SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: January 31, 2016 Edition
DOJ to Investigate Oscars
The absence of blacks, gays, and transgenders from the ranks of those nominated for this year's Academy Awards has spurred outrage among cultural elites. Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith announced they will boycott the awards ceremony. Homosexual actor Ian McKellen groused that "we mustn't let the attention given to racism completely overshadow the homophobia plaguing the film industry."
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch labeled "the lack of nominations for legally protected groups is disturbing. The claim that nominees are democratically determined by secret ballot does not exempt the Academy from affirmative action laws. Racially disparate outcomes are, by themselves, proof of discrimination under current statutes. We will need to evaluate whether the list of this year's nominees needs to be expanded or whether the whole process must be revamped in order to ensure a more racial and sexual-identity balanced slate of candidates for the awards."
Lynch sternly added that "even a balanced list of nominees won't guarantee against further action by the Administration if protected groups don't win a proportionate share of the prizes. The President is fully prepared to take executive action if that is what is needed to achieve justice."
In related news, Lynch sought to dispel rumors concerning a possible indictment of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for national security violations stemming from her use of an unsecured email system. "The fact that lesser persons have been prosecuted for lesser offenses is not relevant," Lynch argued. "As a high-ranking member of government a secretary of state has a certain level of immunity for all actions taken while holding office. Mistakes in judgment, even of the grossest sort, must not be treated as crimes. Likewise, attempts to cover up these mistakes are a normal part of governing."
Sanders' Tax Hike to Cost 6 Million Jobs
An analysis undertaken by the Tax Foundation estimates that the tax increases promised by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-Vt) will cut economic growth by more than 9% and result in 6 million fewer full-time jobs.
"Sanders' plan would significantly increase marginal tax rates on capital and labor income, which would result in a substantial reduction of the size of the U.S. economy in the long run," authors Alan Cole and Scott Greenberg asserted.
Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver pooh-poohed the report quoting economist John Maynard Keynes' observation that "in the long run we are all dead. At 74 years old Bernie hasn't the time to ponder the long run. The important thing is to take care of people now and let later generations fend for themselves."
"I know that the politically correct stance is to worry about our children and grandchildren," Weaver said. "But think about it. In the next generation most of the work will be done by robots. So most people won't need to have jobs. A better way of looking at Bernie's tax plan is that it will liberate 6 million Americans from wage-slavery. Instead of having to get up every morning, fight traffic, and punch a time-clock, six million more people can sleep late, secure in the knowledge that the government will provide for their needs."
Cole called Weaver's grasp of economics "stunning in its ignorance. By penalizing work and investment, Sanders' plan would deter the kind of innovation that is necessary to boost the average person's standard of living. His 'siren song' of 'free stuff' will engender sloth and ensure that poverty becomes more widespread."
In other avant-garde news, the New York City Council has legalized public urination. The disproportionate representation of minorities among those cited for what was previously illegal inspired the change. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito declared that "insisting that natural body functions be conducted behind closed doors imposes white standards and white tyranny on minorities."
Swedish Authorities Unsure of How to Deal with Refugee Violence
After a contingent of ten police officers were scared off from rescuing a ten-year-old rape victim from a refugee center, authorities professed themselves to be at a loss for what to do next.
"The ardor with which the Muslim mob attacked the police seeking to remove the boy from the center has caused us to reexamine our premises," National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson admitted. "To us, the idea of grown men sexually abusing this young boy is repugnant. But are we guilty of projecting our own values onto another culture?"
"I am told that keeping such boys on hand for the pleasure of Muslim men is a time worn tradition in Arab countries where polygamy has left many adult men without hope of finding a female mate," Eliasson said. "The young age of the victim apparently fits through a 'loophole' in Islam's proscription against homosexuality."
The Commissioner also wondered "whether our tolerance of this practice among the immigrant community might offer a safety valve against these men raping Swedish women. Is the repeated raping of a handful of Muslim youths an acceptable price for us to pay in order to protect our women?"
