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    Screenshot via YouTube New details about Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals have come to light in a Thursday NBC News report analyzing documents released by Senate Republicans, as well as data from the infamous hard drive obtained by Rudy Giuliani. Per the report, Biden was spending $200,000 a month on expenses like “luxury hotel rooms, Porsche payments, dental work and cash withdrawals” between October of 2017 and February of 2018, despite very few of his business deals actually leading to anything practical. There is currently an investigation into his taxes in Delaware. The outstanding debt was reportedly paid off by Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris. Of the $11 million Biden and his firm brought in between 2013 and 2018, approximately $5.8 million came from two deals with with “Chinese business interests,” though there is no explanation for what this money was actually for exactly – as few of Biden’s business deals were actually leading to anything at the time, per the data referenced in the report. The majority of that $5.8 million came from a venture capital, Hudson West III, which...
    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy shrank last quarter for the first time since the pandemic recession struck two years ago, contracting at a 1.4% annual rate, but consumers and businesses kept spending in a sign of underlying resilience.The steady spending suggested that the economy could keep expanding this year even though the Federal Reserve plans to raise rates aggressively to fight the inflation surge. The first quarter's growth was hampered mainly by a slower restocking of goods in stores and warehouses and by a sharp drop in exports.The Commerce Department's estimate Thursday of the first quarter's gross domestic product - the nation's total output of goods and services - fell far below the 6.9% annual growth in the fourth quarter of 2021. And for 2021 as a whole, the economy grew 5.7%, the highest calendar-year expansion since 1984.The economy is facing pressures that have heightened worries about its fundamental health and raised concerns about a possible recession. Inflation is squeezing households as gas and food prices spike, borrowing costs mount and the global economy is rattled by Russia's invasion of...
    BOSTON (CBS) — A new report finds families in the U.S. are spending a quarter of their household income on child care, and the costs are even higher here in Massachusetts. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report finds that families in Massachusetts spend between 27% and 46% of their household income on childcare. The report calculates the child care cost burden as the amount families with two children pay as a percentage of household median income. READ MORE: 67 North End Restaurants Apply To Participate In Outdoor DiningThe cost depends on where families are in the state. In suburban areas the burden is about 35%, but in large metro areas it’s 46%. The childcare burden map (Image credit: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps) READ MORE: Powerball Jackpot Grows To $454 Million For Wednesday Night DrawingFamilies in Suffolk County, Bristol County and Cape Cod face some of the highest costs in the state, according to the report. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services sets the childcare affordability benchmark at 7% – but no counties in America...
    The party’s officially over at Netflix following a disastrous first quarter that saw the far-left streamer lose 200,000 subscribers and predict the loss of a whopping 2 million more in the months ahead. Now, Netflix is embarking on a course correction that involves reining in its spendthrift ways by slashing spending and cutting back on new programming, with a focus on “quality” over quantity, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.  In some cases, budgets on new shows will be cut by as much as 25 percent. “Well, it’s a bitch,” co-CEO Reed Hastings reportedly told employees during a town hall meeting this week. Co-CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings walks to a morning session at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 09, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) Netflix has spent lavishly over the years to build its streaming empire, borrowing tens of billions of dollars to fund its original content.  The new season of the popular sci-fi series Stranger Things costs a staggering $30 million per episode to produce, according to the...
    In the 2022 midterms, a long list of far-right House Republicans — from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia to Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina to Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado — are running for reelection. And if Republicans regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives as many pundits are predicting, extremists like Greene and Boebert, assuming they are reelected, will be part of the House’s majority party. But the Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger, in an article published on April 20, reports that some of Trump’s most strident “exhibitionists” in the U.S. House have been underperforming from a fundraising standpoint in 2022. “Last year, it was a fundraising feast for the MAGA Goon Squad,” Sollenberger explains. “But in 2022, without the donor stimulus of an attempted insurrection, things are going in the wrong direction. The first three months of the year took more than $275,000 combined out of the pockets of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) — the foursome of America First, Donald Trump-loving, exhibitionist election objectors. All...
    The House Democrat’s main super PAC, House Majority PAC, reportedly made reservations in 51 media markets, spending nearly $102 million on political ads, stretching themselves thin to boost vulnerable members’ chances of reelection in November. House Majority PAC is reserving advertising spots in 51 media markets ahead of the election, which has stretched itself thin while having to protect more areas than before, according to the New York Times. And for this election, the media market is not only more expensive, but the super PAC’s ad buy is spread out across the country. This year, the House Majority PAC’s ad buy is nearly double what they’ve spent in the two previous cycles. In 2020, the PAC initial buy was in 29 media markets using roughly half the amount of cash and in 2018, they were in 33 media markets spending $43 million. With so much at stake this year, HMP is making our largest ever early investment of over $100 million in targeted TV and digital ads across the country, doubling our 2020 early investment. We’re all in to secure a Democratic...
