IPFS John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

More About: Government

SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: Best of 2019 (part 2)

July 7

Congresswoman Demands End to Mockery

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla) is demanding that persons who mock members of Congress be prosecuted. "The Constitution says that members of Congress shall not be questioned in any other place," Wilson asserted. "Yet, even the shallowest dive into the Internet bumps into numerous criticisms, insults and threats. Not a day goes by when someone isn't calling for voters to oust me from office. This has got to stop."

"We're going to shut them down and work to ensure they are prosecuted," the Congresswoman promised. "Freedom of speech does not protect 'hate speech.' The mockery exhibited online is an unacceptable threat to our constitutional right to rule."

Wilson was undaunted by the difficulty of getting the Trump Administration Department of Justice to carry out the desired prosecutions, saying that "Congress has the right to impeach anyone, including the President himself, who fails to obey the will of Congress."

July 14

Times Suggests Solution to Housing Shortage

The growing ranks of homeless persons and the continued invasion of our country by millions of illegal immigrants have generated a severe shortage of housing across the US. The editors of the New York Times have offered an "outside-the-box" solution that "would tap into the housing surplus currently being squandered by archaic attitudes toward property rights."

The editors start off by pointing out that "as a general rule, most Americans have more house than they need. What we are suggesting is that the appropriate public policy could put this surplus to more efficient use by requisitioning this space for the accommodation of the homeless and new immigrants."

Under the Times' plan, "data to be collected by the 2020 Census will enable the government to pinpoint housing surpluses. Once determinations of where the surpluses exist is made, those in need of housing can be assigned to these residences. Persons whose home are assigned to receive new residents would also receive a federal stipend to help offset the anticipated higher expenses for utilities and food required to accommodate their new guests plus a 10% profit over costs for the home owner."

"This will be a 'win-win' outcome," the editors wrote. "Formerly homeless individuals will have a nice place to live. They won't be wandering the streets begging for handouts and forced to defecate in public. Owners of the homes receiving new residents will turn formerly wasted excess space into a modest addition to their yearly income and have the satisfaction of helping out persons less well-off than themselves. The only serious unanswered question is which of the Democratic presidential contenders has the vision to pick up this ball and run with it."

July 21

Reparations Requires More than Just Money

Democratic presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif), backer of reparations for descendants of former slaves, says "writing a check is not gonna be enough. The financial disadvantages of slaves and their descendants represent only a small portion of what is owed to them by whites. Payments can't assuage the hurt of whippings and lynchings."

Harris averred that "it will be relatively easy to apportion the monetary damages among the descendants of the slave-holding whites. It will be harder to apportion the physical pain, fear, and humiliation. We'll probably have to use some sort of lottery system to select which white people will have to bear these burdens. Many will have to be whipped. Fewer will have to be lynched. Some will need to be raped. But all should have to endure the fear that it could be them. Those selected by the lottery for lynching or rape should be rousted in the middle of the night by black men wearing hoods. I think this rough justice will be the best approximation of true justice that we could hope to achieve."

Rival contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Tex) volunteered to "be the first one whipped should Sen. Harris' proposed plan be implemented. I was recently given documents showing that both my wife and I are descended from people who owned slaves. Let the atonement process begin with me."

August 4

Wages Rise for 99% of Workers

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), 99% of those employed have seen wages rise since Trump became president. The gains have positively impacted all demographic and ethnic groups.

Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass), whose campaign is founded on the claim that Trump's policies have "devastated the economy," pointed out that "the benefits haven't been uniform. For one, 99% isn't everyone. Using the BEA's figures, 1% of those in the workforce have not seen wages increase. And those outside the workforce don't receive any benefit from wage increases."

Warren went on to say that "to combat these lopsided and blatantly inequitable results my Green New Deal plan calls for higher taxes on those who have benefited and redistribution to those who haven't. Those who are able to work must share their gains with those in need. In theory, they should do this out of a sense of moral obligation. Practically, though, history has shown that government has had to use force to achieve universal compliance. I am the only candidate who has a plan to make that happen."

