Chicago Tribune: During a trip to her hometown today, first lady Michelle Obama applauded the work of a South Loop non-profit group that is helping high school students get job experience and advice about attending college.
Obama joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule, for a visit this morning to Urban Alliance Chicago, the career training program.
… “To you all students, for having the courage to step outside your comfort zone and do something that was probably initially pretty scary,” Obama told about 50 teens gathered to see her. “I know that feeling. I was you guys. I say that all the time. Living on the South Side, looking at these buildings, wondering what goes on in those offices.”
Fred Rotondaro (Chairman of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good): … President Obama took more than his share of verbal assaults during his 2008 campaign …. For the first time in history, a major candidate found his birth qualifications to be President questioned, in addition to false claims being made about his religion…
To his everlasting credit, John McCain was not one of those bigots who spread such lies … From what I have seen so far, I hope but do not expect such decency and true patriotism in 2012.
Four major candidates have spoken already about Barack Obama not being born in America or having a Kenyan worldview. The potential Republican candidates seem to be appealing to the worst elements of their own party … they seem terrified of confronting the bigotry that is often directed at the President. When Newt Gingrich calls Obama a “food stamp president,” he is giving a dog whistle to racists. When Michelle Bachmann said she took President Obama at his word regarding his place of birth, she was winking at the birthers. America needs better than this in 2012.
Deceit has worked its way into important debates also …. While the financial regulation bill was being discussed, Mitch McConnell met with Wall Street leaders to discuss strategy and raise campaign funds. Soon, back in Washington, he began pounding the theme that the bill was an attempt to set up bailouts for banks. This was not spinning. This was an out and out lie to the American people.
The debate about health care centered for a time on the theme of non-existent death panels after former Gov. Palin tweeted about them.….
This is where the American religious community can play a vital role by insisting on truth in public policy debates … Politicians campaign dishonestly because they can. Let’s make it difficult and let them know they will pay a price for deceptive campaign tactics. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our country.