Today’s Moment of Media Zen: The O’Donnell-O’Reilly Mashup

You knew this was coming: the good people at the Free Beacon have produced a mashup of Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill O’Reilly. Now, could we get them to do a show together some time? Just think of the fun. (Just 1:34 long.) And by all means, Stop the Hammering!

And from our pal David Deeble:

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Dr. Roy to the Rescue Again

Further to my item here Wednesday on the new Nature Geoscience article that admits the climate models have been “running hot” for more than a decade (about which the usual climatistas are unsurprisingly silent), Dr. Roy Spencer weighs in with this comment on his website:

I’m still trying to process my feelings about how the two authors, Myles Allen and Michael Grubb, might have been allowed to wander so far off the Empire’s (UN IPCC’s) reservation.

I’ve been thinking about what led to this turn of events. I’ve decided it was not some random realization by rogue elements of the Empire. It was not a tactical anomaly, but instead a strategic trial balloon of sorts.

Had John Christy or I tried to publish such a paper, Storm Troopers led by Darth Trenberth would have been quickly dispatched to put down the rebellion.

The realization by the authors that the climate models have produced too much warming since about 2000 has been out there for at least 5 years. It has been no secret, and Christy and I have been lambasted as “deniers” for repeatedly pointing it out. . .

Dr. Spencer thinks this paper is a “trial balloon” for a shift in tactics, along the lines I argued in my item—i.e., “we’ve been saying it will soon be too late, but it’s not too late to keep doing stupid things!”

Meanwhile, I got to thinking more about one of the co-authors, Michael Grubb—the one who had previously said that climate action was incompatible with democracy. Back in the recesses of my mind I seem to recall that a lot of climatistas think Grubb is rather grubby. Sure enough, one of the caches of “climategate” emails has some threads where leading climatistas express their disdain for Grubb. For example, Tom Wigley (a prominent figure in US climate research circles) wrote in 2000: “Grubb is good at impressing ignorant people. . . Eileen Claussen [head of the Pew Climate Center] thinks he is a jerk. . . Basically he is a ‘greenie’; and he bends his ‘science’ to suit his ideological agenda.” Heh.

I heard Grubb in action once in person, in Washington DC about ten years ago. This was shortly after Katrina, and Grubb said something along the lines of how regular people could see from the weather events right in front of them that climate change is real, and that we need action now. Because science. Or something.

So about these hurricanes. No doubt you’ve seen the revived chorus line of climatistas saying this busy hurricane season is proof of global warming, etc. Dr. Spencer, whose recent ebook An Inconvenient Deception outsold Al Gore’s latest movie and book package, is out with another ebook this week that is climbing the Amazon Kindle charts: Inevitable Disaster: Why Hurricanes Can’t Be Blamed on Global Warming. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this one, too (only $2.99!). From the Forward:

Many of us who have tracked the weather for decades knew that the longer the hurricane hiatus lasted, the louder would be the claims of “climate change!” when the hurricanes finally made their inevitable return. [But] a summary of the historical and scientific evidence clearly shows hurricanes have little to do with anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.

Which is pretty much what the “official” “consensus” IPCC reports on climate change say, but we are supposed to ignore that because shut up.

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Trump vs. Obama On Foreign Policy

In the wake of President Trump’s excellent speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Michael Ramirez nicely contrasts Trump’s approach with that of his predecessor. It is a timely reminder of one more thing we have to be grateful for under the new administration: no more apology tours. Click to enlarge:

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Seth Leibsohn mulls congressional run

Two days ago, I wrote about Kyrsten Sinema who represents Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s likely that Sinema will run for the Senate seeking either the seat now held by Jeff Flake or, if it opens up, the one held by John McCain.

If Sinema runs for the Senate, her House seat will be in play. The gossip mill in Arizona has it that our friend Seth Leibsohn may run for that seat.

Seth is co-host of the Seth and Chris show on 960 The Patriot in Phoenix. He’s a long time supporter of Power Line and we have had the pleasure of appearing on his show from time to time.

In addition to his radio work, Seth writes for “American Greatness.” He is also the co-founder of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy and a Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute. He was Vice President of Empower America and producer, co-host, and guest host for Bill Bennett’s nationally syndicated radio show.

Seth combines a formidable conservative intellect with an extraordinary ability to communicate in writing and on the air.

We will keep readers posted about Seth’s decision on whether to run for Congress. If he decides to run, we will do what we can to support his candidacy.

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Why Trump Is So Much Fun

I’ll probably never be able to make up my mind fully about President Trump, and I am sure a number of our commenters will pounce on this opening. But just about every time I think he’s blundered or shown himself not up to the job, something changes my mind as the dust settles.

First, as Scott and Paul noted, his speech to the UN this week was terrific. Geez—you’d think from the reaction Trump called the Soviet Union an evil empire or something. Even more satisfying is how Trump continually confounds the efforts of the DC Swamp Monsters to make him conform to the “normal” rules and procedures of Washington. These two front page headlines from the Washington Post this week tell the story:

“Pragmatic” is DC codespeak for “moved to the left.” But apparently Trump and his speechwriters didn’t read the Post, because:

“Defiant” is DC codespeak for “you didn’t listen to us!”

And about his two recent semi-deals with Chuck and Nancy that I dumped all over a few days ago. Today those deals look rather different in their impact going forward. First, on the debt ceiling, it appears that this postponement of a showdown has opened the door to the 11th hour prospect of repealing and replacing Obamacare after all. I can’t explain the arcane details of why (budget process and all that), but it casts the quick deal in a rather different light. And for whatever reason, the repeal/replace drama this time—perhaps because it is a sequel?—is not drawing the sturm und drang of the earlier efforts. (Though never underestimate the vanity of John McCain to stop it again.)

