WBEZ | White House http://www.wbez.org/tags/white-house Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Strange Truth Behind Presidential Turkey Pardons http://www.wbez.org/news/strange-truth-behind-presidential-turkey-pardons-113943 <p><div id="res457267346" previewtitle="Liberty, a 45-pound turkey, is seen at the White House before being pardoned in 2011. The bird died two years later due to heart failure."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Liberty, a 45-pound turkey, is seen at the White House before being pardoned in 2011. The bird died two years later due to heart failure." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/24/ap_111123024197_wide-bb97f38d470ca664eca35b4c644209fdf6f7a139-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Liberty, a 45-pound turkey, is seen at the White House before being pardoned in 2011. The bird died two years later due to heart failure. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>The annual presidential turkey pardoning event at the White House, which took place again today, is a peculiar one. Presiding over his sixth one last year, even President Obama seemed confused by it all.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;It is a little puzzling that I do this every year,&quot; Obama said, &quot;but I will say that I enjoy it, because with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office, it&#39;s nice once in a while to just say, &#39;Happy Thanksgiving.&#39; &quot;</p><p>He says a lot more than that. He makes embarrassing dad jokes, while his daughters stand next to him, about turkeys with punny names &mdash; and how they will live out their golden years in splendor. (Though &quot;years&quot; is a stretch. More on that below.)</p><p>&quot;Time flies &mdash; even if turkeys don&#39;t,&quot; Obama said Wednesday before looking off to his right for his daughter Sasha&#39;s approval.</p><p>There&#39;s always lots of laughter for a lighthearted moment the day before Thanksgiving, but the truth behind the turkey pardons is a strange and sad tale with a long and myth-filled history.</p><p>So, who are these overstuffed fowl? Where did they come from? And how did this whole thing get started, anyway? We try to answer those questions, and more:</p><div id="res457260183" previewtitle="A class of fifth-grade students from Eisenhut Elementary School in Modesto, Calif., cheered for their favorite turkey as Foster Farms staffers picked the prized bird for this year's turkey pardon."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A class of fifth-grade students from Eisenhut Elementary School in Modesto, Calif., cheered for their favorite turkey as Foster Farms staffers picked the prized bird for this year's turkey pardon." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/24/ap_383413758639_wide-b95a9ff3bf3cfdb25ee267fcf8f65980364331ac-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="A class of fifth-grade students from Eisenhut Elementary School in Modesto, Calif., cheered for their favorite turkey as Foster Farms staffers picked the prized bird for this year's turkey pardon. (Scott Smith/AP)" /></div><div><p><strong>1. Where did they find these turkeys?</strong></p></div></div><p>This year&#39;s birds are from an industrial turkey farm in Modesto, Calif., Foster Farms. This year&#39;s chosen ones are named Tom One and Tom Two. Not very creative, but they were given new ceremonial names &mdash; Honest and Abe &mdash; voted on in a Twitter poll&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/11/24/taking-home-title-who-will-be-years-national-thanksgiving-turkey">promoted by the White House</a>. The names were submitted from hundreds of kids from California.</p><div id="res457357330">&nbsp;</div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Meet &quot;Honest&quot;. He&#39;s 22 inches tall and loves Country music <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TurkeyPardon2015?src=hash">#TurkeyPardon2015</a> <a href="https://t.co/guZ2q2MQPt">pic.twitter.com/guZ2q2MQPt</a></p>&mdash; NatlTurkeyFederation (@TurkeyGal) <a href="https://twitter.com/TurkeyGal/status/669199677863157764">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Just Tom One--Abe, in this case--stood in front of the president.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Meet &quot;Abe&quot; He has a wingspan of 6 feet and has a macho man strut style <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TurkeyPardon2015?src=hash">#TurkeyPardon2015</a> <a href="https://t.co/zdw0qZGDYe">pic.twitter.com/zdw0qZGDYe</a></p>&mdash; NatlTurkeyFederation (@TurkeyGal) <a href="https://twitter.com/TurkeyGal/status/669200272107941888">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Tom Two was selected as an alternate. Don&#39;t worry, both of their lives were spared &mdash; temporarily, anyway. The Toms were chosen out of a flock of 50, which were whittled down to a dozen finalists and picked in front of a class of fifth-graders. Foster Farms manager Joe Hedden&nbsp;<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/63b2e9b5271d4503bea4392872bc0fbd/turkey-chosen-presidential-pardon-thanksgiving">said</a>&nbsp;Tom One was a clear winner because of his personality. He apparently really likes to strut his stuff (he gobbled quite a bit at the crowd gathered at the White House), Hedden said before parting ways with the turkeys, who boarded a first-class flight to Washington called, not kidding,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.modbee.com/news/article45524970.html">Turkey One</a>.</p><p>&quot;We want to present the president with a well-mannered and socially skilled turkey that&#39;s going to act right on the big day,&quot; Hedden said.</p><p><strong>2. Do they always get the turkeys from the same place?</strong></p><div id="res457281113" previewtitle="Men dressed as Secret Service agents stand guard next to Tom One and Tom Two, this year's turkey and alternate."><div data-crop-type=""><div class="image-insert-image "><strong><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gettyimages-496023924_wide-bad7d3aee7611c359d04776598d0ce3cc2301828-s1200.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 348px;" title="Men dressed as Secret Service agents stand guard next to Tom One and Tom Two, this year's turkey and alternate. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)" /></strong></div></div><div><div><p>No. Here&#39;s the thing: This is an event run by the National Turkey Federation. Yes, even turkeys have lobbyists. (They have offices four blocks from the White House.) The group is so involved in the event that it even paid for the turkeys to take a presidential-style motorcade from the farm to the airport flanked by fake Secret Service agents.