WBEZ | President http://www.wbez.org/tags/president Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Obama Makes 'No Apologies' for Fighting ISIS within 'American Values' http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2015-12-21/obama-makes-no-apologies-fighting-isis-within-american-values <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/20151217_npr_obamainskeep_003-982321798949bfd5d792806c358aeb8f3e49a18a.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Stressing that his administration has &quot;been at this for a long time,&quot; President Obama launched a forceful defense of his strategy against ISIS in a <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/21/460030344/video-and-transcript-nprs-interview-with-president-obama" target="_blank">year-end interview with NPR</a>. He makes &quot;no apologies,&quot; he said, for wanting to target terror groups &quot;appropriately and in a way that is consistent with American values.&quot;</p><p>Speaking with Steve Inskeep, host of&nbsp;<em>Morning Edition</em>,&nbsp;Obama also urged Americans to &quot;keep things in perspective&quot; when it comes to ISIS, though he says he understands &quot;why people are worried.&quot;</p><div><p>&quot;This is not an organization that can destroy the United States,&quot; he said, nor is it a &quot;huge industrial power&quot; that poses great risks to the U.S. &quot;institutionally or in a systemic way. But they can hurt us, and they can hurt our people and our families.&quot;</p><div><p>Here&#39;s how he explained why remembering &quot;who we are&quot; will lead to ISIS&#39;s defeat:</p><div id="res460339453"><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MNop1dom1m8" width="560"></iframe></div><div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Obama added that while ISIS, which he refers to as ISIL, should be taken &quot;seriously,&quot; domestic terrorism acts have killed at least as many Americans &quot;as those who were promoted by jihadists.&quot; Since Sept. 11, 2001, 45 people have been killed in the United States at the hands of Islamist extremist-inspired terrorists, and 48 have been killed in domestic terrorist attacks, according to a&nbsp;<a href="http://securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists/deadly-attacks.html" target="_blank">count</a>&nbsp;from the New America Foundation.</p><p>Though Obama expressed deep confidence in his approach to fighting ISIS, he is facing a country with just as much criticism of that strategy &mdash; only 30 percent of Americans surveyed in a recent Gallup Poll approve of his handling of ISIS.</p><p>He said he understands where some of that sentiment comes from and that people are legitimately concerned about terrorism &mdash; though he says that fear is fueled in part by the media. &quot;If you have been watching television for the last month, all you have been seeing, all you have been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you,&quot; he said.</p><p>He also believes there was a failing on his administration&#39;s part in not better informing the public of action that has been taken to fight ISIS.</p><p>&quot;So if people haven&#39;t seen the fact that in fact 9,000 strikes have been carried out against ISIL, if they don&#39;t know that towns like Sinjar that were controlled by ISIL have been taken back, or that a town like Tikrit, that was controlled by ISIL, now has been repopulated by previous residents, then they might feel as if there is not enough of a response,&quot; he said.</p><p>Obama also addressed the criticism from Republican presidential candidates, who have hit at his strategy frequently and forcefully on the campaign trail and in debates. The president&#39;s name came up at least 35 times in last week&#39;s Republican debate in relation to national security or ISIS. Diverging from the president, some called for leaving Syria&#39;s Bashar Assad in power to protect the country from falling to ISIS, while others pressed for widespread bombing of regions controlled by ISIS. In a year-end news conference last Friday, Obama reiterated that for the sake of stability in the region, he believes Assad must go.</p><div id="res460323339"><aside aria-label="pullquote" role="complementary"><p>Speaking to NPR, Obama responded to those strategies, saying that more bombs are not the answer. &quot;Well, when you listen to them, though, and you ask, &#39;Well, what exactly are you talking about?&#39; &#39;Well, we are going to bomb more,&#39; &quot; he said. &quot;Well, who is it you are going to bomb? Where is it that you are going to bomb? When you talk about something like carpet-bombing, what do you mean?&quot;</p></aside></div><p>&quot;If the suggestion is that we kill tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrians and Iraqis, that is not who we are,&quot; the president continued. &quot;That would be a strategy that would have enormous backlash against the United States. It would be terrible for our national security.&quot;</p><p>The overall criticism from the Republican candidates boils down to a sentiment that Obama isn&#39;t showing enough strength against ISIS. At the Republican debate last week, Ted Cruz said, &quot;ISIS is gaining strength because the perception is that they&#39;re winning. And President Obama fuels that perception.&quot; Marco Rubio blamed the president for &quot;outsourcing&quot; foreign policy.</p><div id="res460430691"><aside aria-label="pullquote" role="complementary"><p>Obama, as he often has during his presidency, used a long-game defense. The one piece of advice he would leave the next president when it comes to battling ISIS, he said, is that it&#39;s &quot;important not just to shoot but to aim.