John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

More About: Government

SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: Best of 2018, Part 3

September 2

MSNBC Panel Agrees "Trump Supporters Are Selfish"

A panel hosted by MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle unanimously agreed that Trump supporters, unlike those who oppose him, are "selfish." Ruhle set the tone, saying that "the morally reprehensible behavior of the President doesn't seem to bother these people. I mean, there was the 'Access Hollywood' tape that should have destroyed him during the last weeks of the 2016 campaign. Now, there is a plausible contention that he had sex with Stormy Daniels ten years ago and paid her off to keep quiet about it. Is this the kind of person we want as our president?"

"What I am hearing from Trump supporters is their satisfaction with the job he is doing as president," Ruhle said. "They like the tax cuts. They like the low unemployment. They like keeping immigrants from sneaking into the country. They like the 'originalist' judges he's appointed to the courts. These are all selfish reasons for supporting Trump. They don't consider things like how will Trump's policies affect those who depend on government to support them, or that jobs are boring, or that the border with Mexico was established by conquest, or that a rigid adherence to the text of the Constitution limits judges' ability to rule in favor of social justice. They are thinking about what's better for them when they should be thinking about what's better for others."

Co-anchor Ali Velshi found Trump supporters' opposition to government-funded abortions to be "an especially egregious example of selfishness. They'd rather have lower taxes than pay for women to terminate their pregnancies. Without access to free abortions more children will be born and the world will become even more clogged with unneeded humans."

Billionaire Tom Steyer predicted that "this selfishness will not prevail at the polls. I'm seeing a lot of enthusiasm among Democratic voters. I think we will see victories for candidates who will undo the tax cuts, restore welfare benefits, open the border, and enact fully socialized health care. That's where my money is invested."

September 9

Abortion the Great Equalizer

Former president of Planned Parenthood Gloria Feldt told a Cornell University audience that "abortion gives women an equal seat at life's table. Putting all of the burden of child-bearing and birthing on women violates the Constitution's equal protection clause. Abortion is the remedy. Freeing ourselves of the obligations imposed on us by a patriarchal society is the only way we can enjoy the same power that men have monopolized through a discriminatory reproductive system."

Feldt's remarks mirrored those of former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton who also advocated an economic rationale for preserving the court-granted right of reluctant would-be mothers to abort their unborn children. Clinton's argument pointed out that "women who were freed by the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision from the encumbrance of an unwanted child were able to join the workforce and add half a trillion dollars to the GDP between the years 1973 to 2009."

However, the research cited by Clinton was more ambiguous than she let on. On the one hand, one of the studies showing that women denied third-trimester abortions under some states' laws suffered economically in the short term experienced economic outcomes equivalent to women who underwent first-trimester abortions after five-years. Then, too, the analyses of the income status of the women completely ignores the loss of the future economic contributions of the children killed by the procedure.

September 16

Dems Object to Federal Pay Freeze

Democrats in Congress are calling for legislation to reinstate a pay increase that President Trump canceled by executive order. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md) labeled Trump's pay freeze "an indefensible attack on the hard-working government employees who keep the country going."

The reasoning behind the federal pay freeze is that government workers already earn far more for comparable work than their private sector counterparts. According data from Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average annual wage for federal government employees is nearly $89,000 vs. $59,000 for similar jobs in the private sector. When fringe benefits are counted, the gap widens to $127,000 vs. $71,000.

Raskin contends that the comparison is invalid. "Government needs to retain the best and brightest among the population," the Congressman said. "We have to pay a premium to woo the elite performers away from the less important functions of the private sector. The actions of private sector workers are more limited in scope—affecting the narrow constituency of customers and shareholders. The actions of government workers crafting the rules and regulations that tell the private sector what to do are much more important and broader in scope. They deserve to be paid more."

Rep. Scott Taylor (D-Va) pointed out that "a workforce that has become accustomed to higher levels of pay cannot easily adapt to lower than anticipated wages. If they become dissatisfied they are in a position to shut down the entire country. The country can survive if truckers, or steel workers, or construction workers go on strike, but can it survive if the people who write and enforce the regulations go on strike? I don't think the American people want to find out. It would be better to pay now than be sorry later."

