John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

More About: Government

SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: June 3, 2018 Edition

"Devastating" Federal Payroll Cut

News that the Trump Administration has eliminated 24,000 federal government jobs was described as "devastating" by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). The cut amounts to less than 1% of the total federal government workforce.

"Taking a 'meat axe' approach is destroying the finely tuned machine that kept America humming during the eight years President Obama ran the country. Federal workers are the employees who make the rules that tell everyone else what to do. The loss of so many vital cogs in the machinery of government will no doubt lead to widespread confusion and chaos."

"Not only will the nation suffer from Trump's ignorance of how the country works, but the human cost to these hard-working public servants will be severe," she added. "Unlike the skills needed to thrive in the private sector, the skills of crafting regulations and processing forms are not easily transferable. I wouldn't be surprised to see thousands of those cut from the federal payroll end up homeless, depressed and drunk...or worse. In the absence of sensible gun control laws how many of these unfortunates will go on killing sprees?"

The former Speaker called on state and local governments "to take up the slack. Thankfully, at the same time Trump has been cutting jobs, states have added 2,000 and local governments 6,000 new positions. This is an encouraging start, but we will need to see at least a tripling of this effort just to break even."

Meanwhile, in the private sector, the number of employed Americans has set a new high—the 9th such since Trump's assumption of the presidency. The number of employed men and women set new record highs. Unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics also hit record lows. Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of respondents now say that the economy is strong—a finding that long-time Democratic pollster John Zogby called "a bad omen for our Party in the upcoming November election."

In related news, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev) charged that the Trump-designed and Republican-passed tax cut has "unfairly rigged the upcoming Nevada senatorial election against me." Her complaint relates to the increased take home pay her campaign staff has experienced since the new tax law went into effect. "The extra $400 a month my campaign manager is getting is sapping his enthusiasm and diluting my message to Nevada voters." Rosen demanded that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller "add this latest example of collusion between Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress to interfere in the next election to the list of crimes he is investigating."

2020 Dem Hopeful Slams Trump's "Immoral" Policies

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) sought to take an early lead for her Party's 2020 presidential nomination by assailing President Trump's "immoral" policies. Two specific areas that sparked her anger were Trump's "cruel insistence on blocking the free migration of people across man-made borders" and his "insane refusal to abolish the weapons of war."

"People have just as much right as birds do to migrate to places where they have a better chance of surviving and propagating," Harris argued. "Trump's wall and ICE goons seek to bar humans from enjoying this basic right. The contention that birds fend for themselves while many of the human migrants end up on public assistance does not strike me as sufficient reason to discriminate. I mean, birds have defecated on my car. No immigrant has ever done this. I think we need to move past the notion of nations and erase the artificial lines that separate us from the rest of the world. This is what President Obama tried to do. I will put us back on that road toward a more harmonious future."

"Once we abolish our borders there will be no more need for weapons of war," Harris continued. "If anyone who wants to come here can there will be no need for any nation to attack us. We won't need to spend billions on armaments every year. The money we save could then be used to provide a more comfortable life for all the immigrants who want to come to America for that very reason."

Meanwhile, expected presidential rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-NY) said she is looking to China "for inspiration on how a country should be governed. At the cost of just a couple of generations of oppression the Communist government now has that country on track to overtake the United States in terms of economic and political power. I think emulating this model is what President Obama had in mind when he promised to transform America. I would be proud to be selected as the person to complete the transformation and cement his legacy for all time."

Google Says California GOP Are Nazis

The algorithms that Google uses to filter out "fake news" and ensure that its readers get the straight story ended up labeling the California Republican Party's ideology as "Nazism" in its "search results." This timely smear comes just a week ahead of the state's primary elections next Tuesday.

Google CEO Pichai Sundararajan (alias: Sundar Pichai) explained the seeming "snafu" as "a logical end point for the algorithms we coded into our search engine. Historically, the ideologies of Nazism and Communism have been the most vociferous opponents of one another. Since the platform of the California Democratic Party is fundamentally indistinguishable from communism and the Republicans are adamantly opposed to this platform our software deduced that they must be akin to Nazis."

Google has manually edited their search engine to remove the Nazism tag on the Republicans, but Sundararajan could not guarantee the fix would prevent similar outcomes going forward. "We program a considerable amount of autonomy into our software," he pointed out. "It has, so to speak, a mind of its own. That mind tends to see things through a progressive prism, as do we in management. This seems right to us and preferable to a forced 'neutral' or 'balanced' perspective. We will not be bullied by those who demand neutrality or balance. They are free to use other search engines if they choose."

