By John Semmens — Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
This week GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump backed away from his previous questioning of President Obama’s birthplace. His announcement was greeted by an outpouring of venom from assorted Democratic sources.
A bevy of members of the Congressional Black Caucus took turns denouncing Trump as a racist. Rival presidential contender Hillary Clinton asserted that “this proves the man is racist to the core. Anyone who would smear America’s first black president with an insinuation that he was not born in this country is unfit for office.”
The sincerity of the outrage has to be dubious since both Obama and Clinton played key roles in giving the suspicion that Obama might have been born elsewhere life. In 1991 Obama’s publisher bragged “he is the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review and was born in Kenya.” This claim sat for 16 years until Obama corrected the record in 2007 during his ultimately successful campaign for the presidency in 2008.
The possibility that Obama might have been born elsewhere was promoted by the campaign of his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton in 2008. Former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher says he was personally pitched the story by longtime Clinton operative Sid Blumenthal in 2008. However, Hillary says she doesn’t recall ever talking to Blumenthal on the matter at the time and insisted that “if it occurred it had to have been on Sid’s own initiative because I would never have approved anything so deplorable.”
Patti Solis Doyle, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in 2008 until she was fired after Obama won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, acknowledged that someone with the campaign had circulated the rumor of Obama’s foreign birth, but insisted that “it was strictly a ‘lone wolf, rogue operation.’ The person believed to be responsible was summarily terminated.” Mark Penn, a Democratic pollster and Clinton 2008 strategist, also wrote a memo in March 2007, citing Obama’s “lack of American roots,” as a factor that could work against him in the campaign.”
Police Union Endorses Trump
Following a meeting of the group’s national board where two-thirds voted to support GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, the largest police union—Fraternal Order of Police—announced its endorsement. Chuck Canterbury, the FOP’s national president, called the choice “an easy decision. The contrast between the candidates is as stark as any we’ve ever seen. Trump is for law and order. He supports civilized behavior and public safety. Mrs. Clinton appears to have sided with the enemies of these values.”
In contrast to Trump’s avid courting of the police union, Hillary Clinton disdained “to stoop so low as to try to curry favor with the armed thugs that are gunning down unarmed black men across the nation. They invited me to answer their ‘candidate’s questionnaire,’ but I refused to play their game. It is the police union that is out of step with all the other major labor organizations that have endorsed me. It is a decision that they will come to regret after November.”
The fact that FOP endorsed Hillary’s husband Bill in his 1996 race against Republican Bob Dole didn’t phase the candidate. “It was a different organization back then,” Hillary contended. “They shared America’s values. Since then they’ve been infiltrated by some of this country’s worst elements—racists and gun nuts who actually support arming citizens for self defense. Their reign of terror in the minority community will come to an end when I’m elected.”
In related news, Clinton vowed to stop raids and round-ups of illegal immigrants once she moves into the Oval Office. “The persecution of people whose only crime was breaking laws that shouldn’t exist must cease,” she declared. “Republicans in Congress will be given the opportunity to do the right thing and once Donald Trump is rejected by the voters I’m pretty sure they will come around and legislate a broad amnesty. However, my patience won’t be endless. If legislation isn’t passed within my first 100 days I will follow the lead of out great President Obama and issue the executive orders necessary to get the job done.”
Merkel Demands German Firms Hire Immigrants
Impatient at the slow progress toward integrating Middle Eastern immigrants into the German economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded that businesses “step up the pace of hiring. It’s a disgrace that only 100 of the million refugees that have entered the country this year have jobs. The refusal of the private sector to offer enough jobs forces the government to bear the burdens of meeting the need to house and feed these people.”
Hans Volle, Director of Human Resources for Deutsche Tech, complained that “Chancellor Merkel’s aspirations are unreasonable. Hardly any of these refugees understand our language, a majority of them appear to be illiterate, and the level of technical skills we require is nowhere to be found. The notion that we could employ more than a tiny fraction of the refugees is pure fantasy.”
Merkel was unmoved by German industry’s lack of enthusiasm for hiring the immigrants and recalled that “German businesses weren’t so finicky during the 1940s when millions of foreign workers were brought into our factories and put to work on projects of vital importance to the country. Where is their ingenuity? Germany has done great things before and we can do them again if only we have the will to do so.”
