John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

More About: Humor

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, June 29, 2014 Edition

President Tries to Fend Off Evidence of Incompetence

With a cascade of scandals dominating the news, a desperate President Obama pleaded with voters to "not give up hope. The mistakes of a tiny minority can easily overwhelm the good work of the many. Probably less than one percent of government workers are boneheads. The rest of us shouldn't have to suffer because of it."

To help illustrate his case Obama told a story about an unnamed federal employee "who foolishly put things in writing that she shouldn't have. Despite explicit instructions that no documentary evidence be produced she negligently or maliciously, we don't know, entrusted highly confidential material to email correspondence. Now my enemies are demanding copies of these emails. If it hadn't been for the fortuitous crash of a number of key computers this material could've fallen into the wrong hands."

Statistical experts place the odds of all these "fortuitous" crashes occurring at the same time as one in 80 billion—a long shot that Obama attributed to "the 'Man upstairs' looking out for our best interests."

The President also sought to characterize recent criticism of EPA employees defecating in office hallways as "myopic. From a superficial perspective this practice looks idiotic. What many are overlooking is the fact that these excretions are perfectly natural and biodegradable. Furthermore, the health concerns raised place an inordinate value on conditions favorable to humans and totally disregard what might be beneficial to other life forms. The EPA's mission is to preserve all creatures, even those some callously categorize as 'germs.'"

In related news, Press Secretary Josh Earnest labeled Republican Representatives Louie Gohmert and Bill Flores' proposed $1 million reward for any individual who can recover former IRS director Lois Lerner's "lost" emails "an exercise in futility. Far more money is available to the Administration, if need be, to ensure that this doesn't happen. And if money alone can't do the job the President has the authority to take extreme measures to defend the government against all enemies, both foreign and domestic."

President Denounces Boehner Lawsuit as "Stunt"

This week House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced he was going to sue President Obama for abuse of executive authority. "Time-after-time the President has acted without proper authority," Boehner charged. "He has refused to faithfully execute laws that require his action. Worse, he has endeavored to exercise legislative authority that the Constitution relegates to Congress. We are going to ask the Court to put a stop to this."

President Obama laughed off the lawsuit calling it "a stunt designed to cover for Congress' failure to govern. If Congress were to do its job as pass the legislation I've directed them to pass I wouldn't be forced to take matters into my own hands."

"Aside from the substantive issues there is also the question of the appropriate procedural remedy," the President added. "Under our Constitution it is not the Court's job to take sides with one branch of government over another. If Congress believes that I am stepping on its prerogatives the prescribed course is for them to impeach me."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) concurred in the President's analysis. "Clearly, Congress must be the guardian of its own powers," Reid asserted. "It cannot punt the ball to the Court." As for impeachment, Reid vowed that "the Republicans will get no cooperation from me in any effort to impede President Obama's efforts to do what he deems necessary for the good of the country. As long as I'm running the Senate there will be no impeachment."

Raid Characterized as "Routine Training Exercise"

A pre-dawn raid of a Florida home was characterized as "a routine training exercise" by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The raid took place on June 10 when a dozen heavily armed Department of Homeland Security troops broke into Kari Edwards home and held her and her live-in boyfriend at gun point while they searched the premises. The invading DHS officers disabled the home's security cameras as they thoroughly trashed the premises.

"I realize that from Ms. Edwards' perspective the incident may have been harrowing," Johnson acknowledged. "But we mustn't lose sight of the big picture. Inflicting momentary fear and indignities on a few individuals is a small price for the nation to pay in our quest to combat potential threats to the government."

"The notion that we need evidence that someone has done something wrong before we can take the steps necessary to protect against possible threats confuses judicial processes with those required to ensure security," Johnson continued. "The goal is not to punish the guilty, but to neutralize our enemies in the most efficient way we can. Besides, even if we want to consider the judicial angle, it seems to me that a surprise raid might be the most effective way to obtain evidence of wrongdoing."

Clinton Defends $225,000 Speaking Fee

Elias Benjelloun's, the UNLV student body president, and Daniel Waqar's, the student government's public relations director, protest that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's $225,000 fee for a single speech is excessive was slapped down by the lady herself.

"Students angry that their tuition fees are being increased shouldn't try to take it out on me," Clinton angrily exclaimed. "I have unique credentials. I've been a First Lady and co-president, a United States Senator, and Secretary of State. Audiences should expect to pay more to hear me."

Clinton compared her fee with the $230,000 per game salary paid to the NBA's LeBron James. "Considering the relative importance of the contributions each of us has made to America I think it's pretty clear that I'm the one being grossly underpaid," she complained. "As skilled as LeBron may be, he's never had to make the hard choices I have. He doesn't have to worry that someone might die because he makes a bad decision. I did."

Hefty speaking fees (over $100 million since 2001) have been the mainstay of the Clintons' battle to escape poverty since leaving the White House in early 2001. The $16 million the Clinton's have received from the federal government since 2001 has been "woefully inadequate when you consider the lifestyle we are forced to maintain," Hillary contended. "For example, we had to pony up $3 million for our daughter's wedding. The fact is, we can't live like ordinary people—shopping at WalMart, eating home-cooked meals, scrimping on expenses. The people of America want us to enjoy the perks befitting the service we have rendered to the nation."

President Offers More Flexibility for Federal Employees

President Obama is seeking to make being employed by the federal government a more pleasant experience. Along these lines he is introducing more flexible work hours.

"Analysis by the best work management experts shows that it doesn't really matter how many hours government employees spend on the job," Obama said. "Whether they're at their desks or not doesn't seem to make any difference in the output of meaningful work. So why not reduce the burden of reporting to work?"

Not being required to actually go in to work in order to earn a federal paycheck was described as "a major hike in the benefit of a government job for the employees affected" said the report referred to by the President. "The disutility of having to invest so many hours in preparing for work, traveling to work, and sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day can be significantly reduced if the number or employees required to make this investment is lower."

Benefits for employees weren't the only upside cited in the report: "The more federal jobs that are converted from 'no-work' to 'no-show' status the less stress will be placed on urban traffic. Those who must actually produce a product or service in order to earn a living will face less traffic congestion traveling to work."

President Obama rejected the report's implication that a considerable amount of expense could be avoided if the unneeded employees were terminated. "The idea that the government should simply release unneeded employees fails to take into consideration the impact that would have on our economy," the President argued. "The money we spend on the salaries of these redundant workers is vital to sustaining our GDP. Think of all the businesses that depend upon the money federal employees spend. If they lose these customers our economy will tank."

Constitutional Amendment to Curb Speech Pushed by Democrats

Sparked by fears that "many dedicated incumbents could be run out of office by well-financed campaigns by dangerously anti-government factions," Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and 42 Democratic co-sponsors have drafted a Constitutional Amendment that aims to curb free speech.

"Right now as long as a person has enough money to afford it he can take out an ad, publish a broadside, or fund a TV spot against a sitting member of the Government," Udall pointed out. "The men and women who have devoted their lives to serving the citizens of this great republic don't deserve this kind of treatment."

Under Udall's proposed Amendment freedom of speech would be subject to whatever limits Congress determines would best suit the needs of the Government. "We want competition for office," Udall agreed. "But it must be fair competition. Congress needs to have the flexibility to make rules that will ensure fairness."

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