</p></div></div></div><p>The men in dark suits with earpieces are all part of the show, as are faux presidential decals depicting a turkey wearing a pilgrim hat at the center of the &quot;Seal of the National Turkey of the United States.&quot; The chairman of the federation usually picks a turkey from his home state, and this year the chairman is Jihad Douglas, president of Aviagen Turkeys, a &quot;<a href="http://www.modbee.com/news/article45524970.html">supplier of turkey breeding stock</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>3. When and why did this begin?</strong></p><p>This whole thing got started in 1947 when Harry Truman was president. And that has actually been a source of confusion. Bill Clinton in his 1997 pardoning ceremony proclaimed that Truman was the first to pardon a turkey. But that&#39;s not true. The<a href="http://www.trumanlibrary.org/trivia/turkey.htm">Truman Library issued a statement in 2003</a>&nbsp;saying:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The Library&#39;s staff has found no documents, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, or other contemporary records in our holdings which refer to Truman pardoning a turkey that he received as a gift in 1947, or at any other time during his Presidency. ... Truman sometimes indicated to reporters that the turkeys he received were destined for the family dinner table.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>So, Truman was the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eatturkey.com/why-turkey/history">first to receive</a>&nbsp;a ceremonial turkey from the National Turkey Federation (and the Poultry and Egg National Board), but he ate it (as did Eisenhower). And that was the intention of the gift &mdash; to raise the profile of the bird and maintain its institutionalization as a Thanksgiving and Christmas staple.</p><p>The tradition of giving turkeys to the president goes much further back, though, than industry groups&#39; involvement. From 1873 to 1913, a turkey dealer from Rhode Island named Horace Vose, known as the &quot;Poultry King,&quot; became the unofficial turkey provider to the White House for Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whitehousehistory.org/pardoning-the-thanksgiving-turkey">White House Historical Society</a>. In 1913, Vose got some competition from a former Kentucky congressman, who claimed his bird tasted better because it was fed a diet of red peppers. After Vose died in 1913, it was something of a free for all.</p><div id="res457262109" previewtitle="President John F. Kennedy reaches out to touch a 40-pound turkey at the White House in 1963. The presentation was made on behalf of the nation's turkey industry."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="President John F. Kennedy reaches out to touch a 40-pound turkey at the White House in 1963. The presentation was made on behalf of the nation's turkey industry." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/24/ap_31330392127-5e6ae6aff3709c1fe956df636d02117f0ad9ba3c-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="President John F. Kennedy reaches out to touch a 40-pound turkey at the White House in 1963. The presentation was made on behalf of the nation's turkey industry. (Harvey Georges/AP)" /></div><div><div><p><strong>4. OK, so if it wasn&#39;t Truman, then who was the first to pardon a turkey?</strong></p></div></div></div><p>It depends on your definition of &quot;pardon.&quot; An&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whitehousehistory.org/questions/which-president-started-the-tradition-of-pardoning-the-thanksgiving-turkey">1865 dispatch</a>&nbsp;from White House reporter Noah Brooks is the oldest-known account of a presidential turkey clemency. It was about&nbsp;Abraham Lincoln&nbsp;sparing a turkey two years earlier. It was a Christmas turkey that his son Tad had taken a liking to.</p><p>John F. Kennedy&nbsp;appears to have been the first to let a Thanksgiving turkey go. &quot;We&#39;ll just let this one grow,&quot; he said. The&nbsp;LA Times&nbsp;headlined that 1963 event &mdash; in which a sign hung around the turkey&#39;s neck that read, &quot;Good eating, Mr. President&quot; &mdash; as a &quot;<a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/presidential-turkey-pardons-not-long-history-you-might-think-f2D11663410">presidential pardon</a>.&quot;</p><p>Richard Nixon&nbsp;also chose not to eat that particular bird and sent it to a petting zoo instead.</p><div id="res457263362" previewtitle="President Ronald Reagan is startled as John Hendrick (center), president of the National Turkey Federation, presents him with a turkey in 1984."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="President Ronald Reagan is startled as John Hendrick (center), president of the National Turkey Federation, presents him with a turkey in 1984." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/24/ap_8411160115-01f655b83dec0156917b3323b0cd19aa1f8abd8d-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="President Ronald Reagan is startled as John Hendrick, center, president of the National Turkey Federation, presents him with a turkey in 1984. (Scott Stewart/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>Ronald Reagan&nbsp;in 1987 was technically the first president to use the word &quot;pardon&quot; about a turkey, but it was really just a way to deflect questions about the Iran-Contra scandal and whether he would pardon key players involved &mdash; Oliver North and John Poindexter. The bird, &quot;Charlie,&quot; was already headed for a petting zoo, but after Sam Donaldson of ABC News pressed Reagan on whether he&#39;d pardon North and Poindexter, Reagan&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1987/112387d.htm">responded</a>, &quot;If they&#39;d given me a different answer on Charlie and his future, I would have pardoned him.&quot;</p></div></div></div><p>Two years later,&nbsp;George H.W. Bush&nbsp;formalized the turkey pardoning ceremony, giving birth to the modern-day tradition.</p><p><strong>5. What happens to the turkey afterward?</strong></p><p>This is where the story turns very sad. They are sent to a farm in Virginia, where a former governor&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/presidents-pardon-turkeys-history/">raised his own turkeys</a>, but they do not live very long. In fact, every pardoned turkey is dead except for two &mdash; &quot;Cheese,&quot; the second half of last year&#39;s duo (&quot;Mac&quot; died in July of this year), and &quot;Courage,&quot; pardoned in 2009.