However, a study, released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimated that her Green New Deal plan would cost the average household at least $70,000 in the first year of its roll out, and $250,000 over five years—an amount that Warren insists "is a bargain compared to the alternative of the runaway prosperity and environmental catastrophe that will result from Trump's policies."

August 11

CNN Talking Head Calls for Trump Supporters to Be Eradicated

CNN's Reza Aslan called "Trump's supporters—ALL OF THEM—white nationalist terror supporters" who "must be eradicated from society." Aslan insisted he wasn't advocating violence: "I'm not necessarily saying they should be murdered in death camps as some have suggested. I think we go the re-education route that has been successfully employed by China. If we seize their wealth that would clip their wings. Then, if they can learn to keep quiet and behave themselves I see no need for their physical elimination."

Meanwhile, fliers urging that Trump supporters be sent to death camps were posted at various locations throughout Long Island, NY. The Shock Theater Collective said the fliers are "part of a promotional effort advertising Shock Theater's special summer show: 'We the People.'" The show's plot features Trump supporters being terrorized. Spokesman Rodney Montgomery says "we're using horror to bring a message of unity."

August 25

Trump Alienating Allies

Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif) assailed President Trump for "alienating our allies to such an extent that they may not come to our aid should we be attacked."

"A prime cause of the alienation was Trump's bullying them to honor their NATO military commitments," Swalwell contended. "This reversed decades of bi-partisan policy that looked the other way when our allies fell short of meeting their obligations. This bi-partisan policy built an enormous amount of good will that Trump has squandered."

Swalwell rejected the idea that without meeting the NATO military obligations the so-called allies would not be in a position to come to our aide, saying that "physically, that might be true, but there is also the moral support aspect. As former President Obama pointed out, words matter. Realistically, words are about all we should expect in terms of support from these guys. They couldn't fully defend themselves from the Nazis. They couldn't have repelled a Soviet invasion on their own. They currently can't even defend themselves from invasion by unarmed immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. The only aid they could provide for us is words of encouragement. That aid is what Trump has foolishly squandered."

September 1

Feces Removal Called "Racist"

The leftist utopia city of Seattle, like its sister cities San Francisco and Los Angeles, has a human feces problem. The homeless encampments that clog numerous public open spaces yield a daily deposit of thousands of new human turds on the streets and sidewalks. Almost everyone is bothered by this. However, a proposal to clean up the mess has been labeled "racist" by Councilman Larry Gossett.

Gossett pointed out that "a disproportionate share of the homeless population are minorities. I wonder if we would be so quick to criticize if these deposits were being made by whites? The power-washing that has been proposed will inconvenience the homeless residents. How many of us on the Council would tolerate city employees coming into our homes and power-washing our bathrooms?"

The Councilman also observed that "using power-hoses to intimidate those demonstrating for equal rights was a key tactic of whites repressing blacks during the 1960s. I think the optics of using power-washing the feces will do more damage to our community than the alleged health threat of open-air defecation ever could."

In an effort to generate a compromise solution, council member Claudia Balducci suggested deploying "social workers to pick up the droppings and carry them away in plastic bags. If dog-walkers can accomplish this task, why wouldn't that work? Beat cops could accompany the social workers to protect them from assaults by the homeless residents."

The City Council was unable to agree upon an approach, citing cost as a major impediment. "This is a national problem, not a local problem," Gossett maintained. "We shouldn't be penalized just because the homeless choose to live in our great city. The feds need to provide funding to offset this cost. If FEMA can send aid for hurricane relief, they can send aid to us."

September 8

Senator Calls for More Censorship

Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) threatened CEO Mark Zuckerberg with incarceration if he doesn't do a better job of censoring the content posted on Facebook. "I know Mr. Zuckerberg thinks he's done enough with his algorithms that dampen access to content that deviates from acceptable parameters of political discussion," Wyden said. "He fears to go further due to the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech. But I want to remind him that it is not within his purview to determine the boundaries of freedom of speech."

"The First Amendment is what creates the biggest opportunity for hate speech," the Senator asserted. "People who previously had no affordable way of communicating their anti-progressive ideas can now reach millions via social media. Tech companies need to be far more vigorous about identifying, fingerprinting, and blocking content from these individuals. If these companies can't do this their executives need to be fined or imprisoned."

