Kerry Insists that "Death to America" Is Just Rhetoric
In his continuing quest to sell Congress on what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) labeled a "diplomatic masterpiece," Secretary of State John Kerry tried to reassure the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Iran's vow to take down the United States is "mere rhetoric for domestic consumption."
"Surely, members of Congress are aware that from time to time it is necessary to espouse policies that we have no real intention of implementing," Kerry said. "I've lost count of the number of times that various spokesmen for the GOP have pledged to repeal Obamacare or to build a border fence. Yet, neither of these promises have gone beyond mere rhetoric. Obviously, the purpose of such rhetoric is to placate their domestic supporters. I suggest we view the infamous 'death to America' slogan shouted by mobs in Iran in a similar light."
Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, took issue with Kerry's "ignorant and misguided assertion. Unlike Americans, we are not impotent mouthers of vacuous platitudes. Our battle with America will not end until the evil that it represents is exterminated. The lifting of sanctions recently approved by the United Nations is an important step toward our ultimate victory."
In addition, Iran's General Hossein Salami expressed confidence that "we will strike a blow that will be more shocking and more devastating than the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Unlike the Japanese, we will not confine ourselves to strictly military targets. Our slaughter of the most vulnerable women and children will land a crushing and demoralizing blow from which the United States cannot recover."
Obama Admin to Investigate Killing of Lion in Zimbabwe
Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe announced that his agency has opened an investigation of the "tragic killing" of Cecil the lion by American dentist Walter Palmer. Cecil was a major attraction at the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. Palmer reportedly paid some locals $50,000 to lure the lion outside the park. Palmer then killed the lion with an arrow.
Ashe characterized the killing as "a senseless act of cruelty against an innocent animal. It has shocked the world in a way that no other act has in recent memory. It is imperative that swift and severe repercussions be meted out lest others be emboldened to carry out similar atrocities."
The enthusiasm with which the Administration has taken up the cause of justice for Cecil stands in stark contrast to its more blasé attitude toward recent revelations of the ghoulish activities undertaken by Planned Parenthood, where organs harvested from abortions are covertly sold.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest attempted to explain the disparity by insisting that "the President is persuaded that Planned Parenthood has always acted with the utmost integrity and compassion. This organization's selfless concern for the welfare of women is nothing like the crass selfishness displayed by Dr. Palmer. He killed this lion for personal pleasure. Planned Parenthood repurposes unwanted human tissue for the benefit of mankind."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) concurred in Earnest's assessment and called efforts to defund Planned Parenthood "a distraction from the more serious matter of animal abuse exemplified by Dr. Palmer. It is essential that we do everything in our power to protect species endangered by human encroachment on their habitat. In this regard, Planned Parenthood's termination of surplus humans must be seen as a crucial component of the battle against climate change. That some would seek to penalize this great organization by withdrawing taxpayer support just because they are seeking another revenue source by selling discarded fetuses is criminal."
Senate Republican Mark Kirk (Illinois) called the uproar over Planned Parenthood's trafficking in human baby parts "illogical. If an abortion is merely the exaction of unwanted tissue, how can the sale of this medical waste be wrong? I can't really grasp why people are getting so upset about it. Any extra revenues Planned Parenthood can obtain in this manner reduces the burden we're obliged to impose on taxpayers to fund the organization."
In related news, Sen Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent out a fund-raising email asking supporters to donate to her reelection campaign so she "can continue to battle against those who would use Planned Parenthood's 'good faith effort' to secure its financial well-being through the sale of what would otherwise just be thrown in the trash. If you value the role Planned Parenthood has played in our goal of achieving a more caring community please make a contribution today."
Rival Says Trump "Too Mean" to Be President
Presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned GOP voters against making Donald Trump the Party's nominee for the 2016 election.
"The man is too doggone mean to be president," Graham complained. "It isn't just the fact that he's egregiously insulted me—a sitting senator. He's insulting everyone. He's insulted immigrant rapists and murderers while completely overlooking the crimes committed by native-born rapists and murderers. He's insulted the Chinese, implying that their trade policies are unfair. This is no way to build bridges."
"Perhaps the worst offense is Trump's lack of respect for President Obama," the Senator continued. "The President is a decent man and a good friend of mine. Sure, he's made a few mistakes, but his heart is in the right place. Yet, according to Mr. Trump, President Obama has been a complete disaster—lying and blundering his way toward degrading this great country."
Graham acknowledged his below single-digit standing in the polls, but held out hope that, in time, his long record of service would come to be appreciated by voters. "Unlike Mr. Trump, I have won many elections," he pointed out. "This demonstrated success gives me staying power for the long haul. We'll see a year from now who's still in the race—the loud-mouthed political novice or the well-respected senator from South Carolina."
Planned Parenthood Says Videos Bigger Threat than Bombings
Reeling from the negative publicity generated by videos showing the organization haggling over the price of baby parts resulting from abortions, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards characterized the videos as "possibly worse than the spate of bombings of abortion clinics a few years back."
