President Not Getting Enough Credit for Foreign Policy

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

Folder2 104State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki lamented the perception that President Obama’s foreign policy has been plagued by incoherence and inconsistency, saying that “President Obama doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world.”

“Lesser minds are having difficulty comprehending the sophisticated nuances of the President’s world view,” Psaki contended. “They see the resurgence of al-Qaeda as evidence of failure in the war on terror. What they fail to understand is that if the United States is not perceived as threatening, that it is no longer their enemy, they will have no reason to attack us. And unlike during the Bush Administration, there have been no terrorist attacks on America since President Obama introduced his ‘smile turneth away wrath’ approach.”

Some members of the media found Psaki’s perspective “laughable,” however, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean came to her defense. “There is no question that there are vast differences between the mental capabilities of different people,” Dean said. “President Obama is at the pinnacle of the human pyramid. It stands to reason that persons further down would have a hard time trying to figure out his thinking.”

As an example of President Obama’s superhuman mental accomplishments Dean cited “the transformation he has wrought in Libya. For 40 years Gaddafi ruled that land with an iron fist, but with the skilled intervention carried out under President Obama’s orders a democratic and peaceful regime has supplanted his tyranny.”

According to Dean, the fact that few would be inclined to agree with his assessment “only bolsters the case for President Obama’s genius. Historically, geniuses have always stood out from the pack. Many have been pilloried and persecuted as President Obama is being pilloried and persecuted for his vision of a better world.”

In related news, Secretary of State John Kerry labeled Edward Snowden a coward for refusing to return to the United States where he faces the threat of prosecution for divulging that the US Government spies on its own citizens. “I think that a person who has objections to what his Government is doing has an obligation to air these grievances face-to-face like I did as a young naval officer in order to expose the war atrocities being committed by US troops in Vietnam,” Kerry said. The Secretary’s comparison may be inapt, though. While Kerry may have committed crimes, the Government never sought to try him—a circumstance that Kerry attributed to “both Nixon’s cowardice and the irrefutable truth of what I had to say.”

Pelosi Explains Why VA Secret Waiting List Isn’t an Obama Scandal

First of all, the contention that the Veterans Administration used secret waiting lists to conceal lengthy delays in treatments is disproved by the fact that everyone knows about them,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) argued. “To say it’s a secret when there are hundreds of stories in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio is just more of the same old Republican dirty tricks.”

“Then to say that somehow President Obama is at fault is simply unfair,” Pelosi continued. “As anyone who has seen his recent press conference knows he only found out about it from media reports just like the rest of us did. Just because he is the President doesn’t mean everything that goes on in his Administration is his fault. The Government is a vast enterprise that is far too big for any one person to manage.”

Confronted with the fact that Senator Obama criticized the VA when George Bush was president, Pelosi insisted that “awareness of the mistakes of others is different. The objective in 2008 was to convince voters to make a change. That goal was accomplished and reconfirmed in 2012, which, I think, shows that President Obama was able to focus on and achieve the more important task.”

“Now that President Obama has courageously and graciously accepted Shinseki’s resignation I am hopeful that we can put this ugly episode behind us,” Pelosi added. “Once again the President has been failed by a subordinate’s ineptitude. That he still continues to persevere for a country that may be unworthy of his greatness shows a strength of character beyond what anyone else in similar circumstances could have shown.”

In related news, VA officials testifying before Congress were accused of “stonewalling” by Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan). Thomas Lynch, Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health and Clinical Operations, claimed that “disclosing Government secrets to a rogue Congress would be both insubordinate and possibly treasonous. The ulterior motive of those prying into VA affairs is to undermine our nation’s Commander-in-Chief. I cannot allow myself to become a party to this kind of disloyal and insurrectionist activity.”

Clinton Calls Benghazi Probe “Unpatriotic”

In what appears to have the character of a preemptive strike in furtherance of her anticipated 2016 presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted GOP efforts to open a Congressional investigation of 2012’s massacre of four Americans in Benghazi as “unpatriotic.”

“For the sake of argument, let’s say that maybe some mistakes were made,” Clinton said. “Wouldn’t a public airing of these mistakes reflect poorly on the US Government? And wouldn’t making the Government look bad give aid and comfort to this country’s enemies? Isn’t this defined as treason in the US Constitution?”

“When you consider that I already conducted an investigation of this tragic event, the egregious redundancy of the GOP effort should be clear,” Clinton asserted. “My investigation showed that nothing we could say or do at this point would make any difference to the Americans who died on that day in Benghazi. I conveyed these findings in testimony to Congress last year. I answered their questions. For the Republicans to say that there are still unanswered questions merely because they refuse to accept the answers I gave is deceitful.”

Senator Refuses to Debate Opponent

Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss) continues to decline invitations to debate his Republican primary opponent Chris McDaniel on the grounds that “this is a race for the United States Senate, not a debating society.”

“The voters of Mississippi have had 40 years to get to know my views,” Cochran pointed out. “I don’t see how a few hours of debate at this late date could provide a significant augmentation of what I’ve said and done in my service to the citizens of this fine state over this lengthy period.”

“By appearing on the same platform with my less-experienced challenger I would be elevating his stature—making him seem a viable alternative,” the Senator observed. “Why should I do that? LBJ didn’t debate Goldwater in the 1964 election and he went on to crush him winning more than 60% of the vote. I’m the sitting senator. McDaniel is the naif crying for attention. I think this contrast alone is enough to give voters a clear idea of who they should want as their senator.”

