John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: Best of 2015, part III

September 6

Democrat Says Drop Benghazi Investigation

Member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) is calling for an end to the investigation. As Schiff sees it, "the hearings can serve no useful purpose. Closing them down will save the taxpayers' money."

Schiff, who has attended only one of the Committee's 45 sessions, reasoned that "even if it is incontrovertibly proven that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was responsible for the lapses that resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens and several others there is no remedy Congress can implement. The dead cannot be brought back to life. And Mrs. Clinton has already resigned the post."

The Congressman pooh-poohed the possibility that criminal liability might be shown. "Bad judgment is not a felony," Schiff argued. "Selecting a local Muslim cadre to provide security may have been stupid. Blocking a rescue attempt may have been cowardly. Concocting a false cover story may have been dishonest, but such actions are routine tools of diplomacy."

Bryan Pagliano, the man who set up Mrs. Clinton's private email account announced that he will avail himself of the US Constitution's Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination if he is required to appear before the Committee. Schiff cited this as "further proof that there is no smoking gun to be found by continuing the investigation."

"At best, Congress might urge the Attorney General to press ahead with a criminal investigation, but does anyone sincerely believe a serious investigation would be undertaken?" Schiff jibed. "Isn't it more likely that Attorney General Lynch would either decline to take up the matter or simply issue a finding of insufficient evidence? And let's not forget that President Obama could just pardon Mrs. Clinton and spare the country further agony."

Kerry Sees Lessons from WWII for Fight against Global Warming

US Secretary of State John Kerry told attendees at the Global Leadership in the Arctic conference in Alaska that global warming presents a threat every bit as severe as World War II did 75 years ago.

"World War II was the most disastrous event of the twentieth century," Kerry said. "Over 50 million people died as a result. Global warming could easily top that toll. That is why it is imperative that the leaders of the world steel themselves for the hard choices they will have to make to combat this threat."

An example of the kind of hard choice leaders have to steel themselves to make is "the possible internment of potentially dangerous segments of the population. Students of history recall that US President Franklin Roosevelt took the hard step of imprisoning Americans of Japanese descent. It is not too difficult to envision a future president taking a similar step to imprison global warming deniers in order to prevent them from impeding the actions necessary to stave off undesirable climate change."

"Maybe a stint in an internment camp will aid in reeducating these misguided individuals," Kerry hoped. "But we must be prepared for sterner measures if mere internment fails to do the job. The United States undertook some harsh actions to ensure that World War II could be won. We may have to undertake similarly harsh actions to ensure that the fight against global warming is won."

September 13

Tearing Babies Apart Called "Humane"

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Priscilla Smith, a Director and Senior Fellow at the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School, maintained that dismemberment abortions are "humane." The procedure entails gripping the child with medical instruments, twisting off limbs one-by-one until the baby bleeds to death and then crushing the head.

Asked by Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) whether such a "humane" procedure would be an appropriate method of executing convicted murderers, Ms. Smith said "no. Even if the condemned individual were sedated tearing him apart would be horrifically barbaric and messy. Rather than having arms and legs of just a few inches in length the parts would be much larger, as would the quantity of blood spilled."

Smith also emphasized "the fact is that the law does not permit the dismemberment of prisoners as this would be cruel and unusual—a punishment forbidden by our Constitution. In contrast, there are no legal prohibitions of the dismemberment of unwanted fetuses."

Mid-East Refugees Reject Billionaire's Offer

An Egyptian billionaire's offer to buy a Mediterranean island for refugees from the war-torn Middle East region to inhabit and build a new country was not well received by the intended beneficiaries.

"Building a new country is too much work," complained Muhammad Moosheer. "Why can't we go to countries that will give us food and houses? Why should we be denied the benefits that America or Germany grant to their people?"

US President Obama agreed, calling the job of building a new country from the ground up "daunting. Frankly, the idea makes no sense. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. We have the resources necessary to rescue and sustain these refugees. They shouldn't have to undertake the arduous task of providing for themselves."

