John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, May 25, 2014 Edition

Kerry Says Obama Administration “Most Transparent and Accountable in History”

In 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.”

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