    Former President Donald Trump has yet to say whether or not he will run for president in 2024. Regardless, his stranglehold on the Republican Party remains. And 14 months after Trump left the White House, his political action committee, Save America, is still raising a fortune. Journalist Edward Helmore, in an article published by The Guardian on March 27, observes, “As of this month, Trump has $108,046,100 saved in his Save America political fund, more than the Republican and Democratic National Committees combined, and 12 times as much as the fund — PAC for the Future — for the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And all of that has been raised while Trump’s own ambitions remain unclear. Though his grip on the Republican Party remains tight — and he has waged an endorsement war against his opponents — the big question over whether Trump will run again for the White House remains unanswered.” Save America, Helmore notes, is “registered as a leadership PAC,” meaning that if Trump runs for president in 2024, he “cannot easily spend the money on himself.”...
    A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: IN THE RED Online pet store Chewy reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results Tuesday. Wall Street expects the company slid to a loss for the November-January period after reporting a profit in the same quarter last year. Analysts also predict Chewy’s revenue increased from a year earlier. The company benefited from steady sales growth during its last fiscal year, but higher costs due to supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and rising inflation have cut into its bottom line. EYE ON CONSUMERS Economists expect that U.S. consumer spending rose moderately last month after a solid increase in January. They project that consumer spending rose 0.3% in February. That would follow 2.1% jump the previous month, as consumers largely shrugged off higher inflation, which has driven up the prices of food, fuel and other goods. The Commerce Department serves up its monthly snapshot of consumer spending Thursday. Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted: Sept. 0.6 Oct. 1.4 Nov. 0.6 Dec. -0.8 Jan. 2.1 Feb. (est.) 0.3...
    Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinEnergy & Environment — Biden walks tightrope on oil industry messaging Equilibrium/Sustainability — Tropical forests help cool the whole planet Sunrise Movement looks to bolster progressives in Pennsylvania, North Carolina MORE (D-W.Va.), who in December essentially killed a massive climate and social spending package by saying he would not vote for it, has reopened conversations with his colleagues on the legislation, The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing two people familiar. Manchin has told his fellow Democrats that a vote on the package must be taken before senators break for a recess in August, the Post reported. The senator told them it was possible to reach a deal including billions of dollars to fight climate change, cut prescription drug costs and update the tax code, the Post reported. But he wanted concessions on oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The Interior Department has been slow to draft a new five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters, while the current one is slated to expire at the end of June. This comes after E&E News reported Wednesday that...
    High gas prices at stations in Garden Grove, California, on Monday, March 7, 2022.Jeff Gritchen | Medianews Group | Getty Images Inflation has continued to increase amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict and ongoing supply chain issues. But certain retirees may not feel the brunt of rising costs, financial experts say. Annual inflation rose by 7.9% in February, a new 40-year high, the U.S. Department of Labor reported, covering everyday expenses like energy, food, shelter and more. However, spending changes throughout people's golden years, reducing the blow of some rising costs, according to J.P. Morgan's 2022 Guide to Retirement.More from Advice and the Advisor: What happens if you don't disclose crypto activity to IRS Why asset allocation matters when it comes to taxes 3 key reasons to keep your will and estate plan updated "It's getting below the headline," said Katherine Roy, chief retirement strategist at J.P. Morgan, explaining how the basket of goods retirees purchase may shift over time. Although gasoline prices have spiked by about 24% over the past month, according to AAA, older households tend to spend less...
    The unexpectedly strong January jobs report, in the middle of the omicron surge in the coronavirus pandemic, makes it clear that President Joe Biden’s signature spending plan, “Build Back Better,” is unnecessary and arguably inflationary. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) already stopped the legislation in December by declaring that he opposed it, but the administration hoped to woo him back with less expensive or piece-by-piece proposals, which the Biden administration said would create jobs. It turns out that the American people are better than their government at creating those jobs. The January report came in at 467,000 jobs, beating expectations of about 150,000, and adjusting previous months upward, for a total of 700,000 jobs created. Unemployment rose slightly, from 3.9% to 4.0%, but that was a result of people coming back to the labor force. The U.S. economy defied the omicron variant: people decided to move ahead with their lives, and everyone gained as a result. It is notable that the jobs gains came in spite of the Biden administration’s two main economic policy pushes: massive new government spending, and vaccine...
