Beltway Insider: Biden/Covid, Recession, Prisoner Swap, COVID/Vaccine Totals, KY Floods, Uvalde, Paul Sorvino

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President Biden, who had remained working in isolation since his initial Covid-19 positive test July 21, 2022, had tested negative four consecutive days and now has tested positive two consecutive days through a rapid results antigen test.


The President's job approval rating, according to the website, for the period ending July 31, 2022 increased by 1.5% to 39.4% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by 1.3% to 55.3% 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/Covid, Ukraine, Bannon, Brits PM, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Monkey Pox, Uvalde

Biden Covid Update

The White House physician, Dr. Kevin O'Conner, provided an update to the White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, stated the Biden's recent positive test was considered a "rebound" Covid positivity and has been seen in a small group of patients treated by Paxlovid.

President Biden, who is fully vaccinated and twice boosted, tested negative across four consecutive days. Late Saturday morning, he tested positive, although he has not exhibited any additional Covid symptoms and has continued to improve.

A medical release statement from President Biden's physician stated, "he will continue to conduct the business of the American people from the Executive Residence."

U.S. Economy Shrinks Fuels Recession Fears

The U.S. economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters, fueling recession fears as consumers are holding back on large purchase items and scaling back on the purchase of consumer electronics and other non-necessities consumer goods.

"The decline that the Commerce Department reported Thursday in the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — followed a 1.6% annual drop from January through March. Consecutive quarters of falling GDP constitute one informal, though not definitive, indicator of a recession," the AP reported.

Even as gasoline prices have continued to decline from the record high one month ago of $6.99 in Los Angeles in June 2022, the national average according Triple A range from a low of $3.72 in the southwest to a high of $5.61 across the western wall of the United States. These numbers represent an average and most consumers will see higher numbers at the pump when they fill up.

Consumers are continuing to see record increases at each trip to the grocery store and are holding back on the limitless spending and experiencing sticker shock at the cashier. Moreover, consumers are hunting for the lowest prices and are willing to drive further to fulfill their normal grocery list.

"Two of the country's biggest retailers, Walmart Inc. and Best Buy Co., warned last week that a steeper-than-expected pullback in shoppers' spending would crimp their profits," The Wall Street Journal reported.

Even Hershey, the nation's largest chocolate maker, announced this week they are experiencing a shortage of ingredients needed to make many of the delicious chocolate treats consumers are accustomed to enjoying around the holidays. This statement is paving the way for higher-than-normal price increases at the time when consumers stock up without thought.

With most pandemic related breaks are ending, especially remote working opportunities consumers are confronted with unexpected upgrades including childcare, wardrobe enhancements, and commuter costs. And if the economy continues to shrink, workers can expect to be laid off.

Even as the Unemployment rate remains at 3.6% the real average weekly earnings have decreased 1.0% over the past month and 3.6% over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"While people are spending more of their paychecks on groceries, rent and gas, U.S. consumers have pulled back on buying electronics, apparel, housewares and small appliances since March, according to market research firm NPD," The Wall Street Journal reported.

For the consumer it is a Catch-22.

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Russia Prisoner Swap`

The recent circulation of a proposed Prisoner Swap between the United States and Russia for the release of WNBA Basketball player Brittney Griner, who has pleaded guilty to bringing cannabis cartridges into Russia by accident is scheduled to be sentenced soon. The expectation is that she will receive the harshest penalty allowed in a Russian courtroom.

Her infraction may be slight, however, to facilitate a prisoner swap for the notorious Russian arms dealer, Victor Bout, The Merchant of death, the sentence must be extreme and shocking. Security Consultant Paul Whelan, who was accused of spying, tried and sentenced to 16 years in prison is also included in the potential prisoner swap deal.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier this week that while the Kremlin and U.S. officials have engaged in talks, "there has been no concrete result yet. We proceed from the assumption that interests of both parties should be taken into account during the negotiations," she said," reported.

Vaccine Totals has built a vaccine tracker which can be seen here. " In the US, 599 million doses have been given so far. During the last week, shots were administered at an average rate of 96,733 doses a day," reported.

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 one-week period ending July 30, 2022, coronavirus cases globally increased by 7,155,086 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 576,565,101 people with a total worldwide death toll of 6,395,754 deaths, and a 7-day death rate increase of 18,025. (Data from The New York Times).

COVID U.S. Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the seven-day period ending July 31, 2022, the total confirmed cases rose to 91,108,532 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 881,939 with a 7-day average of 125,991 cases per day. The coronavirus has claimed 1,026,322 total deaths, adding 2,995 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 narcissistic above the law belief. The best obtainable version of the truth.

Norman Lear Turns 100

Norman Lear, producer, writer, and screenwriter for more than 100 television shows, has joined the centenarian club. Turning 100 this week, Lear has developed many shows which became ingrained in the America fabric including "All in The Family," "The Jeffersons," "Maude," "Good Times," and "The Newspaper Man."

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Kentucky Devasted by Catastrophic Floods

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear have updated the number of Kentuckians who lost their lives in this week's devastating flood to at least 28, including six children, four of which have been recovered.

