Al’s Afternoon Tea: Joe ‘Make My Day, Pal’ Biden to Debate Donald ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble’ Trump

By Al Perrotta Published on May 15, 2024

Glad you’ve stopped back in for Al’s Afternoon Tea. Today’s serving comes with presidential debates disguised as a UFC cage match.

Trump Accepts Biden’s Debate Challenge

Joe Biden on Wednesday challenged Donald Trump to two debates, while formally declaring he would not participate in any debates arranged by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. The two will square off June 27 in Atlanta in a debate hosted by CNN and on September 10 in a second debate hosted by ABC News. 

Biden issued his tough-talking, highly edited challenge on video, even going so far as to mock the fact that Trump’s trial (which the Department of Justice generated with Biden’s help) takes Wednesdays off.  (That’s pretty wicked, if you think about it.) He also plagiarized Clint Eastwood, declaring, “Well, make my day, pal.”

However, Biden’s campaign is also putting out conditions that will help minimize his chances of disaster. He insisted the two debates be hosted friendly outlets. (You know, the same folks who ask scripted questions at pressers.) He’s also working to ensure no third-party candidate, like Robert F. Kennedy, is on the stage. He also insisted mics be turned off when a candidate is not talking, meaning forget about candid, rather than canned responses. And no studio audiences, either. CNN confirms their debate will not have an audience. (Something CNN is used to. Not having an audience, that is.)

Trump quickly accepted the challenge on Truth Social. Except he wants an audience, saying “for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds.” Trump also wants more than two debates.


“Just tell me when, I’ll be there,” Trump said. “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

Both candidates actually agree on holding debates earlier than in the past, given the growing prevalence of early voting.

What do you think? Will Biden actually debate Trump? 

Take part in our poll:

While Our Hostages in Gaza Languish …

While five American hostages languish in Gaza, our soldiers are getting booted out of Niger, and every rogue and wretched nation is dumping its worst into our country, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is doing his “Nero Meets the School of Rock” impression. We mentioned on The Brew this morning that Russia was “walking in” to Ukraine’s northern region after money we sent to construct defenses was swindled away. So what is Blinken doing there now? Our top diplomat was in a Kyiv basement bar, guitar in hand, jamming with a local band on Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

Apparently, Blinken missed that Young’s anthem is about Americans suffering and unraveling while elites – in that case President George H. W. Bush — remain oblivious or indifferent.

While there, Blinken did affirm the U.S. will stand with Ukraine for the duration of the war with Russia. He also announced Ukraine is holding off on elections until “conditions allow,” because when you are “defending democracy” you can’t very well have democratic elections.

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Oh, and of course, Blinken promised to send Ukraine even more of our money. According to Reuters, he pledged another $2 billion in military financing Wednesday. The money – assuming it’s not swindled as well — would be aimed at building Ukraine’s industrial base. (In case you are wondering about our industrial base, for the past six months, and 17 of the past 23 months, the Manufacturing Employment Index in the U.S. has been under 50.0. According to the Statista Research Department, a value below 50.0 indicates a negative development in manufacturing-sector employment.)

Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced he’s postponing foreign visits due to Russia’s northern offensive.

While Our Citizens Suffer, Let’s Offer Illegals a Whistle

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has an idea for what to do with the illegal immigrants wrecking his city: Hire them to fill vacant lifeguard positions at local pools because “they’re excellent swimmers.” (After all, many of them did successfully navigate the treacherous waters of the Rio Grande to get here.) Said Adams: “How do we have a large body of people that are in our city, our country, that are excellent swimmers and at the same time we need lifeguards — and the only obstacle is that we won’t give them the right to work to become a lifeguard?”

While in New York City Tuesday for his “hush money” case, Donald Trump highlighted the death of a three-month-old Texas baby at the hands of an illegal immigrant who was previously deported in September 2020. Melvin Jesus Aquino Enriquez, 26, was arrested April 15 for assaulting a woman and the child. The three-month old died April 24. According to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Enriquez had returned to the U.S. illegally “on an unknown date and at an unknown location without inspection, admission or parole by an immigration officer.”

Probably via the Rio Grande. After all, he’s an “excellent swimmer.”

Let’s turn to sweeter news.

Students at Two Virginia State Universities Will No Longer Be Forced to Take DEI Course to Graduate

The disintegration of DEI initiatives continues. Or should we say desegregation is coming back in vogue? Both George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University are shelving plans to force undergraduates to take DEI-oriented classes as a condition to graduate.

The schools acted after Gov. Glenn Younkin argued against “core curriculum mandates that are a thinly veiled attempt to incorporate the progressive Left’s groupthink.”

As The Washington Examiner reported, VCU’s racial literacy mandate was something students and faculty demanded in the wake of the George Floyd riots.

George Floyd did more to harm students in higher education than cheap beer ever has.

A Point of Personal Giddiness in the Maryland Primary

Tuesday’s Senate primary in Maryland, where I live, offered a moment of personal glee. I’m not talking about the popular former governor, Larry Hogan, winning the Republican primary (though his win does increase the chances of Republicans taking control of the Senate, and you’ve gotta cheer the guy who popularized combining Maryland Crab Soup with Cream of Crab Soup).

No, we’re giddy because in the Democratic primary, Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks upset  a businessman named David Trone. Though Trone may well be the most wonderful man on the planet, a living saint, kind to children and kitties, for the past year, Marylanders could not open a browser without one of his campaign ads ad popping up. (Being a big liberal, the ads tended to be obnoxious.) His signs were everywhere, his TV ads were incessant. His mug was so prevalent, he made Mike Lindell look like J.D. Salinger. So for that reason alone, I am ecstatic that he lost the race and $60 million of his own cash in the process.

Now, because Hogan is so well-liked and has a good chance to flip the seat in the U.S. Senate, expect enormous attention — and amounts of money to be spent on his race against Alsobrooks. She will be built up as the next great thing. In fact, already this morning we were seeing the phrase “historic candidacy” used in connection with her. Politico led the charge: “Larry Hogan is standing between Angela Alsobrooks and history.” A victory would make Alsobrooks Maryland’s first black senator and only the fourth black woman to earn a Senate seat from any state.

Another key to the race: How much help would Trump give Hogan, given how critical Hogan has been of him?

On The Stream Menu

We’ve got Middle Eastern flavors on the menu this afternoon.

Raymond Ibrahim returns with “The Muslim Persecution of Christians Is a Censored Pandemic, Part 1,” and Jules Gomes tells us how “Islamic Extremist Applauded for Antisemitic Rant at Vatican.”

In fact, we get two servings of Jules. Fresh out of the oven, we have “The Devil’s Stairway to Transhumanism Began with Feminism, Includes Transgenderism.”


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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