OPINION

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
03-23-2024 

John Semmens
SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: March 24, 2024 Edition  
 

First Amendment Hamstrings Government

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri. This case focuses on whether govt collusion with social media platforms to censor online speech violates the First Amendment.

Justice Samuel Alito questioned "whether it is legal for the US government and big tech to collude to censor speech they don't agree with. I think saying that Facebook and the Federal government should be partners contradicts the words and intent of the First Amendment."

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson disagreed. "My biggest concern is that the First Amendment hamstrings the government in significant ways at the most important times. The enemies of democracy hide behind a claim of freedom of speech in order to spread lies and misinformation. The Constitution requires the government to promote the general welfare. Surely, this includes shielding the people from false and dangerous ideas."

Abortions Surge in 2023

In June 2022, the Supreme Court's ruling that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a nationwide right to abortion was invalid and that the power to legislate on this issue was reserved to the states. This decision generated a cascade of caterwauling over the "suppression of reproductive rights." Yet, the number of abortions surged to its highest level in a decade during calendar 2023.

Dissatisfied that "access to abortion is still not as convenient as it should be," Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) are seeking federal legislation "that will provide a nationwide liberation from all abortion restrictions."

"The state-by-state variation unleashed by the Supreme Court allows some states to place limits on this vital health procedure," Pressley complained. "This forces individuals who live in states that restrict abortions to have to travel to states where there are no restrictions. This is burdensome and may lead to an excessive number of unwanted children being born."

Pressley rejected the idea that advocates of abortion could raise funds to assist this travel, saying "no woman should have to face the indignity of accepting charity in order to dispose of an unwelcome inhabitant of her own womb. It is the government's obligation to ensure that every abortion is funded with public money."

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La) said "the argument that there are too many barriers to abortion is undermined by the fact that the FDA allows women to receive a prescription for the abortion drug mifepristone via telemedicine and have it delivered to them through the US mail. They don't have to travel anywhere if they want their baby to be killed. The majority of Americans favor some limits on abortion. The 2022 Supreme Court decision allows states to reflect the will of the people in their jurisdiction. Cramming unrestricted abortion funded with taxpayer money down everyone's throat as Democrats demand is profoundly undemocratic and a bloodthirsty negation of millions of individuals' inalienable right to life."

"RICO Is Not a Crime"

In an effort to excuse Joe Biden's participation in the dubious business activities of his son Hunter, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attempted to rebut Hunter's former business associate Tony Bobulinski's testimony at a House Oversight Committee by asking him "to name a single crime he witnessed Joe Biden commit."

Bobulinski cited "corruption statutes, RICO, conspiracy, and FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) offenses" when he was interrupted by the Congresswoman's assertion that "RICO is not a crime, it is a category of crimes."

Jason Galanis, another former business associate of Hunter, recounted "Hunter got his father on the phone during a meeting with Yelena Baturina and her husband, Yuri Luzhkov, who was the Mayor of Moscow. Joe came on the phone and said 'be good to my boy.' A few days later a hard commitment of $10 to $20 million to Hunter's business was made. Joe's position as vice-president of the United States was the 'asset' he brought to the table."

Previously, the House investigation had uncovered a web of wire transfers, 20 shell companies, and associates who helped the Biden family business rake in $24 million from foreign nationals over the course of five years. Joe Biden received money from James Biden and Hunter Biden and nine other Biden family members received payments from the family's foreign business activities. It is not clear what actual products or services were provided in exchange for this money or why complex efforts to conceal these transactions were made.

In related news, an IRS whistleblower says that "in 2021, the CIA obstructed the IRS investigation of Hunter Biden's evasion of taxes by refusing to allow agents to interview Patrick Kevin Morris, a Hunter Biden friend who loaned him $7 million to help him pay taxes and living expenses. Without giving any details the CIA just said Morris cannot be a witness."

Stormy Daniels Feared for Her Life

Adult film star Stormy Daniels says she signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for which she was paid $130,000 "because I was terrified I could be killed if I didn't. Other people who knew things about politicians have ended up dead. Both Seth Rich and Vince Foster were shot under mysterious circumstances."

Daniels is slated to testify in Trump's election interference trial before Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Bragg alleges that voters in 2016 we defrauded when NDAs Trump negotiated to avoid public embarrassment "were essential information needed to assess Trump's fitness for office."

Despite the fact that NDAs are legal and widely used, Judge Juan Merchan ruled that "these particular NDAs are void because Trump represents an existential threat to our democracy. Whatever actions, no matter how extraordinary or legally dubious, that can be taken to neutralize this threat must be taken."

Merchan went on to say that "just because the Federal Election Commission declined to charge Trump with election interference in 2016 doesn't mean he is not guilty. Neither will I allow Trump to argue that he is being subjected to selective prosecution because all prosecutions are selective. Prosecutors may decide whether or not to prosecute any person as a matter of their own discretion."

