John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, November 16, 2014 Edition

Democrats Disagree over Executive Order for Amnesty

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) is crosswise with President Obama over the proper sequence of events regarding amnesty for illegal immigrants.

"I have implored the President to forestall taking any executive action to legalize these undocumented residents until after we get Republican cooperation on next year's budget," Reid said. "My advice has been to get the money first. Then he can do whatever he wants on amnesty. There'd be no way the GOP could stop him."

Reid complained that "all my sensible arguments seem to be falling on deaf ears. The President says he doesn't need Congress to appropriate any funds. He asserts that he will instruct all the agency heads to continue to write checks to pay for whatever he authorizes. He's confident that the recipients of these checks will gladly accept and deposit them and that banks wouldn't dare not honor them."

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough confirmed Reid's representation of the issue. "The President has polled his cabinet on this matter," McDonough said. "Each of them has promised to carry out the President's wishes despite any possible disagreement from Congress. This includes the Joint Chiefs of Staff who stand ready to suppress any disobedience that might be exhibited by the general public."

The possibility that President Obama's intended actions might be beyond his Constitutional authority was cast as "potentially troublesome" by Reid. "There's nothing wrong with the objectives being sought. Everyone agrees that legalizing those in this country illegally is something that has to be done. I just think it would be safer if both Parties' fingerprints were on the deed."

Rep Hank Johnson (D-Ga) disagreed with Reid and compared the prospective Obama Executive Order on amnesty to President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. "If President Lincoln could bypass Congress and disregard the Constitution, by rights these same powers can be exercised by President Obama," Johnson declared. "Lincoln was willing to jail his critics and use troops to enforce his will. I hope President Obama will have the strength and courage to do likewise."

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (a union of government employees), characterized Republican objections to unilateral executive action as "bullying of the worst sort. Their constant harping that he lacks Constitutional authority to legislate on his own can't be allowed to stand against his moral obligation to do the right thing. We are urging the President to not let a piece of paper frighten him off course."

Gruber Apologizes for "Indelicate Phrasing"

MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, the boastful architect of Obamacare, apologized for what he termed "my indelicate phrasing in defense of the Affordable Care Act. I should never have publicly called American voters 'stupid.' I sincerely regret that I have been caught on tape using this kind of language."

"However, this does not mean that the underlying concept behind this legislation was incorrect," Gruber insisted. "The fact of the matter is that the average American isn't fit to decide whether he needs health insurance or to choose a plan that is adequate for the collective well-being of society. Individuals left to themselves will selfishly choose what's best for themselves alone. Overcoming this individualism is the responsibility of the government. The misrepresentation in the way the ACA was portrayed to voters was for their own good. For that, I make no apology."

Gruber's efforts to deceive did not go unrewarded. Between payments for his services made by the federal government and several state governments, Gruber has netted over a million dollars for his skillful obfuscation.

"Do you think concocting such an elaborate ruse was easy?" Gruber asked. "I see nothing wrong with those who have the vision, the talent, and the courage being adequately paid for the difficult task of overriding mass prejudices in order to enact unpopular, but necessary reforms in the way our society works."

The negative fallout from the publicity surrounding Gruber's contemptuous view of his fellow citizens sparked defensive maneuvers from the Administration. "The fact that Gruber received payments from the federal government doesn't prove the we had any knowledge of what he was doing," said Press Secretary Josh Earnest. "People should understand that their government spends billions of dollars everyday. A percentage of this huge outlay is going to be pure waste. I think it's unreasonable to try to hold the President accountable for that."

Earnest also wondered if "hypothetically speaking, is achieving a good outcome through dishonest means really such a bad thing? If it's not morally wrong for parents to mislead their children about Santa Claus, why would it be wrong to trick the American people into accepting a new health care system for their own good?"

In related news, Drew Hammill, spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), attempted to excuse her false denial of knowing Gruber by citing "her advanced age. When people get old they start to forget stuff. It's been five years since then Speaker Pelosi used Gruber's research and strategies to get the ACA passed in the House. And, if I may point out, at that time she candidly admitted to being ignorant of the contents of the bill. So I don't think its fair to blame her now. For his public indiscretions."

Former Veep Calls for "National Policy on Food"

Now that global warming has been tamed by record breaking cold spells across the nation, former Vice-President Al Gore is looking for new worlds to conquer. That new world appears to be the establishment of a "national policy on food."

"Under current rules, what a person eats is largely left up to each person to decide," Gore pointed out. "Judging from the rates of obesity, it seems clear that the idea that letting individuals choose what to eat is not working. It is way past time that experts in the field of nutrition be given the authority to determine healthier eating patterns for everyone."

Gore blamed Americans' poor eating habits on "ignorance and lack of self-discipline. Both of these faults can be overcome by a more assertive government. By empowering those educated in nutrition to lay out the menus for all Americans we can bypass the ignorance factor. By eliminating the bad food choices we can neutralize the lack of self-discipline. If bad choices are barred, only healthy choices will be left. Then no one will be able to select an unhealthy diet."

The former Veep acknowledged that "achieving an ideal diet for every American will be a difficult and arduous task. It won't happen overnight, but through a steady policy of penalties on poor food options—like added excise taxes on fats, sweets, fast food, etc.--combined with subsidies for good food options we can gradually wean the country away from its bad habits."

Gore admitted that his own bloated physique might be mocked by critics of the need for a national food policy, but argued that "the inability of even an enlightened person like myself to attain a healthy diet voluntarily further demonstrates the urgency of a mandatory program for everyone."

Pelosi Claims Voters Distracted by Irrelevancies

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) adamantly denied that the trouncing her Democratic Party took at the polls last week constitutes a mandate for a different direction for government.

"The problem is that our Party's underlying message was drowned out by incessant GOP hammering on irrelevant crises and scandals," she contended. "All the stories about ISIS beheadings, Ebola outbreaks, the flood of immigrants, IRS abuses, NSA spying, government waste and corruption masked the critical point that the Democratic Party is the Party of free stuff. Voters inundated by fears that their lives might be in danger, that their government might be descending into tyranny, and their taxes misspent on unnecessary or even harmful programs forgot about all of the benefits our Party has given them and would continue to give in the future."

Pelosi's optimism about the future of the Democratic Party was heartened by a Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicating that 93% of adults currently unemployed do not want jobs. "There's over 85 million American adults who don't want jobs," Pelosi boasted. "Even more encouraging for Democrats is that nearly 40% of young people don't want jobs. We may have lost this last election, but there can be no denying that we have changed the culture. The era of having to toil for a living is coming to an end for greater numbers of the population. More are content to subsist on government benefits. Is there any doubt about who this growing cohort is going to be voting for in 2016, 2020 and beyond?"

Obama Says FCC Needs to Control Internet

President Obama is urging the Federal Communications Commission to exert more control over the Internet.

"As it stands now, the whole web environment is chaotic and anarchic," Obama observed. "Anyone can pretty much do whatever he wants. There is no perceived obligation to serve society's broader needs."

For the time being, Obama disavowed his authority "to command this independent agency to extend its power over this medium. I am patiently waiting for them to do what they should. However, my patience is not infinite. I will act unilaterally if it becomes necessary that I do so to implement the change I deem warranted."

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