EPA Official Regrets Remarks
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz apologized for boasting that the Obama Administration's approach toward environmental enemies was to “crucify them.” Armendariz attributed his remarks to his misunderstanding of the scope of the President's authority.
“While it is agreed that the President is empowered to kill those he deems a threat, I have been advised by the Attorney General that actually crucifying them would be construed as 'cruel and unusual,'” Armendariz said. “Only more covert methods are currently approved.”
Armendariz acknowledged “the President's right to impose whatever restrictions he sees fit. After all, he is our ruler. I have to think, though, that a more demonstrative display of the consequences of opposing the President's agenda would be more effective as a deterrent. I mean, crucifixion was a very effective enforcement tool for the Romans. Since their empire lasted a thousand years I wouldn't be so quick to disdain their methods.”
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson further clarified Armendariz's statement, insisting that “the crucifixion we had in mind was never a literal duplication of the Roman practice. Bankrupting the businesses and destroying the reputations of those we deem responsible for polluting the environment is as far as we intend to go at this time.”
Department of Labor Backs Down
The Department of Labor announced that it was withdrawing its proposed rule banning the employment of persons younger than 16 years of age on farms.
“There are many hazards in agricultural work,” observed Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “Dangerous machines, sharp tools, and large animals pose a threat to those working in this environment. Our aim was to protect children from being injured or worse. We had no idea that farm families routinely call upon their minor children to participate in undertaking the tasks of running the family business.”
An outpouring of opposition to the proposed new rule from the farming community was what persuaded the Department to reverse itself. “The message seems to be that engaging one's own children in such dangerous work is both an economic necessity and a way to train the next generation to take over the business,” Solis acknowledged. “I suppose if we are going to have family-owned farms this is necessary. But given the hazards, we might want to think more seriously about restructuring the industry. It seems there would be considerable economies-of-scale from consolidating the current hodgepodge of individually owned farming units into larger collective or communal operations.”
First Family's Lavish Vacations Defended
Since President Barack Obama assumed office the First Family has racked up a total of 17 vacations. This is nearly five times the number of excursions taken by a typical American family over that time span. Costs are also a sore point. One trip to Spain hit up taxpayers for almost $500,000.
The high costs are not really the Obamas' fault explained First Lady Michelle. “It's only because Barack is the President that the cost is so high,” she argued. “We are hostages to the office. Everywhere we go we have to be accompanied by an entourage of bodyguards and personal assistants. We can't just book a commercial flight and rent a car like common people do. Get used to it—expensive travel comes with the territory.”
As for the seemingly large number of trips, Michelle pointed out that “a person is only President for eight years. We're just trying to cram in as much as we can in this limited amount of time. We'd be fools not to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Dem Says High Unemployment Will Help Party “Cruise to Victory”
The normal expectation would be that high unemployment would hurt the President and his fellow Democrats come the November elections. “Not so,” says Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA). “Every person who's unemployed or on welfare knows that it's the Democrats who will look out for them.” Fattah asserted.
“The flaw in the GOP's reasoning is the mistaken notion that putting more people to work is what voters want,” Fattah said. “What everyone wants is a paycheck. They'll work for it if they have to. But getting one without being forced to work for it is the type of total freedom that the Democratic Party has stood for the last 80 years.”
“Freedom of speech and freedom of religion get a lot of publicity, but I would guess that freedom from toil is a benefit more prized by your average American,” Fattah contended. “Our Party is the one that recognizes that. Our Party is the one voters can trust to deliver it.”
In support of his case, Fattah credited Democrats for relieving 50% of the population from paying federal income taxes. “If we add the 8% who're unemployed to the 50% who're exempt from paying taxes I think we have the makings of a Democratic landslide next November.”
Congressman Groped by TSA Agent
Representative Francisco Canseco (R-Texas) took offense when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent grabbed his penis during a “routine” pat down at the San Antonio Airport. The Congressman's effort to push the agent's hand aside was characterized as “an assault” that “impeded security protocols” by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Charges may be pending.
“Nothing must be allowed to interfere with our efforts to keep this nation secure from threats,” Napolitano said. “It is essential that everyone fully comply with the procedures of the TSA. Thorough searches of sensitive areas are essential. To put them off-limits would be to invite terrorists to conceal weapons there. Patriotic Americans would willingly put aside any notions of personal privacy for the sake of public safety.”
Napolitano denied that the State Department's recent declaration that the war on terror is over should affect TSA procedures. “I've said many times that al-Qaeda is not the only threat we face,” Napolitano declared. “In my opinion, there are much greater threats coming from home-grown opponents of our government. As we speak, groups are organizing efforts to unseat the President. I think we must remain vigilant.”
DNC Chair Denies Need for Budget
It has been three years since Congressional Democrats have passed a budget. Annual efforts by the Republican-controlled House to get a budget enacted have been blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairperson, Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Fla) insisted that “the absence of a budget isn't the President's fault. He's given us two budgets in the last two years. He can't be blamed if Republicans won't go along.”
Neither of Obama's two budgets received a single vote from any member of congress from either party. Wasserman-Schultz was unable to explain this total lack of support. She speculated that “I may have stepped out of the room when those votes were taken.”
“Anyway, budgets are unnecessary,” Wasserman-Schultz added. “The government has been running fine without one. Taxes continue to flow in. We've been able to spend more money than ever before. So why mess up a good thing?”
Wasserman-Schultz discounted the possibility that Republicans could use this as a winning campaign issue. “Voters aren't interested in these kind of things,” she claimed. “As long as we keep them fed and amused why should they care about how we keep the books?”
Public School Bill Assailed by Union
The Nevada State Education Association took exception to proposed legislation aimed at improving public school teaching. In Nevada, teachers who complete one year on the job are granted tenure and are virtually immune from dismissal. Under the proposed bill (AB225) a teacher could be dismissed after three years of poor performance.
This new performance standard is a violation of teachers' human rights says Lynn Warne, president of the Nevada State Education Association. “The expectation has been that once you clear that first year you have a secure job,” Warne said. “Teachers have planned their lives based on this expectation. To rip it away from them, ex post facto like this isn't right.”
Warne also argued that the legislation is discriminatory. “Other government employees in Nevada have a similar tenure type system,” she maintained. “When a person can't do the job they don't get fired. The government just hires another person to take up the slack. Why do you think the number of employees has grown faster than the amount of actual services the state delivers? Unless they're going to level this playing field it would be unfair to single out under-performing teachers.”
Ms. Warne declined to address the issue of the rights of students whose education might be damaged by poor teaching, saying “that is not my concern. I represent the teachers not the students. If students want representation they should form their own union.”