&quot;</p></aside></div><p>Obama did have rare praise, though, for one GOP presidential candidate.</p><p>&quot;It is important in this seat to make sure that you are making your best judgments based on data, intelligence, the information that&#39;s coming from your commanders and folks on the ground, and you&#39;re not being swayed by politics,&quot; Obama said.</p><p>&quot;What&#39;s interesting is that most of the critics have not called for ground forces,&quot; he said. &quot;To his credit, I think Lindsey Graham is one of the few who has been at least honest about suggesting &#39;here is something I would do that the president is not doing.&#39; He doesn&#39;t just talk about being louder or sounding tougher in the process.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div><em>Listen to more of NPR&#39;s interview with President Obama this week on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/21/460281332/obama-makes-no-apologies-for-fighting-isis-within-american-values?ft=nprml&amp;f=460281332" target="_blank">Morning Edition.</a></em></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 21 Dec 2015 08:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2015-12-21/obama-makes-no-apologies-fighting-isis-within-american-values Chicago Urban League's interim president prepares for organization's 100th year http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-04/chicago-urban-leagues-interim-president-prepares-organizations <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/shari runner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago has a rich history of organizations created to help the different communities that call our city home, and one of them is celebrating its 100th anniversary next year.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.thechicagourbanleague.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=1">Chicago Urban League</a> has long worked to empower the African American community. Interim President and CEO Shari Runner recently took the helm and is gearing up to lead the organization into its 100th year. She shares more on the changing role of the Urban League over the years and her vision moving forward.</p></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 12:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-04/chicago-urban-leagues-interim-president-prepares-organizations Senate President pushes rival plan to help CPS http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-19/senate-president-pushes-rival-plan-help-cps-112683 <p><p>Gov. Bruce Rauner started the week by introducing a mega bill that included a property tax freeze, changes to CPS&rsquo; pension plan and limits to collective bargaining rights for unions. Senate President John Cullerton is pushing his own rival plan to help Chicago Public Schools. It includes some of the governor&#39;s policies but wouldn&#39;t limit bargaining rights for unions. His bill passed through the Senate Tuesday. President Cullerton joins us to explain what he&#39;s hoping to do with this bill, and how budget talks are progressing. (Photo: EC/File)</p></p> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 11:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-19/senate-president-pushes-rival-plan-help-cps-112683 Obama chooses Chicago to host his presidential library http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-chooses-chicago-host-his-presidential-library-111970 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/obamapullman2.png" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON (AP) &mdash; President Barack Obama has chosen his hometown of Chicago to host his future presidential library, two individuals with knowledge of the decision said, placing the permanent monument to his legacy in the city that launched his improbable ascent to the White House.</p><p>Obama&#39;s library will be built on Chicago&#39;s South Side, where the University of Chicago has proposed two potential sites not far from the Obama family&#39;s home. It was unclear which of the two sites had been selected, but an official announcement was expected within weeks.</p><p>For Chicago, the decision solidifies the city&#39;s claim to Obama and the legacy of the nation&#39;s first black president. Yet it marks a harsh letdown for New York and Honolulu, two other cities that played pivotal roles in Obama&#39;s journey and competed fiercely to host the library.</p><p>While the library won&#39;t be built until after Obama leaves office, fundraising has already started for the expansive project, which is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build while serving as an economic engine for the surrounding area. The Barack Obama Foundation, formed by longtime Obama associates, screened proposals and recommended the winner to the president and first lady Michelle Obama, who only recently made the final decision.</p><p>Although Chicago&#39;s victory had long been anticipated, the decision brings to a close a hard-fought competition that began in the earliest days of Obama&#39;s second term. What started as quiet discussions among Obama loyalists in and out of the White House kicked into high gear in 2014 when the foundation began soliciting proposals and interested parties began lobbying the president in public and in private.</p><p>An initial list of about a dozen pitches was culled to four universities that the foundation invited to submit comprehensive proposals, replete with architectural designs, programming ideas and zoning assessments.