Beltway Insider: Biden/Title 42, Ukraine War, Russia/Wagner Group COVID/Vaccine Totals, Jen Psaki, Will Smith

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President Biden this week announced he would be ending Title 42, a former Trump era policy which placed COVID-related border restrictions, for asylum-seekers on May 23, as he continues to roll back coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

 

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending April 3, 2022 decreased by 0.9% to 41.1% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 0.3% to 53.1% 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/Poland, Ukraine War, NATO, G20, Endemic, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Madeleine Albright, Oscars


Ukraine War

As Putin's assault on the Ukraine now rages into its fifth week, signs are appearing that the expected dominance by the Russian Forces will not manifest and the most productive avenue for the Russian President is to back away from his planned major offensive and focus on what has obviously emerged as the intended annex.

The United States continues, as does all NATO nations, the European Union, and The United Kingdom, to demand a complete withdrawal of all Russian Forces from the Ukraine.

The recent victory in Kyiv, as CNBC reported, "Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, in a Facebook post Saturday, said that the "whole Kyiv region is liberated from the invader."

Turkey Hosts Peace Negotiations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcomed lead negotiators from both Moscow and Ukraine for the first step of what the world is hoping will end the 35-day old conflict.

With both sides experiencing heavy casualties, and the unexpected determination of the Ukrainian people to maintain their freedom as well as the economic sanctions that have ostracized Putin and the wealthiest of his supporters, gripping his nation, the hope of this time would be to engage in a cease fire.

The talks, the second since the beginning of the invasion February 24, 2022, have been marred with allegations of attempted poisoning as oddly both the Ukraine and Russian Oligarch and Putin's official advisor Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian MP Rustem Umerov suffered symptoms.

As Russian KGB are known to use poisoning, even in recent history, the use of Novichok in 2018 in Salisbury, England to murder a former double agent. The plot backfired and exposed the Russians continued use of the Cold War poison agent.

Despite the attempted derailing, "Despite the difficulties of the talks, the results appeared warmer and more productive than previous sessions in Belarus or talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in the southern Turkish city of Antalya," reported The Guardian.

As the negotiation are moving at real time, news media are reporting that the drafts of Peace Negotiations have been forwarded to both Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin for review and consideration. This has not been independently verified.


World News: Countdown to the French Presidential Elections


Displaced Refugees Return

The Ukrainian refugees, now totaling more than 10 million, the majority which have fled to neighboring Poland, are facing a hard reality: as kind as strangers have been the homes, and lives, they had four weeks ago may be forever destroyed.

For the refugees the last month has taken an emotional toll on them and the idea of living, essentially as homeless, in a nation, outside of their native Ukraine is too much for them to handle. And so, armed with hope, they are returning unsure of what they will find upon return.

It is unclear if they are returning to gather additional supplies, pick through the rubble, hope against hope that their homes are still standing or simply returning hoping to regroup where it was derailed.

"Others say they're tired of living in fear and are confident the Ukrainian military will ultimately prevail, thanks in part to the weapons, supplies and intelligence being supplied by the United States and other allies," USAToday reported.

Russian Troops Leave Kyiv

Moscow recently announced it would be withdrawing troops from Kyiv, and while the U.S. intelligence community has warned the announcement may be a ploy, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said he has witnessed a difference, small, but significant.

"Associated Press journalists in Bucha, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, watched as Ukrainian soldiers backed by a column of tanks and other armored vehicles used cables to drag bodies off of a street from a distance. Locals said the dead — the AP counted at least six — were civilians killed without provocation by departing Russian soldiers," the Associated Press reported.

The de-escalation in troops, which the State Department estimates to be about 20% of Russian Forces that were positioned round Kyiv, at this time it remains uncertain if the Russian Forces are genuinely returning to Belarus to resupply and regroup and then to be repositioned to the Donbus Region, which appears to be a tactile attempt by Putin to capture the key port city of Mariupol.

This belief is echoed across Europe as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg indicted the same belief that Russian Forces are leaving Kyiv to reposition themselves to supply additional forces and strength in the effort to capture Mariupol.

John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary said, "We have seen none of them reposition to their home garrison, and that's not a small point. If the Russians are serious about de-escalating, because that's their claim here, then they should send them home, but they're not doing that, at least not yet."

Putin Kept in Dark on War

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated on several occasions, during a press conference held last week, his belief that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not being provided daily briefs by his military generals on the status of Russian Forces.

"If Mr. Putin is misinformed or uninformed about what's going on inside Ukraine. It's his military. It's his war. He chose it. And so, the fact that he may not have all the context, that he may not fully understand the degree to which his forces are failing in Ukraine, that's a little discomforting," John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary said.

Information trickling out of the Ukraine indicate Russian troops are sustaining heavy losses as they attempt to secure Kyiv, the port city Mariupol, and other major cities.