Second, the DACA deal, which seems to threaten Trump’s relations with his base, may portend an odd twist. Being media-savvy, Trump grasped quickly that expelling the “dreamers,” portrayed (sometimes accurately) as people brought here as small children and therefore morally blameless for breaking the law, is not a popular move with a majority of Americans. If nothing else, many of the “dreamers” speak English well and are halfway to assimilation. They’re the kind of immigrants we want.

But as Paul and John noted, moving for a compromise to allow “dreamers” to stay has created a huge rift on the left, as the protest at Nancy Pelosi’s presser on the dreamers demonstrates. The left wants full amnesty and a path to citizenship for all 11 million or more illegals in the country. Trump has offered amnesty to the 800,000 or so dreamers. If this becomes the baseline for an eventual deal (in other words, no amnesty for the other 10 million), watch the left scream with outrage about how they were outmaneuvered. It might even be worth giving up the wall. It is possible that in hindsight, Obama made a huge blunder in using the dreamers as his wedge for executive overreach on immigration. In which case, when it comes to who the dumb guy is, Trump will smile all the more.

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The Causes of Income Inequality, Revealed

In 1995, Scott and I wrote a paper titled The Truth About Income Inequality, which was published by Center of the American Experiment, the organization I now lead. It got quite a bit of national attention, and I subsequently debated Congressman Martin Sabo, who then represented Minneapolis, on the subject at a Center-sponsored event that was televised by C-SPAN.

That paper looked at the issue of income inequality from a variety of perspectives. The data obviously would need to be updated, but conceptually the paper holds up very well. Starting with the fact that income inequality is good, not bad. In fact–if you think about it–a society without income inequality would scarcely be worth living in.

At Townhall, Terry Jeffrey looks at income inequality through the lens of Census Bureau data and identifies the “culprit”: “Married Couples With Children and Jobs Cause Income Inequality.”

Liberals talk about “income inequality” as if it is caused by insufficient government action — including insufficient taxation of those they call the “rich.”
***
But what really causes income disparity in the United States? Who makes more than whom?

The Census Bureau’s annual report on American incomes…presents data that answers these questions.

It turns out that income has a lot more to do with culture and behavior than anything else.

Of the seven types of households listed in Table HINC-01, the wealthiest were married-couple families, which had a median income of $87,057.

It was a steep drop from there to second place: Family households with a male householder — but no spouse present — had a median income of $58,051.

That was $29,006 — or 33.3 percent — less than married couple households.

The next wealthiest households were nonfamily households with male householders, which had a median income of $41,749.

Then followed families with female householders but no spouse present ($41,027); male householders living alone ($35,265); nonfamily households with female householders ($30,572); and female householders living alone ($26,877).

So marriage is the first great driver of income inequality. But what happens if you have children?

Married couples with no children had a median income of $81,529 in 2016. Married couples with one child between 6 and 17 years of age had median incomes of $95,965. Married couples that had two or more children between 6 and 17 had median incomes of $102,657.

In America, moms and dads with at least two young kids have a median income ($102,657) approximately three times that of men who live alone ($35,265).

Funny how that works. Of course, having children in the home correlates positively with prime earning years, which I assume is reflected in these numbers. More on that later.

Education is another culprit. Shockingly, those who obtain training and education generally earn more money than those who don’t. (I look forward to the day when social scientists, at great trouble and expense, will demonstrate something important that my grandmother didn’t already know.)

The other thing that correlates highly with earnings (as opposed to income, which includes welfare and other government payments) is work. I know, how many surprises can you take in a single day?

Of the 126,224,000 households in the United States in 2016, according to Table HINC-01, 29,750,000 — or 23.6 percent — had “no earners” at all. These households had a median income of $22,272.

They were surpassed by households with one earner ($48,550), two earners ($94,679), three earners ($115,357), and four earners or more ($143,000).

American households where two people worked ($94,679) had more than four times the median income of households where no one worked ($22,272).

I should hope so! If you think it is “unfair” that people who work have higher incomes than people who don’t, we can say with confidence that you are a liberal.

As Jeffrey points out, age also plays a major role. Shakespeare said that one man in his time plays many parts, and that is certainly true economically. Pretty much everyone starts out with a relatively low income, earns more as he gains experience, training and useful relationships, and then earns less as he transitions into retirement. If there were no income inequality, we would all be stuck at our 18-year-old wage forever.

Jeffrey concludes:

There is not a class war in America. There is a cultural war. It is between those who pursue the traditional life of the American dream and those who want to reduce more Americans to a broken life of government dependency.

Someone should explain this to the ignorant leftists who are attacking Professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander.

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For Jewish readers, happy new year

Jews all around the world celebrate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah beginning at sundown tonight. Of that much I am sure. Don’t hold me to the rest of this. Consider it an approximation.

We observe the anniversary of the birth of the universe and greet the “head of the year” — the year being 5778 by our reckoning. We commence the Days of Awe during which we submit ourselves to judgment, repent to those we have wronged and seek to merit another year.

The Chabad branch of Judaism explains Rosh Hashanah: “It is a day of prayer, a time to ask the Almighty to grant us a year of peace, prosperity and blessing. But it is also a joyous day when we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe. The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe depends on G‑d’s desire for a world, a desire that is renewed when we accept His kingship anew each year on Rosh Hashanah.”

We wish our Jewish readers a happy and healthy new year.

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