John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, October 12, 2014 Edition

Former Obama Press Secretary Says GOP Unfairly Exploiting Administration's Failures

The incoherence of President Obama's foreign policy and the cascade of domestic policy scandals are being unfairly exploited for political gain according to former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

"Hitting a man when he is down is just plain dirty," Gibbs maintained. "It's disloyal and unpatriotic. Rather than criticize the President, Republicans should be looking for ways to help him recover from the battering he is taking in the media. That would be the decent thing to do."

Gibbs was especially outraged that "the GOP hasn't given the President enough credit for what he has accomplished. President Obama came into office with less executive experience than any other president in American history, with the possible exception of Lincoln. Yet, despite this handicap he was able to pass landmark health care reform and win reelection by a sound margin."

The former Press Secretary expressed "hope that voters will look past the scurrilous attacks narrowly focused on so-called performance and remember why they voted for the President in the first place. There can be no question that his efforts to make government 'cool' have changed the way Americans think about how they want to be governed. Voting for the Democrats on their ballots in November will help him stay the course."

State Department Praises Hamas-Fatah Alliance

A thawing of the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah was hailed by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki as "a positive step toward resolving the issue of Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands. This helps thwart Israel's attempt to drive a wedge between Muslims."

"From a broader perspective anything that stops Muslims from fighting amongst themselves is an encouraging development," Psaki said. "Different sects of Islam have been warring against one another for centuries. Jihad is a noble endeavor that should not be frittered away on internal disagreements. This needlessly siphons off energy that could be more productively employed for the good of all Muslims. We look forward to the day when all Muslims are united in one ummah, not just in Palestine, but worldwide."

In related news, the US State Department declined to condemn ISIS's trafficking in slavery. As part of its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, ISIS has kidnapped and sold an estimated 2500 Christian women as sex slaves for their jihadi warriors. "As I understand it, these transactions fall under the guidance of the Quran," Psaki observed. "Condemning the sales just because they contradict western values would insensitively disregard the deeply held religious beliefs of over a billion Muslims. I mean, Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, held slaves. How could we justify criticizing his followers for emulating his model?"

CDC Clarifies Obama Statement on Ebola

President Obama's attempt to reassure people that "you can't get Ebola from sitting next to someone on a bus" directly contradicted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice for people who have returned from Ebola infested west African nations to avoid taking public transportation.

"The President seems to have misunderstood what we told him," CDC Director Tom Frieden explained. "Of course, the President would never have to worry about catching Ebola from a fellow bus passenger because he never rides on public transportation. How he generalized this into a notion that no one could catch Ebola from close proximity to a carrier in a public place is a mystery to us."

"As for the question foremost in the minds of every American, let me alleviate everyone's worst fears: your President is in no imminent danger of contracting this deadly ailment," Frieden promised. "You may all go about your daily lives knowing that every measure, no matter how costly, will be undertaken to insure that he remains safe."

In related news, Frieden nixed the idea of a travel ban, calling it "unnecessary. There are simpler ways for us to insulate the President from exposure to Ebola than banning travel from west Africa to the United States. There is no need for us to negate the fundamental human right of individuals to travel wherever they wish. In fact, it is logical that a person who suspects he has Ebola would want to come to this country where he could expect to face better odds of recovering than if he were confined within the borders of the African Hell-hole he lives in. Blocking his efforts to escape would be cruel and inhumane."

Frieden also mused that "the possible upside of allowing Ebola to spread to the United States is that it would inspire Congress to approve desperately needed increases to the CDC's operating budget. Senators and Congressmen are frequent users of public transportation—taxis to the airport, commercial airlines back to the home state. I expect that self-preservation would push them to boost our budget once Ebola gains a foothold in this country."

Kentucky Candidate Rebuffs Ballot Question

The Democratic candidate for the US Senate in Kentucky, Alison Grimes refused repeated queries as to whether she voted for Obama in either 2008 or 2012.

"People may think they have a right to know, but they don't," Grimes forcefully asserted. "In this country we have a secret ballot. No one has the right to demand to know how I cast that ballot."

Louisville Courier-Journal editor Pam Platt defended asking the question when Grimes appeared at the paper's editorial board meeting to seek its endorsement in her race to unseat Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. "The secret ballot is meant to protect the private citizen from potential government harassment for voting the 'wrong way.'" Platt said. "But Grimes is seeking to become a member of the federal government. Knowing whether she voted for President Obama would give our readers some insight into what policies she might support if she is elected."

Grimes stubbornly tried to cast her refusal to answer as a mark of personal integrity. "I could've just lied and said I voted for McCain and Romney, but I didn't," Grimes argued. "I'm bigger than that. If people want to know where I stand on the issues they can go to my campaign website to find out."

