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TRISH REGAN: Sanctions Backfire As Energy Costs Move Higher

The energy markets have been in big trouble since President Joe Biden took office and Russia invaded Ukraine, and Trish Regan is breaking it all down on her podcast.

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“I’m wondering when everyone is going to wake up,” Trish Regan said on her podcast. “When they are going to wake up to the new world order that we’re in and the new challenges that we face.”

On the podcast, Trish Regan dove into the challenges of sanctions since oil is a commodity as well as the problem with China still buying Russia’s oil.

“As oil continues to escalate, as the G7 starts to figure out, ‘oh maybe this whole sanctions thing is a bit more serious than we thought,’ and if we actually want the world to abide by these sanctions, then we are going to have to find some innovative ways to enforce them. You cannot have your cate and eat it too.”

“I wish somebody would convey that to this administration,” she added.

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U.S. Economy Shrank By 1.6% As Americans’ Disposable Income, Savings Decreased

(The Center Square) – U.S. Gross Domestic Product decreased by 1.6% in the first three months of 2022, the latest federal economic data released Wednesday shows.

Previously, the BEA said the economy shrank by 1.5% before revising the numbers.

“Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2022, according to the ‘third’ estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2021, real GDP increased 6.9 percent,” the group said. “The ‘third’ estimate of GDP released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the ‘second’ estimate issued last month.

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“The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in exports, federal government spending, private inventory investment, and state and local government spending, while imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased,” BEA added. “Nonresidential fixed investment, PCE, and residential fixed investment increased…”

The BEA also confirmed what other federal data has shown: significant price increases.

“The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 8.0 percent (revised) in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 7.0 percent in the fourth quarter…” BEA said. “The PCE price index increased 7.1 percent (revised), compared with an increase of 6.4 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 5.2 percent (revised), compared with an increase of 5.0 percent.”

According to the data, Americans also saw a decrease in their disposable income as well as their savings.

“Disposable personal income decreased $58.8 billion (revised), or 1.3 percent, in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $72.4 billion, or 1.6 percent, in the fourth quarter,” BEA said. “Real disposable personal income decreased 7.8 percent (revised), compared with a decrease of 4.5 percent. Personal saving was $1.02 trillion in the first quarter (revised), compared with $1.45 trillion in the fourth quarter. The personal saving rate – personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income – was 5.6 percent (revised) in the first quarter, compared with 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter.”

This data comes alongside a steady stream of federal inflation data that shows prices have soared in recent months. The federal producer price index rose 10.8% in the previous 12 months and consumer prices have risen at the fastest pace in four decades.

Meanwhile, gas prices hit record highs earlier this month, topping $5 per gallon before dipping down. According to AAA, the national average price for regular gasoline is $4.87 per gallon, well over the average price of $3.11 at the same time last year.

Critics blasted President Joe Biden after the GDP numbers were released.

“Real GDP dropped 1.6% and the Biden Administration is still trying to say that the economy is great,” U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., wrote on Twitter.

This Liberal State May Be About To Flip Red

Newly released polling data shows one reliably blue state may flip red.

The state? Oregon.

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The survey, first reported by The Oregonian, has made headlines around the country and emboldened Republicans.

From The Oregonian:

Former House Republican Leader Christine Drazan and former House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Democrat, are leading in the race for governor, but many voters remain undecided more than five months before the decisive November election, a new poll released Wednesday found. Nearly 30% of likely Oregon voters picked Drazan as their choice for governor, while nearly 28% chose Kotek in a poll conducted by Nelson Research, an Oregon-based public opinion research firm. Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson drew more than 19% support.

To see Republicans doing so well in the normally blue state has drawn a lot of attention.

The news comes as many experts and recent polls predict big wins for Republicans this November.


Did Joe Rogan Just Endorse Ron DeSantis?

Podcaster and Ultimate Fighting Champion expert Joe Rogan spoke out again on President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and it is making waves.

