Saturday Morning Open Thread: ‘Without Imperfections, We Would Not Exist’

… “The situation is a blinking Code Red for our nation,” Biden said, citing unusually high winds, prolonged drought conditions and the late arrival of snow as responsible for creating “a tinderbox.”

The president visited the Louisville neighborhood of Harper Lake, now covered in snow, to witness burned-down houses, charred trees and husks of torched cars from the Dec. 30 Marshall fire.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in this neighborhood,” Biden said, and see winds up to 100 miles per hour and flames approaching. He praised the residents for their “incredible courage.”…

Biden, even more than most presidents, has made a point of visiting disaster areas such as hurricanes and wildfires to console the survivors, and the United States has experienced a high number of such events during his first year…

The speech is normally timed for January, and occasionally for February. The delay is driven in part by a busy legislative calendar, a winter spike in COVID-19 cases from the more transmissible omicron variant and the upcoming Winter Olympics, which ties up broadcast network time…

Biden first addressed a joint session of Congress in April 2021, about 100 days into his time in the White House, which he used to promote twin infrastructure and domestic spending bills. Biden signed a slimmed-down and bipartisan version of the infrastructure proposal into law last year in crowning first-year legislative achievements. The larger expansion of the social safety net passed the House, but Biden has struggled to secure enough Democratic support in the Senate for passage.

An address to Congress in the president’s first year is not an official State of the Union address, and Biden’s April speech bore little resemblance to one because of strict COVID-19 protocols. It was marked by limitations on attendance, with no guests allowed, and lawmakers seated on both the floor of the House chamber and the galleries above. Officials said pandemic precautions for this year’s speech were still being worked out, though they expect it to look more like a traditional State of the Union address than last year’s remarks.

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