IPFS John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: July 7, 2024 Edition

Supreme Court Decision on Presidential Immunity

This week the US Supreme Court decided that presidents have immunity from prosecution for actions within the scope of their constitutional authority. Some Democrats found fault with this decision.

Democratic Party activist Van Jones called it "a dangerous expansion of presidential power. It is, in effect, a license to thug. It would give a reelected Trump legal authority to prosecute his political opponents. Individuals who question the honesty and accuracy of a Trump election victory could be put on trial and in jail."

Biden-Harris Campaign Co-Chair Mitch Landrieu warned that "this decision will allow a president to send SEAL Team Six to kill his political opponents."

President Biden disparaged the decision, saying "this is the same Court that called our prosecution of non-violent trespassers in the Capitol on January 6, 2021 an abuse of the law. Once an election winner has been determined by the vote counts any continued objections amount to an insurrection that the government has an obligation to suppress with whatever force it deems necessary. The Court is giving Trump a 'get out of jail free' card from the insurrection charges we're now prosecuting him for regarding his actions on January 6."

George Washington University Law School legal scholar Jonathan Turley called Biden's claims "a misrepresentation of the Court's decision. Especially galling is his attempt to portray himself as a person who respects the limits of presidential powers. Contrary to law, he has engaged in racial discrimination in federal programs, he imposed nationwide moratorium on evictions, sent the FBI to intimidate free speech on social media, and blatantly went ahead with canceling student debts that the Supreme Court explicitly told him were beyond his authority. In a just world he would face consequences for his abuse of power."

Other Democrats suggested that President Biden use his newly granted immunity to suppress Republican opposition to his rule.

Star of the film "Ruthless People" and Hollywood's top constitutional expert Bette Midler urged Biden to "use the total immunity granted to presidents by the Supreme Court to arrest former President Trump and Republican members of Congress and allow the FBI to use deadly force in order to ensure Democrats' retain the presidency and Senate and regain regain the House majority."

"Orange Is the New Black" actress Lea DeLaria urged "President Biden to use his official Commander-in-Chief authority to order the assassination of Trump. Our democracy is at stake and Trump is a 'clear and present danger' that the president has the duty to eliminate by any means necessary."

Debate Unfair to Biden

Presidential Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attributed "the remarkably poor performance of the President in his debate with former President Trump last week to the unfair format and timing. Our expectation was that CNN would continue its role as an ally in the fight to preserve our democracy, but they betrayed the President. Instead of throwing their weight behind the Democrat message that everything Trump says is a lie, Jake and Dana put the President on the spot by insisting that he answer their questions and use all his allotted time."

"Scheduling a live debate for so late in the day put the President at a distinct disadvantage," she added. "CNN knew that the President is at his best in the hours between 10 am and 4 pm during his four-day Monday through Thursday work week. The Thursday evening 9 pm eastern time was inside the President's normal weekly 88 hour recovery period. In addition, the June 27 date coming only 12 days after his overseas trip left him still suffering from jet lag--a phenomenon widely acknowledged to affect a person's mental acuity."

Trump pointed out that "the format and timing were totally at the discretion of Biden. I agreed to show up wherever and whenever he wanted. It's the Democrats and the media who insisted that questions about Biden's mental competence was a 'conspiracy theory' and 'disinformation.' It was their hubris that enabled the truth to be viewed by so many. Now that their illusion of Biden's capacity to handle the job has been destroyed they are panicking. They have only themselves to blame."

Biden rebutted Trump's contention, saying "the blame belongs with Trump. I tell the truth. In my 50 years in politics I've never lied, not even once. All Trump does is lie. The media have confirmed this again and again, thousands of times in the ten years he has been in politics. Voters know this. That's why Trump will be in prison a year from now and I'll still be president."

In related news, Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif) said "demands that President Biden be forced to perform outside his window of cognitive competence are violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law requires that employers--in this case the voters--must make reasonable accommodations so persons who are 'differently abled' can still hold a job. If voters try to oust him from office I will personally file suit to void the 2024 election results as provided for in the ADA."

Poll Shows Big Lead for Biden

A poll conducted by the Counteroffensive/Kyiv International Institute of Sociology showed Ukraine voters preferring Biden (46.7%) over Trump (6.5%) for US President, while 17.6% preferred neither, 6.7% preferred either, 20.2% "didn't know" and 2.3% were smoking weed in the Ferarris they bought with embezzled US aid.

Biden-for-president campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon cited the poll "as proof the President's foreign policy is working. He may have had a bad night at the debate with Trump, but he has won the hearts and minds of the people of Ukraine with his steadfast support of their fight against Russian aggression. We look forward to this success boosting the President's support among US voters."

Susie Wiles, co-manager of Trump's campaign said she "doubted whether this poll will impress Americans. Over $100 billion of US taxpayer dollars have been handed over to Ukraine. A lot of this money has been stolen. What hasn't been stolen has been used to fund an unnecessary war and pay the salaries of the entire Ukraine government. Even so, less than half of those polled are willing to endorse Biden's reelection bid."

