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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: August 1, 2021 Edition

Biden Explains Fluctuating Truths About COVID

President Biden lashed out at Fox News reporter Peter Doocy for pointing out that his Administration's new mask guidelines contradict his assertion from two months ago that "if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask."

"At the time that was the truth," Biden insisted. "But when conditions change, the truth also changes. The experts' view was that by posing the choice of either getting the shot and be free to live normally or refusing to get the shot and have to abide by other restrictions that vaccine hesitancy would subside. That didn't happen. False reports that some vaccinated folks were experiencing deadly reactions to the shots and others were still catching COVID despite being fully vaccinated slowed the march toward complete compliance."

"Given the decline in COVID fatalities and the doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccines we needed a new strategy if we're going to reach the 100% vaccination level," the President explained. "By requiring the vaccinated to submit to the same restrictions as the unvaccinated we are hoping to increase the social pressure on the hesitators. This is the new truth for now. If this doesn't work, we can always shift to the irresistible truth of a specific order that everyone must be vaccinated if they wish to venture outside their homes."

The first salvo in the effort to compel everyone to submit is the President's decree that all federal employees except postal workers must get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID tests in order to keep their jobs. "The beauty of this plan is that the 'tests' present us with the opportunity to covertly try out a non-injected version of the vaccine," Biden said. "One way or another we are determined that every American be vaccinated."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) hailed the President's determination to get everyone vaccinated, calling it "courageous. When people won't do the right thing of their own free will it is the obligation of government to make them do it. I hope his stellar demonstration of grit will inspire corporations to require employees to take the shot if they want to keep their jobs."

In related news, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that White House coronavirus briefings will be discontinued. NBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell wondered why. Jean-Pierre explained that "events are moving so fast that the answers we give today could be out-dated by tomorrow. When there is a need for updates they will be provided by the President."

O'Donnell objected, saying "he's not a scientist." "Maybe not, but he is the person voters elected to determine what the people need to know," the Deputy Press Secretary replied. "In our democracy his mandate is far broader than that of any scientist. It is more efficient to let him decide than to allow reporters to query the lesser persons who serve him."

Senator Booed for Mentioning Deficit

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va) was booed by fellow Democrats at a caucus luncheon for expressing concern that the Party's proposed $3.5 trillion "infrastructure" spending bill "would impose a heavy burden on the economy and future generations."

Rep. Alendria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) characterized Manchin's concern as "nonsensical and unpatriotic. The government has the power to create as much money as it wants. Nominally, expenses not covered by current tax revenue are covered by borrowing. His lamentation that the sums borrowed can never be repaid misses the point. Who buys the Treasury bonds that make up the debt? Rich people and rich corporations. There is no moral imperative for them to be repaid."

"In fact, unpaid deficits are an easier way to confiscate undeserved wealth than enacting higher taxes," the Congresswoman argued. "Tax legislation can be lobbied against or filibustered. Bonds represent wealth that has been voluntarily handed over to the government. Those who anticipated using this debt to further enrich themselves on the backs of the working class will be the authors of their own expropriation. It may not be as dramatic as the 'hanging of the capitalists with the rope they sold us' that Lenin envisioned, but it will be more efficient."

In related news, Vice-President Harris' plan on how to deal with the immigration crisis was unveiled this week. According to her, "the root cause of the persistent desire to emigrate to the United States is the great disparity of wealth between the United States and the places these people are coming from. Eliminating this disparity is the only sure way to deter them from coming. President Biden has already taken significant steps toward making this happen. He's increased regulations that will curb business investment in this country. He's proposed tax reforms that will decrease the incentive to earn money. He's backed spending programs that promise to seriously undermine the value of our dollar. The one thing we haven't yet done is to adequately communicate these initiatives to those who mistakenly still see the United States as a land of opportunity. I aim to make it my mission to persuade those seeking economic opportunity that their dreams are no longer achievable here."

Psaki Touts Free Speech Workaround

Presidential Press Secretary Jen Psaki boasted that "due to an evolution in 'outside-the-box' thinking that has energized the Biden Administration, the problem of unpatriotic dissemination of false narratives has been solved."

"A key breakthrough was achieved when Attorney General Merrick Garland pointed out that the prohibition against government censorship in the Constitution applies only to Congress," she said. "Specifically, it says Congress shall pass no law abridging freedom of speech. There is no prohibition against the President doing this by executive order. Neither does it bar private corporations from censoring anyone it wants to censor."

"Luckily, the major social media corporations are eager to assist the President in stamping out disunifying memes that customers attempt to post on their platforms," Psaki observed. "Thus far, they've been censoring undesirable ideas out of ideological solidarity with the progressive vision for America. It's time we adopt a more organized approach. So, I'm pleased to announce that we will be meeting regularly with our corporate allies to ensure that a uniform message is promulgated on all platforms. We will determine what that message will be. They will implement it on their platforms."

"A best-case scenario is that unapproved ideas will be intercepted within seconds of being posted," the Press Secretary predicted. "Individuals guilty of wrong thinking will be identified and reeducated if possible. Recalcitrant offenders who cannot be reeducated can be removed from normal society and placed in work battalions where they can make a more meaningful contribution through hard labor and the President's promise to 'build back better' can be realized."

