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January 1, Trump’s Approval Rating Takes Sharpest Drop Yet



BREAKING: Canada – At Least 16 Dead in Mass Shooting

This Day in History | 1999

Two teen gunmen kill 13 people in a shooting spree at their high school in Littleton Colorado.

Good morning Middle America, 

You can sense the frustration in the air. Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the U.S.. New York has more cases than any other COUNTRY in the world. Testing is lagging, our federal health organizations like the CDC and the NIH have been politicized. Everyone’s a pharma-expert. Protesters across America are yelling YOLO and demanding that their state and local governments start opening things back up.  But there’s a warning out of Kentucky. A spike of cases after protests against Gov. Andy Bashear. Who’s taking the blame? A lot of people, and President Trump is one of them. His Gallup approval number took it’s sharpest nose dive ever. 

Meanwhile, there are at least 16 people dead in Canada. This is the country’s worst mass shooting in history. The gunman apparently disguised himself as a member of Canada’s Mounted Police. 

One thing that seems to be taking the edge off of things for millions of Americans is cannabis. Many states like Florida have deemed the business “essential”. Industry CEO says the pandemic will speed legalization, if for no other reason than it’s potential to absorb jobs lost by other industries. 

Also we are starting to see some backlash already to the over bloated CARES Act, which included $350 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Plan. PPP was supposed to be a lifeline for small businesses. Many small, local restaurants that have been shut out were rightly pissed to learn that mega-chains like Ruth Chris’s Steakhouse and Shake Shack maxed out and got millions. While the little guys starve. 

Read all about it.

-Fraser Dixon

Trump’s Approval Ratings Take a Nosedive

(Gallup) – As President Donald Trump works to contain the damage from the novel coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., the rally in support he enjoyed as the nation entered a virtual lockdown has faded. His job approval rating, now 43%, has slipped six percentage points since mid-March when he earned 49% approval, which tied his personal best.

These data are from an April 1-14 Gallup poll.

The six-point decline in the president’s approval rating is the sharpest drop Gallup has recorded for the Trump presidency so far, largely because Trump’s ratings have been highly stable and have yet to reach the historical average for presidents (back to 1945) of 53%.

However, his current 43% approval is still higher than most of the ratings he has received since he has been in the White House; his average rating since taking office is 40%. This year has been a relatively bright one for the president’s standing — averaging 46%, including three separate ratings of 49%.

See the full poll results here

BREAKING: Canada shooting: Gunman kills at least 16 in Nova Scotia

(BBC) – The 12-hour rampage started late on Saturday and ended with a car chase.

Police said the suspect shot people at different locations in Nova Scotia, many of them randomly. He was killed in a confrontation with police.

He was reported to have been driving what looked like a police car.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the attack as “a terrible situation”, and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters this was “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history”.

Find out more here

Kentucky Reports Highest Coronavirus Infection Increase After a Week of Protests to Reopen State

(Newsweek) – Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced Sunday that the state had set a grim record with 273 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the highest single-day rise to date. Kentucky’s increase in infected individuals comes after protesters took to the streets throughout the week to call for the state to be reopened.

With the 273 additional confirmed infections, Kentucky now has 2,960 cases of the novel virus and 1,122 recoveries. Beshear also announced four new deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of fatalities across the state to 148.

“We are still in the midst of this fight against a deadly and highly contagious virus,” the governor said during his daily news conference. “Let’s make sure, as much as we’re looking at those benchmarks and we’re looking at the future, that we are acting in the present and we are doing the things that it takes to protect one another.”

Find out more here

US Cannabis CEOs say Coronavirus Crisis will Speed up Legalization: ‘We have been deemed Essential’

(CNBC) – U.S. cannabis CEOs say the chances for federal marijuana legalization will dramatically increase in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, after several states declared dispensaries essential businesses, allowing them to remain open during stay-at-home orders aimed at halting the spread of the virus. 

CNBC spoke with the leaders of U.S. based cannabis producers Cresco Labs, Curaleaf and Green Thumb Industries as well as cannabis investor Matt Hawkins about the state of the industry ahead of April 20, also known as “4/20,” the unofficial holiday for recreational cannabis users.

“When we all start to be able to lift our heads from this Covid experience, we are going to be faced with a scenario where a lot of jobs have gone away, a lot of economic development impact has disappeared,” said Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs. “How are we going to bring that back? I think cannabis has to be part of that discussion.”

According to Cowen estimates, the U.S. cannabis market is worth approximately $56 billion in 2020 with about 90% of sales going untaxed in the illegal market.

Read more here

Shake Shack Returning $10 million Government Loan Meant for Small Businesses

(NBC News) – Shake Shack, one of several large restaurant chains that got federal loans through the coronavirus stimulus law meant to help small businesses, said Sunday night that it is giving all $10 million back.

The New York-based hipster-favorite burger company is among more than a dozen companies with annual revenues in the hundreds of millions that are reported to have received money from the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. The loan program set aside $349 billion in the stimulus law called the CARES Act to help small businesses keep their workers on the payroll. Less than two weeks after it started, the program has already run out of money.

In a statement Sunday night on LinkedIn, Danny Meyer, Shake Shack’s founder and CEO of its parent company, Union Square Hospitality Group, and Randy Garutti, Shake Shack’s CEO, said the company pursued the loan because the law stipulated that it was open to any restaurant location with no more than 500 employees — which describes Shake Shack’s 189 individual U.S. restaurants.

Read more here

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