WBEZ | The Obama White House http://www.wbez.org/series/obama-white-house Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Goolsbee to leave White House, return to University of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/goolsbee-leave-white-house-return-university-chicago-87511 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-07/Austan Goolsbee_Getty_Chip Somodevilla.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Austan Goolsbee, a longtime advisor to President Barack Obama, will resign his post as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors this summer to return to teaching at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the White House announced Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p>Goolsbee has been the face of the White House on economic news, and is a regular every first Friday of the month explaining the administration's take on the latest jobless numbers.</p><p>Those numbers hit a disappointing eight month low in May, when the Labor Department reported only 54-thousand jobs were created during the month.&nbsp; The also unemployment rate inched up to 9.1 percent.</p><p>The job market plus slower overall growth, falling home prices and rising oil prices have increased worries that the economy may be headed for a double-dip recession.&nbsp;</p><p>“Since I first ran for the U.S. Senate, Austan has been a close friend and one of my most trusted advisers,” said President Barack Obama in a written statement announcing the departure.&nbsp; “Over the past several years, he has helped steer our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and although there is still much work ahead, his insights and counsel have helped lead us toward an economy that is growing and creating millions of jobs."</p><p>Obama also called Goolsbee one of "America's great economic thinkers."</p><p>Goolsbee has served on the three-member economic council since the start of the administration. He took over last September as council chairman, replacing Christina Romer, who left to return to a teaching position at the University of California, Berkley.</p><p>Goolsbee advised Obama during his 2004 Senate race and was senior economic policy adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign.&nbsp; He's been on leave from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, where he taught for fourteen years, including courses on microeconomics, public policy, and the new economy.&nbsp;</p><p>"I am a data hound and so I usually end up working on whatever things I can find good data on," said Goolsbee in his official biography as the university's Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics. "The rise of Internet commerce completely altered the amount of information you could gather on company behavior so I naturally drifted toward it."</p><p>Business Week magazine twice listed him as an "outstanding faculty member" in its biennial guide to the best business schools.</p><p>The White House says Goolsbee's departure is timed so that he'll be able to rejoin the faculty before classes resume this Fall.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/goolsbee-leave-white-house-return-university-chicago-87511 Making sense of the federal budget deal http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-11/making-sense-federal-budget-deal-85012 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-11/Boehner Getty Brendan Hoffman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated at 3:50 p.m. on 04/11/11</em><br> <br> At the 11<sup>th</sup> hour, leadership struck a budget deal to avert a government shutdown Friday, April 8. But that’s last year’s budget—and it’s six months overdue.<br> <br> WBEZ’s Jason Marck spoke to Charlie Wheelan, a senior lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, on Monday’s <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to make sense of the ongoing budget battles in Washington. Wheelan franed the last-minute line-item talks in terms of a household budget.<br> <br> “Imagine you and your spouse have been up all night with all the receipts; you’ve argued, you’ve done the math and at the end of it, the morning light comes up and you realize that all you’ve managed to do is pay the minimum balance on your credit card,” Wheelan explained.<br> <br> But at some point, Wheelan said, it dawns that [you] cannot actually pay the full balance on the card much less a car or mortgage payment. Putting off payments month after month is about where the federal government is on its own balancing efforts, Wheelan explained.<br> <br> By failing to pass a budget last year, Democrats yielded considerable leverage to the newly-appointed Republican majority in the House. That said, Wheelan explained that it’s the GOP tail—the Tea Party—that’s wagging the dog of the Republicans.<br> <br> “[John] Boehner had to deliver something to this vocal and influential and winning in November piece of the party,” Wheelan said. Further, Wheelan observed that the Tea Party is different than tails of yore: It’s organized, it got leadership and it’s got a mandate from voters. And so it starts to look like a coalition government similar to those in Italy or Israel.<br> <br> The next big item of the docket is another sizable leverage point: The debt ceiling is a cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the federal government can legally borrow. The United States is unique, Wheelan explained, in that Congress can say “no” to more borrowing. The problem is, the U.S. is consistently running deficits and needs to add to its tab in order to pay off said deficits and the previously due Treasury debt. Were Congress to refuse raising the roof, the U.S. could potentially default on its debt—a threat Wheelan called “quite serious.”<br> <br> A battle on the debt ceiling is the latest opportunity Republicans seized in order to to hold the [Obama] administration’s feet to the fire.<br> <br> “The Treasury bond is the gold standard (not literally) of the financial system. And if there’s even a whiff that people are not going to get their money back or that system is going to be disrupted then there’s going to be widespread concern, if not panic,” Wheelan warned.<br> <br> But all of this, Wheelan said, is just prelude to the much larger conversations this country must have in regards to entitlements and health care and so on. In the nearer term, members of Congress must return to the negotiating table to vote on a 2012 budget. Both parties have what Wheelan described as “glaring blind spots.”