</p><p>These birds, though, are bred to be eaten. Many industrially grown turkeys are fattened up with a&nbsp;<a href="http://minnesotaturkey.com/turkeys/fun-facts/">protein-rich diet of corn and soybeans</a>. They can&#39;t fly, because they are too big; their bone structures can&#39;t hold up all that weight for very long; and their organs fail if they&#39;re kept alive too long.</p><p>These unfortunate facts have been a sore point for animal-rights activists, like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, which listed its complaints, including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.peta.org/features/white-house-turkey-pardon/">noting the fates</a>&nbsp;of the recent &quot;pardoned&quot; birds. Others, including writers at the&nbsp;Washington Post&nbsp;and Vox, have called the pardon &quot;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/11/26/the-turkey-pardon-is-americas-dumbest-tradition/">America&#39;s dumbest</a>&quot; and &quot;<a href="http://www.vox.com/2014/11/24/7276353/white-house-turkey-pardon">most absurd holiday tradition</a>.&quot;</p><p>But the turkey federation, of course, pushes back on that notion.</p><p>&quot;Think of the meaning of Thanksgiving,&quot; argued Keith Williams, vice president for communications and marketing at the turkey federation. &quot;It&#39;s always been about the presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey &mdash; symbolic of the blessings of agriculture we have in this country. It becomes a time for the president to recall with the nation our blessings and celebrate the beginning of the holiday season.&quot;</p><div id="res457263813" previewtitle="Unfortunately for the birds, pardoning a turkey doesn't actually keep the meat off the White House table."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Unfortunately for the birds, pardoning a turkey doesn't actually keep the meat off the White House table." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/24/ap_111024072162-e724028a843c9deda5fdd517890bb1007dcffe48-s200-c85.jpg" style="height: 186px; width: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Unfortunately for the birds, pardoning a turkey doesn't actually keep the meat off the White House table. (Matthew Mead/AP)" /></div><div><div><p><strong>6. Why do presidents pardon turkeys? Don&#39;t they eat turkey at Thanksgiving?</strong></p></div></div></div><p>That irony may account for Obama&#39;s puzzlement. He also joked last year that he was saving those turkeys from a &quot;terrible and delicious fate.&quot;</p><p>People are full of contradictions.</p><p>It&#39;s clearly been difficult for politicians to say on camera that they would eat the bird presented to them, especially as America has grown away from an agricultural society and grown up with Disney movies heavy on the personification of animals. Americans are far more removed from the actual process of how their food makes its way to their table.</p><p>&quot;Your grandmother (1940s) would have killed her own and prepared it,&quot; Williams notes. &quot;Since the 1950s, it became more convenient for families to have the dressed turkeys (all ready to cook), which they bought from the butcher or their grocery store. Few people actually hunt and dress their own food &mdash; we thankfully have the farmers who grow and deliver food to us.&quot;</p><p>(Side fact: The turkey federation actually provides dressed turkeys to presidents, too. Obama has donated his.)</p><p>The turkey federation seems potentially open to a return to the days when presidents ate the turkeys presented to them.</p><p>&quot;The pardoning was a recent custom begun with President George H.W. Bush,&quot; Williams pointed out.</p><p>Some traditions are hard to change. It&#39;s something to think about after you walk through the grocery store, pick out that turkey &mdash; and sit down at the Thanksgiving dinner table.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/25/457253194/the-strange-truth-behind-presidential-turkey-pardons?ft=nprml&amp;f=457253194" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/strange-truth-behind-presidential-turkey-pardons-113943 Taliban announces it has withdrawn from Afghan city of Kunduz http://www.wbez.org/news/taliban-announces-it-has-withdrawn-afghan-city-kunduz-113325 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-492437716-fa91df5cfbb295948dcd8c1be6e2381ccb0ea2ce-s700-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res448424787" previewtitle="The damaged hospital in which the Doctors Without Borders medical charity operated is seen following a U.S. airstrike in the northern city of Kunduz."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The damaged hospital in which the Doctors Without Borders medical charity operated is seen following a U.S. airstrike in the northern city of Kunduz." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/13/gettyimages-492437716-fa91df5cfbb295948dcd8c1be6e2381ccb0ea2ce-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="The damaged hospital in which the Doctors Without Borders medical charity operated is seen following a U.S. airstrike in the northern city of Kunduz. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>The Taliban announced Tuesday they have withdrawn from Kunduz, the northern Afghan city that briefly fell under insurgent control last month.</p></div></div></div><p>The Taliban said the reason for pulling out of the city was to protect against further civilian casualties, but there are multiple reports of battles continuing outside of the city. Kunduz is also the site of a U.S.-led airstrike that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital and killed 22 civilians.</p><p>NPR&#39;s Tom Bowman tells our Newscast Unit, Kunduz was the first major provincial capital to fall under Taliban control in 14 years.</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The Taliban said in a statement they have achieved all their objectives: Seizing the major transportation hub of Kunduz, releasing its fighters from a prison [and] grabbing tons of weapons.</em></p><p><em>&quot;The statement, placed on a website associated with the Taliban, said the assault on Kunduz proves they can move on cities all around the country.</em></p><p><em>&quot;Afghan forces were able to retake Kunduz, with help from American commandos and airstrikes. But one of those airstrikes led to a mistaken hit on a hospital, killing some two dozen health workers and patients.