John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: June 2, 2019 Edition

Dem Signals Support for Secret Police

Alarmed by the Department of Justice probe into the intelligence community's spying on the Trump campaign and presidency, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif) urged Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats "to resist exposing our guardians to undue scrutiny."

"While Attorney General Barr's assertion that spying on a campaign is a 'big deal' may sway ignorant voters, it is out-of-step with modern day reality," Schiff contends. "Every advanced nation has used secret police to protect itself from outside threats. This is the normal way of doing business. For Barr to go on a spree of declassification is an unparalleled deviation from this norm."

"Since World War II we have trusted our government to do what's best for America," Schiff said. "To turn away from this record of success just because one candidate may have been inadvertently harmed wrongly elevates electoral fairness over national survival. Surely, the sacrifice of one person's opportunity to be president is the lesser evil, especially considering that the only so-called 'downside' would've been the election and governance of a candidate that was the most qualified to be president in our nation's history."

Schiff's position was quickly endorsed by former CIA Director John Brennan who cited "our extensive cooperation with our country's long-term ally—the same one we fought side-by-side with to defeat the Nazis—to try to prevent Trump from seizing power. The true tragedy is that we have not yet been unsuccessful."

In related news, one of The View's on-air personalities, Meghan McCain, defended her call for Democrats to shoot President Trump, saying "it was only a hypothetical suggestion." She blamed her love of hunting "for my unfortunate choice of words" and reminded everyone that "Trump, himself, once said he could get away with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue in New York City without losing any votes. Likewise, I don't think I'm in any danger of losing any viewers for my suggestion."

Obama Meddling in Brazil's Politics

Miffed that his operation to thwart Trump's election and undermine his presidency has come unraveled, former President Obama tried to sway Brazil's voters to oppose President Jair Bolsonaro's loosening of gun controls by falsely stating that "in the United States anyone can buy firearms, including machine guns, at any time—even over the Internet—without having to get government approval beforehand. Don't let your president lead you down this same dangerous path."

Early indications that Bolsonaro's January directive seems to have reduced crimes committed with guns contradicts Obama's premise that keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens would improve public safety.

Undaunted by these data that he characterized as "just a blip on the radar," Obama argued that "whatever minor improvements that may come from arming good people, there can be no debate that crime could be virtually eradicated if all private ownership of weapons is outlawed. That is the policy that enabled countries like the Soviet Union and China to drive down crime rates so impressively."

Mueller Statement Violates ABA Rules

Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's statement this week that he "did not have confidence that the president did not commit a crime" violates Rule 3.8(f) of the American Bar Association's code of professional conduct. The rule states that "The prosecutor in a criminal case shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) excused this violation on the grounds that "special circumstances call for unprecedented actions. The 'innocent unless proven guilty' presumption may be a good approach in most cases, but prosecutors, especially Special Prosecutors, should have the discretion to go outside the boundaries, if, in their judgment, the situation warrants."

"Since President Trump has millions of supporters, heightening public condemnation of his behavior is essential if he is to be brought to justice," Nadler maintains. "Without a widespread vilification of his character that can drive down his approval in the polls there is no hope for impeaching him and removing him from office. Inasmuch as impeachment is a political process and not a judicial process, it seems to me that the ordinary procedures of political campaigns, which are hugely invested in vilification of one's political opponents, should apply, rather than the daintier procedures of the justice system."

Of course, heightening public condemnation of Trump is not the worst violation of the rules of justice by Mueller. When he was a DOJ attorney in Boston, Mueller ignored exculpatory evidence and allowed four men to languish in prison for years in order to "preserve a valuable FBI asset." That asset was the notorious, mass-murdering, Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, who was allegedly a confidential informant against fellow mobsters.

In related news, mega celebrity Cher was so incensed by Mueller's implication that Trump might be guilty of a crime for which there is no evidence, that she fantasized about Trump being gang-raped in prison. After her tasteless fantasy sparked some negative responses, Cher admitted that "I may have gone too far in my instinct to push for what I feel is best for Democrats and democracy."

Jill Promises to Rein-in Joe's "Grabby Hands"

Though former second lady Jill Biden has promised to keep a close rein on husband Joe's inappropriate touching and sniffing of women on the campaign trail, there was another incident this week involving a 10-year-old girl at a town hall in Houston hosted by the American Federation of Teachers.

Jill explained that "the batteries in the shock collar he now ears under his shirt had rundown from overuse. Without this needed reminder not to touch, Joe was being his usual touchy-feely self. I take full responsibility for not having a back-up power source in place. But let's not overlook the progress that he's made. Before we took countermeasures he likely would have had his hands on dozens in the weeks he's been campaigning. At worst, I'd say the problem is 90% solved, though Joe is puzzled that his neck has been hurting a lot recently."

"Judging from the size of the turnout he is getting it looks like he's down to groping only one person in the typical ten-person crowds he is drawing," Trump tweeted.

Court Decision on Abortion Praised & Assailed

The US Supreme Court's decision on an Indiana abortion law rankled Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen who found their ruling allowing the disposition of remains provision to stay in force "an affront," while praising their striking down of a provision prohibiting abortions to be undertaken for reasons of the race, sex, or disability of the child "a lucid expansion of Roe v. Wade framework."

"It is our position that a woman's right to abort an unwanted child is an unalienable right," Wen said. "This means that no subordinate unit of government has any authority to restrict it in any way. Suppose a mother already has a sufficient number of girls in her family and doesn't want another one. Suppose a woman has a drunken episode of sex with a black man and doesn't want a mulatto baby. Suppose medical tests indicate a high probability that her baby will be handicapped. These are all valid reasons for terminating a pregnancy and we're glad the court upheld them."

"However, as Justice Ginsburg pointed out in her dissenting opinion, allowing Indiana to require that aborted babies be interred or cremated conveys an unwarranted patina of humanity to what is more correctly considered medical waste," Wen complained. "The real purpose of this provision is to try to discourage women from enjoying her right to end her pregnancy by implying that the abortion she is entitled to have kills a human being. In several other states we have made great progress in rebuffing this false notion and have seen the enactment of laws that extend the allowable window of opportunity to terminate unwanted offspring to the moment of birth and even beyond. We will not sit idle and watch these gains be limited to any degree."

Candidate Wants to Free Youthful Criminals

Seeking to gain a foothold in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to sew up the young criminal vote by releasing more of them "on their own recognizance" while their cases are pending.

"In so many of these cases, the accused youths cannot make bail," de Blasio observed. "I thought, why not use the same catch-and-release approach that has worked so well for asylum seekers and let them go free as long as they promise to show up for trial. We will save the government the cost of housing these individuals and allow them to continue to reduce the overall population of criminals by preying upon each other—as it seems is their main activity when not behind bars."

A key part of his proposal is raising the age limit for release without bail to 19 years old. "This way youngsters eligible to vote will see that I am on their side," the Mayor explained. "This is a much bigger cohort than the release of the tiny number of wrongly convicted that Trump's ballyhooed prison reform legislation will ever achieve because it does not discriminate between those who are and aren't guilty. That's more votes for me. Then, once I am president, all will be treated equally."

Second Dem Dream Ticket May Emerge

With his fortunes fading, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke attempted to sell himself as a possible running mate to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg by boasting "I am a giant asshole." Though seasoned political observers are calling this "another gaffe in an unbroken chain of gaffes since his unsuccessful attempt to win a US Senate seat last year," sources close to the candidate are optimistic that "Mayor Pete will understand that Beto is proposing a mutually satisfying coupling between two ideological soul mates."

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