Beltway Insider: Biden’s Budget, Impeachment, COVID, Vaccination, Integration, Hal Holbrook, Christopher Plummer

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President Biden, who unveiled his $1.9 Trillion rescue plan prior to his inauguration, spoke with GOP lawmakers this week in an effort to maintain bi-partisan dialogue on the budget while remaining committed to the stimulus package.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending February 5, 2021, decreased by 1.1% to 53.2% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 1.7% percentage points to 36.6%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.


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Biden's Budget Gains Traction

The strength of the democratic trifecta became evident Friday, as the Senate approved a budget blueprint which included President Biden's $1.9trillion stimulus package geared toward assisting struggling Americans and crushing the coronavirus.

After the Monday meeting with ten Senate Republicans, who have created a budget package equaling they presented to the president,

"I'd like to be — I'd like to be doing it with the support of Republicans.  I've met with Republicans.  There's some really fine people who want to get something done, but they're just not willing to go as far as I think we have to go," Biden said as he addressed the state of the economy.

"House and Senate committees will now start a weeks-long process of working on their individual pieces of the actual aid legislation, though the Senate's work may be somewhat slower because of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump that starts in earnest next week. The House and Senate must approve identical versions of any subsequent legislation, and lawmakers hope to do so before expanded unemployment benefits lapse in mid-March," reported The Wall Street Journal.

The House will take up the Senate passed budget.

Student Loan Forgiveness

President Biden also spoke again this week on Student Loan Forgiveness with Democratic lawmakers requesting up to $50,000 forgiveness. The President has indicated his commitment to address this issue may be closer to a blanket student loan forgiveness for all federal borrowers.

Under the guaranteed student loan program, private lenders—including Sallie Mae and commercial banks—issued student loans that were guaranteed by the federal government. 

Biden Stops Trump's Access to Intel

President Biden announced that former President Trump's access to intelligence reports and security briefings will be limited and determined individually.


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Trump's Impeachment Trial

Former President Trump's second impeachment trial is scheduled to begin this week with a series of legal wrangling and motions to determine the exactness of language.

Impeachment is a two-part process. With the House of Representative responsible for the charges, in this case one article of impeachment "Incitement of insurrection" stemming from his actions on January 6, 2021.

Which has moved to second part of the process: the Senate for trial. The Democrats hold the majority in both houses, so a party-line conviction is essentially assured which leads to the dissection of constitutional law and the exact language and interpretation of the framers.

"If the Senate votes to convict Trump, it could then invoke the constitutionally created sanction of "disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States" — meaning no 2024 comeback attempt," reported NYMag.com.

Coronavirus Totals

The infection rates of the coronavirus have alarmingly increased around the world. The weekly account confirms that a second wave is building with European nations enforcing shutdowns for, at minimum, one month.

A new strain, a mutation, has created global concern leaders around the world are determining the best direction for the protection of the population. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending February 1, 2021, coronavirus cases globally increased by 3,317,400 confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 105,810,200 people with a total worldwide death toll of 2,309,200 deaths, an increase of 93,400 over the past week.

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending February 1, 2021, the total confirmed cases rose to 26,957,000 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 858,600 this week alone with an average of 122,657 cases daily. The coronavirus has claimed 462,000 total deaths, a weekly increase of 22,800 deaths. (Data from The New York Times).

US Vaccination Process Compared to London, EU

With the largest inoculation campaign effort underway in Europe and the United States, the process of reaching herd immunity within a reasonable time, say in twelve months, appears to be stronger in Israel followed by the United Kingdom, with the United States second and the European Union a distant third.

"More than 128 million doses have been administered across 73 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 4.69 million doses a day. In the U.S., more Americans have now received at least one dose than have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. So far, 40.5 million doses have been given, according to a state-by-state tally. In the last week, an average of 1.43 million doses per day were administered," reported Bloomberg.com.

To achieve total population vaccination within the United States, at the current recorded rates, Bloomberg estimates it will take ten months to complete the vaccination effort.

The Global Vaccination campaign remains a more daunting process facing multiple challenges. As the vaccination process requires two doses and supplies running short, within the united states courts are determining that the second dose must be held in reserve for the twenty-one days necessary between dose one and dose two.

The top five countries leading in vaccinating their populations include, the United States, China, the European Union, The United Kingdom, and Israel, which has administered 22.2% of its population with the required two doses.


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One Dose, Two Dose

The United States, even with 40+million doses administered, has only vaccinated 2.7% of the population with two doses and 9.5% of the population has received one dose. China has not achieved the two doses necessary at any level of the population, even as they have administered more than 31 million doses. The European Union has administered 16+million doses, or 1.0% of the population within its 27-country membership and the United Kingdom has administered nearly 12million doses or .08% of its population the two doses, while 17.2 percent of its population has received the first dose.

The Coronavirus Mass Exodus

From New York to London, city dwellers in densely populated areas have chosen survival leaving many to flee to less populated areas until they received an all-clear signal.