                 A report released this week by the Commonwealth Foundation (CF), a Harrisburg-based think tank, underscores the drawbacks of lavish government spending for ordinary Pennsylvanians. Inflation and the economic policies that fuel it have already weighed on the minds of Americans for months. Federal spending during the COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed to create a debt nearing $30 trillion, equating to 133 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and amounting to $239,000 per taxpayer.  The Federal Reserve has responded to this eruption of costs by feverishly printing money, resulting in an annual rise in inflation of 7 percent—8.5 percent when shelter costs are excluded for a more accurate measure. That’s the highest year-to-year inflation spike since 1982.  According to the CF backgrounder, “How Government Overspending Hurts Pennsylvania Families,” concerns surrounding high public spending only worsen when Pennsylvania’s own fiscal policies are considered. Out of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., the Keystone State has the fourth-highest overall tax burden, the third-highest gas tax and the second-highest corporate income tax. The state’s general-fund budget (aside from federal stimulus money) expanded...
    A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: CONSTRUCTION BELLWETHER The Commerce Department serves up its latest monthly tally of U.S. construction spending Tuesday. Construction spending rose on a monthly basis for most of last year, fueled in part by builders pushing to meet a wave of demand for new homes despite supply chain constraints for lumber and other building materials. Economists project that spending rose 0.7% in December. That would follow an increase of 0.4% in November. Construction spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted: July 0.1 Aug. 1.0 Sept. 1.0 Oct. 0.4 Nov. 0.4 Dec. (est.) 0.7 Source: FactSet MIXED RESULTS? Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms reports quarterly results Wednesday. Wall Street expects the company’s fourth-quarter earnings declined and its revenue rose compared to the same quarter in 2020. The social media giant, which also owns popular apps Instagram and WhatsApp, posted higher earnings in the first three quarters of 2021, buoyed by strong advertising revenue. ALL ABOUT JOBS Economists predict hiring in the U.S. slowed in January for...
    Democrats reportedly outpaced Republicans in raising and spending so-called “dark money” from undisclosed donors in 2020, according to a new investigation from The New York Times. The Times found that 15 of the most politically active non-profit organizations that typically support the Democratic Party spent more than $1.5 billion in 2020, while 15 similar groups that usually side with the GOP used about $900 million. The term dark money is typically used to refer to money spent to sway politics by organizations that are not required to make their donors known. The term, however, does not have an official legal definition. While nonprofit organizations are permitted to funnel money into partisan politics, it is not supposed to be their main activity, the Times notes. The newspaper found that a group called the Sixteen Thirty Fund spent more than $410 million in 2020, which was more than the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had used up that year. The fund reportedly received secret donations of $50 million and allocated money to more than 200 entities. For comparison, the highest spending by a GOP-aligned nonprofit group...
    Democrats plan to spend large amounts of taxpayer cash in preparation for the 2022 midterm elections, a Tuesday report in the Washington Post outlined. While adverse momentum is diminishing Democrats’ hopes of maintaining control of the Senate and House in November, they are planning to spend large amounts of money to galvanize voters in swing states and competitive districts, the Post reported. Rumors have been building since early January another coronavirus stimulus package may be coaxed into a legislative proposal, but Tuesday’s report indicated the spending could be in the form of passing Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda in smaller parts to circumvent the 50/50 split Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) tanked Biden’s agenda over fears of 40-year high inflation and expanding the administrative state. Embattled Democrat House members told the Post they are skeptical of the tactic but still need the federal government to spend money in their districts. The Democrats are going to have a hard time in the 2022 midterm elections, trying to protect their majority, according to a report. https://t.co/XEKVgv0gfF — Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 16, 2021...
                
    Democrats in battleground districts have reportedly been trying to persuade the House leadership to consider breaking up the president’s “marquee legislation,” the Build Back Better (BBB) spending bill, into “a series of politically popular provisions that would appeal to centrist voters and core Democrats alike.” The Washington Post reported that vulnerable House Democrats have asked to do this to show constituents they were able to achieve something since Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he could not vote for the bill, effectively killing the larger spending measure. The report noted that, while their persuasion has yet to be successful, they hoped to vote on smaller measures such as “curbing prescription drug costs and extending the child tax credit” so they could attempt to “make a case that they can improve voters’ lives economically despite soaring inflation and other issues that have dragged down Biden’s approval ratings.” Member’s reportedly pushed back at the leadership in early January when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said breaking up the bill would be “abandoning the potentially transformative giant package,” while under the impression that the massive...