September 23

Dems Claim GOP Request for Evidence from Accuser "Unfair"

Christine Blasey Ford, the college professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of groping her at a drunken party in somebody's house near a park sometime in the early 1980s when both were high school students, has been resisting Republican requests for her to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) insists that "the Republican demand that it is the accuser's responsibility to tell her story to them is an attempt to silence her. Christine has already done her part to put the ball in play with her accusation. It is now Kavanaugh's job to prove that she shouldn't be believed. Can he account for his whereabouts for all of his high school years and show that her story can't be true? If not, then shouldn't her account be the one we go with since he can't disprove it?"

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif), concurred with her colleague, saying that "Dr. Blasey has fulfilled her obligation by leveling the charge in the letter I received last July. She showed great courage in making her originally anonymous allegation."

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) denounced Republican demands for evidence as "the same old suppression of women by white men that has stained America since its first days. I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change and let us women rule for awhile."

The procedure demanded by these Democrats is the exact opposite of what has been normal for this nation's history. The first step in an allegation of a crime is the filing of a complaint by the claimed victim. The sooner this is done, the better. The complaint serves as the starting point for an investigation in which witnesses are interviewed and forensic evidence (such as torn clothing or traces of bodily fluids) is examined. Dr. Ford never filed a criminal complaint with any law enforcement agency.

In the more than three decades that have passed, any evidence that conceivably might have existed is unavailable. There are no contemporaneous witnesses. There is no forensic evidence. The only "evidence" is an unverifiable allegation made in a letter that Sen. Feinstein refused to share with her Judiciary Committee colleagues. The Democrats are essentially arguing for a process that more closely resembles the 17th century Salem Witch trials in which the ravings of hysterical teenagers led to the execution of more than a dozen persons accused of witchcraft.

September 30

Taxes Cost More than Food & Clothing

Bureau of Labor Statistic's data on consumer expenditures for 2017 reveal that the average non-welfare-dependent family had to pay more in taxes ($16,749) than they did for food and clothing combined ($9,562). The 2017 tax burden was down from 2016's $17,153.

Reactions to this data split along partisan lines. The Trump Administration lamented the continuing high tax burden, but took some encouragement from the decline from 2016 to 2017. Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow acknowledged that "reducing the tax burden is an essential step in the President's effort to revitalize the US economy. It's a shame that the government takes such a large share of every wage-earner's income. The modest progress we've made so far at least puts us on the right path."

Democrats have a different perspective. "What Republicans aren't telling voters is that a significant portion of the taxes go toward buying food and clothing for people who are unwilling or unable to buy it for themselves," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said. "This is the 'social safety net' that was initiated by FDR's New Deal back in the 1930s. Do voters really want to undo that deal? Is keeping a few hundred more dollars a year from your salary more important than being your brother's keeper? We're confident that Trump's plan will be repudiated at the polls. Voters know that Democrats can be trusted to make better use of the nation's scarce resources than the greedy individuals who clamor for tax cuts."

October 14

Dem Bill to Limit Health Options Fails

A bill aimed at preventing consumers from choosing health insurance plans that better fit their needs was introduced in the Senate by Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY). If passed, the bill would overrule President Trump's executive order expanding options beyond the limited list of expensive choices mandated under Obamacare.

Schumer complained that "the freedom President Trump injected into federal health care policy allows healthy individuals to choose insurance that is suited to their own needs, regardless of the needs of other, less healthy individuals. As Trump would have it, people who don't want to pay for coverage they don't need shouldn't be forced to pay. This violates the essential premise of President Obama's health care vision, namely, that everyone should pay for everyone else's health insurance. Obama was wise enough to realize that only by compelling the majority to pay for what they don't need or want can the government guarantee that everyone gets the health care that experts agree they ought to have."

The Senator also argued that "Trump's approach poses a significant threat to the health care industry. Expensive Obamacare plans cover expensive treatments that hospitals and pharmaceutical companies depend upon for their income. These companies are virtually unanimous in their support for Obamacare. Are we going to listen to the best and brightest when it comes to crafting policy? Or are we going to let Trump's misguided reverence for individualistic ideals destroy President Obama's socially responsible conception of how we ought to do things?"

October 21

Senator Touts DNA Proof of Cherokee Heritage

This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) made a big show of unveiling results of a DNA test she asserted "proves my Cherokee heritage" and demanded "an apology and a million dollars" from President Trump, who had previously offered the sum for proof of the Senator's Indian heritage.

