climate change

Why Is Biden At UN's COP26 Climate Summit When Kamala Is The Cop?

It is just a question we had.

President Joe Biden is attending the United Nations's global summit on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland, where he said that the world's leaders are in the "decisive decade" to stop emissions of greenhouse gasses warming the planet and causing climate change. Biden said that up until now, world action on climate is "still falling short. There's no more time to hang back or sit on the fence or argue amongst ourselves."

BIDEN: This is the challenge of our collective lifetimes, the existential threat to human existence as we know it and every day we delay, the cost of inaction increases. So, let this be the moment when we answer history's call here in Glasgow. Let this be the start of a decade of transformative action.

Biden affirmed the US commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions between 50 to 52 percent by 2030, in comparison to 2005 levels, and said he wants to "demonstrate to the world the United States is not only back at the table, but hopefully leading by the power of our example," acknowledging that "I know it hasn't been the case and that's why my administration is working overtime to show that our climate commitment is action, not words."

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In a variation on his usual closing, line blessing the US and American troops, Biden closed with ""God bless you all, and may God save the planet."

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POTUS

The Joe Biden CNN Town Hall Video CNN Apparently Doesn't Want You To See!

Guys, would it kill you to put it on Youtube?

Joe Biden held a town hall on CNN last night in which he made the case for his Build Back Better agenda, using the live event in Baltimore to acknowledge that the reconciliation bill has had to be made less ambitious in order to pass. Specifically, Biden repeatedly made very clear the changes are almost entirely due to opposition from the two members of the Senate Obstruction Caucus, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona). When you only have a one-vote majority in the Senate in the form of VP Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote, you have to work with what you have, and that's the Senate for you.

With any single one of the 50 Senate Democrats able to block progress, Biden said, "Everyone is a president [...] Every single one. So you gotta work something out."

CNN, as usual, hasn't put the town hall on YouTube, but perhaps this version will be up for a while since the account says it's totally for "archival" use. Or you can drop by Dok Zoom's house and watch it on his TiVo, at least if you show up before he deletes it to make room for baseball.

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Congress

How We Doing On 'Build Back Better?' Better, Seems Like!

Can that 'Dems in disarray' malarkey, will ya?

Some potentially promising news on the Build Back Better reconciliation bill from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who devoted her "A" block last night to the news that Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) had for the first time met yesterday with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), the chair of the Progressive Caucus, to talk about where they are on the climate 'n' social safety net bill that contains most of Joe Biden's domestic policy agenda. It wasn't quite white smoke coming from the Vatican, but as Maddow put it, it seems like progress that the two of them were in the same room talking to each other, for a good two hours.

Maddow also noted that Manchin sat down with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) yesterday, and that after that meeting, a "notably chipper" Manchin smiled for photos with Sanders, a noticeable change following Manchin getting a bit snippy at Sanders over the weekend, when Bernie published an op-ed arguing that Build Back Better would be hugely helpful to West Virginians. Yes, even if the most Manchin would say yesterday was "We're talking." When the two got in their cars, Manchin told Sanders, "Never give up, Bernie," which is nice and mysterious.

Still, Maddow thinks those meetings, and the news that Manchin also took a phone call from Joe Biden yesterday, seem like a positive step. We think we're going to agree with Rachel Maddow, just this once.

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Congress

Oh Good, Now We Know What Joe Manchin Wants, Maybe. And It's AWFUL.

Dok is Mad About A Thing.

One of the recurring mysteries getting in the way of progress on the Build Back Better reconciliation bill is that nobody really knows what exactly the the two Democratic holdouts, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, are holding out for. They've both been extremely coy about not saying in public what top-line amount of spending they could vote for, other than "Not $3.5 trillion over 10 years."

Now, last night, Manchin did release that screed about the "fiscal insanity" of spending lots of money on social programs while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for it, but even that wasn't terribly specific about changes he might want to make to the reconciliation package beyond insisting Congress should wait and see whether poor people stop being poor, and also we should means-test any new benefits to make sure the middle class won't support the bill since it's frozen out of getting any help.

As for Sinema, she's been even less clear. Asked whether the rest of the Democratic caucus knows where she is, she hilariously said "I'm clearly right in front of the elevator" because she's the second coming of goddamn John "turn left at Greenland" Lennon.

Today, however, Politico reports it has dredged up a copy of a July 28 document that it says Manchin has been handing to Senate colleagues who want to know what his own position on reconciliation might be, if he'd be so kind. It's a brief outline of some fairly radical changes he'd like to make to Biden's first-term agenda, like slashing most of it. Look at this shit, would you just LOOK AT IT:

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