To bolster his argument, President Obama cited statistics indicating that three-fourths of the immigrants to the United States from the Middle East are now receiving welfare from the federal government. "We have shown that it is possible to obtain decent housing, sustenance, and even many of the perks of life without having to sell yourself into wage-slavery," he boasted. "The refugees should follow the path blazed by their fellow Muslims."

In related news, Muslim refugees in Macedonia rioted over aid packages sent by the Red Cross. "We will not accept this unclean Christian food," shouted refugee leader, Iman Jakash. "We demand Muslim aid." Whether there will be any Muslim aid forthcoming seems doubtful. Saudi Arabia refuses to feed these co-religionists, but has offered to fund the construction of 200 mosques in Germany provided the refugees are admitted to that country. "Simply feeding these refugees does nothing to ensure the spreading of the faith," said Abdul Fahraud, spokesman for the Saudi Office of Religious Affairs. "Ensuring that they will have houses of worship in which to pray and associate with kindred believers is a much more vital endeavor for the spread of Islam."

September 20

McConnell Rejects House Plea for Majority Rule on Iran Deal

A plea from 57 House Republicans to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) to allow the Senate majority to vote on the Iran treaty fell on deaf ears. At issue is McConnell's refusal to bypass the filibuster of the Senate minority that is blocking a vote on the measure.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), spokesman for the 57 GOP House members emphasized that "voting on a matter as consequential as the Iran deal should take precedence over the preservation of a mere Senate rule."

Although the Senate rule authorizing filibusters has no Constitutional or statutory basis, McConnell firmly rejected Smith's arguments. "The United States Senate is the world's greatest deliberative body," McConnell claimed. "It didn't get that way by simply yielding to majority sentiment. Preserving this historic role is more important than what happens on this one issue."

It's not as if this "historic role" hasn't undergone occasional modifications. The threshold for shutting down a filibuster used to be two-thirds. Segregationists used the two-thirds rule to block numerous civil rights laws over many decades. In 1975, the ratio of votes required to end a filibuster was reduced to three-fifths. During former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's tenure the ratio was reduced to a simple majority on one occasion.

McConnell was also unfazed by polls showing more than a two-thirds majority of Americans oppose the Iran deal, saying that "the views held by voters cannot be expected to carry as much weight as the views of members of the Senate. Just doing what the majority wants is tantamount to mob rule. I will not acquiesce to such a desecration of the principles upon which our government operates."

Smith was unimpressed by McConnell's arguments and pointed out that "under our Constitution treaties are supposed to be affirmatively endorsed by two-thirds of the Senate. The Iran deal inverts that requirement. Shouldn't Senator McConnell and all members of Congress, for that matter, put this Constitutional requirement ahead of the made-up procedures of the Senate no matter how hoary they may be?"

In related news, the Obama Administration declined to disclose the estimated number of Americans killed by Iran and its terror proxies since, according to Secretary of State John Kerry, "the only purpose this would serve is to potentially derail implementation of the deal we worked so hard to obtain. Rather than stir up points of disagreement, it's better to let bygones be bygones."

September 27

"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."

October 4

Consensus for War with Russia Building

Russian intervention against opponents of the Assad government in Syria appears to have sparked a rising tide of bipartisan support for US countermeasures. Initially, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called for the US to resist the Russian initiative by force if necessary.

Determined not to be outflanked, Democratic presidential contender, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed Fiorina by urging President Obama to establish a "no fly zone" over the rebel positions in order "to protect our investment in the anti-Assad rebels."

Sen. John McCain (R-Az) reminded everyone that "I'm the only one who has met with these rebels. Though by our standards they may not be good people, they are fighting for freedom as they see it." McCain argued for "a subtler approach. Rather than an overt 'no fly zone' why don't we just arm the rebels with Stinger missiles they could use to shoot down the Russian jets that are bombing them?"

