SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: September 20, 2015 Edition
Scientists Urge President to Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics
A gaggle of university climatologists have written to President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging them to prosecute people who continue to contradict the "scientific consensus" on climate change. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) immediately endorsed the idea as "essential to our survival as a planet."
"The freedom of people able to contradict the accepted science impedes the government from taking the steps necessary to combat dangerous climate change," Whitehouse contended. Paraphrasing a famous observation made by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes for justifying suppression of free speech, the Senator averred that "allowing a person to deny the truth of global warming is like allowing a person to deny there's a fire in a crowded theater. When lives are a stake freedom must be curtailed for the common good."
The authority Whitehouse cited for justifying the prosecution of skeptics is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. This Act was passed in 1970 in order to give the government another tool in its war against organized crime.
Whitehouse insisted that "even though climate deniers aren't gunning people down like mobsters do, the death toll from runaway climate change is likely to be far higher and more gruesome. In effect, those whose words are used to delay necessary government action are, in effect, enablers of mass murder and deserve to be treated as such. Hopefully, putting a few of the most ardent deniers behind bars will serve to silence others."
Pelosi Says She Abhor's Abortion
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) maintains that she abhors abortion and defended federal funding for Planned Parenthood as "the surest path toward reducing its frequency in the future."
"Each birth raises the population total," Pelosi said. "The more babies that are aborted today, the fewer we will have to abort in the future. By holding down the population now, we avert the burden of having to fund even more abortions in the next generation."
The Congresswoman contrasted "my long view with the short-sightedness of today's knee-jerk opponents of sensible population control. I mean, isn't it obvious that a future population of 600,000,000 would force us to abort twice as many babies as our current 300,000,000 population? Who's the greater humanitarian—the person who saves one life today or the more farsighted person who sacrifices one life today in order to save two in the next generation?"
In related news, a bill to grant protection to babies that survive abortions was not passed unanimously. H.R.3504, titled the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act" was passed by the US House of Representatives by a Party line 248-177 vote. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif) voted against the bill saying that "it puts the interests of fetuses ahead of the interests of women. Why should the ability of a fetus to live be permitted to cancel out the wish of a woman who undergoes the procedure for the express purpose of preventing this life?"
Ex-Gov Gets Lifetime Pension for Four Months of Work
Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey (D) was awarded a lifetime pension after only four months on the job as an attorney for Hudson County. County spokesman James Kennelly sought to abate outrage from taxpayers and other county employees who must put in years of work to qualify for much smaller pensions.
"Governor McGreevey brought a unique experience an intense commitment to the job," Kennelly argued. "His four months on the job is worth far more than decades put in by any other county employee. So, I don't think there are any grounds for complaints."
Although he was unable to point to any specific accomplishment of McGreevey's brief tenure as a county attorney, Kennelly insisted that "the intangibles of his inspirational role cannot be adequately measured nor appreciated by the average person. Frankly, in my opinion, no amount of money could be sufficient to compensate him for what he's done."
McConnell Rejects House Plea for Majority Rule on Iran Deal
A plea from 57 House Republican to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) to allow the Senate majority to vote on the Iran treaty fell on deaf ears. At issue is McConnell's refusal to bypass the filibuster of the Senate minority that is blocking a vote on the measure.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), spokesman for the 57 GOP House members emphasized that "voting on a matter as consequential as the Iran deal should take precedence over the preservation of a mere Senate rule."
Although the Senate rule authorizing filibusters has no Constitutional or statutory basis, McConnell firmly rejected Smith's arguments. "The United States Senate is the world's greatest deliberative body," McConnell claimed. "It didn't get that way by simply yielding to majority sentiment. Preserving this historic role is more important than what happens on this one issue."
It's not as if this "historic role" hasn't undergone occasional modifications. The threshold for shutting down a filibuster used to be two-thirds. Segregationists used the two-thirds rule to block numerous civil rights laws over many decades. In 1975, the ratio of votes required to end a filibuster was reduced to three-fifths. During former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's tenure the ratio was reduced to a simple majority on one occasion.
McConnell was also unfazed by polls showing more than a two-thirds majority of Americans opposed to the Iran deal, saying that "the views held by voters cannot be expected to carry as much weight as the views of members of the Senate. Just doing what the majority wants is tantamount to mob rule. I will not acquiesce to such a desecration of the principles upon which our government operates."
Smith was unimpressed by McConnell's arguments and pointed out that "under our Constitution treaties are supposed to be affirmatively endorsed by two-thirds of the Senate. The Iran deal inverts that requirement. Shouldn't Senator McConnell and all members of Congress, for that matter, put this Constitutional requirement ahead of the made-up procedures of the Senate no matter how hoary they may be?"
