On the Imperial Herald political show, Arissa Lavigny gave a long and detailed interview, hinting that the Emperor's status was not as serious as some claimed.
"We've heard a lot of debate between the honourable Denton Patreus, Aisling Duval, and Zemina Torval, but we need to look at the Empire itself. We need continuity, not in-fighting. His Excellency Chancellor Anders Blaine has served my father well for over five decades. Soon my mother will finally marry my father, but rest assured if and when the time comes I will serve the Empire as best I can, and will bring continuity and stability."
Share prices on Imperial markets have already risen in pre-holiday trading.
The Congressman for Sanna, Marcus Albertson, has given a speech to his own parliament in Sanna.
"Federal taxes are holding back our progress. We say we have democracy but what can we change? Our coffers are sucked dry by the Federation as they lord it over us. What do we get in return? We get one vote in Congress. One vote! We are powerless. I suggest we get no votes in Congress and keep our money and our freedom! I suggest we leave the Federation immediately!"
His speech was met by cheers, not just from his own party, but from the opposition too.
Aisling Duval provided a colourful outburst while discussing Senator Torval's home system Synteini on the lifestyle show 'Favourite Holidays'.
"Torval is a horrible, twisted old lady. We have no beggars or people going hungry on the streets as they are down her mines working their fingers to the bone, starving in private!"
Senator Torval, now back in Synteini for the holiday celebrations responded:
"I wouldn't set any store by her childish outbursts. She doesn't know what she is talking about. A happy New Year and Empire Day to all."
In a move causing shockwaves throughout Federal space, President Halsey has announced Federal tax increases.
"I am sorry and I appreciate people are frustrated about this, but I have to announce further Federal tax rises. This is to cover our ever increasing welfare burden, and high military spending."
Federal taxation is already a problem throughout Federal space, and this squeeze where the frontier worlds are effectively supporting the rich core systems is causing unrest amongst the frontier states.
Commentators have suggested the Shadow President's speech yesterday was triggered by some inside knowledge or leak from the President's staff. Confidence ratings of the President are now at an all-time low.
The armed conflict between Senator Patreus’s Imperial forces and those of the impoverished Durius system continues.
Patreus is paying well for outside assistance, but an exhausted Governor Malachai has spoken out.
"What can we do? Our people are dying. We cannot pay even the interest on these crippling debts. Those irresponsible fools that accepted this money in the first place are long gone, but we are left to pick up the pieces. How can we ever hope to get out of this hell?
I call on those independent governments out there like ours thinking of getting into debt with this evil Senator to think twice. We are forced to protect our homes because that is all we have left."
In the traditional speeches that mark the re-opening of Congress after the holiday, Congressman and Shadow President Zachary Hudson has outlined his views for the coming year.
In a long speech highly critical of his opponent President Halsey, the only new element was his criticism of Federal youth.
"We need to get the unemployed lazy youth of our core systems off their backsides. They need to get off their sims, and in to the real world to do something useful. We need to counter the Imperial threat. Let's get them into the Marines and the Navy. Let's spend our tax credits on protection, not sloth. The Navy never did me any harm."
Senator Torval has already blamed outside forces for the recently suppressed rebellion in Sorbago. Last night on the political debate panel show 'Question Everything' she went further.
"Yes, these are terrible events, but sometimes people are easily led. My forces have reported ships coming from Luluwala supplying guns to the rebels. It is completely unacceptable, especially when it is a Federal-backed system like this."
Many commentators have been surprised at Senator Torval openly accusing the Federation for the rebellion. When contacted a Federal embassy official dismissed the accusations as "nonsense".
In what is usually a quiet time for politics the Shadow President has given an interview to support Admiral Vincent.
"Our military forces have always operated independently of government. In fact some of the worst events in our long history were caused by political meddling in military matters. President Halsey is out of order to distance herself as she has. Our forces need to be able to enforce the law in far flung systems, and we should be pleased that they do so very well. It is clear that sometimes the law they are enforcing is the problem, and it is up to Halsey to change that."
If it is indeed the case that these actions took place without direct orders from the President it suggests a rift between the beleaguered President and her top Admiral.
For the first time Aisling Duval revealed a little of the state of mind of her father Harold, on "Late Night with Aaron Smith". He is no longer considered by many as heir to the throne, following the Emperor's formal declaration that he is not of sound mind.
"My father is a kind man. A gentle man. A thoughtful man. He has always loved parties, and some have criticised him for that. It has perhaps taken its toll on him too. He is only seventy, but does look a lot older now I'll admit, but that hasn't taken away his kindness.
His father has always disliked him, and that is something I can't understand. I suppose it is fair to say they dislike each other. I'm sure many of the things Harold said and did in his earlier years were to annoy Hengist, but rebelling against a parent is not such unusual behaviour for a youngster. Taking away his throne though is a spiteful act."
It is clear from the social media response to her comments that she has avoided the question of his sanity. More importantly it makes her claim to the throne more tenuous.
A peaceful Christmas demonstration which started on Christmas Day continues on the steps of the Congress building in Olympus Village on Mars.
This year Christmas falls during the cold season, and the students are wrapped up warm, mostly dressed in red and white Santa outfits. Above them a giant repeating holo of the burning warg running from the field of flames plays. The protestors chant "Babykiller" in between renditions of various carols with amended words to reflect the protest.
Newsfeeds are now carrying this story throughout the Federation, but members of the government have been unavailable for comment.