Observers from various segments of the political spectrum were not as impressed as Warren had anticipated. The test was conducted by a personal friend, not an independent lab. No Cherokee DNA was involved in the test, samples from Mexico and Peru were used instead. The results indicated that the range of possible relationship between Warren and Mexicans and/or Peruvians was between 1.5% on the high side to 0.1% (one-tenth of a percent) on the low side. Inasmuch as the average American of European descent has about 0.2% DNA traced to pre-Columbus inhabitants of the Americas, Warren's claim to be a Cherokee is not well-supported by the evidence.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. called Warren's test "useless as a method of proving cultural affiliation with the Cherokees or any other tribe in North or South America. Senator Warren has not lived as a Cherokee for any part of her life. Instead, she has used a bogus claim of affinity to dishonestly advance her academic and political careers. This disrespects genuine members of our tribe."

MSNBC Political Analyst Zerlina Maxwell characterized the Cherokee response as "racist. The idea that you have to be a Cherokee in order to claim to be a Cherokee is closed-minded. It's the same kind of thinking that says if you're born male you can't legitimately claim to be female. That's just wrong. Every person must be free to declare themselves to be whoever they want to be. Everyone else should be required to take that person's word for it. That Sen. Warren was hounded into a desperate attempt to corroborate her claim is a massive step backward from the new way of thinking that President Obama tried to impose on the country."

November 4

DC Takes Step Toward Allowing 16-Year-Olds to Vote

A bill to lower the voting age to 16 for all elections, both local and federal, was approved by the Judiciary and Public Safety committee of the DC City Council by a 3-0 vote. It is now slated for a full Council vote in the very near future.

Council member Charles Allen sought to rebuff critics who contend that people this young don't have enough real life experience to be informed voters. "They may still live with their parents and haven't had the burden of supporting themselves, but neither have the legions of welfare recipients who currently vote," Allen pointed out. "Just because a person is not a contributing member of society doesn't mean they have no interest in who runs the government. In fact, I'd say that it is precisely because such people are not self-supporting that they have a very strong interest in electing a government that can do the dirty work of extracting resources from those who have in order to redistribute these funds to those who have-not."

November 11

Broward County Official Defends Violating Law

In the wake of Florida's closely contested races for Senator and Governor, Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes sought to defend violating state election laws. Under state law each county is required to report the number of ballots to be counted in a timely fashion. Broward was one of the two out of 67 counties not to do so.

Snipes contended that her lack of compliance with the law "was guided by a higher loyalty. It seems like every election new boxes of ballots keep being found in the darnedest places. In order to ensure that these voters are not disenfranchised it's necessary to keep the process open."

The whole notion of boxes of ballots going unaccounted for days after the polls close reeks of incredible incompetence or convenient corruption. Snipes brushed aside concerns that these "found" boxes might not contain valid votes, saying that "while we cannot say for sure how the boxes were misplaced, once we have looked inside it is clear that the ballots have in fact been filled out by someone. I suppose there is a possibility the votes could've been fraudulently prepared, but there is also the possibility they were not. Given these 50/50 odds, I prefer to include them in the total count."

Gov. Rick Scott blasted Snipes' attitude, declaring that "the whole point of the state election laws requirement of a timely reporting of results is precisely to prevent the 'finding of boxes of ballots of unknown origin' from being injected into the stream of ballots that have gone through the legal verification process. Snipes is trying justify what amounts to stealing the election."

The arrogance of Snipes may stem, in part, from a 1982 agreement by the Republican National Committee to not raise the issue of fraud in any election where minorities represent a substantial portion of the electorate. While this agreement is little known outside the inner circles of the two major Parties it has probably given rise to brazen behavior by Democrat Party officials since then. However, the agreement expired in December of 2017. This may lead to a more aggressive effort combat fraud of the type Snipes has become accustomed to perpetrating.

November 18

White Gov Mourning Murder of Black Babies Called "Racist"

This week, Mississippi Republican Gov Phil Bryant's expression of puzzlement that there is no media outrage over the 20 million black babies killed by the abortion industry since 1973's Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling drew a vicious backlash from Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund Executive Director Laurie Bertram Roberts.