In related news, the Obama Administration declined to disclose the estimated number of Americans killed by Iran and its terror proxies since, according to Secretary of State John Kerry, "the only purpose this would serve is to potentially derail implementation of the deal we worked so hard to obtain. Rather than stir up points of disagreement, it's better to let bygones be bygones."
White House Justifies Inviting Critics of Catholic Doctrine to Meet Pope
In what some are characterizing as a breach of diplomacy, President Obama has invited several prominent critics of Catholic doctrine to his meeting with Pope Francis. Among these controversial invitees are a pro-abortion nun, a transgender woman, a gay Episcopal bishop, and two Catholic gay activists. The intent of this affront says Press Secretary Josh Earnest "is to make the point that religious doctrine, just like Constitutional law, must evolve to meet evolving social customs and beliefs. High profile leaders like Pope Francis cannot afford to resist these trends if the Church hopes to stay relevant in the 21st century."
Obama Calls GOP Obstructionism America's Biggest Threat
In a speech before the Business Roundtable President Obama urged corporate leaders to lobby the Republican Congress and ask their representatives to support increased budgetary authority. "Republican propaganda would cast Chinese hackers, Russian military adventures, or Islamic terror as the gravest threats to our way of life," the President said. "Don't fall for it. Nothing is as great a threat as the possibility that the omnibus budget won't be approved in time to avert a government shutdown."
While not totally dismissing these other dangers, Obama told the business leaders that "these are more distant and dissipated sources of trouble. Even if our computer security is compromised how big of a hit to your bottom line would this entail? Would a reestablished Soviet Union really be a negative outcome for your profitability? Would terrorists running amok massacring soldiers or bombing buildings really hurt your stock prices? I think upon reflection we'd all have to agree that each of these potential events would increase the need for government spending and would lead to more contracts and more income for well-positioned firms. On the other hand, a government shutdown would turn off the spigot of cash flowing from us to you."
The President acknowledged that "it is unlikely that the anti-American right-wingers will prevail over our friends on the Republican side of the aisle," but still advised businessmen "to not take it for granted and continue to apply pressure on wavering senators and representatives."
Obama Blames Hillary for Syria Fiasco
The revelation that the millions the US spent to train anti-Assad rebels in Syria has netted a total of five trained fighters has sparked criticism from even the most reliable of apologists for his regime: the New York Times. "By any reasonable standard, this is a pathetic return on our investment," the Times editorialized.
The Obama Administration, however, refused to accept responsibility. US Press Secretary Josh Earnest strove to deflect blame by pointing out that "the President's preference has always been to kill our country's enemies via drone strikes. The decision to try to train local Syrian rebels was taken in adherence to the advice of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. If anyone is at fault for the lack of substantive results from this training it has to be her."
However, Hillary-for-President campaign manager Robby Mook rejected the Administration's assessment of responsibility, saying that "it's the President who is final decider on every policy of his Administration. Secretary Clinton merely advised him to opt for training the Syrians. It is the President who bears the ultimate responsibility for taking her advice. He can't just shrug this off as someone else's fault."
Bush Stood on Tiptoes to "Level the Playing Field"
Videos showing the 6 foot, three inch tall GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush oddly standing on tiptoes for the group photo prior to Wednesday night's debate has stimulated some ridicule of the candidate. This ridicule has prompted Bush campaign manager David Kochel to defend his man by claiming that "it was an effort to level the playing field. Carly Fiorina gets to boost her height by wearing high heels. Why shouldn't Jeb try to offset her unfair advantage by similarly elevating himself?"
Muslim Migrants Demand End to Oktoberfest
Muslim immigrants living in Germany are petitioning the government for a ban on the annual Oktoberfest. The 16-day festival held in Bavaria is viewe4d as anti-Muslim since one of its main activities is drinking beer. "We're not against the Christians drinking alcohol in private," petitioner Iham Faakhir. "But these public displays are an insult to our faith."
Faakhir portrayed his petition as "an act of restraint. For now we are abiding by the western political practice of peacefully asserting our demand. But the kafirs should not try our patience. Sharia law gives us the right to impose morality by force if necessary."
The German government is reportedly considering whether discontinuing Oktoberfest might be necessary in order to preserve the peace. German Minister of the Interior Gerhard Erzfeigling wondered "whether trying to maintain German traditions is worth the bloodshed that is apt to occur if we do not accommodate the sensitivities of the Muslim minority."