The data included information about individual men in each household, describing what demographers call “relationship churning.” Dorius found multiple fathers is common — 28 percent of all U.S. women with two or more children have children by more than one man — and it is frequently tied to marriage and divorce rather than just single parenthood.
“We tend to think of women with multiple partner fertility as being only poor single women with little education and money, but in fact at some point, most were married and working, and going to school and doing all the things you’re supposed to do to live the American Dream,” Dorius says in a statement.
Unlike the author of this piece, I guess I had no strong prior views about this situation. My father’s two siblings were the offspring of an earlier marriage of my grandmother’s, so nothing about this idea seems especially unusual or troubling to me. But here’s another piece on the study in The Daily that seems wildly alarmist and quotes Dorius saying that “juggling all the different needs and demands of fathers in at least two households, four or more pairs of grandparents, and two or more children creates a huge set of chronic stressors that families have to deal with for decades.”
During the height of the Iraq war, the U.S. media paid close attention to troop deaths and fatalities, often making casualties among American soldiers leading stories in newspapers and on the airwaves. As ThinkProgress previously noted, the American press has essentially withdrawn from covering the war in Afghanistan, with the Pew Center finding that the media only devoted four percent of its coverage to the war during 2010.
Yet America remains a nation at war, and it’s important for Americans to understand the cost of its longest war in history, in Afghanistan. As ThinkProgress previously reported, the FY2011 cost of the Afghan war is $113 billion, approximately 40,000 times the cost of NPR’s federal grant money that Republicans have sought to defund and enough money to fund the employment of 1.9 million firefighters for a year.
Yet it is the toll among human beings that is the most incalculable. As troops deaths fail to be reported in the major media, icasualties.org continues to track the deaths among American and coalition forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. According to its well-sourced data, 592 American soldiers have fallen in battle in Afghanistan since President Obama announced the surge of American troops in that country on December 1, 2009.
As the media has withdrawn from covering the war, the stories of these soldiers remain largely untold. One group in the media that has been reporting about war deaths has been local media, focusing on casualties among soldiers in the surrounding communities. A local Rhode Island news station covered the death of Dennis Poulin, who died Thursday in a German hospital from injuries he sustained in Afghanistan. Poulin was scheduled for a visit with his family within just a couple of weeks, and he leaves behind a wife and a five year old son. Watch it:
These deaths do not account for the casualties among Afghan civilians and combatants, which are of course far greater but are difficult to estimate. While the best way to ensure the safety of our troops would be to bring them home, a number of veterans and support organizations exist where Americans can donate time and money to support our men and women risking their lives. The USO and IAVA both welcome your support and goodwill.
It’s been pointed out to me that I’ve fallen down on the job of the Commerce Cabinet Crisis series, which hereby resumes with Alexander Trowbridge. Born in 1929 into a model WASP family in New Jersey, Alexander Trowbdridge attended Philips Andover and then Princeton, graduating in 1951. He interned at the United Nations and served as an officer in the Korean War. After that he became a somewhat obscure oil company executive and was serving as president of Esso Standard Puerto Rico in 1965 when “President Johnson’s talent scout, the chairman of the Civil Service Commission, … pulled Mr. Trowbridge’s name from a file of 20,000 potential appointees and asked whether he was interested in working in Washington.” He took a job as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and then got bumped up into the big chair when John Connor stepped down.
As Secretary he had part of the Great Society brief and was supposed to work on overseeing programs to help create jobs for poor inner-city communities. He left the position in 1968 after a relatively brief tenure, having obtained the lofty status of youngest-ever commerce secretary. He went back into the business world, again working for Connor, this time at Allied Chemical Corp where he was instrumental in resolving litigation around some toxic waste dumping the firm had been engaged in before his time. After getting passed over for the chairmanship, he got back involved in Washington life. He served on the Greenspan Commission on Social Security where he pushed for keeping the program’s basic structure in place, and he spent the 1980s as President of the National Association of Manufacturers. After about ten years at NAM he stepped down to found a consulting firm and served on some corporate boards as well as George HW Bush’s base realignment and closure commission.
Last Thursday, at the sparsely attended “Continuing Revolution” Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill, we spoke to a number of attendees about the growing “Mainstreet Movement” against corporate tax dodgers. As we have reported extensively, thousands of profitable corporations have exploited corporate loopholes to pay far less than their fair share of taxes. Big corporations, like Boeing, CitiGroup, Bank of America, Arch Coal, ExxonMobil, and others have managed to escape paying a single dime in corporate taxes in recent years.
