June 14, 2021

ROGER SIMON: Brentwood to Brentwood: Is It Taxes or Politics?

I have been meaning to write a piece with the (mildly) ironic title “Brentwood to Brentwood” for some time. The opportunity arose over the weekend when I attended a party for Nashville area refugees from California.

The party was given by Galen Walker and his wife Kathy at the Bold Patriot Brewery they originally opened in Norco, Calif. in 2012 and then relocated to Nashville in 2019, making it an appropriate venue for such an event.

The migration from California to Tennessee (and other red states) has been going for some time but seems to have picked up speed just before and during COVID. Sometimes it seems that everyone who can get out of California does.

Of course, that’s far from true and moving even across town for most people is an arduous task the majority are loathe to undertake.

Nevertheless, a significant number are moving from California to Tennessee and I like to call it “Brentwood to Brentwood” because both states feature a well-known community called Brentwood.

In the case of California, Brentwood is a very upscale part of Los Angeles that, in the nineties, became one of the best known neighborhoods in the country, even the world, as the then-residence of one Orenthal James Simpson who, after a sojourn in prison, now resides in Las Vegas after the Florida attorney general advised him to leave.

Brentwood, Tennessee is not quite as upscale, or as famous, but definitely a well-to-do suburb of Nashville and a sought after place to live for country music stars and executives of the area’s dominant healthcare industry.

Obviously, not everyone is lucky enough to go Brentwood to Brentwood, but the most interesting question is why they pick up and go at all.

Is it politics, taxes, a combination, or are they just sick of California?

What life has become in locales like Venice—the once desirable beachfront capital of hippiedom now infested with homeless tents and littered with used syringes—would argue for the latter, but, it’s safe to say, it’s complicated.

For one thing, Nashville itself is blue—though not blue in the California sense. Most liberals here are of the relatively sane sort, although, ominously, there is a growing “woke” contingent.

Some of us migrants were surprised and taken aback by this. I know I was.

Further, though the state of Tennessee itself is one of the reddest of the red, GOP politicians, particularly on that state level, tend to lag behind their constituents. (Florida is the reverse.)

I have been told these Republican state politicians, some of them anyway, are really just new clothes versions of the old Southern Democrats that once ruled Tennessee. That strikes me as excessive, but there is some validity.

On the positive side for genuine conservatives and libertarians, however, those same GOP constituents are beginning to fight back and make their views and feelings known. You have the sense that change is in the air and that the politicians will have to respond or be primaried out.

This is particularly true now that Critical Race Theory is rearing its ugly head throughout the educational system.

* * * * * * * *

A couple of years ago, my friend University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds recommended on his site Instapundit that Tennessee residents should set up a welcome wagon for all those coming here, to remind them to leave their liberal politics behind. They were coming here for a reason.

I thought that was a good, and amusing, idea at the time. Now I’m not so sure it’s necessary.

Governor Ron DeSantis reports that the majority of those coming to his state of Florida are registering Republican.

That could well also be true of Tennessee (as well as a number of other red states that are growing).

Last week, Bryan Preston noted that “Newcomers moving to Texas will also receive a pamphlet outlining the history and policies that make Texas what it is, thus putting the ‘welcome wagon’ project that myself, Glenn Reynolds, and others have sought to establish into state law.” I rarely disagree with my former boss, but I’d like to see additional red states institute their own Welcome Wagon projects.

COCAINE MITCH PLAYS FOR KEEPS: McConnell: I’ll Block Biden SCOTUS Appointment in 2024 (and Maybe 2023) If I’m Majority Leader.

OLD AND BUSTED: Republicans Pouncing and Seizing.

The New Hotness? Republicans Ramping Up! Arizona station says the GOP has ‘ramped up a misleading campaign’ to cast Democrats as anti-police.

Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX receives a very well-deserved ratio:


UNARMED IN A BATTLE OF WITS: CNN’s Chris Cillizza Tries Giving Rand Paul a U.S. History Lesson, Probably Now Regrets It.

Someone should ask Cilizza and Chait how they feel about putting abortion, and immigration, up to a direct popular vote.

INNATE IMMUNITY: Young infants produce strong immune response to SARS-CoV-2, study finds.

PRIORITIES: NASA pursues greener, more efficient spacecraft propulsion.

A LOT OF UNANIMITY, LATELY: Low-Level Crack Offenders Are Not Covered Under First Step Act, Unanimous Supreme Court Says. And another defeat for the Biden Administration at the hands of a unanimous, and in this case rather tart, Court.

More here, pointing out the Senate’s near-unanimous support for the bill: “Also, one of those 97 senators was Joseph Robinette Biden. Indeed, Biden helped draft that crack legislation. Another friendly pat-down. Revenge is a dish best served cold after three decades.”

