Hillary Calls Woman "Poor Shopper"
When Teresa O'Donnell of Powell, Ohio took the opportunity at a CNN town hall to complain that Obamacare's costs were hurting her family, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton suggested the woman was a "poor shopper."
The gist of O'Donnell's case was that the so-called Affordable Care Act wasn't all that affordable. "My premiums have gone from $490 a month to $1,080 a month," she lamented. "I would like to vote Democratic, but it has cost me a lot of money. I'm just wondering if Democrats really realize how difficult it has been on working-class Americans to finance Obamacare."
"I have been working to nationalize health care since I was First Lady during the 1990s," Clinton responded. "Now that President Obama has completed the mission I started we can't allow the Republicans to undo this progress just because a few people are unable to successfully utilize the system."
Clinton went on to claim that "this one woman's experience is not representative. Bill and I have been able to get great insurance since the ACA was passed. So has Chelsea. Clearly, there are good plans out there if you are willing to make the effort to shop for them."
In related news, Clinton's daughter Chelsea boasted that "my mother's health care plan includes expanding coverage to undocumented persons residing in America. She will lead a Democratic landslide in November that will end Republican control of Congress and enable this vital constituency to gain the benefits to which every human being is entitled."
Court Awards $240,000 to Two Muslims Fired for Refusing to Deliver Beer
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) successfully sued the Star Transport trucking company on behalf of two Muslim employees who were fired for refusing to deliver beer. "The insistence that these devoutly religious men be forced to violate their religious beliefs under the premise that driving trucks hauling beer is a basic job requirement was a clear violation of their First Amendment rights," according to EEOC District Director John Rowe.
Rowe denied there was any inconsistency in the Obama Administration's treatment of different religions in different cases. "First, different religions are of necessity governed by different standards," Rowe said. "Under Islam the prohibition against contact with alcohol is explicit. In contrast, there is nothing in the Christian Bible that explicitly prohibits a baker from making a wedding cake for a same-sex couple."
"Second, the legal responsibilities of a business owner and an employee are different," Rowe continued. "An employee has rights. A business owner has obligations. One of those obligations is to accommodate an employee's religious rights. Another is to aid in the implementation of the government's social policies—one of which is the normalization of gay rights."
U.S. District Judge James Shadid ordered Star Transport to pay the two Muslim men $240,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. In contrast, devout Christian, Melissa Klein, owner of Melissa's Sweet Cakes, was fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
US State Department Erases Israel from Map
US Secretary of State John Kerry rebuffed criticism of the exclusion of a map of Israel from its web site, saying "we will not be bullied by Zionist extremists. As Senator Sanders and others had made clear, the existence of the Israeli state is the major impediment to peace in the Middle East. While we are not, at this time, prepared to eliminate the Jewish state we can at least begin to lay the groundwork for it."
"As a matter of democratic principle, there is more popular support for the elimination of Israel than there is for its continued existence," Kerry pointed out. "There are 6 million Jews in Israel and maybe a similar number dispersed around the world. There are 1.5 billion Muslims. If we were to take a vote, the majority would favor the disbanding of the Jewish state."
The Secretary emphasized that "the peaceful elimination of Israel has got to be preferable to a violent extermination. Our willingness to lead an effort toward a peaceful solution will not only save lives. It will also strengthen our relationships with Muslim governments around the world."
Cruz Campaign Hammered by Endorsements
The slim mathematical odds for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to win the GOP presidential nomination were further narrowed this week by endorsements of his candidacy from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Republican presidential nominee Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Graham expressed sorrow that "it has come to this. With so many better qualified candidates available, the race has boiled down to a choice of evils. If someone had only murdered Cruz as I had hoped, we might have had a better outcome. Alas, that didn't happen. So, I reluctantly throw my weight behind the second worst option still in the running: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas."
Romney professed to be "standing by my 'anybody but Trump' philosophy. Obviously, Sen. Cruz would not have been my first choice. However, at this point in the race, he obviously is the last choice with any chance of stopping Trump from getting the nomination. I will hold my nose and vote for Cruz in the Utah caucus. I urge other Republicans to do the same in the states where votes and caucuses are yet to be held."
Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski wondered "whether Cruz can recover from such a blow. I mean, both of these guys are big time LOSERS. Graham couldn't rise above a 1% level of support in his feeble run for the nomination. Romney managed to lose to Obama despite the worst economy in decades. I think getting the backing of these guys is like having an anchor tied around your neck."
Obama Urges Donors to Get Behind Hillary
Concerned that his legacy "might be undone if the wrong person succeeds me as president," President Obama urged the millionaire donors of the Democratic Party to rally behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the Party's nomination and in the general election.
"Granted, she's shrill and uninspiring, but we've got to drag her carcass across the finish line if we hope to preserve the gains I've made during my term in office," Obama told an assembly of rich and famous Democrats. "I recognize that the message of social revolution being proclaimed by Sen. Sanders is very appealing in our inner circles, but I don't think the American voters are ready yet for the more overt and explicit socialism he touts."
The President also warned that "Sanders anti-corporate crusade threatens to 'burn down' the good with the bad. Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, knows the difference. Her success in eliciting funds from Wall Street for the Clinton Foundation has demonstrated that."
"Finally, we mustn't forget that during her husband's term she became privy to a lot of confidential information that would be embarrassing to many in the Party if it ever became public," Obama pointed out. "By supporting her now we show that she has no reason to deploy any of that information to our detriment. And by keeping access to this kind of information away from outsiders like Sanders and Trump we can avoid disaster."
In related news, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) taunted Republicans as "moral cowards for allowing outsiders like Trump and Cruz to take over their Party. Democrats would never be so craven. We'd do whatever was necessary to repel interlopers. I'm proud to see that President Obama is stepping in to seal the deal for the nomination of long-term Democratic stalwart Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders."
Dem Denounces GOP as "Anti-Government"
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky) held a press conference this week to denounce GOP opposition to increased government spending. "They want to starve the beast," said the angry and incredulous congressman.
Yarmuth cited the "tragic" shooting of 17-year-old burglar Trevon Johnson in Miami by homeowner Gwendolyn Jenrette this week to bolster his argument that "if the government weren't slacking off in its duty to provide for the needs of our people this wouldn't have to happen. As Trevon's family so aptly put it, 'how he gonna get his money for school clothes if people can just shoot him for breaking into their homes?'"
"I can't imagine a more conclusive demonstration of the neglect and inadequacy of government programs than a young man being driven to crime in order to pursue his education," Yarmuth contended. "Every time we fail to expand government to the magnitude necessary to fulfill everyone's needs we will be setting more such tragedies in motion. The extermination of our best-and-brightest by gun-toting racist reactionaries is a price too high to pay."
The congressman held out hope that "this year's elections will crush anti-social elements and empower a Democratic president and congress to liberate our people from the burdens of existence. We will truly ensure that the best things in life, like education and health care, are free. We will end the struggle to obtain the necessities and free young people like the late Trevon Johnson to pursue their higher callings."