John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, August 25, 2013 Edition

President Justifies Usurpations

The rising tide of extralegal Presidential edicts bypassing Congress was justified by Obama himself in remarks during a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo.

According to the President, “most Republicans tell me privately that they'd like to support me, but are afraid of retaliation from Tea Party primary challenges or being lambasted by right-wing talk shows. They're grateful that I'm taking the 'hot potatoes' out of their hands with these Executive Orders.”

In illustration of his case, Obama pointed to his Executive Order authorizing subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs to offset the higher health insurance costs of the Affordable Care Act. “Their inadvertent neglect to exempt themselves from the mandates of the Act put them in the same boat as private individuals vis a vis the requirement to purchase compliant coverage,” Obama said. “It was their own fault. I could've just sat by and let them take their lumps. That's what a strict observance of the law would've required. My willingness to go outside the narrow confines of the law saved them from the pain of having to pay more without them having to face the embarrassment of explicitly amending the Act to save themselves.”

Congress has two core responsibilities,” the President maintained. “One is to pass the legislation needed to promote the general welfare. The other is to provide the money the Government needs. When Congress fails to carry out these responsibilities it is up to me to bridge the gap.”

There is a solid majority on both sides of the aisle for getting things done,” the President continued. “We could let ourselves be stymied by archaic limitations or we can adapt modern methods for meeting the needs of governing in a changing world. Thankfully, the consensus favors a dynamic and flexible approach.”

In related news, Obama deflected criticism of NSA spying on citizens. “Let me assure everyone that the Government is not listening to your emails or reading your phone conversations,” Obama asserted. “The claim that we would or even could do such a thing is an absurdity that raises questions about the mental health of those who make the accusations.”

Meanwhile, the NSA's campaign of intimidation against Dan McCall continues. McCall's website lampooned the NSA as “the only part of government that actually listens to the people.” NSA Director, General Keith Alexander, defended the intimidation saying that “the important work we do deserves the respect and support of every American. Mockery merits repercussions.”

Axelrod Says Talk of Impeachment “Dangerous and Disloyal”

Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn's suggestion that President Obama may be “perilously close to impeachment” elicited a harsh rebuke from Obama adviser David Axelrod.

Senator Coburn calls himself a friend of the President, but then stabs him in the back like some sort of latter day Brutus,” Axelrod complained. “His remarks are way out of bounds. They are dangerous and disloyal.”

Axelrod mocked Coburn's credentials for criticizing the President. “What does an obstetrician know about the law?” he sarcastically wondered. “Every move the President has made has the full support of the nation's top lawyer, Attorney General Eric Holder. The Senator would be wise to back off to a safe distance. The President will make full use of all the powers at his disposal to sterilize the 'virus' infecting our politics and undermining his authority. It would be a shame if any of his 'friends' became collateral damage.”

Axelrod cited news that the First Family bought a new puppy in furtherance of his argument. The puppy, like their other pet, is a Portuguese Water Dog. “Is the purchase of a puppy the kind of thing a tyrant would do?” Axelrod asked. “We think that the American people will agree that a man who lays out $2,000 to give an animal a home evinces the type of benevolence and good will they want in a leader. We are confident that this rebuts the negative impressions the President's detractors are trying to foist on the general public.”

President's Promise on Health Care “Null and Void”

One of President Obama's pitches in promoting his Affordable Care Act was the promise that those who were happy with their current coverage could keep it. The statute, however, requires those whose policies are deemed non-compliant to switch to more comprehensive and expensive plans beginning January 1, 2014. Most affected will be healthy people currently enrolled in high-deductible plans.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explains that “in our view, high-deductible policies are inadequate for several reasons. The major flaw in the premise of such policies is that the individual is competent to assess his own health. Doctors are the experts in assessing people's health. We need to move toward a system that shifts the decisions away from untrained individuals and into the hands of trained professionals.”

