Inflation Was Zero In May, Another Dem Overperformance, Josh Shapiro Brings It

Let’s keep doing more and worrying less and making June count!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JUN 12

Happy Wednesday all. Starting my day in Seattle so coming to you a little late today. Was great to see members of the Hopium community yesterday afternoon – in person! More on that in coming days. Now, let’s get to it: 

Another Dem Overperformance Last Night – From Politico Playbook this morning: 

TODAY’S SPECIAL — If last night’s election returns were going to provide any surprises, they weren’t supposed to come out of Ohio’s 6th Congressional District.

In a special election race that got basically zero national attention, Republican state Sen. MICHAEL RULLI was thought certain to rout Democrat MICHAEL KRIPCHAK, a former Air Force officer and once-aspiring actor who quit a Youngstown-area restaurant job to run for Congress.

DONALD TRUMP, after all, had won the blue-collar, mostly rural district previously represented by GOP Rep. BILL JOHNSON by 29 points in 2022. Furthermore, Rulli raised nearly 30 times more than Kripchak’s shoestring budget.

Rulli, in the end, managed only a not-quite-10-point victory over Kripchak — a roughly 20-point swing toward Democrats versus Trump’s 2020 showing. More from AP

With early returns putting the raceeven closer, our minds immediately turned to SIMON ROSENBERG, the Democratic high priest of hopium, who has counseled anxious Democrats for going on three years now to pay less attention to polls and more attention to how voters actually vote. It paid off big time in 2022, when he was one of the few punditsto predict a GOP midterm fizzle.

We figured this relative Republican bust couldn’t come at a more opportune time for the nervous nellies of the left, who have watched President JOE BIDEN’s poll numbers stagnate for months despite effort after effort to turn things around. So we called Rosenberg up, and he did not disappoint.

“There has been a fairly consistent pattern where Democrats have overperformed expectations, overperformed public polling,” he said. “The single most powerful force in our politics is fear and opposition to MAGA. When the choice of MAGA and other alternatives are presented to voters, MAGA underperforms public polling.”

So expect to hear a lot about thatfrom Democrats today….

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Inflation Was Zero in May, Good Economic News Just Keeps Coming – From CNN this morning

Inflation cooled more than expected in May, new data showed Wednesday, delivering a welcome piece of news just hours before the Federal Reserve is set to make its latest announcement on interest rates.

Consumer prices rose 3.3% from a year earlier, slowing from April’s 3.4% rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index report released Wednesday.

On a monthly basis, prices were flat, a slower pace from April’s 0.3% gain.

It’s the first time since July 2022 that CPI did not rise on a monthly basis.

“This is the best news we could’ve gotten this morning,” Philip T. Powell, executive director of the Indiana Business Research Center and clinical associate professor at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, told CNN. “The Federal Reserve has been watching to make sure this [monthly] number came in below 0.2%.”

“If it did, that means inflation is going to come down, which means [the Fed] could lower interest rates,” he added.

Economists were expecting a 0.1% monthly increase and an annual gain of 3.4%, according to FactSet consensus estimates.

Helping to slow inflation in May were falling gas prices, which dropped 3.6% from April. They’re still up 2.2% for the year. Grocery prices were flat and overall food prices went up by 0.1%, lifted by a slight acceleration in inflation at the restaurant level.

Last month inflation was lower than expected, and far more jobs were created than expected. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker has q2 GDP growth over 3% right now (a big, strong number) and their wage growth tracker has wages growing at just below 5% right now, way above inflation (another big strong number). Here’s a new Washington Post story on the World Bank revising global growth projections upward due to the strong US economy, “Suprising US economy is powering better global outlook:”

The World Bank upgraded its outlook for the global economy Tuesday, estimating that it will expand 2.6% this year on the strength of sustained growth in the United States.

The bank’s latest outlook marks an increase from the 2.4% growth for 2024 it had predicted in January. And it would match the global economy’s 2.6% expansion in 2023.

But the agency cautioned that global growth remains sluggish by past standards, that the poorest countries are struggling under the weight of heavy debts and high interest rates and that increased trade barriers endanger prosperity worldwide. The brutal wars in Ukraine and Gaza are inflicting further pressures on regional economies.

Stronger-than-expected growth in the United States — the world’s biggest economy — accounted for 80% of the World Bank’s upgraded outlook. The agency now expects the U.S. economy to expand 2.5% in 2024, the same as in 2023 but up sharply from the 1.6% the bank had predicted in January.

“U.S. growth is exceptional,’’ Ayhan Kose, the bank’s deputy chief economist, told The Associated Press ahead of the release of its latest Global Economic Prospects report.

As we discussed yesterday, Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. Things were hard in America under Trump but they are much better now. We need to be loud and proud about all this people. 