Obama Economy Continues to Under-Perform Expectations

For the 21st consecutive quarter the US economy has failed to live up to the Obama Administration’s promised improvement. The revised GDP for the January-March period of 2014 showed a 1% decline. The vaunted recovery from the “Great Recession” remains elusive.

Jason Furman, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, attributed the decline in GDP to “bad weather,” which he blamed on “GOP resistance to the President’s efforts to curb global climate change.”

“In one sense, bad weather can just be bad luck,” Furman suggested. “The Soviet economy was hammered year-after-year by an incredible streak of bad weather from the 1920s through the 1980s. If a country like the old USSR with a totally unified consensus on economic policy could suffer such misfortune, there ought to be more sympathy for President Obama’s frustration with an uncooperative Congress.”

“The real issue here is persistent GOP obstruction of the President’s agenda,” Furman maintained. “With each passing day the GOP’s behavior is forcing him toward taking unilateral action to bypass their blockade. While those wed to strict adherence to Constitutionally delegated powers will complain, I, for one, will welcome this bold adventure into a new form of governance for this country.”

Senator Pushes “Hate Speech” Surveillance Law

Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass) is pushing legislation (S-2219) that would empower the federal government to monitor all media to ferret out “hate speech.”

“There is a large reservoir of bigotry in our population,” Markey said. “If we are to stamp it out we need to know who is spreading these vile thoughts. While we can’t listen in on everybody at this point we can access all communications passing over the Internet and airwaves.”

The Senator denied his Bill is an invasion of privacy. “The Internet and the airwaves are in the public domain,” Markey asserted. “In effect, this means that the Government owns these mediums and has both the right and the obligation to ensure that no hateful expressions are permitted on them. A necessary step to ensuring this is to find out who is abusing our communications systems for the purpose of fomenting hatred.”

Currently, Markey has no co-sponsors for his legislation—a phenomenon he attributes to the “climate of fear that has been successfully nurtured by the purveyors of hate. If these people can intimidate members of Congress to spurn this vital legislation it should be obvious that it is needed more than ever.”

Michelle Obama Vows Veto of Changes to School Lunch Menus

First Lady Michelle Obama says she will “veto” any effort by Republicans in Congress to grant local school districts discretion to deviate from her prescribed “healthy fare” food choices. “Obesity is a serious health threat and I have worked too long and hard to allow the gains I have achieved to be undermined by people suffering from nutritional ignorance,” she declared.

School districts have sought freedom to diverge from the First Lady’s program because many of their students refuse to eat what is served. Nonetheless, Michelle sees no reason to yield or compromise. “Even if it is true that some of their students won’t eat what’s good for them, I can’t permit the substitution of unhealthy alternatives,” she insisted. “If this means that some students go without lunch, well, is that really so bad? Kids today are way too fat. Missing one meal a day would probably benefit most of them.”

Meanwhile, the lunches served to Michelle’s daughters at the posh Sidwell Friends School deviate considerably from what she has decreed must be mandatory for public schools catering to the broader population.

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.

Shameful Malfeasance: Obama Dumps Illegals onto Arizona Streets

In nothing short of pure, shameful criminal negligence and malfeasance, the Obama Administration is busing illegals to Arizona and dumping them onto our streets. This is inhumane  …

By The Arizona Daily Star

More than 100 people, mostly women and children, were left to their own devices at the Tucson Greyhound station over the last two days after Department of Homeland Security officials released them on their own recognizance.

“The sheer volume of people being released is staggering. On a holiday weekend most of the buses are already booked,” said Laurie Melrood, a volunteer helping families at the station. “To release this many women and children without tickets or even information on how to purchase tickets is clearly a health and safety threat to an already vulnerable population.”

A group of about 30 people waited at the station late Tuesday, many thrusting their bus tickets at volunteers as they tried to figure out layovers and departure times to destinations across the country, including Maryland, Alabama and Florida.

For the past eight months Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol have released large numbers of families to the Greyhound station while they await their immigration court date. A handful of local volunteers have responded by visiting the station every night and providing food, phone calls, and opening their homes for families to spend the night when they are unable to get a ticket.

But recently those numbers increased, in part due to the surge of border crossers in South Texas, members of Casa Mariposa said.

So far this fiscal year, the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector has apprehended more than 140,000 people, with 70 percent from countries other than Mexico, mostly Central Americans. Local media report overcrowded stations, especially in McAllen, where more than 1,000 people were recently arrested in one day.

In comparison, Tucson sector Border Patrol agents have detained about 61,000 border crossers during the same period, with 18 percent being other than Mexican.

The problem with dropping off people at the Tucson Greyhound station, said Daniel Wilson with Casa Mariposa, is that it closes after its last bus departs at 11:40 p.m., leaving people without a ticket with nowhere to spend the night.

Many of them are released without food, money, adequate clothing, hygiene products or access to a phone.

 

National Review Urges AG Horne to Resign

By Jonathan Keim, National Review Online

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is having a very bad month. Early last week, a former employee resigned from his office and complained that Horne and his senior staff were using staff and state resources to promote his reelection. The story gained some traction amid reports that one of Horne’s top advisers would resign, and that “Some staffers are seeking or plan to seek advice from private attorneys in the wake of [the] allegations.”

