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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: November 29, 2020 Edition

Whitmer Nominated for Award

This week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich) was one of those nominated by Time to be its "Person of the Year." The editors praised "her pioneering efforts to transform her state from an out-dated racist republic to a vibrant authoritarian dictatorship. While there were other governors who similarly ruled with an iron fist, none were as effectively 'in-your-face' as Gov. Whitmer."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) was also nominated, but is not expected to make the final cut because "his state's legislature is not trying to impeach him. " Self-proclaimed Gov. Stacey Abrams (D-GA) also received a nomination, but is not favored to win because "while there is no doubt regarding her devotion to autocracy, her lack of actual power stymied her ability to directly oppress anyone."

Like Cuomo, Whitmer has faced resistance from state residents to her harsh coronavirus edicts. And like Cuomo, Whitmer has been met with criticism over her policy of ordering virus-infected patients to be sent into nursing homes. Newly elected Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido has vowed to charge the governor for the deaths her nursing home policy caused in the county—a prospect that Time's editors said "we hope being nominated for 'Person of the Year' might help immunize the Governor against both this charge and the allegations that she enabled billions to be paid for fraudulent unemployment claims following her lockdown orders that drove the jobless rate up to 24% of the workforce."

Meanwhile, two other governors who might benefit from receiving a "Person of the Year" nomination are Gavin Newsom (D-Calif) and Brian Kemp (R-GA). Both have been implicated in an international money laundering and bribery scheme in which hundreds of millions of dollars were wired to communist China to purchase COVID supplies that were never delivered.

Supreme Court Rules Against Cuomo

In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's restrictions on church attendance in his state are an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment's "free exercise" clause. The original suit was filed by a Catholic Diocese and two Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

In the unsigned majority opinion, the court ruled that "the restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty. Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying that "the Constitution never contemplated the kind of pandemic we have seen this year. The Court should not play a deadly game in second guessing the expert judgment of state officials. Rather than hamstring them based on an out-dated document, we need to allow them maximum leeway on how to cope with modern emergencies. If, in their judgment, citizens need to be confined to their homes, their businesses shut down, their jobs eliminated, their gatherings for religious purposes banned, or their freedom of speech curtailed, the Court must not stand in their way."

In a concurring opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch castigated what he termed "the brief for tyranny espoused by Justice Sotomayor. Claims of emergency have been a favorite excuse for many attacks on individual natural right to liberty by would-be dictatators. Preventing this type of self-serving rationale for ignoring this right is precisely why the Constitution was written. It is the Court's responsibility to uphold the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people. If the Constitution seems inadequate for today's way of life, let those claiming emergency make their case and persuade the representatives of the people to amend the Constitution in ways that might address emergencies without unduly trampling the rights of the people."

Gov. Cuomo immediately declared the Supreme Court's ruling "irrelevant" and vowed to ignore it. "The specific regulation cited in the suit is no longer in place. I have changed the color codes for the various zones of enforcement as I saw fit and will continue to govern the state as I deem best. I am not willing to let archaic principles of liberty undermine my duty to guard the health of the residents of my state." To demonstrate that he means business, Cuomo threatened to declare Staten Island—a notoriously disobedient Republican enclave a "red zone." This would "ban all gatherings of any size that I determine are for non-essential purposes."

In related news, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) vowed to veto the state legislature's attempt to revoke their declaration authorizing the Governor to rule by decree during the COVID crisis. Rep. Scott Wiggam (R), sponsor of the legislation—which passed the House by a 58-32 vote--argued that "the Governor's abuse of the emergency powers we extended to him requires that we rescind what we granted. The people's representatives need to be a part of the process going forward if we hope to retain the republican form of government guaranteed to each state by the US Constitution." DeWine pointed out that "since they don't have the two-thirds needed to overcome my veto of their bill my authority to continue to rule be decree cannot be taken away."

Michigan AG Threatens Those Who Question Election

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is threatening to criminally prosecute anyone who questions the legitimacy of the recent election. The AG is particularly irked that "rather than bring their accusations of fraud to me so I can dismiss them, too many people are filing their own lawsuits. Election fraud is a crime. I am the state's top prosecutor. I am the one who decides whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant going forward with a case. If I were to allow these 'end runs' bypassing my authority to go unpunished they will become rampant."

State Sen. Julie Matuzak (D) agreed with the AG's assessment and pressed fellow Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R) on the topic. "Why have you not taken your allegations to the Attorney General?" she demanded. "Do you want to go to jail? I suggest that you stop messing around and either follow the procedures laid down by the Attorney General or drop your baseless accusations of fraud."

Colbeck insisted that "I have submitted the evidence attested to by numerous witnesses to lawyers who are evaluating how to best make the case. If they deem there is enough evidence to go forward Attorney General Nessel will have her opportunity to examine this evidence."

In related news, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) has called for Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to be disbarred from practicing law. "The harm he is doing to the people's faith in their government by taking claims of vote fraud to court must not be brushed aside," Pascrell said. "Nominally, everyone is free to go to court, but when the remedy sought threats the power of the government to install its preferred candidate it is too dangerous to be allowed. If every lawyer who dares to take a case challenging the election were to be disbarred I think we'd see a lot fewer objections to what the government is doing."

Dems Want to Bribe States to Enforce Mask-Wearing

While it is by no means clear that a nationwide mask mandate would be of significant help in reducing the infection rate of the COVID virus, Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) are determined to pass legislation aimed at attaining this goal.

In order to overcome the lack of constitutional authority for the federal government to prescribe a nationwide dress code requiring that masks be worn, the "Encouraging Masks for All Act of 2020" will establish a $5 billion appropriation to be used to make payments to states that decide to mandate mask wearing in all public places—both indoors and outdoors wherever social distancing cannot be maintained.

Blumenthal boasted of his cleverness by pointing out that "there are a lot of things the federal government does for which there is no explicit constitutional authority. The standard way we have gotten around this constitutional deficiency since the FDR Administration has been to provide monetary incentives for the states to do what the federal government wants them to do. Even states that disagree with what the federal government is trying to make them do can't resist the lure of extra money to spend."

Media-proclaimed President-Elect Joe Biden hailed the effort calling it "an encouraging step toward achieving the unity this nation so desperately needs. Ideally, everyone should wear a mask if the president tells them they should. That would be the patriotic thing to do. However, I can see how a little monetary incentive might be helpful. Monetary incentive is what inspired Hunter to kick his cocaine habit and become a major investor in several foreign businesses. Maybe giving monetary incentives can help dampen any vocal opposition to the unification of thought and deeds that would be so helpful in pacifying the people."

Obama Slams Hispanics

Former President Barack Obama sharply criticized the unexpectedly large number of Hispanics who voted for President Trump's reelection, contending that "out of a distorted sense of values they mistakenly overlooked Trump's racism and cast ballots for him because he is opposed to abortion. In their warped way of thinking, saving the lives of millions of babies seems to be more important than remaining in sync with the nearly unanimous opinion of enlightened people that Trump is the worst racist to ever run for president."

As an example, Obama said "the pernicious effect of this warped thinking can be seen in the election results of Zapata County in Texas. In 2016, Secretary Hillary Clinton carried this county with a 33% lead over Trump. But this year Trump won the county by a 6% margin. Fortunately, there were enough effective countermeasures taken in key swing states to overwhelm the erroneous voting decisions of millions of Americans."