John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

More About: Humor

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, September 21, 2014 Edition

Dem Operative Says Obama Planning "October Surprise"

Long time Democratic Party operative Bob Beckel says GOP hopes of taking control of both Houses of Congress will be thwarted by an "October surprise."

"Republicans who are counting on the President's unpopularity to spark a vote against Congressional Democrats are in for a rude awakening," Beckel predicted. "On Sunday, November 2nd President Obama will go on national TV and announce his resignation. Relieved of this albatross, embattled Democrats should be able to cruise to the finish line on top on November 4th."

"Then on the third day, November 5th, President Obama will rise like Jesus did, and resume his role as the country's leader," Beckel bragged. "The genius of the plan is that just saying you resign on TV is not an official act under our laws. It is analogous to a political promise—it has no weight and can be broken at the discretion of the promise-maker. Meanwhile, the objective of the phony resignation will have been accomplished: the Democrats retain control of the Senate and take back the majority in the House."

Beckel conceded that a November announcement wasn't strictly an October surprise, but argued that "it fits the spirit of the concept while employing Obama's uniquely persuasive political talents. Remember, he got into office in 2008 by promising hope and change. Even though the changes he's introduced have not brought hope to the majority of Americans, voters still reelected him in 2012. This ploy will enable him to turn the tables on the GOP and add dozens of Republican Congressional scalps to his belt."

A different take on the Democrats' election chances was offered by First Lady Michelle Obama who ventured that "once voters reflect on the real achievements Barack has made and yet may make they'll give him the Democratic Congressional majorities he needs to finish the job."

Among the achievements listed by Michelle were "allowing millions to permanently leave the work-a-day rat race of full time employment and enjoy more leisure time without having to worry where their next meal is coming from. More Americans than ever before are getting free food, free housing, free cell name it. And plans are underway to ensure that those who need it will get free cars. Voters can punch their tickets to this paradise by filling Congress with as many Democrats as they can."

Student Punished for Sharing His Lunch

Weaverville Elementary School eighth grader Kyle Bradford was sent to detention for sharing his burrito with another student.

Tom Barnett, the Superintendent of the Trinity Alps Unified School District explained that "there is a district wide policy that prohibits students from exchanging the meals that the school provides. In this particular instance Mr. Bradford's apparent act of kindness was undermining the school's food allocation decisions."

The student Bradford gave half of his burrito to had been "allocated" a cheese sandwich that was not to his liking. Bradford was unimpressed by the school's rationale and undeterred regarding potential future food sharing. "If a friend wants a portion of my meal I would definitely share with him," he said.

Barnett characterized Bradford's stance as "an invitation to anarchy. A 13 year old is not qualified to decide who should eat what. That decision is reserved to school nutrition experts. We will not hesitate to use progressively severe sanctions if that is what it takes to attain the compliance we require. If detentions don't get the message across there is always suspension or expulsion. Students must learn that obedience is not optional."

In related news, Ramay Junior High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas ordered 13-year-old Chloe Rubiano to remove her "virginity rocks" t-shirt. Principal Matt Saferite, winner of Arkansas' Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools last year, explained that "the message on the shirt is an implied criticism of students who were unable to attain that goal. It's a sort of reverse scarlet letter that can harm some students' self esteem."

Female Democrat Heavyweights Assert "Congress Is out of Touch on Women's Issues"

A roundtable discussion at the Center for American Progress agreed that "Congress is out of touch on women's issues." Contributors to this conclusion included former Secretary of State and aspiring Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Patty Murray (Wash), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn).

"Women bear nearly 100% of the physical burden of procreation, yet do not exercise 100% of the power to determine how these children shall be raised and cared for," Clinton observed. "Women who are married have to share authority with their children's fathers. This cultivates feelings of dependency that eat away at women's self esteem."

Sen. Murray pointed out that "while all children have equal needs, not all have access to equal resources. The children of fathers with good jobs can enjoy a more enriched life experience. Children whose fathers are absent, unemployed, or in jail are deprived of their rightful share of life's bounties."

Rep. Pelosi suggested that "a just society would even out the discrepancies. Ideally, all earnings from all fathers would be put into a common pool and be doled out based on children's needs. Children wouldn't be penalized because their fathers were inadequate providers. The more productive fathers' outputs would be shared more broadly rather than be used to spoil their own offspring."

Sen. Gillibrand warned that "we mustn't get hung up on the idea that every woman wants to be a mother. If Congress really respected women it would fully guarantee that every one of them can obtain an abortion at her own discretion. Our only hope of bringing this fundamental principle of justice to America is to support Democrats at every level of government. We must end the obstructionism and patriarchy embodied in the Republican Party."

Attorney General Calls for More Racial Balance in People Police Shoot

Referencing the events in Ferguson, Missouri, US Attorney General Eric Holder called for more racial balance in the people police shoot.