“All of this stuff is happening while we have a dead man as president,” Rogan said on his podcast. “It’s not fun.”

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The comments came after billionaire Elon Musk made similar remarks earlier in favor of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I think Ron DeSantis would work as a good president,” Rogan said. “I mean what he has done for Florida has been admirable. I feel like what he did for Florida, a lot of people gave him a lot of grief, but ultimately he was correct. He was correct. He was correct when it came to deaths. He was correct when it came to protecting our vulnerable populations. He was correct in terms of distribution of monoclonal antibodies, and he was furious when the government was trying to pull those. They were trying to pull very effective treatments. He is not perfect. He is a human being, but what he has done is stand up for freedoms.”

Rogan went on to call out that the recent trend where some say those who stand for freedom are right wingers, calling it “strange.”


Study: Teen Cannabis Use Rose, Mental Health Declined In States With Fewer Legal Restrictions

(The Center Square) – States that have legalized marijuana have seen increasingly strong THC products and a rise in mental health issues among teenagers, a newly released nationwide study reports.

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The Drug Free America Foundation authored the study, given first to The Center Square, which reports on “an association between adolescent cannabis use, the use of high potency cannabis products, and increased risk of psychosis.”

The study, also commissioned by the group Johnny’s Ambassadors, said that states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana have seen more use among teens as well as declining mental health.

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“A difference-in-means test demonstrates that cannabis use is higher among all age groups in more highly permissive states, with 47 percent more monthly cannabis use among adolescents (ages 12-17) and 81 percent more monthly cannabis use among young adults (ages 18-25) in US states with fully legalized recreational cannabis programs than states where cannabis use has not been legalized,” the report said. “While cannabis use grew, subsequent raises in mean averages for major depressive events, severe mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts all increased in more highly permissive US states.”

While causation is not necessarily proven by the study, the researchers are calling for a deeper look into this apparently corollary relationship.

“The research results presented in this study demonstrate that for each one percent increase in overall monthly cannabis use, self-reported major depression increased by 0.45 percent for adolescents and 0.21 percent for young adults,” the report said. “For every one percent increase in overall monthly cannabis use by young adults, severe mental illnesses increased by 0.12 percent and suicidal thoughts increased by 0.11 percent. Panel regression models included control variables for gender, marital status, educational attainment, veteran status, unemployment status, race, and ethnicity.”

States have loosened restrictions on cannabis sale and distribution in recent years. Amy Ronshausen, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, said that as the legal market for cannabis has grown, market competition has driven producers to create increasingly strong products that include more THC.

“If there is a dispensary on every corner, and people are selling these products, you better believe that your dispensary is going to sell the biggest, baddest, most potent marijuana product there is because you want your edge of that market and that is what we see happening,” Ronshausen said.

According to the National Institutes of Health, research has shown a linkage between marijuana use and negative mental health outcomes, but not all studies have not found such a link.

“Several studies have linked marijuana use to increased risk for psychiatric disorders, including psychosis (schizophrenia), depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, but whether and to what extent it actually causes these conditions is not always easy to determine,” the federal health agency says on its website. “Recent research suggests that smoking high-potency marijuana every day could increase the chances of developing psychosis by nearly five times compared to people who have never used marijuana. The amount of drug used, the age at first use, and genetic vulnerability have all been shown to influence this relationship. The strongest evidence to date concerns links between marijuana use and psychiatric disorders in those with a preexisting genetic or other vulnerability.”

Ronshausen is calling for more research into high potency products.

“Most of the research that we have is on lower potency products, low potency THC, and the research isn’t great when it comes to the harms, it shows that these products are harmful,” she said. “So when these new strands that could be up to 90% THC, we really don’t know what the outcomes are going to be on that, and that’s kind of scary. It’s a new product.”

Researchers say teens are particularly vulnerable to the marketing for these products and the adverse mental health effects because their brains are still developing.

