SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: July 17, 2016 Edition
Hillary Calls Trump "Divisive" and "Unfit"
Amidst polls showing her lead over GOP rival Donald Trump dwindling, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned voters against "the most divisive and unfit candidate in our nation's history."
A key consideration from Clinton's perspective is the fact that "Republican voters passed over 16 worthy representatives of the GOP brand and latched onto a man outside the mainstream of government. Trump hasn't been a participant in any of the processes for governing a city, state, or nation. He has no record to run on."
Hillary contrasted Trump's lack of governing experience with her own "30-year career at the center of events at the state and national level. How can we trust a man who has never taken one step in the shoes of those of us who have governed to know what to do with the awesome power to rule?"
"On top of his lack of the appropriate experience we have his naive approach to the issues of the day," she continued. "At every turn he would divide us from each other. He demands we close our borders to those who desperately want to come to America. He would single out and oppress the religious beliefs and practices of those striving to fulfill the prescriptions of Islam. He would force 'law and order' on those who see themselves as victims of a moral code with which they disagree."
The candidate also touted her recent "exoneration" by the FBI as another point of distinction from her opponent. "I have undergone the most thorough examination by our nation's premier law enforcement agency and been found not-guilty," she boasted. "The worst they could say about me was that I was extraordinarily careless with my emails. Millions of Americans have had difficulties with emails. Many have had their bank accounts drained and their identities stolen. I avoided these consequences. So, I think I'm doing better than average."
In related news, Clinton reminded voters that "the president can use the IRS to punish political enemies. Do we really want to put this weapon in the hands of a person like Donald Trump?"
Congressman Calls "Law and Order" Unfair to Minorities
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) lambasted Trump's claim to be the "law and order" candidate, calling it "a cruel and insensitive attempt to place the values of white Americans over those of us who are black. It is racism that forces blacks to commit crimes to support themselves and their families. The kind of enforcement that Trump would impose threatens the livelihoods of a significant segment of the minority community."
Clyburn may have a point. According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks are responsible for the majority of robberies and murders in the 75 most populated U.S. counties. Clearly, heightened law enforcement would have a disparate effect on this segment of the population.
Ironically, minority police officers are more likely than white officers to use firearms in confrontations with suspects—a phenomenon that Clyburn asserts "shows that even brothers in uniform have been brainwashed to kill their own kind in obedience to the 'law and order' mantra. That it is this bad with a black man as president casts an ominous light over a potential Trump administration."
Whether Clyburn's charge that blacks are ill-served by law enforcement is dubious. Black criminals are a minority in the black population. The vast majority of their victims are other blacks. The number of blacks slain by police is a small fraction of the number of blacks murdered by black criminals. In an overwhelming majority of instances blacks who are shot by police were criminals engaged in attacks on the police.
Justice Inadvertently Boosts Trump Candidacy
This week Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg waded into the political domain and unintentionally bolstered the chances for Donald Trump to win the presidency. Calling him a "faker with a big ego," the 83-year-old Justice threatened to move to New Zealand if Trump wins in November.
Alarmed that Ginsburg's outburst could work in Trump's favor, the Washington Post's editors criticized "her abandonment of the veneer of judicial impartiality. The acceptance of the Court's authority to strike down legislation enacted by the people's representatives relies on a perception of unbiased application of basic legal and constitutional rules. Taking sides in an electoral contest undermines this perception."
The editors of the New York Times concurred with those at the Post and expressed a fear that "Justice Ginsburg might have to recuse herself from any future cases in which Trump is a party. This would nullify a reliably liberal vote on the Court from deciding cases in a way that advances the progressive transformation underway since the Roosevelt Administration."
Stung by this criticism from papers she considered "allies in the struggle for social justice," Ginsburg says she regretted her remarks. "The only saving grace is that my ill-advised 'burp' will be lost in the cacophony of rhetoric and news going forward and will be forgotten before the next Court session convenes in October."
Not all on the left were critical of Ginsburg's efforts to sway the election outcome. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) praised "Justice Ginsburg's great courage. The idea that the courts ought to stay out of politics is an artifact of the Founders' maniacal insistence on separation of powers. President Obama has managed to sidestep this antiquated notion by using Executive Orders to bypass congressional obstruction. The courts have done a wonderful job of neutralizing errant legislation by looking to a higher law than a 200-year-old piece of paper. It is essential that this momentum be continued. Electing Hillary is the best way to ensure that."
AG Says Lying Under Oath "Could Be Okay"
During testimony before the House Judiciary Committee this week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to make "a blanket condemnation of lying under oath." The issue was raised by Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "continuously changing and inconsistent testimony on a number of issues before this Committee over several years."
Lynch contended that "each case has to be examined on its individual merits. It depends on who is testifying and whether a more important objective than mere truth is at hand. There is an old saying that 'a diplomat is a patriot sent abroad to lie for his country.' Our Secretary of State is this nation's head diplomat. I believe that a certain leeway needs to be granted to that person for the good of the country."
"I can see some leeway for lies told to foreign governments in order to protect America's strategic interests," Chaffetz acknowledged. "But is lying to Congress included? Is lying to cover up 'extraordinary carelessness' with classified information acceptable? Is lying about security deficiencies at Benghazi that led to the death of our ambassador okay with you?"
"I'm not going to get into a debate about hypothetical scenarios," Lynch replied. "As the nation's chief law enforcement officer I use my judgment on whether to bring charges against anyone. It's called prosecutorial discretion. Congress must use its own judgment and discretion to deploy the powers granted to it by the Constitution if and when it deems warranted by the circumstances of each case."
Obama, Gingrich Grapple with Islamic Terror Issue
The Bastille Day attack that killed 80 and injured 200 in Nice, France sparked a passionate plea from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for better security against Islamic terrorism.
Gingrich said he has "no problems with Muslims who respect the rights of others becoming American citizens and moving in next door, but followers of sharia who believe they have a right or duty to wage war on unbelievers have no place in our country. They ought to be deported."
He also called for "greater scrutiny of what's going on in Mosques in America. Many of them seem to serve as recruiting centers for would-be terrorists. Hateful doctrines are preached to incite attacks on innocent civilians like we have seen in France and in this country in Orlando and San Bernardino. On top of this, caches of weapons are frequently concealed on their premises."
President Obama characterized Gingrich's comments as "repugnant. There is no place in our country for such hostility toward the religious beliefs of others. No Muslim should have to fear that his beliefs will expose him to any greater scrutiny than any other religion. The right to practice one's religion free from interference by government is guaranteed by the First Amendment."
Gingrich remained uncowed by the President's criticism. "I'll tell you what's repugnant," he replied, "the President's repeated refusal to defend the people of this nation from attacks carried out by fanatical Islamists. Despite the evidence from their own mouths, Obama professes himself mystified as to the motives of these killers. This is willful blindness or worse."
"No one in this country, not me, not Donald Trump, not the Republican Party, is making a case for preventing Muslims from praying or promulgating their beliefs in a peaceful manner," Gingrich pointed out. "The President's efforts to stigmatize opposition to murder as anti-Muslim prejudice is reprehensible. The right of every American to believe or not believe any religion is trampled by the violence carried out by Islamic terrorists. That is the First Amendment right that the government and the President have an obligation to defend. Thus far, Obama has fallen far short of fulfilling this duty."