Connect with us

Ticker Views

Does Donald Trump stand a chance against Joe Biden?

Published

on

As Americans prepare to head to the polls, Democrats and Republicans may be tied for control of Congress

The U.S. is preparing for the all-important midterm elections in a matter of months.

For President Joe Biden, it could be a stark warning that his leadership is on thin ice, or it could be the validation he needs ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

There will be 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate up for contention this November.

But as President Biden prepares to ride the campaign wave, it’s the so-called “MAGA Republicans”, which are drawing attention.

“We have to be stronger and more determined and more committed to saving American democracy, than the MAGA Republicans and that guy destroying democracy.”

U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

The majority of Americans believe political violence will increase across the country. According to the same polling from CBS, U.S. voters think the nation will become less democratic for future generations.

Kim Hoggard is a former U.S. government official, who served in the Bush and Reagan Administrations, she said the current political climate is proving a challenge for leaders to connect with voters.

“I wonder how it is that in this period in American political history where divisiveness is so wide and so dangerous, how it could be that a president can achieve high approval ratings anymore.”

In fact, around six in 10 Americans (57%) disapprove of Biden’s performance, according to recent Ipsos polling from Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the “soul of the nation” in a recent address.

The president’s dwindling ratings have been characterised by some factors out of his control—the pandemic, rising inflation, cost of living, and the war in Ukraine.

But there is one foreign policy outcome, which could be the reason for his falling support, according to Stephan Loosley from the U.S. Studies Centre.

“There’s no question that an enormous hole was punched in the Biden White House with the fiasco, the calamity of the Afghanistan withdrawal, which was badly mishandled.”

However, when it comes to the war in Ukraine, Loosley said Russian President Vladimir Putin misread the strength of U.S. intelligence, and Biden’s hold on his NATO allies.

“The President’s mobilisation of NATO in the face of the illegal Russian incursion of Ukraine has been extraordinary,” he said.

In light of this, President Biden has still managed a strong legislative agenda. This includes climate change action, healthcare reform, military aid for Ukraine, and infrastructure commitments.

Is this enough to sink Biden’s ship?

The U.S. midterm elections are scheduled for November, and with a general election on the cards for 2024, there is much discussion about the rise of former President Donald Trump.

It’s been so far-reaching, even President Biden can’t seem to shake off discussion around his predecessor. In fact, he recently spoke about the rise of Make America Great Again (MAGA) Republicans during a nationwide address.

“There’s no democracy where you can be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy,” he said.

The president’s approval ratings are yet to reach the record low levels of President Trump, which sunk to 33 per cent at the end of 2017.

As it stands, the Democrats have 221 seats in the House of Representatives, and 48 members in the senate.

“The probability of the Democrats losing control of the house is very real. That’s been the history of American midterms since Harry Truman,” Loosley said.

“It’s just possible the Democrats may hold onto control of the Senate. A lot of that has to do with the ‘MAGA Republican’ candidates… those who are endorsed by the former president.”

STEPHEN LOOSLEY, U.S. STUDIES CENTRE

Of course, Trump hasn’t been without his own worries—the fallout from the Capitol riots, raids at his Mar-a-Lago estate, a lawsuit against his company, and a criminal investigation in Georgia.

Kim Hoggard, who is also a former White House Assistant Press Secretary, said these events demonstrate Trump is unfit for office.

“The mishandling of sensitive information and top secret intelligence information show what a dangerous person he would be if he were to regain the presidency,” she said.

He may be considered dangerous but nearly one in five (19%) of Americans identify as ‘MAGA Republicans’. This is hardly going to be a short-term blip on Joe Biden’s radar.

“There’s no question that Mitch McConnell is determined that Trump will bear any responsibility for Republican losses in the midterms,” Stephen Loosley from the U.S. Studies Centre said.

Mitch McConnell is the Minority Leader in the Senate and he believes the House of Representatives will flip this November.

“You have all these investigations, inquiries, and probes running simultaneously, it’s got to divert and distract the Republican Party and it’s got to damage some Republican candidates’ races,” Loosley said.