“It also affects brain systems that are still maturing through young adulthood, so regular use by teens may have negative and long-lasting effects on their cognitive development, putting them at a competitive disadvantage and possibly interfering with their well-being in other ways,” Nora D. Volkow, director National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in the agency’s research report on the issue. “Also, contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive, and its use during adolescence may make other forms of problem use or addiction more likely.”

Poll: 83% Of Americans Cutting Back On Personal Spending Due To Inflation

(The Center Square) – The vast majority of Americans are cutting back on their spending because of rising inflation, according to new survey data.

Provident Bank based in New Jersey released the report, which found that roughly 83% of those surveyed have cut back on personal spending due to inflation, with about 23% saying they have made “drastic changes” to their spending.

CHECK OUT TRISH REGAN’S PODCAST HERE.

The poll found that 10.5% of those surveyed reported “eliminating all non-essential purchases” and 71.7% reported they have “made at least some changes to personal travel habits.”

Many Americans are struggling to purchase basic necessities as gas prices hit record highs earlier this month. According to AAA, prices topped $5 per gallon before dipping down slightly in recent days.

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“When asked which price increases on regularly purchased products or services have hurt consumers the most, gasoline, groceries, and clothing were among the most frequently mentioned items,” the group said. “More than 50% (53.33%) said they now spend between $101-$500 more per month on groceries. According to the survey results, 32% of drivers are now spending between $101-$250 more per month on gasoline, with 13.5% reporting a monthly increase in fuel costs between $251-$500.

“In addition to gasoline, groceries, and clothing, respondents named baby products, meat, utilities, household goods, milk, and alcohol as adding the most to their monthly bills,” the group added.

The cutback in spending comes as consumer prices have risen at the fastest pace in four decades and the producer price index saw a 10.8% increase in the past year.

“While some consumers have cut back on some non-essential spending, like dining out and unnecessary travel, others reported much more drastic changes such as skipping meals, conserving water, and eliminating meat from their diets,” the group said. “People are feeling an immense amount of financial pressure right now.”

The report surveyed 600 U.S. adults.

TRISH REGAN: New Shock Poll Has Dems Nervous

A new poll has has shaken the Democratic party, and Trish Regan is explaining what it means for the next elections on her podcast.

CHECK OUT TRISH REGAN’S PODCAST HERE. 

“The Democrats are growing really desperate,” Trish Regan said on her podcast. “You know what, I don’t wish this on anyone to have to watch the Fed hearings that went on this week…”

At the Fed hearing, Democrats in the House tried to make the case that soaring inflation, with consumer prices on the highest rise in four decades, is not President Joe Biden’s fault.

Trish pointed to a new poll which showed that 58% of Americans disapprove of Biden, part of a steady decline in his approval since taking office. Major spikes in gas prices and inflation have helped drive this decline.

“…Americans are so over this president,” Trish said. “And you know what, whether he likes it or not, as Truman said, the buck stops here. He is the president of the United States. They blame him for inflation, as they should.”

“I don’t know any Democrats that really want to campaign with [Biden],” she added. “Policy has consequences, and that is what we are viewing right now.”

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More Than Half Of All U.S. Consumers Live Paycheck To Paycheck

(The Center Square) – More than half of all U.S. consumers lived paycheck-to-paycheck last month, according to a new LendingClub report released on Monday.

The LendingClub, a peer-to-peer lending company, reports that 58% of U.S. consumers were living paycheck to paycheck last month, a 4% increase from last year.

CHECK OUT TRISH REGAN’S PODCAST HERE.

With inflation rates sitting at a 40-year high, taxpayers continue to struggle financially as the economy begins to slow, as illustrated by the latest decrease in retail sales last month.

“Consumers have experienced a tough last couple of years as different factors have affected their financial lifestyle and there seems to be little relief in sight,” said Anuj Nayar, LendingClub’s financial health officer.

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Sixty-five percent of all paycheck-to-paycheck consumers report having “experienced a financially stressful event in the past three years, with sudden income disruptions such as losing a job being the most common,” the LendingClub says.

