SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: February 7, 2016 Edition
New Clinton Defense on Email Scandal: "Everybody Did It"
A recent discovery that former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice may have received a handful of classified emails on their private computers prompted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to claim she's been exonerated.
"The vast right-wing conspiracy trying to derail my campaign has been rebutted by this new evidence," Hillary contended. "Singling me out when the use of private computers for transmitting classified government communications was standard practice reveals the baseless hypocrisy of their charges."
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) says "Clinton's 'everybody did it' argument is a gross distortion of reality. It's akin to a notorious drunk driver with numerous moving violations endangering the lives of many asserting that she is no different from the law-breaker once cited for overstaying at a parking meter. Clinton's unsecured private server was explicitly intended to hide her communications from scrutiny. More than a thousand classified documents were found on it. Several were more sensitive than 'top secret.' Clearly, she intentionally flouted the law and, as a result, needlessly endangered national security."
Clinton rejected Issa's stance as "a bean-counter's approach to justice. Either having classified material on a private computer is right or it is wrong. If it is right, the number of times it occurs is irrelevant. If it is wrong, then all—including former Republican Secretaries of State—need to face the same charges."
Ironically, the candidate concluded her attempted exculpatory argument by pledging to make cybersecurity a top priority in her administration as president. "The Hell I've had to go through over emails I thought were securely deleted was a tough, but important lesson," she maintained. "No government official of cabinet rank or above should have to fear that his or her secrets can't be kept secret. Therefore, I am promising the American people that if they elect me to rule them I will protect these public servants from intrusions on their privacy and will use any means necessary to do so."
In related news, Hillary outlined her litmus test for future Supreme Court appointments in her upcoming administration. "Anyone I nominate will have to embrace progressive values," she told attendees at a New Hampshire rally. "This includes a commitment to support a woman's unconstrained right to an abortion, full recognition of gay marriage, and the enforcement of the rights of everyone to choose their own gender identity and receive the universal acceptance and accommodation to which they are entitled by law."
DC to Pay Criminals to Refrain from Crime
Washington, DC Councilman Kenyan McDuffie proposed and the City Council unanimously adopted a measure that will pay criminals to refrain from committing crimes. Under the plan, residents with a sufficiently impressive rap-sheet will be paid up to $9,000 in cash per year for each year they aren't convicted of a crime.
"This is not some lame-brained scheme that any smart aleck can game," McDuffie boasted. "Only those who can document their criminal behavior will be eligible for the stipend. By paying the 'worst-of-the-worst' members of our community to cool it we will have a greater impact than if we put more cops on the street."
The move met with an enthusiastic reception on the streets. A local community leader known only by his street moniker: "The Big Banger," averred that "we are always looking for ways to expand our cash flow. I think most of my guys have the reps to qualify for the payouts. Those few that don't could still crack a few heads or boost some merchandise if that's what it takes to get in on this."
Apprised of "Banger's" comments, McDuffie said he was encouraged. "I'm confident that if we partner with the people who really control the streets we can transform the social structure of our City. We've already got feelers out to both the Clinton and Sanders' campaigns to see if either will commit to this new way of restoring order to our society. It would be great to have a broader impact than just in DC."
In related news, some DC welfare moms are unhappy with the free accommodations the City is providing. Due to a shortage of public housing 730 families are being housed in area hotels. The amenities include prepared meals, cable TV, internet WiFi access, and maid service. Tiera Williams complains that the two-room suite they gave her is "too small, there aren't enough choices of food, the TV is only basic cable, and the maid wakes me up too early. The paying customers at the hotel get room service with a bigger menu and pay-per-view TV. Giving us less is discrimination. I thought Obama was supposed to transform America. Or do I have to wait for Sanders before everything is free for all?"
ISIS Recruits Assert "Combat Immunity" Defense
Five Minnesota men currently facing charges of criminal conspiracy after being caught preparing to go to Syria to fight for the Islamic State are demanding that charges be dismissed.
Moosli Krahp, attorney for the five, stipulated that "the Islamic State has engaged in acts the rest of the world holds to be atrocious. However, these terror tactics are forced upon them by the superior firepower of their enemies. The West and its puppet allies can strike from the air. Civilians may be killed, but are quickly labeled 'collateral damage.' Well, the beheadings, torture, and similar actions carried out by the Islamic State are a necessary part asymmetric warfare. They are sanctioned by the government of the Islamic State and the soldiers who carry them out are not criminals. They are lawful combatants under the Geneva Conventions."
"If the actual troops of the Islamic State are lawful combatants, then these five men, none of whom has yet to engage in combat, are merely future combatants, at best," Krahp said. "Their apprehension inside the United States before they have had the opportunity to participate in the alleged atrocities is premature."
Minnesota prosecutor Lars Hammarskjold rejected Krahp's arguments, but added "even if we were to entertain the notion that these men are bonafide Islamic State combatants, they were caught outside of enemy lines and out of uniform. Under the Geneva Conventions that would make them spies subject to summary execution."
