SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: August 13, 2017 Edition
Congresswoman Has Plan to Avert War with North Korea
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif) has a simple plan for deescalating tensions between the US and North Korea: "give them what they want." she acknowledged that "we may not know specifically what that is, but surely it has to be a better option than going to war."
"Look, Korea is a small, far away country," Waters observed. "From what I understand it is a very poor place. We could probably feed, house, and clothe everyone in it for less than it would cost to bomb them. If we could ensure Kim that all the material needs of his people could easily be met via a generous foreign aid package, what reason would he have for wanting nuclear weapons?"
In support of her recommendation, the Congresswoman cited "the pacifying effects that our domestic welfare program has had upon the poor in our own country. We don't see any of them trying to get nuclear weapons or threatening to turn America into ashes. I'd say this experience provides the guidance we need to construct a more successful foreign policy."
Former President Barack Obama's National Security adviser, Susan Rice, hailed Waters' suggestion, calling it "a breath of fresh air. As both Presidents Clinton and Obama realized, a nuclear armed North Korea would be in a better position to demand social justice from the West. The disproportionate distribution of wealth that currently exists between our two countries needs to be rectified. The ability of North Korea to do serious damage to the United States is a key element in forcing a long overdue reallocation. That Trump would attempt to turn this leverage into an excuse for a military response that would defend an unjust status quo is a crime against humanity."
Judge Bars Defendant from Testifying
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro barred Eric Parker from mentioning the First Amendment after he took the stand to testify in his own defense in a trial stemming from the 2014 Bunkerville standoff in which ranchers confronted Bureau of Land Management officers in a dispute over grazing rights.
"Once a duly authorized law enforcement action is underway the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech no longer apply," Navarro ruled. "Allowing a jury to hear these words would only serve to undermine the respect for authority that is essential to an orderly enforcement of the decisions made by government officials."
The Judge also cited "the need to avoid another hung jury in this case. If we allow the defense to raise issues that I have determined aren't pertinent to the case we could end up in the same quandary where some jurors might elevate their uninformed opinions about freedom of speech and assembly above the instructions from the bench to consider only whether the defendants did or didn't obey the lawful commands of the Bureau."
Since one of the "lawful commands" forbade video taping of the confrontation, recordings that the defense contends demonstrate the peaceful intent and behavior of the defendants will not be shown to the jury.
Mysterious Death Ruled "Suicide"
In May of this year, federal prosecutor Beranton Whisenant's body was found on a Hollywood, Florida beach with a gunshot wound to the head. Three months later, the Hollywood Police Department has ruled the death a suicide. Whisenant worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami in its major crimes unit. He was handling several visa and passport fraud cases in the congressional district represented by beleaguered former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Oddly, no weapon was recovered at or near the scene. Chief of Police Tomas Sanchez admitted that "the absence of a weapon near the body would seem suspicious to non-professionals. However, there could be a number of logical explanations. One possibility is that rising sea levels caused by global warming could have washed the firearm away. Another is that Mr. Whisenant swam out a ways before he shot himself and the gun is still out there somewhere."
Sanchez brushed off contentions from family members that Whisenant had shown no signs of depression and had even seemed enthusiastic about "reeling in some big fish" in his investigation. "A person can be depressed without anyone knowing," Sanchez said. "I just heard that vegetarians are more likely to be depressed than meat-eaters. Perhaps Mr. Whisenant was a vegetarian."
CAIR Defends McMaster
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) rallied to the defense of National Security Council (NSC) adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster this week. McMaster has come under some criticism for purging the NSC of individuals he maintains were "overly focused on an illusory Islamic threat." These included Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the NSC's senior director for intelligence programs; Rich Higgins, the NSC's director for strategic planning; and Derek Harvey, the NSC's senior director for the Middle East.
Ibrahim Hooper, National Communications Director for CAIR, blamed "agents of the Zionist conspiracy for world domination" for what he characterized as "vicious attacks on an honorable man. President Trump is clearly a tool of this conspiracy. His failure to denounce the Jewish occupation of Muslim lands and his verbal support for the Israeli oppression of non-Jews throughout the Middle East mark him as an enemy of Allah."
For his part, McMaster justified his purge saying that "we cannot build bridges to the adherents of Islam if they see that we have the apologists for Jewish aggression within our government. By cleansing our councils of these troublesome elements we will win the appreciation and, I hope, the friendship of the Muslim community."
