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Issa to Investigate Whether Obama Used Wrong Fork with Salad

Washington – Representative Darrell Issa of California plans to launch an investigation into whether President Obama used the wrong fork with his salad during dinner at the White House three months ago, Issa told reporters Tuesday. Rep. Issa is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, and he said he will use the full authority that position grants him to, “get to the truth, no matter where it leads.” He also said it is “extremely likely” there will be public hearings on the issue.

“I hold in my hand a fork,” Issa said during a press conference, holding a fork out in front of him so that the reporters in attendance could clearly make it out. “This is a dinner fork. Not, I repeat not, a salad fork. However, it has come to the attention of the Oversight Committee that President Obama, some three months ago, quite possibly used this fork not only to eat his meal, but also to eat his salad prior to the meal. This is a clear violation of standard etiquette and not an act which befits the President of the United States.”

Rep. Issa has already presided over hearings on everything from the IRS to Benghazi to the Healthcare.gov website, usually with the aim of bringing to light misbehavior or wrongdoing on the part of members of the Obama administration or other government officials. Many have criticized his zeal in bringing investigations and holding hearings that fail to uncover much actual malfeasance. This issue, however, is no false scandal, according to Issa.

“It is the job of this committee to conduct oversight on the federal government, and bring to light bad behavior on the part of government officials, no matter how powerful they are, or what position they hold in this or any other administration,” Issa said. “That must include the president, himself. Otherwise, the idea of oversight is completely pointless. Someone needs to get to the bottom of what happened here, with this fork, and that is what I intend to do.”

Issa was reluctant to provide any details regarding evidence he may possess, preferring to “wait until the investigation has concluded.” He would only say that the incident in which President Obama allegedly used the improper fork occurred during dinner in the White House Dining Room, attended by Mr. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and that it happened approximately three months ago.

“The facts will come out, in due time,” Issa said. “And when they do, the truth about what occurred with the fork in question will be out in the open, for all to see. I look forward to that day.”

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Politics

Republicans Drop ‘Repeal,’ ‘Replace’ From ‘Repeal and Replace’ Pledge

Washington – The House Republican leadership held a press conference Thursday to announce that the party is dropping both the “repeal” and “replace” portions of their oft-repeated pledge to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The phrase now contains only the word, “and.”

“While we are no less opposed to this destructive, highly-flawed piece of legislation, the reality is that repealing the law is all but impossible at this time,” said Eric Cantor of Virgina, the House Majority Leader. “In terms of the ‘replace’ aspect of our promise, to be honest, all we had come up with was the name: ‘Oboehnercare.’ And even on that front, I think you’ll agree, we had our work cut out for us.”

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, many Republicans have promised repeatedly to “repeal and replace” it, including the Republican candidate for president in 2012, Mitt Romney. But none of the various alternatives that have been put forward have gained any traction, and in the meantime, the Affordable Care Act appears to have survived its disastrous rollout. The White House recently announced that they had met their goal of getting 7 million Americans enrolled in health care plans through the law, and the more time that has passed, the more of a foothold the Affordable Care Act has gained.

Finally, Cantor said, the party leadership was forced to look each other in the eye and admit the time for repealing and replacing Obamacare had come and gone.

“It is time to focus on more achievable goals,” Cantor said, “like getting a gun into the hands of every American, regardless of their age or mental health status. We can do that, if we work together.”

Finally, Cantor said, conservatives and Republican voters should not lose heart.

“I urge you not to see this as a defeat,” Cantor said. “For what word are we left with? ‘And.’ And isnt’ that perhaps the most open, the most possibility-filled word in all of the English language? So, let me say this to you today, and you can consider it a new Republican call to action, if you like. And, ladies and gentlemen. And.”

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Politics

Texas Passes Bill Requiring Voters Show Proof of Being Republican

Austin, Texas – A bill that would require voters in Texas to show proof of their registration with the Republican Party easily passed the Republican-controlled senate Friday. The bill has the support of Governor Rick Perry and is expected to be signed into law as early as this week.

The bill had already passed in the Texas House of Representatives by a wide margin, 96-49. It experienced a similar fate in the Senate, passing by a vote of 19-11. All of the Republicans in the Senate voted for the bill, and all the Democrats, save one who was absent for the vote, voted against it.

“This is a proud day for Texas, for me, and for this legislature,” said Senator Troy Fraser, author of a previous voter ID law, which was struck down in federal court following a suit brought by the U.S. Justice Department.

Fraser’s bill would have required all but the most elderly Texan voters show a photo ID in order to vote. A federal appeals court found that bill imposed “strict unforgiving burdens on the poor.” Fraser called Friday’s vote a “vindication” of what he and other legislators have been trying to do for a long time.

“We showed we are serious about fighting voter fraud, once again, and that we’re not deterred by naysayers and critics,” he said. “Voter fraud is a real crime, and it really happens. It’s happened at least three times in recorded history. And that’s three times too many.”

Fraser called the type of fraud that the current bill addresses “particularly pernicious.”

“You have people attempting to vote even though they might be a Democrat or an Independent, or not registered to any political party,” Fraser said. “We can’t allow that. And thanks to the courage of my colleagues in the legislature and Governor Perry, that won’t be allowed to happen in the future.”

As the current bill seems to go even further than the one that inspired Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to bring suit, speculation is rife about what action he might take this time. However, Mr. Holder did not divulge any details in a statement released to the press shortly after Friday’s vote.

“We are disappointed at the actions undertaken by the Texas legislature,” the statement said. “We will review the matter as soon as possible, and take any actions necessary to protect the voting rights of the American people.”

Critics of the law contend that it is an unfair maneuver to stack the deck in favor of Republicans.

“This is an obvious ploy to prevent voters who may vote Democratic from even casting a vote,” said Leonard Jamison, a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party. “It’s the most bald attempt yet to quash the democratic process in this state.”

The law’s supporters deny it is unfair or restrictive.

“It’s not restrictive at all,” Fraser said. “They can be registered with the Republican Party of Texas or the national party. Either one. I’d say that’s pretty flexible, and the opposite of restrictive. Unrestrictive, is what I’d call it.”