Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Bugs, meds and vegan bake – a day in the life of a Capitol lobbyist


Julia Dillinger of Dillinger, Barrow Associates is one of the tens of thousands of lobbyists who work in Washington DC. TCW Defending Freedom asked her to describe a typical 24 hours in the feverish political cockpit that is the Capitol. Julia lives in a condo in Foggy Bottom and has houses in The Hamptons and San Francisco which she rarely has time to visit.

20.00 I attend the monthly Foggy Bottom Community Association Meeting. Top of the agenda is how to redress the alarming number of white people in our community. We are all ashamed to hear that it is increasing and nearing 80 per cent of all residents. It is resolved to do all we can to attract professional people of color and talented Latinos to the district.

22.30 I return home, exhausted. To relax I ride my Peloton for 30 minutes and Iisten to a Nancy Pelosi podcast. Nancy is such an inspiration.

23.00 I treat myself to ten blueberries and a slice of mango. I take my prescription meds and fall asleep whilst reading poems by the Peruvian writer Blanca Varela.

6.00 My alarm wakes me with the sound of Mexican banda music. I am soon ready for my three-mile run. I shower. Breakfast is orange juice pressed last night, some chia seeds and my prescription meds. After yoga and meditation I am ready for the day.

8.00 As my housekeeper Ruby arrives, I leave.

8.15 My secretary Rosalind brings my first cup of Black Ivory coffee. It comes from Thailand. I know it’s not great for the planet but it’s one of my guilty pleasures.

10.00: First meeting of the day. I cannot name my client but he was a good friend of Jeffrey Epstein, was something big in computers, and now owns lots of farmland across the States. He is keen to open up several edible-insect processing plants. His main product is called BillyBugs. He wants us to find out which members of Congress can help him get the best subsidies if he locates in their State.

My presentation goes well. I think a bidding war is likely.

12.00: My housekeeper Ruby calls to tell me that a busload of people from Nicaragua have been left on New Hampshire Avenue. Apparently, they have been bussed here by the wicked Governor of Texas. I tell her to call the Police Department. Perhaps the poor souls might find some help in East Riversdale or Langley Park. They will feel more at home in those neighbourhoods, and I regret to say that Foggy Bottom has no facilities for that type of person.

13.00 I spend half an hour at the gym and then eat two bananas very slowly to improve my mindfulness.

14.00 I meet with Brett from SafeBorders. They lobby to enable refugees to have safe passage to the US. I tell him that BillyBugs Inc. will soon require lots of cheap labor to sort, cook and pack insects. We agree a strategy to offer State representatives a package deal of real estate and migrant labor, in return for tax breaks and subsidies.

16.00 I bump into Hiram from Jabbatha Wabbatha Associates. His client is keen to incorporate mRNA into food. They have the CDC and FDA on board. I have a lightbulb moment. I call Brett. Within ten minutes we have a slam-dunk proposal: mRNA in the BillyBugs, cheap labor, tax breaks and subsidies. Everyone wins! It is a match made in heaven! I love these moments.

18.00 As I make my way back to Foggy Bottom I wonder how we could involve the arms industry in our proposal; BillyBugs infused with mRNA in cruise missiles? Maybe, but not just yet . . .

18.30 Not far from home I pass the lovely Nicaraguans who have been joined by vibrant people from Guatemala. Things are turning ugly. Fortunately, the DC National Guard are on their way to offer assistance. Soon the migrants are heading for East Riversdale. They will be safe there. Perhaps they will eventually find work on an insect farm in the Midwest. Before they leave, I quickly write a note which reads, ‘Gratias ago tibi, quia veniens ad USA’. I thrust the note into the hand of one of the poor wretches. A large crowd gathers to clap and cheer them on their way.

19.00 A personal zoom meeting with my guru Swami Ramdev Baba. He tells me to breathe more deeply. I have always worried about breathing and he gave lots of great advice. 

19.59 To celebrate a fabulous day I open a bottle of Turkey Gizzard Merlot, add an organic carrot to my vegan bake, and increase the dosage of my prescription meds.

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John Ellwood
John Ellwood
John is the father of four beautiful girls. He is, thankfully, not knowingly related to Tobias Ellwood. ‘My Dear Friends . . . ’ a compilation of many of John’s contributions to TCW Defending Freedom is available in paperback and on Kindle.

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