<br> <br> “The blind spot on the Democratic side is that we can just keep doing what we’re doing and it going to be OK—we cannot,” Wheelan said. If members care passionately about entitlement programs, he went on to say, they must fix the programs to sustain them—a framework for raising the retirement age to save Social Security has not been drawn nor has a system to contain the cost of health care.<br> <br> “The blind spot on the Republican side is this almost theological aversion to tax increases,” Wheelan observed. He added that he’s not seen any thoughtful observer who believes the United States can dig itself out of a fiscal hole without some sort of tax increase.<br> <br> Wheelan called the recommendations given by the president’s bipartisan deficit commission in the December Simpson-Bowles report “the perfect starting point” for the current discussions. But the plan was stifled by a lack of support from the people who ought to have been behind it.<br> <br> “President Obama’s reaction was tepid at best. Paul Ryan was on the committee, voted against the recommendations and so it was not beginning of that discussion that it should have [been],” Wheelan lamented.<br> <br> But at least part of the blame, Wheelan said, falls on the American people in that taxpayers are not fully prepared for the kind of sacrifice required.<br> <br> On legislative issues of this size and scale Wheelan said a strong executive voice is required. Ryan has provided that voice on the Republican side, whether people like his plans or not. President Obama is expected to deliver a prime-time speech Wednesday on deficit reduction. However many, including Wheelan, feel he’s a bit late to the party. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button: Fujiya &amp; Miyagi, "Minestrone," from the CD Ventriloquizzing, (Yep Roc)</em></p></p> Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-11/making-sense-federal-budget-deal-85012 Potential dangers of political rhetoric http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/potential-dangers-political-rhetoric <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/hate speech_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>President Barack Obama will travel to Tucson, Ariz. Wednesday to attend a memorial service for the victim’s of last weekend’s shootings. The tragedy has provoked a lot of discussion – much of it heated – about the current tone of American politics.<br> <br> It’s still not clear what exactly motivated the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. That he attacked a Congresswoman has some arguing that our political atmosphere – filled with violent words and images – is pushing some to consider or commit violent acts.</p><p><a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/people/soto.html" target="_blank">Victoria DeFrancesco Soto</a> joined "Eight Forty-Eight" to discuss the consequences of political rhetoric. She studied how the 2008 presidential campaign ads shaped public opinion and vote choice. She is also an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University and a faculty fellow at the <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/" target="_blank">Institute for Policy Research</a>.</p><p>She is also from Arizona <a href="http://giffords.house.gov/" target="_blank">Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords</a>’ district.</p><p><em>Music Button: Pitch Black, "Harmonia", from the CD Waveform Transmissions Vol. 3, (Waveform)</em></p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 14:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/potential-dangers-political-rhetoric A Daley may be next White House chief of staff http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/daley-may-be-next-white-house-chief-staff <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/obama_daley_ap_328.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The youngest of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s children is by no means the runt of the pack. As special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, Bill Daley famously led the charge to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement. He was later appointed Commerce Secretary under Clinton.</p><p>Since then, he chaired Vice President Gore’s presidential run and served on President Obama’s transition team. Now his efforts may land him back on the Beltway.</p><p>Daley may be tapped to fill the post left vacant by Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel - White House chief of staff. That position is now being filled by Pete Rouse on an interim basis.</p><p>To find out why Bill Daley might be the man for the job, "Eight Forty-Eight" spoke to <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Sun-Times</a> political reporter<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/index.html" target="_blank"> Abdon Pallasch</a>.</p><p><em>Music Button: Steve Gadd and Friends, "Undecided", from the CD Live at Voce, (BFM Jazz) </em></p></p> Wed, 05 Jan 2011 14:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/daley-may-be-next-white-house-chief-staff Obama administration outlining Asian carp strategies http://www.wbez.org/story/asian-carp/obama-administration-outlining-asian-carp-strategies <p><p>The Obama Administration is outlining initiatives for next year to prevent Asian carp from making its way into the Great Lakes.<br> <br> John Goss is the White House carp czar. He said the feds are working with local governments to up protection in and around the Great Lakes.<br> <br> "We'll be developing some new trap and net designs hopefully to be more efficient in removing carp from the waterways," Goss said. "We're working on genetic based methods to detect Asian carp that could give us a faster turn around."</p><p>Other strategies include refining DNA testing to detect invasive carp and reducing food sources to the fish.<br> <br> Goss said scientists will also evaluate if the invasive species are able to break through the electric barriers with the passage of steel barges.<br> <br> President Obama this week signed into law legislation that prohibits live bighead carp from being shipped or imported in to the U.S.</p></p> Fri, 17 Dec 2010 12:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/asian-carp/obama-administration-outlining-asian-carp-strategies Finding compromise in the new congressional landscape http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/finding-compromise-new-congressional-landscape <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Congressional leaders resize_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If all had gone well, congressional leaders would have been sipping on Slurpees at the White House Thursday. President Obama called a meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders to discuss economic concerns, particularly the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner asked to reschedule. Is the postponed brain freeze a sign of bipartisan bickering to come?