WBEZ | President http://www.wbez.org/tags/president Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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