SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: October 1, 2017 Edition
Dems Assail Trump's NFL Comments
President Trump's objection to NFL players refusing to stand for the playing of the National Anthem prior to the start of their football games spurred outrage among assorted Democrats.
Democratic Coalition chairman Jon Cooper maintained that Trump's statement that "the sons of bitches who won't stand for the Anthem ought to be fired" violates federal law. "It's pretty clear that the President saying someone ought to be fired is a crime," Cooper said. "This crime carries a penalty of 15 years in prison."
Despite the lack of any mention of race in Trump's remarks, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif) insisted that his statement was "racist. We all know that the NFL is a plantation where black men are forced to risk grievous bodily harm to entertain and enrich white folks. Calling the players who protested their enslavement 'sons of bitches' is a 'dog whistle' telling their white overseers to fire them. This is the clearest evidence yet that Mr. Trump is unfit to rule and deserves to be impeached." (Note: the minimum annual salary for "enslaved" NFL players is over $400,000. Many stars earn far more. Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford, for example, has a five-year $135 million contract.)
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton echoed Waters' take on the issue and wondered whether Trump "might be sending a coded message to his rich team-owning friends to have a few players killed as an example to others not to challenge his power. That would be a very persuasive message and likely to silence most opposition."
Left-wing columnist Jonathan Alter cleverly characterized Trump's words as "the fumble that will end his presidency. Football players are the most revered heroes of our culture. By pissing them off, Trump has ensured they will unite against him. Given the choice between whether to stick with their gridiron favorites or Trump's lame demand that respecting the anthem and the flag ought to rein-in their right to protest, I think we all know how that will turn out." Alter hailed reports "that NFL viewership was only down 20% seals the deal. Eighty percent will follow the players and vote to oust Trump in 2018."
In related news, the United Nations Human Rights Council demanded that Canada "apologize and pay reparations to blacks living in their country." Though Canada never had slavery, and in fact, offered refuge to slaves escaping north from the United States, UN spokesman Adam Blackman pointed out that "the power structure in Canada is white. It's always been white. What more proof do we need that reparations are warranted?"
Operation "Safe City" Nets Nearly 500 Illegals
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) teams made 498 arrests in "sanctuary cities" this past week as part of an enforcement action dubbed "safe city." Those arrested included 317 people with criminal convictions, 68 immigration fugitives, 104 people who had previously been deported and 18 known gang members.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) denounced the ICE raids as "an infringement on our city's sovereignty. We gave our word to these undocumented immigrants that they would be safe from arrest in our jurisdiction. Now we look like fools."
The Mayor vowed legal action "to reverse this egregious miscarriage of justice. We're confident that we can find a judge who will rescind the ICE arrests and order the release of these victims of the Trump Administration's racist xenophobia. And we're not ruling out asking for punitive damages to discourage further atrocities of this sort."
ICE acting Director Tom Homan called the Mayor's declaration "a sick and twisted version of reality. Our action targeted the worst offenders. His efforts to shield these individuals from law enforcement endanger public safety. If anyone should be held liable it's those sanctuary cities who give a haven to wanted criminals that prey upon the citizens government is obligated to protect."
Governor Approves Medicaid for Abortions
This week, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed legislation authorizing tax money to be used to fund abortions for poor people. This reversed a position he announced last April against such funding, but honors his 2014 campaign pledge "to ensure that poor mothers have the same ability to terminate unwanted children that their richer sisters have."
Rauner brushed aside Republican arguments that individuals morally opposed to the murder of unborn children shouldn't be forced to finance it through taxes, saying that "individual matters of conscience cannot be permitted to impede the collective will of the people. I was elected on a promise to extend abortion rights to those who can't afford to pay for it. The Democratic legislators who passed the bill were elected on the promise to expand the scope of abortion. Democracy must prevail over idiosyncratic moral or religious prejudices."
The Governor also argued that "in the long run increasing the frequency of abortions for the poor will work to the GOP's political advantage. The children of poor people usually grow up to be Democratic voters. Be enabling interdiction before birth we will be decreasing the number of future Democratic voters. So, as I see it, Republicans who oppose public funding for abortion aren't thinking strategically."
