SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News September 23, 2012 
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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

John Semmens
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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News September 23, 2012

Executive Order Authorizing Government Control of Internet Nearing Completion

Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate committee that the Administration is drafting an Executive Order that would grant her Department of Homeland Security “sweeping new powers over the Internet.”

As we saw this past week, irresponsible use of the Internet by anti-Islamic bigots spawned riots against US embassies throughout the Muslim world,” Napolitano explained. “The Administration needs the authority to interdict inflammatory and dangerous messages before they can cause trouble.”

Napolitano told Senators that “the Executive Order is necessary because Congress has neglected its responsibility to pass appropriate enabling legislation. The President isn't going to sit by and allow threats to our interests to have unrestrained access to this very potent means of communication just because Congress can't get its act together.”

The Secretary rejected arguments that restricting access to the Internet violates the Constitution's First Amendment. “If you read the document carefully you see that the First Amendment bars Congress from making a law abridging freedom of speech,” Napolitano pointed out. “It places no such prohibition on the President. In fact, it could be argued that as the nation's Commander-in-Chief he has the obligation to take this action.”

Judge Blocks Purge of Dead Voters

State District Judge Tim Sulak issued an order to Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade to cease and desist in her office's efforts to remove deceased voters from the rolls.

In his ruling, Sulak said that “the Secretary has failed to demonstrate sufficient grounds for excluding these voters. Just because a person is deceased does not mean that person has no interest in the election's outcome. Has a deceased parent no concern for the well-being of his children? Of course he does. To arbitrarily deny this interest is discriminatory and, therefore, illegal.”

The Judge rejected the Secretary's argument that it is impossible to know how a deceased person would vote saying that “friends and relatives acquainted with the views the person expressed while alive may serve as good proxies for casting votes on behalf of the deceased.”

State officials sent notices to the last known addresses of 80,000 voters who the Social Security Administration (SSA) says had died. Those failing to reply with proof they are alive were to be stricken from the rolls.

However, Sulak discounted the SSA as “an unreliable source. Every year this agency pays out billions of dollars on bogus claims. And that's not counting the billions 'legitimately' paid to those who've disabled themselves through drug addiction. Using anything from this agency as a basis for any action is highly suspect.”

In related news, a statistical analysis of Ohio's voting rolls indicates that at least 20% of the registrations appear to be phony. In two counties the number of people registered to vote exceeds the voting age population. The national average is for 70% of the voting age population to be registered to vote. Nevertheless, US Attorney General Eric Holder insists that vote fraud is not a serious problem and warned the Ohio Secretary of State “to refrain from taking any action that may be construed as an attempt to reduce voter turnout.”

President Assures Letterman that National Debt Isn't Important

Unable to answer a simple question regarding the size of the national debt during an interview on David Letterman's talk show, President Obama tried to assure viewers that it isn't important.

I can't put my finger on the precise amount,” Obama said. “How about a 'ballpark' estimate?” Letterman asked.

Well, I don't know, but it doesn't really matter,” the President replied. “You see, mostly this is money we owe ourselves. I mean, Americans owe the debt and Americans own the debt. In effect, paying the debt is like taking money out of your right pocket and putting it into your left pocket. It's a wash transaction. We could eliminate most of the debt by simply canceling this shuffle.”

In related news, the United States fell to 18th place in the annual Economic Freedom of the World report. Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger dismissed the report's importance saying “it is overly reliant on outmoded ideas that put individual rights ahead of the collective benefits.”

President Sees No Need to Address Mid-East Crisis

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said President Obama sees no need for him to brief the American people on the Mid-East crisis.

How would this benefit him?” LaBolt asked. “The media have already moved on to other issues that are working in his favor. There is no outcry from voters demanding answers as to how this happened. The only people who want him to speak out about it are his opponents. So, I think keeping quite is the smart thing to do.”

Despite the President's reluctance to speak to the American people, he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have invested $70,000 in TV ads in Pakistan. In the ads both make appearances to express their apologies for the “Innocence of Muslims” video held to be a contributor to the recent riots in several Islamic countries.

Obama kicked off the ad saying, “We reject all efforts to denigrate religious beliefs of others.” Clinton followed up by reminding that “the United States Government has absolutely nothing to do with this video,” and urging that “your anger should be focused elsewhere.”

Another placating move under consideration is the possible release of Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is currently serving a life sentence for his role in a plot to conduct assassinations and destroy bridges, tunnels and other landmarks in New York City. Clinton defended the move as one motivated by compassion. “The man is, after all, blind,” she explained. “He's been in jail for nearly two decades. Releasing him is unlikely to harm us and could go a long way toward mollifying those threatening violence unless he is released.”

President Says He Can't Change Washington from the Inside

In a gaffe that some are calling “Bidenesque,” President Obama sought to divert attention from his broken promises by claiming impotence.

The most important lesson I've learned is you can't change Washington from the inside,” he told the audience at at a forum hosted by the Spanish-language TV channel Univision. “You can only change it from the outside.”

A nonplussed host inquired, “If you can't change it from inside why are you running for reelection?”

As frustrating and unrewarding as being the president may be, I feel it is my duty to occupy that chair in order to prevent malevolent forces from taking over the country,” Obama answered. “As we have seen, my opponent has great animus against the 47% who rely on government for their living. Allowing him to be elected would be seen as a validation of the notion that people should be expected to fend for themselves.”

It's taken us about three generations to get to that 47% level,” the President continued. “That's a lot of progress, but we can't let ourselves be satisfied with only half a loaf. While we can probably never get to 100%, I hope that reaching 98% or 99% might be attained during my lifetime. I'm confident that with another term we can reach the tipping-point where a clear majority is aligned with our program. Once that happens the transformation I envision for America will never be undone.”

In related news, Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney maintained that “Romney's '47%' remarks may effectively disqualify him from serving as president. His disdain for dependency puts him out-of-step with the moral mainstream of our society. Those who rely on government to meet their basic needs shouldn't have to live with the fear that they might be forced to enter the workforce against their will. Romney's made a thinly veiled attack on a way of life that I think voters will soundly reject come November.”

Blasphemous Video May Lead to Extraditions

The Egyptian Government has issued arrest warrants for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and American pastor Terry Jones on charges of “harming national unity, insulting Islam, and spreading false information.” The charges stem from the belief that these persons are linked to the “Innocence of Muslims” video.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is expected to demand their extradition when he meets with President Obama in New York and Washington this week. The US State Department and Department of Justice are reported to be reviewing the case.

It's an interesting question,” mused Attorney General Eric Holder. “Normally, we'd think it's a freedom of speech issue. If the impacts were strictly confined within our own borders the First Amendment might be deemed decisive. However, since the impacts have mainly been felt outside our borders it may not apply.”

According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the US Constitution's protection of freedom of speech does not apply when someone's values and beliefs are offended. “Freedom of expression should be and must be guaranteed and protected, when they are used for common justice and common purpose,” Ban said. “However, those who insist upon being disagreeable must not be allowed to claim the privilege of free speech.”


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