</p><p>Polarization does seem to be the general mood of late. So, if the summit is an effort to find areas of compromise, could it work? Is there such a thing as middle ground between the two parties in power?</p><p>Eight Forty-Eight spoke with Rick Perlstein and <a href="http://www.lincolnseries.com/Bios/Dudley.html" target="_blank">Christine Dudle</a>y to help explore that terrain. Perlstein's most recent book is "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Nixonland-Rise-President-Fracturing-America/dp/0743243021" target="_blank">Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America</a>", and Dudley is a Republican political strategist.</p><p><em>Music Button: Barrett Martin and the Wayward Shamens, "Garifuma", from the CD Alchemy, (Fast Horse) </em></p></p> Thu, 18 Nov 2010 13:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/finding-compromise-new-congressional-landscape It's Official: Rahm Leaves White House for Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/its-official-rahm-leaves-white-house-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20101001_apbyline_1052185_It_s_large.png" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Departing Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is saying goodbye to the White House and President Barack Obama.</strong><br> <br> Without specifically mentioning the Chicago mayor's race he intends to enter, Emanuel told Obama he's "energized by the prospect of new challenges."<br> <br> And he said he's eager to see what he can do "to make our hometown even greater." Emanuel made the comments as he stood next to Obama in the East Room of the White House Friday.<br> <br> The brash and aggressive chief of staff, in an unusual display of emotion, appeared to almost choke up as he discussed his family's immigrant background, and the opportunities he has been afforded.<br> <br> Referencing his well-known penchant for profanity during his White House tenure, Emanuel also told the president: "I'm sure you've heard some words you've never heard before."</p></p> Fri, 01 Oct 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/its-official-rahm-leaves-white-house-chicago Obama: Emanuel Would Make 'Terrific' Mayor http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/obama-emanuel-would-make-terrific-mayor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100909_apbyline_1138448_Obam_large.png" alt="" /><p><br> <br> <p><strong>White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel hasn't officially announced whether he plans to run for mayor of Chicago. But he's already picking up high-profile support from Washington. </strong>President Barack Obama glowed when asked by ABC News if Emanuel would make a good mayor.<br> <br> "I think he would be an excellent mayor," the president told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in a interview that will be broadcast Thursday.<br> <br> But according to a transcript of the interview, the president quickly added he didn't expect Emanuel to make a decision until after the midterm elections.<br> <br> "I think right now, as long as he is in the White House, he is critically focused on making sure that we're creating jobs for families around the country and rebuilding our economy," the president said, according to a transcript of the interview. &nbsp;"And you know, the one thing I've always been impressed with about Rahm is that when he has a job to do, he focuses on the job in front of him."<br> <br> Speculation as to Emanuel's next step has run wild since April, when he said in an interview that someday he'd like to be Chicago's next mayor. He later dialed back those comments, saying he would not run against Chicago Mayor Richard Daley if he chose to try for&nbsp;seventh&nbsp;term.<br> <br> Emanuel issued an e-mailed statement&nbsp;Tuesday following Daley's announcement, saying it "surprised" him.&nbsp; But he did not close the door on a mayoral run of his own.<br> <br> &nbsp;If, indeed, Emanuel does wait until after November's elections to make a declaration, he'd only have until February to sell himself to Chicago voters.</p></p> Thu, 09 Sep 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/obama-emanuel-would-make-terrific-mayor White House Names Carp Czar, Testimony Over Fish Continues http://www.wbez.org/story/news/white-house-names-carp-czar-testimony-over-fish-continues <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100908_tarnold_1532410_Whit_large.png" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Attorneys in federal court today discussed the challenges of preventing an invasive fish from making Lake Michigan its home.</strong><br> <br> Most of the testimony centered around General John Peabody. He's with the Army Corps Of Engineers and has been trying to find ways to stop the invasive Asian carp from migrating any further north. Peabody told a federal judge he thought if the carp settled in Lake Michigan,&nbsp;there would be steep consequences for the region's ecology. But he says there are practical&nbsp;and financial&nbsp;issues with keeping the carp out of the lake.<br> <br> His testimony comes the same day the White House named a carp czar, who will oversee the process of fighting the Asian carp. Testimony is expected to wrap up on Friday.</p></p> Wed, 08 Sep 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/white-house-names-carp-czar-testimony-over-fish-continues University of Hawaii Makes Push for Obama's Presidential Library http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/university-hawaii-makes-push-obamas-presidential-library <p><p>If Illinois wants to lay claims to Barack Obama's presidential library, it is time to get cracking—we've got competition! According to reports, officials from the University of Hawaii are making a pitch to house the historic complex. But just how is that decision made, and who gets to make the call? For a presidential library lesson, we turn to Sharon Fawcett. She's an Assistant Archivist for <a href="http://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/" target="_blank">Presidential Libraries at the National Archives</a>.<br> <br> <span style="font-style: italic;">Music Button:&nbsp; Matorralman, "El Taxi Del Manana", from the CD Guateque Estelar, (Nacional)</span></p></p> Wed, 01 Sep 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/university-hawaii-makes-push-obamas-presidential-library