</p><p>Each school had a compelling case to make.</p><p>The University of Hawaii, not far from Obama&#39;s childhood home in Honolulu, cast its proposal as an opportunity for Obama to continue his focus on the Asia-Pacific region after leaving office. New York&#39;s Columbia University, where Obama went to college, offered prime real estate on its new campus expansion in West Harlem. And the University of Illinois at Chicago presented its proposal as a chance for the president to invigorate a blighted neighborhood while reinforcing his commitment to public education.</p><p>Little is known about the contents of the University of Chicago&#39;s winning proposal, which the school has declined to make public. Still, the president has suggested that the library may be only one component of the post-White House project.</p><p>Presidential libraries often have accompanying policy institutes, presidential centers or museums. Obama has signaled an interest in spending time in New York and Hawaii after leaving the White House, and individuals familiar with the decision said Obama was likely to base other types of programming at the universities that lost out on the library itself.</p><p>Obama&#39;s decision to place the library in Chicago was conveyed to The Associated Press Thursday by two individuals with direct knowledge of the decision. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hasn&#39;t been publicly announced.</p><p>Obama&#39;s foundation, the White House, the University of Chicago and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel&#39;s office all declined to comment.</p><p>But the individuals said the foundation&#39;s chairman, Obama pal and businessman Marty Nesbitt, spoke with the president earlier in the week about the announcement. A news conference that had been scheduled for Wednesday to announce the decision was postponed at the last minute, and is now expected to be rescheduled for mid-May.</p><p>That the University of Chicago had the inside track grew increasingly evident as the competition progressed. After all, Obama taught law there before becoming president, Mrs. Obama once worked for the school&#39;s medical center, and her former chief of staff was put in charge of running the university&#39;s campaign to win the library. Half of the Obama foundation&#39;s board lives in Chicago.</p><p>Yet while the Obamas had intended to announce the winning site by the end of March, a messy confluence of Chicago politics and Obama&#39;s busy schedule led to multiple delays.</p><p>The university&#39;s struggles to put forward a solid proposal burst into public view late last year when Obama&#39;s foundation let it be known publicly that it had serious concerns. The school, in its proposal, had failed to prove it could secure the Chicago Park District land on which it was proposing to build.</p><p>That set off a scramble by university officials and Emanuel, Obama&#39;s former chief of staff. Despite vocal opposition from a park preservation group, the City of Chicago moved to acquire access to the property while state lawmakers fast-tracked legislation ensuring that Chicago could use public park land for the project, all but ensuring the library would go to the South Side.</p><p>But when Emanuel failed to win enough votes in his March re-election to avoid a runoff, the foundation opted to hold off on a final decision until the runoff vote in April, the AP reported. The library had become a potent issue in the race, and the foundation wanted to avoid injecting the library decision into the political fray.</p><p>___</p><p>Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP</p></p> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 19:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-chooses-chicago-host-his-presidential-library-111970 Opposites detract: Romney-style http://www.wbez.org/blogs/mark-bazer/2012-06/opposites-detract-romney-style-100228 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Romney%20AP.jpg" title="(AP/file)" /></div><p><em>&ldquo;Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney&nbsp;has said he will do &lsquo;the opposite&rsquo; of Barack Obama&nbsp;when it comes to Israel.&rdquo; &mdash;&nbsp;</em>The Guardian<em>, June 17</em></p><p><strong>Below, Mitt Romney elaborates on what he meant:</strong></p><p>That&rsquo;s right, my fellow-but-poorer Americans, the very opposite of what Barack Obama has done!</p><p>When the president says he supports Israel, I will say, well . . . &nbsp;I will also say I support Israel but in a way that is somehow the opposite.</p><p>When the president says it&rsquo;s unacceptable for Iran to get nuclear weapons, I will again say the same thing but in a wholly opposite manner. &ldquo;Iran in weapons nuclear against am I,&rdquo; for example.</p><p>Here in the U.S., Barack Obama does little to support the Israeli people. Yet when he actually goes to Israel, he cowers and lets them dictate everything he does, including reading words from right to left.</p><p>That is not the way we in America read, and when I&rsquo;m in Israel, I will always read left to right!</p><p>Indeed, I will not bend to the will of any foreign countries the way Barack Obama does.</p><p>We&rsquo;ve seen the president bow before foreign leaders. Literally bow! When I&rsquo;m around foreign leaders, I will do the opposite, jumping high into the air as I stand before them, perhaps on a pogo stick.</p><p>Here at home, we&rsquo;ve seen the president kowtow to the pro-environment, pro-gay-rights and pro-union lobbies. When I&rsquo;m president, I will never kowtow to these lobbies &mdash; only to completely different ones.