In other California news, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs has plans to pay a stipend of $1,000 to people most likely to shoot someone for each month that they refrain from pulling the trigger. It won't be a giveaway for just anyone claiming they have murderous impulses. Tubbs insists that "to be eligible you have to have credible bonafides." These are expected to include prior incarcerations for violent episodes or sufficiently corroborative arrest records.

NY AG Criticizes Trump's Pardons

New York interim Attorney General Barbara Underwood took issue with President Trump's recent pardons, saying they "are undermining the rule of law."

Underwood was particularly aggrieved by Trump's pardon of conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was sent to prison for a 2012 illegal campaign contribution. "The fact that Mr. D'Souza was the only person to actually have to spend time in jail for this type of offense was an important example to others who might be tempted to break this law," she said. "The lengthy list of those who got away with paying fines made it even more important that the stain of a prison sentence remain on his permanent record."

"Besides, it wasn't as if D'Souza was some bit player," Underwood pointed out. "He's made a couple of high-profile movies defaming both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. The need for former US Attorney General Eric Holder to make a stark example of him was imperative. People who trash high-ranking members of the government must answer for their crimes."

She also found fault with Trump's pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Scooter Libby. "Arpaio took it upon himself to enforce a federal immigration law that neither President Obama nor the federal courts wanted enforced," she complained. "It is the president's prerogative to decide which laws will be enforced. To allow any other law enforcement officer to interfere is a formula for anarchy. And Libby was an aide to the loathsome Dick Chenney. If the lackey of such a villain is pardoned the door to tyranny is left wide open."

Disgraced sexual assaulter, former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, sent a letter to the state legislature urging them to close a loophole in the state's double jeopardy law that allows the US President to pardon persons convicted of federal crimes despite the wishes of the NY Attorney General. "We mustn't permit the federal government to run roughshod over states' rights," he wrote. "It is essential that every state have the power to protect itself from dangerous anti-government agitators like D'Souza."

Obama Says "Right to Try" Bill a "Costly Mistake"

This week President Trump signed the "Right to Try" bill recently passed by Congress. The new law will allow desperately ill patients to employ therapies not yet approved by the FDA. Trump called the bill "a decent and humane option to the current policy that allows patients no option until the glacial pace of the FDA has run its full course. Many have died waiting. This will give them a chance to act at their own risk to try to avert dying."

Former President Obama predicted "this legislation is a costly mistake. Patients aren't qualified to assess the risks. Neither are their doctors who have the narrow focus of keeping these individuals alive no matter the cost. Not everyone can be saved. Rather than allowing individuals to grasp at straws we have a system that dispassionately analyzes the risks and rewards on a collective basis. The private resources that are squandered to save the few could be better deployed to the benefit of the many if we allow for a greater government role, as my Affordable Care Act put in place."

"Offering palliative care to the terminally ill is the progressive solution that puts the well-being of the many ahead of the search for improbable cures for the few," Obama argued. "Government needs to have the courage to tell these sick individuals that the struggle simply isn't worth it. We should be generous with pain relief and end-of-life assistance, but we should conserve scarce resources for the growing cohort of immigrants that are making up for the birth shortage among native born Americans. That is the greater good for the greater number."

Former Watergate Prosecutor: "Mueller Has Good Obstruction Case"

Former Assistant Watergate special prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks contends that "Trump's repeated public assertions of innocence, by themselves, constitute a clear intent to obstruct the investigation being carried out by Special Prosecutor Mueller. When you add his characterization of the investigation as a 'witch hunt' I think we have a 'slam dunk' case of attempted intimidation and Mueller should proceed to an indictment of the President without even interviewing him."

Wine-Banks also cited Trump's tweets lamenting his appointment of Jeff Session as Attorney General as "further evidence of improper intervention in the process aimed at removing him from office. Sessions has quite wisely opted to step out of the way of the semi-truck barreling toward his boss' ultimate impeachment. Letting the FBI complete the operation it began in the Spring of 2016 shows that the AG is loyal to the law enforcement process and may save his hide when Trump goes down."

Wine-Banks defended the FBI's refusal to turn over documents that could be exculpatory, saying "when you're running a long-term sting operation secrecy is paramount. The law explicitly allows law enforcement to lie to suspects in order to entrap them into making a mistake that can be used against them. Many murderers and rapists are behind bars as a result of such stratagems. Why shouldn't they be used against a man whose policies could cause the deaths of millions?"

Meanwhile, in a bid to "heal the damage done by the Trump Administration," his unsuccessful presidential opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed a "compromise that would restore the country to good governance. If the Special Prosecutor negates the November 2016 election and unseats Trump, I will pardon him for any and all crimes he may have committed. Such a blanket absolution would get him out of jail while simultaneously correcting an errant election result."

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