In Congress, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) endorsed the idea that "we've got to do something to counter the Russian intervention. For us to sit by idly while the President's carefully crafted Middle East policy is disrupted will do incalculable damage to our nation's credibility as the world's leading superpower."

Thus far, the only high-profile objection to going to war with Russia has come from GOP presidential contender Donald Trump who has suggested that "the Russians bombing the Islamic barbarians doesn't seem so bad. To me, Putin seems the lesser evil. I can't see fighting him to save fanatics who would behead you if they could."

In related news, Jürgen Todenhöfer, a German journalist who spent 10 days living behind ISIS lines in Syria, reports that "the terrorists are eager to carry out the largest religious cleansing operation in human history. If they get their hands on nuclear weapons they will have no hesitation in using them to unleash a nuclear tsunami against the West. This is no 'junior varsity team.' They are dangerous and determined."

October 11

Candidates Call for More Regulation of Wall Street

In a bid to outflank her socialist rival contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for more stringent government regulation of big businesses. Under her proposed policy, the federal government would order firms that were "too large and too risky to be managed effectively to reorganize, downsize, or break apart."

That the federal government, which has not been managed effectively for many decades would possess the necessary expertise to assess the effectiveness of diverse business operations might seem dubious. Nevertheless, Clinton maintained that "the government has the right and the obligation to oversee how the nation's collective wealth is managed. Stewardship over corporate assets is a privilege that can be revoked if it it misused or abused. Our government is a government of, by, and for the people. Any institution or organization within our society that does not serve the people, as determined by their elected officials, can be altered or abolished."

Not to be outdone, Sanders characterized Clinton as a "faux socialist. She talks a good game on the campaign trail, but her record has been one of selling influence to the highest bidder. Why else would Wall Street be among the biggest donors to her candidacy and to her money-laundering Clinton Foundation? I will expropriate these corporate parasites and ensure that the government runs these businesses for the benefit of all."

Evidence from Clinton's unsecured private email account would seem to bolster Sanders' claim. As it turns out, Clinton's Department of State subordinate Cheryl Mills appears to have illegally passed classified information to the Clinton Foundation in order to assist its fund-raising activities among foreign governments.

Dems Demand Apology to Planned Parenthood

Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) issued a letter demanding that House Republicans apologize to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards for their "shameful treatment of her during the committee's hearing investigating the organization last week."

The letter characterized the questioning of Ms. Richards "four hours of pure torture" and contended that "it is as clear a violation of the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment that we have ever witnessed. The injustice of it all was egregious. Terminating pregnancies is not a crime. Selling recovered tissue is not a crime. Yet, Ms, Richards was grilled as if she were a common criminal."

The letter also condemned the Center for Medical Progress videos that sparked the Congressional investigation as "a deceptive entrapment scheme. The representatives from this organization posed as legitimate tissue purchasers in order to lure Planned Parenthood personnel into making unguarded statements that many would interpret as callous and greedy. Such underhanded tactics merit our disgust and revulsion. We should not condone this kind of behavior. To reward it by conducting a witch hunt will only encourage more of it."

Chairman of the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) defended the hearings and said "the four hours of questioning Ms. Richards faced was mild in comparison with the dismemberment inflicted on the unborn at the hands of Planned Parenthood. I am far more disgusted by the murder of children and the selling of their bodies than I am that this heinous organization was caught on video admitting these atrocities. I will not apologize for shining a light on this holocaust."

October 18

Germany Struggles to Make Immigrants Feel Welcome

Germany is taking some extraordinary steps to try to accommodate an estimated 1.5 million Muslim immigrants that will enter the country this year.

In a number of locations German students have been assigned to perform domestic chores—including doing laundry, preparing meals and cleaning up after the immigrants. These tasks have been made more arduous and risky by the obnoxious behavior of some of the beneficiaries, which includes throwing their trash out the windows of the apartments provided for them and raping the females entering the premises to clean.

