Beltway Insider: Biden/2024, Midterm Election Results, Abortion, COVID/Vaccine Totals, G20, Ukraine/Russia

With the control of the House of Representatives still undecided, although leaning republican, President Biden, to further his domestic agenda, will be forced to make certain concessions to ensure any bill passes the house.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, for the period ending November 13, 2022 decreased by 0.7% to 41.5% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by .04% at 53.3% of those polled who disapprove of his effectiveness. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

Beltway Insider: Biden/Midterms, Ukraine/Russia, UK PM, Korean Stampede, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Twitter, Leslie Jordan

Mid-Term Results

With the House Race still undecided, President Biden on the morning after the election declared, "it was a good day for democracy." Throughout the final month leading up to the election many pundits and press had been predicting a giant red wave of Republicans winning control of both the House of Representatives and the senate.

President Biden, in speaking to the press, said, "While any seat lost is painful — some good Democrats didn't win the — last night — Democrats had a strong night.  And we lost fewer seats in the House of Representatives than any Democratic President's first midterm election in the last 40 years.  And we had the best midterms for governors since 1986."

The post-election mortem presents strong truths as Americans begin to think ahead to the 2024 presidential election. This election presents a hard truth for political interlopers, Americans want the real deal, they want politicians, public servants who serve on behalf of the constituents, without personal agenda, and those who will not use the nation for personal gain or attempt to subvert the election process.

The election deniers, many of which were high on their own supply, and expecting to storm Washington, much in the same way they did as insurrectionists on January 6, 2020, were denied a place in government, as the American people saw the rhetoric and voted for democracy, the continuing of an evolving government that betters the people it serves.

Abortion Rights

Pro-choice advocates also showed up in record numbers to voice a clear message, in their communities, Abortion rights belong to the people and not the government. Voters spoke loudly and with a unified voice across even historically pro-life states to stop government's encroachment on female reproductive rights.

"Voters in Montana rejected a ballot measure that would have forced medical workers to intercede in the rare case of a baby born after an attempted abortion," reported The Associated Press.

With Montana and Kentucky, both republican stronghold states, joining Kansas, which voted down an abortion amendment earlier this year, it is clear the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade "galvanized abortion-rights voters." Michigan, California, and Vermont, traditionally democratic and considered liberal voters voted to protect abortion rights in the state's constitution, making a woman's right to choose her own reproductive medical care, integral to the state charter which can only be changed by an amendment.

As it stands, five days after the November 8, 2022, election, the House is leaning Republican with 20 races still undecided, and the U.S. Senate will remain under democratic control.

Senate Remains Blue

With the Arizona race called for Democrat Mark Kelly, former astronaut, and husband of former Representative Gabby Giffords, and on Saturday Nevada Democrat Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who had been trailing by 700 votes finally pulled ahead after Clark County, home to the majority of the state's population, put her over the top by 6,500 votes and was declared the winner in the hotly contested race, which gave the democrats control of the senate.

Democrats maintained majority control over the senate, which means, even if the republicans secure the control of the House of Representative, the senate can veto any bill put forward and send it back to the house to be reworked before it heads to the president.

Georgia Heads to Runoff

Once again, Georgia senate race is heading to a runoff. With neither Republican challenger Herschel Walker, receiving 48.52% of the vote and incumbent Democrat Raphael G. Warnock receiving 49.42% of the vote, receiving the necessary 50% of the vote, the public will, once again, head to the polls in three weeks in a run-off election.

"The Georgia seat remains critical. For the Democrats, winning Georgia would solidify party gains in the state and provide Senate leaders with more leverage. For the Republicans, a victory would return a seat they had long held before 2020 and widen slightly their ability to block legislation," The New York Times reported.

Georgia is not new to run-off elections and as the state that has been historically republican continues to attract more democrats to the metropolitan cities of Atlanta, Savannah, Columbus, and Augusta election will continue to reflect this demographic. With the rural population remaining Republican and the dense urban areas, democrat.

House Leans Red

As the control of the House of Representative has yet to be called, and California, where there are many undecided races, have until Tuesday to count the ballots. Currently, the House totals are Democrats 204, having lost six seats, and Republicans 211, having gained seven seats with twenty undecided votes.

"Control of the House was still up in the air on Saturday, as vote counting continued days after an election in which Democrats overperformed expectations in many contested areas across the country. Democratic control of the Senate dashes GOP hopes of a full takeover on Capitol Hill," reported The Washington Post.

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2024 Presidential Race Firms Up

The 2024 presidential race is already the elephant in the room. With former President Donald Trump expected to announce his candidacy as early as this week, and President Biden expected to run for re-election, the race is appearing a bit frayed around the edges. Agism, which will be a factor in this race, is already talked about in major media organizations as a factor that voters will need to address and with it confront their own issues with agism and discrimination.