September 15

Dem Criticizes Bill of Rights

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) says the Bill of Rights in the Constitution "does more harm than good in today's society. When I see how people are abusing the Second Amendment. No telling what they'd do with the First Amendment. I think there would be a strong support against the Bill of Rights. I run into people every day who would like to see so much of those guarantees uprooted."

The Whip said he was "pleased to see such overwhelming support for severely restricting the right to bear arms from all of our Democratic presidential candidates. This unanimity stems from a perception of solid majorities who will vote for candidates who will take guns away from private citizens for their own good. In an ideal world, only the government would have firearms. This would greatly reduce unauthorized shootings while simultaneously reassuring armed government agents that resistance to their authority would be futile."

"While the abuse of freedom of speech doesn't have the immediate fatal impact that abuse of the right to bear arms does, the potential long-term consequences are just as concerning," Clyburn added. "As we saw in Germany, the hate-filled speeches of a lone lunatic led to a worldwide conflict that cost the lives of millions. We have the technology now to police the statements of everyone in the country and can nip any bad ideas in the bud. We shouldn't have to put up with the kind of anti-government views that seem to continually emanate from the right-wingers in our midst. I think if it were put on the ballot, voters would approve sensible censorship aimed at suppressing unacceptable political points of view."

September 22

Candidate Comes Out Against Meat and Autos

In a bid to outflank his Democratic presidential rivals, entrepreneur Andrew Yang vowed to "severely curtail the consumption of meat" and "do away with privately owned and operated automobiles."

Yang contrasted "my honesty with the deceptive presentations of the other Democrats running for president. Their implication that all it will take to battle climate doom is to tax the rich and tout this as the height of virtue won't cut it. There isn't enough money in the hands of rich people to pay for the kind of gut-wrenching changes in behavior that are required. Ninety-nine percent of the population is not rich. These are the people who will have to make the necessary sacrifices if we hope to save the planet."

The candidate's "two-pronged approach would entail measures like higher taxes and strict regulations to price meat out of the budget for ordinary consumers and outlawing private citizens from owning automobiles. The 'impossible burger' invented by Burger King shows how those who crave the taste of meat can be satisfied with veggie patties. The emergence of driver-less vehicles shows how an 'Uber-type' fleet could serve all needs for individualized travel."

Yang tried to reassure everyone that "important travel by important persons like government officers would, of course, be accommodated by having automobiles set aside for their exclusive use. Likewise, meat, while prohibitively expensive for most, would still be available for crucial occasions like state dinners with foreign dignitaries."

September 29

Dem Calls Trump "Treason" Comment "Treasonous"

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) denounced President Trump's suggestion that spying on him by the CIA might be treason. "We should thank our lucky stars that there are people within the federal government who are not intimidated by Trump's election as president," Schiff exclaimed. "The fearless heroes of the CIA and FBI who have diligently worked to undo the tragic results of the 2016 presidential election deserve our thanks and praise. Trump's attempt to portray what they have done in a negative light is despicable."

"Clearly, Trump's request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that his government look into a matter that occurred years ago between then Vice-President Biden and the previous Ukrainian administration is what is really treasonous," Schiff argued. "Trump's attempt to portray the leverage Vice-President Biden utilized to help out his son as a bad thing was an attack on family values. Joe Biden previously lost his eldest son, Beau, to brain cancer. His youngest son, Hunter, was facing a rocky future after being ousted from the US Navy for drug addiction. The millions in consultant fees that Joe helped him obtain from a Ukrainian company enabled Hunter to avoid becoming unemployed and saved the government the expense of having to pay unemployment benefits to Joe's boy. Trump's slander against Joe warrants his impeachment."

A contrasting view was offered by Ukrainian Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin. "I had been investigating numerous instances of potential corruption," Shokin said. "The hiring of Hunter Biden—a man with no expertise in Ukrainian affairs or the energy business interests of Burisma—for essentially a 'no show' job raised my suspicions. The very public demand by Vice-President Biden, who apparently had the full support of President Obama, that my investigation be stopped or crucial financial aid to my country would be blocked was pure extortion. President Poroshenko met Biden's demand by firing me. Biden's later public boasting about how he got me fired confirms my suspicions about the corrupt nature of his son's hiring by Burisma."

