Math is Hard

From January to May, the Consumer Price Index rose 3.9 %. That’s an annual rate of 9.5 %.

The last time the CPI was rising at a comparable rate was from 1979 to 1981—

1979  11.3 %
1980  13.5 %
1981  10.3 %

Carter’s second term is beginning to look like the best-case scenario.

BTW, I looked over some old financial records, and while my raises averaged about 9 % each year during the Carter Administration (mostly because of promotions), my paychecks didn’t keep up with inflation.

It’s Flag Day …

… and this is Old Glory, the first American flag to bear that name.The 12 X 24 foot flag was a made in 1824 as a gift for a sea captain from New England named William Driver. He was so impressed with it, he named it Old Glory. After her retired from the sea, Driver settled in Nashville where he displayed the flag hanging from a locust tree in his yard on Summer Street (now Fifth Avenue). The flag was made with 24 stars. In 1861, Driver had it remade to the then current 31 star version.

When Tennessee seceded, Driver, a Union loyalist, was concerned that his flag would be stolen, so he had it sewn into a quilt for hiding. In February, 1862, nearby Fort Donelson fell, and the Union Army occupied Nashville. When they entered the city, they heard about Captain Driver and his flag. General Ulysses S. Grant sent an officer to ask if the Union Army might raise the large flag over the State Capitol. It flew there for one day.

Captain Driver is buried at Nashville’s City Cemetery. His grave is one of the few places where Congress has authorized the American flag to be flown at night. In 1922, his descendants donated Old Glory to the Smithsonian Institution where it is on display today.

OK, This Trips Over Godwin’s Law …

… but I believe the Battle of the Bulge is an apt historical analogy to some things happening now.

There’s a post over at the Federalist with polling data about the lack of support for teaching critical race theory in the Loudon and Fairfax County schools. The parents’ opposition to CRT in those counties is not unique; indeed, most parents in most jurisdictions oppose inflicting CRT on their children. So why are so many school districts in such a rush to add it to their curricula?

I believe that they’re doing it for the same reason that the Democrats in the House and Senate are trying to jam as much of their wish through as quickly as possible, even if they have to get rid of rules that that they normally value when they can use them to protect their own interests. Their present tactical situation is analogous to that faced by Field Marshal von Rundstedt in January, 1945.

The Democrats’ breakthrough in the 2020 presidential election achieved a level of surprise not unlike von Rundstedt’s breakthrough in the Ardennes. However, the Democrats’ failure to secure adequate victories in state and local elections and their razor thin margins in Congress have left them overextended and unsupported much like Army Group B found itself as the battle progressed.

Von Rundstedt’s attack disrupted the Allied advance, but he didn’t make it all the way to Antwerp. The Democrats’ winning the presidency is disrupting the economic and regulatory advances of the previous four years, but they are unlikely to make to 2023 in control of either house of the Congress.

Blue states are losing House seats. The Democrats aren’t going to control reapportionment. Many Leftists can see that the 2022 election will likely flip both the House and the Senate back to Republican control. The next two years may be the Left’s last chance to enact items from their wish lists, and they seem ready to offend enough voters to guarantee their defeat in 2022 to pass those laws and regulations.

Half-baked planning led to half-baked results at the polls. Inadequate legislative control led to desperation. Desperation is leading to overreach.

The next couple of years are likely to be very ugly.

UPDATE—A minor edit to spread the blame. (H/T, @SumEgroMonstro)

Harbingers of Stagflation

The recent employment report was expected to show around a million new jobs. Only around a quarter of a million were created. The Consumer Price Index for April rose 4.2 %, even greater than the expected 3.6 % inflation.

And in other news, the Xiden administration wants to dump multiple trillions of deficit spending into the economy.

Carter’s second term is beginning to look like the best case scenario.

I wonder how badly the values of my 401k and IRA will be hit.

Don’t Know Much About History

Breitbart has a piece up about Steve Cohen, the Democrat who represents Memphis in Congress, claiming that the 6 January Capitol disturbance was as bad as the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I knew Steve Cohen when he was an undergraduate at Vanderbilt. He struck me as a lightweight activist wannabe then, but he’s managed to work his way up the Left’s food chain.

Elections Have Consequences

The election of 1856 put James Buchanan in the White House. He is generally viewed as one of the worst presidents in the nation’s history. Buchanan won the election by carrying every slave state except Maryland while the rest of the country split their votes between Republican John Fremont and Know-Nothing Millard Fillmore. Buchanan understood who elected him.

Buchanan intervened in the Supreme Court to gather majority support of the pro-slavery decision in the Dred Scott case. He supported the Southern attempt to bring Kansas into the Union as a slave state, angering both the Republicans and also many Northern Democrats. Finally, he failed to take action to stop Southern states from seceding during the last months of his administration.

That’s the sort of thing that happens when the Democrats win an election and come to believe that their grasp on the reins of power is so absolute they can act with impunity.

History doesn’t repeat itself in the sense of actual do-overs. Indeed, it does a very poor job of rhyming. But certain themes do reoccur, and one of them in impatient overreach by wannabe elitists.

The next couple of years may be quite ugly.

Quote of the Day

There are strident voices, urging resistance to law in the name of freedom. They are not seeking freedom for themselves, they have it. They are seeking to enslave others. Their works are evil. They know it. They must be resisted. The evil they represent must be overcome by the good others represent. Their ideas, which are wrong, for the most part imported, must be supplanted by ideas which are right. This can be done. The meaning of America is a power which cannot be overcome.

—Calvin Coolidge