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Disasters

President Joe Biden walks with Col. Matthew E. Jones, before departing Joint Base Andrews to visit hurricane-ravaged New York and New Jersey

Photo by Elizabeth Frantz/REUTERS

By Nandita Bose

NEW YORK (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Tuesday toured sites of deadly floods in the Northeast and said Hurricane Ida demonstrated the ravages of climate change as he pressed for investments to boost infrastructure and fight global warming.

"Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy, and the threat is here. It's not going to get any better," Biden said after touring neighborhoods in New Jersey and New York City's Queens borough that were hurt by the storm. "We can stop it from getting worse."

It was Biden's second trip in recent days to areas slammed by the storm, shifting his focus to domestic priorities after weeks of public attention to the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Biden made fighting climate change a key plank of his 2020 presidential campaign and a top priority of his administration, but some of his goals rely on getting the U.S. Congress to pass multitrillion-dollar legislation on infrastructure and other priorities.

Biden noted that wildfires, hurricanes and floods were hitting every part of the United States, with more than 100 million Americans affected this summer alone. The storms, he said, will only be getting worse.

"Folks, we got to listen to the scientists and the economists and the national security experts. They all tell us this is code red. The nation and the world are in peril. That's not hyperbole. That is a fact," Biden said.

On Friday he visited Louisiana, promising federal aid and urging national unity. Ida devastated parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast and unleashed even deadlier flooding in the Northeast.

Biden's flood damage trips revived his familiar role of consoler-in-chief, a shift from time spent in recent weeks defending his decision to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan following its deadly aftermath.

The United States is still working in Afghanistan to get Americans out while resettling tens of thousands of evacuees. Still, Biden is expected to focus in the coming days on domestic issues: a fight to protect women's reproductive rights in the wake of a new Texas anti-abortion law, the end of extended unemployment benefits for many Americans and new measures to fight COVID-19.

On Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, he will visit the three sites where hijacked U.S. domestic planes crashed. Next week, he plans to visit California to boost Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom's effort to stay in office amid a recall election and to highlight the damage done by wildfires, another sign of climate change. Vice President Kamala Harris plans to travel to California on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said it would take "months more likely than weeks" to complete cleanup, repairs, and rebuilding after his state was ravaged by flooding and a tornado from the remnants of Ida.

Dozens of people died during the hurricane and in its aftermath and some states are still grappling with widespread power outages and water-filled homes.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose and Jeff Mason; additional reporting by Peter Szekely; Writing by Jeff Mason; Editing by Heather Timmons and David Gregorio)

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Founder of Project Veritas James O'Keefe

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The destructive flooding of Hurricane Ida as it hit the mainland U.S. has stretched from the Mississippi all the way up the Northeast of our country. The realities of our country's archaic infrastructure has even led to some GOP officials voicing their support for President Biden's infrastructure bill, which they've generally tried to neuter and delay for political gain. The costs in human misery and economic instability of doing nothing about climate change are far higher than the money we should be spending to upgrade our country's vast infrastructure needs.

Bad policy and unproductive political theater will not offer you immunity for defying science and forces like weather. Bad policy decisions concerning climate change and infrastructure hurt everyone. The Daily Beast reports that dirtbag conservative operator James O'Keefe and his Project Veritas crew lost their Mamaroneck, New York, home base to Ida's floods. Peas and carrots or thoughts and prayers, whichever one means less.

O'Keefe is probably best known for breaking the law and getting awards from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' terrible wife inside of a swampy Trump Hotel lobby for his work hiring women to create false sexual assault allegations in the hopes of discrediting real sexual assault allegations. Read that last part over to yourself again and then think about the kind of terrible hole in one's soul you have to have to be involved in that.

In a video posted to the right-wing disinformation group's YouTube channel, O'Keefe unironically says that Project Veritas' next "story" might be delayed as he works on rebuilding the organizations' infrastructure. In the video, O'Keefe calls himself and his "organization" the "most resilient organization anywhere," and then blathers on with a trite reference to the phoenix rising from the ashes. He finishes by misquoting a poem by Rudyard Kipling in sort of a perfect encapsulation of the conservative movement in our country: conjuring up an old famous imperialist, racist, and anti-Semite and then lacking the intelligence and thoroughness to even properly repeat his least offensive poetry.

Guess he'll be asking for some more of that socialist taxpayer money he and his buddies rail so hard against but love to have in the bank for a rainy day.