Inhabitants of small towns being inundated by swarms of migrants have been advised by the German government to move if they don't like it. Refugee Coordinator Detlef Placzek waved off any possible objections, blithely asserting that "the decision to welcome these people comes from the highest level. It is every German's duty to obey the decrees ordered by their government."

Twenty migrants have shown their "gratitude" by filing a lawsuit. Abu Sirh, spokesman for the litigants, complained that "the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs has been too slow in delivering the expected bundle of welfare benefits. To make us wait more than a week before receiving what we came so far to get is intolerable. We are Allah's chosen people. It is the kafirs' obligation to serve us."

Sirh blamed the delay in the distribution of benefits for a spate of prostitution among the daughters and wives of some of the migrants. "Without the benefits promised to us, many men have been forced to rent out their daughters and wives to get money to buy cigarettes and other necessities," Sirh charged.

In a bizarre bid to placate these religious fanatics, the German government has lifted the ban on the publication of Hitler's anti-semitic screed Mein Kampf. Spokesman for the Merkel government Heine Douchefangen asked his countrymen "to be more accepting of the culture of the newcomers. This book is a perennial best seller in the places the immigrants come from. Making it available in our book stores will help them feel more at home."

October 26

Clinton Blames Stevens for Own Death

In testimony before the House Committee on Benghazi former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid the blame for the Benghazi debacle squarely on slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens. "He was the person on-the-ground in Libya, I was thousands of miles away," she pointed out. "He should have taken better care of his own safety."

Clinton brushed off evidence of emails from Stevens expressing concerns about inadequate security for diplomatic personnel in Libya, alleging that "I never saw any of those 600 emails" and that "Ambassador Stevens didn't even have my private email address, which, I think, showed a lack of initiative on his part."

The former Secretary also speculated that Stevens' emails "may have been a joke. Chris was legendary for his sense of humor. Inasmuch as he was an integral actor in a scheme to smuggle weapons through Libya and into Syria it is understandable that the Department personnel who did receive his emails on this matter may have dismissed them as just another demonstration of his rapier wit."

As to why she didn't support sending a rescue team in response to requests for aide during the attack, Clinton asserted that the absence of the key code word "cornhole" in the desperate messages from those under attack raised doubts as to the source of the pleas. "Without this code word we had no way of authenticating who was asking for intervention," Clinton said. "It could have been a ruse deployed by our enemies."

"Tragic as the deaths of the four Americans killed in the raid on the Consular compound may have been to the families involved, we shouldn't lose sight of the greater tragedy avoided by the actions we took that day and in the immediate aftermath," she continued. "September 11, 2012 was less than two months prior to an election that would determine who would lead this country for the next four years. The dissimulation that the Administration's enemies are so worked up about now was essential for fending off the bigger threat represented by Mitt Romney and the Republicans who sought to topple our government."

Finally, Clinton challenged the need for further investigation, claiming that "I already took responsibility for what happened in Benghazi. That should have ended the matter. Continuing to probe into those long-ago events is an unprecedented violation of common courtesy. Once a government official acknowledges responsibility there is no need to further belabor the issue. It's time to move on."

November 1

French Mathematicians Question Global Climate Hysteria

A recent report authored by a team of mathematicians from the Société de Calcul Mathématique SA challenged what it concluded is "a costly and pointless crusade against a naturally variable climate. The forces driving change are huge and beyond human control. The contribution to climate change that can be traced to human activity is tiny. The measures touted to combat climate change would be both expensive and ineffectual."

Global climate expert Al Gore denounced the report as "detrimental to our efforts to unite humanity in this crucial battle to save the planet. I'm not a math whiz, but I know if we do nothing we can't accomplish anything. Rather than sit by while the world burns wouldn't it be better to try everything we can?"

Gore brushed aside the fact that the planet has endured climates far warmer before the human species ever rubbed two sticks together, asserting that "just because we can't have an effect on the major factors behind climate change doesn't mean we shouldn't go all out to control the minor factors. That way, whether we end up sweating or shivering we'll know that it isn't our fault. The value of such knowledge would be priceless."

