“Things are going a little rough for the Biden administration,” said Stephen Colbert on Thursday’s Late Show. “It’s been nine months, and at this point he might have to deliver his agenda by caesarean.”
The president’s signature legislation, the $3.5tn Build Back Better plan that would institute universal pre-K, expand Medicare and enact climate protections, has been stuck in negotiations for months. Earlier this week, the administration announced the bill would be scaled back to $1.9tn. “They’re also scaling back the bill’s name from Build Back Better to Ack!” Colbert joked.
Between that, Covid, inflation and supply chain issues, among other things, Biden’s approval rating reached a new low this week of 37%. “To put that in context, that was the previous guy’s rating right after Charlottesville. Imagine Biden’s aides telling that to their boss – ‘Mr President, the polls are in. The good news: you’re holding strong at Nazi sympathizer.’
“This right now is a make-or-break moment for Biden’s presidency. He needs to do something bold. Something innovative, something unexpected. So yesterday, he traveled to his home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
“It’s time to go big or go home, and Biden said: let’s go home,” Colbert quipped.
The host also discussed Trump’s Truth Social social media network. “The man who told over 30,000 lies in office has started something called ‘Truth’,” said Colbert. “He’s also started a new makeup line called ‘Human Skin.’”
Immediately overrun by trolls. TMTG will broadcast “non-woke entertainment programming”.
“That’s right, non-woke! If you can stay awake, your money back,” Colbert joked. “It’s going to feature the former president’s favorites like Who Wants to Spank a Millionaire?, The Unmasked Singer and Only Fascists in the Building.”
“How can a wage be lower than the minimum wage? ‘Minimum’ is supposed to be the minimum,” Noah wondered. “It’s like when the weatherman says ‘it’s below freezing out there’. Yo man, once something is frozen, it’s frozen. Get out of here with your weather voodoo.”
In recent months, several states have moved to close the loophole, an 80-year-old regulation called 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, while Biden has called on Congress to phase it out completely. “This seems like one of those things that everyone should agree on, like freeing Britney, or that the first Aunt Viv was better, or that the best karaoke song is TLC’s No Scrubs,” said Noah, “but it’s actually more complicated than you might think.”
Some argue that the loophole is a force for good – most employers who use the loophole work specifically to provide people with severe disabilities work, purpose and community, though below minimum wage. Several agencies have argued that closing the loophole would have unintended consequences on disabled people, leaving them unable to find work.
“That’s what makes this so complicated: many of the people who use this loophole are called ‘sheltered workshops’, which exist to provide these jobs to disabled people. So there’s a legitimate concern that losing this wage loophole might end up hurting the very people they’re trying to help,” Noah explained. “You can see how this arrangement, as messed up as it seems, might be better than nothing. At the same time, many advocates say that by providing a safety net for the disabled, these sheltered workshops could actually be doing more harm than good,” especially if the wage reflects a belief that a disabled person’s labor is not worth as much as an able-bodied person’s work.
“If society pushes disabled people into these low-wage workshops, it tells them that this is where they’re supposed to be. And it limits their potential,” said Noah.
“This whole idea that disabled people shouldn’t be paid the same as able-bodied people because they’re not as productive? I don’t know about that argument, guys,” he added. “Because it’s not like every able-bodied person is great at their job, either. If you ask me, disabled people should have the right to be as shitty at their jobs as everyone else. They should also be able to show up late, just do enough work to not get fired, play Fruit Ninja in the bathroom and then leave at 4.30 on the dot. That, my friends, is equality.”