Then, just as that news was capturing headlines, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk announced that she will move forward with a case concerning potential violations of campaign-finance law during Horne’s 2010 campaign. To hammer the theme home, the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance, a conservative group, is now running a TV ad (below) calling on Horne to resign, focusing on what a columnist for the Arizona Republic described as “Horne’s hit-and-run fender bender in 2012, while on a not-so-secret lunchtime rendezvous with the suspected girlfriend whom he hired to a six-figure state salary.” As the same columnist put it: “On a scale of one being a disaster and 10 being a flat-out catastrophe, last week had to weigh in at about an 11 for Attorney General Tom Horne.”

I don’t know whether these allegations are true. Horne needs to come clean as soon as possible. But the old phrase “where there is smoke, there is fire” seems inadequate to the moment, since right now Horne looks like he is the only person willing to stay in the building while it burns down. As my colleagues and I have explained before, no set of public officials have demonstrated more willingness and capacity to challenge the Obama administration’s overreach than the states’ attorneys general. Tom Horne may sympathize with that mission, but his problems are escalating at an alarming pace, compromising his ability to meaningfully engage in the fight for limited constitutional government. He should resign.

Foreclosed and Forced Out

By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy
One of the loudest attacks against SB 1062 – the CAP-supported bill which would have protected the right of every Arizonan to live and work according to their faith – was that there is no threat to religious freedom in America today. People can still go to church. Our freedom is intact.

But you and I know better. And we are seeing stories like these two more often that show why our First Freedom is in jeopardy:

La Paz County forcing closure of church that helps the homeless

The Church of the Isaiah 58 Project runs a homeless shelter out of its church in La Paz County. Along with providing medical care, shelter, and clean clothes, the church also provides nearly 13,000 meals to the County’s homeless every winter.

Under state law, the church qualified for an exemption from property taxes and filed the appropriate paperwork with the La Paz County Assessor. The assessor sat on the church’s paperwork for three years before granting a tax exemption and then only granted it for the years 2009 and later, leaving the church with back-taxes for 2007-2008 that it should not owe.

As the assessor wasn’t applying state law as intended by the policymakers, our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit defending the church in court. In 2013, Gov. Brewer vetoed a CAP-supported bill intended to clarify state law to ensure the assessor would properly apply the law.

Now, a church that operates on a $50,000 annual budget owes a tax lien of $68,000 by June 15 or it will be forced to close its doors. This is the definition of injustice. Since our nation’s founding, churches have been exempt from property taxes. Not only because of the very clear benefits they provide to our communities, but also because of the fundamental principle that the government should stay out of the business of the church.

If you would like to help the church by making a donation, you can click here. 

The intolerance of tolerance

You may recall right before the veto of SB 1062, 11 law professors, led by University of Virginia Law School Professor Douglas Laycock, sent a letter to Gov. Brewer in an attempt to clarify all of the misinformation and lies surrounding the bill.

What was most powerful about the letter was not all of the professors were conservatives or agreed with our stance on marriage. Professor Laycock is not regarded as a conservative. In fact, he would probably disagree with me on several issues – for instance, he believes marriage should be redefined.

But like those few who actually read the bill, Professor Laycock recognized that the media hype surrounding the bill had completely distorted its true impact. As a longtime legal expert on First Amendment law, Professor Laycock knows how laws like Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act were designed to operate and why they were necessary.

Writing that letter has not come without a cost. Since that time, the homosexual community has come after Professor Laycock – starting with an open letter, accusing Professor Laycock of harming homosexual students with his work.

They also filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking “among other things, university-funded travel expenses and cellphone records for the past two-and-a-half years,” and “a full, transparent accounting of the resources used by Professor Laycock which may be going towards halting the progress of the LGBT community and to erode the reproductive rights of women across the country.”

These types of intimidation tactics are designed to suppress speech and restrain diversity of opinion. You can only imagine that these accusers will only be satisfied if Professor Laycock completely renounces his work, or is forced out.

Hardly an exercise in true freedom.

Whether it’s Elane Photography, Hobby Lobby, the 2013 veto (mentioned above) or the 2014 veto of the CAP-supported bill (HB 2281) that would have ensured churches that rent their property don’t pay property tax, there is no shortage of stories that show that our religious freedom is in danger of being eradicated in the name of “tolerance.”

Mesa City Council: No Friend of Taxpayers

Vote them all out at the earliest opportunity …

By Americans for Prosperity Foundation-Arizona Chapter

The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF-Arizona) today released its Local Government Scorecard for the 2014 fiscal year, covering 106 Arizona cities, counties and special-purpose taxing districts, and 670 local officials.

The Scorecard grades local officials on overall budgets, property tax levies and sales tax changes, and includes yearly scores for current officials going back to the 2008 fiscal year, as well as cumulative averages.  AFPF-Arizona’s Local Government Scorecard for the 2014 fiscal year comes out at a time when many local governments in Arizona are finalizing tax and budget plans for the 2015 fiscal year.

For the Local Government Scorecard with cumulative scores for FYs 2008-2014, click HERE.

For FY 2014 sub-scores on budgets, property tax levies and sales tax changes, click HERE.

Cumulative scores for Mesa City Council members are listed below:

Finter, Alex

Cumulative Average & Category:  -1 = Needs Much Improvement

Glover, Christopher

Cumulative Average & Category:  -3 = Friend of Big Government

Kavanaugh, Dennis

Cumulative Average & Category:  -1 = Needs Much Improvement

Luna, David

Cumulative Average & Category:  -3 = Friend of Big Government

Richins, Dave

Cumulative Average & Category:  -1 = Needs Much Improvement

Smith, Scott

Cumulative Average & Category:  -1 = Needs Much Improvement

Somers, Scott

Cumulative Average & Category:  -2 = Ally of Big Government

Later this year, AFPF-Arizona will present its 2014 John W. Dawson Local Hero Award to the Arizona local official who has made the greatest impact in defending taxpayers.

