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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: February 5, 2023 Edition


John Semmens:
Housing Is a Human Right

The San Diego City Council unanimously voted to declare housing a human right. Council President Monica Montgomery Steppe argued that "the homelessness crisis has become intolerable. The large incidence of mental illness and drug-abuse among these unfortunates breeds crime. Something had to be done. Our action did not include any appropriations or specific solutions for addressing the problem because there is no money available."

City attorney Dan Eaton pointed out that "fear of voter opposition to the tax increases that would be needed to fund better housing led the Council to take another route. The hope is that by declaring decent housing a human right those without it will now have grounds to sue the City for not providing it. If the courts agree that housing is a right they will order the City to provide it. Then voters won't be able to blame Council members for raising the taxes needed to house these people in vacant hotel rooms like they do in New York City."

It's not as if the New York approach has been a roaring success. The people put up in the $400 per night hotel rooms have trashed the premises with wild sex, drugs, and violence. City efforts to relocate the unruly guests to less expensive accommodations have been rejected. Instead, the guests are demanding access to vacant luxury apartments in the City's "billionaire row."

Biden Rejects Blame for Inflation

Despite the fact that the inflation rate in the US has more than quadrupled since he took office, President Biden rebuffed suggestions that his policies may have played a role in boosting the cost of living, saying "No. It was Democrats that passed the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act. Republicans opposed it. They are the ones responsible for inflation getting out of control."

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) asserted that "it is the Democrats' out-of-control spending that has fueled the surge in inflation." Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) agreed that "too much spending is a problem. There's at least 5% to 10 % fat that can and should be cut. McCarthy's position on negotiating these cuts into a compromise to increase the federal debt limit is reasonable."

Chairman of the House Rules Committee Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) suggested that "rescinding the $500 billion in unspent Covid emergency relief funds is an obvious place to look for ways to reduce overspending. I mean, the President himself admits that the covid emergency is over."

Biden continues to reject any compromise, saying "the enemies of our democracy shouldn't have a say in how our money is spent. Those who want to go back on the spending already agreed to are betraying the American people."

The President went on to point out that "over half the women in my administration are women. No previous administration has ever achieved this level of equity. Cutting spending would endanger this landmark accomplishment."

GOP Against Socialism, Dems Split

A House Resolution condemning socialism that was introduced by Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla) passed with unanimous GOP support. Democrats, though were split on the issue with about half voting for it and half not. Salazar argued that the resolution was "intended as a message to our youth. Right now 40% of generation z and millennials see Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto as a better guide for government than the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness cited in our Declaration of Independence."

"As history has shown, Marx's ideas have led to tyranny and murder carried out by communist regimes," Salazar pointed out. "The freedoms that our youth take for granted would be snuffed out if socialist policies ruled America."

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) condemned the resolution, calling it "undemocratic. If our youth want communism, then so be it. The bourgeois freedoms promoted by Republicans are becoming less acceptable to the American people with each passing day. The enforced conformity of the Marxist system can provide a unifying theme for the next stage of human civilization. The House is out of line condemning it." Jeffries' justified his departure from his 2021 vow to "never bend a knee to hard-left democratic socialism," citing "the new responsibilities incumbent on a person in a leadership position."

In related news, interviews with 75 top media executives revealed that there is strong opposition to objectivity in news reporting. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle summed up the prevailing thinking, saying "objectivity has got to go." Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, asserted that "journalism must free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice." The Washington Post's Leonard Downie warned that "allowing the notion that different perspectives ought to get a hearing to pollute the media's coverage of a topic will only slow down the transformation of America into the utopian progressive society that former President Obama promised would be our future."

Hunter Biden Demands Justice

This week Hunter Biden broke from the Democrat Party line asserting that his laptop was Russian disinformation and acknowledged that the infamous computer device was, indeed, his. Now he wants justice for "the invasion of my privacy leading to my involuntary disclosure of incriminating evidence against myself. This violates my Fifth Amendment rights."

Biden's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, demanded that "computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac must be prosecuted and the evidence of our client's criminal activities be thrown out under the 'fruit of the poisonous tree' doctrine. Hunter Biden never gave consent to the examination of his laptop. No warrant was ever issued authorizing the examination of the device. Therefore, any evidence of crimes contained on the laptop can never be used against him."

Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted that "Hunter may be in the right on this issue. Most of the alleged 'crimes' validated by the laptop appear to be victimless crimes. There is no proof that smoking crack, paying prostitutes for sex, giving and receiving bribes to secure business deals harms anyone other than Biden himself. Further persecution of the sole surviving son of the President of the United States seems an unwarranted distraction from the outstanding job his father is doing as president."

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill) observed that "it would be really dangerous for the House GOP to pursue its own investigation of the Bidens. The President has control over powerful federal agencies like the IRS and FBI that could make their lives miserable. Rather than invite the embarrassment of a tax audit or a dawn arrest in your underwear, it would be wiser to admit defeat. Even if they uncovered rock-solid evidence of misdeeds the President could grant his son and himself pardons and be praised by the media for promoting unity and saving democracy."

In related news, Hunter is also suing FOX News for defamation of character. Lowell said "Tucker Carlson's claim that Hunter was paying his dad $50,000 every three months for rent on office space is a gross exaggeration of the amount of money being illicitly channeled from Hunter's dubious business deals to his father. The actual amount was only $49,910."

Parties Spar Over "Show Up" Act

Now that the pandemic emergency is over, House Republicans want federal employees to come back to their offices. The Stopping Home Office Work Unproductive Problems Act or SHOW UP Act of 2023 introduced by Rep. James Comer (R-Ken) was passed by a vote of 221-206.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md) called the GOP "hypocritical. These are the guys who say they want to shrink the government by cutting unneeded bureaucracy. Now they want these supposedly unneeded employees to travel into the city to work? Won't this increased traffic congestion impede the private sector workers who actually produce products and services that customers willingly buy?"

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va) echoed Raskin's take, saying "none of us in Congress has any idea of what these workers do or don't do. What difference would it make to us whether the unknown activities of these federal employees takes place at home or at the office?"

The issue has been confounded by the fact that thousands of these employees supposedly "working from home" falsely "self-certified" as unemployed during the covid pandemic in order to fraudulently receive payments for being out of work. Comer cited this behavior as a reason to simplify the work environment by having the government's employees show up at the office. Raskin cited "the small number of crooks--less than ten thousand from what I hear--seems to be petty theft compared to the trillions that have been frittered away over the last two years."

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) suggested that "the unused office space created by the widespread use of telecommuting as the basic work model could be put to better use housing the City's homeless population. Bringing these mentally ill drug-users to live closer to where Congress does its business might inspire them to take the problem more seriously."

In other Capital news, a dozen students from Our Lady of the Rosary School in Greenville County, South Carolina were kicked out of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum because they were wearing hats with a pro-life message. Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III explained "pro-life is not the policy of our organization. It would be improper to allow outsiders to advocate for an unapproved political position within the walls of the museum."

11 US Cities Make 50 Most Dangerous List

Eleven of the world's most dangerous cities--Baltimore, Memphis, Detroit, Albuquerque, St. Louis, New Orleans, Oakland, Milwaukee, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Houston--are in the United States. All of them are governed by Democrats. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott attributed this statistic to "the greater courage and willingness of Democrats to take on harder challenges than the pantywaist Republicans who only want to rule orderly and law-abiding communities."

Council Woman's Murder "Not Political"

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) dismissed the possibility that the murder of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour (R) might have been done for political reasons. "I know people are shocked that an elected official was shot to death in her car, but I want to assure everyone that her slaying appears to be just a normal part of the New Jersey lifestyle."


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