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, rest assured, I will be the opposite of Barack Obama in every conceivable way.</p><p>Where he is weak, I will be strong.</p><p>Where he is opaque, I will be transparent.</p><p>Where he is fake, I will be real.</p><p>Where he is clockwise, I will be counterclockwise.</p><p>Where he owns no book of antonyms, I will bring my copy to the White House.</p><p>The president rammed through a health care bill that only pinkos in Massachusetts could support. It mandated health insurance for everybody! Including, unbelievably, people who are very ill.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, I will propose a new health-care bill that mandates that nobody in this country can have health insurance except for people in Congress.</p><p>The president recently granted what amounts to amnesty for at least 700,000 illegal immigrants.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, I will personally carry all 700,000 of those people across the border &mdash;&nbsp;on the roof of my car if necessary. (Sorry, the person putting words in my mouth here couldn&rsquo;t resist.)</p><p>The president would like to raise your taxes. When I&rsquo;m president, I will do the opposite and lower my taxes.</p><p>The president would like to regulate your business. When I am president, I will deregulate the businesses that will take over your business.</p><p>The president has never once placated the wackos on the extreme religious right.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, I will . . . um, let&rsquo;s move on.</p><p>Look, the president leading our country down a path to ruin. Elect me as your president and I will take this country off the path, rent us a private luxury jet and get us to ruin a whole lot quicker!&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Jun 2012 09:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/mark-bazer/2012-06/opposites-detract-romney-style-100228 Sampling the black community's opinion of President Obama's performance http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-05/sampling-black-communitys-opinion-president-obamas-performance-92842 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/110408_obama_elected_800 AP.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced Tuesday that he would not run in the 2012 presidential election. Many thought the Garden State governor was the GOP’s best chance to win the White House. But Republicans might have taken heart from some recent polls, which showed President Obama’s approval rating just above 40 percent. Poll results can be abstract – or just plain wrong. So to gauge personal opinions of the president’s performance, WBEZ’s Richard Steele headed out to <a href="http://www.valoisrestaurant.com/" target="_blank">Valois</a> in Hyde Park. The black community came out in record numbers during the 2008 campaign. <a href="http://wvon.com/personalities/salim-muwakkil.html" target="_blank">WVON host</a> and <a href="http://www.inthesetimes.com" target="_blank"><em>In These Times</em></a> senior editor Salim Muwakkil joined him along with local journalist <a href="http://www.hrtheseries.com/" target="_blank">Kyra Kyles</a> for a roundtable discussion with some of Valois’ lunchtime crowd. Richard began by asking everyone at the table for their current take on the president.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 14:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-05/sampling-black-communitys-opinion-president-obamas-performance-92842 Weary, And Wary, Haitians Prepare For Elections http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/weary-and-wary-haitians-prepare-elections <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr/images/12-10-2010/palace_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In Haiti, campaigning for next month's presidential elections is under way. Nineteen candidates are vying to lead the earthquake-ravaged nation.</p><p>And with Haitian-American musician Wyclef Jean out of the race there's no clear front-runner. It could be a contentious battle for one of the toughest political jobs in the world.</p><p>Michel Martely is among the candidates.</p><p>Wearing an open-collar white shirt and pressed gray slacks and with a shaved bald head, Martely is instantly recognized as he steps out of his SUV at the Port-au-Prince airport on a recent day.</p><p>The baggage porters yell &quot;Presidente!&quot; and a crowd quickly forms around the musician turned candidate. Martely, who's known as &quot;Sweet Micky,&quot; has been a leading pop star in Haiti since the late 1980s.</p><p><strong>A Country Of Survival, Not Love</strong></p><p>Now, in his first run for public office, Martely wants to lead the country. &quot;We are living in a country of survival. We have no love for each other anymore,&quot; he says.</p><p>Martely also says there's no leadership in Haiti anymore.</p><p>The country has huge numbers of people without work and in the wake of the earthquake huge amounts of work to do -- yet, he says, no one is putting the two together. &quot;We have the human resource to go ahead and start the cleaning. And yet no nobody is caring about that because everybody is too busy caring about making money,&quot; Martely says.</p><p>&quot;The state doesn't serve anymore. It's not about serving the population; it's about getting rich when people get into power right now. So it's time that we changed that,&quot; he says.