Plus: “Justice Sotomayor offers an implied rebuke of then-Senator Biden. It turns out that the 100:1 ratio was apparently made up without any rationale. What a bunch of malarkey!”

Reminder: The Supreme Court will decide 16 more cases in the next two weeks.

STUDENTS FOR FAIR ADMISSIONS V. HARVARD:  Supreme Court stalls.  By asking the Department of Justice for its views, it succeeds in putting off a decision on whether to take the case.


If “most people” lack “any real concept of what critical race theory is,” then why don’t Democrats and others communicate the information? Instead, as Blow describes in his column, Republicans use the term to generate anxiety about what those terrible left-wingers want to do to us.

I challenge proponents of Critical Race Theory to speak to ordinary people in terms they can understand and explain the theory, why it’s a theory, and what is meant by “critical.” Don’t just tell us conclusions and demand that we accept them and don’t just introduce another confusing term. That is, don’t just say that there is “systemic racism.” Explain the theory and what is critical about the theory.

Why can’t that be done clearly and straightforwardly? People are right to feel anxious and suspicious about something so big and powerful that can’t be talked about. To say “In fact, I don’t even believe that most people have any real concept of what critical race theory is” is to blame the people for failing to understand what isn’t being discussed clearly. That’s perverse and elitist.

Well, most “woke” stuff is perverse and elitist. And Critical Race Theory can’t be discussed clearly and straightforwardly because if it were, the vast majority of people would reject it. Hence the smoke and mirrors and charges of bigotry aimed at critics in place of reasoned argument.

Related, the Critical Race Theory Motte and Bailey:

Also: Victor Davis Hanson: Anatomy of the Woke Madness: How did such collective madness infect a once pragmatic and commonsensical America?

NET-ZERO: The West’s Suicide Note.

America has been the exception to the G7’s enthusiasm, having repeatedly refused to ratify any of the climate change treaties even when, as now, the U.S. administration was in the hands of climate “emergency” zealots who signed them. Partly as a result, the United States under the Trump administration was able both to reduce its carbon emissions and to re-emerge as an energy super-power by liberating “clean, green” natural gas from the land by fracking.

Oddly, even masochistically, President Biden was elected to reverse this policy and to embrace the Paris conference aim of achieving Net-Zero emissions by 2050. Seeing this as an opportunity to entrench Net-Zero as a legally-binding international obligation on all governments, the G7 and the IEA each issued a report at around the same time, respectively making the political and the technical case for the inevitability of Net-Zero.

It’s as if the people driving this don’t have our best interests at heart.

FASTER, PLEASE: Vermont becomes first state to reach 80% vaccine threshold.

YOU’VE GOT TO BREAK A FEW EGGS TO MAKE A HALAL OMELET*:  Hamas Killed 160 Palestinian Children to Build Tunnels.

* As Orwell said of the Soviet Union, “Where’s the omelet?”

DISPATCHES FROM THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY: Fed Reserve Tells Employees Not To Use Offensive Terms Like: Founding Fathers.

THE FAILURE OF BILL DE BLASIO: Crime Becomes an Issue in New York City Electoral Politics Once Again.

JIM TREACHER: Reader, Can You Spare a Dime?

TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE! Biden repeatedly mixes up Syria and Libya.

STACEY LENNOX: ‘But Trump’ Is Not a Valid Excuse for Journalists Not Doing Their Jobs.

NOT A GOOD LOOK FROM HILTON: China Demolishes Mosque In Xinjiang, Gives Contract To Hilton To Build Luxury Hotel On The Land.

Hey, remember when Mad Men portrayed Conrad Hilton as a flinty all-American self-starter and entrepreneur? Good times, good times.

Flashback: We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China — We’re Importing Theirs.

DRIVING DYSTOPIA: German Automakers Keep Reimagining Vehicle ‘Ownership.’

COCAINE MITCH: McConnell Crushes Biden’s Hopes of a Supreme Court Pick in 2024. “Well, I think in the middle of a presidential election, if you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy was filled. So I think it’s highly unlikely.”

RADICAL CHIC: HOMETOWN BUFFET DIVISION. “‘Actively not wanting to be fat is fatphobia, and therefore you’re fatphobic’… And where we’re told, quite emphatically, that a reluctance to become fat is, ‘intrinsically entangled with white supremacy, anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, and capitalism.’”

THE NEW SPACE RACE: China Blueprints Red Planet Sample Return, Future Space Exploration Missions.

BREAKING: New York Times Surrenders to Babylon Bee.

FIGHT THE POWER, STICK IT TO THE MAN: How One Tennessean Fought Back Against “New Racism” and Won!

