President Defends “Flexibility” Remarks
In what President Obama believed to be an “off-the-record” exchange, he was overheard requesting “space” from the Russians until after the November election when he would have more “flexibility.” This would-be covert conversation has raised suspicions about his intended defense policies for a prospective second term.
“Doing the right thing and doing the popular thing are not always one-and-the-same,” Obama explained. “I want to be able to do what's right. But it will be of no avail if I'm not reelected. All I was asking of the Russians was to lay low for the next eight months to let me get this last election out of the way. There'll be plenty of time after that to iron out the details of the relationship between our two countries.”
The Russians have been pressing for an abandonment of the United States' missile defense system. They view this system as a threat to their nation's security. “We have no similar capability,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev complained. “All we are asking is for a more balanced equation. Exposure to mutual annihilation would provide that balance.”
President Obama is reportedly hoping to make the risk of mutual annihilation disappear by eliminating nuclear weapons. “For too long, nuclear weapons have held humanity hostage,” Obama said. “If we take them out of the mix others will not have to arm themselves with them as a defense against American imperialism. The world could be restored to the less threatening environment that prevailed before the first nuclear bomb was dropped.”
“Rather than make these complicated issues part of the debate in the run up to November, I'm asking that they be put aside,” Obama requested. “I think I've done enough to have earned the American people's trust on defense and foreign policy. Remember, I was the one who killed bin-Laden. None of my potential opponents has done anything as impressive in the way of demonstrating their bonafides.”
In related news, the Russian newspaper Pravda endorsed President Obama's reelection.
Kagan Confident Violation Won't Get Her in Trouble
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan brushed off accusations that her participation in the Court's hearing on Obamacare violates the law. Section 455(b)(3) of Title 28 of the U.S. Code requires judges to disqualify themselves from hearing cases when they have “served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser, or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy.” As Solicitor General, Kagan served in such a role.
“The most important job for a judge is to mete out justice,” Kagan asserted. “Mere parchment—whether it be a Constitution or a statute—cannot be allowed to infringe upon this solemn duty. Ensuring that everyone has health care epitomizes the President's quest for justice. I will do everything I can to aid this quest.”
“Besides, whether a person is brought up on charges for an alleged violation of the law is at the prosecutor's discretion,” Kagan added. “Does anyone seriously believe that Attorney General Holder would press charges against me for seeking to defend the health care law from its right-wing assailants? The two of us worked long and hard to craft the Administration's legal defense of the law. We're on the same team.”
Kagan rounded out her case for self-confidence saying “if by some freak occurrence I were to be impeached and convicted, is there any doubt that I would be pardoned by President Obama? I assure you, I'm not worried.”
In related news, Kagan dismissed Obamacare opponents' argument that the law is coercive. “Since when is forcing people to buy something that's good for them 'coercive?'” she asked Plaintiff attorney Paul Clement. “Didn't your mother ever force you to eat your vegetables? Would you call that coercive? Or was she just looking out for your well-being? Isn't that what the government is doing here?”
Pelosi Says There Are Other Options in Trayvon Martin Death
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said she is weighing “other options” in the event that Florida officials are unsuccessful in punishing George Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin.
Martin was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman February 26. Though all the facts are not yet publicly known, demands that Zimmerman be charged with murder have been gaining momentum in certain circles. The New Black Panther Party has posted a $10,000 reward for Zimmerman's capture and is in the process of organizing a 5,000-man posse to undertake the effort. Celebrities Spike Lee and Roseanne Barr have “tweeted” address information for different Zimmermans residing in Florida. Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill) wore a “hoodie” sweatshirt on the floor of the House.
“If these efforts to secure justice for Trayvon don't succeed we will have to look at what we can do to make things right,” Pelosi vowed. One of the measures Pelosi says she's looking into is “the possibility that Congress could pass a bill declaring Zimmerman guilty and impose a reasonable penalty. Or maybe the President can declare him an enemy and have him taken out by one of those drone thingies. But the bottom line is we can't abide racist local officials condoning the murder of a Black youth.”
In related news, Pelosi called Rush's hoodie demonstration “the most heroic act I've ever witnessed.”
Democrats Press for Efforts to Combat Campaign Slander
A group of 30 Democrats called for President Obama to use an upcoming Congressional recess as an opportunity to appoint five new Federal Election Commissioners. The appointments are deemed essential to blunt the impact of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case.
“As it stands now, anyone can say anything he wants about any candidate without fear of repercussion,” said Minority Chief Deputy Whip Peter Welch (D-Vt). “The FEC as it is now constituted is unable to properly regulate what may be said during the very important campaign ahead. By making recess appointments the President can staff the FEC with people we can trust to put the clamps on unwarranted criticisms of the Administration's policies and prevent voters from being misled by right-wing propaganda.”
In addition to making the requested recess appointments, the group urged the IRS to “launch investigations of all 501(c)(4) groups affiliated with super-PACs that are attacking the President or other members of the Democratic Party under the guise of so-called freedom of speech.”
“The Government must use every tool at its disposal to defend itself from those who would undermine its authority,” Welch argued. “If people know that the IRS will be on their case if they try to bring down the Government I think we'll see them exercise more discretion in what they say or do.”
Treasury Secretary Blames Congress for Economy, Excuses Obama
The Obama Administration's Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner upheld his boss' mantra that others are to blame for the current sorry state of the economy.
“Really, it was the guys who were in office prior to President Obama's ascendance that are responsible,” Geithner maintained. “If any fingers are to be pointed there's where we should look.”
When he was reminded that Obama was a member of Congress during that period, Geithner acknowledged that “some may try this ploy to shift blame to him, but the fact is, he was hardly ever present for any of the deliberations or votes in the two years he nominally served as a senator. If you'll recall, he spent the bulk of his time campaigning for the presidency. To be fair, you have to admit his hands are clean.”
Key Democrats Warn Supreme Court on Obamacare
A handful of senate Democrats warned the Supreme Court not to overturn the Affordable Care Act—more widely known as Obamacare.
“The court commands no armies, it has no money; it depends for its power on its credibility,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) said. “The President is Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful army in the world. Congress has control over more spending than any other entity in the world. The Justices need to consider whether they want to lock horns with these other branches of government.”
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) took issue with contentions that the 2700-page health care law hasn't been properly vetted. “I admit I didn't have time to read it before I voted for it,” Kerry said. “But I was assured by Solicitor General Kagan that the bill was Constitutional. I'm sure that now she is on the Supreme Court she will uphold the law's validity.”
“And let's not forget that there have been more than 30 lower court decisions upholding the health care law,” Kerry added. “Let's face it, the President conceived it. Congress passed it. The people want it. And fellow judges have upheld it. Do the members of the Supreme Court really want to swim against this tide?”
The possibility that President Obama might just ignore an unfavorable Court ruling cannot be discarded. “It wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened,” Press Secretary Jay Carney observed. “President Jackson set the precedent for it back in 1832. President Obama will enforce the laws as he sees fit. The Justices should keep that in mind as they mull over their decision.”