The Capital Weather Gang Twitter @capitalweather feed reposted a message from the governor, "The Horrendous situation in eastern Kentucky with "one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky's history" according to Gov. Andy Beshear. "We expect double digit deaths." Three deaths confirmed so far. Second 1,000-yr rainstorm in 3 days."

Drone images reveal the extent of the damage with water levels reaching the tops of many buildings exposing only rooftops. Vehicles and even fire trucks were swept away by the rushing water. The devastation has destroyed entire cities.

One family, Amber Smith and her husband Riley Noble, explained the water began to rise at about 2:00 am, and in minutes, what looked like a small amount of rising water, had increased to three feet, and in the time it took to get the children dressed, their trailer was flooding. They made it to the roof with their four children, where they stayed for nearly two hours until the rushing water broke the foundation away, and a crest of water hit them and they and the four children, were swept away. Smith and Noble grabbed an overhanging tree where they were rescued eight hours later. The four children were swept away and died.

"Ms. Trejo said that the bodies of the children — Maddison Noble, 8; Riley Jr., 6; Nevaeh Noble, 4; and Chance Noble, 2 — were found on Friday in Knott County. . . . The parents remained clinging to the tree for six to eight hours before they were rescued by a man in a kayak who was rowing from home to home seeing who needed help," The New York Times reported.

This is the second catastrophic disaster to hit Kentucky in less than eight months, as the Mayfield Tornado, an EF4, struck the easter portion of the state in December 2021, killing 57, obliterating multiple towns and injuring more than 500.

Uvalde School Shooting: School Principal Placed on Admin Leave; Last Victim Leaves Hospital

The May 24, 2022, Robb Elementary School Shooting, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two administrators, should be fading from the national conversation has it has been two months, and continued gun violence fills and other catastrophic disasters fill the media each day.

However, the Uvalde shooting isn't disappearing as the senseless murders and ineptitude of law enforcement has continued to be exposed, with multiple agencies investigating all elements that came into play on that day.

This week, the school's principal Mandy Gutierrez, was placed on Administrative Leave until she addressed several issues by the Texas House Investigative Committee. She complied with the requests through her attorney, Ricardo Cedillo, addressing the issues including classroom 111, the scene of the slaughter, faulty locking mechanism; the Raptor Alert system, Wi-Fi, and a culture of complacency, all which the Texas House Committee believed played substantial roles in the massacre.

She three page detailed report, which can be read here, allowed her to be reinstated effective immediately. In some statements in the document, she suggests the teacher in Room 111, Arnulfo "Arnie" Reyes, who she states, "As for the teacher's claim that he had complained about the door not locking for three years, Gutierrez inferred that because the teacher was "severely wounded and has undergone a tremendous ordeal," his memory might not add clarity," reported.

She also added, she was in her first year at Robb Elementary School and no records were kept on past maintenance repairs or requests. The letter further states, that spotty Wi-Fi aided in the failure of receipt of the national school emergency management system known as Raptor and is a telephone app. She explains emergency training calls for no use of the PA system, once an active shooter has entered a school, as it is explained in training the use may incite the gunman. The final entry on the letter speaks to a culture of complacency, which she wholeheartedly denies in the framework of the school shooting.

At this point, she has complied with the request by the Texas House Committee investigating the Uvalde shooting.

Uvalde's Final Victim Released from Hospital

Mayah Zamora, 10, was released this week from a San Antonio hospital where she has spent the last nine weeks undergoing multiple surgeries resulting from injuries she suffered during the May 24, 2022, Robb Elementary which claimed the lives of 19 of her classmates.

While her physical injuries are mended enough to allow her to be discharged the psychological injuries of that day are expected to haunt her especially as she, like the nation, continue to understand 376 law enforcement officers arrived on scene, and for 77 minutes waited in the hallway outside the classroom refusing to enter or find alternative means to control the unfolding massacre.

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Paul Sorvino

Paul Sorvino, star of the stage and screen, passed away this week, from complications of age and reoccurring health issues. He was 83.

Born in New York, in 1939, he began his career on Broadway in 1964. He continued to gain traction in the industry throughout the 1970s and 1980s cast as reoccurring roles in television. He played NYPD Sergeant Phil Cerreta in the hit crime drama "Law & Order."

In a career that spanned seven decades, Sorvino, father of Oscar winning actress Mira Sorvino, will always be remembered for his quiet power role as mobster Paul Ciscero in Martin Scorsese's "The Goodfellows." It wasn't until the 1990s and Sorvino continued delivery of standout performances that Hollywood began to take notice. Recently he had roles in "The Birthday Cake," and most recently starred in the Epix series, "The Godfather of Harlem."

"In a 1995 interview with Charlie Rose, Sorvino lamented that he was never given a chance to carry a studio picture. "I've been to the mountaintop, but I haven't been the guy," he said. "I've been a passenger on the bus, but I haven't been the driver," reported The Hollywood Reporter.

Sorvino is survived by his third wife, Dee Dee, three children Mira, Amanda and Michael and numerous grandchildren. He will be interned at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.


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