BATTLESWARM BLOG: The Fall Of Netanyahu. “Can such an unwieldy coalition survive long enough for Lapid to take his agreed-upon turn as Prime Minister in 2023? Maybe, but I’d bet against it. The coalition has the bare minimum 61 members to forge a governing majority, and a unified desire to oust Netanyahu only gets you so far. Pounding the snot out of Hamas has probably bought the new coalition several months of relative peace in which to operate, but that just means the internal stresses will be all the greater. And if it falls, it’s entirely possible that the indomitable Netanyahu (whose Likud still has more seats in the Knesset than any other party) could still end up as Prime Minister yet again.”


AOC blames US climate policy for illegal immigration.

Elizabeth Warren Blames Bitcoin For Climate Change.

Biden tells grads systemic racism, climate change are ‘the greatest crises of our time.’

As the pandemic winds down, it’s oddly comforting to see Blue-Anon return to their usual shibboleths.

BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY DID: SPLC Uses Anniversary of Islamic Terror Attack to Demonize Conservative Christians.

WELL, GOOD: ‘Laughing gas’ shows promise against tough-to-treat depression.

SOME INSURRECTIONS ARE PUNISHED, AND OTHERS ARE PROTECTED. Mark Levin: Why Are Capitol Rioters Held Under Strict Confinement And Antifa/BLM Roam Free?

GLENN GREENWALD: The Enduring False Narrative About the PULSE Massacre Shows the Power of Media Propaganda.

On the fifth anniversary of the PULSE nightclub massacre in Orlando, numerous senators, politicians and activist groups commemorated that tragic event by propagating an absolute falsehood: namely, that the shooter, Omar Mateen, was motivated by anti-LGBT animus. The evidence is definitive and conclusive that this is false — Mateen, like so many others who committed similar acts of violence, was motivated by rage over President Obama’s bombing campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and chose PULSE at random without even knowing it was a gay club — yet this media-consecrated lie continues to fester.

Read the whole thing.



  • Andrew Yang needs to escape from New York, not try run it
  • Beef: It’s what used to be for dinner
  • Kamala Harris heckled at a… [checks notes] …gay pride parade?

So much more at the link, you’d have to be crazy to miss it.

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You can also just browse at Helen’s Page and support any of the listings there.

ROGER KIMBALL: News Flash: Trump Was Right.

On Saturday, June 12, former President Donald Trump released a statement that, in tone, will have his opponents rolling their eyes.

“I told you so,” they will say, because Donald Trump told them so and managed to get in a bit of signature Trump braggadocio along the way.

Under the legend “Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America,” this is what he wrote:

“Have you noticed that they are now admitting I was right about everything they lied about before the election?”

“They” of course are the eye-rollers, not only those the former President delighted in calling dispensers of “fake news” but also their clients, toadies, and enablers. . . .

To save time, let’s call this wretched multitude The Committee.

The Committee said one thing then, when Donald Trump was president.

They say something contradictory now, claiming—or in the case of Joe Biden, really—to have forgotten what they said when their bête orange was in office.

Indeed. Plus:

You might think this is just politics as usual.

It is not.

It is the infernal work of a self-engorging clique that more and more controls the levers of power and the spigots of information.

Their object is partly to push the “woke” agenda of identity politics but, deep down, their unalterable goal is the acquisition, deployment, and retention of power.

They are not well-meaning people who happen to disagree with us.

They are mandarin apparatchiks who seek to compass our destruction.

Donald Trump brought them out of the woodwork and exposed their ambition to public scrutiny.

That is the real reason they hate him.

Sadly, also true.

Related: ‘Proven right’: Trump savors post-presidency vindication streak: The 45th president is enjoying a run of belated validation on a series of controversial issues, including: the Covid lab-leak theory, Russian bounties, Lafayette Park police tactics, hydroxychloroquine, and his words to a Georgia election investigator.


MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: Critical Race Theory Opponents Win Board Elections at Nation’s Top High School. “Parents across the country have organized against schools’ embrace of ‘woke’ standards and practices. Anti-critical race theory candidates have won school board seats in two Dallas suburbs. Parents in Indiana criticized one school district’s promotion of racially divisive resources, including works from ‘antiracism’ scholar Ibram X. Kendi and an article on how white women play a ‘role in racial (in)justice.'”

SYSTEMIC RACISM: Boston Public Schools board members resign after racist texts revealed.

THAT’S NOT AN ACCIDENT: Leftist ‘free college’ proposals hurt financially responsible families.


KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Another Suspicious Dead Body Drops In Hillary Clinton’s Wake. “People who have dirt on BJ and Granny Maojackets have a bad habit of offing themselves, going all the way back to when Vince Foster got ‘suicided’ in 1993. It’s always felt as if the Clintons were heading up a criminal empire rather than a political dynasty. Heck, I should probably tell my sister to keep checking on me after I write this.”

