A Tip For Joe Biden
And Other Unsolicited Political Advice
[Published first on my substack, The Halfway Café. If you enjoy progressive takes on contemporary politics and foreign policy, subscribe!]
First up, some lovely personal news! I was recently inducted into the published-by-McSweeney’s club as they accepted my satire article The Aqueduct New Deal Will Destroy Rome. It’s a fun comedy piece satirizing conservative opposition to Green New Deal-esque policies in contemporary America, set in ancient Rome. McSweeney’s is one of the most exclusive and and highly regarded publishers in the online comedy world, and I’ve been submitting to them for several months now rising from generic rejections to supportive personal note rejections to now being published! So do me a solid and click the link below, and enjoy!
For this week’s Halfway Café, I thought I’d do some unpaid advising work for the Biden Administration, Democrats, MAGA fans, Republicans, and Congress.
Tip for Biden: Throw some bones on student debt. Even just a token effort could have a huge impact both on young people’s lives, and Democrats’ electoral hopes in 2022. How about that $10,000 forgiveness for everyone Biden talked about in his campaign, or an initiative where for every 12 payments someone makes on their student loans the Biden Administration forgives $5,000? Republicans buy votes EVERY election with their campaign promises to cut taxes for corporations and billionaires that earn them hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions and dark money superPAC funding from rich assholes whose top public service priorities are to be able to hoard their stock buyback capital gains, fossil fuel profits, and familial inheritances. So why don’t Democrats fight back by buying votes in the most pro-America way possible? The greatest startup investment opportunity for a country is always in its next generation, and freeing Millennials and Gen-Zers from vampiric student loans will be like an adrenaline shot to the economy helping free young people from their top source of economic anxiety so they can quit bad jobs, start new businesses, make great art we’ll all enjoy, grow their families, and just generally have a better future. This is win-win for Democrats and America, and will be a great incentive for the shy youth vote to actually turn out in a midterm election. “Here’s $5,000 in loan forgiveness, if you want more don’t let Republicans take the House or Senate.”
Tip for the Department of Justice: How long is it going to take for the DOJ to prosecute the Trump crew for these fraudulent slates of electors who literally forged official state documents to pretend they were giving their electoral votes for Trump when Biden won their states fair and square? These were not just ANY papers they forged, they were the official documents that facilitate the sacred electoral process and honors the will of the people to legitimize our entire federal system of government as required by both state constitutions and THE Constitution. These are felony crimes, and the failure to immediately hold the criminals accountable is a democratically existential crisis. There are dozens of these fake electors who are just average Joe moron dupes. How long does it have to take for DOJ prosecutors to dangle felony charges above their heads, and ask who told them to sign the fake elector slates? It obviously goes back to Rudy Giuliani and his crackpot legal team, so how has an ENTIRE YEAR gone by with Rudy Giuliani still free to bilk MAGA fans with personalized video greetings, $911 priced merch, and even an appearance on The Masked Singer? Rudy Giuliani might be the person most capable of bringing down Trump outside his family, and, similarly, how long is it going to take for the DOJ to prosecute Trump? He literally called the Georgia Secretary of State, and told him to “find” 11,780 votes accompanied with a few thinly-veiled threats of bad things happening if he doesn’t. It’s a felony that’s ON videotape.
Tip for MAGA anti-vaxxers: In a perverse way, all of you refusing mask mandates, vaccine advocacy, and the other pandemic mitigation efforts are improving Joe Biden’s job and economic numbers. Tens of thousands of people are still dying a month from COVID, and they’re leaving behind jobs that need to be filled. This means the unemployment rate is going down, wages are rising, and workers are increasingly flexing their power in the labor market. Meanwhile, there have to be plenty of managers and business owners throughout the country considering private vaccine mandates thanks to the turnover toll COVID has taken on their bottom lines. Prolonging the pandemic is bad for your health and your politics.
Tip for Republicans: Get some foreign policy coherence. You’re all over the place! You congratulated Trump for deciding to end the Afghan War, and then criticized Biden for leaving too soon even after he postponed the withdrawal date Trump signed. You call North Korea a global threat, but raved about the propaganda photo-ops Kim Jong Un duped Trump into having that got America literally nothing, and then ignored the situation completely when Trump of course failed to make a deal and gave up trying. Half of you hate Russia and want to defend Ukraine, and the other half are okay with Russia meddling in our elections and are following Tucker Carlson in swooning over Putin’s authoritarianism. Many of you want to ignore Ukraine completely to singularly focus on stymying China’s inevitable rise, and many others are perennially insisting we force regime change in Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela. Still others want America to turn totally isolationist abroad so they can wage a civil war here in America to start a Trump dictatorship. Such paradoxical positions are incoherent, and depend more on pavlovian opposition to whatever the Biden Administration is doing rather than any consistent worldview or patriotic evaluation of America’s goals, security interests, or practical applications of US power.
Tip for Congress: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that Capitol Hill “sounds like a perfect place for a union” for all the Congressional staffers, and I can’t agree more. To begin with, working conditions aren’t very great, and members of Congress and their top aides throughout history have been somewhat notorious for being needy, demanding, angry, and sexually creepy. On top of that, the pay isn’t very good, and the workload and hours can be extreme. One defense of the bad working conditions is that staffers ought to be thankful they’re in the “rooms where it happens” so to speak, with access to important information and people, but that’s exactly the point. It’s a huge security risk to have so many underpaid, disgruntled Congressional staffers with access to top national secrets. Maybe allowing a union to negotiate better pay, benefits, and working conditions will keep staffers from turning ripe for potential bribery and treason.
Here’s a couple poems for you, my faithful Halfway Café readers!
Whose Walk Is This?
The walk is interrupted by the humans off their leash
and I sit and wait for my owners to gab
patiently sniffing the neighborhood scents
eyeing the interruption going a little long
it’s my walk not theirs.
My failed hotel became my home
and rooms filled up every weekend night
with friends and family toasting to my bad luck
staying without paying
though they said they sympathized with my grief.
Thanks for your eyeball attention!