WBEZ | congress http://www.wbez.org/tags/congress Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: An American art form in Paris http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-05/morning-shift-american-art-form-paris-110133 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Jazz photo for 5-5 Flickr pedrosimoes7.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We mark Teacher Appreciate Week with NEA head Dennis Van Roekel. We take a look at the race for Congress in the 10th Congressional District which includes an attempt at a comeback. And, we celebrate jazz in Paris.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-an-american-art-form-in-paris/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-an-american-art-form-in-paris.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-an-american-art-form-in-paris" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: An American art form in Paris" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 05 May 2014 10:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-05/morning-shift-american-art-form-paris-110133 Morning Shift: Black vocal techniques http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-19/morning-shift-black-vocal-techniques-108712 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Microphone Flickr pictureorpictures.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk about non-partisan group &quot;No Labels&quot; and how they are looking to bridge the gap between democrats and republicans. Also, Richard Steele and Tony play some tunes and discuss black vocal techniques.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-68/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-68.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-68" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Black vocal techniques" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 08:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-19/morning-shift-black-vocal-techniques-108712 Morning Shift: Reinterpreting Beethoven's compositions http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-09/morning-shift-reinterpreting-beethovens-compositions <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Piano 2 - Flickr- Cameron.T.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Beethoven has been an inspiration for musicians from many genres. A festival taking place in Chicago this week features the famous composer&#39;s work re-imagined and re-purposed. We hear some of those interpretations.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-60/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-60.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-60" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Reinterpreting Beethoven's compositions" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 08:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-09/morning-shift-reinterpreting-beethovens-compositions Where was Rep. Aaron Schock at 25? http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rep-aaron-schock-25-107295 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP080205045166.jpg" style="float: right; height: 278px; width: 350px;" title="Rep. Aaron Schock in 2008. (AP/File)" />At 31, (soon-to-turn 32 in late May), Congressman Aaron Schock is the youngest participant of the Year 25 series.</p><p>It&rsquo;s a designation he&rsquo;s pretty used to. He was once the youngest Illinois state representative and school board president&mdash;at the same time.</p><p>At 25, Schock lived in an old house that was supposed to be condemned by the city of Peoria, Illinois.</p><p>But Schock bought it and flipped it himself when he finished college.</p><p>He was also a few years into his stint as an Illinois state rep, but that was only a part-time gig. Most of his days were spent in the private sector, working in real estate.</p><p>Schock says he had no idea as a 25-year-old that he&rsquo;d live most of his days in Washington as a federal lawmaker. But as he told WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian, he&rsquo;s pleased with how things have turned out so far.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is&rsquo; WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p><p><strong>More from this series</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25-0/year-25-dan-savage-105358" target="_blank">Dan Savage</a>&nbsp;|&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-senator-dick-durbin-25-107104" target="_blank">Sen. Dick Durbin</a>&nbsp;|&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rick-bayless-25-106967" target="_blank">Rick Bayless</a></p></p> Tue, 21 May 2013 15:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rep-aaron-schock-25-107295 Where was Rep. Tammy Duckworth at 25? http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rep-tammy-duckworth-25-107159 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/duck.png" alt="" /><p><p>At 25, U.S. representative <a href="http://duckworth.house.gov/" target="_blank">Tammy Duckworth</a> was just beginning her career as a helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard - a bit sooner than she originally expected.</p><p>Usually, she says, it was about a&nbsp; year-long wait before you could get into flight school.</p><p>But when she got the call in 1993 that a spot was open last minute at Fort Rucker, Alabama, she packed up her bags and left Chicago, reporting to duty just three days later.</p><p>That is, after a quick stop to the Justice of the Peace to marry her then-boyfriend.