SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: October 15, 2017 Edition
Presidential Library Won't Include Obama Documents
The Obama Presidential Library revealed that it won't be providing any original documents written by Obama. Instead of having the former president's manuscripts, documents and letters from his tenure in office—items presidential centers around the country all have—the Obama Library will have space for outdoor functions and picnics, a basketball court, recording studio, sledding hill, children's play garden, and more. The decision has scholars puzzled and disappointed.
University of Chicago Professor of Black Studies Richard Buttkiss could hardly contain his dismay that "the written words of the greatest man to ever walk the Earth will not be available for historians to directly access. It's as if the apostles had been barred from hearing Jesus speak. It seems like the world will be denied the opportunity to advance to a higher state of consciousness."
Obama Foundation CEO David Simas explained that "President Obama did not want his legacy to be defined by a sterile preservation of his actual words, but to be a living record that evolves to meet the changing needs of an America on the move. What he wrote or said is not as important as what he meant or intended. By sloughing off the detritus of the past this President's library will remain eternally relevant."
Simas advised those who want to keep up with this evolving legacy "to buy his forthcoming books. The genius of this approach is that rather than rely on fallible outsiders to sift through an archive of old documents to craft a history of his era, President Obama will be cornering the market by blocking access to obsolete artifacts. A not insignificant byproduct will, of course, be the higher profits he will garner from book sales and speaking engagements as the sole source of insight for his term in office."
Trump Revises Obamacare Rules
This week President Trump made some administrative revisions to the Affordable Care Act health insurance program. Using latitude granted to the president in the original legislation, Trump issued an executive action that allows individuals more choices in how to insure themselves. This expansion of choice was denounced by key Democrats.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) called Trump's move "a stab in the back. Allowing people more choices is the exact opposite of what is needed if the changes made by Obamacare are to be made permanent. People will choose selfishly. They will only buy coverage they think they need. They won't opt to pay for the coverage that government experts say others need. Under the President's executive action a person who opposes abortion won't have to pay to cover it for others. This extreme individualism undermines the collective welfare of society."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) called Trump's move "sabotage. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a very delicately balanced system of cross-subsidization. If individuals who don't need certain medical procedures are allowed to opt out of paying for them others who do need these procedures will be hurt. For example, under Trump's rules a person who doesn't want a sex change won't have to pay for insurance to cover it for others. How is this fair? The notion that each person should be free to choose what he wants to buy is not the kind of America I want to live in."
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued a press release seconding the "sabotage" accusation, saying "the Republicans already had their chance to repeal the ACA, but failed. Taking executive action to get around that failure is not the kind of bipartisanship Mr. Trump implied just a few weeks ago. For him to say he is merely exercising the same executive latitude that President Obama did is not an adequate justification. Since when do two wrongs make a right?"
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards complained that "ending the requirement for everyone to purchase abortion coverage allows Christians to impose their views on others. Women have an inalienable right to terminate unwanted offspring. It is everyone else's obligation to provide the financial means necessary to implement this right. The ACA regulations proclaimed by President Obama's executive action are the crucial legal mechanism by which these rights were realized. By allowing individuals to buy insurance that doesn't pay for abortions this country has taken a major leap backward."
Clintons Should Run Puerto Rico Relief Effort
Former presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean criticized the Trump Administration's handling of post-hurricane relief efforts for the island of Puerto Rico. While the federal government has delivered massive amounts of supplies to the island it has not been uniformly successful in getting them distributed to those in need. Part of the hang-up has been local politicians laying claim to supplies. Another part has been unions seeking higher pay for transporting the supplies locally.
Dean's proposed solution: "let the Clinton Foundation take over from here. They have the know how and a demonstrated history of success. When Haiti was struck by an earthquake in 2010 the Foundation sprang into action and assisted this nation's recovery."
Whether Dean's confidence in the Clinton Foundation is warranted seems dubious. The record in Haiti is not as glorious as Dean remembers. Funds raised in the name of "relief" were doled out to companies that made large donations to the Clinton Foundation. Very little was accomplished on behalf of people living in the 100,000 homes that were destroyed in the quake.
Dean insists that critics of the Clinton's performance in Haiti "aren't seeing the complete picture. Haiti is a third world Hell-hole run by crooked politicians. The expectation that the relief funds would trickle down to the little people is unrealistic. That a substantial portion of the donated money was channeled to major Democratic donors is an overlooked success. What I'm saying is that a similar level of success is possible in Puerto Rico if the right people are put in charge of the operation."
In related news, now that the sexual crimes of one of her presidential campaign's donors have burst into a national scandal, Hillary Clinton has promised to re-donate his contribution to charity. "Luckily, the Clinton Foundation is both a handy and reputable institution to which these ill-gotten gains can be redeployed," she observed.
Carter Offers Self as "Human Shield"
This week, former US President Jimmy Carter offered himself to North Korea's communist government to "act as a human shield against an attack by the Trump Administration" contending that "even a madman like Trump would surely pull back if he knew an innocent American's life was at stake."
Fortunately for the ex-president, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un rebuffed the offer. "Our might is supreme," Kim boasted. "We have no need for shields—human or otherwise. Mr. Carter, like all of my enemies, will die at a time and place of my choosing. Even those who to attempt to hide like my brother did will be found and killed by my unstoppable assassins."
Twitter Blocks Candidate's Mention of "Aborted Baby Parts"
A tweet from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that mentioned Planned Parenthood's sales of aborted baby parts led to Twitter blocking a campaign ad in her bid for a US Senate seat in her state.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey labeled Blackburn's tweet "inflammatory and likely to evoke a strong negative reaction. On the one hand, there's the woman who already has to deal with the emotionally difficult decision to terminate her pregnancy. Awareness that her baby might be cannibalized and sold for parts like a junked car would add unnecessary trauma to that decision."
"On the other hand, there is potential financial damage to Planned Parenthood," Dorsey continued. "If the notion spreads that babies aborted in their facilities could be chopped up and sold instead of being incinerated as hazardous waste, women might stop seeking the procedure from Planned Parenthood's doctors. We cannot in good conscience allow our network to be used to inflict this kind of damage on this vital organization."
In related news, Apple's Vice President of Diversity Denise Young Smith apologized for publicly suggesting that diversity of thought is important. The apology followed a storm of left-wing criticism of her earlier remarks asserting that skin color wasn't the sole criteria for achieving diversity. "Last week I made some comments as part of a conversation on the many factors that contribute to diversity and inclusion," she said. "My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. I'm sorry."
Housing a "Necessary Right" Says Congresswoman
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif) declared "it is everyone's human right to have a suitable house to live in. Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness mean nothing if you don't have a decent place to live."
Waters demanded that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson "implement a program that provides a house to everyone that needs it. For too long access to a decent home has depended on the ability of individuals to afford to pay for it and maintain it. This is an injustice when we have the means to solve this problem."
Part of the Congresswoman's reasoning cited "the fact that many rich people have more than one house or a bigger one than they need shows we have a housing surplus that could be redistributed or shared. We could take a big bite out of homelessness without having to spend any government money. If there are any homeless after the redistribution and sharing is put into effect then the government can build more and better than the crappy public project apartments that we foist on the poor. Why should they have to live in these crime infested slums?"