IPFS John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: April 2, 2023 Edition

Dems to Bar Suspending Drunk Students

The California legislature's Education Committee unanimously approved a bill (AB 599) that will prohibit schools from suspending or expelling students who are drunk, high, or in possession of illicit drugs or alcohol on school grounds. The bill will now go to the full Assembly for a vote.

Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego), sponsor of the legislation, said "the idea that students must be sober to receive the free education our public schools provide has not been proven to be scientifically valid. The imposition of standards used in previous generations on the new generation of students is simply wrong."

Nora Lynn, associate director for the "Health of the Children Now" public policy organization, spoke in favor of AB 599, pointing out that "the disproportionate impacts of a punitive approach on youth of color exacerbates the evils done by our nation's long history of racism."

California Youth Empowerment Network (CAYEN) representative Danny Thirakul emphasized "the importance of using the youths' lived experience as a guide for public policies. In many schools a substantial portion of the student body is high at any given moment. If this is held to be grounds for punishment, what should we do when the same thing can be said of those who make and enforce our laws? Isn't it better to adjust to a new norm than to insist on punishments suited to a dying puritanical culture?"

Prosecutor's Discretion Fuels Crime Wave

In Washington DC homicides were up 19%, larceny up 27%, and motor vehicle theft up 108% since U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves took office. A possible contributing factor in this crime wave may have been Graves' refusal to prosecute 67% of the suspects the Metropolitan Police arrested during 2022.

Graves insists that "by being selective in the cases I pursue I am being efficient. By only moving forward with 'slam-dunk' and 'air tight' prosecutions I have saved the District the expense of going to trial and failing to get a conviction."

Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said "Graves' self-serving pursuit of favorable personal statistics is a serious threat to public safety. We don't arrest people unless there is significant evidence of guilt. Refusing to prosecute because there is a small chance for a 'not guilty' verdict ill-serves the general public. It's not the 'winning percentage' that is most important. It is the number of criminals put behind bars."

Garland Rejects 6th Amendment Duties

Under questioning by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Attorney General Merrick Garland denied that enforcing the Constitution's right to a "speedy and public trial" for those accused of crimes during the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol is his responsibility.

Clyde pointed out that "it's been more than two years since the alleged crimes occurred. Nearly two dozen of the accused have spent almost two years imprisoned. As the nation's top-ranking law-enforcement officer shouldn't you be doing more to protect these defendants' civil rights?"

"Look," Garland replied, "my job is to prosecute these dangerous insurrectionists. Making sure that they are properly punished is my solemn duty. So, doing it right is more important than doing it fast. If these incarcerated men think their rights are being violated it is their obligation to go to court to assert and defend what they consider to be their rights to a swifter procedure."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga) characterized Garland's actions as "a crime in itself. Not only has he dragged his feet in bringing these cases to a close, but many of the videos taken in the Capitol on that day that he's been concealing have shown, his prosecutors have suppressed exculpatory evidence. This pattern of obstruction of justice coming from the AG's office warrants an investigation and prosecution of its own."

Asked later about Rep. Greene's remarks, Garland chuckled and offered "some kind advice. Who would dare to investigate or prosecute me? I have the entire FBI at my command and allies at the IRS. I can beckon swarms of officers to harass and potentially prosecute anyone I want. I recommend that Greene and others of a similar bent think hard before launching a fight w ith me that they cannot win."

In related news, Assistant US Attorney Kelly Moran, one of Garland's prosecutors, admitted that Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) undercover officers acted as provocateurs at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but insisted that "since they were only following orders they and dozens of other officers are immune from prosecution for any damages resulting from their actions," that "video evidence showing them encouraging people to climb over barricades and enter the building is inadmissible," and as lawyers are wont to do, threw in an assertion that "the officers were simply exercising the freedom of speech guaranteed them under the First Amendment."

Bragg Refuses to Share Evidence

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) rejected a request from House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) that he share the evidence he used to persuade a NY grand jury to indict former President Donald Trump. Leslie Dubeck, general counsel for Bragg's office, explained that "all grand jury proceedings are secret. All the evidence needed to convict the defendant will be revealed at his trial. Spectators like members of Congress will see and hear that evidence during or after the trial."

Jordan found Dubeck's reply "unsatisfying. As we have seen in other politically motivated prosecutions carried out by Democrats, key exculpatory evidence has been withheld. This creates a suspicion that the evidence that will be presented at President Trump's trial might be similarly one-sided. It is the prosecution's legal obligation to share all the evidence it has uncovered regardless of whether it supports or rebuts its case."

Bragg called Jordan's attempt to gain access to the evidence "an effort to usurp my authority. As the duly elected District Attorney for Manhattan it is my prerogative to decide how to prosecute my case against Trump. I can assure you that I won't be bogged down by demands to include the kind of irrelevant details that folks like Mr. Jordan would like to raise in order to confuse the jurors who will decide if Trump should go to prison."

The DA went on to disingenuously claim that "keeping the details out of the hands of Congress is for the protection of the defendant's privacy. Ideally, if the whole trial were held in secret the defendant could be spared the indecent exposure of having the lurid details of his crimes become known to the general public. I'm doing my best to try to get as close to this ideal as I can in the current political climate."

Kerry Justifies Hypocritical Behavior

While flying around on private jets emits more greenhouse gases than traveling by any other means, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry defends the practice for himself and his fellow millionaires. "We are the planet's last hope for averting climate catastrophe," he argued. "There are so few of us heroes that the extra pollution we cause is tiny when compared with the massive amounts generated by ordinary people in their everyday travel for work or pleasure."

"With time swiftly running out for our planet it is essential that we use the fastest available methods for getting to our far flung climate summits at posh hotels and resorts scattered around the world," Kerry said. "Getting criticized for this is a stab in the back from the people we're trying to save. I guess I'm supposed to forgive them for their ignorant jealousy, but I, for one, resent it. By the time they realize what I've done for them I'll probably be dead."

"Practically speaking, if we are to have a chance of saving the planet we need big reductions in carbon emissions," Kerry asserted. "To achieve this, the billions of people who each make small individual contributions to harmful emissions is where meaningful sacrifices must be made. Getting them to give up personal automobiles, consuming meat, and living in single family homes by switching to public transit, eating insects, and living communally is crucial and fully justifies the small luxuries of those of us working so hard to make this happen."

Mayorkas Ignores the Law

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he does not abide by the Secure Fence Act's definition of operational control of the border "because preventing all unlawful entries to the United States is not the policy of the Biden Administration." He also dodged the issue of whether the drug cartels that do have operational control of the border should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations, saying "it's not up to me to make that judgment." The Secretary went on to boast that "we have increased the number of Border Patrol agents for the first time since 2011."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) summed up Mayorkas' testimony, saying "you admit that your agency is not following the law, yet you insist that you have operational control over the border. Are you aware that over five million persons have illegally entered the country since the start of the Biden Administration? Are you aware that the fentanyl smuggled across this border has killed more than 100,000 Americans over this same time span? It doesn't seem like the illegal policies of the Biden Administration are having good results."

"Let me assure you that we are focused on securing the border," Mayorkas insisted. "We are equally focused on enforcing our laws to achieve that result. The Border Patrol agents are doing heroic work." Upon hearing this Sen. John Kennedy (R-La) observed "you may be focused, but you are not succeeding." Mayorkas called Kennedy's observation "premature. It could be years before we can tell. However, I do know that the vast majority of officers and leaders with whom I work greatly support an assault weapons ban."

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