Simulate Publishing/Updating a Post

tl;dr Is there a way to simulate clicking "publish" or "update", either by using Wordpress php or by querying / updating certain WP tables in the database?

Full description:

I am running a site that is a cyclical blog, i.e. it cycles through the same posts every 180 days (180 posts / 1 per day) and then starts from the beginning again.

Our solution for this so far has been running a simple PHP program which queries the wp_posts table. It moves any posts older than the last couple weeks 180 days ahead and sets their status to "future". It then checks and makes sure that any posts that are current for that day are set to "publish." I have attached a snippet of the php code that has the two update queries. (The database and table names are fake).

This works well for publishing the posts on the site, but since we are "manually" updating and publishing posts, plugins that depend on posts being updated/saved in a normal way do not seem to be interacting with the manually updated posts. Our current issue is with a wordpress-to-buffer plugin, which sends posts to BufferApp by tracking it through that "publish / update" button push.

So, I return to my beginning question: is there a way to simulate clicking "publish" or "update" either using Wordpress php or querying certain WP tables in the database?