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>In recent weeks, Kunduz has seen a well-coordinated, multi-pronged attack from Taliban fighters who converged from different directions, stunning Afghan security forces. The Taliban held control of the city for three days before being pushed back.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/123d658a9eb346d192d9ea320b39f9e2/taliban-withdraw-northern-afghan-city">Associated Press</a>&nbsp;reports:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;Taliban insurgents were present on the outskirts of the city, and were mostly holed up in the Chahar Dara district, a longtime stronghold, Jungulbagh said.</em></p><p><em>&quot;After two weeks of fighting, local people are venturing out and shops are open again, said Sultan Mohammad, 32, a Kunduz resident. He said electricity was being restored but problems with the water supply remained.</em></p><p><em>...</em></p><p><em>&quot;Exact numbers of dead and wounded are unclear, but believed to be in the hundreds. The Public Health Ministry has said that more than 60 civilians have been killed, and around 800 wounded in the fighting.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>The fall of the city was a major stumbling block for Afghan security forces which have had difficulty keeping insurgent fighters at bay since the U.S. and NATO took on more of a support role there last year.</p><p>White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest praised the Afghan forces&#39; ability to turn the tide against the Taliban.</p><p>&quot;The fact that they were overrun in Kunduz in the first place was a setback, but their ability to regroup and retake the city is an indication of the resilience and capability of the Afghan security forces,&quot; Earnest said.</p><p>As the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/05/446002476/u-s-general-says-afghan-forces-called-for-kunduz-airstrike">Two-Way reported last week</a>, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, John Campbell said Afghan forces advised they were taking fire from Taliban insurgents on Oct. 3 and asked for U.S. air support. He told lawmakers during a Senate Armed Services Committee a Doctors Without Borders a hospital in Kunduz &quot;was mistakenly struck&quot; by U.S. planes.</p><p>The U.S., NATO and the Afghan governments have launched investigations into the airstrike. Doctors Without Borders, also known as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news-stories">Médecins Sans Frontières</a>, has called the incident a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/07/446537354/doctors-without-borders-wants-independent-inquiry-into-u-s-attack-on-hospital">&quot;blatant breach of international law&quot;</a>&nbsp;and a war crime. It has also called for an independent investigation.</p><p>For his part, President Obama spoke with Doctors Without Borders President Dr. Joanne Liu last week. In a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/07/readout-presidents-call-doctors-without-borders-international-president">statement the White House said</a>, &quot;President Obama expressed regret over the tragic incident and offered his thoughts and prayers on behalf of the American people to the victims, their families, and loved ones.&quot;</p><p>A preliminary report on the incident could be released this week.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/13/448407308/taliban-announces-it-has-withdrawn-from-afghan-city-of-kunduz?ft=nprml&amp;f=448407308" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 13 Oct 2015 16:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/taliban-announces-it-has-withdrawn-afghan-city-kunduz-113325 Worldview: Syrians and Americans name casualties of the Syrian conflict in front of the White House http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-13/worldview-syrians-and-americans-name-casualties-syrian-conflict-front <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/AP871636273174.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="In This April 21, 2014, file photo, provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man holding a girl as he stands on the rubble of houses that were destroyed by Syrian government forces air strikes in Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC, File)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/195724583&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Syrians and Americans gather in front of the White House to remember victims of the Syrian conflict</span></font></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-b61bc9b5-14c6-e918-eecc-362641ea060f">Syrians and Americans have gathered in front of the White House this week to remember the victims of the conflict in Syria as it heads into its fifth year. They are reading the names of the estimated more than 200,000 people who have been killed since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution on March 15, 2011. On Friday they&rsquo;ll be remember the children who have been killed.&nbsp;</span>Lina Sergie Attar is in DC for the event. She joins us to talk about the conflict and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:<a href="https://twitter.com/AmalHanano"><em>&nbsp;</em></a></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/AmalHanano">Lina Sergie Attar</a> is the co-founder of the <a href="https://twitter.com/karamfoundation">Karam Foundation.</a></em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/195725629&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Why won&#39;t the United States adopt the metric system?</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-ce80c653-14c9-63d3-be89-32c5eee31151">Just about every country in the world, apart from the U.S., Liberia and Myanmar, measures temperature in Celcius rather than Fahrenheit and measures length in centimeters and meters rather than inches. The &nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/metric/upload/HR-596-Metric-Law-1866.pdf">Metric Act of 1866</a> legalized the use of the Metric System in the U.S. but, unlike most other countries, the U.S. never went to a mandatory system using Metric. We came close in the 1970&rsquo;s but the legislation didn&rsquo;t go through. Still, industries and consumers in the United States are actually using it all the time. Elizabeth Gentry is the Metric coordinator at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Her office helps facilitate the use of the Metric System of measurement, known today as SI. She explains how it all works.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>Elizabeth Gentry is metric coordinator at NIST, the <a href="https://twitter.com/usnistgov">National Institute of Standards and Technology, a &nbsp;part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.