"What a lot of Trump's supporters overlook is the strategic advantage of aligning with the much larger contingent of Muslims vs. the much smaller Jewish segment of the global population," McMaster said. "There are more than a billion Muslims. There are only 12 million Jews. An alliance with the former is numerically superior to an alliance with the latter. President Obama understood this. I would be derelict in my duty if I didn't do everything in my power to protect that strategic decision from being overturned by an ill-informed outsider."
Document Dump Casts Doubt on Official Version of Tarmac Meeting
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request cast a long shadow of doubt over the official version of events surrounding the "chance meeting" between former President Bill Clinton and Obama Administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch in June 2016.
The official story that the meeting was a random occurrence and that the discussion was an innocent chat about grandchildren and golf was severely damaged by correspondence among Department of Justice personnel. For one, the correspondence was heavily redacted. Redaction is justified when sensitive personal data (like Social Security numbers or home addresses) or classified information might be exposed. There is no legal justification for redacting innocent chatter about grandchildren and golf scores.
On top of this, a lot of the content dealt with the development of "talking points" aimed at putting the proper "spin" on the meeting for public consumption. In this correspondence, AG Lynch used an alias. Why the DOJ would need to invest so much time and effort to develop talking points about an innocent meeting or why the AG would need to use a fake name remains unanswered, as does FBI Director James Comey's inclusion in the loop.
A week after this "chance meeting" and following the correspondence, Comey announced that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted for her "extremely careless handling of classified information." Comey insisted that his untruthful denial that any such correspondence existed "was due to my embarrassment at being inadvertently 'cced' on such an intimately private conversation" and that "no one can prove the correspondence had anything to do with my decision."
At this point, perhaps the biggest mystery is why the Trump Administration DOJ redacted so much of the "innocent" content of the correspondence. So far, no one is talking, but the rumor is that AG Jeff Sessions has "recused himself out of respect for the privacy of his predecessor" and allowed holdovers from the Lynch regime to decide what needed to be redacted.
Trump's "Excessive Expectations" Rile Senator
Chafing at President Trump's very public display of frustration with the failure of the Senate to pass health insurance reform, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) blamed "excessive expectations."
"Frankly, the President is out of his depth on this," McConnell maintained. "He comes from a business milieu where the emphasis is on action and results. In government the emphasis is on process."
The Majority Leader offered to "explain the process in terms that even Mr. Trump can understand. In the Senate we have agreements that both Parties abide by. All the repeals of Obamacare that we passed were guaranteed to be vetoed by President Obama. That's the only reason the Democrats let us pass these repeals. They could have easily filibustered and kept us from getting the 60 votes needed to stop debate. By promising to sign a repeal bill President Trump forced us to come up with another path that would be acceptable to the Democrats. That path required that several Republicans switch their previous votes for repeal to against repeal."
McConnell expressed his disappointment that "Sen. McCain rising from his virtual deathbed to cast the deciding vote didn't provide a greater respite from the unreasonable demands of an inexperienced and ill-informed outsider. I would think that the drama of a mortally-wounded hero making a last stand would've bought us some time to relax from the onerous burdens of lawmaking for a while."
The Senator also dismissed the President's pleas that he get back to work. "What he needs to understand is that he can't make us do anything we don't want to do," McConnell asserted. "And if he keeps insulting and bullying us like he has been to Sen. Blumenthal, well we might find that to be the sort of high crime or misdemeanor requiring his removal from office."
In contrast to the lack of legislative results in Congress, it was announced that the executive branch under Trump has reduced business regulatory costs by 90% compared to rules issued by the Obama Administration. McConnell warned that "the untimely release of this information will only further aggravate the already antagonistic relationship between the President and the Senate. This does not help his case for remaining in office."
In related news, the prospect of being impeached is mild compared to the prediction by ex-FBI and CIA operative Phil Mudd that "they are going to kill this guy because he doesn't support them. His joke about Russia saving us money by sending our spies home is likely the last straw. Remember what happened to Kennedy after he threatened to tear the CIA apart? Well, I think Trump has signed his own death warrant as far as these expert assassins in our government are concerned."
Clinton's Pastor Says Hillary's Loss Worst Injustice Since Christ's Crucifixion
Methodist minister Bill Shillady compared Hillary Clinton's loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and concluded that "it was the second worst instance of injustice in human history. In both cases we saw exemplary paragons of virtue punished for the sins of others."
Shillady predicted "a Hell on Earth under the demon that is Donald Trump," but offered a ray of hope that "the forces of righteousness will triumph in the end. Right now, true believers are working assiduously to unseat the unholy Trump and clear the way for the ascension of God's chosen candidate."