Ga?lle Tournié, one of the authors of the report, professed "it is difficult for me to decide whether Monsieur Gore is insane or idiotic. That he would gladly bankrupt humanity in an essentially futile endeavor to achieve a minuscule impact of doubtful success would support either assessment."

November 8

PLO Assails Cruz Hearing on Terrorism

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) took issue with how Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) handled a hearing on Middle East terrorism. The hearing entitled, "Justice Forsaken: How the Federal Government Fails the American Victims of Iranian and Palestinian Terrorism," featured witnesses describing attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers against innocent victims.

PLO spokesman Haikil Juze complained that "these hearings are one-sided and biased. Contrary to the propaganda spouted by Cruz and his witnesses, Jews are not innocent. The Quran makes that clear. It is every Muslim's sacred duty to strike down these minions of Satan wherever, whenever, and however they can."

Juze condemned "Cruz's failure to mention the provocations committed by the Israelis. First of all, the mere presence of Jews in lands conquered for Allah more than a thousand years ago is an intolerable affront. Second, Jewish whores parade around the streets with their faces and limbs uncovered inducing irresistible lust among innocent Muslim men. Third, the Quran expressly prohibits non-Muslims from owning weapons. Yet, Jews walk the streets with firearms in their hands, over their shoulders, or on their hips. Rage and revenge is our only honorable option. Cruz's aim to deny us this option violates our religious freedom."

Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest called Cruz's efforts "unhelpful. The President, who is a great admirer of Lincoln, urged me to convey the message that if he could achieve peace in the region without harming any Jews he would do it, and if he could achieve peace by harming all the Jews he would do it; and if he could achieve peace by harming some and leaving others alone he would also do that." "

November 15

University Students Rally for Tyranny

The protests at the University of Missouri that resulted in the ouster of President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin have reinvigorated student movements against freedom of speech across the nation.

Brenda Smith-Lezama, vice president of the Missouri Students Association, took pride in the rising groundswell of support for censorship saying "it's about time the youth of this nation take a stand against the verbal pollution that hides behind the First Amendment. Social justice shouldn't be thwarted by slavish devotion to the out-dated idea that everyone has the right to speak his mind regardless of the consequences."

Smith-Lezama hailed the intimidation of student journalist Tim Tai as "an example of the will of the people triumphing over the sterile notion that the press should be free to oppose progressive values. The people have a right to decide what will be written about. So-called journalists can have no right to independently determine what will or won't be covered if it contradicts the aims of social justice."

At Amherst College student activists have given the administration 48 hours to comply with its list of nonnegotiable demands. Alleging that "freedom of speech is part of this nation's historic legacy of oppression," the activists demanded that students demonstrating for "free speech" and insulting progressives with banners proclaiming "all lives matter," be "warned that statements offensive to social justice will not be tolerated" and that "disciplinary action against future offenders be made a school policy."

At the University of Massachusetts, student protesters vowed "there will be no peace until all university tuition and fees are waived and outstanding student debt is canceled." Chrissy Dasco, of the Center for Educational Policy and Advocacy, argued that "forcing students to pay for their own college education violates the Constitution's guarantees of liberty and pursuit of happiness. A person can't truly be free or happy if he or she is burdened with having to pay for an education. It is the government's obligation to provide a college education to anyone who deserves it. Even the citizens of North Korea have that right."

At Claremont McKenna College in California, Dean of Students Mary Spellman resigned in the face of a threatened hunger-strike by students alleging "lack of support for students of color." The hunger-strikers contend that "the administration's refusal to assign white students to do the work of minority students reneges on the responsibility of the white race to atone for the hundreds of years of slavery imposed on blacks in America. The only way for the scales of social justice to be balanced is for whites to be forced to labor on behalf of blacks, just as blacks were forced to labor on behalf of whites before the Civil War."

