Opinion January 1, 2023
Predictions for 2023

With the closing of 2022, we very much look forward to 2023 and the opportunities to make great things happen. While we at Southside Matt are looking forward to bettering ourselves for you by bringing you more content on a more-regular basis, we expect that a number of other things will happen, some good and some bad.

Keeping that in mind, here are some of our predictions for events to occur in 2023:

Congress will come to a standstill
With Republicans set to take control of the House of Representatives when the new Congress is sworn in on January 3rd, the Congress will again be split for only the second time since Barack Obama was President. With the vitriol exhibited by both parties and their respective constituents, it will be difficult if not impossible for the two sides to reconcile with each other except in specific situations. This should benefit the People as bills will not be able to be ramrodded through both houses without significant debate and consideration.

As many of the bills passed by one house of Congress will be backed by the partisan majority, the other house will either not bring it for a vote or will vote it down. This will result in only the most-publicized bills receiving full votes in both houses, and only those that are considered “must pass” will do so.

More unrelated items added to “must pass” bills
As has seemingly become habit or normalcy within Congress, some bills will be held until they absolutely have to be passed. Such is true particularly of budgets. A whole different subject of its own, Congress has taken to avoiding passing a full budget annually as is required by the Constitution, and instead waits until the current funding is about to expire to pass so-called Continuing Resolutions that authorize temporary funding to keep the government operating. Such bills open themselves up to having amendments added for congresspersons’ pet projects, with the congressperson knowing that the bill must pass, so including their amendment will bolster what they can use to praise themselves in various arenas. Many times, these amendments, if submitted as separate bills, would not be able to pass. They are often added through consent by the specific house debating the Resolution or spending bill as many know that the amendment will not be scrutinized and, even if it is, they can state that they were ultimately voting on the spending bill and not on the amendment itself.

With a divided Congress, this method will be used more than usual to have controversial or failing items passed.

President Joe Biden and his son Hunter will be investigated
Characterized by Democrats as retaliation for the investigations into President Donald Trump, including the so-called January 6th Investigation, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will use a similar format to investigate President Biden and his son Hunter’s foreign dealings while Joe was Vice President and leading up to his presidential run. Of course, this goes without saying as Republicans have been touting what they consider to be the facts of the case almost from the election of Joe Biden to the presidency in November 2020.

Neither will be convicted even if prosecuted
While the investigations are a foregone conclusion, their outcomes may not be for many. The investigations conducted by Congress will prove to be a fruitless spending spree performed by Republicans in an attempt to change minds that won’t be changed. When President Biden is impeached – this, too, is a foregone conclusion considering the amount of evidence that has already appeared in public and combined with the fact that Republicans will be conducting the investigation and determination of impeachment – his impeachment will go the way of those against President Trump. In this case, there will be overwhelming physical and documentary evidence of President Biden’s guilt, while the evidence against President Trump was primarily circumstantial at best. In determining whether to convict, though, the Senate is not required to vote on the evidence. As a result, the Democrat-controlled Senate will vote to ignore the evidence and, as the previous Congresses did with President Trump, acquit him of the charges.

In the case of the president’s son, Hunter, the FBI has either admitted or been found to have substantial evidence of Mr. Biden violating numerous federal laws. Yet, no serious investigation by law enforcement has been held, with the FBI’s director and the U.S. Attorney General both having been provided their current positions by President Biden. Similarly, many of the violations of State and Local Law contained in the evidence either occurred in jurisdictions that President Biden has called “home” at some point or another, or that he has represented while in Congress and therefore assumed a powerful political following, or in undisclosed or undetermined locations where jurisdiction would be difficult to ascertain. The FBI and Department of Justice will not properly investigate or submit charges due to the debt owed by their leaders to President Biden. State and local authorities will not prosecute either because of President Biden’s influence in their jurisdictions or because the jurisdiction cannot be solidly determined.

While considering impeaching President Biden a “victory” much as then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi lauded the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans will end up spending millions, possibly billions, of tax dollars performing investigations that will ultimately lead to no significant results.

Gas and diesel prices will rise
While President Biden posted on social media that gas prices in 2022 provided for a less-costly Christmas trip for Americans than in 2021, they are still significantly higher than when President Biden was declared elected in November 2020. With that, prices suspiciously dropped prior to the 2022 mid-term elections and have remained steady since then and while the election results were determined. Now that the election process has been completed, then there is no reason for the Administration to keep these prices lower than they had been through the summer.

Efforts to lower gas and diesel prices and maintain those levels for the elections in Democrats’ attempt to secure power will cease. Without those efforts, these prices will rise likely right after Christmas.

