In April, real median household income reached $59,361, according to the latest report from Sentier Research. That's up 2% since January, and is as high as it's been since February 2002. Expressed as an index, median household income was 100.9 in April, which is the first time this index has topped 100 since December 2008.
By comparison, this index was also lower when Obama left office than when he came in — it stood at 99.2 in January 2009, and was 98.9 in January 2017. It was just 1.7% higher than when the recession ended in June 2009. Last year, incomes barely budged, Sentier data show.
Sophisticated American and Canadian energy industries have given the Free World an economic boost and a powerful diplomatic weapon.
The North American "fracking" revolution -- hydraulic fracturing to tap vast reservoirs of "tight" natural gas and oil -- has altered the world's strategic calculus.
U.S. and Canadian firms began experimenting with advanced oil and gas recovery techniques well before the "shale oil boom" made headlines. However, the development of fields in North Dakota and Texas helped develop techniques, technology and expertise. Fracking has opened previously untapped reservoirs. Frackers use improved drilling and production techniques to exploit existing fields. Information technology helps energy companies identify new oil and gas reservoirs and reduce the risks of "wildcat" oil and gas exploration.
Today, the U.S. is less dependent on foreign oil imports. Daily U.S. imports have declined, from around ten million barrels to seven million. The U.S. is now exporting energy to select markets. This is why the Trump Administration's proposed sale of half of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve is timely. The reserve has around 700 million barrels.
The economic boon is obvious. So is the diplomatic clout.
Precisely when the U.S. and Canada supplanted OPEC as the world's oil price pacesetters is up for debate, but November 2016 to April 2017 is the time frame.
There Remains No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion
Diverse figures and outlets agree that the nexus of “possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign” does not include any evidence of collusion. Maxine Waters (D-CA) concedes there is no proof of collusion as does Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) joined by Trump nemesis Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Fox political analyst, Brit Hume, on Sunday’s #MediaBuzz stated that he has never seen a charge get so far out in front of the available evidence over the course of his long career. Matt Taibbi, a left-wing columnist for Rolling Stone who calls Trump the “crazy clown President," points out that “despite almost daily leaks by anonymous sources, we do not know whether it is about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state.”
Again, we’ll see. Trump, like Obama before, had lots of emollient things to say about Islam. Trump also said that “this is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people all in the name of religion.”
I hope that is true. Is it? The true answer, I suspect, is both yes and no. Yes, it is is often true “on the ground,” in actual practice—except when it isn’t. I think my friend Andrew McCarthy is right when he observes in The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America that ultimately the gravest danger posed by Islam to the West is not terrorism but the “stealth jihad” which endeavors to spread sharia, i.e., Islamic law, by infiltrating and corrupting democratic institutions. It’s a sterling trick of using and abusing democratic freedoms in order, ultimately, to abolish them. Day one: “You must allow the hijab in the name of religious freedom!” Day two: “You must forbid pork products because they contravene Islamic law!” You know the drill.
We rightly hold our police officers to the highest standards of conduct. Had a cop beaten a black man to death it would justifiably have been international news, especially if the beating had been caught on video. Likewise, if a white man had beaten a black man to death, it would have been international news and cause for public mourning and admonition. But the routine taking of black lives by other blacks generates no interest in the mainstream media. Forty-three hundred people, including two dozen children under the age of 12, were shot in Chicago last year. Had 4,300 white people been shot, there would have been a revolution, and the media would have set up headquarters in the city to cover the breakdown of law and order. But because the victims were nearly all black, few pay attention—besides the police.
Mueller seems well-equipped to do what the country sorely needs right now: Determine if there was criminal collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and hold any wrongdoers accountable. He is not, however, equipped to do what Trump’s most relentless critics seem to want: Launch a wide-ranging and essentially political investigation into Donald Trump and his associates with the aim not of bringing the matter to a resolution, but of creating a steady stream of media frenzies that paralyzes an administration they loathe.
The left’s ridiculous double standard on spilling secrets
What a contrast to, say, 2006. That’s when the Gray Lady thumbed its nose for news at President George W. Bush’s pleadings that the paper refrain from disclosing how the government, in its hunt for terrorists, was mining data of the Swift banking consortium.
The Bush administration had begged the Times not to proceed. Yet it did so. President Bush called it “disgraceful,” adding that the “fact that a newspaper disclosed it makes it harder to win this war on terror.” Treasury said it would hamper the pursuit of terrorists.
Such a hullabaloo arose from long-suffering Times readers that the paper’s executive editor, then Bill Keller, issued a 1,400-word “personal response.” In it, he suggested that if conservative bloggers were so worried they should stop calling attention to it.
Keller acknowledged that others might have come out differently than the Times did. But, he declared, “nobody should think that we made this decision casually, with any animus toward the current Administration, or without fully weighing the issues.”
Goodness. Who in the world could have imagined the Times acting out of animus to the George W. Bush administration?
Then there’s the case of The Washington Post. Three years ago, it won the Pulitzer Gold Medal for what it called “a series of stories that exposed the National Security Agency’s massive global surveillance programs.”