In related news, a surprising number of “refugees” in Germany are taking “vacations” to the war-torn sites that they supposedly were fleeing when they arrived in Germany. Merkel maintained that the revelation “shouldn’t be so mysterious. You could run for your life yet still experience homesickness. The idea that these people could be jihadi infiltrators strikes me as far-fetched.”
Hillary Campaign Caught Stealing from Donors
Some supporters of Hillary Clinton are coming to rue giving out their credit card data to the campaign. It seems that individuals who thought they were agreeing to one-time charges are discovering repeated levies on their accounts in their monthly statements. Upon inspecting her recent Visa Card statements, Carol Mahre found multiple charges amounting to $94. “On the phone they asked me to give $25, which I said was okay,” Mahre recounted. “But when I looked at my bill there were three deductions of $25 and one for $19.”
Campaign manager Robby Mook attributed the unauthorized charges to “simple human error. As everyone knows the campaign has been hit hard by pneumonia. Hillary hasn’t been the only one afflicted with memory loss and neurological seizures. It’s easy to see how this could’ve happened. Thankfully, the overcharges were all of relatively small amounts the loss of which should not result in any major hardship for the victims. At worst it’s a case of petty theft, not even a felony. And it pales in comparison with the much bigger stakes of this election.”
Keeping the cumulative overcharges under $100 may be a key to the scheme avoiding scrutiny. Roger Mahre, Carol’s lawyer son, speculated that “a lot of people don’t look carefully at small charges on the credit card bill. So, it wouldn’t surprise me that this scam goes largely unnoticed.”
Whether the overcharges are just random mistakes or a conscious strategy is a good question. The New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton’s first campaign for president in 2008 was forced to reimburse $2.8 million in unauthorized credit card charges. Obama’s campaign was forced to reimburse $900,000. And this was just in response to donors who questioned the charges. There’s no telling how many donors might have been unaware of the thefts.
MSNBC talking head Chris Matthews wondered whether “we are making too much of this whole business. Most of the money these people are spending is wasted on unessential junk. Is the redirection of some of these squandered resources toward the important objective of aiding the election of a person who will advance the progressive agenda really a bad thing? I would have to say that on balance that it is not.”
Democrat VP Candidate Says “Denouncing KKK Is Not Enough”
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine insists that Trump’s multiple denunciations of the Ku Klux Klan and its former leader David Duke “is not enough. Neither Trump nor Pence will use the word ‘deplorable’ in their efforts to evade being pinned down on this issue.”
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was similarly adamant about the GOP candidates’ refusal to use the word “deplorable” as he badgered Pence in an interview. “Why not say deplorable?” Blitzer demanded to know, rejecting Pence’s determination not to engage in name calling.
“We hear the Republicans saying they don’t want the support of Duke and the Klan, yet they decline to take the logical step of labeling them ‘deplorable,’” Blitzer observed. “The only conclusion I can come to is that they don’t want to use the same terminology that Hillary Clinton used to denounce half of Trump’s supporters. This allows them to continue to portray Mrs. Clinton as insensitive. That’s pure politics aimed at heading off our attempt to neutralize her characterization by showing that both sides belittle those they disagree with.”
CNN followed up the interview of Pence with the headline “Pence Won’t Deplore Duke,” a turn of phrase that Blitzer proudly called “ingenious. It doesn’t really matter what Trump or Pence say or don’t say. We control the narrative. The American people will see and hear what we want them to.”
Meanwhile, CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield and Dylan Byers declared that widespread popular distrust of the media “threatens democracy.” Byers, citing a recent Gallup poll indicating that only 32% of Americans trust the media to report the news accurately, worried that “a loss of faith in the press could deal a mortal blow to the way the nation is governed. We are the voice of government. We have the awesome responsibility to ensure that its message gets through to the people. The scoffing and ridicule heaped upon us by the targets of our message runs the risk of severing this vital link.”
Byers dismissed accusations that the media might bear a share of the responsibility for this loss of faith, saying “the people don’t know enough to pass judgment on whether our reporting is accurate. It’s like a parishioner doubting whether what his priest is relaying to him is God’s will. Going down that path of disbelief endangers us all.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect.
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