In related news, a 17-year-old Danish girl who fought off a Muslim attacker using pepper spray is being charged with unlawful possession of the spray by local authorities. Police spokesman Knud Kirsten defended her arrest saying that "the law clearly states that pepper spray is illegal. Even though she was the victim of an unprovoked attack that doesn't justify the breaking of this law. Two wrongs don't make a right. As a victim she had the high moral ground. As a retaliator, though, she has sacrificed that high ground and made herself a criminal."
Trump Snags First Congressional Endorsement
While a slew of GOP presidential contenders ranging from Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex) to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have gotten endorsements from sitting members of Congress, Donald Trump had come up empty until this week when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) gave him the nod.
"When you look over who the Republicans are considering as their nominee its a sorry bunch," Reid observed. "None of them possess the visionary leadership exhibited over the last seven years by President Obama. However, one of them stands out as a man of perspicacity and guile. That man is Donald Trump. Not only has he had the good sense to help fund a few of my campaigns for office, but I believe he also has the flexibility to be able to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats for the greater good of the country."
Reid hastened to clarify that "of course, I will be supporting the Democratic nominee in the general election. Trump is a hateful demagogue that I urge voters to reject. However, if he wins in November I'm confident that we can make mutually beneficial deals with the author of The Art of the Deal."
For his part, Trump cited Reid's remarks "as proof I'm the one candidate in either Party who is best situated to make things happen. I've always had a good relationship with Harry. I've been very close to his likely successor Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). And I've never had a problem with Nanct Pelosi (D-Calif). No other Republican can say the same. So, yes, I think we can do business with the Democrats after I'm elected."
In related news, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was endorsed by Ted Kaczynski, who called her "the least of the evils available. Total anarchy would be my preferred ideal. None of the Republicans would get us an inch closer to that. On the other hand, her lawless flouting of national security gives a tiny ray of hope that we might move in the right direction with Hillary in the White House." In 1998, Kaczynski was convicted of crimes related to a notorious nationwide bombing campaign that earned him the nickname: "Unabomber."
Judge Declares Law Mandating Abortion Facilities Meet Health Requirements Unconstitutional
Baton Rouge District Judge John deGravelles blocked a Louisiana law requiring that abortion facilities comply with state standards for health and safety, calling it unconstitutional.
"The right to an abortion is a constitutional right decreed by the United States Supreme Court in 1973," de Gravelles ruled. "The state is not permitted to infringe on this right by adding conditions that could limit a woman's ability to abort her child."
The Judge dispensed with the argument that the state has the power to set health and safety standards for medical treatments. "The contention that the lack of such standards endangers the health of women undergoing the procedure cannot overrule the fundamental protection given to abortion under our Constitution," he said. "That the procedure entails some risk is not in dispute. However, women must be free to assume this risk in pursuit of their constitutionally protected objective. It is analogous to the Constitution's right to bear arms. Guns are dangerous, but states may not legislate restrictions on ownership or use just by citing this danger. Just as a citizen bearing arms might shoot himself, a woman undergoing an abortion might harm her own health or even lose her life. That such undesired consequences might follow the exercise of a constitutional right does not grant government authorities the power to interfere with the enjoyment of that right."
In related news, President Obama's "common sense" gun control strategy is targeting Social Security recipients for disarmament. Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained saying that "it's a 'years of lives saved' issue. The vast majority of criminals seniors might want to defend themselves against are young men. A young man getting shot costs society decades worth of lost years of life. Preventing seniors from imposing this cost on society is the better trade-off even if it means more seniors become victims. They have a lot less to lose."
Obama and Hillary Try Hand at Comedy
Perhaps looking toward a future outside of politics, both President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried out some comedy bits this week.
The President made the first volley calling Hillary "wicked smart" and "warm and funny."
Hillary countered with "anybody who know me knows you can't buy me."
The host of the HBO talk show Real Time with Bill Maher, called the efforts of the two "deliciously absurd and surreal. I wish I had thought of these jokes myself."