CHANGE: Forget Going Back to the Office—People Are Just Quitting Instead. “More U.S. workers are quitting their jobs than at any time in at least two decades, signaling optimism among many professionals while also adding to the struggle companies face trying to keep up with the economic recovery. The wave of resignations marks a sharp turn from the darkest days of the pandemic, when workers craved job security while weathering a national health and economic crisis. In April, the share of U.S. workers leaving jobs was 2.7%, according to the Labor Department, a jump from 1.6% a year earlier to the highest level since at least 2000. The shift by workers into new jobs and careers is prompting employers to raise wages and offer promotions to keep hold of talent.”

WHY NOT? THEY SLEPT THROUGH EIGHT YEARS OF HIS OLD BOSS: Most of the media will sleep through the Biden years.

Researchers analyzed reporting from major TV networks and newspapers during the first 60 days of the five most recent presidencies and found that only 19% of Biden stories were negative. By comparison, 62% of stories on former President Donald Trump were negative.

A Boston Herald editorial admitted that “the press … is treating Biden with kid gloves.”

That’s not how journalism is supposed to work. The press is often described as the “Fourth Estate” because it serves as a final check on democracy beyond the three government branches.

Under Trump, Washington correspondents embraced that role, perhaps overzealously. Journalists complained that Trump’s press briefings were “a venue for attacks on the media and a forum relatively light on information about what government is doing.” So, reporters doggedly searched for smoking guns to the point of abandoning principles and publishing conspiracy theories.

Now, these same journalists have stopped being adversarial. But why?

Because Democrat. Next question?

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Biden Report Card: Inflation, Manchin, Harris trip foil week.

MORE ON MIAMI: Miami Searches For Interim Dean After Controversial Firing Of Tony Varona, Who Sought To Reduce Overhead Tax Law School Pays To University. “Dean Varona wanted to reduce the percentage of money the law school is required to give to the university general budget and keep more of it for improving the law school’s facilities, salaries and scholarships. The University of Miami really has become a medical school with sidelines in other fields,” Klock said. “The law facility is old and tired. It’s a stepchild.”

FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED: Ranger Selection: A Sam Harper Military Thriller and C. James Brown’s Book Indian Summer (Earl Town Book 1).

SAME: Anti-Trump FBI Agent Suspected Top Democrats of Leaking Sensitive Information. “Peter Strzok, the top FBI investigator on the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, sent text messages to colleagues in March 2017 speculating that Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee and on the so-called Gang of Eight were behind media leaks.”

SETH BARRETT TILLMAN: What Oath (if Any) Did Jacob Henry Take in 1809?: The Problem of Conceptual Confusion Between State Religious Tests and Religious Test Oaths. “The focus of this Article is not on what happened on December 5 and 6, 1809 and why the members of the North Carolina House of Commons voted as they did. Instead, the focus of this Article is on what happened on November 20, 1809—in other words, what legislative oath (if any) did Jacob Henry actually take? Second, how have later historians and legal commentators described and distorted our understanding of the events of November 20, 1809? And, third, why did the December 6, 1809 debate on the motion veer so far from any substantial discussion of the actual underlying events of November 20, 1809?”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. There Is No Way Joe Biden Should Have A Summit With Vladimir Putin.

The Administration says the summit is intended to restore “stability to the US-Russia relationship.” But the meeting comes after a slew of Russian cyber intrusions and conspicuously little U.S. response. Not only is the meeting unlikely to produce results, but it also risks bolstering Putin’s image within Russia and on the world stage.

The list of recent Russian misdeeds is lengthy. It includes the Kremlin’s attempts to influence U.S. elections and Russian hackers’ disruptions of U.S. energy infrastructure. Elsewhere, Russia has engaged in poisoning activist Alexei Navalny, Black Sea bullying, and challenging the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

To say that US-Russian relations are not congenial is an understatement. Russian officials have publicly stated that relations are worse than during the Cold War. As if to prove its hostility, the Kremlin hacked USAID just days after Secretary of State Tony Blinken and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, met to discuss cooperation on issues of global stability.

Despite these provocations, Biden offered Putin a gift: the upcoming summit.

Both men’s summit appearances are mostly for domestic consumption, but only one will get what he want out of it.

“ANTI-RACISM” IS JUST RACISM: How Anti-Racist Activism Affects Interracial Couples Like Us.

In a country with an ugly history of slavery and racial segregation, interracial families have been the ground zero of fighting against prejudice and building bridges. We have spent time educating people about racism, including within our own families. Many white parents deeply feel the racism their mixed-race children face and take a more active role in fighting against interpersonal and structural racism.

And yet, if you believe the most extreme anti-racist activists, children born to interracial couples are not created by the love of two free and equal human beings, but the results of a relationship between an oppressor and a victim. How do you think this would impact how they see themselves?

