Daily archives: September 11th, 2010

Motion Filed Accusing Todd Stroger of Political Hiring and Firing

For a while, I was actually feeling sorry for Todd Stroger. I was concerned he might lose his home, and, much as I disagree with the manner with which he has conducted himself while in office, those differences are political. Then he paid his taxes.

Now, however, we hear disturbing allegations of political hiring and firing based on political considerations:

An attorney who has battled political hiring and firing in government claims Cook County Board President Todd Stroger violated political hiring more than 150 times since the start of 2008.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court, Michael Shakman said the Stroger administration altered the list of jobs not covered by a ban on hiring and firing based on political considerations.

Shakman alleges the Stroger administration has been hiring people and putting them in so-called exempt jobs, even though the positions do not appear on the court list.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Stirring Tribute to the Heroes of Flight 93

Laura Bush and Michelle Obama

From First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the memorial of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania:

The men and women of Flight 93 were college students and grandparents. They were businessmen, pilots, and flight attendants. There was a writer, an antique dealer, a lawyer, an engineer.

They came from all different backgrounds and all walks of life, and they all took a different path to that September morning.

But in that awful moment when the facts became clear, and they were called to make an impossible choice, they all found the same resolve.

They agreed to the same bold plan.

They called the people they loved –- many of them giving comfort instead of seeking it, explaining they were taking action, and that everything would be okay.

And then they rose as one, they acted as one, and together, they changed history’s course.

And in the days that followed, when we learned about the heroes of Flight 93 and what they had done, we were proud, we were awed, we were inspired, but I don’t think any of us were really surprised, because it was clear that these 40 individuals were no strangers to service and to sacrifice. For them, putting others before themselves was nothing new because they were veterans, and coaches, and volunteers of all sorts of causes.

There was the disability rights advocate who carried a miniature copy of the Constitution everywhere she went.

There was the Census director who used to return to the homes she’d canvassed to drop off clothing and food for families in need.

There was the couple who quietly used their wealth to make interest-free loans to struggling families.

And to this day, they remind us -– not just by how they gave their lives, but by how they lived their lives -– that being a hero is not just a matter of fate, it’s a matter of choice.

I think that Jack Grandcolas put it best –- his wife, Lauren, was one of the passengers on the flight — and he said: “They were ordinary citizens thrown into a combat situation. No one was a general or a dictator. Their first thought was to be selfless. They knew ‘There was a 98 percent chance we’re not going to make it, but let’s save others’.”

The men and women on that plane had never met the people whose lives they would save -– yet they willingly made the sacrifice.

Hit the link above and read her entire, very moving presentation.

President Obama: Our War is with Al Qaeda, Not Islam

As part of a brilliant and erudite news conference yesterday at the White House, President Obama told reporters that the United States is not at war with Islam. Crediting President Bush with remaining clear on that point, the president stressed the need for Americans to stand together as the ninth anniversary of 9/11 drew near:

One of the things that I most admired about President Bush was after 9/11, him being crystal-clear about the fact that we were not at war with Islam.  We were at war with terrorists and murderers who had perverted Islam, had stolen its banner to carry out their outrageous acts.  And I was so proud of the country rallying around that idea, that notion that we are not going to be divided by religion; we’re not going to be divided by ethnicity.  We are all Americans.  We stand together against those who would try to do us harm.

And that’s what we’ve done over the last nine years.  And we should take great pride in that.  And I think it is absolutely important now for the overwhelming majority of the American people to hang on to that thing that is best in us, a belief in religious tolerance, clarity about who our enemies are — our enemies are al Qaeda and their allies who are trying to kill us, but have killed more Muslims than just about anybody on Earth.  We have to make sure that we don’t start turning on each other.

And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation.  And as somebody who relies heavily on my Christian faith in my job, I understand the passions that religious faith can raise.  But I’m also respectful that people of different faiths can practice their religion, even if they don’t subscribe to the exact same notions that I do, and that they are still good people, and they are my neighbors and they are my friends, and they are fighting alongside us in our battles.

And I want to make sure that this country retains that sense of purpose.  And I think tomorrow is a wonderful day for us to remind ourselves of that.

I support President Barack Obama, and wish to thank him and President Bush for remaining clear and consistent on that matter.