In terms of Trump’s 2024 possibilities, Kim Hoggard said the criminal investigations and lawsuits “are going to significantly affect his [Trump’s] ability to be a viable candidate”.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

Ticker Views

Watered down meetings for Pacific leaders

Published

on

Solomon Islands Prime Minster concludes his second overseas trip in a week as strategic competition heightens

It’s hard to believe a time when leaders from the Pacific jumped on board their emissions-spurting jets to meet with the U.S. President.

But last week 12 leaders from across the Pacific gathered in Washington to meet with President Joe Biden in the first U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit.

“We honoured the history and values that our nations share and expanded our cooperation on key areas that will benefit our people for years to come,” President Biden said.

What was the meeting about?

Leaders from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia were among the guests at the summit.

They discussed maritime security, climate change, and economic development.

Of course, climate change is a crucial issue for these Pacific Island states, many of which are low-lying and vulnerable to the impacts of rising temperatures and sea levels.

These countries are already experiencing higher temperatures, shifts in rainfall patterns, and rising sea levels.

There are also long-term climate variables, which are expected to occur in the future.

The U.S. believes the summit was a platform to “reaffirm its commitment to the Pacific region” and “strengthen its relationships”.

But it was only a matter of time before the climate guise was dropped.

“The security of America, quite frankly, and the world depends on your security, and the security of the Pacific Islands.”

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT

Security is the key word here, because President Biden’s definition of this, may differ from the low-lying states of the Pacific.

Why was it important?

One word: China. When Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi blitzed through 10 Pacific countries earlier in the year, he had a big deal on his mind: a regional security pact.

“China practices the diplomatic principle of equality among all countries,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The Pacific sensationally declined to sign up to the sweeping deal, which included greater economic and security ties.

Wang said the Pacific region should not to be “too anxious” about Beijing’s intentions.

“China is not a newcomer, but rather an old friend with Pacific Island countries,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Solomon Islands is the key example here, especially after Prime Minster Manasseh Sogavare’s stance on the Declaration following last week’s U.S.-Pacific Partnership.

Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele said he watered down the initial language because it “put us in a position where we’d have to choose sides”.

He added there were “indirect” references to China, however, officials later found “common ground” and Solomon Islands signed up.

It’s no surprise Sogavare was then seen standing next to President Joe Biden for the official photo at last week’s Washington Summit. Fiji’s leader Frank Bainimarama was also strategically on the other side.

It was the first time in 40 years where a Fijian Prime Minister had an official audience with the U.S. President.

Why is Solomon Islands at the centre of this?

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met with Australia’s leader Anthony Albanese in Canberra today, where the pair reiterated their relationship as “proud Pacific nations”.

“I look forward to engaging with Prime Minister Sogavare on building a strong and prosperous Pacific region, based on principles of transparency, respect and partnership.”

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA

Australia remains Solomon Islands’ largest development partner. But Sogavare’s state visit largely remained behind closed doors, with no media opportunities scheduled.

Prime Minister Sogavare welcomed Australia’s $16.68 million commitment to support the 2023 Pacific Games, and offer to support the next Solomon Islands’ election—an issue where earlier friction was caused.

Sogavare’s visit was part of Canberra’s plan to reduce friction between the two nation.

Earlier this year, Honiara signed a security alliance with Beijing. It stirred a diplomatic pot over concerns a Chinese military base could be established on the island nation.

Australia’s Prime Minister meets with Solomon Islands Prime Minister.

Australia’s then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked for greater transparency over the deal.

But Sogavare lashed out at Australian officials in his nation’s parliament, asking where the same transparency was over the AUKUS alliance between Australia, Britain and the U.S.

“I learnt of the AUKUS treaty in the media. One would expect that as a member of the Pacific family, the Solomon Islands and members of the Pacific should have been consulted to ensure this AUKUS treaty is transparent.”

MANASSEH SOGAVARE, PRIME MINISTER OF THE SOLOMON ISLANDS

The recent Washington summit was the perfect opportunity for President Biden to roll out the red carpet and discuss his administration’s plans for the Indo-Pacific region.

On the other hand, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “will keep in close communication with all parties” and “make good use of the mechanism of China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting”.