I believed I had the right to be angry hearing this language take over, but I stayed quiet. There is so much fear going around when it comes to criticizing any aspect of the current anti-racist movement for fear being called a racist.

It was the movie Loving, based on the story of that loving couple that made my marriage possible, that woke me up. Watching Mrs. Mildred Loving say, “I will raise my family here, I do not care what they do to us,” I teared up. I felt like this courageous woman was speaking directly to me.

We should defend our intrinsic right to be free humans and the desire to be united as humans at all costs. We should all remember what the Supreme Court concluded, that “distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry” are “odious to a free people.”

I traveled half a world to settle in America. I will raise my family here. I will not allow misguided teachings to tarnish the sanctity of my marriage, invalidate my experience, and create divisions and chaos in my family.

Yes. Stand up to bigotry.

HOW BIDEN’S BUDDIES LOBBY FOR RUSSIA’S PIPELINE: The Washington Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross and Adam Kredo pull the curtains back on how His Fraudulency’s lobbyist buddies do their thing for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline without having to register as foreign lobbyists. It’s a profitable gig, too.

FILIBUSTER SAFE, HILL STAFFERS SURVEY SAYS: Roll Call’s reporting is reliably shaped by liberal assumptions, but there is often valuable and/or insightful news in its regular Capitol Insiders Survey of Hill staffers. Consider this, for example:

“Not a single Democratic aide thought senators would eliminate the legislative filibuster, and just 28 percent of them said they thought the Senate would weaken it, while 59 percent said the Senate would preserve it. Meanwhile, Republicans are confident Manchin will stand his ground, with 84 percent expecting the filibuster rule will remain.”

Lots of other interesting tidbits of insight here, too.


THIS SURPRISES ME: Applications From International Students Are Up 43%. But the increase is over last year. I wonder how it compares to 2019

June 13, 2021


Shouldn’t it be “we welcome scrutiny because it will underscore that our victory was fair?” (Bumped).

NOT BAD ENOUGH: This was one of the worst weeks for China on the world stage in a while.

The thing is, China can look as bad on the stage as it wants, when it’s paying off all the critics.

OPEN THREAD: How was your weekend?

WHAT ARE THE DEEP SEVENS UP TO NOW? Earth’s core is growing ‘lopsided’ and scientists don’t know why.

DO TELL: There Could Be a Dark Side to Mandating Vaccination, Survey Finds.

Despite infection rates being 15 times higher in Germany during the second wave in October and November, the data showed that resistance to mandatory vaccinations had increased from the first wave in April and May.

Participants were asked how likely they were to get vaccinated, based on whether the vaccinations were enforced by law or voluntary: During both waves, people were more likely to want to get vaccinated if they didn’t have to, but the gap was bigger the second time around.

When the Germans are pushing back against authority . . .

BUT THE AIR IS CLEANER NOW, AND PEOPLE ARE FATTER: Air pollution exposure during pregnancy may boost babies’ obesity risk.

I WONDER IF I’LL EVER GO INTO SPACE? Blue Origin auctions seat on 1st crewed flight for $28 million.


● Shot: The Bay Area’s small business closure crisis is already here. One out of every 100 businesses in the San Francisco metro are permanently closed.

—Leonardo Castañeda, The San Jose Mercury, September 22, 2020.

● Chaser: California’s stricter COVID rules did not hurt the economy: report.

—Leonardo Castañeda, The San Jose Mercury, today.

● Hangover: Nearly a third of California’s restaurants permanently closed as pandemic set in.

—The AP, May 19th.

WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT EXPERTS? Experts: Too early to tell if yearly COVID-19 booster vaccines needed.

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: An SUV that has over 700 hp and can get to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

ANOTHER WIN FOR THE BAD GUYS: Netanyahu Loses Office, Making Way for Naftali Bennett. I don’t expect this to end well.

TOOBIN ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Joe Biden to give Boris a hand in sausage war as he tries to beat off EU.

A TRAINED EYE CAN WORK WONDERS: Some People Can See Through Camouflage, And It’s Not as Hard as You Think.

Night vision is like this too. Some people have better night vision to begin with — including me, though not as much as when I was 20 — but a lot of it is simply learning what things look like in the dark. Your brain is better at decoding the incomplete information it receives when it’s done that before.

“STRETCHING STATE LAW SO FAR HE DESERVES AN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL IN GYMNASTICS:” California Governor Gavin Newsom is Trying to Pull Off a Shocking Pandemic Power Grab.

THEY’RE ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Two new types of glial cells found in mouse brain.

MELISSA CHEN: “We Let China Have Its Way With the World.”

To be fair, our political and business leaders demanded stiff bribes.

