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Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is comparing his friendship with vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris to his personal bond with former President Obama.

Speaking to People Magazine in their first joint interview as running mates, Harris and Biden discussed their personal history and how they see their professional relationship.

“The easy part of this is like my relationship with Barack — we trusted each other,” Biden remarked.

The two were discussing how they came to know of one another, both personally and professionally, just before the comment was made.

“We go back a long way. She was friends with my Beau, my son. The first time I was aware of who she was, I got a phone call from Beau saying, ‘I want you to nominate Kamala Harris for the United States Senate. She’s a friend of mine,’ ” Biden told the magazine.

“That is how I got to really know Joe as a person, hearing about him through his son,” Harris added.

Biden and Obama forged a friendship after the then-Delaware senator was tapped as running mate, despite starting out as Democratic rivals in the 2008 presidential primary, and their bond allegedly remains strong today.

When leaving office, Obama honored Biden twice, once with the Medal of Freedom as well as during his farewell address.

“To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son,” Obama said during his speech in January 2017, “You were the first decision I made as a nominee, and it was the best. Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother. We love you and Jill like family and your friendship has been one of the greatest joys of our lives.”

Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Despite their friendship, Obama expressed doubt on multiple occasions about Biden’s ability to land the plane with his name at the top of the ticket.

Speaking privately to an unnamed Democrat who spoke to Politico about the conversation, Obama expressed grave concerns about his former veep’s 2020 White House run.

“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f–k things up,” the former president reportedly said.

Former Obama Administration officials painted the relationship to Politico as warm and genuinely close — yet also fraught with tension based on differences in working styles, the outlet reported.

According to longtime Obama adviser David Axelrod, however, the relationship did blossom after the two joined the 2008 presidential ticket together.

Speaking to the New York Times, he described their relationship as “a shotgun marriage that gradually turned into a love story.”

Still, the paper reports, Obama quietly pressured Biden to sit out of the 2016 presidential race, believing that Hillary Clinton had the better shot of winning and that the vice president wouldn’t be able to handle the vigors of campaigning so soon after the death of his son Beau.

Biden also acknowledged Obama’s doubts in his 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” saying that the 44th president “had been subtly weighing in against” him running in the 2016 race.

“The president was not encouraging,” Biden recalled of Obama’s reaction to his running to be his successor.

“I also believe he had concluded that Hillary Clinton was almost certain to be the nominee, which was good by him,” the former vice president wrote.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Now, Harris at his side, Biden says he has a running mate who will speak up when they disagree on an issue.

“Yes, she is,” Biden interrupted when People asked Harris if she would be the kind of VP to tell him when he’s wrong.

“We already have that understanding,” Harris added, “I’m going to be the last one in the room — and there to give him honest feedback. Being vice president to Joe Biden to me means supporting his agenda and supporting him in every way.”

“It’s really, really, really important to have someone [like Harris on the ticket] with this intellectual capacity, educational background, backbone and stature. It’s going to change a lot,” the former vice president said of Harris.

“I was absolutely, and remain, so excited about our partnership and all the potential of our country that has yet to be achieved,” she told the magazine.

The two said they were staying in touch by phone and through their staffs amid the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the campaign to hunker down in Biden’s Delaware home.

Harris, meanwhile, is based in both Los Angeles and Washington DC.

“She’s stolen some of [my staff] already, but you got to give them back when we get elected,” Biden quipped.

“Well, they’re going to be ours,” Harris jokingly replied.

Filed under 2020 presidential election ,  barack obama ,  joe biden ,  kamala harris ,  8/19/20

News Source: New York Post

Tags: kamala harris 2020 presidential election barack obama joe biden kamala harris

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These Environmentalists Detest the Inflation Reduction Act

in addition to expanding renewable energy.,the IRA incentivizes fossil fuel development.Eli Hartman/AP

This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The landmark climate legislation passed by the Senate after months of wrangling and weakening by fossil-fuel friendly Democrats will lead to more harm than good, according to frontline community groups who are calling on Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency.

If signed into law, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) would allocate $369 billion to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions and invest in renewable energy sources—a historic amount that scientists estimate will lead to net reductions of 40 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

It would be the first significant climate legislation to be passed in the US, which is historically responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country. But the bill makes a slew of concessions to the fossil fuel industry, including mandating drilling and pipeline deals that will harm communities from Alaska to Appalachia and the Gulf coast and tie the US to planet-heating energy projects for decades to come.

“Once again, the only climate proposal on the table requires that the communities of the Gulf south bear the disproportionate cost of national interests bending a knee to dirty energy—furthering the debt this country owes to the South,” said Colette Pichon Battle from Taproot Earth Vision (formerly Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy).

“Solving the climate crisis requires eliminating fossil fuels, and the Inflation Reduction Act simply does not do this,” added Steven Feit, senior attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law.

Overall, many environmental and community groups agree that while the deal will bring some long-term global benefits by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, it’s not enough and consigns communities already threatened by sea level rise, floods and extreme heat to further misery.

The bill is a watered-down version of Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better bill which was blocked by every single Republican and also conservative Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who have both received significant campaign support from fossil fuel industries. West Virginia’s Manchin, in particular, is known for his close personal ties to the coal sector.

Critics note that the IRA allocates billions in tax credits for unproven technologies that will mostly benefit the oil and gas industries.

“This was a backdoor take-it-or-leave-it deal between a coal baron and Democratic leaders in which any opposition from lawmakers or frontline communities was quashed. It was an inherently unjust process, a deal which sacrifices so many communities and doesn’t get us anywhere near where we need to go, yet is being presented as a savior legislation,” said Jean Su, energy justice program director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

The IRA, which includes new tax provisions to pay for the historic $739 billion climate and healthcare spending package, has been touted as a huge victory for the Biden administration as the Democrats gear up for a tough ride in the midterm elections, when they face losing control of both houses of Congress.

The spending package will expedite expansion of the clean energy industry, and while it includes historic funds to tackle air pollution and help consumers go green through electric vehicle and household appliance subsidies, the vast majority of the funds will benefit corporations.

A cost-benefit analysis by the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), which represents a wide range of urban and rural groups nationwide, concludes that the strengths of the IRA are outweighed by the bill’s weaknesses and threats posed by the expansion of fossil fuels and unproven technologies such as carbon capture and hydrogen generation—which the bill will incentivize with billions of dollars of tax credits that will mostly benefit oil and gas.

“Climate investments should not be handcuffed to corporate subsidies for fossil fuel development and unproven technologies that will poison our communities for decades,” said Juan Jhong-Chung from the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, a member of the CJA.

The IRA is a huge step towards creating a green capitalist industry that wrongly assumes the economic benefits will trickle down to low-income communities and households, added Su.

Many advocacy groups agree that the IRA should be the first step—not the final climate policy—for Biden, who promised to be the country’s first climate president.

People vs Fossil Fuels, a national coalition of more than 1,200 organizations from all 50 states, recently delivered a petition with more than 500,000 signatures to the White House calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency, which would unlock new funds for urgently needed climate adaptation in hard-hit communities, and use executive actions to stop the expansion of fossil fuels.

Siqiniq Maupin, executive director of Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, said: “This new bill is genocide, there is no other way to put it. This is a life or death situation and the longer we act as though the world isn’t on fire around us, the worse our burns will be. Biden has the power to prevent this, to mitigate the damage.”

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