SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: May 17, 2015 Edition
Feds Warn Lenders Not to Deny Loans to Welfare Recipients
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warned financial institutions that they could be prosecuted if they deny home loans to persons subsisting on welfare benefits.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray asserted that "placing ability to repay ahead of need is contrary to federal regulations. Just because a person cannot support himself or herself doesn't mean he or she should be excluded from the benefits of home ownership. Every person has an inalienable right to own a home. Lenders have a moral obligation to help people achieve this right."
"For banks to argue that the risks of default and foreclosure should preclude certain persons from obtaining loans places profit over social justice," Cordray said. "Those who attempt to implement such injustice will face consequences. Fines or even imprisonment await anyone who would defy us in this matter."
Cordray went on to question "whether requiring loans to be repaid even makes sense. Housing costs would be lower across-the-board if the burden of repayment could be lifted from those unable to afford it. Banks have billions of dollars and could easily absorb the losses from non-performing loans. If they should become insolvent the Federal Reserve would, as it has in the past, just create more money to bail them out."
In related news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering eliminating in-person interviews for Food Stamp applicants. Secretary Tom Vilsack explained that "forcing applicants to meet face-to-face is unnecessarily humiliating for them. I mean, having to look a government official in the eye and ask for help is intimidating. It might deter some from even seeking aid and try to make it on their own. By allowing applicants to simply phone-in a request for Food Stamps we can better maximize the volume of aid we provide."
Global Warming Activists Demand Media Stop Calling Unbelievers "Skeptics"
The Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL) wants news outlets to stop using the term "skeptics" for those who question the global climate change meme. Instead, those who fail to adhere to the accepted view are to be universally referred to as "deniers."
CEL Director Ronald Deibert complained that "using the word 'skeptic' makes opposition to our theory of global climate change sound reasonable. It implies that their assertion that evidence is needed to prove that mankind is the source of climate change deserves a hearing. It implies that the science of global warming is not settled, that differing interpretations of the data are permissible. Is this something we should allow?"
"If we can eliminate the term 'skeptic' and uniformly replace it with 'denier' we can cast these doubters into the ranks of those who don't deserve to be heard," Deibert declared. "'Denier' connotes an air of unjustified disbelief. No one need pay attention to the rantings of 'deniers' like those who deny that the Holocaust ever took place. Why should those who deny the reality of man-made climate change be treated any better?"
Deibert says he fears that "if we allow unacceptable views to continue to pollute the debate it will be that much more difficult to gain broad public acquiescence for the sacrifices we all must make to combat the threat. The slightest smidgen of doubt could derail the taxes and regulations necessary to avert disaster."
Dean Claims Jesus More Leftist than Democratic Party
This week, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean claimed that "Jesus was more to the left than the Democratic Party. Look, Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. We Democrats are content to merely tax and regulate them."
"If you listen closely to Jesus' words about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's, it seems clear that all the money properly belongs to the government," Dean maintained. "Democrats haven't gone that far. We still permit people to keep some of the money they earn."
"You know, Jesus didn't work a steady job," Dean observed. "While he was traipsing about the desert he was living off of handouts. Yet, the so-called 'religious right' assails those who accept handouts as a way of life today as shiftless and parasitic. Maybe it is they who are out-of-sync with Jesus' message."
In related news, President Obama castigated churches, saying that "those who focus more on abortion and gay marriage than eradicating poverty are out-of-step with Jesus' teachings. Jesus urged people to give away their wealth. If Congress would adopt more progressive taxation the government could help make this happen."
"Can we be so sure Jesus would have condemned abortion or gay rights?" Obama wondered. "It seems to me that Jesus cared a lot about women. Why wouldn't he care about their reproductive health? And didn't Jesus spend a lot of time in the company of the apostles—all men? He never married as would have been normal for a Jew in those days. Can we be sure that Jesus himself was not gay?"
Obama Calls for Change in How the Media Reports
Citing the "especially grievous slant that FOX gives to the news," President Obama called for "better policing of the public airways to prevent this intellectual pollution."
"When I see how FOX is constantly undermining what I am trying to do for America by pointing out every flaw and defect of my policies I feel sorry for America," the President said. "How can our people be joyful if their TVs are parading so-called failures in front of them in their own living rooms?"
"The abuse of freedom of the press and freedom of speech for the purpose of destroying faith in government is seditious," Obama contended. "We should not sit by and let this go out of some reverence for the outmoded ideas of America's founders. New times require new rules if we are to promote the general welfare."
An idea that is starting to gain some traction inside the Administration is to employ the Federal Communications Commission to "fact check" all news broadcasts. "We owe it to the American people to ensure that the news they receive is accurate," said FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler. "No one has the right to inject inaccurate information or disloyal opinions into the nation's communication system. The FCC has a wide range of tools it can and should use to clean up what is broadcast, transmitted, or posted to the web. My biggest regret is that we let things go too far and had to be reminded by the President to do our duty."
Senator Says NFL Priorities "Screwed Up"
The announcement that the New England Patriots and Quarterback Tom Brady would be penalized for cheating drove Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) into a frenzy.
"I find it stunning that the NFL cares more about how much air is in a football than it cares about a racist franchise name," Reid raved. "No one need have known about the under-inflated balls. Covertly tipping the scales is simply business-as-usual. By going public with this scandal the NFL has 'shot itself in the foot,' and to what end?"
"The much more serious offense is the refusal of the Washington team to change its name," Reid argued. "Correct opinion concurs that the name 'Redskins' is an insult to Native Americans. For the team owners to persist in swimming against the tide of history in this matter can only lead to bad results."
Potential "bad results" that Reid claims to foresee include "massive lawsuits filed by aggrieved Native Americans, government seizing the team from the owners, and street riots like we've seen in Baltimore."
Bush Would Use Obama Immigration Order to Extort Legislation from Congress
Potential candidate for president and former Governor of Florida JEB Bush told FOX News' Megyn Kelly that "unlike some other GOP presidential contenders, I would not move to immediately undo President Obama's executive action granting special privileges to illegal immigrants. Instead, I would refuse to revoke it until Congress passed appropriate enabling legislation. In any case, the American voter can count on me to see that legalizing those in this country illegally will go forward with or without legislation."
Bush acknowledged the shaky legality of Obama's executive action, but averred that "doing the right thing is more important than confining policy to narrowly circumscribed authority. I could not, in good conscience, do nothing simply because there is no statutory authority for the action I deem morally necessary."
The candidate said he hoped "my willingness to go beyond what the law allows will help set me apart from those who would allow themselves to be limited by the constraints of immoral laws. The American people need a leader who is not afraid to stake out new ground and to chart a path that others can follow. Congress will be invited to come along if they cooperate, but I will not allow them to apply the brakes to what needs to be done."
In related news, JEB characterized his endorsement of big brother George's Iraq War as "basic self-preservation. When we were growing up George always used to bully me if I crossed him. It didn't matter whether he was right or wrong. If he didn't get what he wanted he'd beat me up."
While it would seem that the era of big brother George beating up little brother JEB must have long passed, the younger Bush alleges that "emotional scarring led to my knee-jerk statement in support of my brother's invasion of Iraq. I'm just hoping that every little brother who votes will understand my reaction and forgive my fumbling of this issue. For the record, knowing what we know now, it's clear that Syria is the place we should invade."