John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
“In an earlier era ‘seeing is believing’ might have been a powerful verification of reality,” Reid said. “However, in this age of increasingly sophisticated computers, software, and savvy users one can no longer count on believing one’s own eyes and ears. It is inconceivable to me that I would have made such a foolish and politically inept assertion in public.”
Reid’s portrayal of sophisticated computer users victimizing him clashed with his nearly simultaneous contention that computer illiteracy is the cause of the myriad of problems with getting people signed up for Obamacare health insurance.
“The government has spent hundreds of millions creating and implementing the computerized sign-up system,” the senator pointed out. “If people aren’t successful in using this system it can only be due to their own ignorance of how to use computers. Perhaps we were too optimistic in allowing individuals to make their own choices on a complex issue like health care.”
“In hindsight, maybe we should’ve gone directly to a universal government run health care system like the one we have for active military personnel,” Reid speculated. “Soldiers don’t have the burden of selecting their own insurers or doctors. These decisions are made for them. All they need to do is follow orders.”
In related news, Dan Pfeiffer, senior adviser to President Obama, said he found Reid’s photo-shopping theory “insightful. Up until now we’ve been assuming that the 30 some videos of the President assuring people that they could keep insurance and doctors that they liked pretty much proved he said those things. We’d overlooked the possibility that these videos may have been concocted by the President’s enemies to make him look bad.”
“Congress Is No Place” for Farmers Statement Defended
Iowa Democratic Senatorial candidate, Representative Bruce Braley’s assertion that Congress is no place for a farmer has not gone over well among the state’s rural population.
“I’m not saying that farmers don’t have a meaningful role to play in our society,” Braley said in his own defense. “Obviously, someone has to grow the crops and raise the livestock to feed this nation. What I’m saying is that farmers lack the skill necessary to make our laws.”
The persons with the necessary skills, according to Braley, are lawyers. “The job of Congress is to enact laws,” Braley observed. “Lawyers are trained in the law. It should be clear that a lawyer is, by far, the most logical option for a state’s Congressional representation.”
Braley brushed off criticism from Iowa’s offended farmers as “insular and parochial. If further proof of the unfitness of farmers to serve as lawmakers was needed this is it. It could hardly be clearer that they lack the training and perspective to be entrusted with the authority to make the laws that govern our country.”
California State Senator Denies Hypocrisy
California State Senator Leland Yee vigorously denied that his arrest on gun running charges in anyway contradicts his long time support of gun control laws.
“My position all along has been that firearms do not belong in the hands of untrained individuals,” Yee maintained. “What I have sought to prevent are shootings carried out by unorganized citizens.”
“The parties for whom I arranged to purchase guns are all well-organized cadres of persons dedicated to a political cause for which the possession of high-powered firearms is essential,” Yee explained. “Do you think that the Islamic jihad has any chance of peacefully prevailing in America? These weapons are absolutely vital to their chances of success.”
Yee described the $2 million he was seeking in exchange for brokering the arms deal as “a key building block of my campaign for California Secretary of State. My quest to disarm those unqualified to own weapons would be substantially bolstered by my election to this position. Adding this money to my campaign fund would have given me a big leg up on my opponents.”
That the proposed arms deal could have endangered Californians was brushed aside by Yee. “The deal was to import the weapons to Newark, New Jersey,” Yee argued. “That is about as far away from California as you can get. The threat that any of my constituents might’ve been harmed is remote.”
California Governor Jerry Brown called Yee’s arrest “an unfortunate setback for sane gun control laws.”
Abortions Are Environmentally Friendly
Reports this past week that hospitals in the United Kingdom have been burning aborted babies to save on fuel costs for heating the buildings appalled some, but not all.
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, urged that “once you get beyond the initial ‘gag-reflex,’ the idea has significant environmental positives. First, it almost goes without saying that adding more human beings to the population is a definite stress to the environment. So, abortions make a substantial contribution to lessening this source of stress.”
“Once the abortion is completed what do we do with the ensuing medical waste?” McCarthy continued. “By using it as fuel the hospital has saved the cost of disposal while simultaneously reducing its consumption of alternative fossil fuel. This lowers the pressure to dig more coal mines and drill more oil and gas wells. The result will be less rape of the land. On balance, this is a net positive innovation in resource management.”
Administration Signing up Mexicans for Obamacare
While progress in inducing Americans to sign up for health insurance has been less than robust, The Obama Administration has been meeting with more success signing up Mexican nationals. Affordable Care Act “navigators” are reportedly conducting a vigorous “outreach program” at Mexican Consulates all over the US.
Vice-President Joe Biden rejected contentions that this violates President Obama’s promise that the ACA would cover only American citizens. “The people being signed up are American citizens in everything but name,” Biden insisted. “They reside in the United States. They have jobs or are receiving government benefits in the United States. And we are giving them the option of registering to vote as they sign up for insurance.”
Biden called these persons’ illegal entry and presence in the country “a temporary technicality. They’re going to get amnesty one way or another. If Congress won’t do it the President is prepared to act on his own authority.”
The Vice-President belittled the idea that immigrants ought to be required to pass a test in order to gain citizenship status. “I know we’ve been requiring immigrants to study the Constitution and American history before we grant them full citizenship rights, but is this reasonable or necessary?” Biden asked. “Only a tiny minority of people born in America could pass this test. Why should we hold immigrants to a higher standard?”
US Blocks Sexual Fidelity and Abstinence in Battle against AIDS
To the consternation of African representatives on the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), US and European delegates rejected the idea of including sexual fidelity and abstinence among a list of measures aimed at countering the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power defended the move as “part of the United States devotion to protecting the unrestricted right of individuals to have sex with whomever they choose, whenever they choose. To merely suggest that a person might lower their risk of infection by remaining faithful to a sexual partner or deferring sexual gratification until such time as they can secure a condom is an intolerable infringement on this most basic of human rights.”
CSW delegate from Zimbabwe, Taurai Chinyerere, expressed severe disappointment with the censorship of these options. “We need to advocate every feasible means of fighting this infection,” Chinyerere said. “We are not saying that fidelity or abstinence are the only ways to combat this illness. We only want to include them in our communication to the general public. Rich nations may be confident that they have the means to attack the infection after it has struck, but poor nations must take inexpensive precautions where possible.”
Nevertheless, Power was adamant that “the inclusion of advocacy aimed at self restraint is demeaning toward those who may lack this ability. It implies that those who become ill may be at least partially at fault. This can have devastating psychological impacts that we should do our utmost to avoid.”
Power tried to reassure the distressed African contingent that “the wealthier nations will do what they can to help poorer nations purchase the medications they need to treat HIV and AIDS. Remember, ensuring the revenues of the pharmaceutical firms that have invested so heavily in a cure is a crucial building block to our efforts against this plague. We can’t afford to attenuate their return on this investment if we hope to win this battle without interfering with basic human sexual rights.”
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.
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