In related news, the US Department of State has declared that "Ukraine is too corrupt to be allowed to join NATO." Among 180 countries ranked by how corrupt they are Somalia is ranked 180th (the most corrupt). Denmark is ranked 1st (the least corrupt). The US is ranked 24th (less corrupt than 87% of the countries ranked, but more corrupt than a dozen European countries. Ukraine is ranked 116th (more corrupt than 64% of the countries). Russia is ranked 137th (more corrupt than 76% of the countries).

Chevron Deference Overturned

This week, in the case of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, the US Supreme Court overturned a 1984 Court decision that ordered lower courts to defer to federal regulators' rulings rather than exercise their own independent judgment in cases where statutes are ambiguous or silent on key issues. The Court based its current ruling on the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act (APA) which explicitly directs the courts to use their own judgment.

President Clinton's Secretary of Labor Robert Reich called the reversal "a disaster. Federal regulators have the knowledge and expertise that judges and juries lack. This new Court ruling makes regulatory experts have to persuade a judge and jury they are right before they can impose restrictions, fines, or prison sentences for people who go against what the regulators say must be done. This is far less efficient than allowing Congress to simply delegate their lawmaking responsibility to the regulators to make the rules, prosecute, judge, and convict those who don't obey them."

Writing for the Court's majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said "the 1984 decision is contrary to the framers' understanding of our form of government. Under our Constitution it is the responsibility of Congress to enact the laws. If the statutes they enact do not clearly establish what the law intends it becomes the courts' responsibility to say what the law is, not an administrative agency of the executive branch. Persons who the administrative agencies seek to control or punish have the right to go to court to challenge the decisions of these agencies. Agencies have the burden of proving their actions are authorized by statutory law."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex) praised the Court, saying "the Chevron deference gave too much power to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. If we are to have a government of, by, and for the people those elected to represent the people in Congress must endeavor to enact laws that are clear and explicit. We cannot allow Congress to delegate our legislative powers to these bureaucrats."

Two Perspectives on Abortion

In Wisconsin, the State Supreme Court agreed to hear Planned Parenthood's plea that a right to abortion be found in the state's constitution. The Court denied a request by three pro-life groups, Wisconsin Right to Life, Wisconsin Family Action, and Pro-Life Wisconsin to present opposing arguments in this case. Chief Justice Annette Ziegler said "it makes no sense for us to hear arguments from persons who maintain that there is no right to abortion in the document. We will look where Planned Parenthood tells us to look. If we agree that the identified words can be construed as supporting a right to abortion that is how we will rule. If we don't agree it will be up to the state legislature to enact a statutory right to abortion."

Former President Trump said "I doubt that repeating the error made by 1973's Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision with a similar error made by a Wisconsin state court would be an appropriate method for deciding the issue. The US Supreme Court's Dobbs decision said making laws is the job of the legislature. They could either enact a statute or propose a constitutional amendment that could be adopted. The virtue of this method is that the people or their elected representatives debate and then take action either for or against a proposal. This is how a democratic republic rules itself."

In related news, Trump says that if he is elected "pro-life opponents who are currently in prison for peacefully protesting abortions will be pardoned. Peacefully demonstrating for or against public policies is protected by the Constitution's First Amendment. Many consider abortion--the termination of a human life--to be murder. No one has the right to try to silence them or punish them for expressing this belief. The Biden Administration's abuse of these pro-life advocates must be stopped."

New Initiatives to Energize Biden Campaign

Reeling from reverberating calls for him to drop out of the race for reelection after his pathetic performance in last week's televised debate with former President Donald Trump, the Biden Administration has announced new initiatives aimed at boosting his support among voters.

At the top of the list is a plan to prosecute "price-gouging grocers." Secretary of Commerce Gina Marie Raimondo explained that "the evidence is overwhelming that the price increases we are seeing for food is the intentional work of the people running the supermarkets, corner stores, and bodegas. In every case, the prices of the meats, produce, and packaged goods delivered to them by wholesalers are deliberately marked up before they're made available for customers to buy. This is profiteering at its worst. Unlike Republicans who turn a blind eye toward this exploitation of human need, we are going to refer these miscreants to the Department of Justice where they can be prosecuted and punished."

Next is a plan to save the endangered spotted owl by deploying marksmen to shoot 450,000 barred owls in the forests of Oregon, Washington, and California. Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Martha Williams pointed out that "we've already decimated the logging industry in these states to preserve the habitat, but the larger and more powerful barred owls are out-competing the smaller spotted owls. By significantly reducing the number of barred owls competing for the same prey we hope to enable the numbers of the endangered species to increase. By announcing this strong plan we expect voters to punish Republicans at the polls this November for completely ignoring this critical environmental issue."

Finally, President Biden told a crowd at a Wisconsin rally that "I'm proud to be the first vice president, first Black woman, to serve with a Black president." Presidential Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said "the President felt that like others who have taken the courageous step of publicly announcing their trans identity he should do likewise. A byproduct of this announcement is that the allegations that he has violated the personal space of dozens of women will be converted from disgusting lechery to hot girl-on-girl sex."