A second deficiency of letting individuals choose the amount of coverage they pay for is that most will be too focused on their own needs,” Sebelius contended. “It allows healthy people to escape their fair share of the burden of paying for the insurance of their more sickly fellow citizens. It's all very well for such a person to smugly say he doesn't engage in risky behaviors and, therefore, doesn't need expensive insurance. But who will take care of his peers who do? Who will pay for the abortions, rehabs, surgeries, and the like that are needed by those with less self-discipline?”

The genius of the Affordable Care Act is that it overturns selfish 'rugged individualism' with compassionate collective responsibility,” Sebelius boasted. “It makes America into one big happy family where everyone is harnessed to a common goal of promoting the general welfare. A disgruntled few may chafe under this new responsibility, but like wayward children they will be taught to love and care for their brothers and sisters.”

Congressman Proposes “Indenture Program” for College Students

Distressed by the high cost of college and the high unemployment of college graduates, Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) recommended “a major revision of how we educate people for the public good. I have heard so many stories of graduates facing crushing debt loads and no prospects of a job that I think it's time we remake the whole system.”

First of all, why should a student have to pay for college?” Rangel asked. “We don't make them pay for elementary or high school. If a college degree is needed for the role a person is to play in our society it is society's obligation to bear the cost of providing it.”

A second aspect of the problem is the inapt choice of what to study,” Rangel went on. “Why do we expect 18- year-olds to wisely choose the kinds of knowledge and skills that our society needs? Most of the 18-year-olds I know have no idea on what skills will get them jobs.”

What we need to do is have experts determine what types of education are needed and get capable students to study subjects that will prepare them to fill the jobs society needs done,” Rangel suggested. “Wiser heads would inventory the youth of the nation, send those deemed able to colleges to study appropriate courses, and assign graduates to fill posts for the good of the country.”

The Congressman said fitting this new idea into his annual effort to reinstate the military draft “would signify a seamless transition from our anarchic 'every man for himself' way of doing things to a more cohesive collective effort to do what's best for the whole. If those who aren't college material can be drafted into the Army and assigned to defend the nation, why can't those who are suited to college be drafted for other positions that would best serve our national interest?”

Candidate Promises Bigger Condoms

New York City mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn called the City's current free condom giveaway program “pitifully inadequate” and pledged to increase the size of condoms if she is elected.

Quinn contended that “the condoms the City is providing are too small and flimsy for African-American gay men. The size of the appendages and the narrowness of the orifices that must be penetrated call for a more robust device. Asking these men to make do with the standard size condoms the City provides or, worse, to purchase extra-large, extra-strong versions out of their own pocket is a social injustice that must end.”

It isn't only gay African-American males who can expect to benefit from Quinn's triumph at the polls. She also promised to make “morning after” abortion pills available to 11-year-olds.

I can hardly imagine a situation more frightening than being 11 and pregnant,” Quinn imagined. “You can't go to your parents without getting bawled out or grounded. Safeguarding girls from such a horrifying dilemma will be a top priority of my administration.”

Unsurprisingly, polls show that Quinn has moved ahead of former Congressman Anthony Weiner whose “free pics of his dick” offer has sagged after an initial rise at the outset of the campaign.

911 Caller Sued for Deputy's Injuries

A Texas woman is being sued for injuries suffered by Harris County Deputy Sheriff Braden Pullen when he responded to her 911 call. The woman didn't injure the Deputy. The man who was assaulting her did.

It's not that we're unsympathetic to this woman's plight,” said Pullen's lawyer, Arnold Doltman. “But the fact of the matter is that she lured Deputy Pullen into a situation where he got shot. If she hadn't called my client would never have been harmed. She didn't explicitly say that her assailant was dangerous. There was too much screaming during her 911 call to clearly determine that. So, in our view she is liable for the Deputy's suffering.”

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia insisted that this lawsuit shouldn't deter others from calling 911. “Citizens are entitled to help in emergencies, but we've got to balance this against the risk to our officers,” Garcia declared. “Ultimately, the woman's assailant was subdued by our officers. Her picking up the tab for Pullen's injuries seems like the least she could do.”


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