President Obama praised the rising tide of student activism calling it "a vindication of my faith in the political wisdom and energy of this country's younger generation. They are breaking free of the traditional constraints of our society and creating new realities with new rules for a new future."

November 22

Sanders Explains Democratic Socialism

Contender for the Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-Vt) made an effort to define democratic socialism in a speech to Georgetown University students this week.

"Unlike the socialism imposed by Lenin or Mao, democratic socialism allows voters to select who will rule over them," Sanders said. "With the backing of the electorate, these rulers will redress the inequities stemming from inequalities that are no fault of the individual."

Sanders asserted "the notion that a person's hard work might entitle him to a disproportionate share of the world's wealth is just plain wrong. A person's ability to work hard is an inheritance that he did not earn. Likewise, a person's inability to work hard is also an inheritance he did nothing to deserve. Democratic socialism places the well-being of the much larger number of persons unsuited to hard work ahead of the minority unfairly gifted with this ability. It uses democratic means for seizing the outputs of those with greater ability and redistributing them for the benefit of those with greater need."

"In a family, the parents distribute the benefits of food, clothing, housing, and everything else to all their children," Sanders argued. "They don't allow some to prosper while others are neglected. Democratic socialism merely extends the concept of family to everyone under the regime's jurisdiction. Government assumes the role of the parent and metes out a fair share to all its children."

Sanders acknowledged the possibility that "some of the state's children might need to be disciplined for selfish behavior. It will be the government's job to ascertain the abilities of all and ensure that those who are capable are assigned an appropriate share of the chores of sustaining the national family. The collective good of the whole cannot be allowed to suffer due to shirking by the capable."

"The success of my campaign will show whether America is ready for democratic socialism," Sanders said. "My guess is that the needy outnumber the able by a considerable margin. Convincing this huge majority to vote for a system that will empower them to confiscate the surplus produced by the able is my biggest challenge."

Paris Terror Attack Spurs Call for Gun Control

Despite the fact that France has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, the massacre of over 100 people in Paris by gun and bomb wielding Islamic terrorists has inspired Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) to call for more stringent gun-control regulations in America.

"I don't mean to belittle the grief felt by so many after the tragic events in Paris, but I shudder to think how much worse it would have been if the victims had been armed," Schakowsky said. "Bullets could have been coming from every direction. Police would have been confused over who were the perpetrators."

"If a similar attack were to take place in America it is likely that a significant number of intended victims would, due to our lax gun-control laws, be carrying concealed weapons," Schakowsky lamented. "There would have been complete chaos. Who knows how many may have fallen victim to friendly fire."

"If we want to be a civilized society we must give up the idea of an individual right of self-defense," the Congresswoman contended. "We must place our trust in collective-defense even if this means that in a given situation an individual may be helpless in a confrontation with an armed assailant. I don't think it's asking too much for our citizens to lay down their lives in pursuit of the goal of a more civilized society."

In related news, US Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the Paris terror attack as "completely unjustified" and contrasted it with the more "legitimate murder" of the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo earlier this year. "Killing people at a restaurant and theater was just unfocused violence," Kerry said. "What is the message? Don't go out to eat? Don't attend a concert? Killing the editors at the magazine made more sense. People know what to do to stay safe—don't mock Islam. President Obama has been urging people to not mock Islam for some time now. So, the victims at Charlie Hebdo can't say they weren't warned."

November 29

Candidate's Funding Solicitation Labeled Possible "Phishing Scam"

Contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (S-Vt) effort to solicit donations via an email request hit a snag when the Google gmail software identified the request as a "phishing scam." Apparently, the Sanders' campaign promises of "free college" and "low cost prescriptions" were classified as indicators of "possible fraud."

Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver blamed "Google's limited understanding of the difference between real scams and legitimate political policies. The crook's objective is to rob the unwary individual by proffering benefits that can never be attained. Bernie's objective is to persuade voters to elect him so he can legally confiscate the undeserved wealth of the minority in order to redistribute it to the majority. Those who support Bernie are not targeted victims, but co-participants in the transfer of money."

Presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) disagreed with Weaver's "attempt to disguise the inherent fraud of socialist economics as a legitimate political policy. Inviting his supporters to participate in securing loot by offering them a share of the ill-gotten gains doesn't magically transform theft into an ethical action. Voting to help oneself to the earnings of another is still a criminal act. Using the government as an intermediary cannot cleanse it of its immoral character."

Holiday Surveillance Shows Need for More Executive Action

Despite urging from a variety of left-wing luminaries, discussions in most households over the Thanksgiving holiday did not pan out as hoped. Early summations of conversations picked up from eavesdropping by "smart TVs" revealed that the vast majority leaned toward right-wing views.

"The President asked Americans to talk about gun control," Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. "They did, but the gist of the sentiment was that more people wanted to arm themselves. Likewise, conversations about immigration evinced a preference for less of it. And practically no one seemed concerned about global climate change. Obviously, American opinion is not where it should be at this stage of the President's term."

"Given the short time left until he leaves office, the President's only recourse is to step up the pace of executive action if we want to make progress on his key priorities," Earnest surmised. "As Commander-in-Chief of the United States, he believes he has the legal authority to order the confiscation of unneeded firearms, to grant the admission of as many immigrants as he deems warranted, and to institute whatever climate control regulations that may be required."

Support for autocratic presidential action was rapidly vocalized by a cadre of 24 Senate Democrats led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn). "There is no hope of obtaining Congressional approval of legislation to restrict citizens' access to firearms," Blumenthal lamented. "Our more cowardly colleagues cite the Second Amendment and the wrath of voters in their home states as excuses for their inaction on this sorely needed regulation."

Blumenthal urged the President "to save the nation from the impasse of misguided allegiance to an out-dated document and the ignorant prejudices of too many voters. Off-the-record, a clear majority of Congress is with us on the merits. If you could take the heat for overriding these obstacles you would be acting in the best interests of those who have dedicated their careers to governing this nation."

December 6

California Massacre Sparks Diverse Reactions

A paramilitary assault by Syed Rizwan Farooq and his wife Tashfeen Malik on an office Christmas party in San Bernardino, California that left 14 dead and 21 more wounded sowed confusion at the highest levels of the US government. The attackers had apparently planned the event far in advance—accumulating an arsenal of firearms, thousands of rounds of ammo, combat-ready body armor and constructing a number of IEDs over a period of at least several weeks—and posted a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on the day of the attack.

Nonetheless, President Obama professed his complete bafflement at the possible motive for the murders. "We really have no clue as to why these two young people took such drastic action," Obama said. "We do know that Farooq had some sort of work relationship with many of the victims and was familiar with the work premises where the crime occurred. My best guess is that we are dealing with another instance of workplace violence."

Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Nihad Awad blamed US foreign policy for "provoking an essentially defensive reaction from these obviously devout Muslims. When US troops are trespassing on Muslim lands it should not be surprising if Muslims everywhere are spurred into action."

Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that "Mr. Awad may have a point. If we bomb ISIS we shouldn't be surprised if ISIS sympathizers retaliate." Kerry also suggested that "the target wasn't exactly random. As I understand it, Mr. Farooq had a number of previous arguments with one of the victims—a Jew who challenged the idea that Islam is a religion of peace. And we shouldn't overlook the fact that the Christmas party he attacked is an example of the kind of micro-aggressions that Muslims in this country have to face on a regular basis."

Attorney General Loretta Lynch took up the micro-aggression theme and disclosed that her office currently has "more than a thousand ongoing investigations into anti-Muslim incidents including 'hate speech' and 'bigoted behavior' of the sort meted out to Ahmed Mohamed," whose cleverly designed clock that looked like a brief case bomb freaked out school officials in Irving, Texas. As Lynch sees it, "it is only because Muslims are a small minority in this country that these sorts of flagrant injustices can occur. The cure is to admit more Muslim immigrants. As their numbers grow, hate crimes against them should subside—if not due to the fear of losing a multi-million dollar lawsuit as Irving may, then maybe the greater probability that a Muslim may be pushed past the tipping point like Farooq and Malik were."

