Boehner Resignation Unleashes Cascade of Caterwauling
House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) announcement that he is resigning from Congress effective October 30th was followed by a torrent of tears in Washington. Leading the sob fest, of course, was Boehner himself who lamented that "the blood, sweat, and tears I've shed for this country have gone unappreciated for too long."
As if to contradict Boehner's lament, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) praised "Boehner's cooperative approach to getting things done," and expressed the hope that "a similarly motivated and compliant successor can be found."
A glum Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest called the resignation "a serious setback for the President's agenda. Though President Obama had his differences with the Speaker both shared a respect for the importance of governance, of keeping the doors open and the funds flowing to the nation's multitude of clients."
President Obama himself was a little less pessimistic, saying that "Boehner will still hold the Speaker's gavel for another five weeks. He has been our 'ace-in-the-hole' for more than four years. Now that he has nothing to fear from the Tea Party wing of his Party there's an opportunity to enact some of the reforms that these right-wing extremists have been blackmailing him to oppose."
One of the reforms Obama said he hopes can be enacted before October 30th is "for Congress to delegate appropriation authority to the Executive branch. While I have been able to use executive orders to achieve some of the goals we all share, the threat still remains that this good work can be impeded by Congressional refusal to appropriate the necessary money. If the power to appropriate funds were delegated to the President the enlightened vision of the nation's true ruler couldn't be blocked by Congressional squabbling."
Boehner promised "to do my best to live up to the President's confidence in me," but also pointed out that "a delegation of appropriation authority to the Executive branch would require the consent of the Senate. I can certainly work out a deal with Nancy in the House, but I can't speak for the other chamber."
It is rumored that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) is working on a bill modeled after the Corker-Cardin legislation that proved instrumental in aiding the success of the President's Iran deal. Under McConnell's bill Congress would be given 30 days to reject any appropriation made by the President and if the President vetoed a Congressional act rejecting an appropriation, Congress could override the veto with a two-thirds majority.
US Has Plenty of Room for Muslim Refugees, Says Albright
Former Clinton Administration Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says the United States has plenty of vacant space that could be productively allocated to refugees from the Middle East.
"Even the most casual glance at the vast swaths of unoccupied space inside this country shows that we have no valid excuse for denying entry to those displaced by unrest in their native countries," Albright declared. "Take the wide-open lands of the state of Nevada as an example. Here is a climate that approximates that of the nations the refugees are fleeing. Why not set aside this state as a sort of reservation for Muslim immigrants?"
Albright urged citizens to demand that "Congress adopt this or some other set aside location. The refugee crisis will only get worse if we don't provide a secure refuge for these people. Once ensconced in some of America's vacant space they could replicate their culture, elect their own people to Congress, and help reaffirm America's commitment to succor and diversity."
"Free Stuff" Gaffe Said to Doom Bush's Candidacy
Republican presidential candidate Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush faced a firestorm of criticism from the welfare lobby for asserting that his message of opportunity would win more Black votes than Democrats' promises of more "free stuff."
Democratic presidential race front runner former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gloated over what she maintained "effectively ends his run for the nation's top job. Bush's pledge to preserve people's opportunity to work their way up the ladder offers them nothing they couldn't get on their own. What we offer is something in addition to what people can earn for themselves. Democrats are the Party that guarantees that the government will take care of everyone. Republicans are the Party that would force everyone get a job and support themselves."
Not to be outdone by his presidential rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders promised to "carve up the capitalist turkey and dish out shares to everyone. Why should the masses restrain themselves from expropriating the bourgeoisie? We have the numbers and, therefore, the power to vote for the redistribution of the nation's wealth. We have only ourselves to blame if we fail to exercise that power."
Sanders sought to distinguish himself from his "intellectual mentor" Vladimir Lenin by eschewing the prescribed "liquidation" of the capitalist class. "I am a peaceful man," Sanders proclaimed. "Stripped of their property, the capitalist oppressors would be powerless. My more humane approach would allow them to take their place at the back of the line and receive their fair share of the redistributed wealth."
Afghan Sex Slaves "Internal Matter," Says Administration
Reports that US military personnel in Afghanistan have been ordered to ignore Afghan troops' "bachi bazi"—the ritual kidnapping, imprisonment and rape of child sex slaves was defended by the Obama Administration as "a necessary compromise in the war on terror."
"The practice of holding and abusing under-aged boys as sex slaves is an ancient tradition in Afghanistan," US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter observed. "It is not our place to interfere."
The Secretary drew a parallel with this country's alliance with the Soviet Union during World War II. "The Soviet Union was an oppressive tyranny run by a paranoid psychopath," Carter recounted. "Millions were sent to the gulag for trivial or non-existent offenses. Thousands were executed for imaginary crimes. By any measure, this was far worse than the rape of a few hundred little boys by our Afghan allies."
"Abiding Stalin's lesser evil in order to gain his nation's help in fighting Hitler's greater evil was a necessary strategic decision," Carter contended. "Likewise, abiding the peculiar cultural practices of our Afghan allies in the war against the Taliban terrorists is a price we must be willing to pay. The squeamishness of our troops cannot be permitted to interfere with our broader strategic objectives in the region."
Carter justified the dismissal of Sgt. Charles Martland from the Army for his actions calling attention to the child rapes. "Our troops in the region have their orders," Carter said. "By raising an unapproved alarm over the Afghan Army's behavior, Sgt Martland disobeyed those orders. Discipline is a fundamental component of military cohesion. Just as US troops were ordered to ignore Soviet troops' rape of German women in the closing days of WWII, Martland was ordered to ignore the Afghan troops' rapes. Discharging him was our only option."
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif) labeled this "strategic compromise 'pathetic.' We shouldn't be repeating history's past mistakes. Making the world safe for pedophiles is not a cause worthy of one drop of an American soldier's blood. We should either stand for human freedom or withdraw from this fight."
In related news, Carter denounced Russia's intervention in Syria saying that "sending troops to battle ISIL in the region conflicts with President Obama's more nuanced approach. Russia's decision to just kill the Islamic State fighters contradicts the President's efforts to assist these forces to help overthrow the Assad dictatorship."
School District Bans "Tag"
The Mercer Island School District in the state of Washington has barred students from playing the game of "tag" on school grounds or within eyesight of school personnel. Communications director Macy Grade described the ban as "an essential step to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students."
In the game of "tag," one child is designated as "it" until he or she can tag/touch another child and pass along the "it" status. Grade characterized the game as "potentially devastating to children's self-esteem. First of all, the person who is 'it' is isolated and stigmatized. Second, all the other participants are traumatized by the risk of becoming 'it' unless they can successfully flee. Third, the chasing and fleeing exposes the children to potential injuries from falls or collisions."
The decree banning the game followed the school districts unsuccessful attempt to revise the rules. Grade explained, "instead of one child being singled out as 'it' we tried to encourage the children to play a game of 'us' in which every participant is designated as 'special' so no one has to chase or flee. But the new game didn't catch on. The children called it 'boring' and continued to engage in the dangerous, traditional version of the game."
The District also sent a letter home with each student asking parents to help police the ban during non-school hours. "We can't afford to let our best efforts to eradicate this scourge of childhood be undermined by the unsupervised play of youngsters when they are not on school grounds," Grade said. "It is important that parents be on board and help prevent the harm this activity can wreak."