Listen to Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro bringing it on MSNBC: 

As I wrote a few months back in this post, The American Economy Is Strong. Period. Stop The Bullshit, I think it is time that we stop saying that Americans are down on the economy or not feeling the recovery. If people believe things are better in their states, better for them and their families, if life satisfaction, income satisfaction, job satisfaction rates are higher today, then how you can say people are down on the economy? Let’s return to the chart I’ve been sharing here a lot lately: 

Are people in the battleground states down on the economy? No. They aren’t. They be down one measure of how we understand the economy, but if they feel this way – like things are good where I am, my own finances and prospects are good – then they are not down on the economy. This is what Josh Shapiro is getting at in his comments, and something we talk about here a lot. There is a vast propaganda machine in America working really hard, every day, to convince the American people that things are worse then they appear – that red waves are coming; that crime is rising when it is falling; that gas prices are soaring when they are dropping; that all these elections wins we’ve had across the country since Dobbs means we are losing not winning; that the economy is terrible when it is booming; that immigrants are poisoning the blood of America when their hard work, grit and ingenuity is making the US economy the “envy of the world;” that Republicans are strong, when they are biggest and most dangerous shitshow we’ve ever seen; that a man who wears more make up than a drag queen and who betrayed his country is somehow a “strong man.”

Here’s how the brilliant author and historian Anne Applebaum explained greater MAGA’s strategy recently in the Atlantic: 

In the 20th Century, Communist Party propaganda was overwhelming and inspiring, or at least it was meant to be. The future it portrayed was shiny and idealized, a vision of clean factories, abundant produce, and healthy tractor drivers with large muscles and square jaws.

In the 21st century, authoritarian propaganda, whether coming from Russia, China, or the American far-right, has a very different goal: to create fear, cynicism, nihilism, and apathy. The point is to convince Americans that their democracy is degenerate, their elections illegitimate, their civilization dying. This story is told not only by Russian and Chinese bots and anonymous trolls, but by leading members of the Republican party, including the presidential candidate himself.

That’s the subject of my June cover story, “The New Propaganda War,” an article that is partially excerpted from my forthcoming book, Autocracy Inc.

Here’s how I talked about all this in my very first Hopium post

I am calling it Hopium Chronicles because I want this to be a journey guided by hope and optimism, of belief in ourselves, in love of country and a clear understanding of the nature of the conflict we are in. I have become convinced that part of Greater MAGA’s strategy is to intentionally poison our discourse with negative sentiment every day. They want us to feel bad about America, our democracy, our leaders, our institutions, our success, each other, ourselves. We cannot let them do that any more. While they talk American down every day, we need to talk it up. While they spread lies, we respond with truth and data. Hopium is a rejection of the darkness they are trying to spread. It is a way of standing up for our great country and its remarkable people. It is the key to how we win.

As I discussed yesterday, this is why it is so essential that we describe America as a successful nation, and Joe Biden a successful President. To achieve their radical overhaul of the country, MAGA needs the American people to believe our country, our current system and our political leadership has failed. It hasn’t failed. America is successful. Joe Biden is successful. The Democratic Party is successful, raising tons of money and winning elections all over the country. The country is better off. Americans are getting ahead, something they themselves understand…..

In the last few weeks we’ve gotten repeated confirmation of the success of the Biden Presidency – inflation is down, food prices are down, crime and murder rates are way down, gas prices are down, the flow to the border is down. We’ve had the strongest economic recovery of any advanced economy in the world, the best job market since the 1960s, the lowest uninsured rate in American history, the deficit is trillions less, the Dow has broken 40,000 and all three indices continue hover in record territory, and domestic oil, gas and renewable production continue to be at all time highs leaving America more energy independent than it has been in decades. Consumer sentiment surged last month. The Wall Street Journal called the American economy the “envy of the world,” and the Economist just wrote about the unprecedented start up boom America is experiencing right now. Biden’s big three investment bills have dramatically accelerated the energy transition necessary to combat climate change and will be creating opportunities and jobs for our workers for decades to come.

Proud of my county, proud of my party, proud of my President and proud to be in this fight with all of you. 

While they talk American down every day, we need to talk it up. While they spread lies, we respond with truth and data. Hopium is a rejection of the darkness they are trying to spread. It is a way of standing up for our great country and its remarkable people. It is the key to how we win.

Making June Count/Do More, Worry Less – The Hopium community is bringing it and making June count! Together we’ve raised over $460,000 for our candidates and states in the last three weeks! Incredible stuff, thank you all.

Here’s a fundraising update with our progress toward our June 30th goals:

This is a huge month and we just need to leave it all out there on the playing field – thank you, everyone!

10% Off Annual Hopium Membership in June – As a token of my gratitude for all that you are doing, I am now offering a 10% discount on annual paid subscriptions for new subscribers through the end of the month. Click on this link to subscribe today. On that link you can also purchase gift or group subscriptions for others you’d like bring into the Hopium community. 

I hope we will get to 10,000 paid subscribers by June 30th – we are over 9,200 today – which will put Hopium in a financial place to close this election strong.

Keep working hard all – Simon

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