October 6

Candidate Says Spending Stats Support Transition to Socialism

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey showing that Americans spent more on taxes in 2018 than on food, clothing and health care combined was hailed by Democratic presidential contender Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as "proof that socialism works and that the transition to a centrally directed economy will be relatively painless."

The combined payments the average American consumer unit made in 2018 for five categories of taxes—federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, state and local income taxes, property taxes; and other taxes was $18,617. In 2013, the average American consumer unit paid a combined $13,327 for the same five categories. This 40% tax hike in only five years was labeled "very encouraging" by the Senator.

"Republican arguments that voters can't afford socialism or that they will fight to resist increasing levies on their income and wealth are rebutted by these data," Warren declared. "The thing that spurred the American Revolution in 1776 was taxation without representation. Today, Americans are fully represented by the people they elect. These elected representatives are the ones who have imposed the taxes that the general public willingly pays because they have confidence that the government will wisely handle their money—shifting it from frivolous and selfish expenditures for private pleasure to urgently needed public uses like free college tuition and free health care for the millions of Latinos that are bravely crossing our southern border."

October 13

Biden Says Study Vindicates His Ukraine Extortion

A study conducted by OpenTheBooks.com showed that the practice of politicians trading favors for cash is common. The case study involved eight members of Congress: Republicans Tom Cole, Kristi Noem, Erik Paulsen, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democrats John B. Larsen, Jim Cooper, Debbie Dingell, and Brenda Lawrence.

The study found a repeated pattern in which members of Congress own investment stock in, are employed by, and receive retirement pensions from federal contractors to whom billions of taxpayer dollars flow. Members sponsor or oppose legislation that affects these contractors. Then, the contractor's lobbyists advocate for or against the legislation to help the contractor. Oftentimes, the contractor's lobbyist also donates campaign cash to the member.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this abuse of office is that it is not illegal. It is this last finding that former Vice-President Joe Biden heralded as "proof that I've done nothing wrong. The travesty is that the salaries allotted to those of us in government are abysmally low. Corporate executives are paid millions to run private businesses. We ought to be similarly paid, but could never garner much support for higher salaries. Allowing ourselves to make money on the side has been the way to right this injustice. Using my influence in Ukraine to help my son doesn't make me a crook. It makes me a good dad."

October 20

Beto Cites Waco Operation as Model for Gun Seizures

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke pushed back against criticism that his gun confiscation plan is unrealistic by citing "the successful 1993 action against gun scofflaws in Waco taken by the Clinton Administration. Here we had a cult armed to the teeth. Attorney General Janet Reno didn't hesitate to use force to achieve the disarmament of these dangerous misfits. All I'm proposing is that we use the same courageous proactive approach toward today's anti-government traitors and terrorists."

"I am pleased to see that Democrats in the House are advancing a bill that would authorize the disarming of any person deemed a danger to society," the Candidate added. The bill—The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019—introduced by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif) would authorized law enforcement to seize firearms from persons identified as dangerous by another person or persons who feel threatened.

Strangely, Democrats rejected a proposed amendment from Republicans that would've added criminal gang members as prospective persons to be disarmed. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo) pointed out that "the majority of violent crime, including gun violence, in the United States is linked to gangs." Carbajal defended rejection of the GOP amendment, explaining that "gang members live outside the law. They can't rely on police to protect them. They need access to guns for their own safety. The people we are most concerned with are those normally considered law-abiding, but perceived as dangerous by other law-abiding persons such as family members, spouses, neighbors, and co-workers. These people don't need to own guns. They can call on the police for protection if they are threatened or attacked by criminals."

October 27

Romney Explains Pierre Delecto

This week it was revealed that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has been tweeting under the name Pierre Delecto since 2011. The gist of most of the tweets was pointing out "what a swell fellow this Mitt Romney guy is crossing Party lines to stand with defenders of democracy like Schiff and Nadler to take down the tyrant Trump."

