A 16-page internal Department of Justice memo leaked to the media asserts that any person, American citizen or not, can be legally assassinated if “a high ranking White House official deems it warranted.”
While this asserted authority would appear to contradict the Constitution's prohibition of capital punishment except where the accused has had the benefit of a fair trial, Attorney General Eric Holder maintains that “the President and those he appoints to serve under him have the residual authority to override this protection if national security requires it. Action taking at the behest of an informed high-level official is to be preferred, as I see it, to a ritualistic reliance on devotion to out-dated legal traditions.”
Press Secretary Jay Carney pronounced that “Attorney General Holder's reassurance on this matter should convince Americans that these targeted killings are legal, ethical and wise. The voters have freely elected Barack Obama to be their President. Now is the time for them to reap the benefits of his judgment.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) expressed some reservations. “There's no question that if George Bush had tried this we'd be unloading on him with everything we had,” observed spokesman Bertram Petty. “With President Obama, though, we have to weigh matters more carefully. On principle, allowing the government to murder opponents is generally something we'd oppose. However, we don't want to take such a strict position that we help narrow President Obama's latitude to do what he thinks is right and necessary.”
Media pundits are similarly conflicted. On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski admitted that “if George Bush had done this it would have been stopped. We knew he couldn't be trusted. But with President Obama—do we really want to tar him with the same brush? Might making too much of the issue do more harm than good?”
Illinois Governor Proposes New Assault Weapons Rules
Governor Pat Quinn (D) used his annual “State of the State” address to call for new rules on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As outlined, under his proposal only those seeking permission for same-sex marriages would be authorized to own these types of firearm devices.
As Quinn explained it, “those seeking same-sex marriage are among the most endangered members of our society. Their ability to propagate their own kind is hampered by unfair biological impediments. On top of this there is a well of anti-homosexual animosity among their fellow citizens that threatens their very survival. Since this gay minority is vastly outnumbered by a hateful straight majority their need for powerful weapons of self-defense should be self-evident.”
Iran Rejects Idea of Direct Talks with US
Though Vice-President Joe Biden has been hinting that President Obama is willing to hold direct one-on-one talks with Iran to try to resolve differences between the two countries, Iran is having none of it.
“The Americans talk as if their agreement to bilateral talks is a great gift to us,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared. “Do they think we cannot tell the difference between a donkey and an ass?”
The problem as Khamenei sees it is that “the President of the United States is a lying liar who lies. We are not such fools as to perceive such talks as anything other than another opportunity for him to deceive us.”
Biden called Khamenei's remarks “an encouraging sign. It's the same kind of stuff we say about Republicans all the time. It shows that we may not be as far apart in our way of thinking as most people assume.”
In related news, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad volunteered to be the first Iranian sent into space. The offer followed the regime's claim to have successfully launched and retrieved a monkey last week. “In my mind, I'm already there,” Ahmadinejad asserted. “My term as president ends in June, so I'll be looking for other ways to serve my country.” Ahmadinejad expressed confidence that he would “do at least as good a job of piloting the space ship as the monkey they just sent.”
Obama's Passiveness over Benghazi Defended
Recent testimony at the Senate Armed Services Committee by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey disclosed that President Obama showed little interest in the September 11, 2012 attack on the US Consulate.
“Some 90 minutes into the seven hour siege I briefed the President with what I felt we knew at the time,” Panetta said. “He didn't react. He asked no questions. He gave no instructions.”
How this sworn testimony should be interpreted in light of Obama's unsworn assertion that he gave clear directives to “secure our personnel” posed a challenge for Press Secretary Jay Carney.
“The President is legendary for his coolness under pressure,” Carney bragged. “It is easy to see how Secretary Panetta might construe this as not reacting to the shocking news. The President's incomparable brilliance obviously enabled him to grasp everything without having to ask any questions.”
“As for the Secretary's impression that the President gave no instructions, let me point out that it is the Secretary's job to anticipate what the President wants without having to be explicitly told,” Carney added. “This gives the President the flexibility to embrace or disavow whatever action may be taken or not taken as seems most advantageous as the situation develops. Seeing that the President won reelection two months later, it should be apparent that those who are now second guessing his artful handling of the crisis are off base.”
Chicago Revises 911 Procedures
Citing limited resources and a surging murder rate, the City of Chicago announced new rules for how 911 calls are to be handled. From this point on, simple property crimes will no longer qualify for immediate, or possibly any, attention.
Chicago Deputy Chief-of-Patrol Steve Georgas explained that “last year over 500 people were murdered in our city. Obviously, with this serious mayhem underway we don't have time for the small stuff. If somebody shoots somebody else we've got to have the resources available to respond. This has to take priority over mere theft.”
The change was directed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “When you get right down to it, what is a burglary but an ad hoc redistribution of property,” the Mayor contended. “Whether these types of redistributions should be routinely condemned as we have been doing is a complex issue. In any case, I don't think we can justify the expense of sending a 911 response team. Adjudicating these disputes at a less hectic pace seems appropriate.”
Cases rejected for 911 response teams will be diverted to the Department’s Alternate Response Section. Victims will be offered the opportunity to relay information by phone so a case file can be created. Victims who recover any of their stolen property are asked to notify the Alternate Response Section so these files may be closed out.
Economist Admits Deficits Pose Long Term Problem, Suggests Remedies
While Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has been arguing that now is not the time for us to be worrying about the federal government's debt, he does admit that a long term solution is necessary.
“In the short run we can always inflate the currency as a means of defaulting on federal obligations,” Krugman said. “But in the long term there are significant demographic problems that require a real solution.”
One of the significant demographic problems cited by Krugman was the aging population. “As people get older they tend to need more medical services,” Krugman recounted. “With our advanced technology these services can be expensive. The question is whether we, as a society, want to invest in life-saving interventions for those too old to be productive contributors to the nation's wealth. Some means of easing them out of the equation is needed. Inexpensive palliative care or assisted suicide for those in this classification may be our best option.”
Another significant demographic problem is the insufficient number of wealthy who can be taxed. “The big money in our society is held by the huge cohort of the middle class,” Krugman pointed out. “I know that it is politically popular to talk about taxing the rich, but there just isn't enough money there. We'll have to hit the middle class with a hefty tax hike to get at the bulk of the wealth held by private parties in this country. Most of these people have far more possessions than they need. Siphoning off a chuck of their money via a national sales tax or value-added tax is probably the easiest way to accomplish this.”
Over 8 Million Leave Labor Force under Obama
In what the Obama Administration is characterizing as a “great surge in human freedom,” it was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that there are 8.5 million fewer people in the labor force than when Obama took office in January of 2009.
“The Great Emancipator himself only freed 4 million slaves,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Without the bloodshed of a civil war, President Obama has enabled more than twice as many to escape from the drudgery of having to work for a living.”
Carney boasted that “those in the GOP who try to cast this achievement as a negative development are misconstruing how the average American sees what this President has done for them.”