"Gov Bryant's concern is disgusting and vile," Roberts asserted. "It's racist to single out the black mothers who choose to abort their babies."

ThinkProgress, a left-wing pro-abortion news site, slammed Bryant as a "misogynoir. His notion that abortion poses a distinct threat against black lives is a myth."

Claiming something is a myth when the weight of evidence would appear to support Gov Bryant's concerns says more about the fanaticism of the abortion death cult than it does about those who are combating it. Though black women represent only 13% of women in the United States, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, has placed 79% of its abortion facilities within walking distance of minority neighborhoods. Black women also have about 30% of the abortions performed in this country. It seems more plausible that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have targeted blacks as "likely customers" for their lethal services and are prepared to vilify anyone who might be perceived as a threat to their exploitation of these customers.

Meanwhile, the evil abortion giant has gotten even more brazen in its advocacy for murdering unborn children. In a new ad created by the Agenda Project, a pro-abortion advocacy group, a smiling baby is shown along with the message "beautiful as she may be, it is your right to abort her if you aren't ready to be a parent."

November 25

NBC's Chuck Todd Calls White House Media Rules "Absurd"

The recently released rules for White House press conference participants were excoriated by MSNBC talking head Chuck Todd as "absurd." Under the announced rules each member of the press will be expected to yield the floor to another member of the press corps after asking a question unless the President, Press Secretary, or other official conducting the press conference allows a follow-up question, after which the questioner will be expected to yield the floor to a colleague.

"Insisting that we politely take turns is treating us like children," Todd complained. "I mean, it's not as if any member of the legitimate press corps at these conferences has a different opinion about Trump or his Administration. We all agree that he and it are the enemy of the American people. Each of us is dedicated to using every opportunity to make this point. Wresting the microphone away from whichever legitimate journalist possesses it is a ruse to allow illegitimate journalistic posers to break the train of thought by giving them an undeserved turn."

Todd vowed "to fight such a rule with every ounce of my strength. If push comes to shove I will follow the example of CNN's Jim Acosta and rebuff any attempt by any intern to pass the microphone to someone else not of my choosing. If this means pushing her away or even knocking her to the floor, so be it. The fate of our democracy is too important to be subverted by appeals to decorum or equal access to all points of view. No self-respecting member of the legitimate media will shy away from this battle no matter how rude and obnoxious we are forced to become in pursuit of our political agenda."

December 2

Liberals Talk Down to Blacks, Conservatives Don't

A study by Cydney Dupree, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, found that liberals talk down to blacks. The research found that Democratic candidates used fewer competence-related words in speeches to audiences consisting mostly of minorities than they did in speeches to mostly white audiences. "It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle, but persistent effect," Dupree lamented. "Even if it's ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing."

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez defended the practice of talking down to minorities and cited his Party's recent success in taking back the majority in the House of Representatives as "proof that this strategy works."

"Since we can't compete on the basis of policies that will truly benefit minorities we have to have a strategy that compensates for this deficiency," Perez explained. "By dumbing down our language so we sound more like the ignorant and uneducated voters who form our core constituency we feel we can win their trust. Our candidates may be millionaires, but if they don't sound educated that will be overlooked."

Perez also expressed gratitude "for our friends in the media for not calling us out on this condescending practice. The slightest hint of condescension by a Republican will bring a firestorm of criticism from the folks at CNN, MSNBC, and others. This allows us to paint them as racist or worse. Is it a double standard? Yes, but since the end result is desirable our use of this strategy is, in my mind, vindicated."

December 9

DNC Chair Blames Religion for Obstructing Socialism

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez blamed religion for "poisoning peoples' minds against the promise of socialism. No matter what we do through the media to try to advertise the benefits of socialism 24/7, the one hour a week people spend in church every Sunday is undermining our efforts."

"The priest or pastor who is telling the congregation that being good and being charitable is a matter of personal responsibility directly contradicts the message of the Democratic Party," Perez complained. "The notion of doing something because it is what God wants you to do dilutes the authority we have been assiduously trying to vest in government. It leaves it up to each individual to decide what he or she will do."

"This reinforcement of individualism negates the collective solidarity our Party has been preaching," Perez continued. "Experts should be the ones to decide what each person must do to support the collective well being of society. Individuals should accept and implement the decisions made for them by the experts."