Continue Reading

Ticker Views

How close to a full scale nuclear war are we really?

Published

on

Since President Vladimir Putin’s latest warning that he is ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, the question of whether or not the former KGB spy is bluffing has become much more urgent.

There are several reasons why Putin’s nuclear warnings have the West worried. First, Russia has been increasingly aggressive in its actions in recent years, from annexing Crimea to intervening in Syria. This has led to a feeling that Putin is becoming more and more reckless and unpredictable.

Second, Russia has been beefing up its nuclear arsenal, with reports indicating that it now has more nuclear warheads than any other country in the world. This increase in firepower makes Putin’s threats all the more credible.

Last but not least, there is the fact that Putin is a former KGB agent. This means that he is no stranger to playing games of brinkmanship and bluffing. In the past, he has used nuclear threats as a way to get what he wants. For example, in 2008, he threatened to aim nuclear missiles at European cities unless the United States agreed to drop plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

The West is worried

Given all of this, it’s no wonder that Putin’s latest nuclear threats have the West worried. Only Putin knows if he is actually bluffing, but given his track record, it’s certainly a possibility.

If a nuclear weapon were used in Ukraine, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of people would be killed or wounded, and millions more would be displaced. The economic and social damage would be enormous, and Europe would be plunged into chaos.

In addition, the use of nuclear weapons would also have devastating consequences for the rest of the world. The nuclear non-proliferation regime would be dealt a serious blow, and there would be a renewed risk of nuclear war.

The world would become a much more dangerous place.

Nuclear impact

A nuclear explosion in Ukraine would have a regional impact, but it could also have global consequences. The use of nuclear weapons would violate the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and this could lead to other countries acquiring nuclear weapons. In addition, the risk of nuclear war would increase, and this would have a negative impact on the entire world.

The UN has condemned Russia’s threats of nuclear war, and it has called on all parties to refrain from any actions that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. The UN Secretary-General has said that there can be no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and he has urged all sides to return to the negotiating table.

Russia has several allies in its war against Ukraine. These include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russia also has the support of China and Iran.

The war in Ukraine has had a significant impact on energy prices.

Due to the conflict, there has been a disruption in the supply of natural gas and oil from Ukraine. This has led to an increase in prices for these commodities.

The West can only threaten Putin further, as they’ve done all year, since President Biden warned that Russia was about to invade Ukraine.

Every step of the way, Putin has done exactly what the West has feared.

Continue Reading

Ticker Views

“These are the guys?” Putin’s Dad’s army

Published

on

Vladimir Putin’s army is in a bit of a pickle. They’ve been drafting retirees, and telling conscripts to use tampons for bullet wounds.

This isn’t exactly the most impressive fighting force we’ve ever seen. In fact, they look more like dad’s army than anything else.

It’s clear that Putin is desperate to beef up his forces, but it seems like he’s just throwing bodies at the problem instead of actually preparing them for battle.

Pictures from Sevastopol in Crimea show groups of men — many well into their 50s and 60s gripping weapons and wearing uniforms.

Several appear in questionable fighting shape.

This could be a big problem for Russia if they actually get into a serious conflict. We hope for their sake that they never have to find out.

Thousands of Russian men are fleeing the country to avoid conscription. This just goes to show how unpopular Putin’s policies are, even among his own people.

The Kremlin is now trying to catch thousands of Russian men as they try and leave the country. But it’s not going to be easy.

Many of these men are willing to risk everything to avoid being drafted into Putin’s army.

It’s estimated that up to 100,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine since the conflict began.

This is a huge loss of life for Russia, and it’s all thanks to Putin’s reckless policies.

Many of these soldiers were just boys, barely out of their teens. They had their whole lives ahead of them, but they’ll never get to experience it now.

It’s tragic, and it’s all thanks to Putin. He needs to be stopped.

At the same time, a video shared on social media shows a Russian officer telling new recruits what to expect.

“I say right away if you are near the fire, you are f***ed,” she says, before reeling off a list of items they will need to acquire themselves before entering the war zone.

“Take sleeping bags with you, you will sleep where you have to.”

Continue Reading

Trending Now

Copyright © 2022 The Ticker Company PTY LTD