Daily Archives: February 19, 2012

Santorum Praises Income Inequality in Detroit

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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“Santorum Praises Income Inequality.”

That was the headline at, of all places, Fox News about Rick Santorum’s Thursday speech at the Detroit Economic Club. He said, “I’m not about equality of result when it comes to income inequality. There is income inequality in America. There always has been and, hopefully, and I do say that, there always will be.”

Mr. Santorum is unhinged in his public comments. Last week, he said that the President argued that Catholics would have to “hire women priests to comply with employment discrimination issues.”

He also suggested that liberals were leading religious people into beheadings. He said, “They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is a government that gives you rights. What’s left are no unalienable rights. What’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine.”

Yet, to champion income inequality in Detroit is still incredibly tone-deaf.

Detroit has the highest poverty rate of any big city in America. Among cities with populations over 250,000, Detroit’s poverty rate topped the list at 37.6%, more than twice the national poverty rate. According to the Census Bureau, median household income in Detroit from 2006-10 was just $28,357, only 55% of the overall U.S. median household income.

This is a city that announced plans to close half its public schools and send layoff notices to every teacher in the system.

This is a city where the mayor’s pledge to demolish 10,000 abandoned structures will only shave the tip of the iceberg because, as The Wall Street Journal reported, “the city has roughly 90,000 abandoned or vacant homes and residential lots.”

Mr. Santorum went on to say this about income inequality on Thursday:

We should celebrate like we do in the small towns all across America — as you do here in Detroit. You celebrate success. You build statues and monuments. Buildings, you name after them. Why? Because in their greatness and innovation, yes, they created wealth, but they created wealth for everybody else. And that’s a good thing, not something to be condemned in America.

Mr. Santorum might want to walk around Detroit to see who’s celebrating and to see how many statues he can find to honor people who invented something and got rich.

Furthermore, he should check out the James J. Brady Memorial, which pays tribute to a federal tax collector who set out to address child poverty in the city by founding the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellows of Detroit Fund. The group provides “warm clothing, toys, books, games and candy” to local children every Christmas in addition to sending poor children to summer camps, the dentist, and to college.

Then again, charitable giving doesn’t appear to be high on Mr. Santorum’s list of priorities. As The Washington Post pointed out, based on his tax return, he has given the least amount to charity of the four presidential candidates who have disclosed their tax returns. His charitable giving was just 1.8% of his adjusted gross income.

The Obamas were the highest, giving 14.2%, even though their income was second lowest.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under Economy, Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Marriage Is a Luxury for Young Mothers

More than half of births to American women under thirty occur outside marriage.

Once limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree.

Among all mothers, a most are married when they have children, but the surge of births outside marriage among younger women is a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.

One group still resists the trend: college graduates, who marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.

The shift is affecting children’s lives. Children born outside marriage face higher risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.

By the mid-1990s, a third of Americans were born outside marriage. Congress, blaming welfare, imposed tough restrictions. Now the figure is 41% and 53% for children born to women under thirty.

Racial differences remain: 73% of black children are born outside marriage, compared with 53% of Latinos and 29% of whites. Educational differences are growing. About 92% of college-educated women are married when they give birth, compared with 62% of women with some post-secondary schooling and 43% of women with a high school diploma or less, according to Child Trends.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under Economy, Family, National

NJ Governor Vetoes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would allow same-sex couples to wed.

The General Assembly passed the measure Thursday. The Senate approved it Monday. Lawmakers have until the legislative session ends in January 2014 to override the veto.

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On This Day…

In 1945, during World War II, 30,000 United States Marines landed on the Western Pacific island of Iwo Jima, where they encountered ferocious resistance from Japanese forces. The Americans took control of the strategically important island after a month-long battle.

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Mexican President Asks U.S. to Stop Buying Mexican Guns

Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Presidente de México.

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Mexico’s president called on U.S. officials to stop gun trafficking across the border, saying it would be the best thing Americans could do to stop drug violence.

“The criminals have become more and more vicious in their eagerness to spark fear and anxiety in society,” President Felipe Calderon said. “One of the main factors that allows criminals to strengthen themselves is the unlimited access to high-powered weapons, which are sold freely, and also indiscriminately, in the United States of America.”

Speaking in Ciudad Juarez, Pres. Calderon said an increase in violence in Mexico was connected with the 2004 end of the U.S. assault weapons ban.

The Mexican president has asked U.S. lawmakers to renew the ban on assault weapons before, most notably in a 2010 speech to the U.S. Congress.

The backdrop Thursday was different. Pres. Calderon stood in front of a new sign, constructed with tons of decommissioned arms. “NO MORE WEAPONS,” the sign said in English. Americans across the border are the intended audience, he said.

“From here, from Ciudad Juarez, on the border of Mexico and the United States, we say, ‘No more weapons. No more weapons to Mexico,’” he said.

Pres. Calderon praised President Barack Obama’s efforts to deal with the “very sensitive issue” of assault weapons, noting that his administration had done more than previous leaders to investigate and block illegal weapons trafficking to Mexico.

“They have taken positive steps, but we all know that unfortunately it is not enough, and we cannot stop here,” he said.

Out of 140,000 weapons Mexican authorities have seized since Pres. Calderon declared a crackdown on cartels, 84,000 were high-powered assault weapons.

More than 47,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, according to government statistics.

During his Thursday speech, Calderon looked toward the border and said he had a message for Americans:

We need your help to stop this violence. We need you to reduce your consumption of drugs and to dramatically reduce the flow of money to criminal organizations in Mexico. But beyond the topic of drugs, the best way that you, the American people, can help reduce the violence in Mexico is through legislation that has already been in force in the United States, blocking the inhumane weapons trafficking into our country.

Via CNN.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, World