The Wider World

Warnock’s win has big influence

SENATE wing of the U.S Capitol building (Wikipedia).

In a basketball game, a 51-49 outcome was a tense, nail-biter. But when Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in Tuesday’s runoff, his party celebrated like it was a blue landslide, according to the Associated Press.

Warnock polled 51.4 percent of the vote, but his win gives Democrats a firmer control of the upper house of Congress. Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, but any legislation passed there must be approved by the Senate – and signed by the president – to be enacted.

While all spending bills must originate in the House – giving Republicans big influence over the budget – it’s the Senate that approves treaties, appointment of judges, Supreme Court justices and cabinet members.

When the Senate was split 50-50 the last two years, the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris was necessary. Additionally, one holdout Democrat could demand – and get – concessions on legislation before it would be passed.

Germany moves against coup plot

Twenty-five people were arrested Wednesday in Germany, a crackdown on what the government called a plot to kill high officials and overthrow the government.
According to The New York Times, over 3000 police officers and special forces troops raided over 150 homes, and netted – among others –an active duty soldier, a former officer, a police officer and at least two reservists in the German army.

They are allegedly part of an extremist right-wing group that has embraced some of the conspiracy theories of the QAnon movement.

Also in the news … After months of increasing pain at the pump, the price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. is heading down. According to United Press International, the average cost of regular unleaded is now $3.35, the same price as it was in December 2021.

Sports: Judge signs with Yanks for $360m


New York Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge – who set an American League record this year with 62 home runs – has signed a nine-year $360 million contract with the team. 

The San Francisco Giants made an effort to sign the free agent, but were outbid by the Bronx Bombers.

Judge was the American League MVP for 2022 with a .311 batting average to go along with 131 RBIs and 111 walks for an on-base percentage of .425.

Weather: Sun, clouds, rain …

The skies will be mostly sunny for Thursday and Friday, but there’s rain  on its way. The West Orange County area should have clear skies on Thursday, with a daytime high of 62 and the overnight low of 44. Friday will be similar with a high of 62 (47). Saturday, though, is forecast to be partly sunny during the day – a high of 62 – but some clouds with a 50 percent chance of rain overnight with a low of 51. Sunday should be rainy most of the day with a high of 61 and a low of 44.

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