AFPF-Arizona encourages local officials to make sure that budgets and tax levies do not grow faster than the private economy on which they depend.  AFPF-Arizona’s slow-growth year scoring rubric for the 2014 fiscal year allowed local governments to raise their total approved budgets and their total property tax levies by five percent without earning negative points.  Given the continued sluggishness of the economy, and given the difficulties faced by families and businesses in the private sector, AFPF-Arizona believes the Scorecard’s allowances were generous.

AFPF-Arizona relies on the final approved budgets and levies reported in Schedules A and B – the state-required documents that are included as appendices in most local government budgets.  Unfortunately, in 2013, a dozen municipalities failed to post those schedules online, despite the fact that they are required to do so under A.R.S. 42-17103, and despite an offer by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns to post the documents on its website.  AFPF-Arizona will update past and present scorecards to incorporate missing data, if city officials will send us links to Schedules A and B and to the council minutes for the meetings in which those budgets and levies received final approval.

AFPF-Arizona regrets that its Local Government Scorecard (which as far as we know is the only one of its kind in the country) can only grade changes to aggregate budgets, and cannot go into line-item detail within budgets.  Taxpayers should be advised that a high score for a local government body does not entail AFPF-Arizona’s endorsement of every line item in that government’s budget for the fiscal year.  Even in the best-run local governments (as measured by annual changes to overall budgets), vigilant taxpayers are still likely to find boondoggles and wasteful programs that should be reduced or eliminated.

For the full spreadsheet, which includes links to budget documents and meeting minutes, as well s email contacts for local officials, email AFPF-Arizona at tjenney@afphq.org.AFPF-Arizona thanks research associate Caleb Rhodes for his help in completing this year’s scorecard.

Doug Ducey’s Political Director Trashes Conservatives

Republican Doug Ducey is leading in the polling for this summer’s GOP primary race for governor. But RINO red flags are abundant. Ducey’s political director Anson Clarkson says Sen. Ted Cruz and conservative writer Michelle Malkin caused GOP losses, labeled patriots as “racists,” helped leftist  Randy Parraz take down Republican Senate President Russell Pearce and replace him with the liberal Republican Jerry Lewis. Hugh Hewitt, the center-right radio talk show host who supported Monica Wehby, an accused stalker, for U.S. Senate in Oregon, is also backing Ducey. The uncivil war within the GOP continues …

By the American Post-Gazette

It has been said that you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. That’s why so many people say it is unfair to judge someone by what a family member does. On the other hand, it is also why so many people look long and hard at the advisers and staff members that elected officials hire.

When Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema hired an illegal alien who was fortunate enough to be granted deferred action through President Obama’s DACA program, she was making a point. When House Speaker John Boehner hired an advisor who led John McCain’s push for amnesty, it too sent a message.

Perhaps that is why Arizona politicos pay so much attention to the various hires made by the candidates running for Governor, and who is supporting whom at this early stage?

Recently, conservatives got some bad news from Doug Ducey’s campaign in the form of an email touting endorsements from Sal DiCiccio and Trent Franks. Don’t get us wrong, DiCiccio and Franks are great endorsements. Conservatives probably loved hearing about those two. But the email was signed by Ducey’s new Political Director Anson Clarkson. Yes, the same Anson Clarkson who ran the State Senate campaign of [RINO] Rich Crandall, the State Senate’s leading liberal Republican until he abandoned his office to take a better paying job in Wyoming. The same Anson Clarkson whose career defining moment was working with Arizona’s leading liberal and race-baiter Randy Parraz to take down Republican Senate President Russell Pearce and replace him with the liberal Republican Jerry Lewis.

The same Anson Clarkson who talks trash about “birthers”, bashes immigration hawks as “closet racists”, and feels strongly that Wendy Rogers is a nice lady with “no business running for Congress.” That could get awkward depending on who is on the GOP ticket in November.

Doug Ducey gets to hire whoever he wants, and he is going to hire those people who share his vision and will work to implement it in Arizona. It just so happens that his political director thinks that Rich Crandall and Jerry Lewis were awesome State Senators and that Michelle Malkin and Ted Cruz spew hateful rhetoric (which could get awkward depending on who is on the GOP ticket in 2016!)

Clarkson isn’t in charge of social media, phone banks, or neighborhood outreach. He is the political director. Count us among those who are concerned by this development.

Reprinted from http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/personnel-is-policy/

Kerry Says Obama Administration ‘Most Transparent and Accountable in History’

John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Folder2 104In a lightly publicized press conference, Secretary of State John Kerry told members of the Mexican media that “I believe President Obama will go down in history as the president who has held himself and his administration accountable to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.”

While GOP critics of the Administration have repeatedly battled to try to obtain documents relating to the numerous scandals—Fast and Furious, NSA spying, IRS mistreatment of conservative groups, the Benghazi massacre, and “death-by-delay” at Veterans Administration hospitals—Kerry insisted that “the fact that people are aware of these events proves the Administration has not suppressed all information.”

“Given the vast amount of power at his disposal, the President could easily eliminate or intimidate all inquiries into the Government’s private affairs,” Kerry argued. “There are armed men standing by ready to pay a visit to anyone who displeases him. And there is no limit to the funds available for persuading witnesses to forget or manufacture whatever testimony he deems is in the nation’s best interest.”