In a bid to distinguish themselves from any suspicion of harboring anti-Muslim sentiments, Democratic Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia and Joe Crowley of New York attended Friday prayers at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. This northern Virginia mosque was previously favored by the attendance of several of the September 11, 2001 hijackers as well as Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. California colleague Rep. Jackie Speier didn't go so far as to attend the mosque services, but refused to participate in a Congressional "moment of silence" for the San Bernardino victims as "it might further enrage the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and foment further violence, possibly against members of Congress like myself."

In related news, Democrats' determination to bring as many Muslim immigrants to the United States as they can get away with received a PR setback by Saudi Arabia's refusal to accept a single refugee from war-torn Syria, claiming that "they are too dangerous" and citing "the brawls and riots perpetrated by refugees allowed into Germany" as "proof they are too uncivilized for our society."

December 13

Hillary Campaign Denounces Benghazi "Smear"

In a recent interview on ABC TV, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton denied that she ever told the mourning family members of the four Americans murdered in Benghazi in 2012 that she blamed a video for their deaths. Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, those family members unanimously tell a different story.

Tyrone Woods' father remembered Clinton promising that "the filmmaker who was responsible for the death of your son will be arrested and punished." Sean Smith's mother and uncle said Clinton told them the same thing.

Glen Doherty's sister was especially offended by what she characterized as "a gratuitous falsehood. The video story was all over the media. Mrs. Clinton's Department of State was pushing that narrative very forcefully. She kept to that story on the day we met to retrieve Glen's body. We've since learned from her email correspondence that she knew from the beginning that the video was a made-up cover story."

Hillary for President campaign manager Maggie Williams called the families' contradictory account "a well-orchestrated smear against one of the greatest Americans of our generation. That a handful of relative nobodies would dare to challenge the veracity of Secretary Clinton is shameful. Fortunately, we can trust the media to bury this libel. But even if they don't, voters will never believe it."

In related news, several recently released emails from former Secretary of State Clinton's formerly hidden stash indicate that the Obama Administration's contention that the Benghazi victims couldn't be rescued due to lack of time may have been false. Apparently, the Pentagon informed the State Department that it was ready to deploy a rescue mission at an early stage of the 13-hour long terrorist attack. As luck would have it, all the top brass of the Department had "left for the day." A low-level State Department employee named Jeremy Bash, said he spent hours trying every phone number he could think of, but could not reach the Secretary until after the Ambassador and the others had been killed.

December 20

Bergdahl to Face Court-Martial

The US Army announced that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will stand trial on charges of desertion and "misbehaving before the enemy." Bergdahl was returned to the US in exchange for the release of five terrorists in 2014. Bergdahl spent five years with the Taliban after leaving his military post in Afghanistan in 2009.

At the time of the exchange, President Obama welcomed Bergdahl home saying that he had "served with honor and distinction." Press Secretary Josh Earnest denied that the Army's decision to court-martial him invalidated the President's earlier praise of the man, saying that "in our country a person is innocent until proven guilty. A trial is merely a way of sorting out a complicated situation."

"Even if Bergdahl is found guilty that doesn't prove his actions weren't honorable," Earnest continued. "He could have had honorable motives for deserting his post and going over to the Taliban. Robert E. Lee deserted his post and led the Confederate Army against US troops in the Civil War. Yet, many people contend he was an honorable man and that his service in that war was distinguished."

Earnest also declared the "misbehaving" charge "overblown. The Army is largely comprised of young men. Young men are known to be boisterous. Hi jinks and misbehavior among such a group is not surprising. To single one out for persecution seems excessive to me."

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