OPINION

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
05-25-2024 

John Semmens
SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: May 26, 2024 Edition  
 

Trump's Bronx Rally Called "Waste of Time"

This week, former President Trump held a campaign rally in the Bronx Borough of New York City. An estimated crowd of 25,000 enthusiastic fans attended. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) called the attendees "clowns" and the rally "a waste of time."

"Anyone who thinks that enthusiastic voters are going to decide this election is sadly mistaken," Hochul proclaimed. "In the 2020 election Trump had slews of rallies with tens of thousands of enthusiastic supporters. Then former Vice-President Biden had only a few dozen attendees at his infrequent campaign appearances. Yet, he easily defeated Trump when the votes were counted."

"The secret of the Democratic Party's victory was focusing on generating as many ballots as possible and counting each of them as many times as possible," Hochul boasted. "In many states signature verification was bypassed. Unsupervised, street-corner drop-boxes were stuffed. Ballots were tabulated as many times as needed to ensure that Biden would have enough votes to win the necessary states to get the electoral vote majority. Every objection alleging fraud was dismissed by the courts and the objectors in many states are now being prosecuted for questioning the official tallies. There's no way we can be stopped from repeating this successful strategy this coming November."

Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), in whose district Trump's rally was held, predicted that bad weather would spoil the event. When this didn't happen she took it as "proof Trump is in league with satanic forces that are changing the weather in an effort to aid him in destroying our democracy" and called for "the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to counter the GOP's evil powers."

"Hedonic" Adjustments to the CPI

A spot check of fast food prices over the past five years shows prices rising much faster than the official Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index's 21% rise. Big Macs are 88% more costly. Taco Bell burritos are up 118%, and Chick-Fil A nuggets are up 96%.

Erika McEntarfer, Commissioner of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, explained that "we use a 'hedonic' adjustment factor to account for the technological improvements that make products more enjoyable. A simplistic comparison of a 2024 Bic Mac with a 2019 Big Mac fails to account for the value of the increased consumer enjoyment and, therefore, exaggerates the impact of the price change."

Donald Trump, a regular consumer of the Big Mac over this time period disputed the relevance of "this so-called 'hedonic' adjustment being applied to my favorite burger. It's the same two beef patties, cheese, lettuce, onion, and special sauce on a sesame seed bun."

McEntarfer said "we understand that inexpert consumers may not comprehend our methods, but the alternative of naively comparing past prices with current prices without making adjustments for technology would yield misleading results. At the Bureau we employ the best educated experts from the finest universities. Our science shows that inflation is not as bad as people think. The American people need to trust the science."

Washington Post Shifting to AI

The Washington Post's CEO Will Lewis, announced that "we will be replacing most of our human reporters with artificial intelligence (AI). We are in a hole, and we have been for some time. It's clear that we cannot afford to continue as we have been. Many on our staff have already been submitting AI-generated text as their own work. They have, effectively, made themselves redundant. So, we are eliminating the middle men, their salaries, and their benefits. The electricity to run our AI is dirt-cheap by comparison."

Recently, Google's AI has recommended "adding glue to pizza sauce" and suggested that "tweens could improve their mental performance by smoking tobacco."

Lewis professed himself to be "untroubled by the Google AI's seemingly bizarre advice. Humans aren't necessarily the best judges of whether these recommendations are bad advice. AI can run rings around mere human thinking. Rather than recoil at new and strange ideas perhaps we should give them a try. I mean, school performances have been trending down for decades. Maybe more tobacco vaping could turn this around."

"From the perspective of our newspaper, the database of words already written and available for the AI to use is vast," Lewis pointed out. "AI can quickly mine this database and produce articles and reports that can pass as real news. Focus group research has already shown that virtually none of our readers can tell the difference between original content and AI regurgitated word salads. In any case, it is the last hope for keeping the Washington Post going."

October 7 Video "Defames Hamas"

At a hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mn) sharply criticized University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Chancellor Gene Block for allowing pro-Israel counter protesters on their campus to publicly show a video of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israeli civilians.

"This one-sided, out-of-context view of beheaded babies, raped women and children, and slaughtered unarmed persons defamed the Muslims fighting to free Palestine from its Jewish oppressors," Omar asserted. "They made no effort to present Hamas' justification for the raid. The insinuation that targeting civilians is per se wrong overlooks the fact that Israeli military targets are too risky for Hamas to directly confront."

