Dear President-elect Biden,
Congratulations! You did it. You rebuilt the Blue Wall, flipped a couple of southern states, and won a popular vote landslide. You have quite a lot on your plate, but there’s one little thing to which I’d like to call your attention.
In September, you promised a group of workers you’d be the “strongest labor president” ever. Sadly, that’s a pretty easily achievable title given our labor history. Some of the work to support labor will require the cooperation of Congress, some of it you can do on your own.
One thing that can be done absent Congressional cooperation is a sorely needed change at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Since November 2017, Peter B. Robb, an employer-side labor attorney, has been the NLRB’s General Counsel. His tenure in that office should come to a swift end shortly after your tenure as President commences. …
In early 2003, I flew from Ohio to Oakland for a job interview with a prominent health care workers’ labor union. I’d already interviewed twice by phone and was excited to seal the deal during the in-person final interview.
I arrived on time, caught a cab to a nearby hotel, unpacked and ironed my clothes, and practiced all the things I wanted to cover in the interview. I tried to take a nap, but I was too amped for the interview. …
I adore food. I love eating it. I relish cooking it. I enjoy reading about it on a menu and thinking about how the chef will prepare it. I plan vacations around the ability to try a local cuisine I’ve never before sampled.
Like many midwesterners, I grew up feasting on a meat-centric diet. Scrapple, a don’t-ask-what-is-in-it-just-eat-it breakfast food, was considered a delicacy in our house. I briefly managed a Bob Evans and ate my salary in sausage gravy. I was the target demographic of those Taco Bell commercials that describe burritos as simultaneously beefy, chewy, cheesy, and crunchy.
I lived and cooked this way for 40 years. If a recipe called for milk, I subbed in heavy cream. I taught myself to make a killer osso buco. I ordered every cheese plate possible. New Year’s Eve meant a mixture of beef, pork, and Velveeta. I had dreams about foie gras poutine and the salmon at my favorite Italian restaurant. And then, suddenly, I didn’t. …
A substantial amount of virtual ink has been spilled over the problems facing and caused by large technology companies. Hands have been wrung. Brows have been furrowed. Members of Congress have done whatever this is.
I’m not interested in litigating these issues in this space (at least, not today), but just so we’re all on the same page I’m talking about things like: