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Ban Travel from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—Now



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Why is anyone from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea — the source of the Ebola outbreak — being permitted to enter the United States?

The Liberian Ebola victim in Dallas seems to have used a visitor visa to travel here “to visit family members.” The idea that we allow people from those countries to board planes for the U.S. so long as they don’t have a fever is absurd. There are more than 13,000 people from those three countries with visas to enter the U.S. Here’s a list of African countries with travel restrictions on Ebola-affected countries — what’s our problem?

I’ll tell you our problem: Much of our political class is simply uncomfortable with the idea that border and immigration controls should be used vigorously and unapologetically to protect Americans. You can hear the objections now: It would be xenophobic, it might stigmatize West Africans, those countries will object to our State Department that they’re being discriminated against.

The Dallas paper headlined a story today “Ebola’s arrival in U.S. was inevitable, experts say,” which included this bit:

Dr. Edward Goodman, hospital epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, said he was not surprised that the Ebola virus came to his doorstep, given the number of cases in Africa.

There is “plenty of opportunity for people to fly over and come to any part of the United States,” he told reporters Tuesday.

Only if we allow it.

An unlikely exception on the left is Representative Alan Grayson, who wrote Secretary of State John Kerry in July demanding a travel ban on the three West African countries, and any other country that reports a case of Ebola, until 90 days have passed without a new case of the disease. If Grayson’s advice had been heeded, whoever’s paying to care for U.S. Ebola Patient Zero (the missionaries don’t really count) — identified by the AP as Thomas Eric Duncan — wouldn’t have been forced to do so. More important, anyone who might have gotten infected by him, God forbid, wouldn’t have been.

The Ebola incident is simply part of a broader trend of cosmopolitan hostility to the idea of national borders as a security tool. Why has the government permitted the number of Saudi immigrants in the U.S. to double in just three years? Why is this administration cutting back on prosecutions of new border-infiltrators? Why are we going to “greatly expand resettlement for Syrian refugees“? Why are our consular officers barred from denying a visa to Islamist loons based on their “beliefs, statements, or associations” so long as they haven’t killed anyone yet? Why are we still issuing visas to people in countries that won’t take their own criminals back?

This is why “comprehensive immigration reform” hasn’t passed and won’t pass — no one trusts the enforcement promises of people who don’t believe in the sovereignty of America’s borders.

Secret Service Director Resigns in Face of Bipartisan Outrage



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Secret Service director Julia Pierson tendered her resignation to Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson Wednesday afternoon, with both he and President Obama accepting her departure following bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill.

Reeling from a string of reported security breaches — most recently the penetration of the White House by a mentally ill man armed with a knife — Pierson appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday to explain her agency’s failures.

But lawmakers were dismayed by her three-hour testimony, with representatives from both parties claiming she intentionally misled Congress and was more concerned with preserving her reputation than securing the First Family. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) and Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) became the first to call for her resignation, with more joining the chorus throughout the day.

NBC News added that Pierson also faced a “mutiny” internally, with Secret Service agents serving under her expressing a lack of confidence in her leadership.

Pierson served in the Secret Service for 30 years. The first woman to hold the post, she was appointed by President Obama to lead his security detail on March 27, 2013. Her term as director was one of the shortest in American history, matched only by that of John Magaw, who left the post without scandal in 1993 to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The White House announced that Joseph Clancy, a former special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, is returning from retirement to lead the Secret Service on an interim basis.

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How Much Did HealthCare.gov Really Cost? More Than the Administration Tells Us



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As you may remember, back in May we were told by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Sylvia M. Burwell that the cost of building HealthCare.gov totaled $834 million, glitches and all. HHS’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its own estimate of $800 million. However, that $800 million price tag is roughly 40 percent of the actual cost of the defective website. According to a new report produced by Bloomberg Government (BGOV), the cost of HealthCare.gov is closer to $2,142 million than $834 million.

The difference is mostly due to the fact that, according to BGOV, the administration’s estimates omit some pretty significant costs such as the budgetary cost of the IRS (which among other things is doling out subsidies through HealthCare.gov) and other agencies. That discrepancy accounts for $387 million.

Another $300 million comes from omitting the contracting costs for processing paper applications as backup in case of the failure of the website. 

Another $255 million comes from using a different time frame. BGOV uses a longer one than HHS does, but as the report notes: “The Burwell and OIG estimates stopped counting just as a major drive got underway to make permanent repairs to healthcare.gov.” 

And then there is $400 million unaccounted for in OIG’s estimate due to HHS’s questionable accounting techniques. Most of that is owing to HHS’s need to find money that Congress didn’t originally appropriate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the construction of a federal exchange (HealthCare.gov). HHS had to get creative and ended up shuffling money around from 204 other existing contracts to pay for the construction of one of the most defective websites ever. Yet this money needs to be counted as a cost of HealthCare.gov, as BGOV noted:

Of the 434 contracts BGOV identifies as used to implement the full ACA, 204, or nearly half, were signed for other purposes before the law’s 2010 enactment and only later re-worked to help pay for the law. Half of the dollars spent have been via old contracts.

So far the cost of HealthCare.gov has been $2.1 billion. That’s a lot, but it is nothing compared with the overall cost of the “reform,” which BGOV estimates to be $73.4 billion to this date. Note that this figure doesn’t include the cost of ACA’s expansion of Medicaid “because reliable data on actual spending, as opposed to forecasts, isn’t publicly available.”

BGOV adds:

CBO estimates the health law will boost Medicaid spending by $20 billion in fiscal 2014 and by more than $350 billion through 2019

If the CBO forecast proves correct, reform costs to date would be almost 25 percent higher, or more than $90 billion.

Ultimately, BGOV’s $73 billion estimate is probably an underestimate, but considering the extreme difficulty of knowing the actual cost of the law, it provides a great starting point. The report even notes that “the issue has grown so complicated that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has given up trying to keep tabs on total costs.” 

The whole thing is here

Web Briefing: October 1, 2014

Getting Defensive



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A lot of journalists have made the point that this fall, Democrats are on the offensive on social issues and Republicans are running away from them. (I’m one of them: I offered an argument that, at least on abortion, Republicans are making a mistake.) William Saletan illustrates the point by looking at some candidate debates. But I think he also overstates the point.

First, he makes Republican defensiveness on some of these questions sound more novel than it is. He notes that Ed Gillespie, running for the Senate in Virginia, answered a question about Roe v. Wade by noting (accurately) that senators don’t decide whether it stays or goes. It is perfectly fair to say that it was a defensive answer. But Republican politicians have been defensive in that way for a very long time: It’s not some new development of this fall. Roe is popular, and George W. Bush declined to say that he wanted it overturned.

Second, he presents the Republican push to make oral contraception available over the counter as though it were a concession in the culture wars. This is true only if you assume that Republicans at one point were dead-set on doing anything possible to reduce access to it—and novel only if you assume that at one point they were bragging about it. But Republicans aren’t giving up an old position on contraception, and indeed they are using their support of over-the-counter contraception to strengthen the position they have taken for the last several years: that businesses, or at least businesses with religious objections, should not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans. (And they have never enthusiastically campaigned on that issue.)

Third, he treats Republican opposition to late-term abortion as a retreat from their pro-life views. Saletan summarizes an exchange in a debate between the candidates for governor of Texas thus:

Davis, a state senator, cited her filibuster of an anti-abortion bill: “I stood on the Senate floor for 13 hours to assure that this most private of decisions could be made by women.” She said Abbott would ban abortion even in cases of rape. Abbott chose not to talk about legislation. Instead, he spoke of “a culture of life” and told viewers, “Texas is ensuring that we protect more life and do a better job of protecting the health care of women by providing that women still have five months to make a very difficult decision.” Only after that point, said Abbott, did the state have “an interest in protecting innocent life.” He sounded as though he were reading from Roe.