Whether Grimes' campaign statements are a valid reflection of where she stands, though, was thrown into doubt by a recent covertly obtained video in which Juanita Rodriguez, a Grimes campaign supporter, admitted that Grimes' claimed backing of Kentucky coal miners was bogus.

Obama's Attempt to Cast GOP as "Party of Billionaires" Muddled by Fund-Raising Event

President Obama's efforts to try to differentiate Democrats from "billionaire Republicans" was undercut by his own participation in a posh fund-raiser sponsored by billionaire Rich Richman.

Though the entry fee for the event ranged from $1,000 to $32,000, the President insisted that "it was an opportunity for the middle class to have a say in the electoral process" contending that "the $1,000 minimum fee was less than half the annual $2500 savings in health insurance premiums that each middle class family has experienced under the Affordable Care Act."

As for billionaire host Rich Richman, the President asserted that "there are some great Americans—Richman, Soros, Buffett, to name a few—who haven't had their values warped by money. These aren't evil billionaires using the free market to amass wealth for selfish purposes. These are men who are aligned with progressive policies, who are cooperating with our effort to promote the collective welfare of those the government has taken under its wing."

Maryland Governor Declares WiFi a Human Right

In what some project to be the opening gambit of a potential 2016 presidential campaign, Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley (D) declared that access to WiFi is a human right.

"I'm not saying that people should merely be free to purchase and use WiFi at their own expense," O'Malley clarified. "Doing what you please and paying for it out of your own pocket is an archaic conception of basic human rights. It may have been fine for our nation's Founding Fathers because they didn't know any better. Fortunately, we've made significant advances in our thinking since then."

A key phrase that O'Malley thinks ought to guide modern thinking is one that appears in the standard "Miranda warning" that police give to arrestees regarding their right to an attorney: "if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you at government expense."

"People can't really be said to be free if their resources are insufficient to fulfill their needs," O'Malley contended. "WiFi has become such an ingrained part of modern life that everyone must be entitled to participate. After all, man does not live by bread alone. If we can justify feeding, clothing, and housing the poor how can we draw a line that bars them from enjoying the abundance available to their better off peers?"

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), a projected rival for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination called O'Malley's declaration "an interesting opening to a whole new philosophy of freedom in this country. My only criticism is that we must go further than just universal free WiFi. No person in America should have to go without anything that anyone else has merely because of insufficient funds. We must evolve out of the anarchic individualized distribution of wealth in this country toward one where government plays the main role in guaranteeing a more equal allocation to all."

Colorado Senator Opposes Any Limit to Abortions

In a debate with Rep. Cory Gardner, his Republican opponent for the state's US Senate seat up for election in November, Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo) took a strong stand against any limits on abortion.

"I know that it might sound cruel to say that a fetus on the verge of birth might have to be aborted because that is the mother's decision, but the alternative is just so abhorrent that this seeming cruelty must be seen as the lesser evil," Udall proclaimed. "For the government to step in at any stage of the pregnancy to stop its termination is the equivalent of saying that the woman is a slave to the fetus and must place its interests ahead of her own."

"This country fought a bloody war to abolish slavery," the Senator reminded. "To allow this inhuman practice to creep back into our laws under the guise of protecting innocent lives would be the ultimate betrayal. The women of this state, and America for that matter, need to know that their government has their back and will not shy away from the hard choices they have to make about life or death and how they will use their own bodies."

Despite some gasps from the audience, Udall said he remains confident that his seemingly callous attitude won't hurt him with the broader electorate. "Right now my refusal to allow these debates to be televised is looking pretty damned smart," he boasted. "By the time what I said is filtered through the media I'll look like the second coming of the Great Emancipator."

Senator Minimizes Concern for Those Who Lost Health Care Insurance

In a debate with GOP opponent Ed Gillespie, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va) expressed little concern over the reported 250,000 Virginians who lost their health care insurance coverage due to Obamacare.

"Look, every battle has casualties," Warner blandly commented. "What we need to do is weigh these against the gains achieved by the Affordable Care Act, of which I believe there were many."

Among the gains cited by Warner were coverage for preexisting conditions, equal prices for men and women, and keeping children on parents' plans until age 26. As good as these provisions may sound to Obamacare advocates, they yield no benefit to the 250,000 Virginians who lost coverage due to the ACA.

Warner blamed "penny-pinching business owners for putting profit ahead of the public policy that all be insured. Saying that the costs of the ACA would bankrupt them is no excuse. They should have faith that the government would eventually cover their losses if that becomes necessary for the nation's overall well-being."

In related news, Logan Clements, producer of the film "Sick and Sicker: ObamaCare Canadian Style," has been hit with an IRS audit. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen insisted that "the selection of Clements for audit was completely random. Unfortunately, the documents verifying this were among those lost due to one of the many computer crashes that have plagued our agency."

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