Decline in Shark Attacks Assailed
The latest report from the International Shark Attack File indicates that shark attacks on humans in 2018 declined by more than 20% from 2017 figures. Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History's shark research program Gavin Naylor called the decrease "unusual. It may be because there are fewer sharks or maybe humans are being more cautious."
US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) cited the decrease as "frightening evidence of the devastating impact of unchecked climate change. Warming waters are making sharks more lethargic and less capable of fulfilling their role as apex predators atop the food chain. Unless we eliminate fossil-based fuels this baleful trend will likely continue to disrupt the environmental balance."
Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield), author of a bill that would legalize post-birth abortions in the State of Virginia, apologized for overlooking the human threat to sharks in her companion bill to protect canker worms and gypsy moths from human efforts to exterminate them. "Just because these creatures destroy forests doesn't give us the right to practice genocide against them," Tran asserted. "Sharks do even less damage. Some would even argue that their consumption of humans is beneficial to the environment."
Tran promised to rework her bill to be "more inclusive in the protections offered to species whose only offense is disrespecting human preferences. For example, we have been waging decades of unlimited antibiotic warfare against bacteria in a callous disregard of their right to life. Well, now they will have a champion in me."
In related news, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va) explained his support for Tran's post-birth abortion bill, saying that "given the extreme stress put on the environment by human habitation it is imperative that we seize every opportunity to cull the human herd. Allowing mothers to terminate their own children strikes me as an appropriately humane way of both accomplishing this vital objective and securing the female vote for the Democratic Party's candidates." Northam's perspective may have been inspired by Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC's contribution of $2 million to aid his election in 2017.
Mexico Declares End to Drug War
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that his government will cease all operations against the drug cartels that essentially rule the border area south of the United States. The President justified this change in policy as pragmatism. "We are not endorsing the reign of terror carried out by these criminals," he said. "Our hope is to mitigate it by adopting a more realistic perspective."
"Since we lack the power to win this war it makes more sense to try to reach an accommodation," the President maintained. "Once the cartels are persuaded that the government will not interfere with their business operations it is hoped that their perceived need to murder government officials will wane."
"A more positive view of the cartels acknowledges the injection of cash into the Mexican economy resulting from their export of drugs and humans to El Norte," López suggested. "These high-profit margin businesses put little strain on Mexico's resources. In this respect, they are 'cash cows' bringing more wealth into the country. Rather than futilely trying to suppress these businesses it makes more economic sense to encourage the favorable balance of trade they generate."
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) hailed "the refreshing realism of President López" and contrasted it with "the foolishly stubborn opposition to this commerce by President Trump. Millions of Americans depend on the opiates these Mexican businesses produce and ship into this country. Without these drugs they would have to endure the pain of the Trump Administration in a fully conscious state. This is why I will never approve the kind of barrier to cross-border commerce that Trump demands."
To emphasize the compassion behind her stance, Pelosi pointed out that "in San Francisco there are now more drug addicts than there are high school students. Policies that would interdict the flow of drugs to this growing cohort of the community are fundamentally undemocratic. As their elected representative, it is my solemn obligation to fight for their interests."
California Restaurant Bars MAGA Hats
The Wursthall restaurant in San Mateo has declared that henceforth it will no longer serve customers who wear the infamous Trump "Make America Great Again" hats.
"These hats don't reflect our values," co-owner J. Kenji Lopez-Alt fulminated. "They conflict with the graceful adjustment to average status that President Obama tried to instill in our nation's population. The sentiment expressed by those wearing the hats is that America should strive to be greater than other countries. This selfish chauvinism rejects the placid adaptation to mediocrity that is key to world peace."
Lopez-Alt also sees a frightening parallel with Nazism in the hats. "Hitler deluded the German people with a similar promise to make Germany great again," he argued. "We all saw how that turned out. We need to learn from history, not repeat it. A small step toward avoiding a repetition of the horrors visited on Europe and the world by Hitler is by ostracizing Trump supporters from public spaces. Our ban is part of this process."
Warren Apologizes to Cherokees
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) sought to undo some early damage to her 2020 presidential bid by writing a fund-raising letter apologizing to the Cherokee Nation "for my years of attempting to characterize myself as a member of your tribe." In her defense she claimed to have "enjoyed dressing up as an Indian as a child" and contrasted that with "my peers who all sided with the white invaders and US Cavalry."
"I know that DNA-wise, I didn't score especially high as an Indian, but since the Cherokees don't regard DNA as the determining factor in tribal membership I don't really see why my self identification was out of line," she mused. "Haven't we all accepted the idea that a person can identify with any gender they want? Why can't we accept that I was a harbinger of this liberating meme when I identified as a Cherokee?"
The final paragraph of her letter warned that "I'm probably the closest any Cherokee will ever get to being elected president of the United States. After all, I'm the closest to a Cherokee Senator that your tribe will ever see. Let's bury the hatchet and make common cause against the whites by getting me into the White House."
