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Church's voice needed for life after birth


Like I did, you may think you have a pretty good idea just how many American children are born out of wedlock. If you're like me, you'd be way, way off.

An editorial in USA TODAY lays out the staggering statistics: in 2009, 41 percent of American children were born to unmarried mothers, up from five percent half-a-century ago.

Break it down and it looks even worse: 73 percent of non-Hispanic black children, and 54 percent of Hispanic children.

One word not in the State of the Union


This word cloud shows which words were used most frequently in President Obama's State of the Union address last night: "people," "new," "jobs."

One word that does not appear in the text at all: "poor."

That is telling, especially in the middle of (or at the tail end of) a recession in which so many people are hurting.

(Thanks to the CNN commentator who mentioned this last night. I doublechecked with a search of the text.)

President Obama in his comfort zone


Watching President Obama’s State of the Union address last night, I couldn’t help but feel the comfort level that he seemed to exude. The speech seemed similar in tone to his Tucson one that received widespread support and has bolstered his popularity rating.

The tone and substance of both speeches have focused on national unity and addressing key problems in particular economic ones without partisan polarization.

But is this a new Obama? I don’t think so. I believe it is the real Obama.

These two speeches have been similar to his address to the Democratic Party convention in 2004 that brought the president into national prominence.

Remember one of his famous lines in that speech? “There are no red states or blue states, there is only the United States of America.”

The Tucson and the State of the Union are a continuation of that convention speech where Obama attempts to transcend partisanship and represents himself as the Great Unifier.

Obama, it seems to me, is at his best and seems more comfortable not leading the Democratic Party, but as a good lawyer bringing together disputing sides. His comfort level is best mediating rather than leading a fight.

Morning Briefing


Anti-torture activists conclude weeks-long fast


Activists with Witness Against Torture have just concluded a week and a half-long fast in support of activities to close the U.S. military's detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Catholic Worker Jake Olzen was part of the fast in Washington, and has filed a piece for us on the events.

Take a look at Olzen's story: Activists fast, call for Guantanamo closure.


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October 9-22, 2015


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