SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: April 19, 2020 Edition
Michigan Gov Warns Protesters
This week, thousands of Michigan citizens circled the state capitol to demonstrate their opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's tyranny. The Governor labeled this protest "irresponsible" and threatened to impose further restrictions on liberty.
"These people need to understand that this is not South Dakota," she warned. "Just because Gov Noem (R-SD) was too weak to impose a stay-at-home edict on the residents of her state shouldn't be taken as encouragement for Michiganers to disobey my orders. Her quaint notion that the people of her state can be trusted to act like responsible adults is dangerous and intolerable during this time of crisis. Clearly, it is up to us in government to protect everyone from the consequences of their own bad decisions. That includes the bad decision to ignore the directives we have issued for their own good."
Whitmer is said to be mulling extending and intensifying the statewide lockdown. "I'm thinking that the license plate numbers gathered by the police during the protest could be useful for identifying those in need of further restrictions," she said. "I hear that in China, the police welded disobedient citizens inside their homes. Alternatively, we could use ankle bracelets to enforce the kind of house-arrest these deviants deserve."
Gov. Noem challenged the notion that she is weak, saying "I am the governor of a free people, not a dictator. In America, every person has an unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As a government official it is my obligation to defend these rights. During this pandemic my approach has been to try to keep everyone as informed as possible so they can make their own decisions on how to cope with the virus. I am confident that a free people can come out of this crisis in better shape than a terrified and submissive people."
In related news, Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) rebuffed criticism that his shutdown of the state has excessively infringed upon freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech, claiming that "enforcing the Bill of Rights is not my responsibility. It wasn't part of the oath I swore when I took office and there's no law that says I have to protect these so-called rights."
Former AG Hails COVID-19 as "Opportunity"
Eric Holder, former Attorney General during the Obama presidency, boasted that "this current crisis gives us an opportunity to permanently revamp our electoral system. The duress created by the economic shutdown calls for urgent government action to ease the suffering of those thrown out of work. This gives the Democratic Party leverage to hold up any relief measures until our demands for voting reform are met."
According to Holder, these "reforms" entail "elimination of voter ID, automatic voter registration for anyone receiving government benefits, prevention of voter registrations being purged for inactivity, universal vote-by-mail, and ballot harvesting. Each of these reforms will ensure that a maximum number of ballots can be cast and counted."
Holder admitted that "in some cases this could result in more votes being cast than there are registered voters," but asserted that "this would be preferable to the current system where there are fewer votes cast and counted than there are registered voters. Voting is a human right. It is better that some exercise this right more than once per election than that there be a shortfall because some potential votes aren't cast or counted."
Biden Unveils His Post-Pandemic Economic Policy
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called for "a return to the kind of big ideas approach that FDR used to revive the economy during the Great Depression. We can't afford to wait around for the private sector to make the investments that will be needed to turn things around from the wasteland Trump has inflicted on America."
"Look at what's happened during this pandemic," Biden urged. "The private sector that Trump praises on a daily basis is where all the economic carnage has taken place. It's there we find shuttered businesses and laid off employees. Compare this to the government sector where no agency has been shuttered and no one has been laid off. The message is clear, if we hope to return America to prosperity, government needs to play a bigger role."
"A blueprint for investment ideas that will revive the economy can be found in the Green New Deal," he maintained. "The private sector has to find an efficient way to meet consumer demand. This hampers the pace of investment compared to what the government can do. Government doesn't need market research to guide its decisions. Huge sums of money can be committed without regard to whether there are any profits down the road. Likewise, government can continue to provide goods and services even if there are no profits—as we have seen the US Post Office do for decades."
"This November, voters will have a stark choice to make," the Candidate observed. "They can either choose to continue the fragile capitalistic system that Trump wants to impose on everyone. Or they can escape to the robust alternative I am offering. Government never goes out of business. Government employees never lose their jobs. I think most will vote for the security and stability that a Democratic Administration will deliver."
In related "big idea" news, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif) have introduced legislation that would send a $2,000 check every month to every American over the age of 16 until unemployment falls to pre-pandemic levels. "The beauty of this plan is that this is more than minimum-wage workers are paid," Ryan boasted. "This pretty much will force businesses to offer more than $2,000 per month to attract needed employees. Even more important, though, is that the unemployment level just before the pandemic was the lowest ever recorded. It's unlikely we'll ever match that again, especially if Democrats win control of the White House and both houses of congress in November. This means the $2,000 monthly payments will never end."
Democrat Endorses Trump
This week, Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones (D) announced he is supporting President Trump's reelection. "There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he's doing something that's never been done before," Jones said. "When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. When we add in his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives, Trump has done more for African Americans than any president since Lincoln. I had to endorse his campaign."
"Compare what Trump has done to what Biden has done," Jones urged. "A generation of African American families have been devastated by draconian policies that Joe Biden supported and voted for when he served in the U.S. Senate. As a candidate for president Biden's proposals would do nothing to help African Americans prosper. He is content to keep a large segment of African Americans in welfare Hell."