A few things on this. a) Let’s not get carried away by how aggressive Davis is being: Note that she can’t bring herself to utter the word “abortion.” b) Both of them are talking about legislation. They’re talking about the same legislation. When Abbott talks about “protecting the health care of women” and so forth, he is talking about the bill Davis filibustered. c) And sure, Abbott sounds like he’s reading from Roe, because what he is getting at is that the courts have recognized that the government has an interest in protecting fetal life late in pregnancy. It’s a stretch to read Abbott as denying that the state has a legitimate interest before that point. (There’s no “only after” in the transcript of Abbott’s quote.)

Saletan comes back at this issue when discussing a debate between two congressional candidates in Colorado. The Republican incumbent notes that he voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks, which “certainly” gives women enough time to decide whether to abort. For Saletan, the answer “smacked of Roe.” I guarantee you that should that bill become law, it will be challenged as inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence.

And you could have made much the same claim when Republicans in the mid-1990s started to call for bans on partial-birth abortion. When they did that, were they being defensive and tacitly endorsing other forms of abortion? Or were they taking active steps to pull the law in a pro-life direction? I think that would have been an unreasonable interpretation of the campaign against partial-birth abortion, and it’s one very few people made.

I’d like to see Republicans campaign much more on a 20-week ban precisely because it seems to me to be a way to stop being defensive.

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Rick Perry: School-Age Children Came into Contact with Ebola Patient



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Texas Governor Rick Perry today announced that Dallas-area schoolchildren came into physical contact with the first Ebola patient ever to be diagnosed in the United States. He said that they are being closely monitored for any sign of infection.

“I know that parents are being extremely concerned about that development,” the governor said during a press conference on Wednesday. “But let me assure, these children have been identified and they are being monitored. And the disease cannot be transmitted without having any symptoms.”

The governor did not say how many children were exposed, but Texas health officials later said that five kids of elementary, junior and high school ages all came into contact with the patient. They added that health professionals have been dispatched to monitor the student populations at each school. None of the schools have yet been identified by state officials.

While Ebola can only spread through physical contact, roughhousing and the frequent sharing of food and drink could put schoolchildren at a greater risk than the general population. 

Boys Shouldn’t Wrestle Girls. Is This Really Controversial?



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The Catholic diocese of Harrisburg is teaching boys they shouldn’t wrestle girls and girls that they should expect and want more from boys and men than being slammed by them in a ring. Sounds sensible. A local columnist denounces the diocese for an “archaic” “decree.”

Our challenges are just so foundational, aren’t they? 

Poll: Roberts Trails Orman by Five Points in Kansas Senate Race



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One month ago, some pollsters weren’t even including Kansas’s independent candidate Greg Orman in their surveys. Now, after a surprising withdrawal from the Democratic candidate and an unexpected turn of events, Orman is leading Republican incumbent Pat Roberts, according to a new survey.

A USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds Orman leading Roberts 46 percent to 41 percent among likely voters in what has become one of the more competitive races this cycle after Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out last month. Taylor was initially denied removal from the ballot by the Kansas secretary of state, but after Taylor filed a lawsuit the state’s supreme court ruled in his favor.

The poll is the first to be released since the ruling last month.

Meanwhile, 11 percent of respondents said they remain undecided. Fourteen percent said they had never heard of Orman.

Tom DeLay Saga Ends—Conviction Reversed



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It took nearly a decade and millions of dollars in legal bills, but Tom DeLay is now finally out of the clutches of the overzealous campaign-finance prosecutors in the same Austin-based Travis County District Attorney’s office that has indicted Texas governor Rick Perry on dubious charges. Their attempt to convict the governor looks even more suspect as a result of a decision today by Texas’s highest criminal court. 

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled eight to one that prosecutors had failed to make their case that the former House majority leader was guilty of money laundering as part of a plan to redraw the Texas political map in 2002. The court ruled that prosecutors failed to prove that campaign contributions DeLay received were illegal. DeLay was sentenced to a three-year prison term but has been free on appeal since 2011.

“This is the end of the line for this case,” said Mr. DeLay’s lawyer, Brian Wice. “The Court of Criminal Appeals shut down a prosecution almost nine years to the day that the Travis county District Attorney’s Office embarked on this unconscionable jaunt.”