Related: “They won’t say so but the uniparty globalists’ theory of national security is to effect a corporate merger of the US and China. And from there the world. Literally Orwell.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: NJ School District Replaces Holidays on School Calendar With ‘Day Off’ After Italian Uprising.

Shouldn’t traditional days of the week be replaced as well, to avoid offending those trigged by the names of celestial bodies and Germanic gods?

LOCKDOWN CASUALTIES: ER visits after suicide attempts up among teens, young adults during pandemic.

LARRY KUDLOW: Is Jimmy Carter Back, or What?

What a minute, though conservatives might hate me for this. President Carter really, truthfully, factually did not launch double-digit inflation of the 1970s. He was merely captured by it, and his presidency was destroyed. I don’t think he really ever understood it. It wasn’t just about oil prices. He did, though, appoint Paul Volcker to run the Fed.

Volcker was my former boss at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. I was his executive assistant 46 years ago. It was Paul Volcker, under President Reagan, who slew inflation. Reagan gave Volcker the ground to stand on. The truth, though, factually and analytically is that the president who unleashed double-digit inflation was Richard Nixon.

That’s right. It was unfortunately the 37th president who closed the gold window where the dollar was exchangeable for gold at a 35th of an ounce. That went back to the post-war deal reached at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. It restored to the world economy the gold exchange standard with the dollar at the center of that system.

As Amity Shlaes wrote in her 2019 book, Great Society, “Nixon and [John] Connally would now present a policy package containing most of or all their ideas, a package so sudden and revolutionary, like Nixon’s decision to go to China, that it outclassed either the New Frontier or the Great Society for sheer drama. [George] Shultz and Connally got in the spirit. ‘I think it’s the biggest thing in economic policy since World War II,’ Shultz concluded, accurately enough. Nixon had always known he could out-Kennedy Kennedy and out-Johnson Johnson, and now he was going to do it.”

More from Kudlow:

Nixon was worried about trade deficits and a deteriorating balance of payments. He rejected the advice of Volcker, then treasury undersecretary, and the Fed chairman at the time, Arthur Burns. Instead, Nixon closed the gold window, meaning foreign governments could no longer exchange dollars for gold. The value of the greenback fell like a stone.

So as the value of our currency declined, prices denominated in dollars sky-rocketed. We printed bad money and too much of it, and that’s the definition of inflation. Excess money in relation to demand will do it every time. Lack of value will do it every time. In 1973, Nixon abolished all remaining remnants of the gold dollar exchange system.

Inflation soared, first hitting double-digits while Nixon was president. All commodity prices, including oil, sky-rocketed along with just about everything else. On top of that, income tax rates were not indexed to inflation in those days. So higher and higher inflation drove middle-class Americans into higher and higher tax rate brackets. That had a huge braking effect on the economy.

In other words — stagflation. Intermittently from then until Reagan, inflation would pop up to double-digits. Interest rates peaked at about 15% in the market in government bonds. The prime rate peaked at around 21.5%. Reagan came in and squelched it all. As a hard money gold advocate and friend of Milton Friedman, Reagan, who was also my former boss, gave Volcker carte blanche to restore dollar value and vanquish inflation.

Then Reagan slashed tax rates to 28% from 70%, providing fresh after-tax incentives to rejuvenate the economy and give folks back their real income lost during the Nixon-Carter years. Really since the early 1990s, inflation in America has averaged about 2%. That’s for almost 30 years.

One last point on inflation. It is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon, as Milton Friedman taught us, and, as Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Art Laffer and Nobel laureate Robert Mundell taught us, the optimal policy mix was stable money and low tax rates.

But Biden is determined to prove Friedman incorrect, telling interviewers that “Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.” And we’re all paying for Biden’s rejection of sound economic policies. “The irony is that Biden’s rejection of Friedman’s teachings on money, taxes, and spending may bring about the same circumstances that established Friedman’s preeminence. In a year or two, the American economy and Biden’s political fortunes may look considerably different than when Janet Yellen blurted out the obvious about inflation. Voters won’t like the combination of rising prices and declining assets. Biden’s experts might rediscover that it is difficult to control or stop inflation once it begins. And Milton Friedman will have his revenge.”

And thus, Welcome Back, Carter.

THE EGO HAS LANDED: Why Obama Failed — Barack Obama Misunderstands His Fundamental Errors.

Obama’s new audience is progressive posterity. He’s attempting to burnish his credentials with the radical activists of the present and the radical historians of the future. He wants to make it clear to them that any ostensible respect he may have shown for Republicans during his career was nothing more than a concession to electoral necessity. He wants them to know that the moderation was all for show — a tragic obligation kenotically undertaken by a progressive savior in a reactionary nation that couldn’t keep up with the pace of his moral leadership.