</a></em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/195726634&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Weekend Passport: The Immortal Beloved Flamenco Drama</span></font></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week we&rsquo;ll tell you about a musical performance that combines flamenco with classical music. Soniché drops by to give us a taste of what people can experience in&nbsp;<em>The Immortal Beloved Flamenco Drama</em>&nbsp;, which opens tonight at the Chopin Theatre.</p><p><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></p><p><em>Nari Safavi is one of the co-founders of the <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/default.aspx">PASFARDA Arts &amp; Cultural Exchange</a></em></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgeLepauw">George Lepauw</a> is the founder, president and artistic director of the <a href="http://www.internationalbeethovenproject.com/about/whos-who/">International Beethoven Project</a></em></p><p><em>Soniché are an international flamenco group based in Chicago.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 15:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-13/worldview-syrians-and-americans-name-casualties-syrian-conflict-front Hotel workers protest Hyatt heir's cabinet nomination http://www.wbez.org/news/hotel-workers-protest-hyatt-heirs-cabinet-nomination-107283 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Pritzker Unions.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A picket line stretched for roughly two blocks in front of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in the south Loop. The demonstration was organized by Unite Here, which represents Hyatt Hotel workers.</p><p>Hyatt is a major source of the Pritzker family wealth and Penny Pritzker currently sits on their board. The union says that a Commerce Secretary&#39;s first concern should be good jobs for Americans but that is not what her work with Hyatt demonstrates.</p><p>The union says the workload for housekeepers is unreasonable and results in injuries.</p><p>Lesley Newson was still in her housekeeping uniform when she showed up to the rally.</p><p>&quot;A lot of us sustain back injury, some have neck or shoulder pain,&quot; she said.&nbsp;</p><p>Cathy Youngblood works at a Hyatt in West Hollywood and has been traveling the country speaking out. She is angry that Hyatt has been hiring more temporary workers at minimum wage and without benefits.</p><p>&quot;Hyatt is leading the industry in the race to the bottom,&quot; Youngblood said. &quot;We think Hyatt could do better. We think it&rsquo;s time for Hyatt to change.&quot;</p><p>In a written statement Hyatt said that Unite Here is spreading misinformation in order to get publicity.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h" target="_blank">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Tue, 21 May 2013 07:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/hotel-workers-protest-hyatt-heirs-cabinet-nomination-107283 Deportation protesters use ‘lockboxes,’ slam Durbin http://www.wbez.org/news/deportation-protesters-use-%E2%80%98lockboxes%E2%80%99-slam-durbin-107166 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Stephanie%20Camba%201%20scale.jpg" title="Stephanie Camba, right, and six other unauthorized immigrants on Tuesday block a street near a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Broadview, a suburb of Chicago. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" /></p><p>Police sawed through plastic pipes on Tuesday&nbsp;to pry apart seven protesters at an immigration detention center near Chicago. The protesters, all in the United States without legal permission, demanded a halt to deportations as Congress considers allowing most of the country&rsquo;s 11 million unauthorized immigrants to apply for legal status.</p><p>President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration has increased deportations to roughly 1,100 a day, a record pace. Removals have continued as the Senate Judiciary Committee works on a sweeping immigration bill drafted by a bipartisan group that includes Dick Durbin (D-Illinois). The protesters called on Durbin to push Obama to suspend the removals.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had over a million families separated because of deportations,&rdquo; said protester Stephanie Camba, 22, a Filipina who said her parents brought her to the United States when she was 11 years old. &ldquo;This bill is not enough if it&rsquo;s not going to stop deportations. It should be deportations being stopped first.&rdquo;</p><p>The protesters, backed by about 100 supporters, held each other using chains and locks inside three-foot segments of polyvinyl chloride tubes &mdash; civil-disobedience setups knowns as &ldquo;lockboxes.&rdquo; The protesters sat down in a street to block vehicles from the center, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in suburban Broadview.</p><p>ICE holds immigrants awaiting deportation in the center before loading them into vans and buses that carry them to flights from Chicago&rsquo;s O&rsquo;Hare International Airport.</p><p>A statement from Durbin&rsquo;s office in response to the protest says the senator was &ldquo;instrumental in pushing the administration&rdquo; to allow many young unauthorized immigrants to apply for work papers and a deportation reprieve under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama policy initiated last year.</p><p>Durbin, the statement adds, is also working on the immigration bill as a member of the Senate panel. &ldquo;The hope is that next month the full Senate will begin debate on this common-sense, compromise proposal that will provide millions of immigrants with an accountable path to citizenship,&rdquo; the statement says.</p><p>After police cut through the pipes, Broadview officers arrested the protesters, charged them with disorderly conduct and released them.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 14 May 2013 18:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/deportation-protesters-use-%E2%80%98lockboxes%E2%80%99-slam-durbin-107166 Time for a Chicago murder commission? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/time-chicago-murder-commission-105342 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kernercomission.