"The big downside of the bombings was the loss of life of doctors, nurses, and others dedicated to improving women's health," Richards observed. "Bad as this was, it was at least partially offset by the wave of sympathy these deaths earned for our organization. With the videos, though, there is no offset. It's all downside. It creates the impression that we are callous toward the human remains of those proto-persons we've terminated."
"The challenge now is for us to try to head off an unwarranted reverence for the removed tissues," Richards said. "People don't get worked up when other tissues—like tumors or necroses—are removed from their human hosts. If those trying to make the case that we are murdering human infants win the day our business cannot survive."
To try to regain control over the narrative, Planned Parenthood has circulated a memo to media outlets begging them to not air anymore videos on the grounds that "they were recorded without our consent. It was our reasonable expectation that these very sensitive discussions would be private and confidential. The Center for Medical Progress violated these expectations by covertly taping these private and confidential meetings. To air these ill-gotten videos would only serve to reward this heinous invasion of our privacy."
Judge Rules Government Has Right to Know Who Its Opponents Are
U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein ordered Citizens United to turn over the names, addresses, and amounts of money contributed to the organization by its donors to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
"It is clear that the activities of Citizen's United, if successful, would result in a serious obstacle to the government's interests," Judge Stein wrote. "The government's ability to fend off this threat is hampered by the anonymity of this organization's supporters. If people want to oppose the government they should come out of the shadows."
Stein dismissed fears that the government might take reprisals against its opponents as "cowardly. Did John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the others try to hide behind anonymity when they signed the Declaration of Independence? No. They proclaimed their opposition to the government and took their chances. If the supporters of Citizen United are so fearful of the consequences of supporting anti-government propaganda maybe they should just be quiet and let the government run the country as it sees fit."
Hillary's Gap Nearly 5,000 Times as Large as Nixon's
In the painfully slow release of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's official emails, House investigators have discovered a two-month gap. This is nearly 5,000 times the size of the famous "18 minute gap" on White House tapes during the Watergate scandal. Partly because of that 18 minute gap President Nixon ultimately resigned in 1974 to avoid being impeached.
All of Clinton's Department of State email correspondence for May and June 2012 is missing. As chance would have it, this period coincides with a time of rising tensions in Libya during which others contend that they passed warnings up the line to the Secretary.
On May 22, the International Red Cross office was hit by rocket-propelled grenades. On June 6, an improvised explosive device was detonated outside the consulate. One would have thought these events might have generated some email traffic to and from the Secretary. It was during this period that US Ambassador Christopher Stevens is believed to have requested more security for the embassy and consulate.
On September 11, 2012, Stevens, along with three other Americans were killed by Muslim insurgents. At that time Secretary Clinton sprung into action assuring the world that these deaths were "the unfortunate byproduct of a peaceful demonstration gone wrong when local Muslims became incensed over a video mocking Mohammed"--a cover story that was later shown to be false.
For her part, the former Secretary insists that "there is no gap. As I recall, I was engaged in thinking about other issues—maybe my daughter's wedding, or pregnancy, or something like that. All the emails relating to my private, non-governmental thoughts and issues during that time period were, naturally, deleted as a matter of personal privacy."
Despite the Secretary's apparent memory lapse or mental confusion, her doctor--Lisa Bardack, a physician in Mount Kisco, N.Y.--has pronounced Mrs. Clinton "fit to serve as president of the United States."
Meanwhile, the Hillary for president campaign has released its price list for supporters wanting to interact with the candidate. A selfie with Hillary costs $2700. A picture with her autograph is $1000. A handshake and a simulated smile is $500. You can get the candidate to point at you from the podium for $100. A simple wave of her hand in your general direction can be had for the bargain rate of $25 per flap. If she looks toward where you are sitting or standing in the crowd, campaign staff will stop by later to collect $10 from you.
Obama Unimpressed with Current Roster of Presidential Candidates
In remarks at the African Union meeting in Ethiopia this week, President Obama lamented "the sorry slate of candidates seeking to succeed me. To be honest, there is no one worthy to follow the path I have blazed. I may have to consider running for reelection."
Obama brushed aside the Constitutional provision prohibiting him from seeking another term as "a dangerous and unnecessary impediment" that might have to be altered "for the sake of humanity. You know, the guys who wrote the Constitution in 1787 didn't see fit to limit the chief executive to any set number of terms. The Amendment restricting a person to two terms was the work of lesser men reacting to the unprecedented and awesome four terms to which Franklin Roosevelt was elected. Had FDR been limited to two terms we might never have emerged from the Great Depression or won World War II."
The President said that while he is not yet ready to take the appropriate executive action to set aside the term limit restriction, he vowed not to hesitate if "the options available to voters continue to remain as lackluster as they currently are."