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writing for godot

Time to Pick Your Fantasy Team, Politically Speaking

Written by Sinclair Noe   
Saturday, 12 September 2020 13:44

Time to Pick Your Fantasy Team, Politically Speaking

“When fantasy is reality, what cannot will be.”

By Sinclair Noe

Originally published at


It’s political season, time to pick my fantasy team – and time for you to trash my picks or come up with your own – that’s done in the comment section.

I’m an optimist. On November 3 (or thereabout) I fully expect a Blue Tsunami to sweep over the land and end the Trumpian nightmare. If Trump wins or steals the election (a very real possibility), I suppose I will have to become a full-time non-violent resistance fighter or an ex-pat, but for now, in this pre-election limbo, I remain hopeful.

The Biden Administration will need to hit the ground running. The Trump Administration has done extreme damage: Covid-19, the economic crash, systemic racism, environmental degradation, etc. Biden will need to set up a MASH tent to perform triage. It will take an army of wonks to work through the carnage. The mere thought of competent, effective, trustworthy bureaucrats is scintillating (this is how far we have fallen).

My picks for the Dream Team Biden Cabinet represent the idealized rather than the pragmatic. The idea of limiting your ambitions to what is realistic is just a failure of imagination.

My methodology is fairly simple:

No Democratic Senators - this rare breed is still on the endangered list; none can be spared. If you have the urge to pick a Dem Senator, just repeat the mantra, “Scott Brown”.

No Wall Street bankers/insurers, defense contractors, or Big Pharma – nobody from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Blackrock, Blackwater, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, United Healthcare, Humana, Aetna, J&J, Abbott, Amgen, etc. While we’re at it, no big money lobbyists or donors will be accepted for ambassadorships and such.

Sometimes I have a second or third choice.

A few of my picks:

Attorney General - Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Read the Book Just Mercy. It would be great to have an AG that actually believes in equal justice.

Or Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York because I’m expecting a boatload of indictments emanating from the general vicinity of SDNY.

Sec. of State - Susan Rice. She is proven on the world stage and is the smartest person in the room.

Or Robert Reich because he is proven on the world stage and he is the smartest guy in the room.

Treasury - Paul Krugman. No more Treasury Secretaries going through the revolving door at Goldman Sachs, and no more minions of the Chicago school of economics. If we had a hypothetical Secretary of Chemistry, you might want the Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry.  Krugman is a Nobel Prize winner in Economics.

Or Joseph Stiglitz, economist and also Nobel laureate.

Interior - Dr. Margaret Redsteer, noted academic, a leading author of the National Climate Assessment and the IPCC 2014. Member of the Crow Nation. A reminder that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is run by the Interior Dept. Isn't it about time to put a Native American in charge? And possibly change the name to the Bureau of Native American Affairs.

Or Suzan Shown Harjo, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee Native American, writer, poet, lecturer, advocate for Native American rights and preserving the languages and traditions of Native tribes. She grew up on an Oklahoma reservation. She has been pivotal in the recovery of over one million acres of Native lands and has been pushing sports teams to drop racist Indian mascots since the 60’s.

Labor - Andrew Yang because he actually has a vision of labor.

Or Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO because any discussion of labor should include labor unions (although he would need to resign from one to take the other).

HUD - Julian Castro. He was good in the position. He knows the job and he could really kick butt in a second iteration.

Or Rep. Karen Bass (CA) because just listen to her some time.

Maybe we could have Castro and Bass as co-Secretaries, just for giggles.

DHS - Do we really need Homeland Security? OK, I’ll go with Beto O’Rourke because he has an understanding of the border.

Or Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) because he has led the crusade to abolish ICE and the horrific practice of putting kids in cages.

EPA – My first choice is Greta Thunberg; seriously, she could bring unprecedented attention to the existential issue of climate change. However, the Swedish citizenship might be a problem for confirmation.

Or William McKibben, environmentalist, author, leader of, because it is about protecting the environment, not about doling out oil and gas leases.

Energy - Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, because the business of the future will be about the Green Economy and Inslee has put together some good plans.

Or Al Gore because he also has some good ideas about saving the planet, plus he totally created the internet.

Commerce - Erica Groshen, former Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner.

Or Katherine Wallman, former chief statistician of the United States.

Commerce is responsible for all the economic stats, so… put a nerd (intended as a compliment) in charge.

Defense – Rep. Ro Khanna (CA) would like­ly pri­or­i­tize an end to US involve­ment in Yemen and work to keep us out of oth­er armed engage­ments.

