John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, November 23, 2014 Edition

President's Usurpation of Legislative Authority Hailed by Democrats

President Obama's decision to enact immigration reform legislation that Congress has refused to enact inspired some lavish praise from fellow Democrats.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) called it "a courageous first step. President Obama's determination to take a politically unpopular position so soon after voters elected a Republican dominated Congress stakes out new ground in the battle for control over the government and policy."

"It's important that we build upon the President's innovation and transform our nation from the archaic plan of trying to extract policy from a fragmented legislative body, where no one has a mandate for governing, to a more modern structure where the will of the one man elected to represent all of the people prevails," Pelosi said. "At this turning point in our history I am hoping that Congress will get behind the President's leadership and give it an ex post facto endorsement by passing a bill codifying his decision."

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz) praised "this bold step in the right direction," but also called upon Republicans "to pick up their half of the burden by enacting the President's policies into law. To leave the President alone on a limb exposes him to criticism that he has acted outside his authority. Well, President Lincoln acted outside his authority when he suspend the right of habeas corpus, but Congress later legalized what he had done. Instead of focusing on President Obama's so-called 'lawlessness,' I'm hoping the current GOP leadership can be as patriotic as their Party's leaders were in 1861."

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill) lamented that "the President's actions do not go far enough. His vow to legalize 4 to 5 million illegal immigrants still leaves tens of millions of current illegal residents at risk, not to mention the tens of millions more we cam expect to stream across our southern border in response to this current iteration of amnesty."

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) insisted that "inaction by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives forced President Obama to take the law into his own hands. If they had simply enacted the legislation he wanted he wouldn't have had to enact it by himself. They're the ones responsible for him stepping over the line."

White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri dismissed fears that Obama's action on immigration shreds the Constitution. "The President has been modifying the Constitution for nearly six years now," she pointed out. "For the GOP to go nuts over this latest modification makes no sense."

In related news, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson predicts that a resumed surge of illegal immigration can be expected. "When we compare the poverty of Latin America with the wealth of the United States, the attraction should be obvious," Johnson observed. "As word of the success of the earlier waves of immigrants—they're not being deported, they're getting access to a wide array of public services and benefits unavailable where they came from—filters back, more can be expected to make the one-way journey."

President Cites "Higher Authority" for Immigration Executive Order

In the face of nearly two dozen videos of him saying he lacked legal authority to unilaterally enact immigration reform, President Obama went ahead and did so, citing a "higher authority."

"As President of the United States, I felt myself hemmed in by the limitations placed on the office by the US Constitution," Obama admitted. "As a human being, though, I could not bear the continuing injustice inflicted on the people who have entered this country illegally."

"My dilemma was how to reconcile the guidelines of an aging framework for a nation's government and the call of my conscience," Obama explained. "The idea that doing the right thing could be impeded by an unworkable process was unbearable. In the end, I felt that freeing these unfortunate people from their predicament was what God wanted me to do. So, I did it."

"The President's notion that his interpretation of what God wants him to do takes precedence over his obligations under the Constitution and our laws is the path to tyranny," Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) contended. "It's the same 'divine right' argument that kings used to use in order to fend off limits on their power in the era before the American Revolution established representative democracy as our form of government. The damage that President Obama's retrograde revolution would do to our freedom far outweighs any good that might come from his claimed humanitarian motives."

Tired of Hearing about Gruber

The American people are "tired of hearing about Gruber," according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. Video tapes of MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), have been doing major damage to the Administration's credibility over the past two weeks. In the videos, Gruber is repeatedly shown describing voters as stupid and gloating about how Democrats used this stupidity to deceptively enact the ACA.

Earnest warned the media to drop the issue "because, frankly, the President is tired of hearing about it. These tapes and the alleged deceptions they portray happened years ago. The events Dr. Gruber speaks of in them are over and done. The ACA is the law of the land now and no amount of Monday-morning quarterbacking is going to change that."

"The only relevant issue is whether the ACA is good policy," Earnest maintained. "If it's good policy, and the President is confident it is, what does it really matter what tactics were used to get it implemented?"

Earnest expressed confidence that "this, like all the other phony scandals the GOP has been concocting, will die down and disappear from everyone's radar screen before too long. Everyone just needs to chill and let the President rule the nation, as he was elected to do."

Sharpton Disputes Tax Bill

The IRS claim that Rev. Al Sharpton owes more than $4 million in back taxes was challenged by the Reverend.

"My share of the reparations the US Government owes for slavery has not been taken into account," Sharpton argued. "The humiliation, the suffering, the oppression, and murder of African-Americans that has disgraced this country for over 400 years is a debt that can never be fully repaid."

"Instead of harassing me, the government should be making a good-faith effort to try to make payments on this unpayable debt," Sharpton suggested. "Then, after 400 years we can reassess to see how much is still owed."

Why Is Teaching Anal Sex in the Chicago Public School Curriculum?

Parents of students attending Chicago's Andrew Jackson Language Academy were shocked to discover that 5th graders are slated to study "the pleasures of anal sex."

Chicago Public Schools spokesman Bill McCaffrey characterized the parents' reactions as "excessively dramatic" and "not well thought out. It's our job to help prepare our students for life in the real world. Teaching them the skills needed for safe sex is at least as critical a part of our job as teaching them how to read."

"Sex is a topic of universal interest to students," McCaffrey asserted. "What we teach them about this topic will likely have more impact than what we teach them about history or science. So, I won't be apologetic about our efforts along these lines."

"The inclusion of anal sex in the curriculum is a simple acknowledgment that traditional heterosexual encounters are not the only type people engage in," McCaffrey added. "To not include this possibility would be discriminatory and would convey an impression that non-traditional interactions are less acceptable."

DOE Says AP Classes Must Be Racially Ballanced

The South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey was told by the US Department of Education that the racial imbalance in its Advance Placement (AP) courses was discriminatory because minorities are under represented among the students enrolled in these classes. AP courses are intended for college-bound graduates and typically entail heavier workloads and more difficult assignments.

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan brushed aside arguments relying on student interest and ability as "insufficient to overcome the goal of racial equality. For the school to say that minorities are over represented on the school's athletic teams and that somehow counterbalances their under representation in these academically challenging AP courses is a non-starter with us."

"Ideally, all races ought to be proportionately distributed throughout all school activities," Duncan argued. "We can't permit a student's preference for being an athlete rather than a scholar determine which classes he or she ends up in. If the school needs to 'dumb down' its AP courses in order to accommodate the lesser academic abilities of minorities, then that is what they must do."

Rather than trying to "square the circle," the South Orange-Maplewood School District has opted to discontinue AP. "The DOE's notion that everything must be racially balanced is impossible to achieve," said acting Superintendent James Memoli. "Dumbing down an AP course to achieve an ideal racial mix would be idiotic."

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