John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The revelation of Obama Administration memos proving that it knowingly perpetrated a fraudulent cover story blaming a little watched video for the attack on the US Benghazi Consulate is, according to former National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor, “old news unworthy of further concern.”
“Look Dude,” Vietor told Fox News’ Bret Baier, “all that happened like two years ago. There’s nothing anybody can do about it now. I think former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton established that it doesn’t make any difference at this point.”
Vietor also defended the State Department’s and White House’s pivot toward protecting the Administration from damaging political fall out. “While it was sad that four Americans died in Benghazi, the greater threat to the administration from the domestic insurgency led by Mitt Romney had to be dealt with in a decisive manner,” Vietor argued. “The four casualties we suffered in Benghazi was a minor setback. A loss to Romney would’ve had far graver impacts for the President and his program. Even in hindsight, I think we made the right choice.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) echoed Vietor’s perspective and called continued GOP interest in the topic “a baldfaced attempt to divert people’s attention from the headway this administration is making. They don’t want voters to know that over 8 million have signed up for the Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance. They don’t want voters to know that unemployment has dropped to its lowest level since the President took office. It’s the same old ‘dirty politics’ we have come to expect from Republicans.”
Pelosi predicted that “this scheme won’t work because I believe that the Statute of Limitations for prosecuting anyone involved in anything that happened in Benghazi has expired. And even if it hasn’t President Obama can simply pardon anyone the GOP witch hunters try to get their claws into. It’s time to move on.”
Study Said to Vindicate President’s Economic Policies
A study recently published by the National Employment Law Project reports that a plurality of the new jobs created under the Administration’s economic policies have been low-wage jobs. Data analyzed in the study indicated that while 22% of the jobs lost during the recession were low-wage, 44% of the jobs created since then are low-wage.
“If proof were needed that this president is on the side of the little guy this is it,” said Jason Furman, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. “Expanding job opportunities for those with little education and few skills focuses on the population cohort that is most in tune with the President’s view of the world.”
“Combined with government assistance like food stamps, public housing, subsidized health insurance and miscellaneous free stuff these low-wage jobs can be an ideal situation for a lot of these people,” Furman explained. “The fact that a majority of these new jobs are part time means that a hefty share of the low-wage segment are also enjoying a highly coveted extra leisure time to spend with their families.”
“Step-by-step, the President’s policies are breaking down the preconception that each individual has to provide for himself and his family by working full time at a high-wage job,” Furman continued. “More and more people are coming to realize that a package of government benefits combined with some part time work is an attactive and viable life style in a transformed America.”
Maybe a more persuasive “vindication” of the President’s economic policies is the reported anemic one-tenth of one percent annual growth in GDP achieved in 2014’s first quarter. As bad as this is, the Administration is bragging that it would’ve been worse without Obamacare. “Without this law forcing people to pay an added 10% for medical care during the quarter GDP growth would have been negative,” Furman asserted. “Can we really dare to think of repealing this economic shot-in-the-arm?”
The Congressional Budget Office projects that this “shot-in-the-arm” will compel taxpayers to pay more than $50,000 per year for every person that has signed up for Obamacare. The CBO also predicts that within 10 years the Affordable Care Act will have reduced the number of uninsured Americans from a current estimated 42 million down to a lower total of 31 million.
VA Resolves Backlog of Cases by Purging Records
In a bid to minimize bad publicity the Veterans’ Administration purged 1.5 million unfulfilled medical orders.
“We got so far behind that we thought we’d get a fresh start by canceling all recommended treatments and therapies that were still pending after a year’s delay,” VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson admitted. “While we can’t say for sure whether any of these recommended treatments were or were not performed, if a person has already waited a year for treatment chances are pretty good that he’s recovered without treatment. So why should we have to have an unnecessary pending treatment order hanging over our heads and vilifying our reputation?”
“A smaller number will have died in the interim,” Gibson pointed out. “These persons no longer need treatment, so why keep them on the list? In the instances where a person has survived, but not recovered I’m sure that such persons will renew their request for medical care. The data purge clears the way for these renewed requests.”
In related news, Sharon Helman, Director of the Phoenix VA health system where 40 veterans died while awaiting delayed treatments, got a $9,000 performance bonus last year.
Biden Talks Tough against Russian Aggression in Europe
Contending that “20th century history has proven that the borders of European countries cannot be changed by military force,” US Vice-President Joe Biden called for Russia to “stand down or face annihilation.”
“Students of history are well aware that Hitler’s plan to reshape the map of Europe came to a bad end for him,” Biden declared. “None of his conquests stood for long. Every subjugated people was eventually set free by the triumphant intervention of the Allied nations. Putin should not forget this.”
Perhaps, though, Russian President Vladimir Putin is remembering that Russia made significant territorial gains during and after World War II. Russia was able to annex all of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as well as parts of Poland, Romania and Finland.
Whether the United States has the will or the ability to fend off Russian aggression in Ukraine, or any other European country Putin may be determined to dominate, seems dubious. In a prospective conflict in the region US supply lines would be long compared to those faced by the Russians. The Europeans we might seek to defend have a notorious tendency toward pusillanimity in regard to military threats from tyrants. And while President Obama may boast of his ability to assassinate the unwary via drone strikes, he shows no sign of being competent to take on the bigger, more complex challenge posed by Putin.
Nevertheless, Biden has vowed to “grab my shotgun and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ukrainian troops opposing Russia’s invasion of their territory. A taste of buckshot will slow these bullies down big time.”
Kerry Claims Unfair Treatment
US Secretary of State John Kerry complains that he is being unfairly pilloried for his private remarks concerning Israel becoming an “apartheid” state.
“I thought I was among friends, but someone betrayed a trust and exposed me to unwanted public ridicule,” Kerry charged. “Delicate policy matters cannot be made in a fishbowl. There has to be a respect for confidentiality. We need to be able to speak freely without fear of repercussions.”
“While I admit that the word ‘apartheid’ may not have been the best turn of phrase I stand by my concern that Israel is in danger of becoming a place with different rights for Jews and Arabs living there. Declaring that a Jew’s right to live takes precedence over a Muslim’s obligation to kill him is not even-handed or democratic. In my mind elevating the Jews like this seems very much like the apartheid we saw in South Africa.”
Clinton Says Democrats Are Trying to Replicate Jesus’ Miracles
In a bid to win over evangelicals for her anticipated 2016 Presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared Democratic support for welfare programs to Jesus’ concern for the poor.
“How can those familiar with the story of the loaves and fishes not see the parallels with current Democratic efforts to feed the poor?” Clinton asked. “How is Jesus’ feeding the multitude with a handful of bread and fish not emulated by the EBT card?”
“I’m not saying that Democrats have the magical powers of God,” Clinton said. “But from the perspective of the EBT beneficiaries it must certainly appear magical. Through no toil of their own they and their families are fed. All they are asked to do is cast a ballot for Democrats to have the power to redistribute funds unneeded by those who already have more than enough. Is this not truly indistinguishable from a miracle?”
In related news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that in 20% of American families no one has a paid job. US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez called the news encouraging, “We still have a long way to go, but the fact that one in five households have been liberated from wage slavery is real progress.”
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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