The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth plunged from Monday’s 6.9 percent to five percent on Friday following the release of worse than expected economic data from the Commerce Department and the Federal Reserve.
The decline was driven by a severe drop in the model’s estimate of Personal Consumption Expenditures. At the start of the week, these were estimated to have grown at a rate 3.14 percent. On Friday, this was downgraded to 1.4 percent.
GDPNow uses economic modeling to read what the most current economic data implies about economic growth. It is not a forecasting model but a real time assessment. The next update is scheduled for Wednesday, January 19th.
The Commerce Department reported that retail sales fell by 1.9 percent in December, far worse than expected and the second disappointing month. Adjusted for inflation, sales were likely down in November as well. The Federal Reserve said that industrial production also fell in December, with manufacturing output tumbling 0.3 percent.
No ‘Charisma’, ‘Dull Personality’: Trump Says DeSantis Could Never Beat Him in 2024 – Report
Virtually all polls over the past year have shown that Trump, if he decides to run, remains the undisputed leader of the Republican primaries in the 2024 election. But when pollsters remove Trump from the hypothetical lineup, DeSantis is the favorite of Republican voters.
Former President Donald Trump privately sees fellow Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as an ingrate with a “dull personality” who stands no chance of defeating him in a potential 2024 Republican matchup, Axios reported, citing sources within Trump’s circle.
“In the context of the 2024 election, he [Trump] usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” a source who recently spoke to the 45th about DeSantis claimed. “He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.”
According to the insider, Trump makes a point of stating that he is unconcerned with the Florida governor as a prospective 2024 opponent.
Both Republican politicians are among the most popular in the GOP in the country, and Trump is reportedly irritated by DeSantis’ popularity and refusal to rule out a run against him in 2024.
The reason for Trump’s annoyance with DeSantis, according to a second source familiar with the situation, is “that Ron DeSantis won’t say he won’t run [in 2024]. … The others have stated pretty clearly they won’t challenge him.”
Several potential GOP presidential candidates have either ruled out running if Trump runs, or stated their support for the former president if he does.
Republican Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem, and Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Rick Scott of Florida, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Josh Hawley of Missouri are among others who have expressed their support for Trump should he run. According to Axios, these endorsements have already piqued Trump’s interest.
There are two potential opponents to the ex-POTUS: DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, as neither has ruled out challenging Trump in 2024. According to Axios, however, Pence seems to bother Trump less than DeSantis. The former president has reportedly informed aides that he believes Pence’s political career is done after he rebuffed Trump’s request to send electors back to the states on January 6, 2021.
Trump reportedly believes “there’s no way” DeSantis would have become governor without his support.
“What’s the big deal? Why won’t he just say he’s not going to run against me?” he allegedly told someone in his inner circle.
However, DeSantis has apparently not shied away from firing back at Trump, including for his not-so-subtle criticism, either. One of the governor’s biggest regrets in office, he claimed on the “Ruthless” podcast last week, was not speaking out “much louder” in March 2020, when Trump recommended staying at home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In a recent interview, Trump, without mentioning anyone by name, apparently took a shot at DeSantis and a slew of other politicians for not disclosing their vaccination booster status.
US media frequently reports about the so-called Trump-DeSantis feud, stating that Trump’s personal dissatisfaction with DeSantis’ ungratefulness and willingness to oppose him dates back several years. But DeSantis said on the podcast that allegations of friction between him and the former president were fabricated.
However, he dodged a question regarding his chances of becoming the Republican presidential contender in 2024.
Apart from those already mentioned, Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), have not publicly ruled out a run against Trump.
Triple-vaxxed top US general gets Covid-19
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has tested positive for Covid-19 and is working remotely, the Pentagon has announced. One other member of the Joint Chiefs is positive, but the military did not say who.
Milley tested positive on Sunday and is “experiencing very minor symptoms and can perform all of his duties from the remote location,” Joint Staff spokesman Colonel Dave Butler said in a statement on Monday.
The general “received the Covid-19 vaccines including the booster,” Butler added. All other Joint Chiefs tested negative except for one, but he would not say who it was.
Milley’s last public event was last week’s funeral of retired general, Raymond Odierno, at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was in contact with President Joe Biden.
The Biden administration announced Friday that it believes Russia will conduct a false flag attack and blame Ukraine as a pretext for invading the country.
“He tested negative several days prior to and every day following contact with the president until yesterday,” Butler said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had tested positive for Covid-19 on January 2 and also worked from home for several days, returning to the Pentagon last week.
Austin insisted at the time that being fully vaccinated and boosted “rendered the infection much more mild than it would otherwise have been,” and that he would not back away from the vaccine mandate for the US military. “The vaccines work and will remain a military medical requirement for our workforce.”
Support For Republican Party Rises to Highest Level Since 1995
A new poll finds that support for the Republican Party has risen to its highest since 1995, enjoying a 9 per cent boost since the start of 2021.
According to the Gallup survey, 47 per cent of Americans identified as Republican or Republican-leading at the end of last year, compared to just 38 per cent at the start of the year.
“Meanwhile, 42 percent of survey participants identified as Democrat or Democrat-leaning between October 1 and December 31, a seven percent decrease from the first quarter of the year,” reports the Daily Mail.
With Republicans likely to take both the Senate and the House later this year, it appears increasingly plausible than Biden will be a lame duck president.
As we highlighted last week, Biden’s approval rating dropped by a whopping 11 points in a single month, leaving him on a record low of 33 per cent.
A separate poll also found that just 15.5 per cent of Americans trust Biden when it comes to information about COVID, while his inability to stop runaway inflation has also eviscerated support for his administration.
Meanwhile, a separate poll conducted by Schoen Cooperman Research finds that the number of Americans who believe Joe Biden legitimately won the election has shrunk by 10 per cent since last April.
Now only a narrow majority of 54 per cent think Biden won fair and square.
The same poll found that only 26 per cent believe democracy “is secured for future generations,” while 51 per cent think it’s in danger of extinction.
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