John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, March 16, 2014 Edition

President Admits Obamacare Will Block Access to Many Doctors

Despite promising that those who liked their doctors would be able to keep them under Obamacare, President Obama now admits that “in many instances this will not be possible. On balance, though, this is probably a good thing—an unexpected benefit of the Affordable Care Act.”

Studies have shown that over 90% of the patients seen by doctors would have recovered without any medical intervention,” the President pointed out. “So, if loss of access to a favorite doctor discourages a person from seeking medical help—well, 90% of the time this will result in a saving of both time and money.”

Health outcomes could also be improved,” the President added. “Let's not forget that medical care itself is the third leading cause of death in this country. To the extent that our new health care system diverts people from seeking medical attention we may actually be saving lives. In this light, the narrow networks and high out-of-pocket deductibles will save the relatively healthy majority from this fate.”

As for the high cost of insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act Obama suggested that “if a family were to shift resources away from cable TV and expensive cell phone plans they could easily cover the cost of health insurance. As Michelle has been saying for years now, getting off your duff in front of the TV would, by itself, be a major contributor to better health. Not having access to cable would stimulate more physical activity and its beneficial impacts.”

Schumer Says GOP Needs to Get On-board with Amnesty Plan

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) warned Republican colleagues that “there's no question that amnesty will be the law of the land in the near future. The GOP can get on-board and share in the credit or be left behind futilely railing against the inevitability of it all.”

The choice they face is simple,” Schumer said. “By joining us in legislatively enacting the legalization of these undocumented immigrants they have a chance to blunt the electoral effect of adding millions of new Latino voters. By opposing us to the bitter end they will earn the enmity of these new voters. They should not mistakenly believe that they can block this legalization because the President will move forward to accomplish it by Executive Order if Congress fails to act.”

Senator Complains about CIA Spying

This week Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif), a long time supporter of the intelligence community, expressed outrage upon discovering that the CIA has been spying on members of Congress.

I have backed every budget request the CIA has put forward,” Feinstein declared. “I have defended them against their detractors from both sides of the ideological spectrum. Now we find out that they have been surreptitiously breaking into the emails of members of Congress—including mine. It is one thing to spy on ordinary people. It is quite another for them to spy on a separate branch of government.”

CIA Director John Brennan dismissed the Senator's complaints saying that “to be effective surveillance must be comprehensive. Just because a person is a member of Congress is no guarantee that he or she doesn't have malevolent intentions toward the Administration. In fact, Senator Feinstein's public disclosure of our penetration of her email account is the kind of breach of security that gives aid and comfort to our enemies. As far as I'm concerned it vindicates the need for our Agency to leave no source of information untapped.”

In related news, reports have surfaced that the NSA has been using social networking websites as a means of hacking into individuals' personal computers. NSA Director General Keith Alexander would neither confirm or deny these reports. However, he did postulate that “from the amount of personal information voluntarily posted on these public sites we don't think it unreasonable to infer that these individuals have waived their right to privacy. Under these circumstances, it would be irresponsible for us not to use this avenue for the purpose of defending the nation against threats to the Government.”

Vote Fraud Felon Released Early

Melowese Richardson's five-year sentence for serial vote fraud was commuted to “time served” by Hamilton County (Ohio) Prosecutor Joseph Deters. Richardson was convicted of illegally voting multiple times in elections held in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

It was my sense that five years in prison was an excessive punishment for Richardson's crime of over exuberance,” Deters contended. “A passionate devotion to a candidate or policy shouldn't be used to justify a harsh penalty. After all, who did she hurt? It's not like she was voting for the Communist Party. She voted for President Obama and a slate of Democrats. She's a supporter of our government, not a malcontent or dissident.”

Deters brushed aside Richardson's prior criminal record for intimidation, assault, drunken driving and theft that the sentencing judge cited as support for the five-year term of incarceration as “prejudicial. Ms. Richardson had already been punished for these earlier offenses. The implication that she might be a habitual criminal should've been weighed against her 14 years of community service as an election poll worker.”

In related news, a quick investigative report by a Florida TV station found 100 ineligible persons in two counties had voted numerous times over the past few years. Nonetheless, the Obama Department of Justice is suing to block Governor Rick Scott's efforts to purge voter rolls of those ineligible to cast ballots. “At best, the supposed problem of ineligible voters is clearly minor,” Attorney General Eric Holder maintained. “More fundamentally, though, we challenge the notion that any benefit is attained by blocking these persons from voting. Voting is a human right. No state is justified in denying this right to anyone under any pretext.”

Kerry Issues Ultimatum to Russians

US Secretary of State John Kerry chastised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country's “unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine” and warned that “serious repercussions will be undertaken.”

National sovereignty is a principle that you either respect or don't,” Kerry lectured Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in high level talks this past week. “Engaging in displays of military strength or actual incursions into a foreign country in order to influence or intimidate its government is not acceptable.”

Lavrov questioned Kerry's sincerity and historical knowledge by alluding to US intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya in recent years and the American Civil War. “Hypocrisy is not a coherent policy,” the Russian Foreign Minister countered. “Unless Mr. Kerry is ready to acknowledge his own country's violations of the sovereignty of other states and offer to make amends why should we take his current objections seriously?”

Kerry gave the Russians until Monday to “reverse course or face the consequences.” Kerry declined to elaborate on what the “consequences” might entail on the grounds that “retaining the element of surprise is crucial to the success of any armed intervention.”

Not content to wait for decisive action from the Obama Administration, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is reportedly on his way to Ukraine “to serve as a 'human shield' against any further Russian incursions. All we really need is for people of stature to face down these cowardly invaders. If FDR or Churchill had placed themselves in front of the German Army on the Polish border in 1939 Hitler would never have dared attack.”

In related news, Kerry called Israel's insistence that it be recognized as a Jewish state a mistake. “Globally, there are only 12 million Jews compared to over a billion Muslims,” Kerry observed. “Allowing such a tiny minority to block the majority's desire to assert a different philosophy of governance for the region now known as Israel would be profoundly undemocratic. Justice requires that the lesser number yield to the greater number. My Government cannot acquiesce in a protocol that would permit a minority to rule over a majority.”

Chicago May Double Property Taxes to Pay for Pensions

With pensions for retired municipal employees exceeding City resources by an estimated $7,000 per household, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has warned residents that he may have to double their property taxes to cover these costs.

The Mayor admitted that “doubling the property tax would hit a lot of people hard, but the alternative of cutting back on the benefits we pay to our retirees is unthinkable. Remember, these are people who have dedicated their careers to serving the citizens of this City.”

Emanuel argued that “extracting another few thousand dollars from each home owner seems the more tolerable option. I mean, a tax on property falls on those who are well enough off to be able to afford home ownership. They are people of means who must step up to help the City in its time of need.”

Those familiar with the City's finances are said to see a doubling of the property tax as “only a temporary fix.” “The City's fiscal burdens have been allowed to grow uncontrolled for so long that bankruptcy is virtually inevitable no matter what the Mayor may do to try to avert it,” said a City inside source who asked that his name be withheld. “The main objective at this point is to protect the Mayor's future political viability for some other office—Governor, maybe, or President—by staving off the collapse until he's moved on to greener pastures. Let the next Mayor bear the burden of foreclosing on property owners who default on tax bills they can't pay.”


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