</p><p>&ldquo;I did not want to go to flight school and do something that dangerous and my husband not have rights in case I was injured or wounded or hurt,&rdquo; Duckworth said.</p><p>They had a full wedding ceremony later that summer.</p><p>So off she went, incredibly focused on becoming a helicopter pilot and not at all thinking about the office on Capitol Hill she sits in now.</p><p>The Illinois Congresswoman sat down with WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian in Washington, D.C., to tell the story of 25-year-old Tammy Duckworth.</p><p>She reflects on what flight school was like, some of her favorite memories from that year and how it got her where she is today.</p><p>&ldquo;I thought I would be commanding an assault helicopter battalion,&rdquo; Duckworth said. &ldquo;I have, you know a little ache in my heart when I think of my peers who are now at that point and I&rsquo;m not. But this is a pretty good gig I have now, too.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer and Reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p><p><object height="300" width="400"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2F&amp;set_id=72157633495888176&amp;jump_to=" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2F&amp;set_id=72157633495888176&amp;jump_to=" height="300" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400"></embed></object></p></p> Tue, 14 May 2013 13:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rep-tammy-duckworth-25-107159 Where was Senator Dick Durbin at 25? http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-senator-dick-durbin-25-107104 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/durbin mid 30s (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At 68 years old, Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin is one of the most powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill. First elected to the Senate in 1996, Durbin now serves as the Assistant Majority Leader, the second highest ranking position in the Senate.</p><p>His memories of being 25, however, might be classified as his more humble beginnings.</p><p>Durbin was a young father and husband&mdash;he had one young daughter, with another baby on the way. He was graduating from Georgetown Law School and had just accepted a job offer in then Lt. Governor Paul Simon&rsquo;s office in Springfield.</p><p>And, as he&rsquo;ll tell you himself, he had hardly any money to his name.</p><p>&ldquo;I skipped my graduation ceremony,&rdquo; Durbin recalls. &ldquo;I needed to get on to payroll and get a paycheck so fast that I just skipped it and said send me the diploma in the mail.&rdquo;</p><p>So, he packed up a U-Haul truck with his few belongings and his Newfoundland dog (the dog&#39;s full name, for the record, was Johann Sebastian Black. Durbin says they called him Bassy, for short. He didn&rsquo;t explain further.) and headed across the country to Springfield. His brother followed the U-Haul in Durbin&rsquo;s old Volkswagon.</p><p>Durbin says he spent his last dime putting his wife and baby on a plane, so he spent the nights of this road trip in the back of the U-Haul with his brother and Bassy.</p><p>He thinks even the people who know him well now would be pretty surprised to hear how poor he was when he was 25.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ&rsquo;s morning producer and reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 09 May 2013 14:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-senator-dick-durbin-25-107104 With FAA, Democrats lose the sequester battle http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-04/faa-democrats-lose-sequester-battle-106870 <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/RS7216_AP118705097809-scr.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Sequester cuts caused travel delays at airports across the country before Friday's congressional votes. (AP/File)" /></div><p>Not that Democrats have ever been particularly good negotiators, but it&rsquo;s possible President Barack Obama&rsquo;s namby pamby adjudicating may have rubbed off on them, to bad effect.</p><p>Just last Friday, finally given a chance to show their courage in the sequester battle, the Democrats blinked &mdash; hard. by agreeing to a bill that allows the Federal Aviation Administration to bypass, at least for now, sequester-mandated cuts, the Democrats actually agreed to a strategy that basically hands the budget battle victory to the Republicans.</p><p>Do you remember the sequester? It was supposed to be so damn bad both sides in Washington were going to be forced back to the negotiating table, bipartisanship would have no choice but to emerge from the bitter pill of automatic cuts to the federal budget, without regard to need or politics: Head Start, the military &mdash; every favorite program was going to be guillotined.</p><p>When the Republicans didn&rsquo;t fall for that and allowed the sequester to go into effect, the White House &mdash; which unconvincingly disavows the sequester as its idea &mdash; went on a campaign to warn about the hardships the cuts would cause. Things were going to get so bad, we were all going to be really sorry. And, in fact, things were going to get so terribly bad, the people would rise up and blame the GOP and then the Dems would have the upper hand and things would get fixed, probably.