"Questions about Biden's physical and mental fitness have hung over him since he began his presidential run in 2019 and have persisted throughout the first two years of his term. But as Biden prepares to turn 80 on Nov. 20 — potentially announcing a reelection bid shortly thereafter — the United States is entering unmapped territory: an octogenarian in the Oval Office," reported The Washington Post.

However, should Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who handily won reelection by 20 percentage points in Florida, home of both an aging population, and a mix of heavily liberal democrat and conservative republican counties, continue to express interest in a presidential bid, the issue of age would then rest solely on President Biden and his team to match his mental and physical fitness against someone nearly half his age.

DeSantis, who at 44, is now elected to his second term in a state that limits any governor to two consecutive four-year terms. Should he run and win he would be the same age as former President Bill Clinton and a year younger than former President Barack Obama, in 2024.

In four years, DeSantis will be 48, relatively young and unable to run in the 2026 Florida Governor's race, as term limits prevent a third term, leaving the possibility of a U.S. Senate run or retirement from politics, which is doubtful. With a presidential run, should he win, he moves into the White House, in 2025, leaving two years on his Governor's term and has a potential eight more years in office.

Although radical in language, he can galvanize the vote and capture the moderate, undecided voter who is considered about President Biden's age.

Vaccine Totals

As of November 13, 2022, in the United States, 890,758,935 vaccines have been distributed, with a 14-day increase of 14,284,800 and 646,524,294 have been administered with a 14-day increase weekly increase of 9,652,737 doses. More than 90% of the population have received the two-dose vaccine. (Date from the CDC).

Coronavirus Totals

Mandates have been altered or lifted in most urban areas with limited exceptions, and the population is encouraged to maintain personal protective practices. Masks are optional and tolerated. Vaccines and boosters are still considered the most effective agents against contracting the Coronavirus.

For the two-week period ending November 13, 2022, the total of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide reached 630,832,131 people, with a 14-day increase of 4,494,973 with a total worldwide death toll of 6,584,104 deaths, and a 14-day death rate increase of 17.494. (Data from The World Health Organization).

COVID U.S. Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the 14-day period ending November 13, 2022, the total confirmed cases rose to 97,889,652 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 559,865 with a 14-day average of 30,990 cases per day. The coronavirus has claimed 1,070,947 total deaths, adding 4,596 more deaths over the 14-day period. (Data from the CDC).

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G20 Summit

The leaders of the world's top twenty economies will gather this week in Indonesian for the annual G20 Summit. It is expected the agenda will include continuing effort to control any future Covid outbreaks, as many of the nations associated with the G20, have yet to reach what is considered an endemic stage of the virus.

"U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday his country will maintain open communication lines and seek no conflict with China, ahead of what are expected to be tense talks on a range of geopolitical issues at the G20 summit in Indonesia this week," Reuters reported.

Although, the Ukraine Russian war is also expected to dominate the summit, it remains unclear if there will be a redux of the April 2022 financial summit which did include Russia and member nation representative including the United States, Great Britain, The EU, and Canada staged a 'walkout" in protest over Russia's involvement in the summit.

Russian President Putin has notified G20 officials that he will not be attending in person. This could be seen as a response to the April condemnation over the continued action in Ukraine or possibly leaning toward validation of the rumors of his deteriorating health, which has included tremors.

The Daily Mail reported, "Vladimir Putin does have early stage Parkinson's disease and pancreatic cancer, leaked spy documents have alleged in the latest unverified claim about the tyrant's ill health."

Additionally, the recent setbacks in the dictator's war against Ukraine, could also be reasons for not wanting to appear in person. It has not yet been released if senior members of his team will be in attendance towing the party line or preparing for a change over in leadership.

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Ukraine/Russian War

Russian backed forces have been ordered to evacuate the recently annexed Kherson region, as the Ukrainian forces are launching a large counter-offensive aimed at regaining the region.

Ukrainian civilians have endured the brunt of the war and the battle over Kherson is no different. Even as those in this region of Ukraine have probably considered themselves Ukrainian-Russians, without treasonous intention, the region, and subsequently both nations, are so intertwined with the other. The current living conditions are harsh, and to accept the offer by the Russian forces to relocate to a region in a Russian city isn't the prisoner of war scenario many interpret this move. Creating a safer living situation with access to daily necessities away from the daily bombardments, air strikes, and worse is welcome.

Also, in the region a hydroelectric dam spanning Dnipro River, which is a major waterway in the Ukraine, and which both sides are claiming the other is trying to damage. Should the Russian forces blow the dam, which could be seen as a false flag as Russian forces claim to have annexed the region, it will cause major flooding to the Ukraine on both sides of the banks possibly killing many who made their homes along the riverbanks.

"Russian forces have now ceded about 40% of the Kherson region, which straddles the Dnipro, within a few days. Now that Ukrainian forces have recaptured Kherson as far as the Dnipro river, the two sides face each other across the river over a distance of some 250 kilometers (155 miles) – from the area around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to the edge of the Black Sea," CNN reported.

With Russian forces experiencing repeated setbacks and the Ukraine forces receiving continued international support, a cease fire may be possible.

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