SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

John Semmens
SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: March 31, 2024 Edition  

"Sucker Punch" Controversy in New York

The new rage in the "city that never sleeps," seems to be "sucker punching" women on the streets of New York City. A woman named Halley McGookin posted a video on TikTok after she was attacked. It was one of a dozen similar videos of assaults on women near Union Square in recent days. "I was literally just walking, and a man came up and punched me in the face," she said. "Oh my God, it hurts so bad."

A day later, Dulche Pichardo was walking on the sidewalk of Grand Avenue near Dean Street when a stranger delivered a strong blow to her face fracturing her jaw and knocking out three of her teeth. Her brother, owner of a nearby restaurant, chased down the suspect. Franz Jeudy had committed two prior assaults. He was later released without having to post bail under the state's "no bail" law.

A New York Times Instagram post criticized the women for "stoking unwarranted anxiety. As crimes go, getting punched in the face is a minor offense. The fact that the perps are immediately released without bail proves that. All of the women who were punched were not wearing face coverings while out in public and were not accompanied by a male relative. In some cultures this is considered unacceptable behavior. By making a big deal out of it instead of mending their ways these women are running the risk of instigating future assaults."

Crime vs. Campaign Cash

CNN's John King slammed former President Donald Trump for attending the wake of slain New York Police officer Jonathan Diller, saying "while President Biden was holding a perfectly normal $100,000 per ticket celebrity fund-raiser at the Essex House hotel, Trump was exploiting a tragedy for political advantage."

Trump didn't shy away from King's criticism. "The brazen lawlessness that we see under the Biden Administration cries out for remedy," he asserted. "Yet, murders like the one of Officer Diller are ignored by the Democrats. Time-after-time we see that the perpetrators of vicious crimes are on release without bail when they harm or kill someone else. America needs a president who takes public safety seriously."

Biden campaign co-chair Mitch Landrieu pooh-poohed what he characterized as "Trump's hysteria on the crime issue" saying "we want to remind voters who have not yet been victimized by crime that they should appreciate that President Biden has, so far, kept them safe. The folks at our New York fund raiser appreciate this. That's why the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans back his reelection by more than two to one. They gave us another $25 million because they know their lives and their money are in good hands when Democrats run the government."

The added $25 million inspired President Biden to boast "this brings our total cash on hand to $155 million. I doubt Trump got much out of going to the Massapequa wake. The relatives and co-workers of cops can't come up with that kind of cash. Add to that the fact that Trump will be paying fines and legal expenses that won't sway any voters while we are buying massive TV ads that will and it should be clear who is going to come out on top this November."

Maduro Blocks Opponent from Ballot

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro blocked the name of Maria Corina Machado, the winner of the Democratic Unitary Platform (PUD) primary, from appearing on the July election ballot. Recent polls show that she is favored to defeat Maduro in that election. Machado expressed a willingness to step aside and allow Dr. Corina Yoris to run in her place, but Maduro rejected her as well.

Presidential Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said "obviously, we're deeply concerned by the Venezuela National Electoral Council's decision to prevent the registration of either of the democratic opposition party's candidates. You can't have a democracy if the ruling regime is allowed to prevent opposing candidates from being on the ballot."

Peter Doocy, White House correspondent for Fox News, asked "haven't Democrats attempted to block former President Trump from appearing on the ballot in opposition to President Biden in several states? How is this different from what Maduro is doing in his country?"

The Press Secretary said "I can think of several key reasons why they are different. First of all, Maduro is a dictator. President Biden is a duly elected president. Second, President Biden is a defender of democracy. Trump is an enemy of democracy. Keeping Trump out of power is essential if we want our country to continue to be a democracy. Third, Trump tried to instigate an insurrection against the peaceful transfer of power after he lost the 2020 election. That's why some Democrats tried to remove him from the ballot in their states. But the US Supreme Court ruled that since Trump hasn't even been charged with, much less convicted of, insurrection there is no legal way we can keep him off the ballot."

In a follow-up question Doocy pointed out that "Maduro received 67% of the vote in the 2018 election. Why isn't he a 'duly elected president?'"