Ultimately, Obama failed as a leader because, unlike presidents past, he didn’t trust the public. He lacked both the courage and the convictions required to thrive in the democratic polity the birth of which Van Buren chronicled during the 1830s. To borrow from his own terminology, Obama would not prophesy for the public and he could not build coalitions with his colleagues. He knew that history had not dealt him an electorate the makeup of which intersected perfectly with his own ambitions, as it had for Jackson, Roosevelt, and Reagan. This is why he resents his Republican opponents so much. Neither they nor their voters were sufficiently made according to his own political image, an image that he still believes to be the best and clearest evidence of the small measure of moral credibility that can justly be claimed by the United States of America.

Like Carter, Obama will be using the DNC-MSM to try to spin the memories of his time in office for decades to come: Flashback: Poll: Obama ‘worst president’ since World War II.


Headlines are important. They have the ability to draw readers into a piece that they otherwise might skip. They also have the ability to completely tank an article that is otherwise full of good information. How can you avoid reading a story with the headline “Underwear bandit caught, admits brief crime spree” or the infamous 1983 headline from the New York Post, “Headless body in topless bar”?

Headlines are the first thing news consumers see when searching for stories or columns to read. They are essential in trying to attract eyes on articles writers have spent hours—sometimes even days or months—working on.

And so it is surprising to learn that authors generally don’t write their own headlines. Different publications have different staffing and processes, but for the most part it’s a section or copy editor who writes headlines.

Think about the work that goes into putting out a newspaper, the print kind that leaves your fingers stained with ink. Headlines are dependent on an article’s length, the page’s design, and how many other pieces are on that page. They have to fit within a certain number of columns, and font size might be dictated by a page designer or the publication’s style guide.

“If you think about newspapers, there were column inches. There were fixed widths, and you had to have a headline that fit. So people developed the skill at writing headlines to fit with their particular paper’s style and layout,” Rutgers University history and journalism professor David Greenberg told The Dispatch. “You had to know what you were doing. There was a kind of technical precision to it.”

Related: James Lileks on another aspect of newspaper and Website design: Editorial illustrations have “converged into a uniform blobby minimalist style,” or as Lileks dubs it, “Colorforms Totalitarianism.”

WELL, FIRST OF ALL IT WAS IN BALTIMORE: FDA Details Failures at Baltimore Plant That Spoiled Vaccine Doses.

OLD POST ROAD OILS makes women’s specialty soap too.

‘THIS WASN’T WELL THOUGHT OUT:’ Pride’s tweet sending out lots of pride looks kind of…Iranian.

As Obama’s Middle East “advisor” Ben Rhodes famously said, “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” The same goes for those who create social media content for corporations and non-profit organizations. They really know nothing of how Ben Rhodes’ buddies in the Middle East operate: ISIS Hurls Gay Men Off Buildings, Stones Them: Analysts.

FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT TO PROPAGANDIZE: Left-wing educators hold rallies to protest bans on teaching critical race theory in schools.

MARK LEVIN: The Coup Against Benjamin Netanyahu.


His point here is evergreen but feels timely on Loving Day.

My one quibble with what he says is that I don’t think the left sincerely believes things are worse now than ever. Even the fringier Democrats in Congress would acknowledge that modern America is more inclusive than it used to be — if the question were squarely put to them. How could they not? The sea change in public opinion on gay marriage, for instance, is a matter of simple statistical fact.

But Maher’s right insofar as you’ll rarely hear a progressive volunteer that progress has been made. To acknowledge progress is to invite complacency about injustices that remain, or so they seem to believe. Most will do it if they’re cornered, knowing that they’ll sound nutty if they insist with a straight face that America in 2021 is more racist than it was in 1950. (There are stalwarts who’ll venture to make even that argument.) But it has to be dragged out of them. The closest they get to acknowledging it spontaneously is when they complain that X is the “new Jim Crow,” whether X happens to be Georgia’s new voting law or increasing a local police budget or what have you. That’s an admission that the very recent status quo was, uh, not Jim Crow.

As Kyle Smith wrote in 2017:

Each political party is these days centrally identified by its hatred of the other. Yet the Right concedes points made by the Left all the time; paleoconservatives, for instance, tend to agree with the Left’s framing of the Iraq War as an unnecessary and misguided adventure. Several National Review contributors have called for criminal-justice reform, with a particular focus on unduly harsh sentences for nonviolent offenders and the nightmare of civil-asset forfeiture without due process. This publication declared “The War on Drugs Is Lost” back in 1996.

By contrast, when you sign on to the progressive cause, you know that ostracization and obloquy from your own side will attach to you like a traveling chorus of hecklers should you ever concede conservatives are sometimes correct. Unless you set out with the full expectation of being damned as a contrarian and a party-pooper for adhering to principle, you will find it exhausting always to be pushing back, to be damned to eternity on the intellectual Nautilus. Much easier, and more natural, is to just relax and accept the constant pull to the left. To put it another way, once you board the progressive choo-choo, it won’t stop until it reaches Crazy Town.

