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Chapter 22
June 25, 2017

Building a Bridge to the 19th Century...And Walling Ourselves In [ARNS]

by ELIAZAR ORPOISONEDHALLIWELL, Alternate Reality News Service Environment Writer, and FRANCIS GRECOROMACOLLUDEN, Alternate Reality News Service National Politics Writer, with a little bit by by HAL MOUNTSAUERKRAUTEN, Alternate Reality News Service Legal Writer thrown in for flavour

In his 20 minute address on the Paris Accord on Global Hot as Hellification, President Ronald McDruhitmumpf's hand kept touching his hair, as if he needed reassurance that it hadn't caught fire. It made him look like a teenage boy on a date, but not in an appealing way.

"Environment good," President McDruhitmumpf speechified. "Jobs better. Vesampucceri out of Paris Accord. Don't like Japanese cars. Especially if they're made in France." He then spent 19 minutes, 37 seconds railing against the media's coverage of the Grand Fenwick scandal.

President McDruhitmumpf has made no secret of the fact that he wants the United States to return to being a world leader in the production of coal, the miracle fuel of the 1870s. While coal isn't specifically mentioned in the Paris Accord (it would be like setting rules for buggy manufacturing in an Auto Pact), the Hellhot Gases (HHG) its use puts into the atmosphere are definitely regulated by the Accord. Oh, my lordy lord, are they regulated by it.

This is just the latest example of the McDruhitmumpf administration's experiment in ersatz time travel. Labour Secretary Andrew Putzlaymandwiethdrew has been quietly changing workplace labour laws, making it legal for corporate leaders to whip employees as long as the switch they use is no thicker than three thumbs (a Biblical thumb allowing for inflation). Combined with the abolition of minimum wage laws and Welfare benefits, workplaces will come to resemble the Dickenjaneprimariesian sweatshops of the 1880s, but without the literary merit and poorer ventilation.

Another example of Vesampucceri moving forward into the past involves foreign relations. Apparently, the McDruhitmumpf administration doesn't believe in them. It's not just that President McDruhitmumpf demands that NEATO members pay more for their defense or he will throw them under the bus...iness end of a group photo op. The fact that the State Department is staffed mostly by tumbleweeds strongly suggests that diplomacy is not in the president's vocabulary (along with the words tact, sensitivity or, for some unknown reason, exfoliation - he has used the word in sentences, but it seems to mean something completely different to the President than it does to the rest of us).

As the United States pulls out of an international leadership role, President McDruhitmumpf's foreign policy looks more and more like the isolationism of the 1840s, when the only foreign entanglement the government could left ventricle (its stomach being only partially formed at the time) was how to keep Texas out of Mexican hands.

When not busy not recusing himself from anything to do with the Grand Fenwick investigation (except for the important or entertaining bits), Attorney General Jeff "Self-regard" Sesspoolpandemic has been dismantling national laws, giving more control over the justice system to states. Thanks to this, Alabama will allow jurors to consider whether a defendant's name ends in a vowel while determining guilt, and Utah has added stoning to its list of acceptable forms of capital punishment. This takes them back to 1879 and 1883 (BC) respectively.*

Sesspoolpandemic has also been instrumental in crafting rules that would allow states to allow businesses to opt out of health care provisions for religious or moral reasons. So, for example, if a CEO believed that there was no such thing as spleens because they were not mentioned in the Bible, he could refuse to insure his employees for splenectomies. If a different CEO believed that all human beings are sinners who deserve to be punished for their moral transgressions, he could arrange to omit anaesthetic from their health insurance. Or, if a CEO was opposed to heart bypasses - ostentsibly for moral reasons - well, you get the idea. The country could return to the 1810s, 1830s or 1870s, depending upon which state you happen to live in.

The main target of this change is female contraception medications. Along with rules limiting affirmative action, action on gendered pay discrimination and discrimination in hiring practices, the social regressives in the McDruhitmumpf government seem to be succeeding in making women BFF (Bare Footed and Fecund). They are definitely not women's BFFs. Choose your least favourite period of the 19th century as a reference.

And, of course, Stand Your Ground laws have all but made duelling in parking lots legal. Welcome back to the 1920s - best be careful what you say in public. Especially to strangers.

"Jethro Tull was a prophet!" token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam said. Sometimes, token smart people can be enigmatic that way.

* Not that such changes in the law should be treated with respect. English can be awkward that way.

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