The Senator alleges that "modesty was my motivation. If I had tweeted these things under my own name I would have appeared to be boastful. By using a pseudonym the compliments could be perceived as more honest and genuine. And who wouldn't be impressed by remarks from a guy whose screen name translates as 'Delightful Peter.'"

Mitt's explanation has worsened his public persona. Instead of just being an unsuccessful candidate for president, he has etched his reputation as an immodest, dishonest, and cowardly self-promoter into the minds of decent folks everywhere.

November 3

Pelosi Praises Patriotism of Deep State

With the House finally endorsing the impeachment process being spearheaded by Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a moment "to give credit to the members of the deep state that made this possible. The willingness of men like James Comey, John Brennan, Peter Strzok, and others to go outside the bounds of strict obedience to the law despite the peril to their reputations, must not be overlooked or taken for granted. Their hyping of the Steele Dossier and surveillance of the Trump campaign nearly turned the 2016 election in Hillary's favor."

"Though that effort was thwarted by ill-informed voters in strategically positioned states, they didn't give up," she continued. "Before Trump was inaugurated they implemented plan B to undermine his ability to carry out his agenda. The covert surveillance of Trump and his supporters was extended. A Special Prosecutor was appointed to provide nearly two years worth of leaks alleging wrongdoing that fed a relentless media campaign against the illegitimate president. After that effort failed to oust Trump, plan C was launched as a CIA mole within the Trump Administration worked with Rep. Schiff to assail Trump's authority to investigate foreign involvement with the deep state's pre-election anti-Trump activities."

"The persistence of these heroic men should be commended," Pelosi urged. "Though not explicitly provided for in our Constitution, the deep state has organically evolved over the years to protect the nation from mistakes made by voters and to ensure that the permanent interests of the government would not be disrupted by unwarranted changes in administrations. The complaints from Trump and his backers should not be allowed to tarnish the work of these patriots. If it weren't for them we'd have no viable way of getting rid of a man who never should have been elected president."

November 10

Schiff Defends Total Control Over Impeachment Hearings

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif) defended procedural rules that grant him absolute control over which witnesses will be called and heard, saying "the fate of the nation is in my hands. I will not jeopardize its future by allowing Republicans to derail my hearings by attempting to inject irrelevant issues, witnesses, or questions into the mix."

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif), the ranking Republican member of the committee, called Schiff's stance "a blatant violation of due process. Speaker Pelosi's contention that this procedure is fair because we are allowed to request that certain witnesses be permitted to testify is ludicrous if Schiff may reject these witnesses or the questions we might like to ask of any witnesses at his sole discretion. It is tantamount to granting a prosecutor total control to bar any defense witness or any cross-examination questions of his own witnesses. This is contrary to the fundamental principles of fairness in ascertaining the truth or lack thereof of any charges lodged against a person."

Schiff dismissed Nunes' objections as "improperly focused on the constitutional rights of the accused. The impeachment power is not bound by the normal procedures of jurisprudence. The 5th and 6th Amendments do not apply when the person charged is the President of the United States. The Constitution grants the House sole authority to determine whether the president is impeachable. All that is required is that a majority vote for impeachment. That majority has voted to give me unconstrained latitude in how I conduct the process. I will not be deterred by the whining of the minority."

November 17

"Hearsay Better than Direct Evidence"

While fans of the TV show Perry Mason are very familiar with the inadmissibility of "hearsay" testimony, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill) asserted at the Schiff impeachment hearing that "hearsay can be much better evidence than direct evidence. Rather than being a collection of isolated facts, hearsay has the distinct advantage of having been vetted by the layers of people telling other people what they heard. This gives it the chance to gel into a coherent narrative in ways that direct evidence might not."

"The most astounding aspect of what we've heard from Taylor, Kent, and Yovanovitch is that while none of them were among those listening in on Trump's phone call to Zelensky they were in perfect agreement that there was something wrong with it," Quigley said. "These witnesses have decades of experience in the US State Department. That experience has given them a unified vision of what our foreign policy should be and how Trump has deviated from that norm."

"The great travesty in the case of Yovanovitch is that she was fired by Trump for trying to enforce normal foreign policy," Quigley added. "It's an unforgivable injustice for a career diplomat to be fired over a mere disagreement about foreign policy. Trump's assertion that the policies she favored had been failing for years is only an opinion, not, in my mind, sufficient cause to remove her from office. We shouldn't be surprised that she broke down in tears during her deposition seeing how badly she's been treated."