In related news, legislation that would bar terrorists from receiving food stamps was introduced by Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine). Poliquin's bill isn't expected to succeed in becoming law. President Obama has already promised to veto it if it reaches his desk. "The type of discrimination this legislation would institutionalize is an insult to our obligation to ensure the blessings of liberty are secured for all of our people," the President declared.
Former President Carter Endorses Trump
Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter says his favorite GOP candidate for president is Donald Trump. He explained the surprising endorsement by pointing out "Trump is completely malleable. I don't think he has any fixed positions. From my perspective this is more preferable than a far right wing ideologue like Ted Cruz."
"Cruz would clearly be an enemy of the progressive policies Obama has implemented," Carter continued. "He'd try to undo them and would shut down the government if he felt it necessary to achieve his goals. With Trump I think we could be confident that wouldn't happen. Trump has been a good friend of the Democratic Party over the years. I think he would work with Democrats to try to improve upon and extend the gains already made."
Trump expressed his gratification "that a man who has held the office has made a wise choice" and suggested that "I'd be willing to consider former President Carter as a possible running mate. Putting someone with actual experience in the on-deck circle could make for a powerful combination. And the former president, unlike some in this race, is a natural born citizen."
Carter said he was "flattered to be considered by Mr. Trump, but he needs to understand, my view is merely that he is the least objectionable of the Republicans. I will, of course, support the Democratic Party's nominee."
Perhaps a more significant boost to Trump's candidacy came via a survey indicating that 14% of federal employees say they will quit if he is elected president. Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski applauded the finding: "While other candidates have to wrack their brains looking for ways to make government more efficient, Donald has already inspired a significant number of bureaucrats to declare they will 'self-deport' from the federal payroll once he's president. I'd say this gives Donald a leg up over the competition."
Hillary Defends Huge Speaking Fees
Under a constant barrage of criticism from Democratic presidential rival Sen. Bernie Sanders for her cozy relationship with Wall Street, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contended that she was just being polite in accepting $200,000 per hour for speeches she gave at Wall Street's request.
"Look, this is what they offered me," she explained. "Was I supposed to have bargained for lower rates? If I had, would Senator Sanders now be accusing me of favoritism toward those firms? Let's not forget, in some instances I got even bigger speaking fees from universities. How could I, in good conscience, take less from the bankers than I took from the students?"
"As much as Bernie hates Wall Street shouldn't he be congratulating me from imposing a 'tax' on them and liberating that money from their greedy hands so the Clinton Foundation could put it to more socially beneficial purposes?" Hillary speculated. I mean, how much money has he liberated from these corporate pirates?"
Meanwhile, despite Sanders' political demand that the government force every employer to pay every employee no less than $15 per hour, low level members of his staff receive only $12 per hour. Sanders sees no hypocrisy. "I'm well within my rights," he insisted. "Currently, there is no law that says I must pay them more. Besides, my beef is with the commercial segment of our society. A businessman's selfish desire to maximize profits is not protected under our Constitution. My right as a candidate for office to minimize my campaign expenses is."
In related news, Clinton called an unlikely series of winning coin flips in all six Iowa caucus precincts that showed an equal number of votes for her and Sanders "proof that God wants me to be president." The mathematical odds of such an outcome: one in 64.
Obama Pitches Muslim TV Shows
Appalled by the over-representation of Muslims as terrorists in national security themed TV shows, President Obama called for broadcasters to air a more varied array of programs featuring Muslim characters.
"One idea I came up with is a family comedy," the President said. "There's this daughter who refuses to marry the nephew her father has chosen for her. So, the father and nephew shoot her and dump the body in a river. But she comes back as a ghost or zombie and haunts them with a series of weekly pranks. In one episode the daughter disguises herself as salesperson in a supermarket and tricks her brother into eating a fried pork rind by telling him it's dry-roasted goat intestine. The father finds out and cuts the boy's tongue out as a punishment. The daughter returns and reveals herself. The father tries to kill her, but she's already dead, so he can't. Hilarity ensues."
"Another idea I had is modeled on 'The Bachelor,'" Obama exclaimed. "Each week a young Muslim man will be asked to choose between a ten-year-old girl, boy, or donkey. He will be allowed to ask questions, grope the options, and use a 'lifeline' to the imam of his choice. After he makes his selection, the newly wed couple will be escorted to a small tent on the stage to consummate the marriage while the studio audience cheers them on."
"These are just a couple of ideas off the top of my head," Obama admitted. "I'm sure if Hollywood were to put its mind to it we could come up with more."
In related news, the President blamed "inexcusable political rhetoric for giving Americans a distorted impression of Muslims" and "are largely responsible for violent retaliation like we saw in San Bernardino last year. We need to end the cycle of violence by passing House Resolution 569 and outlaw, once and for all, the unnecessary and offensive disparagement of the Islamic faith in our country."