John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: January 21, 2018 Edition

Senator Calls Trump "Stalinesque"

This week, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Az) compared President Trump to notorious Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a speech he gave to fellow Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) in the Senate.

Durbin characterized his colleague's remarks as "moving and insightful. Considering that Trump is clearly a monster of prodigious magnitude, Jeff showed enormous courage speaking truth to power. Why, just the other day Trump used the s*** word to denigrate the governments that are so bad that they turn their citizens into refugees."

Klobuchar praised Flake's defense of the media as "a stellar effort in the battle against this country's worst president. Jeff is among the few Republicans willing to put Party aside for the greater good. We had hoped he could fill the shoes of his state's mortally ill senior Sen. John McCain, but sadly, the redneck voters in Arizona won't support his reelection."

After his speech Flake admitted that "Trump isn't anything like Stalin. Stalin had his enemies killed or imprisoned. Trump merely insults his with crude tweets and taunts. I evoked Stalin's name because I knew the media would be eager to cover my remarks if I did. And I was right. My audience's enthusiastic response assured me that I am on the right track and will get the kind of attention I so desperately need."

Arizona's Sen. McCain asserted "I'm proud of Jeff for taking such a bold stand against his own party. It's a path I have trod often to great media acclaim. When you have no significant legislative achievements to show for a 40-year career, being an outspoken critic of the GOP is a good substitute for garnering notoriety. I can see how my success inspired Jeff. Unfortunately, he didn't have the advantage of being a war hero to divert Republican voters from his unpopular attacks on a Republican president."

The media that Flake so passionately defended bristled at the "fake news" awards bestowed by President Trump on Wednesday. The editors of the Washington Post called the awards "disappointing. There weren't even plastic trophies—just a list of erroneous stories put out by various networks and newspapers." CNN's Jim Acosta complained that "focusing on only a top ten callously overlooks the thousands of other stories that we generated in our campaign against this madman. Whether a story is factually correct is not as important as whether it is politically correct. In that regard our record is unblemished."

Unsurprisingly, polls show that a majority of voters think the media are biased in their political coverage. More surprising is the admission by 45% of journalists that media coverage of Trump is biased.

Trump Passes Physical, Media Skeptical

This week President Donald Trump underwent a full physical exam carried out by Dr. Ronny Jackson. Unusually, the exam included a test of cognitive abilities. The Doctor, who pronounced his patient to be in good health, was then subjected to a barrage of questions, 80 in all, from the media. A few are shown below.

NBC News reporter Hallie Jackson wondered "isn't Mr. Trump is too fat to be president? I mean, he's no Obama. He doesn't shoot hoops. He looks fat to me. Doesn't he look fat to you?" "The tests we conducted were aimed to objectively measure important attributes related to health," Jackson said. "Regrettably, the data didn't address your essentially aesthetic concern."

ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl wanted to know "how can a guy who eats McDonald's and fried chicken be in good shape?" "It's called genetics," Jackson replied.

Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent for CNN, professed himself "unpersuaded that Trump's apparent fitness should prevent going forward with a 25th Amendment effort to remove him from office."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed Trump's physical as "irrelevant. The quack that examined him overlooked the obvious fact that he is insane—his behavior proves it. He is on the wrong side of every political issue. He naively believes that each individual is the best judge of what's in his own interests. He resists the essential truth that the collective whole of humanity is the relevant entity and that each person is merely a cell in this larger organism. It is crucial to this organism's survival that the cancer known as Donald Trump be excised."

Administration to Allow Doctors to Refuse to Perform Abortions

The Trump Administration is crafting new regulations that would reverse Obama Administration rules compelling doctors to perform abortions. The Department of Health and Human Services will establish a division of "conscience and religious freedom protections" within its Office for Civil Rights. Under the new rules, medical personnel could refuse to participate in procedures that violate their faith or conscience.