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><a href="http://www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/archives/exhibit/Centennial/centennial_turmoil.htm" target="_blank"><img alt="National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Carl Albert Center at the University of Oklahoma)" src="http://www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/archives/exhibit/Centennial/WKWB%208/kernercomission.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 137px; float: right;" /></a>CALL FOR A MURDER COMMISSION.&nbsp;</strong><em>Chicago Magazine</em>&#39;s <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/February-2013/Should-the-Government-Respond-to-Chicagos-Murder-Problem-With-a-New-Kerner-Commission/">Whet Moser says Newt Gingrich may be on to something</a> when he calls for hearings on Chicago&#39;s violence. Moser suggests as a model President Johnson&#39;s <strong>National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders</strong>, more popularly known as the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerner_Commission" target="_blank">Kerner Commission</a>&nbsp;--&nbsp;which concluded, among other things, that &quot;<a href="http://www.eisenhowerfoundation.org/docs/kerner.pdf">white racism is essentially responsible for the explosive mixture ... accumulating in our cities since the end of World War II</a>.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://guns.periscopic.com/" target="_blank">Animated graphic</a>&nbsp;shows years of human life&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/02/years-guns-take-away-human-lives/61768/" target="_blank">2010 gun violence claimed in the U.S.</a><br />* Is <a href="http://www.nextnewdeal.net/women-are-less-safe-gayle-trotter%E2%80%99s-world" target="_blank">a society with more guns safer for women</a>?<br />* Mark Konkol: &quot;Dear Fellow Chicagoan: <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130131/chicago-citywide/dear-fellow-chicagoan-you-are-not-snitch" target="_blank">I know you saw the guy who shot and killed Hadiya Pendleton</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>WHEN THE PRESIDENT CAN HAVE YOU KILLED.&nbsp;</strong>NBC News has a copy of <a href="http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf" target="_blank">a secret Justice Department memo</a> that it says concludes &quot;<a href="http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans" target="_blank">the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens ... even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.</a>&quot;<br />* American Civil Liberties Union lawyer: The memo &quot;<a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/justice-departments-white-paper-targeted-killing" target="_blank">manages to underscore ... the recklessness of the government&#39;s central claim</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>THE FAMILY THAT&#39;S PROBED TOGETHER ...&nbsp;</strong>Former&nbsp;Ald. Sandi Jackson is now the target of her very own federal investigation, independent of the investigation until now primarily aimed at her husband, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18014137-761/exclusive-feds-now-investigating-former-ald-sandi-jackson-sources.html" target="_blank">a source tells the&nbsp;<em>Sun-Times</em></a>.<br />* After questions about $44,000,&nbsp;<a href="http://Contact Subscribe E-paper TV Weekly Reader Services Advertise with Us Select a Publication or Site 19°F Mostly Cloudy Good Morning Tuesday, February 5, 2013 Site All Papers YAHOO! Register for free | Login Home Autos Homes Jobs Pets Auto Show Good to Know Daily Splash Cause &amp; Event Year in review: 2012 Politics blog Season Pass Sunday Splash News Sports Business Opinions Lifestyles Columnists Entertainment Travel Ebert Classifieds Sweet Obits Sneed Ald. Beale to file new congressional campaign disclosure report after Sun-Times raises questions BY NATASHA KORECKI Political Reporter Twitter: @natashakorecki February 4, 2013 5:08PM 0 0 Share 6 8 Aldermen Anthony Beale and John Pope at a June Council meeting. Beale's house is smaller than Pope's, but Beale's bill for water and sewer service last year was higher. Updated: February 4, 2013 8:03PM Ald. Anthony Beale’s campaign is blaming a “glitch in the software” for failing to identify the origin of $44,000 in donations to his congressional campaign. Beale’s campaign for the 2nd Congressional District seat will file a new financial disclosure on Tuesday after the Chicago Sun-Times asked questions about $44,000 in donations that weren’t accounted for in filing documents last week. To read the rest of the story, please register for free or, if you already have an account, LOGIN to your account. Tired of new usernames and passwords? Register for free with your social network. 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Special Home Delivery Offer Advertisement Advertise Here STAY CONNECTED Stay Connected with the Chicago Sun-Times SOCIAL ACTIVITY Everyone Friends Me Recent user activity on Chicago Sun-Times: Crissakes : Commented on: Suspect in SEAL Chris Kyle’s murder ‘traded soul for new… less than an hour ago Crissakes : Commented on: Alabama hostage crisis over — child safe, suspect dead -… less than an hour ago Bruce Gold : Commented on: Justin Bieber, amid drug rumors, tweets, ‘don’t believe … less than an hour ago Edgar Leon : Brown: UNO gearing up its own political machine involving charter scho… less than an hour ago Irmaa Kelley : Commented on: EXCLUSIVE: Feds now investigating former Ald. Sandi Jack… less than an hour ago Tee Payne : Commented on: EXCLUSIVE: Feds now investigating former Ald. Sandi Jack… less than an hour ago r v : Commented on: EXCLUSIVE: Feds now investigating former Ald. Sandi Jack… less than an hour ago r v : Commented on: EXCLUSIVE: Feds now investigating former Ald. 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Sandi Jac… an hour ago Anonymous : Commented on: Judge Cynthia Brim found not guilty by reason of insanit… an hour ago Paige Dillon : Commented on: Justin Bieber, amid drug rumors, tweets, ‘don’t believe … an hour ago Advertise Here Ads by Google NW Sub. Divorce Attorney 30 Years Experience 847-705-8000 Free Consultation chicago-familylaw.com MARKETPLACE Autos Homes Jobs Place an Ad Pets Yellow Pages Advertise Here TODAY'S COLUMNS Mark Brown Thomas Conner Dear Abby Sandra Guy Steve Huntley Andy Ihnatko Jesse Jackson Cheryl Lavin Carol Marin Mary Mitchell Terry Savage Michael Sneed The Watchdogs Hedy Weiss You Docs Bill Zwecker FEATURES Crossword Horoscopes Sudoku Lottery Obituaries HS Sports Videos Photos Advertise Here Homes Autos Casinos RENTERS: We have more listings than anyone else Advertise Here" target="_blank">Ald. Beale to file new campaign report</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;I DON&#39;T THINK PEOPLE SEE A PERSON&#39;S HEAD GET COVERED IN FLAMES ... VERY OFTEN.