</p><p>There&rsquo;s still a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/sequester" target="_blank">White House page</a> with many dire warnings such as this: &ldquo;Harmful automatic budget cuts &mdash; known as the sequester &mdash; threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform. These cuts will make it harder to grow our economy and create jobs by affecting our ability to invest in important priorities like education, research and innovation, public safety, and military readiness.&rdquo;</p><p>Except it hasn&rsquo;t happened that way. Not that the sequester isn&rsquo;t slicing and dicing: It is. But the very nature of the cuts means the pain is being administered slowly, over a huge swath of programs, and most people haven&rsquo;t seen a big change in their lives post-sequester.</p><p>Still, the damage is real. In Illinois alone, the <a href="http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/politics/sequester-cuts-illinois/309/" target="_blank">sequester affects</a> funding for teachers, funding for special education for kids with disabilities, work study jobs, Head Start programs, child care, vaccines, nutrition programs for seniors, mental health programs, cuts to the FBI, emergency responders, veteran services, senior meals, housing voucher programs, AIDS and HIV services and many more programs.</p><p>So you&rsquo;d think once the cuts actually started to squeeze people in a noticeable way &mdash; like say, hours long delays at the nation&rsquo;s airports because of furloughed air traffic controllers &mdash; that the Dems would turn around and say, &ldquo;See? This is what we mean. And it&rsquo;s going to get worse.&rdquo;</p><p>And then, you know, maybe the Republicans would at least have to explain their position.</p><p>But no. In fact, not at all. The Democrats completed caved. The <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/national_world&amp;id=9079898" target="_blank">vote wasn&rsquo;t even close</a>: unanimous in the Senate and 361 to 41 in the House.</p><p>The Dems agreed to a Republican bill that allows the FAA to shift funds to keep air traffic controllers working, and to keep travelers from being inconvenienced. And in doing so, the Democrats have given the GOP a blueprint on how to get around any other cuts to favored programs they&rsquo;d like to alleviate.</p><p>In other words, the Democrats have given away whatever leverage they might have had had &mdash; especially because Obama has agreed to sign this bill, as is his wont, without concessions (like, say, Head Start in exchange for the air traffic controllers).</p><p>Let me be even clearer: The Republicans have figured out how to save programs important to their relatively privileged constituencies. The Democrats have completely sold their constituencies &mdash; especially the poor, young people, and women &mdash; down the river.</p><p>Obama and the Democrats are back out there now <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/congress-sends-obama-bill-to-end-delays/2013/04/26/27f94706-ae81-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html" target="_blank">talking</a> about ending the sequester, how it&rsquo;s unfair to this and that program, and that the Republicans need to come back to the negotiating table. But why would be the GOP ever do that?</p><p>The Republicans are enjoying the sequester. It is, after all, what they wanted: cuts to government programs. Sure, they would have preferred more say in what to cut, what to preserve. But in the long run &mdash; in terms of goals &mdash; the sequester, which both parties signed on to as a strategy, is actually doing what the Republicans &mdash; and only the Republicans &mdash; wanted.</p></p> Sun, 28 Apr 2013 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-04/faa-democrats-lose-sequester-battle-106870 Congratulations, Mayor... um... Bloomberg http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/congratulations-mayor-um-bloomberg-105778 <p><p><a href="online.wsj.com/article/AP6eb7df0373e54f7ebd3cdbbae9844eda.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Mayor Bloomberg in 2009, by Boss Tweed, on Flickr" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bloomberg.jpg" style="height: 170px; width: 256px; float: right;" title="Mayor Bloomberg, by Boss Tweed, on Flickr (2009)" /></a><strong>WELCOME TO CHICAGO, NEW YORK&#39;S 6TH BOROUGH.</strong> The woman most likely to replace Jesse Jackson Jr., representing Chicago&#39;s South Side in Congress, is <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-2nd-congressional-district-jackson-20130226,0,4718425.story" target="_blank">State Rep. Robin Kelly</a> -- the winner of yesterday&#39;s Democratic primary and&nbsp;<a href="http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/27/17114921-bloomberg-scores-victory-on-guns-in-illinois-race" target="_blank">the choice of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg</a>, whose political fund <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/brown/18500540-452/brown-new-york-mayor-michael-bloomberg-put-robin-kelly-top-of-the-heap.html" target="_blank">spent millions to help her win</a>.<br />* <em>The Nation: </em>Defeated candidate Halvorsen &quot;<a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/173110/voters-send-loud-anti-nra-message" target="_blank">undone by her association with the NRA</a>.&quot;<br />* <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-sources-jesse-jackson-jr-memoir-20130226,0,789819.story" target="_blank">Jackson Jr. reportedly writing memoir</a> to &quot;clear up his legacy.