“Yet, there’s been no ‘night of the long knives,’ no Stalin-like arrest of political opponents,” Kerry pointed out. “Senator Cruz still rants against the President. Rush Limbaugh still fills the airwaves with his criticisms. No one’s gone to jail. No one’s mysteriously disappeared. What more proof does anyone need?”

Governor Calls Fetal Pain Bill Efforts “Waste of Time”

A push for a special session to consider legislation that would address fetal pain and, thereby, place a limit on abortions was labeled a “waste of time” by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D).

“As I’ve said before, legislation that would elevate concern for a fetus’s pain above that of a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is unconstitutional,” Tomblin reiterated. “The argument that the pain inflicted on the fetus is a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s bar against cruel or unusual punishment is unpersuasive. The Eighth Amendment protects against cruel punishment. The fetus has committed no offense and is not being punished. Therefore, it is not entitled to this protection. Neither is the pain unusual. There have been over 50 million abortions performed since 1973’s Roe vs. Wade Court decision.”

“On a more practical level, the pain inflicted is momentary,” Tomblin added. “Whether the fetus is injected with poison, has its spinal cord severed, or its brain evacuated, death is relatively quick. In contrast, the pain inflicted by an unwanted birth can last decades for the mother and a lifetime for the child. It seems to me that those trying to avert a momentary pain at the cost of one of greater duration are the true proponents of unusual cruelty.”

Obamacare Glitch Blocks Woman’s Medicine

Though she was successful signing up for one of the Affordable Care Act health insurance plans, Shelby Higdon has been unsuccessful in her quest to obtain medicine for her condition. The problem stems from a mismatch between her actual gender and what is recorded in the ACA computer files.

An ACA employee who asked to remain anonymous explained that “Shelby is a man’s name. She can’t expect us to overlook that. Her mother’s complaint is especially galling. She could’ve prevented this years ago if she’d simply named her daughter Shelly—an obvious girl’s name.”

“We’ll probably get this straightened out eventually,” the employee continued. “I mean, as I understand it, the medicine she wants is to reduce pain. That’s not a life threatening situation. She could just bear with it until we have time to correct the records. Or she could just pay the $300 a month for the drug until then. It’s not that much money. Heck, the monthly premiums are usually two to three times higher.”

In related news, the White House urged health insurance firms to delay informing policyholders of upcoming rate hikes until after the November elections “so that voters will not be confused by adding a complex issue to what they have to think about while they’re trying to concentrate on the election.”

Congressman Advocates Communism as Cure for what Ails America

Earlier this week, Representative Joe Garcia (D-FLA) said that “poverty and crime in this country could be cured if we had a communist economic system. Under communism everybody has a good government job. No one has to go without the basic necessities. No one has any need to commit crimes.”

Contrary to Garcia’s thesis, though, Washington, DC, which has a very high ratio of government jobs, also has one of the highest crime rates in the nation. As for government employees having no need to commit crimes, well, over 300,000 current and former federal workers owe more than $3 billion in unpaid income taxes.

According to Garcia, “these facts are unfair. Not everyone living in DC has a good-paying government job. Many of those who don’t have to steal from or sell illegal drugs to those who do in order to make a living. If we made everyone a government employee we could do away with this problem.”

As for the unpaid taxes, Garcia asserted that “the idea that people receiving their income from the government should have to turn back a portion of it strikes me as the height of inefficiency. It makes no sense to give out this money and then demand that part of it be paid back. It’s no wonder that some of these employees are confused about whether they should pay their taxes.”

In response to negative reactions for his embrace of communism, Garcia tried to distinguish between “the bad communism where people are arrested in the middle of the night, tortured, and shot without a trial or sent to slave labor camps and the good communism I am advocating where the government takes care of everybody.”

USDA Solicits Bids for Machine Guns

The United States Department of Agriculture has sent out a request for arms manufacturers to offer bids on supplying the agency with an unspecified number of machine guns.

Secretary Thomas Vilsack beat back incredulous inquiries skeptical of the Department’s need for this high-powered weaponry. “It goes without saying that this country’s rural population has its own armory of personally owned firearms,” Vilsack said. “Paired with their unwelcome notions of independence and self-reliance we have the makings of effective disdain for and disobedience toward the regulations, taxes, and property seizures the we may be attempting to enforce. To be blunt, the Department can’t afford to let itself be out-gunned.”

To help bolster his case, the Secretary recounted how “early in this nation’s history farmers took up arms against the Government to resist its imposition of the whiskey tax. The situation was so dire that President Washington himself had to lead troops to quell the uprising. We aim to circumvent President Obama being forced into a similar personal show of strength. If our rural population can be shown that USDA personnel have superior firepower this risky contingency can be averted before it takes place.”

NYC Announces Plan to Equalize Neighborhoods

Concerned that the City is an inhomogeneous hodgepodge with pockets of great wealth in some neighborhoods and squalor in others, newly appointed Housing Preservation and Development Commissar Vicki Been announced a plan to move 80,000 to 120,000 poorer families into middle class neighborhoods.

“This way instead of having blight and filth in every direction they might look poorer families will be within easy walking distance of a better kept neighborhood,” Been boasted. “The crimes that plague poorer sections of our City would be more evenly dispersed throughout the whole City. Victims will come from a more broadly representative subset of the City’s overall population.”

