John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, July 13, 2014 Edition

Administration Requests Budget Increase for Immigrant Bedding

Asserting that "it would be inhumane for us to force these innocent immigrant children to sleep on substandard beds," Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell has requested an appropriation of "$1,000 per migrant in order to fund minimally acceptable accommodations."

"Many of these immigrant children have already suffered from improper sleeping arrangements for most of their lives," Burwell said. "In the countries they come from it is common for multiple children to be crammed into a single bed of straw, be slung on hammocks, or simply left to sleep on the ground."

Burwell characterized the "military style cots and bunks we have been providing for them sends a message that says they're not really welcome in America, that their stay here is temporary and that a good night's sleep isn't a right we are willing to extend to these refugees."

While acknowledging that $1,000 is more than many Americans spend on a bed, Burwell argued that "Americans are free to decide how much to invest in their sleep arrangements, these children are not. These immigrants are desperately poor. Many are plagued with debilitating diseases. They don't have the means or education to select proper bedding. It is our obligation to do that for them."

President's Texas Itinerary Defended

President Obama has faced criticism for refusing to visit sites in Texas where hordes of illegal immigrants have been flooding into the country. The criticism has been especially pointed in light of the fact that he has traveled to the state to participate in political fund raisers at the home of Austin-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and two other in-state locations.

Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that "the President's presence at the border would not be a good use of his time. It's not as if anything he might see there is going to change his mind about immigration reform. The people on the ground there that he might meet—Border Patrol agents and local politicians—have a peculiarly narrow perspective. They're going to urge him to do more to secure the border. He doesn't need to hear this advice."

"On top of this it has been widely reported that many of these immigrants are carriers of serious and infectious diseases," Earnest pointed out. "It would be imprudent for the most important person in the world to be needlessly exposed to such a risk."

"While many of those critical of the President are willing to make light of his assiduous efforts to raise funds for the Democratic Party, there can be no debating that this is an obviously higher priority for him than putting on a show of concern for a crisis he is ill-disposed to resolve," Earnest contended. "If Democrats are under funded control of Congress could pass to Republicans. That would be a much more serious consequence for the President's agenda than anything that might transpire from the influx of even millions of new immigrants."

Dems Seek Legislation to Overturn Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling

Outraged by what they characterized as the Supreme Court's improper application of the Constitution's freedom of religion clause in the Hobby Lobby case, Senate Democrats are drafting a bill to overturn the Court's ruling.

Sponsor of the bill, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) declared that "a boss's role in health care is confined to paying for it. He has no business deciding that he won't pay for certain medical therapies because they offend his sense of morality. My bill restores the full authority over which medical treatments will or won't be covered to the government where it belongs."

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sought to bolster the legislative push, saying that "the Constitution protects an individual's right to believe and worship as he sees fit. If an individual thinks there is a conflict between his beliefs and what the law requires him to do he is free to continue to believe what he wants, but he must still obey the laws passed by Congress. The right that is protected is a mental right to hold a belief not a blank check for non-compliant behavior."

"Where the Court went wrong was in allowing an employer's opposition to abortion to negate his obligation to fund this medical treatment," Schumer continued. "In America the right to an abortion is an inalienable right possessed by every woman. This means that no one can refuse to acknowledge this right or attempt to impede a woman's exercise of this right under the procedures stipulated by statute. The Affordable Care Act says that it is the employer's duty to pay for a woman's exercise of this right. If this troubles the employer's conscience, well, no one has to operate a business if the tasks assigned by government conflict with his religious beliefs."

Hillary Clinton's Early Legal Work Stirs Controversy

The emergence of an audio tape of a young Hillary Clinton bragging about helping a rapist get off easy has jarred her image as an advocate for women's rights. It seems that Clinton succeeded in discrediting the rapist's accuser even though she was convinced that he was guilty. When a panel of liberal pundits on MSNBC appeared to agree that Clinton seemed insensitive and cavalier on the tape, the aspiring 2016 presidential candidate tried her hand at damage control.

"First of all, let me remind everyone that this tape was made 40 years ago," she pointed out. "It's old news. The minor child who was raped is now an old woman. She survived the experience. Raking up the story at this late date could only cause her pain I'm sure she'd rather forget."

"Secondly, let's not lose sight of the skill I demonstrated in that case," Clinton added. "Even the most inept lawyer can get an innocent defendant off. Getting a guilty client off, though, requires much more cunning and effort. The fate of the relatively unimportant principals in that case is of less significance than the part it played in helping me ascend to a leading role in the governance of this country in the decades that followed."

Mexico and Guatemala Reach Accord to Expedite Transit of More Illegals to the US

This week Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina held a joint press conference to announce they have reached an accord to cooperate in the shipment of more illegal migrants from Central America to the United States.

"This agreement is a win-win for both of our countries," Peña boasted. "Guatemala rids itself of people they cannot adequately care for. By assuring that these migrants have guaranteed transportation through Mexico we avoid becoming the repository of these undesirables."

Perez insisted that "we are only responding to America's invitation to send our tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to live free. We do not have the means to enable these people to live for free in our country. America, though, is wealthy. It is long past time for them to share their wealth with our less fortunate children."

Peña speculated that "given enough time we may inject a sufficient number of Latinos into the United States to peacefully and democratically reverse the conquest of our ancient lands by the United States in the 19th century. Many Americans are ignorant of the fact that their great President Lincoln condemned this conquest as unjust. Righting this wrong by whatever means we can is long overdue."

Hamas Counters Israeli Efforts to Reduce Collateral Damage

Israel's attempts to minimize collateral damage while seeking to respond to Hamas' repeated missile launches against Israeli civilians were sternly countered by Hamas this week. While Israel has been warning Palestinian civilians of impending air strikes in order to prompt them to move out of targeted areas, Hamas has forbidden civilians from taking Israeli advice.

Hamas' Khaled Meshaal explained that "it is every Palestinian's duty to sacrifice himself if required to do so in our never ending battle against the Jewish occupiers. The Jews would like nothing better than to separate our fighters from the women and children who we honor by making them our shields."

Meshaal urged Palestinian civilians "to grasp the opportunity to become a dead martyr for a glorious cause rather than accept the sordid fate of a live refugee from Jewish aggression." Meanwhile, it has been reported that Hamas combat units have used the Israeli warnings to vacate targeted zones.

Obamacare Costs Comparisons "Unfair"

A recent report from the Manhattan Institute showing that Obamacare has raised insurance costs by 52% to 119% was rejected as an "unfair comparison" by Health and Human Services Secretary Silvia Burwell.

"Policies under the Affordable Care Act cost more because they cover more," she maintained. "Many of the policies available before the ACA was in place didn't cover preventive care like birth control or abortion. Virtually none of them covered gender-reassignment surgery. So of course those policies were cheaper."

"The Manhattan Institute study overlooks the added value achieved by the ACA," the Secretary asserted. "Their before and after analysis is, therefore, misleading. We are confident that when the American people comprehend the broader coverage we've given them under the ACA they'll thank the Democratic Party at the polls in November.

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