"What we had in Ferguson was a white officer shooting a Black teenager," Holder recounted. "When we look at over all statistics, white officers shooting African-Americans is disproportional to their representation in the population. This establishes a prima facie case that racism is playing a role in the use of deadly force."

"We need to ask some hard questions," Holder contended. "Why isn't there a more proportionately balanced representation of America's population when it comes to police shootings? Why are African-Americans so frequently victimized by law enforcement? What can we do to restore a more equitable distribution of the carnage?"

The Attorney General asserted that "clearly, white officers need to undergo some form of attitude adjustment. Sensitivity training may be part of that. But I doubt that will be enough. It may be time for an affirmative action program aimed at achieving a balance that has thus far eluded us. Every police department needs to keep detailed records of the racial composition of those their officers shoot. When these records show a racial imbalance steps must be taken to rectify that."

Not everyone was pleased with Holder's approach. Racial justice expert Al Sharpton blamed "unduly restrictive laws. There are too many things that are illegal in this country. Take the case of Michael Brown in Ferguson. This young man's personal efforts to collect reparations for 400 years of repression shouldn't have resulted in him getting shot. Taking a few cigars and resisting Officer Wilson—the armed enforcer of racial subjugation for the benefit of white America—were righteous acts of rebellion. The law needs to be modified to recognize this."

In related news, Holder issued a decree prohibiting states from adopting zoning laws that might have the effect of blocking the establishment of Mosques or Islamic culture centers in areas where they are needed. "Islam commands its adherents to spread the religion in any way that they can," Holder said. "They need to be able to set up shop near the populations they are targeting for their proselytizing mission."

IRS Commissioner Taunts Congress

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner John Koskinen made light of Congressional efforts to probe his agency for evidence of wrongdoing.

At a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing Koskinen mocked committee members, saying that "hard drive crashes continue as we speak. We can erase files and destroy incriminating evidence faster than you can imagine where to look."

Charges that IRS employees broke the law and broke file retention protocols elicited only a chuckle from the Commissioner. "Congress is not my boss," Koskinen pointed out. "I answer to the President. Last I heard, he thinks we're doing fine."

Koskinen belittled any actions that might be taken against him or his agency as "the impotent frothing of an irrelevant artifact of a form of government that no longer exists in this country. If Congress censures me, so what? Should a court find me guilty the President will pardon me. Why should I worry?"

In related news, CIA Director John Brennan refused to tell lawmakers who authorized the illegal surveillance of Senate Intelligence Committee computers. "Members of Congress do not have the appropriate security clearance to be privy to that information," Brennan claimed. "I have spent my career protecting secrets. I'm not about to turn them over to the kind of blathering loudmouths who run Congress."

Americans Fighting for ISIS Shouldn't Lose Passports, Congressional Candidate Says

The suggestion that Americans leaving the country to join ISIS ought to forfeit their passports was rejected by Iowa Democratic Congressional candidate Staci Appel during her televised debate with her GOP opponent David Young.

"The right to travel is fundamental to what it means to be an American," Appel maintained. "A person shouldn't have to worry that someone else will judge the reasons for his travel as illegitimate. What if the American tries to join ISIS but is rejected for some reason? Shouldn't he still have a home country to return to? What if he fights for ISIS for a while and needs to come back for some R&R or to visit with family? What if he tires of slaying unbelievers and wants to leave ISIS? Do we really want to bar the door to his return?"

Young added his own questions to Appel's litany. "What if ISIS sends this American back to the United States on a mission of mayhem? Might not guarding against this possibility be a good reason to throw up a roadblock against it by revoking the passports of those known to have left the US in order to join ISIS?"

Candidate Says Illegal Immigrants Have Earned Right to Receive Welfare

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine) says he is opposed to the idea of curtailing the eligibility for welfare payments to illegal immigrants.

"These people have undertaken a long, arduous, and often dangerous journey to get here," Michaud said. "That took courage and determination. Welfare payments are a meager reward for enduring these treks. It would be niggardly of us to deny them after they've crossed the finish line."

Under Maine law, illegal immigrants are not eligible for state funded welfare payments. Nonetheless, several cities have defied the law and paid out public funds to them. Portland disburses over $200,000 per month to ineligible illegal immigrants—a practice that Michaud promises will become legal once he is elected governor.

State Senator Eloise Vitelli (D-Augusta) said she supports Michaud's position on the issue. "If we cut them off from benefits it's like we're telling them they wasted their time coming here," Vitelli contended. "That seems a cold and unwelcoming attitude to me."

Retiring Senator Endorses Hillary for President

Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) gave a ringing endorsement to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions.

"Most people think that she is a moderate, kind of middle-of-the-road type of politician," Harkin said. "This is way off the mark. She is much farther to the left and a lot more progressive in her thoughts and her inclination than most people may think. That's why she has my unconditional support should she choose to run for president in 2016."

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