&quot;<br />* Democratic congressman <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/02/rep-keith-ellison-explodes-on-fox-news-host-sean-hannity-157971.html" target="_blank">goes medieval on Fox News&#39; Sean Hannity</a>.</p><div><strong>&#39;BANNING CONCEALED-CARRY ON PUBLIC BUSES AND TRAINS ... BASICALLY MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR A PERSON WITHOUT A CAR TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT OF SELF DEFENSE WITH A FIREARM.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>The <em>Tribune</em>&#39;s Eric Zorn: &quot;I get why so many folks don&#39;t want more guns on trains (I say more because there surely are already quite a few guns on trains), <a href="http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/" target="_blank">but ...</a>&quot;<br />* Illinois House OKs <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/carousel/x930805405/Republicans-delay-Illinois-House-hearing-on-firearms-bill" target="_blank">limits on right to carry concealed weapons</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>PAPER! HEY, GET YER PAPER!</strong> Tribune Co. is exploring <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tribune-newspapers-20130227,0,3990940.story" target="_blank">the possibility of selling its newspapers</a> -- including the one from which it gets its name.<br />* North Carolina newspaper editor who received threats after requesting gun-permit information on county residents&nbsp;<a href="http://jimromenesko.com/2013/02/26/editor-who-made-request-resigns/" target="_blank">is quitting</a>.<br />* Universities of Missouri and Nebraska are teaching journalism students <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/02/26/two-universities-operate-drones-and-teach-journalism-students-how-to-use-them" target="_blank">how to operate drones</a>.<br />* How many recent college grads are <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/heres-exactly-how-many-college-graduates-live-back-at-home/273529/" target="_blank">really living back with their parents</a>?</div><hr /><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:22px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif;"><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);"><em>Get this blog by email, free.&nbsp;</em></span><a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);">Sign up here</span></a><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);">.</span></span></span></p><hr /><p><iframe align="right" frameborder="0" height="144" scrolling="no" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:cms:video:colbertnation.com:424180" width="256"></iframe></p><div><strong>INCOMING.</strong> A newly spotted comet may&nbsp;<a href="http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/26/17107085-comet-just-might-hit-mars-in-2014" target="_blank">slam into Mars next year</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/02/25/asteroid-apocalypse-why-scientists-worry-about-2036-planet-buster.html" target="_blank">&quot;Nation buster&quot; asteroid</a>&nbsp;could clobber this planet in 2036.<br />* <strong>Stephen Colbert: </strong>&quot;<a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/424180/february-26-2013/michio-kaku" target="_blank">Can we <em>lubricate</em> the earth in any way?</a>&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>WANT MORE TWITTER FOLLOWERS?</strong> <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/205411/science-reveals-what-really-increases-twitter-followers/" target="_blank">Georgia Institute of Technology researchers</a> who analyzed the reactions to half a million tweets say one key is to follow the &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wui-PNqJrxs" target="_blank">Rule of Thumper</a>.&quot; They conclude: &quot;<a href="http://comp.social.gatech.edu/papers/follow_chi13_final.pdf" target="_blank">Expressing negative sentiments in tweets is the second most harmful factor to growing a Twitter audience</a>.&quot;<br />* Is Twitter <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323384604578328303487784818.html" target="_blank">worth $10 billion</a>?</div><p><img alt="Artwork from DC Comics" src="http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/topstories/2013/02/26/hi-852-robin-rip.jpg" style="width: 256px; height: 144px; float: right;" /></p><p><strong>RED, RED ROBIN.</strong>&nbsp;History repeats itself this week:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2013/02/26/robin-killed.html" target="_blank"><strong>Robin, the Boy Wonder</strong>, will die</a>&nbsp;in the pages of Batman comics.<br />* TV&#39;s Robin, Burt Ward: &quot;<a href="http://www.tmz.com/2013/02/27/batman-robin-killed-burt-ward/" target="_blank">It&rsquo;s a terrible choice</a>.&quot;<br />* 8 ways <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/240595/8-absolutely-ridiculous-ways-comic-book-characters-have-been-brought-back-from-the-dead" target="_blank">comics characters have come back from the dead</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/fantastic-four-seth-grahame-smith-424697" target="_blank">&quot;Fantastic Four&quot; set for movie reboot</a>&nbsp;with script polished by author of&nbsp;<em>Pride and Predjudice and Zombies</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter</em>.<br />* University of Connecticut Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences (an expatriate Chicagoan) on &quot;Downton Abbey&quot;: &quot;<a href="http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/02/down-with-the-abbey/" target="_blank">The plot makes it unwatchable</a>.