Adora Slaughter, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the reversal "a betrayal of the rights granted to women by the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision and actualized by President Obama's Affordable Care Act. A woman who wants to terminate her pregnancy should not be forced to find a doctor willing to carry out the procedure. All doctors are licensed by the state. The government has a right and an obligation to require them to perform every kind of medical procedure approved by the AMA. To say that a doctor or nurse can refuse supplants the socially determined judgment of the state with the idiosyncratic judgment of selfish individuals. It's a step backward toward barbarism."

"The right to terminate an unwanted child is the most fundamental civil right," Slaughter added. "That Health and Human Services would crush this right via an agency within the Office for Civil Rights stands justice on its head. It will condemn millions of women to unwanted motherhood—effectively reintroducing the involuntary servitude that was abolished by the Civil War and the Constitution's 13th Amendment."

In related news, the US House of Representatives passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by a vote of 241-183. The law would require doctors who perform an abortion in which the baby survives the procedure to render life-saving care to the infant. Every Republican voted for the bill. All but six Democrats voted against it.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), one of the "no" votes, explained his opposition saying, "I see no need for the government to intrude upon the sacred procedure of terminating an unwanted life. I think we should allow people the freedom to decide what to do rather than letting an emotional appeal on behalf of the survivors of a botched abortion to overwhelm the need to balance the interests of all affected parties. The simplistic idea that the surviving child could be adopted, and thus solve the problem, ignores the fact that the birth mother will be haunted by the knowledge that a person she tried to kill still lives somewhere. No woman should have to endure such torment."

Pair of California Dems Want to Confiscate Business Tax Cut

Assemblymen Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) are pushing a measure aimed at confiscating half of the business tax cuts resulting from the federal Tax Cuts & Jobs Act for use by the state government.

"Businesses have been exploiting the workers and ripping off customers for too long," Ting complained. "That Trump's tax cuts would now further reward them for their predatory behavior is unconscionable. Our measure would expropriate the expropriators and turn half of these unjust tax cuts over to the state for a more socially just redistribution."

Ting said he is not concerned that his proposed action might spark the departure of some businesses because "that will leave more room for the state to expand its role in directing the utilization of our vast natural resources. The notion that entrepreneurs are of any use at this stage of history is misguided. By eliminating this unnecessary class of parasites the state can more effectively deploy assets that are wrongfully controlled by private interests and achieve the more equitable distribution of wealth foreseen by the great Karl Marx."

The two men's proposed lurch toward a more intensified degree of socialism for the State of California is not out-of-step with current state policies and programs. Despite an abundance of natural advantages, according to the Census Bureau, the state now has the highest percentage of inhabitants living in poverty of any state in the nation. High taxes, crippling regulations, and overly generous welfare programs have produced an environment where nearly 20% of the population is now below the poverty line.

Ting denied that these statistics reflected poorly on the state's socially progressive governing philosophy. "If things were really so bad why would California be such a favored destination for immigrants?" he asked. "I would argue that the influx of these proletarian classes from south of the border affirms the correctness of our path and builds a strong political base for future advances along the same lines."

"Dreamers" Maybe Aren't So Dreamy

While Democrats are going all out to ensure that illegal aliens brought to the United States as children can stay and become citizens, it is not at all clear that they would make good citizens. The illegal executive action taken by former President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to unilaterally legalize these immigrants—sometimes called "dreamers"--is set to expire in March. Congressional Democrats are threatening to shut down the federal government if Republicans won't take action to prevent this.

The usual assertion is that these illegal immigrants are as American as their natural born peers. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) maintains that "taking young people who were brought here through no fault of their own, and have never known another country, and kicking them out of America is as dumb as it is counterproductive."

Well, maybe not. In Arizona, "dreamers" constitute an estimated 2% of the population. They also account for a disproportionately large 8% of the prison population. Illegal immigrants of all ages are 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other residents, but that figure rises to 250% among the 18-35 age group. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and are over-represented among convictions for murder, manslaughter, sexual assault and armed robbery.

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