Or Adm. William McRaven retired Navy four-star admiral who last served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command. McRaven spoke out for several people who were trampled in the Trump Administration and made strong calls for honesty.

Health & Human Services - RoseAnn DeMoro, former executive director of National Nurses United.

Or Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who introduced the House version of the Medicare for All bill. Bonus, kicked William Barr around during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Education – Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute. Her work focuses on school restructuring, teacher education, and educational equity. Advised Obama in 2008.

Or Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. Founded StudentsFirst, a non-profit that works on education reform.

*special thanks to young Dr. Young for educating me on this section, but after Betsy DeVos even Count von Count would seem like an enlightened choice.

Veterans Affairs – Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Ind. mayor, presidential contender, and Navy Ensign. Mayor Pete could be an outspoken advocate for vets and a giant leap from Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Or Admiral Michelle Howard, the highest-ranking woman and African American in U.S. Navy history – four stars; retired in 2017 as the Navy’s second-in-command at the Pentagon, and former commander of US naval forces in Europe and Africa.

Agriculture - Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. Ms. Huerta is 90, but she is still my choice because she would be a voice for the people who actually grow and harvest the food we eat.

Or Teresa Romero: current President, United Farm Workers Union (UFW).

Press Secretary - C.J. Craig. This is a fantasy pick, right?

Or Rachel Maddow because she’s good enough, she’s smart enough, she’s honest, and gosh darn it, people like her.  Plus, I feel like I’ve learned something when I listen to her.

Or any semi-articulate person who refuses to lie.

Federal Reserve Chair – Stephanie Kelton, senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders, a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University, and chief proponent of Modern Monetary Theory which is the basic premise of the Fed. Now, just imagine if the Fed printed money out of thin air and didn’t just give it to Wall Street bankers, but instead gave some to Main Street.

Director National Economic Council – Jared Bernstein, former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to VP Biden; so, he has experience cleaning up after a Republican economic train wreck.

FEC – Stacey Abrams. Put her in charge to overhaul and expand the scope of the Federal Elections Commission to protect voter rights and end voter suppression. In other words, take what she has done in Georgia and go nationwide.  If not here, as an attorney she may like to be considered for the job on the end of this article.

FBI – Peter Strzok because we seriously need to get to the bottom of who was compromised.  This also qualify him for his pension and health benefits that were stolen from him.  He may even drop the lawsuit which would save a big settlement with punitive damages.  Win, Win, Win.

UN Ambassador – Mitt Romney, a thank you to the only Senate Republican with a spine and a hint of decency.

Or John Kerry, a thank you to a tremendous public servant.

There are a host of other positions to fill, including: CIA, DNI, OMB, Chief of Staff, FCC (net neutrality is still a thing), FEMA (because the consequences of climate change are just beginning), Surgeon General (mask required), and Postmaster General (someone who does not dismantle sorting machines or steal mail boxes in the middle of the night).

I know this is not a complete list, but I leave you with this reminder - the president over the next 4 years will also likely fill at least 2 Supreme Court Justice seats - this is crucial.

My first choice for Supreme Court Justice is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. I know she is not a lawyer – that is not actually a requirement to become a Justice; she has been a successful legislator, meaning she has experience in writing laws (she could even claim to be an originalist who wrote and understands the original intent of the laws, just to blow the Republican Senators minds and make Scalia roll over a couple of times). She has a boatload of common sense. She is 30 years old and could potentially serve for the next 55+ years – that’s a big plus.  SCOTUS is in desperate needing of shaking up and you know AOC would be a great champion for the ideal of justice for all.  Plus, Sotomayor makes a strong case for another Latina Justice.

Some people have suggested Barrack Obama for Supreme Court Justice.  My choice for Supreme Court Justice is Michelle Obama.  The women of the Court have turned out far superior to the men on the Court.  She is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School so she has the academic chops.  Black women know how to lay down the law.  Ask any black grandson.  Any finally, women live longer, so once again, a win, win, win.

She can even list Joe Biden as a reference.

Maybe, Biden needs to make this a larger and longer drawn out process to vet lots of candidates for the Supreme Court that not only include AOC and Michelle, but we can even throw in Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Stacey Abrams if she doesn’t take FEC, just to see if heart seizures might open up a couple more slots.  It will certainly cause Kavanaugh to restart his drinking days so heavy again that they will have to throw him off the bench.

Finally, I leave you with this quote from Thomas Jefferson: “When fantasy is reality, what cannot will be.”

So, VOTE. Vote like your life depends on it.

That is my Biden Fantasy Team.

You got a better idea? Let’s hear it in the comment section.




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