We asked Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) if he is concerned about corporate tax dodgers. Duncan replied that corporate taxes are actually too high. When we reminded him that many of the country’s largest and most profitable companies actually pay nothing, he was in disbelief. Eventually, Duncan conceded that he would have to “research that and get back with you”:
FANG: There’s been a liberal equivalent of the Tea Party, where folks are organizing and protesting because they don’t think that corporations are paying their fair share when we’ve got this deficit problem. To give you an example, GE, Bank of America, ExxonMobil, a lot of these big, very profitable companies haven’t paid anything in corporate taxes. Do you think those companies are paying their fair share?
DUNCAN: Sure I do. I think what we’ve got is a tax policy that needs a change that allows them to bring earnings they have in subsidiaries off shore back and invest them in this country at a lower tax rate. We are uncompetitive with the rest of the world.
FANG: But they’re already paying nothing.
DUNCAN: Well I’d have to research that. I don’t know that–
FANG: The New York Times had a big story I think earlier this week that GE paid nothing at all.
DUNCAN: I’m not sure of that, I’ll look into that and verify that. But what I’m saying is, we’re uncompetitive with the rest of the world with regard to corporate tax rate. We’ve got Canada that just lowered their corporate tax rate from whatever it was to eighteen point five and it’s going to fifteen percent next year.
FANG: How do you get lower than an effective tax rate of zero?
DUNCAN: Well like I said I don’t know that is an effective tax rate of zero. You have to look at the bigger picture and I’ll be glad to research that and get back with you.
Duncan’s belief that an effective tax rate of zero is still too high places him firmly within the consensus of the modern GOP. The day after the election last year, Tea Party Patriots leader Jenny Beth Martin told ThinkProgress that untaxed corporations — like GE or ExxonMobile — are actually taxed too much. Asked about Bank of America paying nothing in corporate taxes, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) replied that he thought corporate taxes are “too high.” Similarly, Newt Gingrich told ThinkProgress that corporate tax dodgers should be celebrated.
I’m glad to hear the news that Mad Menwill last seven seasons not because of any affection for the number seven, but simply because I like the idea of attaching a finite number to the show well in advance. I think the big thing holding television back as an art form is the medium’s habitual inability to do this kind of thing. Proper plotting requires you to know more or less where you’re going to end, and that’s something the conventional TV business model doesn’t allow for.
Via Nick Baumann, some empirical support for what I’ve been saying ever since Scott Walker’s union-busting exploded onto the scene—crushing organized labor won’t kill the Democratic Party’s financial prospects, it’ll just make it more dependent than ever on corporate money which is very much available to Democrats:
That’s not by any means to assert that one should just be sanguine about this, it’s just to clarify what exactly the stakes are. In strict partisan terms, they’re relatively low. If union money goes away, Democrats can and will shift in order to get the cash they need. But in exchange, they’ll be making policy concessions of various kinds. To offer an example, in the Affordable Care Act debate the Obama administration steered clear of any initiatives that would stick it to the pharmaceutical industry and drug companies were happy to offer support for a measure that would give more people health insurance and thus the ability to buy prescription drugs. But if both parties are utterly in hock to corporate interests of one flavor or another, then nothing that damages the interests of rich businessmen as a class will be able to pass.
As Congress was mired in a debate about whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy last fall, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) trained his focus on one provision in particular: the estate tax. Because of the Bush tax cuts, the estate tax was pared down during the last decade and eventually phased out in 2010, allowing the wealthiest 0.25% of Americans to pass on their estates tax-free.
With the estate tax was set to return in 2011, King warned that some American multimillionaires would commit suicide rather than have a portion of their estates taxed after they died. King detailed this “threat” in an op-ed:
Some Americans, who want only to provide for their families after their deaths, are actively planning their own death by Dec 31st because living into the New Year will leave their children with no alternative but to sell the farm or business to pay the Death Tax. Other Americans will be gathered around hospital beds with the awful and diabolical decision whether to plug in or unplug a loved one. Even worse, some will decide to remove a loved one from life support at the loved one’s request, only to watch them breathe their last on the first stroke after midnight.
The Sioux City Journal notes that King held an August town hall in which he relayed personal knowledge of an acquaintance who had booked a one-way trip to Switzerland in December 2010 and was planning to arrange a physician-assisted suicide “in order that his estate can pass to his children without tax.”
Yesterday, ThinkProgress spoke with King at the Continuing Revolution tea party rally in Washington, DC about the estate tax, which to King’s displeasure was reestablished this year in the tax compromise (though at a lower rate and higher exemption than in 2009 and before). King conceded that suicides as a result of the estate tax renewal was something that “didn’t happen.” Still, the Iowa Republican remains worried that if the Bush tax cuts aren’t renewed in two years and a slightly higher number of millionaires are subjected to the estate tax, families might have to again decide whether to unplug a loved one on December 31, 2012:
KEYES: I know in the fall you were leading the charge against the reinstatement of the estate tax, saying that you’d spoken with constituents in your district who potentially had to make a heartbreaking decision on whether or not to have to pull the plug on December 31st if this estate tax were to come back in place. Did that end up happening with any of your constituents?
KING: They changed the law. Because the extension of the brackets included a change to the death tax, then no, it didn’t happen. That was one thing that was avoided. [...]
KEYES: Are you worried this could happen again in two years?
KING: Oh yes, absolutely. [...]
KEYES: Do you think families are worried though that they might have to make that heartbreaking decision again in two years?
KING: Yes. They’re worried about that and they’re worried about what happens to these estates if the tax goes up.
America’s agricultural sector is very productive. And that’s an excellent thing and a real source of strength for the country. But it means that American farmers, though few in number, are pretty well off. They don’t need subsidies. But though few in number, they’re many in congressional representation.
There were two women in the Senate, matching the then all-time high. Both were Republicans. Over the three election cycles leading up to 1984, the Democrats nominated a grand total of four women for the U.S. Senate. Currently, 17 women serve in the Senate (12 Democrats).
Governors? There was one woman out of 50 in 1984, a Democrat who had just taken office that year. In the previous three election cycles, the Democrats had nominated a total of three women for governor (and the GOP hadn’t nominated one since 1974). Currently, there are six women servings as governors, down from a high point of nine.
In the House, Ferraro was Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus — the only woman in a leadership role in either party, and one that Democrats had traditionally held by a woman, at least sometimes, since the 1940s; no woman from either party had ever held any other party leadership position in Congress. Nor were any women chairs of a House committee. Nada. Things, of course, are different now (especially for the Democrats).
In 1984, there had been one female Supreme Court Justice ever; there are three now. There had never been a woman at the top of any of the big four cabinet departments (State, Defense, Justice, Treasury).
It’s a huge mistake to understate the gender inequities that exist in 2011. But I think it’s also a huge mistake to underrate the enormous and fairly steady amount of progress that’s been made. The feminist movement over the past forty years is a huge progressive success story in a way that often gets unduly discounted when people talk about the past couple of generations of political life.
The mantra of the modern conservative movement in the United States is that the government isn’t capable of doing anything as well as the private sector. This idea is constantly perpetuated among conservative intelligentsia and as a rallying cry by conservative politicians.
Yet conservative ideology can’t explain the success of Wilson, North Carolina’s, Greenlight fiber optic broadband service. In 2008, Wilson decided that all of its residents deserve access to affordable broadband service and shouldn’t have to put up with a private monopoly. So it established its own broadband service called Greenlight, which offered speeds more than twice as fast as private competitors for a similar price. Soon, Greenlight’s success spread, as several other municipalities in the state started their own public broadband services, giving residents a public option that was cheaper and more effective than the private monopolies.
But the state’s primarily broadband monopoly, Time Warner, decided that consumers shouldn’t have this option. It organized with the other telecoms, and the sector donated over $600,000 to politicians in the state over the last election cycle. And on Monday, every single Republican in the state house along with 15 Democrats voted for a bill that severely restricts the ability of municipalities to operate their own broadband networks, including a provision that disallows them from offering services at below cost — essentially eliminating their ability to provide affordable rates to residents:
A bill that would place restrictions on the establishment of municipal broadband networks is gaining traction in North Carolina. The proposed legislation, House Bill 129, was passed by the state’s House of Representatives in an 81 to 37 vote on Monday, March 28, and is making its way through the state Senate.
The bill, which has sparked controversy across the state, is called the “Level Playing Field/Local Gov’t Competition” act. The legislation would require communities to alter the way networks are financed and deployed. One section of the bill mandates that a municipal network not price services below their actual costs.
Rep. Bill Faison (D), one of the bill’s most vocal opponents, blasted the legislation: “This bill will make it practically impossible for cities to provide a fundamental service. Where’s the bill to govern Time Warner? Let’s be clear about whose bill this is. This is Time Warner’s bill. You need to know who you’re doing this for.” The legislation has moved on to the state senate.