates did not buy the mitigating circumstances. “I don’t know of any ‘Domestic terrorists,'” he said, adding that the victims had been traumatized by what Finkel had done to them and not by the trial which he felt had been conducted well. He complimented the work of the jury, saying they had listened carefully to all the evidence. “I was ready to accept whatever the jury decided,” said the Judge, “and they decided you are guilty of the 22 counts.”

Judge Cates added that what Finkel had done in the course of his examinations had not been in the framework of gynecology and that Finkel had violated one of the most sacred trusts in our society, the trust between a doctor and his patient. Addressing the “mitigating circumstance” of no prior criminal history, the judge said this would be negated by the fact that Finkel had been committing these crimes over a 15 year-period and just had not gotten caught previously. He said that he didn’t feel Finkel was declared guilty because of being rude, but if that had been the case, he would have been found him guilty on all 66 counts. Finally, the judge stated he did not feel that Finkel was the victim of any political agenda.

“On the positive side,” Judge Cates said, “I don’t feel Finkel is a danger to the community if he is not practicing medicine.”  That being said, the judge reminded the court that Finkel had caused grave emotional and physical harm to his victims causing depression and fear. He did not feel that he saw any remorse in Finkel, commenting that “this does not look well for rehabilitation.”

Judge Cates patiently assigned a prison sentence to each count of sexual abuse, identifying all counts in the class 5 felony category. Some of the conditions of the lifetime probation will begin after incarceration. The judge forbade Finkel to drink any alcoholic beverages, ordered the payment of a probation fee of $50 a month for life, invoked a requirement to register in the national database as a sexual offender, revoked Finkel’s ability to work  in the medical field, and issued a requirement that Finkel inform any future employer of his conviction as a sexual offender.

Finkel then stood by the bailiff, dressed in his wrinkled stripped prison outfit, his feet chained together as he waited for them to take him away to jail. (A request by his attorney to allow him to dress in a suit had been denied.) Gone was Finkel’s cocky demeanort. He will remain in the city jail for two weeks before being transferred to prison.

The atmosphere in the courtroom was tense.  Observers seemed to be mostly victims and members of the media. Finkel’s wife sat in the front row, flanked by two physician friends.  They joked loudly before the sentencing, one of the physicians saying in a somewhat booming voice, “My bets are he walks in six months.” The other physician shook hands with him on this.  Their jovial attitude seemed to evaporate as they listened, grimfaced, to Finkel’s sentencing.

Finkel’s wife cried when Finkel said he was sorry to have embarrassed them. She soon dried her tears and following the sentencing, she was again joking with her friends.

Blaine, one of the prosecuting attorneys, said he felt the trial went well and was very pleased with the sentence and that he appreciated how Judge Cates considered each count separately.

“This started out to be a three-hour procedure,” one of the victims told the court before the sentencing, “and it has now drawn out to be seven years and will probably last for a lifetime. I don’t think Dr. Finkel knows how many people he has hurt.”

“I don’t think he got enough time, ” said the sister of one of the plaintiffs, Rose, afterward. “He could be back on the streets again,” she said, adding, “He is a sick, pompous man who still doesn’t understand what he did and how he has affected the lives of the victims. It’s been seven years since my sister saw him and she still to this day, cannot go to a gynecologist as she is so afraid of doctors, because of what Finkel did to her.”

Finkel, who performed some 20 percent of Arizona’s abortions each year and up to 30,000 total in his career, may not have much hope for a successful appeal. Judge Cates’ fair and careful handling of this case would seem to make a reversal of the verdict highly unlikely. But Richard Gierloff, the attorney for Finkel, said he will appeal the conviction.

“I hope he dies in prison,” said one victim, acidly, only for a moment conveying the deep suffering resulting from her encounter with Finkel, which will likely last a lifetime.


Health Secretary’s Big Announcement

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

After titillating the media for the past few days with hints of a “big announcement,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told an audience in Atlanta that her office was taking a “historic step to aggressively deal with mental health issues under the Affordable Care Act.”

Undaunted by a spattering of audible groans from the audience, Sebelius plowed ahead explaining that “studies show that nearly 50% of Americans have serious mental health issues that have gone untreated. People who should be on medication are not currently receiving this benefit. People who should be institutionalized are not receiving this benefit. We are going to fix that.”

The Secretary promised that “as soon as we get the bugs worked out of the computerized sign-up process we will be able to begin meting out these benefits to those who need them.” She brushed aside suggestions that some of the intended beneficiaries might not want the services she is vowing to impose on them. “People with untreated illnesses pose a risk to society that we cannot afford to ignore. Protecting the 50% of the population that is not afflicted with mental health problems is just as important as treating those who are.”

One measure reported to be under consideration would be to add anti-psychotic medications to the water supply. “One of the biggest difficulties in medicine is getting the patient to consistently and reliably take the drugs that are prescribed for him,” Sebelius pointed out. “If we add medications to the water supply people forgetting to take their meds will be a thing of the past. We already add fluoride to the water. The success of that program shows that removing the human element from the medicating procedure is the way to go.”

In related news, Sebelius labeled fears that increased government control over health care would lead to “passive extermination” of the seriously ill elderly as “exaggerated.” The fears were reignited by a report on how the UK’s National Health Service held 80-year-old patient Ron Jee without food or water for four days waiting for him to die.

“People are making a big deal about how this patient was crying and pleading for help during his treatment,” Sebelius said. “That is the narrow view. The broader perspective is that our resources are finite. Food and water expended on those who’s lives have little value to society subtracts from what we then have available for higher value individuals. Surely, the good of the whole outweighs the brief suffering of the few.”