In related news, Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee for Alabama's US Senate seat, called the Illinois legislation "a good omen. The days when extremists like Roy Moore can prevent women from exterminating their unwanted offspring are surely numbered." Jones is confident that his firm support of abortion "up until the day of birth" will be a winning issue over his GOP opponent Moore in this December's special election.
China Cracks Down on Toilet Paper Abuses
Concerned that its citizens might be using too much toilet paper, the government of China is installing facial recognition technology in its public restrooms. If the same person tries to obtain more than his or her allotted four squares of toilet tissue per visit the computer will recognize the face and withhold any additional paper.
Chinese Minister of Public Facilities Hu Du Dung explained that "four squares is an adequate amount for any socially responsible person. It is four times the amount the Japanese allowed to their POWs during World War II. Any attempt to use more is theft from the collective."
Dung adamantly rejected the possibility that digestive distress might warrant a larger allotment. "Unlike backward countries such as the United States, China has universal, single-payer health care," he pointed out. "Those who suffer bowel irregularities have only themselves to blame. They have no right to appropriate more than their designated share of toilet tissue. Our new technology will ensure that this doesn't happen."
Meanwhile, in America's cruel capitalistic society toilet paper is freely available in public restrooms across the country despite the lack of the high-tech methods now being deployed in the more advanced China.
In related news, an editorial in the New York Times lauded "the amazing strides communism achieved for Chinese women." The editorial admitted that "while Chinese women have suffered under the ubiquitous oppression inflicted on all the country's inhabitants, the suffering has been equal. Considering the traditional patriarchal Chinese culture that preceded communism we mustn't discount that accomplishment." The editorial failed to mention the country's technological advance in toilet paper rationing.
Trump Tax Plan "Death Blow" to High-Tax States
A feature of the Trump Administration's proposed tax reform plan that has stirred fear among governors of high-tax states is the elimination of deductions for state income and property taxes. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called it a "death blow" for his state.
"New York has traditionally relied on high taxes to fund the services we provide for our population," the Governor pointed out. "Resistance to these tax high rates has been moderated by the fact that deductions from federal taxes has helped pass some of the burden onto to states that have lower taxes. If we lose that deduction more New Yorkers will object to our state's taxes."
Cuomo complained that the Trump plan's replacement of state tax deductions with larger standard deductions ($12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers) "is unfair to our residents. Right now, the average deduction for state taxes for Manhattan residents is nearly $25,000. Trump's plan would allow the same standard deduction for filers living in all states. A perk that has been enjoyed by New Yorkers for decades would be dissipated into a universally shared equal benefit. How will people afford to live in New York if they're to be treated the same as residents in other states?"
New York Republican Reps. Dan Donovan and Peter King joined Cuomo's complaint asserting that "to treat New Yorkers like everyone else is unAmerican. Our state has grown accustomed to a special status. New York City would not be a world-class city without the tax-subsidy the current code allows. We will ally with Republicans from other high-tax states and Democrats to make sure Trump's plan is killed."
California is the biggest high-tax state. It currently receives a $100 billion subsidy per year under the current tax code. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) called the subsidy "critical to sustaining my state's status as the wealthiest in the United States. I cannot abide a tax reform that would change this even if it treats all states equally. California voters didn't elect me to achieve fairness to other states. They expect me to defend our entitlements and that's what I'm going to do."
Feinstein also cited a recent report published by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) showing that illegal immigration costs American taxpayers $135 billion per year as further inspiration for her opposition to Trump's proposal. "As a sanctuary state, California has to bear a disproportionate share of this cost," the Senator observed. "If we lose the federal deduction for state taxes our ability to continue as a haven for these immigrants would be threatened."
Special Counsel Declines to Pursue Evidence of Obama Crimes
While Special Counsel Robert Mueller has yet to uncover any evidence of a Trump-Russia plot to steal last year's presidential election, he has turned up disturbing incidents of the Obama Administration's illegal spying on American citizens and lying under oath.
However, it is unlikely that anything will come of these findings since, as Mueller explains, "whatever misdeeds may or may not have been committed by members of the previous administration are not part of my mandate. My mission is to prove collusion between Trump's people and agents of the Russian government. For me to go outside of my mission mandate would violate the explicit instructions I was given when acting Attorney General Rosenstein appointed me."