Not everyone is pleased by this innovation in censorship. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) has introduced legislation that would require technology companies to disclose any U.S. or foreign government requests or recommendations regarding content alteration or deletion. "While this bill alone will not change the poisonous role that Big Tech and social media corporations are playing in our national politics, public debate of the sinister collaboration is a valuable step toward alerting citizens about the tyrannical impact it will have, he said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) guaranteed "there will be no debate in the House on this bill." Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) seconded her stance and assured that "we will not be taking this issue up in the Senate." And Psaki dismissed Rubio's effort, calling it "pointless. No bill will be passed. Even if it were the President will veto it."

In related news, the Biden Administration has returned 27 refugees who escaped communist tyranny in Cuba. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas justified this reversal of longstanding US policy, saying that "previous administrations overlooked the fact that Cuban refugees have pretty consistently been among the most anti-progressive people on Earth. Cuba is the kind of egalitarian society that sets a model for the rest of the countries of the world. They have free education, free health care, and marvelously preserved and maintained vintage 1950s automobiles. There is no good reason for people to think they need to escape from such a paradise. There is no good reason why we should allow these malcontents to undermine our unity."

DOJ Warns Against Election Audits

Concerned that election audits in the states "pose a threat to the hard-won unity that the Biden Administration has brought to this country," the US Department of Justice is warning states that "enough is enough" and that "serious consequences may ensue if these unprecedented efforts are allowed to continue."

Attorney General Merrick Garland questioned the utility of audits. "Once the results are certified the outcome is effectively 'set in stone.'" he maintained. "As an example, suppose a post-game review of video of a baseball game shows that a bad call, use of illegal equipment, or cheating resulted in the wrong team being declared the winner. They don't reverse to outcome. They realize that mistakes and cheating are part of the game. Remember, the Houston Astros employed an illegal scheme to steal signs and eventually went on to win the World Series. They weren't stripped of their ill-gotten championship. We need to be as mature and realistic as professional sports and recognize that what's done is done and rally behind President Biden as our leader."

Garland also dismissed the argument that the numerous questions raised about the 2020 election procedures warrant discarding the emergency protocols used. "Hey, more ballots were cast in this election than ever before," he pointed out. "That in itself is a triumph worthy of celebration. I see no need to restore or enact so-called election integrity laws. The whole idea of voter ID strikes me as a violation of the right to a secret ballot. And the notion that vote-by-mail ballots should be returned in the postage paid envelopes provided and not in unsecured boxes delivered by political activists is, in my view, systemically racist. Our system needs to be simplified. Voting is a human right, so there is no valid reason for rejecting any ballot no matter who casts it or delivers it. We will prosecute any state that falls short of this ideal."

Jan 6 Show Ttrial Begins

This week saw the opening testimony on the so-called "insurrection" attempted at the Capitol by Trump supporters convinced that the 2020 election was stolen. In defiance of the odds, all nine members of the "jury" turned out to be congresspersons who voted for Trump's impeachment earlier this year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) explained that "agreement that Trump instigated this worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War was an essential criteria for selecting who would hear the evidence and make the judgment of guilt required to heal the nation."

Similar scrutiny was applied to what evidence would and wouldn't be admitted. Some 14,000 hours of video of the event from a multitude of cameras and angles were barred by the Speaker who insisted that "the public is not qualified to view the raw video. It takes a well-trained eye and sharply focused mind to sift through all the seemingly contradictory and inconclusive footage to extract only the relevant content. This will ensure that misleading conclusions will not distract the committee members from doing their duty." In contrast, Rep. Paul Gossar (R-AZ) contends that "a full disclosure of this footage would exonerate a large number of the so-called insurrectionists."

Also off-limits was the comprehensive review of the events by the Capitol Police's inspector general. This review cited how poorly prepared and under-strength the forces guarding the Capitol were and advised a further inquiry into how this came about.

The testimony that has been allowed so far was a parade of weepy Capitol Police offices who recounted their abject fear of the unarmed "insurrectionists." Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Ok) thanking the as yet unidentified CP officer who shot Ashley Babbit "for saving my life. She was only half his size, but as an armed services veteran she might have known some deadly hand-to-hand combat techniques that would have rendered his gun ineffective. I hugged him for doing his duty."

Early reviews of the proceedings show mixed results. New York Times reporter Katie Benner says the testimony "shows these Capitol invaders are enemies of the state that must be harshly punished to deter others from objecting to the Biden governance." Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan was inspired to urge her colleagues to "forget about fair-minded coverage. There can be no doubt that the people that invaded the Capitol pose the most dangerous threat to democracy in our life times. We must be unified in our demand that they be found guilty and punished." The National Police Association declared the hearing "a politically motivated dog and pony show that has no intention of uncovering the truth of what really happened that day."

A Rasmussen poll of likely voters found that 49% support the hearings being run by Pelosi's committee. However, there is more support for a federal inquiry into riots that swept the country causing 27 deaths and an estimated $2 billion in property damage after George Floyd's death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of whites, 64% of blacks, 66% of Hispanics and 62% of other minorities think Congress should investigate these riots. The split by Party affiliation was Seventy-five percent (75%) of Republicans, 60% of Democrats and 63% of voters not affiliated with either major party in support of an investigation.

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