&quot;</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong></em><br /><em>* Suggestions for this blog?&nbsp;<a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff">Email anytime</a>.</em><br /><em>* Follow us on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* Looking for the most recent WBEZ Meyerson News Quiz? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/news-quiz" target="_blank">Here you go</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/congratulations-mayor-um-bloomberg-105778 Campaign surprise in race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/campaign-surprise-race-replace-jesse-jackson-jr-105577 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Congress.jpg" style="float: right; height: 139px; width: 300px;" title="House of Representatives Building and the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol -- Washington (DC) January 2013 by Ron Cogswell, on Flickr" /><strong>&#39;NINE DAYS LEFT? WHY WOULD YOU GET OUT?&#39;&nbsp;</strong>One of the candidates in the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress questions why&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18295433-761/opponents-raise-questions-after-hutchinson-bows-out-backs-kelly-in-2nd-district-race.html" target="_blank">a rival has suddenly dropp</a><a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18295433-761/opponents-raise-questions-after-hutchinson-bows-out-backs-kelly-in-2nd-district-race.html" target="_blank">ed out</a>&nbsp;and tossed her support to yet another candidate.<br />* Gov. Quinn on NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg&#39;s financial interest in the election: &quot;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18294363-761/quinn-dont-allow-anyone-with-huge-amounts-of-money-to-dictate-race.html" target="_blank">We should not allow anyone </a><a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18294363-761/quinn-dont-allow-anyone-with-huge-amounts-of-money-to-dictate-race.html" target="_blank">with huge amounts of money to dictate the terms of the political debate</a>.&quot;</p><div><strong>&#39;THERE&rsquo;S PLENTY OF ROOM UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT FOR GUN CONTROL.&#39; </strong>A&nbsp;UCLA law prof says the Constitution provides <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/17/the-second-amendment-is-all-for-gun-control.html?account=thedailybeast&amp;medium=twitter" target="_blank">a roadmap to gun regulation</a>.</div><div>* &quot;The argument that armed civilians are just as capable as law enforcement at stopping crime is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/walker-bragman/nra-guns-fear_b_2703118.html" target="_blank">essentially the same as saying &#39;police don&#39;t need training</a>.&#39;&quot; -- <em>Huffington Pos</em>t&#39;s Walker Bragman.</div><div>* At least <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18298218-761/two-chicago-high-school-students-slain-in-separate-shootings.html" target="_blank">two Chicago high school students gunned down</a> Saturday and Sunday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>METEORITE HUNT.&nbsp;</strong>The search is under way for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21494963" target="_blank">more fragments of the meteorite blamed for 1,200 injuries and millions of dollars in damage in Russia</a>.<br />* Why one of the world&#39;s only full-time meteorite hunters&nbsp;<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130215-meteorite-hunter-russian-moon-interstellar-rocks-space-meteor-asteroid/" target="_blank">probably isn&#39;t going</a>.<br />* Astronaut on Reddit: &quot;To think of that&nbsp;<a href="http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2013/02/18/iss-astronaut-chris-hadfields-reddit-ama-is-out-of-this-world/" target="_blank">hypersonic dumb lump of rock randomly hurtling into us</a>&nbsp;... sent a shiver up my back.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<em>Borowitz Report</em>&nbsp;satire: &quot;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/02/house-science-committee-questions-existence-of-meteors.html?mobify=0" target="_blank">House Science Committee Questions Existence of Meteors</a>.&quot;</div><div><p><iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="169" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WkmPDOq2WfA" width="300"></iframe></p><p><strong>COOL VIDEO OF THE DAY.&nbsp;</strong>&quot;Mathemusician&quot; <strong>Vi Hart</strong>&nbsp;uses&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671873/watch-space-time-explained-with-a-music-box-and-m-bius-strip" target="_blank">a music box and a Möbius strip to explain space-time theory</a>.<br />* How would&nbsp;<a href="http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/searle20130217" target="_blank">discovery of life on another planet affect traditional religion</a>?</p><p><strong>OBAMA + TIGER WOODS.</strong>&nbsp;They golfed this weekend, but&nbsp;<a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/17/high-profile-but-out-of-sight-obamas-golf-outing-with-tiger-woods/" target="_blank">out of the public eye</a>.<br />* White House reporters complain about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/17/the-press-is-peeved-at-the-golfing-president.html" target="_blank">lack of access</a>.<br />* Historic&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/lbj-orders-pants-a-rediscovere.html" target="_blank">audio of President Johnson ordering pants -- <strike>newly</strike> animated</a>.