She replied "there is no proof that his was an honest election. His Party controlled the counting. He could've stuffed the ballot boxes with phantom votes and persecuted anyone who challenged the reported outcome."

Florida Squashes Squatter's Rights

This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill to protect homeowners from squatters moving into their homes while the owners are away and attempting to assert "squatters rights," i.e., the right to live in the home without paying for it. The new law allows the home owner to show proof of ownership and have law enforcement officers evict the squatters.

DeSantis contrasted Florida's new law with the markedly dissimilar laws in New York and California, saying "in those states people who break into homes while the owners are absent are deemed to have established a prima facie claim to ownership if they can remain in the property for 30 or more days. The deed-holding owner has to go to property court to try to establish his or her claim. These courts typically have lengthy backlogs of cases. It could take months or even years for a newly filed case to reach the head of the line. In the meantime, the squatters have free run of the place. They are not required to pay rent. The deed holder is not permitted to turn off the water and power, but is required to pay all the bills for gallons and kilowatts used by the squatters."

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif) called Florida's new law "harsh. Let's look at the facts. The only way the squatters can move in is because the deed holder is absent from the property. As I see it, if the deed holder isn't living in the house his need for the property seems very tenuous. Space that could serve a poor family is going to waste. Why shouldn't this poor family move in and, by a continuing presence, demonstrate their stronger claim to ownership? Isn't this what we used to call 'sweat equity?' I reject DeSantis' effort to denigrate the progressive values that have made California the greatest state in the Union. We put need ahead of greed when it comes to settling disputes over property and money."

Biden Urged to Rule by Decree

With polls continuing to indicate that Trump might win the presidential election this Fall, Democrats are said to be urging President Biden to use his executive authority to try to turn the tide back in their Party's favor.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren argued that "the way our Party has traditionally won elections is by putting as many voters on the federal teat as we can. Relieving students of their obligation to pay back their college loans is a good start, but it shouldn't be the last unlegislated expenditure he disburses. The Supreme Court may have ruled he lacks the authority to do this, but how are they going to stop him? The only thing that can stop him is losing the election. But if we pay off enough people that won't happen."

"Why not declare an inflation abatement program and invite everyone to submit a request for a $1,000 monthly check," Warren suggested. "Then just have Treasury Secretary Yellen send a check to every applicant for every month between now and November. Trump will denounce this as unfair and unwise. We will denounce him as a miser. Voters will realize that if Trump is elected the payments will be stopped. They will vote early and often for every Democrat on their ballots."

"Of course, giving away money isn't the only tool at the President's disposal," the Senator continued. "We can get the women's votes by pledging to make abortion freely available at taxpayer expense for anyone who wants it. We can get the votes of those who fear climate change by simply announcing new regulations that will be paid for by polluters and the rich."

"If we don't win the election it will be Trump and the Republicans who will get blamed when he stops the gravy train," Warren predicted. "The energy they have to spend to try to untangle the mess we make will divert them from pushing ahead with their own noxious schemes to force people to bear the responsibility for fulfilling their pursuit of happiness by their own efforts."

COVID Shots Trigger Child Seizures

During the COVID pandemic young children were acknowledged "to have a statistically insignificant risk of severe illness or death from COVID." Despite the low risk for this population cohort, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still urged parents to have their young children be injected with the mRNA vaccine. Observations following these injections showed that "the incidence of febrile seizures was significantly elevated."

Evidence linking the shots to seizures did not change the FDA's recommendation that young children receive the vaccine. An FDA spokesman explained that "a lot of money has been invested in these vaccines by both the pharmaceutical industry and the government. Rather than let the remaining doses of this miracle product go to waste and create bad publicity that could turn public opinion against us, simply ensuring that all stocks are fully utilized averts unwanted attention."

"Since the World Health Organization (WHO) is predicting the emergence of more pandemics, it is crucial that the experience with COVID be made to appear as successful as possible," the spokesman added. "Health authorities around the world need this appearance of success to generate confidence and compliance with future lockdown orders and vaccination mandates. Given this scenario, the small additional risk to a fraction of our youngest children is deemed tolerable."