In related news, Biden is getting a kick out of Trump's difficulty posting the $464 million bond necessary for him to appeal the excessive fine New York has imposed on him for the victimless crime of obtaining and paying back a business loan. "Life should be hard for the enemies of democracy," Biden asserted. "He should've thought of that before he decided to challenge my reelection. If his sons had the skills that my son has he'd be getting more cash payments than he could keep track of."

Squatters Allowed to Steal Homes

Leonel Moreno, a migrant from Venezuela, went on TikTok and advised illegal immigrants "to move into empty houses and claim 'squatters' rights' to gain ownership. Under US law, if a house is not inhabited, anyone can seize it by breaking in and occupying it for a specified period of time."

In New York City, intruders who are able to remain on a property for as few as 30 days can legally assert squatter's rights. When Adele Andaloro's parents died they left her the family home. Before she could sell the home three people broke into it, removed the 'for sale' sign, and set up residence. In an attempt to protect her property, Andaloro changed the locks and attempted to evict these trespassers. The police arrested her for "unlawful eviction" and advised her to handle the matter through the housing court.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James defended the squatters' rights law, saying that "ensuring an equitable and efficient allocation of housing is a government responsibility. Regardless of who holds the title to a property, the fact that it is vacant at any particular point in time proves that the space is not being efficiently used. Individuals showing the initiative to move in deserve legal consideration of their needs."

"In the particular case of Ms. Andaloro and her tenants, they are making efficient use of the property she left vacant," James added. "Obviously, Ms. Andaloro doesn't need the home. She has another. The same isn't true of the squatters. They have no other home. As a matter of equity, it seems to me that they have a stronger claim to the property. This should take precedence over Ms. Andaloro's possession of a piece of paper saying otherwise."

Meanwhile in Oakland, California, a 102-year-old home owner has been threatened with thousands of dollars in fines if he doesn't clean up the graffiti that vandals have repeatedly painted on his fence. While many have called the threat "misdirected" and "unfair," Mayor Sheng Thao insisted that "it is not the city's responsibility to find the persons who tagged this home owner's fence. What he needs to understand is that if you own property you are responsible for its appearance. If he can't bear that responsibility he should move to a lower-crime rate city."

Biden Mandates More EVs

Disappointed in the slow pace of consumer voluntary purchases of electric vehicles (EVs), President Biden is mandating that by 2032 a majority of new cars sold in the US must be either EVs or hybrids. So far US manufacturers have taken huge losses on EVs because only a tiny minority of drivers are willing to buy them.

Biden dismissed auto manufacturers' objections by pointing out that "China manufactures these cars for a lot less. If our domestic producers can't hack it there is an alternative that may better fit folks' budgets."

Former President Trump predicted that "Biden's mandate will cause a bloodbath in our domestic auto industry. Plants will shut down. Workers will lose their jobs. Our economy will be sent into a depression. If I'm elected I will repeal Biden's mandate and impose tariffs on cheap Chinese vehicles made by underpaid and slave labor."

Democrats pounced on Trump's use of the word "bloodbath" to claim he is threatening violence if he loses the November election. Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said the "bloodbath comment is an endorsement of political violence." Biden campaign spokesperson Sarafina Chitika echoed Tyler, saying "the Trump campaign can try to spin all they want, but the context is clear: their candidate has spent every moment since his first campaign encouraging and excusing political violence."

What is clear is that these Democrats have deliberately distorted the meaning of Trump's bloodbath remark. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term "bloodbath" as a "major economic disaster." And He Xiaopeng, the CEO of XPeng Motors, predicted "this year will mark the beginning of a fierce competition that may end in a 'bloodbath' among EV auto makers."

Meanwhile, Democratic strategist James Carville cited Trump's financial and legal troubles as "an opportunity for Democrats to intensify their attacks. The legal cost of defending against a gazillion indictments and the monster half-billion dollar fine levied on Trump by New York have hit him hard. He's drowning. Now's the time to throw him an anvil. Biden's got a huge campaign war chest. Now's the time to spend it on attack ads and finish Trump for good."

Biden Condemns "Islamophobia"

This week, President Biden, in observance of the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, condemned "the hate that Muslims face because of their beliefs and the ugly resurgence of Islamophobia following the war in Gaza. Let us rededicate ourselves to a world where people of all faiths are free to live without fear."

Meanwhile, Imam Abdou Zindani observed the International Day to Combat Islamophobia by saying "one day Muslims will slaughter Jews like sheep."

A poll in Palestine found that 71% see the October 7 attack and massacre of unarmed civilian Israeli Jews as a good decision and that 93% do not believe it was a war crime.

Given these sentiments, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken renewed his demand that "Israel cease fire and withdraw its troops from Gaza so the Palestinian people may establish a Palestinian nation with democratically elected leaders of their own free choice."

In related news, Biden endorsed Sen. Chuck Schumer's demand that Netanyahu be removed from office "because he is an obstacle to achieving the kind of peace we envision for the region."