Even some liberals questioned the DeLay prosecution. As University of California law professor Rick Hasen wrote in Slate last year when a lower court reversed DeLay’s conviction:

Some liberals are no doubt disappointed to hear that a Texas appellate court today, on a 2-1 vote, reversed the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. They shouldn’t be. There were good reasons to think that DeLay’s prosecution in Texas for violations of state campaign finance law, like the federal prosecutions of former presidential candidate John Edwards and former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, involved politically motivated charges brought by overzealous prosecutors. Today’s ruling is a window into the world of corporate access to elected officials, for sure. But it confirms that the big problem is not what’s illegal, but what’s legal.

I myself have been a critic of the deal-making, pork-barreling DeLay over the years. In 2005, at the height of the Bush administration’s spending spree he infamously declared that there was nothing left to cut in the federal budget at a time when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an “ongoing victory,” and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans’ choice to borrow money and add to this year’s expected $331 billion deficit to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. Some Republicans have said Congress should make cuts in other areas, but Mr. DeLay said that doesn’t seem possible.

“My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I’ll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet,” the Texas Republican told reporters at his weekly briefing.

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, “Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we’ve pared it down pretty good.”

DeLay may have disappointed conservatives at times, but he certainly deserves our congratulations for having persevered and beaten back an outrageous attempt to criminalize politics through campaign-finance statutes. Here’s hoping Governor Rick Perry also lands a black eye on the Texas prosecutors who have pursued both him and DeLay. Given their atrocious record of overreach it’s high time the Travis County District Attorney’s office be reformed. 

Rogan: ‘Absurd’ for Obama to Blame ISIS Situation on Intel Community



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Tom Rogan cites a piece he wrote for the Atlantic in June of last year, in which he warned of the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq, even identifying it by its name.

Why California’s Plastic-Bag Ban Won’t Help the Environment



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Yesterday, California became the first state to ban plastic grocery bags entirely. In a statement signing the ban into law, Governor Jerry Brown argued that “This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks, and even the vast ocean itself. . . . We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.” While the governor may unfortunately prove correct in his prediction of future statewide bans to come, he’s almost certainly wrong that they in any way help the environment. In a 2011 NRO article, I explained why plastic-bag taxes and bans can end up causing more environmental harm than good:

Unfortunately, study after study has shown that most of the supposed “benefits” of these bans and taxes have a negligible effect on the environment at best, and can actually have unintended consequences that cause greater environmental harm. Take Ireland['s plastic-bag tax], for example. When the New York Times reported the 94 percent decrease [in plastic-bag use], it neglected to specify that it was referring only to plastic grocery-bag use. Sales of non-grocery plastic bags (garbage bags, etc.) rose an astonishing 400 percent, amounting to a net increase of 10 percent in total plastic-bag consumption. In an interview with National Review Online, Patrick Gleason, state-affairs manager of Americans for Tax Reform, explains why.

“I don’t know about you, but bags from the store I usually keep to reuse again, to line waste bins, clean up after a pet, etc., so when you don’t have a stockpile built up and aren’t saving these bags, you have to go buy new ones. This goes together with the nonsensical nature of this policy, which has no positive impact on the environment. What’s the point of discriminating against bags on one side of the checkout from bags on the other?” Similar results were found in San Francisco, where, as Gleason notes, “not only was there no change in [the amount of] total litter, but plastic bags comprised a greater share of the litter after the ban.”

You can read the entire piece here.

NRO Seeks News Aggregator



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National Review Online is looking for a freelance news aggregator. The work will involve reading lots of articles and compiling links. Applicants must be available early in the morning, and should send a résumé and a cover letter to editorial.applications (at) nationalreview.com. Please write “news aggregator” in the subject line.

‘How Dare We!’ Montel Williams Berates House Panel over Sgt. Tahmooressi’s Imprisonment



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An emotional Montel Williams implored a special congressional panel to tirelessly pursue Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi’s freedom after six months of imprisonment in a Mexican jail, angrily asking how the representatives dare to send soldiers off to war while ignoring the plight of Tahmooressi and other returning veterans.

A 22-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Williams minced no words with lawmakers over the U.S. government’s tepid response to Tahmooressi’s unjust incarceration.