For the 3.7million New Yorkers, who weathered Superstorm Sandy, global recessions, the September 11 terror attack, the Coronavirus became the most challenging and ultimately the breaking point contributing to a massive exodus.

Lately targeted cities including Los Angeles and Miami have seen billboards populating with the message "New York is Dead. Don't Come Back." A dig at those who fled the Big Apple as it became the epicenter of the nation's coronavirus coupled with a 15% unemployment rate.

Across the pond, in London, the coronavirus spawned a similar although much smaller exodus.

"In London alone, almost 700,000 foreign-born residents have probably moved out, the authors of the blog calculated, leading to a potential 8 per cent drop in the capital's population last year. A blog, published on Thursday by the government-funded Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE), estimated that up to 1.3 million people born abroad left the UK between the third quarter of 2019 and the same period in 2020," reported The Irishtimes.com.

The expectation, of course, is that eventually cities, across the world, will return to the thriving metropolis' that held all with a love-hate relationship.

Coronavirus Reintegration

With Stay-at-Home Orders slowly lifting around the country, cities are beginning a slow reintegration.

According to a New York Times graphic which can be seen here, the nation is implementing a three tired structure of reintegration including mask mandates, which has on the order of the CDC and an Presidential Executive Order became law this week.

"Requiring masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel safely even during this pandemic," according to the order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Therefore, requiring masks will help us control this pandemic and aid in re-opening America's economy," reported The Washington Post.

As states governments, which must be given the autonomy to govern themselves, are left to interpret the federal mandate, sixteen states have chosen to not enforce in its entirety the mask mandate. Six of the ten, have some restrictions and the others, primarily republican based states have no restrictions.

Business, except for Oregon and New Mexico, are mostly open, with eleven states denoting a mixed partly open/partly closed status. The majority of businesses, across the nation, are open.

After the mask mandate the single most important reintegration strategy remains Stay at Home Orders. At this time, three states and one territory, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina and Puerto Rico, are facing the stay at home or curfew mandate. Four states, Kentucky, Wisconsin, California, and New Mexico are under daily advisories. Stay at Home orders for the remainder of the nation, by all accounts, has been lifted.

The "nationwide patchwork of rules for businesses and residents reflects months of trial and error as governors have closed sectors they reopened after earlier lockdowns, or have reopened others as infection rates dropped," reported The New York Times.

Journo's in Trouble

New York Times Reporters Donald J. McNeil, Jr., and Andy Mills have left the company after allegation stemming from past conduct surfaced.

"High-profile science reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr.'s departure comes after the Daily Beast reported that he had repeated a racial slur during a 2019 trip to Peru for high school students," The Washington Post reported. He also is alleged to have repeated the slur on numerous occasions.

"The other departure is Andy Mills, whose past behavior and employment status came under scrutiny by his colleagues and his peers in the podcasting world after the collapse of "Caliphate," which he helped produce and host along with star Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi," The Washington Post reported.

The Culture of Obedience

With boundaries continuing to blur, as the once newspaper of record has continued to maintain the culture of obedience and complicit secrecy reminiscent to the coverup of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, in refusing to cover the ever-growing New York law firm sexual assault scandal, which has continued unabated across state lines infecting Hudson County, New Jersey judicial organizations.

Employees, lawyers, and support staff, of the Wall Street law firm and their partnership with a mid-town Christian religious organization, who has maintained the same culture of obedience and complicit secrecy, should provide fertile ground for exposing the facts.

Watergate began with a break-in, quite possibly a journalistic refresher course in needed as irrefutable documentation clearly doesn't persuade.

Lou Dobbs

Fox Staple Lou Dobbs has also faced the ax from his parent company Fox for his support of former President Trump's election conspiracy theories.


Medical Science: COVID-19 - Outrunning the Virus


Hal Holbrook, Christopher Plummer

The entertainment industry again felt the loss of two this week of acting greats with the passing of Hal Holbrook and Christopher Plummer.

Christopher Plummer, who delivered brilliant performances for seven decades and is remembered as the dashing Captain Von Trapp, in the perennial favorite The Sound of Music starring a young Julie Andrews.

He went on the win the hearts of audiences with each performance. He recently starred in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Knives Out and All the Money in the World. He received many awards and nominations throughout his career including an Academy Award for his performances in The Beginners. Winning at 82, he became the oldest recipient for a talent Oscar. His biography can be seen here. Plummer was 91.

Hal Holbrook, who also enjoyed a seven-decade career across stage and screen, also died this week. Most famously remembered as Deep Throat in the 1976 film All the President's Men, and his performance in The Firm. His versatile looks and depth of talent made him a natural for period pieces including "North and South" and "Lincoln." In 2007, Holbrook earned both an Academy Award nomination and Screen Actors Guild Nomination for his role in Into the Wild. Married to Dixie Carter, from television's Designing Women, the two remained married until her death in 2010. His biography can be seen here. Holbrook was 95.

 

For more information on President Joe Biden www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection

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