&#39; </strong><a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130204/loop/lyric-opera-fire-blowing-stilt-walker-burns-self-during-wagner-production" target="_blank">A fifth-grader reacts</a> to &quot;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18013593-761/fire-breathing-stilt-walker-severely-burned-at-lyric-opera-rehearsal.html" target="_blank">a carnival trick gone wrong</a>&quot; that sent a fire-breathing stilt walker from the Lyric Opera stage to the hospital.<br />* Photographer: &quot;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-actor-injured-during-lyric-opera-dress-rehearsal-20130204,0,3532451.story" target="_blank">He was staggering across the stage and then fell off his stilts</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>&#39;NOBODY FROM THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE COMPANY WILL EVER HAVE ANY AUTHORITY OVER MY STORIES.&#39;</strong>&nbsp;That&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/202870/greg-sandoval-who-quit-cnet-joins-the-verge/" target="_blank">the assurance reporter Greg Sandoval says he got from&nbsp;<em>The Verge</em></a>, where he&#39;s going to work after quitting CNET over parent company CBS&#39; interference with editorial coverage.<br />* Newspaper owner&nbsp;<a href="http://jimromenesko.com/2013/02/04/newspaper-owner-fires-business-side-staffers-to-boost-editorial/" target="_blank">fires business-side staffers, gives editorial team raises</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/fox-news-monitors-geraldo-as-he-mulls-political-office/" target="_blank">Fox News monitoring Geraldo Rivera</a>&nbsp;as he considers a run for the Senate.</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/04/oreo_super_bowl_blackout_tweet_dazzles_twitter_reveals_low_bar_for_brands.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Oreo's tweet" src="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCOVrUMCIAAdN5J.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; float: right;" /></a>BIG FACEBOOK IS WATCHING.</strong> When you hover over an ad in Facebook, you&#39;ll get <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/facebook-to-tell-users-they-are-being-tracked/" target="_blank">a popup advisory</a> that your online actions are being tracked.<br />* <em>Slate: </em>&quot;<strong><a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/04/oreo_super_bowl_blackout_tweet_dazzles_twitter_reveals_low_bar_for_brands.html" target="_blank">The Half-Decent Oreo Tweet That Dazzled a Nation</a></strong>.&quot;<br />* Twitter may be <a href="http://gigaom.com/2013/02/04/how-social-media-is-becoming-as-important-a-live-event-as-the-live-event-itself/" target="_blank">creating more must-see TV</a>.<br />* New Netflix series &quot;House of Cards&quot; reviewed: &quot;I loved watching it, <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/02/netflix-house-of-cards-marathon/61784/" target="_blank">I&#39;m just not sure I loved <em>how</em> I watched it</a>.&quot;</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong><br />* Thanks for a fun <a href="http://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/130204-morning-shift-seg-c" target="_blank">chat on the radio</a>,&nbsp;Randi Belisomo Hernandez.</em><br /><em>* Get this blog by email. Sign up&nbsp;<a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/time-chicago-murder-commission-105342 Chicago artists help deck the halls at the White House http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-artists-help-deck-halls-white-house-104127 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/whitehouseart.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago artist and designer David Lee Csicsko is known for the whimsical mosaic characters greeting riders at the Belmont &quot;L&quot; station.</p><p>For the White House this year, he designed stained-glass medallions that look like wreaths for the East Corridor and 10-foot-tall white wooden trees for the East Garden.</p><p>A stained-glass rose he designed hangs in the window of the State Dining Room. While decorating the room, staff members took down a famous painting to avoid scratching it.</p><p>&ldquo;So all of the sudden I looked over at the back of the Lincoln portrait, and this rose I had designed was shining brightly on the back of the Lincoln portrait,&quot; Csicsko said. &quot;It was just this incredible connection to artistry and history. It was very, very special.&rdquo;</p><p>Csicsko got the chance to tell First Lady Michelle Obama about all of his designs at the farewell reception.</p><p>&ldquo;One of my friends shouted out that we were from Chicago and I had done the windows,&quot; chuckled Csicsko. &quot;She said she was very excited to show the President and her daughters all of the work on the house.&quot;</p><p>Paper artist Jami Darwin Chiang said seeing her work go from her studio in Chicago to the White House was an amazing experience. Chiang and other artists helped decorate the famed Blue Room Christmas tree with their designs. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;You meet so many people that are from all different parts of the country that literally join forces to transform the White House in five days,&rdquo; Chiang said.</p><p>Cscisko said seeing everyday people working together in rooms where heads of state normally convene was an enlightening experience.</p><p>&ldquo;It just really felt like this was the people&rsquo;s house,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-artists-help-deck-halls-white-house-104127 How to create jobs with really trying http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/how-create-jobs-really-trying-100573 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_wR3LhFlgGo" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Outsourcing is an economic trend so present in the minds of the American people that we made a movie about it. And a TV show. Whether industrial manufacturing or IT call centers, if it&#39;s cheaper to do it in India or Mexico, American CEOs will send it there.&nbsp;</p><p>But if the White House has it their way, outsourcing&#39;s days (much like<a href="http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/05/13/outsourced-cancelled-by-nbc/92523/"> NBC&#39;s <em>Outsourced </em>days</a>) will soon be over. Earlier this year, President Obama made insourcing &ndash; the economic trend in which American companies return their business to American soil &ndash; an official initiative, holding a business leaders&#39; forum to talk about what kind of incentives would convince them to move the production side of business back.