The fighting in Mariupol has intensified, as its proximity to the ports and Crimea make it an attractive target for Russian Forces. The city has been under heavy air strikes and bombardments with both Russian Forces and Ukrainians fighting for control of the key port in the Donbas Region.

Heavy Losses Reported

Casualties are a part of any war, and the Russian-Ukraine War is no different. Currently the death toll for Russian Troops, depending on the source, is near 10% of its initial forces or 15,000. Media reports up to seven Russian Generals have been killed in battle.

'"Unlike the death of an ordinary soldier, it makes an outsized impression." Ukrainian officials and Western officials have named seven Russian generals killed in action: Magomed Tushayev, Andrei Sukhovetsky, Vitaly Gerasimov, Andrey Kolesnikov, Oleg Mityaev, Yakov Rezanstev and Andrei Mordvichev," reported The Washington Post.

Morale has begun to diminish among the Russian Forces caught up in Putin's war. As Russia, like many nations, has a mandatory military enlistment, the Ukraine war has many of the recent 134,500 mandatory draftees concerned they will be station on the front lines in the Ukraine.

To offset the low spirits of Russian Forces and move the loss of life to a more expendable and palatable region and to retain homeland support, Putin has moved to recruit from terrorist rich nations to fight his battles for him.

Russia Recruits Wagner Group Mercenaries

With Russian Forces unable to accomplish the task, Russian leaders are recruiting Wagner Group Mercenaries to step in and target key demographic locations along the Donbus Region which will allow Russian forces to regroup and focus on other strategic locations.

"The Wagner Group is recruiting in places like Syria and places like northern Africa, Libya, but how many are of that thousand or so I don't have that level of detail. The point is that it's just another example of how Mr. Putin is going to throw more energy into trying to occupy the Donbas," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said

Vaccine Totals

Bloomberg.com has built a vaccine tracker which can be seen here. "In the U.S., 561 million doses have been given so far. During the last week, shots were administered at an average rate of 92,423 doses a day," Bloomberg.com reported.

Coronavirus Totals

With the expected arrival of BA.2, the U.S. is continuing to push for vaccinations and a return to the new normal which means a transition to the permanent endemic stage.

For your fellow citizens, who are learning to cope and process the information, and as everyone has a different level of tolerance, allow them the courtesy to deal with the concerns for their long-term health as they chose.

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 one-week period ending April 2, 2022, coronavirus cases globally increased by 10,499,603 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 490,569,519 people with a total worldwide death toll of 6,148,613 deaths, and a 7-day death rate increase of 28,658. (Data from The New York Times).

COVID US Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the seven-day period ending April 2, 2022, the total confirmed cases rose to 80,051,976 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 206,933 with a 7-day average of 29,561 cases per day. The coronavirus has claimed 979,988 total deaths, adding 4,523 more deaths over the 7-day period. (Data from The New York Times.)

Pentagon's Diary Gets Personal

Protecting for gain of function knowledge only aides those who initiated the constitutional violations. It does nothing to combat the homegrown terrorism or the narcissist above the law belief. The best obtainable version of the truth.


World News: Defending Ukraine, Saving Democracy


White House Press Secretary Resigns

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who has recently recovered from the Coronavirus, will leave her position at the end of the month for a commentator position at MSNBC.

Will Smith Slap Stops the Show, Robs Winner's of Spotlight

My in the moment opinion, "honorable intention, deplorable action" remains. Any type of body shaming, mockery of disease, rape or sexual assault jokes or capitalizing on another's sorrow is unacceptable. Even in the roast everyone and everything environment.

Capitalizing on Ms. Pinkett's medical condition was inexcusable, especially in our world of outlandish, bizarre, and extreme behaviors, trolls and influencers who beg, clamor and hope for a moment of attention. And there were some even in attendance.

As of today, it is not known if the G.I. Jane 2 "joke" was scripted. If yes, then there are issues with the writer's room. If not, then even the best comedians should have a line in the forum where they play.


OSCARS: 2022 Academy Awards and Governors Ball Pictures


For this night, the Academy Awards, and in the week that has followed it is understood that the Academy has an honor code. Insulting medical conditions should not be tolerated. Would mocking Troy Kotsur's hearing impairment, with sick, muted sound and fake sign language be tolerated? But, hey it's just a joke.

And what followed was also inexcusable.

The fallout from the moment has continued. Mr. Smith has resigned from the Academy, the Academy Governors are meeting to determine further sanctions, and hopefully a silver lining might actually appear in all this unfortunate mess.

Perhaps bad boy/bad girl behaviors will no longer be accepted or celebrated. Maybe the slap will initiate change and a return to the boundaries all members of every branch of the Academy are required to adhere if they are members. Perhaps abuse and violence will be defined, spelled out, in all its forms in the manner in that experts define as abuse. Perhaps honorable will be redefined, specifically for those who have erased the clear and defined lines to fit a current agenda.

As far as Mr. Smith, defending one's wife is honorable; controlling oneself is a necessity; violence just cannot be tolerated.

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

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection.

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