</p><p><strong>CUBS + CH. 9: SPLITSVILLE?</strong>&nbsp;A relationship that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-ricketts-2013-20130217,0,5071485.story" target="_blank">dates back to 1948</a>&nbsp;may end.<br />* Cubs boss: &quot;On a mission&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18297317-761/cubs-chairman-tom-ricketts-addresses-franchise-issues-night-games-off-the-table.html" target="_blank">to be the best organization in baseball</a>.&quot;<br />* Cubs players pull&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-sveum--20130217,0,7418259.story" target="_blank">practical joke on manager</a>.<br />* Boxers Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield reunite --&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/celebrity/aboutlastnight/ct-ent-0218-luis-20130217,0,3451380.story" target="_blank">at a Jewel-Osco supermarket in Chicago</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<em>The Onion:&nbsp;</em>&quot;<a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/michael-jordan-celebrates-50th-birthday-with-last,31332/" target="_blank">Michael Jordan Celebrates 50th Birthday With Last People He Hasn&#39;t Completely Alienated Yet</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>PUBLIC RADIO APP.&nbsp;</strong>The new version lets you&nbsp;<a href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/02/public-radio-basecamp-kickstarter-tempo-ios-apps-to-try-this-weekend/" target="_blank">listen to WBEZ and hundreds of other local stations around the country</a>&nbsp;-- and download show episodes to hear later. Ars Technica puts it first four iPhone apps to try this week.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mediaite.com/tv/jeff-jarvis-tears-into-bbc-for-coverage-of-facebook-hack-youre-inciting-technopanic-with-irresponsible-crap/" target="_blank">Journalism prof lays into BBC</a>&nbsp;for &quot;irresponsible&quot; coverage of Facebook hack.</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong></em><br /><em>* Suggestions for this blog?&nbsp;<a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff">Email anytime</a>.<br />* Get this blog by email, free. <a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank">Sign up here</a>.</em><br /><em>* Follow us on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* Looking for the most recent <strong>WBEZ Meyerson News Quiz</strong>? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/are-you-news-quiz-whiz-105548" target="_blank">Here you go</a>.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/campaign-surprise-race-replace-jesse-jackson-jr-105577 Congress OKs cliff deal, signaling future fights http://www.wbez.org/news/congress-oks-cliff-deal-signaling-future-fights-104648 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP197551220602.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Congress&#39; excruciating, extraordinary New Year&#39;s Day approval of a compromise averting a prolonged tumble off the fiscal cliff hands President Barack Obama most of the tax boosts on the rich that he campaigned on. It also prevents House Republicans from facing blame for blocking tax cuts for most American households, though most GOP lawmakers parted ways with Speaker John Boehner and opposed the measure.</p><p>Passage also lays the groundwork for future battles between the two sides over federal spending and debt.</p><p>Capping a holiday season political spectacle that featured enough high and low notes for a Broadway musical, the GOP-run House voted final approval for the measure by 257-167 late Tuesday. That came after the Democratic-led Senate used a wee-hours 89-8 roll call to assent to the bill, belying the partisan brinkmanship that colored much of the path to the final deal.</p><p>&quot;A central promise of my campaign for president was to change the tax code that was too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of working middle-class Americans,&quot; Obama said at the White House before flying to Hawaii to resume his holiday break. &quot;Tonight we&#39;ve done that.&quot;</p><p>The bill would boost the top 35 percent income tax rate to 39.6 percent for incomes exceeding $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, while continuing decade-old income tax cuts for everyone else. In his re-election campaign last year Obama had vowed to boost rates on earnings at somewhat lower levels &mdash; $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families.</p><p>Scores of GOP lawmakers voted for the measure, reversing a quarter-century of solid Republican opposition to boosting any tax rates at all.</p><p>The bill would also raise taxes top earners pay on dividends, capital gains and inherited estates; permanently stop the alternative minimum tax from raising levies on millions of middle-income families; extend expiring jobless benefits; prevent cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors; and delay for two months billions in budget-wide cuts in defense and domestic programs slated for this year.</p><p>Both sides lamented their failure to reach a significant deficit-cutting agreement. But neither much mentioned another omission: The immediate expiration of a two-year, 2-percentage-point cut in the Social Security payroll tax.</p><p>That break, which put an extra $1,000 in the wallets of typical families earning $50,000 a year, was an Obama priority two years ago as a way to boost consumer spending and spark the flagging economy, but it fell victim this time to other priorities.