Leftists suffering from “Selma envy” also won’t answer America’s inclusiveness has improved radically since 1963, for the same reason that won’t answer the question of “In a Welfare State, How Much Is ‘Enough’?” “There’s no such thing as enough, as far as they’re concerned. That’s what the Greeks thought.”

BOGUS POLITICIZED HISTORY IN THE SPIRIT OF THE 1619 PROJECT: Emory Professor: The Second Amendment ‘was designed’ to keep ‘African Americans powerless and vulnerable.’

Emory was also the home of disgraced and dishonest former Second Amendment historian Michael Bellesiles.


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EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Germany is a Bad Ally.

Biden and Secretary of Antony Blinken reversed course [from President Trump’s hardline approach to Germany], however, and sought to prioritize smooth relations with Berlin. On May 19, 2021, Blinken announced that the United States would wave sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, its chief executive officer Matthias Warnig, and its corporate officers even though Blinken insisted the U.S. opposition to the Russian-backed pipeline was “unwavering.” Blinken explained the logical dissonance of the move as an effort to fulfill “the President’s pledge to rebuild relationships with our allies and partners in Europe.”

The logic behind this calculation, however, is tenuous. Put aside the irony that Biden and Blinken have now promoted pipelines for the Taliban and Russia while killing those from which the United States could benefit. If climate change were truly the “greatest threat to America” as Biden told U.S. troops during his visit to Europe, then he would increase his opposition to Nord Stream 2, not green light its completion.

Nor should German complaints of ease matter. It would have been logistically easier during the Cold War to let the Soviet bloc supply West Berlin but the United States went so far as to airlift supplies to the city during the Soviet’s 1948-49 blockade.

Biden and Blinken may associate acquiescence to Berlin with sophisticated diplomacy and may assume that Germany stands for the same values as the United States, but this would be a mistake. Simply put, Germany is neither a good ally nor does its leadership share the same liberal, democratic worldview as the United States.

As Mark Steyn has written regarding Angela Merkel, “You can take the girl out of East Germany, but you can’t take the East Germany out of the girl.”

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: What ProPublica Gets Wrong About the Wealthy and Taxes.

ProPublica obtained the tax returns of the richest Americans and discovered what every informed person already knew: They don’t pay as much in income taxes as some people would like them to. This is being called a great scandal by many Democrats and liberal journalists.

Meanwhile, that these returns were almost surely leaked by someone at the IRS seems not to bother a lot of the same people. There’s no way ProPublica got this information from dozens of high-priced accountants and attorneys. Barring the possibility that this was a computer hack—which itself would be a monumental scandal—this is outrageous. Weaponizing the IRS for political purposes is not just a crime, it is a long-term political disaster.

But I want to focus on the fake scandal.

Billionaires often pay little in income taxes because billionaires don’t typically make their money from a salary. Billionaires exist for the most part because they own assets—stocks, businesses, commodities, property, etc.—and the paper value of those assets amounts to the bulk of their wealth. And in America, we do not tax wealth.

Nor should we.

Let’s say you collect baseball cards. On paper, your collection is worth a bundle. But its real value is realized only when you sell it. Do you think the IRS should tax you every year for what your collection could be worth if you sold it? Do you want the IRS to tax you for the value of your wedding ring—not at purchase, but forever—even if you’re never going to sell it?

The same principle applies to other unrealized gains. If your stock portfolio increases in value, you get taxed on your gains when you sell.

ProPublica ignores all this. “We compared how much in taxes the 25 richest Americans paid each year to how much Forbes estimated their wealth grew in that same time period,” they explain. “We’re going to call this their true tax rate.”

Except it’s not a true tax rate.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Return of the IRS Scandal. “This still leaves the real scandal, which is that someone leaked confidential IRS information about individuals to serve a political agenda. This is the same tax agency that pursued a vendetta against conservative nonprofit groups during the Obama Administration. Remember Lois Lerner? This is also the same IRS that Democrats now want to infuse with $80 billion more to chase a fanciful amount of uncollected taxes. As part of this effort, Mr. Biden wants the IRS to collect ‘gross inflows and outflows on all business and personal accounts from financial institutions.’ Why? So the information can be leaked to ProPublica? The IRS says it has begun an investigation into the tax-return disclosure, and by all means send the guilty to prison. But Congress should also not trust the IRS with any more power and money than it already has.”

MICHAEL YON REPORTS from Chiapas, Mexico.

HOW’S THAT WELCOME WAGON PROGRAM COMING ALONG? Montana, the sold-out state New Yorkers can’t get enough of.

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