With the escape route of deniability closed, CIA Director John Brennan grudgingly apologized to Senate intelligence committee leaders for his Agency's covert perusal of their correspondence.
"Yeah, we're sorry," Brennan growled. "But I still don't see what the big deal is. We spy on everyone. Why should Senators be exempt from our efforts to protect national security? Are they somehow better than the average Americans they supposedly represent?"
"Is it really implausible that Senators having access to classified information might pose a significant security risk?" Brennan continued. "I could argue that the need to keep an eye on what they say to who is even more important than monitoring what the great unwashed masses are doing."
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), Chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence didn't dispute the need for "a comprehensive surveillance of potentially dangerous communications," but questioned whether "members of the Government ought to be ensnared in the net. After all, the role of the CIA is to protect the Government from all enemies domestic and foreign. The time and energy they wasted scrutinizing me and other Senators diverted them from their primary responsibility."
Thus far an internal CIA investigation of itself has turned up no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Nonetheless, Brennan has convened an internal accountability board chaired by former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) "in order to restore confidence in the Agency's good name. Having a respected former Senator give us a clean bill of health should help bolster the image of the CIA in the public's eye."
UK's NHS Defends Investment in Boob Jobs
While the United Kingdom's National Health Service spends more than £50 million per year subsidizing breast augmentation surgeries it refuses to pay for a drug that can help extend the survival time for cancer patients. A stark contrast between the cases of Josie Cunningham and Reece Hawley has raised eyebrows.
The buxom Ms. Cunningham's breast enlargement was funded by the NHS back in 2009. She currently is selling pay-per-view tickets at £10,000 a pop to see her giving birth later this month. Reece Hawley is a trainee teacher.
NHS spokesman Howard Titman attempted to explain the seemingly anomalous treatment of these two individuals. "Basically, Mr. Hawley is a goner," Titman said. "With the therapies available the prospect of him living more than a year or two is exceedingly slim. Even then the quality of life he'd experience would be pretty bad. On the other hand, a woman who has had breast augmentation is projected to live many years at a higher stage of happiness because of the procedure."
"Since the NHS has limited resources we have to make choices," Titman went on. "It seems to us that buying many years of happiness for some easily outweighs buying a few miserable extra months for those desperately ill. As for Mr. Reece being sick through no fault of his own—well we can't really be sure of that. We can be sure that small-breasted women are the victims of an insufficient genetic inheritance. Why shouldn't we fix that?"
In related news, Lithuanian Health Minister Ilze Šalaševičiūte proposed that the elderly poor be compassionately euthanized both for their own good and the good of society. "Scarce resources must not be wasted on stringing out the lives of relatively useless members of the community through expensive medical treatments," Šalaševičiūte maintained. "Those we have sustained on public assistance while they were young and health have already consumed more than their fair share. If they are old and ill it is their social duty to die. We must provide a convenient and comfortable exit for them."
Congresswoman Says It's Time to Stop Whining about Canceled Health Insurance
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif) says she is "tired of hearing pathetic stories from people who have been forced to find new insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The ACA has eliminated substandard insurance policies and guaranteed that every American will obtain superior coverage."
"Rather than be grateful that the Government is looking out for their best interests a cadre of complainers are whining that the new plans cost more than their old plans," Eshoo complained. "Well, duh. These new plans cover more stuff. A lot of the old plans didn't cover a number of birth control options. Virtually none of them covered sex-change surgery. To get more you've got to expect to pay more."
"Religious fanatics who assert that they have no need for these added coverages are putting their selfish and deluded views ahead of what the legislation has determined is in the best interest of the nation as a whole," Eshoo contended. "I have no sympathy for their individualistic and egocentric demands."
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La) whose proposed bill authorizing insurers to continue selling ACA non-compliant policies to willing buyers inspired Eschoo's rant called her remarks "as a clear demonstration of the smirking arrogance that characterizes the thinking of so many proponents of Big Government."
Democrat Says President Can Ignore Law If He Wants
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) acknowledged that "the President can't legitimately legalize those who've illegally entered the country," but suggested that "he could decline to enforce the laws against illegal entry against them."
Hoyer argued that "it's like the cop who decides to overlook your speeding because you're driving your pregnant wife to the hospital. There are extenuating circumstances that make rigid enforcement of the law cruel."
"Most of those in the country illegally came here for good reasons," Hoyer pointed out. "They come from countries where their prospects and opportunities are poor—there are no safety nets. In America they can look forward to an array of social services like free education, healthcare, and guaranteed minimum sustenance to ensure that they are fed, clothed and housed. They aren't limited to what they can provide for themselves."
"So, while it's clear that the President has no Constitutional or legal authority to take care of these people he may view it as his moral obligation to do so," Hoyer said. "He'd just be being his brother's keeper, so to speak."
President Excuse s Hamas Tactics, Condemns Israel
President Obama condemned Israel's attack on a UN school in Gaza as "barbaric and uncivilized." The fact that the school housed Hamas weapons that were being used to kill Israeli civilians was considered insufficient grounds for the Israeli Army's shelling of the building.
"As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned earlier this week, Gaza is a small country with few locations where weapons can be concealed," Obama said. "Besides, Hamas had explicit permission from the UN to store armaments in the school's basement. It is Israel that is acting outside the bounds of internationally agreed upon standards."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon confirmed that "the dual usage of this building was necessitated by the scarcity of space and the juxtaposition of mutually hostile peoples in this beleaguered land. If it weren't for the unwanted presence of Jews in this formerly Muslim territory there would be no need for Hamas to store weapons designed to oust the occupiers."
"From a superficial perspective I realize that it might seem that Hamas' attacks on Israeli civilians would be perceived as unwarranted," Obama conjectured. "However, given the disproportion between the strengths of Israel's armed forces and Hamas' fighters it would be unfair for us to insist that both sides confine attacks to each other's respective armed combatants. There is little doubt that a direct Hamas attack on Israeli soldiers would be suicidal. The only effective way Hamas can hurt Israel is to target its civilians."
To help illustrate his argument, President Obama pointed out that "the comparative weakness of Hamas forced them to use the agreed upon 72-hour ceasefire as an opportunity to launch a surprise attack where they were able to kidnap an Israeli soldier. This would not have been possible if hostilities had been in full swing."
In related news, Obama used the occasion of the Islamic holiday of Eid (al-Fitr) to thank Muslims for "building the very fabric of our nation." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said she was "pretty sure the President is referring to those fabulous carpets, which I think are made in Persia. I have several in my houses."
Massachusetts Cracks Down on Pro-Life Free Speech
Determined to overcome a recent 9-0 US Supreme Court ruling against the state's "buffer zones" surrounding abortion clinics, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted a new, more severe buffer zone statute. The penalty for violating the new buffer zone is a fine of up to $50,000 and incarceration of up to three years in jail.
Governor Deval Patrick (D) praised "the courage of our legislators who have stood up against judicial tyranny. The right to an abortion is a human right. Women seeking to exercise this right should not be impeded by the unwanted messages of its opponents assaulting their ears on the way to see the doctor."
Patrick was unmoved by the prospect that the Court would also invalidate this new law. "We can pass new laws faster than any court can overturn them," he asserted. "The ban against pro-life harassment of women will be enforced in this state and there is nothing the Courts can do about it."