The chairwoman of Georgia's Democratic Party, Nikema Williams vowed "retribution for this disloyalty to the Party. Trump's insistence on pushing Blacks into the workforce amounts to a return to slavery. The Democratic Party and our presidential nominee Vice-President Biden have worked hard to give our people the lifestyle of subsidized leisure so many currently enjoy. Jones' undermining of this accomplishment will turn voters against him and the racist president he endorsed."
Disagreement on Blame for Coronavirus
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo) has introduced legislation called the Justice for Victims of COVID-19 Act. If passed, this bill would enable victims of the virus to sue the Chinese Government for damages. "There is overwhelming evidence that the Chinese Communist Party's lies, deceit, and incompetence caused COVID-19 to transform from a local disease outbreak into a global pandemic. We need to empower Americans and other victims around the world to recover damages."
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn) disagreed and insisted that "Trump, not China is to blame for the coronavirus global pandemic. For more than three years I've had the chance to observe the depredations wreaked on this country by Trump. He is the most unqualified and dangerous person to ever hold the office of president. Clearly, Trump is the greater threat. Even if the virus came from China—some are persuaded that the US Army started the contagion in the Wuhan Province of China, a clear act of war, in my opinion—Trump has only made it worse by his blunders over the past three months. If the Republican senators had not blocked his conviction on the impeachment charges we wouldn't be in the mess we're now in."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) sided with Murphy, charging that "Trump's poor response is the cause of all the suffering in this country. His repeated attempts to blame China and to punish the World Health Organization (WHO) for siding with China are despicable."
Angered at WHO for repeating the Chinese Governments false statements about the virus, President Trump has temporarily paused US subsidies to WHO pending further investigation of their role in disseminating Chinese propaganda on this issue.
Pelosi labeled this pause "illegal and dangerous. The United States' contributions are WHO's largest source of income. President Trump has no authority to stop the flow of this money without congressional approval—which can't be attained right now because we're all sheltering-in-place away from Washington. Luckily, I have a year's supply of fifty different flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream sequestered in my $5,000 super-duper cold freezer in my basement. Faced with the choice of risking my life by traveling to DC to conduct congressional business and staying safe and well-fed on my favorite food...well, it's a no brainer decision."
NYC Inflates COVID-19 Death Toll
This week, New York City added 3,700 deaths to its COVID-19 total. Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary Freddi Goldstein explained that "the Mayor pointed out that since the feds are paying $13,000 for each reported COVID-19 death we could improve the City's financial situation by attributing as many deaths to the virus as we could. So, we went through all the death certificates since the beginning of the year to see which could be plausibly revised to show COVID-19 as the cause of death."
"Let me give you a couple of examples to illustrate what we've done. In cases where a person died at home of natural causes, if that person was older than 65 or lived in a zip code where a majority of persons from that zip code who had been tested for the virus showed up positive for COVID, this person would be counted as having died of COVID. In cases where a person died in a hospital, if any of the nurses or doctors working at the hospital have tested positive for COVID, this person would be counted as having died of COVID. If a body is found on the street with no evidence of foul play, since New York City is a designated COVID hot spot, this person would be counted as having died of COVID."
"The $48 million in extra revenue from the federal government that we will earn from this reclassification will make a small dent in the deficit that is accruing from the lockdown," Goldstein added. "The extra COVID deaths may also help the City's case for an additional $7 billion in federal aid needed to restart the City's economy."
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) admitted that "President Trump has delivered for New York. He has quickly responded to meet all of our needs. I just wish he wasn't so mean to me. He didn't have to mention that I passed up an opportunity to buy ventilators back in 2015. He didn't have to mentioned that I discounted the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat six weeks ago. He didn't have to be so public about having to make up for my errors when everybody else had already forgotten about them."
Gov Tells Virginians to Adapt to "New Normal"
Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va) extended his ordered state shutdown to May 8, but isn't optimistic that business and life "will ever be the same as it used to be."
"Given that there won't be a vaccine anytime soon, as well as the probability that, at best, it may only be partially effective, it looks like the COVID virus will be around a long time," he pointed out. "The shelter-in-place I ordered is working. Not only are we flattening the curve and saving people from dying of the virus, we are also saving people from the perils of unnecessary travel. With less travel there are fewer crashes and the air is less polluted. I'm reluctant to give up these gains."
"I reject the contention that the cost of the shutdown is too great to bear," the Governor said. "My order was limited to nonessential activities. While this has required many people to drastically change the way they live, I think it is a good trade-off. Think about it. Is there ever any need to put up with nonessential activities? Isn't spending time and money on nonessential things an unnecessary burden on society? Between the lives saved and the efficiencies achieved by eliminating the nonessential behaviors we have mindlessly incorporated into our daily routine, it looks to me that adapting to a 'new normal' is the way to go."
Meanwhile in North Carolina, in accord with the orders of Gov. Roy Cooper (D), police broke up a protest against the state's closed economy on the grounds that "protesting is a 'nonessential activity' that is explicitly banned by the governor."