John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, September 7, 2014 Edition

Kerry Says ISIS Will Be Destroyed Within Three Years

US Secretary of State John Kerry predicted that the Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) would be destroyed within three years. The means: "massive wrongful death lawsuits."

"These thugs might think they're cute filming the decapitation of their victims," Kerry said. "But by putting their torts on record they have opened themselves to legal liability that will cost them billions in damages."

"No country on Earth has better or more expensive lawyers than we do," the Secretary boasted. "With skills honed from decades of tormenting corporate defendants in the courtroom, the plaintiffs' bar will eviscerate ISIS's defenses and use their own words and videos against them. Financial ruin and public humiliation for these goons is just a matter of time."

Kerry invited observers "to compare our innovative and nuanced approach with the clumsy efforts of the Bush Administration's so-called 'war on terror.' In our plan, instead of putting US troops at risk, all the heavy lifting will be done by lawyers filing suits and attaching liens to every asset ISIS possesses."

According to Kerry, a side benefit of the Administration's strategy to sue ISIS into submission is that "it allows us to conserve our resources to fight the greater threat of global warming. The massacres perpetrated by ISIS are a mere pin prick compared to the devastation that climate change will wreak on the planet. If we do not prevail in this greater fight Foley and Sotloff will be remembered as the lucky ones."

ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos called this "sue the bastards" strategy "amazingly ingenious. It opens an arena of conflict at which this nation excels. The skills ISIS has nurtured in beheading captives, raping women, and killing children will be completely useless against the hordes of attorneys we can deploy against them. I think the Administration has once again turned the table on its critics."

Senator to Issue Report Absolving IRS

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich), chairman of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is preparing a report that will absolve the IRS and Lois Lerner of any wrongdoing in the campaign to target and harass conservative political organizations.

"Those who have alleged that Lerner and the IRS took it upon themselves to conduct a vendetta against conservative organizations have it all wrong," Levin alleged. "Evidence has emerged that the IRS was acting upon urgent requests from highly placed members of the government. Bureaucrats being responsive to the needs of the government is behavior we should be encouraging not punishing."

The highly placed members of the government cited by Levin included himself and fellow Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Udall (D-Colo), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Al Franken (D-Minn), Michael Bennet (D-Colo), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore).

"When a Senator is on the other end of the phone or email, a public servant's duty must be to assist in whatever way he or she can," Levin insisted. "These requests must be expedited, not impeded by excessive attention to rules and regulations. It was not Ms. Lerner's job to insert her judgment as a barrier to carrying out the wishes of the people who vote on the appropriations to fund the agency she works for."

In addition to the procedural arguments raised in defense of the IRS, Senator Levin pointed out that "substantively, the organizations flagged by the Senators were reasonably suspected of anti-government views and activities. It was the IRS' patriotic duty to interdict these organizations in whatever way it could in order to help thwart their attempts to undermine the President and his loyal supporters."

UN Defends Refusal to Evacuate Non-Combatants in Gaza

In its efforts to minimize collateral damage in its campaign against Hamas terrorists who were launching rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) asked UN "peace keepers" in Gaza to help Palestinian civilians evacuate the combat zone. The UN refused this request.

UN spokesperson Penelope Ironside explained that "the idea that civilians should be removed from the battle zone conflicted with the explicit strategy of one of the contending sides. For us to have assisted in their removal would have compromised the UN's position as a neutral party."

"The conflict between Israel and Hamas is asymmetrical," Ironside added. "Hamas cannot effectively oppose the IDF in head-to-head combat. Embedding its weapons in the midst of Palestinian civilians impedes the IDF's path. For us to have facilitated the removal of these persons would've been tantamount to taking sides."

"Secondly, the whole notion that civilians are merely innocent bystanders is not accepted by Hamas," Ironside continued. "What Israel insists are innocent victims of their rocket attacks, Hamas sees as legitimate targets. Jewish women and children are illegally occupying Palestinian lands. Maybe the Hamas rocket attacks will make them leave."

Biden Says Hoarders Are Retarding Economy

Citing a paper released this week by the St. Louis Federal Reserve, Vice-President Joe Biden blamed American consumers for the sluggish economy.

"The government is doing everything it can to try to stimulate the economy," Biden contended. "The federal government is spending every dollar it can get its hands on. The Federal Reserve is manufacturing new dollars at an unprecedented pace. But consumers are just sitting on their cash."

"Hoarding cash makes no sense," the Veep argued. "The dollar's purchasing power is being diluted on a daily basis by government policies. Spending your dollars before they lose even more value is what you should do."

Biden dismissed concerns that people might be saving out of fear of losing their jobs, saying that "there's no need for anyone to provide their own safety net. In fact, depleting all your assets and means of subsistence makes you eligible for the maximum amount of public assistance."

"If private hoarding continues the government may have to implement a more vigorous escheatment process in order to put these idle funds to better use," Biden suggested. "I mean, if people are just sitting on inactive balances in savings accounts the government has the need and the right to seize these funds and inject them into the flow of commerce."

NY Board of Elections Cracks Down on Unauthorized Speech

Concerned that "unelected persons might defame elected officials," the New York Board of Elections has declared that no one may criticize a sitting officeholder without first forming a "political action committee."

Executive Director Todd Valentine asserted that "the notion that everyone is free to say whatever they want about members of the government is a misunderstanding of the concept of freedom of speech. If you're talking about or to another private citizen you can say whatever you want. But if you want to criticize the governor, mayor, or a member of the legislature or city council you need to file with us."

Those who engage in criticisms without gaining prior approval from the Board may be fined up to $1,000 per offense. If, for example, you pass out 50 flyers opposing the reelection of your current senator?you'd be liable for a potential fine of $50,000.

Valentine was unconcerned that the regulations might discourage some citizens from participating in public debate. "People who are serious about politics will make the effort to register as a political action committee," he contended. "Those not willing to take this minimal step have no business getting involved. The era of unregulated rogue commentaries is ended in this state. It's the least we can do for those who govern us."

In related news, the University of Minnesota student newspaper apologized "for any embarrassment we may have caused Senator Franken for attempting to schedule a debate between him and his Republican challenger Mike McFadden. Senator Franken has rightly pointed out that as the state's US Senator he should not be forced to demean himself by debating a person who is merely a private citizen. We can only hope that Senator Franken will forgive our youthful indiscretion on this sensitive matter."

Firm Punished for Verifying Employees' Residency

The Department of Justice has fined Culinaire International $20,000 for asking a prospective hiree to provide proof of legal residence.

"Demanding that employees show proof of citizenship or legal residence in this country is discriminatory," Attorney General Eric Holder asserted. "It explicitly contradicts the President's expressed wishes that all applicants whether in this country legally or not be treated equal."

Holder brushed aside state laws that penalize employers for not verifying residency status as irrelevant. "The possibility that a state may sanction an employer for not conducting such a verification is not my concern," Holder said. "The fact is Culinare violated our Administration's policies. We cannot allow that infraction to go unpunished."

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