President Vladimir Putin will be subjected to a coup attempt
Numerous media reports from various sources in a number of countries have reported that public disagreement with Russia’s continued involvement in Ukraine is growing. The discourse is even reportedly extending to President Putin’s inner circles, including military leaders. The People of Russia are increasingly showing their disagreement with their president’s actions, and, for the older generations at least, had grown tired of the Soviet tactics used during that era. President Putin, being a former KGB agent who is suspected to have been “planted” into the Russian Federation political landscape to return the country to that of the early 1980s, has taken to tactics used by his predecessors such as jailing and imprisoning opponents, or having them “exterminated.” He is facing a populace that includes those who have already been through such a system and swore that they would not endure another combined with a new generation that, being raised with liberties not allowed by such a system, is ready to take up the fight to retain the liberties that they are supposed to have.

Ignited by the extended conflict with Ukraine, the People of Russia will revolt against President Putin and enter into a civil war of sorts. This will be finalized depending on how deeply into the military forces the disagreement with the action seeps. If the sentiment seeps deeply enough then the revolt will be successful and a new Russian government will be formed. If it does not seep deeply enough, then President Putin will continue to use the military and police forces to wield an iron fist over the country and return it to the Soviet-style government of the 1950s to 1980s.

North Korea will continue to escalate tensions
North Korea, emboldened by its backing from Russia and China, and having reportedly developed the capability of manufacturing nuclear weapons, has increased its firing of rockets and missiles in 2022 in an effort to goad South Korea and their allies into a reaction. These launches have led to projectiles having been fired into the upper levels of the atmosphere in an effort to show that they can reach the United States, and perhaps even to the East Coast of the U.S. Most-often they are fired into the “East Sea” and have been merely for show. On occasion, though, they have been fired over Japan, with a trajectory that would allow them to reach Guam (the largest military stronghold by the U.S. in the westernmost Pacific), or a trajectory to indicate the ability to reach Hawaii, the westernmost U.S. state.

Kim Jung Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong has been suspected to actually be “in charge” of the country’s military. She has not been given a title of prominence due to the traditional role of women as subjugates instead of as leaders. Yet, she has repeatedly made bold statements to the press and on behalf of the government that make many believe she is the nation’s true leader while her brother simply holds the title. Suspected to be at her direction, North Korean air forces have flown precariously close to the demilitarized zone, while Russian and Chinese aircraft have also flown through North Korean airspace in an apparent show of solidarity.

As 2023 moves forward, we look for Ms. Kim to continue the escalation of tensions with South Korea. Missile launches will become more-frequent and may also encroach closer and closer to South Korea’s allies in an attempt to prompt a first strike from them.

China will finally take control of Taiwan
With a storied history, the relationship between China and Taiwan has been, at best, tumultuous. Since the United Nations essentially awarded the island of Taiwan to governance by the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party, China has attempted to exert an increasing amount of authority over Taiwan through the years. Through the 2020s, China has stepped up their efforts to the point that they recently even flew military aircraft over Taiwanese airspace. Chinese ships have also basically surrounded the Strait of Taiwan in an effort to dissuade other navies from sailing through there and to try to exhibit the capability of their force over the island.

China, much as it did with Hong Kong, will attempt to increase and escalate its presence around Taiwan, hoping to scare the island into submission. When that fails, they will use their air and naval forces to draw the attention of the Taiwanese military and their allies while slipping ground forces onto the island to take over. They will not use missiles or large-scale shelling from their naval ships due to the manufacturing and technical capabilities that Taiwan possesses. To destroy these would be a setback for the purpose of taking hold of the island.

The American government will attempt to restrict rights even further
As chaotic as the past few years have been, 2023 will continue this trend, and even exacerbate the chaos in some ways. As they find the chaos wreaking havoc upon their lives, the American People will begin to awaken and form groups that will begin to split from the current political parties and begin to work to have candidates who more-closely align with their own thoughts and beliefs. Using the events described above as justification, the American government will attempt to restrict these activities even further.

Fencing off the seat of the People’s government, the U.S. Capitol, and deploying the National Guard to enforce this was just the beginning of what will be seen. “For the safety and security of government officials and property,” even more federal properties will come under “lockdown” and provide for more-restrictive measures against those visiting or in the area.

Even with all of this seeming to be "doom and gloom," it is possible for the American People and individuals such as you and us to have a great year! Be sure to develop a plan to make yourself happy and then stick to it so that we can all be prosperous in the new year! 

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