John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, November 2, 2014 Edition

Ebola Czar Said to Be "Leading by Example"

Since he was appointed as President Obama's "Ebola Czar," Ron Klain has disappeared from sight. Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest tried to reassure the media, saying that "I recognize that all of you have not had a chance to see him and talk to him every day, but the President certainly has."

Klain's exceptionally "low profile" is "all according to plan," Earnest said. "Ron is leading by example. The best way not to get the disease is by scrupulously avoiding contact with anyone who might be infected. By staying out of sight and not venturing forth to meet anyone for any reason he is keeping himself safe from infection."

"We are hoping that this exemplary self-discipline will serve as a model for voluntary compliance with the President's desire that people take precautions on their own," Earnest added. "The fact that Ron can do this by himself demonstrates that we do not need a quarantine on travelers from the west African nations currently being ravaged by the disease."

"Let me close by assuring the American people that their worst fear regarding this deadly disease has virtually no chance of coming about," Earnest promised. "The President is, and will be, protected at all times. No one who has any prospect of carrying this infection will be permitted within spitting or sneezing range. The Secret Service has been instructed to use lethal force, if necessary, to insure his safety."

NY Dems Warn Voters

The New York State Democratic Committee (NYSDC) has sent out letters to registered Party members warning them that they are being watched to see if they vote in this election. While the letter tried to assure the recipients that their ballots would be secret, it emphasized that "whether you vote is a matter of public record."

NYSDC Chairman, former New York Governor David Patrick, characterized the note as a "friendly reminder. The Democratic Party has done its part to secure a lot of benefits for these people. It's only fair that they do their share to help keep the cash flowing into the welfare programs."

Patrick denied that the letters might be perceived as threats. "They're no more threatening than having your big brother point out the importance of good behavior. We're all one big happy family. Each member has got to do his or her part."

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) argued that "the minimal effort we are asking pales in comparison to the fate that awaits Democratic voters if Republicans win, namely, a return to virtual slavery, as programs are slashed and people are forced to take jobs in order to support themselves."

Rangel also suggested that "if the registered voter is unable or unwilling to cast a ballot himself, he at least owes it to the Party to give us advance notice so we can send a proxy to sub for him at the polls. He shouldn't just let this opportunity to help elect Democrats go to waste."

In related news, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La) blamed her sagging poll numbers on "racism and sexism. I am truly ashamed that the citizens of my state are putting their prejudices ahead of their loyalty to me and the President. I've done everything I could to back President Obama's program for America. Instead of thanks I'm getting the heave-ho because of the same kind of bigotry that has long stained Louisiana history."

Republicans Manipulating Statistics for Political Gain

In remarks this week, former President Bill Clinton denounced GOP attempts to "cash-in" on people's "misery" under Democratic policies and programs for "political gain."

"Republicans want voters to focus on the lack of economic growth and the huge number of people who can't get jobs since Democrats took control of the federal government," Clinton complained. "They want voters to overlook the flip side of this coin. Expansion of benefit programs have made work unnecessary for a growing segment of the population. The increased amount of leisure time our policies have made possible doesn't show up in the statistics Republicans like to cite."

Clinton expressed a hope that "the outmoded 'work ethic' of previous generations will be seen for what it really is—a sentence to 'hard labor' for minimal profit. Once voters realize that there is no shame in living a life free from drudgery, that their needs can be easily met through the generosity of government, they'll come to their senses and vote Democrat. Ideally, this will happen sooner rather than later."

While the former president exuded a barely concealed pessimism about this year's elections, he was far more optimistic about 2016 "when the albatross of the 'Obama brand' is removed from around the neck of the Democratic Party. The same policies under a more competent Democratic leadership will, I think, be just the ticket for success at the polls two years from now."

In related news, the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty has filed suit to block a state law that would require childless adults to work, search for a job, or participate in community service or job training in order to qualify for government food stamps. Center Director Kim Posich insists that "the work requirement is the very same 'involuntary servitude' that was outlawed by the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. If people don't want to work that is their unalienable right. For the government to threaten to withhold subsistence as a method of coercing them to work is extortion, pure and simple."

Administration Bureaucrat Says Canceled Health Insurance an "Invitation"

As more and more people are bounced out of health insurance plans they liked, Health and Human Services Regional Director Joanne Grossie insisted on calling the cancellations "invitations to obtain better plans."

"A lot of times people will lapse into being satisfied with an inferior product or service out of pure inertia," Grossie maintained. "By outlawing substandard policies the Affordable Care Act forces people to upgrade to better plans."

Grossie rejected the idea that a person might genuinely prefer a so-called substandard policy. "A single man might think he has no need to pay for coverage of gynecological services, maternity leave, or abortion, but our experts have determined that this is shortsighted and selfish," Grossie said. "Every man is potentially capable of contributing to a woman's need for such services and shouldn't be allowed to shirk his responsibility to share in the cost of delivering them."