"On top of this, those unfamiliar with the Quran may be unaware that killing Jews is explicitly advocated," Omar said. "It is an obligation that every devout Muslim is expected to undertake. Yet, the video failed to acknowledge this. It made the Hamas soldiers out to be simply murderers without any justification for their actions and slandered the pro-Hamas demonstrators who are trying to stop the genocide Israel is perpetrating in Gaza."

In related news, it appears that the Biden Administration's attempt to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza's residents is being thwarted by Hamas. The $320 million floating pier it built is under constant attack from Hamas fighters. Most of the aid packages have been stolen by Hamas fighters. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar called the pier and aid "an unwanted intrusion by infidels. They pose as alms givers, but their mission is to destroy the bond between Hamas and the people who elected us to lead the struggle against the Zionists. The people know that our fighters need the aid more than they do. Every Gaza civilian prefers to starve if this is what it takes to kill Jews and liberate Palestine."

Biden Campaign Co-Chair Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del) said sympathized with Sinwar, calling his position "understandable. We would prefer a hostage release and ceasefire deal, but since Hamas refuses to accept this, we are urging Israel to 'turn the other cheek' and end its war against Hamas. The President is confident that such a show of good faith will inspire Hamas to release any hostages that are still alive once they realize that continuing to hold them only benefits Trump's chances of seizing the presidency from President Biden in the upcoming election."

"Why Should He?"

Considering that the flood of illegal immigration into the US is not popular with voters, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre "why doesn't the President take executive action to enforce the existing laws against illegal entry into the country?"

Her response was "why should he? He wants to bring in as many new immigrants as we can. Existing laws don't allow the kind of unrestricted entry that he wants to see. Until those laws are changed he's going to stick with what has worked since he reversed Trump's executive orders meant to enforce existing border laws back in January of 2021 when he first took office."

"Additionally, he is worried that the courts might strike down any executive action he takes like they did when they declared that he had no authority to cancel student debt," Jean-Pierre said.

"That didn't stop him from declaring the cancellation of another $7 billion in student debt last week," Doocy reminder her. "Since he's already defying one Supreme Court ruling why not just defy another?"

"Peter, you're missing the key difference between the two issues," the Press Secretary argued. "Canceling more student debt will win him votes from those students. Taking executive action to make the border more secure would make it harder for more Hispanic voters to get inside the country in time to cast ballots for him. Right now the District of Columbia Board of Elections teaching recent newcomers how to vote. Similar operations are underway or planned in multiple locations around the country. What's in it for him to stop this?"

People's Democracy vs. Fake Democracy Explained

Alarmed that concern over the poor results of Bidenomics for the average American "could persuade enough voters to reject the people's democracy that our Party has been trying to establish in this country" House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) made an impassioned plea to voters "to stay the course with President Biden and give Democrats solid majorities in the House and Senate."

Jeffries said "restoring the right of abortion granted to women by the US Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling is our key talking point. In its 2022 Dobbs ruling the Court negated this universal right to abortion by insisting that since the Constitution does not explicitly grant the federal government authority over abortion, the Tenth Amendment reserves this power to the states. Allowing each separate state to make its own decision violates the principle of democratic centralism that is a foundational principle of progressive government."

"For true democracy to exist all rights and rules must be uniform throughout the regime," the Congressman explained. "This is the unification that our Party has been trying to impose on the country. The balkanization forced on the country by the Dobbs decision is a fake bourgeois imitation of democracy that must not be permitted to undo the transformation to a people's democracy initiated by comrade Obama and continued by his loyal successor comrade Biden. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that the transformation stays on track by suppressing misleading propaganda and rejecting the legitimacy of any ballots influenced by right-wing thoughts, words, or deeds."

"After the election we will reform the Supreme Court by establishing a progressive ethical code of conduct, impeach and remove any Justice that does not conform to this code, and fill the vacancies with bonafide members of the progressive ruling majority," Jeffries promised. "We will do the same with Congress so that a single unified People's Democratic Party can more effectively govern without the dead weight of opposing ideas and Parties."

In related news, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are demanding that Chief Justice John Roberts order Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from all future cases because his wife flew the American flag upside down shortly after the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol building. "It's bad enough that we have Justice Thomas unduly influenced by his right-wing wife," Durbin complained. "Now we have the same problem with Alito. Maybe it's time that we require Justices to observe the same celibacy imposed on priests to keep them focused on their jobs rather than be lured astray by sex."