Hurricanes are yesterday’s news as, today, we join White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the gaggle, “en route to Poughkeepsie, New York, where President Biden will visit an IBM site to meet with workers, tour the site, and give remarks.”
IBM is expected to announce a $20 billion investment in New York’s Hudson Valley over the next decade, “in R&D, into design and manufacturing of semiconductors, mainframe technology, artificial intelligence, and the quantum computing... These investments will create good-paying manufacturing jobs here in the United States.”
Joining KJP today was Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, “to talk through our domestic manufacturing boom, our strong labor market, and to answer any of your questions on economic developments.”
And in anticipation of tough questions about the economy, no doubt.
Fiddling While Rome Burns?
KJP then made a very exciting statement:
“But before I turn over to Brian, I have one thing that I wanted to say and share with you, which I think is very exciting. This Saturday and Sunday, the White House will continue its annual tradition of welcoming the public for fall garden tours. I know you guys have been waiting for this moment.”
Not a single question about the garden tours would seem to debunk her statement here. Nonetheless:
“This year will be the first time the White House has been able to host fall garden tours since the pandemic started. In April 2022, the White House hosted spring garden tours, marking the first opening of the White House gardens to the public during the Biden-Harris administration.”
After several more statements about gardens and the grounds and the groundskeeper, she finally turned it over to Deese, who provided a statement about investments in American manufacturing and, seemingly, an advertisement for both Democrats and IBM.
AP’s lede on Biden’s visit made the political nature of the visit overtly, “President Joe Biden is ready to celebrate a new $20 billion investment by IBM in New York’s Hudson River Valley with two House Democrats in competitive races in next month’s critical elections.”
When You Can’t Blame Trump, Blame Foreigners
When asked – immediately with the first question because, of course – about the US energy strategy, economic strategy, and foreign policy strategy implications of OPEC+, Deese responded:
“As we’ve said, the OPEC decision — the reason why we were disappointed in it is we believe it’s unnecessary and unwarranted at a period where if you look at the global energy picture and the oil picture, the lack of supply continues to be a significant challenge.
This is from the regime that halted US energy production, on their first day in office, via Executive Order.
“We’re going to have to see the actual impact of this…But to your question about alternatives: We identified some of these, and we’ll continue to focus on them, right? If you look at the U.S. — where we are in the U.S. right now, the wholesale price for gasoline — refined gasoline — is about, on average across the country, about $1.20 lower than the retail price that consumers are paying. Historically, that gap has been about 90 cents.”
The alternative measure is US gas prices are not so bad? Anything else, Brian?
“And the other measures are things that are on the table and we continue to look at. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is — is one of those. So, you know, I — we’re not announcing any steps on that front, but there are measures that we will continue to assess as we — you know, as we go forward.”
Continuing to drain the reserves and hoping for lower prices. That’s the Biden energy policy in light of the current crisis. This is Biden’s go-to guy on energy policy:
REPORTER: “But just to hone in on that: U.S. gas prices are going up now…what in the short term is available?”
MR. DEESE: “So, number one, you know, let’s, you know, take stock of where gas prices are today. You know, today in America, the most common price for retail gasoline is $3.29. We’re headed to New York and New Jersey where the retail price is about $3.50. It’s down 30 to 40 cents from where it was a month ago.
FACT CHECK: MOSTLY NARRATIVE
They say “most common price” for gasoline instead of “national average. The national average for gasoline according to AAA is $3.87. “And so we are laser-focused on what we can do to keep bringing that price down.” Thanks, Brian.
When asked a final question about US economic trajectory, Deese, replied,
“Well, I would say the most — I think the most significant mark of the American economy right now is its resilience…”
He would know. He’s running the economic policies that have attempted to destroy US economic trajectory for nearly two years now. Did we sense a tone of lament in that final answer?
No More Questions – We’re Landing
KJP was let off the hook for the most part during the briefing, as the plane was landing before they got past the energy question, but she was asked when Biden was planning to release the full intelligence report on Khashoggi, and, “What is the holdup? Is that being considered now?”
The question came amid the OPEC+ back and forth, and likely in reference to Khashoggi declass as a form of punishment for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s role in reducing oil output. Of course, she dodged, “I know this question has been asked many times before. I don’t have anything to preview or share at this time.”
Given the short flight, and gaggle, we didn’t get to hear anything about Biden’s hot mic in Ft. Myers…
or North Korea’s latest missile strike last night, their sixth in two weeks…
or Iran’s allegations of that the US is interfering in their domestic affairs…
or the latest about Dugina’s assassination by, allegedy per unnamed US intelligence sources, the Ukranians…
or Lavrov’s warning that Russia was going to view the US as a combatant in this war.
Still, I’m sure those garden tours are going to be lit.