“To me, this is an abomination,” he said, his voice breaking. “He didn’t hesitate to say, ‘Aye aye, sir,’ to go off and serve. How dare we! How dare we, as a nation, hesitate to get that young man back! We sit here, in this city, and discuss sending more young people off to die!”

“Every nation on this planet, and all people, are all judged by what we do for the least of us,” Williams continued. “Andrew is one of the best of us! America’s treasure! And if we can’t treat the best better than we treat the worst? How dare you ask another gentleman to put on a uniform.”

Melchior: Airstrikes Can Defeat ISIS in Kurdistan, But ‘Not a Chance’ They’ll Work Elsewhere



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Why Our Syria Non-Strategy Might Already Be Failing



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The fact that the U.S. is only pushing limited and incoherent air strikes in Syria, plus vague promises about training rebel forces that we want to fight Assad to the negotiating table, is already starting to discourage our new Arab allies and rebels and civilians within Syria, Hassan Hassan explains in the UAE’s National.

He offers five reasons: Civilians are getting killed, upsetting the local population. Air strikes have destroyed oil facilities that, though they were being used by the Islamic State, were still a crucial economic resource that has kept these communities alive. Syrians don’t see these strikes leading to an endgame where Assad goes and even see them benefiting him or making him a de facto coalition partner. America’s new Sunni Islamist rebel allies are worried we’re not offering clear-enough distinctions about whom we’ll help and who’s too extreme for us. And many Syrians are even upset we’re hitting Jabhat al-Nusra, the local al-Qaeda franchise, which many of them consider the most effective force against Assad, since doing that without having helped the rebels makes it, again, look like we don’t care whether Assad goes. (There were rumblings that al-Nusra was starting to warm up to the Islamic State in the face of air strikes, but that doesn’t appear to have developed.)

Of course, there are good reasons we can’t address all of these things — this isn’t about answering the Syrian people’s every need. But it’s a reminder of the fact that a comprehensive and realistic strategy isn’t just a nice idea.

Setting out your goals and a realistic way to achieve them is crucial to retaining the support of the people you need (and can get) on your side, among other things.

Pelosi Boasts of Nats-Owning Neighbor, Media Unimpressed



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Nancy Pelosi turned an opportunity to give her hometown team a shout-out into an occasion for name-dropping her elite connections, and the press ribbed her about it after she left her weekly press conference.

As she was pressed about Democrats’ shrinking chances this cycle on Tuesday, Pelosi abruptly began to walk away, but a reporter managed to draw the lawmaker back to the stage when he shouted a question about the San Francisco Giants, her local team.

While she roots for the Giants, Pelosi explained that her baseball allegiances are widespread. She boasted that her father, former Baltimore mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., brought the Orioles to the city in the 1950s.

“And my next-door neighbor owns the [Washington] Nationals,” she said. (According to The Washingtonian, Pelosi lives in Georgetown near the son of managing principal owner Ted Lerner, although the whole family owns the corporation that owns the team.)

Sticking with the sports theme, and now back at the podium, Pelosi compared the upcoming midterms to the Olympics, where victory depends on thin margins. 

When Pelosi finally left for good, one reporter took a shot at her. “She did say, ‘My next-door neighbor owns the Nationals,’” he said, prompting laughter from other members of the press corps.

Join the National Review Wine Club and Save $100 — And Get Two Free Bottles of Pinot Noir!



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Why not get amazing wines delivered right to your door by joining the National Review Wine Club!  Join today and you’ll save $100 on 12 world-class wines. Plus, you’ll get two bottles of elegant Gracenote Pinot Noir worth $50 at no additional cost. For more information, click here.

Re: NYT: Say, Why Don’t Republicans Want President Obama to be Killed?



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That’s not the only ridiculous element of that Times story, Charlie. Tom Maguire makes another good point about it.

And I’ll make another point. The story quotes Democratic think tanker Matt Bennett, who suggests that Republicans are holding hearings about Secret Service incompetence to undermine the administration in advance of the election. Anyone want to guess what the Democratic spin would be if Republicans hadn’t held such hearings after the last week’s news?