"The claim that a gay man has no need to pay for this type of coverage is another false argument," she contended. "Unless he is castrated he still has the capacity to cause a pregnancy. To guard against this possibility he must have coverage."

Reports that premiums are soaring for the "better plans" was characterized as a "phony controversy" by Grossie. "To get more, you have to expect to pay more. You may have thought you were happy driving a Chevy, but when the government upgrades you to a Cadillac you shouldn't gripe that it costs more."

DOJ Declines to Investigate Emerging Evidence of Vote Fraud

Recent reports of non-citizens voting, multiple voter registrations in different states for the same person, ballots cast by dead voters, and voting machines that flip votes from Republicans to Democrats are unworthy of further investigation, says US Attorney General Eric Holder.

"First of all, there could be very good reasons why all of these alleged violations are bogus," Holder declared. "For example, the notion that non-citizens shouldn't be allowed to vote is, arguably, a human rights violation. Non-citizens are impacted by government policies. Why shouldn't they have the right to participate in the selection of those who will make and implement these policies?"

"Likewise, a person may own properties in several states and have a keen interest in policies that can affect the value of these properties in each of these states," Holder pointed out. "Striking such a person from multiple voter registration rolls would deny him the opportunity to defend his property rights at the ballot box."

"Finally, everyone agrees that whatever voting irregularities might exist, they can only change outcomes when the voting is pretty evenly split between contenders," the AG continued. "It's not like a decisive margin for a particular candidate is going to be undone by any of these controversial voting practices. If voters are virtually split down the middle, I don't see how it can be judged a serious disenfranchisement if either candidate is the one who ultimately takes office. Given this tiny impact I don't believe investing effort to try to ferret out so-called cheating would be worthwhile or a good use of taxpayers' dollars."

Philadelphia Cracks Down on UberX

Lee Rudakewich's car was impounded and held for $1,000 ransom by the Philadelphia Parking Authority. His crime: offering to drive a willing customer to his chosen destination.

Vince Fenerty, the Philadelphia Parking Authority's Director, rejected the argument that the provided transportation occurring between consenting adults was no business of the City government. "In this city it is not sufficient that private individuals are satisfied with a transaction of this sort," Fenerty said. "How a person uses his own car is within the purview of our authority. We do not approve of these unregulated uses."

Fenerty contended that "the privilege of accepting money for giving a person a ride is not available to just anyone. The taxi companies in this city have paid a hefty sum for the exclusive right to provide such service. It is our duty to protect their monopoly as a quid pro quo."

Neither was Fenerty impressed with the potential for innovations like UberX to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, which are "not part of the Authority's mission. Let's not forget that traffic congestion helps boost gasoline consumption and the tax revenues associated with that. As far as I'm concerned, people like Rudakewich represent a menace to the City's revenue stream. There is no need for us to show him any mercy."

Top Democrat Says Republicans Scarier than Ebola, ISIS

Democratic National Committee Woman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Fla), agreed with CNN host Candy Crowley that Republicans are scarier than either the deadly Ebola virus or the ISIS terrorist army.

"Bad as Ebola and ISIS, or ISIL as the President calls it, may be they have the saving grace of representing a nondiscriminatory threat to all Americans," Wasserman-Schultz contended. "The depredations of the GOP are exclusively targeted against Democratic candidates and Democratic constituencies. If Republicans are successful in selling their message to the voters it will exclusively be Democrats who are turned out of office. It will be exclusively Democratic clienteles who will lose their champions of a wide array of government benefits and subsidies."

"So, my message to Democratic voters is not to be diverted from the very explicit threat to their way of life that a Republican victory on November 4th would impose on them," the DNC Chair advised. "If you like free stuff and free time, if you don't want to be harangued into taking a dreary dead end job, get out and vote for every Democrat you can."

Kerry May Be on Way Out at State

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) hints that Secretary of State John Kerry may be ousted sometime after the November elections are over. "At best, his performance at this job has been underwhelming," Blumenthal asserted. "Many of his public statements evince a poor and almost dimwitted perception of the issues. He has grievously embarrassed both himself and President Obama."

Anonymous White House officials complain that "Kerry is out of sync with the Administration. It's not so much a case of being wrong about the President's policies as it is too openly expressing them. On issue after issue Kerry's candor is repeatedly disclosing matters that should have remained confidential."

Kerry's lack of discretion was contrasted to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "instinctive understanding of her role in this regard. Her bold, in-your-face 'what difference does it make' testimony before Congress on the Benghazi massacre effectively deflected GOP intrusion into the foreign policy prerogatives of the President. Kerry, on the other hand, has been drawing unwanted attention to the President's intentions before they can become irreversibly solidified."

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