Day 93: “Opportunities for Everyone!… Someday.”

On Day 93, one of Biden’s favorite catch-all concepts does some heavy lifting on the global stage.

Biden Promises A Bright Tomorrow (for the People He Displaced).

President Joe Biden delivered remarks again on the second and final day of his virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, focusing on the job-creation potential of proposed climate actions. The president referred to those who are likely to lose their jobs to new, “green” energy policies as “the workers who … thrived in yesterday’s and today’s industries.”

“As we transition to a clean energy future, we must ensure that workers who have thrived in yesterday’s and today’s industries have as bright a tomorrow in the new industries as well as in the places where they live, in the communities they have built,” the president said, presumably referring to the inevitable hollowing out of oil, gas, and coal-reliant state and local economies.

Where can future unemployed energy workers go to pick up their new job? No word yet—but there’ll be “opportunities for everyone.”

“When we invest in climate resilience and infrastructure, we create opportunities for everyone,” Biden said. “That’s—that’s at the heart of my Jobs Plan that I proposed here in United States. It’s how our nation intends to build an economy that gives everybody a fair shot.”

On Refugee Cap, We’re Just Trying To “Send A Message”.

The White House admitted again Friday that one of Biden’s signature campaign promises was simply meant as a signal about “who we are as a country.”

Press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the original refugee cap of 125,000, and even the intermediate goal of 62,500, were always “aspirational” and were about “sending a message to the world about the fact that we are a country that welcomes in refugees.”

“Given that that number—62,500—was already communicated to Congress earlier this year and as a cap limit—it’s not a commitment to bringing that many people—why not just go right up to that cap and that limit?,” a reporter asked Friday.

“You’re right, in that this cap is historically aspirational,” Psaki said. “If you look back at history, most people don’t—most administrations don’t actually meet the cap. But it is sending a message to the world about the fact that we are a country that welcomes in refugees, that we want to get our systems and our muscles working in our refugee processing systems both in the country and around the world . . . We are just trying to reach to send a message to the world about who we are as a country.”

While the White House maintains that dramatic reconstruction of America’s refugee system is necessary in order to admit the number Biden originally promised, it has employed different logic in explaining the situation at the southern border, where allowing massive dysfunction is supposedly the best way to telegraph America’s “humane” and “moral” values.

“We stand by our decision and our policy as an administration not to send unaccompanied minors back on the treacherous journey. So, you know, that is our policy because we feel it’s humane and it’s moral, and we think the world sees it that way as well,” Psaki said in March.

Biden Announces First Overseas Trip.

The White House press office on Friday announced the first official overseas trip of the Biden presidency: engagements in the United Kingdom and Belgium in June. The trip will include the G7 summit in Cornwall, and the NATO summit and a U.S.-EU summit in Brussels.

Biden-Erdogan Call.

One day before Armenian Remembrance Day, Biden reportedly notified Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday that he intends to refer to the 1915 massacre of Armenians as an “Ottoman” genocide, a measure that past administrations have avoided on the basis that it would undermine negotiations with a key regional partner.

This update was not included in the official White House readout of the call. Erdogan will also be taking part in the NATO summit in Brussels in June.

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May 4, 2021 2:00 pm

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