Been apologized for not being able to move at least some of these poorer families into upper class sections of the City. “Ideally, there shouldn’t be any distinctions across socioeconomic differences,” Been said. “But current budgetary constraints prevent us from taking a more aggressive approach. Resources that ought to be communally owned are still in private hands. Over the long term it is Mayor De Blasio’s hope that a fairer allocation of these economic resources by City authorities will effectively break down the class and income distinctions that continue to pollute our society.”

Hollywood Hypocrites Cry Foul

James O’Keefe’s latest video sting operation exposed Hollywood liberals willing to accept covert funding from Arab oil producers in order to make an anti-fracking movie. Now the unmasked hypocrites are demanding that the Government do something to punish him.

“The publicity that has followed from the airing of O’Keefe’s secret taping of negotiations we thought would remain private has done serious damage to our reputations,” conspirator Ed Begley lamented. “Instead of being perceived as environmentally conscious citizens we are now looked upon as paid shills for foreign oil interests.”

Begley contended that “since we were only acting to help advance the Government’s position on energy and environmental issues it is only right that the Government do something to help us. Surely there must be some unflattering information about O’Keefe in the vast files of the FBI or NSA. Couldn’t some of this be leaked to help undermine O’Keefe’s credibility? Even a mere announcement that he is being investigated by Government authorities would serve to divert attention in a favorable direction.”

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.

Don’t Grand Canyon Rocks Showcase Deep Time?

IMG_3392By Brian Thomas, M.S. *

Clues within Grand Canyon rocks point to catastrophic water deposition. In August of this year, I rafted down the canyon, taking note of four clues that refute a deep-time interpretation of the canyon’s existence.4 I learned that instead of illustrating deep time, the Grand Canyon layers showcase immense catastrophe.

The first clue against “a slow process of formation” is the canyon’s fossils. The Coconino Sandstone, conventionally interpreted as a windblown sand dune deposit, contains fossil trackways likely made by some kind of lizard.5 The footprints preserve claw marks, which is expected if the creature walked in wet sand. Also, fossil shells from extinct sea creatures called nautiloids inhabit the base of the Redwall Limestone.6 These also appear in the same limestone layer far removed from the canyon, implying that one huge underwater

mudflow deposited them all. How could any slow process bury countless strong-swimming nautiloids and orient them to a single flow direction?

The second clue is soft-sediment deformation. Our trip included a guided tour of Carbon Canyon, one of many side canyons. There, we found entire stacks of sandstone layers tightly bent. Clearly, powerful tectonic forces uplifted and warped freshly deposited, soft, moldable land areas. If they had lithified (hardened into rock) over millennia, the brittle rock would have broken and fractured instead of bending under pressure. This incredible clue—as well as the countless fossils—implies unimaginable power that is easy to associate with the Genesis Flood.

Sharp, flat contacts between rock layers provide the third clue that refutes deep time in Grand Canyon. If thousands of years transpired after the completion of one layer and before a different layer was deposited over it, what would we expect to see? The following evidences would surface: a) Chemical weathering on the long-exposed rock, b) semblances of soil profiles that occur on land surfaces today, and c) erosion ruts where thousands of years’ worth of water runoff would have etched grooves and valleys. Imagine the drastic effects of erosion that we should see between each layer if millions of years separate them. No such features present themselves between most layers in the canyon. These strata extend remarkably flat for countless miles, telling of continuous deposition.

The clues so far yield a powerful implication. If watery catastrophe deposited each rock layer and its fossils and if no traces of long ages like erosion ruts lie between the layers, then it appears that a single mega-catastrophe quickly deposited all ten of the Grand Canyon’s remarkably uniform upper strata—thousands of feet thick.7

And what about their uniform thicknesses? Textbooks teach that Earth’s tectonic plates move slowly, at rates comparable to fingernail growth. Textbooks also tell us that sediments drifted down to the bottom of lakes or oceans, accumulating at the rate of one foot per several million years. Rock layers resulting from these two deep-time premises would have varying thicknesses as continents slowly tilted over time. Perhaps they would look like vast wedges. Instead, I saw even strata thicknesses for mile after mile, findings again consistent with the idea that a tremendous watery catastrophe deposited the ten strata in a very short time.

The fourth and final clue showcasing rapid catastrophe comes from “flat gaps,” like the canyon’s angular unconformity.8 This is “an erosion surface which has older strata below, dipping at a different (usually steeper) angle than the younger strata above.”9 For example, in some areas of Grand Canyon, the Tapeats Sandstone overlies a tilted shale layer that, in other places, lies below many tilted intervening layers. Where did the missing layers go?

If those intervening layers were deposited over hundreds of millions of years, then the flat gap represents a many-million-year hiatus. The problem is that no evidence of eons presents itself. The layers lie flat and smooth—without signs of everyday erosion. In other words, if chemical weathering and erosion ruts would form between two layers separated by only hundreds of thousands of years, then how much more would form after hundreds of millions of years? And yet no weathering or everyday erosion appears at the angular unconformity that I saw—just flat, sharp contacts. Although flat gaps represent gaps in rock layers, they do not appear to represent gaps in time.

The magnificent Grand Canyon is filled with prime evidence—fossils, bent strata, sharp contacts, and flat gaps—that its gargantuan rock layers resulted from tremendous catastrophe, not deep time.