Veep Scares Satan Worshippers
Lucien Greaves, co-founder and chief spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, expressed fear that Republican Vice-President Mike Pence's religious views unfairly favor good over evil. "Under our Constitution all religious views are protected from discriminatory laws and policies," Greaves asserted. "Yet, we see the Vice-President of the United States repeatedly speaking out against evil, which is the core tenet of our faith."
"Worse, antipathy to our faith receives routine support from the brainwashed majority of Americans," Greaves complained. "We are a minority in need of the protections from the hostility of the majority. We are pleased that the New York State legislature recognized a woman's legal right to sacrifice her child at the point of birth. But this fulfillment of our faith's most sacred rite is in danger of being overturned by the majority opposed to our unpopular beliefs. While we are confident that Democrats in Congress will prevent this, we are less confident that a Supreme Court packed with Trump appointees will. They may seek to restore the limits on third-trimester abortions included in the Roe v. Wade decision."
A ray of hope was provided by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif) vow that "Mr. Greaves can count on Democrats to continue to do the Lord's work. The people have rejected the straight-jacket that Pence and those like him want to impose to restrict their freedom to live by whatever values they choose for themselves. Government must not be used to favor good over evil against the will of the voters."
Trump Economy "Distortion" Bewailed
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest gains in wages under the Trump Administration's policies have been in private-sector employment, especially blue-collar workers. Last year, pay in the private sector rose 3% on average, but only 2.5% for white-collar management and professional employees. Gains were up by 4.2% for salespersons, 3.7% for production workers, 3.4% for transportation and utilities workers, and 4.1% for leisure and hospitality workers.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) contended that "this inequitable distortion from long-term trends rewarding college graduates is another black mark against the Trump regime. A society that fails to grant adequate compensation for earning a college degree encourages young people to eschew advanced education and settle for jobs where they will be forced to perform useful services if they expect to get a decent wage."
"Policies that reward deplorables at the expense of the educated classes are skewed toward benefiting those shown to support Trump in high percentages," Schumer lamented. "Meanwhile, the educated classes that staff the nonessential government agencies were forced into a paid vacation by the Trump government shutdown. The anxiety these dedicated employees had to suffer while on furlough was not adequately compensated by giving them back pay for the time they weren't working. This is but another item in the list of those crying out for the impeachment of the most disruptive individual to ever serve as president."
In related news, returning formally furloughed feds are reputedly suffering from paralyzing low morale. The contrast of not doing any work while they were at home vs. their more customary not doing any work at the office has induced a widespread sense of confusion and alienation. Said one, "you get used to hanging out at the office with your buds, surfing the Internet, taking long lunches, and going home early. It had its own rhythm. At home there was no structure. I could laze around all day, but had no comrades at hand to share it with. Life will never be the same."
Latino Group Sues Texas
A recent audit discovered that nearly 100,000 non-citizens are registered to vote in the State of Texas. In an attempt to forestall the State from purging the voter rolls of these ineligible voters, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has filed suit.
"The voters to be purged may not be citizens of the United States, but they are citizens somewhere in the world and residents of Texas," LULAC attorney Luis Vera observed. "They have a human right to participate in selecting those who govern them. Disenfranchising them, as the Texas authorities intend to do, diminishes them as human beings."
Vera castigated what he characterized as "racism pure and simple. Allowing whites to rule over Latinos just because they were born into American citizenship is manifestly unfair."
Kasich Purloins Comedian's Airline Seat
Former Ohio governor John Kasich (R) thwarted Alaska Airlines' efforts to reassign him to another seat by seizing the first class seat purchased by comedian Julie Klausner. Kasich was liable for seat reassignment because he had paid the lowest price.
Kasich defended his actions by asserting his entitlement "as a more important passenger. I think a former state governor, presidential candidate and newly hired CNN commentator has priority over a mere comedian. I made laws. I challenged Trump. I will be guiding CNN viewers toward the correct opinions and attitudes about public policy for the next few years. All Klausner has done and will do is tell a few jokes to a much smaller audience."
Klausner called her run in with Kasich "a potential goldmine of material for my future gigs. Many politicians are a-holes, but they usually don't display it so crassly in public. Given his boasted personal connections with the US Postal Service, I am a bit surprised he didn't have himself mailed to San Francisco. That would've saved him even more money."
Tax on Cisgendered Whites Proposed
Left-wing firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is proposing a new tax on poor whites who identify with the sex they were born with. The funds raised would be devoted to aiding non-white transgenders who, according to the Congresswoman, are denied similar privileges.
"I was recently reminded that as a female who identifies as female I am cisgendered," she admitted. "As such I enjoy privilege that others don't have. To atone for my transgression I've decided to sponsor a bill that would levy a tax on the most privileged cisgenders in our society—poor whites."
"The money raised could be used to fund gender reassignment surgeries, lawsuits against persons who neglect to use the preferred pronouns when speaking to or referring to transgenders, wardrobe expansions for individuals who are fluid-gendered and any other expense that may arise from being non-privileged," the Congresswoman said.