Many of these financial disruptions, such as the loss of one’s job, arose because of the pandemic and its harmful economic effects, the LendingClub found.

Out of those reporting having experienced a financially stressful event, 77% say they struggle to pay their bills each month.

Half of the consumers living paycheck to paycheck say their salaries only cover basic expenses. Another 19% report spending more than they earned in the past six months.

Nayar said consumers could leverage credit as a financial tool to manage their expenses.

“Setting an automatic transfer to a savings account, even if it’s a small amount, can help you weather the next storm because it’s not if you’ll need the cash, but when. Credit can also be an effective tool to help with expenses during financially distressing events, but those struggling financially should exercise caution,” Nayar said.

“Credit card interest rates are rising, and, if you don’t intend to pay your bills in full monthly, you could potentially get into a steep revolving debt trap. For those looking for relief, consider refinancing high-interest debt into a lower cost installment loan.”

Poll: 88% Of Small Businesses Concerned Recession Is Around The Corner

The Center Square) – The vast majority of small business owners fear a recession in the coming year, according to a new poll.

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council released the survey, which found 88% of small business owners are “concerned a recession is around the corner.”

CHECK OUT TRISH REGAN’S PODCAST HERE.

“There’s little breathing room for our nation’s small business owners and their employees,” SBE Council president and CEO Karen Kerrigan said. “They’ve gone from one set of economic challenges to the next over the past couple of years, and now they are vastly cutting back on spending and investment, which will have a harmful effect across the economy.”

Soaring inflation has hit small businesses hard as federal data showed the producer price index rose 10.8% and consumer prices have risen at the fastest rate in decades. As Rhe Center Square previously reported, an Alignable poll in May found that 51% of small businesses fear inflation could “force them to close their businesses within the next six months.”

The SBE Council survey found only 7% are “unconcerned” about inflation, according to the survey.

Overall, the poll found that ​​33% say the current economic conditions are “fair,” while 44% call the conditions “poor.” The poll also found that “62% of small business owners report they are cutting back on spending due to higher business costs.”

That cutback on costs could have a ripple effect throughout the economy as other businesses suffer from the loss of demand.

“The spending actions and investment decisions of millions of small business owners has a major impact on the health of the economy,” Kerrigan said. “The collective pull back on spending and investment will be felt in local economies and at the national level alike.”

The survey queried 408 small businesses owners from June 7 to June 10.

Supreme Court: School Improperly Fired Football Coach For Praying After Games

(The Center Square) – A Washington state football coach was improperly fired for praying on the field after games, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday, an action it said was a free speech violation.

Coach Joseph Kennedy began praying at the 50-yard line at the end of his football games in the fall of 2008, as The Center Square previously reported. Several students joined Kennedy, and the post-game prayer became a tradition until the fall of 2015, when Bremerton School District (BSD) launched an investigation into the practice after a parent complained. The school eventually fired him.

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“Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority in the 6-3 decision. “And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress.”

Initially, the school asked the coach to stop praying, and he complied. He later asked for a religious accommodation and then prayed again after a game in October of that same year. Immediately, the school district banned Kennedy from doing any “demonstrative religious activity” that is “readily observable to … students and the attending public.”

Kennedy filed suit.

“The Court holds that both the free exercise and free speech clauses protect Kennedy’s right to pray at midfield following high school football games,” the court ruled.

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Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan dissented.

“Official-led prayer strikes at the core of our constitutional protections for the religious liberty of students and their parents,” Sotomayor wrote.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the ruling was a win for Americans’ freedoms.

“Religious liberty is one of the founding principles of our great country. I am reminded of my high school coach, who taught us the value of teamwork, discipline, and perseverance,” Landry said in a statement. “And on his team, prayer was an integral part of that mission. We must continue to fight for the freedoms we enjoy, and as attorney general, I will continue to stand up for our religious liberties. We must never forget that we are one nation, under God.”

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