References

  1. Craig, W. L. 1974. Evangelicals and Evolution: An Analysis of the Debate Between the Creation Research Society and the American Scientific Affiliation. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. 17 (3): 144.
  2. Austin, S. A. 1986. Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism. Acts & Facts. 15 (7).
  3. Berthault, G. 2000. Experiments in Stratification. Acts & Facts. 29 (10).
  4. Thanks to everyone at Creation Adventures for organizing the trip.
  5. Morris, J. 2010. The Coconino Sandstone: A Flood or a Desert? Acts & Facts. 39 (7): 15.
  6. Austin, S. A. 1990. Were Grand Canyon Limestones Deposited by Calm and Placid Seas? Acts & Facts. 19 (12).
  7. The formation names are, in ascending order: Tapeats, Bright Angel, Muav, Temple Butte, Redwall, Supai (group), Hermit, Coconino, Toroweap, and Kaibab.
  8. Morris, J. 2012. Flat Gaps Between Strata. Acts & Facts. 41 (5): 15.
  9. Austin, S. A. 1994. Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe. Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 239.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Brian Thomas, M.S. 2013. Don’t Grand Canyon Rocks Showcase Deep Time?. Acts & Facts. 42 (10).

 

 

 

 

Is There Evidence for the Geological Young Earth?

IMG_3395By Dr. John Morris, Institute for Creation Research

Undoubtedly, the concept of a young earth poses a stumbling block to many Christians. Many do not find it hard to reject evolution, particularly with the fossil record showing distinct categories of plants and animals with no hint of any basic category changing into another. God surely created, they say, “but couldn’t He have done it over millions and billions of years?”

Consider, in passing, the fact that the Bible specifically teaches a young earth, making it Biblically and theologically impossible for the earth to be “old.” But if the earth is young, the geologic deposits of the earth’s crust should show that, or at least be compatible with the truth. And, indeed, there is such evidence.

One of my favorite lines of reasoning is that of “soft sediment deformation.” Most geologic rock layers started out as muddy sediments laid down under water, and hardened into rock as the water was squeezed out and the individual grains or molecules pressed together. Frequently, several thousand feet of these compressed rock layers are found stacked on top of one another, such as at the Grand Canyon, where about 5000 feet of horizontally bedded strata can be seen.

According to the old-earth idea, the Tapeats sandstone on the bottom of the Grand Canyon is about 550 million years old, while the Kalbab Limestone at the top is only 200 million years old. These sediments were uplifted to their present high elevation (some 7000 feet at the rim) about seventy million years ago, meaning the Tapeats was already 480 million years old at the time of uplift and “deformation”.

The young-earth creationist interprets these Grand Canyon rocks as having been laid down by the Flood, the Tapeats early in the Flood, and the KaIbab within the next few months. The area was uplifted late in the Flood year, with trapped flood waters carving out the canyon itself while draining off the uplifted continents.

In Grand Canyon Park, most of these sediments, which were laid down horizontally under water, remained horizontal after uplift. But the uplift Beverly deformed these same sediments along the flanks of the plateau, in some areas leaving them in a vertical orientation. In my favorite spot, the Tapeats, which today is an extremely hard rock, was bent from horizontal to vertical in a space of 100 feet or so. The nature of this deformation shows that the sediments were almost certainly still soft when bent. They had not yet had time to turn hard. But it only takes a few hundred years at best for sandy sediments to turn to sandstone in the presence of high overburden pressure and adequate cement. Therefore, we are justified in concluding that the Tapeats was not 480 million years old at the time of uplift. It all happened in a short period of time, while the sediments were still soft.

The old-earth advocates can propose an unlikely scenario of flowage under high confining pressure, but clearly, the evidence better fits the young-earth idea, wiping out 480 million years of supposed earth history.

The best part is, the world is full of such examples, producing much geologic evidence for a young earth.

 

*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1991. Is There Geological Evidence for the Young Earth?. Acts & Facts. 20 (11).

Industry Group Warns Prescription Costs Will Rise under Obamacare

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

Folder2 104The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) reports that a study comparing out-of-pocket costs under Affordable Care Act health insurance policies will likely exceed costs under employer sponsored plans by an estimated 130%.

John Castellani, president and CEO of PhRMA, expressed concern that “millions of Americans may be priced out of receiving the medicines they need. This completely contradicts the Administration’s promise that the Affordable Care Act would provide coverage equivalent to or better than what people had prior to the new law.”

Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Bill Corr disputed the implication that the health of Americans would be negatively affected. “Most of the prescription drugs people take are unnecessary,” Corr asserted. “Some are outright harmful when all of the negative side effects are taken into consideration. So if higher out-of-pocket costs reduce the consumption of these drugs not only will we save money, we will save lives.”

“If the general public had known that boosting consumers’ out-of-pocket drug costs in order to discourage consumption was an intended outcome of the President’s health care reform I doubt they would’ve supported its passage,” Castellani observed. “I certainly know our organization wouldn’t have supported it.”

“What these outsiders may have believed is not important,” Corr replied. “The key was to reform our nation’s health care system by whatever means necessary. The ACA is now the law of the land. We will carry out its provisions as the President deems appropriate. If this cuts into drug manufacturers’ profits, so be it.”

In related news, health insurance executive Marcus Merz, CEO of PreferredOne, says another accomplishment of Obamacare will be “to help people break away from the idea that they should have a range of choices when it comes to who will treat them. Choice adds to the cost of health care. The less of it there is, the more we save.”

Senator Proffers More Evidence of Encroaching Dementia

Repeated rants against the Koch brothers appear to be insufficient to calm Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). “What’s needed,” says Reid, “is a Constitutional Amendment aimed specifically at stopping them.”