"While the cultural transformation that our Party has wrought over the decades by dominating public schools, universities, media, television and movies has made dramatic progress, the continued interference by religious institutions free to broadcast nonconforming messages may be something we need to seriously consider dealing with," the DNC Chair suggested. "In China, the government reserves the right to approve the appointment of priests and pastors to churches. Maybe it's time we do the same thing here in this country."

In other religious news, Facebook has censored a picture of Santa kneeling next to baby Jesus' manger because it "shows violent or graphic content." Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained "it is well known that Mary was impregnated without her consent. That she was not given the option of abortion did violence to her rights as a woman. The intrusion of Santa Claus in the picture wrongfully conveys a message implying that baby Jesus was a gift to the world. People need to be protected against accidentally receiving this message."

December 16

Evidence of Clintons' Tax Evasion Presented To House

This week, Lawrence Doyle and John Moynihan of DM Income Advisors told the House subcommittee on government operations that they forwarded thousands of documents to the IRS showing that Bill and Hillary Clinton may have neglected to pay taxes on $400 million to $2.5 billion in money they cycled through the Clinton Foundation's so-called charity.

Clinton Foundation CEO Kevin Thurm dismissed the allegations as "just another ploy by the vast right-wing conspiracy that has been harassing Bill and Hillary for decades. No one in government has ever seen fit to pursue any indictments for anything that they have done in their long and illustrious careers of public service. We don't expect that to change."

To bolster his contention, Thurm pointed out that "the special investigator brought on board the Department of Justice by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions twice lost the evidence that so-called whistleblowers tried to force him to look at. And let's not forget that former FBI Director James Comey completely exonerated Hillary for her misuse of classified information—a violation for which less important individuals have been sent to prison. When are these fringe anti-government types going to get it through their heads that their efforts to hold the Clintons responsible are quixotic exercises in futility?"

December 23

Dem Calls Trump Food Stamp Reform "Cruel and Unusual"

In a reversal of the Obama Administration's granting states more latitude to waive work requirements as a condition for food stamp eligibility, President Trump has directed his Department of Agriculture to shift food aid recipients "from dependence to independence and from welfare to gainful employment—as the bipartisan law originally intended."

Under the legislation creating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) able-bodied adults without children are required to work 20 hours per week or participate in job training in order to continue to receive benefits. States were allowed to waive this requirement if unemployment was too high to make finding a job a realistic option. During the sluggish economy that prevailed when Obama was president more and more states were granting blanket exemptions from the work requirement. Now that unemployment is at historic lows in most of the United States the Trump Administration wants to reduce the frequency of waivers.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich), the ranking minority member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, called Trump's efforts "a potential violation of the Constitution. Previous administrations have recognized that compelling individuals to work for a living goes against the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. A wealthy country like ours has the means to relieve a substantial portion of the population from the necessity to toil for a living. Making the able-bodied segment of those receiving food aid accept jobs they would rather not do represents a return to the slavery that we fought a war to abolish in the 1860s. Hopefully, the courts will overturn this lurch toward tyranny by Trump."

December 30

Democrats Now Party of the Rich

In the November elections, Democrats won in the 20 richest congressional districts. An ebullient Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), currently vacationing during the "cruel" government shutdown at the Fairmont Orchid resort in Hawaii (where room rates range from $900 per night for a regular room to $5,000 for a suite), bragged that "the ultimate demise of the Republican Party is imminent. Democrats own the Black vote, the Hispanic vote, the immigrant vote, the welfare vote. We have more campaign money from wealthy donors than Republicans can ever hope to see."

"The coalition of small business owners, farmers, middle-income wage-earners, craftsmen, and religious zealots that Trump relied on to steal the 2016 election represents a dwindling faction of the American population," Pelosi pointed out. "They will be unable to stop the juggernaut of progressives that we have assembled. The wisest course for the rump of Republicans who hope to keep their political careers and perks is to cooperate with us in the transition to the socialist future that President Obama promised would be our fate."

A taste of the collective mindset the Democrats say will be our future was seen in the identical Christmas tweets sent out by Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slamming President Trump, gloating over the trillions of dollars in losses a plunging stock market has inflicted on the future pensions, IRAs and 401k retirement funds, and the possible economic recession and unemployment this may herald for the coming year.

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