</p><p>House Democrats voted by an overwhelming 172-16 for the agreement, which was crafted over the weekend by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Vice President Joe Biden.</p><p>But Republicans tilted against it 151-85. It is rare for leaders to bring a bill to the House floor that will be opposed by most lawmakers from their own party, and the decision underscored the pressure GOP leaders felt to approve the legislation.</p><p>Boehner, R-Ohio, took no public stance on the measure before the vote. But he guided the compromise to the House floor after an unsuccessful attempt by many conservatives to persuade leaders to add spending cuts to the bill.</p><p>Had the House inserted those budget cuts and the Senate refused to consider them, the legislation could have died. That left House Republicans worried that voters might blame them for a huge, sweeping tax increase and for any swoon the nation&#39;s financial markets might take when they reopened Wednesday.</p><p>&quot;You can be right and you can be dead right. Which is it?&quot; said Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Fla., of the quandary Republicans faced. &quot;Right now you need to take the tax issue off the table&quot; and move on to a focus on curbing spending, he said.</p><p>Boehner voted for the bill, an unusual step because speakers seldom vote, and he was joined by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the GOP&#39;s vice presidential candidate last fall. Voting &quot;no&quot; were the other two top GOP leaders, Reps. Eric Cantor of Virginia and Kevin McCarthy of California.</p><p>Passage came nearly 24 hours after a decade&#39;s worth of tax cuts enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans expired with the stroke of the new year, technically raising taxes by more than $500 billion in 2013 alone.</p><p>Those tax increases &mdash; plus $109 billion in defense and domestic spending cuts that were to be automatically triggered Wednesday &mdash; became known as the fiscal cliff. Economists warned that their combined impact would hurl the economy back into recession, but Obama&#39;s signature on the bill would prevent the &quot;cliff&quot; from taking hold.</p><p>Obama can sign the bill remotely using a machine called an &quot;autopen,&quot; or the bill can be flown to Hawaii for his signature.</p><p>Overall, the legislation would add nearly $4 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade compared with what would have happened had all the tax cuts expired, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m embarrassed for this generation. Future generations deserve better,&quot; complained one foe, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.</p><p>The agreement&#39;s journey to passage was a tortured one. It included negotiations between Obama and Boehner on a larger, deficit-cutting deal that collapsed, and a failed effort by the speaker to drum up enough GOP votes to pass a &quot;Plan B&quot; that would have limited tax boosts to incomes exceeding $1 million.</p><p>It took weekend talks between McConnell and Biden, former Senate colleagues, to craft the more modest package that focused on averting the worst impacts of the fiscal cliff while postponing any deficit reduction efforts to coming months.</p><p>Those first showdowns will come over the next three months, when the government&#39;s legal ability to borrow money will expire and temporary financing for federal agency budgets will expire. Republicans have already said that, as they did in 2011, they will demand spending cuts as a condition for extending the debt ceiling.</p><p>&quot;Now the focus turns to spending&quot; and overhauling the tax code, Boehner said in a written statement after the vote. He said the GOP will fight for &quot;significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt,&quot; a reference to costly benefit programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.</p><p>Spending cuts are &quot;going to be a component of every single battle we have&quot; in the new Congress, conservative GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee told CNN on Wednesday.</p><p>Obama, in his White House remarks, said that while he was open to compromise, he would demand deficit-cutting savings from added revenue on the well-off, not just spending cuts.</p><p>He also pointedly said he would &quot;not have another debate with this Congress&quot; over extending the federal borrowing limit.</p><p>&quot;If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic &mdash; far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff,&quot; he said.</p><p>Though its focus was on taxes, the measure approved Tuesday would prevent a potential doubling of milk prices and prevent a $900 salary increase for members of Congress in March. Its extension of jobless benefits would help 2 million people out of work at least six months, and it would prevent a 27 percent cut in reimbursements doctors get for treating Medicare patients.</p><p>Weighing in with criticism of the compromise were the chief authors of an influential bipartisan deficit-cutting proposal, former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton. They called the measure &quot;truly a missed opportunity to do something big to reduce our long term fiscal problems.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 02 Jan 2013 10:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/congress-oks-cliff-deal-signaling-future-fights-104648