</p><p>Despite the fact that he has no political experience, Martely says he can unify the country as it moves forward from the devastating January quake.</p><p>Martely has a long list of pop hits to his credit, most of them sung in Creole. One liability for him may be that his reputation as an entertainer is that of a good-time party boy.</p><p>Onstage, he often would don a dress and a wig at a moment's notice.</p><p><strong>Natural And Man-Made Problems Plague Polls</strong></p><p>The Jan. 12 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless and much of Port-au-Prince in ruins. The next president will have to oversee the reconstruction and try to redirect what was already one of the most dysfunctional nations on Earth.</p><p>Before the quake, roughly 80 percent of the population lived in poverty. Roads, electrical lines, sewers and other infrastructure were in desperate need of repair. Now, they need to be completely rebuilt, along with most of the capital.</p><p>&quot;I think this is one of the most important presidential elections,&quot; says Raymond Joseph, who recently stepped down as the Haitian ambassador to Washington to run for president.</p><p>But the Provisional Electoral Council rejected his candidacy</p><p>&quot;They said that I didn't have what they call the <em>discharge,</em> meaning discharging yourself of your duties as ambassador. Well, I do have the <em>discharge,</em>&quot; he says.</p><p>Joseph calls the electoral council's actions &quot;arbitrary&quot; and &quot;shenanigans.&quot; He says it's a sign that the ruling political elite don't intend to let Haiti hold clean, democratic elections on Nov. 28.</p><p>In another controversial move, the council blocked Fanmi Lavalas, the popular party of exiled president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, from putting forward a candidate.</p><p>Allegations of fraud in Haitian elections are practically inevitable, but this year's balloting faces additional challenges. The quake destroyed 40 percent of the polling stations in the country, killed tens of thousands of voters and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.</p><p>And numerous people lost all their documents and no longer have voting cards.</p><p><strong>'In The Hands Of God'</strong></p><p>The Organization of American States has launched mobile clinics in Port-au-Prince to help people get new IDs. But on a recent day, the lines at one mobile clinic have disintegrated into chaos -- and tempers are flaring.</p><p>Maslin Jaunit says she's been at the clinic all day and hasn't been able to get a new ID card. Jaunit says she lost her house and all her documents in the quake. She says she can't wait all day for a new ID and at this point she's giving up.</p><p>The recovery from the January quake is moving slowly, and many Haitians say they're skeptical about how much a new president can improve things.</p><p>Desoire Alexander, 64, is sitting in the second story of what used to be a pink, single-family house in Carrefour, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. The first floor collapsed completely during the quake. The cement under Alexander slopes sharply toward the missing back of the building.</p><p>He laughs when asked about the presidential candidates.</p><p>&quot;I have no opinion when it comes to candidates because when they talk, you see their mouths, you see their faces, but you don't see their hearts,&quot; he says.</p><p>Officials in Haiti insist that logistically everything will be ready for the Nov. 28 presidential polls.</p><p>Alexander, leaning against a shattered block of concrete, says this election and the fate of Haiti as a whole are in the hands of God. </p><p>Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. </p></p> Thu, 07 Oct 2010 16:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/weary-and-wary-haitians-prepare-elections Tape from the archives: Birch Bayh on Evan Bayh http://www.wbez.org/shudzik/2010/02/tape-from-the-archives-birch-bayh-on-evan-bayh/15098 <p>The news today, reported by <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=evan%20bayh%20and%20re-election&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=vw">numerous sources</a>, that Indiana U.S. Senator Evan Bayh has decided not to seek a third term, reminded me of some archival tape I had stored away. <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//AP060717011112.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-15121 aligncenter" title="Evan Bayh" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//AP060717011112.jpg" alt="" width="512" height="341" /></a></p> In early 2007, I was freelance reporting in Washington, DC, and ran into Evan's father, Birch Bayh, himself a former U.S. senator. I asked him about his son's decision, just a few weeks earlier, to not seek the Democratic nomination for president. (Evan Bayh had opened a presidential exploratory committee in late 2006.) Birch Bayh told me he didn't play a part in his son's decision on whether or not to run for president. And he said he wouldn't play a part in the decision if his son considered a future presidential run. <a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//birch2.mp3">birch</a> <strong>FATHER &amp; SON RETIREMENTS:</strong> Evan Bayh is 54 years old now, and will be 55 when he leaves the Senate in January. His father's Senate career ended in 1981, after he was defeated by Dan Quayle, then a congressman and later the vice president. At the time, Birch Bayh was 52 years old.</p> Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/shudzik/2010/02/tape-from-the-archives-birch-bayh-on-evan-bayh/15098