More astounding than the groupthink of the aforementioned long time bureaucrats was the admission under oath of both Kent and Yovanovitch that they had been briefed on the shady dealings of Burisma and Biden more than three years ago. Kent even went so far as to acknowledge that "further investigation into those dealings is warranted because we can't have US tax dollars used in a way that fosters more corruption in Ukraine."

November 24

Pelosi Says Impeachment Will Correct Voters' Error

With polls showing voters turning against impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) told fellow Democrats "that fact alone makes it even more imperative that we complete the job of removing Trump from office. We must reject the weak and dangerous suggestion to just let the voters decide whether to vote against letting him continue in office. I mean, do I have to remind you that we trusted voters to choose wisely in 2016. Well, we saw how that turned out."

The Speaker urged that "we 'trail blaze' a new process for selecting a president. In parliamentary systems like they have in most other democracies, the chief executive is chosen by the party that has a majority in the legislature. This strikes me as a superior method. Rather than allow relatively ignorant voters to separately elect a president, why not have the better informed members of the legislature make the final determination? We can let voters cast ballots for whoever they like. If the House is satisfied with their choice no further action would be required. The election day results would stand. However, if the voters make an unsatisfactory choice, the House would impeach and remove the person chosen and schedule a new election."

Pelosi rebuffed criticism that her proposed new process would be unwieldy or undemocratic, saying that "at first it might seem so, but I believe that eventually voters would learn to make better choices and relieve the House from having to undo poorly thought out choices like the one they made in 2016. In fact, by pledging to impeach Trump should the voters mistakenly reelect him in 2020, I think we will considerably accelerate the learning process."

December 1

FBI Conspirator Boasts of Destroying the Republic

The more that is revealed about the deep-state plotters against President Trump the more their loathsomeness is confirmed. We learned that in 2016 then FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok emailed his illicit paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, to reassure her that the Agency had "an insurance policy" designed to undermine a Trump presidency. Then we learned that in January of 2017 Mark Zaid, the attorney for the "whistleblower" that sparked the House impeachment hearings against Trump, tweeted "the coup has begun." This week, Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI lawyer accused of falsifying the FISA warrant used to authorize spying on the Trump campaign and presidency, texted "I have initiated the destruction of the Republic!" to his illicit paramour, FBI lawyer Sally Moyer.

While the participants in the covert action against the Trump campaign and presidency purport to be the "true patriots," their electronic trail of words imparts a more sinister objective. Secret police meddling in an election and efforts to conduct a coup and destroy our republican form of government are the kinds of behavior we so justly objected to when carried out by goons in service to the communist dictatorships behind the Iron Curtain. Interestingly, their self-justifications are often couched in terms of "saving our democracy." Remember, though, that the oppressive communist regimes routinely touted themselves as "people's democratic republics."

The head inquisitor of Congress' anti-Trump efforts, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), brushed aside the sinister emails, tweets, and texts, insisting that "all they show is the noble intent of those in our intelligence agencies against a man representing the most serious threat in our nation's history. Similar comments were made by our nation's leaders during the fight to defeat the Nazis. They deserve our gratitude, not the kind of undeserved scrutiny that Trump and his fellow criminals are trying to inflict on them."

December 8

Senator Objects to Making Able-Bodied Work for Food Stamps

The Trump Administration plan to put 700,000 able-bodied recipients between the ages of 18 and 49 enrolled in the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to work drew strenuous objections from Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). The planned work requirement is projected to save taxpayers $5 billion over 10 years.

"It's hard to see this as anything but the President being cruel for cruelty's sake," Murray complained. "The people targeted may be able-bodied, but why should they be forced to sacrifice the leisure they became accustomed to when they got the food with no strings attached? Eating is a human right. To strip this right away in order to save taxpayers a few bucks is an abuse of power that has won my vote for his impeachment if it ever gets to the Senate."