Polls: Barbara Comstock Up in Virginia



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Republican Barbara Comstock is definitely leading the race for an empty seat in Virginia’s tenth congressional district: She’s up by double digits according to a Republican poll, while she’s up by two points in a poll commissioned by a Democratic group.

The Republican-commissioned survey found Comstock leading her Democratic opponent, John Foust, by twelve points among likely voters, 46–34. (The margin of error is 4.9 percent.) In the Democratic poll, she’s up 41–39. 

The race is one of the more competitive House races this year: Longtime Republican congressman Frank Wolf is retiring from the district’s seat, and it leans Republican, but both parties have poured millions into the contest. The Republican poll, conducted by the Tarrance Group and first reported by Politico, found that both candidates have positive favorability ratings in the district, but that Comstock is much better known.

This week, National Review endorsed Comstock, whose four years as a member of Virginia’s state house, following a career as a lawyer and a staffer at the Department of Justice and the House Oversight Committee.

Professors, Baseball, and Inequality



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One of the things that bothers me about our phony “inequality” debate is the habit of comparing average incomes to the incomes of S&P 500 CEOs, as Paul Krugman does. Why those guys? The average U.S. CEO makes less than $200,000 a year. S&P 500 CEOs are an extraordinarily small and economically unusual group of workers whose compensation is generally performance-based and who do indeed earn many, many multiples of what the typical worker does — and many, many multiples of what the typical CEO earns, too. As Mark Perry at AEI points out, Professor Krugman himself earns more than does the typical American CEO — from just one of his gigs, a part-time one at that. The average college professor earns about $98,000 a year; the highest-paid college professor earns about 45 times that. The average U.S. CEO makes about 4.5 the average U.S. salary — which is to say, the split between top professors and average professors is about ten times the split between average CEOs and average workers. S&P 500 CEOs make, on average, about 60 times what the typical CEO makes — larger than the split between elite and non-elite professors, but not radically so.

This got me to thinking about intra-elite inequality. I very strongly suspect that it’s the case that the spread between what the top Hollywood actor earns today and what the average Hollywood actor earns is much greater than it was in, say, 1960 or 1980. Baseball, being the most data-obsessed of all the sports, provides an illuminating example: All Major League players are at least within the top 5 percent of income earners, the minimum wage in the industry being approximately a half-million dollars a year. But many do much better than that. In fact, as Barry Krissoff documents in the Baseball Research Journal — because of course there’s a Baseball Research Journal — “income inequality within baseball closely mirrors income inequality across U.S. households, albeit at much higher income levels. Remarkably, the share of income that is attributed to the top 5 percent of ballplayers compared to all major league players is even more pronounced than the top 5 percent of income among all U.S. households.”

Professional sports, like banking or corporate management, is a bigger business than it was 50 years ago, and returns to the top performers in larger markets tend to be commensurately large. If, for example, you are one of the 500 most successful real-estate agents in Oklahoma, you probably make a pretty nice living. If you are one the 500 most successful real-estate agents in the United States, you’re rich. If you are one of the 500 most successful real-estate agents in the world, you’re a mogul. I am fairly open to Nassim Taleb’s “fooled by randomness” argument, that much of what passes for managerial skill or investment talent is basically luck; but that doesn’t change the fact that being the luckiest guy in a trillion-dollar market is different from being the luckiest guy in a billion-dollar market. 

Top GOP, Dem Reps Call for Secret Service Director’s Resignation



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Congressional outcry against the Secret Service’s slew of security failures led to bipartisan calls for Director Julia Pierson’s resignation this week, with both Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) and Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) calling on the embattled agency chief to step down.

On Tuesday night Chaffetz, who serves on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and is rumored to be angling for that body’s chairmanship, told Fox News’s Megyn Kelly that Pierson tried to mislead both Congress and the president over the severity of the security breaches. “I think it’s time that she be fired by the president of the United States, or that she resign,” he said.

Cummings appeared shaken by Pierson’s testimony during his appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday. “To be very frank with you, it was very difficult for me to sleep last night,” he said. “I’ve come to the conclusion that my confidence, and my trust in this director, Ms. Pierson, has eroded. And I do not feel comfortable with her in this position.”

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