Obama Apologizes for Taking Advantage of People’s Stupidity

Unable to persuade everyone that the numerous recordings documenting him promising that those who like their current health insurance could keep it were doctored to cut off a qualifier limiting the promise to “only if it hasn’t changed since the Affordable Care Act was passed,” President Obama apologized for “taking advantage of people’s stupidity and abusing their trust in me.”

“If I had said at the outset that tens of millions of Americans would be forced off of insurance plans that we consider sub-standard we never would’ve been able to get Congress to pass the law,” Obama explained. “It should have been obvious to anyone who gave the matter any thought that a huge portion of existing plans, especially those that only covered catastrophic events in exchange for low premiums, would be rendered null and void by the new law. Many of those holding those policies are now experiencing feelings of regret that they supported me and my program. I’m sorry if these people feel they’ve been duped, but it was necessary for the good of the country.”

In related news, reports critical of the launch of the Obamacare website that point out that we landed more people on the moon than we’ve registered through the websites in Delaware, Kansas and Alaska combined were labeled “unfair comparisons” by Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney. “The missions to the moon were all financed and directed under a ‘single-payer’ plan. If you recall, the GOP opposed a single-payer approach to healthcare insurance. Without this opposition all the key decisions would’ve been totally in the hands of the Government. We wouldn’t have to deal with individuals bungling their sign-up or declining to participate.”

President Says He’s Done More for America than Any of His Predecessors

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, President Obama complained that he is being unfairly blamed for the failures of his signature Obamacare legislation, “especially since I have probably done more for this country than any prior President has.”

“My critics are whining about the glitches in the website that are impeding the process of getting Americans signed up for health insurance,” the President said. “They say that the new plans are too costly, that people are being forced to buy coverage for events that will never happen to them—like getting abortions or sex-changes that their faith prohibits. Well, the website will eventually be fixed. And even if the events never happen to the persons forced to pay for coverage they will happen to others. What many overlook is that a big part of the new healthcare law is to shift the focus away from selfish individual concerns toward a greater sense of social responsibility. Before we’re done we will all be our brothers’ keepers.”

Obamacare wasn’t the only accomplishment the President felt was under appreciated. “I have kept America safe by ordering the assassination of uncounted dangerous enemies,” he boasted. “Even the great FDR balked at attempting to take out Hitler—opting instead to incur millions of casualties on both sides over a three-year struggle. Granted, he didn’t have the capability for surgical strikes launched from drones, but still, he carelessly took taking out high value individual targets off the table.”

“I ended two wars—one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan,” Obama continued. “No other President has done that. This ought to shut up those who say I didn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.”

“And another thing people overlook is the millions of Americans who are no longer looking for work,” the President added. “Workforce participation is smaller than it’s been in over 30 years. People are confident that the burdens of labor can be avoided. Under policy initiatives I have instituted they know that they will be fed, housed, clothed and entertained without having to endure the drudgery of toil. The proportion of the population receiving food stamps, welfare, and public housing has risen every year since I was elected. When am I going to get the proper recognition for that?”

IRS Excuses Self for Fraudulent Payments

Reports that the Internal Revenue Service pays billions of dollars a year to those who don’t deserve them were dismissed by IRS officials as “unimportant” and “a distraction from more important concerns.”

An Inspector General’s report issued this week revealed that the IRS paid over $4 billion to identity thieves. Examples of the fraudulent payments include 655 tax refunds sent to a single address in Lithuania and 343 to a single address in Shanghai, China.

The massive number of refunds sent to single addresses might be expected to set off “red flags” at the Agency. Commissioner, Daniel Werfel said “they did, but we had more on our plate than just trying to interdict ordinary con artists. As others have explained, the Administration had tasked us with the responsibility to scrutinize organizations that posed a threat to the government. We had to prioritize our limited resources. These cases of petty theft just fell through the cracks.”

The organizations garnering the IRS’ attention were “right-wing political groups that might have seriously threatened the continued existence of the current Administration,” Werfel said. “The billions in erroneous payments represented a small fraction of the money available to the Government. These extremist groups were, in our opinion, the greater priority.”

NYC Mayor Pledges to Boost Abortions

New York City’s freshly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) pledged to make New Yorkers’ access to abortions “my top priority.” The City already has one of the highest rates of abortion in the country with an estimated 41% of pregnancies ending in elective termination of the fetus.

Asserting that “excessive human population is the greatest environmental threat to our planet,” de Blasio vowed to “remove every impediment, no matter how minor, to a woman’s opportunity to do her duty to fight this scourge on the planet.”

One of the largest impediments to freely available abortions is, according to the new Mayor, “the existence of pregnancy crisis centers that try to steer expectant mothers toward alternatives to abortion. They’d like everyone to believe that giving birth and putting the baby up for adoption is a more humane way of dealing with unwanted children. What they don’t want these expectant mothers to acknowledge is that giving birth burdens the planet with another mouth to feed, another human who will grow up to rape the environment.”

In addition to putting these “sham” women’s health centers out of business, de Blasio promised to continue outgoing Mayor Bloomberg’s policy of barring doctors from declining to perform abortions. “The right to practice medicine is a privilege granted by the Government,” de Blasio declared. “We cannot allow those wanting this privilege to insert their own conscientious objections to implementing the unrestricted right to abortion that this state has determined belongs to every woman. New York is a progressive state, not a haven for red neck captives of religious delusions.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

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