The "few bucks" disparaged by Murray add up to more than $45,000 per year in government benefits for every household in the bottom 20% of income in the United States. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue defended the requirement, saying "I strongly disagree with the Senator's reasoning. The greatest cost of government welfare is its destruction of the kind of self-respect that comes from making a positive contribution to one's own well-being. The abilities of millions of human beings have been allowed to atrophy in lives of idleness that too often lead to crime and depravity. The modest work requirement we are instituting offers an opportunity to escape the destructive cycle of welfare dependency."

December 15

Former FBI Lawyer Sues for Invasion of Privacy

Lisa Page, former FBI lawyer and paramour of FBI agent Peter Strzok, has filed suit against the Department of Justice for invasion of privacy. The "invasion" was the public release of texts and emails between her and Strzok, including those that discussed their participation in the plot against Trump that was carried out by the FBI.

"There were dozens of FBI employees plotting against Trump," Page said. "Extramarital affairs were perks widely accepted at the Agency. Singling out my affair and evidence of my participation in the conspiracy was discriminatory. I will not stand for being made the lone scapegoat in the operation."

Former FBI Director James Comey chastized Page for "using her government-issued cell phone to conduct what should have been confidential communications. That was stupid. The Agency policy has always been to use 'burner phones' for all illegal operations and illicit sexual liaisons."

Strzok says he may join Page's suit "because the publication of my conversations has harmed both my marriage and career by giving the impression that I am unusually untrustworthy. In truth, I am no worse than most of my former superiors at the Agency."

In related news, current FBI Director Christopher Wray vowed to prevent future scandals by "increasing our employees' pay so they can afford the added expense of buying burner phones to aid in the concealment of any future illicit covert operations."

December 22

Wakanda No Longer a US Trade Partner

This week, the Department of Agriculture removed the Kingdom of Wakanda from its list of trade partners. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif) denounced the removal, calling it "racist. Trump and his cronies are undermining the positive steps that President Obama took to bring that amazingly advanced but reclusive African nation into the sphere of global economic activity."

"I find it especially offensive that while Trump has been willing to confine his actions against our global enemy China to the imposition of tariffs, he has ordered his henchmen to totally disqualify a prosperous nation led by Blacks from any commerce with us," Waters complained. "It's a good thing that Speaker Pelosi has held back the impeachment articles because when we come back in January I will make a motion to include this egregious example of racial discrimination as a third article of our impeachment referral."

Meanwhile, despite the lack of trade with Wakanda, the US economy has reached a level of prosperity not seen since 2001. Across the political spectrum, 91% of Republicans and 62% of independents judged the current economy as "good," while only 47% of Democrats had a similar opinion—results that Waters characterized as "racist. The Trump economy is only good for people who want jobs. The Administration has been implementing policies to force able-bodied welfare recipients who would rather not work to take jobs. This is the worst kind of racism we have seen from government in decades."

December 29

Trump Judicial Nominees More Qualified

An analysis of the individuals nominated for appellate court positions by the last two US presidents reveals that those selected by Trump had better qualifications than those selected by Obama. A marker for those considered the best legal minds is whether they clerked for a Supreme Court Justice or a federal appeals court. Of the nominees selected by Obama less than a quarter clerked at the Supreme Court, and less than half at a federal appellate court. Of the nominees selected by Trump 40% clerked at the Supreme Court and about 80% clerked at a federal appellate court.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), who has consistently opposed all of Trump's judicial nominees, disputed the validity of this analysis, saying that "pure competence shouldn't be allowed to override other important considerations. President Obama was willing to go outside the bounds of excellence in order to give a helping hand to individuals with less skill. Drawing from all levels of capability gives us a court that more closely resembles the general population. That is a more democratic way of staffing all the layers of government. He did it for the Executive Branch and carried that standard over to the Judicial Branch. I, for one, am glad he did."

In related news, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) vetoed a bi-partisan bill that would have allowed all federal judges to officiate at weddings in the state. In his veto message he explained "I cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by Trump. Trump's values do not embody who we are as New Yorkers. His narrow focus on making America great has excluded appointing judges who bring other attributes to the position." The notoriously anti-Trump New York Times labeled Cuomo's veto message "distressingly petty, even for him."

https://associations4az.phonesites.com/