“These two men are an existential threat to America,” Reid argued. “They are, perhaps, the single biggest factor behind global warming. We cannot afford to treat them like ordinary citizens. Extraordinary measures must be taken to stave off their attacks on our Government.”

The “attacks” Reid wants to stave off are studies that contradict Administration policies and candidates that vie to unseat Democratic officeholders—both funded by donations from the Koch brothers.

“The Koch brothers are hiding behind the freedom of speech that our Constitution guarantees for true patriots,” Reid asserted. “They will continue to exploit this loophole until we take action to close it.”

The Senator contends that “a simple revision to the First Amendment that would abridge freedom of speech for only the Koch brothers would do the trick. Everyone else’s freedom would remain untouched. Only these two malefactors of great wealth would be impacted.”

“Amending the Constitution in this way would enable Congress to pass legislation aimed specifically at sanctioning the nefarious activities of the Kochs,” Reid explained. “And courts would be barred from overturning these laws because the Constitution would explicitly permit clamping down on the Kochs.”

IRS Emboldened to Resist Cooperating with Congress

Rather than cowing the IRS into cooperating with Congressional inquiries, the House’s citing former IRS official Lois Lerner with contempt seems to have emboldened further resistance. “The notion that this ‘slap-on-the-wrist’ is going to make us turn on our friends is ludicrous,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

At issue is correspondence between the IRS and high-ranking Democrats–including Sen. Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Reid (D-NV), Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Begich (D-AK), Sen. Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), Sen. Franken (D-MN), Sen. Warner (D-VA), Rep. Braley (D-Iowa) and Rep. Peters (D-MI)–who are alleged to have pressured the Agency to crack down on conservative political organizations in the run up to the 2012 elections.

“We will not provide ammunition for the GOP’s efforts to denigrate these great men,” Koskinen vowed. “The Party of the Government must stick together if we are to fend off this anti-government conspiracy. Even if it weren’t the right thing to do, people can surely see that it is the sensible thing for us to do.”

“The President has the power to use deadly force against those who would act to discredit his Government,” Koskinen pointed out. “Many of those who posed such a threat are now dead on his orders. Being held in contempt by Congress is nowhere near as potent a deterrent. They even balked at sending Lois to jail, which they had the authority to do. So, I think I’ll risk defying Congress rather than disobeying the President.”

In related news, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA, admitted that the Obama Administration has been using so-called metadata as the foundation of its “assassination-by-drone program.” “Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life,” Hayden said. “You don’t have to actually listen-in to what people are saying or read their emails or texts. As long as you know who is talking and where they are you can launch a drone strike against them.” Ironically, the Obama Administration has tried to mollify critics of its spying on Americans by assuring that it is not listening or reading, but only collecting metadata.

President Ups Pressure for Immigration Reform

Determined to maneuver Republicans in Congress into supporting immigration reform before the November elections, President Obama ordered the release of 36,000 illegal alien criminals. The crimes committed were for offenses other than entering the country illegally, including 116 homicides, 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings, 1,075 aggravated assaults, 1,160 stolen vehicles, 9,187 dangerous drug possessions, and 24,822 driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“By denying these undocumented immigrants legal status we force them into the shadows where they must struggle to support themselves,” the President complained. “The vast majority accept low-wage work cleaning our homes, mowing our lawns, and serving our fast food. But some can’t even get these slavery-type jobs. They are forced into lives of crime. It would be unfair to hold this against them while Congress—a virtual co-conspirator—repeatedly refuses to enact corrective legislation.”

The release of these criminals outraged Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala). “After pleading for latitude in dealing with so-called ‘harmless’ undocumented aliens, the Administration now goes ahead and sends dangerous criminals out into the streets of America’s cities and towns,” Sessions complained. “This goes beyond dereliction of his duty to enforce the law. It is a malicious attempt at extortion.”

Administration Official Doubts Benghazi Probe Will Get Anywhere

National Security Adviser Susan Rice says she doubts that the newly organized House of Representatives probe into the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi will make any headway.

“Look, they can’t make us tell them anything we don’t want to tell them,” Rice bragged. “We know exactly what happened that day. They don’t. Any notion the Republicans may have that subpoenas will compel testimony we don’t want to give is totally off-base.”

“They say they want documents,” Rice said. “Well, we’ve already given them 25,000 pages of documents. What, these aren’t the documents they were requesting? So what? They say they want witnesses. We already had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testify. She was the highest ranking person involved during the Benghazi event. There is no need for any lower ranking personnel to be called especially since the Secretary conclusively proved that at this point whatever happened that day doesn’t matter now.”

“Do they think that our show of defiance and refusal to cooperate will win them PR points?” Rice asked. “Get real. The media are on our side. The whole thing is just a colossal waste of time.”

In related news, Rice contended that “GOP opposition to Administration policies is America’s main weakness. It prevents the President from presenting a united front to our overseas adversaries. Neither China nor Russia have to face the kind of domestic cabals of disloyalty that President Obama has had to contend with. Until we find an effective way to eliminate this disloyalty the nation’s foreign policy will lack total effectiveness.”

Democrat Rallies to Defend Veterans Administration

Undaunted by recent revelations of veterans dying while waiting for treatment at VA Hospitals, Senator John Tester (D-Mont) insists that “the VA is doing a pretty darn good job.”

“What a lot of people, especially those hammering the VA, are overlooking is that while some vets died a majority lived,” Tester declared. “Obviously, and vets should know this, any operation as large as the VA is bound to have some casualties. Not everyone can be saved. Rather than become obsessed with those who aren’t saved why don’t we applaud those who are?”

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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