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/insourcing%20AP.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; " title="President Obama shakes hands with Tim Bryan, center, chairman and CEO of Galax.e Solutions, during a forum on ‘Insourcing American Jobs’ in January. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)" />One of those business leaders was Tim Bryan, CEO of Galax.e Solutions, a software company. Bryan swears by worker proximity, and says the work his company does is just too complicated to allow management and employees to be separated by thousands of miles anymore. GalaxE opened its new office in Detroit where, to ensure there are enough skilled workers to fill it, Bryan partners with local community colleges to provide training programs.</p><p>Bryan says the sucess he&#39;s had in Detroit could be recreated anywhere in the country, but Don Kettl, Dean of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, is skeptical. Jobs are definitely returning, Kettl says, but not in the numbers that they left. He predicts the change to come will involve a small number of new jobs for more skilled workers at higher pay, and that we need to focus on retraining programs like the one Bryan set up in Detroit.&nbsp;</p><p>Election season is heating up and we&#39;ve already heard President Obama hit Romney on his history at Bain Capital.&nbsp;&ldquo;Gov.&nbsp;Romney&rsquo;s commitment to outsourcing is not just part of his record, its part of an overwhelming economic vision,&rdquo; Mr. Obama said at a rally in New Hampshire last week, reported the <em><a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/25/obama-doubles-down-on-bain-attacks/">Washington Times</a>.&nbsp;</em>This growing theme of the Obama campaign suggets we&#39;ll hear more about insourcing before November rolls around. Monday on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, we talk with Brian Deese,&nbsp;special assistant to the president on economic policy, about how the White House plans to encourage this so-called trend. Call 312.923.9239 with questions.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 02 Jul 2012 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/how-create-jobs-really-trying-100573 Bill Daley to step down as White House chief of staff after 2012 election http://www.wbez.org/story/bill-daley-step-down-white-house-chief-staff-after-2012-election-93064 <p><p>CHICAGO — White House chief of staff Bill Daley says he'll return to Chicago after the 2012 election.</p><p><a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Raw_Video__One-On-One_With_Bill_Daley_Chicago-131475648.html">Daley tells WMAQ-TV in Chicago </a>he has committed to stay with President Barack Obama in Washington "through his re-election" and "then my wife and I will be back in Chicago." Obama chose Daley to be his White House chief of staff in January. Daley replaced Pete Rouse, who was interim chief of staff and did not want the position permanently. Rouse replaced Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>Bill Daley's brother, Richard M. Daley, is Chicago's former mayor. The Daley brothers are sons of Richard J. Daley, who was Chicago's mayor from 1955 to his death in 1976.</p><p>Bill Daley served as commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton and ran Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.</p></p> Tue, 11 Oct 2011 21:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bill-daley-step-down-white-house-chief-staff-after-2012-election-93064 Axelrod: Emanuel was 'never' close to being fired by President Obama http://www.wbez.org/story/axelrod-emanuel-was-never-close-being-fired-president-obama-92349 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-23/Axelrod Obama Emanuel - AP Charles Dharapak.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A new book claims President Barack Obama was close to firing Rahm Emanuel before his chief of staff left to run for Chicago mayor. But the president's top strategist says the book is littered with fiction.</p><p>Ron Suskind's <em>Confidence Men</em> quotes an unnamed source saying Emanuel "would have been fired" if he hadn't moved back to Chicago when former Mayor Richard Daley announced his retirement.</p><p>Obama strategist David Axelrod - now back in Chicago - was in the White House at the time, and says Emanuel was "never" close to losing his job.</p><p>Axelrod says Emanuel provided strong leadership in the White House, and the president appreciated that.</p><p>"Rahm was a enormously positive force in the White House and much of what we accomplished, particularly in those early days when we were teetering on the brink of a depression, was absolutely pivotal. And the president recognized that," Axelrod said.</p><p>"Rahm provided strong leadership in the White House and that was well appreciated by the president," Axelrod said.</p><p>A spokeswoman for Emanuel declined to comment.</p><p>Suskind also describes the White House headed by Emanuel as a "boys' club," in which women had little power. Axelrod dismisses the suggestion.</p><p>"I'm not going to comment on docu-dramas," he said. "The fact is that there were so many just flat-out errors of fact in that book that reflect the overall, which is that it's just not an accurate picture."</p><p>That's a characterization also made by a White House spokesman. The author is standing by his book.</p><p>Axelrod made his comments to reporters on Thursday in Chicago, after headlining a fundraiser for congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth is running for the Democratic nomination in Illinois' 8th congressional district, against Raja Krishnamoorthi.</p><p>Axelrod said his endorsement for Duckworth does not mean the president will follow suit.</p><p>"No, I don't expect [he will get involved]," Axelrod said. "He doesn't involve himself in primary campaigns, and these are two friends of his, but obviously - you know, he appointed Tammy to a leadership position in his administration, so he has a high regard for her."</p><p>Duckworth, who won the Purple Heart for her service in Iraq, was an assistant secretary in the federal Department of Veterans Affairs under Mr. Obama.</p><p>The president also has ties to Krishnamoorthi, who advised Mr. Obama during both his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, and the 2008 presidential election.</p></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 20:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/axelrod-emanuel-was-never-close-being-fired-president-obama-92349