The complexities of the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) are now being hailed as a stimulant for the economy by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“The GOP has been trying to lampoon the Health Care law as a 'Rube Goldberg' contraption that boggles the mind,” Sebelius said. “Well, the joke's on them. It is the very complexity of the regulations that has opened up a need for hundreds of thousands of jobs for advisers to help patients navigate these regulations.”
“In the simplistic minds of the law's detractors, the decision to seek medical assistance is an uncomplicated one—a person feeling ill consults a physician,” Sebelius observed. “The new law has so confused a vast number of potential beneficiaries that professional guidance is now essential if one hopes to get the best result.”
The suggestion that Obamacare's extra layers of paperwork don't add any real value was mocked by the Secretary. “At a time of high unemployment giving people something to do is vital to restoring economic growth,” Sebelius argued. “What's more, these jobs are environment-friendly. In contrast, the jobs that would be generated by increasing access to fossil-based energy supplies by expanding oil drilling or constructing the Keystone Pipeline would tend to lower fuel costs and encourage more driving and air pollution.”
City Defends Hiring Non-Swimming Minorities as Lifeguards
While taking some flak for doing so, City of Phoenix officials are standing by their decision to accept non-swimming minorities as pool lifeguards.
“The problem with requiring swimming proficiency as a condition of employment is that minorities would be under-represented among those we hire,” City Parks and Recreation Administrator Alfredo Zote. “The Mayor has asked us to strive for a workforce that mirrors the composition of the City's population. We can't do that if we impose qualifications that have a disproportionate impact on any racial or ethnic groups.”
As to whether the ability to swim might not be a crucial skill in the performance of the job, Zote demurred. “Few of the annual drownings that occur in our state are at public pools,” he pointed out. “And we can team the non-swimming minority hire with a strong-swimming white hiree. That way the non-swimmer can help spot a potential drowning victim and direct the swimmer to rescue him.”
While Zote acknowledged that he had no idea on whether the new policy would have any negative consequences for the safety of visitors to any of the City's 23 public pools he did ask that “critics balance any undesired outcomes at the pools with the social gains of our minority hiring policy. Providing employment for disfavored groups is not without its benefits. Whether their gains in self-esteem outweigh losses in terms of injury or fatalities at our sites is, in my opinion, a judgment call.”
$400,000 Study of Duck Genitalia Defended
The citation of $400,000 of taxpayer dollars being spent on a study of duck genitalia as an example of waste was assailed by National Science Foundation spokeswoman Deborah Wing.
“I would say that the poll showing nearly 90% of respondents disapproving of this kind of outlay by the federal government bolsters my confidence that we are on the right track in our funding decisions,” Wing contended. “To the average person, this looks like a poor use of money. This is why expert opinion must overrule an uninformed general public.”
“Lost in the rush to ridicule how federal funds are disbursed are the incredibly intriguing findings of studies like this,” Wing explained. “I mean, how many of these critics were aware that duck penises are cork-screw shaped—a piece of information that might never have come to light without this study? The future value of such information is incalculable. We must never permit the quest for knowledge to be stifled by the short-sighted selfishness of taxpayers and their advocates.”
President Complains of Constitutional Constraints
In a speech at a Democratic fund-raising event President Obama told the audience that “the good I can accomplish is limited by Constitutional constraints,” and emphasized the importance of “overcoming these constraints by electing more Democrats to Congress.”
“Just imagined what we could get done if Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) were once again the Speaker of the House,” Obama urged. “Instead of having Republicans blocking my initiatives with objections that the cost is too great we'd have the votes needed to ensure that vital new programs would get through.”
In support of his argument, the President recalled that “the Affordable Health Care Act would never have gotten passed if we hadn't had Democratic control of both Houses of Congress. It was only the courage and faith of then-Speaker Pelosi's determination to press ahead even though no one had time to read the legislation that made the enactment of Obamacare possible. We need to recreate those salutary conditions.”
For her part, Pelosi pledged, if given another chance, to “remove the impediments to the brighter future President Obama is trying to bring to America. What this country needs is a broad 'enabling act' that would give the President the unconstrained authority to move forward despite possible future Congressional opposition. If we had passed such an act before we lost our majority the President could now bypass GOP obstruction and institute the transformation he promised and voters elected him to accomplish.”
Legislator Laments Uproar over Bill to Restrict Gun Ownership
State Representative Beth McCann (D-Denver) expressed disappointment over having to withdraw her bill aimed at preventing “dangerous persons” from legally acquiring firearms. Under the proposed bill, the names of persons determined to be unworthy of owning firearms could have been confidentially entered onto a national registry and thereby blocking them from purchasing these weapons.
“The beauty of my proposal is that the doctors, nurses, and counselors blacklisting these threats would be protected from potential retaliation for doing what they felt was necessary for public safety,” McCann boasted. “The nuts that would've been systematically barred from ever obtaining a gun would've never known why.”
McCann maintains that “the desire to own a gun is, by itself, a likely marker for mental illness. In a sane world, the mere act of attempting to purchase a gun would be sufficient evidence to deny a person access to it.” In the Representative's “sane world” the government would own all firearms and only authorized personnel would be permitted to carry these weapons.
In related news, US Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo) rebutted contentions that citizens need the right to bear arms for self-defense. “The average person isn't competent to use firearms to defend himself,” DeGette insisted. “The professional criminal is likely far more skilled. Crime victims are better off relying on the mercy an assailant is more likely to show if they don't resist. Also, if police show up while the crime is still in progress their task will be simpler—just shoot the one with the gun.”
White House Complains “Drudge Is Muddling Our Message”
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer complained that the Drudge Report (a prominent website for news headlines) is “hurting our message.”
“If it were only Drudge we had to contend with we'd be okay,” Pfeiffer said. “The problem is other media are picking up his content and demanding to know our response. This flies in the face of the protocol we have striven to establish. We feel that the media should be getting their main thrust from us. They should not be badgering the Administration with notions originating from outside.”
Thus far, Pfeiffer's approach toward combating this threat has been to seek to intimidate media representatives who cite Drudge as a source for questions they raise. “My first effort is to establish that mere mention of this discredited source is a reason for reporters to be embarrassed,” Pfeiffer bragged. “If this is insufficient to bring them into line, my suggestion that they may be cut off from participating in our future briefings if they don't behave themselves usually does the trick.”
“In a perfect world irksome intrusions from pests like Drudge wouldn't exist,” Pfeiffer added. “Getting from here to there, though, is likely to take some effort. For the time being we are going to have to swat them down whenever they rear their ugly heads. This doesn't mean we aren't seeking a more permanent solution.”
UN Calls for Disarming those 55 Years and Older
The recently passed UN Global Arms Trade Treaty contains a provision that would ban those over 55 years old from owning guns.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon explained that “most crimes are committed by gun-wielding assailants who generally are younger than their victims. If we allow those who are near the end of their lives to use guns to kill these younger assailants the human race will be losing more 'life-years,' on balance. Therefore, it is better that these elderly victims not be given the means to resist even if that means they will be slain by their attackers.”